HTIB + Bluray combo - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok. I'm starting from scratch. Just bought a new home and the living room needs audio. Got a 46" Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV and I've been living with the tv speakers for far too long. I have an Xbox360 (and thus a DVD player), but I figure if I'm getting a new sound system I may as well upgrade to blu-ray and take full advantage of the new TV. Also have limited space for A/V equipment on the TV stand and the gf would throw a fit if I piled up a bunch of 'junk'. Budget is flexible, but shooting for $500-$700. Don't need anything extravagant, but MUST have flexibility to upgrade speakers. 5/7 channel not that important.

So I'm looking at all the popular HTIB's w/ Bluray included and here are the options:

LG - LHB977

Sony BDV-E500W

Panasonic SC-BT300

Samsung HT-BD3252

(sorry, guess I can't post links yet)

Comments on any of these being better than the others?
Any good ones that I may have missed?
Do they sell just the receiver/BD player combo by itself?
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 12:41 PM
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HTIB are awful. You are better off getting separate components. It may cost more but you will able to upgrade various components in the future as to stay up to date. HTIB is like Emachine PCs. Disposable in a year or two.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 12:43 PM
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From what I've seen, having been shopping around myself, the blu ray/receiver combo systems are not designed for upgrading speakers. They tend to use some weird 3 ohm load speakers, when the usual is 8 ohms. So you could probably hack something together to 'upgrade' the speakers but it wouldn't really be advisable.

It seems manufacturers see it like this: People looking at blu ray combo systems want low cost as their priority, therefore designing in upgradable speakers doesn't really help sell those units. Part of the reason these systems are low cost is because they use proprietary parts that are stripped down to only the necessary functionality.

On the other hand, people concerned about things like upgrading speakers later are the kind of people who want quality as a first priority, quality sound as well as components. These people are not likely to buy a receiver/blu ray combo unit in the first place.

So you're caught in a no man's land. You want something that is at odds with itself- small and integrated but with full standard expandability.

You're probably going to need to choose: A normal receiver that will allow flexibility in speakers, but which means also having another component to make room for(the blu ray player) OR a blu ray combo, with has it all in one small component but which means you are pretty much stuck using only the speakers that came with it.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, blackssr, but not all that helpful.

If I can upgrade the speakers on an HTIB (looking for info here on whether I can), what's the difference? To me, it's the built-in blu ray player. So it comes down to the receiver/amp. Got any info on what makes an equally priced stand alone receiver and blu ray player a better bargain?
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highdefdrifter View Post


So you're caught in a no man's land. You want something that is at odds with itself- small and integrated but with full standard expandability.

You're probably going to need to choose: A normal receiver that will allow flexibility in speakers, but which means also having another component to make room for(the blu ray player) OR a blu ray combo, with has it all in one small component but which means you are pretty much stuck using only the speakers that came with it.

Thanks HDdrifter, that pretty well sums it up, even though it's not what I was hoping to hear. Haven't done a lot of shopping around yet. I guess if I'm utterly disgusted by the sound quality on the HTIB's when I go check 'em out, it'll make the decision easier.
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 01:19 PM
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If you look at it as fairly temporary, as in using it for a year or so and then upgrading everything, from the speakers to the receiver, you should be okay with a HTIB/Blu-Ray unit for the time being, assuming the sound is enough for you.

If you want something that will last for a long time and grow with you, avoid them. You'll only end up frustrated with it. They're not upgradeable, and they were designed that way. Plus, they don't play well with cable/sat boxes or game systems, either.

But you're on the right track. Try them out at first, and if they don't cut the mustard, look to a separate system. Even if you have to convince the gf to accept a bunch of "junk." Some gfs do come around.

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post #7 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 01:27 PM
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The major problem with using the 3ohm AVR with 8 ohm speakers is NO POWER! If the system is 30w (3ohm) it will be like 12w (8ohm). I would hate to see you buy nice speakers and then destroy them by feeding them crap power.

Start with separates. The Denon 1610 or Onkyo 507 would be fine. Going with older models (1609 or 1908) Denons/ Onkyo 606 or 605) can save money if features don't matter much. These won't crap out when the power is turned up to a moderate level.

Speakers. Start with 2.0 or 2.1 for upgrades. Add the rest later. A good 2.0 or 2.1 system will destroy a crap 5.1 system. If you are using your TV speakers now it will be a huge improvement. Paradigm Atom or Mini speakers would be nice. Energy makes some good speakers for low money. Honestly there are a ton of choices that will destroy HTiB speakers.

Blu-Ray players are very cheap. I personally like the Panasonic BD-60. amazon has a great price and it upscales DVD movies very well.

Subwoofer from Premier Acousics, eD, and a few others will be no comparison to the subs that come with HTiB.

If you use this forum to research you can build yourself a killer system for the same or little more than your budget. It will be a large improvement in performance for you. When you spend a lot on an HDTV, you should try to match the sound to complete the experience. My sound system cost WAY more than my HDTV. In fact I have more in my speakers than the three HDTVs I have bought the last 4 years.

To me it sounds like you don't want HTiB. Those systems have their place but they really aren't built to expand on. Good luck, and have fun!

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 01:34 PM
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Forget all the other arguments here.

