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My first post.......

I have a small theater set up using a Epson HC 720 projector to a 92" pull down screen. DVD player and sound is through a Phillips HT in a box 2.1 system. Room size is 13 x 17 x 7 ceiling. As you can probably tell, my preferences are not high end. We do not use cable TV of any sort, so we only watch DVD's, and play Wii and an old X box. I recently purchased the Roku player for Netflix and we like it. What we have works fine for us, but I don't have enough connections through the Phillips system, we have to keep unplugging and plugging to make each thing work - a real pain. So I would like to see if I could find something, new or used, under $300 that will allow all of these items to be connected at the same time. It does not matter to me if it's 2.1 or 5.1. I can also install 7.1 but would rather not because of the extra work and additional speaker cost. I have full access around the outside of my room to run any wiring needed. I have HDMI, composite and component wiring running to the projector. It would be great to run everything through the HDMI I guess, but for now we just change the input with the projector remote.

Frankly, I get lost when i read about things like upscaling and pass through and room equalizing. I have some idea what these things mean, but I have never seen the difference and really just want something that is simple and works.

Sorry for the long first post, I wanted to give you as much info as possible. Ideas or suggestions?

Thanks

kidsdad
 

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You best, most future proof move is to start with a receiver with HDMI repeater, like the onkyo 606. This will give you plenty of upgrade options. If you want dead simple, however, look for an optical audio switch (assuming you're using optical) or any old RCA switch if using co-ax digital.
 

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One option, with this budget, is to get a HDMI or a component switcher to do the source switching.

For your setup, maybe this one:
http://www.impactacoustics.com/product.asp?cat_id=1002&sku=40697
Then you can run the Wii's (with $29 aftermarket component breakout), Xbox's, Roku's (love these) component video and audio to the switcher and let it do the work. This particular switcher will allow room to grow because it will handle 6 inputs and also 2 independent outputs .... which means you could run a second tv from it to share all your sources.And it has discrete codes for On, Off, all inputs and out puts. But almost any cheaper component switcher will work.



If your budget was bigger I would say, buy a good receiver that could upconvert all nonHDMI to HDMI and just use the HDMI to projector .... but I believe that to get a receiver that will do this well the budget needs to be much bigger (receiver, speakers, wire, etc)
 

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Thanks for the replies. My budget is 300 for the receiver, plus more for the speakers and wires. Just trying to keep it as low as I can. I am OK with used, so maybe I can find something. It's easier to look when you just want to upgrade. Thanks again.
 

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I would look into the Yamaha 663. It is in the $350 price range. I know it is a little bit more than you are looking for, but it offers a whole lot for the money. If you ever get into bluray, it will decode the new formats. It has the ability to add an external amp if you ever want to someday down the road. The only shortcoming is the fact that it only has 2 hdmi inputs. I do not know how many you will need. I think it is a great receiver for the price.

Jeff Aguilar
 

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I agree with Jeff, the Yamaha 663 is about the best you can get for around the $300 range. Onkyo has some great receivers but I would not go with less than a 706 but they run a bit more ($500)
 

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Thanks again for the great ideas - I've started looking - any other ideas are always welcome - I'll post what I decide
 

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What about a Yamaha 661? Not sure what is different with the 663 but it looks to me like it might work?

Thanks for your help
 

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The Yamaha 661 is a discontinued model and wont have as many features or power.
 

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The 661 is the model before the 663. I know many people are using this receiver and if you have a bluray player that decodes the formats for you and then sends it LCPM to the receiver, you will be in business! I have read many people using this unit with their PS3's. The only thing you need to worry about is if you one day get upgrade your bluray player. If you do, you will need to make sure it decodes the new formats, otherwise you will have to get one that does or buy a new receiver. For me, when I upgraded, I came to the conclusion that if I ever needed to upgrade my bluray player, I did not want to have to worry about that. I went with a receiver that gave you the option of accepting the decoded signal or the receiver decoding the signal. It's up to you.

Jeff Aguilar
 

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Can I hijack to ask some advice on receivers too? I'm looking to stay near the $500 mark so I've been eyeballing the Onkyo 606. Is that ok or should I really spend the extra cash for the 706 or the Denon 1909/789? Thoughts?
 

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The 706 has alot to offer and if you can stretch your budget its they way to go. The THX certification gives you several very useful surround modes and the 706 has pre outs for adding an external amp in the future if needed.
 

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The 706 has alot to offer and if you can stretch your budget its they way to go. The THX certification gives you several very useful surround modes and the 706 has pre outs for adding an external amp in the future if needed.
This is what I was thinking, just mad I didn't buy it a few months ago when I found it for less than $600!
 

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Well, I still have not made a purchase. When I began this thread my budget was in the $300 range, and it still is. I knew I would need to buy some speakers, so I was planning extra money for them. Now I see Onkyo has released 2 new HTIB - the 3200 ($324 at newegg) and 5200 ($547 at newegg). Both look pretty good and would fit my budget. Any thoughts in these new options?

Thanks
 

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Hey there!

I was in your shoes about 3 months ago. HTIB or go step by step. Currently...I am one step away from finishing my setup.

I pieced together an Onkyo 706, Infinity 252 fronts, 250 center, and 142 for the rears for $630 (Onkyo was refurbed at $499 and I caught a ridiculous deal for the Infinity group).

Monday my sub arrives and it's the Premier Acoustic PA-120 for $229.

All together I'm looking at $860 bucks and I think I've put together a pretty solid entry level Home theater if the PA-120 performs decently.

Looking back. I'm glad I didn't go the HTIB route. I took my time. Looked around every night for good deals and had a little bit of luck thanks to the SHACK! Point is if your patient. You can get quality stuff if you don't mind putting together your system slowly. I think I'm set for a good while and I'm extremely pleased with how my system sounds.

On the other hand a lot of people like the plug and play aspect of the HTIB and if it sounds good to you. Go for it. However, I do think in the long run that most people would be better off going slowly and buying as they can afford it because the overall quality on some HTIB's (speaker's/wire/sub) isn't to good.

Good Luck!
 
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