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Dec 20, 2008
Real Name
Hello, I am new to this forum and I will tell you that when it comes to knoweldge of home theaters, on a scale from one to ten, I am a one. We are in the process of buying our first HDTV and I was wondering if it was worth while setting up my older equipment I purchased in 2001. I have an Onkyo TX-DS595, Polk PSW240 and Polk RM6600. THe last time I used this system was over three years ago when I lived in a cookie cutter square apartment. I remember that it sounded great for DVD's, but that regular television actually sounded better on my Sony Triniton speakers. Our family room is somewhat odd-shaped and I would probably pay someone to come in and set-everything up properly because I just don't have the know-how (or the time) to figure it all out. I would hate to spend 3 or 4 hundred dollars to install a system that may not even be worth that much? Should I just give it to charity or sell it on ebay? I really have no idea what it is worth. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
Hi Chloe - welcome to HTF!

First - older equipment without HDMI switching, auto calibration, iPod, XM sat, connections, etc are not worth too much.

On the good side - DD5.1 (the type of sound from your DVD player) is built into all HDTV programming. And while that equipment is older - it is name-brand and well respected. It will work great for HDTV audio with that second optical input on the back.

You will also find that standard def video looked better on the old TV as well.

A modern HDTV is a high resolution device with DVD quality sound. Playing the standard def video and sound on a higher end system exposes the limits of video and sound that we have lived with since 1940.

My advice:

Plan on changing your TV service to HD. This means upgrading to HD cable or HD sat. You will be disappointed with standard def.

Try to find a TV with OPTICAL OUTPUTS. This will allow you to easily use the TV speakers for most watching, but you feed the second optical input on the Onkyo from the TV for more serious HDTV sound.

You can pay "Geek Squad" or someone to hook things up - but try it yourself first. It's not that hard and we help lots of people hook up their systems. You just take your time and go slow, one step at a time and it's easy.

Carl Johnson

Senior HTF Member
May 6, 1999
Real Name
Carl III
I just googled your equipment (Onkyo TX-DS595, Polk PSW240 and Polk RM6600) and it looks like perfectly good stuff. While more money would get you better equipment, for someone who isn't a home theater guru you're fine. I wouldn't advise you to upgrade any more than I would suggest that someone who isn't into cars trade in a 2003 Mustang for a 2009 Corvette.

I suspect that the tv speakers sounded better than the surround sound because it wasn't hooked up properly. Why don't you see if you can find a family member, a friend, or a coworker who knows a thing or two about audio equipment. They would probably be willing to set it up for free, and could get some decent results for you.

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