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Thread: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

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    TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    Lets imagine I was looking to buy a TV and a Home Cinema System but also wanted to use the 5.1 surround with a computer.
    I'm looking to use a GA-MA785GMT-UD2H motherboard and I suspect that using the HDMI makes things complicated with trying to get the sound out of the Home Cinema system and video through the TV.
    The motherboard also has an optical out. Is that simpler and still supports proper 5.1 sound (not some fake simulated version)
    Do I just need a home cinema system that supports HDMI passthrough along with some daisy chaining standard or other?
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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    Optical out will do the trick

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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    You can just do HDMI cables between PC -> AVR -> TV.

    2 HDMI cables will do the trick and pass the DD or DTS tracks to the AVR for decoding, then the image to the TV for playback.

    Any AVR you buy now should accept and decode the bitstreamed 5.1 signal.

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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    Thanks for the info both of you.
    Is HDMI passthrough pretty much standard these days or is it unsafe to assume the AVR will passthrough when it's not on?
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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    It's a bit hit and miss. I bought an AV Receiver a couple of years ago, and any mention of HDMI brought an instant "here be dragons" response. Some (expensive) receivers could fully decode, but others it was a real minefield. Whether it's different today, I'm not sure, but that was the case fairly recently.

    So maybe, but I wouldn't bank on it.

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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    A 'Home Cinema in a Box' will probably not give you what you need, but a full-blown AV Amp will. You can get them quite cheap now, then add speakers as and when. As for pass-through while the amp is off, I think it's only the higher spec ones that'll do that. It all depends what your budget is...

    I would pay a visit to www.richersounds.co.uk and take a look, or visit a store, tell them what you want to do and they'll probably come up with something to suit your budget.

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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    Yup, AVRs are your best bet for hooking up a number of devices to your TV - as they do all the switching/decoding etc, leaving the TV just to display the picture (i.e. the bit it is good at).

    Can't go far wrong with the Denon range (I've got the 2809, works well - newer ones are even better) but a trip to RicherSounds or SevenOaks Sound and Vision (two retailers I've used and can recommend) will set you on the right path. High end AVRs aren't cheap, but the mid range stuff is getting better every year (the 2312 is probably better than my 2809, the 3312 being the next model up in the current range), so you don't have to spend a fortune anymore

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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    Or you can do it the other way and get the TV to pass through the audio to the AVR. Not all screens will do this, but many do. Sometimes its limited to optical or S/PDIF, but these days it is usually HDMI.

    doing it this way will ensure that even when the AVR is off at the wall you will get sound from the TV. I don't know which sets in particular to go for, but after speaking to some people recently about this I know they exist. they should be able to detect whether the AVR is on or not and disable the internal speakers when not needed.

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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    Main problem with that Funk is if you wall mount the TV, you have all the cables running a longer route than necessary

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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    I guess, but for most people it's not going to be an issue.

    Also it's HDMI, as long as it's not massive distances, what does a slightly longer cable matter?

  13. #11
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    Re: TV's, Home Cinema Systems and HTPC's

    In my particular setup I wouldn't have enough HDMI sockets on the TV, but I've got PS3/360/HTPC/SkyHD running to the Amp, and then a single HDMI out from the amp to the TV. If I was to run the individual devices to the TV I'd need longer cables for them all, rather than running them simply to the AVR that is nearby.

    http://www.davidalee.co.uk/projects/room/P1000281a.JPG (the kit is in the left and right cupboards of the unit under the TV)
    http://www.davidalee.co.uk/projects/room/P1000289a.JPG & http://www.davidalee.co.uk/projects/room/P1000292a.JPG

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