I'll tell you why the HTiB with Blu ray built-in are a bad idea:

NO HDMI INPUTS.

That's right, no HDMI inputs whatsoever. Sure it outputs HDMI, but no HDMI in. In fact I'm pretty sure only the Panny HTiB even has inputs of any kind for other components, and those are only optical audio inputs (of which it has two). Video would need to go straight to your display device, not "one hdmi output to the tv to rule them all" as with other HTiB's.

But what if the day comes that you have three components you need to hook up to that HTiB/Blu Ray player? Fuggetaboutit.

For me this is the big deal breaker on HTiB + Blu Ray combos. For me I am going to go with HTiB and use another blu ray player (my PS3). I'm planning on buying the Onkyo HT-S6200 (or maybe 7200 or maybe 9100, I dunno). 6200 and 7200 are in your budget range.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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P97, I'm pretty sure the Samsung has 2 HDMI inputs which is all I would need. And I thought I read in other threads that the only difference with the others is an extra wire and an extra click of the remote? Wire audio thru receiver, video thru TV. Sure it's a pain but wires take up less space than hardware and it's the same quality, no?
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-02-2009, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrothertonHT View Post

Thanks, blackssr, but not all that helpful.

If I can upgrade the speakers on an HTIB (looking for info here on whether I can), what's the difference? To me, it's the built-in blu ray player. So it comes down to the receiver/amp. Got any info on what makes an equally priced stand alone receiver and blu ray player a better bargain?

The difference is Bluray specs are changing and need constant updates or new firmware features. HTIB/ all in one units will not be supported as well as stand alone players. They are usually low end products. Go separates and you will be better off in the long run. With your budget you should be able to get separates on sale or closeout items that are much better then crappy HTIB units. If short on funds start with one product at a time and upgrade when money allows. As far as the GF issues.... never mind..
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-06-2009, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappy97 View Post

Forget all the other arguments here.

I'll tell you why the HTiB with Blu ray built-in are a bad idea:

NO HDMI INPUTS.

That's right, no HDMI inputs whatsoever. Sure it outputs HDMI, but no HDMI in. In fact I'm pretty sure only the Panny HTiB even has inputs of any kind for other components, and those are only optical audio inputs (of which it has two). Video would need to go straight to your display device, not "one hdmi output to the tv to rule them all" as with other HTiB's.

But what if the day comes that you have three components you need to hook up to that HTiB/Blu Ray player? Fuggetaboutit.

For me this is the big deal breaker on HTiB + Blu Ray combos. For me I am going to go with HTiB and use another blu ray player (my PS3). I'm planning on buying the Onkyo HT-S6200 (or maybe 7200 or maybe 9100, I dunno). 6200 and 7200 are in your budget range.

Actually this year the industry seen several changes to the HTIB units. Several of them now have HDMI inputs. As mentioned in this August 2009 article by CNET:

"When Blu-ray HTIBs first hit the market, they really didn't make sense as a product type. They were slow, and the value just wasn't there, as it was easy to put together superior systems from separate components. One year later, everything has changed; there are several excellent HTIBs with integrated Blu-ray available for prices comparable to those of standalone Blu-ray players."

The LG LHB953 and LHB977 both offfer 2 HDMI inputs (among others)... the Onkyo HT-S9100 offer 4 HDMI inputs! Granted the HTIB may never compete with a component system ... but at least they're beginning to offer more flexibility (as well as bang for the buck.)
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-06-2009, 10:21 AM
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Try reading up on the Onkyo s9100 HTIB as stated above.. It is THX certified and you can find it shipped for under $750. It has real good reviews and excellent quality from my seat of the pants review. It is rated higher than systems costing thousands more. Most other HTIB's are junk in my opinion. Just go look at them and pick up the speakers and you will FEEL the difference which will equate to hearing the difference later when you own.
Spend extra on the HTIB and you will not be disappointed.

The Panasonic bd80 also has good reviews and can be found under $200 and compares to $500 models per Cnet reviews. The Samsung is also decent and has wireless capability and netflix. I use ethernet to stream stuff since it is soooo much faster and went with the bd80 to go w/ my 58V10 Pani Tv.

my .02
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-10-2009, 10:15 AM
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Do htibs exist that have both DVD and Blu-Ray?
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-10-2009, 10:20 AM
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Well, I've never heard of a consumer Blu-Ray player that wasn't backwards compatible for DVDs, so I'd say all of them are Blu-Ray and DVD. CDs should play fine, too. If there is any doubt, look for one with a Blu-Ray and DVD logo.

Some might have problems with home recorded DVDs, but that also happens to a lot of DVD players.

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post #15 of 17 Old 12-10-2009, 10:27 AM
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Thanks!
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post #16 of 17 Old 02-14-2010, 05:08 AM
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im having problems with the firmware.i connected to internet and cant get the lastest firmware.trying to help a friend.cant play couples retreat.thanks in advance for any help....rob
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post #17 of 17 Old 08-02-2010, 11:27 AM
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I have had the SC-BT300 for 2 years now. While I'm pissed it can't be upgraded to 3D, I just received 5 updates from Panasonic at once. Went from Firmware 1.4 ---> 1.8. I've seen reports one of the updates enhanced the dreadfully slow loadtime, but I'm very curious to know what the others do. Netflix would be great...
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