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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well as the title says, I am about to buy but I want some opinions to make sure I am doing the right thing. A fella from work thinks I am just wasting money since I dont have the ideal setup for a home theater. In a way he is kind of right as far as the setup is concerned. I own a split level home and I am turning the downstairs room into my home theater. Below is a drawing I made in Photoshop of what my room kind of looks like and how I am planning to set it up. I would love some input. So far I have decided on the following equipment:

PROJECTOR: EPSON PowerLite Home Cinema 8100

PROJECTOR SHELF: OmniMount ECSB Component Shelf

SPEAKERS: Onkyo HT-S7200 or Onkyo HT-S9100THX?

SCREEN: Haven't decided yet...

 

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HTIB systems aren't really the best bang for buck. You would be better off with a good speaker package and standalone receiver. What's your speaker/receiver budget?
 
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I agree that HTIB can be improved by separate shopping. I don't like the lack of sensitivity of the Onkyo HTIB speakers. They are only rated at THX levels 6' from the fronts, so really, only a small room. Overall, Cnet rated the Onkyo THX HTIB the best HTIB system, so I'm sure it's fine and I've seen it on sale, so it wouldn't be a bad buy, but a little more could go a long way.

I would choose BIC America speakers over any HTIB system. They have these Klipsch knock offs (search for the best price) http://www.amazon.com/BIC-FH6-LCR-6-5-Inch-175-Watt-Frequency/dp/B0015A8Y3E/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1280475260&sr=1-3 This place has them cheaper, but doesn't offer free shipping. http://www.provantage.com/bic-america-fh6-lcr~7BICA00R.htm

The sub should be front and center and look at Dolby Labs web page for speaker placement. Either your plans are not to scale, or they could use a little improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
lsiberian, I am brand new to this home theater stuff so I figured buying a boxed set may not be the best but for someone brand new I figured it would be the easier route.

Bambino, I was worried about my seats blocking the room off if I turned it around. Im not so worried about blocking anything as I am putting in a rollup screen. I was just worried about cutting the room in half with the couches.

Generic, Thanks for the comments. The picture isn't really to scale. Unfortunately there is no way for me to really put the sub in the middle as the screen is going to be coming down in the middle of the room. I cant figure out any other way to set things up.
 

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Getting all the audio gear for a home theater can be a daunting task. Yes buying a HTIB is an easier route and the reviews of the Onkyo HT-S9100THX are favorable. You would be hard pressed to build a system separately at that price point. CNET's review says it "was in fact, hands down, the best-sounding HTIB we've ever heard."


It boils down to how much you're willing to spend and how good you want it to sound. I think it would take a fairly large increase in cost to get a significant improvement of audio.

Most of us here carefully crafted our home theater audio. I'm positive my mid level system would run rings around the Onkyo, but keep in mind I paid nearly as much for my subwoofer as the entire Onkyo system costs. When you get input, be aware of the point of view of those who offer advice.

Without knowing your budget, I'm leaning towards recommending you get the Onkyo THX HTIB.

For comparison, I priced out an SVS 7.1 system, complete with the SVS sub I have. It's $1369 for the speakers alone. Add the new Onkyo 608 at ~$500 and you'll have a much better system, but at about twice the price of the Onkyo HTIB.

I have Ascend main speakers. An equivalent system in Ascends would be $1008 minus the sub. Add $350 for a better sub than the Onkyo and you're right at the same as SVS with a slightly lower quality sub. Either of these two choices would be far better than the Onkyo, but, as I mentioned, twice the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Doug, thanks so much for your response. Our thoughts on this are the same. I think I am definitely going to go with the ONKYO HT-S9100THX. For $800 shipped and from everything I have read, you cant beat the deal. I am by no means an audio expert. I have never owned a system like this. Were talking about a guy who has always used the speakers that came on the TV's I buy! I can only imagine how much better this will sound.

In the future I may be willing to spend more money but for now I just want to get something I can enjoy for a few years.
 

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The ONKYO HT-S9100 is a great deal for the money and to get separates that would compare you would have to spend more than $800. Is it ideal, No. However for $800 you would not find anything better.
The only thing I will say is that making sure that the windows can be completely blacked out is a must given how many you have in the room. You have a decent sized room for a projection system and I dont think you will find a better option using a display.
 

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Just wanted to throw out a thought..

I think it would be tough to beat the Onkyo HTIB deal at that price point.. my only contention is that it is still a decent amount of scratch and for more money, I think we could find something that would be better to maybe make the upgrade worthwhile. You're not saving money if you end up upgrading later.

So here is my suggestion, go out and listen to some other systems and see if the difference between the Onkyo system and an upgraded system would be worth the extra $$ in the long run.

I saw one person come on to a board, asking for the best cheapest speaker. The suggestion that he took was the insignia coaxial speakers. He liked them, but it only started a series of purchases that leapt WAY over where he started (the system he has now is a custom built, fully active system that cost him I don't know how much, but a LOT more than the $60/pr of speakers he started with).

Again, I don't want to say the Onkyo system isn't worthy, just, if you're going to spend that kind of money, it might be worthwhile to investigate some of the more expensive systems.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the info fellas. Over the weekend I went to a few different audio stores and unfortunately none of them carried the Onkyo 9100. I am going to go ahead and buy it though as the reviews for it are very good. I really do appreciate everyones input.
 
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