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DVD players with built in receiver ?

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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   JonathanJB



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Posted July 16 2003 - 06:50 PM

A friend asked me how come you have expensive stand-alone DVD players and expensive Dolby 5.1 receivers, when you can get a (cheap brand) DVD player with 5.1 channel outputs and speakers in a package. My guess was the quality of the DVD video playback. All decent DVD player units do not have built in 5.1 receivers. Can anybody explain more to me ? Thanks

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted July 17 2003 - 01:33 AM

The DVD playback is one element. Another one (and much more important, IMO) is the receiver. A good receiver or processor provides features, control and quality that the cheap packages your friend is talking about can't approach. Of course, this only counts if one cares about such things. Also, the speakers included in the package deals generally aren't the best quality. But if all one wants is to make some noise out of five channels, they'll do. M.
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#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Carl Johnson

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Posted July 17 2003 - 02:05 AM

How does Mercedes get away with charging up to ten times more for their vehicles than Hyundai? If you have to ask it's hard to explain other than saying that the difference is quality. I have a $99 no name DVD/surround sound system in my bedroom that sounds good but comparing it to the stand alone system in my family room is like putting me and Tiger Woods in the same category because we both have golf clubs Posted Image

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   ChuckSolo



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Posted July 17 2003 - 04:39 AM

Like any hobby, Home Theater is one that can be enjoyed in varying degrees. Hobbies, like any non-necessary activity, can be enjoyed by anyone who has the ability to put as little or as much money as they want into them. I have been into movies and home video since the first BetaMax was introduced back in the late 70's and have always had a fairly expensive "main" viewing system and a less expensive "bedroom" setup. There are those people who would like to enjoy the sound created by the technology that exists on the modern DVD but just don't have the resources to spend 1000+ dollars on one. I for one applaud the $99.00 surround system as a means of getting one's feet "wet" in the hobby. Buying one of these entry level systems usually results in the buyer eventually wanting more than is possible with his/her cheaper system. That is how the hobby grows....and that is why I believe the low buck entry level system exists.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted July 17 2003 - 07:44 AM

Even when purchasing an entry system, it is not necessarily a good thing to purchase a combination DVD player/receiver. This is because of its inherent inflexibility. If for example the DVD player develops a problem (and as parts of a DVD player are mechanical, this is not out of the question) any repairs will necessitate the receiver being out of the picture as well. This means that for this period of time you can't use your sound system at all. And if the DVD player can’t be fixed (or it is too expensive to repair), then you have to replace the whole unit, rather than just the receiver or DVD player. But most importantly, when it comes time to upgrade (assuming this is a reasonable possibility) both units must be replaced at once, as opposed to upgrading just the receiver and then possibly the DVD player. Nothing wrong with starting out with inexpensive equipment, but the wise buyer keeps the future in mind.
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#6 of 8 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:22 AM

I agree completely with what Lew said, HTiB's are often designed to work together as well, meaning that you CANNOT (in some cases) upgrade to separate components because they use proprietary connections. Not to mention you will likely get speakers that are intended to work with the less powerful amp that the package has, and if you try to upgrade to more current hungry speakers, the weak amp may not be able to handle the additional load. The real issue, to me, is that in order to fit both a DVD, processor and amp all in one box, many compromises must be made, often at the expense of quality. If you compare a $99 DVD player to a $999 player, I think even a novice will be able to tell the difference in quality. If there was no difference, the market for $999 players would be very, very small. If you compare a typical all-in-one reciever's amp section to a separate amp, the difference should also be noticable.
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#7 of 8 OFFLINE   ChuckSolo



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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:44 AM

Yes, Lew and John are both right. I wasn't trying to say that a $99.00 system could compare with a high end COMPONENT system. When I recently upgraded my bedroom system, I opted to buy a separate A/V receiver, speakers and DVD/VCR Combo as opposed to buying a HTiB. I totally agree with the issue of the advantages of component systems. In this day and age, even a low cost, say under 700 bucks, component system would always be preferable to an integrated system. Yes, I could have saved hundreds by buying a HTiB, but the thought of having to replace the whole thing as opposed to just one of the components is not acceptable. I watch too many DVDs! :-)

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted July 17 2003 - 09:22 AM

Absolutely Chuck. It would be pretty easy to get an Acoustic Research HC6 5.1 speaker system for ~$350, a receiver to drive it for ~$200 and an entry level, but still good DVD player for $150. $700 on the nose and you would have a nice little system. Better than $1,500 would have brought two years ago. For the slightly more expensive entry level system the AV123 (Rockets and such) guys told me that their new ELT (5.1) system is intended to target that market specifically. $900 gets you some beautiful speakers. Add to that another $300 for a receiver and $250 for a DVD player (you can get a nice progressive scan at this price point). This leaves $50 for cables and such at the $1,500 price point. I have heard both of the above configurations and they are both worth serious consideration at those price points. Best of all you are not locked in. And to your point, anyone (not just audiophiles) can easily tell the difference between them and the HtiB or Bose Lifestyle systems.
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