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HELP! Home Theater InaBox or what should I get???? LongPost w/ pics


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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 19 2003 - 04:13 AM

Hey I am a college senior but have some money to spend Posted Image and my crappy home theater in a box is broken and i returned it to circuit city. anyway, should i wait a few months for new products to come out or wait so that i can get current products for cheaper or should i buy now? if i buy now what should i get and if i should wait do you know what's coming out soon?

the htib that broke was an aiwa ht-dv90 (u won't find it online) and its discontinued now b/c its a pos. it cost me $250 but i am willing to spend significantly more so that i get a great system. however, i don't want to spend too much b/c new great stuff is always coming out and my needs might change (i have very little space now so i had a compact htib but i might get an apt. or something down the road and have more space in a year or two). my TV isn't HDTV or anything, its a 20" flatscreen Aiwa w/ a combo VCR in it so i don't need a combo dvd/vcr theater system or anything.

here are my questions...
1) my aiwa came with a subwoofer but the receiver also had a sub pre-out. this allowed me to hookup the crappy stock sub AND a powered subwoofer that i purchased which was cool b/c hey more bass! do any other systems allow usage of both? if i buy a cheaper system w/ crappy stock sub i can just use my powered aiwa sub but if i get a good system, i would like to be able to use both since both would be good. below are pics of the back of my broken aiwa (which shows both connections) and a denon 1000 which also seems to have both (but is probably too $$ for me). click on the thumbnails to see the enlarged version for the sub output

Posted Image
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2) should i go for a home theater in a box since i have limited space and don't need a huge component system or buy a speaker system and dvd/receiver components? i liked the dvd/receiver combos that come w/ most htib's b/c i put it on top of my TV on the dresser (i live in a dorm) and i don't really have room for a dvd, huge separate receiver, etc. but then again, i could probably stack them fine on top of my TV still (its pretty flat) or take out the top drawer of my dresser and add a shelf and fit it all easily and it would be pretty cool. The reason I'm asking is b/c there are some good speaker sets (polk, klipsch, sony, etc.) that aren't that bad of a deal and then i could find a good deal on receiver/dvd but i just don't know what's good

3) a lot of the htib and component systems are pricey, so i figured i had 250 invested already (i got a refund) and if I get a really good system w/ a good stock sub that wouldn't let me use my aiwa powered sub i could maybe sell the aiwa sub for some more money. (anyone interested in a great Aiwa WS-150 wood powered 10" sub?) I'd rather buy from a place like circuit city b/c they have a good warranty (i got a refund for my crappy aiwa which i couldn't have gotten if i purchased it online) but those stores have very limited selection. here are some of the ones i was looking at/considering although some of them are too pricey for me probably...

samsung/klipsch audio ht-sk6 - $799 it has klipsch speakers and tons of power which is great b/c i loved my cheaper klipsch computer system that i have. however, it is pricey and it might be cheaper/better to buy a klipsch speaker set and different receiver instead of that samsung but i don't know
onkyo ls-v950 or onkyo ls-v500c $855 and $699 - the lsv950 is sold at circuit city which is great cuz i can buy a warranty and trade it in in a few years and the 500c is a little cheaper, more powerful and had good reviews

onkyo hts-650 $499 is highly rated but bulky and may be an outdated model. I'd also have to buy an onkyo DVD player to go w/ it - they have a ht-653 which comes with the DVD but circuitcity doesn't sell any onkyo dvd players. It might be a cheaper option than the other onkyo's but it might be a pita. Also, circuit city sells the Onkyo sks-ht500 speaker set which is what is used in the HTS650 and 653 models just w/o the receiver/dvd and got good reviews and is pretty affordable

