TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

Where is my surround sound?

by gardnep / January 17, 2010 3:10 AM PST

I had a phillips home theater system back in 2003 that was a 5.1 system with a powered subwoofer. The dvd player was built into the receiver and it started messing up--dvd's would start digitizing and ultimately stop playing. So, I replaced it with a Motorola DCP-501 (?). The philips receiver definitely had the surround sound going for it (it sounded like bullets were hitting the wall or that the dogs in the film were barking outside my front door). Since replacing the phillips receiver with the motorola it doesn't sound like this any more. Sound is coming through the surround speakers but it doesn't operate like it used to. I've read the manuals, turned up the volume, made sure that the motorola had the proper decoders, I even ran 16 gauge wire from the receiver to the surround speakers to see if the wires in the wall were faulty and I can see nothing wrong except that I am not getting the surround sound like I used to with the phillips. ????? I really didn't want to buy yet another system if I was missing something simple. What am I missing or doing wrong?

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by givemeaname / January 17, 2010 3:36 AM PST

It is junk. For good sound DO NOT BUY all in one systems, that goes for any one!!!! I looked up the unit, the amazon reviews of the Motorola DCP-501 are poor, not uncomine for all in one units.

If your on a budget get a Onkyo HTIB (range $350-$800) and then a cheap bluray player ($100) or a mid price DVD player $60-ish.

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If you are not getting 6 different channels of discreet
by minimalist / January 17, 2010 4:36 AM PST

sound it has nothing to do with the size of the cables.


1. Your original surround system used standard connections (and many cheap HTIB's don't)
2. This new DVD player/receiver is capable of powering your existing speakers

Then the issue has to be with the internal settings/signal processing. If you have read the manuals and you are certain all the settings are correct you are still not getting 6 separate channels of sound then you should return the unit.

Generally, you get what you pay for in consumer electronics.

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by gardnep / January 17, 2010 8:35 AM PST

What is a standard connection?
How do I know if my receiver is capable of powering the existing speakers?

You see sound comes through the surround speakers but not "surround" sound.

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Generally speaking
by Pepe7 / January 17, 2010 8:48 AM PST
In reply to: Clarification

You do not want to combine speakers from a propietary HTIB/all in one system with a standard receiver. That's the gist of what has been posted.

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I wondered...
by gardnep / January 17, 2010 9:01 AM PST
In reply to: Generally speaking

I did wonder if that was the problem. So what you are saying is that phillips speakers don't want to fully work with my motorola receiver/player. Why? Also, does the length of the speaker wire from the receiver to the speakers matter? Another person has recommended the onkyo ht-s6200 htib. What are the thoughts on this system?

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There are many factors that could come into play.
by minimalist / January 17, 2010 11:03 AM PST
In reply to: Clarification

You'll need to do a bit of research on the web to find out about the complexities of mixing and matching speakers and receivers. Speaker impedance and sensitivity along with receiver power all come into the mix.

Standard connections between speakers and AV receivers are spring loaded terminals (usualkly in cheaper setups) or binding posts (usually in higher end systems). Lots of inexpensive Home Theater in a Box packages eschew these connections making upgrades or mixing them with other components impossible (or potentially damaging). Some (like Bose) even have proprietary connections for amplification further complicating matters.

You have to know more about the specifics your old system before you can begin to troubleshoot your new setup. There are too many unknowns as it exists now.

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