TV speakers as center...(warning newbie)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nav_D, Jul 6, 2001.

  1. Nav_D

    Nav_D Auditioning

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Need some newbie help.
    I'm waiting for my center speaker to arrive to complete my ht setup. Only problem is it'll probably get here late next week.
    I was just wondering if I could use my TV speakers for my center channel. I have the Tosh 61HX70 which has a center input but...here's the really dumb question...
    the receiver is rated at 100W per channel and the TV speaker are 28 watts total. Maybe it's me having a mental block but can I hook the two up without damaging the TV speakers...
    Thanks a lot fella's
    Nav_D
    (patiently waiting to watch something...)
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Nav,
    Welcome to the Forum!
    It’s a piece of cake as long as your receiver has a center channel RCA output. You cana use a “Y” splitter (female to two males) to get the signal into the TV. Just make sure you watch the volume; if the speaker starts distorting, turn it down. If there is a bass control for the TV speakers, reducing it will give the speakers more headroom.
    If there is no center RCA channel output on the receiver, I’d give it up and just wait for the speaker. It can be done, but it’s a hassle—it’ll require some custom cable rigging.
    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    Considering all the trouble to hook it all up, I think it would pay just to wait for that center speaker to arrive. Besides, no 'built in' t.v. speaker will sound nearly as good as a great center speaker.
    ------------------
    No Soup For You!
     
  4. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nav, I was in the same boat as you at one time, and I did use the Toshiba (TW56X81) speakers as a center. You have to connect at line level so it doesn't matter about the output power of your receiver. Your receiver must have a pre-out for the center channel and your TV must have a line-in connection and a switch (could be a physical switch on the back of the TV or a set-up selection) to select the external center input.
    Whether you would benefit from doing this depends on the quality of your mains. At the time I had crappy mains so it was actually an improvement.
    ------------------
     
  5. Ryan Pream

    Ryan Pream Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 1999
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I did this for quite awhile on my Toshiba TW40X81. It's really not that bad!
    My mains are B&W 604 S2's. On the back of my TV there is a switch to turn it to center channel mode. I just took the center preamp out from my Sony 777ES to the center in. On my receiver I set the center crossover to 200HZ since TV's don't exactly have great bass. I had to set the center +2db on the receiver to match levels.
    I've since upgraded to a B&W LCR6 as the center. Sound is definantly more clear with more punch from the center. Still, using the TV as the center will work until you can get a quality center channel speaker.
    Ryan
    ------------------
     
  6. Nav_D

    Nav_D Auditioning

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks guys...
    The receiver doesn't have an RCA output to the center but the TV center input requires an RCA plug. I pulled out the soldering iron and spent a few minutes making the cable last night...I just didn't want to plug it in if I was going to damage the TV speakers.
    The fact that the TV speakers are rated at a smaller wattage than what the receiver puts out shouldn't matter...should it???
     
  7. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nav, are you jimmying a cable to go from speaker level out on your receiver to line in on your TV. Don't do that. That's taking the ouput of your receiver's amplifier and connecting to the input of your TV's amplifier. Not a good idea, not going to be good for either unit. That's why they don't make that cable.
    Best be patient and wait for your center. Just set center to none on the receiver and the material destined for the center will play from both of your mains.
    But maybe I misunderstood your post.
    ------------------
     
  8. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2001
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Line level signals (RCA plug) are almost always less than 2 Volts RMS (2.8 peak)
    An amplifier which can put out 100W into an 8 ohm load is about 28 VRMS (40V peak)
    Exceed what the TV is expecting by over 37V, and you'll probably let the magic smoke out.
    You can make or buy a voltage divider which uses resistors to convert from speaker to line level inputs; supposedly these are common in car audio.
     
