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Old 17-08-2009, 23:35   #1
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Surround sound setup - advice needed about what's needed by someone clueless

Could someone advise me on what would be the most cost effective way to get a surround sound system on a budget. I was thinking of an all-in-one system but they all seem to come with DVD players and I'm not sure if I can just replace the supplied DVD player with my own. I've looked around and I'm not sure what my options are as I've seen amps, receivers, speaker sets etc and am at a loss as to what to look for and what connections I need and whether to go for Pro-Logic, Dolby or DTS.


Atm I just have a LG 32" 1080p/24p LCD TV and Sony BDP-S363 Blu-ray DVD player connected via HDMI and using the built-in TV speakers - ideally I think I'd want a 5.1 system but it would be handy if I could use wireless rear speakers. I'm thinking of the soundbar suggested below to get me started - can rear speakers be added to it? like the Samsung rear wireless ones?

Cheers




Original post:

I need advice on a decent but cheapish home cinema system as I've never had surround sound before - I think I'd favour a 2.1 or 3.1 system unless it's possible to get wireless rear speakers as I just want better sound than through TV speakers plus I might actually be able to hear speech then.

ATM I have an LG 32" LCD 1080p/24p TV and a Sony BDP-S363 blu-ray player, so I don't want a system that comes with a dvd player.

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Old 19-08-2009, 10:22   #2
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I asked pretty much asked the same thing in a thread the other day and was recommended the Sony HT-FS1 2.1 speaker system.
In the UK you can get it for about £220 online. It's not the cheapest but as it's Sony you know it's more than likely to be good quality.

There aren't that many around that are just the speaker set up as we're both after with no dvd/blu-ray player built in.

Have you tried looking into soundbars? I have a Logic3 TX101 Soundstage with 5.1 simulated which sound great, 2 x optical, 2 x coaxial and 1 x phono inputs. Built in FM radio. £180 from Amazon. I'd keep it but for me and where I live it's too bass heavy even with the sub turned down fully. If that's not a problem for you it might be worth investigating. They do look fantastic too underneath your LCD/Plasma tv.

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Old 19-08-2009, 14:16   #3
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A soundbar sounds like a good idea.
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Old 23-08-2009, 00:41   #4
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Changed first post.
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Old 23-08-2009, 10:33   #5
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I've just checked the rear of my soundbar and no, you can't add any more speakers. The soundbar uses "sound processing technology" to create a full 5.1 experience with the 17 built in speakers (I'm guessing 16 speakers and a sub).
It's a bit hit and miss to be honest. It throws the surround effects out through the sides of the soundbar and in time you come to accept it as behind you. Sometimes it seems to work, sometimes not.
What it does have are 2 x coaxial inputs (my Samsung dvd recorder hooked up to one of those) and 2 x optical inputs (my PS3 and SkyHD box hooked up to these) along with one standard phono input (my pc is hooked up to this). It handles Dolby Digital and DTS.
With an FM radio and 5 music sound equaliser settings it delivers great sound. Music sounds fantastic. Like I stated earlier the problem I have with it is that the subwoofer is too powerful and can be a bit too domineering even with turned down fully (the sub can't be turned off).
I used to have a full 5.1 setup (for about 10 yrs) and when I restructured and redecorated my living room decided to go for less clutter and to be honest I don't miss the full cinema effect and the soundbar does look great, which helps.
It is difficult to get a home cinema set up without a built on disc player like we need unfortunately. If you're on a tight budget, Argos are selling a 3.1 set up (by Alba), one centre speaker, two stereo speakers and a subwoofer that you can connect your equipment to using standard phono inputs for less than £50 which has some good reviews. Have a look at that.
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Old 23-08-2009, 21:16   #6
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Cheers.

I think that soundbar is my best option unless there's any recommendations for an amp and speakers.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:54   #7
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Logic3 TX101 SoundStage
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