...Looking to make a reasonably priced home theater

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Zach Foster, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey everybody. I was thinking of putting together a "simple" surround sound home theater with as few of parts as possible and I need some help. I don't really know what I should buy. I've got the basic components and was wondering if ya'll could tell me how I could put them together, without having to buy some "all-in-one" system.
    I have a Panasonic CD Stereo Sound System that puts out some great sound and it came with extra satellite speakers for the full 5.1 surround sound experience. I'm guessing these are really included so you can hook the system up to a DVD player and have 5.1 Sourround. It enables my CDs to play in surround, but I don't think the speakers are being used to their potential in this way. My Stereo System (Panasonic model number SC-AK66) includes instructions on how to hook up a DVD player with 5.1. At the moment, my DVD player is a Playstation 2. Really all I want to do is see if I can get my PS2 to hook up to my Stereo so I can have 5.1 Surround on the DVDs and in gameplay. Is this possible with what I have, or would an Audio Receiver be necessary? ( Such as to hook the PS2 up to, and from the Receiver on into my stereo system? ) Sorry if this post seems to ramble, but I was having trouble trying to figure out how to explain it. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Second Unit

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    You need an optical cable for that to work on your PS2. The RCAs might work as well depending on the outputs of your receiver.
     
  3. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want true 5.1 surround sound the only 5.1 surround outputs on the PS2 is the optical output. However, you will not have 5.1 in game play because the PS2 does not support in game Dolby Digital, only X Box does. But if you watch movies and there is an optical input on your stereo (what is it anyway? It sounds like a shelf system) then you're all set.
     
  4. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    It's a Panasonic CD Stereo System (Model Number SC-AK66). I think it's pretty large for a shelf system, but I'm going to turn it into one anyway. As for the inputs on the back of the Stereo, it has RCA style audio cable connections on the back, for auxillary hookup of a DVD Player or the like. It has individual connections for the sub, center speaker, satellites, etc.
     
  5. Kyle-K

    Kyle-K Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think you can go directly from the ps2 to your stereo.

    You'd probably need to buy a seperate DVD player that has 5.1 Channel Outputs, since it doesn't sound like your stereo has any digital audio inputs.

    I'm not sure if the stereo has a dolby digital decoder on board, but if not you might have to pick up a DVD player that can do that too...

    hope it helps,
    --kyle
     
  6. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    This really should be in another forum here (you'd probably get a more input from the Video Games forum), but here's my 2cents:

    Your Panasonic has two digital inputs-- the typical ones: optical fiber and digital coaxial, named inputs 1 & 2, respectively. See p.26 of your manual.
    http://www.pasc.panasonic.com/Operat...ls/SCAK600.PDF

    According to LeeH (and from what I just read in the PS2 manual), you need to get an optical cable, for it to work on the PS2.

    http://global.scei.co.jp/manual/pdf/SCPH-30001.pdf
     
  7. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm glad you posted the manual Mike, it helps a lot. Yeah, just take an optical cable from your PS2 and run it to the stereo, that simple. I think you can get an 6' optical cable at Best Buy for under $20. I would only do it, though, if you are going to watch DVD's on your Playstation sense the games don't actually support Dolby Digital. I wouldn't recommend doing this sense it's a pain in the butt to watch them on there and I think it's too loud (because of the fan).
     
  8. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank ya'll for researching this for me, but I believe the SC-AK600 is different from my SC-AK66. My page 26 tells me how to record things onto cassette [​IMG] . All I have are regular RCA type Audio Inputs on the back of my system. Since the PS2 doesn't provide surround sound cables for DVD watching, apparently I'll just have to try and buy a DVD Player with 5.1 Out. Sorry for posting this question in the Home Theater Forum, but I really was hoping to find something out about the home theater aspect rather than gaming. It seems that the only type of 5.1 Support Sony included on the PS2 is through Optical Cables, and my 5.1 Stereo doesn't have those, just the RCA Audio Inputs. So I guess now all I can do is either buy some Audio Receiver to act as the go-between to the PS2 to my Stereo, or I can just buy a DVD Player that has 5.1 out. Lol, the second option seems like less of a hassle! Thanks for the input, does anyone know of a good $200 or less DVD Player with 5.1 Output?
    Btw, apparently my Stereo System DOESN'T have a Dolby Digital Decoder, so does anyone know of any good DVD Players with 5.1 Out AND a decoder? [​IMG] Thanks for bearing with me!
     
