TVs & Home Theaters forum


Home Theater: Blu-ray vs traditional receiver (or sound bar)

by Billiken100 / June 16, 2013 5:51 AM PDT

I just bought a Panasonic VIERA 60 inch plasma (TC-P60ST60). The sound isn't great, which I expected from reading reviews. Consequently, I want to put in surround sound. I have had my A/V guy tell me to use an inexpensive Blu-ray player for two reasons: 1) it has all the apps and 2) the TV itself does not have the ability to materially amplify the sound enough through the separate speakers in the home theater surround sound system.

Since the Panasonic has all the apps I want and I like the interface AND it connected easily to my wireless network, I am not too excited about using the Blu-ray just because it has apps.

So, should I skip the Blu-ray and buy a receiver to power the speakers? What are the pros and cons? Is it mainly just a money issue? Will a receiver not work as well for Netflix? And, lastly, would I be better off just getting a simple sound bar and skipping the speaker system/Blu-ray/receiver dilemma all together? FYI - I do not anticipate ever using the Blu-ray player to play DVDs.

Any insight is appreciated as is any links to good articles on this (I have not been able to find much at all).


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Clarification Request
More info needed to get it right for your needs
by Pepe7 / June 16, 2013 6:40 AM PDT

Do you have a cable or sat box? Or are you only using the hdtv to tune in your channels?

With a cable or sat box, the proper audio connection is ideally dugital optical out to av receiver.
This way you aren't subject to limitations of some hdtvs with specific content.

If you need more clarification, feel free to ask. Budget permitting, I would go with a traditional AV receiver/5.1 speakers/sub 99% of the time and recommend others do the same.

All Answers

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I'd try the following.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 16, 2013 6:00 AM PDT

Any of the top rated receivers then optical out to the receiver. I won't go too deep here about ARC issues and skip to the pretty safe solution of TV to receiver with an optical link.

Now, it's up to Netflix to supply support for more than stereo over that link so it's not a LG issue at all there but if you went from BR player over HDMI to receiver and HDMI for the receiver to HDTV than that's the other half of the setup.

What I find today is that many are not happy with all this HDCP (copy protection carp) that makes what should have been simple to fall apart at times.

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Thanks, but lost on some of the points
by Billiken100 / June 16, 2013 6:34 AM PDT
In reply to: I'd try the following.

Not sure what ARC is. Also not sure what LG is.

I think what you are saying is that a top rated receiver, employing optical, would work if I go optical out (instead of HDMI) from the TV to the receiver, is that right? And I presume that you are saying that is better than the Blu-ray.

What I really want to be able to do is watch cable movies and Apple TV in HD with the best sound (surround sound) and, secondarily, be able to watch Netflix, Vudu, Amazon, etc. in HD with the best sound.

I get confused over what element of the system is best to power the speakers because clearly the TV is not made to do that, hence my question as to whether the Blu-ray player is best or the receiver is best to power the speakers.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 16, 2013 7:20 AM PDT

I was just chatting in another post about another make. But yes I meant the rest as you repeated it back to me.

If you want to try ARC, go right ahead and hope it works. I always have an optical cable since ARC fails so often.

As to the word "best." That's a deep problem as a friend of mine claims tube amplifiers are the best and instantly nothing in your common top rated reviews don't use those.

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AV Receiver is 'best'
by Pepe7 / June 16, 2013 7:28 AM PDT

It would allow you to choose from a huge variety of speakers, both type, quality, price and size.

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