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Use Built-in Speakers as Center Channel?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by David*r, May 17, 2005.

  1. David*r

    David*r Auditioning

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    I just bought a Panasonic TH-50PX50U and I was wondering if I could use the built-in speakers as center channel? I have a 5.1 receiver so I already have all the speakers I need. It looks a bit weird to have the built-in speakers sitting there doing nothing WITH my center speaker in front of it. Can I take my pre-out center speaker jack straight to the tv's RCA's (I think I would have to use a "Y" to do the mono/stereo connection).

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. trey-m

    trey-m Stunt Coordinator

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    Oftentimes TV's with built in speakers "throw" the sound to the far left and far right to give a wider sound stage. Redirecting a mono signal to both sides of the room may distort the sound as it bounces off of your walls and furniture before reaching your ears. Also, it is not uncommon at all for people to not use their TV speakers because of "upgrading" to a surround sound system which has all of the necessary speakers. If anything, in my opinion, it would look (and likely sound) stranger to have a surround system that uses the built-in TV speakers. That being said, if your receiver can do what you described, then you can certainly try it and see how it goes. You may have to set something on your TV to bypass the TV volume control. Enjoy.
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The center speaker is the most important one in a home theater setup -- more sound comes from that speaker than any other. It should be timbre-matched with the front left/right speakers to provide a seemless transition of the soundfield with the left/right mains. Chances are very slim that the built-in TV speakers will timbre-match your main speakers. Also, many (most) TV's have poor quality cheap built-in speakers -- it's someplace for manufacturers to save some money. You could certainly experiment using them as your center speaker, but I would be very surprised if the results were anywhere near as good as using the dedicated center that came with your 5.1 speaker setup.
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    No, for all the reasons stated above. There is no need, especially since you already have a center speaker.
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    If you want a really clean look, this is one way to go. Some old recievers like mine have a preamp out for the center channel speaker specifically for this purpose. The sound is going to be pretty fair though, I wouldn't recommend it.
     
  6. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I wish they would market TVs without speakers in them, with just a preout [stereo pair for BTSC/mts, digital out for A52]. It would save space and the some of the expense of the audio section, and avoid the annoyance of making sure the TV audio is shut off.
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Not really. Sure the expense of actual parts would decrease, but the overall expense of tooling up a new line for a chassis that does not have speakers, including the new molds, dies, robotics, etc.; would far outweigh any cost savings resulting from cutting out the $4.00 speakers. The fact that the market is small for monitors coupled with the cost of retooling for the small numbers the market might sell would actually increase the price per unit, not decrease it.
     
  8. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I think expense of retooling is really a red herring in this case. After all, manufacturers already put out a ridiculous range of confusing models and change them with apparent caprice. If you're already making a plain-Jane 27" NTSC set, and a 27" flatscreen NTSC set, and a 27" 4*3 HD compatible, and a 27" widescreen 480p, and a 27" widescreen HD, all in models with and without DTV tuners, what difference is a model without speakers going to make?
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    ...probably more than the couple of dollars that the speakers add to the cost of the product.
     
  10. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Exactly. All the models listed by ChristopherDAC are price pointed to appeal to a market where sales are expected to be high, i.e. a basic model with no frills, a high end model, an HD model etc. Each one is carefully designed to appeal to a niche where demand is high, so the volume of sales offsets the cost of tooling up for that model. No company is going to waste the time and money to tool up a line for a model that has a small market and is "expected" to cost less because it has less features. There is no way the "expected" lower price is ever going to offset the added costs of developing and bringing to market the new model if sales are low. That is why true "monitors" cost as much or often more than their TV counterparts that include a tuner and speakers.
     
  11. David*r

    David*r Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the input. I'll stick with my dedicated center channel speaker.
     

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