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My 42" LCD TV has speakers in the back and I sometimes have to tune the volume up to 50+ to hear it from a distance. I don't have a home theater system, so I've looked into sound bars, but they are expensive and I don't need a subwoofer that comes with most of them. Is there a less expensive alternative to a sound bar or one that has decent sound with no subwoofer? Will computer speakers work?

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If volume is your main concern, there are plenty of options. Decent computer speakers will get the job done.

IMHO, good audio is essential to the video watching experience, especially with movies. Soundbars and computer speakers are a poor option. Unless you have an extremely limited budget, I would look into some of the "home theater in a box" options such as those found here.

the LG soundbar with bluetooth sub can be found for $250, not sure if that's expensive for you, but it's pretty cool and works great

$250 is expensive for anyone looking for something cheap.

OP.. have you tried a 2.1 speaker system? I have a Logitech 2.1 speaker system that I bought 7-8 years ago from Staples for $30 hooked up to my TV and I am more than happy. Good enough base and voice quality for me. Ofcourse every one's opinion is different, but I would recommend you trying a cheap alternative like mine before going spending more money.

Thanks for the suggestions on computer speakers or a 2.1 setup, but the back of my tv only has a digital optical out connection and a red/white audio input I wish they made computer speakers with these type of connections.

Computer speakers are made to connect to computers, which have a headphone/mini out jack. It wouldn't make sense to make speakers with RCA (I'm guessing that's what you mean) connectors because computers don't have those. Same goes for the optical out.

Too bad your TV doesn't have a headphone jack. Then you'd be set.

Moby99 said:   Thanks for the suggestions on computer speakers or a 2.1 setup, but the back of my tv only has a digital optical out connection and a red/white audio input I wish they made computer speakers with these type of connections.

dangit

if you had the audio out you could simply get a RCA/3.5mm adapter

Moby99 said:   Thanks for the suggestions on computer speakers or a 2.1 setup, but the back of my tv only has a digital optical out connection and a red/white audio input I wish they made computer speakers with these type of connections.

Are you sure the red/white RCA connectors aren't for audio output? It's unusual to have just audio inputs on a TV without video connectors as well.

If it is actually an output, you can just buy an RCA to 3.5mm adapter or cord to connect it to computer speakers.

You have it backwards. The poster is describing most new low end TVs that have onboard sound. They take audio in, but out is only THEIR onboard speakers or the optical out he described. No red/white audio out. There is usually no other choice. My 50" LG plasma I purchased 6 months ago is the same way.

I found a Vizio sound bar cheap at WalMart for $80. It has an optical connector. Woofer weighs a ton, but good sound. Remote is bizarre, however.

Denhunter said:   You have it backwards. The poster is describing most new low end TVs that have onboard sound. They take audio in, but out is only THEIR onboard speakers or the optical out he described. No red/white audio out. There is usually no other choice. My 50" LG plasma I purchased 6 months ago is the same way.

I found a Vizio sound bar cheap at WalMart for $80. It has an optical connector. Woofer weighs a ton, but good sound. Remote is bizarre, however.
I don't agree with this...why would a TV take IN sound and not video.

I have 2 tv's and both have AUDIO out suitable for plugging them into Hi-Fi sets , those are 2 connector without a Video jack.

There appear to be many 'Confused and/or Uninformed' folks chiming in with misinformation. (Thus, no QUOTEs.)

For ~2 years before I bought my first *REAL* HDTV (Panasonic TC-L32C3 32" LCD) in August 2011, I kept looking, to no avail, for a set with S-Video IN and Analog Audio OUT in order to utilize my current Video Switches (Composite, S-Video, Component, Analog Audio) and high-end Onkyo TX-SV-919THX 5-Port S-Video / Analog Audio receiver. IIRC, the majority of the first and second tier sets had neither. Only the third tier, and mostly the smaller screens, had a 3.5mm Analog Audio OUT (aka Headphone Jack). And the 'El-Cheapo' Sylvania 19" LCD that I bought ~5 years ago from Target per a FW Hot Deal also had a S-Video IN. I bought the Sylvania 19" LCD HDTV and an 'Open Box' Panasonic DMR-EZ17 DVDR to 'Experiment' with ATSC and ClearQAM.

Regarding Analog Audio IN, this is *ALWAYS* accompanied by Composite and/or Component Video IN. But, recent reading appears to indicate *ANY* Analog Inputs will soon be gone, leaving just HDMI with its HDCP.

My Panasonic 32" LCD has:
  1. 2 HDMI IN (Expanded to 6 via 2 Meritline 3-Port Automatic Switches)
  2. 1 COMPONENT SHARED Y/Video w/COMPOSITE 1 w/SHARED Analog Audio IN (Expanded to 7 via 2 Philips 4-Port Automatic Switches)
  3. 2 COMPOSITE w/Analog Audio IN w/COMPOSITE 1 SHARED w/COMPONENT
  4. 1 Digital TOSLink Audio OUT


I tried a ~$20 Digital (TOSLink or Coaxial) to Analog Audio Adapter but even with the TV volume @ Max it was unsatisfactory.

My next idea was a LT $10 USB-to-Analog 7.1 Sound Adapter w/two 3.5mm OUTPUTS from Meritline that allows me to feed an Altec Lansing 4.1 Computer Speaker Set (using just one). This works well for WMC and Hauppauge PVR-1212 TotalMedia Extreme playback through a dedicated laptop with external storage via a Gigabit LAN.

My Sylvania 19" LCD has:
  1. 2 HDMI IN
  2. 1 COMPONENT w/Analog Audio IN
  3. 1 S-VIDEO w/SHARED Analog Audio IN
  4. 1 COMPOSITE w/SHARED Analog Audio IN
  5. 1 Coaxial Digital Audio OUT
  6. 1 Analog Audio OUT (via 3.5mm headphone jack, which feeds a Meritline 1-to-2 Splitter:
    - 1 goes to an Altec Lansing 2.1 Computer Speaker Set
    - 1 goes to a Staples Wireless Headphone Transmitter


3.5mm-to-RCA Adapters and Cables have been available for a LONG time.

The ~$80 Vizio Sound Bar has been on my 'Round Tuit Shopping List' for a while now to amplify the HDMI Inputs (FiOS HD STB, Media Streamers, Blu-Ray Player, 3 Magnavox DVDRs w/HDD) to the TV via the TOSLink OUT and the COMPONENT Inputs (Pioneer DVD Player, Panasonic DVDR, 3 ReplayTVs) which I forgot to check before I returned the D-to-A Converter Box . Short of buying a new receiver with multiple HDMI Inputs, it's, AFAICT, the least expensive way to boost the volume of a current model HDTV.

i just saw a unit @ target clearance for $98, i did not capture the model# or sku, but it's a Sony sound bar with sub, sorry i don't have more info



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