Back and/or Down-firing TV speakers

Discussion in 'Beginners and Audiophytes' started by Stogie, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    Can some one please give a basic explanation as to why there are such speakers in HDTVs? They are not very satisfactory, according to several customer reviews I've read. That pretty well leaves us to ponder expensive home theatre sound systems; and soundbars - which don't score too well in reviews written by some well-versed individuals. What is the "middle ground" here?
  2. markw Audioholic Overlord

    markw
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    I don't think sound is the cause for any sales problems.

    Most consumers really don't give a hoot about audiophile quality sound while watching their sit-coms and saturday morning TV and as long as they can hear the dialog they are fine with it.

    For those that do care, options exist whereby they can elect to make exrernal iprovements for as mush or as little expenditure as they choose to devote to that cause.
  3. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    Back and/or Down-firing speakers

    Markw, Thanks very much for your reply and link. "Lurking" in previous posts here on speakers, it appears they run the gamut from inexpensive(and cheesy), to high dollar and outstanding quality. I would think "you get what you pay for" certainly applys". My intention is to buy into external speakers IF i go for an RCA 32" 1080p HDTV, between now and Christmas. 32" in the max our cabinet will accomodate That unit is said to have built-in backwards-firing speaker(s). Several customer reviews elsewhere indicate that as one of the very few faults with this TV. For now I can't determine what the budget will allow for speakers.

    Trusting that your link will include testing; reviews by tech savvy people; brands; and other shopping guidance. Best regards.
  4. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    They do it because it minimizes the footprint of the television and requires/allows them to use smaller speakers.

    Both of these things bring overall costs of manufacturing and shipping down for consumers which makes them more price competitive in the market.

    There are certainly audio options which allow for much higher quality sound out there at almost every single price point from about $100 to every penny you will make in this lifetime.

    Bose (?) I believe has a 'good sounding' TV. It is smarter to go with a good LOOKING display then add good sound on your own as it will be cheaper and be better at the end of the day.
  5. markw Audioholic Overlord

    markw
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    First, whatever TV you choose, be aware of what options it has for getting sound from inside to an external system. Narutally, you can't just get a pair of speakers and have it work. Unless you get speakers with internal amplifiers, you're going to have to feed them to an amplifier.

    It used to be a "given" that any and all TV's provided analog audio (red/white) audio jacks to allow this. Some were controlled by the TV's internal volume control while some simply sent a constant line-level output to be controlled by the external amp.

    Now I'm hearing that these are becoming less of a given. Some only provide an optical output which pretty much demands some special processing. But, not to fear. Inexpensive convetrters exist which can convert them to analog.

    But, maybe you'll get lucky and wind up with a set with an earphone jack. That would simplify matters entirely.

    Some of the better 2.1 computer/gamer speakers will do quite well here. Even a $50 pair of Altec 2.1 speakers can be a revelation compared to internal speakers.
  6. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    Down and/or Backwards-firing speakers

    The input is GREAT! Thanks all!

    What I have is an RCA 6-piece 5.1 Dolby Digital set of speakers bought 8 to 10 years ago. They worked last time they were connected to a SDTV(about 5 weeks ago). The fly in the ointment is that the speakers are clip-on affairs - you trim off some insulation at both ends. Think clothespins.

    Providing the jack is there; as is, would these speaker wires connect to an HDTV? Or, is there some DIY add-on pc of hardware available to provide the proper connection?

    Saw an ad this morning: the RCA TV of interest is being offered for $90 more with a 5(?) pc Home Theatre sound system. Is this a "deal" or not?
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  7. markw Audioholic Overlord

    markw
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    No. Apparantly your old TV had speaker terminals on the back. Dollars to donuts your new TV won't. You'll need some sort of amp between the TV and the speakers.

    If you're lucky they might sound as goos ad the internal speakers. Pesonally, you wou,d be better off spending a bit more for a Zvox box or a soundbar.
  8. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    It is worth saying this:

    Well versed people who review sound bars are morons.

    More accurately, they likely aren't properly comparing sound bars to sound bars, they are comparing sound bars to floor standing speakers and good bookshelf speakers. They often do not even consider rating them against the internal speakers on most TVs.

    A good sound bar can sound good. Not great, but good. TV speakers generally sound bad. Not okay - but bad.

    So, with a mid-level sound bar, you are likely to get far better sound than you will from the internal speaker. Do your homework on this to make sure it is correct!

    External surround systems typically sound the best, but the cheapest sound systems aren't going to sound great, and may also sound terrible. Companies like RCA are well known for making cheap stuff which isn't of the highest quality. Sony stuff can be okay for the money, but a few hundred dollars or so spent on the receiver & speakers can make a significant improvement. Have more to spend and you start getting more.

    If you haven't even bought the TV yet, then you should be starting there. If you want good sound and can't afford it today, but are keeping things for a few years, then why not just wait and then start building your audio setup as you go along and still enjoy your TV?

    About half your spending, and often quite a bit more, should go into audio. So, a $2,000 with a $2,000 audio setup is reasonable. As is a $700 TV with a $700 audio system.
  9. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    Down and/or Backwards-firing Spearkers

    By "well-versed" I refer to folks that make a living testing/reviewing electronics; then write articles about their findings on line or in magazines. Stuff that we consumers can use to make good buying decisions.

    What do you consider to be a mid level sound bar, or speaker set? Brands and approx price ranges will be useful.

    Yes, for sure, the TV will come first! It has to, because that's The Plan.

    Failed to mention the speakers we currently have were bought along with an RCA m/n RT2250/RT2250R AM/FM A/V receiver.
  10. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    Your existing system (thankfully) has information readily available - and they are 6ohm speakers which were driven by a receiver rated at 50 watts per channel (likely in stereo) at .9% THD - which is very high.

    By comparison, the Denon AVR-1912 which is their least expensive 7.1 surround receiver, is rated at 90 watts per channel, at 8 ohms (not 6), at .08% THD.

    DENON US)

    So, far more power, with far less noise, with a higher ohm rating. Something like this will work nicely with the speakers you already own, and you can expand or change out from there. Or find a similar receiver that may be a year or two old and go that route instead.

    There's a bunch of questions which could be asked, but it kind of comes down to your budget and what YOU consider mid level. IMO, what I have is mid-level for my speakers, good for my receiver, and good for my subwoofer. As I said before, a good rule is to spend just as much on speakers as you do on your TV, then ask and do research based upon that budget.

    A decent mid-level subwoofer would be an Epik Legend...
    Welcome to Epik Subwoofers

    Their Empire is a good one. There is still better stuff out there.

    Good speakers are all over the place.

    I haven't researched sound bars in a while, but Sound & Vision did a pretty good shoot out a year or so ago and pretty much stated that all soundbars were a pretty solid improvement over the speaker built into the TV.

    Your old RCA system is not good. But, it's not horrible either. Reminds me of my first Kenwood home theater in a box kit. If it still works, it likely will give you a decent upgrade on the TVs audio as it is. Use the digital audio outputs from your Blu-ray Disc player and your cable box for best audio quality.

    Then just start down the upgrade path. New receiver and a couple of new speakers. Add a decent center speaker, and a good subwoofer. Add some decent surround speakers, then you will be all set.

    But, the first part is getting that TV, and I would head over to the TV section on these forums to ensure you are making an informed decision on your first purchase and worry about the rest later on.
  11. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    Down and/or Backwards-firing speakers

    A very informative reply! Thank you! With it, you hit many nails on the head for my situation, and I'm greatful for the info. It will be put to good use.

    As for the TV - will head to that section and see what's there. On another, but similar site, several exchanges have passed. In terms of helpful info it's at least on par with this one.
  12. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    While this particular subforum can be helpful, when you have specific questions about certain aspects of building your system, you will get more and perhaps better advice within the specific sections of these forums which are on target to your current buying.

    It's hard to emphasize enough, but if you have a budget, that is one of the most critical aspects of your buying decision. If you are 'flexible' with your budget, then it is very helpful to know as well.

    I am pretty well versed with televisions, but not as much with different audio options. I know the basics of audio and am reasonably versed, but others are more up to date on lesser expensive products out there and different products (Onkyo, Sony, Yamaha, etc.) which are also high quality.

    But, start with a budget, and a television size you are looking for. Talk about the size of your room, your living conditions, how long you expect to be there and expect to use a TV and any other A/V gear in that space, or even long term. It all leads to solid recommendations.

    I bought a 18" subwoofer when I lived in an apartment. I could barely use it in there, but I knew I was moving into a house within a year, so I wanted that extra power for later on down the line.

