Home Theater In A Box Comparisons

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Miller, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    I'm looking for a second system for my bedroom and I've discovered as I look, I'm real picky. I've done some searching and there's not much chatter about specific models in this catagory, so I'm asking for your input.

    Due to strict space requirements, I need a slim profile unit that contains a dvd player, A/V reciever, and all six speakers. I'm trying to buy for the future which means I'm wanting progressive scan, component out, and digital in. Component in and digital out are both gravy, but not essential.

    Here's what my research has boiled down to:

    1. Sony DAV-C770 - I've never been impressed w/ Sony, but this is one of the few units that is available in plenty of stores and it sounded nice, but could this thing look any weirder? I've resigned myself to the silver look, but this has a little too much chrome for me. And the remote is just plain awful.

    2. Yamaha DVX-S100 - Impressed with my Dad's Yamaha receiver, but have not heard this unit. Remote looks decent, but not backlit.

    3. Panasonic SC-DT300 - This is hands down the lowest priced of all these units, but I'm not sure it has everything I want. Panasonic's website does not have this unit's owners manual available. I cannot determine if it has S-video out/in or digital in. I don't think I should assume that just b/c it has component out, it also has s-video out.

    4. Onkyo LS-V950 - have heard great things about Onkyo, but never owned anything by them. In looking at the specs, I'm not sure why this unit is more expensive than the unit below.

    5. Onkyo LS-V500C - If I had to choose today, this is what I'd choose based on features and price. Has a five channel stereo mode which is nice. Good looking remote that looks to be backlit.

    6. Kenwood DVT-605 - Running a close second is this new Kenwood unit. I love the specs on this puppy, but have never owned a Kenwood unit. The price is amazing if it truly can produce.

    7. Denon DHT-1000DV - I've been a happy Denon owner for many years, but this is a little too expensive for a bedroom system. It also has a five channel stereo mode which is nice. Who designs remotes for Denon? They need to be fired.

    Anyone have specific recommendations for me or experience w/ any of these units? Please don't tell me to go listen to these units. I'm in a part of the county that has a Best Buy, Sound Advice and Circuit City. If they don't have it, I can't hear it, so your help will be greatly appreciated. I will purchase, demo, and if I don't like it, I'll return it.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    My brother has the Sony DAV-C770 and so far he's very happy with it.
     
  3. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    The HT-S755DVC from Onkyo, which offers a 6.1-capable receiver, the SKSHT-500 speaker set and the SKB-100 back surround speaker, seems like a good deal.
     
  4. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Aaron,

    That Onkyo combo unit is too tall for my space limitations. I'd love to go that route b/c it would open up many other options for me. As it stands now, the unit must have a slimline profile in terms of height. I only have about 7 inches to work with and I have not found a dvd player unit and receiver unit stacked on top of each other that will fit that.

    Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  5. pat_hamm

    pat_hamm Auditioning

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    I have the Sony DAV-C770 and am happy with it. It's nice and small, very nice looking, and sounds good, especially in my 20' x 10' living room.

    I also had heard bad things about Sony from my brother Philip, specifically about the sound, but I was pleasantly suprised when I got the unit home.

    In fact, my ONLY complaint about the DAV-C770 is the remote, which completely sucks, but I bought a universal; problem solved.
     
  6. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Pat. In your room, have you ever thought that your center channel seemed weak? At what level do you notice distortion in the sub or speakers?

    Peace,

    DM
     
  7. pat_hamm

    pat_hamm Auditioning

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    so far, I have had no trouble with the center channel speaker. It doesn't sound weak at all.

    Unfortunately, I don't know about the distortion in the sub and speakers because a) I haven't jammed it too loud for too long, and b) because I have the sub turned down about -5db. Both of these reasons are due to the fact that I live in an apartment where sound travels upstairs and downstairs very easily, and I don't want to get kicked out! [​IMG]

    Sorry, I wish I could be more help to you in answering these questions.

    A few things that I have heard that might be of assistance, though:

    I read somewhere on an internet review about this unit (probably on epinions.com, but I don't remember) that the subwoofer rattled because it is made of plastic, but I am a musician and I put my mic bag on top of it, hence, no problem for me.

