What should I purchase for TV and Computer home audio?

publicenemy219

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Nov 27, 2008
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Looking to figure out a home audio solution for both my TV and computer as they are both fairly close to each other and I would like to take advantage of cyber Monday. I would prefer something with Bluetooth connectivity as well as a SDIF (I have a vizio E420D-A0 and I am not sure what is compatible other than the SDIF as the TV is not bluetooth enabled). Not sure if a HDMI connection to a soundbar or another audio device would enable sound when I use the TV .

My computer is bluetooth, so I figured I could connect that to whatever bluetooth enabled device fairly easily and swap back and forth between the inputs.

So far I've looked at this: http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-SB4051-C0-Wireless-Subwoofer-Satellite/dp/B00SMBGP76

Or maybe other computer speakers that could serve both purposes at atleast 5.1?

I appreciate any help as audio is not something I am not familiar with!
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i do not see hdmi(arc) listed for your tv in the manual which means its only outputs would be composite red/white or optical. your pc is capable of (depending on equipment, but generally has) hdmi, optical, 3.5mm.

you have quite a few routes you could take, depending on needs. a few pros and cons for your options..

-soundbar. you can directly hook it up to the pc and if its a bluetooth model and if you get a bluetooth adapter for pc you might be able to connect it wirelessly to the pc. the plus sides would be small space and less wires but the negatives would be no 5.1, and sometimes bluetooth devices do not pair up easily.

-wireless speaker set. similar to what i will say below about wired speakers but wireless. keep in mind your choices will be much more narrow and performance may or may not be lacking for the price you pay. you could go with just a 2.0 set or more depending on what you buy. pros would be wireless but cons would be lack of choices and value.

-pc speakers. a cheap option which will work flawlessly with pc but unless you buy one like the z906 which includes optical and 3.5mm you're looking at an adapter and switcher to get it working with two sources at once. while not a terrible option, for the money spent you could do better in terms of audio quality. pros would be price cons would be connectivity (if you did not get something like the z906) or value (for the price of the z906 there are other options).

-5.1 sound system (HTIB). these are everything-is-in-the-box type systems. while they are often cheaper (some are some are not) than separately assembled audio systems sometimes they can be a bit lacking on inputs. as long as the model has 5.1 audio inputs you should be fine but you need to check this before buying. pros would be price while cons would be value, many do not have good (or any!) input for external sources, no upgradeability to better speakers.

-5.1 sound system with a dedicated receiver and speakers/subwoofer. while this is the most complicated hookup, its also going to give you the most freedom. pros would be lots of choices, upgradeable, can connect multiple sources while cons would be cost and more wiring.

2.0 or 2.1 hifi bookshelf system. instead of going with a full blown receiver or 5.1 system you could just use two bookshelf speakers paired up with a cheap amplifier. pros would be good value, better than pc speaker sound without taking up much space while cons would be the lack of cheap yet decent amplifiers.

if you want a 5.1 setup, i would at least look at the monoprice 10565 or the energy classic 5.1 take set its based on. you would need a receiver to go with it as well. this would put you at around $430ish total if you went with a $200 receiver and the 10565 or a bit cheaper if you manage to score some deals/sales. both sets are highly praised and are great value for the money spent.

some receivers allow bluetooth connectivity as well with the right adapters, but likely for 2.0 stereo sound output only. your best bet would be to connect directly with wires. it may make sense to put your tv system and pc on the same wall as well if you want a 5.1 setup to sound right (if on different walls the speakers will not play right for both sources as the front left could end up being the front right if they are on separate walls and changing this would involve some ugly wiring.

another option would be zone2 setup. you could have say a 3.1 setup hooked up to use with the tv with the other two speakers mounted for use with the pc and you can us the receivers zone2 location to play stereo 2.0 sound from the pc while you can use 3.1 with the tv (if the tv supports more than 2.0 output and if so, you could use 5.1 if you had more speakers and a separate 2.0 for pc or vise versa.).

