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Discussion Starter #1
originally posted by 57
you can purchase an inexpensive AVR or HTiB system which will provide much better sound than the TV speakers
I've been able to isolate the sound problem to the TV (Sony Bravia KDL32L4000). My DVD on my Mom's TV has sound issues, her DVD on my TV is fine. We've added the new ShawDirect 630 STB to her setup which connects by HDMI now, and same sound issue. None of the different settings on the TV improve the distortion at higher sound levels, so I think it likely that the speakers are just not as good as the ones on my TV.

So I'll need to look for a cheap receiver and run the sound analogue. I've read the FAQs, but most people are looking for great sound and surround. I just want a receiver that will let me add a couple speakers and get louder sound without distortion… is it then just a case of the right amount of watts?

Could someone help me out with the bare specs I would need for this purpose? AVRs confuse the heck out of me!
 

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If your getting distortions from you speakers, you need to get new ones. Either they are going or they can't handle the output power. 100W speakers running at 35 Ohms should suffice. Don't forget to include a subwoofer as well. You can't have a decent surround sound system without a woofer. Also, because some HDMI receivers still have problems with downgrading sound quality to 2.0, you should get one that at least has digital coax or digital optical. Most DVD/Blu ray players, as well as PVRs have those connections. And will sound way better than analogue, and almost indiscernible to true HDMI audio. Plus they are cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
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.
I have a similar problem…

My Mom has a Sony Bravia KDL32L4000 TV. The sound is poor -- through HDMI connections the sound needs to be turned up pretty high and then you get vibration/distortion. Happens with both the upconverting DVD and the ShawDirect 630 STB. Have tried DVD player on my tv, no sound issue, so I'm sure it's the TV. Have also tried the various tv sound settings, no luck.

I need a cheap, cheap, cheap (and simple) way to add speakers to the TV so that she can have louder sound without distortion. Surround sound and the bells and whistles aren't necessary. Just louder clear sound.

I found one refurbished cheap HT system. A Venturer ASR150. It has 5 speakers and it says it's 100W. Will something like this do? If so, can I only hook up the centre and front L&R speakers and be okay?

Any guidance would be appreciated.
 

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Here's the FAQ on AVR features. Yes, it's complex, but that's because even the least expensive HTiB is complex today.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76082

100W speakers running at 35 Ohms
No idea what this means - never heard of 35 Ohm speakers - most are 8, but some are 16, 6, 4, 3, 2. Mostly 8 for separate speakers. Most AVRs have more than adequate power for normal listening, when compared to TV speakers. AVRs sound mostly the same, however, speakers have very different timbre (sound), so find some speakers you like, then purchase an inexpensive AVR, or purchase an HTiB system that has sound you like and connections on the back you need.
 

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Venturer ASR150
Definitely cheap, cheap, but I'm not sure what sort of audio quality you'd get from something like this. It appears to have 3 analogue audio inputs on the back for 3 different devices, but whether this would sound any good is debatable. Also, if you only hook up two speakers to an HTiB, you need to set it to "stereo" and not surround, otherwise you'll miss a lot of the audio, especially the dialogue which comes from the center channel.

http://www.venturer.com/products.aspx?view=293
 

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Sound bars are one solution for people who don't want to go with a full blown A/V surround system. Don't know how good the reviews are but there are some mentioned here. Come to think of it, that's not a bad business plan. Just downgrade TV sound systems until they are useless and use a sound bar to increase sales. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had a look at soundbars, while they are a simple solution, they're a bit pricey for me. I'd like to stay at/under $100 (I know, hard to accomplish)

I also looked at some cheap HTiB systems, but most of these come with progressive scan DVD players as the receiver. I already have a good upconverting DVD player, so what I'm wondering is could I use one of these systems (say a Philips HTS3151D) but not hook up the video portion of the DVD player. Then I would hook up my existing DVD player to this for audio only and also hook up my Sat STB for audio as well. Would this work?

Also, can I leave off the rear speakers and be okay for sound? The fronts, centre and subwoofer all are doable for me, but I have no way to install rears…

I had a look at the manual and it seems to me that it should work… any thoughts? (and thank-you to all for all the help, I really appreciate it.)
 

