I have Dish Network's 522 satellite receiver servicing two Sony TVs. One is a 42-in. rear- projection LCD and the other a 23-in. LCD. The audio on the larger unit leaves much to be desired and while live shows are tolerable many recorded shows and movie dialogue are barely understandable. Increasing the volume serves only to hurt one's ears and does not appreciably improve clarity. My question is: Can I achieve a crispness and clarity of dialogue at low to mid-range volume by using an external amplifier and wide-mode center speaker? I am not a music buff and do not wish to "rattle the rafters" nor do I wish to achieve a "concert hall effect". My only desire is to achieve a clarity and crispness of sound at or slightly above conversational levels.



Hello Willard,

The speakers and amplifiers built into many TVs are barely adequate, if that.

You could achieve crisp, clear dialog by using a relatively simple 3-channel setup, with a center-channel speaker such as the Axiom VP100, and two compact bookshelf speakers like the Axiom M3 v2's as the left and right "main" speakers. You would pair those with a basic Pioneer or Panasonic Dolby Digital AV receiver.

You would need to check your 42-inch LCD rear-projection set's rear panel and see if it (or your cable box) has left and right stereo audio output jacks (or, better yet, a digital audio output, either optical or coaxial). That would route the TV audio to the AV receiver, which then separates the dialog channel and sends it to the center speaker and the remainder of the TV audio to the left and right speakers.

Your AV receiver would then let you independently adjust the volume of the center channel dialog speaker, as well as the relative volume of the left and right "main" speakers. You must use an AV receiver with Dolby Digital decoding and a separate center channel speaker in order to get crisp and clear dialog.

Look to Pioneer or Panasonic and Denon for basic AV receivers in the $300 or less price range.

Kind regards,