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How to set the best setting for my HTiB? (1 Viewer)

Asfur

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Hi, to be honest i'm not a pro pro in sound system technic and information. So i need your help to help me setup the best setting for my HTiB. So i will explain a little bit about my home theater condition. What i have is :

1. LG 3D Smart TV 42LM7600 series. It has optical output and hdmi arc, and a Dolby Digital Decoder. When i look at the manual. It says a DTS signal from movie will read as Dolby digital only and not a DTS.
2. Sony HT-SL7, it is an old model, i bought it maybe around 10 years back. But it is already Dolby Digital, Dolby Prologic, and DTS support for sound decoder. This model only a receiver and doesn't have a disc player.
3. I just bought few days ago to replace my old Sony, it is LG DH6330P. I thought a newer HT will bring me a better performace and audio compare to oldies one. (I'm simply think like in early 2000 it still pentium era, now its already icore 5 in pentium laptop, so it give better in everything). After bought it, and deeply look at the spec, i realize that it has only DD decoder with even no Dolby Prologic II (not to mention it doesn't have DTS)

So before i replace my HT, here is the setting in my HT. I use HDD to play a movie in mkv file, some of it have a DTS sound. In the TV, it doesnt matter if i setup the Digital Audio Output into Auto or PCM, it still produce sound in my Sony HT. I connect the TV to HT with digital optic (Toslink). When i choose Auto, if DTS sound is detected, it will light, if no DTS then it will not light on.

After i change to LG HT, when i play the DTS movie, it will not produce sound until i change the Digital Audio Output into PCM. There some question that still makes me confuse :
1. Is that mean with this HT i can only get a "fake 5.1" sound, since PCM only send 2.0/stereo sound, and my LG tried to interpolate to 5.1. from 2.0 channel?
2. In Dolby format, will it give better surround if the Digital Audio Output set to Auto (if set to auto, the LG HT will recognize it as Dolby), or just leave it in PCM? Why?
3. Am i get a wrong decision on changing my HT, i mean does my simply rules like Pentium to i-Core in laptop does not apply in HT? So is that mean my newer LG are more crappy compare to oldies Sony?

Thanks a lot, and please advice and explanation.

Sorry i'm editing my posting, i just checking, there is big mistake statment in the first line :wacko: . Please forgive, as english is not my main language :) .
 

Al.Anderson

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If you go through your TV to get audio you will never get surround sound, TVs almost always downgrade to stereo sound. This is true for nearly all TVs, but in your case, since the LG also doesn't have Prologic, you won't even get simulated surround. The best connection approach is to always connect everything to the receiver and then go to the TV from the receiver.

That LG is not very good. As you already discovered it is missing important sounds modes. It also uses a passive sub. I recommend you return it.

A good option is to get a pre-package instead of a HTIB. I recommend the Onkyos, as they offer a lot of features at a good price point. Yamaha has some good pre-packaged systems too (I like them better, but they are a little bit more expensive).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/HT-S4505-Channel-Receiver-Speaker-Package/dp/B007YMN306/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1388672947&sr=8-3&keywords=onkyo+home+theater

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Onkyo-HT-S3505-Channel-Receiver-Speaker/dp/B007VIHTLW/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1388672947&sr=8-8&keywords=onkyo+home+theater

(The 3505 also uses a passive sub, but if you need to fit a budget at least it's a good receiver.)
 

billwill.julz

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Al,

How do you think this one will hold up to those Onkyos?
Sony Home Theater Surround Sound System HTSS370 $200
http://www.electronicexpress.com/catalog/16952/Sony-HTSS370

Its 1000w peak with 165w to the 6" sub (which I think is passive).
3HDMI inputs (which should be plenty for my ATV3, PS3, and HD cable box)

Both of those Onkyo's are only 130w to the same size sub and less wattage to every other channel.

You mentioned Asfur's DH6330P had passive speakers as a downside.
What is that downside? or better yet, what is the advantage to active speakers?
Are these Onkyo active subs better than the Sony's even if they accept less wattage?

Let me know if I'm missing anything. Thanks,
 

schan1269

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1000W PMPO is a total joke. Look at the specs. I doubt that craptastic Sony pulls 100w off the wall.1000 from 100. Hey, we just solved the worldwide power shortage. Install millions of these shitastic HTiB all over the world.And, passive means you never upgrade it. When one thing breaks, it all goes in the trash. Hence, craptastic and shitastic.
 

schan1269

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One last note. Those HDMI inputs on that Sony HTiB, they only accept 2.0pcm. If you want real 5.1, you have to connect a toslink.(read the specs, it is right there)
 

Jason Charlton

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billwill.julz said:
Its 1000w peak with 165w to the 6" sub (which I think is passive).
Yeah, but that peak wattage is completely meaningless... look at the specs under Power Consumption (in operation): 165W. That's how much power it pulls from the wall. How is it possible to take 165 watts and produce 1000 watts of output? It's not. The 1000 number is complete BS.

