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Help With The Popcorn


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Badger

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Posted April 29 2012 - 10:40 AM

Hi All Yep, we'd like some help choosing the best brand of popcorn to have nestled in a large bowl between us, while we settle down to watch tv with our lovely new Bluray home theatre system. Oh....... did I mention we need you to help us choose a lovely new Bluray home theatre system first? Sadly we have been falling behind the gadge times for a while now and really only upgrade to new things when the need for them actually rears up and bites us in our nether regions. Last year I got my first digital camera and this year we have one of those I-Pod thingies.. albeit that it was free via an American company handing out promos to my brother in law and is a couple of generations out of date.. but dig those crazy tunes bro! Now I have to get a pair of trousers three times too big and wear my hat the wrong way around? But I know I am digressing and I come not to bend your ears but to pick your brains. As you've probably gathered my better half and I are not the most technical of folks and it is this in part which has stopped us from investing in a home theatre system before now. We really have all kinds of concerns like what'll plug into what and will we have all the bits and pieces we need out of the box. (We have friends whose home theatre only works when they use their dvd, not when they just use the tv...that sounds like a bad thing to us.) But my question today and I hope it's a good one, is this. We have an "LG 32LH3000" television and we have no idea how to go about choosing the right Bluray Theatre System to use with it. I typed it into the internet and ....... well I'm here asking the question so you know that didn't go too well. Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to offer, whether technical or tastiest popcorn. Badger

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted April 30 2012 - 05:48 AM

Hi Phil... told ya I'd be poking around here...


 


I'm glad you feel the home theater system should be used all the time.  Lots of folks don't think that way, and connecting a system to use the crappy TV speakers OR the nice "real" speakers is a pain.  If you're going to invest in a surround sound system, you should use it.  Most of us here on the forum use the receiver/speakers for everything.


 


The most important questions at this time are:


1) What is your budget?


2) Aside from Blu-Ray what sources do you want to have connected to the system - if cable or satellite, I assume you have an HD set top box? Any over the air reception?  VCR?  Game systems?


3) How large is the room and what are your goals in terms of sound?


4) As a quick primer - check out this guide from Dolby that shows the preferred speaker layout for 5.1 (and higher) systems.  These placement suggestions aren't cast in stone, but combine this guide with your room layout to see if you can get an idea of what might be the best fit for your room.


 


There are two approaches that can be made - an "all in one" Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) system or a separate A/V receiver and speaker system.  We generally prefer the latter - you will always get a better overall system buying components individually, but it's the pricier path.  HTiB systems have their weaknesses - generally the speakers are always the weakest link, and connectivity is often compromised.  The best of the HTiB systems are those from Onkyo - Amazon currently has a good deal on one of the newer systems here.  That will still require a Blu-Ray player, but they're cheap these days.  You'd still come out way ahead in terms of dollars going that way over separate components.


 


A system built from separate components will probably push the budget to $1k and up.  There are LOTS of options there, so I'll let you tell us if that's in the cards and we can make some additional recommendations.


 


Overwhelmed yet?


 


 


As for the popcorn question, I will point you to this awesome thread: http://www.hometheat...e-popcorn-maker


 


After reading that thread I immediately added that popper to my Christmas wish list and Santa delivered!  I have yet to try his trick of warming it in the oven after popping to further dry it out, but even without that step, that popper combined with the popcorn packets he recommends is FANTASTIC!  The best home popcorn I've ever had - much better than any microwave brand I've tried, and it tastes just like the stuff at the theaters.

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#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted April 30 2012 - 11:09 AM

My wife cooks Kroger white popcorn in a pot on the stove. Our oil of choice is peanut which gives the popcorn a great flavor. Drop in a kernel and put in enough oil to cover it. Heat until that one kernel pops. Then put in enough kernels until they cover the bottom of the pot. Put a lid on it and wait. Remove from the stove when the popping stops and dump into a large bucket. She mixes the orange popcorn salt into the oil for her batch. Mine is cooked plain but Zatarain's cajun seasoning is sprinkled on it.

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Badger

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Posted May 01 2012 - 02:03 AM

Thank you Jason for such a well written and informative reply and Robert for the handy popcorn tip :) First reaction on reading is "Gaghghghgh!!!" That's waaaay more expensive than we'd anticipated. We were actually thinking more in terms of a top budget of the £300 mark. (So that's what..... $480? ) We've been looking at a number of "HTiB" systems (You might have already guessed we're in the UK by the way) and hadn't even considered buying the different components separately. There are a number of systems available well within our budget, but from what you're saying I'm wondering now whether they'll not be very good. We're not bothered about having the bestest of the bestest clearly, but at the same time even if we're settling by all accounts for a budget model, that doesn't mean we'd be happy to settle for any old tat. "1) What is your budget?" £300 is pretty much the top at the moment. If that's going to be too much of a skimp then maybe we'd be better shelving the idea util we can save up a bit more. "2) Aside from Blu-Ray what sources do you want to have connected to the system - if cable or satellite, I assume you have an HD set top box? Any over the air reception? VCR? Game systems?" We have "Sky TV" so there's a satellite box for that. The TV has "Freeview" (although it's a bit naff) but that's inside the television itself rather than a separate box, so probably doesn't count. There's a video/dvd nestled under there and of course there's also be the Bluray once we get one. I game elsewhere in the house, but there is an infrequently used Wii under there, which it'd be nice to have the option of routing through the speakers I suppose. (Hasn't made me fit yet though! :D) "3) How large is the room and what are your goals in terms of sound?" Aprox 18x18ft and our goals in terms of sound? Erm...Ah..... wibble... er... well, to be encompassed in a cocoon of sound which alternates between being an Ant in the middle of a Buffalo stampede and having an Angel crying on your eardrum. Or um...summat like that. "4) As a quick primer - check out this guide from Dolby that shows the preferred speaker layout for 5.1 (and higher) systems. These placement suggestions aren't cast in stone, but combine this guide with your room layout to see if you can get an idea of what might be the best fit for your room." Thanks for the link. We'll sit down and have a peek at that. All the best Badger

