entry level Home theater in a box

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DanielBez, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. DanielBez

    DanielBez Auditioning

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    Hello,

    I'm looking for an entry level home theater in a box, with the max price around USD 450.00... Any suggestions? I went to Best Buy and Circuit city last weekend, and I saw some models within this price range, like:

    Kenwood HTB-205
    Sony HT-DDW740
    Panasonic SC-HT75
    Pioneer HTD-520DV
    Sony HT-DDW840
    Sony DAV-C450
    Yamaha YHT-300
    Kenwood HTB-405
    Kenwood HTB-505
    JVC THA30
    Panasonic SCHT95

    Most of the time I will be using it to watch movies (digital cable/DVD), and I plan to buy a HDTV later on...

    Thanks !
    Daniel
     
  2. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    Generally, you get what you pay for with these systems.
    For a better deal than Circuit City, call J&R for a quote on the Panasonic SC-HT95 and on the Sony systems.
    Also, try B&H for a quote on the Yamaha YHT-300.
    Out of all of these, I would suggest the Yamaha or the Kenwood HTB-505 (assuming you have the DVD player already) because with these, even though the speakers will not be the greatest (true with all of these systems), you do at least get a "real" receiver which will have enough power to drive better speakers if you later decide to upgrade.
    Another big plus, with the HTB-505, is that it comes with a powered sub. Most of these systems have passive subs, powered by an amp within the main unit.
    The HTB-505 is actually hard to find, but Sears sometimes sells it and they have it (for full retail, as usual) at
    Crutchfield.
    Good luck and happy shopping,
    Iver
     
  3. David Sim

    David Sim Agent

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    If I was going to get a Home Theater in a box I would get the Onkyo (ONK HTS650). It's 499.99 at Circuit City.
    A little more than $450 but it is definitely the best HTB in this price range.
    I just wanted to add that this system has a powered sub.
     
  4. Albert M

    Albert M Stunt Coordinator

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    6ave has the Kenwood HTB-505 for $377.
     
  5. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    I personally dont like HTiB, but the best brand that I have read is KENWOOD.

    But my suggestion will be go buy for

    JBL NSP1 $209
    SONY SA-WM40 $150
    PIONEER VSX-811S $300

    Which can easily beat all this HTiB. This is great entry level setup.

    Hope this helps,
    Pablo Abularach
     
  6. Scott_AH

    Scott_AH Stunt Coordinator

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    The Kenwood HTB-505 also has a powered sub. I believe that the 205 and 405 do not though.

    Scott
     
  7. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    The YHT-300 has a powered sub also. It comes with a pretty decent receiver, but the speakers are on the tiny side. Unless you find the YHT-300 for under $400 (try calling B&H for a quote), you will probably get a better value with the Kenwood HTB-505 or with the Onkyo HTS-650.

    By the way, I agree with Pablo that you can squeeze out a much better value by buying a separate receiver/ speakers/ sub.

    Do you have a DVD player? That's another main factor because some of the systems you list have integral DVD/CD players and some don't.

    As a start, consider the Panasonic SA-HE70. J&R has it in-store for $160. Not sure about their Web price on it.

    But a separate receiver, just about any separate receiver, gives you much better options for later upgrading the various components. Even the SA-HE70 will have a much more extensive set of inputs and outputs than something like the Panasonic HT95 (since everything is built-in with these systems, the manufacturers, and most buyers, see a limited need for I/O's; plus, the cases themselves are so compact that there is limited real-estate for placing more jacks).

    For just soundtrack listening, the JBL SCS-135, available for about $250 from J&R and B&H (with free shipping), is a decent system which includes four matching front R/L and surround R/L speakers, a center-channel speaker (with Mid-Tweeter-Mid driver configuration), and a powered sub.

    Many people here are fond of the JBL NSP1-II speaker system, also $250 from the same dealers but not including a powered sub. The NSP1-II would be better for music listening and more punch on soundtracks. You can pick up a sub for less than $100 (a pretty basic sub, yes, but way better than the passive units in many of these all-in-one box HT systems).
     
  8. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Paulo hit the nail on the head. Buying seperate components is the way to go even if it means spending a little more money NOW as opposed to spending it later when you are going to upgrade(which you will).

    A little spent $$ now over your intended budget will save you lots of $$ in the future when you are prompted to updrade the HTIB.
     
  9. David Sim

    David Sim Agent

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    A HTB is separate HT components from the same company which saves you a little money because you are buying a package deal.
    The components Pablo listed total $660 and all the prices listed are internet prices from different etailers so add another $60 for shipping.
    So now we are talking approximately $720.
    That is outside his price range a bit. Almost 50%.
    If he picks a decent HTB (I stick with my suggestion for the ONKYO) he can upgrade a little at a time when it's convenient and he has the cash. In the meantime, no DD or DTS DVD should be watched in mono or stereo through television speakers when half the fun is the sound.

    When I bought my first HTB the first thing I upgraded were the speakers then the sub then the receiver then the dvd player then the speakers then the receiver then the sub then HDTV then the dvd player then the speakers then a preamp and amp...
     
  10. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    If you have to have a HTB system I would go for the Kenwood 505 but if it were me I would buy the Panasonic Receiver SA-HE100 & the JBL NSP-II speaker system & then add the Sony subwoofer later. The Panasonic & JBL can be had delivered for $500 Remember you will be living with you choice hopefully for a long time & it really doesn't pay to skimp on a receiver & speakers because you will only be upgrading that much sooner. The Panasonic receiver has been getting great reviews & has 6 amps. including one for a rear center speaker & it can handle all of the new formats. [​IMG] It even has complete adjustments for Dolby Prologic II & DTS Neo:6 & it comes in sllver or black. The Panasonic/JBL/Sony Sub combo will blow away just about any HTB system that's out there.
     
  11. DanielBez

    DanielBez Auditioning

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    Thanks to all of you !!! After review all posts I decided to go back to Circuit City and compare the Kenwood with the Onkyo HTIB solutions. Finally, I convinced my wife that I should spend a bit more and buy the Onkyo HTIB because of the better sound quality of the system. [​IMG]
     

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