HTS on BF around $200 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 11-16-2007, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I was wondering on what HTS to get with the Mitsubishi 65" thats going on sale on BF in BB.

Anyone have any suggestions on what is a nice HTS for around $200. Its going in our media room in our new house. The Media Room is around 20 x 21 feet.

I was thinking of the Sony Bravia "1000 Watt" HTS DAV-HDX265 - I count 800W but they say 1000Watts. Its going for $250 in Sears. What do you guys think? I like the wireless rear speakers, although I've been told that Wireless speakers are really bad.

Any suggestions?

Thank you,

Constantine
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post #2 of 31 Old 11-16-2007, 11:04 PM
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I bought a $400 Kenwood HTIB about 3 years ago and it wasn't very good at all so I doubt you will get anything that is "good" for $200. Sorry but its probably reality. It might be wiser to get something 50" or 56" and have some more left over for the HTS.
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post #3 of 31 Old 11-16-2007, 11:11 PM
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Are you hoping to get something with great sound? Or just a small 5.1 system so you can say you have surround sound? Granted, HTIB's are very viable options for many people, but it amazes me that people will buy huge TV's that cost thousands of dollars and then expect good sound for a couple hundred. If you just want a basic surround sound setup, the Sony you mentioned, or a cheap Onkyo HTIB might suit you well. Personally, I think it's worth getting a decent sound setup, especially with such a huge, gorgeous TV! It really will make a difference.

That room is pretty large, and to be honest, it will be hard for a cheap HTIB to fill it with a convincing amount of undistorted sound. Now maybe you're just looking to have something that gives the directional effects of having surround sound at low volumes. If that's the case, a HTIB will suffice. But in a 21'x20' room, to have any sort of impactful sound you'll need to spend quite a bit more than that. I'm not saying not to get a HTIB. After all, you know what you need more than I do. I'd just strongly recommend budgeting more for the sound portion of your setup - you'd be amazed at the difference it will make in your viewing experience!

Regarding wireless speakers, they generally equate to a lower quality sound. They can also pick up interference from other wireless devices (routers, wireless phones, etc). I'd recommend wired rear speakers if at all possible, though if you have to go wireless, it can work.

For HTIB's, the Sony might be ok. The usual recommendation on these forums is Onkyo. Their receivers are more full-fledged, with no proprietary connections (meaning if you want to upgrade speakers later, you can - the receivers are pretty decent), and the speakers are pretty good, considering they're HTIB speakers. You might need to give us a more concrete budget. Honestly, I can't really recommend anything under $200 for the size room you're in. Others might have ideas, but again, if you could possibly either wait a bit and save for a better system or have the patience to go piece by piece and build up to surround sound, as opposed to getting a cheap HTIB, I can guarantee you'll be happier. I'm not anti-HTIB, but in a room of that size with such a gorgeous screen it'd be a shame to have a really lackluster sound system! Give some more details on what you need in terms of connectivity, and we'll try to help you out more. Good luck.

Stephen
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post #4 of 31 Old 11-16-2007, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket Aces View Post

I bought a $400 Kenwood HTIB about 3 years ago and it wasn't very good at all so I doubt you will get anything that is "good" for $200. Sorry but its probably reality. It might be wiser to get something 50" or 56" and have some more left over for the HTS.

What he said! I had a $300 Sony HTIB a couple years ago and it was underwhelming in my tiny 11'x10' room - I can't even imagine having it try to fill a big room with decent sound. A slightly smaller screen will free up a few hundred dollars more. Once you get around $700-$1000, you can start talking serious surround sound for a room that size.
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post #5 of 31 Old 11-17-2007, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Doesn't seem like I'm going to be happy at all with what you guys are suggesting. Its not that its bad, its just that I'm going to be disappointed of what I will be choosing by the sound of it.

The thing is, we're buying furniture for the whole house. Its a new one. It is getting pretty expensive with 2 Living rooms, 4 Bedrooms, Office, and all the other rooms a house has. One of the normal rooms alone, not the masters, is 21x14. So I will have to be on a budget, its a 3600+ sq. ft. house. Everything is going to be new and it is A LOT of space to fill.

Ok, I'm going to stretch it a bit. Any HTIB that is around $300? 5.1 Surround sound at least. Getting a PS3 as a Blu-ray player so DVD capability isn't important. And running a wire around the well to the back, going to be a really long one, looks really messy and annoying and I do not think the regular HTIB default wires to the back is 50 Feet+++ long. A friend of mine works for a computer repair company and they do HT installations, I am honestly not sure how well he does it but I'll have some help I hope if I do need wires.

Any suggestions? If it in a Black Friday sales at Circuit City, Best Buy, Fry's, or Sears would be nice as well.

