Home Theater catch-all

TheGameguru wrote:
Is HDMI 2.1 a desire? That would determine a great deal what you put in between the TV and the Series X

How so? He just got his TV 1-2 years ago so I will ask him the model.
Edit: TV is https://www.lg.com/us/tvs/lg-49UH610... , Looks like I was off on the 1-2 years old.
3 HDMI (HDCP 2.2) ports.

You won't have to worry about HDMI 2.1 since its relatively new and mostly late 2019 and 2020 model TV's have it.

EvilDead wrote:

@Malor - That's more or less how I have my setup now but he isn't the type of person to fuss with parts. He'll just want to set it up and never think about it again.

He'd probably want to look at an HTIB, then. As long as it uses standard components, it will work with the wiring in the walls, and will let him upgrade pieces later if he wants.

What's the general consensus when it comes to choosing which devices to connect to your TV versus your receiver?

For context I have a 2019 Vizio M558 and I'm looking to pick up the Denon AVR-S750H receiver this week. Devices I already have (in descending order of importance) are an Apple TV 4K, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One (launch edition), PS4+VR (launch console, no HDR pass-through with the VR breakout box), and faithful ol' Xbox 360 -- five devices in total. Vizio has 4 HDMI inputs, Denon has 6 HDMI inputs, and both support ARC and CEC.

I was thinking to connect the Apple TV to the receiver, while connecting the game consoles to the TV. With the Apple TV I care most about audio/video quality, while the consoles I'm thinking more about reducing potential input lag.

Or, should I just plug everything into the receiver and route just one HDMI cable to the TV?

Unless your receiver doesn't do passthrough for all the video formats you need, then I can't think of a reason not to run everything into the receiver. It cuts down the number of cables you need to run, reduces or eliminates any potential audio sync issues, and doesn't leave you at the mercy of your TV's ARC capabilities. Not all TVs pass audio signals back the way you'd expect via ARC, and sometimes they introduce audio lag that it's hard to fix.

Also, in my experience, switching inputs on the TV is slower than switching them on the receiver.

Denon has 6 HDMI inputs, and both support ARC and CEC.

eARC or just ARC? eARC is much better.

Malor wrote:
Denon has 6 HDMI inputs, and both support ARC and CEC.

eARC or just ARC? eARC is much better.

The Denon supports eARC, but my Vizio does not.

I'd probably try consoles to TV, using ARC, to see how it comes out. It's my understanding that regular ARC is iffy with many sound sources. eARC, I guess, can just take any bitstream and pass it through to the receiver, but ARC is very limited, and the TV will often have to do internal conversions. You could see all kinds of weird problems. You could also see totally smooth sailing with no visible impairment. It depends on how good the TV is.

The reason to try that first is that video lag is far more noticeable than audio lag. If the TV's audio chip is slow but passes sound correctly, you probably won't notice its lag. But if the Denon's video chip is slow and inserts an extra frame or two, you might very well feel that.

If ARC doesn't fully work, then the first thing to try is to reduce the quality of the sound signal you're sending, say from DTS-HD to just DTS. If that doesn't work, I'd connect anything that's still unhappy to the Denon instead.

If you want everything to just work without fiddling, on the other hand, connecting everything to the Denon is likely to be absolutely smooth sailing. But it might add some video lag.

After about 10 years of service, I think my Onkyo TX-NR414 passed away. It has been serving as my AV Receiver in my home office for the last 4 years, after we bought another more compact receiver for downstairs. It's the hub where my PC, PS4 and Switch connect to.

So I will be looking at an AV receiver replacement. If a scenario is possible without receiver I'm open to suggestions, but I don't know how else I would manage the 3 HDMI inputs + 1 or 2 optical otherwise. Only 2 speakers and no sub connected, and no plans to do so. It needs to be 4K compatible for future proofing when PS5's become available someday.

My first searches seem to indicate that it's also a tough market for receivers right now, with well-reviewed low-budget receivers like the Sony STR-DH590, Denon AVR-S450BT and Yamaha RX-V385BL available nowhere.

Any suggestions would be more than welcome.

Why not a quality soundbar and rely on E-Arc.

TheGameguru wrote:

Why not a quality soundbar and rely on E-Arc.

Thought about that, but I have two perfectly functioning stereo speakers (could sell them I guess), and if I understand correctly that would mean channelling all devices to my monitors first and then routing the sound back outwards to the soundbar? At least if I want to easily switch between PC/PlayStation/Switch/other device.

That would also mean a lot of cable clutter that is now hidden under the desk has to move above-deck, and the only output on my monitor is analog.

edit: found a Sony STR-DH590 in stock for about 330EUR, a budget receiver compatible with all current standards at least. Sound is okay according to most reviews, lacks power but it's for an office room. Any thoughts?

I also looked at used receivers, but those are either too old to be compatible with 4K or the people selling demand way too much.

dejanzie wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Why not a quality soundbar and rely on E-Arc.

Thought about that, but I have two perfectly functioning stereo speakers (could sell them I guess), and if I understand correctly that would mean channelling all devices to my monitors first and then routing the sound back outwards to the soundbar? At least if I want to easily switch between PC/PlayStation/Switch/other device.

