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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all,

I am hoping someone here can help me - I was pointed here by a friend with the line "go here, these are the guys that know"

Consider me a completely uneducated fool when it comes to AV equipment, the last time I bought anything was a (really naff) set of 5.1 speakers for my PC...and that was when 5.1 was pretty much "new" for the home system!

I am UK based, so that may have some relevance on availability and cost of product, not sure.

Firstly I am looking to understand *what* I need before I start looking at which particular products etc to get. I have tried to research some online in general but I'm getting confused by listings of Home Cinema Receivers, Amps, AV Receivers, Decoders, and lord knows what else!! (I blame my insomnia-caused lack of intelligence :p)

In terms of the *why*, I am a movie fanatic and have a sizeable dvd collection, however I have always missed out on anything beyond the basic sound output, and my current television is pretty basic also (about 32" CRT). I've finally reached the point where I've decided it's time to start spending some of my hardly earned cash and upgrade to HD and Blu-Ray with a decent surround sound setup. The only element of the puzzle I already have in place is I will be getting a PS3 (the new slim ones out in Sep) as the blu-ray player. So the whole system will be for enthusiast movie watching and gaming, however I don't need "bleeding edge" technology; I'd rather save myself a few hundred pounds than get the next best model which gives an ever so slightly better output, yknow? Also I live in an apartment and the living room where the system will be isn't huge so there's not really a need for anything especially top-of the line.

Budget wise...hmm...I'm willing to spend a fair bit I guess, considering it's an investment for the future. However as mentioned above I dont need the "ultimate" system as it's only really for me and the occasional guests. I suppose for the TV I'd be willing to spend up to £800, and for the sound system...well I don't really know what's involved in terms of hooking it all together (hence why I'm here!) so I'll let you guys make some suggestions based on the TV price I'm looking at. If it helps, some televisions that I have been casting my eyes over at the moment are:

£750 - Sharp LC32LE700E 32 AQUOS Full Screen LED Backlight with 100Hz

£390 - Samsung LE32A436T - 32'' Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV - With Freeview

£640 - Sony KDL-37V4000 - 37" Widescreen HD Ready Bravia LCD TV - With Freeview

In terms of the vague ideas of what I'm looking for the TV:

*Wall mount (preferably will stand option too)

*32"-40" (kinda leaning toward 37"/40" now - mostly to improve split-screen gaming)

*Response rate good enough for gaming


*Best image quality for my money (sharpness, contrast, depth of colours etc)

*Preferably with Freeview built in

Components of the system:


*PS3 (BluRay playback)

*Possibly DVD player depending on what advice people can give me about quality and easy of dvd playback in the PS3


*Surround sound speakers (pref wireless but I don't think I can stretch to the extra cost!)

*Whatever else is needed to "glue" it all together

*Space for possible later addition of hifi/DAB setup

So after all that waffle, my questions are:

What components do I need in terms of receivers/amps etc?

Can anyone please give some advice on the best products in the kind of budget I am looking at (for tv, surround sound setup, etc.)

Hopefully the end result will be a setup that provides me with the best quality I can afford, all my friends are jealous of :)P) and doesn't bankrupt me in the process!

Thanks in advance! And I promise I'm not usually this dumb :p


1,902 Posts
How is your room configured? Size? Windows/ambient light? How many people do you want to accommodate?

Have you considered front projection instead of a TV (90"+ screen) for a real theater experience?

Apartment or detached house?

How important is sound control/proofing?

Will you be doing any construction or modifications to your space? Running wires? Lighting? Multiple rows of seating?

13,326 Posts
Go bigger on the screen. As big as possible.

Don't worry about the DVD player... Your PS3 and/or Xbox will be fine in this regard.

How big is the space in all three dimensions?

You need an AVR, Sub and 4to5 speakers minimum. I have no clue about the wireless. I'd plan on wires to all the speakers.

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, and thanks for the replies!

It's technically a "flat", rather than an apartment, so the rooms are actually fairly small (I don't have the measurements right now bu something along the lines of 12'x14'x10' from a visual guesstimate). There's no way I'd fit anything more than a 40" in her with any degree of comfort. Also I will be moving at least three times in the next two years so I'm not so bothered about tailoring the system to the layout of the location since that layout is going to change so much. Also the accommodation is rented so I am unable to make any physical changes (like laying wires into the walls etc).

Like I was saying in the original post, I'm really after something that's relatively decent but on the lower end of the market. I guess you could call it a "good entertainment system" rather than a home cinema system.

A wall-mounted LCD/LED is definately the way I want to go, for budget, space, and other reasons.

9 Posts
Do a Samsung/Panasonic 42-inch plasma. Does fast motion better than any LCD and color is better also. It is really hard to see 1080p on a screen smaller than 50-inches though.

PS3 can suffice for a disc player, and you can get a good Yamaha/Denon receiver for pretty cheap with a 5.1 speaker system from Polk Audio or Klipsch, or maybe Monitor Audio.

Good Luck!

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