What do you think for a first HT?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by _alex_, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. _alex_

    _alex_ Auditioning

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    Here is what I am considering for my first HT.
    For speakers I am in between the
    Polk RM6900
    and the
    Onkyo HT-S580
    The Onkyo comes with a receiver but if I got the RM6900 I was looking at the Denon AVR-1705

    The two systems have quite large price difference. The Polk and Denon one will cost about $1000, the onkyo is only $250. I was looking at spending between $500 and $1000 on the sound alone. Can anyone recommend a good soultion inbetween these two?

    For video I am looking at the Sharp XR-10x Front Projector. I will be watching 25% DVD, 25% HDTV, and 50% regular cable. The room I will be using it in has some ambient light but the projector is 2000 lumens, do you think this will be enough? I was planning on getting a 100" InFocus Pull Down Screen.
    I am not quite sure how to connect everything together? Would I connect my DVD player, TV, and VCR to the Receiver ad then run one wire to the projector?

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Alex.

    I have heard the Polk speakers and know people like them. It sounds like the Onkyo is a HTIB (Home Theater in a Box) which CAN be ok, but ... not as safe as separates.

    You really want total light control for a front projector if you might watch during the day. Even 2000 lumens is not enough to fight the sun.

    Now I dont have a front projector, but the few people I speak with who do - use a separate TV for Cable and only use the front projector for movies. I would strongly suggest NOT using the front projector for casual CATV watching. You would be taking a 1940's video signal designed for a 9 inch tube and blowing it up to 100". You will see so many washed-out scenes and artifiacts - you will just hate it.

    (Even with my rear-projector with HDTV - many commercials look like crap).

    Try to design your room with a tube television for casual use, and the front projector for more serious movies.

    I have to run, but I will get back to the wireing question later. Merry Christmass.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ok I'm back.

    WIRES:

    You have a problem. Your VCR uses composite video (single RCA cable), but your DVD player and HD CATV box will use component (3 RCA cables) or a digital cable (Either DVI or HDMI).

    Most receivers will NOT convert one video signal to another. This means you must run to the projector from the receiver:

    - A composite video cable
    - A SVideo cable
    - A component video cable

    Thats 3 different kinds of cables.

    My advice - loose the VCR. Call your Cable company about getting a Personal Video Recorder for you HDTV signals. This will give you about 8 hours of HD recording - and you will never go back to your VCR again.

    This removes the need for the composite video.

    SVideo - I tossed that in - but as long as your HDTV box produces everything out the component cables - you can ignore this one as well.

    This leaves - one component cable from the reciever to the projector. And 2 component cables (DVD and HDTV box).

    Does this make sense?
     
  4. _alex_

    _alex_ Auditioning

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    Yep I think I unterstand you. But let me make sure. I should run an S-video or component from the HDTV/DVR to the receiver and then run another component cable from the DVD player to the receiver( and the audio from both sources to the receiver). Then from the receiver to the projector I will run a component from the receivers video out to the projectors video in. Is that right?
    About the composite from the VCR. If I got a receiver that was able to upconvert video would I be able to use the VCR? (I will get the DVR eventually but I am not sure when.
    Thanks again, Hope you had a good christmas
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Here is the problem: the reciever wont convert one video to another.

    If you send something with SVideo to the reciever, you then have to run a SVideo cable from the reciever to the projector to see it.

    But your DVD player should have component outputs. That's all you need. Run only component video to the reciever, then 1 component cable from the reciever to the TV.

    Another point: Some recievers offer component video switching. But "Component" is a 1940's standard for a 4 Mhz signal.

    progressive video goes up to 13 Mhz.

    HD Video goes up to 35 Mhz.

    If you want a reciever that switches the component video - make sure it has a bandwidth in the 90 Mhz range so it is designed for HD video. Just "Component Video" switching may do some harm to the signal.

    Does this make sense?
     
