Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

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Saving$
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Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Saving$ »

I have recently acquired a TV that only has HDMI inputs (and output? not sure), one USB slot, and one ethernet slot. The TV will supposedly connect to my wifi but I prefer not to do that as I understand it then also sends data back to the tv mfg.

My question is in regards to the best way to connect a sound system and legacy video format on this, with the caveats of
a. To the extent it makes sense, I would like to use my existing equipment
b. Everything needs to be LOCAL (not internet connected), with no required subscriptions.

I have heard about Sonos and the Ikea equivalent, but I think they need internet so that is probably out.
1. Currently have sound coming out of the TV, and have a USB drive plugged into the TV USB outlet. I can play music, but the interface on the TV is terrible, and I think the sound on the TV may also not be so good.
2. I have an approx. 30 year old Technics "Stereo Receiver", CD player and Bose speakers. At the time I bought them they were supposed to be good. Since I bought the new TV they are not connected to anything (had the old TV connected to the receiver/amp and played through the speakers that way, but the new TV has no place to plug in the red and white audio cords).
3. I have an old DVD player and VCR. I am going to transition away from these, but would like them available as there are some old family movie VCR and DVD's that are fun to watch. Moving these to new media is a different project.
4. I have some old android cell phones into which I could install SD cards, and which I could use as interfaces for a digitized music library; I have digitized roughly 50% of the music but would really like a good interface. Ideally the interface on the cell phone dedicated to this would not need to be physically wired to the TV system.

Looking forward to suggestions and advice.
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TX_TURTLE
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by TX_TURTLE »

Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 12:43 pm I have recently acquired a TV that only has HDMI inputs (and output? not sure), one USB slot, and one ethernet slot. The TV will supposedly connect to my wifi but I prefer not to do that as I understand it then also sends data back to the tv mfg.

My question is in regards to the best way to connect a sound system and legacy video format on this, with the caveats of
a. To the extent it makes sense, I would like to use my existing equipment
b. Everything needs to be LOCAL (not internet connected), with no required subscriptions.

I have heard about Sonos and the Ikea equivalent, but I think they need internet so that is probably out.
1. Currently have sound coming out of the TV, and have a USB drive plugged into the TV USB outlet. I can play music, but the interface on the TV is terrible, and I think the sound on the TV may also not be so good.
2. I have an approx. 30 year old Technics "Stereo Receiver", CD player and Bose speakers. At the time I bought them they were supposed to be good. Since I bought the new TV they are not connected to anything (had the old TV connected to the receiver/amp and played through the speakers that way, but the new TV has no place to plug in the red and white audio cords).
3. I have an old DVD player and VCR. I am going to transition away from these, but would like them available as there are some old family movie VCR and DVD's that are fun to watch. Moving these to new media is a different project.
4. I have some old android cell phones into which I could install SD cards, and which I could use as interfaces for a digitized music library; I have digitized roughly 50% of the music but would really like a good interface. Ideally the interface on the cell phone dedicated to this would not need to be physically wired to the TV system.

Looking forward to suggestions and advice.
First, check that your new TV has HDMI ARC, if it is a new TV most likely it does. If this is the case, you could replace the Technics receiver with a latest generation A/V receiver (can be had for a few hundred dollars). The TV should connect to the receiver via an HDMI cable. The ARC (audio return channel) functionality allows the sound from the TV to play in your legacy Bose speakers. In addition, you could play your old DVDs in the TV. Also, a new A/V receiver likely will have Bluetooth and AirPlay, so you or your friends could stream from your smartphones.
rgs92
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by rgs92 »

You say 'new TV has no place to plug in the red and white audio cords.'
Does it have a headphone jack? If so, you can a cheap adapter to have this output connection.

Also, if the TV has what is called a digital SP/DIF output jack, there is a little $20 thing to convert this to that connection too.
CletusCaddy
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by CletusCaddy »

I don’t share your fear of Internet-connected devices, but in any case there is no need to keep any new hardware connected if you don’t want to.

