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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

I am hoping I can pick your brains and get some information on the best possible surround sound solution for my set up.

This is my current set up.

TV - LG 42LB650V

HDMI1 - Sky Plus Box
HDMI2 - PS4
HDMI3 - Home Theatre PC

The PC currently outputs Audio via HDMI, but has capacity for Optical Out as well as 8.1 surround sound.

I am now thinking of purchasing a surround sound system for my lounge, capable of being used by all of the devices.

The problem is, I am not sure of the best way of achieving this. My TV also has an Optical Out port - are there models on the market that will let me connect the TV directly to an external speaker system? I imagine that would be the most efficient way of achieving what I want.

It would also be good to have a unit that would allow me to AirPlay Music from various iOS devices.

Thanks in advance

Regards
Jon
 

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What you need is a A/V Receiver and the 6 speakers that make up a 5.1 system. All your input devices would connect to the AVR with HDMI cables, and one HDMI cable would come out of the AVR to your TV. To hear audio from your smart TV's apps, you would probably also need to run a digital audio cable from your TV to your AVR. For an AVR, I'd recommend Denon or Yamaha. You can go to the Audio/Receivers, Amps subforum to see what people think and for advice. For speakers, you might look at the Audio/Speakers subforum. I do not recommend a Home Theater In A Box as the speakers are often not very good & the components when sold separately are often cheaper (not that I would buy those speaker sets).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. I always felt the home cinema systems were just DVD players with big speakers.

Are there any speaker brands you'd recommend?

Regards
 

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You want to buy speakers from a speaker manufacturer, except Bose. A lot will depend on your budget and your ears. I've purchased entry level speakers from Klipsch, PSB, B&W, NHT, Scandyna, Emotiva and Chane. I found them all very good in their own ways. I also buy used which affords a lot of value. I can recommend all the above companies Bose because you normally get what you pay for. With Bose it's not always the case.
 

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Thanks for the response. I always felt the home cinema systems were just DVD players with big speakers.

Are there any speaker brands you'd recommend?

Regards
The AVR is like the Grand Central Station of a home theatre system. It amplifies the audio and sends it out to the appropriate speakers via speaker wires, while passing the video stream on to your TV or projector. In the special case of the subwoofer speaker (the .1 in 5.1) the AVR sends an unamplified or passive signal which is amplified by the subwoofer's own power. Many of the newer AVR's are network connectable and will do Airplay and work with iOs devices.

As far as speakers, I would lean towards speakers that are manufactured by companies that are primarily in the speaker business. If you watch a lot of movies & tv, the 2 most important speakers are the subwoofer & center speaker, and they do not have to be made by the same manufacturer (Some manufacturers are known for their subwoofers). I would suggest finding a center speaker you like and getting the left & right speakers to match. The rear or surround sound speakers do not have to be anything special as they generally only provide ambient sound, train whistles, crowd noises etc.
 
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