Onkyo HT-S3500

Spottedfeather

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
236
Real Name
Matt
I'm just getting into surround sound and was wondering about the setup I just got. It's the Onkyo HT-S3500. From what I've read, this is one of the best of these "home theater in a box" type of setups. Is this true ? I won't be using it until next week, so I was wondering if anyone here knows about it and if it's really as good as the reviews I've seen. The receiver, from what I can find, is the HT-R391...if that helps.
 

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
5,854
Location
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
Gene
Onkyo's aren't really htib's they're receiver/speaker packages which is why they are thought to be better. With a htib if one part breaks you pretty much have to replace the entire thing since all of the components are designed to work with each other and nothing else. With the Onkyo you can replace the speakers or the sub or the receiver with just about anything else out there. You do have to buy a seperate bluray player though.
As for the 3500, the main drawbacks are it has a passive subwoofer, meaning it's powered by the receiver, and it doesn't include Audyssey room correction/automatic setup feature which can be real beneficial. And with any of these the speakers are the weak link. But Onkyo's are still a real good over all value and the perfect system for a first time purchase. The 5500 (or last years 5400) would have been worth the extra cost.
Ac4l.com has the 5400 as a factory reurbished model (with one year warranty) for $249 + sh http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKHTS5400/Onkyo-HT-S5400-7.1-Channel-Home-Theater-Package-w/USB-ipod/iphone/1.html
 

schan1269

HTF Expert
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
17,111
Location
Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
Real Name
Sam
The 3300/3400/3500 are nothing to write home about.
Spend the little bit extra on the "next one up"...5300/5400/5500...
They all include a powered subwoofer...the price difference is miniscule...especially when the day comes to "upgrade"...everything in the system can be upgraded one piece at a time...not so with the 3X00...
 

Spottedfeather

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
236
Real Name
Matt
I would have bought the next one up, but it's a lot more money and it's 7.1. I don't own any movies that have 7.1. I've never seen a movie that was 7.1
 

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
5,854
Location
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
Gene
The powered subwoofer and Audyssey room correction make it worth the extra money, but only if you can afford it. Times are tough these days and there are more important things to spend your money on. As for the others being 7.1 you don't need to use the other two speakers. Just configure the receiver as 5.1 in the speaker setup menu and put the other two speakers in the closet. Or on craigslist.
In any event, since you have already purchased the 3500 make sure you setup and calibrate it properly (speakers sizes, distances and crossovers) as it will really improve the sound quality.
 

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
5,854
Location
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
Gene
The crossovers are the settings in the speaker setup menu that direct the bass to the subwoofer and the mid/high frequencies to the speakers. There's usually a number of choices from 40 hz up tp 200 hz. I'd set them to 100 or 120.
 

Spottedfeather

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
236
Real Name
Matt
I'm new to HDMI, so if you have HDMI in, can you only get HDMI out ? I ask because my tv only has component input and I know the ONKYO has on screen display. How can I use the HDMI for the sound but still make use of the on screen display ?
 

schan1269

HTF Expert
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
17,111
Location
Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
Real Name
Sam
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-to-Component-Converter-Box-/280918138970?pt=US_Video_Cables_Adapters&hash=item416806a05a
Here is another if you don't care/need the SPDIF...
http://www.amazon.com/HDMI-RCA-component-AV-Converter/dp/B002WBOQPU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342296280&sr=8-1&keywords=hdmi+component+converter
 

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
5,854
Location
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
Gene
Yes, HDMI in means only HDMI out for video.
Hook up the component output (composite might be better for OSD) and then change the input on the tv to see the Onkyo's OSD. Some receivers don't output HDMI video and component video at the same time so you may have to set the receiver to output video via component instead of HDMI. This is why using a composite connection might be better for just the OSD.
Edit: Or get one of those thingy's Sam linked to.
 

schan1269

HTF Expert
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
17,111
Location
Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
Real Name
Sam
By the way.
About those HDMI to component converters...
OTA(which sat/cable count as OTA) will work.
Upscaled DVD will work
BD is where you will run into a problem with some discs...maybe.
About the only "work around" for BD...(if you run into a problem)
Take the HDMI to the 3500 but also run the tos-link to the receiver and the component to the TV as well(meaning you will hook up two component)...
As a side note...has "analog sunset" killed off component on older BD players that have it? I have no idea since I only have HDMI/DVI equipped TV.
And, a quick question about this TV...
Do you have this connection called DVI?
 

Spottedfeather

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
236
Real Name
Matt
schan1269 said:
Do you have this connection called DVI?
I don't think it does. I've never heard of it. I've also never heard of TOS link.
Apparently, the Onkyo 3500 only shows the on screen display through HDMI. The manual says that you have to use the display on the receiver to change settings. Oh, well. Why would the converters not work with blu-ray ?
 

