New HT setup is complete!

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by don burns, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. don burns

    don burns Auditioning

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    Last week, the new entertainment center arrived with the 56" Samsung DLP. This was after considerable angst and aggravation, hunting for the proverbial needle in a haystack:

    We had a 34" Panny 16x9 HD set (CT-34WX50; now in the master bedroom) for the last two years. Direct view, heavy as all get out, but gorgeous picture. The TV had to fit in our (then) entertainment center, which only had a 34" wide opening. This was the biggest set I could get at the time, and it only fit after we removed the sliding doors and mounted them with standard hinges on the outside of the entertainment center. "Hyacinth" (see Keeping Up Appearances - and my significant other - also the arbiter of the infamous "WAF") couldn't stand seeing the set (or any equipment, wires or speakers) so nothing could be exposed, and there was not enough room in the budget to buy a new entertainment center at that time. I loved that set but always wanted a larger picture (don't we all!).

    That was two years ago. Fast forward to today. Mind you, we have the world's worst room for home theater. A wall of glass on the back of the house, big windows down the side, tons of ambient light, and hard marble flooring with no carpeting. This is really a living room and not a dedicated home theater.

    After months of haranguing Hyacinth with the dazzling new DLP sets that have come out, I finally prevailed for the upgrade (both TV and entertainment center). I decided this was going to be the last time I buy a TV for a long time, so we settled on the 56" Sammy DLP set (gen. II). We shopped LCD and plasma. In fact, there was a Sony Grand Wega LCD right next to a Sammy DLP, and we both thought the DLP was slightly better. The Sony had a noticeable screen-door effect, and neither of us are susceptible to the rainbow effect talked about with DLP. I also looked at once LCoS set at Showcase but was not impressed. Although we both liked the latest generation of rear projection sets (Mitsubishi Diamond and Pioneer Elite), we decided the Sammy DLP was easier to work with and probably had a brighter picture, which was important to us.

    Thus charged, we set out to find an entertainment center that:

    1. Was tall enough to look good in a house with 12' ceilings;

    2. Was made out of a nice cherry or dark wood finish, not cheap oak or something pedestrian;

    3. Was no more than 8 feet wide;

    4. Had an opening at least 50 inches wide;

    5. Was the right style;

    6. A bridge unit would not work (Hyacinth can't stand them);

    7. Had to have a back and doors on the front.

    8. Was not outrageously expensive ($3k max). This also ruled out a custom build, as we got quotes and they were in the 8-10k range - not gonna happen.

    As you can imagine, after schlepping all over town and doing a lot of research, we came to the conclusion there really is no such entertainment center. Every entertainment center we saw was like the bear's porridge: Some were too hot, others were too cold, and none were just right. We probably went to ten different furniture stores.

    Finally, after starting to lose hope (and we were grumpy and starting to snipe at one another), we stumbled across a unit at Design Source that fit the bill perfectly, except it has no doors (Hyacinth finally relented in ONE area). However, the TV will look built in as the base is adjustable and we can snug it in nicely. Good looking entertainment center, too.

    Once found and purchased (we had to wait over a month for it to get built and shipped), I now set out to find a good deal on the Sammy DLP. Online prices were no bargain, so I quickly ruled that out and started looking at local retailers. None in the Phoenix area were really dickering on the middle generation of Sammy DLP sets. Some wanted nearly $4,000 for what is essentially last year's model (Gen. III sets are shipping this summer for a fall release) which I was not titillated by.

    I persisted without any luck. The nice thing about the wait for the new entertainment center was it gave my plenty of time to shop. One day, I was reading the paper when I stumbled across a "warehouse sale" advertised by the local Ultimate Electronics chain. I told Hyacinth we would go check it out and clipped the ad. Both of us fully expected this would be a bunch of low end crap and nothing would appeal to us. Boy, were we wrong! We walked in and there was an entire wall of Sammy DLPs in every size. Another wall had plasmas, and still more walls had nice rear-projection sets (like Pioneer Elites, Mitsu. Diamonds, etc.) and LCDs. We quickly found a new 56" DLP for $2,900, much less than elsewhere and even lower than their regular store/sale price. Finally, my work was done, except for a new sub (the old Klipsch sub would not fit) and a new HD tuner for the new set, as the old set and tuner was going down the hall into the master.

