Home Theater/speakers


QUESTION: Hello again

I will go with the Sony stereo.  Thank you.  

As per the Blu ray player I am not sure if any of these do have analogue output -It does not specify or I don't see it.  Would you mind looking at the list of Costco
and see if any of these have it.

If no, could you please refer me to some?   Blue Ray ones.  
And, if you could please tell me what adapter I need?  

Thank you again,   Gabriel

ANSWER: None of those support analog output. The Samsung 57C also does not support any outputs other than HDMI from what I can see (which will potentially make connection impossible).

You would need an adapter like this:
http://www.amazon.com/D3-Digital-Converter-Optical-Toslink/dp/B005K2TXMO/ ("Micca Distributor" is an authorized FiiO dealer via Amazon)

And then you would need to configure the player's output to PCM via S/PDIF, as opposed to Bistream or Legacy Bitstream. The adapter would connect to the player's digital audio output, and then to one of the analog inputs on the Sony receiver. The player would also make an HDMI connection directly to the TV for video. To use the BDP-BX520 as an example, page 30 of it's owner's manual (http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model-home.pl?mdl=BDPBX520&template_id=1®ion_id=1& click "Operating Instructions") explains the process. Given that everything else is Sony, I see no reason to break the trend, and the BX520 looks like a fine candidate as a player for this system. Another advantage to keeping everything "in the family" is that the HDMI features between the player and the TV will likely work without much fuss, whereas mixing and matching brands can sometimes lead to quirks.

Alternately, you could find a Blu-ray player with analog outputs - the easiest example that comes to mind is the Sony PlayStation 3 (note that the PlayStation 4 does not support analog outputs, and the Microsoft Xbox 360 does not play Blu-ray). Many modern players will have become compliant with the analog sunset as part of the licencing requirements to include HDMI, so finding those with analog outputs is harder. Oppo is one such example of an exception, but their hardware is not inexpensive (generally $500+). It would probably be cheaper to just buy an adapter for a modern player.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello again Bob,

Got the TV Sony, Blue Ray Sony and Receiver Sony.  I thought that I could connect my old Diatone DS -503   speakers but some how they don't sound good...They were kept in storage as my wife said they are too big..  
I want some really god speakers maybe like the Sony SS-F7000 4-Way Floor-Standing Speaker (pair)  but SMALLER..

Could you please suggest some around the $400 or $500 price range?  Also does it really  matter 4 ways or 2 ways?  Thank you,   Gabe

ANSWER: Given your budget and aesthetic requirements, Bose is an easy suggestion - I would look at the Acoustimass 3 or 5 systems (the 5 is slightly larger, and offers somewhat more bass extension and imaging/positioning options due to the two-driver satellites). If you need otherwise very small speakers, the problem you will quickly run into is a lack of bass extension; Bose gets "around" this with the Acoustimass module, but many other manufacturers will just suggest you buy a powered subwoofer. I would probably not suggest a powered subwoofer as it's extra configuration and more stuff to plug in, but instead would get small towers or large bookshelves if the Bose speakers don't work for your tastes. Bose does produce such speakers as well (the 201 and 301), but there's also other options from different manufacturers, like from the Polk RTi and Monitor series. Klipsch also makes a number of larger bookshelves and smaller towers, but do note that Klipsch speakers generally use horns as opposed to conventional tweeters, and this does make a difference in how they sound (I'd suggest trying them out in a store before ordering a pair as a result). You may also look at Yamaha, as they produce a number of mid-to-large sized bookshelves, like the NS-6490, and NS-333.

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


I was just given GREAT reviews on Bose small speakers by a close friend who lives out of the US.  He said his daughter connects tiny Bose speakers to her iPhone and it sound like a real party.  I am looking at the one you suggested "easy suggestions"  
Acoustimass® 5 speaker system
Is it 2 sets of speakers or four?  In the picture it looks like they are on top of the other or are they swivel a bit?  
Well, looking again . looks like only 2 speakers.  It does say 4 speaker cables and that is what confused me...
So looks like this is a wired speaker system, right?   
Now I know it is not easy for you but still, if you would have to choose between the above  Bose and the Sony SSF6000  
taking into consideration only the sound, what would you choose please?  Or, what is your gut feeling?  
I am almost there... and thank you very much,    Gabriel

Ah, I can understand the confusion on the Bose system, hopefully this will clarify some:

The Acoustimass 5 system is a stereo set, but each satellite consists of two "cubes" (in Bose-speak); they are essentially two-way satellites (that is, they contain two speaker drivers). They do swivel/rotate at the middle, yes. The advantage of this feature, in principal, is that you have more placement and coverage options with the satellites as opposed to the "fixed" single-driver Acoustimass 3. In practice it may or may not be of significant benefit to your listening experience. The Acoustimass 5 system also offers a somewhat larger and more robust bass module, but if neither of these things seems like a significant selling point to you, the 3 is somewhat simpler to setup and costs less.

The system does require four sets of wires, as is standard for most Bose equipment - you must run one connection from your amplifier's outputs (left and right) to the larger bass box (the "Acoustimass module" in Bose-speak), and then connect the satellites (via another set of wires) to the outputs on the bass box. This is because the filtering and protection circuitry is inside that larger box; the "cubes" themselves are not designed to be plugged straight into an amplifier, and can be damaged by doing so. Bose includes some wire in the box, if I'm not mistaken, but you can also add your own (longer) wires if needed. I wouldn't suggest "splicing" wires if that's the case - just get longer wires for each connection that will cover the entire needed length. The bass module can be treated like a subwoofer in terms of placement - it doesn't need to be up front by the TV and speakers or aimed at your seated position; stick it behind or under furniture, in a corner, etc out of the way and just wire into it.

Given your requirements, the Bose speakers are an easy recommendation over the large Sony towers.


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Questions regarding HTPC integration to home theaters, and general purchasing advice regarding home theater and audio systems, including headphones. Please no car audio or over the top PA systems.


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