-

Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Why not home-theater-in-a-box?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
31 replies to this topic

#1 of 32 acoustiman

acoustiman

    Auditioning

  • 11 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 10 2008

Posted April 12 2008 - 04:07 PM

Observing all the questions and answers in the forum, i've noticed that most people buy different models of speakers and subwoofers and integrate a HT on their own.
My question is,
Is it not best just to buy home-theater-in-a-box of a good company like bose or sony? These companies have expert engineers who know the best combinations of speakers, subs and amps.

#2 of 32 gene c

gene c

    Producer

  • 5,691 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 05 2003
  • Real Name:Gene
  • LocationBay area, Ca

Posted April 12 2008 - 04:39 PM

As a secondary system in a bedroom or a childs room, htib's are adequate. But for a more serious system, which most members strive for, a separates based system is far better for many reasons. First, if you buy Bose or Sony or any htib, you're pretty much stuck with what you get. Can't upgrade the dvd player because it's built in. Can't replace the speakers because they are hooked up with proprietary wiring or the rated resistance (ohms) is too low. And quite often the sub isn't a sub at all but a "bass module" which also cannot be replaced. And check out the specs. Often the rated power is a single channel driven @ 4 ohms @ a single frequency with an outrageous thd. 150 wpc, one channel driven, @ 1K with 10% THD is common. A real receiver would be 110 wpc, all channels driven, 20-20,000 hz with .05 % thd. Bose won't even admit to their specs. That should tell you something. Many companies, like H/K, Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo etc. offer receiver/dvd player/speaker packages which are far better than the average htib. But the speakers and sub will still be the weak points.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#3 of 32 Greg Bright

Greg Bright

    Second Unit

  • 263 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 24 2000

Posted April 12 2008 - 08:26 PM

Most HTIBs speakers are just too small to do justice to any movie soundtrack in any room larger than a walk-in closet, amplifier power and distortion aside. There will be no bass better than a good bookshelf speaker with an eight inch woofer. I guess if someone considers TV sound to be nothing more than background ambience then a HTIB will be fine.

One gets what one pays for. HTIBs are convenient, and I suppose that many, many people just don't have quality audio as a priority. They aren't members of this forum either.

Purchasing separates for the same price as an HTIB will usually give better results. And, while not to discredit anything I've written prior to this, there probably are some decent HTIBs out there; but they're $$$$$.
"Aufersteh'n, ja aufersteh'n wirst du, Mein Herz, in einem Nu.
Was du geschlagen, Zu Gott wird es dich tragen!"

#4 of 32 SethH

SethH

    Screenwriter

  • 2,867 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 17 2003

Posted April 12 2008 - 09:53 PM

I would say that if you are looking to get your receiver and speakers for under $500 then an HTiB may be your best bet. If you have the money available to spend much more than that, then you can almost always do better by purchasing separate pieces.

a good company like bose or sony


Do a search on bose on the forum and you'll quickly find out the feeling of most folks here. Sony is a good company, for the most part, but speakers and low-end receivers are not their strongest products by any stretch.

#5 of 32 tooskinny

tooskinny

    Auditioning

  • 4 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 27 2008

Posted April 13 2008 - 05:01 AM

I started out with a cheap Onkyo HTIB and after less than a year the only thing remaining is the receiver. It sounded ok for what I paid, but did not have the quality sound that I have now. I guess upgraditis got the best of mePosted Image

#6 of 32 Ed Moxley

Ed Moxley

    Screenwriter

  • 2,701 posts
  • Join Date: May 25 2003
  • Real Name:Ed
  • LocationEastern NC

Posted April 13 2008 - 05:34 AM

While I think HTIBs are a good thing, they definitely are not the best thing. HTIBs are good, when you don't have the money to do better. They are better than nothing. Most HTIBs don't have enough inputs, for everything people wants to plug into them.

Do the search on Bose, as suggested. Bose isn't well regarded in the HT world. The only Bose product I like is the Wave Radio, but I'm not paying $400 - $500 for a clock radio! That's all it is, basically. You can also read a very good and honest review of Bose here:
intellexual net · m k i v
Enjoy!
Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#7 of 32 Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Studio Mogul

  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted April 13 2008 - 05:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by acoustiman
These companies have expert engineers who know the best combinations of speakers, subs and amps.
You're assuming that the engineers have the final say on what goes into an HTIB. More often than not, the marketers and the bean counters do.

But even if the engineers have the final say, they don't necessarily know the "best" combination of elements for my media room or my listening preferences or my desired array of sources. "One size fits all" usually ends up not fitting anyone very well.

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#8 of 32 Dennis Nicholls

Dennis Nicholls

    Lead Actor

  • 7,655 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 1998
  • Real Name:Dennis
  • LocationBoise, ID

Posted April 13 2008 - 09:22 AM

I got a "factory refurb" Onkyo 6.1 system a year or two ago, and it was a heck of a bargian for around $250 shipped - little more than the receiver cost at a store.

