Walmart's Durabrand - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-30-2004, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I was planning to get a DVI switch to connect a DVI DVD player (not yet purchased) and the Moto62xx cable box when I could get it. But I would also need an audio switch. Even though I'm in an apartment and did not want to impose on neighbors, I decided to get a small HTIB, but one without a DVD player. This greatly limits one's choices.

I looked at the Sony 750? (not sure of the model), but it seemed to be great for $300. I did notice some comments on various boards that it was complicated to set up. Then I took a trip to Walmart and saw their Durabrand on sale for $69 (100W). I wondered if this was any good? I did see some comments on a board that said it was good for the money. It had both optical and coaxial digital inputs and supports DD5.1 and Pro-logic (but not DTS).

I wanted a low-risk entry into HTIB because I'd never had one before. You can literally just plug it all in and then listen. It actually sounds fine for my apartment. I have the rear speakers maxed out and the subwoofer (non-powered of course) turned down. It does the surround sound fine.

This is a good value if your audio needs are not very sophisticated.

Rich N.
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-30-2004, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by raidbuck
This is a good value if your audio needs are not very sophisticated.

Rich N.
interesting way to put it...
I admitt i'm curious about it. How's the build quality? I've sadly never had a surround system yet (just a kenwood amp from the mid to late 80's and some fairly good homebuilt speakers) and for this price it might just be possible. How big of a room do you have this setup in? The room i'd have would be around 12'x10' The more detail you can give would be very helpful to me :)
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-30-2004, 02:28 PM
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Decent 2 channel system such as you have HC69 will sound better for home theater than an ultra-cheap system anyday. I used my stereo with my projector for a couple of months before setting up 6.1. While I have about $1,000 into my 6.1 audio system, the stereo just about as good in many ways. surround is overated for the sake of surround - quality 2 channel is much better.

I'll leave my Wallmart rant to the other thread.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-30-2004, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Hatecrime69 -

Here are some other specifics:

The build quality is less than the $300 systems I was looking at. And the subwoofer is less quality as well. The receiver is in a metal case. The speakers appear to be plastic with cloth in the front.

The remote works fine (you must be fairly close and in line however), but I understand it doesn't have recognizable codes for typical universal remote systems, so it does add another remote to your collection.

My area is about 12x13 and I'm sure it would be plenty loud enough for your area.

It has some choices that I haven't used yet. There are 7 modes for listening to music based upon the type of music. There is a "night" mode that reduces the dynamic range by 10db to be kinder to neighbors. There is even a delay capabiility but I don't understand this option.

It supports stereo, Dolby Pro Logic, DD5.1 and something called PCM. You can connect TV Games and video cameras since it has a video in and video out connection. I'm just using it for cable STB (TV audio) and DVD audio.

You will need to buy an optical cable ($20) if you want to use that input. It comes with a coaxial cable.

You can control all the speakers at once or change the speaker volume independently for each (I have the rear on loudest).

That's about all I can think of. I can't argue with lespurgeon at all. But I do get a kick with surround sound and I have solved the problem of needing an audio switch for a low price, and in the digital world.

If your expectations are as modest as the price, I don't think you will be disappointed.

Rich N.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-30-2004, 07:12 PM
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Maybe i will consider giving it a shot...sad to say but the stereo in my bedroom has WAY more distortion than that one (i believe the durabrand is about .06% ...mine is 10%) Heh, at the moment the room that it would be used in has a tv without a remote (and a dialpad on the tv..damn it's old! Doesn't have the right inputs for a dvd player at all so it needs an upgrade anyway) Maybe i'll see if my local walmart has it setup properly so i can at least give a chance at hearing it a little, i'm not expecting a miracle, but if the sound is at least passable it might be worth a shot on a secondary setup (witch is what i would use it for, the main one has a 2 speaker setup that sounds pretty decent with the current homebuilt speakers it has)
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-31-2004, 06:41 AM
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I have seen this box at walmart. And I will say you get what you pay for. My local Walmart had this setup to a DVD player and TV. I found it to be really poor. For a small apartment or maybe a bedroom it may do OK, but go to Walmart and check it out for yourself. Heck for $69 buy it and then set it up and if you find out it doesn't work for you take it back.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-11-2004, 09:42 AM
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I got the Sony System HT-DDW575 a year ago and did the following

1. ditched the speakers in favor of now 12 year old yamaha ns-a635a 3 way bookshelf speakers with the following

suggested amplifier power
minimum 10w
maximum 140w

2. Set the unit to AFD (auto field detect) This system does NOT suffer from the delay that certain Merantz units do when trying to figure out what format the digital stream is encoded in.

3. sold the included Sub for $70 and replaced it with a Yamaha YST SW-215

Strong or weak in the end we are all dead
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-16-2004, 01:13 AM
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I have this system set up in my bedroom and I can say that it sounds very good for how much I paid for it. Definitely the best sounding "cheapo" system I have ever heard. If you are on a tight budget I whole heartedly recommend it.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-17-2004, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I was just at Wal-Mart and I saw this HTIB was on sale for $10 less.

Rich N.
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