Onoff

Smart TV / Old 4 Point Surround Sound Kit

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Just bought a new smart TV. (Medion, not expensive and intentionally not so. Better than the one it replaced and it won't matter if it gets knackered when we do the lounge diner knock through). 

 

Anyway, the sound isn't up to much. It's OK but could do with a bit more depth.

 

These are the TV connections:

 

medion.thumb.jpg.9cfade1c3bf156ea5609e0af5ae3f4ae.jpg

 

I just happen to have an old Cambridge Soundworks 4 Point Surround Sound kit. Sounded pretty good back in the day on the old pc. It's all now discoloured off white but nothing a quick spray with some plastic primer and satin black won't sort! 

 

Screenshot_20201108-231116.thumb.png.19f191658bbf6903086a58d3f76a4a47.png

 

These are the connections:

 

Screenshot_20201108-231451.thumb.png.5aebcc1e4dd0ebc0330d5b35ebbb444c.png

 

 

Screenshot_20201108-231153.thumb.png.876395482a2712a8818cebdab9c6c0f6.png

 

How best to connect the TV? Taking the analogue, stereo headphone output to feed the 4 point seems a bit too simple. I have SPDIF optical out and HDMI as options.

 

Any magic box that'll go between the two?

 

Cheers

 

Edited by Onoff

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Easiest option is use a 3.5mm headphone splitter to feed the stereo output to both "Front" and "Rear" speaker pairs. 

 

If you actually want to place the rear pair behind you for some sort of surround sound effect, you need a Dolby Digital decoder. There's loads of poorly manufactured options to choose from on the Amazon, but you need one that allows selection of 4.0 rather than 5.1 surround and most don't support that. Perhaps this one:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/XOLORspace-Switch-Digital-System-Decoder-Black/dp/B08527TR78

Says it supports ARC too so you can connect with hdmi or optical

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3 hours ago, joth said:

Easiest option is use a 3.5mm headphone splitter to feed the stereo output to both "Front" and "Rear" speaker pairs. 

 

If you actually want to place the rear pair behind you for some sort of surround sound effect, you need a Dolby Digital decoder. There's loads of poorly manufactured options to choose from on the Amazon, but you need one that allows selection of 4.0 rather than 5.1 surround and most don't support that. Perhaps this one:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/XOLORspace-Switch-Digital-System-Decoder-Black/dp/B08527TR78

Says it supports ARC too so you can connect with hdmi or optical

 

Cheers. So you're saying from the 3.5mm output on the TV take say R to the Front input on the speakers (and L to the Left)? 

 

This kit consists of a powered subwoofer and 4 satellites. Is it 4:1, 4.1:1? Really not sure. A Googling I go to find out!

 

Thanks for the link, I was hoping to mount 2 satellites to the rear and some surround sound effect. Previously been looking at this, no good as it's not programmable?

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00NAJ4W2A/ref=sspa_mb_hqp_detail_mobile_aax_0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I have an HDMI port with ARC on the TV. 

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12 hours ago, Onoff said:

Cheers. So you're saying from the 3.5mm output on the TV take say R to the Front input on the speakers (and L to the Left)? 

 

If you want "something" to come out of all four speakers, I'd suggest split Left to feed F-L and R-L, and Right to feed F-R and R-R. Make sense?

 

 

12 hours ago, Onoff said:

This kit consists of a powered subwoofer and 4 satellites. Is it 4:1, 4.1:1? Really not sure. A Googling I go to find out!

 

It is "nothing.nothing" , as the 5.1 style notation is about the surround compression codec decoding and your 4-point has no codec decoding. It has 4 channel analog input (F-L, F-R, R-L, R-R) and presumably constructs its own sub channel from a combination of FL & FR (and maybe rear too?)

 

Thus the decoder would need to decode to 4.0 in order to create exactly four channels that your 4-point requires as input.

 

12 hours ago, Onoff said:

Previously been looking at this, no good as it's not programmable?

 

Right - it unconditionally spits out the front to L-C-R and that's not use for you (unless you add a center amp/speaker) as you'll loose all the center channel dialog into a blackhole. Depending on the type of movies you watch, this may either be a blessing, or completely defeat the purpose of the upgrade :-) 

 

I've got a similar one and it doesn't seem to do Dolby Digital at all, just DTS, but I now see it may be the 2.0/5.1 switch is unreliable (according to some reviews)

 

 

 

Edited by joth

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I would say forget these.

 

Get yourself a Dolby 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system connected to the SPDIF Optical out from the tv.  It will transform your watching.

