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post #11 of 53 Old 03-18-09, 01:29 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Juliette, GA
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Re: Home Theatre guidance

Welcome! You've gotten some good advice from others. I have a few thoughts given your budget constraints.

I agree with going with a DVD player that upscales and has HDMI. Even on my 8' front projection screen, a high quality DVD upscaled can look amazingly good. When you have more money, definately get a PS3. It's amazing!

I also suggest you get an off the air HD tuner (eg http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=210-172). Tallahassee should have all the major networks as well as a PBS station. Nature, Masterpiece Theater and other PBS HD programs are amazing. The signal quality is actually better than the same content over cable or satellite, because it is not compressed. Now that stations have gone digital, my wife and I are seriously considering cancelling satellite service. Between OTA and Netflix, we get all the content we need!

Here's a suggested system for you:
Yamaha DVD HDMI Player - $90
Onkyo TX-SR506 7.1 Receiver - $ 212
Winegard HD Tuner - $160
Ascend HTM-200SE L/C/R - $400
Total: $862

The Ascends are amazing little speakers (http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...00/htm200.html). I have them for my back surrounds. I only priced L/C/R because of budget. Adding surronds would add another $200.

You'll also want to add a subwoofer later. Right now one would bust your budget. For your space, you could consider one in the $300 range.

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post #12 of 53 Old 03-18-09, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tallahassee
Posts: 24
Re: Home Theatre guidance

wow you guys are awesome. Thank you all so much for your comments and advice and suggestions. I greatly appreciate all your help!

tonyvdb wrote: View Post
Not sure what you mean here?
Well like for instance my current speaker cables are connected to the dvd player via cables (such as an ethernet network cable except it's smaller and thinner)...and the other side that hooks up to the speaker is just the copper end with strings coming out that you put into a snap on thingy behind the speaker.....whereas majority of the cables used for new speakers just have that normal output like a pin (I would post pics but it won't let me due to spam restrictions for noobs!) and this is what all receivers so far i've seen handle which makes my old speaker system totally useless. (Correct me if I'm wrong).

nova wrote: View Post
Considering your room size and budget constraints, here is something else that may work for you.
Yamaha DVD w/HDMI[/URL]
Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Entertainment System[/URL]
Closer to $900, there are lots of options
The yamaha you pointed out is only 1080i and my tv is 1080p so should I not try to get a dvd player that is 1080p? Also that 5.1 system you showed me looks really nice, but I had a question regarding it. It only mentioned that the sub is 200 watts. What about the speakers? Or is this something you can control using the receiver? I used to be obsessed with wattage, but after learning more I realized that a system of 400 watts can sound way better than one at 1000.

DougMac wrote: View Post

I also suggest you get an off the air HD tuner .
WOw are you serious? If this is what I think it is..then it is amazing. I am so sick of watching regular cable on my tv since it doesn't look that great...but after reading this I have to wonder how this is legal? Aren't you just picking up airwaves you didn't pay for? This is ok? Or do you still have to have some sort of cable package from your cable provider? I'm just curious I was contemplating on getting a comcast HD package, but if this will get me the same thing w/o having to pay monthly then I'm in..

Also those ascends you showed me look really sweet. That seems to be the new design everyone is coming out with. One question I had about that 7.1 receiver is....if my receiver is 7.1 it doesn't mean I HAVE to buy 7 speakers right? It just means that is its max?

One thing I wanted to make sure on....the receiver is what everything plugs into so my tv, my xbox, my dvd player would all hook up to the receiver via hdmi cables and my speakers and sub would connect to it using their own cables. Is this correct? My 2nd question is, does it really matter what kind of hdmi cable? I bought the philips cables (gold plated..) from walmart for 30 bucks, but I've been told that the $120 monster hdmi cables are not that much better if even noticeable. Now that was advice given to me in regards to video. How much does it differ when we are talking about audio? Because if I have to buy 3 separate HDMI cables that can get pricey too. I also have a friend who works at best buy who can get me the 80 dollar rocket fish hdmi cables for 10 bucks...i've never heard of that company but apparently it's like a best buy version of monster cable? lol

Last edited by RaZmAn; 03-18-09 at 07:09 PM.
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post #13 of 53 Old 03-18-09, 08:37 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Re: Home Theatre guidance

If your only wanting to use HDMI. Make sure your receiver is repeatable. Some are only pass through and you'll need to use an optical cable for your audio. I'd also look at making sure your receiver supports 1.3 HDMI.

