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Looking for help with Home Theater Upgrade (1 Viewer)

Tim Barnes

Dec 4, 2003
Hi all,
I'm needing some help on an upgrade.Let me start by telling you what I have,and then telling you what i'd like to do,then maybe you can steer me in the direction I should go.I only have about $2000.00 to play around with.

1st.What I have.

I have a 42in.Sony Grand Wega LCD Projection HDTV,wich I have hooked up to a HD/DVR from my cable provider that gives me 1080i.broadcast wich I think looks great. This TV is only 1 1/2 years old.I paid around $2000.00 for it with a 5 year warranty wich ran about $300.00 so I really can't afford to upgrade it now.So I need to build around what I have.It has one HDMI input it has two component in jacks.It has audio out as well as Digital Audio(Optical)Out (PCM/Dolby Digital).Hope that wasn't to much info,but I wanted to cover it all.

2nd.What i'd like to do.
DVD Bluray or HDDVD???

I know we have a format war going on,so this is a tricky subject.
I would like to know what kind of picture you think i'm going to get with a Blueray or HDDVD player hooked up to my TV.I know I can't get a 1080p picture,but would it be the equivalent of say 720p,and if so would that alone be justification for buying one of these players??.
I should say from what i've read about these two rivals i'm leaning toward Blueray,and heres why. #1.I'm not a huge gamer,but I do own a PS2,and am considering PS3. #2. 50gigs thats alot of room for alot of things.Wich leads to another question. If i'm thinking about a PS3 wich supports Blueray,do I even need a stand alone player?? I do watch more DVDs than play games,but am not going to be able to afford both.(No one probally knows enough about the PS3 at this point to answer that question.)

2nd.Part Two
Audio Recievers???

I've looked in my local Sunday paper sales adds,and at Circuit City for $499.99 i saw a ONKYO XM Ready 1000-Watt 7.1 Ch.Home Theater System with iPod Capability,Dolby Digital EX/DTS-ES/Pro Logic llx,HDTV-ready component switching.
Or should I stay away from these all in one's,and if so what do you recommend??

Look guys I don't want to wind up like I did almost 10 years a ago when I bought my 1st what I thought was surround sound system,wich turned out to be Dolby Pro Logic. When I bought my first DVD player for almost $500.00 and hooked it up to my Dolby Pro Logic,and then heard Dolby Digital for the first time I had to run out and by it.

Any help on my new upgrade would be very helpful.I'm not looking to do this right away,but possibly after the first part of the year.
Thank You,and this forum. Tim

Shane Martin

Senior HTF Member
Sep 26, 1999
SVS has a nice multi channel setup with a PB10ISD that would rock. Combine that with a decent $400 reciever and you should be in audio heaven. All in one systems compromise too much and on top of that their weakness is the speakers and sub.

Combine that with an HD player of your choice and you are set for a good long while. Don't forget cables and a calibration disc.

Cees Alons

Senior HTF Member
Jul 31, 1997
Real Name
Cees Alons

Blu-ray. Although after a while you may want a stand-alone Blu-ray player, it might be a good temporary solution (and during some time) to use the new PS3 for that. However, it will all depend on the specs (and may on the price!) and although we hear more and more of that, hardly anyone has seen the new play station. So (like many of us do), you'll have to wait and see.

Also, you may want to wait and see what will really come out on BD disc and what quality those releases will appear to have. Lots of them are expected soon!

The first batch of PS3 is announced at a price around $500, if you're interested in the more expensive stand-alone machines, there are some reviews already in our "BR-player owners subforum".

HD DVD is another story already. The format took a real launch some months ago and a HD DVD player that's considered very good by the many owners, the Toshiba HD-A1, is on the market for more than 4 months at a price of around $500 (or less). There are also slightly more expensive players and a second generation has already been announced.
For reviews and opinions of this (and equivalent) machines, please see our "HD DVD player owners subforum".

Also, many very good releases (more than 100) of films on HD DVD have seen the light and the reviews are generally raving (with one or two exceptions).

If you want to start with HR on DVD now, it would be quite possible and the sensible action would be to purchase a HD DVD machine. The image is astonishing (even people who first stated they weren't interested in anything better than SD DVD, changed overnight after seeing the first HR-images on HD DVD) and your equipment seems ready for it.

Note that the HD-A1 will also give you lossless audio out (if present on the disc) without any need for a special new decoder: it will output it on its six analog-out channels!


Tim Barnes

Dec 4, 2003
Thanks guys very helpful.I think i'm gonna do the wait and see what happens.Still wanting a good receiver.Think i'll start my research there.Thanks again.Tim

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