Help sought - New HT basics

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Nataraj, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. Nataraj

    Nataraj Auditioning

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    Hi all..

    I am new here and am already excited to see so many HT buffs and experienced folks in here.

    I have finally decided to kind of clean up the mess I have, which I have been calling HT till now & try to put together a real HT.

    My budget is about $3000. I have a Denon receiver and Infinity 5.1 speakers. Got a DVD (old one) - so I definitely need to get a new one with progressive scan.

    I need recommendations for the following :

    * Video Display - Should I invest in a plasma TV? or should I go for a screen with front projection? If projection, what would be the recommended projector?

    * Speakers - What is the best & budget oriented?

    * Receivers

    * DVD player

    * Cables

    I am eagerly looking forward to your responses.
    Thanks, Ganpy.
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Welcome Nataraj. I’m sure that many others will chime in, but if I were you, I would sort out in priority order what parts of your system you need to upgrade first. It appears as though you feel you should concentrate on display first.

    With a $3,000 budget (and wishing to consider other items as well), I would recommend staying away from plasma displays, as they are not particularly good price-performers at this time. IMO, you should choose a front projector only if you have a mostly dedicated HT environment, where you can control ambient light. Even most front projector enthusiasts don’t find them particularly satisfactory as a main TV system. But some do.

    Straight bang for the buck is still in RPTV. You might consider this as an option.

    As far as the other items, it will be helpful to know a bit more about you overall plans and how much of your current gear you plan to keep.

    For example if you plan on keeping your current receiver and speakers for a while, you can spend the $3,000 on an HDTV display (you can find some front projectors for as low as $1,000, but you can spend a whole lot more)) a HTDV tuner (or receiver)—the newer ones cost about $600, but you can find cheaper, a screen for the projector (figure a few hundred dollars) and a decent progressive scan DVD player $150-$500). Depending on how much you spend on each item, you might be at the $3,000 at this point. Or only at $2,000.

    You could also do the same with a RPTV and ancillary equipment.

    Since you are upgrading, I would recommend waiting on the audio portion of your system and taking that step by step as well. You did not specify your receiver, but you might want to upgrade it before your speakers. Or if the receiver will drive your next speakers (the ones you want) then don’t worry about the receiver and go next for the speakers.

    I think that since you have some decent equipment already, spend the $3,000 on a few components that fit that budget and desires. Don’t compromise (other than not buying a $5,000 front projector on a $3,000 budget) and get what you want for those limited items.

    Then move on. You will be happier in the long run.
     
  3. Nataraj

    Nataraj Auditioning

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    Thanks for your quick response Lew.

    Yes..I agree with you that I should take it one step at a time. Definitely then, my speakers take the last priority.
    I have a Denon receiver (don't remember the exact model number right now).

    As for a controlled environment for HT, yes I think I do to a large extent. Got a large area in my finished basement..The only problem could be certain viewing spots hidden by a couple of small pillars. But I hope I can manage. As for ambient lighting, I think I can control the lighting about 90%.

    So now toying with the idea of choosing the best gear for display - should I look at good HDTVs (that are about $2000) in the market..? or a screen with projector? I have no knowledge on the projectors/screen world. Would really appreciate any inputs on this. If I get a projector, how easy is it to fix it ?

    Thanks.
    Nataraj.
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Projectors are great, but they add to cost considerably. El-cheapo pos projectors can be had for cheap, but nicer dlps are costly. I have no idea how expensive they are to fix should one break, but you do have to replace the bulbs as they go out. A projector is really awesome to have, but they cost good $$, plus if you don't make your own screen, those can cost quite a bit too. Used CRTs can be had for cheap, but that is quite the project, and you'd want a computer or a video processor to take full advantage of them. You need good light control, ideally pitch black, to be able to watch movies during the day, but you can have a watchable picture still with a fair amount of light in the room.

    Unless you want to go for the all-out project of a monster CRT, which would provide stellar PQ, you're probably better off going with a RPTV (which are mostly CRTs BTW, although more are using DLP and other projection types inside now). It's all around easier, and not nearly the huge project a CRT would be.

    I wouldn't put your speakers last, I'd put them and the video first. I don't know how good your reciever or speakers are, or if they do DD and the like, or if it is an older pro logic unit. An all out dedicated theater can be costly, and it'd be hard to pull off with just 3k for the video, let alone for everything. If the audio setup is fine now, you might only need a TV, in which case you might get a good one for 3k, if not, you gotta start hunting around for good deals. [​IMG]
     

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