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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 25606 26-Aug-2008 23:47
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Hi All,

Love this site by the way, i've looked through lots of threads and answred question for myself plently of times but thought i would ask for some help this time.

I've just built a HTPC and i'm loving it. First and foremost i was looking at storage solutions because i make a lot of films and like lots of people i have heaps of movies, music and pictures but i figured it was time to stop kicking over my external drives and build one.

My motherboard has a HDMI output and High Def 8 channel TRM 3.5mm jacks. So...... i currently have media centre booting onto my LCD through HDMI - question is, i dont know what kind of speaker system to start saving for. I can output via HDMI so i could buy a home theatre setup, either 5.1 or 7.1 and a receiver with in and out HDMI; in through the HTPC out to the LCD or i can look for speakers with TRM 3.5mm connecters and just do it that way.

the mother board means there is no loss in quality whether i output via HDMI or the audio jacks - there both HiDEF - so can i get decent speakers this way or do i have to go the receiver and HDMI in/out option?

What speakers can i consider and therefore which output from my HTPC?


Would love some guidance on this because im trying to futureproof.
Cheers for reading this far

Matt H

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  Reply # 160027 27-Aug-2008 06:14
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Budget?







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 160069 27-Aug-2008 09:44
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Hello mate,

No budget limits at this stage - i would rather understand the options and then weigh up the benefits and losses. I usually find that the most expensive things just turns out to be a flagship model and that something cheaper is usually the reality.

cheers

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 160076 27-Aug-2008 10:10
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are you planning on incorporating additional components at a later stage?

e.g. MySKY HDI, Standalone Blu-ray player etc?

if "yes" then I would definately recommend getting a home theatre amp and some decent speakers.  There are a bunch of options here - denon, onkyo, yamaha, sony etc - it depends on what features you want and how much you want to spend. 

Same for speakers, with the added proviso that speakers will vary more in different size/shape rooms and different people will prefer different speakers - some like crisp, clear sound while others like smooth, mellow sounds.

Luckily there seem to be a lot of specials around at the moment.  Eastern HiFi have a Polk Audio 5.1 speaker set on their front page for $999 right now which they say is worth $2000.  It might be a really good deal - $2000 should normally get you a "resonable" set of speakers.

If you are in auckland then I would recommend going to visit some of the hifi stores - eastern hifi, smiths sound, stereo world (dominion road).  Take a favourite CD with you and get them to drop it in a player in their sound rooms and find out what you like.  Buy a couple of hifi mags and read some reviews and feature comparisons then go back and listen again.

you're probably never going to get good amplified sound out of a HTPC directly (usually you need amplified speakers), but depending on your listening preferences you might get something that is acceptable to you.




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 160094 27-Aug-2008 11:14
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Much obliged Regs,
Plenty of food for thought.

Cheers

Matt H

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  Reply # 160098 27-Aug-2008 11:43
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Second what Regs has said.

Would add that if you can go for full size speakers ie floor standers for the fronts at least. Everyone seems to be into little speakers these days.

I know I am going to get flamed for this but I am sorry I have not heard one set of satellite speakers that sounds a good as a setup with full size speakers. Some setups do an commendable job of trying to present the full range of sound but at the end of the day you just can’t squeeze a speaker into a tiny box and expect it to sound great.

If you don’t have the room or have conditions imposed by others (wife) then by all means get what you can but if you can go full size. Not saying huge just not tiny.

Also do not underestimate the importance of the centre speaker. In home threater it does the lions share of the work so needs to be powerful enough to take centre stage. I have heard many setups where the centre speaker just cannot keep up with the rest of the system.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 160113 27-Aug-2008 12:30
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Nety: Second what Regs has said.

Would add that if you can go for full size speakers ie floor standers for the fronts at least. Everyone seems to be into little speakers these days.

I know I am going to get flamed for this but I am sorry I have not heard one set of satellite speakers that sounds a good as a setup with full size speakers. Some setups do an commendable job of trying to present the full range of sound but at the end of the day you just can’t squeeze a speaker into a tiny box and expect it to sound great.


I have the KEF Egg speakers  which are "little" speakers.  Nety's right - they are never going to be as good as a set of full size speakers, but they sound pretty good to me and are unbotrusive in the room which was important for me.

My KEF Eggs: http://www.easternhifi.co.nz/default,837,kht20052.sm

Remember though that 'you get what you pay for' in a lot of ways.  My KEF Eggs do sound a hell of a lot better than some full size speaker systems.

Also, if you go for small speakers then you need to pay a lot more attention to tuning the outputs and crossover frequencies as the sub becomes more important for overall sound reproduction due to the smaller speakers lacking the lower ranges.  If you just stick in a set of small speakers and call them installed then you are likely to be disappointed with the results.  (same could be said for larger speakers, but the difference isnt likely to be as noticable)

another important point - make sure the AMP can drive the speakers too!  no point spending $2000-$10,000 on speakers and then attaching them to an underpowered cheap amp!




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