Thank you for your responses,

Constantine
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post #6 of 31 Old 11-17-2007, 11:46 AM
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I'm just wondering why someone would spend $1500-$3000 for a new HDTV and then expect to buy a $200 sound system to go with it?

Definitely upgrade your budget to $750 or more, or at minimum find a refurb HTIB on shoponkyo.com that comes with a real receiver.

Afro GT
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post #7 of 31 Old 11-17-2007, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

I'm just wondering why someone would spend $1500-$3000 for a new HDTV and then expect to buy a $200 sound system to go with it?

Definitely upgrade your budget to $750 or more, or at minimum find a refurb HTIB on shoponkyo.com that comes with a real receiver.

I don't get it either, but I can take a guess as to why people think it's a legitimate option - every Best Buy/Circuit City ad these days has huge, multi-thousand dollar TV's paired with small, cheap HTIB's in bundle deals. To the uneducated consumer, it looks like the $200 HTIB's are being recommended for use with big-screen, premium TV's, and so they unquestioningly buy them. Sad but true.

Constantine, for someone who isn't picky at all about sound quality, but just wants to be able to say "I have surround sound," a tiny $200 HTIB might be a viable option in a very small room. Anyone who wants a sound system that can even come close to complementing a large, $2000+ TV needs to realize that unfortunately, good audio comes at a cost, as well. I'd seriously recommend, as pocketaces did earlier, to consider dropping just a few inches off of the display. You'll probably save around $500 by doing so, and can then use the $700-$800 for real speakers. Or, just hold off on buying the audio gear for now. Get the big TV and wait until you have some money saved up to buy decent audio. I understand that not everyone prioritizes good audio, and many people don't have the money to purchase it, but it really blows my mind to spend $3000 on a TV and less than one tenth of the amount on audio. For $200, take your pick - read reviews on Best Buy, Circuit City, and Amazon, close your eyes, and point at a system. Then get that one. Otherwise, try to budget a bit more for audio. It'll be totally worth it in the end!

For $300 you can get a cheap Onkyo HTIB, maybe a refurb from shoponkyo.com that will sound ok. The problem is, at that price, it's hard to find the connections you'll need for the PS3 and all of the high-tech gear you'll undoubtedly be using with it. Unless of course you are treating this audio purchase as a disposable, temporary thing, in which case I'd say fine, get a cheap HTIB for now, knowing you'll replace it in the not-too-distant future. Still, I'd recommend just waiting and saving the money to get better stuff to begin with. Good luck.
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post #8 of 31 Old 11-18-2007, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I went looking around and I found this.

What do you guys think?

Suggestions would be nice.

Thank you
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post #9 of 31 Old 11-18-2007, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I will post again the links since the website didn't allow me to post the links in my previous reply. It thinks I'm a spammer or something.


HT-SR800



Its on Crutchfield as well.


Or

This one from Sony at Best Buy.


What do you guys think?

Any Suggestions?

Constantine
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post #10 of 31 Old 11-18-2007, 09:42 PM
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I think avs has a minimum number of posts you need to have before it lets you post links. That's what I've heard anyway.

About the systems, you already know we don't think a HTIB will be very fulfilling in your room. However, your budget is low, and I can understand needing to keep things cheap right now with all of the other expenses you have with the new house. Onkyo has great HTIB systems. The HT-SR800 is a capable little HTIB. If I had to choose between the two, I'd go with the Onkyo. Realize that the HDMI for the Onkyo only does video switching, it doesn't carry the audio signal, so you'll need separate cables to do surround sound. I and many others here have recommended this system numerous times. I still think that considering how much you're spending on the TV it would make more sense to get a higher quality audio system, but for a cheap HTIB, this Onkyo is a good choice. Just don't have unreasonably high expectations and you'll be ok. You'll get nice surround sound, but it won't be anything like a theater in terms of volume, impact, or clarity.
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post #11 of 31 Old 11-19-2007, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
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What do you mean by, "It only does video switching."?

Please clarify.
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post #12 of 31 Old 11-19-2007, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine769 View Post

What do you mean by, "It only does video switching."?

Please clarify.

If you plug in your DVD player or Sat/Cable box to your receiver via HDMI you won't get any audio. You'll also need to also plug in an optical or digital coaxial cable for sound.

Afro GT
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post #13 of 31 Old 11-19-2007, 07:49 AM
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He means that the HDMI inputs are only used to supply video to the display and it only switches the video signals. It is not capable of using the HDMI inputs for sound and requires a separate set of connectors for audio. There are other receivers that can use the HDMI inputs for sound and also use it to then transfer HDMI over the output to the display.
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post #14 of 31 Old 11-19-2007, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Any particular reason why this receiver does not do this? It doesn't make sense at all. HDMI does carry both Audio/Video, I can't figure out why Onkyo would intentionally do this. Any ideas why?

