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Posted: 5/31/2009 6:43:24 PM EST
I'm looking to spend around $700 for a decent quality home theater system with some staying power, into which I can plug in a BlueRay DVD player. I'd like something that can do HDMI data processing, so that it supports any image processing or HD audio formations found in Blur Ray disks.

To complicate it further, I have an iPhone 3G and would like a docking station with it that is compatible with such. I'd hate to buy a $700 home theater system, and then get the horrible chatter from my cell-phone every time it sends a cellular signal.

Any suggestions?
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 6:54:44 PM EST
Don't want to discourage you but your budget is a bit off for any kind of decent system. It would take your total budget just to get a decent receiver or entry level processor to just begin building a system.
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:07:18 PM EST
dennon or yamaha receiver

klipsch speakers or definitive technology speakers

match your components and you will be happy as a pig in shit.

Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:08:02 PM EST
tag for answers
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:10:22 PM EST
Also, how are you defining "system?"

You do not seem to be including the DVD player. Are you including the TV? I would guess not.

You can get a decent receiver with amp for that price, but not if you also want speakers. If speakers - how many?

Is there anything else you needed?
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:10:42 PM EST
Originally Posted By Krzy_Erl:
dennon or yamaha receiver

klipsch speakers or definitive technology speakers

match your components and you will be happy as a pig in shit.



Just got mine installed by the geek squad with this setup...LOVE IT!!!

The whole room sounds amazing! You really need to push the budget to 1K so you can get a Klipch 10 or 12" sub. It will sound amazing! Trust me!
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:11:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By lazyengineer:
$700 for a decent quality home theater system with some staying power


That's about as likely as me growing a third penis.
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:19:53 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:20:45 PM EST
$700 isn't much to play with. A decent (single) bipolar main speaker can set you back that, and a receiver with enough "go" and processing power (like a Denon 3808CI) will be way over that.

For $700 you are probably better off sticking with a "package" from Denon or Onkyo, with the nod probably going to Onkyo at that end.

http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=HT-S6100&class=Systems&p=i $694 from Amazon.

Cheers
7.62
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:27:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By Krzy_Erl:
dennon or yamaha receiver

klipsch speakers or definitive technology speakers

match your components and you will be happy as a pig in shit.



This man speaks the truth. I have a Denon 3808Ci with Definitive Tech towers. Awesome for surround, pretty damned good for audio listening too.
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:31:36 PM EST
Sony Bravia Home Theater System has all your looking for.

I have the DAV- HDX576WF system and love it.

Check it out:

Link
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:34:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/31/2009 7:36:21 PM EST by Bugalaman]
Originally Posted By seven-six-two:
$700 isn't much to play with. A decent (single) bipolar main speaker can set you back that, and a receiver with enough "go" and processing power (like a Denon 3808CI) will be way over that.

For $700 you are probably better off sticking with a "package" from Denon or Onkyo, with the nod probably going to Onkyo at that end.

http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=HT-S6100&class=Systems&p=i $694 from Amazon.

Cheers
7.62


I like the Onkyo's THX HTIB personally. According to reviews its the best HTIB out there
http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=HT-S9100THX&class=Systems&p=i

Sony's ES receivers are great, but their HTIB's aren't so good. You need something without a dvd player, and that decodes Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio. If you have a Blu-ray player and want to spend $700+ for a system, that decoding is a absolute must.
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:36:05 PM EST
Youch! this stuff gets pricy fast.

Thanks for all the replies so far.

This is getting tough.
-TV I have (50" HDTV)
-Blue Ray player I have

Both are decent/HD, but not top of the line by any means.
I want an audio system to go with them. Not looking for anything incredible - just something that doesn't give me lots of static or sound wretched, and has the surround sound feature. I've been looking at Onkyo 7100 and 9100 systems for my budget.

My last home theater system was a basic $800 Sony SAVA D600 and I was pretty happy with it, but it came with built-in DVD which is now obsolete. I learned my lesson from that to never buy a system that's overly integrated, since if any one of the components breaks or becomes obsolete, you're screwed.
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 7:46:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By lazyengineer:
Youch! this stuff gets pricy fast.

Thanks for all the replies so far.

This is getting tough.
-TV I have (50" HDTV)
-Blue Ray player I have

Both are decent/HD, but not top of the line by any means.
I want an audio system to go with them. Not looking for anything incredible - just something that doesn't give me lots of static or sound wretched, and has the surround sound feature. I've been looking at Onkyo 7100 and 9100 systems for my budget.

