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Need a Home Theater for my Dad...

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Tom_-^*M, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Tom_-^*M

    Tom_-^*M Auditioning

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    So my dad calls me up and says "Can you research home theater on the internet for me. Mom and I are looking. But don't do this at the expense of studying!"
    "Uhh, ok."

    I know the basics, but that's about it. Let me know if any of my questions should be in a more specific forum.

    Overview:
    My parents watch a ton of sports. If they're not playing tennis, they're watching it. Also, golf and the Redskins. They like to tape this stuff too. They might occasionally watch dvds or movies on tv, but will never listen to music in the "tv room." The rest of the time, they'll be watching sitcoms, news, whatever else.

    TV:
    I think my dad has a 27" JVC. He wants a "big screen." I read all the "learn about" information on circuitcity.com. I'm thinking a rear-projection is the best way to go considering their relatively low prices now. CC pushes samsungs I noticed, but my dad doesn't like samsung. Historically, he's bought JVC and Sony. Can anyone recommend a quality brand? Then we'll just pick a size and get it.
    They have Cox digital cable. Now, since it's digital, a digital tv would display it better, meaning one of the tv's advertised as HDTV or HDTV monitor?

    Sound:
    Since the main use is television viewing, they don't need big floorstanding speakers. I think he'd rather have bookshelf size speakers over tiny ones. I was thinking about a Home-Theater-In-a-Box because it's cheaper, he gets a progressive scan dvd player included (he has an old one), and the components are matched and setup is easy.

    Other:
    He wants TIVO bad. He tried a phillips dvd recorder for a while, but it sucked - 1 hour recording time at best quality. I checked TIVO and it has 12 hr recording time at best quality on the 40-hr unit.

    If he's getting TIVO and making all these changes, there's an opportunity to get Directv. Browsing the threads, I noticed some mid-atlantic users. Anyone have any comments on Directv vs. Cox digital cable? BTW, mom will totally be against learning new channels unless there's a good reason [​IMG].

    So, sorry for long message, but I was given a tall order and needed a start somewhere. I'm thinking a Sony, JVC, maybe Hitachi or other rear projection HDTV with all the goodies. Then a htib with a progressive scan dvd player and bookshelf size speakers - the old stereo system he has is kenwood stuff with these huge old-school looking bose speakers on pedastals, but I welcome whatever you guys recommend. And finally, a tivo, maybe the multiroom system I read about where you can access one dvr's recorded stuff from another one. Price isn't that much of a factor, but my parents are pretty practical and they would have to be able to justify the price. Thanks, sorry, long noob message.
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Welcome Tom. It will help to have an idea of your father’s budget.

    But I’ll start by stating that if it is in your parent’s budget, they should consider getting an HD ready TV. I watched the U.S. Open in HD and it was great. More and more sports are being shown in HD: Monday night football, usually at least one NFL Sunday game in HD, NBA playoffs in HD, Stanley Cup in HD and on and on.

    Right now they won’t be able to (easily record in HD), but Tivo and others are expected to have a product on the market that will allow HD recording and playback. If you opt for a SD Tivo now, get one with a big hard drive—you can do much better than the few hours you mention.

    The audio portion, again depends on your Dad’s budget. I’m not a fan of HTIB, but they have their place—and one might be just right for your Dad.
     
  3. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    Rear projection may not be the best for you, it depends how far away you are from the screen. If say you are only 8' away, a 32-36" tv should suffice. As for the audio, HTIB is simple and cheap, but we need to know more as Lew said. We need budgets and dimensions.
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Another big thing is how technologically inclined your folks are. Can they work something a bit more complicated? Does their VCR flash 12:00 all the time? [​IMG] If theycan do some computer stuff, or are just technically ok, then getting a reciever and working it shouldn't be too much of a problem. HTiB can be ok for a very low budget, or totally technically terrified (new acronym... TTT [​IMG]) people.

    There are a lot of brands out there, my standard starting point recommendation for REAL speakers is PAradigm. paradigm.ca, find a dealer in your area, their dealers are usually high-end (knowledgeable, NOT the big-box chain type stores peddling cheesy bose stuff), and their speakers are a great bargain. Then you can branch out to as many other brands as you can listen to, and choose what sounds best.

    But, budget, and how electronically competent your parents are, are important. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  5. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Take a look at the Polk Audio DS7200 system, the speakers are amazing for their size, the electronics are made by Harmon Kardon I believe. Here's a link for ya:
    http://www.polkaudio.com/home/produc...=1&speaker=141


    A Mitsubishi 48" HDTV ready RPTV may be just the ticket for your folks, widescreen (16x9) but not so big that it will be the focal point whenever they enter the room, well after they get used to it at least.[​IMG]

    http://www.mitsubishi-tv.com/
     
  6. Tom_-^*M

    Tom_-^*M Auditioning

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    Ok, I'll get dimensions and a more accurate budget after next weekend. Just guessing, I'd say the couch is about 15 ft away. Thanks for the responses so far. And I wouldn't call him a TTT Chris [​IMG]. Thanks for the Polk link Frank. I used to work at Circuit City and know they're very good speakers. But I'll do some more research and after next weekend, I'll probably have it narrowed down to 2 or 3 models of tv and 2 or 3 models of speakers/receiver or htib. Then I'll just post again to see what you guys think. Later.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    If I might suggest a few things:

    - HDTV Rear Projectors are the best bang-for-the-buck right now. You can get referbished Hitachi units for $1200, good 60" Mitsubishi units for $25.

    - Go with a budget HT in a box like a Kenwood unit to start. Put the money into the display.

    - If you go with a Sat service, get DirectTivo (where the data is stored digitally, not converted from analog). Once your Mom discovers how cool these things are - she wont worry about the new technology.
     

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