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New to Home Theater


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14 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ahrjmr

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:38 AM

I have been looking at home theater equipment for a while, but I am confused.
I already have a blue-ray player, Directv HD DVR receiver, and a Wii to hook up to a receiver and five 5.1 Dolby speakers.

Can anyone give me suggestions if I should buy a Home Theater system in a box or individual pieces and put them together as one unit?

Let me know if you need more information from me.

Thanks in advance.
Jim


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#2 OFFLINE   WestDC

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:52 AM

Check out this site http://www.avsforum.com/

Your A/V receiver choices are many- depends on how mnay things and they different ways to connect them. The size of your room comes into play and then the choice of speakers, is in the ear of the beholder! Some will say this are great and every thing else is trash, but you need to go somewhere and hear it yourself, now having said that, any example you listen too will never have the same ascoutics as your place.

So your screwed any way you go :lol:

Good luck in your search one advanatage you have (being NEW) anything you get will sound much better than anything you have now - so you have that going for ya!

#3 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:52 AM

I have been looking at home theater equipment for a while, but I am confused.
I already have a blue-ray player, Directv HD DVR receiver, and a Wii to hook up to a receiver and five 5.1 Dolby speakers.

Can anyone give me suggestions if I should buy a Home Theater system in a box or individual pieces and put them together as one unit?

Let me know if you need more information from me.

Thanks in advance.

Tough question....but the answer comes down to these considerations:

1) Budget
2) Space allocation for your viewing/listening and equipment
3) Dedicated or non-dedicated space
4) Timeframe
5) Is this a home or other residence (apt., condo, etc.)?

Having constructed a full-blown dedicated Home Theater here, with 116" screen, projector, THX 7.1 surround, rack-mounted equipment, stadium seating...etc., etc...I can assure you the experience can be quite wonderful...but also expensive.

Equipment alone can vary alot.

The Home Theater in a Box continues to improve in capbilities and quality all the time, but to me...its also limiting and somewhat risky - if one aspect fails, you're dead in the water on everything.

Tough choices.
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#4 OFFLINE   phat78boy

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:54 AM

I would recommend putting the system together from pieces rather then buying an all-in-one unit. The only exception to this would be a secondary viewing area like a bedroom or loft.

I have three main reasons for this thought. First, as technologies advance, its usually just one piece of equipment at a time. For example if you had an all-in-one unit that had a dvd player and you wanted to upgrade to blu-ray, you would have to get rid of your whole setup. If you had individual pieces, you just swap what you want to upgrade.

Second, if you want to add something later most all-in-one solutions don't give you a lot of options. You said you have a Blu-ray player, Directv box and Wii. For most all-in-one setups you are at your limit. Should you want to add an Xbox later, you would have to unplug something else which would become a pain.

Third, quality. Put simply, the overall quality from all-in-one systems is no where near what you can get from individual pieces. HDMI throughput and upconversion probably the biggest standouts. Audio is definitely right there as well.

#5 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:57 AM

I would recommend putting the system together from pieces rather then buying an all-in-one unit. The only exception to this would be a secondary viewing area like a bedroom or loft.

I have three main reasons for this thought. First, as technologies advance, its usually just one piece of equipment at a time. For example if you had an all-in-one unit that had a dvd player and you wanted to upgrade to blu-ray, you would have to get rid of your whole setup. If you had individual pieces, you just swap what you want to upgrade.

Second, if you want to add something later most all-in-one solutions don't give you a lot of options. You said you have a Blu-ray player, Directv box and Wii. For most all-in-one setups you are at your limit. Should you want to add an Xbox later, you would have to unplug something else which would become a pain.

Third, quality. Put simply, the overall quality from all-in-one systems is no where near what you can get from individual pieces. HDMI throughput and upconversion probably the biggest standouts. Audio is definitely right there as well.

I'd agree with those points.

A good Home Theater "experience" includes an equal balance of video and audio quality, regardless of the level of sophistication.
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#6 OFFLINE   ahrjmr

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 11:03 AM

This home theater system is going into an 18' x 12' room. I forgot to add that I also have a 42" LCD HDTV mounted on the wall. I think I only need speakers and a receiver.

I guess it's just determining what receiver and speakers sound good and that are in my price range.

Thanks for your help.
Jim


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R15 (4)
HR21 (2)

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#7 OFFLINE   phat78boy

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 11:12 AM

Its really hard to say as it is truly an individual preference. I would say to start with a good stand alone receiver such as a Denon or Onkyo. My primary reason would be looking for a receiver based on video handling first, audio second. Again, thats me.

