HT In A Box Suggestions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason_Els, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    0
    My father has his heart set on a HT-in-a-box. I don't know why, but he does. He needs it. Badly. Don't tell me to convince him otherwise because it won't happen and yes he's experienced my HT in all it's glory.
    He wants HT-in-a-box.
    So.
    Are there any good HT-in-a-box out there? We went to Best Buy and I saw a Pioneer and a Yamaha that looked promising but we didn't listen to them (long story). I had to keep pulling him away from the Bose display. He would like the DVD to be integrated. Might get around that but otherwise, what's available?
    Many thanks!
     
  2. David Dhaus

    David Dhaus Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you don't need the dvd player, the Onkyo HT-S650 is great. If you do, there are Onkyo HTIBs coming this month (?) that have an Onkyo dvd with the 650. The 650 is $499 at Circuit City, and beat every HTIB I listened to at Best Buy, including Yamaha, Kenwood, Sony and, yes, Bose. Your mileage may vary. [​IMG] Give it a listen and see.
     
  3. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Might want to also check out the Denon DHT683XP.
     
  4. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is he set on having everything but the speakers (the optical disc player, tuner, processor, amp) in a single box?

    IMHO, the best values are the configurations where they take a standard receiver and throw in a cheap set of surround speakers and a sub. You have to add your own DVD player with most of these, though some come with a separate DVD player.

    These types of HTIB's all rise or fall on the quality of their receiver. I am not sure about which unit, exactly, Onkyo uses in their HTIB. It does not appear to be one of the standard receivers from their line.

    I have to say that when I did a listening test with Onkyo's entry-level HT receiver, the TX-SR500, the results were quite disappointing and I chose a Denon over it, very gladly.

    Do try to listen to any HTIB before you buy it, if at all possible (at some outlets, many of the HTIB's are on display but not really connected and ready for a listening test).

    There are a couple of similar HTIB's to the Onkyo: the Kenwood HTB-505 (available from Crutchfield for $500) and the Yamaha YHT-300 (try calling B&H for a price -- they are not allowed to list Yamaha prices on their Web site or give e-mail quotes -- if you can get the YHT-300 for less than $400 it would be a pretty decent deal).

    If your father is set on having everything but the speakers in a single box, consider the Panasonic SC-HT95. As a bonus, it has a five-disc changer. It's also fairly inexpensive and doesn't sound bad (it has a passive sub, but that's true of most of the all-in-one deals).

    You should also try to explain to him that having everything in the one box will not completely eliminate complexity. It may reduce it somewhat, but with HT it's pretty difficult to completely do away with.
     
  5. Larry Becker

    Larry Becker Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    HTIB is quite limited, of course, but they do have their places. I have a Pioneer Elite 49tx at home, with Energy Veritas speakers, but I wanted someting for my office that looked decent, sounded ok and would play DVD-Audio disks and have DTS and DPL II.

    I found the Yamaha DVX-S100 at Good Guys that fit the bill, sounded great and was the cost of ONE of my main speakers. They asked $999 and I got it for about $900 (I bought much of my other system here, too). It has a nice looking control unit, a powered sub/amp combination and decent speakers. It only has a SINGLE disk player, but it has a Faroudja DCDi chip, progressive scan output, and a nice remote.

    Does it compare to my home unit? Not even. Is is ok for my use -- It more than meets that need. I almost got a little cd-only executive system for my office. This is WAY nicer.

    Let me know if you have other questions on this unit.

    Larry
     
  6. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you guys for your opinion, I really value it. My father has no interest in fiddling with anything and wants and all-in-one system for (supposed) ease of use and compatibility. He does not like that I have FIVE remotes, each of which I need at some point to do something. I have a Home Theater Master remote that does 90% of what I want (except navigate DVD menus grrrr) but should really invest in an LCD remote so I can dump the others for good.
    I explained this and a zillion other things to him but he still wants home theater in a box. I think there's a whole Freudian my-son's-is-bigger-than-mine-so-I'm-taking-a-different-path-to-annoy-him deal going on but I'm not going down that path [​IMG] . If HTINAB is what he wants then that's what he's going to get. His hearing isn't all that great either (stationed on destroyers in the navy) so it's not that's he's any great audiophile. He just wants the sound to be clearer on the center channel (his TV is old and sucks) and to have nice sound for TV and CDs. I'm going to oblige.
    Still open to ideas, any would be appreciated, and again thank you! [​IMG]
     
  7. Larry Becker

    Larry Becker Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looks like we cross-posted (posts at the same time)...

