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post #1 of 6 Old 08-21-2007, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I have kind of a unique problem. I was looking for a 42" TV that had a variable line level audio output that could connect to a Nuvo Local Source Amplifier (LSA40). The LSA takes a stereo line level input. The TV line level audio output needs to be variable, so that changing the volume on the TV will change the volume of the external speakers through the amp. I have a 9 year old Panny tube that works just fine this way. Anyway... so I called Panny, Hitachi, Samsung and LG and LG was the only one to tell me their audio out was variable, all others claimed theirs was fixed. So I bought the LG 42PC5D, dragged it home and got it set up. Then I went to test the audio out with the LSA and come to find the audio output is also fixed! Quite upset I called LG and at the end of that call they tell me now that only the Digital output, not analog line level output is variable.

So... I see one option being some sort of digital (toslink) to RCA (line level) adapter that *should* work, or return this tv (a pita) and continue searching for one with variable line level output (why is that so hard).

So I call on the collective expertise here - is there any sort of inexpensive converter as described about to convert toslink digital output to line level? or, alternatively, does anyone know of a decent 42-46" tv (does not _have_ to be plasma) that has a variable audio line level output? I obviously would prefer the converter if there was an inexpensive ( <$100 ) adapter available but I spent 20 minutes searching and found nothing but toslink digital to rca disgial adapters.

Thanks in advance for your ideas!
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-21-2007, 02:17 PM
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The best way to find out if a TV has variable audio output (other than buying one or checking it out in the store) is to download the user manual, whcih is usually available on the manufacturer's website. Often TVs are set to output fixed levels by default, but there may be an option to change that in a menu. Did you check for this with the LG?

Standalone digital to analog audio converters do exist (they are called DAC's), but typically they are used by audiophile types who enjoy throwing their money away, so the prices are absurdly high.

You also might look at TVs with a headphone jack. That won't quite be a line-level output, but in most cases I think it would sound fine.

Seems strange that your amplifier doesn't have the ability to change volume. It'd be nice if it had an IR sensor...
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-21-2007, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Chris. Not only did I read thru all the manuals, but I called all the manufactures. When LG told me it was variable, I said "Are you sure.." at least 3 times and assured me it was. It's not going to a typical amp or HT system. It is a "local source amplifier", a 1 gang 40W amp that sits between your local source (TV) and the main system (Nuvo Grand Concerto). So there is no control capabilty on the amp at all.

I was afraid there would not be an inexpensive converter out there. I did find a TV - a Maxent MX-42HPT51 that actually has a configuration to switch fixed/variable. That would be perfect, but there are no local places that sell that model and I'm not too sure of the quality of a Maxent. I guess I could look for headphone jacks too, but have not seen them on the sets I was looking at.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-21-2007, 02:56 PM
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This might help: http://reviews.cnet.com/4566-6485_7-0.html?sa=501414&

Look on the right, and you'll see that you can filter the list to show only HDTVs with variable audio output. Obviously I wouldn't consider this 100% accurate, but it may be a good start.

You could also look for a cheap stereo receiver with some kind of variable line output (actually, the headphone jack would work here as well). I think you could easily get something for less than $100.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-21-2007, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisherbert View Post

You also might look at TVs with a headphone jack. That won't quite be a line-level output, but in most cases I think it would sound fine.

So far all I have found besides the Maxent which I am hesitating on is the Samsung HPT4254X which seems like a much better set. It has fixed audio ll out, but does have a headphone jack. How bad do you really thing that would be compared to true line level? It will be going to a 40W digital amp and to Proficient 8" ceiling speakers. I am also guessing that most here would say the Samsung is a MUCH better set. Do you think its worth the better set and dealing with the headphone only output?
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-22-2007, 06:16 AM
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Most cable boxes also have variable audio output.
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