HolidayBuyer's Guide

TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

HTIB help

by phillyrx / October 9, 2007 5:49 AM PDT

hi everyone,

i was wondering if you all might be able to help me out. currently, i have a sharp aquos 46" tv (http://www.sharpusa.com/products/ModelLanding/0,1058,1745,00.html), and sony dvd player (http://www.boscovs.com/StoreFrontWeb/Product.bos?assortmentDepartmentNumber=7014500&assortmentId=2&itemNumber=59579&type=Product). the dvd player is old, and i wouldn't mind having a better one. the htib is for my family room, approx: 14'x18'

preferences/requirements (in order of importance):
1 - no rear wireless speakers. i need the wires to run from front to back. (has to due w/ setup of family room and how back of room is a walkway and open).
2 - great sound (thats, a given =))
3 - upconversion of dvds. considering that i have a 1080p capable tv, i'd like to watch my dvds withs the best quality w/o having to upgrade to hd dvd or blu-ray.

other points:
1 - of most importance, i'd like to keep it as close to $500 as possible.
2 - i've read a lot about the onkyo ht sr800. i'm okay with not having a dvd player if this thing is that good. are there any good, and not too expensive dvd players to add to this to keep around $500?

my stupid questions:
1 - i would love to have my tv, dvd player, and wii to have surround sound once the htib is set up. is this possible and how?
2 - do i need a htib w/ and hdmi input? whats the advantage?

i appreciate any help/input to anyone of my various questions! thanks a lot!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: HTIB help
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: HTIB help
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
generally
by ozos / October 9, 2007 8:22 AM PDT
In reply to: HTIB help

I don't suggest HTIBs, other users don't seem to have a problem with them, seeing your budget constraints, the cheapest suggestions I have start at ~$1000, so you might want to look at what others have to say feedback wise on HTIBs, with that out of the way:

generally DVD-integrated HTIB products are frowned upon, as its a lower quality product (generally, not always)

yes you'll have surround sound from anything connected to the reciever that produces a surround signal (meaning TV likely won't be 5.1, unless your reciever comes with an upconversion method, most all DVD's have a 5.1 track, most modern games have a 5.1 track available)


getting HDMI is advisable, as it gives you a single connection for video/audio, however as it sounds like your system's needs have thus far been met without HDMI, I wouldn't be too worried (you don't explicitly need HDMI, some may argue quality, however component video, DVI, VGA, and most other decent interfaces will be fine (S-Video is about the "least decent" I'd go, at least with an HDTV using widescreen formats)), so if it doesn't have HDMI, don't worry all that much about it, just realize that its a common standard, and a number of HD capable devices will utilize it (however don't expect to find a reciever with more than one HDMI input for anything less than ~$800, you can get HDMI switch devices (personally I'm opposed) which many have reported luck with)

sorry that I can't be much more help with specific systems, just answering what I can

Collapse -
thanks!
by phillyrx / October 9, 2007 12:29 PM PDT
In reply to: generally

hi ozos,

thanks for the reply! i would love to forgo the htib idea, but it seems like that'll be the only thing that fits w/in the budget for now. (i wish the budget was higher... darn!)

the info is def valuable re: hdmi and surround sound capability... if anyone else has any suggestions as to a good htib, please let me know... thanks!

Collapse -
OK, my stupid, slightly avoiding the issue answer.
by NM_Bill / October 9, 2007 1:46 PM PDT
In reply to: HTIB help

I'm a music & sound junkie of 45 years experience. Yes, I wish many could avoid HTIBs. My idea is they are temporary, make-do solutions with obvious compromises. But money is always important.

So currently, the Onkyo 800 is about as good as it gets. Notice c/net's review says it gives you a better than average receiver for an HTIB & rather clunky size, so-so speakers.

If you were to research threads here about such things, there have been many good discussions in the past few months.

My ideas for your consideration: Today's receivers have become great values. A buying strategy might be to pick up a left over or factory refurbished 2006 model from a reliable online discount vendor.

When you do upgrade the DVD player (& not right now because of budget) you will appreciate an Oppo brand for about $190. They are sold factory direct online. In face any brand spanking new decent one will please you with a more crisp picture.

SPEAKERS: THESE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. They basically don't easily wear out or become obsolete, so a good selection you can enjoy for many years. So why buy crappy ones to discard later?

You must be willing to seek out & critically listen to make your personal best choice. Take a CD with substantial vocal that you are intimately familiar with. Take notes about impressions. That is your source material. Voices are natural so everyone has an idea what they should sound like. The voice sound frequencies are mid-range. So that is the most important & if speakers can't get the mids right, just plain disregard the highs & lows.