  9. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

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    Does your stereo have 6 channel inputs on the back? I don't think this is the route you want to take. The decoders built into the DVD players with 6 channel outputs are no good for DTS and they add quite a bit to the price. I would buy a new receiver. It would cost about the same. Are you a big audiophile? If not just buy an inexpensive receiver with a built in optical/coaxial DD and DTS decoder. Then I would just use the PS2 or buy a cheap DVD player (Some are going for around $50). You could just use the same speakers you have from your current setup. I know some Kenwoods or Pioneers that go for around 200 at Best Buy. This way (even though you spend about the same price) you're set if you get other things that have digital outputs such as a cd player or an X Box (that supports Dolby Digital during game play, IT SOUNDS AWESOME). It really is the format of the future, so get ready for it now[​IMG] .
     
  10. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Lee,
    My stereo does have inputs for 6 channels on the back of it (RCA Style). Really I didn't want to have to buy any more speakers because the ones that came with my stereo are EXCELLENT. Another reason, I don't think I'd have room for 2 sets of surround sound speakers. That's why I was hoping that there would be some way I could use my existing Surround Sound speakers that came with my Stereo. With that in mind, and the type of inputs it has on the back, anybody have any ideas?
     
  11. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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  12. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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  13. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

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    You don't have to buy new speakers. The speakers you have now will work fine and are completely compatible with a brand new receiver. For the cost, though, of a new DVD player with a Dolby Digital decoder built in you could buy a nice new receiver that supports both formats.

    It's really up to you.

    Here's some links you should look at. I looked at Best Buy, I figured there's one near you?
    Kenwood VR-606
    Panasonic DVD-F65K DVD player w/ progressive scan and DD and DTS decoders
    Ebay Item: Dolby Digital/DTS Decoder

    I would definitely go with the receiver or the decoder though because it's a much better bang for the buck. It'll sound better with PS2 games because it has Pro Logic II which was designed to be compatible with games. Anyways, that's just my opinion.

    Good luck!![​IMG][]
     
  14. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    So there aren't really any DVD Players that have 5.1 Out in RCA Audio Connector Format? I was hoping that I could just connect each channel directly into my Stereo; each going into it's respective RCA Audio Plug-in in the back. (Like on Page 8?) That way I wouldn't have to disconnect anything I already have put together. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  15. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes there is DVD players that have 5.1 analog outputs. The Panasonic I posted above has a Dolby Digital and DTS decoders built in. I posted a receiver, a DVD player with the 6 channel outputs and a DD and DTS decoder (about all the choices you have).
    Good Luck!
     
  16. Zach Foster

    Zach Foster Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, so I don't have to have 6 Physical RCA Style Outputs on the back of the DVD Player to get 5.1 Surround coming out of my Stereo? All this time I've been looking at the back of these DVD Players trying to find 6 RCA Style Outputs to connect to my 6 RCA Style Inputs on my Stereo. All I have kept on finding is 2 Audio Outs on the back of all of them. So there are no such things as the type of DVD Player with 5.1 that my manual shows? Sooner or later this will all start clicking for me, honest! [​IMG]
     
  17. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

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    No, no, no. You've got it wrong. The Panasonic DVD player I recommended DOES have 6 RCA style outputs on the back of it, making it compatible with your stereo. That is why I recommended it. Understand now?[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  18. Kyle-K

    Kyle-K Stunt Coordinator

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    Lee... I don't think the one you listed has the 5.1 channel outputs... at least according to bestbuy.com.

    It says there are Dolby/DTS decoders, but it says it doesn't have the 5.1 channel output.

    It seems odd though... what good is one without the other?

    --kyle
     
  19. Kyle-K

    Kyle-K Stunt Coordinator

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    at least according to bestbuy here's a DVD player that should work:

    JVC (XVN50BK)

    --kyle
     
  20. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, My Bad.
    Sorry about that. I figured that if it had both decoders built in it had the 5.1 analog outs. I forgot to look and read under the part that said if it had 5.1 outs.

    Sorry again!
     

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