My last home theater system was a basic $800 Sony SAVA D600 and I was pretty happy with it, but it came with built-in DVD which is now obsolete. I learned my lesson from that to never buy a system that's overly integrated, since if any one of the components breaks or becomes obsolete, you're screwed.


Indeed.

If you were happy with the old system, can't you still use the speakers at least?
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 9:52:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bugalaman:
I like the Onkyo's THX HTIB personally. According to reviews its the best HTIB out there
http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=HT-S9100THX&class=Systems&p=i


True, but that is a system that is going to cost about a grand at street prices.

Reusing existing speakers and springing for a Denon 2309CI (maybe $750?) would be a good start to build a system from.
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 10:05:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By seven-six-two:
Originally Posted By Bugalaman:
I like the Onkyo's THX HTIB personally. According to reviews its the best HTIB out there
http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=HT-S9100THX&class=Systems&p=i


True, but that is a system that is going to cost about a grand at street prices.

Reusing existing speakers and springing for a Denon 2309CI (maybe $750?) would be a good start to build a system from.


I forgot the budget was $700 . My biggest desire with my blu-ray system is 7.1 uncompressed audio, which my Onkyo Tx-SR504 doesn't do.
Link Posted: 5/31/2009 11:13:06 PM EST
That budget is gonna limit your options a lot. If you want a "decent quality home theater system with some staying power" you're gonna have to pay up. At the very least a $1000 is gonna be needed for a quality receiver that supports DTS-HD and Dolby HD and good speakers. I honestly suggest you save up a bit more. Maybe a mid range Denon receiver (maybe the 1910) and a Klipsch speaker package like the Quintet III (5 speaker package), and of course you'll need a subwoofer (Klipsch Synergy is pretty decent).

I personally have:

Denon 1909 A/V Receiver (no longer in production, replaced by 1910)
Definitive Technology Promonitor 800 (x4)
Definitive Technology Procenter 1000 (x1)
Polk Audio PSW111 Subwoofer

I'm perfectly content with this setup, packs enough punch for my room size and audio is clean and crisp.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 2:46:44 PM EST
Thanks for the tips. I went with an Onkyo HT-S9100THX.

I threw away the wires and used 200' of 14Ga speaker wire instead. I used all 200' too (big room X 7 speakers is a lot of wire!) The auto-configuration is seriously cool, you put the supplied microphone in the middle of the room and it then goes through a sequence to learn exactly where each speaker is - so that it can then adjust output accordingly.


Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:05:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 3:09:13 PM EST by Max_Mike]
I would go to NewEgg and get Polk Audio closeout Monitor 50 front Speakers and a CS1 center channel and some Monitor 30s for surrounds. The spend $300 on the Yamaha RX-V565 NeeEgg has on sale.

You will go a one or two hundred over budget buy if you bought that quality speakers new not on closeout you would spend twice plus the total of everything on the speakers alone.

For about $700ish you can bulid a system that no Home Theater in a Box that is made can touch. If you go with Monitor 40s for fronts you can do it for $600ish

Then add a solid HT subwoofer when you can afford it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2100310494%2050012345&name=Polk%20Audio

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882115195
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:06:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 3:07:45 PM EST by Bohr_Adam]
Originally Posted By lazyengineer:
Thanks for the tips. I went with an Onkyo HT-S9100THX.

I threw away the wires and used 200' of 14Ga speaker wire instead. I used all 200' too (big room X 7 speakers is a lot of wire!) The auto-configuration is seriously cool, you put the supplied microphone in the middle of the room and it then goes through a sequence to learn exactly where each speaker is - so that it can then adjust output accordingly.




Oops - just saw the package came with speakers.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:08:05 PM EST
Build it a piece at a time. You will get better stuff that way.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:11:03 PM EST
I'm going to get flamed for this, ahh fuck it. We have a Bose 3-2-1 system and LOVE it. I'm sure some audiophile somewhere can tell that he's not listening to a positronic, phased plasma 3.5 jiggowatt, woofed and tweeted ganectagazoink, but I can't. It sounds fucking awesome. It has a built in iPod docking station. The newest version may be Blu-Ray compatible. It is a small system that rocks our 16'x20' den without a shitload of unsightly cables and wires. I HIGHLY recommend one.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:11:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By saturnstyl:
Build it a piece at a time. You will get better stuff that way.


