7.1 Sound, New Display or Other?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Evan S, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    OK, after doing a full scale upgrade of my system, I have finally paid everything off on my credit card and I am ready for the next wave. Here was wave 1 and my current system, which is 5.1.

    Anthem AVM-20 Processor
    Anthem MCA-5 Amp
    Paradigm Reference 40's, 20's and CC
    Sony SCD-555ES SACD/CD player
    Mirage BPS-100 Subwoofer

    I have budgeted 5K for my next wave of improvements...to be phased in over the next 12 months or so but my next step would be about 2K worth of improvements. I could do one of two things now...

    1) Get a great two channel amp and another pair of Ref 20's to make the move to 7.1 sound. This should improve movie enjoyment and provide better two channel sound if I get something by Aragon, Classe or Bryston instead of using the Anthem for this purpose or...

    2) Get a new TV (presently have a 27" JVC 4x3). I would stick to a direct view for the amount of gaming I do and would look to get one of the 34" monitors by Toshiba, Panasonic or Sony for the 2K. I would go 16X9 for this of course.

    Would those of you who went from 5.1 to 7.1 say it was such an improvement that it would exceed that of which I might get from the new display? I would probably make the switch to directTV so I could view some high def stuff and I watch very little OTA programming (except sports). The TV would be used for 75% DVD viewing.

    Basically I'm curious if 7.1 is that big a deal or if I can wait and get the new TV now. All opinions are warranted, thanks.
     
  2. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Stunt Coordinator

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    I would opt for the display. An anamorphic dvd on a progressive-scan 16:9 display is going to be a major, major improvement over a 27" ntsc box.

    I have a 7.1 sound system and it is cool, but I don't really miss the rear channels on 5.1 discs so much. Not as much as I'd miss my HD display if I had to choose.
     
  3. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I would have to agree with Chris. A new display will have a better return on investment than a new amp and two extra speakers which will be putting out the same signal anyways. I, myself, have found 7.1 to be a bit overrated, not much of(if any) a difference from 6.1. In fact, I tend to like DTS-ES better than DD-EX. But tjmo
     
  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I tend to agree with the both of you, but with the emergence of high def TV in the near future, the prices on these sets are falling drastically. Amp technology will not change much in the next few years so I figured waiting a year or so for the set would allow me to buy MORE TV for the same $$$ down the road, but the same may not be true of the amp. A good used Classe or Bryston amp will not be significantly different in price come 9-12 months down the road.
     
  5. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Evan, while your reasoning is correct in the economical sense, it depends on what you find most important to the improvement of your system. If you can live with 1200+ watts or pure processing ecstasy coming from 7 speakers and a subwoofer matching up with a 24.75" 16x9 480 I image, then more power to you. But at the same time, this may be one of the best times to buy used high-end amps, as many people are starting to get rid of their stuff because of the current savings-heavy mindset of the US economy, so many people are looking to get what they can for their stuff. I have seen many comparable amps go for 10-20% less used now as compared to what they may have gotten 18 months ago. Also, Direct View HDTV is not going to have the same kind of price drops as higher end plasma and LCD tv's will have, as high definition CRT' shave been around for a while(computer screens) while plasma and lcd is a relatively new medium. So, prices on such sets as the 34" HDTV models are not falling as fast as you think. If you have any older Crutchfield or whatever catalogues around, you will see that the prices of direct view HDTV's have not fallen as much as the prices for other HDTV's.
     
  6. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    Evan, I was in your shoes 1 month ago. But I have done both. I've move from 5.1 to 7.1 and from a 43 inches 4:3 Sony TV to a Toshiba 65HDX82. To me, the biggest difference is the HD-TV. Wow! I'm sitting at 11 feet from the screen and HD brodcast and DVD are incredible!! The sound is really cool too, but I think that the biggest difference, for me, is coming from the screen.
    But it is YOUR choice, so if you can, don't listen to any poster, and try both (if you got a nice dealer) in-house and decide what's making the biggest difference for YOU!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Evan,

    I would get an HDTV with that $2K and wait on the surround sound additions. The difference between 5.1 and 7.1 is no where near as great a difference between a 27" TV and a 55" HDTV (IMHO).

    Also, don't be afraid of RPTVs for gaming. I have a 46" Mitsubishi HDTV and my bud owns a 32" HDTV direct view. We both have Xboxes and PS2s, he is always claiming that the picture on my TV is just so much better than his for DVDs, games, everything. I'm not sure I agree with him (RPTVs tend to be a hair dark to my eye), but is always vehement that it is true. The bottom line is, I went from a 27" Sony to this 46" Mitsu HDTV and the games look about 10x better than before.

    These days, you can get a lot bigger screen RPTV for the same $ for a direct view HDTV. Those big HDTV tubes are just extremely expensive to build.

    Good luck...
     
  8. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Guys, thanks for the replies....looks like I will focus my upgrades on the video side for the time being. Thanks a bunch.
     

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