What is the best way to integrate a Smart TV into a Home Theater Setup?


Oct 1, 2016
I apologize if this is a duplicate thread, but I could only find topics about how to solve specific hardware issues, whereas I'm hoping for a more open-ended debate on what what would constitute as best practice(s).

I'm looking into buying a new TV as I suspect my current one won't last too long. My current receiver is similarly on its last leg, so I'll replace everything at the same time when it gets to that.
I'm thinking about getting a 4K Smart TV, probably one from LG. Other core pieces of my system include a decent 5.1 (in-ceiling + sub-woofer) sound system, a TV box and a PS4 (which are both connected through HDMI).

So, my question is: What is the best way to connect these systems? With the Smart TV being a source of audio, things are a little more tricky than the last time I had to setup a system. From what I read on the internet, in most cases people already have an Audio Video Receiver (AVR), but I am wondering if it's better not to have an AVR but rather a simple amplifier instead. I see the following two options:

Scanario 1: Add AVR, link with SPDIF (optical)
Basically, this would be the traditional system, with an additional cable between the TV and AVR to facilitate audio return. I would want to put the AVR out of sight, though, so I see the following pros and cons to this:
Pros: Proven system, broader suite of audio decoders available for external devices, (possibly) easier audio fine-tuning
Cons: Only higher-end models carry GUI for volume, etc over 4K, AVRs don't have a super long lifespan (3-4 years in my experience), AVR adds (minimal) video delay for PS4, (possibly) more expensive, (possibly) complicates single/ universal remote concept as TV may come with 'Magic Remote'

Scenario 2: Add Amplifier, let TV handle all video
Since I won't need some of the added features like 2nd zone audio, this may simplify the setup. Again, pros and cons:
Pros: Possibly cheaper, more straight forward setup, unmodified video/ no added latency
Cons: Fewer advanced audio decoders, (possibly) harder to fine-tune audio, single/ universal remote issue may apply here too

Let me know what you people think. Is there a third (better) scenario? Am I missing pros/ cons in either scenario? What are your recommendations?

Thanks in advance!
The only way to build a HT that's FLEXIBLE is to purchase a proper AV RECEIVER.

Flexible meaning it can integrate with what you already have, and future purchases.

This AV Receiver will be the heart of the system and is traditionally called the SWITCH because you plug in all your source components here, and it switches the desired input to your OUTPUT (TV, projector, speakers).

So your #1 task is to look for an AV Receiver within your budget that can handle 5.1, 7.1, whatever you desire AND has all the INPUT TYPE that you require. You want multiple HDMI inputs, multiple Toslink inputs, and for any old equipment you want to keep, perhaps a Component input (one with 5 RCA cords) as well.

Your scenario #2 is a little bit mis-guided. You probably think an amplifier is cheaper than a receiver, market conditions though makes this untrue. There are just more Receivers sold and am guessing because of volume, they can make them cheaper. Stand-alone amplifier are for discriminated buyers who subscribe to the SEPARATE school, vs integrated and they got the cash for the choice. Go ahead, Google for 5/6 channels amplifier and see how much they want.
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