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      03-14-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
boostd92
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Home Theater Gurus, need help!

I'm trying to build a simple home theater for my father who is techno-helpless.

I've got a TV picked out. We went to a few electronics stores and looked at them all. He can only fit a 46" in his cabinet setup and this one consistently looked better than the rest:

http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN46EH6000FXZA

I tried to convince him into the model up but really the only differences were more HDMi inputs, and all the internet connectivity apps he'll never use.

He currently has an old Bose Lifestyle 28/35. We are going to reuse the satellite speakers for front, center and rear. He has Comcast digital cable.

I need suggestions on a good modern receiver, subwoofer, and bluray player for him. Looking to spend up to $600 on the receiver, up to $350 on the subwoofer, and whatever for the blu ray.

I've been researching like crazy but in this day of Chinese assembly, it seems every review I read is full of quality control problems. I'd like for the products to be able to be bought in a STORE so I can return them easily if I have issues. Fry's Electronics is very close to me and would be ideal.

I just don't know where to start when looking at receivers. Is HDMI pass through a big deal? He doesn't need airplay or wifi or internet stuff.

Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!!
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      03-14-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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ok...you dont want a big sub, or it will overpower the little satellite speakers

here is what i found..this reciever for 399.00 looks good
http://www.frys.com/product/6640854?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG

this sub for 250.00 should do the trick...velodynee, good company
http://www.frys.com/product/6071338?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG

and any blu ray player under 150 would be fine...here is one for 129.99
http://www.frys.com/product/6993667?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG

good luck
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      03-15-2012, 07:40 AM   #3
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You maY want to look into replacing the center channel speaker at the least. It's the most important speaker of the entire setup as that's is where a majority of you tv/movie watching sound comes from. Even something on the low end will likely be better than the Bose htib speaker.

I have definitive technology 800 series speakers. The 5.1 set cost me about $900. You can buy them a la carte as well.
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      03-15-2012, 07:47 AM   #4
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Blu Ray Player - get a used OPPO or new if you want to spend the money. By far the best disc player on the market. Will play everything from CD's to DVD's to Blu-Ray. Worth every cent.

Receiver - anything in the $600 range from Denon, Pioneer and Onkyo will be pretty much on par and pretty decent. At this price point, performance will be the same it will just come down to nitty gritty feathures. Once you start spending over a grand the choices get a little better.

Subwoofer - my favorite pick of all time has always been Paradigm. They're made right here just outside of Toronto so if I need service I can bring them straight to the manufacturer. Plus, they're always winning multiple awards year after year for the last 20 years. Good, solid performers. Even if I lived State side I'd still go for a Paradigm. Can't go wrong with KEF or DefTech either at your price point.

Media Player - look no further than a Boxee Box. By far the best multi media player ever made.
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      03-15-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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If you are interested in the Velodyne VX-11, Amazon has it for a steal right now:
http://www.amazon.com/Velodyne-VX-11/dp/B002ZBJSIM
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      03-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #6
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You are missing one important detail. Bose Lifestyle systems are designed only to work with its own products and is not very compatible with other products.

The Jewel Cubes lack a dedicated tweeter and midrange driver and has a single crappy hybrid driver instead, which makes them very handicapped when asked to reproduce the full frequency range that a typical bookshelf speaker is asked to do. Therefore, Bose compensates for this by EQ'ing the shit out of the signal to enhance (over-exaggerate) the parts the Jewel Cube is capable of reproducing and reduce (remove) the parts it cannot reproduce. This EQ'ing is done in the Bass Module. Take the Bass Module out of the equation and hook up a receiver, you will no longer get the EQ'ing that makes the Jewel Cube sound halfway competent. Then the Jewel Cube will be asked to reproduce the full frequency range of a bookshelf speaker and it will do a very crappy job at it due to the lack of dedicated drivers.

Not to mention the fact that no subwoofer will be able to truly replace the Bass Module because the Bass Module operates at frequencies that all other subwoofers are designed to avoid. Again, due to the lack of a dedicated midrange driver, the Jewel Cubes just cannot reproduce the low end of a typical bookshelf speaker. Again, Bose compensates for this by designing the Bass Module to reproduce some of the frequencies that a typical bookshelf would usually reproduce. Having the Bass Module operate at this frequency means that a listener will be able to detect the location of the sub by hearing alone. All subwoofers are designed to be audibly invisible and to avoid this frequency range. So taking the Bass Module out of the equation means having a huge hole in your frequency range, mostly midbass like gunshots.

