I can't hear the TV! What are my options? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-02-2013, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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We recently moved into a new house and we've got a slight problem. We have a very long family room with the kitchen next to it. We only have one TV and it's at the far end of the living room. In order to hear the TV while cooking or cleaning dishes, you have to turn the TV up so loud that anyone else in the house can hear it like they were sitting right in front of the TV.

So I'm looking for solutions to this problem. Right now we only have a flat panel TV that is not mounted on the wall but sitting on a small media cabinet. The speaker is on the back side of the TV. I have no other audio equipment in this room.

My first thought was a sound bar. However, I thought that even though this would be directing the sound in the proper direction it still might not fix the problem of having to turn up the volume so much to hear it in the kitchen.

My next thought was a wireless speaker. We have some flexibility here in that we could mount one in the ceiling (although it's a two story home and we currently do not have any speaker wire up there but I could get access to some electricity). Or I could hide one on top of the cabinets or we could put one in a drawer and only bring it out when needed. The only problem with this setup is that it seems like I'd need to buy a receiver in order to drive the wireless speaker. I was hoping to keep this cost to a minimum but if that's what I need then it's what I need.

Today I started thinking about transmitting the hdmi signale via a powerlink system. However, I still don't think there are speakers that plug straight into an HDMI port, are there?

As you can probably tell, I'm at a loss on which might be the best option to take. We have very high ceilings in the family room as well as it being pretty long. Please let me know what direction you would take in my situation.
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-02-2013, 04:06 PM
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Depending upon what "sound" your satisfied with (i.e simple stereo, mono, 5.1, etc.), you may want to consider a simple stereo receiver that has "A/B" speaker settings. "A" may be the living room, "B" would be the kitchen area. You could set up wireless speakers via a transmitter (to avoid wire runs). The you would simply switch to "A", "B" or Both.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-02-2013, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bizwiz41 View Post

Depending upon what "sound" your satisfied with (i.e simple stereo, mono, 5.1, etc.), you may want to consider a simple stereo receiver that has "A/B" speaker settings. "A" may be the living room, "B" would be the kitchen area. You could set up wireless speakers via a transmitter (to avoid wire runs). The you would simply switch to "A", "B" or Both.
Yah, I think some type of multi zone receiver is your best option.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-03-2013, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bizwiz41 View Post

Depending upon what "sound" your satisfied with (i.e simple stereo, mono, 5.1, etc.), you may want to consider a simple stereo receiver that has "A/B" speaker settings. "A" may be the living room, "B" would be the kitchen area. You could set up wireless speakers via a transmitter (to avoid wire runs). The you would simply switch to "A", "B" or Both.

That's a great idea, thanks for the suggestion! Would you agree that the sound bar alone is probably not going to solve my problem?
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-03-2013, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RossTTU View Post

That's a great idea, thanks for the suggestion! Would you agree that the sound bar alone is probably not going to solve my problem?

Yes, I would agree that is unlikely to solve the problem. A sound bar is typically a LCR speaker enclosure with a built-in preamp/amplifier. It's not going to offer A/B switching or multi-room zone control or flexibility.

You likely want an AVR with multi-zone capability (lots of affordable ones have this, so it shouldn't be a problem finding one right for you) or a stereo receiver with A/B speaker switching. I would also suggest bookshelf sized speakers for your living room and your kitchen. If you opt for the wireless route, you will need the wireless transmitter and receiver for the remote speakers in the kitchen. That shouldn't be a big hassle to find the appropriate equipment.

If you are having sound intelligibility issues, as it appears like you are, I would stop using those internal TV speakers right away and get either an AVR or stereo receiver and appropriately sized external speakers for a proper audio solution at any rate, even if you didn't have the wanting-to-hear-from-the-kitchen issue.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-03-2013, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Will2007 View Post

Yes, I would agree that is unlikely to solve the problem. A sound bar is typically a LCR speaker enclosure with a built-in preamp/amplifier. It's not going to offer A/B switching or multi-room zone control or flexibility.

You likely want an AVR with multi-zone capability (lots of affordable ones have this, so it shouldn't be a problem finding one right for you) or a stereo receiver with A/B speaker switching. I would also suggest bookshelf sized speakers for your living room and your kitchen. If you opt for the wireless route, you will need the wireless transmitter and receiver for the remote speakers in the kitchen. That shouldn't be a big hassle to find the appropriate equipment.

If you are having sound intelligibility issues, as it appears like you are, I would stop using those internal TV speakers right away and get either an AVR or stereo receiver and appropriately sized external speakers for a proper audio solution at any rate, even if you didn't have the wanting-to-hear-from-the-kitchen issue.

Good to know! Thanks!
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-03-2013, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RossTTU View Post

That's a great idea, thanks for the suggestion! Would you agree that the sound bar alone is probably not going to solve my problem?

First RossTT, thanks for the "Thumbs Up!" it's very much appreciated!
As for the soundbar, Will2007 pretty much covered it. In fact using a soundbar alone in the living room will probably make the situatio worse, throughout the entire house. It sounds like your accepting of the TV's sound quality, so this helps your options. As Will2007 stated, you can decent speakers at very reasonable prices.

You may want to consider a Full AVR with surround sound, most have "A/B" or "Multi-Zone" now. If you want to upgrade later, you can simply add speakers.

Since you referenced the family, my last advice is make sure the equipment passes the "aesthetics test" with the wife!

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I bought all this "stuff" to enjoy it!
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