Durabrand Home Theater Package?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by john_kassimatis, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. john_kassimatis

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi all,

    Someone I know is trying to get into the Home Theater Scene. Walmart has several extremely inexpensive Receiver & Speaker packages. The two cheapest ones are the "HT-400" and "HT-395" both are "Durabrand". Now, I realize that you usually get what you pay, so they are probably crap. However, has anyone ever heard of them, or anything about them?

    They retail for $60-$70 and include a Receiver & remote, 5 Satelite speakers, a sub, and all the speaker wires. The less expensive is 100W, then 200W for the more expensive package.

    Is there anything out there that is entry level and fairly inexpensive that isn't complete crap? For someone who is just getting into this whole scene, spending $400 or $500 might seem a bit expensive, even thought it's probably worth it in the long run.

    Thanks for any input!

    - John
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hard to gauge expectations. I would rather have a decent old used Pro-Logic system than anything like that myself.

    Best of luck with it.....
     
  3. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The absolute cheapest I would go with is the Sony HTIB (HTDDW660) which retails around $199 at Circuit City...

    Somehow I would think the Walmart "Special" is probably not all that special.

    JB
     
  4. john_kassimatis

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    JB:

    I am sure you are correct.. Is that Sony any good? I mean, once again I understand that it's cheap, but how is it?
     
  5. Jeremy Little

    Jeremy Little Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Messages:
    770
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That package is decent, but keep in mind the limiting factor on it (besides the obvious sound limitations) is going to be the inputs. 1 optical and 1 coax, plus 2 ANALOG connections isn't a lot.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,207
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    A lot of those cheapie entry-level systems just don’t hold up. I know people who have gone that route and the built-in DVD player bit the dust in less than a year.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. john_kassimatis

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Deff not looking for a built-in-dvd no.. 2 Digital connections would probably be okay, to start..
     
  8. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree with whom ever said buy a used cheap "real" DD receiver and then just add some cheap KLH or what ever bookshelf speakers from Bestbuy. I'd just get two for now and add to it later if need be but at least that system would give the person somewhere to go as far as future upgrades (add more speakers) and should sound a lot better. Of course if $100 is the max you'll be hard pressed to beat these ultra cheap units...but even then I'd try a pawn shop etc for a name brand receiver.
     
  9. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ecost sometimes has entry level receivers for $79. They recently had several kenwoods for this price. Also, for $150 you could get a refurbished Onkyo 501 or a panny SA-XR25 from JandR. Either of these would be great choices.

    Go on E-bay as well. you could get some decent bookshelf speakers for under $50. Sound quality would be way above the Durabrand.
     
  10. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, I know several people now, that have built around a $150 Onkyo TX-SR501. That is probably the most bang for your buck on future-ability. Paired with a decent sized set of any era bookshelfs and/or floor standing speakers, a few of them are even totally happy without a sub. The only needed to go get a center and surounds.
     
  11. john_kassimatis

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Everyone is talking about bookshelf speakers. So, book shelf is prefered over satellite speakers? (Sorry if this is a dumb question).
     
  12. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    John for the most part bookshelf = satellite from what we've been talking about here...though technically bookshelf tends to imply slightly larger speakers but the point here is buy a name brand receiver and go for cheap small speakers vs an all in one cheapo brand
     
  13. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    John, unless you absolutely have to have surround sound & really just enjoy watching movies, I would forget those nasty hundred dollar things (sorry to sound like an audio snob but......) and buy something like this and these (these look much better in person).

    Circuit City usually sells them for $99 and $120 respectively (& no, I don't work for them). I haven't heard the Durabrands but based on exposure to other similar equipment, I can 99.9% guarantee the stereo system linked above will sound much, MUCH better. I would compare this to what the typical high school hot lunch tastes like compared to something from Boston Market.

    So in other words, I would rather have a nice steak all by itself than a platter full of limp green beans, greasy french fries and chicken-fried-unidentified.

    And you'll have a true receiver with multiple inputs & can be used later in a bedroom or rec room system. And I'll bet it will last much longer than those Durabrand systems. A sub can be added to this receiver by using the sub's "high level" inputs.

    Surround sound for movies can be fun but IMO all those directional special effects and rumbly bass are secondary to the movie's main (front left/right) soundtrack. And the center channel's "anchoring" duty is mostly for the listeners off to the sides of the TV & IMO is not absolutely essential.
     
  14. Steven_Jobe

    Steven_Jobe Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sam's club has a great deal on a pretty good(well for the price) Kenwood HTIB. For $150 you can't beat This HTIB unless you go to ecost and get a 75 buck or so Kenwood reciever and go to best buy and get their 60 buck KLH speaker package.
     
  15. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 23, 1999
    Messages:
    2,984
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    110
    A good friend received one of those Durabrand HT systems for his birthday. He didn't know how to hook it up so he asked me during a cookout. Hooked it up and believe me, don't waste your time on this system. The sound was just simply terrible. He was happy since his wife got it for him. Go to Circuit City and get the Sony, I installed that unit in my son's godparents' house and I tell you, I was really impressed with the sub and sound from the small speakers.
     

Share This Page