Home Theater In A Box. . . . .What Should I Get?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by wnnabepro, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. wnnabepro

    wnnabepro Agent

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    I had to sell my Home Theater System(Klipsch Synergy Speakers and a Yamaha Receiver) in January to pay bills cause worked slowed down, and I'm going insane not having some type of Home Theater System
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I'd go with the Onkyo.


    Amazon has the 5300 for $397 from 6th Ave Electronics and ac4l.com has an Onkyo-5300 factory refurbished for $319 + shipping. They have other Onkyo receivers/systems both new and refurbished as well.


    Another option is to browse Craigslist for a good used receiver and even better speakers/subwoofer. Buying used has worked very well for me but I realize many people are leary of purchasing used equipment.
     
  3. brianflick

    brianflick Auditioning

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    I too am thinking about getting a theater in a box but I'd want a better sub. Are these in-a-box set-ups able to have the subs upgraded to a self powered stronger unit?
     
  4. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Some systems, like the Onkyo 5300, can use any powered subwoofer. Other systems, like the Onkyo 3300 are designed to use passive, unpowered, subwoofers.


    When it comes to all-in-one systems, for the most flexibility and best value, look for:

    • Standalone receiver (i.e. NOT one with a built-in DVD or Blu-Ray player)
    • 8 ohm speaker impedance (nothing less than 6 ohms)
    • NO proprietary speaker connectors. Binding posts are preferred, spring clips that take bare wire are acceptable. Anything else usually means low impedance speakers that can't be used with any other system.
    • Subwoofer pre-out (for use with a powered subwoofer) gives you much more options when upgrading subwoofer and takes uneccessary strain off the receiver.
    • Analog-to-digital conversion of video sources. If you have a Wii or any other non-HDMI source, this feature will ensure that you only need a single HDMI cable from receiver to TV for ALL sources. A great convenience feature.

    And ignore wattage ratings - they are by no means an accurate measure of system performance.


    Also, keep in mind that ANY 7.1 system can be configured to run as 5.1. So don't discount some of the very nice 7.1 systems simply because you don't plan on using all the speakers.
     
  5. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    The HT-S5300 Onkyo system comes with a powered sub, so yes, the sub is upgradable. The onkyo systems below the 5300 have a passive sub, which is not upgradable to a powered sub, because the receiver that comes with it does not have a powered sub output. The sub with the system isn't bad at all, for what it is. I understand wanting better though...........
     
  6. wnnabepro

    wnnabepro Agent

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  7. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    That Denon is on the low end of decent. It is a little light on the non-HDMI connections. Although the need for component and composite is going away, you still should look for some extra connections for peripherals like Nintendo, older cable boxes, and streaming media players.


    Overall the receiver isn't too bad. But consider that they're providing power ratings at 6ohm, which will inflade the wattage figure.


    More import is the speakers. I've had good luck with satellite speakers, but they definitely don't provide the room filling capacity of bookshelf speakers (or towers, but they're even more expensive). I use mine in a room 20x15, but I sit only about 9 feet away. 400 sq feet could be pushing it. And an 8 in sub won't be knocking your socks off. Most importantly, you need to listen to the speakers if at all possible to judge the sound for yourself.


    Overall, I think you're getting your money's worth with that system (I might try and hold out looking for $50-$75 cheaper given the time of the year), but your room size may force you to wait and go up a grade.
     
  8. wnnabepro

    wnnabepro Agent

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    My living room is 15x17(i was off by about 200SQF). I had a JBL system(SCS145.5) and it worked okay but the satellites were too small. I know that whatever I get is not going to be my Klipsch Synergy's but just something that will sound more full than my tv speakers. What about the Onkyo HT-S5300? I have never really been a huge fan of Onkyo but I'm willing to give them a try. What type of system do you(AI.Anderson) have? What about the HT-S6300?
     
  9. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    On my main system I have an Onkyo TR-SX500 (it's a few years old now), and Harman/Kardon satellites (and sub, I bought the speakers as package for around $650). In my computer room I have an Onkyo TR-SX504 with Axiom bookshelf mains and Advent surrounds (this system is main for music). I like Onkyo because they provide a decent feature set at a reasonable price.

    That combo will definitely be better than your TV, and it's not a bad deal. Still if it were me, especially entering the Thanksgiving shopping season, I'd hang on and look for some better packages. (The exception to that is if you listen to it and decide you love the sound. Then snag it.)
     
  10. Phil Taylor

    Phil Taylor Supporting Actor

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    Instead of that best buy package - if you are looking in the $600 range now ... can you do $690?

    Amazon has that Denon for about $240 and it's a decent AVR if you don't need component video...

    http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-391-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B003QP3M8I


    But I'd add this better Klipsch speaker package that is available for under $450 ---

    http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-HD-500-Compact-Theater/dp/B001XURGT4
     
  11. wnnabepro

    wnnabepro Agent

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    I ended up getting the Denon DHT-591BA!!! I'm very pleased with this purchase!!
     

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