    So, without ado, here are the specs:

    Home Theatre System specifics (2 HDTVs in house):

    PRIMARY SYSTEM: TV: 56" Samsung DLP HDTV, 16x9 format, model HLN567W.

    RECEIVER: Denon AVR-2802.

    HDTV TUNER: Hughes Direct TV HDTV tuner.

    DVD PLAYER: Samsung DVI progressive scan DVD player.

    SPEAKERS:

    Fronts: 2, Klipsch reference series RB5 II speakers, 150 watts each.

    Center:1, Polk CSi30 black center channel speaker, 180 watts.

    Rears: 2, Polk RC55i in-ceiling speakers, 100 watts each.

    Subwoofer: 1, Klipsch KSW-10 black subwoofer, 225 watt power capacity.

    SECONDARY SYSTEM: TV: 34" Panasonic direct-view HDTV, 16x9 widescreen format, model CT34WX50.

    RECEIVER: None. TV is in master bedroom.

    HDTV TUNER: Panasonic TU-HDS20 HDTV Direct TV tuner.

    DVD PLAYER: Sony progressive scan DVD player.

    SPEAKERS: None.

    It needs a little fine-tuning and calibration but otherwise it's fairly impressive out of the box. That's a DVD signal connected with component video to the set. I'm using the sole DVI jack for the HD tuner, but I may change that around.

    It's pretty big at 56" and actually looks perfect from the sofa, about 10' away. Hyacinth's chair, where 3 of these were shot from, is almost a little too close, at 6' away.

    I watched Matrix Revolutions, The Missing and LOTR: ROK last weekend. All three jammed. HD pictures are excellent as well, but this set really shows how regular TV sucks. [​IMG]

    I'd show pictures but this forum won't let me. Apparently I can't even post a link to my website, as my photos are up for all to see.



    --don

    Added by Mod at Don's request:
    Pic 1
    Pic 2
    Pic 3
    Pic 4
     
  2. don burns

    don burns Auditioning

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    Pics are added. [​IMG]

    Thanks to the Mod!

    --don
     
  3. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Don:

    You can always upload pictures to our HT Gallery too.

    Great looking setup for sure. [​IMG]

    Parker
     
  4. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Don

    Beautiful millwork - very, very classy. I love built-ins like that. I've changed the image tags to URLs as those pictures were each double the embedded size limit of 40K (in consideration of our high-speed challenged members [​IMG] ).

    Nicely done. [​IMG]
     
  5. kyle ^_^

    kyle ^_^ Agent

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    Wow that TV is amazing
     
  6. Lev-S

    Lev-S Second Unit

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    DLPs are VERY nice too look at. Don, it looks very classy. Bet you get plenty of friends who come over and ask if it's "one of them plasma TVs"! [​IMG]
     
  7. Jeffrey Beal

    Jeffrey Beal Agent

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    If I may ask what company ( design source is the name?)provided the entertainment center I have a hard time thinking something that nice wasnt over the 3,000 mark. Thanks I appreciate it.


    - Jeff
     
  8. don burns

    don burns Auditioning

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    Design Source is the name of the furniture store that carried this entertainment center. It was shipped from the manufacturer and took about 5-6 weeks to receive. The manufacturer is Aspen.
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    I agree, the HDTV is great.. But That entertainment center is one of the best looking units I have ever seen!!!!!
    Great score!!!!!!

    The way that huge DLP fits in there, I also think many will be commenting how nice your new plasma is!!!! lol


    I am relocating next year to an already purchased house and property. Actually it is an Observatory in the middle of no where NM. A dedicated HT room was not in the intitial plans, but that has changed so I am more than excited about getting started on my HT room.


    PS: Awesome price on that DLP there too by the way!
     

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