Increase Small TV Sound Output - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-07-2011, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I am in a current bind. I have a small 20" samsung lcd in my kitchen, but upon hooking up the digital cable box, the sound has deminished to the point where full volume is quiet.

I am looking for a simple cheap solution (non audiophile setup, already have a decent one for another room).

There are two solutions that I can come up with,
1) Buy some computer speakers and hook them up with the AV hookups on the tv, but my only problem with this is i have been unable to find a pair, just 2.0 that come with a wireless remote (dont laugh at wireless, i found a couple with the old school wired remotes haha)
2)Find a cheap soundbar that will sit in front of the tv, that would put out louder sound. Thing is, i do not need a subwoofer, lets be real, its in my kitchen/dining room. I figured that most soundbars would come with a wireless remote.

So, the kicker, id rather not spend more than $100 for just a very basic setup. im just looking to boost some output so i can here the sound while watching the news and eating some grub.

So what are my options in this situation?

Thanks in advance for the help!
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-07-2011, 10:25 PM
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Have you been thru all the menus on your cable box to make sure you can't raise the volume there?

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-07-2011, 11:28 PM
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If ur TV audio out jack has variable output, u don't need a remote at all. Solf-powered PC spkrs would be ur cheapest solution. I'd check eBay for old soundbars but u gotta be patience there.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #4 of 17 Old 04-08-2011, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I just double checked all the menus, i reset any audio related menus, and it seemed to boost it up a bit, at least when i increase the volume i can actually hear it, maybe something got screwed with one day haha.

it is now tollerable, far from clear though (just not clear/loud enough, hard to explain), do you think i would benefit from some external speakers of some sort, either computer or soundbar, and how do i find out if my output jacks have variable output?
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-08-2011, 05:01 PM
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My DVR has two output settings: line and RF. I use the line out, but the RF is much louder which I don't need for my equipment. You might check your cable box audio menus for similar options. Also, if your TV or cable box has a sound leveler (compressor) try using it in the on and off and see which sounds best for you. When on, it'll bring up the lows and bring down the highs (lows/highs refer to volume levels).

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post #6 of 17 Old 04-08-2011, 07:27 PM
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I don't know if this will work in your application, but here's what I did before going to the Vizio soundbar. My TV had a headphone jack. I got some computer speakers and connected it to the headphone jack. Connected the power to the cable box auxiliary power plug behind the box. Turned the speakers up to about 3/4 volume and left it there. The speakers powered on and off with my cable box. Volume was controlled with the TV volume. Sound output was variable due to the headphone jack. It worked great. I don't know if you can achieve the same results with what you have but I thought I would share my expeience. Hope it helps.
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-08-2011, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guammer View Post

My TV had a headphone jack. I got some computer speakers and connected it to the headphone jack. Connected the power to the cable box auxiliary power plug I behind the box.

I had to do that for my parents recently. The problem though, is that few of the new televisions have a headphone jack. I had a hard time finding one with a good picture and a headphone jack.

The sales clerk at Best Buy was totally clueless when I asked for a 24" with a headphone jack. Her recommendations were to get a sound bar -- which would a) be much too wide to fit in the space availale for the TV and b) add at least 75% to the cost of the TV -- or to have the users wear wireless headphones all the time.

The manufacturers seem to believe that everyone is installing sound systems in kitchens, workshops, sewing rooms, or guest bedrooms. Which is certainly not the case around here.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-08-2011, 10:03 PM
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Look for an audio option on the cable box named dynamic compression. Set this to high.
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-09-2011, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys! I went and purchased a set of $30 dollar aztec computer speakers, the nicest cheap set of speakers i could find that were subtle in looks and goo sound.

Best purchase ever! i hooked it up to the headphone jack on the tv, and ran the power to the outlet (dam thing was usb powered, good thing i collect misc. electronic junk, had a usb phone charger adapter worked perfectly). these things get loud and do exactly what i was looking for. i was actually surprised it worked that well, there is actually a little bit of depth to the voices and everything when louder (nothing extreme, they are only little 1.5" speakers haha).

i would say something along this line of doing things would be a necessary purchase for anyone buying a new tv but not using a set of external speakers, albiet surround sound, soundbar or anything. it is so much clearer, and for $30 you cant go wrong!
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-09-2011, 09:27 AM
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There are tons of people who purchase a big screen TV, 40" not 20" and complaint about the built-in sound. To me it's like, u bought a big screen TV for video quality then you are going to skimp and use the built-in, underpowered speakers?

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #11 of 17 Old 04-09-2011, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

To me it's like, u bought a big screen TV for video quality then you are going to skimp and use the built-in, underpowered speakers?

That's one point of view. Another might be that most people who are in the market today are not necessarily the video enthusiasts who jumped on the flat panel bandwagon 3-4 years ago. A large segment of the market is not interested in cutting edge technology; the only reason they are buying is that they have to replace 10-15 (or more) year-old sets and just want TV they can see and hear. Since the only choices they have are sets with inadequate sound, it's entirely reasonable to expect that some sort of cost effective product to amplify the sound would exist.

It's all very well and good to say that the physics of flat panel sets do not allow for quality sound but that does not address the market needs. It's not okay to say that everyone who buys a flat panel set is, by definition, a video/audiophile who should be prepared to spend an amount equivalent to the price of the TV to get sound he can hear.

The major television manufacturers are completely out to lunch when it comes to this fact and I predict that the first company to market a simple computer-speaker type setup that is ARC compliant will clean up.
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-09-2011, 10:00 AM
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Glad you found a solution,and such an affordable one at that. The headphone jack was the next thing I was thinking so I'm glad someone else brought that up. I recently went thru a similar exercise with my MIL and her TV because her mate needed headphones to hear but there are also othes in the room with unimpaired hearing.

