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HTIB Search...

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by TerryHub, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. TerryHub

    TerryHub Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently put my 6 year old Mits 55" rptv in my basement. It will be used primarily for my kids to watch movies with friends and on occasion I would like to possibly use it to listen to CD/MP3/FM. I have some pretty nice stuff in my home theater(Pioneer Elite TV, Sony ES, B&W Speakers, SVS 20-39 PC+), but I cannot justify a bunch a cash for this type of use.

    So this gets me thinking about an inexpensive htib(~$250-$400). I don't have high expectations, but I would like help to find a good value point. I'm really looking for something more than a DVD player and TV speakers. There are far too many of these things on the market and to be honest I really don't have the time to figure this out on my own.

    Can anyone suggest a few options I can check into that have the features listed above? (Yes I searched the forum before my post; didn't leave me with much.)

    Thanks.
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I did a quick search of popular web sites and it appears that most htib's in that price range list their rated power at 1k, 6 ohms @ 10% thd! and have passive subs. In other words, lousy amp sections. If that doesn't concern you to much, two that caught my eye at Bestbuy.com are the Samsung/Klipch package and the Pioneer 530, which is SACD/DVD-A compatable, both in the $350-$400 range and come with 5 disc changers built in. If you can, try and find the Onkyo HT-660 5.1 in the $300 range. Coupled with a separate dvd player of you're choice would offer much better performance for around $400. If you really need one closer to $250, choose from any number of Philips, Sony, Panasonic, etc. They all appear to be about the same. And please let us know what you decide. It's always fun to hear the outcome. Gene
     
  3. TerryHub

    TerryHub Stunt Coordinator

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    Update...

    So far I listened to a Sony and Panasonic systems (around the $350 mark) that are on the sad side of sound quality at any good volume. I also listened to the Pioneer 530 which was marginally better in sound quality. At this point I'm not sure how I feel about a completely integrated system over separate receiver/dvd.

    One other comment; I have owned the Klipsch Promedia 4.1 since they were first available. I don't think any of these sound as good as my PC. Not sure if it's the store setup or if the Klipsch's are really better.
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Terry (you said you were in a hurry so I put in links to what I'm talking about): how about just a plain ol' stereo system? Personally I would much rather have a good 2.0 channel system than a lousy 5.1 channel rig.

    Something like this for example (and I personally think it will sound much better than any HTiB in its price range. And as of Feb.12, those Pioneers are $40 off):

    * Sherwood stereo receiver ($99; check out that warranty!)

    * Panasonic DVD-S25 dvd player ($80)

    * Pioneer bookshelfs with 8" woofer ($120/pair; click here for much better photos--they actually look pretty decent in person).

    This all adds up to just $300. I would MUCH rather have this system than any HTiB for that same price.

    There are no speaker size/distance/x-over settings to deal with or in your case, nothing kids can really mess up to seriously affect the sound. The entire system is simple to operate and I have heard those Pioneers: they come with polypropylene woofers that have rubber surrounds + a real(!) dome tweeter--they sound surprisingly good with no obvious sonic flaws & have decent bass (Pioneer makes their own drivers so the price of these is no surprise). Most HTiB speakers (and their subs) I've heard are loaded with flaws, usually sounding tinny, hollow or just plain cheap.

    If you wanted you could add that PartsExpress "Tiny Mity II" subwoofer for another $125 to add some nice low-end grunt (it can be hooked up to the Sherwood through its speaker-level inputs).

    To me, HTiBs under four hundred bucks just don't sound very good & when something breaks--hello landfill!!! [​IMG]

    LJ
     
  5. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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  6. TerryHub

    TerryHub Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, here's what happened...

    After restling with this obsessively for a couple of days I decided (and the wife) the following requirements must be met:

    1. System must be black (that narrowed things just a bit!)
    2. System must not have integrated components
    3. Speakers are not powered by the sub (future upgrades)

    After checking reviews at CNET and Circuit City I looked more closely at the Sony DDW750 with no DVD. I was not impressed in the store but I thought what the heck, I can always return it. I purchased the system in black with a free 2 year warranty for $285 and paired it with a Sony NS325 DVD player. I hooked the whole thing up and watched Monsters Inc. with the kids.

    The verdict: not bad at all. I am truley satisfied with the system and it looks great. I realize with some effort I may have done better, but I'm not going to look back.

    Thanks to everyone that posted, I do appreciate it.
     

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