Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,782 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a Panasonic 42" U2 plasma and the internal speakers are quite "weak" for movie watching and sometimes for TV watching. I just want something to enhance the sound. The TV only has an optical TOSLink output and my Rogers HD STB and PS3 have optical outputs also so I would think I need something with a TOSLink input. I definitely don't need anything fancy or expensive and I don't really need surround sound, just want to enhance the sound of the TV for the occasional movie or some TV shows. The reason I'm thinking getting just a receiver is because I already have a spare set of bookshelf speakers (Studio Labs) and want to use those. I already have an HT setup elsewhere in the house.

Are there other options other than a receiver? I was looking at a sound bar but I'm not sure if the bar would fit in my setup. I was also looking at those cheap HT packages but they all come with a built-in DVD player, which I don't need or want.

The other thing is I'd like to buy something from FS as I have a gift card for the store. I'd like to keep it under $400. Would a Pioneer VSX-820-K be a good buy?

Thanks for any help!
 

·
Member #1
Joined
·
47,683 Posts
I was looking at a sound bar but I'm not sure if the bar would fit in my setup.
I like the sound bar idea for its small footprint and esthetically it often fits in nicely with a flat panel television.

My guess is that for your limited needs, virtually any entry level A/V receiver from a reputable brand like Pioneer would be more than enough (provided it has enough optical inputs)/

The Used idea is an excellent one since you really are just looking for an amp and don't need the latest bells and whistles.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
56,507 Posts
Many Stereo receivers may not have optical inputs, or enough of them. You may need to use analogue audio connections, or you may wish to pick up a used inexpensive surround AVR and simply enable the two front speakers. This would allow you to add a sub, center and other speakers in the future.

Many people encounter problems with movies when they don't have a center channel speaker (something to consider) because when the surround sound "comes up", the dialogue gets drowned out. The Rogers STB may have a digital coaxial audio output, or you could get an external optical switch...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,611 Posts
I find that sound is an important part of the TV/Movie watching experience. With 5.1 on most HD programs, and on virtually all movies, you can get a truly exceptional audio experience.

I would highly recommend something like the Polk Audio 5.1 package (which is on sale at FS for under $500). the speakers are small and unobtrusive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,459 Posts
Unless you watch ATSC with the TV tuner, you do not really need a full surround receiver, although you can get deals on them.

A plain analog stereo receiver will do for the PS3 and cable box; they have analog out (the PS3 requiring their A/V cable).

I already have a 1990ish Yamaha receiver, and it and some 70s stereo speakers greatly enhance the sound, but the receiver is showing its age, so needs replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,540 Posts
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the fact that the PS3 (and likely even the Rogers HD box) have HDMI outputs. Get an A/V receiver with at least two HDMI inputs and you're set.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,782 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone. I think I'll be going with an HT receiver since they have the optical inputs. The stereo receivers at FS don't have optical or any digital inputs (hate to limit myself to FS but if I don't use this GC, I'll either lose it or use it on something dumb, like batteries, at the store). :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the fact that the PS3 (and likely even the Rogers HD box) have HDMI outputs. Get an A/V receiver with at least two HDMI inputs and you're set.
Great recommendation Cooper. Ignore the optical and go HDMI - much better for Blu-ray from the PS3, though sleemo may end up on Kijiji looking for more speakers in a few weeks.

At FS, the Pioneer 820 is a pretty good deal right now, though go physically check out a few stores for open box deals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Great recommendation Cooper. Ignore the optical and go HDMI - much better for Blu-ray from the PS3, though sleemo may end up on Kijiji looking for more speakers in a few weeks.

At FS, the Pioneer 820 is a pretty good deal right now, though go physically check out a few stores for open box deals.
Good advice on going to the stores to check for open box deals. Last year I spotted a Pioneer VSX-9130TXH at FS sitting on a table, open box special, $399. This was normally almost a $1K receiver at that time so grabbed it in a heartbeat. It was missing the normally included mic for the automatic setup but I called Pioneer and they sent one out for free. It's been working like a charm ever since.

I still see most of the FS stores have a table set up somewhere in the audio department with bare units, open boxes, etc. so definitely worth checking out and usually the full warranty is still intact. Cheers!

James
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Don't need an AV receiver (maybe)

My TV has variable audio out. This means the audio out volume is changed with the TV volume using the remote. My wife and I don't like surround sound, very high volume or a lot of bass; we find it distracting. So I have hooked up a set of Logitech 2.1 computer speakers to the variable audio out (woofer, front left and front right). The connections are obvious. I can leave the TV speakers on or off. When watching Bell TV, I can control everything with one remote (on and off for TV and PVR and volume with display on the screen). The sound is excellent, the operation is simple (wife happy). The sound quality depends on the quality (price) of the speaker system. A good AVR might give sound that is louder with more bass, etc.; but how much better, is it worth it and do you really want it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,233 Posts
I don`t know but you can`t compare a A/V receiver to a 2.1 system in anyway possible .
If, by this, you mean "You can't compare 'an A/V receiver + a good pair of mains + a subwoofer' to a 2.1 'computer speaker' system, I would have to agree.

Over the X-mas holidays, I purchased the very well-rated Logitech Z623 2.1 computer speaker package (at half price!) to replace the vintage Sony stereo receiver + Paradigm 5se MkII speaker set-up in my home office. (New furniture dictated a new layout, which dictated a new audio arrangement.) The Z623 sounded...acceptable, and purely as a "computer speaker" set-up, it's probably on par with - or perhaps even better than - comparable set-ups. But for really enjoying music, it's not quite up to scratch. (So, the Z623 is gone, and I'm now running the Sony w/ the Mordaunt-Short Carnival 6s that were in my family room.)

That being said, I have a buddy who uses a Logitech Z-5500 system for his apartment HT set-up and it's really quite good.

Just my 2¢...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
My kid has the Logitech Z5500 in is gaming room and truth that it goes is 360 , PS3 and ipod touch i have to say it really surprised me in sound levels , not in sound clarity but like Haliburtonzeke said a 2.1 system beeing great , maybe for him is great , but for me its ok if you don`t want to go truth a A/V receiver with the right pair of speakers + sub , i found out to the bass or sub being too booming , but i got it out from Kijiji for 100$ and since it was the high end from Logitech it was worthed the 100$ .
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top