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Need Home Theatre Advise

by rh23 / March 5, 2007 3:52 AM PST

Just recently purchased a Samsung 4692D LCD TV. I would like to install sourround sound in my new home but have no idea where to start. I am a relative newbie when it comes to this stuff. I have a budget of about $500 for this purchase. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance for your time and information.

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surround sound
by bevillan / March 5, 2007 4:25 AM PST
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rh23, if you've gotta go for a 400+ HTIB the Onkyo is it
by NM_Bill / March 5, 2007 10:57 AM PST
In reply to: surround sound

I'm part of the club who wishes you could up the budget to wind up with what will satisfy for the long run.

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by Riverledge / March 5, 2007 5:02 AM PST

$500 JUST ISN'T ENOUGH for any worthwhile 5.1 system. Here is a rough breakdown for a $1,500 budget (not etched in stone!)

A/V receiver.....$350
DVD player.......$150
5.1 speakers...$1,000

Best shopping,

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by bevillan / March 5, 2007 6:45 AM PST

Why not suggest things within his budget instead of saying he needs to spend more. He is new to home theater so he doesn't need a $1500 system. The $500 Onkyo system that I linked to would serve him great as an entry level speaker system.

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by stewart norrie / March 5, 2007 5:55 AM PST

First a good 7.1. a/v/ amp will cost about $250 it would be bullit proof and last forever and give you awsome performance SPEAKERS are another story They should be a investment for you for a lifetime of joy and sound pleasure. If you cannot afford to invest in a great speaker system your better off to buy 2 cheepies from the flee market Example and I'am not bragging I spent a year ago $2400 on a 5.1. Atlantic Technology 5.1 system I get goose bumps every time I listen to them And if Iam not watching t.v. I will listen to c.d. music and iam rite there the band is playing just for me rember great speakers will last a lifetime, they will never have to be upgraded and are an investment for life steweee

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Stewart, which AT speakers?
by khicon / March 5, 2007 8:11 AM PST

Well, the subject line says it. Just wondering what your setup is? But yes, Stewart is right. Take the time to audition speakers regardlesss of price range. Took me a year to get my Monitor Audios.

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HTIB or......
by HTHMAN / March 5, 2007 9:32 AM PST

For 500 dollars, you can get an OK HTIB. I have components in my main viewing room and an inexpensive Sony HTIB in a TV room. I had little faith in the HTIB, but was not happy with the TV speakers either. Did not want to spend a bunch of money on another Home Theater system, so I listened to a few and bought it. Does it have the earth shaking bass or the crystal clear highs or the imaging of a true component system... NO.... Is it better than the TV speakers and very enjoyable to watch a movie or a concert. You bet it is..

If I were to make a suggestion, I would buy a component receiver in the 250 dollar range and and inexpensive DVD player under 100 dollars. You could then buy a speaker package that is not too expensive like:

Then, as your budget allows, you could replace the speakers either all at once or in sets. First replace the center channel, then fronts, followed by the sub and rears. You may slightly exceed your budget, but you will not be throwing away an entire HTIB if you decide you want something better.

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that Onkyo system is good
by jostenmeat / March 5, 2007 10:10 AM PST

but you can find it for a hundred dollars less usually. Try Fry's now and then. This system blows the doors off the best htib offerings of Sony or Panasonic. Easy upgrade is to change out the sub. Center eventually as well.

I've had mine for a half a year, loved it very much, but now looking at very, very expensive things. I will say for "most" people, this system is pretty sufficient. However, for those who like true bass, change out that sub. Speakers have low WAF (wife acceptance factor) which is also part of the reason why the speakers sound better than the vast majority of htib's. Sub is 10", 230w, but high quality it is definitely not. In any case, cnet thinks highly of it in terms of value, and it was the top-rated htib by CR.

Something to consider is that speaker stands can be pretty expensive. If you took this money, and applied it towards standing towers, you may be getting more out of your money.

ya, so like I said, Im changing the system out already (I think!). However, this entry level purchase did get me to understand surround formats, how they are connected, and just the whole HT in general etc. I was a total noobie too. This entry-level purchase gives me the ability to enjoy DTS-ES 6.1 etc for now, so that I may take my time in educating myself in building something that is audiophile worthy.

