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HDTV audio questions from newbie...


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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   blackmamba

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Posted December 01 2009 - 03:24 AM

I have bought Samsung UN40B6000 LED HDTV in BF deals. Since this is a HDTV, I want to enjoy it to the fullest with Blu-Rays and HDTV channels. Let me also confess that I don’t have any knowledge of how audio systems (5.1 channels) work. That;s why I want to gain my understanding from your experience and then decide on a home theatre system.

The TV has only a digital optical audio output. These are the connectors it has:

4 x HDMI ( 19 pin HDMI Type A )

1 x Component video input ( RCA phono x 3 )

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Ethernet ( RJ-45 )

1 x Digital audio output (optical) ( TOSLINK )

1 x VGA input ( 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15) )

TV Audio System details:

Speaker(s) = 2 x Right/left channel speaker - Built-in - 10 Watt

Sound Output Mode = Stereo

Surround Mode = Yes

Sound Effects = SRS TruSurround HD

Audio Controls = Balance , Bass , Treble

Output Power / Total = 20 Watt

Now I would like to have a 5.1 audio system solely for HDTV channels and DVD/Blu-ray/NetFlix streamed movies, therefore I would like to avoid investing in a A/V reciever.

Questions:

1. Can I have a audio system which I can hook directly to TV and use the audio output from my TV for 5.1 audio system; much like how sound bars work.

2. Can I have a decent 5.1 system assembled by myself by buying speakers and other components individually? Basically a Do It Yourself system.

I would like to keep the audio system under $200.

Since the site has experts and gurus in this area, I am open to your suggestions and advice so, please feel free to share your views.


TIA

Bill



#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted December 01 2009 - 04:17 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmamba 
Now I would like to have a 5.1 audio system solely for HDTV channels and DVD/Blu-ray/NetFlix streamed movies, therefore I would like to avoid investing in a A/V reciever.
To get real 5.1 surround sound, you must have an A/V receiver, five speakers, and is better if you have a subwoofer.

The optical output on the tv is for getting 5.1 surround from local HD channels, via the built-in tuner, while using an antenna. But, you still must have an A/V receiver. The few tvs that will pass audio at all that way, will downmix a 5.1 signal, to 2.0, and send to A/V receiver. The best you can hope for, in that case, is Dolby Pro Logic II (simulated surround). Simulated surround is all you'll get from tv speakers and sound bars also. Not possible to get real 5.1 surround from just one or two speakers, that are in front of you.

This receiver is on sale right now, for $319.99: http://www.amazon.co...59686795&sr=1-3 and is worth every penny. This will give you the full benefits of the HD audio formats used in blu ray movies. Of course you'll still need the speakers and sub.

BTW..........Netflix movies don't stream in 5.1 surround. They're only in stereo. So, again, the best you can hope for is Pro Logic simulated surround with those.

There are speaker kits and subwoofer kits you can buy, and build them yourself. But you're looking at a good bit more than $200. I don't know of any surround receivers to build yourself.

You can get an HTIB (home theater in a box), such as this one. http://www.amazon.co...59687591&sr=1-1 Most HTIBs don't have enough inputs, and don't decode the HD audio from blu ray movies. That's why I suggest the Onkyo system. They use a real receiver in their systems, that has enough inputs for most people, and does the decoding. Plus they are upgradable, when you get around to wanting to. Onkyo makes very good equipment.
Good luck with whatever you do.


Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   blackmamba

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Posted December 01 2009 - 04:37 AM

Thanks Ed.

>>The optical output on the tv is for getting 5.1 surround from local HD channels, via the built-in tuner, while using an antenna


That bring in another question to my mind:


If I play blu-ray movies from blu-ray player; then the audio output from TV will downmix it to 2.0? So, does that mean one should buy a blu-ray player with 5.1 audio output to take advantage of HD movies?

What about the HDTV channels recieved using comcast, direcTV etc? Does TV audio output downmix audio from those too?





#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted December 01 2009 - 05:21 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmamba 

If I play blu-ray movies from blu-ray player; then the audio output from TV will downmix it to 2.0? So, does that mean one should buy a blu-ray player with 5.1 audio output to take advantage of HD movies?

