Need recommendation for a "Home Theater in Box"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Debra F, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. Debra F

    Debra F Agent

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    Hi,
    Need recommendation for a "Home Theater in Box" around $400-$600.
    It's a surprise gift for someone .
    I went to BB and CC today and my head is spinning[​IMG]
    Search here did'nt show much ,if anything.
    No DVD player( they have one) just receiver and speaker's .
    I know the quality won't be the best, but i'm looking for the best of the worst ( BIG GRIN )
    Thanks so much : >
    Debra
     
  2. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    Ad running in Toronto; Bay Bloor Radio.

    Joel Matlon, Bay Bloor Radio;
    Announcer: "Joel, is the sound of those "home theatre in a box's" good?
    Joel: "No."
    Announcer: "Why?"
    Joel: (Paraphrasing) "10x more distortion and low quality components."

    Suggestion?
    $200 for the receiver and $300-$400 for a set of good
    quality small speakers and with a subwoofer. Add
    $150 more for a reasonable DVD player.
    Home theatre in a box is simply junk designed to make
    the sellers lots of margin. Home Theatre in a Box may seem
    cute, but they suck. Any decent REAL audio store will
    have alternatives.
     
  3. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    I would say the "BEST" of the HTB's is Kenwood.
     
  4. Debra F

    Debra F Agent

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    Thanks Bill:>

    The kid is 14 years old and i'm quite sure she will be happy. Something for when friends come over to watch a DVD.


    Thanks again for not telling me what i already know regarding HTIAB,but for a kid it will make her day : >

    Debra
     
  5. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Debra:
    Onkyo makes an nice HTIB - the HTS650, but Onkyo receivers have had some quality problems this year so I would stay away.
    Yamaha has several HTIB's to choose from.
    My recommendation would be the Denon DHT-683XP. You get a pretty solid receiver in the AVR683 (same as the AVR-1603). The speakers are a little on the "light" side but you'll only be paying about $200USD for the entire 5.1 set anyway. This is an area where she could upgrade later.
    Here are some links you may find useful:
    - Kenwood HTIB's
    - Onkyo HT-S650
    - Yamaha HTIB's
    - Denon DHT-683XP
    Hope that helps,
    Jeff
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I've set up some Kenwood HTB's The 504 was the most recent. The Kenwood engineers did a good job of spending money where they needed to, and go budget elsewhere.

    Despite this, you get 5 tone-matched speakers, a self powered sub, and a receiver with some decent bells & whistles.

    Circut City and Sears carry them so feel free to comparison shop. My friend got some free stands with his for about $499.
     
  7. Debra F

    Debra F Agent

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    Jeff_Fitz


    Thanks so much for the reply : >

    The Denon DHT-683XP sounds interesting. I will check all the links you provided.

    This will be a nice surprise for her being that she is saving up for a system. She has $95 saved up so far. I'll surprise her Friday night ( if i can get what i decide on by then)and she can use the $95 to buy DVD's.

    Thanks again for the chuck full of information post : >
    Debra
     
  8. Matthew Furtek

    Matthew Furtek Stunt Coordinator

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    Debra,
    Please check out the Home Theater Basics area. I recently did a summary of the Kenwood HTB systems. Comparing the Kenwoods to the Onkyo and Denon models suggested, it looks like the receivers of the Onkyo and Denon have more features. Of course, it may be the case that you don't need all those extra features. I'm sure whatever you go with will make her happy [​IMG]
    Matthew Furtek
     
  9. John Chevalier

    John Chevalier Stunt Coordinator

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    I wish that my mom would have bought me something like that. Geeze, until I got my own job, i was stuck with a 1970's stereo system. You daughter would be happy no matter what you got her.
     
  10. Matthew Furtek

    Matthew Furtek Stunt Coordinator

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    You know, I felt like looking at the other HTBs just to see how they matched up to the Kenwood and each other. These should be found at a price comparable to the Kenwood HTB 505.

    Yamaha YHT-300
    Receiver (HTR-5540)
    DTS, Dolby Pro-Logic II, Dolby Digital 5.1
    (Looks like Yamaha uses a proprietery 6.1 matrix system...)

    AM / FM Tuner with Antenna In

    Audio Inputs are Red White / Video is Composite
    4 Total A/ V Inputs (V-Aux / VCR In / D-TV / DVD )
    1 Total A/V Output (VCR Out)
    1 Composite Video Output (Monitor)

    2 Audio Only Inputs (CD / MDCD-R)
    1 Audio Only Output (Rec)

    2 Digital Inputs (1 Coax (CD), 1 Optical (DVD) ) (Looks adjustable)

    6 Channel Input
    Subwoofer Pre-Out

    Speaker Connections: 5 Binding Posts and Subwoofer Preout.
    Adjustable impedence

    Speakers: All 5 are 3'' woofer 1/2'' tweeter and shielded
    Subwoofer: 55 Watt 6.5'' powered
    Switchable Cutoff (3 position switch), volume control on subwoofer
    Can accept pre-out and direct connection to speakers (don't know what this is called... but the speaker wires runs from receiver through subwoofer)

    ------
    Onkyo HT-S650
    Receiver Info (Onkyo HT-S500)
    I am assuming this is the same receiver as the TX-SR500.

