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HELP! First time buying a home theater system (1 Viewer)

shockemags

Agent
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
48
Real Name
Joe Johnson
Hey guys. I just finished up my first year of college and I am going to move into my first apartment in the fall. I have decided I am going to purchase a basic home theater system. I will be working all summer and receiving some money in the early fall so my purchasing will take place some time in early August. I am looking to buy a nice 42-50 in. HDTV with at least a 1000 watt home audio system (HD upgrading DVD with surround sound; Speakers -Center, 2 front, 2 rear, and a sub.) I currently have a PS2 but eventually want to add a PS3, 360, Wii, or all of the above
htf_images_smilies_rock.gif
Ha. I am planning on spending around $2000 for all of it. So I have some questions and highly appreciate any wisdom yall might have...

Questions
1. Plasma vs. LCD vs. DLP

2. 1080p vs. 1080i vs. 720p

3. Home theater... How do wireless rear speakers work?

4. What are some quality, inexpensive cables for making everything work?

5. Are the extended warranty programs worth the money?

6. Is Vanns.com a legit website? Because they have some good deals and perks on TVs and audio.

7. As far as HDMI outlets on a TV, if I want to run everything (DVD, Video Game System) through the home theater. Do I have to have more than one HDMI port on the actually TV or just one to hook it up to the home theater system?

8. What are some tricks of the trade as far as setting up rear speakers and make it look neat without wires running down walls and across rooms? (Remember this is an apartment; I unfortunately can't drill and run them through the walls)

9. With the 360, Does the HD DVD drive play regular DVD as well? and is the Platinum edition worth the extra $100 or buy the controllers and memory card your self?

Any and everything you would like to add...

Thank you.

-ShockEm
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
Hi Joe. Welcome to HTF!

I'll try and answer some of your questions, but many of them are topics unto themselves.

2. 1080p vs. 1080i vs. 720p Most of the current models are 1080 compatible. You can save money by getting a year or two old model that only supports 720. I dont think you would notice any quality difference as many of the sources (CATV box, Antenna) are 720.

3. Home theater... How do wireless rear speakers work?

Poorly and expensive.


4. What are some quality, inexpensive cables for making everything work?


For speaker wire - good oxygen-free 12 ga speaker wire by Carol can be found at your local home depot, or spools of it from www.partsexpress.com

For interconnects, best value are custom sites like: www.bluejeanscables.com - the owner is a member and has many happy customers here.


5. Are the extended warranty programs worth the money?


Generally - no.

7. As far as HDMI outlets on a TV, if I want to run everything (DVD, Video Game System) through the home theater. Do I have to have more than one HDMI port on the actually TV or just one to hook it up to the home theater system?

Well - a typical receiver has 2 inputs and a TV typically has 2 so this gives you a max of 3 HDMI devices.

Generally - run your high-def sources to the TV, but also run audio straight to the receiver. This tends to let you do casual watching with just the TV speakers, but you fire up the surround sound receiver for more serious movie or game playing.

8. What are some tricks of the trade ..

Buy a spool of 12 ga and run the wires along the floor. You are a student - dont worry about the decorator aspects unless you have a picky spouse.

9. With the 360...

Thats a topic unto itself. Go with the Elite version because of the bigger hard-drive. Try to make sure you have a direct internet connection behind the box for XBox Live and HD movie download. Yes, the xbox will play ordinary DVD's.



Other Advice:

Ok, Go to Best Buy and buy the Denon HTIB for about $699 (perhaps cheaper now). It will include the DVD player (hdmi and up-converting) a receiver (up-converts analog to HDMI). 5 matched speakers and a sub. That leaves you $1300 for TV and cables.

I have been seeing used 42" DLP televisions for about $500 on places like Craigslist. Since you are a gamer, I'd stick with LCD or DLP technology to avoid burn-in issues. Stick with Samsung, Sony, Hitachi, LG as brands.

There is a LOT of fun stuff to do with setting up the sound system and calibrating the TV - but dont worry about this until you get the apartment and purchase the equipment.

Check with us before you buy anything. Avoid anything with 'Digital', 'Turbo', 'sonic', 'laser', 'DaVinci', or 'Pro' on the speaker/electronics. There is a lot of white-van scam stuff out there.

White Van: Guy pulls up to you at a gas station and starts a story about needing to get rid of over-stock HT equipment. Packaging looks good - but the stuff is worth about $50 total. They even have a website for the stuff - full of phony awards and "Certified" labels.
 

Don T

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 22, 1999
Messages
77
Real Name
Don
Bob,

A very good post with a lot of facts. You said everything that needed to be said without injecting negatives.

Another reason I love this forum.

Have a great day!
 

adam613

Agent
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
39
Real Name
Adam

Which Denon HTIB is this? The DHT487DV is in that price range, but the receiver doesn't do HDMI converting...it doesn't even have HDMI ports. It looks like a pretty nice system for the price though...I was seriously considering buying one before I decided to do separates.

(A similar system is the Onkyo HTS894, which can be had for about $600 if you can find it in stock. It won't do HDMI upconversion, but the receiver can process sound over HDMI. It also has 5 digital sound inputs.)
 

shockemags

Agent
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
48
Real Name
Joe Johnson
This is where I'm at right now...

TV
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ries/457999253

Free Universal Remote
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ries/410085845

HD-DVD (I talked myself into it)
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ries/487678362

A/V Receiver
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4162667

Surround Sound Speakers
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...ries/544299412

Ipod Adapter
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.proc...oduct=4145545

Everything has Free Shipping and is Tax Free. Total= $2039.93

Next...

What cables will I need? (I have a PS2)

Whats the best way to set up everything as far as HDMI, optical, etc?

Is the 7.1 worth it in an apartment or should I go with 5.1?

Any others words of wisdom. Thanks!

-ShockEm
 

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