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Discussion Starter #1
Just getting a Sony HD RPTV LCD (love the abbreviations!)

Can you recommend an inexpensive (~$400 - $600) Home theatre System.

I want a 5 disc DVD and a tuner. Been looking at the Sony DVADX150 or the DVADX250 (although I don't like the tall speakers).

I'm not very sophisticated audio-wise but I'll like to impress my friends.

By the way, years ago Top Gun was the movie everyone used to demo big TVs. What's a good one to show off with these days?

Thanks.
 

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BobJones said:
Can you recommend an inexpensive (~$400 - $600) Home theatre System.

I want a 5 disc DVD and a tuner. Been looking at the Sony DVADX150 or the DVADX250 (although I don't like the tall speakers).

I'm not very sophisticated audio-wise but I'll like to impress my friends.

By the way, years ago Top Gun was the movie everyone used to demo big TVs. What's a good one to show off with these days?

HTIB are usually a compromise solution. If you are spending a few grand on a new HDTV, don't go cheap on the audio. Sure, for $400 - $600 you can get an OK HTIB, but for just a few hundred dollars more, you can get a real AVR, and some decent speakers (decent sub especially), and then get a nice DVD player on its own.

Believe me, if you want to impress your friends (but more importantly *yourself*), do not get HTIB. Wait untill you have the cash, and get a theatre system to match the beauty of your new television. You will be making a wiser investment. Don't rush out - take your time, and listen to a lot of different speakers.

After all, sound is half of the HDTV experience.

There are lots of folks here who can give you a good list of demo DVDs. Mine are:

IMAX Super Speedway II
Eagles - Hell Freezes Over (DTS)
Dave Mathew's Band - Concert in Central Park (2003)
LOTR - Return of The King
 

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BobJones said:
I want a 5 disc DVD...
Any particular reason why? I owned 5 disc CD player for a while and found it to be nothing but a pain in the ass to use.


Can you recommend an inexpensive (~$400 - $600) Home theatre System.
Combining both a 5-disc DVD player and a receiver within a single unit pretty much assures you the worst of both worlds. You'd be much better off hunting for a good digital receiver such as the Panasonic SA-XR50 (tough to find at the moment, but available for about $250), an upconverting Samsung or LG single-disc DVD player (about $100-200), and an intro-level speaker package such as the Harman/Kardon HKTS7 (about $300), Athena Point 5 MIKII SE (about $400) or Polk Audio RM6005 Speaker System (about $400). None of those packages will beat "proper" home theatre speakers, but they'll certainly be better than those Sony's, and will blow away your TV's speakers... while not blowing your budget.


As for demo DVDs I'd recommend the remastered original Star Wars triology and just about anything from Pixar.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestions. I just got and installed a Sony HTIB. Sound is better than I'm used to but I think I like your idea of seperate components.

I do have a bit of a shelf space constraint and that's why I thought about an all in one unit.

But my first problem is that it doesn't have the ability to add a second set of speakers. I need to attach a little transmitter to a second output which goes to a couple of wireless speakers I have outside.

I'll keep what I got as my HDTV arrives tommorow and I want good sound. But I think I'll take it back before my 30 day return period so I can get what I need and apparently better sound too.

Thanks for the DVD suggestions.

Soulflare said:
Any particular reason why? I owned 5 disc CD player for a while and found it to be nothing but a pain in the ass to use.
We have one now and its very useful for loading up an evening of background music for company.
 

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Further to SoulFlare's note, FutureShop continues to have a good deal on Athena Micra 6 ($379) 5.1 system [ as well as the Point 5 MIKII SE ($499), probably not as good a deal ]. I saw in a flyer that one or other of FS or BB just in the last week was having a clearance sale on the SA-XR50 ... but I haven't been to the stores to see if they have any, and it doesn't appear on website. For a 1-DVD player, FS still has the famous LG7832NXC (= LG7832 = Zenith DVB318); dunno about a 5-disc player.
 

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HTIBs come in many configurations. Some good some not so good. A few configurations I would avoid include a single amp in the subwoofer. You don't have a dedicated amp for the mains, they are slaved off the amp in the subwoofer. Which means the whole system must be replaced if you want to upgrade one part.

Also avoid the DVD player/receiver hybrids. You may very well find in 2 years you want to get a new HD/BD/DVD player. Your receiver should last many more years.

Get enough power. Back in the days of stereo, 400w was a monster. Now with 7 channels that may only be 50w/channel.

