Home Theater/Entertainment System

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not4u13
Posts: 5481
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:00 pm

Home Theater/Entertainment System

Post by not4u13 »

Looking for a discusison and a few thoughts on my home theater setup. I am not a huge audiophile and can't usually discern subtle differences in sound quality. In other words, I'm getting older and don't hear as well ... so my wife says ... as I used to. So, spending a fortune on a high-end system isn't really something I'm interested in.

But here is what I am faced with.

I have a wall unit on one wall where my flat screen is installed. The room is 17' long by 11' wide and I will be sitting about 7' back from the wall (or about 6' from the screen). The front and rear channel speakers (looking at 5.1 instead of 7.1) are ceiling mounted at the front and back of the room, meaning that the rear speakers are actually 10' behind me. Not ideal, but that is what I have to work with.

I have the following A/V components to consider.

RCA 1080 P 37" HDTV
DirecTV HD receiver
Nintendo Wii
Sony PS3
Samsung BluRay player
Audio system (not yet purchased)

My wife wants to be able to turn on the TV and watch DirecTV or play the Wii without having to listen to the audio through the stereo system. In other words, simple.

I want to be able to get the real 5.1 audio experience when watching DirecTV HD programming, movies or gaming (although I realize the Wii doesn't have anything beyond basic stereo sound).

My preference is to connect the systems HDMI to the stereo system and then have a single HDMI output to the TV. But that seems to go counter to what my wife wants as that would put all audio through the stereo as a default.

Some have suggested I go with a smart remote with programable buttons but that doesn't solve the problem. All that does it make it easier to turn on/off the components and change inputs.

I've thought about going to the TV first and then taking the digital out from the TV to the stereo unit and that is what I have done on my other setup, but it has a few drawbacks I am trying to avoid.

Any thoughts? Any of you have this same issue?

I am trying to decide on the audio system and I think figuring out this will be a factor in which system I choose. I am trying to keep it around $300 but definately under $500.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; John Muir
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GOODave
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Re: Home Theater/Entertainment System

Post by GOODave »

I am definitely no audiophile, either, so here's the benefit of my experience:















Seriously, though, I've seen systems that have different settings for different inputs. I got a (starter) system from my employer last year intending on finishing my basement. But it's still in the box, unopened, because I did not get to finishing my basement. When I do, though, I will have some similar issues: I wasn't worried about it because I thought each (or nearly each) component would have its own setting.
not4u13
Posts: 5481
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:00 pm

Re: Home Theater/Entertainment System

Post by not4u13 »

GOODave wrote:
Seriously, though, I've seen systems that have different settings for different inputs. I got a (starter) system from my employer last year intending on finishing my basement. But it's still in the box, unopened, because I did not get to finishing my basement. When I do, though, I will have some similar issues: I wasn't worried about it because I thought each (or nearly each) component would have its own setting.
I'm thinking there really isn't a solution. From a basic electronics standpiont, there has to be something to tell the TV what signal to produce (video and audio). If I route to the TV first, then I've got to get a digital signal out of the TV and into the stereo and hope that TV digital output can drive the stereo at the right levels. In that case it is all dependant on the TV.

In my ideal world I would use an autsensing switcher. All audio/video would go to the switcher. The switcher would detect whether or not the receiver was on and if it was, it would route the video to the TV and the audio to the receiver. If not, it would route both to the TV.

Not sure if they make those though and if they did, I'm guessing it woudl be pretty expensive.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; John Muir
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GOODave
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Re: Home Theater/Entertainment System

Post by GOODave »

not4u13 wrote:
I'm thinking there really isn't a solution. From a basic electronics standpiont, there has to be something to tell the TV what signal to produce (video and audio). If I route to the TV first, then I've got to get a digital signal out of the TV and into the stereo and hope that TV digital output can drive the stereo at the right levels. In that case it is all dependant on the TV.

In my ideal world I would use an autsensing switcher. All audio/video would go to the switcher. The switcher would detect whether or not the receiver was on and if it was, it would route the video to the TV and the audio to the receiver. If not, it would route both to the TV.

Not sure if they make those though and if they did, I'm guessing it woudl be pretty expensive.
But wouldn't common sense dictate that, regardless of the signal going in, the unit should dictate the output: Whether Mono, or stereo, or "theater," etc. If the manufacturer makes the user the decision maker, it seems a petty thing to give the user a dial to tell the unit the kind of output they want... which would, then, dictate which speakers to use for it (all, just A+B, Just A ... etc.)

My dad built his own tuner/amplifier from a Heath kit back in the day and even that kit had such a dial... of course, he didn't have that many selections, but AM, FM, and Weather (or something) stuck with me.
not4u13
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:00 pm

Re: Home Theater/Entertainment System

Post by not4u13 »

GOODave wrote:
But wouldn't common sense dictate that, regardless of the signal going in, the unit should dictate the output: Whether Mono, or stereo, or "theater," etc. If the manufacturer makes the user the decision maker, it seems a petty thing to give the user a dial to tell the unit the kind of output they want... which would, then, dictate which speakers to use for it (all, just A+B, Just A ... etc.)

