Do I need HDMI input and output for my audio?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by btg34, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. btg34

    btg34 Auditioning

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    So I'm remodeling my basement and creating a home theater. I've got a projector (ceiling mount) and fixed screen mounted already. I've already got a 25' HDMI cable running from my recessed shelving for my equipment, to my projector and all of the speaker wiring done and returning to my shelving as well. What I'm trying to figure out, is whether I'll need to run an HDMI cable from my DISH receiver to my audio receiver, and then run the long HDMI cable to the projector. It seems like that is the only way to do this properly, the way things are currently set up (wiring is finished as ceiling is sheetrocked now). Maybe I relied a little too much on my electrician's advice and know how, and should have done further wiring, but it is too late now.

     

    So, my question, is what audio system I can get (at a reasonable price, doesn't need to be mind blowing by any means), that either has 2 HDMI inputs (one for DISH and one for Blu-ray) and one HDMI output (to go to projector). Or is a Blu-ray receiver, and has 1 HDMI input, and 1 HDMI output.

     

    If anybody else has any suggestions, please help me out. I'm a newbie, but these seem to be my only two options after talking with my electrician and scouring the internet. Hopefully one of you guys can enlighten me and help me complete the last step of this project.

     

    Thanks in advance.

     

    Edit:

     

    I'm wired for 5.1 speaker system. I'm trying to keep the costs down the sound system, as it wasn't originally budgeted (we had a system given to us that ended up not working). So I know you all probably don't like HTiB systems, BUT this is primarily going to be used for sports viewing, and the occasional movie. Sound is my smallest concern in the remodel :)
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Bryon:

     

    Welcome to the HTF!

     

    Since you say you've already got an HDMI cable running from your shelving to your projector...and speaker wiring run from your shelving to the speakers (I'm assuming the speakers are already in place?)...you're in pretty good shape.
     

    You simply need to find yourself a receiver with enough HDMI inputs for your sources (cable box, Blu-ray player, anything else?) and an HDMI output. Most A/V receivers fall in that category today. The deciding factor for you will be budget. If you think there's ANY CHANCE you might be considering the addition of any new sources down the road, you should consider an additional HDMI now rather than later.
     

    The receiver will then distribute video to your projector via the HDMI and audio to your speakers.
     

    If you don't have speakers yet--and depending upon your budget (please give us a figure)--an HTiB might be the way to go. Onkyo are usually recommended here. However...be careful! Many HTiB speakers use proprietary wiring (unique connectors) which means you may NOT be able to use your pre-existing wiring.
     

    I'm sure others will be weighing in soon. Good luck!
     
  3. btg34

    btg34 Auditioning

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    I just have general speaker wiring done. Does this mean there is a specific type of system I should avoid? How can I tell in advance if they have proprietary wiring?

     

    Also, is it just assumed that an HTiB receiver has an HDMI output, because almost every single one I've seen online only mentions HDMI inputs and nothing about outputs.

     

    Thanks for the help!
     
  4. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Byron,

     

    You should avoid HTiB if feasible, but if you can't due to budget constraints, Onkyo is the way to go. You will get a real receiver with at least 2 HDMI inputs (usually more).
     

    How big is the budget for this project? And I'm confused.... Do you need speakers as well as the AVR?
     
  5. btg34

    btg34 Auditioning

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    The budget I'm looking at for the audio is below $500 hopefully now, and I need speakers. It isn't a huge deal to me if HTiB isn't ideal, as I'm happy to get it seperate if within budget. I was just hoping to save some money somewhere. If it isn't the best move to try and save with an HTiB since the wiring is already done, then I can deal with that though.
     
  6. btg34

    btg34 Auditioning

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    Mike,

     

    What do you think of the Onkyo HT-S3300? Does anyone know whether they use proprietary wiring? I found what seems to be a preety good price (You tell me I guess!) on Amazon at $278. This would at least get me started, and down the road, when the bills for the basement remodel aren't rolling in and the budget expands, we could upgrade the speakers.
     

    Is this a good option for me?

