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Are built-in receivers in surround systems so much worse?


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Old 03-01-2013, 13:19
Ursus_P
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Hey guys,

Have a wonderful 2013, first of all!

Got a little issue here... I can't decide whether to buy a surround system with a built-in receiver (http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Produc...er/9076987.htm) or one of the more expensive ones (http://www.richersounds.com/product/...96/yama-yht196)
Is the sound difference significant? Would normal people be able to actually hear the difference? Is it worth rather getting the Yamaha?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 03-01-2013, 13:27
gomezz
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I would favour having the extra connectivity of the Yamaha over the built in radio of the Samsung all else being equal. But then you need a radio with (preferably) an AUX/LINE OUT although a headphone jack would suffice. And what about playing your MP3 through the system. That would rule the Samsung out too. Although what is its wireless feature about?

Edit: You do realise the Yamaha does not have a built in DVD player which the Samsung does. These are very different beasties really.
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Old 03-01-2013, 13:37
chrisjr
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The Yamaha is a receiver. The Samsung is an all in one with DVD player as well.

I am no fan of all in ones. Most of them are severely limited when it comes to connecting up extra kit. Something the Yamaha does not suffer from to anything like the same extent.

Secondly if the DVD section goes belly skywards you lose the whole amp as well if you send it off for repair. Or you have to chuck the entire system out and buy a new one even though the amp and speakers are perfectly OK simply because you normally cannot buy just the DVD/Amp section separately. Or the speakers are incompatible with anything you do buy to replace it.

Also upgrading is a pain. You probably end up chucking the entire system away and buying a new one if you wanted Blu-Ray instead of DVD for example.

With separates you just upgrade the bit that needs upgrading. So you can swap a DVD player for a Blu-Ray for example and probably far cheaper than swapping the entire system. And if you want a bit better sound just invest in a better speaker system. A receiver like the Yamaha could probably drive better speakers without disgracing itself too much.

And of course if you have a Sky box, Freeview/Freesat PVR games console(s) Media streaming device etc etc chances are there is a socket on the back of the Yamaha or similar device to accommodate it. Which is unlikely to be the case with something like the Samsung.

And I wouldn't mind betting the Yamaha sounds better as well.
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Old 03-01-2013, 15:05
Chris Frost
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Would normal people be able to actually hear the difference? Is it worth rather getting the Yamaha?
I install AV gear for a living. I also get calls from people who have bought all-in-one kits but have trouble making them work with the rest of their gear. So this is said from the point of view of someone setting up all sorts of gear for best audio performance...

The things I notice with all-in-one kits is a little harshness, some lack of definition - especially in vocals from the centre channel, and less-than-convincing surround decoding modes. The best way to describe the sound is "fatiguing". I see mostly Samsung and LG kits.

In isolation I think most people are just happy if they get some sound from all of the speakers. But given the opportunity to hear something better then IME they can tell. They might not be able to put their finger on why it sounds better, but they say they can hear dialogue more clearly and it doesn't need to be as loud to sound impressive.
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Old 03-01-2013, 16:30
Ursus_P
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Thank you so much for your replies, guys! So, it's decided, then. Will go and buy the Yamaha next week when I'm back from holidays.
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Old 03-01-2013, 16:39
chrisjr
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Thank you so much for your replies, guys! So, it's decided, then. Will go and buy the Yamaha next week when I'm back from holidays.
Just remember that if you don't already have a DVD/Blu-Ray player (or something like a PS3) you will need to get one to go with the Yamaha system.

For example

http://www.richersounds.com/product/...ony-bdps390-r2
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Old 03-01-2013, 18:43
Ursus_P
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But why? I'll simply watch DVDs on my laptop, connecting it through HDMI. Will there be a problem?
As for the image part: I use a projector instead of a TV. Don't really need blu rays...
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Old 03-01-2013, 18:57
iangrad
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So you have a hi def TV and you don't need bluray's !

Unless you have a very small you are really missing out .
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Old 03-01-2013, 19:33
Ursus_P
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No, I don't have a TV at all, only a projector. Much handier than a TV, and if I was to buy a TV that would offer a picture of the same size, I would probably end up paying 10 000 quid or so... So, basically, I only need a nice Dolby Digital (and maybe DTS) for regular DVDs and a Dolby Surround for Lovefilm, that's it.
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Old 03-01-2013, 20:11
chrisjr
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If the projector is capable of 1920x1080 resolution why not let it show off it's potential by feeding it a decent Hi Def source to play with? And you will certainly see the difference in picture detail of Blu-ray over DVD.
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Old 03-01-2013, 20:36
Ursus_P
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Well, no, I'm afraid it's a common 4:3 VGA one. I'll probably be more picky next time, but so far I'm quite happy. Definitely won't go for anything 3D, though, that I can promise.
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Old 07-01-2013, 20:35
Ursus_P
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Well, I went to Richer Sounds to ask about the Yamaha system, and they told me that with my simple projector (VGA and s-video connections) it's not gonna happen, since I can't have the sound going from the laptop to the system via HDMI, as HDMI is sound and image together, and I can't get one of those built-in things, either, as apparently USB has the same problem as HDMI, i.e. that you can't have the sound alone going via a USB cable...
Will then try to get a built-in one that has an s-video or VGA connection, though not sure if they exist.
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Old 08-01-2013, 00:16
chrisjr
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Does the laptop have HDMI and VGA sockets? If so then you might be able to use both at the same time. They would appear to the laptop as external screens and the HDMI will also appear as a sound card in effect.

So you should be able to send the images to the VGA while sending the sound to HDMI.

And no idea where USB comes in. You would be very unlikely indeed to be able to connect a laptop to a surround system by USB. The USB socket on the surround system is designed for storage devices to stream media files, not for connection to a computer.

I think you have been given duff advice by Richersounds and I suspect you can do what you want.
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