I have a 9 year old Panasonic plasma TV. I'm not looking to replace it at this point. The picture is still good and I'd rather wait a a few years before replacing it. The problems are that there is only one HDMI input and I have five HDMI devices and the sound on cable broadcasts goes silent for a few seconds fairly often. If I connect external self-powered speakers to the cable box, that sound problem isn't an issue, but I can't control the sound volume or mute those speakers other than to manually do so on the speakers themselves, an obvious inconvenience. And I get tired of having to swap HDMI connections frequently. Though if that were my greatest problem, I'd be the world's happiest person.
So what I'd like to be able to do is have a device that I can use to:
- HDMI connect/share the cable box, dvd player, Roku 3, and gaming devices
- Share the external speakers among all of the above devices
- Be able to switch devices and control volume with a remote control
It strikes me that an amplifier would be the way to go, but maybe there are other devices on the market these days that do this sort of thing. I was more tuned into this stuff years back, but haven't kept up.
I don't care about any kind of surround sound setup. I'm only looking to have two speakers. And though I have a good ear, I'm not going to have high end speakers. This is more for utility than high priced, optimal quality audio quality. What I get out of the aforementioned speakers (KRK Rokit 5) is good enough for the uses I have with these devices.
Being able to connect a tablet or phone via Bluetooth would probably be a feature I'd take advantage of here and there. Lots of amplifiers advertise being iPad/iPhone ready via USB. Would Android devices work that way, too? WiFi seems appealing, too, but I'm not sure it's vital. Still, if I could broadcast audio from my computers to the amplifier, I'd do it. Because of locations, I'd prefer to do this wirelessly. The WiFi thing isn't vital enough that I'd spend an extra few hundred dollars for it, though.
Any thoughts about this? Any recommendations on a product or products? I'd prefer to spend less than $400, though I could spend more if there's a good reason for my needs.