There are also a lot of good Sony's (I love sony but just don't like their lower model htib's and they cycle/discontinue products really fast) but they have a Sony ht-6500d which is $699 or you can get it from crutchfield as a scratch and dent for $595 and Pioneer has an htp-725dv which is a little too much for me, panasonic has some good models but u can't unattach the speaker wires which is crappy and they have a new panasonic DT-s300 but I don't know much about it and isn't sold locally yet. Basically, there are TONS of models out from panasonic, pioneer, sony, onkyo, and denon and i don't know which is best for me as a HTIB or if I can get a speaker set and receiver/dvd for not too much. A lot of these have too many features and stuff than I need so I don't want to pay 1,000 when all I need is a $500 system. My Aiwa had some great features (being able to use my stock subwoofer and my powered one), a good remote, and ease of use, but the sound and video weren't that great. I could try to buy my same old Aiwa HT-DV90 direct from Aiwa even tho its discontinued but I've had 2 that broke so not being able to get it w/ a warranty would be bad cuz it'll break again. What are your thoughts or should I wait a while?

BTW, this Denon DHT-1000DV is my favorite system b/c its really small but it looks like I can have a sub pre-out for my Aiwa sub AND use the denon sub and it looks really feature packed. Obviously, 1100 bucks is too much for what I need and I wouldn't even be able to use all that sound or video quality on my 20" tv - it would be nice tho!

4) is there anything good coming out that i should wait for, when is the new product cycle, where can i find out about soon to be released products like i can easily find out about cars or cell phones, and what's the best home audio forum, etc. since most that i found are only for audiophiles w/ tens of thousands of dollars to spend?

5) you can look at CNET's HTIB's HERE, their choice Speaker systems (they show the Klipsch Quintet which is offered on that Samsung above) HERE, Crutchfield's selection HERE, or point me to somewhere else for more info

Sorry this post is so long but I had all those links saved and if I spend like $600 bucks I don't want to regret it. Any help is greatly appreciated. THANKS!

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 19 2003 - 04:14 AM

where can i find out about products that will be released later this year? i just don't want to invest all this and then a 500 dollar system comes out that is spectacular in september or something u know?

here are the picture thumbnails (click them for the links) for you picture types...

Onkyo SKS-ht500 Speaker System ($300 from Circuit City)
Posted Image

Onkyo LSV950 HTIB ($855 from Circuit City)
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Onkyo LS-V500C HTIB $699
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Onkyo System w/ Sony Speakers
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Denon HTV-1000DV $1100
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Sony HT-5500D ($570 from Circuit City) but is this being discontinued? there is also a 6500D on Crutchfield's site and a 1700D on Crutchfield and I don't understand the differences and Sony has the Dream systems w/ the clear remotes but I've heard tons of Sony's have problems and are too quiet but I don't know which ones (maybe just the dream systems?)
Posted Image

Pioneer HTP-725DV (kinda big) $800
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Panasonic SC-DT300
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and there are tons more - look on crutchfield, best buy, circuit city, and cnet for all of 'em but are there better places to look or get advice? it'd be cool if i could find a good price/deal and the right model at bestbuy or circuit city so i can buy one of their warranties and not worry about it breaking cuz i was looking more for a system that was $600 tops unless i get talked into something... :talkface:

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 19 2003 - 08:09 AM

anyone? bueller?

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Kyle McKnight

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Posted April 19 2003 - 11:01 AM

I'm not sure which one. Just thought you should know since you're new here, that bumping your posts is frowned upon.
Kyle McKnight

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Dave Miller

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Posted April 19 2003 - 11:03 AM

David,

I'm still looking too. Currently my search is on hold as I await a new model from Pioneer. I have some real specific criteria and this looks like it is going to fill the bill for about $350. It should be out in a few more weeks. Etronics lists it as coming soon and I've contacted Cruthfeild and they have told me it is coming soon for them as well.

Prior to discovering this I had my eye on the Onkyo LS-500C. Coming in a close second is the Yamaha DVX-S100 and then the Kenwood DVT-605. I too love that Denon 1000DV, but it just too much money.

Good luck.

