Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
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Perhaps I should have jumped into the $300 HTIB thread, but I have a few specific concerns before I go replace the Sony HTIB I've had for 6 years.
I have a 42" LG in a living room. The room was pre-wired for surround sound, so I run speaker wires from he current htib to the wall plate I installed. We have the Comcast HD/DVR box, an Xbox 360, and a Wii connected to the TV, and we will be adding a blu-ray player. The idea is to spend less than $500, and I am assuming $100 is going to the DVD player. My assumption is that everything will go hdmi in to the receiver (can't remember if the wii is hdmi, component, or composite) with one hdmi out to the tv.
So, that leaves the receiver and speakers. The simple choice would appear to be the Yamaha YHT-395BL (sorry, but newbs are not allowed to post url's), which I can get from Newegg for $339 (it's $10 cheaper to buy the combo pack with speaker wire and an hdmi cable than just buying the 395BL on its own). I am a little wary of refurbs, but there is also the $349 Denon 591 package mentioned in the other thread (is that an older model?).
However, most people appear to prefer buying the receiver and speakers separate. So, that leads me to something like the Pioneer VSK-821 ($199 at Newegg, Costco, Amazon and elsewhere) or the Onkyo TX-NR509 ($219 at Newegg) combined with the Onkyo SKS-HT690 speakers ($179 at Newegg) or the Polk Audio RM6750 ($199 at Newegg).
From what I have been reading, I think most would point to the Onkyo receiver and Polk speakers, but I would like to know why. In other words, what do I get for the extra $40 if I buy the Pioneer/Onkyo combo over the Yamaha htib, and then what do I get for the extra $20 each for the Onkyo receiver or Polk Audio speakers? I load up the side-by-side comparisons, but I really don't know what I am looking for. For the weekly family movie and regular music playing, will we know the difference? I use surround sound headphones for the xbox so that I don't wake the kids up at night, so we are not talking about satisfying a bunch of audiophiles here. My kids can hear the difference between the clock radio and the speaker showroom at the local store, but will they hear something different between the Onkyos and the Polk Audios? Will I hear the difference?
Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions.