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NOOB planning a beginner home threatre setup.

by belxeeb / July 21, 2007 4:17 AM PDT

I am newbie as compared to some of the people who frequent these forums. I am planning to build an entry level home theatre system and I have a couple of stupid questions. Please excuse my ignorance and stupidity of these questions!

Below are the components I am considering for my Home Theatre:

Samsung HLS-5679W 56" LED Engine 1080p DLP HDTV
Onkyo TX-SR605 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
Samsung BD-P1200 Blu-Ray Disc Player
Logitech Harmony 890 Advanced Universal Remote Control

- Firstly, is the HLS-5679W a good TV? Surely all the reviews I have read about it seem to suggest it is? Apart from the sluggish menu and sub-par remote, every review sings praise about the TV including the CNET review. I dont really care about the menu as I will only access it once and I am getting a universal remote.

- Secondly, I was reading the features present in this television on Amazon and one of the features stated was:

"Digital Format Converter (upconverts all signals to 1080p) - (no need for a separate upconverting DVD player); DNIeTM (Digital Natural Image engine) picture enhancer; 2-tuner Picture-in-Picture (split-screen or inset)"

Now, does this mean that if I plug in my standard definition 480i Dish Network DVR via RCA cables to this TV, the TV will upconvert the standard definition 480i feed to 1080p?

- According to all the reviews I have read about the TX-SR605, it seems to be the best A/V reciever in the price range, is that so? And secondly, I dont really want to go with a 7.1 channel A/V solution because it creates too many wires and clutters the whole room with speakers. But if I go with a 5.1 channel solution then I am missing out on allot of the superior sound features of Blu-Ray right? Also this reciever claims to upconvert video source aswell, so does that also mena that it wil upconvert my standard definition TV Signal to 1080i/p?

Furthermore this A/V Reciever boasts Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. But whats the use when there is no BluRay DVD Player that supports those formats? Only Toshiba HD-DVD Players support HD Master right? Apart from "future-proofing" is there really any advantages of spending extra dinero's for having these features?

About the BluRay player:

Is the Samsung BD-P1200 Blu-Ray Disc Player a good choice? I am not even going to ask whether I should buy BD or HD because I know that would cause another format-war discussion! =)

And finally the Logitech Harmony 890, any feedback goor or bad?

Your help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanx in advance guys!

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by woodygg / July 21, 2007 4:24 AM PDT

programmable remote...

a must have! love mine! i have the h/k 720 (better price, does the same thing) - it's a logitech under the h/k name.

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by belxeeb / July 21, 2007 4:28 AM PDT
In reply to: logitech...

I am getting the 890 because I am also getting RF Controlled lighting and the 890 has RF as well as IR!

Tell me something, how good is it? Does the one touch "watch a DVD" function work like its supposed to? Like I have heard people say that it has problem switching between different HDMI Sources on the TV and some say it doesnt play the movie etc.

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i can only speak for myself...
by woodygg / July 21, 2007 4:30 AM PDT
In reply to: definately!

of course. it's works perfect for me - i press the 'watch a dvd' button and everything clicks over and the movie starts.

it's not perfect, but with all the equipment you need to set this way and that, it works very well.

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by jostenmeat / July 21, 2007 6:14 AM PDT

1 Bout the tv, dunno much. My first impression was that it was quite bright, produced a lot of heat, was a bit grainier than the sxrd next to it, and inaccurate colors but undoubtedly due to a dynamic setting. I would be surprised if it could upscale as well as an affordable dvd player, but who knows. Upscaling can help, but will never ever look as good as a true HD signal. Upscaling, depending on quality, tries to fake it, and thats what is, faking it. If you like it, then get it. Your living room, not ours.

Most people who look for receivers think of features. So get it if you like them. Good features for the money. With a 5.1 setup you will miss out on 6.1 and 7.1 encoded formats. How many you will miss out on is debatable, but I know I love 6.1 ES as it is already.

For now, there is no need for the decoders on the receiver. They are usless, indefinitely. Until the Samsung players ever get the software available by firmware. Samsung, to the best of my knowledge, makes the ONLY BD player out there that has the hardware to send MA as bitstream (still missing software). All others, including the hdmi 1.3 PS3, will have to decode MA internally. There is no diff in quality between decoding in player vs receiver, fyi. On the face of it, the Samsung looks like a good buy. However, when reading the owner's thread(s) at AVS, there just seems to be a lot more "bugginess" going on, compared to other players, like the Pansonic. The Pana doesn't have quite the pq (but even cnet says the diff's in BD quality is very small cuz BD is so good already), and there may be firmware one day. Anyways, important to note that Samsung does not have to guarantee the firmware will be available.

Ouside of RF signals and recharge docks, all Harmony remotes do the same thing. So just make sure you like the lay out, and I personally hate how many is very "clicky" (el cheapo 520).

Hope that answered a few q's.

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About the TV...........
by belxeeb / July 21, 2007 6:29 AM PDT
In reply to: hm

About the TV...........

The current standard definition 480i feed from my DishNetwork DVR looks absolutely horrible on my Phillips 52 inch plasma! It is full of artifacts, I only watch DVD's on that TV. So if this Samsung TV can take that crapp 480i and upconvert into a half-decent 1080i/p then I will be happy because it will be infinitely better than what my Philips displays right now!

Also another question, which format has more titles available, BD or HD?

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by jostenmeat / July 21, 2007 7:56 AM PDT

No matter what, make sure to get HD feed, whether antennae, qam, whatever, nothing is as important as the source. ok.

