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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   David_S

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Posted December 07 2003 - 12:18 PM

My wife and I are building a home in Tampa, and she's given me the den for our home theater. It's 11 x 11 and I'm having it prewired. Too small for 7.1, so, I'm sticking with 5.1. We went looking at equipment the other night, and I've done some research, but I'd appreciate some assistance from some veterans. We're for sure going with plasma due to space concerns. I really like the new Sony 50" and found it online for ~9,400. Question: what's the downside of buying big-dollar plasmas online? Next, the guy at the A/V store was high on the Sony receivers, but I've noticed the audiophiles around here don't mention Sony too much. The rcvr in question was the (something)2000 (I'll check the model number later. Finally -- teh speakers I'm considering are the B&W 600s. Small room. At first I had considered wall mounting, but, perhaps I'll go stands or floor mount. Should I upgrade a notch on speakers? Thanks for any advice. Dave

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted December 07 2003 - 12:43 PM

[quote] Question: what's the downside of buying big-dollar plasmas online? [quote]
Possibly no warranty. Or you might not get anything in the mail at all depending where you order it from. And the same display will cost much less next year.

I'm in no way trying to shit on plasma displays, they are nice, but your $9400 plasma will not be a $9400 plasma in sixth months. I am personally staying with a direct view CRT for a few more years.
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   James Sarno

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Posted December 07 2003 - 01:50 PM

David,
The Sony plasma's are very nice indeed....but like Garrett said it won't be worth what you paid for in six months...Try checking out the Sony 50 inch Grand Wega LCD RPTV...Stunning picture,not as slim as a plasma but slim enough to fit in your room...
A friend of mine has one hooked up to a HD cable box and the picture is beautiful(to mePosted Image )...
No harm in checking it out...

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Frank Zimkas

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Posted December 07 2003 - 04:12 PM

And new car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot. If you like it, thats really all that counts.

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted December 08 2003 - 03:56 AM

I'm not saying that a plasma-screen will depreciate, of course it will, I'm saying that in several months the same plasma screen will cost much less than what it will now.
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   David_S

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Posted December 08 2003 - 04:33 AM

Thanks for the responses. However, I've long accepted that, with the current tech curve, today's toys will be outdated and reasonably priced tomorrow. The idea is to get them now, while they're "hot." I figure that if I want plasma, I have to pay the price. So, I'm not the type to wait for good prices on outdated technology. With that said, I do like the LCDs (the 70" Grand Wega is a beauty). Perhaps you were saying that they'd hold their value longer? If not, it would cost more in the end to get a LCD for <$ now and then buy the plasma when the prices drop. Ya know? Back to the speakers. I'm now considering the B&W CDM series. ANyone think a 11' x 11' room is too small? They're still the lower end B&Ws. Thanks!

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted December 08 2003 - 05:06 AM

plasma tv's are pretty cool...and if space, viewing angle, and brightness are an issue - plasma's can't be beat. also, be sure to check out ED (enhanced definition) plasma's. their picture quality is darn near HD plasma and you may be able to save yourself a couple grand. go see for yourself if you see a picture difference. regarding the receiver, which sony line were you looking at? i'm not a big fan of regular sony audio gear (i actually kinda dislike it) -- but the sony ES series is pretty good. i used to own a full ES stack and had no complaints. regarding the speakers, you should have no complaints with BW. however, don't buy a speaker just based upon the brand. you absolutely need to audition as many speakers as you can, both within and outside of your price range. you want to get an idea of what different speakers sound like, so you can make an informed choice. also, when demo-ing, be sure to use music that you are very familiar with.
 

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Richard Ferns

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Posted December 09 2003 - 02:48 AM

Test post.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Jason GT

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Posted December 09 2003 - 03:24 AM

Though the room is rather small, have you considered front projection? I hate to throw a wrench in the works but if you've got dedicated space for a theatre, FP might be viable. You'd also probably get something quite nice for less than that huge plasma.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted December 10 2003 - 12:00 AM

On the sound, consider at least 6.1, as the added sound modes alone, make it well worth it.

