NEWBIE needs help: giving DTS a try...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Frank L, Aug 21, 2001.

  1. Frank L

    Frank L Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi folks...
    Bare with me while I explain myself, I need your input here. Let me start this by saying that I've got the Software side of DVD covered completely, but when it comes to the Hardware side I'm pretty much a virgin, so please be gentle.
    The thing is that I want to enhance my current HT by improving my sound system. I'll give you a description of what my current HT is like:
    1. Panasonic 32" Widescreen TV 100 Hz Digital Scan (NTSC/PAL)
    2. Pioneer DVK101 Multi-region DVD-player (NTSC/PAL)
    3. Cambridge SoundWorks' DeskTop Theater 5.1 DTT2500 DIGITAL (don't laugh)
    I started with the DVD-player, which is a 2nd generation player, on an old 14" TV I had, I quickly replaced the TV with the new widescreen one because it was ridiculous, and now I love the image.
    Now, as you can see the sound side of things is pretty lame. I realize that the CSW's DTT2500 system is targeted mainly to computers and gaming, but at the time it was the cheapest option, and quite frankly, to my (decidedly) untrained ear it sounds pretty good.
    The thing is that now I want to see what the whole DTS hoopla is about. So here's what I thought...
    1. Replace the CSW's DTT2500 with a DD5.1/DTS receiver and get a new set of speakers.
    or
    2. Replace the DVD-player with a next-gen, DD5.1/DTS-capable DVD-player.
    So here are the questions that I have:
    1. Which option is better, sound and quality-wise? Get a dedicated receiver, with speakers, or get a new DVD-player that is capable of DD5.1/DTS.
    2. For that matter, are there ANY DVD-players which include a DD5.1/DTS receiver so that you just hook the speakers? Or do I have it all wrong? Or, in order to listen to DTS I need BOTH a DTS-capable DVD-player and a DTS-capable receiver?
    3. Can I still use the old speakers from the CSW's DTT2500 setup on whatever new choice I go for, thus saving some money? Or will I blow them up if the watt-output is too much for them?
    4. How difficult is it to hook and set up a receiver to the DVD-Player?
    5. If I get a receiver, do I need to get an amplifier?
    6. And last, but certainly not least, who killed Laura Palmer? [​IMG]
    Well as you can see I know very little and have a lot of questions that need to be clarified. I hope you guys can get some time and give me a hand, like I said my current HT looks great but the sound is just ok, I want to give DTS a spin, just not sure how to go about it.
    I hope I can get the facts straight, and then I'll worry about the budget later. Thanks!
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    F
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    1. Receiver with speakers is a better choice, IMHO. Use the current 5.1 system for your computer. [​IMG]
    2. A DVD player with a DD and DTS decoder (like, for example, a Pioneer 626) will have six analog outputs, one for each channel (5.1). You still need some way to hook those six channels up to your 5.1 speakers - usually that is done via a receiver (such as an older pro logic only receiver with 6 analog inputs for just such a purpose). I doubt if it would be easy to connect that to your current system... but not sure.
    3. You will probably have to purchase new speakers - or at least, a new subwoofer and then use the five small cubes from the current system. You'll get a better sound with more serious speakers though, like Paradigm Atoms or something. Fairly affordable, good sound, small and require a subwoofer for HT use.
    4. Depends entirely on the equipment, but usually you connect one end of a digital cable to the DVD player and the other end to the receiver. Ie, very simple.
    5. Not really. A 5.1 receiver should give you better sound than your current system with the built-in amplification.
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    /Kimmo
     
  3. Frank L

    Frank L Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the quick reply Kimmo.
     
  4. KevinW

    KevinW Stunt Coordinator

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    Frank, I have no idea what your budget for the new system would be, but you might want to look into a HTB system(home theater in a box). These systems are great for beginners who don't have much to build upon or are on a limited budget. These systems consist of a decent entry-level receiver with a 5.1 speaker system(5 small sats and a sub). Most can be found ranging in price from $300 to $500. And almost all of the recievers have DD and dts, pumping out around 100 watts per channel.
    Just another option worth looking into.
    If you want to step it up a notch, most mid-level receivers can be found for $400 to $700 (Onkyo, Denon, Yamaha, etc.). These components generally have a better build and sound quality, with more bells and whistles. Some of the new ones have DD-ex/dts-es(which adds a center speaker to the rear) and Dolby Pro Logig II(which converts any stereo signal to a 5.1 surround. This would come in handy for older videos only offering stereo or DPL surround. Also, your current CD collection can be played in surround sound.
    If you interested in a sat/sub system similar to what you using now, I highly recommend the Definitive Technology Pro Cimema 100 system. Superb music and movie sound. The Energy Take 5 systems come highly recommended too.
    If you have any other questions, you've found the best place for answers. I've been a member for less than a year, and have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about home theater.
    Good luck!
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Frank, there's a possible point of confusion here.
    When you say "a DTS-capable DVD-player", it could mean one of two things:
    1. A player capable of recognizing a DTS signal and passing it to a DTS decoder; or
    2. A player capable of recognizing a DTS signal and decoding it as well.
    You must have at least the former or you won't get DTS no matter what receiver you choose. Almost all players manufactured within the last few years fit category 1, but not that many have built-in DTS decoding (category 2).
    I'm not familiar with your player, but if it doesn't have a DTS logo anywhere, the chances are that it can't recognize the DTS signal.
    M.
     
  6. Scott Gaffney

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    It appears all your other questions were answered by by others, which only leaves one for me:
    Laura Palmer was killed by her father, Leland, otherwise known as "Bob".
    sdg
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  7. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Frank, in case you're not aware of it, there is also a nice forum over in Sweden where you can talk about locally available stuff. The market in Europe and the US is different, in some cases very different.
    Check out http://www.dvdforum.nu
    Finding a HTB in Europe that I would consider worth investing in isn't that easy. Generally, in fact, I wouldn't consider one of those except for a person who really wants plug and play and doesn't care at all about upgradability etc.
    Doesn't have to get very expensive to put together a nice beginner system from parts and then have a nice upgrade path if and when you ever feel you need something even better.
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    /Kimmo
     
  8. Frank L

    Frank L Stunt Coordinator

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    Aaaah ok... I think I got it now.
    Michael pretty much clarified things for me. My current DVD-player can only do DD 5.1, so I defenitely need to get a new one, which can at least pass on the signal to the receiver.
    I think I like the idea of getting a separate receiver, and I'll defenitely look into getting one of those HTB systems that Kevin mentioned, I've seen a couple of them and they look pretty good and are not too expensive.
    Thank you all for your input, I've got a MUCH clearer picture of things now...
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    F
    [​IMG]
     

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