I dont know which format has more titles, but I would imagine BD will if not already due to much broader studio support.

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Don't jump in impulsively. So many new products are being
by NM_Bill / July 21, 2007 8:25 AM PDT

introduced now & the next couple of months. Then we need time to see reliable reviews.

Read many recent threads here involving just what you are considering right now.

Where to start? First, read those TV reviews critically. The Samsung you refer to has detail from c/net which backs up their lackluster 7.6 review of the model. Specifically, color & brightness vary across the screen. Picture quality is not up to high standards. Lack of uniformity due to a hot spot in the center, with progressive darkening towards the edges where it becomes bluish tinted as well. Those are not comments applied to c/net reviews of their favorite sets.

Onkyo 605 has up to date HDMI 1.3 connectivity & seems to be great value. The 500 buck msrp, selling for $399 @ J&R (for one) may be more receiver than you need as what I spell as a newbie (no difference.)

The best speakers are made by firms specializing in speakers alone. Onkyo does get some recommendation for better than average HTIB (home theater in a box) speakers.

Frankly, I know nothing about high def disk players.

The Harmony 890 is really fine, close to absolute of the line. Here again, perhaps more remote than you really need.

OK, here's the bit: Some of us here would really like to see you take more time & make informed decisions for the products - one at a time. Your post infers you may want it all at once (so to speak.)

There is just so much going on at the present. We who post daily here can't keep up with it all. But we are familiar with home A/V fundamentals.

For instance, you reference a Samsung. I have a Samsung. It's new model introduction time. They have new, second generation LED DLPs. Though c/net believes they haven't addressed its predecessors shortcomings. In August, Samsung is to bring out two top of the line LCDs that set new high standards for contrast. They will do this with faster 120Hz refreash rates & even LED backlighting. In the meantime, study the c/net list of top rated HDTVs. A lot of info there.

Again, a lot happening in short time. Yes, Onkyo is first out with HDMI 1.3 receivers. Other major brands are not far behind. My highly regarded Denon, for instance.

Speakers will be the most personal decision of your whole outfit. No speaker is perfect. Speaker brands have their own sound character. It would be absolutely dumb to buy any speaker you haven't heard seriously. A real pig in a poke.

Traditional quality brands include: JBL, Klipsch, Polk, Infinity & Boston Acoustics. I strongly advocate you seek out such reasonably priced but highly regarded contemporary brands as: Paradigm, PSB, Epos, Energy, Monitor Audio & NHT. Wow, what sound.

Instead of jumping in the undecided high def DVD format race now, perhaps an excellent Oppo DVD player would hold you over until the dust settles. By the way, I presume more HD disks are now offered in BluRay. I am old & have enough dough for a player, but am not jumping of one bandwagon yet.

Look before you leap, my (supposedly young) friend. Immerse youself to learn more about this current mass of confusion. Do not hesitate to post back when more specific about each item. There are some nice, friendly folks here.

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by Riverledge / July 21, 2007 11:36 AM PDT

FIRST, the DVD/HD.DVD; no need to spend that kind of money, period, A decent SONY or OPPO will suffice until there are major breaks on the

THE SAMSUNG HDTV you mention is from LAST YEAR'S not so wonderful introduction of LED-DLPs. This year's models have proven "IFFY" at best. I almost considered buying one.

I'LL JOIN IN AGAIN and tell you the SPEAKERS are the heart and soul of any Home Theatre, or even music room. I'd spend up 60% of your budget on the 5.1/7.1 of your choice.

Best wishes,


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way out the options
by swiggins / July 21, 2007 1:55 PM PDT

Well, the dlp collection usually suffer from a very small bit of lag on occasion, this is what game mode is suppose to take care of, but, well, it will bother some, and not others.This is only if you play games. Me personally, after owning a dlp and a LCD set, this time out I went for the BIG bucks with a Elite monitor, and put it this way, I would rather have a crappy plasma then the best of what the other sets have to offer.For me, I do not like dlp because of the narrow viewing field and even the best LCD's make me feel like I am going to have a seizure, 120Hz/24fps should fix some of that soon, but I like plasma.
I would get the 7.1 THX home theater in a box from ONKYO, and do what I did. Sell the receiver that comes with it for steal to a friend, and then upgrade to one of the new THX HDMI 1.3 receivers. The speakers that come with the THX home theater are kick *** speakers.
If your going blu-ray, get a PS3, it's a steal right now. I have both a ps3 and the xbox HDDVD add on,I like em both, so either way your cool. You'll get games plus all the movies, if your into it. I have a stand alone blu-ray player as well (no difference)

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by jonnybones / July 23, 2007 11:09 AM PDT

I have seen the new Samsung DLP's. It is a great idea, but I was not impressed with the image quality. Currently I would still buy a bulb-type projection or wait until the LED TVs are better seasoned.

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Some disappointment here as I had high hopes for the LED DLP
by NM_Bill / July 23, 2007 11:27 AM PDT
In reply to: .

making large strides forward. C/net says the new 2nd generation hasn't addressed the lackluster picture quality problem of last years model. A shame. But, hey what counts, a particular technology or picture quality performance?

In a short time Samsung will be introducing a couple of premium price LCDs that send contrast ratio into an extra digit! The top model will have LED backlit screen. Let's see how nice that may or may not be.

I have LCD for computer & second set, but still am not ready to consider LCD for my primary set. Because of sales figures, apparently many folks don't think the same way of that issue.

LEDs? Great idea. So is HDMI 1.3.

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