    Dolby Digital 5.1 / Pro-Logic II / DTS Decoding

    AM/FM Antenna

    4 Total A/V Inputs (All are S-Video also) (DVD/Video 1/Video 2/Video 3) *Please note Video 3 is a Front A/V Input
    1 Total A/V Outputs (Video 1 - for VCR)
    1 Video Out (Monitor)
    All Video Inputs and Outputs are both S-Video and Composite

    2 Audio Inputs (Tape In / CD In)
    1 Audio Output (CD Out)

    3 Assignable Digital Inputs (2 Optical / 1 Coaxial)

    6 Channel Input (DVD, doesn't have its own switch)

    Subwoofer Pre-Out

    Speaker Connections: Banana Jacks
    Also has room for a second set of front Speakers (which use binding clips). This is useful if you have a set of just stereo speakers for music.

    Speakers: Center (4'' Woofer 1 '' Tweeter)
    Fronts (5.25'' Woofer 1'' Tweeter)
    Surrounds (4'' Woofer 1'' Tweeter)
    Fronts and Center have "dual woofer". Not sure how this compares to other speaker packages. Fronts and Center are also magnetically shielded.
    Subwoofer - 150 W powered 8'' Subwoofer. I couldn't find more info on the subwoofer.
    ------------
    Denon 683XP

    Receiver Information (Assuming it is a AVR-683 / 1603)
    Dolby Digital 5.1 / Pro-Logic II / DTS

    Receiver features are the same as the Onkyo PLUS

    2 Component Video Inputs (DVD / DBS)
    1 Component Video Output (Monitor)

    1 Extra Optical Input (front input)
    1 Digital Audio Out (Optical 2)

    Speaker Connections: Banana jacks for main set and binding clips for secondary set (comes with 2 sets of front outputs A/B but only 1 set of surround outputs).

    Speaker Information: (Not that much)
    5 matched and shielded speakers, and 1 powered 6'' subwoofer with 55 Watts.
    -----
    Denon also makes a 682XP with their AVR-682/1602 receiver. It doesn't have component video inputs or outputs, and it doesn't have a front optical input. It has 2 digital inputs (1 coax / 1 optical) and 1 digital output (optical). So basically its similar to the SR-500 except replace an optical input with an optical output.
    ----------
    Ok, In summary it looks like the Yamaha lacks S-Video (not sure if you need this or not) but is on par with the rest as far as features go on the receiver. It also looks like Yamaha is selling some sort of matrixed surround mode too (perhaps they didn't want to pay for the DD EX and DTS-Matrix licensing).

    Onkyo (650)and Denon (682) look like they have basically the same receivers, with the Onkyo boasting a more powerful subwoofer.

    The Denon (683) has a few more extras (not sure if the component switching is good enough for HDTV) even.

    I'm sure the prices will shape up something like this between the Kenwood HTB-505, Yamaha HST-300, Onkyo HT-S650, and Denon682 683XP.

    1) Yamaha HST-300 will be least expensive because no S-Video switching. However, Yamaha also has some sort of Matrixed 6.1 mode.
    (This means they add more information into the 2 surround speakers to make it sound like a rear channel)

    2) Kenwood HTB-505 will be up next because Kenwood doesn't offer ability to switch between 4 components or front panel A/V inputs.

    3) Onkyo HT-S650 and Denon 682XP... where Denon has an optical output Onkyo counters with a more powerful sub.

    4) Denon 683XP - Offers component switching and a front optical input. This one may not even be available.

    I hope this helps Debra, and remember, these are just the top of the line as far as your budget goes. My advice would be to buy for your need.
    If you only need it for the speakers and DD decoding, than the HTB-205 would be fine.
    If you have a VCR / DBS / PlayStation 2 / DVD player, you might want to look at something that accepts more inputs.
    And if your DVD player has component out you can still run that directly to the TV and run the sound through the receiver.
    You need to buy based on your needs.

    Matthew Furtek
     
  11. Debra F

    Debra F Agent

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    Ok, I bought her the Yamaha YHT-500. A little more than what i intended to spend , but, hey, she's a good kid.

    By the way, she's not my daughter :>

    She was pretty excited to say the least.

    Thanks to each and everyone of you who responded. Have a wonderful weekend : >

    Debra
     

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