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Receiver and speaker questions/help

by Wheelboss-216704861132298 / March 27, 2007 1:41 PM PDT

We are finishing our basement and are puting in a home theater room. What is a really good brand of 7.1 surround sound a/v receivers that is reasonably priced with hdmi 1080p upconverson, analog and digital coaxial inputs (with upconversion support), component video input (with upconversion support), composite input (with upconversion support), hdmi input/output, s-video (with upconversion support). What is a really good brand of 7.1 speakers that is reasonably priced. We want a really good somewhat realistic sounding subwoofer with the "boom effect." Hope to spend less than $900 on receivers and speakers together. Feel free to give specifics. Roughly 20x14 feet area room. This is what I've found:


Help needed. sorry might be asking alot.

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by givemeaname / March 27, 2007 1:56 PM PDT

The A/V looks to be a good 1st A/V system But the speakers what can I say..... for that sized room you WILL BE VERY Disapointed. You would mostliky have the crank up the power to hears the little things in that sized room & then you end up doing damage to the speakers + the distortion

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You say...
by Wheelboss-216704861132298 / March 28, 2007 1:32 PM PDT
In reply to: well.....

That those speakers "WILL BE VERY" disapointing, but those bose "cube" speakers are really loud and would work fine except for the price. My point is if those tiny Bose speakers would do the job why wouldnt those bigger onkyo's work??????????? Just asking. Some towers in the front would be nice though. The wires are already in place too. Are there wall mountable speakers that would do the job that look nice and that arent too big?

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Tight budget. Is it your limit? Suggestion...
by NM_Bill / March 27, 2007 4:50 PM PDT

More than one possible strategy. Quite capable receiver, but considering the cost, maybe more receiver than you really need. You also typed the laundry list of wanted iinputs. Don't offhand know how you would need all those inputs.

Thing is, c/net reviews for entry level receivers has the better than average rated ones at around $250. The reason for concern is our usual admonition for an approximate proportion of 20-25% for receiver & 75-80% for the speakers. Upfront speaker cost may seem high, but unliike rapid tech change & planned obsolescence of components, speakers basically more or less don't just wear out.

No speaker is perfect, but they all have their own particular character, even if subtle. Speaker specializing makers do better speakers than kit included aferthoughts. If a HTIB (home theater in a box) seems necessary due to cost, Onkyo has a set selling around $550 that's good value.

Consider the strategy of starting with even just two speakers of good repute & adding on as the budget allows. Consider hearing three from this general run of good quality name brands: JBL, Klipsch, Polk, Infinity, & Boston Acoustics. If adding on stick with same brand (& preferably same m,odel series.) Don't mix any kind of hodge-podge brands together.

You owe it to yourself to invest some time choosing what speakers best for you. Then there will be no reason to think about replacing them or upgrading. Do it once & do it right.

Some others should chime in. Post back to let us know how it's going.

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Totally agree with Bill
by ..ben / March 28, 2007 12:57 AM PDT

As usual, Bill's right on here. You'll thank yourself many times over down the road if you consider speakers as a long-term investment. And take it from someone who learned that the hard way, constantly upgrading over the years. I wish someone had told me this a long time ago, as it would have saved me thousands.

Of course, sometimes it's just too hard to wait. But consider what percentage of the cost of an "upgraded" system will equal the cost of a quick fix. Depending on your "goal", you may regret upgrading (as I did).

Now, regarding the receiver, the 674 is a GREAT receiver. And it's upconversion abilities make it a bargain among upconverting receivers. But I'm curious why upconversion is so important to you. In two years, nothing will be broadcast in standard def. You'll be paying nearly a $300 premium for something that will be obsolete very soon. Plus, no built-in hi-def audio decoders (I can't think of ANY receivers that have them right now), and only 2 HDMI inputs (which is par for the course, but you'll probably want more in the near future [if not already]). I think even if you splurge on the 674 or something else, you'll still be tempted to upgrade the receiver relatively soon. Here upgrading might not be a bad idea, being on the verge of all these new technologies about to hit the mainstream and all, but I don't think it's worth spending all that cash just on upconversion for two frickin' years. Put that money toward something that you'll still care about in two years... like good speakers.

Last thing, your interest in a good sub. "Good" is usually very subjective, but I'm pretty sure we know what you're looking for. The problem is, a "good" sub is going to be expensive. I would seriously recommend a company called SVS Check them out, you can even send them an e-mail and ask questions. They only sell from their own web site and have limited advertising, which reduces their overhead. They don't make cheap stuff, but dollar-for-dollar, they may make the best subs on the planet, particularly entry-level. And for the "effect" you're after, they may be your best bet. Nothing they make is less than $400 (hey I told you it'd be expensive), but what you're looking for, most likely, won't be found for less.

