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HT Newbie Start Up Help (1 Viewer)

mlee49

Auditioning
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
7
Real Name
Matt
With a recent bonus I've decided to upgrade my TV and surround sound system. I've picked out a nice 42" Sharp Aquos for my HDTV and initially started with a cheap HTIB set up for $300 range. I was quickly informed that for any good quality sounds I would want to set up a custom sound system. So I invested some research time and have the following parts on the way:

Receiver: Sony STR-DG820

Floor Speakers: Pioneer Electronics S-H352F:

Pioneer USA - Pioneer Speakers

Picked these up local for $80 1y/o used.


Sub: Infinity PS10

I'm investing the most into my TV so I'm limited to really give this setup full attention financially. I had upgraded the receiver to a 7.1 channel that can handle BluRay for future upgrade options.

My questions are about additional bookshelf/center speakers to complete this package. I'm interested in the Infinity Primus Series for future add ons.

Infinity Systems - Home Audio

Are these goods speakers to upgrade? What should I look for in a center channel speaker? What should I look for in a good bookshelf speakers? I know the top 5 speaker manufactures and I cant afford any of them. It seems like Polk has a few value speakers, but other than that I'm limited by my funds. Whats a good value upgrade to bookshelf speakers and center channel?

My last newbie questions are about cabling and wiring. Currently I'll want to connect all of the following:

Receiver
TV
Speakers
PC for gaming
Wii/360 for gaming
HD DVR/cable box
future PS3/bluray dvd player

I do need help with maximizing the potential of my system so the wrong cable can impact the entire project.
The gaming console's I want to run to the receiver right? This should upscale them to 1080 video and HD audio right?

I'll run HDMI from my cable box to my Receiver then up to my TV right? This way I'll get HD sound for TV.

For speakers I'm thinking 12 gauge should be sufficient, right? Should I skimp and go 16 gauge? I'm also thinking 100' should be sufficient.

PC connection should be into the TV directly with a DVI cable and the audio I want to use a SPDIF optic cable into the receiver. My gfx card in my computer only has DVI so would there be any (dis)advantage to using a HDMI/DVI converter and a HDMI cable?


I'm really tying to learn as much as I can on my own, but parts will be here by the end of the week so I want to be prepared as much as possible to install it all over the weekend. If not, no biggie I'll sort it all out in time.

Thanks for reading my ubernoob post and I'll really appreciate any help. If you can help answer even one part of my question or provide help to one area please post! I'm in need of a HT education and love learning new things. I'll reply to most posts asap, pending work constraints. Thanks for the help in advanced guys!
 

Joseph DeMartino

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
8,311
Location
Florida
Real Name
Joseph DeMartino
Welcome to the HTF, Matt. First question: What is your budget? Hard to make recommendations without knowing how much you want to spend. (This can be a pretty expensive hobby. Speakers can range from $40 or $50 a pop to a couple of thousand each, depending on how demanding - and how rich - you are.
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
)


You should run HDMI from the DVR to the TV, but not for that reason. The only true "HD" sound formats are the lossless surround formats from Dolby Labs and DTS, which are only available on (some) Blu Ray discs. What you'll get is digital sound in every format from mono through matrixed Dolby Pro Logic, to DD 5.1 discrete surround, depending on the source material and the channel you're watching. DD 5.1 is only available on HD channels, and not on all of the programming on those.

Hope this helps,

Joe
 

mlee49

Auditioning
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
7
Real Name
Matt
Thanks for the help and explanation. I'll definitely consider the matched set for front l/r/c speakers.

Are the Infinity Prius series any good?

I understand the wire gauge sizing. I just personally though 10 gauge would be too big. Thanks for the guidance here though.

Last question I have is about cable's again. Do the HDMI cables matter that much? I see another post questioning types and if they support the latest technology. I was thinking about picking up a three pack here:

3 Pcs of 6 Feet HDMI Male to Male Digital A/V Cable

Will any generic HDMI cable work for my setup or do I need a "better" cable that fully supports these features? I'll try to research more on this to see whats going on.
 

Joseph DeMartino

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
8,311
Location
Florida
Real Name
Joseph DeMartino
There is very little difference between HDMI cables other than build quality and materials. Basically they either work or they don't.

That said, for the same money I'd be inclined to buy the 28 AWG Tartan line 3 ft HDMI cables from Blue Jeans Cables rather than the source you linked to. I have nothing against that vendor, I'm just not familiar with them. I have bought from Blue Jeans, which is an HTF advertiser, and so have lots of other folks around here. So I'm familiar with their products, their quality and their reputation. Monoprice cable is also another highly-regarded on-line source. There is a good primer on HDMI cables and the various standards (which mostly describe the testing regime under which the cables were certified, rather than any inherent "ability" of the cables. It is true that an HDMI tested carrying 480i video under the 1.1 standard might be overloaded by a 1080p signal, but basically anything certified at any version of 1.3 is going to be just fine, and most 1.2 cables won't cause you any problems.) The Blue Jeans site has a good primer on HDMI cables and the ones I'm recommending are $4.10 a foot, or $12.30 for three. That's the regular price for a cable made with slightly heavier wire than the ones you linked to and from a source with a top reputation. Just something to think about.

Sorry, not familiar with the Infinity speakers you mentioned, so I'll have to defer to someone who actually knows what he's talking about when it comes to those.

Regards,

Joe
 

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