Amp or HTiB 5.1 w/3D Passthru for a cheapskate? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-27-2013, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been reading through portions of the forum and have decided to post a new question. My apologies if this isn't the correct forum. I'm hoping some of you audiophiles have some suggestions that you yourself wouldn't follow, but you might recommend to your cheapskate neighbor.

In-a-nutshell, my needs are:
- 5.1 in a small, 12x15' viewing room
- At least 3 HDMI inputs for 3D passthru (DirecTV HDR + PS3 + XBox 360)
- Am open to either Amp + speakers or HTiB system, hopefully the latter for price point

What I have today is (yes, I'm a cheap, American bastard, older tech/sales):
- 7 year-old Pioneer HTS-260 (actually, XBox 360 branded HTS-SG1 for US$99, bargain)
- 5 year-old Logitech Harmony 880 universal remote (refurb purchase for US$60)
- 4 year-old Mitsubishi WD-65C9 DLP 3D TV (Dell for US$769) + 3D Emitter

What I'm looking to do is ...

HDR/PS3/X360 -> Amp/HTiB HDMI -> 3D Emitter -> TV

The HTS-260, which is quite sufficient for my 12x15' viewing room, is limited on supported 5.1 audio formats, which sometimes doesn't agree with the equipment/audio I use. Additionally, it's a PITA to switch HDMI just for 3D with the Emitter, even if the Harmony remote sets all the audio correct (the HTS-260 has 2xTosh+1xCoax).

And yes, I could get a modern TV, one that solves the 3D issue (and pass through 5.1 to the Amp), but I'm looking to get another 2-3 years out of this TV. Once the bulb goes (I usually get 5-6 years out of a DLP bulb with my limited viewing habits), I'll buy another and recycle the TV to my aging parents who could care less about audio and 3D (like they currently have with my 8 year-old Panasonic 720p LCD projection).

So right now I'm between getting another HTiB, or investing a bit more into an Amp + speakers for my 12x15' viewing room. I really want something with three (3) HDMI ports with pass-thru, and an Amp/HTiB that does virtually every 5.1 format, so I can address the audio + 3D once and for all. I'll probably stop using the Harmony and just use the solution's remote too (the volume up button is starting to give fits any way).

I really don't want to go dropping US$1,000 into an Amp + speakers, although would consider it if it was heading more towards US$500 including speakers. I know that's a tall order, and I was going to wait on a new Amp purchase until I drop it on a new TV (in 2-3 years). Again, I only have a 12x15' room, and clarity is better than power, but not to an audiophile's tastes.

Thank you for your time in advance, and my apologies if this is not the appropriate section of the forum. Please feel free to move it if it is not.

-- bjs

P.S. Internet/services are a nice bonus, but not necessary, as I have a PS3. And in the case it does (as most do today), doesn't have to have WiFi as I have Ethernet at the wall already. I ran Cat-5 throughout my house some 15 years ago, and it's still working without issues. But I won't complain if it has WiFi as well. The 3D passthrough is my primary concern, with most other things secondary.
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-28-2013, 08:13 AM
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Look at Onkyo and Denon HTIBs. A new TV would not give you 5.1 audio from attached devices. The AVR remote probably won't come close to working as well as the Harmony.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-30-2013, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Look at Onkyo and Denon HTIBs.
I looked at the Denon 1513ba, but was a bit disappointed that it didn't have auto-setup of the speakers. I really don't want to spend part of a day getting the sound perfect.

So other than the 1513ba, any specific HTiB model suggestions that are under sub-$500 with speakers? Any other Denon options with better firmware that does auto-setup of the speakers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

A new TV would not give you 5.1 audio from attached devices
Correct. But a newer TV would likely give me encoded audio passthrough on its optical, and it would solve the TV not doing 3D without the converter box I currently have. Hence why I wanted to point that out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

The AVR remote probably won't come close to working as well as the Harmony.
No disagreement, but it would probably be "good enough" because I have a single HDMI into the TV. I don't use the XBox 360 other than play games, and I've already gone through two (2) Logitech PS3 wireless-to-IR units for the Harmony, so I end up using a PS3 remote any way (for Amazon, Netflix, etc...).

Besides, the HTiB may come with its own Linux platform in firmware as well (for Amazon, Netflix, etc...), but that's a secondary consideration for me.
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