That being said, I would recommend you connect the new TV/sound hardware to the Internet at least once after purchase in order to download any updated firmware. Otherwise you may have to live with bugs that the manufacturer has already resolved.
Rex66
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Rex66 »

Need to worry less about internet issues. Otherwise don’t upgrade anything.
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Bogle7
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV

Post by Bogle7 »

What is the make/model of your new TV?
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Kenkat
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Kenkat »

TX_TURTLE wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:39 pm First, check that your new TV has HDMI ARC, if it is a new TV most likely it does. If this is the case, you could replace the Technics receiver with a latest generation A/V receiver (can be had for a few hundred dollars). The TV should connect to the receiver via an HDMI cable. The ARC (audio return channel) functionality allows the sound from the TV to play in your legacy Bose speakers. In addition, you could play your old DVDs in the TV. Also, a new A/V receiver likely will have Bluetooth and AirPlay, so you or your friends could stream from your smartphones.
This is along the lines of what I would recommend as well. The Technics receiver probably was a nice piece of equipment 30 years ago but a lot has changed. You could buy a basic entry level receiver such as Yamaha or Denon in the $300 or so range and open up a world of capabilities.

As TX_Turtle mention above, if your TV had HDMI ARC (and it very likely does), you could even make the new receiver the audio control center which would likely open up additional input options - for example, it may have the RCA red/white connections you need; it may have S-Video or composite inputs to support your DVD player or even VCR.

I would definitely consider this, spending some time looking at the “back” of any receiver you are considering to see if it had the connection types you’d want and need.
alex_686
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by alex_686 »

TX_TURTLE wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:39 pm First, check that your new TV has HDMI ARC, if it is a new TV most likely it does. If this is the case, you could replace the Technics receiver with a latest generation A/V receiver (can be had for a few hundred dollars). The TV should connect to the receiver via an HDMI cable. The ARC (audio return channel) functionality allows the sound from the TV to play in your legacy Bose speakers. In addition, you could play your old DVDs in the TV. Also, a new A/V receiver likely will have Bluetooth and AirPlay, so you or your friends could stream from your smartphones.
This us probably the best solution.

However check to see what other options your TV supports. In particular does it have a fiber optical audio output?

I am in a similar boat. I run my optical output to a digital signal processor, where I then run my 6 audio RCA inputs into my receiver. (Front right & left, center, rear right & left l, center, sub-woofer). It is old school but it works.

Edit to add: Your Bose speakers are still probably good. How many do you have? If just 2 then it may be time for a upgrade. Or at least add to them.

Your stereo receiver was probably just average 30 years ago. So that’s the weak link.
Former brokerage operations & mutual fund accountant. I hate risk, which is why I study and embrace it.
yog
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by yog »

alex_686 wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:32 pm
TX_TURTLE wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:39 pm First, check that your new TV has HDMI ARC, if it is a new TV most likely it does. If this is the case, you could replace the Technics receiver with a latest generation A/V receiver (can be had for a few hundred dollars). The TV should connect to the receiver via an HDMI cable. The ARC (audio return channel) functionality allows the sound from the TV to play in your legacy Bose speakers. In addition, you could play your old DVDs in the TV. Also, a new A/V receiver likely will have Bluetooth and AirPlay, so you or your friends could stream from your smartphones.
This us probably the best solution.

However check to see what other options your TV supports. In particular does it have a fiber optical audio output?

I am in a similar boat. I run my optical output to a digital signal processor, where I then run my 6 audio RCA inputs into my receiver. (Front right & left, center, rear right & left l, center, sub-woofer). It is old school but it works.
A new receiver with the matching connections you need is 'best'.
You can make all the existing devices talk to each other, but it will take a bunch of cables and adapters.

Search terms for you on Amazon, Best Buy, BHPhotoVideo:
HDMI Audio Extractor
Video Composite to HDMI with Audio
Video Component to HDMI with Audio

The exact models depend on your devices. These usually start around $25 for straight pass-thru which should work if your TV has ARC, but it can get expensive if you need a special audio decoder for surround sound.
alex_686
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by alex_686 »

yog wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 3:46 pm You can make all the existing devices talk to each other, but it will take a bunch of cables and adapters.

Search terms for you on Amazon, Best Buy, BHPhotoVideo:
HDMI Audio Extractor
Video Composite to HDMI with Audio
Video Component to HDMI with Audio

The exact models depend on your devices. These usually start around $25 for straight pass-thru which should work if your TV has ARC, but it can get expensive if you need a special audio decoder for surround sound.
To extend a bit, the issue with the cheap solution is that you are going from 7.1 channels to 2. And if you only have 2 speakers and are happy with only stereo (2 channels) you are fine.

If not you are going to need, at the very least, a whole new stereo receiver. Probably best to get a sound bar instead unless you really like your Bose speakers.
Former brokerage operations & mutual fund accountant. I hate risk, which is why I study and embrace it.
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Saving$
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Saving$ »

Thank you for all the replies. I will need to study them and google some terms.

Further I stand corrected on the new TV. In addition to power, the new TV has ONLY the following in addition to the power plug:
"ESB Link"
"USB 2" (currently have old hard drive plugged into that for music through new TV)
"Antenna In" (currently have a co-ax cable connected that runs to the attic connected to a home-made coat hanger antenna, which gets me >120 Over the air channels)
"Ethernet" (To hardwire the internet, which I don't plan on doing)
"Digital Audio Out (Optical)"
"HDMI In" (a label over ALL the HDMI ports), which includes "HDMI 1", "HDMI 2", "HDMI 3 eARC", and "HDMI 4" (4 has an icon next to it that looks like a game controller). I currently use HDMI 1 for a Roku, which is connected via wifi to the internet.

On my previous TV, I had the receiver, the DVD and VHS all connected to the TV, and the CD player and an old tape deck connected to the receiver. The speakers were connected to the receiver. I could play the TV sound through the two speakers, and even to my untrained ear, many movies and all music (such as PBS music shows) sounded much better through the speakers.

I have considered getting a sound bar, but have not sufficiently researched to determine if that is for the TV only, or if it could also replace the speakers used for music. The sound bar would not gain approval if it were in addition to the existing speakers.
inbox788
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by inbox788 »

Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 12:43 pma. To the extent it makes sense, I would like to use my existing equipment
b. Everything needs to be LOCAL (not internet connected), with no required subscriptions.
It doesn't make sense, but if you must, get something like these RCA to HDMI converters:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GRXDZCF/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TLBQ4BY
alex_686
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by alex_686 »

inbox788 wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 5:00 pm
Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 12:43 pma. To the extent it makes sense, I would like to use my existing equipment
b. Everything needs to be LOCAL (not internet connected), with no required subscriptions.
It doesn't make sense, but if you must, get something like these RCA to HDMI converters:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GRXDZCF/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TLBQ4BY
I think the OP is looking for HDMI to RCA. Be careful what you order. Sometimes these things are one-way.
Former brokerage operations & mutual fund accountant. I hate risk, which is why I study and embrace it.
alex_686
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by alex_686 »

Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:49 pm I have considered getting a sound bar, but have not sufficiently researched to determine if that is for the TV only, or if it could also replace the speakers used for music. The sound bar would not gain approval if it were in addition to the existing speakers.
Ideas - note, I am a bit of audiophile. Not a big one, but I am struggling with the idea that you want a stereo system. Most people opt for a surround sound system. My system is 25 years old so I had to cobble together a rather interesting set of work arounds.

To keep your existing solution, buy a HDMI to RCA converted. Plug that into the HDMI output on your TV. Plug into your TV.

Throw away your CD player and buy a blu-ray player. Most blu-ray players can play CDs and have come with HDMi outputs or fiber optic outputs.

If you are looking to get surround sound the simple, easy, and cheapest solution option would be to discard you receiver and speakers and get a soundbar. You throw away your receiver and speakers. You but 2 RCA to HDMI converters and plug your VCR and CD player into your TV. You then use your TV to select which output you want. This should give you a better sound quality then your current set up. Unless you bought really fancy Bose speakers - in which case you will never get surround sound quality form them.

A step up would be to buy a Audio Visual Receiver. This would be just like your current setup expect that it would have a HDMI and fiber optic inputs. Then you just plug everything you have into the AV receiver. This is close to what I have. Then you just need to buy 3 more speakers to get your system from 2 to 5.1.
Last edited by alex_686 on Sun Jan 09, 2022 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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inbox788
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by inbox788 »

alex_686 wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 5:06 pm
inbox788 wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 5:00 pm
Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 12:43 pma. To the extent it makes sense, I would like to use my existing equipment
b. Everything needs to be LOCAL (not internet connected), with no required subscriptions.
It doesn't make sense, but if you must, get something like these RCA to HDMI converters:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GRXDZCF/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TLBQ4BY
I think the OP is looking for HDMI to RCA. Be careful what you order. Sometimes these things are one-way.
Yeah, he might need both. The above are good with using old VHS and DVD. He'll need HDMI ARC Adapter to use old sound system:

https://www.amazon.com/Tendak-Extractor ... 07CJ96MQV/

OP, can't you just cast your Android phone to the Roku?
Second Round
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Second Round »

Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:49 pm "Digital Audio Out (Optical)"
You might find a optical/digital audio to RCA L/R audio out converter. Best Buy seems to have one for $30; I'm sure there are other places to look. That's what I would do - keeps your sound setup going with just an additional adapter.

FWIW I have a similar setup - and reservations about "smart" devices constantly phoning home. One of our TVs has a digital audio output only, other than the onboard speakers. It's our smaller (32") TV and it's in our workout room. We didn't bother to upgrade the audio on it, but a soundbar would be the natural choice. No 1/4" jacks on that TV.

Our older, larger TV (a plasma with a bank of RCA jacks in back, along with 3 HDMI) - that thing is connected to our stereo receiver and some stereo speakers. We just use the TV speakers for ordinary shows, but sometimes turn on the stereo for movies. The sound is vastly better that way. Anyway that older TV has both digital audio out (optical) and RCA 1/4" L/R audio out. The latter is what goes into our stereo. Similarly we have a regular DVD player hooked up through another input to the receiver. Works well for us.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Simplest: Just use the TV speakers and forget about tying it to your old receiver. If your DVD player has an HDMI output, connect that to your TV; if it doesn't, junk it. Use your current receiver and speakers only for music--move to another room if necessary.

Next simplest: Buy a soundbar. Same advice with the DVD player, current receiver, and speakers.

Best inexpensive result: Buy an entry-level AVR--assuming your current speakers are good, compatible, and usable.

I would forget about adding a bunch of adapters to use outdated equipment, but that's just my 2c.
rgs92
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by rgs92 »

inbox788 wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 5:00 pm
Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 12:43 pma. To the extent it makes sense, I would like to use my existing equipment
b. Everything needs to be LOCAL (not internet connected), with no required subscriptions.
It doesn't make sense, but if you must, get something like these RCA to HDMI converters:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GRXDZCF/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TLBQ4BY
Those HDMI to RCA things often have just plain failed to work for me (or delivered a distorted RCA audio or video signal).
I tried several of them (even over a short HDMI cable run) and can not recommend them. This is with 3 different cable companies.
YMMV, but that's what I found.

alex_686 provides the best succinct advice above, so I would follow his recommendations. (I would just add that all blu-ray players play CDs [and regular DVDs].) So just do what he says and buy an A/V receiver and all your problems will be solved.

(Except that you can still keep your speakers if you just hook them up to the receiver. I actually agree with you on the value of speakers for sound. I would never give up my speakers.)

So listen to alex for most of what you want to do and make things easy on yourself :).

If you really want to avoid connecting you TV to your Wifi, that's fine. The only internet connection that matters these days is the one to your cable box. The TV these days is mainly just an output device like a glorified computer monitor. I never use the Smart TV functions on my TV; I find them pretty crude and they often malfunction or don't work.

My Sony TVs sometimes get some firmware update over Wifi, but I think it is just to update apps on the TV from streaming services, but if you don't use them (as they are basically useless if you have cable/satellite or a Roku-like thing), it doesn't matter.
Last edited by rgs92 on Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
cjcerny
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by cjcerny »

If your TV has a headphone jack, get yourself a 1/8th inch stereo to RCA cable and connect it to the receiver you have. If it doesn’t, no way you will be able to use your receiver and Bose speakers with it. You would either need to use the TV speakers or a sound bar for sound or buy a new receiver that with accept a digital out from the TV to power the Bose speakers—all new receivers have this feature.

You also have the issue of connecting analog gear (the VCR) to a TV with only digital inputs. Converters for this purpose can be purchased.

If it were me, I wouldn’t bother with analog gear in 2022. That ship sailed many years ago already. Re-buy the pre-recorded tapes you own in a digital format. Transfer the home movies to digital. Connect all digital gear to a new receiver. Connect receiver output to TV. Connect 2 or more speakers to the new receiver.
rgs92
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by rgs92 »

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investorpeter
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by investorpeter »

Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:49 pm Thank you for all the replies. I will need to study them and google some terms.

Further I stand corrected on the new TV. In addition to power, the new TV has ONLY the following in addition to the power plug:
"ESB Link"
"USB 2" (currently have old hard drive plugged into that for music through new TV)
"Antenna In" (currently have a co-ax cable connected that runs to the attic connected to a home-made coat hanger antenna, which gets me >120 Over the air channels)
"Ethernet" (To hardwire the internet, which I don't plan on doing)
"Digital Audio Out (Optical)"
"HDMI In" (a label over ALL the HDMI ports), which includes "HDMI 1", "HDMI 2", "HDMI 3 eARC", and "HDMI 4" (4 has an icon next to it that looks like a game controller). I currently use HDMI 1 for a Roku, which is connected via wifi to the internet.

On my previous TV, I had the receiver, the DVD and VHS all connected to the TV, and the CD player and an old tape deck connected to the receiver. The speakers were connected to the receiver. I could play the TV sound through the two speakers, and even to my untrained ear, many movies and all music (such as PBS music shows) sounded much better through the speakers.

I have considered getting a sound bar, but have not sufficiently researched to determine if that is for the TV only, or if it could also replace the speakers used for music. The sound bar would not gain approval if it were in addition to the existing speakers.
If you want to keep your stereo receiver/amp and speakers set up as is, the best option is to use the “Digital Optical Out” on your TV. If that digital out is a little squared off thing, you will need what is called Toslink cable. You might want to check your receiver to see if it has a Digital Audio Toslink Input, as digital audio has been around since the 80s but back then it was a high end feature. If your receiver only has RCA inputs (the red and white plugs which are analog signals) then you will need a Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) to convert the digital audio output from the TV into an analog audio signal that your receiver can understand.

Here’s a digital to analog converter for $15 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Musou-Digital-O ... 159&sr=8-4

The converter should come with the needed toslink and RCA cables, but if not, you will need those too. Something to keep in mind is that the DAC needs a power supply. The power likely can be supplied by the USB port on your TV, but if there is only one USB port on your TV and you want to continue using it for your music hard drive, then get a DAC that can be plugged into a regular outlet. It’s possible that the music from the hard drive will then pass through your TV into your stereo receiver and Bose speakers.

As others have mentioned, an upgrade of your stereo receiver to an AV receiver would only cost a couple of hundred dollars, but I can understand the desire to keep an old system going for as long as possible too.
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by iamlucky13 »

Second Round wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 6:18 pm
Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:49 pm "Digital Audio Out (Optical)"
You might find a optical/digital audio to RCA L/R audio out converter. Best Buy seems to have one for $30; I'm sure there are other places to look. That's what I would do - keeps your sound setup going with just an additional adapter.
This would be my first route, as well. Not only does it keep the cost down, but it keeps the system familiar.

There is a slim chance the existing receiver has optical audio in and might not even need the adapter. However, if I've got my details right, this was a fairly new interface 30 years ago, and not yet standardized, so check, but don't get your hopes too high.

For reference, I have a ~20 year old receiver, and a newish TV. I settled for using the TV as the hub - my Blu-ray player, Roku, and Xbox connect to the TV, and then the TV audio is sent to the receiver via optical connection. The TV is set to external audio only via its setup menu, so it doesn't try to play sound over its own speakers.

I initially bought a used receiver to keep my costs down, figuring I'd upgrade after a couple years when I would expect to have a better idea what the shortcomings of an old system were. I've actually been happy enough with it the idea of upgrading has barely crossed my mind since then.
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by crefwatch »

Most better quality flat screen TV's require you to approve (in a menu) the reporting of what you view and other marketable data. But if you are willing to plug in a Roku stick that connects to the internet, why do you trust Roku more than the TV manufacturer?

I also have a 1975 audio receiver, but I don't try to use digital audio on it. My DVD player plugs into the TV. You might want a soundbar for the TV to improve sound and avoid turning on the home audio system. If I wanted to play digital audio I think I would buy a small internet radio with an audio output and USB input. Maybe an iPhone "dock" intead.
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Saving$
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Saving$ »

alex_686 wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 5:19 pm
Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:49 pm I have considered getting a sound bar, but have not sufficiently researched to determine if that is for the TV only, or if it could also replace the speakers used for music. The sound bar would not gain approval if it were in addition to the existing speakers.
Ideas - note, I am a bit of audiophile. Not a big one, but I am struggling with the idea that you want a stereo system. Most people opt for a surround sound system. My system is 25 years old so I had to cobble together a rather interesting set of work arounds.

To keep your existing solution, buy a HDMI to RCA converted. Plug that into the HDMI output on your TV. Plug into your TV.

Throw away your CD player and buy a blu-ray player. Most blu-ray players can play CDs and have come with HDMi outputs or fiber optic outputs.

If you are looking to get surround sound the simple, easy, and cheapest solution option would be to discard you receiver and speakers and get a soundbar. You throw away your receiver and speakers. You but 2 RCA to HDMI converters and plug your VCR and CD player into your TV. You then use your TV to select which output you want. This should give you a better sound quality then your current set up. Unless you bought really fancy Bose speakers - in which case you will never get surround sound quality form them.