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
5,854
Location
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
Gene
Toslink in another term for the optical digital connection. DVI was a digital connection that preceeded HDMI but was video only, no audio.
"...has "analog sunset" killed off component on older BD players that have it? I have no idea since I only have HDMI/DVI equipped TV."
Sam, what did you mean by this? :huh: Just curious I've never used component from a BR player either but always felt it offered a very good picture, even in 1080i.
 

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
5,854
Location
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
Gene
Sony-Philips-Digital-InterFace. It's kind of a catch-all for toslink/optical and digital coaxial connections. Obviously developed by Sony and Philips.
 

schan1269

HTF Expert
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
17,111
Location
Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
Real Name
Sam
Check the back of your TV for a DVI. HDMI capable sets were only out 2-ish years before DVI came out. HDMI circumvented DVI 3 years later.
Lots of projectors used them up until 3 years ago(it makes no sense for a projector to have HDMI, but that is a different story altogether).
DVI(and its associated DVI-D) stands for Digital Video Interface. It looks kinda like a computer VGA in a different configuration.
The "Analog Sunset". Look for a brand new BD player. They don't have S-Video or component video outputs anymore(maybe on really expensive ones like Oppo, but not in one under $200). All they have is standard yellow video and HDMI.
It was "rumored" that firmware updates starting this year would shut down a prior BD players ability to send video out the component...
Of course, that was a fear(essentially it would shut early adopters out of being able to play a BD) that might affect this guy, if the TV doesn't have a DVI...his TV would be affected by an "industry wide" killing off of the component video connection. That "killing off" could be a firmware update essentially bricking "analog" video passages above 480I.
So, does anybody know for sure if the Analog Sunset is that severe? (and because of Analog Sunset, I'm not making a guarantee that video exiting a BD player won't go..."We have an Onkyo HTiB, check...moving along. We have a HDMI/Component video converter...I have no idea what is on the other side...blank out the video")
It would be a great help to us if we knew the model number of this TV.
 

Spottedfeather

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
236
Real Name
Matt
It is a Sanyo Integrated SD 27 inch. I've had it about 4 years now. It's not an HD set. It has a coaxial connection, a rear component connection, and a front component connection. I have a bit of a convoluted setup. The cable goes into the box. The box goes to the VCR. And the VCR goes to the tv. The tv's audio goes into my stereo by way of a splitter, the other half of which is taken by another splitter that has the audio from the blu-ray player and the audio from a dvd player.
As I said, the Onkyo doesn't do the on screen menu unless it's through HDMI. But I can change setting through the display of the receiver. So, I guess I can do it that way until I get some sort of HD tv.
Also, the converter that was linked to won't work apparently, as it was said that it only sends the resolution of the player...which my tv won't handle. The tv is only 480i.
 

Spottedfeather

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
236
Real Name
Matt
gene c said:
The crossovers are the settings in the speaker setup menu that direct the bass to the subwoofer and the mid/high frequencies to the speakers. There's usually a number of choices from 40 hz up tp 200 hz. I'd set them to 100 or 120.
I'm guessing the higher the number, the more bass is sent to the speakers ? Or do I have that wrong ? Does the dialogue stay in the center speaker or does it go through any of the other speakers ?
 

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
5,854
Location
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
Gene
The higher the number the more bass goes to the subwoofer, not the speakers. In other words, if the crossover setting is 80 then the bass frequency's under 80hz go to the sub and those over 80hz go to the speakers.
Most dialog comes from the center channel but a lot can leak to the Front speakers as well. It depends on the way the material was mixed in the sound room. When using Dolby Prologic or DTS Neo:6 it can also depend on how the Center Width setting is adjusted (by the user).
 

Spottedfeather

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
236
Real Name
Matt
I've noticed Neo:6 and something called PII (I think) on the selections. Does Center Width let you decide how much of the center channel goes to the two front speakers ? Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions. This is my first surround system and I'm trying to get it set up properly. I do have another question. How high or low should I have the front speakers and the surround speakers. I think I have the surround speakers set up pretty good, but I'm more concerned about the front speakers. I'm trying the get the dialogue set up so it's easily heard but not have the music/effects way too loud. I have the center speaker set to 12db, the highest setting. The front speakers are usually set at about -3db. But at this setting, the music seems to be a bit too loud and sometimes drowns out the dialogue. If I turn down the front speakers, leaving the center speaker alone, will this solve the problem of having the music/effects overpowering the dialogue ?
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,487
Messages
4,743,274
Members
141,462
Latest member
@Wolf