in short: if both devices are on the same wall (tv and pc) connectivity will be easy and any of the choices above can be used, however if they are on different walls you may want to consider either separate systems, zone2, or speakers you can relocate/move when swapping sitting areas/orientations.

just some things for you to ponder of course. in case you want to see how i solved the solution for myself, you could click "my build" link in my signature. i combined both my pc, tv and consoles into one media center to make it all easy.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i do not see hdmi(arc) listed for your tv in the manual which means its only outputs would be composite red/white or optical. your pc is capable of (depending on equipment, but generally has) hdmi, optical, 3.5mm.

you have quite a few routes you could take, depending on needs. a few pros and cons for your options..

-soundbar. you can directly hook it up to the pc and if its a bluetooth model and if you get a bluetooth adapter for pc you might be able to connect it wirelessly to the pc. the plus sides would be small space and less wires but the negatives would be no 5.1, and sometimes bluetooth devices do not pair up easily.

-wireless speaker set. similar to what i will say below about wired speakers but wireless. keep in mind your choices will be much more narrow and performance may or may not be lacking for the price you pay. you could go with just a 2.0 set or more depending on what you buy. pros would be wireless but cons would be lack of choices and value.

-pc speakers. a cheap option which will work flawlessly with pc but unless you buy one like the z906 which includes optical and 3.5mm you're looking at an adapter and switcher to get it working with two sources at once. while not a terrible option, for the money spent you could do better in terms of audio quality. pros would be price cons would be connectivity (if you did not get something like the z906) or value (for the price of the z906 there are other options).

-5.1 sound system (HTIB). these are everything-is-in-the-box type systems. while they are often cheaper (some are some are not) than separately assembled audio systems sometimes they can be a bit lacking on inputs. as long as the model has 5.1 audio inputs you should be fine but you need to check this before buying. pros would be price while cons would be value, many do not have good (or any!) input for external sources, no upgradeability to better speakers.

-5.1 sound system with a dedicated receiver and speakers/subwoofer. while this is the most complicated hookup, its also going to give you the most freedom. pros would be lots of choices, upgradeable, can connect multiple sources while cons would be cost and more wiring.

2.0 or 2.1 hifi bookshelf system. instead of going with a full blown receiver or 5.1 system you could just use two bookshelf speakers paired up with a cheap amplifier. pros would be good value, better than pc speaker sound without taking up much space while cons would be the lack of cheap yet decent amplifiers.

if you want a 5.1 setup, i would at least look at the monoprice 10565 or the energy classic 5.1 take set its based on. you would need a receiver to go with it as well. this would put you at around $430ish total if you went with a $200 receiver and the 10565 or a bit cheaper if you manage to score some deals/sales. both sets are highly praised and are great value for the money spent.

some receivers allow bluetooth connectivity as well with the right adapters, but likely for 2.0 stereo sound output only. your best bet would be to connect directly with wires. it may make sense to put your tv system and pc on the same wall as well if you want a 5.1 setup to sound right (if on different walls the speakers will not play right for both sources as the front left could end up being the front right if they are on separate walls and changing this would involve some ugly wiring.

another option would be zone2 setup. you could have say a 3.1 setup hooked up to use with the tv with the other two speakers mounted for use with the pc and you can us the receivers zone2 location to play stereo 2.0 sound from the pc while you can use 3.1 with the tv (if the tv supports more than 2.0 output and if so, you could use 5.1 if you had more speakers and a separate 2.0 for pc or vise versa.).

in short: if both devices are on the same wall (tv and pc) connectivity will be easy and any of the choices above can be used, however if they are on different walls you may want to consider either separate systems, zone2, or speakers you can relocate/move when swapping sitting areas/orientations.

just some things for you to ponder of course. in case you want to see how i solved the solution for myself, you could click "my build" link in my signature. i combined both my pc, tv and consoles into one media center to make it all easy.
 
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