I have only seen one model TV that would pass through multi-channel audio from an external source.  Out of the thousands of models made, this rarity isn't enough to make us change our standard answer.  What you need to do is connect your BD player to the A/V receiver via a digital audio connection to get 5.1 audio.  You will need a receiver that had HDMI audio decoding for the newer HD audio formats.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmamba 
What about the HDTV channels recieved using comcast, direcTV etc? Does TV audio output downmix audio from those too?

It's not the source that causes the downmix, it is the TV.  Comcast may be the exception.  If you TV has a QAM tuner and you are decoding digital channels without a cable box, then your optical output will output audio in the format sent by the cable company.  But it still follows the rule that the TV is using an internal tuner as opposed to an external device.


#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted December 01 2009 - 06:21 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmamba 
That bring in another question to my mind:


If I play blu-ray movies from blu-ray player; then the audio output from TV will downmix it to 2.0? So, does that mean one should buy a blu-ray player with 5.1 audio output to take advantage of HD movies?

What about the HDTV channels recieved using comcast, direcTV etc? Does TV audio output downmix audio from those too?

The down mixing only occurs if you're using the tv's inputs, to daisy chain to an A/V receiver.

If you have an A/V receiver, and go to it first (with cable, satellite, or blu ray), then out to the tv, there will be no down mixing. That way you get true 5.1 surround. Know too, the only tv channels that broadcast in 5.1 are HD channels, some premium movie channels (HBO, Starz, etc.), and some PPV channels.

If you're talking about a blu ray player with 5.1/7.1 multi-channel analog outputs, there's no tv made that they'll hookup to. You'd have to have an A/V receiver. But, that is one way of getting the HD audio. But if you have to get an A/V receiver anyway, I'd get one that decodes the HD audio over HDMI, and be done with it. That's the best way. The receiver I linked to earlier for $319 does this, and is very cheap, but very good, for that kind of receiver.


Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   blackmamba

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Posted December 01 2009 - 08:41 AM

Thanks Ed. Picture is getting clearer now :-).

So, there were these two Samsung Blu-Ray players I was considering - BD 1600 and BD 3600. The main difference is that BD 3600 has 7.1 channel audio analog output apart from ready WiFi. After seeing your reply it seems that there is no benefit in spending another 60 - 70 $$ for 7.1 audio output inbuilt in the player on BD 3600 as it's the A/V reciever that would be doing the work anyway.

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted December 01 2009 - 10:06 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmamba 
After seeing your reply it seems that there is no benefit in spending another 60 - 70 $$ for 7.1 audio output inbuilt in the player on BD 3600 as it's the A/V reciever that would be doing the work anyway.
Yes, but only if the receiver can handle the HD audio, over HDMI. Not all do.
Get a receiver that says it decodes Dolby TrueHD and dtsHD Master, and you won't need the blu ray player with the 7.1 multi-channel analog outputs.

With a blu ray player that does have the 7.1 analog outputs, if the receiver doesn't have the HDMI inputs, it will need to have the 7.1 analog inputs. Not all do. No matter which way you go, you have to make sure everything has the right outputs and inputs for what you want to do with it.


Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   CB750

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Posted December 04 2009 - 09:29 AM

Bill,

A year ago I was as confused as you are.  If you are on a budget follow Ed advise on the Onkyo Receiver and separate speakers, or the Onkyo HTIB.  The way HT has evolved a receiver is a necessary hub of  a Home Theater system.  With a blue ray player and HD cable box you will make all of your connections with HDMI cables which will result the best video and audio reproduction your source material can produce and a lot less wires to hide.  

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   blackmamba

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Posted December 07 2009 - 03:14 AM

Thanks Bill W., I am also thinking on the same lines now. The Onkyo HTiB is 7.1 and is pretty big considering the room size. So I would like to go for 5.1 only. The Onkyo-TX-SR507 is within my budget and that's what I am leaning to go with. I ahve already got HDTV + Blu-Ray player; zeroed down on SR507; the next thing to figure out is 5.1 speakers.

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   CB750

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Posted December 08 2009 - 08:54 AM

Bill,

Your speaker selection is going to be the most difficult part.  I suggest you listen to as many speakers that are in your price range and purchase the ones that sound best to you.  Take some of your favorite audio source material with you and use that to make your listening comparison.