need help, I have 2.5k to make my 1st home theater

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Mike Lavoie, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. Mike Lavoie

    Mike Lavoie Auditioning

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    Hello,
    I'm about to buy my first home theater but I'm really lost on what I need to buy! I'm looking at the Sony 34xbr960 for $1900 but that leaves me squat for buying accesories.

    I live in a second floor apartment so sound clarity is much more important than volume to me.

    If anyone has any suggestions for putting together a decent system at low cost I'd really appretiate the advice!
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Mike, I don't mean to be rude, but how can you think of spending so much money on such a small set?
    Have you considered a front projector? Or even a RPTV?
    You can get a much bigger screen for less money.
     
  3. Mike Lavoie

    Mike Lavoie Auditioning

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    Jim- Well, I am really sensitive to artifacts from dlp and lcd screens. Don't know why but they really ruin the screen for me. I've never liked CRT RPTVs because of the small viewing angle.

    I've also read that direct view CRTs still offer the best picture quality.

    I know it's bulky and ugly but it might fetch a good price from ebay when CRTs become collectors items! [​IMG]

    Honestly, the XBR just seems to be the best TV I can find at my price range.
     
  4. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    yeah, bigger MUST mean its better!

    some people still care about video quality, not just the size.

    i have a 34" sony tv, and i can barely stand watching most of those huge RPTV's, they just look terrible IMO. i sit close so size doesnt matter too much.
     
  5. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    Mike,

    Is this a dedicated HT room?
    Is this your everyday viewing room?
    What do you plan on watching?
     
  6. Mike Lavoie

    Mike Lavoie Auditioning

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    Tony- this my living /family room. The tv will be used everyday. Use will be 50% DVD, 30% standard tv and 20% HDtv.
     
  7. Ricky c

    Ricky c Stunt Coordinator

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    FWIW i have a panasonic ct36hx40 hd set,i have a bro w/ a 43" lcd set another one w a 55' rp hd set and my panny blows them away in PQ analog and hd.It's so obvious that my 3rd bro is getting ready to purchase an hd set himself and is either getting the sony 34" or the panny 34' ws crt set.
     
  8. Greg_Hammond

    Greg_Hammond Agent

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    The XBR is a fine television, I'm sure you'll be pleased with it. The video quality is going to be second to none, and you'll be able to sit a little closer to the set to compensate for the reduced screen size.

    Unfortunately, the $600 left over is going to be a pretty tight budget for audio. If you decide to go with seperate components, a receiver and DVD player could easily eat up that $600 -- and that leaves nothing for speakers and a subwoofer. You can get a HTIB (home theatre in-a-box) for $600, but I believe you will be aching for either louder or higher quality sound in the near future.

    If you could scratch up another $500 for audio, or go with a less expensive television, I think you can get a good compromise with your budget.

    Greg
     
  9. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    What about stepping down to a less-expensive Toshiba or Sony 34" CRT? I have seen some of them as low as $1000 for something really nice. The Toshiba 34HF84 is a nice set and can probably be had for about $1000-1200.
     
  10. Mike Lavoie

    Mike Lavoie Auditioning

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    Ken- I was considering stepping down to the Toshiba or Panasonic models but I keep thinking I'll regret not having the super fine pitch tube and the tuner.

    Do you know if there is a noticeable picture quality drop when viewing HD or 480p dvd on these sets.

    If I do go with the lower priced set what else would you recommend?


    P.S. has anyone tried a new Media Center PC, how did it perform?
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    You will be hard-pressed to spend $1900 on the TV and get everything else for $600. And does that include sales tax? If not, your real budget is closer to $2300. I came close, like so:

    Sony Wega: $1800
    Onkyo Receiver: $300 (mine was $600 on sale, plus $300 tax refund)
    KLH Speakers (6 bookshelf + 1 subwoofer): $200, Xmas sale
    Radio shack universal remote: $40
    DVD Player: free (Xmas present)
    CD Player: Use roommates, or DVD player
    VCR: old one had for years.
    Speaker wire, surge protector, TV stand: $300

    Total cost: ~ $2700 + tax

    If you get the TV stand for free, then you're ok.

    If your budget is firm, you can save at least $300 by getting a 45" - 51" CRT RPTV for $1600 or less. The vewing angles are quite large these days. Also, my 4:3 Sony CRT has significant geometric distortion, so choose your weaknesses.

    I see quality 5.1 receivers for $300 at Circuit City, so that's not a killer. You could also save cost by getting a HTiB for around $500. Your speaker quality will suffer, but maybe you can get the TV you want and stay in budget.

    Happy shopping and let us know your final selection.
     
  12. Mike Lavoie

    Mike Lavoie Auditioning

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    Update!

    My budget was smashed after I went shopping for a new bedroom set for my wife......It wasn't a pretty site and I left the store a broken man.

    I thought my HT dreams were destroyed but decided to stop in at Bernie's and see if I could get lucky. What do ya know! A ONE DAY SALE! The XBR was still hopelessly out of reach but wouldn't you know it, they had the Toshiba 46h84 marked down to $998.00

    It's being delivered tomorrow.

    I should be able to squeeze 400.00 for the audio/dvd so now I need a HTiB to hold me over for a year or two.

    Hopefully I'll be happy with the Toshiba. I've heard more good than bad about this model so wish me luck.
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Outstanding! I'm jealous: a 46: HDT for for less than a thousand bucks. That's great! Once you find an affordable HTiB, you'll be in fat city [​IMG]
     

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