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Suggestions for a newbie system (1 Viewer)

Chi-Hin Chan

May 16, 2002
Hi everyone I am new to this forum :) I will soon be a college student and have just moved to a new apartment. My friend and I decided to shell out some bucks on a decent system, so I need some input from you guys. Thanks in advance!
Basically we are completely new to the HT world, we are only students so budget is limited, we expect $800 for everything in total. So I figured that it would be cheaper to get those subwoofer/satellite package, coupled with a mid-range receiver will work perfectly well.
So here is my situation, we would like to have all of our components to be able to connect to the receiver:
1) We currently have a Toshiba 20" flat screen TV (has component input, 480i), 2 laptops that have RCA outputs, a mini HiFi that has MD recording ability and an optical in;
2) We will do 40% gaming, 40% music and 20% DVD. We have a Gamecube and will later get an XBox, so we need both Dolby Pro Logic II and Dolby Digital/DTS decoding ability in the receiver. Also a note is if possible, we would like to have both of the consoles to hook up with component input;
3) In the future we will upgrade to a bigger TV (HD perhaps) and absolutely a decent DVD player, so count that too.
To sum up the receiver in/out requirment:
- 4-5 sets of audio/video inputs, ideally 2+ component inputs but it's not necessary;
- component output if there is any input (awwell)
- optical out for MD HiFi, optical in for XBox
- for furture expandability, an extra coaxial input and/or 5.1 multi-channel inputs, also an extra set of RCA
About the speakers:
Sound quality is an issue but budget has to be considered first... we had an eye on one of the SONY satellite package, it's so compact and looks elegent; but both of us weren't satisified at all after testing its sound quality. We have absolutely no idea of what brand of speakers has the best highs or lows (or do we even care), or is it worth the most buck so that's why I am posting here...
1) We will not mount the speakers on walls, because I will be moving them constantly, and towers are too big for our apartment;
2) The center speaker has to be small enough to put on top of our TV, I think the area is roughly 22"x5";
3) Compact; the look is important but I consider sound quality first, my friend says he wants everything in silver but please ignore him (that's why we tried the SONY speakers...);
4) If getting the speakers seperately is necessary to achieve quality I don't mind to do so. And if $800 is really too tight I guess we can still shell out another $200, or get the secondary components later (ie sub, rears etc)
Finally thank you so much for reading this boring long post. English is my second language so I don't know how to make my post shorter... Again thanks in advance for anyone who reply~~~

Ted Lee

Senior HTF Member
May 8, 2001
first, welcome to the htf. second, for someone who has ESL, you're writing is very very good.
at your price point, i think a htb will be your best choice. one of the most highly regarded ones here is the kenwood htb-504. i think it's now called the 544...with an updated receiver.
but i'm not familiar enough with the gear to know if it'll meet all your criteria.
i recommend you do a search...look up "htb-504" or "htb-544". you'll find hundreds of posts.
here's one review to get you started:
good luck and have fun in college...i know i did...

Wes C

Supporting Actor
Jan 7, 2002
Actually, there is now a newer version called the 505. I have a kewnwood 544 and for 500 bucks the benefits are unparalleled

steve nn

Senior HTF Member
Jan 12, 2002
The new Kenwood should hit Crutchfield this or next week. Should hit other sights as well. This system will not let you down. You should be very impressed with just how much you will get for your money and the sound is just fantastic. Good luck. This system will absolutely blow the Sony away!

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