165 watts divided by 6 = 27.5 watts per channel. But that assumes that every watt pulled from the wall is channeled to the speakers and it also assumes the amplifiers are 100% efficient (trust me, they are far below that...). If you assume a modest 65 watts for video processing and GENEROUSLY assume the amplifiers are even 75% efficient (that's being VERY generous) you get: ((165-65) * 0.75)/6 = 12.5 watts per channel.

This system IS better than your current system in that it has HDMI inputs...

To answer your questions about why a passive subwoofer is a downside - subwoofers generally are going to draw more power than your other speakers. Consider the numbers above - that assumes an equal distribution between all speakers. In reality, when the subwoofer starts cranking (or trying to crank) it will draw power away from the rest of the speakers.

An active subwoofer draws it's power from the wall separately from the receiver, so when it gets to work, it doesn't adversely affect the rest of the speakers. Active subwoofers can also be replaced and upgraded over time - even to more powerful and larger models. A system that only supports a passive sub is locked into that size and wattage for ever.

Al offers solid advice - you are much better off saving for a "pre-packaged" system that is built around a real receiver and allows future upgrading of components than a compromised "all in one" HTiB. Unless your budget absolutely will not allow a pre-packaged system, in which case you can take your pick of HTiB's with HDMI inputs - they'll all be about the same.
 

billwill.julz

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schan1269 said:
One last note. Those HDMI inputs on that Sony HTiB, they only accept 2.0pcm. If you want real 5.1, you have to connect a toslink.(read the specs, it is right there)
I have read the specs, and I cannot find anything about 2.0 PCM in the manual.

In fact, it states: "You can enjoy multi channel Linear PCM only with an HDMI connection."
Sounds to me like HDMI is the way to go over Toslink.

If i understand correctly, multi channel Linear PCM is uncompressed audio, so it is more pure than the compressed signals of dolby digital/DTS, all of which this system carries through HDMI:

"A digital audio signals transmitted by HDMI can be output from the speakers connected to the receiver. This signal supports Dolby Digital, DTS and Linear PCM."
 

schan1269

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Ok, so 1 shitastic system finally takes 5.1 off HDMI. About time. But it is still a shitastic system every other single way.
 

schan1269

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AAhhh....the 370 doesn't include a DVD/BD player. That is why it takes LPCM off the HDMI.

The trick is...

Can your Cable/Satellite STB send 5.1 PCM*?

If not, then your sound from that will have to be 2.0* and DPL. (By the way. I know of no, as in none, STB that can sent 5.1 PCM)

*It does have toslink and digital coax. So, yes you can use the HDMI for BD players and "gaming systems" that can send 5.1 PCM(hint, not all of them can).
 

billwill.julz

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Jason Charlton said:
Yeah, but that peak wattage is completely meaningless... look at the specs under Power Consumption (in operation): 165W. That's how much power it pulls from the wall. How is it possible to take 165 watts and produce 1000 watts of output? It's not. The 1000 number is complete BS.

165 watts divided by 6 = 27.5 watts per channel. But that assumes that every watt pulled from the wall is channeled to the speakers and it also assumes the amplifiers are 100% efficient (trust me, they are far below that...). If you assume a modest 65 watts for video processing and GENEROUSLY assume the amplifiers are even 75% efficient (that's being VERY generous) you get: ((165-65) * 0.75)/6 = 12.5 watts per channel.
Ok. I'm aware of the differences in peak power and RMS power but never knew to look at the actual power consumption. So, this Sony only draws 165 watts, but Al's suggested Onkyo HT-S3505 draws 330 watts. If I use your equation for a rough comparison between the two I come to: ((330-65) * 0.75)/6 = 33.125 watts per channel, which is over double the power. And the Onkyo is probably more effiecient, etc.

So when I look at the specs of a HT system is it true I need to look at the power consumption ratings before all else?

Jason Charlton said:
To answer your questions about why a passive subwoofer is a downside - subwoofers generally are going to draw more power than your other speakers. Consider the numbers above - that assumes an equal distribution between all speakers. In reality, when the subwoofer starts cranking (or trying to crank) it will draw power away from the rest of the speakers.

An active subwoofer draws it's power from the wall separately from the receiver, so when it gets to work, it doesn't adversely affect the rest of the speakers. Active subwoofers can also be replaced and upgraded over time - even to more powerful and larger models. A system that only supports a passive sub is locked into that size and wattage for ever.

