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Home Theater/built in speakers


I moved into a townhouse with built in speakers. There are wires 4 of them coming out of the wall behind the tv. I also have a cable box and vcr. How can I connect the speakers as easily and cheap as possible. Do I need a receiver or us some of the equipment I have.
I am a very very novice about this subject. Thanks

The wires you're seeing are almost certainly connecting passive speakers (if you have volume controls installed in the walls, this may not be the case, and I would suggest contacting a local installer to check the system out (volume controls may simply be passive attenuators, or they may be part of a more complex digital system that requires specialized head-end equipment (and you will cause a lot of damage if you connect an amplifier there)), which means an amplifier will be required to use the installed speakers.

Assuming all you have is speakers and wires (and the wires are probably red, white, blue, and black, or something similar to that), you can just connect an amplifier with enough output channels appropriate to the speakers. If a pair of speakers, you only need a stereo device; if multiple speakers in the same room, check if they're laid out for surround sound (some will be at the front of the room (2-3) and some will be at the back of the room (2-4)), or if they're laid out for multi-room audio (two speakers in a few different rooms). If they're set-up for surround, a surround sound receiver is appropriate; if they're set-up for multiroom, you can get a multi-zone stereo receiver.

If this seems too complicated (or you're uncertain about any of the above), I'd suggest contacting an installer (or if the previous owner/tenant has information about what was specifically installed, and you can relay that to me).

I'll hold off on suggesting specific equipment until we know more about what we're connecting, but I would estimate that (unless you're dealing with a digital system, like A-Bus) you shouldn't need to spend more than $500 on additional hardware.


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