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Need help with speakers for Plasma TV


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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   LindaJ

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Posted July 23 2010 - 02:50 PM

I am completely new to home theaters. I am considering purchasing a 50" Samsung Plasma TV for my living room (16 x 18). The TV will sit in a corner on a corner TV cabinet, and I need suggestions for a good home theater system.  And I don't want wires and cables going all over the floor. Help!



#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted July 23 2010 - 03:15 PM

The biggest question is budget?  Do you want an all-in-one system or a quality A/V receiver and speakers?  DVD?  Blu-Ray?  Internet streaming?  What is your TV Source?  Are you willing to perform or hire someone to perform minor construction to hide wires?



#3 of 10 OFFLINE   LindaJ

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Posted July 23 2010 - 04:14 PM

 I am willing to pay about $500.00. I would like a Blu-Ray, but I can add that later.  I just want  quality audio, since it seems that flat panel TVs are lacking that--based on what I've read. The Internet streaming is exciting, but it is not a necessity.  I would have to hire someone to hide wires.  Is there a wireless system out there?  I don't understand your question about TV source.  Thank you.



#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 24 2010 - 03:01 AM


I don't understand your question about TV source.


Do you have cable, satellite, or an over-the-air antenna?  Is the cable or satellite box also a digital video recorder?  I assume you will be upgrading to your provider's hi-def service.  It would help if you could get the make and model number of the HD set-top-box that you'll be using with the new service.  Do you currently have a DVD player?

Wires can be hidden in many ways.  Do you have carpeting?  How is the furniture arranged?  I'm helping my sister set up a 5.1 channel home theater in her house, and the wires for the suround  speakers will run in white plastic channels (available from any home improvement store) along the white baseboard moldings.  She has an L-shaped sectional, so the sofa will also conceal part of the run, and then the wires will run under the sofa.  The speakers themselves will go on existing side tables.

The front speakers should be at least six feet apart for basic stereo, and at slightly above ear level.  The center speaker can go above or below the TV, depending on your entertainment center. If the cabinet is large enough to handle a 50" plasma, you probably have plenty of room for speakers and wires, which should run largely within or behind it.


With a budget of $500 you don't have a lot of choices.  "All-in-one" Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) systems are usually a mistake.  They don't have enough connections to add components later, and if the DVD player or the amp needs repair you lose both while it is in the shop.  (And once its out of warranty you're really in trouble.)  You'll want a system that does the job now, is built around decent components and which will leave you options to add or upgrade pieces later.

I like the Onkyo line of receiver and speaker packages.  I've been using an Onkyo receiver for years with a $1,000 set of Atlantic Technology speakers and have been very happy with it.  Don't forget that when budgeting you need to allow for speaker wire (14- or 12-gauge "zip cord" or "lamp cord" from your local home improvement store is just fine), and cables to connect your components to the TV and the receiver (not all come with cables, and those that do often include only cheap cables for the lowest quality audio and video connections.)   Do NOT buy the expensive ones the electronics stores will push on you.  A $6 HDMI cable from Bluejeanscable.com or Monoprice.com will do everything the $120 Best Buy house brand or $200 Monster cable will do.

The most popular systems these days are 7.1 channels.  Depending on your layout, this could leave you with two more speakers than you really need, but even so these system would be very cost-effective for your needs:


Onkyo HT-5300  (Currently on-sale at Amazon.com for $399.99)


Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1  (Reg. $349.99 - reduced to $193.76)


Onkyo HT-5200 (List $599.99, Amazon price $499.99)


Regards,


Joe



#5 of 10 OFFLINE   marcco00

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Posted July 24 2010 - 05:35 PM

i went very simple and recently purchased the zvox 550 speaker base that i saw advertised here on the home theater forum. bought it from amazon for $450 (i needed the version with the 'digital audio input' which cost $50 more).  i am well pleased with it.


it is absolutely true, my 50 inch panasonic plasma delivers a fantastic picture-- but the sound from the tv speakers was not as impressive. sort of muffled and tinny--- my tv is on a stand placed right up against a wall.


i did not want  a speaker system spread around the room.... just a quality sound -not coming from behind the tv-  to match such a great picture.


my tv now sits on top of the zvox base, giving it 3 inches additional height. the sound is great and fills the room easily. granted, not surround sound like a 5.1 system.  but still, they are excellent speakers.


now i have rich, quality audio ...which was what i was after.



#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 25 2010 - 12:35 AM


Originally Posted by marcco00 
now i have rich, quality audio ...which was what i was after.


And that's what matters.  I'm glad you found a solution that fits your budget and makes you happy.  (And I'm glad you found it at an HTF sponsor.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif)


I have no experience with soundbars, and what I've read is a mixed bag and highly subjective.  Some seem to work well with certain room configurations, but not with others.  Some have delay circuitry that really mimics surround sound, others not so much, etc. and so forth.  For what its worth I know that Zvox has received some very good reviews, as has Yamaha and a handful of other brands.  But I generally don't even mention soundbars as a category when replying to posts like Linda's because I have no personal experience and can't recommend or steer anyone away from particular models.  I depend on soundbar owners like you to chime in.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif


Thanks for doing so.


Regards,


Joe



#7 of 10 OFFLINE   LindaJ

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Posted July 25 2010 - 07:00 AM

Excellent!  I was doing some research, and I cam across the ZVOX 550. Some of the reviews indicated that there wasn't quite enough bass in the sound, then I found the newest version--ZVOX 575, which boasts a powerful bass and overall improvement. Cost is $599 from ZVOX. I haven't seen it anywhere else for less.  This sounds like the perfect solution for me.  Oh--my TV source will be Comcast cable.  Any suggestions on a good Blu-ray?



#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted July 25 2010 - 09:10 AM

For Blu-Ray you need to look at the features you want.  Some are basic players while others are internet enabled.  My Samsung can stream You Tube, Pandora, Netflix and Blockbuster (as long as they are in business).  With updates other features may be added in the future.



#9 of 10 OFFLINE   marcco00

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Posted July 25 2010 - 02:54 PM

you are welcome, joe. love this forum.


linda, that zvox 575 base will blow you away!

but check the audio outputs on your new tv first... samsung may only have digital audio outputs (like my panasonic). if so, then you will need the zvox 575HSD...which has a digital audio imput.


and you must also provide your own digital audio cable, it does not come with the base.


if though your new tv DOES have analog audio outputs (red/white), then you're good to go with the regular zvox 575 and can use the cable that is included with the base.


also, cnet had some video reviews of these zvox bases, and watching them really helped me to make up my mind.


enjoy your new setup!



#10 of 10 OFFLINE   LindaJ

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Posted July 26 2010 - 09:12 AM

Thank you so much--you've been a great help.  I've pretty much decided on purchasing a Samsung PN50C6500 Plasma TV, and I will check the audio outputs.  I'm glad I found this forum!!