Hope this helps!


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Ben is right there about subs that are generally considered
by NM_Bill / March 28, 2007 1:27 AM PDT

as high quality. Get what you pay for operates here. Perhaps postpone the sub woofer final touch to top off the system by using time to be able to accomodate it's cost for a truly awesome unit you'll never consider havng to upgrade.

For the theater impact you seek - don't overlook importance of the sub.

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Slight reconsider
by Wheelboss-216704861132298 / March 28, 2007 7:05 AM PDT

Actually I probablly don't need component video (red, blue, green) in or out. I want the composite video input so I can plug my Xbox, PS2, or gamecube in and have it upconverted to high-def and surround sound. S-video might be handy for a dvd recorder. Coaxial (RF Coaxial or UHF/VHF IN ANT.) inputs for satilite to be upconverted and with surround sound. Don't want or need XM or Sirius satilite radio. The upconversion is important so we can watch all our curent dvd's in HD. Also for the satilite, upconversion will be needed. And dont forget about the Xbox, PS2, and, Gamecube which will also need upconversion. We dont even own anything that has hdmi yet. Everytime i have to switch between xbox, ps2, and gamecube we have to unplug one and plugin the other. How would doing that (Switching) with hdmi with only one plug instead of the composite which has three plugs be any harder?

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Yes you are asking for a miracle
by jostenmeat / March 28, 2007 7:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Slight reconsider

but first of all, do you understand your terminology? Regarding receivers- switching and conversion/"upconversion". These terms are very confusing, because "upconversion" is a term used for dvd players as well, but means a totally different thing. Conversion/upconversion for, lets say component y-pb-pr for instance, will run the signal from component to hdmi. It does not "improve" the pq or signal. Ok? But an upconverting dvd player will. Wierd? Ok, now to make you more confused, there should be receivers out there that do "upconvert" the signal AND "upconvert" to hdmi. And even then, Im not sure that these will "upconvert+upconvert" the single yellow composite connections. Someone else who knows please chime in. In any case, I very highly doubt you will find one for $900, let alone speakers, subwoofer or anything else.

There are those who say you cannot find an excellent subwoofer for less than $1k. The best quality subs tend to be sealed and servo-controlled. They only hi-end brand I can think of that is not servo'd (yet still sealed) is the Rel line. And even then, these are more "musical" than "home-theater". Ok, so whatever, quality IS subjective. That Onkyo sub might* be awesome to you*. I have that sub, and I have a strong opinion that it is NOT awesome*. best of luck

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conversion/upconversion ??? I think I need more help.
by Wheelboss-216704861132298 / March 28, 2007 7:34 AM PDT

I want it to upconvert all inputs to hdmi at 1080p resolution. Please sugjest any receivers or speakers.

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Well, a brief search found ONE.
by jostenmeat / March 28, 2007 7:54 AM PDT

This MIGHT do it for you. $7,200 at crutchfield. Saw it elsewhere at a bit over &5k.

Save the money, and buy a new PS3, Blu-Ray player, Denon upconverting dvd player, snack bar, and a JL F113 subwoofer, whatever else you want?

just joking. I bet someone else can you point you in a better direction.... gl.
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by bevillan / March 28, 2007 8:01 AM PDT

On the Onkyo TX-SR804 you can upconvert a component or S-Video video feed to 1080p and then send it on to your HDTV via HDMI. Go with a Denon or Onkyo receiver.

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by Wheelboss-216704861132298 / March 28, 2007 8:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Onkyo

composite I want upconverted/converted to hdmi 1080p. Will that onkyo do that also?

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by jostenmeat / March 28, 2007 8:25 AM PDT
In reply to: composite?

as far as I can tell, it will only deinterlace 480i to 480p. See, they are using that tricky term "upconversion" again. This, I believe* means "conversion" of component inputs "up" to hdmi. As for s-video and composite, these look like they are "upconverted" to component level, not hdmi level. No 1080p upconversion. No 1080i or 720p upconversion. Most units (even non receivers) that do anything like these seem to usually have the ubiquitous faroudja set.

Perhaps I am very mistaken. bearvp may know things that I am missing here. Here are a couple of links, features from the site, + a random avs thread where you can sign up an ask q's.

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What TV are you going to use?
by givemeaname / March 28, 2007 8:30 AM PDT
In reply to: well

Some tv's 'up convert' very good. LCD, Plsama, RP, CRT, FP?

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Yeah, the TV consideration has been left blank so far.
by NM_Bill / March 28, 2007 11:11 AM PDT

Do you already have a TV of choice - already owned or selected? Again consistent with the notion of getting every wanna have feature not going to be realized by doing everything on the cheap, don't expect to pull together what you've not paid for.