Al offers solid advice - you are much better off saving for a "pre-packaged" system that is built around a real receiver and allows future upgrading of components than a compromised "all in one" HTiB. Unless your budget absolutely will not allow a pre-packaged system, in which case you can take your pick of HTiB's with HDMI inputs - they'll all be about the same.
This is amazing. Thank you so much for this explanation. Its very clear and makes perfect sense.

So, If i get an active system, the sub produces its own wattage from the wall. Does this mean it is true that the surround and center speakers are getting powered signals, but the sub is getting a "line" signal, which means the 330 watts conspumtion power is divided between less channels and produces more true wattage per channel?

Thanks a million guys.
 

billwill.julz

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schan1269 said:
AAhhh....the 370 doesn't include a DVD/BD player. That is why it takes LPCM off the HDMI.

The trick is...

Can your Cable/Satellite STB send 5.1 PCM*?

If not, then your sound from that will have to be 2.0* and DPL. (By the way. I know of no, as in none, STB that can sent 5.1 PCM)

*It does have toslink and digital coax. So, yes you can use the HDMI for BD players and "gaming systems" that can send 5.1 PCM(hint, not all of them can).
Well, I am not too worried about the cable/satellite b/c I'm sure audio and video are already super compressed in order to stream. I'm mostly worried about ATV3 (which can stream 5.1 material from my iMac) and PS4 (doubles as my bluray player).

I heard that the first releases of the Xbox One didnt send 5.1 signals through HDMI, but I think they've patched that now.
I think PS4 did from the start. I dont know how Nintendo is holding up in this battle.
 

Jason Charlton

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billwill.julz said:
So when I look at the specs of a HT system is it true I need to look at the power consumption ratings before all else?
Actually, no. Even if we consider the numbers that were calculated above as "meaningful power", it's still mostly meaningless when trying to evaluate a home theater system.

As is true for all home theater systems - from the smallest, most meager offering to the top-of-the-line cutting edge - it all comes down to the speakers. The two most important "specs" to look at are speaker impedance (ohms) and speaker sensitivity (dB). By themselves, those numbers will give you a good idea of how loud the system can go, and how easily it can achieve that volume (notice that speaker "power" is not listed, either - another totally bogus number plastered onto boxes and spec sheets).

Start with sensitivity: the speaker sensitivity (in decibels) describes the SPL (sound pressure level or volume) at 1 meter away from the speaker when the speaker is fed a 1 watt signal (yes, one measly watt). Now, the volume does drop off as you move away from the speaker so "real world" volumes will be lower, but this at least provides a common ground by which you can compare different speakers.

Decent speakers start at around 89dB, better speakers will reach into the 90's and some very efficient speakers can crack 100dB.

A doubling of power results in roughly a 3dB increase in volume. So, speakers that are 91dB efficient will produce:
91dB @ 1W
94dB @ 2W
97dB @ 4W
100dB @ 8W
... and so on.

Once you get over 100dB, you're in the territory where extended listening can be dangerous to your hearing.

So, while the 91dB speaker needs 8 watts to hit 100dB, an 89dB speaker would need 16 watts, or TWICE the power.

General takeaway - if you buy efficient speakers, you don't NEED as much power.

The sensitivities of those Sony speakers are not even listed in the manual - they are probably at best in the mid-80's.

Impedance, on the other hand, is more closely associated with resistance (ohms is a measure of resistance). However, contrary to popular belief, when it comes to speakers, lowering the resistance simply means that it will "draw" more power from the power supply - and that's works counter to the idea of efficiency = good.

Most standalone speakers are 8 ohms. That's the standard and if you stick with 8 ohm speakers ANY receiver can power them.

Most HTiB speakers are 3-4 ohms - meaning they will more readily pull power from the receiver. Connecting low-impedance speakers to a receiver that is designed for 8 ohm speakers is dangerous to the receiver.

So, hopefully you can see how the combination of "inefficient" and "power hungry" in most budget HTiB systems is something that we generally advise people to avoid.
billwill.julz said:
So, If i get an active system, the sub produces its own wattage from the wall. Does this mean it is true that the surround and center speakers are getting powered signals, but the sub is getting a "line" signal, which means the 330 watts conspumtion power is divided between less channels and produces more true wattage per channel?
Exactly.

When it comes to shopping for a home theater system - choose speakers based on how they sound to you and how they fit into your budget (speakers should represent the lions share of your overall budget). Stick with 8 ohm speakers and try to keep an eye on their efficiency.

Receivers should be chosen based on connectivity and features (networking, multi-zone, etc.) NOT on power.

If budget is tight, a pre-packaged system is the way to go - the speakers are still the weaker link, but at least if you have a real receiver, you have the option to upgrade and replace the speakers in the future.
 

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