What would you do in this situation?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Brandon T., Dec 15, 2004.

  1. Brandon T.

    Brandon T. Auditioning

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    If this is a stupid question, I apologize in advance for my inferior intelligence:b. I have been through the forum for several hours, and can't seem to get clear answers/opinions.

    Here's the situation:

    I am getting a JVC HD52Z575 (52" Widescreen HD-Ready Rear-Projection TV w/HDMI Input and D-ILA) as a gift from a rich uncle. Unfortunately, I have a cheap-o audio setup: 1)Sony 5.1 Dolby/DTS receiver and 2)KBL surround speakers & Subwoofer (I bought these together at Best Buy last year for like $200 and have never set them up yet). I will also be hooking up my Xbox and DVD changer (I think it's Progressive Scan, but I'm not quite sure yet). What do I NEED to set this up properly, yet as inexpensively as possible? I am referring to:
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    -Component video cables: (i.e. is Monster a good investment for this T.V., or are the $10 cheapies on Ebay sufficient?)

    -Surge Protector: (I know I can't fly a $10 product here, but what keeps me sufficiently protected without all the bells and whistles, i.e. is noise reduction/line conditioner that noticeable?)

    -Xbox Cable: I know to go component here, but can I get chapies, or must I go "Monster-quality"?

    -Speaker wire: I've heard that regular $1/ft speaker wire is sufficient. Any disagreements?

    ***Anybody know where to get this stuff cheaply?***
    -----------------------------------------------------
    My usage will be about 10% Xbox, 25% movies, 25% music, 40% TV. I obviously want the best possible performance for all usages, but my main constraint is $$$$$ (like most people). I am just a poor college kid with no job right now. I am only willing to spring for a more expensive accessory if it has a CLEAR benefit. And I already know I have no business with quite a kick-ass TV, but like I said it's almost free to me. I know answers will be subjective, but I then hope to spark a debate that I think would benefit MANY beginning HT enthusiasts on this board!

    I don't have to tell you how much I (and other poor newbies) appreciate your wisdom and guidance! Our only other option is those sneaky salespeople!

    Much respect and Happy Holidays!
    Brandon
     
  2. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    based upon your current setup, i seriously doubt you'd need much over the level of the cheapie stuff you can find on ebay. you might wanna check with one of the forum sponsors, blue jean cables. i understand they are about the best value for quality cables. look over their site and if it's still too expensive, buy the cheapest you can get away with. as far as surge protection goes, i would check ebay for some used monster power / panamax line conditioners dependign on how much you really wanna spend. if money is super tight, you could just use a standard surge protector that one can buy from staples or office max.

    kevin t
     
  3. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Just run to Wal Mart and grab what you need...for your set up they have everything you need. Nice cables, spools of speaker wire, and some nice surge protectors.

    All can be bought for a very decent price and best of all it's available right around the corner since there is usually a Wally World near almost everyone. [​IMG]

    Plus they have a great and easy return policy should you need to use it.

    Alfer
     
  4. Brandon T.

    Brandon T. Auditioning

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    Thanks guys - does a cheap surge protector get the job done for me, or should I fork over more for a Panamax/Monster in order to better ensure my $3000 TV? I've read on this board that they are just as likely to blow my t.v.
     
  5. Jeremy Little

    Jeremy Little Supporting Actor

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    MOV based surge protectors are strange, sometimes a surge will jump the arrestors at a substation (which isn't SUPPOSED to happen) then destroy everything in your house anyway. Monster for instance, touts the "clean power" more than the surge protection. You can get a simple Monster surge protector with coax protection for $50. The benefit to this is that IF something does happen, they really treat you nice. I had a gentleman buy a new Home Theater system, TV and all, with a check monster sent him since the Surge protection failed to shunt the surge. They also mailed him a new surge protector free. Some of the cheaper insurance policies on the Surges are underwritten by someone else who may not be there for you. If you want to spring for some good stuff, get a brickwall type protector. They aren't MOV based, so they don't stop working after a surge.
     
  6. Brandon T.

    Brandon T. Auditioning

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    Wow. But others say that Monster is a lot like Bose, mostly marketing and little quality for the money, and you can get very comparable products/warranty for less money. Is this true? And if so, where?
     