  9. Thomas_A

    Thomas_A Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2001
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
     
  11. John GB

    John GB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2000
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    (Audio purist Flame Suite ON!)
    I was using the speakers built into my Mitsubishi RPTV for some time before I opted for a Def Tech LCR 3200. I was pretty happy with the sound from the Mitsu, but it obviously can't compare to the Def. Tech. HOWEVER, for grins, I tried using both at the same time and I really like the center sound stage much better this way. The dialog comes from below and above the screen and I think it sounds damn good.
    Of course I adjusted center eq and levels with a Rat Shack SPL meter.
    I consider this to be a very effective tweek. Don't knock it until you've tried it. [​IMG]
    ------------------
     
  12. John-D

    John-D Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    JohnGB,
    it's a matter of personal preferences.. by all means enjoy your new setup.. however please note that almost all built in TV speakers have audible levels of distortion. Read their specs and u'd find out. Listen to them.. and u won't have to read their specs to find out! [​IMG]
    ------------------
    The things we own end up owning us
     
  13. John GB

    John GB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2000
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  14. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OK, this thread intrigues me.
    I have a Toshiba TW65X81, with an input on the back specifically for using it's speakers as a center channel. I don't have dolby digital yet, but will one day, and had planned to just use this.
    From what I can gather here, I need to feed a line level input into this? Wouldn't this make adjusting the volume a pain in the ass? You'd have to adjust the amp and the TV to match every time you made a volume adjustment! We watch at all sorts of different volumes depending on content & household factors, so we're constantly adjusting the volume. If I had to adjust both every time, it wouldn't be worth the effort. This just doesn't seem right - I must be missing something. Can someone clarify? It seems to be that you could feed it the same amplified signal you'd send to a regular center channel speaker. As long as you didn't adjust the volume so high as to cause distortion, there shouldn't be any problems. Right?
    ------------------
    -Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
     
  15. John GB

    John GB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2000
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ryan,
    For my setup, I use the center channel pre-out and a Y-connector to the left and right inputs on the TVs S-Video 1 input. I never touch the TV volume. The pre-out line level adjusts with the receiver's main volume control. When I turn the receiver volume up, the TV sound goes up with it. When I mute the receiver, everything mutes.
    I hope this helps.
    John
    ------------------
     
  16. Jim Ferguson

    Jim Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 1998
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Before I would use the cheap speakers in a TV set as a center channel, I would tell the receiver I don't have a center channel and just use "phantom center" mode. In fact that's what I do with my TW40X81. This sounds perfectly fine to me, since my mains are not spread way wide apart.
     
  17. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i had a friend who did something similar. he ended up doing something to his tv set. the internal amplifer didn't work anymore. period. no sound ever came directly from that tv again. basically, he turned a pretty expensive tv into a monitor...
    [​IMG]
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  18. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  19. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good advice here.
    If your receiver does not have a center channel preamp out then DON'T use the speaker level out!!!! Holy smokes you could easily WRECK the TV audio circuits!!!!
    My ancient history Pioneer 606 receiver has a center channel pre-out exactly for this application. No other pre-outs present, only center, and specifically for using the TV speaker as the center. Never used it.
    I think setting your receiver to "no" center, or Phantom Mode, would be the better solution.
    ------------------
    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
     
  20. John GB

    John GB Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2000
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ryan,
    I would definitely remember what Phil had to say. Line level only.
    With that out of the way let me say this:
    If you are using the TV speaker as your only center channel, then you must do the following:
    Find a nice safe volume for your TV set. 40 - 60% as long as there is no audible distortion. Then use a sound pressure level meter (Radio Shack for example) to calibrate the level of all your speakers. If you use a line level out, then your center channel calibration on your receiver will directly affect the volume of your center channel (even if it's coming from your TV speakers). Of course you are looking for the same dB reading from each of your channels (except perhaps the LFE which may be higher).
    I lived with a setup like this for some time. I finally broke down and got a dedicated center channel speaker a few months back.
    (Sorry for the repetition for you followers of this thread) but, the best center channel experience I've had with my system, is when I use both the speaker (on top of the set) in combination with the TV's built in speakers (at the bottom of the set).
    For this preferred setup, I first calibrate the dedicated center channel speaker using an SPL. I then adjust the TV volume until it raises the SPL reading ever so slightly. I then back off the TV volume a few degrees. Subtlety is the keyword with this kind of setup.
    The overall affect is a center channel soundfield that is full and locked dead-on to the screen. Sound from above and below is the best an RPTV viewer has to hope for. Those fortunate individuals with front projection simply place a full-range center channel speaker directly behind a (micro-perforated) screen (or directly below a non-perforated screen).
    For those who condemn TV speakers without a second thought, I say "Great, I hope you love your current system". For those who are willing to experiment, I say "You may be pleasantly surprised with how good your system sounds."
     

Share This Page