Living Room Theater /Sound and Netflix

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by mrmeyer, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. mrmeyer

    mrmeyer Auditioning

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    We just moved into a new home, so I'm upgrading our television experience. I'm looking for some recommendations for a sound system upgrade and to get Netflix. My budget is flexible, but I'm not a die-hard audiophile, just a residential homeowner that likes occasional movies with his wife.


    What I have now:

    • Samsung 58" plasma PN58C550 with wifi adapter (I bought the adapter thinking I could add Netflix, but the television doesn't have that native capability).
    • Comcast HD cable and internet
    • old DVD-R my wife uses to record Turner Classic Movies
    • Bose Lifestyle 25, partially disassembled. I'm just using the front 3 speakers now since I left the rear speaker wires behind at the old house.

    I plan on discarding the Bose Lifestyle, and I want to add:


    • Surround sound. Unless the rear speakers are wireless, I think they'll be tripping hazards. I can mount small wireless rear speakers fron the ceiling. Is there a decent, low end wireless surround sound that does this? Otherwise, we might be ok with some sort of sound bar. I know that's not surround sound, but unobtrusive requirement trump anything more complex. We watch television in our living room, so any cables must be hidden in a cabinet, not visibly strung across the floor.
    • Netflix. I added the USB wireless to the plasma tv, but the PN58C550 I bought a year ago doesn't use it effectively. So I'd like to purchase some sort of box so we can rent movies (The Comcast On Demand is pricey if you're watching 8-10 movies a month.) I have a Logitech programmable controller; I'd like to be able to program a "Watch Netflix" to make the movie rental easy for my wife.
    • Wireless headphones for those nights when one of us can't sleep and want to watch the television in the living room without waking the other up.

    I don't really have any need for a Blu-Ray DVD, but perhaps a newer Samsung Blu-Ray DVD will let me add the Netflix.

    What sort of sound system and what sort of box would you recommend for Netflix?
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    For Netflix I recommend buying a Blu-ray player with it built in. This way you're covered if and when you want Blu-ray in the future, and you'll have them both in one unit. And most do an excellent job upscaling your DVD's.You can buy one under $100 these days.


    Sorry, but I know nothing about wireless speakers or headphones.
     
  3. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    You could replace the Comcast box with a TIVO HD. That would get you Netflix, Amazon, BlockBuster, and more (coming soon ;) )and your wife could record TCM on it.
     
  4. doozle

    doozle Auditioning

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    You could probably pick up a nice samsung Blu-ray player surround package with wireless rears that plays netflix for a decent price always had good luck with my samsung Blu-ray
     
  5. CB750

    CB750 Screenwriter

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    Wireless speakers are a mixed bag. Some folks report good results others do not They are not wireless as you have to connect the wireless speakers to the wireless receiver that comes with the unit and the receiver must be plugged into 120 AC. Sometimes they create more problems than they solve.. You will find no great supporters of wireless speakers on this forum as we really favor hard wire. If you follow this speaker placement you will find that most of the time you can avoid problems you might think you have.


    http://www.dolby.com/consumer/setup/speaker-setup-guide/index.html



    There are may ways to hide wires under base boards and carpets. You need to be creative and not give up so easy.


    If you decide you must go wireless here is one of the better units on the market but I see it better suited for the rear speakers in a 7.1 system as opposed to the surround speakers in a 5.1 or a 7.1 system.


    http://www.rocketfishproducts.com/products/home-theater/RF-WHTIB.html
     
  6. mrmeyer

    mrmeyer Auditioning

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    Thanks, all, for the great insight. Some followup questions -


    You could replace the Comcast box with a TIVO HD.


    The Tivo website indicates the TiVo Premiere XL is $299.99 + $19.99/mo. I'm ok with spending the $300, but what am I getting for the additional $20/month? It appears just a fancy interface, and Netflix is an additional cost above that.


    If that's the case, I like the Samsung BD-D5700. It has Samsung apps and I can get Netflix for $8/mo.


    I guess I'll drop the idea of the wireless, and for aesthetic reason, probably drop the Surround Sound idea, too. Our living room has tile floors which limits wired options. I could probably run wires up the wall, into the ceiling, and drop them at the back of the sofa, but I think I'll get limited use out of that due to where the sofa is located.


    So maybe I should just go with an upgraded sound system that's better than the built-in sound from the Samsung television. What are your thoughts on a 2.1 soundbar instead?
     
  7. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    The TIVO will be more up front but it pays off after a few years. It is much better to pay for a lifetime subscription. The total cost would be $700. Figure out what you are paying (or would pay) to Comcast per month to lease their DVR and divide that by the cost of the TIVO. For me I need to keep my Premier for 41 months to break even (money wise) while enjoying all the extras you will never get with a Comcast DVR (they want you to only watch cable, after all). This figure assumes the lease price of the cable company DVR does not go up. Also, if you add additional TIVO's the price for those goes down. BTW - For one year the Premier is $99 + $19.99 per month. Just some food for thought. Going the BD way is also a good deal. If your a gamer you could get a PS3 for Netflix and bluray.
     
  8. mrmeyer

    mrmeyer Auditioning

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    So I'm settling in on -


    A Soundbar. I don't see a feasible, aesthetic way to get rear speakers with our tile floor, so I just want a better sound system. I'm looking at the JVC TH-BA1. What do you think?


    A Netflix box. I'm looking at the Panasonic DMP-BDT210. What is the quality of the Netflix streaming like to be with this setup? I'll probably remove the old DVD-R and find a new way for my wife to save TCM movies.
     
  9. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I have that soundbar in my bedroom, and it's only marginally better than the TV speakers. Why not get an entry level receiver and run it 3.1? You'll have MUCH better sound.
     

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