My dad built his own tuner/amplifier from a Heath kit back in the day and even that kit had such a dial... of course, he didn't have that many selections, but AM, FM, and Weather (or something) stuck with me.
It all comes down to simplicity. Of course I could have a dial. But to have a dial I would have to send all of the potential signals to one unit that could then determine which input to send to the output. That is what most receivers do today. They have several inputs and they expect you to send all components to the receiver and then select which of those you want to "consume". Then they route that signal to the output (speaker, TV, etc.).

That is the setup that I'm trying to avoid because it means that I have to have the receiver turned on and I've got to select the proper component at the receiver, which then routes audio through the speakers.

There has got to be a better solution.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; John Muir
http://www.quotesdaddy.com
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kramer
Posts: 8852
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Re: Home Theater/Entertainment System

Post by kramer »

not4u13 wrote:Looking for a discusison and a few thoughts on my home theater setup. I am not a huge audiophile and can't usually discern subtle differences in sound quality. In other words, I'm getting older and don't hear as well ... so my wife says ... as I used to. So, spending a fortune on a high-end system isn't really something I'm interested in.

But here is what I am faced with.

I have a wall unit on one wall where my flat screen is installed. The room is 17' long by 11' wide and I will be sitting about 7' back from the wall (or about 6' from the screen). The front and rear channel speakers (looking at 5.1 instead of 7.1) are ceiling mounted at the front and back of the room, meaning that the rear speakers are actually 10' behind me. Not ideal, but that is what I have to work with.

I have the following A/V components to consider.

RCA 1080 P 37" HDTV
DirecTV HD receiver
Nintendo Wii
Sony PS3
Samsung BluRay player
Audio system (not yet purchased)

My wife wants to be able to turn on the TV and watch DirecTV or play the Wii without having to listen to the audio through the stereo system. In other words, simple.

I want to be able to get the real 5.1 audio experience when watching DirecTV HD programming, movies or gaming (although I realize the Wii doesn't have anything beyond basic stereo sound).

My preference is to connect the systems HDMI to the stereo system and then have a single HDMI output to the TV. But that seems to go counter to what my wife wants as that would put all audio through the stereo as a default.

Some have suggested I go with a smart remote with programable buttons but that doesn't solve the problem. All that does it make it easier to turn on/off the components and change inputs.

I've thought about going to the TV first and then taking the digital out from the TV to the stereo unit and that is what I have done on my other setup, but it has a few drawbacks I am trying to avoid.

Any thoughts? Any of you have this same issue?

I am trying to decide on the audio system and I think figuring out this will be a factor in which system I choose. I am trying to keep it around $300 but definately under $500.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
I got some good information off of these two sites before I bought a new HDTV:

http://www.highdefjunkies.com/forum.php
http://www.avsforum.com/

Of the two sites, there's more information in the avs forum because it's been around longer but the high def site is a bit more friendly and they post price information on it.
“We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

- Scientist James Lovelock
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Wiley
Posts: 4444
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Re: Home Theater/Entertainment System

Post by Wiley »

It's a shame RSM isn't here anymore, and I lost his phone number. He owns a professional home and business audio/visual systems business. Maybe JQP could give him a jingle for you.
"If you love me you've got to help me pass this bill." - Barak Obama
not4u13
Posts: 5481
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:00 pm

Re: Home Theater/Entertainment System

Post by not4u13 »

I finally broke down and bought a home theater package. I picked up a Yamaha YHT-593, which comes with a powered subwofer, a 467 model receiver, a set of Yamaha speakers and an iPod dock.

You can see specs and details of the package at http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-vi ... mode=model

Configuration was a snap. The hardest part was mounting the speakers to the ceiling and connecting the pre-run speaker wires. I used the Dynex speaker mounts from Best Buy to do the job. Everything is mounted high, including the center channel. If I had mounted the TV to the wall, I would have mounted the center channel speaker to the wall under the TV, but my install is still pretty clean and it sounds nice.

I paid $500 for the entire system.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; John Muir
http://www.quotesdaddy.com
Red
Posts: 17717
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:33 pm

Re: Home Theater/Entertainment System

Post by Red »

not4u13 wrote:I finally broke down and bought a home theater package. I picked up a Yamaha YHT-593, which comes with a powered subwofer, a 467 model receiver, a set of Yamaha speakers and an iPod dock.

You can see specs and details of the package at http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-vi ... mode=model

Configuration was a snap. The hardest part was mounting the speakers to the ceiling and connecting the pre-run speaker wires. I used the Dynex speaker mounts from Best Buy to do the job. Everything is mounted high, including the center channel. If I had mounted the TV to the wall, I would have mounted the center channel speaker to the wall under the TV, but my install is still pretty clean and it sounds nice.

I paid $500 for the entire system.
Check your PM

I came very close to selling my Bose Home Entertainment System because of the HDTV I bought. I ended up saving money and getting a different HDTV and keeping the BOSE.
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