For your room size, I would guess something around 100x7 or higher would be good. If the primary use will be movies/TV, a nice component or small speaker setup would work out just fine. With small speaker setups, you really need to have a good subwoofer as it will be doing the lifting for all your bass needs. I would say 300w 10" or bigger depending on your taste.

#8 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 12:08 PM

This home theater system is going into an 18' x 12' room. I forgot to add that I also have a 42" LCD HDTV mounted on the wall. I think I only need speakers and a receiver.

I guess it's just determining what receiver and speakers sound good and that are in my price range.

Yes.
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#9 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 01:24 PM

This home theater system is going into an 18' x 12' room. I forgot to add that I also have a 42" LCD HDTV mounted on the wall. I think I only need speakers and a receiver.

I guess it's just determining what receiver and speakers sound good and that are in my price range..


As HDTVFAN stated so succinctly, yes, that is the issue! :)

Without knowing your budget, it's impossible to even begin giving advice. On top of that, what sounds good to me in my house might sound like crap to you in your home. There are other factors, too, like the size and placement of speakers - i.e. do you want to (or can you) use in-wall or ceiling speakers, are you willing to use larger boxy speakers or do you want small ones that can be hidden more easily?

The receiver is probably less important than the speakers as long as it has all the inputs and outputs you need, but then again, you need to consider future expansion, and if you want to ever go 7.1 (or 9.1) or power a 2nd or 3rd room.

#10 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 01:50 PM

Budget will be the main factor here as with anything in technology.

If you're looking at a HTIB system I would recommend an Onkyo 6200 or 7200 set. These come with a decent mid range receiver and the speakers are where they cut the cost. The upside is because it's a real receiver you can upgrade later on.

I recently did a new system using this. The total cost was around 1200 including cables.
I'm very happy with the quality of the sound for this price point. If you don't have room for the fronts you could easily order 3 of the center speakers and use 2 of those for fronts. They're deeper than the rears which are more tinny.


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#11 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 02:47 PM

This home theater system is going into an 18' x 12' room. I forgot to add that I also have a 42" LCD HDTV mounted on the wall. I think I only need speakers and a receiver.

I guess it's just determining what receiver and speakers sound good and that are in my price range.

Thanks for your help.


With a room that size (assuming you're using most of it), I'd probably upgrade the display first. It's hard to have a "theater experience" on a display that small. If you do decide to stick with 42", mounting it on the wall might not be the best option either. You're probably going to want a lowboy or something similar to hold your gear (receiver, DVR, BD, UPS, etc.), so you might as well put the display on that to help ensure that it's the right height (most people that mount, mount way too high).

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#12 OFFLINE   dmspen

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:04 AM

HTIBs, Home Theater in a Box are a compromise. As stated earlier, they are good for small areas where you aren't doing SERIOUS video watching. In an 18x12 room, an HTIB won't cut it (IMO). You need some fair size speakers and a good sub. Remember, much of the 'sound' of sound is a speakers ability to push air, especially in a sub.

There are outstanding deals out there on speakers and receivers. Check out http://www.logicbuy.com/search/polk for some serious deals on Polk Speakers. They're usually decent. A/V receivers have dropped considerably in price and gone up in features. One of the best bangs for the buck is Onkyo. Lots of new features (hdmi, upconverting, etc) and good prices. Check around. 6AVE.com has a few days left of their 'name-your-own-price'. I got a great deal on a Pioneer Elite receiver.

Accessories4Less.com has great deals on refurb'ed Onkyo and Marantz receivers and good prices on speakers. Sometimes you have to go back a number of times to find what you want. The there's Audiohilcs.com, Vanns, etc.

Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on some good speakers.

#13 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:07 AM

HTIBs, Home Theater in a Box are a compromise. As stated earlier, they are good for small areas where you aren't doing SERIOUS video watching. In an 18x12 room, an HTIB won't cut it (IMO).

There's certainly some truth in those statements.
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#14 OFFLINE   ahrjmr

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 07:53 AM

I went out and purchased an Onkyo HTIB. HT-S3200. I hooked it up last night. It sounds decent. It's good enough for my ears. I wasn't looking to spend thousands of dollars. From all the reviews I read online all were pretty good.

I still have to mount the speakers to the walls and hide the wires. That's what weekends are for!

Thanks for everyones help.
Jim


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R15 (4)
HR21 (2)

5 LNB AT9 Dish Connect to Zinwell switch.

#15 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 07:59 AM

I went out and purchased an Onkyo HTIB. HT-S3200. I hooked it up last night. It sounds decent. It's good enough for my ears. I wasn't looking to spend thousands of dollars. From all the reviews I read online all were pretty good.

I still have to mount the speakers to the walls and hide the wires. That's what weekends are for!

Thanks for everyones help.

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