Help me choose a complete system for $4000

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mr. Brian, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. Mr. Brian

    Mr. Brian Stunt Coordinator

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    My father in law wants my help in choosing a home theater system for him. His budget is around $4000, and he needs everything: TV, Receiver, DVD player and speakers. I know that's not a very big budget, but I would appreciate any help I could get. Would progressive scan/HDTV be an option at this price? He is mainly interested in TV and DVD viewing, not as much in music.

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
  2. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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    Ok, I did this real quick on Best Buy's website. (Cause it was handy.)

    You could do this:

    Item ManufacturerModelBB Price

    TV Toshiba36HF71$1,800.00

    Receiver YamahaHTR-5490$850.00

    DVD JVCXV-SA75GD $300.00

    Fronts(3)Cerwin VegaLS-13$510.00

    Rears(2) Cerwin VegaLS-10$350.00

    Total $3,810.00

    Now, I know this is not a great system, but I think it shows about what you can get for $4000.00.
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    actually i think 4K is a pretty decent chunk of change. unfortunately, i'm not up on current models and pricing anymore. i'd post some specific questions in the appropriate forum - also do a search - and see what happens.

    i know you can get a decent hdtv for about 1500. progressive dvd players are about 300. good speaker packages can be had for about 1500. a decent receiver probably goes for about 500.

    sorry i don't know more about pricing. in any case, i definitely think he'll have a nice setup at that budget.
     
  4. Wes C

    Wes C Supporting Actor

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  5. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I'd consider breaking it up into the following price categories:

    - TV & DVD player, $2k

    - Receiver, $300-$450

    - 5ch of speakers, $1000

    - subwoofer $500-$600

    - Radio Shack or HD cabling:
     
  6. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Unless things have changed, Frys is selling all Polk speakers for half price right now and others soon may follow suit to make room for Polk's new line up of speakers. This means that he could probably get Polk 35i's for the front, a Polk center channel and Polk 25i's for the surrounds for about $500. Toss in a Hsu or Adire sub for let's say $450 with shipping and the great Outlaw receiver for $500 and you have $2500 left over for the TV and DVD player. I'd suggest that he look at some of the Sony's at Best Buy and perhaps something like the Toshiba 4700. This, in my opinion, would be a pretty darn good $4000 or so system.
     
  7. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Second Unit

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    I think it would be very important to know what his room is like, especially how far he'll be from the TV. That type of information will help size the TV and you can go from there as far as budget goes. The room size will also help determine an appropriate speaker system.

    -Steve
     
  8. MarkMaestas

    MarkMaestas Agent

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    See what is important to your father. If your father is like mine, he doesn't hear a big difference in speaker quality and would get more bang for the buck from a larger, higher quality screen. If that's the case, don't skimp on the speakers, but don't overdo it.

    Good Luck

    Mark
     
  9. Justin Sallows

    Justin Sallows Auditioning

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the thing to spend the money on is the TV. There are some truly AWESOME 65" widescreen HDTVs for about $3500.00. It's just like having a movie screen in your house. Bright, crisp and clean, this is the most important piece to any setup. For the budget minded, the best deal is the Panasonic 47WX49 for $1500-$2000. If you can afford the big boys, then by all means go for it. As far as the receiver, speakers and DVD player I think the consumer models are great. If he's going to be powering a large room, I guess I'd invest in the high-end stuff, but if it's just a living room, the $170.00 Aiwa DD/DTS receiver is fine. I would suggest tower speakers by a reputable brand. The larger the woofers, the clearer the sound, also pay attention to the wattage used by both the receiver and the speakers. They should both be at least 100W per channel. 70W per is really pushing the edge of listening enjoyment. As far as players, I stand by Toshiba and Sony. I've heard good things about Panasonic and JVC but have no personal experience with either. Whatever you do, don't get a Samsung!
     
  10. Justin Sallows

    Justin Sallows Auditioning

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    For more info on that Panasonic HDTV, go to www.panny.tv They have lots of tweaks to hotrod it, service menu access codes, a great forum, and step by step instructions to hotrod your TV. It's what convinced me to get one for myself.
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  12. Justin Sallows

    Justin Sallows Auditioning

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    Kenwood also has a $170.00 system if that's your taste, but why is it so damn ugly? Wether you have a beef against the company or not, you gotta admit that the Aiwa receivers look BAD ASS!
     
  13. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    Recievers: I like Denon, but Kenwood has some good budget stuff. $300-$500.

    DVD players: can't go very wrong with JVC's progressive players. Pioneer RP-56 is very highly recommended too.

    You can do nicely for around $200.

    Speakers: Acoustic Research (AC-2, or 3 ?? not sure of models) or Energy Take 5 are both very highly recommended in the around $1,000 range. Forget towers; why pay for wood. Nice bookshelf speakers on metal stands is great in your budget range.

    Sub: can add later if you have to budget wise. But really adds to the experience so don't go to cheap. SVS subs are the best deal around. If you have an old reciever of around 100w/ch, you can get an unpowered SVS sub and use the old reciever to power it. $300-$500

    TV: I really like Mitsubishi in big screens. They sell more than all other mfg combined for a reason. High-quality for a good price. They are also probably the most tweakable sets available. Let's of online info on how to make the mits tv's look like the more expensive tv's. My 65" mits was only $2850 a year ago (might be cheaper now), but after tweaking it looks as good as the $6500 Pioneer Elites. If you need to get it into the basement, they also easily come apart. I'm not sure of prices but don't get one with an integrated HD tuner as the standards are still up in the air. I think you can get a 55 inch for around $2,000.
     
