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What Surround Sound System To Get, Want To Use Hdmi.


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#1 RacerTim

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:07 AM

I'm looking for a good surround sound system to get for under $400. I have an xbox with an HDMI output on it and would like to use that, but most of the systems I have found supposedly don't accept audio through HDMI. Can anyone confirm this? The other option is to use the digital out and component out from the xbox, but I don't really want to do that unless I have to.

#2 s2man

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 05:18 PM

What do you want out of the system? Is it just for gaming? Or is it to be your main hifi aswell? You want speakers in that budget aswell?

If you only want the amp for that price, get the new Onkyo 605 AV receiver. Its the absolute buissiness mate. Does very good pure hifi, has hdmi switching, and will output 1080p no problem. Also 7.1 channel. You'll need to get speakers seperate mind you, but this amp has won many awards this year. Best bang for buck amp in its price range by a mile.

I currently run its big brother, the 705. 7 x 175 watts, its a monster. And I love it.

#3 twistedsymphony

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 04:25 PM

If you're talking a COMPLETE system speakers and all... tou wont get a good surround sound system for $400, at that price range HDMI audio is worthless, not to mention I doubt you'll be able even find one that support it.

How much did you pay for your HDTV? ... take that number and double it and then come back and ask what to buy for sound quality that is comparable to your picture.

#4 sp3cialk

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 05:31 PM

QUOTE(twistedsymphony @ Dec 17 2007, 11:01 AM) View Post

How much did you pay for your HDTV? ... take that number and double it and then come back and ask what to buy for sound quality that is comparable to your picture.


Oh yea... Then I don't even wanna think what a new system would cost... lol.. I would say in the BOSE price range... lol

#5 wuzup101

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 07:07 PM

My honest advice would be to go on e-bay and look for a factory re manufactured receiver from Harmon audio (IE: the manufacturer of Harmon Kardon receivers). Their AVR 347 will do what you want it to do. They generally sell in the $300 ballpark on e-bay. Go to frys.com and order a pair of Polk R50's ($80/each with shipping) and be happy with a decent 2.0 setup with a lot of room for future upgrades. When you get a bit more money, get a matching polk center channel, and a sub. When you get more money after that, get a pair of surrounds, etc... A quality 2.0 system IMHO is better than a crappy 5.1 system.

Know that for $400, you aren't going to even get a HTIB with audio processing over HDMI. You are pretty much lucky to get HDMI pass through at that price. The AVR 347 will not only give you audio processing, but it also features a DCDi Faroudja video processing chip for upconversion. It will also pass a true 1080p signal. 7.1 channel amp @ 55w per channel... and has pre-outs if you ever want to go that rout. I would spend the money on it and a pair of decent towers like the polk's now... then figure in $100 or so for the matching polk center... probably a bit less than that for a pair of bookshelf surrounds, and maybe $200-500 down the road for a decent sub (depending on what you want of course).

#6 SphtKr76

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 05:49 AM

Unless you have a stand alone HD DVD or Blu Ray player, then HDMI audio really does you no good, other than you only have to run one cable. The reason is this:Video games use Dolby Digital surround, which can be passed just fine over optical cables. HDMI audio really comes into play when using Dolby Digital Plus, or Dolby True HD. Go buy yourself an Onkyo HTIB for $400 and prepare to be surprised.......

#7 twistedsymphony

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:23 PM

QUOTE(sp3cialk @ Dec 17 2007, 12:07 PM) View Post

Oh yea... Then I don't even wanna think what a new system would cost... lol.. I would say in the BOSE price range... lol

Bose blows ass... They have cheap crappy small paper drivers and then millions spent in R&D to make such crappy speakers sound decent, and they do a good job... if they actually charged what their systems were worth they would make great low end equipment. I can tell you that their $2000 flagship 901s cost them less than $30 to manufacture even after labor costs and overhead (I know because I know several current and former Bose engineers).

