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Thread: Help understanding and buying a home cinema

  1. #1
    Regular Member danlat1415's Avatar
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    Default Help understanding and buying a home cinema

    Hi guys,

    I've been thinking for a while to get a 5.1 surround sound system for watching movies and using with my Xbox 360, but I haven't got a clue with that stuff, so I was hoping people could give me some pointers.


    I've had a look for some stuff on the internet, and I've noticed that you can buy surround sound systems with either speaks and an amp (which you connect you DVD player, Xbox and TV to, and you get the sound coming through the speakers).
    Or
    speakers as part of a DVD player system.


    If I get a DVD player with the surround sound speakers with it, will I be able to connect my TV and XBox, and get standard TV channels to play through all the speakers?
    I don't want to get a system where it only works if the DVD player is playing a DVD - if you understand what I mean.


    My problem is I've got a small budget of UPTO approx £150
    (I'm not too fussed about 'top of the range' stuff at the moment, as it'll be my first system)
    It just would be good to watch a Concert DVD with sound from all round the room


    I know people on here must have some system already set up at their house, so hopefully I can get some advise.



    Thanks
    Dan

  2. #2
    Full Member GazVXLINE170's Avatar
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    Default

    What you are talking about is a Media Centre PC.

    5.1 will only work on the DVD player UNLESS the TV has the 3 Stereo outputs on it m8.

    If you have a small budget, save up m8 and buy what will satisfy your budget. There is no rush esepcially as the media playing technology changing all the time so what iss expensive now will be cheaper in a year.

    Gazza4
    Insignia VX-Line Nav CDTI 170.

  3. #3
    Regular Member danlat1415's Avatar
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    I've already got a Media Centre PC in a different room, with the PC 5.1 sound system set up.


    I've got a 42" Samsung HD TV in living room, and it has 3 HDMI connections, optical audio connection, and a lot of other connections, so I know the TV will take upgrade.


    I want to know if the DVD system with the speakers is exactly the same as the amp with speakers, but with the added bonus of it being a DVD player as well.

    Can I plug other devices into the DVD player with speakers and act as an amp?



    I've seek quite a few 'cheaper' systems in places like Tescos Extra but I don't know if they'll do what I want it for.
    And some on ebay:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Samsung-HT-THX...3%3A1|294%3A50
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LG-DVD-Home-Ci...3%3A1|294%3A50

    Would these be ok to use, and connect other devices to?
    Last edited by danlat1415; 9th May 2009 at 15:25.

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    Regular Member LJ sxi-nav's Avatar
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    check that any '1-box' systems have additional inputs like digital Co-ax, optical, or even LR RCA connections that would be output from TV, Xbox, Freeview/Sky/Cable boxes etc. Some of the cheaper ones are little more than DVD players with 5.1 speakers and no other inputs.

    I personally favour the AV/amp route, that way other kit can be upgraded as reqd. (e.g. you might want a Blu-ray player to replace the DVD player in the future).

    I have a Yamaha RX-V357 with NS-P110 speakers, which I got from richersounds and have had for ages, but it still fits in well with my set-up (My 2 newest gadgets, Sky+HD and a PS3 have both been connected with no problems).

    Other options include AV receivers that have HDMI or analogue video inputs, and a HDMI/video output. That way all kit (video/audio) is plugged into the AV Receiver; Video output is sent to the telly, Audio to the speakers.

  5. #5
    Regular Member LJ sxi-nav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJ sxi-nav View Post
    I have a Yamaha RX-V357 with NS-P110 speakers, which I got from richersounds and have had for ages, but it still fits in well with my set-up (My 2 newest gadgets, Sky+HD and a PS3 have both been connected with no problems).
    Correction to above - I actually have the older NS-P240 speakers...

  6. #6
    Regular Member LJ sxi-nav's Avatar
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    looking at the samsung - there are no INPUT options, apart from an Audio LR Aux-in. This would only be good enough for stereo, not 5.1

    just about to look up the LG...
    The LG at least has an Optical in, so if any of your devices have digital optical out then you can connect them for 5.1 sound. Also has Audio LR Aux-in like the samsung
    Last edited by LJ sxi-nav; 9th May 2009 at 16:19.

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    Regular Member LJ sxi-nav's Avatar
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    should have added - even if you supply a stereo LR source via Aux-in, any decent HTS should give you stereo via all the speakers (it's just not 'proper' surround sound).

    If the optical connection on the TV is an output, then you could hook it up via the optical in of the LG to get sound out of all the speakers, again this is likely to just be '5.1' stereo... not sure what audio out options the Xbox has?
    Last edited by LJ sxi-nav; 9th May 2009 at 16:29.

  8. #8
    Regular Member danlat1415's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for the advice

    I think I'll probably go for the AV Receiver option, and then I can plug all my equipment into it, instead of having a DVD player with it built in.
    Like you said if I want to upgrade, it will be easier with the AV Receiver.

    I may have a look round the second hand 'cash generator' shops... they seem to have stuff like that, see if I can get a bargain. if not, I'll have to scour the internet

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    Regular Member adfrodsham's Avatar
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    i would shop around, and dont be put off by 7.1 surround sound, not much available at the moment, but future proof if your wanting to spend the money

  10. #10
    Ex Vec-C Admin Stevel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danlat1415 View Post
    Thanks a lot for the advice

    I think I'll probably go for the AV Receiver option, and then I can plug all my equipment into it, instead of having a DVD player with it built in.
    Like you said if I want to upgrade, it will be easier with the AV Receiver.

    I may have a look round the second hand 'cash generator' shops... they seem to have stuff like that, see if I can get a bargain. if not, I'll have to scour the internet
    I would definatly go that route if you can get something for the right price.

    We've got exactly that downstairs hooked up to the DVD player. Today I've borrowed a smaller amp and speaker package (including Sub.) from a mate to try on the PS3 upstairs. It's OK but not in the same league as the seperate system.

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