Suggestions for a HT System for a total Noob?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by DarrenChan, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. DarrenChan

    DarrenChan Auditioning

    Jun 26, 2003
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    I'm looking to build a HT system for my parents in one of the rooms (12' x 20') in the basement of our house. The system will be there for about 2-3 years at which point we'll be moving and most likely upgrading the system. Though I don't really have budget to work with, I'd prefer to keep costs low for this first time system before I start learning more and eventually upgrade to a better system. I'm more of a bargain/value kind of person so I would feel a lot more at peace with that sort of system than an all out high end one.

    To my understanding, I need the following components:
    DVD Player: I've always dealt with the cheapo Apex players that can play SVCDs or the low end Pioneer/Sony DVD players.
    Receiver: Onkyo HTS760? It's around $450 - $500 at various places, anything else to recommend?
    Speakers/Subwoofer: See above.
    Projector: Infocus X1, Sanyo PLV-Z1, Panasonic PT-L200U, any others to recommend? (Ordered an Infocus X1, but may cancel it).
    Projection Screen:

    Line Conditioner/Surge Protector:
    Cables: (I understand that most cables that come with the sytem are terrible? I've heard of people going to Home Depot for their cable needs?)

    This is where it gets tricky, I'd like to use the HT system to play DIVX videos and play games. But mostly for videos. Now would I go out and buy one of the media PC's like the one offered by Gateway? Or should I build one? I've built all my past computers before but I'm not sure if I should be looking into some special components. I should really worry about the sound card in this system, a good video card with DVI out for the projector and what else? I'm not even sure how this would fit in with the overall system... would it just be one component or an entire command center?

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to help me out. Now to continue reading the forums and looking out for deals =T.
  2. Agustin

    Agustin Agent

    Jul 3, 2003
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    Well the dvd player maybe will be good if you buy a mid-end, but anyway, be sure the dvd player has component outputs and optical and coaxial output for DD5.1 or DTS

    For the pc build yourself, and put in the graphic card most expensive you can pay, at least 64mb ram for video
  3. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 1, 2003
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    I feel the first question to ask one in the market for HT is if you plan on upgrading any component. If you plan on keeping the DVD player, follow the above posting and make sure you get digital audio out. Also get progressive scan. As far as the Onkyo, they are strong receivers. I have read reviews that Infocus projectors are better for presentations, than HT. A Sharp DLP projector is amazing on a Stewart gray hawk screen. I would go to the video portion of this forum for projector help. I believe they have a PCHT section as well. You could be fine with a Monster power center for surge protection and noise filtering. have great cables and pricing. As far as furniture, if you move the system you may want to hide your electronics. I would just get something sensible for now.
  4. JerryCulp

    JerryCulp Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 28, 2003
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    I have the Onkyo 760.

    It's a great system for the money. I think Onkyo sells what is basically the 760 with a dvd player, I'm not sure that would save you any money over buying the 760 and dvd of similar quality.

    About the included cables;
    They are all color coded as to be idiot proof, one color for one speaker. The terminals on the receiver and speakers are color matched to just one cable.
    They are thin wires, and not especially long. It's likely that you will need longer cables. You'll probably feel more comfortable buying 14 or 16 guage speaker wire to wire it up.
    The subwoofer is also thin, but with enough length so that you wont have to buy a longer one. I tried replacing the sub cable with a monster brand cable of much larger diameter wire and there was exactly no change in the sound.
    If you don't need a longer sub cable, don't buy an upscale cable for other than looks.

    Home Depot has decent speaker wire and RCA brand interconnect cables at fair prices. Last time I was there they even had an optical interconnect cable.

    You should also think about speaker stands, or wall mounting. I got the set and then I realized I needed speaker stands. Wall mounting the surrounds is easy as they have brackets on them. The fronts and center are going to need stands or shelves, etc.
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Aug 19, 2002
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    You could also eliminate the DVD player by using the computer. If you have a more powerful one and are computer savvy, you could also set it up as a video processor and up the resolution for an HDTV/ hdef-capable projector.

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