Complete HT Setup for under $400?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard Ponseti, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Richard Ponseti

    Richard Ponseti Auditioning

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    Hey guys. I'm new to the board and new to HT. I need to get something going for less than $400. That's all I could get approval for from the wife! So I've been looking at the HTIB's. Since I don't even have a DVD player, I'm really asking for a lot. Here are links to two HTIB's I'm considering. These both have progressive scan DVD players and component output. Should I even be worried about that stuff? Any input is appreciated.
    This one I can get for $299.
    http://www.hitachi.com/tv/browse/dvd.../dvs522u.shtml
    This one I can get for about $375.
    http://www.prodcat.panasonic.com/sho...ategoryId=2607
    I don't think I could put together a system piece by piece for less than $400. Thanks in advance for your comments.
    Richie
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Welcome to HTF [​IMG]
    Less than $400 is not even enough for a receiver, IMO, but I understand the WAF factor. Get her hooked with the HTiB, and then convince her that she will enjoy upgrades as well...(get a chick flick or two that she will enjoy too)
    If you don't have an HD ready TV that can accept the progressive scan input, there is no real benefit of having it. That does not mean you will not get a picture, it just means you will not benefit from progressive's higher quality.
    I'm sure both of those systems will work, but neither will be spectacular. What you can do is start with one of those, then upgrade at least the main speakers, then maybe move to a separate DVD & receiver, eventually upgrade the rest of the speakers, most notably the sub. It is very common for HTiBs weakest link to be the sub. OR, you could stick this whole system in a bedroom and get a new system, maybe some day.
    Between the two, I would say the Panny is the better one, just because it has a little more power and DVD-A capability. The satellites look to be a little better also.
    I built my bedroom system with mostly used pieces for just $450 (that's less than I paid for my first DVD player alone), and I promise it is better than any HTiB. Though I only have two speakers, no sub, it still sounds quite good. If I decide I need the other speakers too, which I don't feel is necessary for my bedroom, it won't cost too much more to add them.
    Open box Marantz SR4000 - $150
    Paradigm Titans V3, shielded, new - $200
    Open box Sony NS300 DVD - $97!!
     
  3. Richard Ponseti

    Richard Ponseti Auditioning

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    Thanks for your input. I already know what I'm going to hear from all the HT buffs on this site. But it's all I have to work with. Can't afford anymore! Sam's Club online has another option. And I am a memeber. Would this be a better setup? I know it would as far as upgrading.

    Panasonic Receiver SA-HE7 - $119
    Yamaha NS-p220 6 piece speaker system - $149
    Akai Progressive Scan DVD Player - $99 (or some other $100 DVD player)

    Total of $367.

    Thanks,
    Richie
     
  4. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

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    Richie,

    You seem really intent on having a progressive scan DVD player. However, if you can live without it for a while, here's what I would do:

    Receiver: Get a decent $200 one from a retail store. That affordable price point will provide you with satisfactory performance, a good amount of power, and perhaps even a fair amount of longevity. Be sure it supports Dolby Digital, Pro Logic II, and DTS. If you're lucky, you might even find a few on sale for around $180. I myself use a cheap Pioneer VSX-D409 I bought a while back and am completely happy with it. It would definitely be the last thing I'd upgrade (basically a jump to separates when the time comes).

    Speakers: This right here is really tough. I'd just go ahead and get the cheapest KLH set I could find. You should be able to find a complete package of satellites, center, and sub for around $100 at Best Buy. What this does for you is gets you started. Home theater enthusiasts almost always end up upgrading their speakers anyway. But instead of plunking down a large sum payment for a new receiver or DVD player, speakers can affordably be upgraded over time.

    DVD player: If you don't require progressive scan, I can recommend the Mintek DVD-1600 DVD player Best Buy is currently selling for $60. I purchased it for my parents, and unlike other sub-$150 DVD players, I have not encountered any problems with it. It has composite, S-video, and component video outs, as well as a coax digital out. Supposedly it can also play MP3s. But, if you must have progressive scan, there's certainly room in the budget for that $100 one you wanted to buy. Otherwise, you could get two DVDs!

    Hope this helps somewhat.
    -Vinh
     
  5. Richard Ponseti

    Richard Ponseti Auditioning

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    Thanks for the advice. I've been looking into doing something like that. I'm wondering if buying inexpensive pieces like that would be that much better of a system then a HTIB. Everyone here on the boards seems to think that the HTIB's are pretty much useless. I'm the type of person that would probably would be happy with either. It's a tough decision. All this research has my head spinning. Do you have first hand experience with the KLH speakers?
    Thanks again.

    Richie
     
  6. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    On Ebay, I saw the dumbest thing: For $149 they took a set of 5.1 computer speakers and hooked it up to a Lasonic DVD player with 5.1 decoding built in. You could do this if you don't need radio or music output, but the speakers used by Lasonic have a 2.5" cone in the satellites and a 4" woofer in the sub. Suffice to say: You will be laughed at for thinking you're enjoying big home theater when you're really not.
     

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