He went with a package of "barely good enough." At least he can now upgrade one piece at a time, should he choose.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:13:08 PM EST
Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
I would go to NewEgg and get Polk Audio closeout Monitor 50 front Speakers and a CS1 center channel and some Monitor 30s for surrounds. The spend $300 on the Yamaha RX-V565 NeeEgg has on sale.

You will go a one or two hundred over budget buy if you bought that quality speakers new not on closeout you would spend twice plus the total of everything on the speakers alone.

For about $700ish you can bulid a system that no Home Theater in a Box that is made can touch. If you go with Monitor 40s for fronts you can do it for $600ish

Then add a solid HT subwoofer when you can afford it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2100310494%2050012345&name=Polk%20Audio

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882115195


Were you able to audition these components before you purchased them?

Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:20:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 3:26:00 PM EST by Mojo_Jojo]
Energy 5.1 speaker system - includes sub (a Klipsch company) = $350 (Costco)
Factory refurbished HK AVR 254 direct from HK = approx $275 on eBay

Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:21:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 3:38:29 PM EST by Max_Mike]
Originally Posted By saturnstyl:
Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
I would go to NewEgg and get Polk Audio closeout Monitor 50 front Speakers and a CS1 center channel and some Monitor 30s for surrounds. The spend $300 on the Yamaha RX-V565 NeeEgg has on sale.

You will go a one or two hundred over budget buy if you bought that quality speakers new not on closeout you would spend twice plus the total of everything on the speakers alone.

For about $700ish you can bulid a system that no Home Theater in a Box that is made can touch. If you go with Monitor 40s for fronts you can do it for $600ish

Then add a solid HT subwoofer when you can afford it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2100310494%2050012345&name=Polk%20Audio

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882115195


Were you able to audition these components before you purchased them?



No but trust me those speakers cannot be touched by anything close to that price point or by any HTIB. I love the ones I have.

I just wish I could have afforded the Monitor 70s on sale this weekend for $180 each... those were $1000 a pair five years ago.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:24:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:
Originally Posted By saturnstyl:
Build it a piece at a time. You will get better stuff that way.


He went with a package of "barely good enough." At least he can now upgrade one piece at a time, should he choose.


The Onkyo HT-S9100THX is considered the best HTIB on the market and the receiver is one you can grow with... but you can build a better system cheaper piecemeal if you shop it right, but that takes research and time.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 4:41:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:
Originally Posted By saturnstyl:
Build it a piece at a time. You will get better stuff that way.


He went with a package of "barely good enough." At least he can now upgrade one piece at a time, should he choose.


The Onkyo HT-S9100THX is considered the best HTIB on the market and the receiver is one you can grow with... but you can build a better system cheaper piecemeal if you shop it right, but that takes research and time.


Thank you - and this is why I chose this route. The biggest complaint people have with the Onkyo is crappy speaker wire they provide. This also happens to be very cheap and easy to fix.

So now that it's hooked up - things just got interesting. When hooked to my Onkyo Amp, my blue ray player has taken away the option to transmit in any interlaced formate (i.e. 1080i). It's just grayed out now - I can only transmit in 480p, 720p or 1080p. Unfortunately, the max resolution of my TV is 1080i, so now I can only watch movies in 720p. Which I'm not sure is acceptable. I'm curious, has anyone ever seen such an occurrence before? I can't see why this would be, since the Onkyo supports 1080i, and even will output that if you tell it to. I tried setting the BlueRay to 1080p, and the amp to 1080i, but it didn't work, I'm not getting video on my TV when I do that.

TV: Sony KF-50WE620 Grand WEGA (1080i Max using the DVI)
Amp: Onkyo HT-S9100THX (using the HDMI input and HDMI to DVI output)
BlueRay: Magnavox NB500MS9


Link Posted: 6/13/2009 4:49:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 6:22:28 PM EST by Max_Mike]
Originally Posted By lazyengineer:
Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:
Originally Posted By saturnstyl:
Build it a piece at a time. You will get better stuff that way.


He went with a package of "barely good enough." At least he can now upgrade one piece at a time, should he choose.


The Onkyo HT-S9100THX is considered the best HTIB on the market and the receiver is one you can grow with... but you can build a better system cheaper piecemeal if you shop it right, but that takes research and time.


Thank you - and this is why I chose this route. The biggest complaint people have with the Onkyo is crappy speaker wire they provide. This also happens to be very cheap and easy to fix.