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 01 2012 - 02:37 AM

hat's inside the television itself rather than a separate box, so probably doesn't count
It does count as a source if you take advantage of it. A lot of HTiB systems have limited inputs so with us having the number of components you use regularly, we can eliminate some systems.
a cocoon of sound which alternates between being an Ant in the middle of a Buffalo stampede and having an Angel crying on your eardrum
HTiB systems usually lack in the speaker department. You will more likely be an Ant in the middle of a heard of cats. Lower volume and not as much bass. Lack of detail will mean your Angel will sound more like Russell Brand crying in your ear. If you get the system and enjoy, don't audition higher end models and you will never know what you are missing. I went from some cheap DIY speakers to some quality DIY speakers and it was like I pulled the ear plugs out. Music went from the strum of a guitar to hearing the artist's fingers work the fretboard.
You might have already guessed we're in the UK by the way
Only after posting that funny L symbol. So we don't have to guess, there is a location field in your profile. Make it as vague or specific as your OPSEC warrants.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted May 01 2012 - 11:33 AM

Phil,


 


That budget does provide a bit of a challenge.  When you limit your options to the budget HTiB systems, you start making some pretty significant compromises right out of the gate.


 


Why a lack of inputs on a budget system is bad:  Simplicity of use (I think you mentioned this in your other thread) is greatly enhanced when you are able to route both the audio AND video signals of all of your sources through the receiver.  Once everything is fed into the receiver, you use the receivers built-in switching capability to switch both audio and video with a single button.  In this setup, the only cable running to the TV is a video cable from the receiver's output.  The TV speakers are permanently turned off, and all you have to do with the TV is turn it on/off - it is, in this case, analagous to a computer monitor


 


The HTiB systems from Onkyo (as well as Denon and Yamaha) have at their heart an actual A/V receiver that has lots of inputs (though the Denons I believe are limited to HDMI only) and is designed specifically for this sort of "expansion-friendly" environment.  The system can grow and support additional components as you get them.


 


The budget systems I've looked at usually have zero HDMI (video+audio) inputs and maybe one or two audio-only inputs.  Not only does this limit the number of sources whose sound you can enjoy on the bigger speakers, but it almost always means your source audio feeds the receiver and the video feeds the TV.  You now have to switch inputs on both devices --> more complicated!  I do recall seeing an inexpensive system from Samsung a year or two ago that did have 2 HDMI inputs - I've never seen a budget system since with more than one.


 


Lack of ability to upgrade by component.  The other big drawback is that budget systems are, for all intents and purposes, a dead end purchase. The speakers are generally low-impedance models (4 ohms or less) and they simply won't work with any other receiver.  You also can't replace the speakers in the budget system for this reason.  If you get a system with a built-in Blu-Ray player and it breaks, you're out the whole shebang.


 


My intent is not to scare you off from trying to work within your budget - I just want you to know that you need to really be careful when looking at the budget systems (download the manuals or ask us here in the forum to check and see if it will do all that you want it to do) and understand exactly what they can and cannot do.


 


All of that being said, I did find this on the Amazon.uk site this from Denon: http://www.amazon.co...35900268&sr=1-2


 


The inputs are limited to pretty much HDMI (there are a couple of composite inputs).  If you can live with running the Wii direct to the TV for video, and your other sources are all HDMI, this one might fit the bill.


 


Of the Onkyo products, there's this: http://www.amazon.co...35878742&sr=1-2


 


This is probably better than any budget system, but it does have one rather significant drawback - the subwoofer is a passive model, meaning it is powered by the amplifier within the receiver, rather than by its own power supply.  Passive subwoofers won't provide the "punch" you might want, and to use a powered subwoofer, you'd need to replace the receiver.  For me, this would be a deal-breaker, but thought I'd throw it out there.


 


Do some more searching in your neck of the woods and if you see something that you think might work, write down the product number and pass it along to us here.  We can usually find the manuals online and scan through to see if there are any "gotchas".


 


Good luck!

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#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted May 01 2012 - 12:02 PM

Phil:   Now that you've got both Jason & Robert_J working on your case...they're (along with anyone else who might join in) sure to get you as close as you can be to your desired outcome.   They are terrific at this sort of thing.    All the best...and get ready to learn a lot in the meantime (until it hurts!) !

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Badger

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Posted May 02 2012 - 02:04 AM

Many thanks for the replies, especially Jason who has clearly gone to a lot of trouble on our behalf looking up info as well as posting such helpful advice. I'm really glad I had the idea of posting here, partly because it's always nice to meet such a friendly group but also because I'm fairly sure that we would have made a bad purchase if we'd gone into this completely blind. Which is what we almost did because when we decided to do this we were in an Electrical warehouse at the weekend and there was a system which looked fine and we almost bought it without even checking its credentials first! Well, in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king I suppose. :laugh: I'd be lying though if I said that I've not been a little put off by what I've read here. The complete opposite of the way it was intended of course, but none the less it's made me think twice. This is one of those times (pretty rare in my neck of the woods actually) where we suddenly have a bit of free dosh for fun (hmmm.. what would you say?..greenbacks? Clams? :D ) and a number of directions in which we could point it. Home Theatre we both liked the idea of, but it wasn't a one horse race and while it was first past the post by a nose...... I'm thinking we might need a stewards enquiry. :laugh: Anyway, thanks again all and I'll certainly post again if we decide to go ahead, to let you know what we ended up with and how it turns out. All the best Badger




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