Home Theater in a box (dirty words?)

scott johnson

Auditioning
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
9
I've a 55" HDTV home theater i set up a few years ago. Went with a HD PVR and an Onkyo reciever to run everything. Now i've put a 42" plasma upstairs in a much smaller room that's not horribly acoustically friendly (hardwood floors, a stone wall, not much sound dampening, etc), so i don't want to spend thousands of dollars again to replicate the type of system i have downstairs. I've not really kept up with all the technology, so i'm a bit out of the loop. I've been seeing lots of home theaters in a box type setups - what's the consensus on these? I'm looking for something with small speaker footprint, doesn't need a lot of watts, has HDMI. Most of these seem to focus around a DVD player as the central hub - to that i'd add a cablebox/HDPVR. What are the pitfalls and concerns i need to be aware of if considering this route? Is this something that's a reasonable alternative to a 'real' system, or is it unclean and you feel dirty just from reading the post?
 

BrianTwig

Second Unit
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May 1, 2006
Messages
252
HTIBs get blasted on here and other boards all the time. They do serve a purpose though. Even for those of us who have "real" systems for lack of a better term. I have one in my "loft" upstairs. Not a true loft as it isn't open to the downstairs but more of a large room that all the bedrooms open to.

Don't ask me what kind I have. I don't know. But I didn't need, want, nor could I really use a "real" system in that setting. So I use it for music and for TV audio. No movies are watched up there. So it was a cheap, easy to setup and use audio system for me.
 

EdQ

Stunt Coordinator
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Feb 27, 2000
Messages
55
I set up a Sony HTIB for a friend in a small apartment. She couldn't play it that so it worked out fine. And it only cost $300
 

JohnRice

Bounded In a Nutshell
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The biggest weak link in HTiBs seems to be the speakers. I think if you get one that features "real" components with normal connections (a normal receiver and DVD player) then you have an easy avenue to upgrade the speakers in the future if you choose. Or, you can just put a little more work into it and find some decent components, which can yield noticeably better results right now for a little more $$.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
Who is blasting HTB's? (grrr)


I'm sorry I have not be more active. I have often tried to tell people that you can get a great HT experience with less-accurate/less-expensive speakers. One thing to keep in mind:

Music is about accuracy, Home theater is about impact

This means to make sure your HTB comes in a box with separate, amplified sub, separate speakers with normal connectors, separate DVD player. This way you can upgrade the sub.

The "bad" HTB's come with a single receiver/dvd player with no extra inputs for Tivo/PVR/Game systems, and a fancy-looking-but-poor-sounding sub that is not self-powered. Avoid these if you can.

Kenwood used to make some great HTB's. But I have not looked at the current crop.
 

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