HT for $500?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by KellyR, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. KellyR

    KellyR Agent

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    Well, my grandparents give me $500 every year for christmas so I decided that I would take this years present and get a stereo for my HDTV. The only problem is that I am unsure as to what might be the best possible solution for my situation and I was wondering if anyone here might be able to lend a hand. I suppose that it would be best to start with what I already have.

    As of right now I have:
    36" RCA direct-view HDTV model #MM36110
    Panasonic DVD-RV 220 (yeah... old school. It's not even progressive scan)
    Xbox with the HDTV pack
    A nicer monster power strip

    The room that I'm setting up in is roughly 12X14 with 9' ceilings. Also, it is the main living room so there is no wall along one of the 14' sides (e.g. the living room leads into the dining room).

    Now as I said before I have $500 but I can probably raise that if it isn't too much higher (< or =$100). I'm in grad school so I have limited funds at this particular time. A few of the things that I would like out of my system are:

    Since I play video games, I would like at least 5.1 sound (6.1 or greater would be nice too).
    It would be nice to have a receiver with at least 2 component ins and two digital audio ins so that a component DVD player/SACD player and my xbox will have digital sound.

    Actually thats all that I can think of now in terms of criteria. I really don't have an allegiance to any brand and I don't hate any brands, either.

    As far as cables go, I'm fine with Radio Shack cable since it seems to be almost as good as expensive cable and I'm on a limited budget. Also, I don't need a progressive DVD player included because my mom will get me one for under $200 this christmas if I want one (suggestions would be helpful though[​IMG] )

    One last question. My friend recently told me that the signal is heavily degraded when using a receiver as a switch for component connections. I was always under the impression that a little degredation was in order, but it would be hardly noticiable. What do you guys think? I only have one component in on my TV so I need a solution and the reciever seems like the most cost effective solution.

    Anyways thanks for all your help and I'll check back as often as I can to see if you need any more info. Thanks again.
     
  2. Jack Shappa

    Jack Shappa Second Unit

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    $500? For a receiver and 6 speakers (5 sats + sub)? Hmmm... Onkyo has some surprisingly nice HTIB setups in about that range.

    As for component switching, a more expensive receiver like a Denon 3803 will pass the HD signal on undegraded, but a lower end receiver in your price range will likely have far less bandwidth and the HD signal will suffer a bit. How much is tolerable is up to you. Check out the specs on the receiver. A component bandwidth of at least 30 will pass the HD signal pretty well. Anything less and it'll suffer. For reference, the 3803's badwidth is 100.

    I agree you should not worry about expensive cables. Just make sure the gauge is decent (I'd say 14) and that video cables are shielded (if over a few feet).

    - Jack
     
  3. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Just remember that SACD's and DVDA's will require a 6-cable analog connection.

    At any rate, $500 limits you to....

    A. Questionable HTiB.

    or

    B. Good reciever & no speakers

    or

    C. Good speakers

    or

    D. Subwoofer
     
  4. KellyR

    KellyR Agent

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    thanks for the suggestions. Just a question. Would it hurt to get the receiver and two front speakers with a sub at first and then get the three (or four [​IMG] ) speakers later on next year? Also, I'm not sure what shielding is (unless I do know but call it something else)? Can you explain it to me. Also, where's a good place to ge the AVIA DVD? Thanks again.

    ----------------------------------
    Garret said:
    Just remember that SACD's and DVDA's will require a 6-cable analog connection.

    At any rate, $500 limits you to....

    A. Questionable HTiB.

    or

    B. Good reciever & no speakers

    or

    C. Good speakers

    or

    D. Subwoofer
    ------------------------------
    Obviously, I wasn't in the market for great sound. Don't you think that your post was a little counter-productive? I'll look into something really nice when I finish grad school. BTW thanks for the heads up on the SACD's.
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    Hmm, you may be able to better than you think.
    Component switching is tough in that price range though.

    I would fore go the component switching then you could get a really great sounding system.

    Refurbished will be your best bets.

    Ecost has refurbished AVR125 Harmon Kardons for like $180 right now.

    The AR-112PS powered sub can be had for around $120.

    That leaves you some money to go find decent speakers somewhere.
     
  6. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    Ecost.com also has the Onkyo TR-SR501 referb. It has component switching and there's a review in home theater mag on it's cousin the TR-SR601. They ranked it higher than it's counterpart Yamaha and Pioneer receivers. It doesn't have onscreen display and I've read some people complained about it's ease of setup.
    I have the Dayton Sub. It's a clean sub not Boomy.
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...D=122583&DID=7
    I probably recommend the most recommended speaker set the JBL NSP1 II at Buy.com
    http://www.buy.com/retail/Product_ju...64&dcaid=15889
     
  7. KellyR

    KellyR Agent

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    Thanks for infos guys but I have some great news. My friend sells stereo equipment at a local specialty retail store and he said he can sell me anything at a little over cost so I'm gonna see what they have. If that doesn't pan out then I'll check your suggestions out. Thanks again.
     

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