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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to put together my first home theater system and I've found the research to be exhausting but no doubt well worth it. I'm working off a budget (approx $4000) and the system will be set up in a mid sized apartment (living room around 12' X 13').


Here is what i've come up with...


Television


Sony 32†XBR450


DVD


Denon DVD-2800

Sony NS700P

Panasonic DVD-RP91


Receivers


Denon AVR-2902

Denon AVR-3802

Pioneer VSX-35TX


Speakers


B&W DM303 (4)

B&W LCR (center)

B&W ASW 500 Sub

Definitive Pro Sub 100


I've been to a local specialty store and I can get some discounts on some parts of the system so the prices for the total package is around 4k.


Any suggestions or comments on the system would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
 

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I'm not a fan of Sony TVs, I think they are overpriced and underperforming. In DV sets I'd suggest that you look at the Panasonic Tau. IMO they look better and they definitely cost less than the the Sony's. But get the set that looks best to you and that fits your budget.


On the DVD player, the ones you have noted are good, but you may want to wait a few more weeks to see the new Toshiba SD-4700/5700 units.


On the receiver I would recommend going with either of the Denon units over the Pioneer. I like Pioneer for a lot of things, but in mid-range receivers Denon, Yamaha and Onkyo are the best, IMO.


If you haven't already, get the shop to hook everything up for you to listen to. Better yet, see if you can bring it home to demo.


Good luck,
 

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I second the Panasonic TV, looks just as good and will save you a couple hundred $.


I would go with the Sony DVD player (This is the progressive model right?). I read a review on this one a last month (I think in "Stereophile guide to home theater") that called it the "Best" dvd player available until you get over $1000.


From the choices you listed for receivers I would choose the Denon 3802. However, have you looked into Outlaw audio? You can get a 6.1 receiver that sounds every bit as good as the Denon for about $650 (I think that's the current price). The only catch is outlaw is only available on the web, so you have to wait for it and ship it if it needs repair. For me that wasn't a problem.


I like the speakers and don't like telling people which speakers are "good" simply because different people like speakers to sound different ways. Just listen to the models that appeal to you and be your own judge.


Have fun,

Kirk

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It really doesn't matter what gear you buy.....you'll be upgrading within a year anyhow........but I do love the B&W's :) :) :)
 

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If you really want to get a home theater going look at the Sony VPL-HS1 projector..... can be found for under $2500
 

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Ignoring all the personal opinions for one set. Replace he 32xbr450 with the KV-32HS20 for a savings. Since you will have the progressive player to begin with you should not need the 3:2 pulldown of the xbr450


Personally One non technical reason to choose the sony is the shear amount of information available. This and all the other forums and HT related sites have plenty of tips and tricks for the sony xbr/hs series, even dedicated sites and groups to a specific set. On the other hand the Tau does not have even close to that amount.
 

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Quote:
Ignoring all the personal opinions for one set. Replace he 32xbr450 with the KV-32HS20 for a savings. Since you will have the progressive player to begin with you should not need the 3:2 pulldown of the xbr450
He ASKED for comment and suggestions, what is that, other than personal opinions? In fact, what is your reply, other than a personal opinion?


WRT your reply, stepping down to the KV-32 will certainly save him some money. But for the same money he can get the 36" Tau and still have, IMO, a nicer picture.


Here are the low prices I found, if you look around you may be able to do better:


Sony KV-36XBR450 - $1,899

Sony KV-32HS20 - $1,499

Tau CT-36HX41 - $1,550

Quote:
Personally One non technical reason to choose the sony is the shear amount of information available. This and all the other forums and HT related sites have plenty of tips and tricks for the sony xbr/hs series, even dedicated sites and groups to a specific set. On the other hand the Tau does not have even close to that amount.
I'm sorry, but don't understand what the number of on-line support groups there are for a product has to do with how good the product is. The various Mitsubishi RPTV forums are much busier than the Pioneer Elite forums, but even many (most?) of the Mits owners will agree that the Elite is a better RPTV. I do agree, that if all other things are equal, that having a lot of other owners to interact with on-line is a nice benfit, but only if all other things are equal. At best, that should be the 3rd consideration, the first 2 being picture quality and budget.


That's my personal opinion.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey guys, I really do appreciate the input, but I'm not looking to start a war of who thinks what is best. I just wanted to get impressions of the system within my budget and anyone's personal experience with the components I have been looking at. And if possible, any actual live comparisons between them.


I think we all know that choosing a home theater system is a highly subjective process that involves a great variety of personal predilections. But the one constant in all of those opinions is getting the best for what you can afford.


To qualify the reason for the television size is that I am looking for a big enought tv to watch dvds in 16:9 format while being able to watch plain old cable television and playing hours of video games. All of that in an apartment in which I sit about 6 to 8 ft away. Another reason for the size limit is that I don't want to try to move a gigantic tv when I want to practice my feng shui :D


Seriously, I move around some for my job and I'd like to wait until I get a more permanent location before I really set up a substantial home theater system, thus the smaller television size and weight.


So, I hope that helps in dictating additional suggestions or comments...
 

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Quote:
To qualify the reason for the television size is that I am looking for a big enought tv to watch dvds in 16:9 format while being able to watch plain old cable television and playing hours of video games. All of that in an apartment in which I sit about 6 to 8 ft away. Another reason for the size limit is that I don't want to try to move a gigantic tv when I want to practice my feng shui.
I didn't think 36" was too big, but if you feel that it is, there is also a 32" Tau (CT-32HX41) that runs around $1,250. That's $250 less than the Sony KV-32HS20 and about $325 less than the KV-32XBR450. More importantly, it has a better picture, IMO.


Of course you should go with the set that looks best to you, but I do recommend that you take a serious look at the Panasonic, you might be pleasantly surprised.
 

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I agree with Elbert. If you get a small widescreen TV you will get the most out of DVD viewing. You can always use the black bars for standard 4X3 viewing, but frankly, I leave my Toshiba 42H81 in widescreen mode all the time. I don't care if some newscaster is a bit streched, as I don't watch that much TV anyway.
 
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