A step up would be to buy a Audio Visual Receiver. This would be just like your current setup expect that it would have a HDMI and fiber optic inputs. Then you just plug everything you have into the AV receiver. This is close to what I have. Then you just need to buy 3 more speakers to get your system from 2 to 5.1.
What is the difference between a "Stereo system" and a "surround sound system"? I need a system where I can use the same speakers for music and tv/movies, and they both sound good. I would get alot of pushback if I tried to put for two sets of speakers in the room.

Someone mentioned Stereo is 2 channels vs 7 channels. If 7 channels involves 7 speakers that will be a no go. If it involves a single soundbar that could either be hidden or would replace my Bose speakers, that would be well received... Would that work and could I do that without a new receiver?

The idea of replacing any of the media players is not appealing - they are all rarely used.
The CD changer gets the most use - which will probably decrease if I get a good way to access the music collection digitally.

The DVD player has an component, S and composite video out options, and per the manual, for audio output, down mixed, subwoofer LFE Analog, Optical and coaxial. The cassette and VCR are even older. I don't need the DVD, cassette or VCR players to sound great - I own them so may as well hook them up - someone recently found an old cassette and it had a deceased relative's voice on it - it was great to be able to quickly play this, and I'd like to maintain that ability.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Stepping into the 21st century with a new TV seems to have propagated quite the list of unintended consequences :happy

Good luck in setting your priorities and fashioning acceptable solutions.
toblerone
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by toblerone »

Stereo is 2-channel audio, left and right, and abbreviated 2.0 (no subwoofer). If you add a subwoofer it becomes 2.1.
Surround sound starts at 5.1, which is 5 main (floor) speakers plus 1 subwoofer. The 5 speakers are Front L + R, center, and surround L + R.
7.1 adds rear surround speakers. 5.2.4 means 5 surround speakers, 2 subwoofers, and 4 ceiling speakers. And so on.

If you want to use external speakers, you should get a modern receiver (AVR). Your TV doesn't necessarily need ARC. It depends on how you wire it up. Most people would use the AVR as the "brain" and plug all the sources into it, like your cable box or DVD player. Then one HDMI cable from the AVR to your TV for video. Or, you can use your TV as the brain, in which case you do need ARC (audio return channel) to send audio back to the AVR and speakers.
investorpeter
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by investorpeter »

If you can’t add speakers to your set up then forget about surround sound. It is doubtful that a soundbar would sound better than your stereo system for music. A sound bar might be slightly better for watching TV and movies, but would almost certainly sound worse for playing music. Your current Bose speakers should be fine for both music and TV. And you don’t really need surround sound unless you are watching a lot of action movies (like Marvel movies) and I don’t get the sense that you are,

By far, the easiest solution is to use the digital optical audio output on your TV to connect to your analog receiver through a digital to analog converter, as described above in a previous post. If your receiver doesn’t have an HDMI input, then forget about HDMI. It won’t work well as a way to connect your TV to your existing stereo receiver.

Edit: Sorry, just re-read your original post and you also wanted to watch DVDs and VHSs on your TV. If that is the case, then it gets more complicated because your DVD and VCR don’t have an HDMI output and your TV only has HDMI inputs. If you can convert your home videos to digital files, then you can get rid of your DVD and VCR. As others have noted, the main problem is that your new TV only takes HDMI inputs and your older source equipment doesn’t have HDMI output. So you would need either all new sources or a more modern AV receiver to send a video signal to your TV.
Kagord
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Kagord »

^^^This^^^

You can buy something like this to use older DVD/VHS, if they don't have HDMI out: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0769GMV9Y

I still keep my VHS player so I can watch Star Wars without the absolutely ridiculous editing out of Han shooting first.
JDave
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by JDave »

I used to play electric bass professionally. Most young people today have never heard bass reproduced correctly. AirPods can't do it. Little bluetooth speakers can't do it. Sound bars can't do it. "Subwoofers" used in modern car audio can't do it. My 30-40 year old stereo speakers with 15" woofers can. If you can't feel the bass in your gut when the volume is turned up high, you aren't getting realistic sound. If you can't distinguish the pitch difference between bass notes (all you get is a "thud, thud, thud") you aren't getting realistic sound.
acegolfer
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by acegolfer »

Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:49 pm
I have considered getting a sound bar, but have not sufficiently researched to determine if that is for the TV only, or if it could also replace the speakers used for music. The sound bar would not gain approval if it were in addition to the existing speakers.
For modern home, a soundbar is good enough for not just TV but also music. the good news is your TV supports HDMI eARC so that's a good start. For example, you can use your Roku to stream music, the signal sends to TV, which relays the audio signal to soundbar via HDMI ARC.

