Need Help with Amplifier Reciever

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by slidelewy, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. slidelewy macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2008

    I recently got an lcd tv and apple tv, and already had a Home Cinema System (the system includes a tape deck, tuner, dvd/cd and 5.1 speakers). I have just realised I need an reciever to be able to get surround sound etc for it. Just wondering if anyone could recommend me a decent one with my set up ( ie what input/outputs do I need)

    Basically I have the
    lcd tv linked to Apple tv by hdmi.
    The optical out on the apple is connect to the cinema system.
    An s-video connection between the tv and home cinema system for dvds.

    I'm guessing I need a reciever with 2 optical ports ( to connect to cinema system and apple tv) and maybe an hdmi output to connect back to tv??

    I'm a little confused to be honest, if you need anymore info to help I can provide.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Gee macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2004
    London, UK
    How much do you want to spend? You need an 'av receiver' - here in the UK there's few good ones around made by Onyx, Cambridge Audio, Denon and Marantz, starting at around £250. Arcam makes some very expensive but cool units if you've got the money.
  3. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    I suspect your "5.1 system" is really a "stripped down" receiver already, but it doesn't have the necessary inputs. Trying to combine your existing system with a receiver, you will end up with a number of duplicated functions.

    Your best bet is to replace your 5.1 system, with an AV receiver and a stand alone DVD player. You may also be able to keep the 5.1 system and use it as a DVD player.

    Your AV Receiver will be the "hub" of your system. It will connect to your TV using either HDMI or component video. Your Apple TV and DVD player will connect to the receiver using the same types of connections, and digital audio.

    One thing to watch out for, is that most receivers (especially inexpensive ones) can't upconvert one type of video to another. This means that you need to choose HDMI or Component Video and use that for all of your connections. Mixing HDMI and component video leads to complex switching procedures, requiring you to switch inputs on the receiver AND on the TV. I think you will be happier if you keep to one cable connection type or the other.

    AV receivers are available for a wide price range from $300-$3,000, depending on your feature set. Just make sure you get one that switches enough inputs for the connection type you are looking for.

    For example. you probably need to be able to switch a minimum of three inputs: Apple TV, DVD, and some type of TV tuner (Digital Cable, Satellite, HDTV over the air, etc). Adding a DVR, may increase that number, if it isn't integrated with another device.

    Count the number of inputs you need, and then find a receiver with that many inputs. Cost increases dramatically with the number if inputs. You can find a number of cheap AV receivers that switch two HDMI inputs, but it will cost more to switch 3 or 4. Sometimes an external switcher is a more economical way to go.

    Since you will be using your AV receiver to drive your speakers now, you will probably want to look at getting new speakers too. Your existing speakers are no doubt "tuned" to your 5.1 system, and may not be appropriate for a larger receiver.

    As you can see, this type of thing can get kind of complicated, and has many options. Cost and performance is also all over the map. While some people will tell you you need to spend at least $1,000 for a decent receiver, many people will also be happy with $300 models - it all depends on your requirements and the size of your wallet.

    It's hard to cover all of this in one post, so feel free to ask more questions...
  4. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    The new AV receivers can really simplify your setup. There are quite a few that aren't too expensive that will take any tyoe if input and convert them to HDMI, allowing a single cable from the AVR to the TV. Before making suggestions, it's important to know how much money you're willing to spend.

    I'm in the process of researching an AVR right now. I'm doing most of my research at the AVS Forums. There is an awful lot of information available and it can be overwhelming , but if you put some time into it you'll really learn a lot. Here's the link:

    If we knew your price range, we could probably narrow down your choices to a few and then you could continue the research on your own.
  5. Gee macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2004
    London, UK
    Why have you just posted my reply from earlier in the thread?
  6. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Get a receiver with at least 2 HDMI inputs, three or four is better. You want the kind that only requires an HDMI cable and not an additional audio cable. This is the future and it is simpler. Sony and Onkyo are kind of in the sweet spot feature and money-wise right now, around $350-400. Maybe lower before Xmas.

    And, my further advice. Ditch anything that doesn't connect via HDMI and replace it with something modern. All those obsolete connections, called legacy, are going to just cause you grief unless you are a knowledgeable AV hobbyist who can deal with a lot of mismatched old stuff. If you have something useful on the tapes, get it converted to digital and move on.

    This approach will give you a better system and a simpler one. As usual, you can buy yourself out of some trouble, at least.
  7. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    the better question is, why was this 5 month old thread resurrected? LOL

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