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Need Suggestions

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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   Driftwood60



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Posted January 06 2010 - 11:37 AM

I need to replace a defunct Pioneer surround sound receiver dvd player.  What I would like is a unit with provisions for up to 4 external sources, an internal dvd player (not blueray), w/o speakers if possible, and under $400.  Is there such an animal?  Don't need a lot of watts, just good sound with reasonable bass.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

#2 of 3 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted January 07 2010 - 02:08 AM

Are there space limitations that are driving your desire to have the DVD player integrated with the receiver?

Generally, units like this are severely limited in the number of connections available.  Also, the downside to a combined unit is that if part of it breaks, you're out the whole system.

Also, how much "bass" you get from the system is really a function of your subwoofer, not the receiver itself.

I would recommend the Onkyo 507 receiver ($315) and picking up a separate upconverting DVD player (there are many available for under $100 including this one from Sony).

You'd still have enough left over in your budget to pick up some good HDMI cables from Monoprice.com.

The beauty of going with a receiver like the Onkyo, is that should you choose to go Blu-Ray in the future, you're covered.

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#3 of 3 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted January 09 2010 - 11:58 AM

 Generally, units like this are severely limited in the number of connections available.  Also, the downside to a combined unit is that if part of it breaks, you're out the whole system.
Two other problems are that if you do decide to upgrade to Blu-Ray down the road, or add some hot new toy that hasn't even been invented yet, odds are you won't have the correct number or type of inputs available.  And you obviously can't swap out a new Blu-Ray player for your existing DVD player and use that elsewhere, as you could with separates. 

Any combo unit with an integrated DVD player is going to come with speakers because that is the market that such "complete home theater in a box" (CHTiB) systems are aimed at.  (Regular HTiB system are just audio - receiver and speakers, no players built in.)  There simply isn't a market for a stand-alone receiver/DVD combo.  Most consumers who have moved past the CHTiB or HTiB stage want separates anyway.

Not only are good upconverting DVD players available for under $100, but you can get a good Blu-Ray player for that price or a little more.  (Check Wal-Mart and Best Buy.)  If you'd rather let your TV deinterlace and rescale your image, you can pick up a good DVD player for under $50.

From a price/peformance standpiont you'd definitely be better off with good receiver like the Onkyo that Jason already suggested. 

I assume your Panasonic used standard speaker binding posts or bare-wire spring connectors and not something proprietary.  If so you're good to go with a new receiver.  If not, you may need to look at an HTiB like this one from Onkyo (currently $299 at Amazon.com.) 



Took a look at Walmart.com myself, and found this slim-line Phillips upconverting DVD player for under $50.  It is 1.5" high.  I would think that would address any space or price concerns you might have about going with a separate DVD player.  The only other "advantage" of an integrated player is that you have one or two less wires to buy and connect.  The downside is that if the DVD player breaks after the warranty period is over, you can't toss it and connect a new one to that cable or cables.  You end up with a paper weight instead of a home theater.


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