So now that it's hooked up - things just got interesting. When hooked to my Onkyo Amp, my blue ray player has taken away the option to transmit in any interlaced formate (i.e. 1080i). It's just grayed out now - I can only transmit in 480p, 720p or 1080p. Unfortunately, the max resolution of my TV is 1080i, so now I can only watch movies in 720p. Which I'm not sure is acceptable. I'm curious, has anyone ever seen such an occurrence before? I can't see why this would be, since the Onkyo supports 1080i, and even will output that if you tell it to. I tried setting the BlueRay to 1080p, and the amp to 1080i, but it didn't work, I'm not getting video on my TV when I do that.

TV: Sony KF-50WE620 Grand WEGA (1080i Max using the DVI)
Amp: Onkyo HT-S9100THX (using the HDMI input and HDMI to DVI output)
BlueRay: Magnavox NB500MS9




Well you are a lazyengineer after all...

I kill me...

The Onkyo HT-S9100THX is not what I did but I did consider it and it is a very good starter system.

My guess is you can fix the Blu-ray 1080i problem in the setup of the Onyko system...
go here and ask someone will know if you can.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=109

ETA: Going out on a limb here bit, I wonder if the problem could be related to Blu-ray HDCP protection over HDMI and the DVI cable and or TV... have you tried getting 1080i from the Blu-ray player through the receiver via the component input on the receiver?

Are all the cables HDCP compliant?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 3:53:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 4:00:35 PM EST by lazyengineer]
Originally Posted By lazyengineer:
So now that it's hooked up - things just got interesting. When hooked to my Onkyo Amp, my blue ray player has taken away the option to transmit in any interlaced formate (i.e. 1080i). It's just grayed out now - I can only transmit in 480p, 720p or 1080p. Unfortunately, the max resolution of my TV is 1080i, so now I can only watch movies in 720p. Which I'm not sure is acceptable. I'm curious, has anyone ever seen such an occurrence before? I can't see why this would be, since the Onkyo supports 1080i, and even will output that if you tell it to. I tried setting the BlueRay to 1080p, and the amp to 1080i, but it didn't work, I'm not getting video on my TV when I do that.

TV: Sony KF-50WE620 Grand WEGA (1080i Max using the DVI)
Amp: Onkyo HT-S9100THX (using the HDMI input and HDMI to DVI output)
BlueRay: Magnavox NB500MS9




If you own an "HD" TV you bought more than two years ago - pay attention to this, because I think I just figured this out - and it gets pretty interesting. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The dirty secret is most older LCD "HD" TV's, that max out at 1080i, aren't actually 1080. They'll take a 1080i signal and display it, but they downcovert that signal for the display. Most older LCD "HD" TVs only go up to 768. In my case, for a 16:9 TV, that should be 1920X1080, which is a bit over 2 million pixels. My 16:9 TV only has around 1.1million.

So while I'm still not entirely sure why my Amp is not allowing my BlueRay player to use 1080i (but DOES allow 1080p, which it then fails to properly downgrade to 1080i and send to the TV), the "downgrade" that I'm forced to do at the BlueRay to 720p apparently is a very minor downgrade. And if you own non-1080p TV, that probably holds true for you too, because you're screen is probably only a 768 as well.

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/display-devices-tvs-projectors/114775-1080i-vs-720p.html
http://reviews.cnet.com/720p-vs-1080p-hdtv/

In my case, the issue appears to be a compatibility issue between a very old "HD" TV, a bottom end BlueRay player, and a modern Amp. Which is forcing me to run at 720p rather than 1080i. If I can figure out how to get 1080i to start working again on my B-Ray, I probably will, but until then - the reality is 720p isn't a big deal.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 5:22:15 PM EST
I think you are right…

I looked at the manual for that TV and it says the screen has 1,092,168 pixels… that is not a true 1080 screen a true 1080 screen should have over 2 million pixels.

It is the TV....

UPGRADE TIME
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 5:41:38 PM EST
I'm looking to spend around $700 for a decent quality home theater system with some staying power,










In my admittedly jaded opinion, 700 bucks is enough to buy ONE single piece of decent quality equipment in a home theater.


I would be hard pressed to find a single pair of main (L/R front) speakers for that price that I'd actually think sounded pretty good.



My recommendation is that if that's all you've got to spend, SAVE IT. Keep saving money in a dedicated home theater fund,
on a regular basis. Put 50 bucks a paycheck into it. Let it grow. When it grows to about 2000 dollars or more, then START
to think seriously about a home theater system. Because I can't recommend a system that would cost less than that.