Most newer TVs have audio only (or picture off) mode to serve music listening. Otherwise, the TV screen must be on in this setup.

I prefer the audio quality in soundbar + digital connection to traditional audio system + BT/analog connection. The former is crisper but the latter is richer.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by TomatoTomahto »

JDave wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 7:45 am I used to play electric bass professionally. Most young people today have never heard bass reproduced correctly. AirPods can't do it. Little bluetooth speakers can't do it. Sound bars can't do it. "Subwoofers" used in modern car audio can't do it. My 30-40 year old stereo speakers with 15" woofers can. If you can't feel the bass in your gut when the volume is turned up high, you aren't getting realistic sound. If you can't distinguish the pitch difference between bass notes (all you get is a "thud, thud, thud") you aren't getting realistic sound.
I don’t think OP is using speakers with 15” woofers and seems to prefer a “good enough” solution. I don’t want to sidetrack the thread, but will note that imo dual sealed subwoofers with 12” drivers and many bass traps in the room (and room EQ) can distinguish pitch differences to a satisfactory extent :D Not as well as 15”, but “pretty, pretty, pretty good.”
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
alex_686
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by alex_686 »

Saving$ wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:06 pm What is the difference between a "Stereo system" and a "surround sound system"? I need a system where I can use the same speakers for music and tv/movies, and they both sound good. I would get alot of pushback if I tried to put for two sets of speakers in the room. ...

The idea of replacing any of the media players is not appealing - they are all rarely used.
The CD changer gets the most use - which will probably decrease if I get a good way to access the music collection digitally.

The DVD player has an component, S and composite video out options, and per the manual, for audio output, down mixed, subwoofer LFE Analog, Optical and coaxial. The cassette and VCR are even older. I don't need the DVD, cassette or VCR players to sound great - I own them so may as well hook them up - someone recently found an old cassette and it had a deceased relative's voice on it - it was great to be able to quickly play this, and I'd like to maintain that ability.
So we have 2 different sets of technology here. You kind of have to pick one or the other. Or spend money. Money can solve issues. I will point to Bose for examples. I am picking Bose not becuase I think it is the best answer but because you have Bose speakers now so hopefully you are familiar with them.

Stereo: Designed for music. Mixed for 2 speakers (Left and Right). Analog. Cassette player and VCR are built for this technology. Does not play well with TV and HDMI.

Surround Sound: Designed for movies. Digital. Movies are mixed for multiple channels. When the actor is speaking into the camara the sound is coming from the central speaker. When they are speaking from the left, from the left speakers. From the behind, behind you. Your DVD has digital output so you are good here.

Speakers: For 5.1 and 7.1 speakers the .1 is the sub-wolfer. If you have tiny speakers you well want a small sub-wolfer. If you have decent sized speakers you can skip this.

First, why don't you want another pair or rear speakers? They tend to be small. They can be very small.

https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/spe ... kers_black

Second, the default option today is to buy a soundbar They are a simple all-in-one solution. They do a decent job of faking surround sound with fancy technology. Throw away your receiver and speakers. Issue - they tend to be a digital only solution. They don't work well with CD and cassette players. You will have to hack around that.

https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/spe ... _300_black

Note, you can get really good sound from a soundbar if you upgrade. The following system is the same as the above system but it adds a sub-wolfer and rear channels.

https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/spe ... stem_black

Third, throw money at the problem.

https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/spe ... _650_black

There are better and cheaper solutions out there - but I am trying to do a straight comparison across Bose. Buy a AV receiver that bridges the digital and analog.

Fourth, don't throw money at the problem. I think the best solution would be to replace your current receiver with a AV Receiver. Run everything through that, then output the audio to the stereo system and video to your TV. You can find a adequate receiver for less than $300.
Former brokerage operations & mutual fund accountant. I hate risk, which is why I study and embrace it.
investorpeter
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by investorpeter »

Kagord wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:59 am ^^^This^^^

You can buy something like this to use older DVD/VHS, if they don't have HDMI out: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0769GMV9Y

I still keep my VHS player so I can watch Star Wars without the absolutely ridiculous editing out of Han shooting first.
Yes, RCA->HDMI converters would work also, but that's going to be 3 separate converter devices (1 digital optical audio to analog for TV to receiver; and 2 RCA to HDMI converters for the DVD and VHS players to TV). And each converter would need a power supply. In effect, the OP would be hacking together an AV receiver with a bunch of converters. At around $20 for each converter and cables, it's still cheaper than buying an AV receiver, so I could see myself going this route if I was emotionally attached to my system, but the introduction of the new TV certainly made things much more complicated. Perhaps OP could return the TV in exchange for one that has component inputs. That would solve the VCR and DVD issue.