    Likewise, I'm a pretty firm believer that if you are 10+ feet away from your TV, then you should be in the 60"+ size class for that TV for best viewing experience. 55" at the smallest if you must.
  13. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    32 inch LCD/LED TVs

    Here are a few units in which we have interest and meet our budget, plus/minus. Please let me know your considered opinion of these in order of "Good", "Better", "Best".
    Model numbers are included should you wish to look for more information.

    I prefer 1080p in an effort to "future proof"(?) the unit.

    LG 32LK450; Samsung LN32D550; Sony Bravia KFL-32BX320; Samsung UN32C 4000; Vizio E320VA.

    .
  14. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    32 inch LCD/LED TVs

    The room is 25ftLX 8ftWX 8ftH. Viewing angle should be at least 165 degrees. Viewing distance is approximately 7ft. Being in our 70s we plan to be here from now on. House will be paid for in under 3 years. Life of the unit should exceed 5 years without major repairs. TV is our major source of entertainment. Plans are to eventually connect a BluRay player and upgrade built-in speakers with a speaker bar, or other type.
  15. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    At 7 feet that TV is about 10" to small and will provide an image that is actually (overall) smaller than a 27" tube television (old style).

    On that list, I would avoid LG, due to them having what is, in my experience, far higher than average defect rates.

    At 42" you also get into plasmas which can save you some cash. While increasing image quality.

    In terms of build quality, I think Sony is a bit better than Samsung. Samsung and Vizio should have similar build quality, but Samsung will generally deliver a better image than Vizio.

    There are a number of 42" plasmas on Amazon, but I would recommend (entry level) as the Pansonic TC-P42ST30 for about $650

    The Samsung LN32D550 you listed is about $450 on Amazon, so that's about $200 more, but you get an appropriate screen size for your viewing distance.

    I'm not trying to personally sell to you, but I can tell you from years of experience that it takes an amazingly short amount of time to get used to the larger screen sizes and the number one complaint people who buy an HDTV have is that they WISH they had bought the next larger size. It may sound 'crazy' to get a 42" display, but it truly is very appropriate for your seating distance, and the only true way to get the most out of HDTV is to have the proper screen size.

    I have no idea how your eyesight is, but I personally have a 32" LCD in my guest bedroom and kids playroom, and it can be tough to see words at times and I end up getting about 5' from the display to read some things at times. Not sure if your budget allows the larger television, but I would strongly recommend it.
  16. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    32 inch LCD/LED TVs

    Very nice coverage with the list. Thanks!
    If we go to 42 or 47 inches I will have to wall-mount the unit. I found info stating weight is hardly an issue when wall-mounting. My "problem" is the age of this house! Built in the 1950s, and contrary to popular opinion, this house is not as well-built as one would think; not plumb in many areas, but is also very poorly insulated. This house was not built for us and has had at least 2 previous owners. Cables cannot go through an attic or a basement because there are neither of those. I REALLY want to avoid that, even if it means the loss of some picture quality. Given all the stuff about store lighting and lack of proper adjustments, at stores I stand about 6 ft from any TV displays. For my sight, which was "rebuilt" in May and June past by cataract surgery - I got brand new glasses with the deal. A majority of those units appear outstanding to excellent to me, as they are! Our old 19 inch Sylvania had what I thought was horrible picture focus! I was about knocked out cold to see such an improvement watching that Sylvania with my "new" eyes - which are said to now be 20-20!!! Yes, I'm nervous about wall-mounting. Just a side note to whom it may concern: Getting old ain't for sissies.
  17. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    Well, then let's talk about your wall setup.

    Wall mounting is something I consider to be very standard. It's really easy to do and mounts out there have no issues with walls that are slightly out of plumb. As long as you can hit a couple of 2x4s... or 1x3s... you are good to go.

    Monorprice (HDMI Cable, Home Theater Accessories, HDMI Products, Cables, Adapters, Video/Audio Switch, Networking, USB, Firewire, Printer Toner, and more!) has some excellent wall mounts for a very good price.

    Is your equipment (cable box/Blu-ray player) directly below the TV location, or would cabling have to be routed somewhere else?

    If the cabling goes straight down, then it's not to bad.

    If it has to go around the room, then it gets tougher. Maybe you can't go in-wall, but a white Cat-6 cable tucked close to corners won't look terrible and a HDMI/Cat converter can take your A/V from your equipment to the TV.

    It's really easy though if equipment is 'right there' under the TV and only takes a couple of hours for a novice to get mounted.

    It does matter if it is an inside or an outside wall (of course) and I would recommend that you put a power outlet behind the TV which is something you can pretty easily do yourself if the equipment rack is right below the wall mounting location.
  18. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    32inch LED/LEC HDTVs

    There is an electrical outlet and an existing coax cable below, but not centered, on the wall that would take the mount - if I go that way. The mounting area is between 2 windows that catch afternoon sun. I'm still not too 'sold' on larger than 32 inch and wall mounting! To do so effectively and as you suggest, we would need to part company with a great entertainment center which was not cheap! And not yet 10 years old! A fine piece of furniture. And has adequate shelving for DVD player; tape cassette player/recorder; receiver box; VCR; CD player; AV receiver; and a 32 inch HDTV and storage

    For now are watching our DVD collection. We are without TV by any source. We did have satellite service for over 20 years, but are eventually returning to CATV as an economy measure. Social Security is far from what it's cracked up to be!

    Here are some brands/models which I'm familiar with. I would like to know your experience with either or both:

    Emerson LC320EM2 Sylvania LD320SS2; LC401SS2
    " LC401EM2 " NB620SL1 Blue-ray disc player
    " LC407EM2





    Best regards,
    S
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  19. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    Most companies like Emerson and Sylvania are just Chinese manufacturers licensing the branding rights for the displays and they are of very low quality. I would stick with Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic for long term reliability, and day to day image quality.

    For a Blu-ray player, Panasonic, with their DMP-BDT210 is one of the best on the market. It includes wi-fi for Internet connectivity and has a host of streaming services included with it.

    I understand your issue with the space. I think my dad ran into the same thing in his home where he had a built in media center that just wasn't designed with the pathway to these new displays. I've already tossed out one media center in my home with the move to flat panel displays. Just artwork and a TV and no furniture on the wall.

    You probably would want a small rack of some sort to hold your cable box (cable box will be necessary) and your Blu-ray player.

    You can find a lot of TV racks at Entertainment Centers, TV Stands, Corner TV Stands, Speaker Stands & Home Theater Seating

    I am aware you may not choose to do this, but it's good to have the tools in place when/if you need them.
  20. Stogie Enthusiast

    Stogie
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    32 inch LED/LCD TVs

    The cabinet is not built in. It's free-standing and moveable. Storage for it is an issue if we choose wall-mounting. Thanks for the tips on the various TVs and Blue-rays and racks. What are your thoughts on Haier and Symphonic?

    Respectfully, the following 4 paragraphs are FYI, in the event you haven't had time to visit the Funai Corp website:

    (Funai Corporation is the North American sales and marketing company for consumer
    electronic products manufactured by our parent company, Funai Electric Co., Ltd., of Japan,
    under the brand names of SYMPHONIC, SYLVANIA and EMERSON.


    OSRAM SYLVANIA is a leader in innovative, energy-saving lighting solutions and specialty products. Its provides quality products for homes, businesses and vehicles under the SYLVANIA and OSRAM brand names. Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American operation of OSRAM GmbH.
    SYLVANIA WEBSITE


    Emerson Radio Corp., founded in 1948, is one of the nation's largest
    volume consumer electronics distributors with a recognized trademark
    in continuous use since 1912. It continues to be one of the oldest and
    well respected names in the consumer electronics industry.
    Emerson WEBSITE

    PREVIOUS BRANDS

    Symphonic has been a popular audio maker since the 1960s and later
    became a brand owned by Funai Corporation in 1977. Starting with
    stereo audio system, Symphonic produced various products over the years
    leading to combination devices such as TV / VCR combos. These devices
    are now Symphonic's most successful products.
    .Privacy Policy)

    The reason I included this is because I believe in the Truth in Advertising Law.
    When a company says they make a reliable product I tend to at least consider it - if I need or want the item. You, on the other hand, with your technical experience may look at this and similar information as "creative advertising"(B.S.), and not much else. Maybe this is a dumb and naive approach
    on my part because I have no technical experience. I also have respect for companies that have been around longer than me! I realize that in electronics(and other fields) what's on the drawing boards today may well be obsolete when it hits the market. That's the main reason I turn to folks like you.

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