So for every HDMI intput, I need to attach an Optical Input as well and the same towards the display? Too much hassle if you ask me.

Are there any sets like this out there that is similar to the HT-SR800 but does do HDMI correctly? For the same price of course.

Thank you,

Constantine
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post #15 of 31 Old 11-19-2007, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine769 View Post


Are there any sets like this out there that is similar to the HT-SR800 but does do HDMI correctly? For the same price of course.

Thank you,

Constantine

Unfortunately, not for under $200. You'll find that most cheaper receivers with HDMI have this limitation. Many really low-budget receivers don't even have HDMI, so honestly at the price point, you're lucky to get it at all. It must be a bit cheaper to manufacture receivers that don't handle both video and audio over HDMI. Either that or they want to make you pay more for the ability to do both . At any rate, since you have such high demands for your receiver, I'd recommend that you hold off on any audio purchase until you can buy a real system. I don't mean thousands of dollars, but at least a decent setup to complement the huge TV. There are lots of black friday deals on speaker packages. You could always snag a 5.1 speaker package for cheap, then just hold on to it until you can afford a good receiver (Onkyo 605 is an excellent choice right now, but it's around $350 if you find a good deal).

The key thing to look at on receivers with regard to HDMI is if it says "HDMI passthrough". This means it won't do the audio over HDMI. Some manufacturers fess up to this and will say something like "separate audio cable required", but others don't. The Onkyo 605 has HDMI switching, which does both video and audio. It's a fully featured AVR and for a low budget, it seems like the way to go right now. Anyway, good luck with everything. I know for a fact you won't find a setup for $200 with HDMI that does video AND audio. Sometimes, quality just costs money.
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post #16 of 31 Old 11-19-2007, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine769 View Post

So for every HDMI intput, I need to attach an Optical Input as well and the same towards the display? Too much hassle if you ask me.

Constantine

What do you mean by "the same toward the display?" If your receiver does video switching over HDMI, then you still only need one HDMI cable going to the display for all of your HDMI video inputs. That will be the HDMI output. The HDMI connections from the components (DVD player, video game system, etc.) will go into the receiver's HDMI inputs. All of the optical (or digital coaxial) cables will be going from your separate components (DVD player, video game system, etc) to the receiver - they don't get hooked up to the display, because the audio is all done by the receiver, not your TV.
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post #17 of 31 Old 11-19-2007, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine769 View Post

Any particular reason why this receiver does not do this? It doesn't make sense at all. HDMI does carry both Audio/Video, I can't figure out why Onkyo would intentionally do this. Any ideas why?

So for every HDMI intput, I need to attach an Optical Input as well and the same towards the display? Too much hassle if you ask me.

Are there any sets like this out there that is similar to the HT-SR800 but does do HDMI correctly? For the same price of course.

Thank you,

Constantine

Its not just Onkyo. Sony and HK (maybe others) have receivers that are similar. Low end receivers with HDMI inputs are designed to cut price and can only intake HDMI for video output and switching video sources. I found this surprising myself when I first heard of this but a couple examples are the Onkyo TX-SR505, Sony STR-DG510 and HK AVR147. If you do a search on their specs it will say HDMI video passthrough/switching only and something to the effect of "separate connection required for audio".
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post #18 of 31 Old 11-20-2007, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you guys think of these selections?

HK AVR 247

- At 600W, it seems to low for power.

Panasonic SC-PT750
- Seems like a good HTIB and it does audio on HDMI unlike the Onkyo.

Yamaha HTR-5950SL
- This looks like a really good receiver. All the people who bought it from Amazon likes it.

For the receivers, could you guys please recommend a 5.1 speaker system that could go with the receivers. The media room has a rear mounted wall speakers. It is the one you screw in the back with the arms attached to the wall. I think there are wires running in the back, I have not checked yet.

If none of these are any good, would anyone be willing to put together a nice audio system costing around $600 Max - I'm pushing it already. I am new to this putting together different parts of the audio system. I usually just buy HTIB.

If you could recommend a good HTIB as well would be nice, preferably an HDMI that does both Audio and Video.

I know this seems to be asking too much, but I'd rather get it right the first time by asking Audiophiles rather than making my own decision which is as good as a guess. I'm a noob to this.