That would also mean a lot of cable clutter that is now hidden under the desk has to move above-deck, and the only output on my monitor is analog.

edit: found a Sony STR-DH590 in stock for about 330EUR, a budget receiver compatible with all current standards at least. Sound is okay according to most reviews, lacks power but it's for an office room. Any thoughts?

I also looked at used receivers, but those are either too old to be compatible with 4K or the people selling demand way too much.

What's your definition of "lacks power"? It's rated at 90w/channel 20hz-20khz, which is way more than you'd need in an office. Seems like a decent choice, given the limited options at the moment.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
dejanzie wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Why not a quality soundbar and rely on E-Arc.

Thought about that, but I have two perfectly functioning stereo speakers (could sell them I guess), and if I understand correctly that would mean channelling all devices to my monitors first and then routing the sound back outwards to the soundbar? At least if I want to easily switch between PC/PlayStation/Switch/other device.

That would also mean a lot of cable clutter that is now hidden under the desk has to move above-deck, and the only output on my monitor is analog.

edit: found a Sony STR-DH590 in stock for about 330EUR, a budget receiver compatible with all current standards at least. Sound is okay according to most reviews, lacks power but it's for an office room. Any thoughts?

I also looked at used receivers, but those are either too old to be compatible with 4K or the people selling demand way too much.

What's your definition of "lacks power"? It's rated at 90w/channel 20hz-20khz, which is way more than you'd need in an office. Seems like a decent choice, given the limited options at the moment.

Yeah I meant it like that : lack of power is a good thing as it means more affordable.

Turns out a new low range Sony receiver produces better sound than a 10 year old mid-range Onkyo! Yay! Compatibility with the latest standards is just a bonus, for when PS5's finally become available.

I've got a Panasonic Viera ZT60 plasma that I don't plan on replacing until it dies (so no HDR or 4K for me, yet), which does have ARC but not HDMI 2.1, and hooked up to it is a Series X. I'd like to get some better sound from it but don't want to bother with a 5.1 or 7.1 system at this stage. So, looking to do a 2.1 soundbar.

I am looking for something budget friendly to plop on my Christmas list. Is anything under $300 worth it? I want better sound, but don't need top end sound. Just something simple to get better sound.

I got a second hand Yamaha YAS-106 for our little apartment for a measly 50€. It's been discontinued, lacks connections and the latest standards, but has good quality sound. Your text to link here...

In other words, go for a decent quality but used model ?

dejanzie wrote:

I got a second hand Yamaha YAS-106 for our little apartment for a measly 50€. It's been discontinued, lacks connections and the latest standards, but has good quality sound. Your text to link here...

In other words, go for a decent quality but used model ?

Nice. I was looking into one of the discontinued Bose models for like $150. I think I like this Yamaha even more.

EDIT: Removed the want/need for a sub on the back porch.
EDIT 2: I don't need a receiver in it, I don't listen to the radio or XM/Sirius

I posted this a year+ ago. I ended up keeping my Denon AVR-3806 downstairs and bought a pair of these Polk Audio Atrium 8 speakers for the deck.

bepnewt wrote:

I mentioned a bit ago that we are having a back patio poured and covered. I was waffling on how I want to have music out there but have finally decided for sure what I want. This is what I am looking at getting:

Living Room
- Amp
- Sub

Back Patio
- 1 Pair Wired Outdoor Speakers
- Decent speaker wire for these speakers

I already have 4 speakers wired in the living room and a center speaker upstairs I can bring downstairs.

I won't ever do any Atmos stuff, so I think I'm ok with a 7.2 7.1 amp. I'm not getting a sub for out back ever. right now, but I want the .2 just in case.

For the Amp, these are the must haves:
- 7.2 w/2 zones (5.1 and 2.1) 7.1 w/2 zones (5.1 and 2.0)
- Bluetooth
- 4 x HDMI In

These are things that would be nice, but not required:
- 2 HDMI Out
- 9.2 9.1, dual zone
- The ability to output the same video/audio to both zones
- Control via smart phone

As far as the amp goes, I'm worried that I will find what I think is a "good deal" (for instance, this factory refurb Denon ) and buy it, then find out that my new amp doesn't have Feature X or Y that any decent new(ish) amp should have. Or that the amp is just not a good one but has good reviews because people like me who don't know much don't know any better.

1) What features should I look for that a n00b like myself wouldn't think of?

2) Are there any brands (models, etc.) I should avoid?

3) Any brands/models you recommend?

I'm no audiophile and don't need perfection. I don't need a living room that sounds like a movie theatre. I just want decent sound from components that should last for years.

-BEP

I _finally_ got the wiring for those deck speakers pulled down to the living room a couple months ago and ran into a problem. I didn't realize when I bought the Denon that the other zones were pre-amp. I'd been waffling on what to do about it and was just about to ask you guys what amp I needed to get to power the second zone (porch) when the Denon started having an issue. Now, when something loud happens (music or from an A/V input), it goes into "Protect Mode". Instead of trying to diagnose it, I'm going to bite the bullet and get a new AV amp. I'll move the old Denon upstairs and diagnose it there.