The front three speakers were replaced by some small Polks I had laying around. I'm still using the three rears and sub which came in the HTiB.

Sony makes crappy cheap speakers and, well, the less said about Bose the better.

Onkyo and Yamaha make HTiB sets which may be a deal depending upon how much you have to pay for them.
Feline videophiles Condoleezza and Dukie.


#9 of 32 Al.Anderson

Al.Anderson

    Screenwriter

  • 2,148 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 02 2002
  • Real Name:Al

Posted April 14 2008 - 12:34 AM

As others have said, a higher end HTIB isn't a bad choice. But they are really separates from the same company that they've compbned for you. The upside is they give you a bit of a discount; the downside is you don't get to choose your speakers. Since speaker sound quality is extremely subjective, thet's a big negative. And the price advantage can usualy be overcome with just a little shopping around.

For someone who really just wants sound coming from more than just the TV and very little to no complexity, a basic HTIB will work.

And stay away from Bose. (Even the Wave thing. My brother bought one for my mom before I could strangle him - it's just a very expensive radio with decent bass.)

#10 of 32 JeremyErwin

JeremyErwin

    Producer

  • 3,219 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 11 2001

Posted April 14 2008 - 05:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by acoustiman
Observing all the questions and answers in the forum, i've noticed that most people buy different models of speakers and subwoofers and integrate a HT on their own.
My question is,
Is it not best just to buy home-theater-in-a-box of a good company like bose or sony? These companies have expert engineers who know the best combinations of speakers, subs and amps.

Ah. You want a home theater version of this. Perhaps this company can be of help.

#11 of 32 Jeff Gatie

Jeff Gatie

    Lead Actor

  • 6,529 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 19 2002

Posted April 14 2008 - 06:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by acoustiman
Observing all the questions and answers in the forum, i've noticed that most people buy different models of speakers and subwoofers and integrate a HT on their own.
My question is,
Is it not best just to buy home-theater-in-a-box of a good company like bose or sony? These companies have expert engineers who know the best combinations of speakers, subs and amps.

No offense, but in a forum chock full of engineers of all stripes, you should probably never again mention the words "Bose" (and to a lesser extent "Sony") in the same post as "expert engineers" again. Posted Image

To further explain, I think you will find the majority of posters here and elsewhere have pretty much zero respect for companies that are 95% marketing driven, such as Bose.

#12 of 32 troy evans

troy evans

    Screenwriter

  • 1,294 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 02 2005

Posted April 14 2008 - 07:21 AM

Well, I guess I'm going to stand alone, but, I would not recommend getting any HTIB. The limitations of most HTIB become very clear very fast. You would be far better off buying your components individually and the process doesn't have to be expensive. There's alot out there that is far better than anything that a company throws in the box. Just like no one here would recommend using in the box speaker wire, I would go a step furthur and not even recommend the speakers. Also, do you plan on enjoying the new sound formats like DD+, Dolby THD or DTS HD and DTS Master? You need to start with a good receiver first and build from there. I had one HTIB in my years of being into HT. It was my first and last. Take your time and build your system. You will be far happier.
" I think it's time we go to plan B". "What's plan B?" "That's the one where we don't do something stupid".

#13 of 32 Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Studio Mogul

  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted April 14 2008 - 07:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by troy evans
Well, I guess I'm going to stand alone
I don't think so.

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#14 of 32 John Gates

John Gates

    Second Unit

  • 372 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 18 2001

Posted April 14 2008 - 07:53 AM

I would say that if you're a convenience shopper, then HTIB could be an excellent option that would scratch that convenience itch.

But if you are a value shopper or a performance shopper, by being selective you can get better value buying components individually.

Most of the folks around here are hobbyists, or they wouldn't be here. Hobbyists by nature spend time on their hobby, so they are not convenience shoppers. Value and performance. That's us (generally speaking).

I think by spending some time in the hobby (reading up here) you'll discover many options to the HTIB for lots of budget points that offer high performance for the dollars.

Good luck!

John
http://www.free-resume-help.com
Free resume help, interview tips, and negotiating advice from corporate recruiting insiders.

#15 of 32 Joseph DeMartino

Joseph DeMartino

    Lead Actor

  • 8,301 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 1969
  • Real Name:Joseph DeMartino
  • LocationFlorida

Posted April 14 2008 - 09:22 AM

Quote:
These companies have expert engineers who know the best combinations of speakers, subs and amps.

Even if this were true (see above for some sceptical takes on that idea) it doesn't remotely follow that "the best combination of speakers, subs and amps" is what would end up in "the box". An HTiB system is designed to provide a basic level of HT performance at a given price point. So the odds of anything in the set being "the best", much less the whole thing being "the best combination", are vanishingly small. Now consider that a Bose or Sony (or anyone else) isn't selecting from the entire universe of components, but only from their own product lines. And the fact is they may not make a very good mid-range DVD/receiver combo, or their low-end speakers may really suck, or their only decent subs may be their top-shelf models. Which means what goes in the box is going to be a lowest-common-denominator compromise from an already limited menu.