So my suggestion would be to keep the entire Bose Lifestyle system intact or replace everything. If you are already spending money on upgrading certain parts, you will be seriously handicapping them when using the Bose products which are tuned in a very peculiar way.

About HDMI Pass Through, it is only important if you ever plan to watch a program with the audio played directly through the TV speakers, essentially bypassing the home theater system completely. I have this feature and have never used it.

Last edited by daixloxbmw; 03-15-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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      03-15-2012, 10:14 AM   #7
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+1 on Velodyne
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      03-15-2012, 11:13 PM   #8
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That's a damn good deal on the velodyne.

As someone mentioned...pioneer, denon, onkyo and Harmon kardon for a receiver will work. Look for one that supports full 1080p, ARC and 3D since your tv is capable of all of those. Remember to run version 1.4 HDMI cables(amazon has 'em for less than $10).

For the DVD player, go with a ps3. It's pretty much future proof....for now....lol
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      03-16-2012, 05:00 PM   #9
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the HDMI board on my Onkyo SR606 receiver went bad after only two years

I replaced with a Denon 2112CI receiver and am much happier (airplay is awesome)

If the components you get don't have built-in WIFI (since you said its not important) you can always add a 4-port wireless bridge, much easier to install updates plus you can easily sync up movies and music from your home PC or iPhone

+1 for Definitive Technology speakers - unbelieveable sound for the mid-price range

blu-ray: unless you are looking in the ultra-high end range there isn't much difference between a $200 player or a $1000 player. as long as it can output full 1080p/24 you wouldn't notice a drop in video quality unless you are an extreme videophile. I have sony (3D bluray for living room) and panasonic (non 3D bluray for bedroom)

I don't know much about Fry's but I buy all of my stuff from ABT, they are about a 40 minute drive from the Loop and well worth the drive. They price-match and are also willing to negotiate a little bit.
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      03-29-2012, 11:49 AM   #10
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For speakers, if you're trying to stretch your budget here, check out the MonoPrice solutions. Do they sound as good as high end Bowers and Wilkins speakers? No, of course not. But for the price, people are always surprised as to how good they sound.

And get all your cables from them...high quality and fair pricing.
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      03-30-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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I'm not a guru, but I had an installer put this in for me last week. Very happy with it. Lots of control options including an iPad app and a web based interface.

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-A710.../dp/B0056HRKB4
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      03-30-2012, 09:37 AM   #12
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That receiver is sweet! My father wouldn't know where to start with it though.

I ended up getting him a Denon AVR 791, the 12" Velodyne sub, and a Samsung Blue ray player with all the internet apps (netflix, hulu, pandora, etc).

I rewired his bose satellite speakers and everything sounds great! I'm really surprised at how well the Denon receivers "Audigy" sound setup worked. Place the supplied microphone in 6 spots around the listening area and it sets itself up... maybe I lucked out with the right shape room, but the sound is great!

Thanks for the suggestions.
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      03-30-2012, 09:40 AM   #13
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Control of the gear is the key.

Buy and program the remote for him.

He'll never use internet sources, until you teach him how.

Netflix's website is pretty straightforward. Walk him through it about a dozen times, to add vids to the queue, and he'll get it. If my 85 year old father can do it, so can anyone.

Simplified control, 1 programmable remote, is what he needs more than anything - set up by you.
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      03-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #14
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RF Harmony remotes are pretty easy to program and use. From the touchscreen you select 'watch TV' or 'watch a DVD.' Not rocket surgery.
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      03-30-2012, 12:56 PM   #15
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+1 on logitech remotes, I use a harmony one, controls all my devices including ps3 (w/ adapter). Bought to make it easier for wife, she just has to push "watch bigass TV" to see her shows
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      03-30-2012, 01:08 PM   #16
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+1 for logitech harmony one remote. I think they also have a RF version of the remote.
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      03-30-2012, 09:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac View Post
+1 for logitech harmony one remote. I think they also have a RF version of the remote.
+2
I use a Logitech Harmony 900 which uses RF and IR and I control everything including my Boxee Box (needed an adaptor for Boxee). Best remote ever.
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      03-31-2012, 01:48 AM   #18
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Just scooped up the harmony one as well, before that I had the 550. They're awesome remotes but on the pricey side, it's worth it though
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