    The Yamaha unit I mentioned has adjustable speaker levels, so you can make the center channel more prominent. The DVD-video is really pretty good for such a unit. I hooked it up to a HDTV projector I have access to and the output is very nice (480p), but most of my usage for now is just composite output and it's ok.

    Served on a destroyer, eh? Video might be more important than audio for him, but the audio still needs to be there. Most HTIB's have really crappy speakers. This Yamaha I mentioned sounded to me MUCH better than other HTIB's I'd listened to (Denon, Sony, Panasonic). It seems to be a quality unit, color-coded wiring to hook it into the sub/amp unit. Pretty decent, and at the upper level of such things (but less than Bose).

    Larry
     
  8. Billy Posey

    Billy Posey Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    1
    I saw a system at cructhfield I believe, That consisted of a silver Pioneer 811s, and a pioneer five disc dvd changer and some speakers. It seems that this system would give him the functionality that he is searching for and with reasonable quality
     
  9. Billy Posey

    Billy Posey Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    1
    sorry sent this by accident. I don't know how to remove it.
     
  10. David Dhaus

    David Dhaus Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Onkyo I mentioned has a 150W self powered sub. The speaker channels are adjustable, so he can crank up the center, if necessary. In terms of the receiver, I recommend you give it a listen. The denon was not available for me to listen to when I was buying, so I do not know how they compare. The Onkyo is not a $2000 system. It is, however, superb for a $500 system.
     
  11. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks again guys! This is a HUGE help to me. His birthday is on the 30th so have to act fast.
     
  12. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,825
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just picked up the Onkyo HT-S650 set and I am very pleased with it. Well worth the money. I have a very small living room in my apt. (only about 8' x 7' for my actual viewing space), so this is more than enough to get the neighbors complaining!

    I use it in conjuction with a 36" Toshiba, and I think it's a good match. I know a lot of people here prefer to build a system piece by piece, and I think that for those with a lot of room and a nice HDTV that's obviously the way to go.

    But the way I see it, once I have a place big enough to accomodate a widescreen TV, I'll most definitely get a higher end audio setup, and the Onkyo and my Toshiba will become my bedroom setup, so no worries about upgrading the existing system.

    Definitely recommend this one for small to mid-size home theaters-very easy to setup as well...
     
  13. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Pioneer HTP-725DV consists of a Pioneer VSX-D811S receiver, 6 sat speakers, a 100w 8" subwoofer, and a DV-656A prog-scan dvd video/audio player. Surprisingly, this package can bee picked up for around $525 online. The receiver and dvd-a player would cost that if not a part of this package.

    This package would give your father everything he needed in one package, be fairly future-proof (all the current audio and formats, including DTS-ES, DD-EX, DPLII, DVD-A and progressive scan), and could later be very easily upgraded to a really great system by replacing the Pioneer speakers/sub.

    The speakers and sub are the weak link of this package, but when you look at the price, it's almost like you're getting them for free just for buying the receiver and dvd-a player. They're good enough to get your dad started, and who knows, they may satisfy him for a long time to come. If down the line he wants to upgrade, it's an easy one to do, and the receiver is even capable of 7.1 speaker setups.

    This really looks like an amazing package for the price. I had the VSX-D811S and i know it's a great receiver. I've read nothing but great reviews about the DV-656A. It has every current audio/video format covered, and the speakers are good enough to get someone started. If I were buying a system in this price range, this is what i would get.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. David Dhaus

    David Dhaus Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I were shopping now, I would certainly want to give that pioneer a listen. It wasn't out when I got the 650. It would be interesting to see how those two match up. The receiver has more features (including 6.1 and component switching) than the Onkyo. Does anyone know if that 100W is over all 6 channels, or over two? Crutchfield's site has the detailed specs (but a hefty pricetag). Definitely a system to audition.
     
  15. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    The pioneer is rated at 100w over all 6 channels, but that's a 1kHz w/ 1% THD. It's 2ch performance is rated 100W at full range w/ .09% THD.

    I've read that the full 6 channel power is somewhere around 65 watts/ channel, which is very adequate for a receiver of this price range, especially w/ the features it offers.
     

Share This Page