Again, by shopping outlets, sales and refurbs and going after lesser-known but well-regarded brands (I'm a big fan of Atlantic Technology speakers for mid-priced systems, especially because of their ability to nail both music and movies, which is rare in their market segment) you can easily buy a better quality system for the same money or less than a typical HTiB. You can also end up with better components in every category and leave yourself with more options for adding to or upgrading your system. (While audio-only HTiBs are limited, the ones that combine the DVD player and Receiver/amplifier are even worse in terms of both connections and future upgrades. Not to mention the fact that if either your receiver or your DVD player breaks you lose both until you've fixed and/or replaced them.)

So low-end HTiBs almost never really save money even in the short term. Apart from some convenience in initial hook-up (good for the technically inept, but that's not who tends to read the HTF) they have essentially no advantages over better packages or separates and they have a host of disadvantages. In the long-run they tend to cost more because you can't just add a Blu Ray player to your existing system, you end up having to buy the Blu Ray and a new receiver. Or buy a whole new 5 or 7 speaker set when you decide to upgrade because your HTiB uses non-standard connectors running through the sub (or "bass module") so you can't just upgrade your front speakers or your sub when the money comes in.

Of course, I've made some of these points before. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#16 of 32 Dennis Nicholls

Dennis Nicholls

    Lead Actor

  • 7,655 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 1998
  • Real Name:Dennis
  • LocationBoise, ID

Posted April 15 2008 - 11:25 AM

Quote:
In the long-run they tend to cost more because you can't just add a Blu Ray player to your existing system, you end up having to buy the Blu Ray and a new receiver.
Joe,
To be fair to the original poster, some HTiB systems (like my Onkyo) don't include a DVD drive, and the receiver is just one of their mid-range units with 6 analog inputs and standard speaker connects. This means you could just add a Blu-ray drive and let it decode the newer audio formats. The powered sub is better than I would have thought for such a cheap price.
Feline videophiles Condoleezza and Dukie.


#17 of 32 Joseph DeMartino

Joseph DeMartino

    Lead Actor

  • 8,301 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 1969
  • Real Name:Joseph DeMartino
  • LocationFlorida

Posted April 15 2008 - 11:30 AM

Quote:
...some HTiB systems (like my Onkyo) don't include a DVD drive...

True. In fact, I made the distinction between the two types of HTiBs immediately before the line you quoted, and intended that part to apply to the all-in-one systems rather than the separates. I go into more detail about some of the good mid-priced HTiB systems offered by manufacturers like Onkyo in the other thread I linked to.

Regards,

Joe

#18 of 32 jobeck1

jobeck1

    Auditioning

  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 18 2008

Posted April 18 2008 - 04:01 AM

I have an Onkyo LS-v900 and love it, until now that is lol, I want to be able to play DVD-RW and all the other formats but can't play it on my Onkyo. Is there a way to plug a new DVD player into the Onkyo receiver?

Thx, for the help.

#19 of 32 JeremyErwin

JeremyErwin

    Producer

  • 3,219 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 11 2001

Posted April 18 2008 - 04:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Nicholls
Joe,
To be fair to the original poster, some HTiB systems (like my Onkyo) don't include a DVD drive, and the receiver is just one of their mid-range units with 6 analog inputs and standard speaker connects. This means you could just add a Blu-ray drive and let it decode the newer audio formats. The powered sub is better than I would have thought for such a cheap price.

Player, not Drive. A Drive is something you install in a computer. A player includes the chipset necessary to decode what's on the drive, a power supply, a remote control, etc. A player lives and dies by its chipset, which should help explain why Oppo charges $300 for a player, and Lite-On charges 20 bucks for a drive.

#20 of 32 Joseph DeMartino

Joseph DeMartino

    Lead Actor

  • 8,301 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 1969
  • Real Name:Joseph DeMartino
  • LocationFlorida

Posted April 18 2008 - 04:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jobeck1
I have an Onkyo LS-v900 and love it, until now that is lol, I want to be able to play DVD-RW and all the other formats but can't play it on my Onkyo. Is there a way to plug a new DVD player into the Onkyo receiver?

I don't know that specific system (and can't pull up the specs or rear panel picture from the Onkyo site from my office computer) but it is one of those integrated systems we've been discussing, so I'm 99.99% sure the answer is, "No". The kind of folk who choose an entry-level HTiB with an integrated DVD player/receiver aren't the demographic most likely to want to add another DVD player, so it wouldn't make sense to add the option, which would increase the cost of the unit without attracting anymore buyers. Wouldn't be easier just to copy the contents of the DVD-RW to a DVD-R? Posted Image

Regards,

Joe


Back to Speakers, Subwoofers & Headphones



Forum Nav Content I Follow