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Tricky Home Theatre System Question.

by chrispgriffin / August 15, 2007 3:52 AM PDT

I have the Logitech Z-5500 surround sound which includes and audio receiver. The TV I have is just a standard Proscan 26'' tube tv with only one input and output (audio being red and white outputs), is there another way to get the TV in surround sound other than using my direct input on the receiver that I normally would use for my mp3 player or buying an expensive DVD player? (And yes, I know, I need a new TV)

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I think
by ozos / August 15, 2007 6:59 AM PDT

by reciever, for the Z-5500's, you mean the decoder/control box they ship with? (unless you've actually re-wired the system to use an HT reciever, which is entirely possible)

The TV has RCA stereo output, so the only options for input to the decoder box with the Z-5500's is going to be a stereo input, you could try patching through your PC but that'll require the PC being on to watch TV (not really worth it imo, unless you use the PC for HTPC duties).

A few things to consider:
stereo signals won't become surround sound just because the speakers are surround sound
if you can get a digital/coaxial S/PDIF out that would help a lot more (do you have an STB that produces such an output?)

Generally what I'd suggest is connecting the Z-5500's to the computer as a 5.1 speaker setup, and connecting the TV to the computer as a secondary monitor, and watching DVD's/etc in that manner, which will give you 5.1 sound, and utilization of the size of your TV. The issue you'll run into here is that you can't do much else than DVD's.

The Philips DVP-642 would be another option, if your primary use is DVDs, its about $50 online, and provides a digital optical out.

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TV input
by steve051 / August 15, 2007 7:29 AM PDT

Hook MP3 to TV input (audio). Hook TV audio out to receiver in. Turn TV on. Set TV to input 1 to listen to MP3. Set TV to channels to hear surround TV.
Else get RCA type connector switch box.
Or find a stereo VCR for 40.00, and use as TV tuner and input selector.

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NEED MORE INFO!
by tadam1080 / August 16, 2007 1:37 AM PDT

I have those speakers and am very familiar with them, i just need a better idea on your setup. do you have a coax cable going to your tv and that is it, or do you have a dvd player or cable box. if you only have the tv, or any other equipment without a digital output then the easiest thing to do would be to run to radio shack and grab a rca to 3.5mm jack cable for 6.99. it has the red and white connectors on one end and a mini-phono jack on the other. just hook it up to any of the 3 inputs on the back and there you go. you can select prologic II movie and you can get a fake surrond sound, not real 5.1. hope that helps. let me know if you have any other questions. ps, get something with a digital out. i use these with my hd-dvr and and oppo970 for dvd-audio and sacd discs and they sound amazing

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Solution found (I hope)
by chrispgriffin / August 16, 2007 1:52 AM PDT

Thanks for the help guys, buy I think I found my solution, I can get an analog-to-digital audio converter for roughly 60 bucks which will turn my RCA jacks into an optical or coax. Thanks though!

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Whoa!!!
by tadam1080 / August 16, 2007 2:19 AM PDT

Just to let you know that is a huge waste of money. You are just making analog stereo sound into digital stereo sound NOT surround sound. One pair of red and white rca jacks just carry right and left channel sound not 5 seperate channels needed for surround sound. Just get the 6.99 cable from radio shack i told you about and you will get the EXACT same result as with the $60 conveter. I bet you could not tell the difference between the two. just trying to save you some money. take the $50 bucks you save and get a dvd player with a digital out.

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that is a lot cheaper...
by chrispgriffin / August 16, 2007 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Whoa!!!

so it will work on any of the three inputs on the back?

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YEP
by tadam1080 / August 16, 2007 3:31 AM PDT

it will work on any, i have my dvd player hooked up with optical and with three of those rca-phono jack cables and i have the z-5500 on direct instead of the three-channel, because dvd-audio and sacd discs need to go through hdmi or individual analog cables. anyway, you'll just want to have that little switch on the back on 3-ch and you pick which one you want to plug it into. then instead of the stereo setting just change it to prologic II movie and bingo, sound out of all 5 speakers.

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exactly
by ozos / August 16, 2007 4:44 AM PDT
In reply to: YEP

going with a digital out solution will give you surround sound, the digital to analog conversion is just expensive (I'm guessing its the M-Audio Co2 you found?)

The one thing to note is that you won't have surround sound from all applications, and if you've connected just the DVD player, just the DVD player can use the speakers, if you want a surround sound solution for your TV you might look at one of these:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?type=category&id=pcmcat118700050007

I'd go with the Klipsch/Yamaha setup because I don't like Harmon International that much, but you may prefer the sound of their products (its a personal listening experience thing, not a quality thing that drives my view here, just take a listen of both, see which one you like, both are roughly $1000 ($999 and $1250))

Granted, this is a lot more complex than your Z-5500's, but it would give you a more formal and complete system.

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ok, but...
by chrispgriffin / August 16, 2007 8:59 AM PDT
In reply to: exactly

i only need the tv in surround sound, i have the dvd player/xbox on optical, and mp3 player on direct, so that leaves me with coax and the 3 things on the back, so it seems like i should go with rca-to-3.5mm and plug to one of the three things on the back.

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again, radio shack best bet.
by tadam1080 / August 17, 2007 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: ok, but...

there is no way to get real 5.1 sound out of two rca jacks, so i have no idea what the other guy was saying about getting the digital converter and having surrond sound. anyway, if the only outputs associated with your TV signal are the two rca jacks, then head to radio shack. that means you have no set top box with any digital out. so use the cable from radio shack and then set your z-5500 to prologic II movie and again you will have the best TV "surround sound" possible with your current setup.

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almost there
by chrispgriffin / August 17, 2007 9:33 AM PDT

i got the rca-to-3.5 thing and i did what you said, but it is only going to either the right or the left 2 speakers and only getting a signal from the white connector. did i do anything wrong or is it just bad?

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.
by jonnybones / August 17, 2007 12:19 PM PDT
In reply to: almost there

tadam1080: "there is no way to get real 5.1 sound out of two rca jacks" its only coming our of two speakers because it is only stereo. Unless you run a separate receiver that has dolby prologic. Tadam already said, and he is 100% correct in this, that it STILL isn't even true surround sound even with prologic. the only way for you to get surround sound is to not use your TV speaker jacks. Run your dvd player's audio directly to your speaker system via some sort of digital audio cable (dig coax or dig optical).

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so to clarify
by chrispgriffin / August 18, 2007 1:25 AM PDT
In reply to: .

so, basically, there is no way i can watch my tv, not movies, in real surround sound with my sound system unless i either have: A. an expensive tv or B. an expensive dvd player that records tv

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.
by jonnybones / August 18, 2007 8:15 AM PDT
In reply to: so to clarify

If your cable company offers digital cable, SOME tv shows will be broadcast in surround. Most TV programming is broadcast in stereo. If you find TV shows broadcast in surround, you will need a cable box that has digital audio outputs to get true surround sound. Cable boxes from most major cable companies have the outputs. Keep in mind that you will also have to have the input on your surround sound system otherwise this is all useless, which I cant remember if you have confirmed this or not.

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.
by chrispgriffin / August 18, 2007 10:29 AM PDT
In reply to: .

the inputs are an optical, coax, direct, and direct from a computer. i have heard that our apartment that we are moving in has supplied a comcast cable box, im crossing my fingers.

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