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   ChrisLazarko

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Posted December 10 2003 - 03:31 AM

John remember his room is small so a 6.1 setup is needed and for most people 5.1 is just fine, very few titles even have 6.1 capabilities so spending the money on that extra rear speaker can be a waste in some cases. As for the reciever. I personally stay away from Sony. There lower-end series isn't of high-quality and usually have many bugs and problems, I had one and it had alot of problems. There ES line is alright but I just personally like the sound. It isn't as forth-coming and as direct as other companies like Denon, Onkyo, HK, Yamaha, Rotel, NAD, etc. If you like the way to Sony sounds (the ES line) then go for it, I haven't heard people having too many problems with them. I personally like HK and Denon the best though and NAD is also a good choice depending on your budget. As for upgrading speakers, it's all personal preference. For a small room that size anything will be able to bring alot of sound to the room. Floor standing speakers would be a personal preference if you wanted them, bookshelves that would be wall mounted are probably ideal. Good luck.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   brentl

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Posted December 10 2003 - 04:11 AM

My suggestion is to go with a front projection setup. If you are looking at $9000 for a TV you would do yourself a disservice if you don't look at FPTVs. B

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   JawhnM

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Posted December 11 2003 - 05:36 AM

The room is pretty small but don't rule out front projection (if lighting can be controlled). The advantage would be that later you could move to a larger room and a MUCH larger screen. If not than the Wega's are a good compromise (I personally don't care for the plasma's picture (especially for the price). The B&W's should be fine for a room that size, but definitly listen to them (and others) before you buy. The Sony ES series is good, but I too would lean toward the other brands mentioned.
If the Theater is a Rockin, don't come a Knockin!

My Home Theater

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Dan_Whip

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Posted December 11 2003 - 06:15 AM

I'd definitely look at a projector. Just to give you an example, for about $2,500 you can get a Panasonic PT-L500U. If you mount it 9' from your wall, that gives you about an 80" screen. It will have a much better picture than a plasma will, plus will save you 7 grand. With that 7K, you can look into the world of Rotel, B&K, Parasound, etc. to get a *much* better sounding system. The extra money saved will also allow you to put some well deserved cash into room treatments. With the cost and quality of projectors, it's amazing to me that plasma's are still selling. Average picture for 5x-10x the price? I have to hand it to the plasma marketing strategy. Somehow everyone got convinced that these things are worth that much. It's like the marketing for Bose. I don't want to turn this into a Bose flame thread, but my point is that for the same or less money, you can get something much better once you ignore the hype and do the research. B & W speakers are very good, but don't get stuck with a certain brand. Listen to as many different speakers as you can using some music you are very familiar with. Since your house is still being built, take some time and browse around here. Read up on your different options. With the kind of budget you're looking at, you can have an amazing system that will blow you away. Good luck!

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   David_S

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Posted December 12 2003 - 03:38 AM

Dan, Thank for the post. I haven't given much consideration to projectors at all. I've done NO research. It just always seemed to me that they wouldn't be bright enough, clear enough, or deep enough. I'll have to check into them and see some demos. You're advice on the speakers is spot on. I've started going outside the B&Ws and like what I've heard. Thanks again.

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Dan_Whip

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Posted December 12 2003 - 04:29 AM

In the past it was true that the projectors were lacking, but there have been so many huge advances, that you'll be amazed at what they can do for a fraction of the cost of that plasma screen. I read an article in a magazine about a reviewer doing a test to see how good these new projectors were. He took a Sim2 HT300 projector, which is about the same price as the plasma you're looking at, and tested it at a drive-in theater. Keep in mind the average home screen that these were designed for is 100" wide using about a 15' distance to screen. He parked his car about 60 feet from an 80 foot wide screen, put in Toy Story, and was able to watch the film. He even commented that people drove up to find out what was playing, so it was bright enough to see from the street, too! No, it wasn't the greatest quality picture, but it is an example of how good this technology is. Take that same projector, and instead of projecting it on a 2700 square foot drive-in screen, project in onto a 20 square foot home theater screen, and I'm sure you could imagine how good the picture would be. Just a little more food for thought.




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