You can start with just two speakers for stereo & add on later as money permits. Go beyond just the big box stores such as initials of BB & CC.

Traditional reliable brands include: JBL, Klipsch, Polk, Boston Acoustics.

In additional look for some of these with nearly amazing sound for the price of a pair: Paradigm Atom $200, PSB Alpha B $250, Monitor Audio Bronze B $400, NHT Zero $500.

What ever way you go - happy hunting.

Collapse -
good point
by phillyrx / October 9, 2007 10:40 PM PDT

thanks for the input bill! i've come to expect most here on cnet would be anti htib, and understandably so. i'm okay with spending $500 for now only to fully upgrade within the next 5 years. i guess you make a good point of starting with purchasing speakers as money permits and adding on that way. the only reason i leaned towards htib was for convenience (and economical) issues.

thanks again for the input! others willing to share, your input would be greatly appreciated... thanks in advance!

Collapse -
your reasons for htib
by jostenmeat / October 10, 2007 1:58 AM PDT
In reply to: good point

are everyone's else's reasons too. I had an Onkyo htib, and I freaking loved it .... for two whole months. Then insanity ensued. Anyways, our esteemed colleague/friend RustyDallas here has one as well, and he loves it. And its not like he doesn't know any better, he has some Monitor Audio Rs6 towers in his bedroom.

At that specific price range, its really tough to beat the Onkyo htib. My complaints are indeed the speakers, actually the two most important ones. I found the center to distort and be sibilant, and the sub to be pretty lacking (however, its much better than 99% of any other htib sub). But still a single-pitched farting machine, as I say. But see, otoh, a good sub is as much as that whole system, maybe more, so...

If you can accurately describe your setup/room, we can say much more. Although many of us love the idea of a great center channel, I do think many people could leave that out and be even happier. Purely because a "better" set of towers will sound better. Can you get away with this? Well, if your viewing is head-on, and your guests aren't too off-axis either, it could work. Especially if you are planning on having the towers pretty close to the display.

oh, btw, my first nice pair of towers has MUCH better bass than that old htib's subwoofer....

Collapse -
onkyo... huh, it seems like that always prevails...
by phillyrx / October 10, 2007 2:26 AM PDT
In reply to: your reasons for htib

thanks for the info jostenmeat! as far as the room setup, the tv won't be facing the sofas and couches head on. only one will, leaving the other two sides off-axis. also, i'd prefer to put the front speakers next to the tv, but it isn't necessary.

so you like your onkyo for two months... then what happened? also, which onkyo would you recommend?

as far as number of speakers and stuff, i'm not too concerned. i don't need a gazillion speakers if i could get great surround sound from a lot less. also, i would like to have tall boy speakers for set-up, but i can always spring for the stands at a later date.

Collapse -
philly
by jostenmeat / October 10, 2007 2:48 AM PDT

what happened? I pretty much said it earlier, but, I couldn't get over that a decicated HT system would distort dialogue. That was the first thing that started the snowball, er, avalanche, uh, unmitigated death and destruction. I had the s790, but I would try Rusty's system. He'll eventually see this post, and may say what he has.

OK, sounds like a center is in order. Then, spread the speakers out further from tv. Larger fixed stage. More effects off axis. Cool effects, say like the fairies in Pan's Labyrinth won't be "circular" (if towers are close). Im just talking ideally here; every living room is nearly impossible to deal with it seems...

tall-boys= towers? Go for it. You can run them as full range then, but make sure the receiver is up for that (bass signals are umpteen times more difficult in power terms) if you have a large room, sit far from speakers, and like it loud, with better dynamics. In certain situation, "crossing-over" or cutting out the bass, will allow improved mids and highs, better dynamics, and clarity... pretty much because the receiver can breathe easier.... (tho sometimes the speakres' fault).

$500 firm? Yep, I say cheap receiver and go 2.0. A 3.0 system will already break that I think, at least anything worth getting over what an htib would...

Collapse -
I've got the Onkyo ...
by RustyDallas / October 10, 2007 10:18 AM PDT
In reply to: philly

TX-SR605 receiver and Onkyo SKS-HT-240 6.1 speaker package. I've had mine set-up for about 6 months now and they are still good as new and sound great to me. In fact I'm thrilled. CNET also gave them a very high rating of 8.3. Now that I've read Jostens post, though, maybe the sub could be better. So, Josten, you mean it isn't supposed to sound like a fart machine? Hmm....

Anyway, if you order from JR Music world, you should be able to get a TX-SR505 and these speakers delivered for about 600.00 and you could get a TX-SR605 with these speakers delivered for around 750.00. I'm no expert but I think that would just about have to be better than the HTIB route just to get the HDMI 1.3.

