What do I need?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark_Sykes, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. Mark_Sykes

    Mark_Sykes Auditioning

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    I just bought a Panasonic CT-36HX42 HDTV and a Panasonic PV-D4762 Progressive DVD/VCR and I have a Sony DirecTV receiver. What cables would you use and how would you set this system up. I just would like to know what to get to achieve the best picture possible. Just getting my feet wet in Home Theater. More components to come. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Go with a decent brand Component Video Cable from your DVD to your TV. If your DirecTV receiver is HDTV capable, go Component from it to your TV also. If it's not, go S-Video from the DTV receiver to your TV. Also, go decent brand RCA audio from your DVD to your TV and DirecTV to your TV.
    Once you add a HT Receiver and surround sound, you'll want to use an optical or digital coax from your DVD to your HT receiver, and the same if your DirecTV supports it.
    Brand and quality is really up to you, how much you want to spend, and how much you believe in high priced cables. Regardless, i would stay away from Monster Cable because, even though they make decent cables, they are extremely over priced. I recently completely rewired my entire system (11 Cables) for under $50 using NXG Technologies cables ordered from www.shoppingmatrix.tv. They are a solid quality cable similar to the lower end Monster and AR stuff, and are amazingly inexpensive. My most expensive cable was $8 for a 1m Component Video / Optical Audio combination cable. I don't even think many other companies make this combination. I'm really happy with my cables, especially for the price.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Mark. Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]
    I second Stephens's advice. For that progressive signal, go straight from the DVD player to the TV.
    SVideo from the DSS box to the TV.
    But...while I agree with the idea that Monster is bit over-priced, remember this rule:
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    There are cables out there that are better than what i recommended that are still priced more reasonably than monster. AR is another brand that is recommended on this board. If i were purchasing retail, i would go with AR. You could get the same quality as Monster for less $$, or get better quality than monster for the same $$.

    I've compared the NXG cables that i recommended to the bottom line monster and AR. I purchased a single 1m run of composite video of each brand and began dissecting. The AR seemed to be the best built of the 3 w/ the most shielding and the heaviest gauge wire inside. The AR connectors were also a bit heavier quality and seemed to make an extremely tight connection. The NXG was close behind the AR, with a little less shielding, similar gauge wire, and a little looser connection. The connection didn't seem LOOSE, just looser than the AR. The monster cable was constructed very poorly with minimal shielding and very light gauge wire. The monster connectors were solid, but seemed overly tight to me. I sometimes has problems removing the monster connector from my components. The bulk of the monster cable was it's insulation, which is what gives it the appearance of being higher quality.

    Hope this informal and unscientific data collection helps in some way.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Stephen: some good info there.

    But both AR and Monster have several different grades of the same wire. So it might be un-fair to compare the low-end Monster with the higher-end AR. Do you remember what the models were that you dissected?

    For video cables, there are 2 main styles of coax used:

    RG6 - 18 ga center conductor
    RG59 - 20 ga center conductor

    It may be possible that the AR cable was RG6, and the others were built with RG59.

    (I'm not trying to challenge your findings, but simply explain that there are 2 common styles of coax in use.)

    It is not-funny that Monster seems to have "bulked" their cables up. In a A/B listening test, the same brand interconnect was used, but one cable had extra insulation heat-shrinked to the outside to make it thicker. The audience was shown the cables as they were switched and the audience concluded that the thicker wire had the better sound.
     
  6. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I compared the low end AR (Performance Series), the low end monster (Monster Standard). I believe i payed $10 for a 1m run of AR composite video, $20 for a 1m run of Monster composite video, and $1.12 for a 1m run of NXG.
     

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