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Looking to set up a home theater

Discussion in 'Technology' started by thestrangebrew, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:17 AM
    #1
    thestrangebrew

    thestrangebrew [OP] AlphaPlanner

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    I just saw the home theater pic thread, I figured I'd start one on recommendations rather than jack that thread. I'm looking for recommendations for a new tv and home theater set up. It'll be located in my living room, not an actual theater room. I'm looking at spending $1k-$1300 for a tv, and depending on recommendations, I don't think I want to spend more than about $500-$1000 on a sound system. I think I'll be getting the tv from Costco, I've seen some great deals on Sony, Samsung and even a Sharp tv. The audio is really where I'm deficient at. I have no idea what's a good brand for the budget/ bang:buck ratio.
     
  2. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM
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    Brunes

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    I love my LG TV. Had it three years now and it's not given me an issues. Sharp Aquos are good TVs too.

    I've got a JCV stereo receiver and speakers I built. Onkyo, Sony, and Bose are good choices for stereo. Bose uses a lot of digital processing to get the sound they do...A true "audiophile" will frown at them- but who cares- THEY SOUNDS GREAT!!

    Make sure you think thru what you want to be able to do....HDTV, Video Gaming, Add ons like a Media Computer, Apple TV, TiVO, etc etc...so you get the right cables/adapters/connections on all the parts you are buying. A good power strip/stabilizer isn't a horrible idea either.

    Also keep in mind that you can get most of the cables and "extra" stuff on the internet for way cheaper than stores.
     
  3. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM
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    thestrangebrew

    thestrangebrew [OP] AlphaPlanner

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    I really dig the Sharps. My folks have a Sony and I have some friends that have Panasonics. I think I saw a few Sharps at Costco but idk if they're Aquos or not. I'll have to see. As far as audio, Bose systems are pretty pricey too aren't they?
     
  4. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM
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    Jigzor

    Jigzor Well-Known Member

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    I currently have a Phillips tv but if I were to need a new one now I would definitely get a Samsung.

    Yamaha receivers are sweet.

    I am also running a Polk 5.1 in my room. I didn't do much research on it other than hearing it quick in the store. Since Circuit City was closing their doors I nabbed it. It the other room my dad has a JBL system which is nice.
     
  5. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:32 AM
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    pwrstrk02

    pwrstrk02 Well-Known Member

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    just an opinion.. bose are for small rooms, and average size tv's. the klipsch is better, bigger speakers, bigger sound. the bose is good for filling sound in a small area, but def not a whole room. i like to match the sound with the size of pic and the size of room. ex. you dont want a massive sub and a complete 1000 watt 7.0 surround sound system to go with a 34" screen in an open living room. you want to feel involved in the action, not be overcomed by the sound. vise versa you dont want to have to "TRY" and listen when watching a huge screen, it makes sense in my head anyway. just match the money for money when buying tv and speakers and you should be alright.
     
  6. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:32 AM
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    thestrangebrew

    thestrangebrew [OP] AlphaPlanner

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    Good advice. I hadn't thought about getting another pc to hook up to the tv but that'd be awesome. I've got a ps3 right now, so I'll defintely be hooking that up to it. I already have a pc for gaming that I need to update, but a nice media center pc would be a great addition. I'll be getting all of my cables from ebay most likely.
     
  7. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:35 AM
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    thestrangebrew

    thestrangebrew [OP] AlphaPlanner

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    Do you guys purchase your audio equipment mainly online? I've only got a best buy here in town. Fry's electronics is about 2 hours away...
     
  8. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:35 AM
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    BSPDX

    BSPDX Well-Known Member

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    Don't get your TV at Costco... go to Video Only and they will meet or beat any price (even internet) as well as the TV will be the newest model out on the market. They also have sweet customer service... Good luck with the purchase!
     
  9. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:37 AM
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    Jigzor

    Jigzor Well-Known Member

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    Boscov's matches prices or at least they did when my friend bought his. Mine was purchased at Best Buy.

    Amazon isn't too bad at getting good deals.
     
  10. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:39 AM
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    Brunes

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    Yeah...I'm plugging my Mac Mini into my TV and setting it up like a TiVO with my home storage drive (at least that's the plan- we'll see how it works out)

    Stay away from Best Buy- If you have extra money laying around that you want to give away there are TONS of great charities out there....
     
  11. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:43 AM
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    thestrangebrew

    thestrangebrew [OP] AlphaPlanner

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    I'm pretty sure I can fig. out the install. I'm having a buddy come over to help with the wiring etc anyways because I want the satellite speakers ceiling mounted. That's one thing I was a little concerned with though: wire management. Hopefully my buddy can come up with some kind of scheme to hide all the wiring.
     
  12. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:45 AM
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    thestrangebrew

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    I've heard that Yamaha receivers are pretty sweet. I think if I don't go Bose, I'll invest in a Yamaha receiver, but then what else would I need besides speakers? Do I need an amp also or does the receiver do that job? What speakers would you guys recommend that's easy on the wallet? I'm not an audiophile but I'd like it to sound good.
     
  13. Mar 22, 2010 at 10:50 AM
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    pwrstrk02

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    for the most part you do not need an amp. if you buy a pre designed suround system, everything will be power matched. if you go component then the reciever will, for the most part, run your surround except for your sub, if you buy a seperate sub, get a powered one cause the reciever wil not have the power to make it do what it wants to do.
     
  14. Mar 22, 2010 at 4:03 PM
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    LTech221

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    Look at 5.1 speaker packages if you don't want to go completely separate. I know Klipsch has some roughly $500 and up. There's something like this http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Klipsch...ofer/9385747.p?id=1218096162766&skuId=9385747
    But really, I would go and listen to a system you like at a big box store, Bestbuy, frys, etc, and find it online since you can usually get it cheaper. Vanns has a ton of speakers and there usually free shipping etc. Another route I recommended to friends was Onkyo HTiB (home theater in a box) systems. They sound realtively decent and you can get them from $300-$1000. It also really depends on the size of the room, you wanna get something that will fill it up and not struggle. If you want alot of suggestions I suggest posting something at http://www.avsforum.com
    Personally I suggest going for a good receiver, and starting out with a 2.0 or 2.1 system and add = quality speakers as your budget allows. In the end you will end up with something really great or like the Tacoma it will be and endless cycle of upgrades :D

    For TV's stick with any major brand and you should be fine.
     
  15. Mar 23, 2010 at 5:53 AM
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    PB65stang

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    For audio in that price range, I really like my Onkyo. I spent about $400 5 years ago for a 6.1 surround sound package from them through Nebraska Furniture Mart. It's rated at 1000 watts, which is probably not accurate, but it still sounds very good, I think. But as a general rule, the more wattage you can get the better, because a system with higher wattage does not have to work as hard (which causes distortion) as one with lower wattage. The best budget audio systems I've been around have been Onkyo, Yamaha, and JBL, but I'm sure there are others.
     
  16. Mar 23, 2010 at 6:06 AM
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    StZu

    StZu Where the White Women At?

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  17. Mar 23, 2010 at 6:14 AM
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    Slimwood Shady

    Slimwood Shady I love your mom!

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    x2, I have 2 Klipsch SF 201's and the KSW 12, and the quintet's. They sound amazing running my Yamaha 863! Everyone on here will probably frawn on me, but I recommend getting your sounds from ebay, or even join a home theater forum and check out the for sale threads. They work just like ours do, and you can get really good quality stuff on a budget. I got my Yamaha 863 on ebay for 1/2 of what Best Buy sells it for, and it works great. I have had it for a year and no issues. You do run the chance of not having a manufactures warantee because it wasn't purchased from an autherized dealer, but it is a good product, and I trust them. Good luck with whatever you choose to do though!
     
  18. Mar 23, 2010 at 6:51 AM
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    MrShoehorn

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    Maybe it's just me, but i've never really liked the Sharps. I love Samsung, have 3 of them. I also own an older sony grand wega and love that one.

    As far as audio, I don't particularly see the advantage of spending more for a Bose setup. I've got a pioneer rig with a 7.1 receiver. I tried out a 7.2 but there was definitely WAY too much bass for a smaller room. I would also greatly recommend you go with a separate receiver and speaker system, with a very nice receiver to start you out, you can spend a little more on a receiver then grab some lower end speakers and then update your speakers to much nicer ones when you have a little more cash flow.

    My receiver is the VSX-21TXH which is a little costly, but i've had no problems with any of the receivers i've own from Pioneer. The Onkyo's are very nice as well, a friend of mine has the 7.2 TX-SR607, but again only hooked up one sub.

    On to speakers. There are so many speakers for you to choose from it's ridiculous, so i'll just tell you my setup and then let you see what's best for you. Now keep in mind you need to find out what wattage your receiver can power sub, unless you go with a powered sub.

    I went with a Klipsch powered sub: SW-450 and it offers probably more kick then I need, but I love it.

    My floor speakers are by Polk: TSI300 got them from a buddy who got a good deal on them. You don't really have to get floor speakers especially for a smaller room, I'd look at some bookshelf speakers or some smaller ones and putting them on floor stands.

    For my center speakers I went with Polk again: CS10.

    If you don't feel comfortable picking out an individual system by parts. I'd get you a receiver and then look at different speaker systems. Those include the subs and all speakers. A smaller 5.1 setup is most likely all you'll need in your smaller room so keep that in mind as well and it'll save you some precious money. I would not go with an all in one system, because they don't offer you the flexibility, and you'll most likely be using your own video source as well (Blu-ray??)

    PM me with any questions.

    ~ Shoe
     
  19. Mar 23, 2010 at 7:04 AM
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    AzogSS

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    Samsung TV's I think are the best out there. Samsung even makes the Panels for Sony. I have some extra Definitive technology speakers and a Definitive Technology Supercube III I can let go if you are interested send me a PM.
     
  20. Mar 23, 2010 at 7:11 AM
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    StZu

    StZu Where the White Women At?

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    Another note on home theatre setups is to make sure you match your front 2 speakers with your center channel. The rear speakers and sub you can mix and match. I built my own sub using parts express for my bedroom setup this is a 10" sub. My living room has a BIC H100 12" sub and is more sub than I would ever need. My onkyo receiver is a 604 7.1. Your speaker choice is unlimited. Go somewhere and listen to them and make your own choice based on what you like. I will not even attempt to steer you towards a speaker. But I will say if you like the sound of a horn speaker get klipsh, I hate horn speakers therefore I dont like klipsh speakers. Bose you pay for a name and don't get much in return, for the money you would spend on a bose setup, you can get such a better sound and probably for less money. You might want to look at the polk audio speakers. Fry's has them on sale about every other week so you might start there. Listen to the speakers, do not blindly buy what people think is good for you, decide for yourself. Sorry for the long post I just want you to be happy with your surround.
    TV's - I personally like plasmas, burn in is a myth, I own 2 panasonic plasmas. I have a 50" plasma in the living room and a 42" panny plama in the bedroom. From my own experiences plamas have better blacks than LCD, however the LCD have come along way since I bought my TV's. OLED is another tech that looks pretty amazing. I think as long as you buy a quality tv from a quality manufacturer you will be happy. Pioneer, Panasonic, Sony, or Samsung would be the TV manufacturers I would look at for TV.
    Hope this helps and again sorry for the long post.
     
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