When you buy Bose you're pretty much funding R&D into how to make the cheapest speakers possible sound passable. It's a great business strategy... but that's about it


QUOTE(wuzup101 @ Dec 17 2007, 01:43 PM) View Post

My honest advice would be to go on e-bay and look for a factory re manufactured receiver from Harmon audio (IE: the manufacturer of Harmon Kardon receivers). Their AVR 347 will do what you want it to do. They generally sell in the $300 ballpark on e-bay. Go to frys.com and order a pair of Polk R50's ($80/each with shipping) and be happy with a decent 2.0 setup with a lot of room for future upgrades. When you get a bit more money, get a matching polk center channel, and a sub. When you get more money after that, get a pair of surrounds, etc... A quality 2.0 system IMHO is better than a crappy 5.1 system.

Know that for $400, you aren't going to even get a HTIB with audio processing over HDMI. You are pretty much lucky to get HDMI pass through at that price. The AVR 347 will not only give you audio processing, but it also features a DCDi Faroudja video processing chip for upconversion. It will also pass a true 1080p signal. 7.1 channel amp @ 55w per channel... and has pre-outs if you ever want to go that rout. I would spend the money on it and a pair of decent towers like the polk's now... then figure in $100 or so for the matching polk center... probably a bit less than that for a pair of bookshelf surrounds, and maybe $200-500 down the road for a decent sub (depending on what you want of course).

^this is the best advice so far in this thread... I completely agree.

I built my own system by just getting a nice receiver and some front speakers, then I added rears, then a center then a Sub... etc. etc. etc.

The problem with getting a refurb receiver with goals of HDMI is that HDMI 1.3a is so new that most refurb units are only 1.2 at this point. That works for Xbox 360 but if you want the best support for Blu-ray or HD-DVD in the future then you need to go with something that supports 1.3a since that's the final HDMI spec.

Another good place to get refurb units is http://www.accessories4less.com/ I've bought several pieces of equipment there and always had great results. one unit was damaged in shipping (a CD changer that had the tray come lose inside and jam the drawer) and they replaced it quickly and easily without question and at no cost to me. They're an "official" refurb reseller for most if not all of the brands they carry so it's not like some guy in his garage fixing up broken units.

QUOTE(SphtKr76 @ Dec 18 2007, 12:25 AM) View Post

Unless you have a stand alone HD DVD or Blu Ray player, then HDMI audio really does you no good, other than you only have to run one cable. The reason is this:Video games use Dolby Digital surround, which can be passed just fine over optical cables. HDMI audio really comes into play when using Dolby Digital Plus, or Dolby True HD. Go buy yourself an Onkyo HTIB for $400 and prepare to be surprised.......


unless you live in an 8x8 cube HTIB systems really blow... and if you do live in a cube then they're only really good for spatial awareness when gaming. They WILL impress most people in the same way an 82 Ford Escort might impress someone who's never seen a car before, that is to say if you've never owned a system with a sub woofer and rear speakers and the only audio you've had for movies and games are the built in TV speakers then of course they'll impress.

If all you want is to hear someone walking up behind you when playing Halo 3 and you live in a small room then a HTIB system is your cheapest solution... If you want HDMI audio so that you can play SACDs and Blu-Ray in 7.1 surround then save your pennies and build your system in steps as wuzup101 suggested.

#8 SphtKr76

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 12:41 AM

I disagree totally with the need to spend $4000-$5000 on a speaker system. I currently run just an Onkyo HT-S790 in my theater area (16*19) and it sounds very good. Of course I would love to spend more, but I have already spent like 10k in electronics and furniture, so another 5k for audio just ain't gonna happen for along time. To each his own I suppose.......

#9 SphtKr76

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 01:10 AM

How is this for a less than 5k sound system Twisted? Just want a second opinion as this is the stuff I have been eyeballing...


Polk RC85i in walls----about $125 eachx7====$875

Polk psw404 subwoofer---$300x1

Onkyo TX=SR705 AVR----$750x1


$1925 total.

Whatcha think?




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