Your solution to the USB issue is so typical of the kinds of rabbits we have to pull out of our hats these days. Never know when you'll need to some up with some little gizmo that fits the bill perfectly.

It does seem that flat panel speakers are getting worse, and also the larger sets tend to be the worst. The little 26" in our bedroom has plenty of audio headroom, but the big screen in our livingroom was so hard to hear, I hooked up a small receiver with some bookshelf speakers just so we can hear over the background din without firing up the HT gear.

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post #13 of 17 Old 04-09-2011, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athenian View Post

The major television manufacturers are completely out to lunch when it comes to this fact and I predict that the first company to market a simple computer-speaker type setup that is ARC compliant will clean up.

I agree wif u that lots of people buying big screen today do so to replace their CRTs.

Mitsubishi, who makes flat planels with very nice, seems very capable built-in front-firing spkers, I hear are leaving the market(?)

I bet they know. It's a conspiracy. They want you to spend another $500 for a proper set of speakers. Recently I just found out Sammy sells a very nice indeed soundbar, color-coordinated, same panel shape/material as the TVs, they are brothers! forced apart so they can charge us more!

Now to lean my point a bit, not much, Am nothing-phile in any stretch of the imagination, I tell people I listen to MP3 without flinching. Yet even I have external spkers on my ole CRT. Just to be able to stretch (physically) the spkers and give me a wider sound stage seems like a no brainer to me.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #14 of 17 Old 04-09-2011, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Mrbobb i certainly agree on the external speakers, they are a must after this experience. but lets be realistic, i did not scimp on the sound, it had never been an issue for me before. i purchased this 20 incher to replace an old 13 inch crt, and i purchased three samsungs at that time, this one, a 40 and a 56 inch. i bought a onkyo 7.1 for the living room (amazing sound) a 5.1 samsung htib for the bedroom but figured i wouldnt need anything for the kitchen as it was just for supper and the news.

it was fine, pretty loud and understandable before i recieved a free digital cable box from my cable company (i was just hooked up basic cable before) and once hooked up, it cut the sound be at least half for no reason.

this was a cheap solution for a cheap tv(only paid like 200 for the tv) why would i go all out on the sound. there are a lot of people that could use a solution like this to increase output and benefit without the necessity of buying a 5.1htib or anything else. this does not require a reciever or anything.
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-09-2011, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordh8ter View Post

this was a cheap solution for a cheap tv

That' why I kept my mouth shut for ppl buying any audio USB-powered. USB-powered limits you to... never mind, ur happy with it, it's a solution worth its intended purpose. My comment was intended for those 40+" screen buyers anyways.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #16 of 17 Old 04-09-2011, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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mrbobb, i was not calling you out by any means, more clarifying than anything. as i said, did not realize they were usb powered (men and reading instructions haha). i was mearly saying that it is a very plausible solution for those who could care less about overall great sound quality, but have a hard time hearing the standard useless speakers in any new flat screen. this would be an ideal solution, something along this line at least for someone say, elderly that dont want a home theater system, but want to be able to hear not only see their new purchase.

i agree with athenian, its a shame that all these great companys have fallen for the overall profit sense and have taken away quality. they can make a tv damn near as thin as paper, showing clearer images that anyone ever thought possible, yet when it comes to something as simply as some decent audio they drop the bar big time on that one.

what happened to the days where you made an investment in a sense in your tv and got a product that would be good for not only a year, but 10-15. now you buy a tv and the next week its obsolete. all for a company to make a quick buck because they didnt put all the features in the current model, and held back so they could put out a "new" tv with the features that should have been in the original model.

anyways enough rambling. this was a simple solution to a simple problem. nuff said i hope
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athenian View Post

That's one point of view. Another might be that most people who are in the market today are not necessarily the video enthusiasts who jumped on the flat panel bandwagon 3-4 years ago. A large segment of the market is not interested in cutting edge technology; the only reason they are buying is that they have to replace 10-15 (or more) year-old sets and just want TV they can see and hear. Since the only choices they have are sets with inadequate sound, it's entirely reasonable to expect that some sort of cost effective product to amplify the sound would exist.

It's all very well and good to say that the physics of flat panel sets do not allow for quality sound but that does not address the market needs. It's not okay to say that everyone who buys a flat panel set is, by definition, a video/audiophile who should be prepared to spend an amount equivalent to the price of the TV to get sound he can hear.

The major television manufacturers are completely out to lunch when it comes to this fact and I predict that the first company to market a simple computer-speaker type setup that is ARC compliant will clean up.

Amen. I purchased a basic model 47 inch LCD TV. Would be nice to connect my older stereo receiver to the TV with some speakers to improve the sound. (Not much interest in surround sound for the living room.) But my TV only has fixed optical output for the audio. No stereo RCA jacks or variable output.

It has been recommended to spend a couple hundred dollars for a new receiver, and then to connect all the devices to the receiver. But the TV already handles switching for all my devices, and it uses the single TV remote. Why would I want to spend a bunch of extra money to buy an amplification device when I already have one, and a device for component switching when my TV already handles switching, and then have to deal with a separated device to control the sound level? Maybe so I can have the fun of dealing with receiver HDMI handshake issues or lip-sync problems, lol.

I will probably end up opening the TV and installing a couple RCA jacks in the back, spliced to the existing speaker wires. That will give me variable output to my existing receiver, with volume still controlled by my TV remote, for a few dollars. Would be nice if the manufacturers provided this functionality, but I think they would rather get people to purchase additional merchandise.
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