New to the HT Market

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Sean_P_O'Brien, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Sean_P_O'Brien

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    I have assigned my wife the unenviable task of selecting a home theater system for me as an upcoming birthday and Christmas present. Of course as I do this, I'm pretty much trying to pick the system myself and sorting through 1001 possible choices. Therefore I've turned to this forum for your collective expertise...

    A little background setup before my questions:

    I currently own a beautiful 55" widescreen HDTV ready Mitsubishi 1080 rear projection television. I have an older Toshiba 2-disk DVD player (that does not have current progressive scan features available on the market)

    My budget is anywhere from $500 (to $1000 if I really butter up my wife this holiday season!) [​IMG]

    In choosing a system I'm looking for dynamic sound quality for movies more than general music play, however if I solve the cinematic problems I'm sure I'll be happy with my CD sound as well. While the room is oblong, approximately 12' x 20', the orientation of television is across the shorter axis on one end, thus yeilding an approximate 12' x 12' viewing area (where the 5 or six speakers will be arranged)

    I've gone back in forth with the idea of an all-in-one HTB vs. building as system out of individual components. Looking at the first option my research has yielded three possibilities:

    Yamaha YHT-941 (800 watt 6.1 channel, Dolby Digital, 5-disc progressive scan dvd included, etc. - lots of bells and whistles with a THX certification - no reviews available) - $995

    Yamaha YHT-740 (690 watt 6.1 channel, Dolby Digital, 5-disk progressive scan dvd, etc. - essentially the same bells and whistles without THx certification - excellent reviews) - $799

    Onkyo Dolby Digital EX/DTS (6.1 channel - 600 watts - similar features with excellent consumer reviews/ratings) - $549.99

    Looking at my other option I have a world of available receivers to go with an existing dvd player, and lots of speaker options

    My questions are as follows:

    Any quick assessment on any of the three chosen HTB systems?
    (Of those three, I would be particularly interested in hearing opinions of the YHT-941 since I do not want to overpay for a system and not realize any added benefits, or sound quality).

    Any recommended alternatives within my price range?

    If I go with individual components (lets say an Onkyo, Denon, or HK receiver), what speakers would someone recommend?

    Having perused a few home audio stores (which immediately want to sell you on their most elaborate (yet beautifully sounding systems) I am ultimately looking for an affordable starter system that finally allows me to experience in sound what I only enjoy in picture with my current television and dvd player. While I like the convenience of HTB systems, am I sacrificing too much sound quality?

    Thanks much for your assistance.
     
  2. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    While all the HTiB systems you listed are very good, try going the component route. I was in your same dilemma a few months back and opted to go with components instead. Going the component route will give you much more flexibility for future expansion of your system. There are so many choices out there that ONLY you can decide what sounds and looks good to you. You already have a killer TV so choosing a DVD Player, A/V receiver, speaker and subwoofer should be your main concerns. Your budget sound reasonable, and although you have a low end of $500.00 to spend you should be able to get a really nice system for somewhere between $500.00 and $1000.00. In the end, listen to a few components and just have fun shopping for and buying your HT components.
     
  3. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    Option 1)
    You should be able to get a decent progressive DVD player for around $200 and a nice receiver for $200-300. That leaves about $500 for speakers. I'd say get a nice set of 5 speakers and save up for a subwoofer later. If you try to get a package with subwoofer you are going to end up wishing you hadn't later on. Any HTB subwoofer is not going to put out decent bass.

    Option 2) This may be a stretch...
    Have your wife get you the Rocket ELT system by Onix at av123.com on sale for $899. I have read a number of excellent reviews on these speakers, and you'll get a subwoofer to boot. Then, you should be able to pick up a decent receiver (maybe Kenwood or Onkyo) for $150-180. Use your current DVD player for a while, and get a progressive scan player later on. Assuming your Mitsubishi has a good line doubler, you won't be missing too much from having an interlaced output from your player.
     
  4. Sean_P_O'Brien

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    Thank you Chuck and Tim
     
  5. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    I would say definantly go the component route. For $800 you can definantly do better than a HTIB that includes cheap speakers in a plastic enclosure. A quick little suggestion that will put you at about $800 and will sound better than a HTIB would be this:

    Harman/Kardon AVR-125 reciever (refurbished with full manufacturer warranty) - $200

    Klipsch Quintet 5 piece speaker setup - $350

    www.OneCall.com has some good deals on Infinity subs right now so check it out. I wouldn't recommend getting a subwoofer under $200 and something that can't at least go down to 30Hz.

    Good luck in setting up your Home Theater, I hope this helped you out.
     

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