  6. _alex_

    _alex_ Auditioning

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    Another question I just thought of, should i consider a wvga projector? Is there a big difference between a wvga and a xga projectors when watching SDTV and DVD's?
    What about with HDTV?
     
  7. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    How big is the room you're talking about and does it open to any other room?
    How far away are you going to be sitting from the screen?
    How much work are you willing to do as far as cutting holes in drywall and "modifying" your room to accomodate front projection?
    How important is "bass" to you?
    Are there any small kids about?
    Are their any constraints placed by the wife about looks?

    If I can read between the lines, I think this room is probably your den where the whole family spends most of its time... it probably also opens up to the kitchen and has some high ceilings. Please correct me if wrong.

    For medium to small rooms watching mostly standard cable, a front projector is a bad choice. I'm thinking more along the lines of a 50-60" DLP or LCD rear projection model is more to your situation, but again, the answers to the questions will help.

    The speaker packages you've mentioned would fit the bill OK until you hear a "real" HT setup. There are much better choices, especially in the subwoofer area and for the $1000 price. Try the SVS website and look at their 5.1 bookshelf system for $900. It will crush the two sytems you've highlighted. Check out the HSU website and their Ventiloquist satellite system mated with an STF-3 sub for the same price... again, crushing. Also for $1000, you can mix a good set of center/bookshelfs/surrounds from Klipsch, Polk Audio or JBL, and go with one of the SVS or HSU subs and come out way ahead of the 6900 or S580.

    As for recievers, check out ECost or Dakmart for just about any Onkyo, Denon, or HK receiver in in the $300 range. Don't get scared by "refurbished", a lot of guys will argue that refurished units are a better buy even before you consider they're much cheaper. Do your homework for the features you want, but you really can't go wrong from those sites.

    Just give us some answers to my first questions to help us narrow down advice.
     
  8. _alex_

    _alex_ Auditioning

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    How big is the room you're talking about and does it open to any other room?
    It is 24' x 18'

    How far away are you going to be sitting from the screen?
    about 15'

    How much work are you willing to do as far as cutting holes in drywall and "modifying" your room to accomodate front projection?
    I ran two speaker wires to the back of the room when I finished it, so the rear surround sound speakers should be OK.
    I will be able to get to the attic to run wires to the projector also.

    How important is "bass" to you?
    not extremely important, I want some but I am not an audiophile and I don't think I will even be able to tell the difference from cheaper audio systems to more expensive ones. For the audio I just want something that will sound clear but also be able to do decent when watching DVD's with surround sound.

    Are there any small kids about?
    one

    Are their any constraints placed by the wife about looks?
    we want small speakers, nothing that stnads on the ground or anything. originally I liked the Bose system with the small cubes but I read about how they were overpriced and didn't sound as good as other systems.(just to show how far from an audiophile I am I thought they sounded pretty good when I heard them in a demo room). But I would like small speakers that wont stick out a whole lot.

    The room is a bonus room above the garage. We do spend quite a bit of time there. There is one window which has mini blinds on it. The stairs going into the room are open on but the bottom they go into the laundry room which is fairly dark. In the middle of the day with the blinds closed it is just light enough to read but if it got much darker reading would be difficult.

    The SVS speakers are a little bigger than I would like but the VT-12 ventriloquist speakers look pretty good. For the sub would the STF-1 be a good choice if bass isn't extremly important. That sub and those speakers would only be $400 all together.

    I have to go now but later I am going to look more into receivers and projectors and will post back here. Thank you for your help.
     
  9. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    Those answers all add up to making a good front projection first HT. That HSU package would do nicely for you at a great price. Now just make sure the receiver you buy has the hookups you'll be needing and you're set.

    A tip: Kids love to touch screens, ie, grease and refried black bean smears. Kid-proof your screen or make sure he knows touching the screen is a butt-whoopin offense.

    Do some more homework on this site in the Display Devices section for advice on a projector.

    Good luck.
     

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