Get Prologic IIx decoding. It has replaced Dolby Prologic. Cheaper units offer the older version only.

For more than one zone you may want to hook up a cheap stereo amp to your wireless units. I have an old "university amp" that has A and B speaker outs. I can have sound outside or in the basement.
 

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BobJones said:
We have one now and its very useful for loading up an evening of background music for company.
Ah, fair enough. However, you can fit about 5-7 music CDs onto a single MP3 CD and then play that on your Samsung or LG DVD player. ;)
 

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which sony

which sony are you getting......htib is free with some of them right now? Stands are still free some places as well
 

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Discussion Starter #10
deadseal said:
which sony are you getting......htib is free with some of them right now? Stands are still free some places as well
I got the KF50WE620. I think its too big so probably going to trade it for the 42".
 

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BobJones said:
I got the KF50WE620. I think its too big so probably going to trade it for the 42".
Noooooo! Don't go backwards! :)

Unless your room is really tiny, stick with the "50" - that's the minimum I'd set for a great HDTV, and the "42" won't really be *that* much smaller.

Seriously though, to enjoy the larger set, you need to make sure that you have a minimum seating distace from the screen of at least 8 to 9 feet. Any closer, and you may not enjoy the picture as much.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We have barely 8' viewing distance. Also my wife stills feels (after about a week) that the size is "overwhelming".

She also complains (and I agree) that the SD stuff is too fuzzy. I know it won't make a huge difference but I'm sure that will be a little better in a 42" set.

I guess the other option is a 42" LG plasma. The set itself is smaller than the RPTV but its about $1600 more. So I think thats a non starter.

I'm going to return the Sony HTIB. It doesn't have the outputs for a second set of speakers which I need for the transmitter for my remote outdoor speakers. I understand most stand alone receivers do have this feature. Also the 5 disc DVD is not tray loading but you have to feed in each dsic seperately. And on this unit it is SLOOOOOOOOW. Literally about 30 seconds per disc.

So I'm going to use my old audio equipment for now and buy seperate components piece by piece over time. I like the Athena Micra 6 speakers which were for sale at FS web site for $299 but are now sold out. I may run over to the local store to see if I can get lucky.

Any further suggestions for a good inexpensive receiver and a 5 disc DVD are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for all the advice.
 

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The best inexpensive 6.1 receiver you're likely to find at the moment is the Pioneer VSX-D515. Bestbuy had them on sale for $249 a week or two ago, but it seems both them and FS have returned to asking full MSRP ($299). As for the 5-disc DVD player, I think your options are kind of limited on that front but this Panasonic DVD-F87S is probably your best bet. I haven't heard much about that particular model, but I know that there are A LOT of happy owners of single-disc Panasonic progressive scan DVD players on this forum and elsewhere.

That Micra sale is supposed to be online only, and only for the black Micras. However, considering that sale and the fact that you'd also be buying a receiver and a DVD-player, you should be able to negotiate a significant (if not matching) deal on those Black Micras in store, or perhaps even the nicer silver ones.
 

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Why get a HTIB? , my suggestion is to get yourself some decent speakers , sub for your sound system, Before we bought our Athena's we listened to "lots" of different speakers, to get the sound hubby and I both liked, ( that was real fun*) but within a reasonable price range.. There are some nice sounding speakers on the market you can chose from.... Remeber that sound is half the experience of your HT, -Just a thought why not save some money on the DVD player , (do you really need the 5 disk )?, I only ask as I've talked to a few poeple on different forums who regreted buying it, - you could save a little money put it back into the speakers

We have the HTIB upstairs it is ok, but I mean it can't even come close to our basement system,

As for movies, our DLP projector is not high deffention, but here are some movies we are impressed with for sound and video

1) Blade Trinty (amazing audio)
2) The incredibles (amazing video and sound is good too)
3) Attack of the clones (star wars)
4) AVP is pretty good too
5)Fast and furious movies, Tripple X

Happy shoping and good luck!!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the advice. I'm still going nuts on all the options.

I'm returning my Sony 50" RPTV LCD. It's just too big. We are barely 8' from the screen. I'll either get the 42" Sony or perhaps the 42" Daytek Plasma from Costco. I know its only EDTV but people seem to think it's picture quality is virtually as good as HDTV to the average eye.

ilovemusic said:
Just a thought why not save some money on the DVD player , (do you really need the 5 disk )
We want to use it for playing music Cds also and we like to load up a bunch for dinner parties etc.
 
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