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Some really basic questions (1 Viewer)

jbesser

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I want to install some really basic stuff to provide better audio on an existing system that includes a TV and separate DVD/VHS .

I'm looking for something really BASIC, for a very small room and fairly undiscriminating ears -- need a boost from the tiny, tinny speakers in the TV.

I'm a little confused about what I need, and especially about cabling.

I have: a Magnavox 19 inch LCD TV
A Samsung DVD-V9700 DVD/ VHS combo.

My questions:

1. For a low end system, do I do better buying a separate amp/receiver and speakers, or go for a package deal?

2. Any recommendations for OK low end packages? Obviously, this is not quality equipment I have; I just want something to improve sound, not provide ideal sound.

3. Connections: Do I take the output from the TV or from the DVD/VHS combo?

The DVD/VHS has a 2-cable audio output using RCA, which I assume is analog. It also has outputs for a digital "optical cable" and one for a coaxial cable.

The TV has a "spdif out" jack. (is that the same as "digital optical cable?")

So which do I use? What cables do I need?

Sorry to be so basic here, but I'm a rank beginner.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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What is your source for TV? Cable? Satellite? Antenna? HD? SD? That will also factor into your decision.

Basically, it sounds like you can get buy with a fairly cheap "Home theater in a box" system. Just check the box. Many of these systems inlcude a bulit-in DVD player, which you don't need.

Beware, however: There is a tendency in this sort of thing towards "mission creep". Once you have a better sound system, you may start thinking about a bigger better TV. And once you go for that, you'll almost certainly be tempted by hi-def video sources like HD cable/satellite and Blu Ray. At which point you're going to run into a problem with limited connections on your basic HTiB and end up buying separates anyway. ;)

Home theater is a hobby for people who aren't interested in boats. :D

Digital surround sound is always going to be better than analog, so you'll want to run either an optical or digital coax cable from the DVD/VHS combo to the HTiB. The digital audio output on your TV is almost certainly limited to passing through the audio for over-the-air broadcasts received through its built-in tuner. So that won't be an option.

If you also have a satellite or digital cable (whether HD or SD) you'll want to make sure that your HTiB has at least two digital inputs, so that you can connect both your DVD player and your TV source to the system.

If there's any chance that you might want to add a game system at some point, you'll probably need to look one of the mid-range HtiB offerings from manufacturers like Sony, Kenwood, Onkyo and Yamaha. (Sorry, can't recommend particular models. I'm only going on what I've heard here since the HTiB market is not one I follow.)

Regards,

Joe
 

jbesser

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Thanks, Joe. I neglected to mention one thing: we don't use the TV at all for reception. No cable, no antenna, just movies from the DVD/ VHS. And that's not likely to change (we haven't had TV, per se, since 1979!)


How does that affect the equation?
 

JohnRice

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James, one thing that will change is that there is no need to use an output from the TV. All sources will go through the receiver/HTiB to the TV. It sounds like this is a digital capable TV though. It must be fairly new.

The two analog audio outputs are for VHS. You want to make sure you use a digital audio output for DVD though.
 

gene c

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Connections will be determined by what your receiver and tv have. Use HDMI first, then component, then s-video, then composite. As already mentioned, most htib's come with a dvd player built in so I would look for a receiver-speaker package from Onkyo or Yamaha (and others). These will have a decent receiver, 5/7 speakers and a sub woofer. Subs come two different ways. Self powered and passive. Powered is much preferred but also more expensive. The powered one will also need a subwoofer cable to go from it to the receiver. The passive one would use speaker wire. You can use PriceGrabber.com and search Home Theater Systems to see what's available in your price range. Let us know what you get and someone here will help you hook it up.
 

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