I am a bit overwhelmed by the large screen TVs options particularly when it comes to what kind of sound equipment I should purchase including receiver, speakers etc. to complement with a Panasonic 65" ZT Plasma I purchase yesterday for $3788 including tax at Best Buy near my home but am waiting 10 days for delivery to have time to pick about a console to store equipment under the TV that will be mounted on wall as well as sound choices.. Also buyer remorse time to do some more research about screen size, usual LED vs Plasma choices, etc based on the six of my and configuration the room where TV will be placed Ive read that Panasonic will no longer be making Plasma TVs and they will be focusing their future efforts in some kind of OLED partnership with SONY. So customer service/and or parts may or may not be an issue in the future if something go wrong
I've never had surround nor separate speakers for my big screen TV as the sound I got from my 65" big box Mitsubishi Diamond was good enough for the past few years. Well, the 8 or 9 year old Diamond has finally cratered where repairing several issues with bowed pictures in the top corners of the screen and a week ago the TV now clicks off 2 seconds after I hit on button on TV or on remote. So its not worth fixing old technology so its time to bit the bullet for some TV and sound technology upgrade
I have a 40" Samsung LED sitting on top of a dresser in bedroom directly in front of a mirror that goes with the dresser. With the Samsung rear speaker behind the Samsung reflecting the sound off the mirror the TV sound for that room is fine. Its a TV I bought for daughter in college that we are temporarily using since she came home and is living with us after graduation. I like the TV size etc for that room and have no need for external speakers in the upstairs master bedroomthere.
I looked at the SONY 4K and decided that in spite of the picture being superior the $7,000 price tag plus SONY $500-600 receiver/or some other device who name I can recall that must be purchased as well. So as is the norm in my family I liked the crisper Plasma picture that was a bit darker and my wife prefers the bright LED picture. I realize that Samsung makes both a LED and Plasma but I have seen rave reviews about 65" Panasonic ZT model from CNET.. etc so I may have been biased based on those recommendations and reviews regarding the TV purchase.
So where do I start? These TVs are seem to be Smart TVs with the 3D option and wifi access to internet. 3d is almost getting to be a throw in but something I don't really care to watch anyway other than perhaps Avatar as most 3d DVD movies are pretty lame. Im late 50s and don't really want to wear 3D glasses for extended times. So my goal is to have a great picture, with complementary superior sound with my viewing emphasis on watching DVD movies, sports and with the ability to listen to music if nothing is interesting on TV. I also film my daughter, who is a singer songwriter musician actress, at her live music shows and television commercial (She currently featured spokesperson in Dairy Queens current What I like about Texas) ad campaign using a SONY HD camera. Im not into gaming at all but will probably be looking at some YouTube Videos from time to time.
So starting with the space/room. I have an 2 story home with open concept floor plan downstairs with dining room attached to the living room where the TV will be mounted on the far wall which is slightly over 15' wide, with a nine foot ceiling and wood laminate floors. The room has nine foot ceilings and is 18' long with an L shaped coach facing the wall that the TV will be wall mounted with the viewing distance from the wall around 13' where we mainly sit to watch TV. Five feet behind the coach the living room is open to a 12x12 dining room nook which I guess would make the room 30' long with the center of the couch 13-14 feet from the wall. The front screen of Big Box Mistsubishi Diamond we have had sticks out about 28" from the wall the wall the TV will be mounted on. I am assuming that means the wall mounted flat screen TV will then be about 2 feet ' further away that what we have been watching for years. The right wall of the room as I face the TV wall has two 6' tall windows facing south with wood blinds and are separated by an 8 foot wide fireplace. Behind the couch where we sit the wood floor continues for about 6' and then adjoins an open dining/kitchen with tiled floors. A small chandelier hangs from the middle of the dining room. The light from chandelier as well as the lights from a adjoin kitchen have been a bit of an irritating reflection on the Mitsubishi screen that we have just learned to live with. Was thinking that perhaps the slight downward tilt a the wall mounted TV might resolve some of that but I noticed that I could see lights reflecting off both the LED and Plasma sitting on consoles in the Best Buy stores.
I don't think they way the downstairs room in my two story house will allow me to use rear speakers for true surround sound as I don't have room to put speakers on the floor behind me and it would be a wiring pain in the neck and expensive to mount the speakers up high in the corners of the living room behind me when seated on the couch.
So for the type of room size and conditions and viewing/listening habits Ive described Im leaning toward 2 floor speakers, a center channel, subwoofer and a receiver that complements the TV and speakers that I go with. I would greatly appreciate advice from those of you far more knowledgeble than I am about this subject.
1. Should I consider a different TV or perhaps go bigger with a 75" LED based on the room size. If so, advice appreciated as to what.
2. Im told that the floor and center speaker and perhaps even the subwoofer should be form the same manufacturer. Is that valid or is mixing a different center channel with floor speaker OK or a different subwoofer? Confusing to me.
3. What is the appropriate receiver I should buy based on my need and the fact I will not be using rear speakers. Leaning toward Pioneer Elite (but you go into another store and another guys says Yamaha so again another confusing choice. And then there a 7.1, 5.1 ?? and 3.1? then of course there are the sound bars to add another level of choices.
4. In a room that size 15'x18 adjoining an open concept dining room 12x12 about 5'-6'' directly behind the couch what watt speaker should be a match for that space?
4. Should floor speakers be angled back toward the couch and how far from the side of a 68" floor console should they be positioned in a 15' wall?.
5. Is a subwoofer even necessary depending on the type of speaker you buy?
6. Best Buy sells a variety of speakers with a wide range of prices from Bowers & Wilkens ($600 to $ 1500 each), Definitive Technology etc etc etc so for a $3500-$4,000 TV what is a high quality speaker, receiver setup (2 b floor, center, subwoofer,receiver set up) that is not overkill based on not having an unlimited budget. I don't have to have the most expensive or the best as much of that is subjective but I do want to have a sound system in place commensurate with the quality of the TV and derive the maximum benefit I can from it based on my room size etc. The high end B&W $1500 apiece speakers
weren't even connected to a receiver so a side by side comparison to the $ 750 a piece B&W floor speakers could be compared, The saleman admitted to me after hours he thought that was done purposefully and while I know audiophiles will spare no expense for sound I just want something that sounds great without having to pay $ 3,000 for floor speakers that might require a more s expensive 150+ watt receiver, center, and subwoffers to match the sound quality and work in harmony with the floors speaker. What to do what to do?
I realize that with 4K etc and (OLED..whatever that is?) being developed by SONY. Panasonic, Samsung etc that there will have more breakthoughs etc but when that happens and costs come down I will just replace the TV like when a computer become obsolete and still have the sound system that will work great for the new TV
Any advice is greatly appreciated. I look forward to your comments
I realize that this is very long but I have a lot of questions and greatly appreciate advice from you.