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Surround sound systems, HDMI, take on it after messing with them

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Author Topic: Surround sound systems, HDMI, take on it after messing with them  (Read 82 times)

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« on: October 13, 2008, 02:17:41 pm »

In my my new condo, I have two "entertainment centers".

One is downstairs in the den, the other is in the bedroom.

For the den, I utilized my existing 37" flat panel set, but the surround receiver was apparently damaged in the small office fire I had several months ago (I was living above my office in an apartment), due to the arcing of the I went over to PC Richards after doing some research, planning to get a "surround system in a box" which includes everything...and the very knowlegable and patient salesman suggested I simply replace the receiver, rather than get a whole new system which included everything as well as a "wireless" module for the rear speakers (which still require wires run to the "module" that the rear speakers plug into).

I bought an Onkyo 505 receiver..the Onkyo line is quite extensive, with great quality and amazing sound..and the model I got, from last year, on clearance, is almost the same as the newest model which goes for close to $500...I paid $175. I hooked up my existing speakers, and then realized to calibrate the system with the included set up microphone which balances out speakers based on distance and size..I needed a total of 7 speakers. In summary, the system is relatively easy to set up, the sound quality is great, and the automated setup/balancing routine makes it a snap.

For the upstairs system, I purchased a 50" Plasma HDTV, and I decided to purchase a "surround sound system in a box" because the receiver includes the DVD and FM radio, so its only one component, sitting on the fireplace mantel rather than 2 or 3. Neater, cleaner, less space taken up..I hooked it up, along with the included speakers...but was disappointed at the sound quality and even more disappointed at the lack of "modes"..the Onkyo has about a dozen listening modes which changes which speakers do important thing for me is playing FM music through all 7 speakers, for a truly amazing surround effect...the boxed system only played it through the main speakers. I returned it after a day or two...and got another Onkyo...sure, I now need to use a separate DVD player, but I can stack them or get a small shelf unit. You cannot beat the's like night and day.

A funny thing..when I returned the boxed system, I realized that my favorite **** DVD was still inside the DVD player. I went back to PC Richards, found the salesman, and explained my predicament. He chuckled and said the unit is somewhere in the store, he would find it after he was done with his customer...I walked around and found it in the pile with the rest of the unsold units on the showroom floor. I opened the box, took out the receiver, plugged it into an outlet where the display units were, and popped open the tray. There was my DVD! LOL..if I didnt get it back, the next guy and maybe his kids, would have been rather surprised...

A word about cannot appreciate the video quality of a High Definition TV; nor will you get Dolby Surround Sound, if your TV and Surround receiver are connected to your Cable receiver or Satellite Box with regular coax cable or even the RCA style AV cords. You must connect use either Red/Green/Blue Component cable PLUS the audio through preferrably a digital/optical cable, OR an HDMI cable which does both video and audio, better than any other method. Most TVs and surround receivers and DVD players have an HDMI hookup or at least the component cable output (which is a close second to HDMI). Any TV or DVD or receiver that has only the RCA audio/video outputs should be used as a doorstop. Nowadays, the stuff is too inexpensive, and the technology and visual/audio effect so good, that its pointless to use the old stuff.

The satellite installers used regular coax when they set me up in my new condo...I wonder how many people are watching standard definition TVon their High Definition sets and listening to non surround sound because of cabling issues.

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