Peace,

DM
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#6 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 19 2003 - 11:14 AM

Hey I looked at the Sony models w/ the separate receiver and dvd and a lot of reviews on cnet (hmm a good place for advice?) said that setup and controls of the sony were crap and the tiny satellites weren't very good. circuit city has the onkyo hts650 which are speakers and receiver and it looks great but its 499 which when adding a dvd player it will push it to around 700. when you hit that 700 mark there are other things available for cheaper or better like the ls-500c that you mentioned for 699.

I went to onkyousa.com and if you buy everything factory reconditioned you can get the same $499 hts650 for only $329 which is tempting. however, i really wanted to buy from a circuit city type place so i don't have to mess w/ shipping and warranty problems. also, the onkyo remotes are crap and it looks like its an aging stereo but i have no idea. panasonic and pioneer bring out tons of models and discontinue half of them so i don't know which are new/old/exclusive - for instance circuit city has a "new" panasonic model but its no where to be found on any internet site anywhere which is odd.

i just don't know whether to wait, get a crap htib, splurge and go for the circuit city hts650 onkyo and then pick a dvd player, or go the sketch route and order all factory reconditioned products from onkyousa.com for a lot cheaper...





btw, sorry for the thread bump before, didn't know it was frowned upon

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 19 2003 - 11:19 AM

hey david miller i looked at the pioneer you showed - it looks nice but its not out yet? hmm i wonder if chain stores will carry it. it sucks that you have to spend tons of dough for the receiver to allow you to use different speaker wires or have speakers that don't require the stock wires and things like that. why can't they make a high-powered receiver w/ a dvd player and some good speakers w/ normal connections for 599? That is what i'd buy!

one question though - how does the 330DV pioneer differ from the 520DV? the 520 has a higher msrp but it's already been out - it looks the same pretty much though so I wonder the difference? Also, I wonder if the 725dv and 910dv and others are good or just overpriced crap cuz i think best buy carries one of those. that 330dv actually looks pretty darn good, i just need to see what the back looks like and hope its sold locally!

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 19 2003 - 11:28 AM

hmm i looked at the 520v and the 725v (which is $799 omg and 6.1 which i don't need) and u can see a huge difference in quality. the 725 has the 5in1 connectors and a sub pre-out and the 520v doesn't even have a sub preout! I purchased an aiwa powered sub and it is completely useless w/ the pioneer 520v (and therefore probably the 330dv) since there is no pre-out right?

My crappy broken Aiwa had a sub connection AND a sub pre-out so I could use the crap stock sub and the Aiwa powered sub that I bought.

Why can't I find a good home theater that's affordable that has these features? Can't any home audio philes on this board help me out?

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 19 2003 - 11:54 AM

ooh btw, i found this press release from pioneer. they released several models last january, the 330dv being one of them. they also have 2 others and a 630dv w/ wireless speakers! haha well here is the link - i wonder when these will be out or if they decided to only market the 330 or what?

http://www.pioneerel....,92523,00.html

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 19 2003 - 12:01 PM

also, on the onkyousa site i priced the different models and here is what i came up with...

you can get the 500C receiver/dvd player (from the lsv500c system) and the speaker set from the hts650 system for 499 total

you can get the hts650 (speakers and receiver) and a 5disc dvd player dvcp500 for $488 total (no tax or shipping)!!!!!! the exact same thing at circuit city (not refurbished) is 499 + 299 = 800 but the one is out of stock at circuit city so they might be discontinuing it?



That is a BIG difference from Circuit City which charges 499 for the DVD/Receiver alone in the first batch and 499 for just the hts650 (w/o the dvd player) in the second batch. I wonder if this is a good deal or if I should wait and get a consumer, lower quality home theater in a box that is more user friendly? And how bad is factory reconditioned????











Pioneer Press Release...
The HTD-630DV, HTD-530DV, and HTZ-430DV will be available in the summer.

The HTD-330DV and HTP-230 will be available in April with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $600 and $450 respectively.

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Dave Miller

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Posted April 19 2003 - 12:47 PM

David,

Crutchfeild has already quoted me $350 for the Pioneer HTD-330DV. I will hold them to that. There are a few differences between the features in the 330 and the 520, but the main difference is that the 330 will have progressive scan which I want. It looks like asthetically the two boxes are very similar, but the speakers look a little different.

