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Some questions about A/V stuff (home theater) Answered

Hi all!

Hope I got the right place for this.  I figured that there's someone in this community who can help me.

My A/V receiver is about to give up the ghost.  A number of channels no longer work, and the sound is pretty fuzzy.  I know I need to replace it.

I've always been terrible with A/V stuff.  I'm not sure what direction to go as far as replacing it goes.  Here's my issue:  The room I have the receiver in is small, so I don't need a lot of oomph.  I also don't have a way to run wires to rear speakers without people tripping over them.  I've gone without rear sound for a long time now.  I've never seen a set of wireless speakers that are reliable, so that seems like a poor option.

I can't really do a "home theater in a box" setup, because they don't have enough inputs to add all of my stuff.  The things that currently run through the receiver are my computer (which runs our TV through a tuner card), a wii, an xbox 360, and a dvd player.  None of them are HDMI.  I use RCA cables for everything.

The other thing that looked interesting is a sound bar, as they can apparently replicate surround sound without the rear speakers, but they seem to have the same problem that the "theater in a box" packages have.

I don't know anything about receivers.  For example, I don't know if it makes sense to use a 5.1 receiver if I'm only running R, L, and Center speakers from it.

Anyway... I'm not looking for brands or models necessarily, but rather, setup suggestions.  What kinds of things should I be looking into?  I can't be the only person with this kind of problem.

Any advice that some of you A/V gurus can offer would be greatly appreciated!  The cheaper the better, here... as I don't use it all that much.  :)

Thanks!

Discussions

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mpilchfamily
mpilchfamily

7 years ago

Get an in the box system. Yes they are limited in there inputs but most systems are. If you buy a receiver with 4 or 5 inputs you will be paying allot more. But rather then spending an extra $100 or more on a system with multiple inputs you can get a video switcher with remote.

You can find many models that handle 4 or more inputs for less then $40. Here is one for about $25 that handles 4 inputs and has an IR remote.
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-CPNT410IR-Component-Switch-Digital/dp/B000KDWT4W

As for the rear speakers... you said this is a fairly small room so why run the wires across the floor when you can run them overhead. I'm sure the wires that come with the speakers are not long enough but you can always get more speaker wire so you can rout the wires as needed.

Personally i use an older stereo system that has audio inputs and a 5 port AV switch to select weather i'm using my DVD player, PS2, Wii, or NES. My switch doesn't have a remote but i've had it for about 8 years now.

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JesterPoet
JesterPoet

Reply 7 years ago

So, if I understand you correctly, I'd be getting the theater in a box, and then connecting the switcher to one of the inputs on that. Then all my other devices would be connected to the switcher, and I'd use that to change my sound source (effectively only using one source on the home theater "receiver" at all times). Am I understanding that correctly?

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mpilchfamily
mpilchfamily

Reply 7 years ago

That's correct!

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JesterPoet
JesterPoet

Reply 7 years ago

Great! Thanks for the idea!

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canucksgirl
canucksgirl

7 years ago

mpilchfamily has already given some good advice, so I'll just stick to the wiring. For our family room, we have a 5 speaker system, and we have a doorway in the path from the receiver to the rear speakers, so it made installation a little more challenging.

For the speaker wire, I ran it just under the baseboard molding as there's enough space to tuck it in over a carpeted floor. If you have hardwood or tile, you can still take advantage of the baseboard molding by pulling it up slightly to get the wire behind; or use cable tie downs (that come in packages of 50 -100 at a fairly cheap price). They look like a U-shaped brackets with a nail on one end for installation, and come in various sizes for different cable thicknesses. Your other option is purchasing a cable channel that you can install right onto the baseboard and completely hides the cable. For doorways, they sell similar channels and come in plastic, wood and other materials, so you need not have to worry about tripping over wires, and they'll just look like a normal doorway threshold and can be matched fairly well to your existing floor.