Things that this system lacks: hdmi (who cares), auto-eq (who cares), pre-outs (I care!), multi-ch analog inputs (I care!).

And really, for me, I dont consider it money lost. I'll probably give it to my brother (and he's a doctor!). Or small chance of selling it off- I think my bro wants it though. gl

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Thank you
by rh23 / March 5, 2007 10:49 PM PST

Thank you all very much for your input. This is the first time I've posted and I am very impressed with the amount of responses. Great forum!

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Despite some urging to up the budget, I presume you are
by NM_Bill / March 6, 2007 12:40 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you

going to pursue the Onkyo HTIB. It has indeed been recommended repeatedly as the best solution in that price bracket. Why not post back to let us know how you have proceeded & how pleasing it is?

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you are welcome
by jostenmeat / March 6, 2007 3:20 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you

Btw, most people agree (who have heard both) that the stock Onkyo speakers actually sound better than that often-recommended Polk set. People would be surprised because they simply think that a well-known speaker company MUST make better speakers than those from an HTIB. Onkyo's htib wouldn't even be CONSIDERED an htib, lets say... a decade ago. Onkyo's drivers are significanlty larger, and they become dual-drivers in the l-c-r at 17" tall/long. The sub is about 5x more powerful as well. And, I guess I just don't like Polk in general.

Still. either make sure you WILL be satisfied for a while, or are fine with possibly upgrading in the near future. Yes, I know, 99% of us want to do it "all-at-once" and the whole HT shopping experience can be overwhelming/time-consuming when you consider the tv, new hd set-top box, cables, dvd player, etc etc etc. Well, the audio part, I believe, is the hardest part. Best of luck, jostenmeat.

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follow on question.... additional speakers
by tdellis / March 7, 2007 3:20 AM PST

I have a related question I thought I'd post to the thread.
We are remodeling our basement and added a 50' Panasonic Plasma to a small theater room. I now need to add an audio system. I'm not locked into HTIB, but it seems easier.

However, I'd also like to add at least two additonal speakers to the adjoining game room so I can use the system to just play audio throughout. It's hard to find information about many of the recievers if you can connect the additional speakers besides the 5/7 for surround sound.

Any suggestions?

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by jostenmeat / March 7, 2007 3:40 AM PST

You are remodeling a basement into a home theater room w/ 50" plasma with an adjoining game room, and you are considering HTIB?!?! wow (I currently own an htib, but Im still shocked)

Most any decent receiver will have A/B zones. However, the cheaper ones may not be able to play 9 speakers at once. Just like 7 or other 2. Also, some can play two different sources simultaneously. Again, not the cheaper ones.

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further explination
by tdellis / March 7, 2007 3:48 AM PST
In reply to: hm

Well, here's the rest of the story. The TV room is small, only 10'x12'. My wife hates the look of any speakers, and can't figure out why you can't just listen to the TV you paid $2K for. So, the speakers need to not over power the room, from both an audio and visual standpoint. The speakers in the adjoining room may be placed in the wall to hide them.

If anyone is happy with specific models, it would be great to know. Other than that, it's off to BestBuy or someplace...

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I see
by jostenmeat / March 7, 2007 4:08 AM PST
In reply to: further explination

Ya, if you don't really care for sound, just use the tv's speakers. Its true, some people don't care

Save your money man.

Flatter speakers, and most especially in-walls, the qualities inherent of good speakers become comprised. Its not worth investing a whole lot. If you get in-walls, I would recommend AT LEAST having them be self-enclosed boxes for a minimum of decent sound. You can check out Niles for good in-walls. Focal makes in-walls too, but, like I said, its kind of not worth it.

If you got to BB, see if they have Vienna Acousitcs Schoernberg set. Expensive though, but maybe the wife will approve. Saw them several weeks ago on ebay for a good price.

wait a sec, will look on avs for you.
ok here we go: "Need Recommendation for small speakers"

Pay attn to anything Kal says. Hes a big-chief-editor at sterophile. I think he runs b&w's

There was a different thread with speakers that looked like they very well succeeded in being narrow, yet deceptively gave their cabinets a good amount of volume. can't find it.

anyways, like I said, if you don't care, why bother? save your money.

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