7.1 Receivers also will do 5.1 systems. Just make sure whatever receiver you get. You read the manual on which back outputs to use for 5.1.

And the off air HD tuner if I understand Doug correctly is just for for your local channels (need HD antennae). I may be wrong...but it won't get you free HD cable. You'll need to subscribe to your cable company and get an HD cable receiver.

Nova's probably on the right track. Good speakers will last ya a long time. But make sure your receiver will drive all the toys you want for your system.

Take your time. Figure out your needs and piece it together. You'll probably suffer from paralysis of analysis (I did). But your bound to run into deals if you go slowly rather than rush out and get it all at once.

Have fun!
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post #14 of 53 Old 03-19-09, 09:20 AM
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Re: Home Theatre guidance

Here's some clarifications.
The OTA HD receiver I discussed just picks up broadcast TV. I think I confused the issue by mentioning giving up satellite. If I gave up satellite, I'd give up all the channels such as HGTV, FX, the Weather Channel, HBO, etc. A survey of our viewing habits shows we're paying a lot (>$70/month) for very little return. 90% of our viewing is either broadcast TV (PBS had a great show on Marvin Gaye last night) or Netflix movies). There are 6 OTA TV stations in Tallahassee covering all the major networks, these are what you'd get.

Yes, 1080p would be optimum, but it comes at a price and that price just for the receiver could consume your entire budget. It could be argued that on most content you wouldn't be able to seed the difference, especically on upscaled DVD content.

"I also have a friend who works at best buy who can get me the 80 dollar rocket fish hdmi cables for 10 bucks..." That pretty much sums up the secret to high priced cables, it's mostly, if not entirely markup. This is especially true when you're sending digital signals (HDMI). It's pretty much "go" or "no go". There are special situations, such as extremely long runs, where you have to be concerned, but not in your situation. Buy your cables from Parts Express or monoprice.com. I have a 25 foot HDMI cable from my receiver to my projector that I bought from monoprice that works great. I think it costs $40 and that's because of its length. Do not, under any circumstance, purchase any Monster Cables product. They are an evil company (http://www.audioholics.com/news/indu...s-strikes-back).

When you get closer to your final decision, we can help with what cables you need.

BTW, the nice thing about the Yamaha RXV465BL that someone recommended is that it has 4 HDMI ins and sound calibration. It looks like a nice receiver.
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post #15 of 53 Old 03-19-09, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Tallahassee
Posts: 24
Re: Home Theatre guidance

Thank you for your response. Thanks to you guys my knowledge is ever increasing and I feel like (even though still a noob) I have a way better understanding of everything. One more thing I was wondering is, someone mentioned something about a pass-through hdmi on a receiver. I think I know what that means but can someone correct me if I'm wrong?

Say for instance i have a xbox, tv, and dvd player hooked up to receiver via 3 hdmi cables. Pass through means I can only have one hdmi cord working at a time? Is there a disadvantage to that? I don't really get it because if I play a movie out of my dvd player then does that mean I will only get video and audio out of the tv and none through the receiver?

Currently I watch most of my dvd's off of my xbox or I stream xvids from my laptop to the xbox. I can use the xbox adaptor that enables me to use an optical cable but then I won't be able to use hdmi anymore since the optical port is only there if I use the component cables adaptor. I don't know how much better hdmi is than component but i'm sure it makes a difference.

you mentioned that 1080p would consume my entire budget but i was only talking about the dvd player itself. 1080p dvd player upscaled are only like 80 bucks or so, but I see that you might be talking about the receiver being able to handle 1080p?? I was not aware that receivers also had to be 1080p compliant. It is starting to make more sense now.
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post #16 of 53 Old 03-19-09, 05:28 PM
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Re: Home Theatre guidance

RaZmAn wrote: View Post
...someone mentioned something about a pass-through hdmi on a receiver. I think I know what that means but can someone correct me if I'm wrong?

Say for instance i have a xbox, tv, and dvd player hooked up to receiver via 3 hdmi cables. Pass through means I can only have one hdmi cord working at a time?
I believe pass through as used by the prior poster is what I consider a common use for the term. It means that the receiver can send a video signal totally unaltered from your source (BD, DVD Player, Cable box, etc.) to your display. There are some good reasons to look for this feature.