     

    Thanks for all the help everyone!
     
     
  7. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    It's generally not the actual wire that's the problem, it's whether they used proprietary connections. If the connection has two wires, prongs, or some sort of connection dohicky - you're fine (you can always cut off the connector). If it looks like it has more than two wires connecting to the speaker, then you're in trouble.
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    "Sound is my smallest concern in the remodel :)"

     

    I'm sorry to hear this . The audio portion of the HT experience is often over-looked or under valued. But, we all have our prioreties.

     

    "What do you think of the Onkyo HT-S3300?"

     

    The biggest drawback to the Onkyo 3300 is the plastic "passive" sub woofer, meaning it's powered by the receiver. The 5300 has a self-powered 10" sub woofer made from some sort of wood which will perform much better then the one in the 3300. The 5300 also has a better receiver and speakers than the 3300 but if sound quality really isn't that important to you then the 3300 might be just fine.

     

    BTW, Any Onkyo system should work fine with your existing wiring. Their connections aren't proprietary but standard speaker wire type.
     
  9. btg34

    btg34 Auditioning

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  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    With a room that size I would think the 3300 would be in-adequate.

     

    You don't need to hook up the Surround Back speakers of the 5300 if you don't want to. You can configure it as a 5.1 system. And you would be getting a better amp section to help fill the large room. But the powered sub woofer would be the biggest benefit.

     

    Most members around here wouldn't even try to fill a room that size with a pre-packaged system but would recommend buying a seperate receiver, speakers and a much more expensive sub woofer. But the cost can add up quickly.

     

    I suggest you try and listen to a few different systems at varying price points to find out exactly want you may want, and need. Big-Box stores generally have poor listenning rooms/areas but it's worth the effort to try and get a better idea of what you think you're paying for and what you might actually get. Got a Fry's near you?
     
  11. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Here's an example of a pretty good system with components purchased seperately. Polk/Monitor-40 fronts ($149/pair), Polk/CS1 center ($69), Polk/Monitor-30 surrounds ($85/pair), BIC/V1220 sub woofer ($192 shipped) and either the Pioneer/920 or the Onkyo/508 (both $279). That's about $800 for a complete 5.1 system.

     

    Or you can get the Onkyo 5300 as a factory refurb with a 1 year warranty from Ac4l.com, an authorized dealer, for $339 + shipping. But the system above would perform much better.
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Bryon:

     

    Gene is right (as always).
     

    If you want to fill a room that size, you don't want a passive sub (or probably a HTiB for that matter).
     

    And don't demean the importance of good audio for a room mostly dedicated to sports viewing. A kickass sound system can really make the difference for a sporting event.
     

    And...to try and twist your arm a bit further...it's much better to make a good investment upfront to get it right and put off any urge to upgrade to much later!
     
  13. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    "Gene is right (as always)."

     

    Been nippin' at the cooking Sherry again there Mike?
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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  15. btg34

    btg34 Auditioning

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    Gene,

     

    I really appreciate your well thought-out responses. The more I talk to you guys the more I'm leaning towards going with something a little over the budget. I'd just hate to put together a nice basement all around, and then a lackluster sound system. By no means am I looking for something to blow me away, but I would really like something that will sound good, and have the versatility to play music OK as well. I'm afraid if I go cheap, I'll be unsatisfied in a year and then want to go with the more expensive option...

     

    We'll see, maybe I'd be best suited to see if I run into any other budget overages before I splurge on the audio. Thanks for all of the help everyone!
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Bryon:

     

    You just better report back and let us know what you decided to do!

     

    BTW, if you are able to go and check out some gear at some local stores, see if you can get them to put up some sports for you on their sources so you get some kind of feel for how things might be for your own situation.
     
  17. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    I've seen the Onkyo 5300 for as low as $399 on Amazon, with FREE Super Saver Shipping.

     

    In case someone hasn't mentioned it, you can run the 5300 with 5.1, the receiver will simply "fold down" any data for the unused surrounds into your 5.1 setup after programming it.
     

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