Best Home Theater Solution (multiple inputs) - AVS Forum
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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As I'm not very knowledgeable in this field I wonder if anybody can suggest the most appropriate setup for my home theater solution. Apologies in advance if these questions seem really dumb! :o

 

Right now I have a nice LED TV. A couple of years old now but does the job. However, the sound isn't great and I know can be improved on. I don't have loads to spend but would like to consider my options for a low or mid range sound system, so the best value would be my choice.

 

So, would floor standing speakers be my best option or would a soundbar suffice? And any in particular that anybody can recommend?

 

My other idea is also to run my Raspberry Pi through these speakers to also steam music/video through but what I don't want to be doing is having to manually select an input on some kind of device to switch the speaker from one source to another to be able to hear it. I wouldn't mind if both came in at the same time to be honest (if this did happen I would just stop one or the other). I guess I could just use a splitter for the input and that would probably get the job done but again, in terms of hardware I'm not sure what kind of device would handle these inputs? Some kind of amp?

 

Any suggestions and thoughts welcome...

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Old 04-27-2014, 05:43 PM
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What is your budget? That will determine what you can get.

1. Buying separates is always best (receiver, speakers, blu-ray player, etc) but can get very expensive quickly.

2. Room dynamics should be considered (size, carpeted/hard wood floor, wall coverings, etc).

3. Type of speakers. Towers, bookshelf, wall mounted.

4. There are some very nice HTiB's (Home Theater in a Box) that can produce very good audio if you're not an audiophile and on a budget. You can find a good system (receiver and 5 speakers) for an affordable price. The speakers typically aren't the best but you can always upgrade them later on and keep the receiver.

5. Receivers. Decide what you think you need now and what you may want or need in future. Most people keep their receivers longer than their speakers so make sure the receiver has 5-way binding posts. That way you can use any type of speaker connection (bare wire, banana plugs, etc).

6. Personally, I'd steer clear of HTiB's that have built-in blu-ray players. They quite often have proprietary speaker connections and the sub-woofers are passive (do not have a separate amplifier and draw their power from the main unit). I'm also not a fan of soundbars.

7. Try to listen to what ever system (separates, HTiB) you're considering. Going by published specs alone can be misleading and confusing.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:57 PM
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Sound system receivers have multiple inputs. Each playback device attaches to an input. You use the selector on the receiver to choose the source you want to hear, sort of like changing TV channels. No need for special splitters or other equipment.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input guys! 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

What is your budget? That will determine what you can get.

1. Buying separates is always best (receiver, speakers, blu-ray player, etc) but can get very expensive quickly.
I'm going to say around £200-300 ($330-$500)

2. Room dynamics should be considered (size, carpeted/hard wood floor, wall coverings, etc).
Not a large room at all approx. 5m x 4m , laminate floor, large rug, no wall coverings. Sofa roughly 3-4m away from the TV.

3. Type of speakers. Towers, bookshelf, wall mounted.
Towers or bookshelf would be preferable

4. There are some very nice HTiB's (Home Theater in a Box) that can produce very good audio if you're not an audiophile and on a budget. You can find a good system (receiver and 5 speakers) for an affordable price. The speakers typically aren't the best but you can always upgrade them later on and keep the receiver.
I think I have a little direction on where to look now, thanks!

5. Receivers. Decide what you think you need now and what you may want or need in future. Most people keep their receivers longer than their speakers so make sure the receiver has 5-way binding posts. That way you can use any type of speaker connection (bare wire, banana plugs, etc).
A decent receiver seems like a good investment.

6. Personally, I'd steer clear of HTiB's that have built-in blu-ray players. They quite often have proprietary speaker connections and the sub-woofers are passive (do not have a separate amplifier and draw their power from the main unit). I'm also not a fan of soundbars.

7. Try to listen to what ever system (separates, HTiB) you're considering. Going by published specs alone can be misleading and confusing.
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Sound system receivers have multiple inputs. Each playback device attaches to an input. You use the selector on the receiver to choose the source you want to hear, sort of like changing TV channels. No need for special splitters or other equipment.
 

But this means that I would have to manually select the input if I, say, turn off the TV and then decide to stream some music through another source? Is there a way it can detect and play just the active input without needing me to select the input?

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Old 04-28-2014, 02:48 AM
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Get a remote like a Harmony. Then you can push one button to turn on the device you want to hear and select the correct input on the receiver at the same time.
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