 

Both our main tv's have 5.1 sound systems, both obtained for free from freecycle, both with built in DVD players (nobody wants dvd players now so they throw the sound system out to replace it with a blue ray.  So what that my sound system has a redundant dvd player built in?)

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Managed to find all the bits. However, some idiot 😉 cut off the two line plugs years ago to use for something else no doubt...

 

IMG_20201112_192512721.thumb.jpg.02bda7da2fd47dd3e033013f5ea63cac.jpg

 

Screenshot_20201108-231451.png

 

They should look like the SUB connection:

 

IMG_20201112_192412581.thumb.jpg.c7d3f3a5c3ac02d4f9fdd2367469bf3f.jpg

 

So "he" now has to trace out what wire's what from the 4-gang pot!

 

IMG_20201112_192649634.thumb.jpg.330e40b1097036e93cd37ce41d8f8ba2.jpg

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27 minutes ago, joth said:

Do you need the inline volume control?

 

If not just grab a couple of 3.5mm jack to jack cables and ditch that thing.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zerist-Braided-Premium-Auxiliary-Smartphones/dp/B07SZT58P1

 

 

 

 

Not sure. Would it be to maybe attenuate the headphone output into the amp?

 

I'm just going to meter it out and chuck a 3.5mm stereo plug on one of the bare ends and plug in as though a 2 channel sound card. 

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Just used a straight 3.5mm to 3.5mm lead from telly to speaker. Sounds surprisingly good! Need some satin black spray paint for the speakers and to hide the wires!

 

IMG_20201114_205923636.thumb.jpg.ea922155daff30d028e143835b4b2ce1.jpg

 

Call me Mr Cheapseats, oh yeah!

Edited by Onoff

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11 hours ago, Onoff said:

Just used a straight 3.5mm to 3.5mm lead from telly to speaker.

Right, that's exactly what I suggested you do 🙂

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31 minutes ago, joth said:

Right, that's exactly what I suggested you do 🙂

 

Cheers. Cat shot out of the room when I first turned it on. 

 

Going through the TV sound menu and I first had the 3.5mm output set to LINEOUT. Beyond deafening and then some!

 

I've set it on HEADPHONE ONLY now and it's controllable. I wonder if LINEOUT would be better in any way? I'd need that 4-gang pot between the TV and amp I reckon though.

 

I always thought that headphone out was amplified and lineout wasn't i.e at a lower level and a subsequent amp did the work? What I'm seeing with this set up seems ar5e about face.

Edited by Onoff

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Line Out is a fixed level output.  you would use that with a proper surround sound system that has it's own volume control.

 

Using the headphone out, the level is variable using the tv's own volume control on it's own remote control.

 

Hint: I use a sky remote control to operate my tv as that can be programmed to control the tv AND the surround sound system so I can do everything with one remote rather than 2 or more.

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3 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Line Out is a fixed level output.  you would use that with a proper surround sound system that has it's own volume control.

 

Using the headphone out, the level is variable using the tv's own volume control on it's own remote control.

 

Hint: I use a sky remote control to operate my tv as that can be programmed to control the tv AND the surround sound system so I can do everything with one remote rather than 2 or more.

 

No remote on this old speaker kit. It works well enough I think though. I can adjust the volume up/down within the required range via the TV remote. The only issue is if on mute there is a soft (as opposed to harsh) hiss comes from the speakers. 

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Paint it black...well, plastic prime it first:

 

IMG_20201121_123059248.thumb.jpg.f2e523eb8c0ebf3a6f2d635de593a446.jpg

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Some black spray later...looks better than in the photo...

 

IMG_20201121_210007535.thumb.jpg.3f2c4ecaa9fde7acf7161627897a66ec.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Bought a cheap Aldi 50". Sound was crap.

 

Had an old PC speaker system:

 

481673172_Screenshot_20201108-231116.thumb.png.19f191658bbf6903086a58d3f76a4a47-Copy.png.128bf03aad9967292421d522365676a4.png

 

& some plastic primer / black satin:

 

604701382_IMG_20201121_123059248.thumb.jpg.f2e523eb8c0ebf3a6f2d635de593a446-Copy.jpg.3aea125cf72f5bc97d6f3154ebc443de.jpg

 

Should have gone matt black. Made a new top for the old telly stand:

 

IMG_20201121_210007535.thumb.jpg.3f2c4ecaa9fde7acf7161627897a66ec.jpg.2e2c4a81ee1fe26cad30b4858deefc4d.jpg

 

Sounds better than it did.

Edited by Onoff

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