Rusty

Collapse -
you guys convinced me, i'm going to skip the htib route...
by phillyrx / November 19, 2007 9:41 PM PST
In reply to: I've got the Onkyo ...

hi guys,

back again... but this time, i'm going to take your advice and pass on the htib in hopes of slowly developing the true home theatre experience! i've read some stuff on audioholics and avs forum that echo you guys, so it seems i'd be stupid not to listen =)

since the first post, i've updated my system a bit. i happened to get a good deal on a hd dvd player (toshiba hd-a3). so currently, my system includes a:
-sharp aquos 46" w/ 1080p,
-toshiba hd dvd player w/ 1080i,
-motorola hd dvr cable box, and
-the nintendo wii
-(some hdmi cables)

so i guess here are my new set of questions:
1 - since i still have a budget of $500, i can't buy everything at once. what parts should i start off with? a receiver is a must, but from there, i don't know the order of importance when considering a sub vs. front speakers vs. center vs. rear. the system will be primarily used for movies (most important), tv, and gaming. i won't probably use the system for any type of music or such, but who knows, i may be convinced after hearing the quality.
2 - i would like a receiver that passes audio and video through the hdmi, instead of just video like some i've been reading about. any not too expensive ones out there?
3 - i'll be heading over to a local tweeter store since they seem to have the most options in my area. any other places i should check out? i'll probably just test them out over there, but eventually buy them online for a good deal, unless they have something.
4 - i'm assuming w/ all things, the quality of the wires will be important. any recommendations in this area?
5 - lastly, is there anything else i need to keep in mind during all of this?

once again, thank you guys so much for your help... greatly appreciated!! (although, i think my wife might differ) =P

Collapse -
hey again phillyrx
by jostenmeat / November 20, 2007 6:58 AM PST
1 - since i still have a budget of $500, i can't buy everything at once. what parts should i start off with? a receiver is a must, but from there, i don't know the order of importance when considering a sub vs. front speakers vs. center vs. rear. the system will be primarily used for movies (most important), tv, and gaming. i won't probably use the system for any type of music or such, but who knows, i may be convinced after hearing the quality.

Center speaker and subwoofer. For you, in that order. Then mains, then surrounds, (then rears if you have the space).

2 - i would like a receiver that passes audio and video through the hdmi, instead of just video like some i've been reading about. any not too expensive ones out there?

I wouldn't. Not with your budget. First of all, the cable box may not even be able to pass thru your receiver, due to lack of "HDCP repeater", a case that is prevalent with cable boxes. Sure, you can run the HD DVD thru it, but why not direct to TV? You save buy not buying two hdmi cables. OK... how will you get hi-def audio? May get tricky, but if you don't have quality speakers, who cares? I'll take DD and DTS on my system over DTS-HD MA on an HTIB any day of the week. throw the budget first to where it matters most: Video = TV, Audio = speakers

3 - i'll be heading over to a local tweeter store since they seem to have the most options in my area. any other places i should check out? i'll probably just test them out over there, but eventually buy them online for a good deal, unless they have something.

hmm. Ehh. Maybe just to hear their better stuff, so you know what you want to shoot for later in the future. If only for familiarization. I have a feeling that a lot of this will have to purchase on-line, but Im gettin way ahead of myself. Tweeter is somewhere between BB/CC and a hi-end store. Still closer to BB/CC imo.

4 - i'm assuming w/ all things, the quality of the wires will be important. any recommendations in this area?

Wires are the last thing to concern yourself with. Your choice of TV, DVD player, speakers, sub, cd player, receiver all far outweigh wire choices. You can buy everything you need at monoprice. There, I just saved you $100-$300 dollars that you can put towards better speakers. Thank me later.

5 - lastly, is there anything else i need to keep in mind during all of this?

Well, not knowing your short vs long term situations, I might consider going Onkyo HTIB after all. What is the volume of your room? I would upgrade the sub when you have the cash. Depending on numerous factors, anywhere from $300 to +$2000 for it.

once again, thank you guys so much for your help... greatly appreciated!! (although, i think my wife might differ) =P

you're welcome, I hope this helps. im sure others will chime in.
Collapse -
SPEAKERS, SPEAKERS , SPEAKERS
by stewart norrie / October 10, 2007 7:10 AM PDT
In reply to: HTIB help

An investment for life, Yes I blew $2500 on a sweet 7.1 speaker system. what a thrill. you wont be watching a movie you will be in the movie, Music you will get goose bumps every time you crank those puppies up In closing I have a nice car , killer 72" hi-def t.v. but I love my speakers best. your ears will love you stewee

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2017

Cameras that make great holiday gifts

Let them start the new year with a step up in photo and video quality from a phone.