For instance, Sony SXRDs are particularly adept at dealing with displaying SD (standard definition) nearly amazingly free of annoying artifacts. That's an area where off brand sets aree particularly poor at.

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by bevillan / March 29, 2007 1:11 AM PDT

I don't know of other RP sets but the SXRD upconverts/deinterlaces any signal it gets to 1080p. Also there is a "DRC" function that makes SDTV look better than most sets that size because it has much more pixel density than say a DLP.

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In the hierarchy of connectors, composite resides near the
by NM_Bill / March 28, 2007 11:01 AM PDT
In reply to: composite?

bottom. Seems you have some remaining jargon turmoil in your mind. Have to keep in mind what elements of the system are involved in upconverting, etc.

Composite is nearly at the opposing end of the spectrum relative to HDMI.

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More info

We really want a plasma (who doesnt?) but they of course are on the $$$$$ $teep $ide. 1080p 60 inches or more we hope 65. Could easily settle for a Sony SXRD or Mitsubishi DLP. Anybody have one of those SXRD's or DLP's in those brands? Of course SXRD is just Sony. How are the XBR SXRD's? how's the "CONVERSION" to HD?

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by Riverledge / March 29, 2007 1:53 PM PDT
In reply to: More info

SXRD 60"A2020 model. EXCELLENT picture and price!

best wishes,

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by Lovie 1 / March 29, 2007 2:10 PM PDT

Can anyone recommend settings for this model tv? Also, I have noticed circles of light that remain on the screen briefly during outdoor scenes. I was told that this was normal because of the camera lighting. Is this true? or should I have a technician look at it.

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Another Question
by Wheelboss-216704861132298 / April 2, 2007 9:23 AM PDT
In reply to: 42PX600U
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Don't get hung up on wattage numbers!
by NM_Bill / April 2, 2007 11:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Another Question

Speaker ads may advise the handling capacity (as in up to.)

Receiver output can be fudged. Good makers will label continuous watts per channel. Cheap pretenders use peak power (much higher.) Look for "continuous" & expressed at 8 ohms (most common impedence for speakers.)

Todays receivers put old ones (like 1960s) to shame & are great values. Watts per channel attract undue over attenton. Don't buy 110 wpc over 70 wpc, necessarily. Like how much horsepower do you need, 300 or 400?

You example for 95 wpc Onkyo & 75 watts Mirage speakers simply means you'll get maximum speakeer output without ever having receiver power turned all the way up. In fact, be cautious with receiver power/volume. Don't want to carelessly shatter both speaker cones your eardrums simultaneously.

You're gonna love it....

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Car metaphor
by jonnybones / April 2, 2007 12:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Another Question

In keeping with the prior metaphor, no you dont have to have matching receiver/speakers, but if you were driving down the freeway for, say, 200 miles (the legnth of a movie), would you want to run your car at redline the whole time(causing excess heat and reducing efficiency), or would rather just cruise at a nice 2000 rpm???

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I say downgrade TV, put towards speakers.
by zhimbo / March 30, 2007 3:00 AM PDT
In reply to: More info

If you're willing to downgrade from a 60inch 1080p plasma to a 720p 50inch plasma, or a 1080p rear projection TV, you'll save *tons* of money to put towards better speakers/subwoofer.

That's what I would do. Quality speakers last forever (or close enough). A great big TV with straining speakers and weak low bass is not the way to go.

Can't help you with your specific questions on Sony's products - I'm still in the research phase re: an HDTV - but I definitely recommend shifting your budget around a bit.

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by Riverledge / April 2, 2007 12:23 PM PDT

SINCE THE 1980's SPEAKER & RECEIVERS wattage hasn't mattered very much. Unless you're spending $5,000 on speakers; chill. JUST DON'T BUY AN "UNDERPOWERED" A/V/R, you won't ruin the speakers, rather the AMP!!!


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by jonnybones / April 2, 2007 1:07 PM PDT

So according to you, power doesnt matter yet you say not to buy an under-powered amp. Sort of seems like you contradicted yourself.

In addition I stand behind my original metaphor because I have seen countless people bring in their receivers for service/replacement because they "overheated" (or some other problem caused by heat), or bring in their speakers because they now make a "popping noise" and smell bad. When this happens, I ask 3 questions
1) What happened?
2) How loud was it turned up if you had to put it into a percentage?
3) What is the RMS wattage on your speakers?
They almost always answer #3 with a number very close to the RMS power of the reciever.

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by Riverledge / April 2, 2007 1:23 PM PDT
In reply to: O_o


Probably my fault.



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