Newbie needs HTiB help

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Troy S, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Troy S

    Troy S Agent

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    First post and already need some help! Looking for a small HTIB system to get me started until I really figure out what I want to do. Any reviews / thoughts on the Panasonic HT700? Will probably be 70% HT and 30% music. Currently have older 2 channel system with typical big speakers and prefer something small in size.

    I've read through the typical reviews about the mass produced stuff and figure this is the way to go until I get a little more educated. This system seems to always get talked about in a good light. Appreciate any help that you can give.
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    My advice, don't buy a in the box system. Buy a 200-$400 reciever and buy a set of small speakers and sub. Make sure the reciever has 2-4 or more digital inputs, and S-video connections. Look for which remotes seem to do the most. Be patient and look at and listen to several kinds of speakers before you even consider buying any. It'll be harder buying stuff seperate but you'll proably end up with better stuff...? I hope![​IMG]
     
  3. Troy S

    Troy S Agent

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    Thanks for the tips. I tried out the Pana system mentioned above last night...needless to say it is going back today. My 10 year old 2 channel blows it away.

    Any suggestions on brand / setup would be appreciated. $500 is about my limit right now.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Why don't you take your budjet and get a new reciever. Obtain a set of HT speakers later. Speakers are the hardest part of HT simply because it takes so many. I think Energy, Atlantic Technology, Paradigm, and Polk might be some good brands to look at. If you can go look at recievers, I'd look at Pioneer, Sony ES, Yamaha, Onkyo, Harmon Kardon, Denon, and anything else convient to see.

    At a $500 price point of recievers, you don't get the big brute but you can get a little more than the really low priced ones. You can get more digital inputs, maybe component video switching, a few more audio processing modes, I'd look for a remote I liked. It'll be in your hand alot. Check for preprograming to operate other brands or the ability to learn other remote's codes.

    I'd buy stuff in steps before I'd buy a bunch of mediocre stuff just to get it all now. That's what I've always done anyways... Best wishes!
     
  5. STLMIKE

    STLMIKE Stunt Coordinator

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    If you have an Ultimate Electronics in your area, they had Sony 1-ES receivers (100W, 5.1) on clearance for about $350. That model doesn't have all the bells and whistles like their higher level ES receivers, but should be pretty close sonically.

    That could be a regional thing though, I saw these in the St. Louis area. However, all of the "old" ES line is on its way out for the new silver look (which IMHO looks like crap), so you might be able to luck into something.

    Harman Kardon is also converting their AVR line to a new look, you should be able to pick up a deal there too. I'm not too familiar w/other lines as far as recommendations, but the ones listed above would all work fine.

    Given your price constraints, I'd definitely concentrate on a quality full bandwidth 5.1 receiver. I wouldn't emphasize 6.1 or 7.1 right now -- it just makes your speaker investment that much greater. Overall, there are very few movies available in 6.1, and none in 7.1, those are all "faked" processing modes.

    If you don't spend a fortune on this receiver, it leaves room to upgrade later, and the receiver you buy now can always go in a bedroom, office, etc.

    Mike
     
  6. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Gotta agree with Rachael B on this one... being patient and doing it in steps will yield a more satisfying system.

    But if you really need to move now, at least forget the HTIB and shoot for an entry-level setup with decent speakers... here's a receiver + spkr package at your price point by Cambridge SoundWorks: http://makeashorterlink.com/?Z1C422456 ... they make genuinely good speakers for the money.

    Otherwise, to do it right -- especially when you're comparing this to an existing stereo that pleases you -- you need to consider a budget closer to $1500... $500 for a receiver, $1000 for speakers... such as these Rocket ELTs: http://www.av123.com/
     
  7. STLMIKE

    STLMIKE Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to vouch for Cambridge Soundworks in general, although I don't have any experience w/the HTIB mentioned above.

    I've got a CS Model 88 (which is a knockoff Bose Wave Radio) and also a Bose Wave Radio -- the Model 88 is the handsdown winner (and was $100+ cheaper).
     
  8. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    a few years ago I was faced with this myself - being impatient i got a HTiB and was immediately dissatisfied [​IMG]

    On the other hand, it gave me an immediate taste for HT and surround sound and fortunately the HTiB i got wasn't too tightly integrated so i could go out and add a subwoofer first. Then I replaced the center and main speakers and saved up money for a receiver, and later a standalone DVD player. Then finally replaced the rear speakers and sold the HTiB.
     

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