Denon, Onkyo, and Yahama were mentioned in response to my original post (that I quoted).

Has anything changed in the last 15 months that I need to know? Is there a specific model or sale right now that I should look at?

-BEP

bepnewt wrote:

Has anything changed in the last 15 months that I need to know? Is there a specific model or sale right now that I should look at?

Costco has this Denon for $449. Is there anything you can see that is bad about it?

EDIT: Damn, doesn't seem to be dual-zone.
EDIT2: Denon's site shows it when filtering to 2-zone systems. This bears more investigation.
EDIT3: Looks like the last 2 surround speakers are assignable to a second zone.

Final Edit: I decided to buy it. If something comes up, I can return it.

-BEP

I recently upgraded my TV soundbar and I was thinking about selling the old one, but it's probably not worth that much at this point.

Have any of y'all ever used a soundbar as your PC speakers?

My bookshelf speakers recently died, but I was wondering if it might sound weird having the soundbar mounted behind my desk.

The distance from the back of the monitor to my wall is about 18 inches, and I'd have to stick it above the monitors, so the sound would come from there instead of on either side of my monitor where my bookshelf speakers were.

Might not be worth the effort, but was curious about a potential repurposing.

It *might* be possible to put on the desk itself, under the monitors... But then anything on the desk could block the sound too, I suppose.

I'm using my oldest soundbar as my PC's speakers. I have it mounted in front of my desk a little above my head. The sub is in a recess in the wall right above it. It sounds decent to me for tunes. I don't play games with the speakers much, I'm usually wearing headphones so I don't know how bad it would be playing games that have directional sound, etc.

I have a Polk soundbar that may become available soon that I might put there instead and take this Sony to my wife's office for her TV.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/F7FaRkN.png)

The damned thing keeps turning itself off if there is no signal coming to it. I want it to stay on until I turn it off. I checked and there is no option to stop it from turning itself off.

I think I'm going to write an app that sends a short sound signal to the speakers every once in a while to see if that keeps them "awake".

-BEP

How do you have that mounted? How far behind your monitors is it, out of curiosity? (Re: does it sound weird having PC sound come from behind the monitors?)

It occurred to me I could try something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...

(A universal tabletop TV stand with some bracket hooks.)

Then it would sit above the monitors.

And who knows, if I decide to use an OLED TV later as a monitor, could use this stand for that instead.

It's hanging on 2 screws that are screwed into the studs. The back of the soundbar has slots for hanging on the screws. It sounds fine for music. It probably doesn't work well for games if you care about hearing someone walking up from behind. I don't know if it has any spatial ability to make it seem like a 5.1 setup. I think my Polk soundbar may try to emulate spatial sound - I'll check soon.

One problem with it being where it is is when I raise the standing desk. If I don't move them, the monitor arms can knock it off the wall. This is an earlier pic:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/JKvWSvA.jpg)

I like that second link of yours. I may have to do that with the Polk soundbar. I don't recall it having a built-in way to hang it.

-BEP

bepnewt wrote:

One problem with it being where it is is when I raise the standing desk. If I don't move them, the monitor arms can knock it off the wall.

This is something I was wrangling too. That's why I thought maybe the tabletop stand would work.

Guess we'll see!

Heads up on using a soundbar for your PC: I used a soundbar on mine a couple years back and ran into two distinct issues, one of which bepnewt already described:

- The soundbar would "sleep" almost immediately if there was no audio signal routed to it. On my particular model (some sub-$50USD model from amzn), it would "wake up" when a signal was detected, however there would be a perceptible 0.5-1sec delay. This was most noticeable when on a Zoom call, because I would be talking for awhile, then when someone on call would respond, I would miss the first few moments of what they said. This was annoying, and kind of related to that...

- Even though it was a cheap soundbar, it did seem to perform some kind of signal processing, and again it was just enough processing that it would produce a noticeable sync issue with any video I would watch. Just barely perceptible, but enough that eventually I removed the soundbar from my PC workstation.

Overall, using a soundbar with my PC was serviceable at the time, but otherwise I learned that purpose-built computer speakers or component speakers combined with a cheap USB audio adapter delivered much better results. This also is dependent on your model soundbar -- I'd try it out for a little while on your desk before doing some dedicated mounting solution.

T-Prime wrote:

Overall, using a soundbar with my PC was serviceable at the time, but otherwise I learned that purpose-built computer speakers or component speakers combined with a cheap USB audio adapter delivered much better results. This also is dependent on your model soundbar -- I'd try it out for a little while on your desk before doing some dedicated mounting solution.

That's a good point/thing to test, thanks!

If my bookshelf speakers hadn't died, I probably wouldn't bother. But since they did...

Good call on the autosleep thing.

I was able to lookup how to disable that on my Vizio soundbar even though it wasn't in the manual.

Sync seems decent, tested it with some videos. Edit: Got the optical working!

Like y'all mentioned, I do think it sounds pretty good for music!

It's only a 2.1 soundbar, but I am curious if it'll be weird for gaming since I'm not quite "centered" to where the speaker is.

Nice! Happy to have helped!