Say, what would the perfect (most expensive)1980's HT be?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NathanP, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. NathanP

    NathanP Supporting Actor

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    The reason I'm asking is that I plan to write a little essay on the history of Home Theater..

    Would be be the most hi-tech, expensive, HT from the 80's?

    I'm talking "Pre-DPL" timeline.

    Nathan
     
  2. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    I don't have very many specifics, but this is what I remember of the pre-Dolby ProLogic days.

    The ultimate in 'home theater' would be to own a 35mm projector and film prints. Only a few well-heeled film collectors actually did this.

    Next would have been the best video display system one could buy, in conjunction with a good stereo system and a laserdisc player. Laserdisc offered CD-quality, stereo PCM digital audio (usually decoded in the player and connected via analog stereo audio cable).

    For the video: There were many good rear-projection TVs on the market, but they were smaller than they are today. Sizes topped out around a 60" 4:3 set.

    I also remember reading about some people who bought "component video," with a separate TV tuner and high-performance video monitor. None of this was line-doubled, though - still interlaced NTSC. This never really caught on outside the ultra-high-end lunatic fringe, and never made it to the mainstream.

    For videotape, Beta offered better picture quality than VHS. For a while, prerecorded movies were largely available on both formats, but then VHS won the format war, and releases gravitated to VHS. Beta lived on for 'videophile' applications and camcorders, and evolved to stay a step ahead of VHS in terms of video quality.

    Small-dish satellite systems had yet to hit the market. The best TV reception came from 6' satellite dishes, now known as the Big Ugly Dish. People who didn't want the Big Ugly Dish chose between cable and antenna reception. Everyone griped about the poor quality of cable TV then as well.
     
  3. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

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  4. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    I had an Advent 750 with a curved 60" screen, a 3/4" Sony Video Broadcast Tape machine, Stacked Mirror Imaged Double Dahlquist Dq-10 speakers with Stereo Subwoofers, Magnepan MG-1s for the rear surrounds, with two bridged CITATION 16 amps (575 watts a channel)for the Dollies, and another stereo CITATION 16 for the subs and a CITATION 19 for the Maggies. I also had an "AudioPulse" digital time delay to feed the surrounds and you had to adjust the "echo/reverb" to suit your taste.

    I have to say that even today this old system gives me great memories. Even though DPL and DTS/DD were not even in ones imagination (well there was QUADRIPHONIC and SQ) this system could put you into the Sports Arenas of that day with substantial reality and immersion even from an early cable HBO broadcast.

    And the 750 Advent when warmed up and well converged, rivaled the 27" Trinitrons of that era as far as clarity and picture quality.

    But at that time it wasn't called Home theater. It was your Big Screen TV and Audiophile stereo system. Man I had all the toys, Nakamichi 1000 cassette Tape, TEAC 3340 Reel to Reel FOUR CHANNEL Tape deck, Rabco ST-7 Straight line tracking turntable (yes for real vinyl records)

    Those were the Halcyon days.

    John Casler
     
  5. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I got my Laserdisc player in 1987 and hooked it into my stereo. I got a bigger 27" TV few months later. By 1990 I had a Pioneer AV5000 reciever with Dolby Surround and four tower speakers. At the time it was a very cool system. In the mid 80's there were some very expensive stand-alone Dolby Surround processors for folks willing to wire together a system. I know that in the very late 80's a few very, very expensive components had Dolby Pro-Logic. I don't think there were any actual center speakers though when the first Pro-Logic stuff appeared. Least ways, I wasn't aware of them.
    Pioneer seemed to be a leader in making relatively affordable surround sound components. They pushed the LD format when Phillips more or less gave up on it. Every year I was looking at their new stuff and salivating! Also in the late 80's, Velodyne might have been the only major manufacturer of subwoofers. I wasn't aware of any other brand for a long time.
    People thougt I was rather eccentric for having , as one person put it, a "fancy TV set-up" way back then. My sister thought I should be commited to a mental institution. She has always sniped at me over my HT habit.
    I would consider Pioneer, Fox, and Criterion as the real leaders in HT. Pioneer for the equipment and the other two for putting out the first OAR discs. Criterion was first I think on the discs, maybe '87...? I'm sure those "silver label" Fox widescreen editions showed up in '88. I well remember because I paid $60 for PLANET OF THE APES! In the 90's everybody else gradually got in the HT act. That's about all I remember, somebody else will, hopefully, remember the parts I forgot. Good luck with the essay!
     
  6. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    In 1984 I had a 10-foot diagonal Kloss Novabeam front projector matched with a four-speaker surround sound system courtesy of the Tate-Fosgate decoder. The main video sources were a nine-foot satellite analog dish/receiver that tracked all the communications satellites in the sky over the US; as well as a Pioneer Laserdisc player.

    This is just to remind everyone that back then not all video display devices were direct-view monitors, not all video sources were tape, and surround sound was alive and healthy BEFORE Dolby Surround and Dolby ProLogic.

    Bob L.

    P.S. to John C. -- Cool, a Rabco turntable. I remember those VERY well. I still have my straight-line tracking B&O turntable.
     
  7. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Oh, the LD player in you ultimate 80's set-up would of been the LD-S1 or that dual drawer player (played up to four sides automatically), the model # of which I forget. I forget when the Pioneer LD-S2 appeared maybe in the late 80's? The projector would be an Advent or maybe a commercial one adapted for home use?
     
  8. Bill Turetsky

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    What scares me in the subject heading is the equation of quality with price.

