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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got to the point, where I know that my speaker system (SoundOn WHT-510) has fried both regular 2 channel inputs. The third input type is fine though - 5.1 (6 channel RCA in).

What I have:

- DTV H23 HD - HDMI, optical and digital coax outs

- DVD - HDMI and digital coax outs

- Mitsubishi WD60C9 DLP TV - 3 HDMI ins, 1 digital coax out (doesn't pass the audio other than HDTV antenna)

- SoundOn WHT-510 - 6 channel (5.1) RCA ins

- Pair of bar-ceiling mounted AudioSource AS6C 6-Inch speakers

What I need:
Option 1: non-amplified surround processor that would have optical/digital coax ins and 6 channel 5.1 RCA outs. I have looked at used: Technics SH-AC500D, Marantz DP870, Sony DSP-EP9ES, Denon AVD-2000
Option 2: AV receiver that would have 6 channel 5.1 RCA pre-outs and possibly 2 channel amplified outs - I have zero info on these

Both options are cheap/budget/used type.

What I would like:

- Receiver that DTV remote can be programmed to operate

- to possibly get to use 2 ceiling speakers

- to have unit supporting DTS and DPL2x

- to possibly be able to do complete (video and audio) switching at the receiver

What I don't need:

- Any radio features because of separate whole house sound system

What I don't know:

- if there are any amplified units for option #1 that would work for me

- if HDMI switching receivers are affordable enough for me. I would need 3/1 HDMI

- if that's not an option, should I still run video signal through receiver, even if it's component

- if 2 ceiling speakers I have are good enough for this system

- if there are any units with built-in DVD (just to limit clutter, non-issue really)

- if digital coax/optical has to be run together with HDMI from source to AV receiver or just when composite video is used

- can AV receiver use digital source and at the same time: a) decode it to 5.1 pre-outs and b) aplify it to 2 ceiling speakers - so I can use both the speaker system and 2 ceiling speakers effectively

- how important is DTS and DPL2x since surround processors I found so far don't support it?

- ton of other stuff I missed



Please be gentle. I am still new with AV and just need good advice. I am looking for units that can be obtained fairy cheap off ebay or craigs unless they are like $100 new



And if something I have mentioned doesn't make sense, or there is better way to do it, please point it out.


Thanks!
 

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Your doing this in reverse. Go to craigslist, and find all the 7.1 receivers for around $100. Then look each of them up on the web and choose one. Download the manuals, read threads and feedback about each unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's funny you are saying that, cos that's what I have been doing this evening


I have browsed through TON of them so far, but no definite gems found.


Now, to save me some time:


1. For sound processors, are there any amplified units that have 5.1 pre-outs? I would imagine that would be like AV receiver but no V and no radio.

2. 7.1 vs 5.1? Is HDMI switching even in my $1xx range? Or should I just stick to using AV receiver for audio?

3. I would really like to have a unit that does DD and DPL2x. Was there a certain year they popped out? Any specific model advice? Are there any processors that do DTS or am I stuck to AV receiver?

4. Is including the 2 ceiling speakers in my system making any sense? Anyone running similar setup? How would I set them up?
 

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1. No idea what you mean. There are a number of receivers with pre outs. Receiver by definition have tuners. There's been almost no boxes made with processing AND amplification and no tuner. Nothing recent (I think the Yamaha DSP-1 might match your idea if I understand it.)


2. Again not sure what you mean. A receiver is the cheapest option for processing even if you don't use it's amplifiers. Processors without amps are generally pretty expensive.


3. No idea what year they came out. DPL II has probably been around since at least 2000. DD came out about the time DVD players came out (so been around quite some time.)


4. Not clear what you want. If you want a separate amplified zone, many receivers support that. Or you could use an impedance matching speaker box if these ceiling speakers are in addition to a normal 5.1 speaker setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, I will try to be more specific.


1. At first, I was considering just non-amplified sound processors, like Technics SH-AC500D. Then, I am pretty sure I have seen some amplified versions too. So, the question is, are there any amplified sound processors with 5.1 pre-outs?


2. Since I am trying to go cheap, my $$ scale from cheapest to most expensive looks like this: sound processor -> 5.1 AV receiver -> 7.1 AV receiver -> 7.1 AV receiver with HDMI inputs. Then, throw my 5.1 pre out requirement and my question of the affordability of the most expensive option.


2a) I am an AV newbie - is having HDMI switching in the receiver something good other than for convenience? Or should I just dump the idea and run HDMI video sources to TV and audio sources to AV receiver?


3. Thanks for clarifying DTS thing. I think that's one of the sane requirements I have made for the new unit.


4. Here how the setup would look like:

TV is behind the bar and sits on ~50in tall corner shelf. Front speakers sit on both sides of the TV. Center speaker and subwoofer sit under TV on dedicated shelf space.

There is a bar counter in front of TV and 2 ceiling speakers are directly above the counter. Another 10 ft behind the bar counter, there is large sitting area with 2 surround speakers behind it.


Here is a drawing:

red - L,R, Ls, Rs (amplified through SoundOn unit)

green - center and sub (amplified through SoundOn unit)

blue - ceiling speakers (not amplified)



So, I am debating if the ceiling speakers would do any good in this setup. If yes, then I need either an amplified sound processor with 5.1 pre outs or an AV unit.


How would you connect them with 5.1 system and how with 7.1?
 

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1. Many, if you consider audio video receivers.

2 ?

2a HDMI carries lossless audio. Also switching everything through a receiver makes switching easier, IMO. It's the solution I prefer

4. The ceiling speakers would only be useful for playing music from, say when entertaining or something. In that case, I would consider something as simple as an iimpedance matching speaker box, that let's you switch them on or off as desired. Or, you could use a 7.1 receiver with a zone output, which would allow the unused rear surround channel amps to be used to power the ceiling speakers.
 
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