5.1 D/A or Preamp for powered speakers?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by gotzero, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    I am searching for a product that I am not sure exists.

    Right now, I have a HDTV outputting analog sound (through RCA) to a powered sub which crosses over and then outputs to two powered mains (again through RCA).

    I would like to get three more of the powered speakers, and get a 5.1 system. To do this, I would need to output from the TV to some kind of brain that could accept an optical digital signal, and output to 5.1 balanced or unbalanced analog audio.

    I am completely uninterested in getting a receiver to manage audio/video, since signal routing and sound quality are already perfect, so getting a receiver with an amp and all seems like overkill. On the other end, pre-amps are often priced at thousands of dollars, and are intended to broadcast to high end amps, not powered speakers. Is there a simple part that I do not know about that can solve my problem without adding another remote? Thanks!
  2. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    For this you need a surround sound processor/decoder. There's no way around it. No amount of creative rigging is going to eliminate the need for a Dolby Digital and/or DTS decoder.

    Personally I don't know of any standalone processor unit I'd recommend that costs less than $3000, but a quick search of "surround sound preamp" on Google does yield some results in the $900-$1200 price range, including Denon and Rotel.

    Since this is not for critical listening (e.g. post-production for film) but casual viewing, I would say these examples are more than satisfactory even though I do think both Rotel and Denon are, frankly, overpriced. Also, I'm not sure if either supports unbalanced cabling. For that, I suspect you'd need to go into a Dolby DP-564 ($3000), a Lexicon MC-12 ($10,000), or the like.
  3. gotzero thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US

    The more I look around, I think I am just going to get a receiver, use it for audio only, and just waste the amps.

    I have a set of monitors for critical listening. I just want to use this to watch movies.

    I did find the Tritton AX360, which looks like it will do the job, but at ~$100, I may as well just get a receiver.

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