Beginner setup with a bit of room to grow (with pic) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1 Old 03-01-2013, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I'm a first time poster, but I've been lurking for a while. I'm trying to piece together a small home audio setup and would like some advice.

I've currently got the following:

Samsung HT-C5500 5.1 HTIB
HTPC with HDMI output running XBMC for movies and AirServer to stream music and pictures from iPhones, iPads, etc
Comcast DVR

I have HDMIs running from everything to the TV, with an optical audio return from the tv back to the HTIB. My original intent was to have the HTIB provide sound 100% of the time, but the sync issues, input switching, and the HTIB in general are enough of a pain in the butt that we end up using the TV speakers 98% of the time. Even with a Harmony One, it's a real pain to get everything to switch and work together reliably. With these things in mind, I've decided to step up to a real receiver to handle the source switching and all of the audio duties. Here are my requirements:

-First and foremost, it needs the ability to switch between 3 HDMI inputs: DVR, HTPC, and a Blu-Ray player of some sort that we will probably rarely use.

-It needs to sound halfway decent on only 2.1 or 3.1 channels, but it also needs to support 5.1. The setup and construction of my current living room is not conducive to rear speakers, but we won't be here forever. Eventually I'll be adding rear satellites.

-I'm not even remotely an audiophile - I obviously don't want to buy crap, but extreme audio quality and a huge feature set are not priorities. As long as I can hear the dialogue over the music and explosions on TV and in movies, and music in general sounds decent, I'll be a happy camper.

-Power is not a huge concern. Again, TV speakers have been sufficient up until now, and this is in a townhouse. As much fun as it would be, I believe my budget will preclude the ability to forcibly remove my neighbors.

-Space is at a bit of a premium, so I'm looking for something relatively unobtrusive.

-Budget: $400-$500

I'm leaning toward a Marantz NR1403. The reviews are good, and the price is right. I would love the ability to have the receiver send power on/off signals to the TV/DVR/Blu-Ray, and it does support this feature. Whether or not my other components will play nice may be another story... Thoughts on the NR1403?

I'll also need some speakers, and I need some guidance here. I like the look and price of my Samsung HTIB speakers, and as I said, perfect audio reproduction is not a priority. However, these speakers are only 3 ohm, which is way out of spec for the 8 ohm output of the NR1403. Again, smaller is better, since the three front speakers are sitting on the mantle. I think I should probably pick up the whole 5.1 setup, even if I can't use the 2 rears just yet. Advice?

Here's the room (the sub and all components are in the corner on the left, with an IR repeater to allow control):
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