Just my two cents, but I'd never buy a refurbished anything. That's just me though.

Peace,

DM
"We all end up dead, the question is how and why."

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 19 2003 - 12:54 PM

i am also hesitant to buy refurbished, to buy onkyo when no one locally sells them except circuit city, and to buy a product that's been out a while and will probably be discontinued soon BUT i can save $50 on my first purchase at Onkyo so basically i'd be buying an $850 system for $450 and it has the quality speaker connections, a sub pre-out, and wood speakers, 100wxchannel, etc. while the cheap plastic HTIB's have plastic tin speakers, sealed wires, most aren't powerful or upgradeable. The downside is that the remotes aren't ergonomic and its not as user friendly as a brand new sony/pioneer would be but it is probably good quality.

the 330dv is probably fine for me but if i find out the speaker wires don't unattach or something i'll be pissed. also, i need a sub pre-out b/c i have a powered sub and the 330 and 520 probably don't have that. I wonder about the other pioneer's coming out. Here are some more links for info about the new pioneers...

http://www.audiovide....ces_page3.html

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Dave Miller

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Posted April 19 2003 - 10:39 PM

On the Pioneer 520DV, the back of the speakers are the spring clip type of connections. I would assume the 330DV would be the same.

Peace,

DM
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#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Mauricio_BR

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Posted April 20 2003 - 08:22 AM

The major problem with ALL in box HT´s is that the speakers are CRAPPY. Really bad.

Your money would be better spent buying a nice receiver + a set of speakers, since you already has a SW.

Take a look at the Wharfedale 7.2 They are cheap and are very good at its price. You may buy 2 pairs for about $170 at Ebay.
Power means NOTHING without control.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   DavidMcG

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Posted April 20 2003 - 01:21 PM

well my two options are this...

1) buy the onkyo hts650 speakers and receiver and an onkyo dvd player direct from onkyo and factory refurbished (i'd buy the extended warranties and would be tempted to buy the hts650 from circuit city and switch it w/ my refurbished model hehe) $500-550

2) wait a few months and buy a new HTiB like the Pioneer 530DV that's coming out or some other brand/model. This is better b/c its not refurbished and would be from a local store and would be easier to use, more ergonomic and take up less space. BUT, the speakers, receiver, and all that are lower quality and if I wait a few months, the new HTiB might not have the connections I need (I need spring clips or 5in1's not the weird USB speaker connections or other proprietary ones that they are coming out w/ and I also need a sub pre-out or a/v jack which the pioneers don't have). Also, they may be more expensive and w/ an added warranty it will be more than the first option - however, the pioneer won't be shady and refurbished and if it breaks I could just take it into circuit city and the remotes and stuff are better and i don't really need huge speakers and an uber-powerful receiver. For instance, the Pioneer 520V thats out would be fine for my needs sound wise but it wouldn't allow me to use my sub and some of the newer HTiB's that are coming out may not be spring clips (all panasonic have sealed speaker wires which prevent upgrading). OH and btw, a lot of the new HTiB's are 6.1 while the Onkyo is "only" 5.1 - I am perfectly happy w/ 5.1 but not if the entire market moves to 6.1 u know so I don't know about that either...



SOOOO what do you think?

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Jerome Grate

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Posted April 21 2003 - 04:22 AM

I can vouch for the Sony, I installed one for my Son's God parents and I was really impressed with the sound, and that sub is nothing to sneeze at. I produces some real good bass. Put in Pitch Black for the surround in the beginning and of course Jurassic Park, for the Bracheasaurus thump, and Godzilla for bass and surround. The Sony model for that price is a pretty good deal.
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#17 of 17 OFFLINE   John Kilroy

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Posted May 09 2003 - 03:27 AM

Get this excellent DVD player and decent receiver for $350 and get an Energy 5.1 speaker system to go with it. It will kick the butt of any HTiB for about the same money.
I'm John Kilroy, and I approved this message.