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September 4th 2011 3:44 am

How to make a simple new HDTV setup?

I am finally planning to move from SD to HD in my TV. The TV set I have in my mind is Panasonic Viera TX-P50G30Y 50" Full HD plasma TV. I have understood that the speakers of these flatscreen TVs are not so good so I am also planning to get NuForce Icon2 amplifier and pair of Amphion Helium 410 speakers. My plan is to hide the amplifier in the cabinet and leave it always on so that it doesn't need to powered on or off with remote control (I have a Logitech Harmony 700 and with my current setup it's not always able to switch every device on or off at the first time). I also want to be able to adjust the volume directly from the TV (with either TV remote or Logitech remote) to simplify the usage. There will be couple of other devices that will be attached to the TV via HDMI cable and the purpose is that TV works as an audio hub for all these devices.

Any comments regarding my plans? Can I use RCA cables to connect the TV and amplifier or do I have to take the output from TV's headphone jack to get TV's own speakers muted and volume control to work?
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vekotin's pick

To spend so much on a TV and get that weird Nuforce Icon receiver is a shame. Save at least 200 bucks and pick yourself up a low-end 5.1 receiver, at the LEAST. The Yamaha RX-V367BL isn't a bad one. Make sure it has 3 HDMI inputs (almost all do now anyways) As for the audio, keep it simple: connect your Blu ray player, cable/sat., and gaming devices to your receiver with HDMI cables to the inputs (you should have at least 3 inputs). Then, run 1 HDMI to the TV from the receiver HDMI "out" and you are done! Again, keep it simple. It would be a SHAME to use a headphone out for any audio, and by the sounds of it you are spending good money on a great TV, so hook it up correctly! Again, use HDMI for audio/video.
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vekotin's pick

You should be able to connect the speakers to the amp, but I am concerned with trying to connect the amp to the TV. In my experience having that long of cable (device to TV to amp to speakers) usually results in a lag in audio that to me is unbearable. Your best case would be to purchase a real amplifier instead of the Icon2 and then you could run all of the audio to that and all of the video to the TV. This solution, while not exactly what you wanted, would allow you to control the entire setup with one remote and allow much greater expandability in the future. I hope this helps, I did some research on all of your components and I feel this would be the best course of action. Good Luck!
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I posted some specifics to your second post, and want to second trivialmonroe's opinion. TVs in general, and that TV in particular are not ideal audio-video hubs precisely due to poor audio out options. Buy full-size audio-video components to support your sources, the television and those speakers; or buy an audio-video receiver. The latter is probably going to be the more economical choice.
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