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Most AVRs allow you to configure them to work without the rear speakers. The sound for the rears then comes out the LF & RF instead. However, I'm not sure if the rear speakers for HTiBs can be 'turned off' like that, or simply volume adjusted.

I suppose you could operate with just the front 3 speakers (losing the sound from the rears), or perhaps simply place the rears beside the fronts, so that you hear all the audio from them when it's there...

The most important thing about any inexpensive HTiB system is that you have the inputs you require. Some of them have only one input, which would not be enough for you, but many do have two inputs, so I assume that would suffice for your DVD player and your Sat. You would connect the video for these devices directly to the TV as you mention.

As mentioned above, it'd probably be good if these inputs were digital instead of analogue, for better sound, but you can't have everything for under $100. ;) Have you looked at used?

I downloaded the operating manual for the Philips one you mentioned and it appears to have two analogue inputs (labelled TV & Aux). It mentions digital on page 18 of the OM, however, I saw no digital input.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been checking a couple refurb shops, that's where I spotted the Philips I mentioned. I also had a look at that Canuck Audio Mart the other thread mentioned and Kijiji in my area, but no real options on either right now.

I'll keep my eye out for a better HTiB system with digital inputs as I have a little time, but at least I have the other option if nothing comes up in my price range.

Thank-you again for all the help. I'll post what I end up with.
 

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With a 100$ price range, your best bet is to look for a used 2 channel receivers and used full range speakers. You do not need some that powerfull to improve over TV speakers unless you have a large room or like to listen at killer sound levels.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I've had to rethink things as all the systems I was looking at are sold out. I'm leary of finding a used receiver and matching speakers to it, seems awfully complex to me, matching the impedence and power and such.

So, the budget is now $200… Now with the bigger (and yet still small) budget, I'd really like to get digital inputs and have the best chance at good sound.

I found a HTiB system with a Blu-Ray player on clearance within my budget, it's a LG HB405SU 5.1 BLU-RAY & DVD HOME CINEMA SYSTEM. Product details says it has 2 optical inputs, plus I would be adding a Blu-Ray rather than another DVD (or rather replacing DVD with a BluRay).

Any thoughts on this or other suggestions? Reviews I read were mostly good…
 

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This LG unit would take the place of your existing upconverting player and you only need one input for your Sat, but since it has 2, it looks like you're all set.
 

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HB405SU

This si the tpe of HTIB you will find at stores like Walmart, The source etc...

If you goolge this system for reviews, it seems like you are getting your money's worth. This is not the type of sound system I would use in my home so I would suggest you use your favorite search engine before you buy. If you are happy with the reviews, they you may have found a system that matches your budget. Just keep in mind such systems are not upgradable so if you ever want to upgrade, this means an entire replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
So I picked up the LG HB405SU I mentioned above. Took it home and hooked it up to my system as a trial run until I'm able to take it to my Mom's.

The sound is pretty awesome -- but of course, I only have sound from my TV to compare it to, so it was bound to be.

I watched Deadwood on HBO, a show I've seen many times so I'm pretty familiar with it -- but I was blown away by how much more there was to hear. I could hear the wind blowing and horses neighing in the background. Lovely!

The true test will be on my Mom's TV as it's her set that has the sound problem, but I can't see how this won't solve the issue as I was able to turn the sound up to crazy levels without distortion. I'll report after I get it to my Mom's.

The only problem now… I'm not going to be able to go back to sound from just my TV! Now I'll need a HTiB for me too!
 

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Congratulations!
The only problem now… I'm not going to be able to go back to sound from just my TV! Now I'll need a HTiB for me too!
Now, you got to get a second one of them befor the deal is over ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The true test will be on my Mom's TV as it's her set that has the sound problem
So I installed the LG HTiB system (HB405SU 5.1 BLU-RAY & DVD HOME CINEMA SYSTEM) on my Mom's TV on the weekend and the sound is beautiful. She can turn it up as loud as she wants without distortion. It really made a difference and she was quite happy.

I'm saving my pennies for a HTiB system for me now but I think I'll go with a different system. I was happy with the sound but I dislike the look of the little round speakers for the front/rear/centre. I'd also prefer an ipod dock rather than just an AUX input. But thanks to all the advice here, I'll know what to look for when I'm ready.

Thank you all for your help and advice, it let me solve my problem and decided me that TV sound was just not enough!:)
 
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