Best Solution For A 16x11 Room?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by steveKlein, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. steveKlein

    steveKlein Agent

    Dec 20, 2005
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    Okay... let me just say I've read some great stuff on here... but not as much on my scale and price range.

    I just purchased a new 1 bedroom bachelor pad/medical student condominium that is set for completion later in the year.

    Though I will be busy, I still want to have a nice place to sit back and watch movies, play a few games, and watch some TV.

    Since I want the best advice possible, here's the floorplan of the unit:

    The room in question is the living room, and keep in mind the main entrance is the one that opens into the living room, not the dining room. The furniture I will be sitting on will be on the left wall and the wall unit will be on the right wall.

    Don't know exactly how the furniture will work into the room, but I'm guessing a chaise lounge or a standalone chair closest to the entry, followed by an end table, and then a full-sized sofa, with another end table (this one closest to the dining room on the floorplan)

    About 5 years ago (age 16) I spent $400 on a Kenwood HTiB (HTB-504) and I've been pretty happy with it. I just got it to play my Xbox and Playstation and watch movies. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination an audiophile and to be honest, I'm very happy with the sound quality that comes out of my speakers. I know home theaters in a box aren't all that great as sound comes and goes... but at the time, it really was my best option given what I needed it do (5 speakers, Pro Logic II, a reciever with numerous inputs, under $500, etc).

    To be honest, I'd be perfectly happy to use this system again in my new place. But as it turns out, the way I installed it makes it a royal, royal, royal pain to move it around. Basically, I ran wires through an attic so no wires would show for my 2 rear speakers, mounted on the ceiling in the rear corners of the room.

    The new room I am dealing with, once you discared the entry area, is about 16x11 and will be used primarily as a living room, with a surround sound system.

    For the record, I've got a 27" LCD TV that I won't be upgrading. It's not the best in the world, but it's large enough given the size of the room and my budget!

    I'm contemplating buying a new system for a couple of reasons

    1) Technology has changed. At the time I didn't have an HD-capable TV; now I have one with component input, so I'd like to get a reciever with component input/output (or more). For me in 2001, S-video was it... now... not so much.

    2) Speaker size. This isn't really a huge deal to me, but my speakers, particularly the fronts and center channel, are large. If I were to upgrade, something smaller would be nicer

    3) XM radio. In 2001 I didn't know what it was. Now, I'm a subscriber for life. Though I realize all a reciever really needs to play the XM music is an audio in line, I know some out there are advertised as XM-ready. I don't really know what this means. Do they offer a unique display when I'm listening to XM radio or what? Like I said, this really isn't a big deal to me because I know I can play XM radio whether I have an "XM-ready" reciever or not.

    4) A DVD player. Right now my reciever doesn't have a DVD player with it (I use my Xbox which doesn't really cut it). Obviously, a DVD player is an easy piece of equipment to buy separate from a system... but this is definitely something I need to upgrade.

    So here's my current thinking. Keep my current front speakers, center speaker, and subwoofer. They've served me well. Moving the rears will be a huge pain so I may just purchase a new pair.

    However, if I get a new pair of speakers, I'll probably spend $200-$300 for the pair, so they'll probably be a lot higher quality than the 5 year old Kenwoods I have now. If this is the case, would it be a big deal to use my old Kenwoods that I used as front left/right as my rear left/right and let the higher quality speakers takeover on the front (I've heard the front channels should be the highest quality)?

    So, anyone know what reciever models I should start looking at to get:
    - component inputs for the new videogame systems and digital cable box (or maybe satellite TV... either way...)
    - XM ready (or at least one with an extra audio-only input
    - good DVD player (this obviously can be (and probably will be) separate).

    And also, what are a few DVD players out there that are relatively inexpensive that have a good track record?

    Sorry for the lengthy post, but thanks a ton for the help!
  2. Don.l

    Don.l Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 9, 2005
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    Personally, I have always liked Onkyo's stuff. I am sure many people on here will disagree, but it's just my opinion. I think they make good quality, and they have a lot of options. You can go to the onkyo website and see all of the current receivers. They do have some that are XM ready and many options. Also, some have ethernet built in for streaming audio (possibly video?) from your computer and home network.

  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Aug 5, 1999
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    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Hi Steve,

    I checked into what it is with Yamaha, my favorite brand, and with them “XM ready” means it actually has an XM tuner, just like FM radio. All you need is a subscription and a special digital antenna to get it going. Don mentioned Onkyo, which is another highly respected brand you might consider. Most manufacturers these days have their manuals available on line, so you can study them and see what their “XM Ready” really means (although I expect they’ll all be pretty much like Yamaha – i.e., all you need is an antenna and a subscription).

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
  4. BillSuneson

    BillSuneson Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 16, 2005
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    Definitley take a look at the onkyo product line both dvd players and receivers. I have an onkyo now and plan on staying with the onkyo/integra line for a long time to come. From everything i've heard SVS products as a whole seem to be well regarded. Keep in mind any interconnects/wiring that you will need in your budget. by the way what is your budget for the equipment you're looking for, we could definitley narrow down some choices for you.

    Bill Suneson

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