What does it encompass?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Nayan, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. Nayan

    Nayan Auditioning

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    I was shopping around for a home theater system and came across this site. I think it is awesome to have a forum like this.

    I am new to home theater system. I am looking for a decent home theater system within $1000. But I do not know what all it encompasses? I mean I already got a rear projection TV and a good DVD player. So, do I only need a receiver and speakers? What about sub-woofers? Are they needed?

    Lot of questions, but if you can help this newbie (who already has a TV and DVD player) setup a home theater in the realm of $1000, I will greately appreciate.
     
  2. RodneyT

    RodneyT Stunt Coordinator

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    You need:

    1 Digital reciever (Dolby & DTS capable) as good as your budget will allow
    5 Speakers: 1 Centre, 2 main & 2 surround (again, as good as your budget will allow)

    Optional:

    1 subwoofer (get this later if budget constraints are hampering your quality purchases)

    This way, at least you have surround sound first and foremost, and once you save up a bit you can get a thumping subwoofer to complete the set. A sub is required, but not essential, for a basic setup. If you speakers are equipt to handle some more agressive sound material, then they should suffice until you can get some more cash together.

    Suggestion: go to a home theater store and check out what they can offer you. Take a few DVD's or CD's that you play regularly or know well, and test them out in store.

    Keep in mind that if you ask ten different people their opinions on this, you may get ten different answers. Just keep in mind that you already have the visual aspect of home theater covered, plus the device that plays the movies you want to watch. Now you just need to hear the film. Get the best speakers you can buy, and a 5.1 compatible digital receiver.

    Some would say its best to keep all your speakers the same (brand, that is) to maintain tonal equality around your listening space, but in truth, its entirely up to you and what your ears like to listen to. Mixing and matching different speakers may keep things within your budget and allow you to get what you want...

    My personal recommendation when purchasing a receiver is to get more than you think you need. That way, you cover your current power requirements for the listening space, and if you decide to move house and find your home theater in a bigger room or something like that down the track, you dont have to spend another small fortune upgrading your amp to cater for the larger power draw. But only do this if your budget will allow. And thats just a personal thing.

    Hopefully some of this helps. No doubt others will throw their two cents in as well. Best of luck in your search.
     
  3. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    The more you read and learn the better. Spend time lurking here and elsewhere. Roam the net looking at gear from the various manufacturers. Try to pick up a sense of what gear seems to always get positive comments and what gear never gets recommended. But watch out for the budget creep because hearing folks rave about the XYZ receiver is going to do you no good if it costs >$1000 and many will. But a good basic system can be assembled for that budget--many have done so. Start by reading the FAQ and glossary here. Print anything you come across that seems like good background and build a pile of such reference. Take your time and study it. Mentally spend the money lots of time before actually doing so.

    Your first stop, if you haven't already done so is the FAQ/Primer here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=120328
    A must read first step, IMHO.

    Other good resources I know besides this site include:

    http://www.audioholics.com/index.html
    Lots of reviews and views that will help. I found the buying guides and background info to be excellent.

    http://www.avsforum.com/
    That one is very active and, IMHO, tends to be home to lots of folks who have spent or will spend a lot of money on their gear but its a resource you need to know about to do research on specific items.

    Now to your first question. "Home Theater" means something different to different people. For some it means having a dedicated room that's set up as a theater and used exclusively or almost exclusively that way. For others, it means the TV and some audio gear in the family room. For some it's the price of the TV plus a few hundred dollars, for some it's a $100,000 project. Leaving all that aside, the fundamentals of what most would agree makes up a basic HT would be:

    1. A display device, probably a TV and preferably a widescreen one
    2. A DVD player
    3. An audio system probably AV receiver
    4. Some speakers supporting at least 5.1 surround sound

    If you have #1 and #2 then you're looking for 3 and 4. They can be bought as one package, or separate pieces. Your reading should turn up various articles describing all the parts and pieces and what they do along with guidelines for knowing what you'll need. One "rule of thumb" says invest 50-60% of the budget in speakers, 30-40% in the receiver and about 10% for misc (mostly cables, wiring, and such).
     
  4. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Nah... I'd say you'd get at least eleven different answers![​IMG]
     
  5. RodneyT

    RodneyT Stunt Coordinator

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    Good Point [​IMG]
     
  6. Nayan

    Nayan Auditioning

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    Man ! these are some really great answers ! I will go through the links and increase my understanding. I did vist audioholics and checked their recomendation.

    After I get some more understanding, I plan to visit best buy or circuit city to check out what they got. Alas, I do not know any other store that carries home theater equipment.
     
  7. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Nayan, you can get a great sounding setup for way less than $1,000. I'm talking about a Dolby Digital receiver, 3 front speakers, 2 or 3 rear surround and a subwoofer. I paid about $600 total for my JVC 6.1 DD receiver, 6 speakers and a subwoofer and it sounds great. Just make sure you listen to the speakers first.
     
  8. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    Here's another answer: Check out our gallery and you can see the differences from a dedicated building to a projector sitting on a coffee table.


    Check out the forum sponsors. They can give you good info and good deals [​IMG]

    Dave
     
  9. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Nayan -- come on you can do better than that. A little research and I think you'll find some other choices! Like:
    http://www.tweeter.com/corp/index.jsp
    Or,
    http://www.usa.denon.com/1713.asp?Zi...Go.x=10&Go.y=5

    Google is your friend! Every manufacturer's site will have a dealer finder on the site. Use it to find places that carry that brand in your area. Some of these will be high-end shops that you may want to avoid and some will be really high-end places that are in the custom install business. But there will be a few that are the kind of specialty shops that will have people who know and love the gear.