Thank you,

Constantine
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post #19 of 31 Old 11-20-2007, 10:14 PM
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Constantine,

Let me comment on the HK. While the power rating is listed as much lower than other receivers you'll see, I can assure you that the Harman Kardon will be able to power any speakers in your budget VERY well. HK uses very realistic power ratings on their amplifiers. Many other companies inflate them to look more impressive. Harman Kardon always rates their receivers as "all channels driven", meaning that if it's 50 watts per channel, then each channel can simultaneously receive 50 watts of power. Many other receivers might say 100 watts per channel, but only one channel can receive that much power at a time. HK also gives their power ratings over the whole audible spectrum (20hz-20,000hz), not just at one frequency (1 khz) like many companies do. I don't want to bore you with technical talk, but the point is, the HK will drive any speakers you're looking at as well as or better than the other receivers in your price range.

By the way, between the Yamaha HTR-5950 and the HK 247, the Harman Kardon is by far the better model. I think most people on this forum would heartily agree. Many would also say that HK's have exceptional sound quality compared to other receivers in their price ranges.
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post #20 of 31 Old 11-20-2007, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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What would be a nice speakers (5.1) that would go with it?
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post #21 of 31 Old 11-20-2007, 10:36 PM
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How much could you spend on speakers? The HK 247 by itself is above the budget you originally set. Give me a ballpark for the speakers (not including the HK receiver) and I'll see what I can come up with.
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post #22 of 31 Old 11-20-2007, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I found these, they seem nice - I'm spending more than I should on these:

Harman Kardon HKTS-18

Around $400 for the speakers, maybe.

Constantine
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post #23 of 31 Old 11-20-2007, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Rear mount capability for the rear speakers would be the choice because of the mounts installed in the Media Room.

Constantine
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post #24 of 31 Old 11-20-2007, 10:58 PM
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Well it won't knock you out of your chair, but the HK 247 + HTKS-18 combo will be much better than most HTIB's out there. The speakers are sleek and look good, if that's important to you. I'd still urge you to consider larger speakers, since your room is pretty big. However, if you're stuck at around $400 for your speaker budget, it'll be hard for you to find better 5.1 speakers than the HK's. The 247 + HTKS-18 will be light years ahead of the $200 HTIB's you were looking at before...trust me!
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post #25 of 31 Old 11-21-2007, 04:17 PM
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I'm in the same situation, looking to get a 5.1 system with my 42" 720p sharp aquos I'm getting on black friday. I didn't find any that had decent reviews so I was thinking of getting the Onkyo HT-SR600. With 10% off coupon at Circuit City it's 260.61. Thoughts? Am I getting a good deal?
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post #26 of 31 Old 11-21-2007, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you guys think of this model?

Onkyo HTS894

Does this do audio in HDMI? Unlike the Onkyo HT-SR800 that can't do Audio in the HDMI port.

It is cheaper than the HK by $400.

Inputs is much appreciated.

Constantine
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post #27 of 31 Old 11-22-2007, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine769 View Post

What do you guys think of this model?

Onkyo HTS894

Does this do audio in HDMI? Unlike the Onkyo HT-SR800 that can't do Audio in the HDMI port.

It is cheaper than the HK by $400.

Inputs is much appreciated.

Constantine

Yes unlike the HT-SR800 the 894 will accept audio via HDMI. The receiver is a similar 5.1 version to the onkyo 604
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post #28 of 31 Old 11-22-2007, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine769 View Post

What do you guys think of this model?

Onkyo HTS894

Does this do audio in HDMI? Unlike the Onkyo HT-SR800 that can't do Audio in the HDMI port.

It is cheaper than the HK by $400.

Inputs is much appreciated.

Constantine


That's a great price from Amazon/TigerDirect!

You'll like this system better than the 800. A few things to notice.

1. The On Screen Display doesn't work via HDMI, just component and below.
2. This unit doesn't upconvert composite, s-video or component to HDMI, so if you have a mixture of component video and HDMI devices, you'll need to run both from the receiver to the TV. If you have all HDMI devices, you're fine.
3. It does process HDMI audio
4. Has lots of digital inputs. 3 optical, 2 coaxial, plus 1 optical in front
5. Has the same speakers everyone is raving about on the HT 908.

Afro GT
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post #29 of 31 Old 11-23-2007, 11:42 AM
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The 894 is an excellent HTIB. Great features and decent speakers. That's one worth getting. It should sound pretty good, and the receiver is good enough that you could upgrade to better speakers later without needing to get a new receiver. For that price, it's about the best deal out there.
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post #30 of 31 Old 11-23-2007, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine769 View Post

I found these, they seem nice - I'm spending more than I should on these:

Harman Kardon HKTS-18

Around $400 for the speakers, maybe.

Constantine

I just bought the CP 60 Harman Kardon HTIB which included the HKTS-15 setup similar to the HKTS-18s. I'm very disappointed and am replacing my speakers with selections from Polk. Let's hope I fare better this time around.
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