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TV cart with soundbar/speakers?

Trying to do a budget/effective home theater set up.

Due to budget constraints, and wide/use cases loactions within the house (bedroom, living room, and dining room), I have decided to do a TV cart fitted with a little AV cabinet, mounted with a Dell P4317Q monitor (which I already have on hand), and possibly A/V Receiver + bookshelf speaker combo. (I also happen to have KEF EGGs and AudioEngine A2+ speakers too)

Part of this arrangement is not to be wasteful and trying to be modular. This is also to accomodate a bunch of stuff (apple tv, chromcast, PS, Switch…) (“Inputs”). The TV cart will look something like this: https://img.alicdn.com/imgextra/i1/1625325549/O1CN01wBsUA61qrUMDx1Mem_!!1625325549.jpg The outcome I want to achieve is that all I need to do control video input with a remote and control audio with another while having the optionality of bluetooth.

Problem is that the Dell monitor doesn’t have an ARC. So I’ve run into some limitations, and come up with some combinations and require feedback. I appreciate the advice provided. Thank you in advance:

**Option 1:**Inputs > AV/Receiver > (HDMI) Dell + Passive bookshelf speaker connected with speaker wires (although I 'm not entirely sure how to attact those speakers onto the cart itself)

**Option 2:**Inputs > AV Switch > (HDMI video) Dell + (HDMI audio) to Soundbar (like Sonos ARC) attached with the soundbar mount.

My problems/Other points are:

  1. It appears that I am limited by the Dell Monitor, while it might seem like an easier solution to replace it with a TV that has HDMI ARC, it would defeat the purpose on trying to be cost effective.
  2. I don’t know how to execute 1.
  3. I don’t know if Option 2 can be achieved. Can HDMI ARC inputs accept audio output from a standard AV Switch HDMI connection?
  4. Since I have the the KEFs and A2+ speakers, I wonder if they can be looped into this setup. If so, how?
  5. The Klipsch Fives are something I greatly desire since it has a HDMI ARC input and can be something future-proof.

Thanks in advance.

I don’t understand why you’d want to use ARC instead of using audio in th direction it’s meant to go in.

There’s these things called HDMI switches, they’re $10-$20 on Amazon, they come with a remote letting you change inputs in case you need 4 or 6 inputs like you normally get on a receiver, they generally don’t decode HDMI signal, your HDMI bandwidth would be limited by the chip but not specific formats.

There are also HDMI audio extractors for relatively cheap, if you want to reuse existing speakers - they mostly only do pcm stereo or ac3 - it’s up to your source to transcode.

(chromecast, ps5, media player, apple tv, firetv, htpc)-(hdmi switch)-(audio extractor)-(monitor, speakers).


Your typical sound bar will be a combination of switch, extractor with support for a bunch of audio codecs and formats, and a remote that can do cec (which your monitor probably doesn’t support, but let’s you pause on/off etc)

Two ways:

  1. AV-Reciever. Probably expensive but the mostly hassle free way to do this. Just run whatever HDMI you have in there and let that handle the Digital to Analog conversion.

  2. HDMI-Switch (like @risk suggested) and then HDMI-Audio Extractor followed by a DAC (or active speakers) that can handle Toslink (or SPDIF, depending on the extractor).
    This route has the problem of volume control. There are chinese (SMSL for example) Dacs with remotes for volume control. WAF (= Wife Acceptance Factor) may be a problem though.


A TV with optical out would make this a lot easier. One with analog out (for headphones for example) would allow you to use your existing speakers.

Like mentioned above, you need some form of analog.
And probably a cable like this (1/8 TRS to RCA):

That would make this too easy :wink:

Just trying to stay relevant.

Option 2 is what you described. All Inputs connect into a switch. Video goes into the Dell monitor via HDMI. Audio goes into the Soundbar (probably Bose SoundBar 700 at this point because I don’t have to buy the mount separately) via another HDMI.

1 Like

PRECISELY!!! Sadly they don’t sell in Asia yet, except through amazon…

In all likeliness at this point, I probably wil go with AV Receiver to Soundbar via optical. But I’m not aware of any AV receivers that do optical out to soundbar optical IN

Have one single remote to control everything too.

Most soundbars function as a receiver with speaker(s) built in, if buying a soundbar maybe splurge for a better one to avoid having an av receiver as well.

Please don’t.
Soundbars are incredibly underwhelming when compared to similarly priced speakers.

I am not super experienced with speakers (only recently got myself a pair of Emotiva Airmotiv B1+'s), have some knowledge in headphones and PA gear though.

Look at Edifier A80 or Swan M80W.
A pair of Triangle LN01, KEF Q150’s or DALI Oberon 3 with a mid-range AV-Reciever will likely give you a better experience.

Yea… I’m undecided on this.

  1. AV receiver to speakers
    Pro - good experience, modular, good long term solution with little hassle, and can use remote
    Con - I’m not sure how to position the speakers if I’m using a cart like this:
    https://img.alicdn.com/imgextra/i1/1625325549/O1CN01wBsUA61qrUMDx1Mem_!!1625325549.jpg

Plus, I will be pushing this around from room to room, need to figure out the mechanics of this… I’m looking at most receivers at the moment, seems like the only audio outlet is using speaker wires?

  1. HDMI Switch to speakers (ideally the Klipsch!)
  • Same issue with speaker placement
  • Fewer cables
  • @MazeFrame, thanks for the edifier suggestion! I love it.
  1. HDMI Switch to Soundbar (Bose Soundbar 700)
    Pro - Good soundbar and easy installation without getting a third party mount
    It says here that the soundbar accepts optical and HDMI ARC. Does ARC support receiving audio from HDMI/optical switches?

Some of them have so called “Pre-Amp” or “Pre-Out” connections. For powered (= active) speakers, you would use those.

I saw forum posts (on Audio Forums) and YouTube Videos where something like the miniDSP HD plus the optional remote was used. Not sure if that would work for you.

Something to consider here:
When you get an AV-Reciever anyway, you have a speaker amp. So instead of running more electronics behind it, I would get passive speakers (like the Triangle LN01’s, KEF Q150’s, etc. I mentioned.


For stereo speakers, ideally, in an equilateral triangle with your head:
(Not my drawing)
image
Hight-wise, you want them to be ear-level or angeld up or down at you.

Thanks!
I referring to where on the TV cart I would put the speakers LOL