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HTIB Choices?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Looking for a good system around $400 - $600 obviously searching for the best deal!

Needs: slim center speaker, wall-mountable front speakers, and wireless rears (please don't reply about Rocketfish!) , receiver w/ HDMI

I have a 47" Magnavox HDTV (has HDMI and component, but no optical), Fios dvr, and a Wii that will be connected to the system - and eventually my dell via AVerTV Hybrid Nano Express - but I haven't tested those waters yet...
Oh, and I don't give a crap about the ipod dock '~'

What's the real difference between 5.1 and 7.1 (in kindergarden terms please!) or does it really matter for a system that's not top-of-the-line?

Any suggestions w/ model no. would help! (looking at Panasonic, Samsung, Philips, Onkyo)
post #2 of 14
Wjat are we defining as "slim center channel"? And if not Rocketfish, are you open to another wireless kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by schnuggles View Post

What's the real difference between 5.1 and 7.1 (in kindergarden terms please!) or does it really matter for a system that's not top-of-the-line?

Two extra speakers.

7.1 adds a pair of surround back channels to 5.1. It can be more enveloping than 5.1, but you need to have a good distance behind you for proper separation (at least 4-5 feet.) If you can't mount speakers that far back, go with 5.1.

For regular DVD, HD broadcast from FiOS, and most games, you can put the 7.1 rears to use by using a setting called Dolby ProLogicIIx to expand Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 and the surround info gets spread out to all four surround speakers.

A few Blu-Ray movies and some current HD game console games (think PS3) have discrete 7.1 soundtracks, meaning they were mixed that way by the production company. Those don't need ProLogicIIx, but you didn't mention Blu-Ray/PS3 gaming.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'd "like" the center speaker to be 5.75" depth or less - it'll have to fit on top of the mantle - the tv is mounted on a tilt so I doubt it'll work above the tv....
I was hoping to find a htib w/ rear wireless included so I don't have to buy add. wireless options...
And I don't have blu-ray or ps3, so those options aren't really needed (I doubt I'll be upgrading to that anytime soon) - just regular dvd's w/ an upconvert player and mostly hd channels...
I guess I'd lean towards a 5.1 system if it's at a price break compared to the 7.1 -

And does it matter what type of surround the tv supports - or is that not even a factor once a receiver is hooked up?

Thanks for your help!!!
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by schnuggles View Post

I'd "like" the center speaker to be 5.75" depth or less - it'll have to fit on top of the mantle - the tv is mounted on a tilt so I doubt it'll work above the tv....

Most systems will give you specs on the speakers. I think the Onkyos and Yamahas will be in that range, though.

Quote:


I was hoping to find a htib w/ rear wireless included so I don't have to buy add. wireless options...

The ones that include wireless options have DVD player/receiver integrated units. I personally despise those, as they have limited connectivity (especially for the menagerie of components you plan to hook up.) None of the Onkyos or Yamahas will have wireless included. I don't recall Samsung having them, either.

I'd look into a kit if wireless is a must. Although personally I'd exhaust all possibilities of wiring the rears, as wireless of any type may have interference issues.

Quote:


I guess I'd lean towards a 5.1 system if it's at a price break compared to the 7.1 -

5.1 HTIB do tend to be cheaper, but you sacrifice features at times. 7.1 systems can be made to do 5.1 with a simple menu adjustment, though.

Quote:



And does it matter what type of surround the tv supports - or is that not even a factor once a receiver is hooked up?

If you're using FiOS, it should have some type of digital out on the DVR. It'll output stereo and on some HD channels, Dolby Digital 5.1. Not sure what Verizon has for DVRs, but most have either a digital coaxial or an optical out, both of which most quality receivers can accept.

Look on Onkyo and Yamaha's sites, and see which ones have what features/inputs you'll probably need. The Onkyo HT-S3100 is 5.1, but you might look at the S5100 or higher 7.1 systems, too.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Panasonic SC-PT760 $293 @ amazon
SC-PT950 - $250 @ amazon
SC-PT960 - $343 @ amazon

Any comp's or suggestions? I'm so confused by all the different model no.'s!!!
post #6 of 14
I'm really not impressed with those, as they don't have a whole lot of inputs, among other things. You'll need analog audio for the Wii, a digital input for the DVR (optical, probably), and I'm not sure what the Dell would need, but the Pannys will probably be out of inputs by then.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
So i've had this in my cart for a while - it's now listed at $346

How hard is it to fish speaker wires thru the ceiling? This would be the best bet for quality right?

I have the same issues for wireless - but thought it'd be good for convienience (except for the receiver for those too....just one more thing to get in the way I guess)
post #8 of 14
I used a thing called Wiremold to run wires though, although it might not be the best choice if you have to make them 100% invisible (it hides the wires, but the wiremold itself looks like extra trim that you may or may not want.)

Plenty of people have run wires through walls and ceilings, though. Might try the speaker forum or some of the Home Theater/Game room forums here to see if there are any tricks.
post #9 of 14
You can get the Sony HT-7200DH 5.1 HTIB system for about the same $$$ as the S5100. Unlike the S5100, it handles audio (incl hi def audio from a BR player) over HDMI - i.e., 7200 doesn't require separate digital audio cables from all your sources.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for your help - I think I have a better idea what to look for now w/o wasting more time or money!!!
post #11 of 14
I've been looking at the Onkyo HT-S5100 and Yamaha.
The Onkyo seems to be a little beefier, and the speakers have a little more features (amount and size of the tweeter and others...what you see when you remove the front cover.)

The Sony seemed to lack the volume, and it and the others seem to be so limited on connections.
Also, a salesperson said, and it makes sense, that the other systems are so small dimensionally on the receiver, that they are not able to dissipate the heat/power. Therefore, they either have to limit the output to run cooler or the unit will not last long term.
Hmmm....make sense to anybody?

For those with the HT-S5100, have you been happy with it and would you recommend it? I want a good system and want to experience the surround sound and home theater experience without spending an arm and a leg.

Thanks
post #12 of 14
I'd only get the S5100 if you don't care about audio from an HDMI connection. Don't know what Yamaha or other HTIBs you're looking at but keep the same thing in mind as you weigh your choices. I'm LOL about the sales pitch since one of the gripes (justified or not) about Onkyo receivers is that they're like space heaters. Good luck.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
My mom has an Onkyo receiver for a 7.1 system- not sure what model, but it's less than a year old - and it does generate quite a bit of heat.... she also had a custom cab. built to house it and everything else - I know that it had to be made w/ enough ventilation since the receiver gets so hot. I don't know much about audio but I just assume that the bigger the receiver, the bigger the fan....um, like a computer.?. And I wouldn't listen to anyone in any store who is paid in commission! (unless you go somewhere like Fry's of course where nerds would rather showcase their brain-skillz than to just sell you something!) Sony is overpriced w/ everything anyway - so I wouldn't even bother...

So, wait - the S5100 audio isn't run through hdmi??? Arg - I guess I missed that so I'll be looking up the same info. i don't understand on the same system for the 99th time this week....
post #14 of 14
HT-S6100 and above do HDMI audio. HT-S5100 need additional audio cables.
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