TVs & Home Theaters forum

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New to this stuff. Need help

by doomman328 / November 20, 2010 5:36 AM PST

So, A little background: I have a Samsung LCD TV, and it has game mode. I play my PS3 on it, and with game mode off, the sound is fine, But the game itself plays bad (I over aim/under aim in Call of Duty is a good example) so I turn game mode on, which makes the game work fine, But it forces Virtual Surround sound, which sucks, And I can't turn it off without turning game mode off. The sound in game mode, has the voices in some games (Medal of Honor, Red Dead Redemption ect) sound quiet (unless I crank the volume up) and it also muffles the voices behind explosions and stuff some times. So I'm looking at getting some other form of sound.

I'd like to get something cheap for under $250 ($300 only if I really need to), Doesn't have to sound perfect, Just good enough so I can hear everything better than my TV speakers. Would any old Home Theater in a box or Soundbar from Best Buy or Wal-Mart remedy this? How would you hook it up? Just one of those optical cable things from the home theater/soundbar to my PS3 and that's that? Treat me like an old person, I don't know jack about this kinda crap.

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Yes, get a decent little HTIB
by Pepe7 / November 21, 2010 11:31 AM PST

Your gaming and movie/TV watching will 'come alive' with actual 5.1 speakers/sub. Avoid soundbars if at all possible. And yes, pretty much all you would need per se is a digital optical to pass along the surround sound.

$250-300 might be hard though to get many choices, but I do see at least one decent Onkyo here with plenty of features to give more of a balanced gaming/audio system-

Onkyo HT-S3300
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Onkyo+HT-S3300&hl=en&safe=off&wrapid=tlif12903960770211&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=7322563265872062932&ei=seHpTLT8HMf1nAejsKHZDQ&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CFwQ8wIwBQ#

You might also find an S5100 somewhere online in the same basic price range.

Onkyo sometimes sells refurbs direct too-
http://www.shoponkyo.com/detail.cfm?productid=HT-S3300&modelid=55&group_id=1&detail=1&ext_war=0

If you really want to cheap out and lose out a little more on audio quality, ecost sells a ton of refurb & new off brand 5.1 systems-
http://www.ecost.com/cat/electronics/htib/155438250.aspx
I'd encourage you to avoid the Coby, RCA/Magnovox, LG, JVC & Phillips if possible, along with those w/ wireless speakers. Sometimes ecost will have really nice entry level Denon equipment, but it doesn't stick around very long IME.

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Thank you for the reply.
by doomman328 / November 21, 2010 2:14 PM PST

To be honest, I don't really want it to "come alive", I'm not a real audiophile, I just want everything to be loud enough to the point where I can hear all the voices and stuff without straining. It's more of a patch than a big investment (Hell, If it was up to be, I'd still be on my old piece of crap SD TV with one mono speaker, I feel like I'm being forced to get all this crap :D) So would those crappy ones you spoke of at least remedy my problem and sound somewhat louder/better than my TV speakers? My Speakers on my TV sound pretty loud and clear with virtual surround off, So it probably wouldn't be a huge hurdle to get something better would it? Is there anything else I could do besides surround?

I appreciate the reccomendation of that onkiyo, And I might look into it, But I'm looking to get out of this as quick, easy and as cheap as possible, It doesn't need to be the best or "feel real", just clearer to the point where everything is nice and clear and loud.

Also forgot to mention, I'm in a small room, So I could probably fit something small, I dunno. Thought I should mention

TL;DR: I'm looking to get out of this as quickly, cheaply and as easily as possible, And it doesn't need to be perfect, Just something better than my TV speakers so I can hear voices and crap better in video games (so it's not too quiet or muffled behind stuff like explosions)

Thank you Grin

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Cheap is good in a pinch, but...
by Pepe7 / November 22, 2010 1:38 AM PST

...even the slightly more expensive Onkyo isn't anywhere close to audiophile equipment. It would however generally provide a better quality product IME than the cheap stuff you see for less than $100 on ecost.

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Thanks you :3
by doomman328 / November 22, 2010 12:41 PM PST

But, the cheaper ones (Of corse I wouldn't get a $100 one, Mabye $150-$200 is about optimal) SHOULD still be better than my TV speakers and would probably fix my quiet/muffled-behind-other-sound-effects voices and stuff, right? I just wanna hear everything like voices and stuff without straining, I could really care less about think OMG THAT JET IS RIGHT ABOVE ME kinda stuff, I just wanna be able to hear all the sound effects and voices loud and clear.

Thank you

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Also...
by doomman328 / November 22, 2010 12:52 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks you :3

By "cheaper ones" I mean any one in my $150-$250 price range. The Onkyo set looks lovely, But it's well out of my price range. I'm just not willing to spend $300 on something I'm possibly being forced to get (y'know, if the voices and stuff in games get so quiet...). To be honest, I don't even want to get this, It's just my TV is a weirdo with the game mode forcing virtual surround and all.

So, Could I go out to best buy (or order online if best buy doesn't suit) and get any decent looking set for my price range ($150-$250, Hoping somewhere in between) and hook it up and it should be better than my TV speakers (the virtual surround ones) and it should remedy my quiet/muffled behind other crap voice problem?

Also, This may sound a but dumb, But I'm probably not going to even get one for at least another few years. Should the same thing apply to HTIAB sets even then?

Thank you for your help though, I tried asking on several other forums and all they tried to do was force their awesome(ly expensive) sets on me, You're actualy helping, Thanks Grin

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Only you can...
by Pepe7 / November 22, 2010 11:37 PM PST
In reply to: Also...

...be the judge of whether or not these systems provide the correct audio for your needs. I think they will, but I am also not a huge gamer. In general most anything is superior to built-in TV speakers.

Luckily, there are plenty of stores where you can walk in and test this stuff out in person to see if they meet your expectations ;).

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Thanks :D
by doomman328 / November 23, 2010 8:32 AM PST
In reply to: Only you can...

Thanks a bunch, That's what I've been wanting to know.

I do have one more question though. Are the optical ports likely to be around in the next few years (When the next game consoles come out)? Because the one's I'm likely getting are probably going to have optical ins, But will they likely (Keyword, likely, I know it's not for sure :P) have them? Because I don't want to buy something awesome and have it be a paperweight the next year.

Thanks again sir Grin

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