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Home Theater Audio

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  • Home Theater Audio

    I'm kind of mulling over the idea of some home theater renovation. I've been browsing the audio portion of the system and I've got a quick query.

    I'm not looking for anything fancy and I'm not really audiophile, so I'm thinking of a fairly thrifty route. I'm curious as to differences between the original Pro Logic vs newer digital decoding. I'm wondering because I've got an old Onkyo TX-SV515PRO out in the garage that I got for free somewhere that apparently was a pretty good system back in the day (circa 95').

    So I'm debating on whether I should use that and spend some more money on speakers, or budget less for speakers and buy a new receiver/amplifier. Is there a going to be a huge difference between the higher end, older model vs a lower end, newer one with pro logic II, optical in, etc.?

    I don't have a real huge room, so I'm not looking for a real powerful set up. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Home Theater Audio

    Well, we had a pretty good discussion about it here: I think the topics were geared more toward higher end gear, but some of the advice was good in my opinion.

    By the way, Here is a link to your owner's manual.

    To directly answer your question:

    Dolby Pro Logic takes stereo sound and tries to reproduce it in a surround kind of way. It does not do this well compared to true surround sound. The details can be found here. This is the best type of sound your receiver can reproduce. (Note that the original recording may have to be encoded in Pro Logic for it to work well.)

    Dolby Surround Sound and DTS - These formats have 6 dedicated sound channels. Left & right front, Center, left & right rear, and the LFE (low frequency effects) channels. These are the standard audio formats for DVD surround sound, and can only be played by receivers which can decode this data.

    To summarize: A modern receiver will run circles around your Onkyo. Sorry for the bad news, but its true.

    If you're looking for a good system without blowing tons of cash, there are a few good Home Theater In a Box systems out there. (Not many, just a few.) A good HTiaB will have an actual receiver included.
    Try something like these: (This isn't a complete list, by any means.)
    Yamaha YHT-780
    Denon DHT-478DV

    If you're looking for something a bit more powerful, will be expandable into the future, and will sound good, I recently setup a friend with the following system (and he loves it). They are small, easy to setup, and sound very good.

    Denon AVR 1708 Receiver
    Mirage Nanosat Speakers (x4), a Mirage Nanosat Center and a matching Subwoofer.

    I had originally suggested some speakers from Infinity, but he needed all the room he could get as he is in a townhouse, and space is very limited. (The Beta 20 series, w/ matching center and subwoofer was my first suggestion. Great sound, affordable speakers.)

    Hope that helps.

    Edit - A new receiver will have multiple fiber optic inputs, as well as a few digital coaxial inputs for surround sound. Unless you use HDMI, this is how you are going to get surround sound into the receiver and out to your speakers.

    Also, the center channel is very important as that is where the dialogue (voices) on DVDs are going to come from. The left and right fronts do the hefty work for the sound track, and rear channels fill in surround effects. Dolby Pro Logic doesn't have a center channel, that I am aware of.
    Govern well thy appetite, lest Sin surprise thee, and her black attendant: Death. ~ John Milton - Paradise Lost


    • #3
      Re: Home Theater Audio

      pro logic is a 4.1 setup.

      the rear channels are mono.
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      • #4
        Re: Home Theater Audio

        Didn't see that other thread, I'll be checking that out. Mainly I was just wondering about Pro Logic vs. the newer stuff, and I think you guys answered it. So thanks for the infos.




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