    Also, My brother Philip was checking it out in Circuit City at the custom made Sony display and he said that he thought the bass was boomy. He may be right, but again, I have not noticed this problem. Since the display at Circuit City doesn't have any couches or chairs around [or mic bags on top for that matter] to soak up some of the boom, it's tough to tell just from that. Also, I would guess that the bass was cranked, since they want to sell them, and let's face it, bass sells!

    wow... I just made the choice much more complicated, didn't I? [​IMG] Sorry about that.

    One more thing that might make it easier. Phil (my brother, who posted above) has been an HT enthusiast for many years, and his opinion means a lot to me. He led me to the purchase of a Kenwood DVT-505, which sounded and worked great (except for a few huge flaws, but that's another post), but which I had to return. His second suggestions was the DAV-C770. I bring this up because my search criteria was quite similar to yours, and I ended up extremely satisfied with the final choice I made.

    anyway, good luck, Dave! sorry I rambled on for so long!

    -Pat Hamm

    PS - you know what? I have inlaws in town this week, but come next weekend, I am going to crank that thing up and see if I notice any problems in the areas that you asked about. If I do, and if you are still looking, I will let you know what I find!
     
  8. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Pat. Let me know of your tests next week. I'd love to hear the results. I did look at the Kenwood DVT-505. I love the connectivity on that unit, but it does not have progressive scan. I just got on Kenwood's website and discovered that the DVT-605 does have progressive scan. I may look at that one too.

    Anybody have any other suggestions.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  9. Colin Banfield

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  10. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Wow, I like the specs on that pioneer, but it is a little out of my price range. I'm trying to keep it under $600. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  11. pat_hamm

    pat_hamm Auditioning

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  12. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Pat,

    I bought my first dvd player in April of 1997 right after they first came out and I've never seen a player that did NOT display an icon when multi-angle tracks were detected. Is the presence of the icon an issue, or is "big" and "ugly" the issue?

    In regards to the other issue, I will definitely check that if I go the Kenwood route. Am I correct in thinking that the 605 is a new model and the 505 has been on the market for a while?

    Thanks so much for your input.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  14. pat_hamm

    pat_hamm Auditioning

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  15. pat_hamm

    pat_hamm Auditioning

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  16. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Where would this post be without the Hamm brothers. [​IMG] Thanks guys. Anybody else have suggestions?

    Peace,

    DM
     
  17. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    I thought I'd bump this post with another interesting system that I found:

    Sharp's SD-AT50DV

    Can't tell if it has optical input.

    I'd love to hear if anyone else has any experience with any of these. Thanks!

    Peace,

    DM
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Ever seen the Panasonic XR10 receiver/XP30 dvd player combination? I saw this Wednesday at Sears (of all places!) along with a Panasonic 5.1 speaker system. They were stacked on top of each other--together they couldn't have been taller than 6". Forgot the price, sorry. The antenna wasn't hooked-up, and I didn't have a CD with me either so I couldn't listen to it. [​IMG]

    Panasonic HT package at Sears

    Panasonic SA-XR10 receiver

    FYI: That DVD-XP30 player is almost to find by itself now.

    Good luck!

    LJ
     
  19. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Very cool Lance. No, I have not seen this combo. I wonder if that is a Sears specific bundle. I looked on Crutchfield's website and they had the receiver, but not the dvd player. Thanks, I'll try to find some reviews on these two.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  20. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave,

    I recommend you strongly consider the Cambridge SoundWorks Megatheater 505 for around $699 (free shipping):

    http://www.hifi.com/store/category.c...item=k1pk669xx

    Review:

    http://www.hometheatermag.com/showarchives.cgi?159

    The included AVS5000 unit measures about 3" h x 15" w x 15" d. Short list of features:

    - Dolby Digital/DTS
    - Progressive DVD, compatibility includes CD, VCD, CD-R, CD-RW, PHOTO CD, and HDCD. I have lots of 120+ song MP3 cds on CD-RW media and they work fine in this player.
    - AM/FM tuner
    - 7 band EQ
    - Component out, s-video out, optical digital in/out, 3 composite outs.
    - Powered 150 watt Subwoofer that sends 60 watts to 5 channels (450 watts total).
    - < 0.1% THD

    I've had a Megatheater 520 (same AVS5000 unit but with an upgraded speaker package) since Christmas and this system rocks! It's much cleaner and more feature-rich than all of the comparably priced units I tested. It has a fantastic on-screen configuration system too.

    Sean.
     

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