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Getting Started - Help a "newbie out"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aaron Croft, Sep 2, 2001.

  1. Aaron Croft

    Aaron Croft Stunt Coordinator

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    I did a search for "newbie", and found some great info that helped me first understand a few things, but now I must ask a few questions of all you experts. I don't understand most of what is talked about in the HW forum [​IMG] SO please be gentle and thanks in advance for not confusing me [​IMG]
    1. My Budget - Well.. hard to pinpoint... I guess I am looking for upper entry level equipment.. Nothing TOO fancy in the audio department, and maybe a little bit more on the video department (DVD player and TV)
    2. The DVD Player - I want to get a decent DVD player. I am willing to spend about $400-500 for this part. Obviously I want progressive scan, component outputs (that's the best right??). I also want the best audio-outputs... and I'm not sure what that means. I don't need any onboard decoder, that seams like a waste considering that I will be buying a reciever. Os $400-500 a good amount to spend to get a DVD player??? I currently have a $200 Toshiba SD-1600 that works perfectly with my Panasonic 27" TV... but I want a player that compliments an HDTV.
    3. The TV - OK... I searched the forums for info on TV's, but everyone seams to be too much of an expert arround here. I want to get a good deal, because money IS an object for me, buy I want a great TV. OK.. first of all I want a widescreen TV. I am mostly concerned with watching movies on this TV, so I assume I don't need an actual HDTV reciever unless I am planning on getting HDTV TV programming??? Is this true??? As far as price goes I'm not sure.... any help in general on HDTV's for a newbie??? simply am too much of a newbie to even know what to ask [​IMG]
    4. The Audio - OK... I need a reciever and 5 speakers.. correct??? I don't need anything spectacular in the audio department... Something mid-range would be perfectly fine for me.. do most recievers support bith DD and DTS??? Do I need to keep in mind that new versions of these standards are on the way?? (from what I've heard.)
    Sorry if I am ignorant.. I've been browsing these boards for about 2 months and I've tried to absorb as much info as possble, but some of the technical jargon is just too much for me...
    Any help, or links to sites that will help would be appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!!!
    Aaron Croft (who is in awe of some of the HT masters here [​IMG])
     
  2. Aaron Croft

    Aaron Croft Stunt Coordinator

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    OK... just wanted to had a few things..
    1. I would prefer to buy my reciever and speakers in an all-in-one package. After reading a few threads it sounds like the kenwood HTB-504 looks PERFECT for me... I didn't realize I could get a good surround sound for $500.. adds a litte bit to my TV budget.
    2. Cables - I forgot to mention that I don't know much about cabling for speakers and whatnot... but I've heard that poor cables can really ruin a system.. how much money are good cables that would suffice for what I am asking??? I allready have a monster cable for my component connection on my DVD/TV... is that good enough??? What about dvd-reciever and reciever-speakers???
    Thanks again!!!
    Aaron Croft
     
  3. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Ok, I'm going to dive in on some of this. If you prefer video over audio, then figure about $3k for a set. If the room is small, you can buy one that is too big, so work on the size. Toshiba and Mitibushi seem to have to best out.
    A home theater in a box is not that bad of an idea. You'd be up and going a lot faster, and with fewer choices to make, it would save on the asprin!
    After you get those, you can upgrade piece by piece. Get better cables, and then better speakers and a receiver.
    That should help, and have fun!
    Glenn
     
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Aaron,
    All widescreen sets for sale in the US are hdtv-ready. Direct view widescreen sets are available in 30", 34", and 38" sizes, starting at about 2k and running up to $3400.
    A widescreen rptv offers a lot more screen size for the money. Sets in the 43-55 inch size from Mitsubishi, Hitachi, and Toshiba are available for under 3k, in some cases well under.
    For your dvd player, you want a progressive scan model with 3/2 pulldown capability. The ability of the player to scale non-anamorphic dvds to fit your widescreen set without using the set's zoom feature is an advantage.
    The Panasonic RP91 and JVC's top progressive player have this feature.
    While HTB is an attractive solution, you usually end up with an entry level receiver with inflated power ratings, and mediocre speakers.
    A better solution may be to get a midrange receiver like the Yamaha RXV800, Denon 1802, Onkyo 595.
    Look for matched speaker packages from companies like Energy or Polk audio and others that include 5 satellites and a sub. This way your speakers will be timbre matched, and of significantly higher quality than the set that comes with most any HTB solution.
    A good receiver can be had for $400-500, and I've seen the Energy Take-5 speaker set including 8" sub on closeout at b&ms for another $500. A good 50-55 inch widescreen rptv from Mitsubishi or Toshiba can be had for 2500, and the RP91 can be had online for under $500.
    If this is too much for your budget, the HTB for $500 would be the first compromise I'd make, followed by the choice of a Panasonic 47" widescreen for $1900 instead of the Tosh or Mits for $2500.
    ------------------
    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
     
