help me decide on my new setup. performance AND asthetics important.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricLThomp, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. EricLThomp

    EricLThomp Auditioning

    Jan 16, 2003
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    First, for my TV, I would like the most bang for about $2,500. I really like SONY. Looking at HDTV. Would like 16:9 aspect ratio, and something min. 42" crisp picture and abilty to watch in daylight (not really bright or direct light, but in the living room with blinds closed) would be good. Any suggestions?

    Second, speakers. $1,200 max. for 5.1. Was initially looking at BOSE until I came here. Now I seem to be reading that for about the same price I can get something with much more bang. (, etc.) i like the really small stuff. want white to blend in with the walls (remember asthetics).

    Third, power amp. max of about $800 (give or take). I like YAMAHA stuff. Also looking at the OUTLAW stuff (seems a tad pricey for me).

    Thanks for your help in placing this new setup together. all input welcome...
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Eric. Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]
    It sounds like you have already done your homework in picking out decent equipment.
    I would suggest you also consider a few other things to create a complete home theater system:
    - HDTV signal. Does your local CATV company offer a HD feed? Are you within line-of-sight of some towers for OTA (Over The Air) signals? If not, you may need to budget ... something like $600 for a Dish Network or DirectTV HD sat system. Some TV's come with DirectTV decoders built in, but I'm not sure if Sony is one of them. Check it out.
    - DVD Player. You did not mention this, do you already have a progressive-scan DVD player? It really goes well with an HDTV. Budget $200-$500. If you like music, you might go for a multi-disk player.
    - Personal Video Recorder (PVR). If you watch ANY television, you must get one of these devices. The best ones, IMHO, are the DirectTivo or PVR units from either DirectTV or DishNetwork. What makes these units superior is that they record the digital bitstream from the satelite. The playback is bit-for-bit identical to the original broadcast. Tivo/Replay/Showstopper/Ultimate TV all depend upon a good CATV signal and it does an analog->digital conversion. So there is some quality loss. Budget $300-$500.
    Note: Dish Network has promised a HDTV receiver/PVR unit due to come out early 2003. This WILL BE the unit to have, but ... delays are common.
    - XBox? This game systems produces progressive video for most games, it plays DVD's and can act like a music-server. Not a bad investment. Budget $200-$300 (for the DVD option, cables and perhaps XBox-Live for multi-player gaming)
    - A high-end universal remote. This can really help clean up the 'remote clutter'. The One-For-All 7 is a steal at $20. But the fancier units like the Home Theater Master or Philips Pronto are much loved. Budget .. $150 - $400
    - Setup tools. It's a good idea to get a Radio Shack sound/SPL meter (analog) for $40, a copy of the Avia setup DVD ($45) and a laser pen ($20) to help setup and level-adjust your system. Add in some velcro cable wraps, a power strip or two and ... you need to budget $100-$150 for this misc stuff.
    - Cables: It's wise to budget 10% of your electronics cost for connecting cables. Yes, this means $250 for a component video cable for that $2,500 TV is not out of line. But .. We can save you a good chunk. The custom cable sites like can beat that price. I would suggest custom cables for all HD/Progressive sources, then use Acoustic Research brand for low-quality sources like the VCR/CATV. Oh, you can get some really good speaker wire in the 'Sound King' brand of 12 ga from
    - Rack. Do you already have a rack/cabinent to hold all this stuff? If not this link to a list of Home Theater Accessories will get you started finding some racks. Or if you have a hardware store and can drill holes, go to the DIY fourm and search for "Flexy" and learn how to build your own. Budget $120-$800.
    Note: I'm not trying to give you sticker shock. But you look like you have done a good job planning & setting your budget. I just want to make sure you know about some of the other things.
    Receiver: I love Yamaha's. But since you are getting into HDTV, many people are finding that their receiver either is not compatible with HD video, or only has 2 inputs. (All current Yamaha's are compatible with HD video.) It does not work when they have have a HDTV decoder box, Progressive scan DVD then suddenly want to add 1 more device. Plan for this by getting a HDTV with 2 or more HD inputs, a TV with a built-in HD Sat receiver or OTA decoder. Or plan on buying a $150 switch box if your needs grow.
    Good Luck.

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