    Supposedly, competition 'filters' should make that a truism but unfortunately there is too much crap out there where the high price tag is put on as part of the cynical marketing process.

    And, of course, we also have the phenomenon where 'high fidelity' is forgotten and instead we are told to buy things that 'sound good (not accurate)' or have Super Krypton stripes, etc. - and a price level to match.

    So I think that 'price' should stay out of the criteria for judging quality - but only result from quality being present.
     
  9. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    In the late 80's I had a Pioneer pro logic decoder and Pioneer 46" monitor capable of 750 lines of horizontal resolution, and it came with doors for $100.00 more. That set cost $2800.00. Today something similar would be around a grand. At the time, I didn't think it could get any better than that.

    Russ
     
  10. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

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    In 1980 in Altamonte Springs, Florida, I used to go to a store called Video Concepts in the local mall. There was a HT room in the back, they had the beige Pioneer Laserdisc player with a nice audiophile sound setup (not sure which) and my friends and I used to go back and watch Sgt Peppers and other movies on LD. I forget what other movies they had, but it was a great system. To date it further, they had intellivision and RCA selectavision too... I was 14 I think when that store was doing well. Pioneer worked long and hard to make LD popular...
    That mall had some rad stereo stores too... a nice one with nakamichi and b&o, lots of fish tanks, really groovy store. Damn the 70's were fresh! I had fun as a mall rat [​IMG]
     
  11. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    I remember Video Concepts!! I remember that they sold their own brand of stuff that was supposedly made by Yamaha. I thought Yamaha stuff was the absolute coolest in the 80's

    Hey, maybe I still do! I've got one of their receivers and a cd player, hmmmm...
     
  12. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    John

    I remember hearing (when I was about 13) some of those DQ-10's at a local audio store that was wayyyy before it's time. The system consisted of a GAS (Grandson?) 80/ch Pwr amp, GAS pre-amp, Denon DD Turntable (pure manual I think) and a Denon moving coil cartridge. The source material was Earl Klugh's self titled Blue Note LP release.

    I jaw dropped at the utterly unreal, open sound. Never forgot it.

    I adored those Dalquist DQ-10's.
     
  13. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    Yep; I too remember Video Concepts. Went in a store of their's in a Dallas mall back in '82.

    Does anyone remember Videoland in Dallas?
     
  14. WillF

    WillF Auditioning

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    Funny you should mention this...

    In the early 80's I had, at the time, what I considered a modest HT setup using a Sony Profeel system connected to a Bose audio system. I still have the old receipts...god knows why...(these canadian prices were from around 1978-1982..you calculate the inflation...)

    Sony Profeel KX2501 (25") monitor with the seperate VTX1000 tuner (called component TV at the time)....$2000

    Bose Spatial Receiver (4 x 50 watts)...$1500

    Bose Spatial Expander (was nothing more than a "delay" device for the rear speakers)...$800

    Front speakers - Bose 901s...$1800

    Rear speakers - Bose 301s...$400

    Sony 2700 Beta Hi-Fi vcr ...$1500

    Technics SL1600MK2 turntable with Shure V15 V cartridge...$1000

    Technics 255 Tape Deck with DBX...$500

    ...for a total of $9500 (cdn)

    Why is it funny? (why do I remember the model numbers?). It is still my setup today...almost 20 years later (with the addition of CD and VHS in the last 10 years). Guess who's in the market for an upgrade.....
     
  15. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Welcome to the forum Will! Your right, it is time for an upgrade. The nice thing is that Bose have a great resale value.

    In the late 80s I was a young teen and never really saw much for audiophile sytems. However, at 14 and working half the summer I bought a big-ass Sony ghetto blaster. I still remember the model: CFS-W500. Oh wow what a flashback. It had a digital clock/radio, I think 8.5 watts to each speaker, 5 band eq, dual tape deck...it was cool. I took it to Junior High School and hung out in the hallways trying to score with the ladies playing my LL Cool J or BDP.

    hahaha them innocent days...but now that I think about it, thats the only time I was perfectly happy with my stereo. Even though I have spent thousands since I don't think I will ever be happy with my set-up like I was with that radio.

    Sometimes, ignorance IS bliss.
     
  16. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I haven't read all the posts here, but I do remember either Stereophile or Audiophile listing one tube amp which cost over $70,000 and was rated, if I recall correctly, at 7.5 watts per channel.
     
  17. Kris McLaughlin

    Kris McLaughlin Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's a website you may want to check out. It's an overview of early HT from ch. 4 of a book called Split Screen published by the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. I read this book as research for an HT-related paper I wrote last year, it was very interesting.
    good luck,
    (BTW, there are other chapters ther, but I couldn't find an index page. Just change the "4" in the URL to whichever chapter you'd like to see.)
     
  18. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    I don't know if this helps or not, but in the 1980's I used a 20" TV with a Marantz tube amp receiver with Quadraphonic sound.
     
  19. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Holy Crap! I remember that very Video Concepts in the Altamonte Mall! My brother had Guitar lessons in that mall and I used to walk around it weekly with my mother. They used to sell videotapes (one of the few that did) and I used to salivate weekly over Star Wars, and later Empire Stirkes Back! My mom would never buy them for me as they were piced steeply at $79.95! But, I did get Star Trek 2 from that store when it became the very first sell-through movie for $39.95! (I still have that tape)

    Ahhhh, memories...
     
  20. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I still have my old laser disc player, I can get you the model go home.Its a open top Pioneer made around 85.

    I dont remeber what kind of projection TV we had-but that thing was ANCIENT.
     

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