If you can afford it, go for an AV amp and separates.
I can highly recommend Sony STRDH810 Black | AV Receiver | Richer Sounds as I have the 800 version and its great.
I have just moved in to my new flat, have everything set up but am now interested in a surround sound system. Has anyone got any advice on what to buy/not to buy??
ive got that exact version and its a good amp couple of very minor niggles (i renamed the inputs and it forgot the names grr) the other ones are just hdmi/pc junk (if i plug pc to amp to tv if i ever turn off the amp or tv it triggers res changes and then it refuses to play dvd/blueray till i logoff and back on again) and if i plug pc-tv-amp it wont pass dts/blueray audio so i get films with no sound (so i bought a ps3 to play films). Other than that its a good amp. The problem then comes in adding speakers and that can get expensive so add another 2-300 for decent speakers (i cheated slightly i dont have a sub and while i have good front/centre speakers the rears are tiny)
as i have a sony tv/ps3 as well i can turn it all on from the ps3 and amp and tv xome on on right channel and when i turn the tv off it turns the amp of (which can also be annoying if im using it as a radio)
What's your budget?
Tip 1 : Expensive cables are a waste of money!
Tip 2: Use trunking to cover the cabling.
Tip 3: Drill them into the walls rather than using the stands.
Reason for those 2 tips, 1st one is simply so you dont trip over them at any point in your room, 2nd one is so they are out of reach of little hands (friends children/your own children)
Just set myself up a Sony STRDH510 Black from Richer (was reduced as eol) superb system has hdmi and optical inputs only issue i have is getting video from the composites on the amp. Using some Yamaha speakers that i also got from Richer 12 mths ago, if you can find them cheaper online they will price match.
Budget could be stretched to about £250, Doesnt have to be top of the range....but then again I dont want the worst!
With speakers if possible
Look for second hand stuff!
As it happens I have an old (2005ish) Denon AVR500 5.1 thing doing nothing ....
Look for something like this: Sony HT-SF470 5.1 Channel Surround Sound System HTSF470 B&H
I have the older version, and it does me absolutely fine, 4 HDMI ports in which copes with my 360, PS3, and Virgin box. It occassionally falls out with my Virgin box, but nothing a quick reboot doesn't fix. Gorgeous sound when playing Blu Rays through my PS3!
Ok I will take a look around, Thank you all for your help.
Beauty of modular is you can buy the amp and 2 fronts and then buy the centre,sub or rears at a later date.
If it were me, I'd look at older AV receivers second-hand that are a few years old. Amps that were £500-600 can be found for £100-£150 on websites such as AVForums. Consider - not in any particular order of preference, Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, Sony (specifically their QS/ES ranges - built like tanks). If you find an Arcam receiver for around the £150 mark - usally the AVR100/200 models, although older, they are a major step-up soundwise, especially for msuic, then snap it up!
Speakers - start with a decent set of fronts to start and build up. Look for Missions m7x series, Wharfedale Diamond 9/10 series and Tannoy Mercury series as a decent start. Again, AVForums is your friend here!
Don't sweat over the HD Audio formats, such as Dolby Digital TruHD and DTS HD Master (this is the more common surround format for Blu-Ray discs) - if you are running a PS3 or have a Blu-Ray player with DTS Re-encode (have a look in the manual for this one), then you can set your Blu-Ray player to re-encode DTS HD Master to standard DTS. The result is pretty stunning - I use an older AV processor for AV duties (my fronts are powered by an Arcam stereo amp) and to my ears, not far off DTS HD Master audio. For Blu-Ray discs with DD TruHD, use the standard Dolby Digital soundtrack on the discs.
To connect your Blu-ray player or PS3 to your amp, use a standard TOSLink optical cable - any type will do. For the visual (video side), run an HDMI cable direct to your TV or projector.
Hope this helps!
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