Lol, I can't recall the last time I had a discussion about VCRs. Must be decades.
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Bogle7 »

Saving$ wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:06 pmThe CD changer gets the most use - which will probably decrease if I get a good way to access the music collection digitally.
CDs! You must be old.
Rip all your CDs to FLAC. Save FLAC files in multiple places, just in case.
Now, you have high-quality digital music you can play.
Old fart who does three index funds, baby.
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Saving$
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Saving$ »

alex_686 wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 5:19 pm
Saving$ wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 4:49 pm I have considered getting a sound bar, but have not sufficiently researched to determine if that is for the TV only, or if it could also replace the speakers used for music. The sound bar would not gain approval if it were in addition to the existing speakers.
...If you are looking to get surround sound the simple, easy, and cheapest solution option would be to discard you receiver and speakers and get a soundbar. You throw away your receiver and speakers. You but 2 RCA to HDMI converters and plug your VCR and CD player into your TV. You then use your TV to select which output you want. This should give you a better sound quality then your current set up. Unless you bought really fancy Bose speakers - in which case you will never get surround sound quality form them.

A step up would be to buy a Audio Visual Receiver. This would be just like your current setup expect that it would have a HDMI and fiber optic inputs. Then you just plug everything you have into the AV receiver. This is close to what I have. Then you just need to buy 3 more speakers to get your system from 2 to 5.1.
Thank you and the others. These comments have been extremely helpful, both in themselves, and in understanding the word salad of acronyms I found on other websites when trying to research this.

The speakers are two Bose 301 Series III. They were supposedly good at the time; since I was younger, I was more susceptible to marketing, and I suspect part of the sell was the marketing associated with the Bose name.

I am not opposed to replacing these speakers with a soundbar in the $300-$400 range, but I don't know if that would be an upgrade or a downgrade for music listening. Any advice/opinions on that?

Also, based on the comments, and research, it sounds like I can connect a phone to the TV via bluetooth and play music that way. I have an older Android phone I may be able to use for that, and have part of my CD collection digitized. Any advice for an Android app that has a good user interface that I could use to play my music? I surmise I would put it on an SD card into the phone?
alex_686
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by alex_686 »

Saving$ wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:12 am The speakers are two Bose 301 Series III. They were supposedly good at the time; since I was younger, I was more susceptible to marketing, and I suspect part of the sell was the marketing associated with the Bose name.

I am not opposed to replacing these speakers with a soundbar in the $300-$400 range, but I don't know if that would be an upgrade or a downgrade for music listening. Any advice/opinions on that?
Lots of questions. And you are looking at 2 very different setups. It is like comparing a sports car with a pickup trick.

How good is your ear? What type of music? What type of room are you listening in? A nice rectangle or something else?

Bose 301s are a excellent entry level small speaker.

What type of soundbar are you looking at?

However I would guess a slight decline for music and a major boost for TV/Movies.
Former brokerage operations & mutual fund accountant. I hate risk, which is why I study and embrace it.
lazydavid
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by lazydavid »

alex_686 wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 5:19 pm To keep your existing solution, buy a HDMI to RCA converted. Plug that into the HDMI output on your TV. Plug into your TV.
Note that per his list above, he does NOT have an HDMI out. I'm not sure if any of these converters support eARC. If going this route it would be far safer to get an Optical to RCA converter, as that will definitely work.

But I would add my voice to the choir of getting a new AV receiver that supports everything you want it to do. And I would also connect it to the internet, so you can play music either from a PC on your network, from your phone or tablet, or from an internet streaming service.
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Kenkat
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Re: Sound System Advice requested: New TV & Older AV Equip

Post by Kenkat »

An alternate to a sound bar that still minimizes speaker sprawl would be a 3.1 setup:
  • a new AV receiver that either directly supports 3.1 or you could also just run 5.1 with no rear speakers wired in
  • your Bose 301 speakers as left and right channel
  • a new, entry level powered subwoofer (this can typically be placed out of sight in a corner)
  • a new center channel speaker (usually can put this right under the TV)
This would give you a pretty nice set-up for movies and TV. The center channel speaker is often underrated for how much it improves dialogue. You’d also have a system you could easily play in two channel stereo plus subwoofer which would be an improvement for music listening. The subwoofer really rounds out certain music genres.
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