  7. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Monster is good at taking care of problems when it comes to their surge protectors (based on my friends experience)but you do pay more for their stuff.

    As long as you fill out the forms and register any of the name brand surge protectors, you should be fine.

    Is your house constantly having electrical problems (surges, lighting strikes etc)? If it's RARE that you have abnormalities like that, then you should be fine with, for example, the RCA HT surge protector Wally World sells.

    Just keep your receipt for any future needs.
     
  8. Brandon T.

    Brandon T. Auditioning

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    No, no electrical problems that I can even remember...

    Thanks for all your help by the way everybody, all this info is extremely valuable and useful to me!

    Any other inputs/opinions?
     
  9. Brandon T.

    Brandon T. Auditioning

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    It says that my TV "automatically" converts any video signal to 720p? Is that really true, and if so, doesn't that replace the extra picture quality I would get with higher-end component cables? Also, even with component cables, I am told that DVDs played on XBOX are only played back in 480i. Will my TV actually automatically improve this image too, or am I stuck with 480i there? Also, would a progressive scan DVD player make a big difference over a normal DVD player with this TV? Thanks a bunch.
     
  10. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Brandon,
    A better quality progressive player with an HDMI out would be a big difference over your xbox. My friend bought a basic Denon for $160 that stomps the caca out of the Xbox. The key here will be finding one with HDMI/DVI because your set is digital and feeding it an all digital signal is very key here.

    Also since you are blowing the image up to 52" You should get the best cables you can afford. I know I saw a large difference between the xbox HD package cables and what I ended up with(Ixos). The ones included are trash. The ones at Walmart or Target(both I used) were both slightly better. The Ixos I upgraded to were far better than all 3. I had some Monster Xbox cables for a while as well and I would put those in between the junk Walmart/Target cables and the Monster.

    Now if you were using this on a basic 20", I'd probably go with Alf's suggestions but you are blowing the image up to 52". Things are MUCH MORE noticable at that level.

    Surge Protector: I'd get a good one given your DLP. It does use a bulb and you don't need a power blip messing with it. I mean you are being given a $3,000 TV set, What's a $100 to you when a bulb will cost you far more than that. Perhaps your rich uncle can throw one of those in. Heck he's already spending alot so why not an extra $100? Or a good Panamax 1000 would do and those run around $100-$150 on ebay. Replacement bulbs run around $200-$400.

    Speaker wire: What home depot sells would do just fine or what Radio Shack will do just fine.

    Cable wise: You be hard pressed to beat what you will get from the sponsor Blue Jeans.

    Also since you are running an xbox, you need to buy the Xbox HD pack. As I said don't use the included craptastic cables. If you plan to get the ones at Wally World or Target(same level of quality) then just use the ones with the HD pack. Personally I don't recommend either option as I've seen the difference on a large 50"+ set. Given that you will also need an optical cable for 5.1. I wanted to just get one at Radio Shack but I found the Monster THX one was cheaper from Circuit City. If Blue Jeans sells those and you plan to go that route(most recommended), then just get one from there. There prices are very comparable.
     
  11. Chris T. Kennedy

    Chris T. Kennedy Stunt Coordinator

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    Shane, where did you get your Ixos cables? And - did you use their official game cables or did you get the X-box HD pack and then just replace those cables with the Ixos ones?

    I want to run a high quality HD signal as well as optical sound out from the X-box. I have this little budget HD box for xbox and....well I have some pretty odd artifacts on the TV set.
     
  12. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I got the Ixos from Accessories for Less. AC4l.com or I could have gotten them from a local dealer.

    For a while I used the included cables that came with the HD pack, I then tried the craptastic(now that I've used them) Walmart and Target stuff then replaced them with the Ixos. I know several folks who have moved on from the XBox HD cables to the Monster offical game cables. Based on what people are saying, the sponsors here(Blue Jeans) would perform roughly the same as what I'm seeing from the Ixos.

    For a 3 meter cable I think I paid around $40. Not earthshattering.
     
  13. Brandon T.

    Brandon T. Auditioning

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    Thank you so much. I think I can take all this info and run with it. What a blessing it is to have all you experienced mentors helping the newbies. It's so great to find some real answers for once!

    Thanks again.
    Brandon
     

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