How to connect internal TV speakers to audio system?
January 27, 2007 2:08 AM   Subscribe

Connecting internal TV speakers to audio system. Is is possible? How could I screw up? The TV is already open and some wires disconnected.

A friend wants to use his TV speakers as central speakers for his sound system, and asked for my help in building a connector and soldering some wires. I want to know if it could work, and how dangerous it could be.

The connector in the picture was attached to the TV's 'motherboard', and goes straight to the speakers. Picture here

Could we just plug the output for the central speakers from his sound system here? What should I check for? (There is no labeling, but I have a nice multimeter, if that helps) Will I electrocute myself, blow up the speakers or cause eddies in the space time continuum? Why are the wires all different color?

Thank you for your help.
posted by Dataphage to Technology (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You are going use those speakers exclusively for the sound system and they will be disconnected from the rest of the television? Then fine, this should work. Follow that wire and make sure it connects only to the speaker as the voltages you will be inputting are too high for some circuits in the television, but just fine if they only to to the speakers.

Another option is to just use an input on the tv and use the tv amplifier for the speakers (not the speaker input but a low level audio signal from a preamp or directly from a cd player etc.).

Why would anyone want to do this? Most, perhaps all, tv speakers suck by comparison with real speakers. You can get high quality for just a few hundred dollars (say Mission M71 or their current equivalent) and even for about a hundred you will blow away most tv speakers.
posted by caddis at 5:34 AM on January 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

How dangerous it can be: there's shit in a CRT tv that can kill you right the fuck dead even when the tv is unplugged. If you don't know what these things are, you probably have no business futzing with tv guts. If you do, make absofuckinglutely sure that you don't brush up against *anything* in there, including the frame.

This is also a terrible idea, unless it's a supremely weird tv. TV speakers suck ass. They're cheap adjuncts intended to be unobtrusive, inexpensive, and to fit in whatever space happens to be left over in the chassis design. If you really want to do something like this, the right way would be to build a cabinet that surrounds the tv and includes space for proper speakers.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:27 AM on January 27, 2007

Best answer: The wires are different colours so that the manufacturer can wire them up properly, although the choice of colours is up to them. You need to follow the wires to the speakers themselves. Each terminal should have a - or a + on it. At that point you have worked out which pin is L-, L+, R- or R+, and it's just like wiring a regular set of stereo speakers to an amplifier.

Does your amplifier have stereo outputs for the centre channel?
posted by cillit bang at 8:31 AM on January 27, 2007

Echoing ROU_xenophobe and caddis, this is a pretty bad idea.

I did the same thing with my big screen, using the built in dual 20 watt speakers (through the VAR out, though, not by hacking up the TV), and the results were extremely disappointing. The soundstage was all messed up, because my fronts were overpowering the center, even with volume adjustments. Replacing the TV speakers with a 100 watt unit made a world of difference. Voices were much clearer and more distinct for movies, and music (with Dolby ProLogic applied to it) became much more bright.

It's really not worth it. I like hacks as much as the next guy (fuck, I keep a soldering iron on hand at all times, as a matter of necessity) but it's not elite to make something that doesn't work well. And really, what's the point of even having surround sound, if it sucks? You're better off with regular two channel audio.
posted by Drunken_munky at 9:12 AM on January 27, 2007

Opps, I didn't use the VAR out, because that wouldn't make sense. I had speaker inputs on the back. Apologies, I wasn't thinking right. Still, though, bad idea.
posted by Drunken_munky at 9:26 AM on January 27, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. It is not my TV, but the owner beleives the tv speakers are betetr than the ones he has. I'll let you know how it goes. We can always undo the hack (I hope)
posted by Dataphage at 7:53 PM on January 27, 2007

Response by poster: Yes cillit, it has stereo output for center channel.
posted by Dataphage at 7:54 PM on January 27, 2007

Response by poster: Followup: It worked :)
posted by Dataphage at 7:14 AM on April 15, 2007

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