Here's an example. I have a PS3 and its upconversion is well regarded, some think it's about the best there is. I have a 720p projector. I set my PS3 to upconvert standard DVD's to 720p. I then hook the HDMI cable from the PS3 to the receiver, then hook the HDMI out cable to my projector. Since I've already upconverted, I want the receiver to just pass the signal through to the projector. Now, if I had a TV or projector that did a great job of upconverting, I'd want the PS3 (or whatever DVD player) to send out a signal in native resolution, pass it through the receiver and let the TV or projector upconvert.

If I had a really great (read expensive) receiver that was renowned for it's upconversion, then I'd send a native signal from the source to the receiver and let it upconvert before passing the signal to the display.

If you get a receiver that offers HDMI passthrough, it will still capture the audio portion of the signal, process it and send it to your speakers.

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post #17 of 53 Old 03-27-09, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Home Theatre guidance

If for example there is this product: Yamaha RX-V363BL 500 Watt 5.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver

It says 500 watts. If my speakers have a total of say 1000 watts, does this mean that only 500 will be used since the receiver is only 500 watts?
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post #18 of 53 Old 03-28-09, 10:52 AM
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Re: Home Theatre guidance

The wattage rating of the speakers is the limit the speakers can take before damage will occur. It has nothing to do with the amount of power the amp can produce. You will not be listening to 500 watts! Most material will fall into the 5-50 watt level, with some peaks above that. As long as you don't play distorted passages at loud levels, you will be fine. I believe that receiver has about 100 watts per channel with 500 being the combined total output. Dennis

L Dennis Doan, DC
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post #19 of 53 Old 03-28-09, 12:25 PM
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Re: Home Theatre guidance

I love a good challenge Let's keep in mind tax and shipping costs - that's where Amazon really shines.

For the LCR, I'd look to the Boston Acoustics Classic series. You can get some decent floorstandershttp://www.amazon.com/Boston-Acoustics-CS226B-Classic-Floorstanding/dp/B001GIOSUI/ref=pd_bbs_sr_4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238260003&sr=8-4and a center channelhttp://www.amazon.com/Boston-Acoustics-CS225CB-Classic-Channel/dp/B001GCWDLU/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238260003&sr=8-10for a total of ~$442 shipped from Amazon.com. Boston always put out good performance for the dollar, I think you'd be hard pressed to top this LCR in this range.

That said, go with something really cheap for your surrounds in a starter system, that's where you can cut corners the most. These Sony bookshelves http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-B1000-8-Inch-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B000OG88KY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238260247&sr=1-1are about as cheap as I could find without delving into satellite territory. This brings you up to ~$492.

This Sony receiverhttp://www.amazon.com/Sony-STR-DG520-Audio-Video-Receiver/dp/B0015HPYD0/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238260818&sr=1-4is about as inexpensive as you can get while maintaining the bare essentials. 5 x 100 watts, HDMI switching, and ~18lbs for $155 shipped is tough to beat. Now you're up to ~$647.

The subwoofer that screams decent performance on a budget is the Dayton ported 12". At $155 and tuned ~25hz, I doubt there is anything competitive. Now you're up to ~$847, as shipping probably costs close to $50.

I've read that this Toshiba upconverting dvd playerhttp://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-XD-E500-Upconverting-Extended-Detail/dp/B001D9IWIY/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238259557&sr=8-1 is pretty decent, and a great deal at $82.50 shipped.

This brings you to a grand total of $929.50 shipped. All you'd need to add are a few cables from Monoprice.com and you're all set for under $1000. The speakers in this system, inlcuding the sub, should be very good for this price range - if you wanted to upgrade one of the areas, I'd maybe spend a bit more on a receiver myself. If you step up to the ~$300 range, you can get a better amp section.
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post #20 of 53 Old 04-17-09, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Posts: 24
Re: Home Theatre guidance


Just a FYI...semester is almost over and I am about to get some more money which means I can finally start buying my system (I am projecting to start buying beginning of may cuz then I'll be totally free and have time for it)

Totally off topic but have you guys ever heard of these speakers?


I'm not sure if it's ok to post such links so I'm sorry in advance....but someone just showed it to me and I was just wondering ..I know it would make my budget way over but I was just curious

Also what about these: http://www.vocopro.com/products/product_info.php?ID=113

I am for some reason getting into those floor standing speakers...they have an appeal to me...I just don't know anything about the specs and etc

Last edited by RaZmAn; 04-17-09 at 03:31 AM.
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