New System for Mother-in-Law - AVS Forum
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Just got a call from my mother-in-law who enjoys relaxing and watching movies in her living room. Her DVD player doesn't work and she wants a new 'fancy' TV basically with blu-ray capability, easy to use, surround sound, and some way of limiting the commercials being louder than the programs (thinking Audyssey DV here?).

The room itself is a large open plan living room and she wants simple, so I'm thinking about a sound bar or 'virtual' surround sound setup (as few wires as possible as she said).

TV Cabinet: 38.5" W X 82" H (thinking Samsung LCD, she wants around 36" if possible)

Cable: Cox PVR (already there)

Speakers: Soundbar possibly? Also, again looking for easiest option for her

Remote: Logitech Harmony (model not sure, not as complex as the One)
(I'm in FL, she's in Washington State!, so I can't be around to help her get things setup as much as I would want to be).

Blu-Ray Player: Panasonic DMP-BD35K

Receiver: Denon or Onkyo (dependent on soundbar probably)

General: $1500 budget, simple to use, reliable, and she wants a vibrant color TV. Confirm most TVs in that size are only 720P and is there any reason to go higher? She doesn't need a PS3 or massive sound production capability but would like the best movie experience in the budget ($1500) without a lot of hassle!

Let me hear some ideas!
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:28 PM
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Sounds like the perfect contender for something like the samsung HTiB bluray system. Yeah, wires for speakers, unless you get those wireless adapters from rocketfish or something, but a soundbar is going to easily eat 1/2 your budget leaving nothing for a display or other components. The samsung bluray might be overkill though, she just might be okay with something like the upconvert samsung or sony HTIB. For the budget, and distance, i'd recommend one of the middle-of-the road HTIBs and a decent 37-42" LCD. Get it all from best buy, with warranty, and due to the distance thing, pay geek squad to hook it all up. With only 2 devices, the harmony might be overkill as well, a simple universal would do it. I know i tried to teach my mom how a harmony worked, and gave up shortly thereafter when she got frustrated and started pressing buttons on the equipment, thus negating the reason for the harmony.

Go check out the HTiB forum and the LCD forum for bang-for-the-buck models. Personally, the HTiB systems i've ever seen, panasonic and samsung seem to be the better ones, not sure about the quality of LG. And for displays, think Best Buy still has the insignia 47" 1080p LCD for under 1k. Heck of a setup for 1500 really, especially for mom-in-law Or the 37" sets are getting down there in price, $600-800 depending on brand.

But definately pay an installer to hook it all up. Also, decide what equipment, then order cables from monoprice, send them to mom, and when the installer comes out, she can just hand him a box of cables instead of her getting bent over for "oh, you need this $100 cable too!". Be the hero.
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