My entire system, when it was all brand new and at at full retail price, cost 100 TIMES more than your budget. But even though
it was all deals on the used market, or mostly, I've still got about seven grand tied up in it. I take my home theater very
seriously, but on a limited budget. This is why I can't recommend a 700 dollar system. I'd never enjoy it and don't know
how you could, either. Yeah, I'm opinionated on it. I earned it. I worked my way up to my current system starting with a 27"
TV and a Pioneer stereo that someone threw out that still worked, and a VCR that was also a roadside treasure. I started at
the bottom and clawed my way up to a top tier system on a bargain basement budget.


CJ


Link Posted: 6/14/2009 5:52:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
I'm looking to spend around $700 for a decent quality home theater system with some staying power,










In my admittedly jaded opinion, 700 bucks is enough to buy ONE single piece of decent quality equipment in a home theater.


I would be hard pressed to find a single pair of main (L/R front) speakers for that price that I'd actually think sounded pretty good.



My recommendation is that if that's all you've got to spend, SAVE IT. Keep saving money in a dedicated home theater fund,
on a regular basis. Put 50 bucks a paycheck into it. Let it grow. When it grows to about 2000 dollars or more, then START
to think seriously about a home theater system. Because I can't recommend a system that would cost less than that.

My entire system, when it was all brand new and at at full retail price, cost 100 TIMES more than your budget. But even though
it was all deals on the used market, or mostly, I've still got about seven grand tied up in it. I take my home theater very
seriously, but on a limited budget. This is why I can't recommend a 700 dollar system. I'd never enjoy it and don't know
how you could, either. Yeah, I'm opinionated on it. I earned it. I worked my way up to my current system starting with a 27"
TV and a Pioneer stereo that someone threw out that still worked, and a VCR that was also a roadside treasure. I started at
the bottom and clawed my way up to a top tier system on a bargain basement budget.


CJ




Oh horse feathers you do not need to spend that kind of money to get a good powerful home theater system that will suit 95% of people wanting a home theater system. Home theater is not high fidelity music.

It is nice to do able to do that and be able to spend that kind of money but not necessary and for most people would be a gratuitous waste of resources/money.

Having said that I would do it if I had the money.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:00:42 PM EST
I can't think of a five piece speaker set that costs 700 dollars that I'd want to listen to. And that's if you spent all 700 dollars on just the speakers alone,
NOT counting a subwoofer. There's no way I could recommend such a small budget for a home theater system but you're more than welcome to
settle for stuff that I'd be compelled to smash out of pure disgust.


Big news for you: Given the choice between a mediocre picture and great sound, or a great picture and mediocre sound, I'd take a mediocre picture
and great sound EVERY TIME. Bad sound grates on the nerves and irritates you. I won't have it. I won't tolerate it. That's why when I first heard
the speakers I have now, I swore I'd find a way to get a set as soon as they came up on the used market. Much to my surprise, I ended up buying
that exact set from the original owner, barely a year later. I paid 2700 dollars for just that one pair of speakers, and I paid it GLADLY, particularly
when the retail price on them was 7700 dollars. Ten years later, I've still got them and I'll have them forever. I've heard more expensive speakers
but I really haven't heard any that I liked as much as these, not at ANY price.

I'm very much an audiophile and videophile. It's hard for me to see these things in the same way that an "average" person does, who thinks 300
bucks is a lot to pay for a stereo. But I firmly maintain, this is good advice for EVERYONE: Money spent on quality is never wasted. The game
isn't to see how little you can spend, but how much quality you can get for a given amount of money.


CJ
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:23:45 PM EST
Onkyo makes very good stuff and the complete systems are reasonable and worth every penny.

http://www.onkyousa.com/prod_class.cfm?class=Systems
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:11:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 7:14:43 PM EST by lazyengineer]
Thanks for your help Max_Mike.

I'm glad for the cmjohnsons of the world. The world would be a duller place if we didn't have the audiophiles/gearheads/whathaveyou pushing the limits and setting the bar. For me, I'm too much of an engineer - life is an optimization problem. I'm always looking to hit that second derivate (i.e. the inflection point right before where increased effort hits steep diminishing returns). Just not worth taking $9k from the other aspects of my life to finance the 4 hrs a week I sit in front of the TV watching movies.


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