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Home Theatre In A Box - Thoughts?

2857 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  TECHNOKID
Doing a little research on home theatre systems before deciding what to purchase for our home. Right now we have a 46” Samsung above our fireplace, and while the picture quality is great it’s just missing that deep rich sound to go along with it.

I wanted to see if I could get some opinions on purchasing a home theatre in a box setup? I’m looking for a 5.1 speaker system with receiver and also Blu-ray capability, somewhere (roughly) around the $500 range.

I’m thinking about something similar to the Samsung HT-C6530, but thought I would seek out some advice first?

Appreciate any input, thanks.
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A HTIB will never replace a true setup, that's a given. However, it is way better than just the TV speaker, that's for sure.

I don't know the model you are looking for but most HTIB are not meant to be driven in a big room. Don't expect the ceiling to crack under the sound pressure created by your setup. Expect to hear surround sound as close as you can expect from such a system.

I have a HTIB in my living room. It is a JVC and it does what it is supposed to do. It sounds nice but I can hear the difference in my theatre compared to a 1300 watt amp.

Good luck!
What i was said before is true about a HTIB but if you want to go on that i think the Onkyo HT-S3300 is a better choice but its minus the BR player but more features and more options , and its on the 500$ range .
Make sure the HTiB has the features you'll need. Here's an FAQ on AVR features...
I was over at BestBuy and thought I would check out the HT-C6530 in person while I was there. Honestly, what a disappointment it was. I can appreciate the value in what you get for the money (speakers, stands, receiver, Blu-ray), the convenience of having everything all in one package - and they do look really great, but the sound was really weak compared to the dedicated 5.1 audio systems.

The biggest issue I found is the bass was really lacking, and by the time the volume was turned up loud enough that the subwoofer was actually producing half decent bass, the volume of the other speakers was way too loud to enjoy comfortably. It was a passive subwoofer with no independent adjustment, so I imagine an active subwoofer found in other systems would probably solve this problem.

That being said – is it possible to upgrade the subwoofer in a HTIB system like this? Can you purchase a separate powered subwoofer that would accept a standard speaker wire connection?

I think this rules out HTIB for me, it probably makes sense to focus on the audio quality right now and worry about Blu-ray further down the road. Appreciate the feedback, now the search for a receiver and speakers begins…
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It's not usually possible to "upgrade" a HTiB sub since it's "matched" to the system. However, it is possible in most HTiBs to adjust the speaker volumes - raise the sub or lower the other speakers in the user setup menu.

Theoretically, you could wire up the front speakers "through" an active sub, but really, then you should be getting an AVR and 5.1 speakers.
Home Theater in a box can be very tricky. I am not a big fan of them as they give you mediocre receivers and speakers that just, lets say could be on par with your tv's speakers. The HTinb usually try to cover their mediocre speakers with some massive boomy sub woofer that produces harsh bass. Now if you want an affordable alternative i'd go for a 5.1 HT system. It's the same as a HTIB without a receiver. My recommendation is the Energy RC-Micro 5.1

they get a strong praise, and I have heard them myself. Best of all a mid-level receiver will do just fine to power them. They sound very good considering crutch field is selling them for only $400 bucks including a subwoofer. This is just crutchfield's price. Shop around for this set, and i'm sure you can find it cheaper elsewhere.
Just a follow-up on this, I ended up purchasing a Harman Kardon AVR 1600 for $350, and HKTS 15 speaker system for $350 as well. I know they’re both entry level H/K products and opinions on both are mixed, but I was pleased with the sound and couldn’t pass them up at that price.

Compared to the Samsung HTiB system I was originally considering, I think this should be a substantial improvement.
Well invested extra $200. A big hassle with a HTIB is that you can't do much in the way of incremental upgrades since many use 4 ohm speakers for all or part of their outputs and use passive subwoofers.

If you picked that up used, it's less than $200 since you would add tax to the $500.

If someone is looking for a cheap HTIB, watch Kijiji or somewhere like that because there are always lots for sale.
Actually, it doesn't take much to surpass any HTIB. Going separate with even the lowest AVR and speaker package and you have a huge upgrade right there. The advantage of separates is that you can later on upgrade as your budget allows you.

Congrats and enjoy your newly acquired HK products :)
Actually I picked them up new, so really it was $800 after tax - but considering the normal price for the pair would have been $1100 (plus tax) I think it was a pretty good deal. In the end the passive subwoofer on the Samsung HTiB system was the deal breaker for me, especially considering there would have been no way to upgrade it.
Here you go, seems like you have made a good deal afterall and it provides for when the upgradis fever hits you ;)
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