  5. Aaron Croft

    Aaron Croft Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you both for taking the time to help a "newbie" out.
    As far as the difference between "direct view" and "rptv"... I assume RPTV's are rear projection.. and that their main drawback is that they don't work well in a brightly lit room???
    >>>
    For your dvd player, you want a progressive scan model with 3/2 pulldown capability. The ability of the player to scale non-anamorphic dvds to fit your widescreen set without using the set's zoom feature is an advantage.
    The Panasonic RP91 and JVC's top progressive player have this feature.
     
  6. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Aaron,
    RPTV does mean rear projection, and in a very brightly lit room you will have to have the contrast and brightness at a very high level which would shorten the life of the CRTs.
    So if you want a widescreen set, you'll have to either get a much more expensive direct view that tops out at only 34 or 38 inches (there's only one 38" direct view, an RCA that isn't very bright and certainly no brighter than most rptvs), or find some way to control the ambient light in the room and get a 50+ inch rptv. Unless you're going to be sitting only about 6 feet from the screen, I don't think 34" is going to be big enough. In my experience, Movie watching is a lot more pleasant in a dimly lit room anyway. My set has to do double duty as a regular everyday tv. It's an rptv and does quite well during the day in a moderately lit room. It would only be a problem in a room that had the sun pouring in thru huge windows with no drapes or blinds at all.
    As far as specific model numbers, the Toshiba 50H80 widescreen 50" set has a street price of about 2500, as does the 55" Mitsubishi WS55809. Hitachi makes a nice 53" model for around 2900, but I don't remember the specific model number-check you local CC or Sears.
    Any of these would be a good choice if your seating position is going to be 9 to 13 feet or so from the screen.
    3/2 pulldown means the player is capable compensating for the fact that dvds of filmed programs and movies are originally shot at 24 frames per second, vs 30 fps for video taped material. Most progressive scan players except the cheapest Pioneer have this feature.
    It reduces the digital artifacting (blocky patterns or jagged edges or shimmering) when watching film-based stuff.
    The scaling capability of the Panasonic RP91 and JVC's top end progressive player (don't remember the model number, sorry) lets you fill the 16/9 screen with a non-anamorphic dvd without using the zoom feature of the tv, with much less loss of resolution.
    ------------------
    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
    [Edited last by Steve Schaffer on September 03, 2001 at 09:50 PM]
     
  7. Aaron Croft

    Aaron Croft Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks a lot Steve. You've really helped me out a ton.. I have decided on the Panasonic RP91 for my DVD player, and will MOST LIKELY get a Toshiba RPTV....
    I'm still undecided on the audio department, I will have to see what my budget is on that, but the more I read about the Kenwood HTB 504 the more it sounds like a good start for me... I can always upgrade!!!
    Thanks again, and any more comments from other members is much appreciated!!
    Aaron Croft
     
  8. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Upgrading can be good. However, if you want to start out with an excellent system right off:
    Outlaw 1050 - $429 + shipping for a "B" stock unit
    nOrh Le Amp (6) - $1,485
    nOrh 4.0 package + additional center - $1,125
    SVS 20-39PC - $779
    Total - $3,818 (without additional amps - $2,333)
    The benefits are you will only want to upgrade the Outlaw later on and you are half-way there to separates. All you will need is a pre-amp. The HTB 504 is a good entry level system but you will want to upgrade later on. Better to spend a little more now and be set for many, many years to come. A firmer budget with regards to speakers, receiver, and a sub would be very helpful in order to get you an excellent system at a reasonable price.
     

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