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Steven Wilcox's picture
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Joined: 26/03/2008 - 20:09
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2 Channel AV Connections - advice please

I have a Musical Fidelity kw250S cd/amp/tuner coupled with Castle Harlech 2 speakers and Rel Quake subwoofer.  This provides fanstastic sound reproduction (though I can't help hankering for a pair of the highly rated Spendor A6 or PMC speakers).


I'm considering adding a TV - probably the 2009 Award winning Panasonic 37" and also a DVD or Blu-Ray, possibly the 2009 award winning Sony BDP-S760.  My priority is to get the best possible sound by running the TV and DVD/Blu-Ray through the Musical Fidelity unit which has a high quality onboard DAC and optical and co-axial digital inputs.


I'm thinking the best option would be to connect the TV via an optical link to the MF unit and connect the DVD/Blu-Ray direct to the MF Unit via RCA coaxial and to the TV via HDMI.  Alternatively, if the DVD/Blu-Ray is connected to the TV via HDMI, would the coaxial link bewteen the DVD/Blu-Ray and the MF Unit be necessary or offer any advantage? 


I'm also wondering whether Blu-Ray is the best option for me given that my priority is good sound quality - would I be better off going for a decent DVD player with high quality audio?


I understand that the TV may actually offer higher quality DAB because broadcasts through Freeview are at a higher bitrate than DAB radio - has anyone experienced this?


 Any advice would be most welcome - it's a big outlay, and so easy to make mistakes.


 

Andrew Everard's picture
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Re: 2 Channel AV Connections - advice please

I agree with your first plan: go with a Blu-ray player, connect it to the TV via HDMI for the best picture quality, and use an optical connection to the MF all-in-one for off-air TV sound, plus an electrical digital connection to the MF from the player.

Set the player to downmix to stereo from all kinds of disc (DVD/BD), and you're in business. It's a while since I've used a kW250S - in fact not since I reviewed it for Gramophone - but I'm confident this is the way to go.

And yes, you may well find the digital radio sound is better from the TV due to higher bitrates, but since you have the digital connection anyway for TV sound, you'll be able to experiment.

Enjoy...

Steven Wilcox's picture
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Last seen: 4 months 5 days ago
Joined: 26/03/2008 - 20:09
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Re: 2 Channel AV Connections - advice please

Thank you very much for your advice, Andrew.


I've now masde purchases and gone along with your suggested connections and I'm pleased to say it's all working perfectly.  The audio from the blu-ray player can go through my Hi Fi via the optical connection from the TV but there's a noticeable improvement when switching to a direct coaxial connection.


 I do find a big improvement in the standard of digital audio broadcasts via TV.  Generally, the sound is much less boxed-in - more like FM.  I've been listening to BBC Radio 6 through the TV - I'd previously avoided this as it was virtually unlistenable via DAB.  The difference on Radio 3 is less pronounced - probably because it broacasts at a half respectable 160 kbs on DAB, but I still prefer the TV signal - it sounds warmer whilst no less detailed.


 Isn't it a slightly sad and ironic state of affairs that us audiophiles have to turn to the TV for a decent radio signal?

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