  14. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    I forgot about the Outlaw reciever. Very good choice as well. But budget wise, Kenwood may be the best choice as that would allow more $$ for the TV or the sub. A basic 5.1 reciever with DD and DTS decoding and about 85+ watts per channel should be good enough for this system.

    A good sub and the largest TV that you can afford, will go along way to putting a smile on his face.
     
  15. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    I just remembered the Hsu Research VTF-2 sub. It would likely be your best choice, as the SVS subs might stretch your budget too far. It is also a traditional looking sub and would be easier to set up. It is also powered so no off-board amp needed. It is highly recommended, even by its main competitor SVS.

    Both SVS and Hsu Research are available on-line only but are reputable companies with excellent customer service.
     
  16. Mr. Brian

    Mr. Brian Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to everyone for all of your help so far. I have a few more details. The setup will be in a room of his basement, which is roughly 12 ft. by 14 ft. What type of TV and speakers would you recommend for this size room? I think I've narrowed down the receiver and DVD player: Denon 2802 and the Panasonic DVD-RP56 (unless there are other, better suggestions). That should leave roughly $3000 for a TV and speakers. I'd really appreciate any more advice.

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
  17. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd get a 65" Mitsubishi HDTV ready TV (without the HDTV tuner built in). That is the TV I have and with a eye ball to screen distance of 9-11 feet works well. I paid $2850 a year ago. I'm not sure that the current prices are but you can haggle and get sears to beat the best price you get. The bigger the TV the better. Many people who opt for at 55" later experience TV shrinkage where it no longer seems so big, and they wish they went bigger to begin with.

    You will get alot of different TV recommendations. The reasons why I choose Mits, is:

    1- Great value; they sell more big screens than all other mfg combined for a reason.

    2- Comes apart easily to get into the basement.

    3- Very easy to tweak; more so than any other TV on the market. Another forum specializes in Mits big screens and has a huge database of tweaking info. You can make a low-cost Mits look just as good as a 3X the price Pioneer Elite (I know because I have done it).

    Ooops, just noticed you said $3K for TV and speakers. So spend $2k on a TV, maybe a 55-inch, then spend a grand on speakers. The Acoustic Research HC2 and HC6 as well as the Energy Take 5 are your best options under 1K. For a good, low priced sub, the only thing I would suggest is a Hsu Research VTF-2 (available directly online). The SVS lines are prehaps better (also online) but a bit too much for your limited budget. DIY is an option if you are handy (which is what I did). I think the VTF-2 can be had for $500. Again you might have to wait on it (pick your TV and speakers first) due to your budget. If you have a spare amp or reciever for sub power, you could get an unpowered Hsu or SVS cylinder sub which might save you a $100 or so and be very very good.

    The DVD player you suggested is a good choice. The JVC DVD players are also very highly recommended by professional reviewers. A have a jvc and it is great.

    With your wife's approval, you might want to max your budget on the TV, receiver (The Denon is a good choice, but you migh want to look at Kenwood too to save $$), and speakers, then add the sub ASAP with you have some more $$. Same with cables. Good component and digital coax to hook it all up, can set you back about $150 (not including speaker wire). But you can always use the cheap wire included with the reciever and DVD player, then add good wire from Bettercables.com later when you have the more cash.

    It's tough to balance it all out. Pick & budget the TV first, speakers second, receiver third, sub forth, and wire last. A good Kenwood or other low-cost receiver can always go into the bedroom in the future when the upgrade bug hits due to changing technology. You are likely to change it before the other things.
     
  18. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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    I do have a couple of quick questions for you, Brian.

    This is for your Father-in-law, right? How old, and how much of a electronics nut, is he?

    What percent TV viewing (cable, over-the-air, or satellite?) compared to DVDs? I ask because if he is mostly into TV viewing, I do not believe anything but a direct view is smart.
     
  19. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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    I'd suggest Norh's 4.0 www.norh.com ceramic speaker package for $850, Outlaw 1050 www.outlawaudio.com Receiver for $500, and a 25-31PC SVS www.svsubwoofers.com for about $700. That's about $2,100, and you have $1,900 left for the TV and DVD player. The speakers, receiver, and subwoofer are all Internet-only companies, but they have gotten nothing but rave reviews. The only problem is both the Norh speakers and SVS subs are not conventional in their appearance, and your father-in-law (or, more importantly, your mother-in-law) may not like them. Otherwise, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a better sound for about two grand.
    Steve
     
  20. Mr. Brian

    Mr. Brian Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for your help again. My father in law is in his mid 50's, and is not really into electronics that much. He only has a DVD player on his computer right now, and just a few discs. He is mostly into TV viewing right now, but I think he wants to slowly get into DVD's. Would a 4:3 TV set be the best choice now. If so, what is a good progressive scan capable model? I'll ask him if he would prefer 4:3 or 16:9. I have a few ideas for speakers as well: Energy Take 5.2 or Home Theater Direct Level 3 (Y combo). His room isn't that big (12 by 14), so I want to take that into consideration.

    Thanks,

    Brian
     

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