Made my first HDTV purchase!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by oharag, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. oharag

    oharag Extra

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    I went to Circuitcity and purchased the following:

    Panasonic PT53TW53 $1,549.00 plus a $250 mail in rebate plus a $100 gift card!

    Onkyo HTS760 HTIB $449.99 (10% off with TV purchase) plus $50 rebate plus $50 gift card!

    For the price I couldn't beat this offer. On top of this I got 12 month no interest! The only thing I do not like on this set is the size. Much bigger than the Pan PT53WX53 set. Though this set goes for $1,699. So in the end I saved $400.

    I purchased the 4-year in home service plan as well for $399.

    Here's a couple of questions:
    - Would you guys recommend buying the service plan for a large set like this? I just keep hearing to pass up on the service plans. If an electronic device were going to fail it will most likely fail in the first year and be covered under the manufacturers warranty.
    - Where should I go and purchase 12 gauge speaker wire? I remember people on this forum stating to go to HomeDepot and purchase 12 Gauge wire. Is this the best cheapest wire around? Also, the speakers I'm getting are cheap :) I believe the fronts have binding posts, but all other speakers have spring clips. Does the bare 12 gauge wire fit into these clips? The speaker wire that comes with the HTIB are of a smaller gauge.
    - I want to buy speaker stands for my speakers. Can anyone recommend a good speaker stand? The speakers are minis (though fairly large for a HTIB). Circuitcity had a fairly nice speaker stand. It had a base that clamped onto the bottom of each speaker. It was also height adjustable. the only thing I didn't like was the flimsiness of the stand. It wobbled if you put side force on the speaker.
    - At this moment I did not purchase a DVD player. I'll use the gift cards to do this. Eventually I want to purchase a progressive scan output DVD player. Should I get one with component outputs, or is SVHS output fine?
    - I have Comcast cable. I got a special deal on a Starz package. It came with a digital settop box - basic, standard and Starz. I asked the salesman whether it could output HDTV, and he said no problem. The installer didn't know whether this was the case. He called a dispatch that said I could receive HDTV signals with the right connector. I read the settop box manual, and it states that I need to use component cables out of the settop box to the TV in order to receive HD signals, but it says something about getting an HD box from Comcast! What's the deal here? Can I receive HD programming from a digital settop box from Comcast? A friend of mine who has Comcast states that it costs him $5 extra a month to get HD programming from Comcast. Comcast Sports Network has their sports programming in HD. Would it come through as HD if I used component cables?

    Sorry for the ramblings. So much to learn. Thanks guys/gals.

    oharag
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Since you're asking a multitude of questions about a multitude of components, I moved your post here to A/V Sources. The Basics area is strictly for general discussion at the beginner level, not for asking for specific purchasing decisions. Good luck on dialing in that nice system.
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Comcast has to supply the HD box. This is a different box from their regular digital cable box you have now. Call Comcast and ask for a HDTV installation. Tell them you have a HDTV and want to upgrade the current box.
     
  4. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    Component output is required for progressive (480p) format, s-video only does interlaced. Look for a DVD player model with an excellent de-interlacer like Faroudja or Silicon Image, which are on the Denon models.
     
  5. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    I'll address the one question I'm certain of the answer. Yes, the Home Depot 12 gauge is about the best value you'll find available. Of course it would be great to be able to use 12 gauge all around. But that might not be possible. At the minimum, I'd use 12 on the front soundstage and 16 on the rears since they may not accept 12 gauge. How long will your runs be to your rear speakers be? I'd get a sample of the wire from HD and test all the connections at the speakers and receiver for compatibility.

    p.s. God Bless You my son for keeping our economy going strong!
     
  6. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    I have the same ONKYO that you have. For the money, it can't be beat. What you paid for it is unbelievable. I used 16 gauge monster cable all around. It barely fit in the rears. I feel that I got screwed. Stick with Home Depot. You will probably need a longer sub cable. You can make that with some coaxial cable and some adapters from Radio Shack a lot cheaper that you can buy a new sub cable. Just do a search in the DIY section. Don't forget to buy a radio shack meter and calibrate your speakers. It really helps. My original settings had my rears way to soft. Sounds like you are ready for some fun.
    Have fun
     
  7. Andrew JC

    Andrew JC Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll throw in my 2 cents on the dvd player. You may want to look at the Zenith DVB318. It can upconvert to 1080i and will set you back $160-$200.
     
  8. oharag

    oharag Extra

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    John Pine, the runs to the rear are approximately 20' (give or take 3-5 feet). I haven't had a chance to unpack this system yet unfortunately. My HDTV is coming tomorrow. I'll be spending the next couple of days plugging and unplugging wires/cables [​IMG]

    I was amazed to see that this Onkyo Receiver has binding posts on the rear of the receiver for all speaker outputs!

    DanielKellmii, what's the issue with the rears and 16 ga wire? Are they spring clips in the rear????

    I have another question concerning the center speaker. My HDTV set has a very narrow landing/surface at the top of the set. I know this is where the center speaker should go. I was thinking about creating a support system to support the rear of the center. I just do not know what to do here. Should I glue or tape the support system to the TV (oh, yeah the TV slopes away at an aggressive angle)? Should I hang the center on the wall behind the TV? Anyone else having or had this issue?

    As you can tell from my post I'm a value conscious consumer (NOT CHEAP!!!! [​IMG] ). This receiver is going to blow away my previous HTIB system (7 years old). I do not consider myself an audiophile like some of the members here. I'll probably go with a relatively cheap progressive scan DVD player. Circuitcity had a Panasonic 5 Disk Progressive Scan with component outputs for $109 ($20 off). It was recommended on another audophile website as a good player. I'm going to use the $150 Gift Cards from CC to pay for my DVD player.

    Thanks for the comments. They are a big help for a newbie like me. One of these days I'm going to build a Hometheater spefici room with all the bells and whistles. Just not there yet moneywise.

    oharag
     
  9. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    16-gauge wire would be more than adequate for a 20 foot run on a HTIB system. If it were me, I'd still buy samples of Home Depot 12 and 16 gauge and test all connections before you buy your runs. You know what they say, "Measure twice, cut once!"

    "I was amazed to see that this Onkyo Receiver has binding posts on the rear of the receiver for all speaker outputs!"

    That's good for a HTIB, but I still think you'll have to use 16 gauge on the rears at the speaker connection.

    “Should I hang the center on the wall behind the TV?”

    I would try and avoid this at all costs! Try and keep your front soundstage at approximately equal distance from the primary listening area. But, sometimes this is not possible. Maybe you could fabricate a mini shelf from plastic and anchor it with heavy duty double-sided velcro. Course you would have to fabricate some rear supports as well. How large is the center? How much depth are you short? I’ve never had to do this but I’m sure there are some guys here that have. Fortunately the top of my 36” CRT is so large it holds my JBL S-CenterII (huge) with room to spare.
     
  10. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    Yes, spring clips all around. the 16 ga fits.

    Somebody out there makes a shelf to fit on the back of TV's for the center channel.


    FYI, please read the manual with the HTIB. There is some really good info. THey have a confusing way of doing large/small settings.
     

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