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Looking for 1st. Home Theatre system

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I currently own a Panasonic Plasma TV (TH50PX75), a PlayStation 3 (Hooked up via HDMI) and a cable box (Also hooked up via HDMI), and I'm looking for my first home theatre system.

Ideally I am looking for equipment to deliver both surround sound and high definition picture, at around a $400 price point.

What systems might you suggets, and would there be any special hook-ups I need to consider?

post #2 of 11
I would suggest an Onkyo 505(use optical audio) or 605 (HDMI audio decoding) and going with a stereo setup for starters which alone will be better than your TV's speakers. Add speakers as your wallet allows, you will enjoy putting your system together rather than getting a HTiB. As for the speakers I don't know what would be best for you bit I would suggest these , they can become surrounds when you have the $ for mains.
Order of purchases sould be:
-Reciever + future surrounds
As for special hookups what do you mean?
post #3 of 11
nobody else wants to chime in? cmon guys(and gals) lets help out this new member
post #4 of 11
For a tad bit more over your budget (~$30), you can pick up an Onkyo HT-SR800 system off of Amazon. I have the older 790 system, and for a starter system, I can't complain.
post #5 of 11
Check out this thread...I was looking for pretty much the exact same thing you are, and was actually considering an HTIB. I ran across this thread, and for about the same price I got an awesome system, much higher quality components, and better, more powerful clear sound.

post #6 of 11
If you're looking for Audio over HDMI then you'll probably have to up your budget for a full system. If you are asking about an HDMI system the Onkyo 800 is a great system and right at your budget. It's HDMI Video only so it won't pass audio over hdmi though.
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by Jakeman02 View Post

If you're looking for Audio over HDMI then you'll probably have to up your budget for a full system.

If you decide to go this way, take a look at the HTIB alternatives thread here:

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to say 'Thanks' for the advice. I do not know the first thing about HT but you guys (and gals?) are giving me something to research and I feel you are pointing me in the right direction. Much appreciated.
post #9 of 11
Buying the system piecemeal is definitely a way to go, but if you just want to get something to start with and want it to work with little hassle, I recommend the Onkyo SR-800. You can still upgrade its speakers at a later date, but it does come with some good quality speakers to start with.

Consumer Reports currently has the Onkyo SR-800 as the best "bang for your buck" for a pre-assembled Home Theater in a Box. It doesn't come with a DVD player, so you aren't paying extra for something you won't use. A friend of mine just got one, and he loves it, it's got great sound and is easy to setup and use. It even has a great auto-calibration mode, where you place an included microphone in the center, left and right of the listening area, and the home theater calibrates itself to sound perfect in your specific room.

One drawback, the SR-800 does not output sound over HDMI, only video. What this means for you is you have to hook up the PS3 audio through optical cables to get surround sound. This way you will get Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 and 7.1 surround. What you won't get are the new "high definition" sound formats that Blu-Ray has, like Uncompressed sound or Dolby Digital+, which you would get with a receiver with full audio over HDMI. But unless you are a true audiophile, you probably won't miss those formats.

If you *do* want to get the high definition audio from your Blu-Ray movies, then the only choice in your price range is the Sony SS2000, which goes for $350-$370. The overall sound won't be quite as good (the Sony's got tiny little speakers so you get really high highs but little midrange), and it's not quite as easy a setup, and only 5.1 rather than 7.1 surround, but you'll get full audio and video over HDMI.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
This is exactly the kind of advice I need. I'm waiting for 'JR.COM' to get this model in stock. Regarding the optical cable you suggets to get surround sound, would these be the ones I need to get? (I usually get my cables at this place...Good quality & price)


Thanks so much for your input. (no pun intended)
post #11 of 11
Yeah, that cable would work for you. Just remember to take the little clear caps off the cable ends before plugging it in, I was reading about a person who didn't realize they weren't part of the cable, and damaged his system trying to cram it into the jack
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