    Once you've done even some basic reading, places like BB and CC are unlikely to have anyone in the place who knows more about the gear than you do. And often they don't carry the better brands or the full line of some maker's equipment. And lots of the stuff that you'll see referred to (example the Athena speakers) can't be bought at many or any places except online. The places like Tweeter will have a people who do know the gear and will have a reasonable range of stuff. The danger in visiting places like those you'll find carrying brands like Denon is that you'll soon start drooling over stuff--they'll understand but still not appreciated by the stores[​IMG]

    Have fun!
     
  10. Nayan

    Nayan Auditioning

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    Well, I visited Best Buy as I wanted to listen to some of the speakers. Here is what caught my attention:

    Receiver: Yamaha; 600W, 6.1, DoblyDigital Ex, $299. There is yet another Yamaha for $400, that is 650W and has signal upgrade. According to the sales person, it upgrades the regular red, white and yellow to component or s-video level. I do not know if this is a hype or a truth.

    Speakers: Right now, I got my eyes set on two Klipsch floor speakers about 3' tall. They have 6 1/5" 2 way with 400W max power. 1" tweeter; 90 degree X 60 degree tractrix horn (whatever that means); frequency response - 39Hz to 23KHz. Price is $667.98 for the pair.

    Sub-woofer: 10" Klipsch subwoofer; 420W max power. Price $407.99

    So, that brings my budget to $1347 - $1500 + cables and stuff. A little over my budget, but those are the ones that I liked the best.

    So, what do you guys think of the reciever and Klipsch brand? Any good?
     
  11. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    In general Yamaha makes decent gear. Don't pay too much attention to power numbers -- bigger isn't necessarily better (quality).

    Well, taken exactly that way the statement doesn't mean much but sounds like something a salesperson might say. They might mean that the AVR does upconverting, i.e., taking a composite signal in and converting it to s-vid or component out but it's not going to "upgrade" anything that way. Don't forget the receiver's primary job is audio not video but upconverting can be a handy way to hook things up if you want to do video switching through the receiver.
     
  12. Nayan

    Nayan Auditioning

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    Dick, I am assuming that you are suggesting to go for the receiver that has upconverting capability.

    What about choice of speakers and sub-woofers? Decent enough?
     
  13. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Best buy says that the frequency response of the klipsch subwoofer is only 28-120Hz. Not particularly good for movies, Maybe you should look seriously at svs.
     
  14. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Nope not unless you know you're going to do video switching at the AVR. If that's the primary difference and simply connect the video sources to the TV then the video switching/converting at the receiver feature will go unused.

    Speakers are very personal and very hard to give advice about -- I avoid it like the plague. If they sound good to you then they're fine. Just keep in mind that every speaker is going to sound different in your environment vs the store. And the stores have lots of ways to manipulate how things sound to sell what they want to sell. I would never buy speakers I couldn't return for any reason and for full refund.
     
  15. Nayan

    Nayan Auditioning

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    Jeremy, how does response frequency affect subwoofers? I noticed that the PB10-ISD by SVS has response from 20 - 100hz. That's almost the same range as the Klipsch, expect that PB10-ISD has it on a lower range. I cannot spend more than around the $400 figure mark on a subwoofer. Are you suggesting SVS because it has its has response at a lower frequency band? One big disadvantage for me to shop at SVS is the spouse approval factor - it will be hard to convince my wife to approve the budget without letting her hear it first.

    Dick, I understand now what you meant earlier. I think I will stick with the Yamaha for $299. Saves me a hundered for the cables and stuff ! And that's a good point you brought up about the speakers. I will make sure that I get the option of returning them for full refund. And I agree with you that it maybe hard to give advice on speakers. But what I wanted to know, is possible, is if you know anything about the brand Klipsch - overall good, bad, moderate. I am assuming that with a hobby like yours, you guys may have gone through quite a few of these brands in search of good speakers.
     
  16. Nayan

    Nayan Auditioning

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    Here is another question for you !

    Like I said before, Bestbuy quoted $667.98 for the set of Klipsch speakers and $407 for the subwoofer.

    When I was looking through this site, I came accross www . homespeakersdirect . com (I believe it is one of the sponsors). They have the same subwoofer for $299 and the same set of speakers for $359 ! The total is even less than the speakers themselves at best buy !

    This sounds too good to be true !! So, I want to ask you guys will if there is any catch to it?! Can I trust this site?!!
     
  17. Nayan

    Nayan Auditioning

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    Hi guys ! A little research showed me that what I looked at BestBuy are Klipsch model F-2 for the speakers versus SF-1 in homespeakersdirect. Also, the subwoofer in Best buy was a SUB-10 versus the KSW10 in homespeakersdirect. So, you may ignore my earlier post!
     
  18. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    The purpose of a subwoofer is to reproduce the lowest sounds on a soundtrack. Although really deep bass is not present in most music, a number of films, particularly action movies-- do incorporate low bass. Most of those notes are more felt than heard. But, then one feels rather than merely hears a tornado, or an explosion, or a helicopter.

    here are a list of movies with notable infrasonic elements. Click on the scene names for frequency--time plots.


    Caveat:
    I don't own a svs subwoofer-- my budget only allowed for the Dayton 10, a now discontinued model capable of reproducing 25 Hz. And although svs subwoofers are well regarded, their speakers are much newer, and less well known.
    You might find this 5.1 system to be of interest, however.
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Gentlemen, since this discussion involves suggesting specific models of various component types, I've moved it over to the A/V Sources area, where we allow such discussions. Remember, the Basics area is for general discussion at the beginner level, which this thread also encompasses. Carry on. JB
     

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