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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, this is my first foray into the home theater department and I'm not exactly sure how to go about putting a system together. I've been looking on a lot of sites but I'm still pretty confused when I read things like "pre-outs, two way/three way speakers, upconversions, optical cables, coaxil, etc." About the only thing I've read so far that hasn't added to the confusion is that the speakers have to have the same wattage as the reciever is able to power. I was hoping I could throw myself on the mercy of anyone that's willing to help and hopefully figure out what I should buy to have a good surround sound home theater. The PS3 supposedly supports 7.1 uncompressed sound so maybe that's a good place to begin?

The best way to start I guess would be to list everything I have that'd I'd like to tie into it:

My TV is a Sony 1080p KDL40V2500 LCD. From what the manual says it can only accept a 1080p signal through the HDMI input so I know the reciever has to have at least one, hopefully more.

My PS3 which is currently connected to the TV with an HDMI cable

My X-BOX 360 which is connected using the HD Component cables that came with the system(Y P/B P/R)

My X-BOX which is just connected with the basic red, white, and yellow cables

My PS2 which is also connected with the basic red, white, and yellow cables

My computer which is connected using the analog RGB cable

A Dish Network satelite reciever

I don't have a designated DVD player hooked up to it all yet but I'd like the option to definately add one or possibly a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player sometime in the future

Not sure really what else there might be but I can't think of anything else.

At first I was looking at the Onkyo 674 reciever but from several forums I've read it seems that may not be able to do everything I need(unable to pass a 1080p signal, inputs, able to handle 7.1 uncompressed, etc.)...For the reciever I'd like to stay around $500-$800 if I can and $110-$170 for the speakers, from what I've found subwoofers tend to cost a bit more so maybe around $170-$230? Of course if the options are close and a better one is a few bucks more I'd probably be willing to go the better one. The appropriate cables for the best sound/video?

I've been running in circles trying to put the pieces to the puzzle together but I'm lost. Is anyone willing to help?

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Can you tell us what your budget is for the speakers again? It looks like you said $170-$230. I have to assume that you mean per speaker, correct? So for a 5.1 speaker system you will have around $1000 to spend. If that is correct, then check out Definitive Technology speakers. They have decent sounding systems from around $650 on up. Of course, you could buy a pair, and then use the tv speakers as a center channel until you had more funds, then add the center and surrounds. The Pioneer receivers in the $500-$800 range are decent as well. Check their websites for the specs.

Pre-outs: found on some receivers and all preamplifiers - the low level signal from the pre-outs gets routed to a power amplifier and then sent to the speakers.

2/3 way speakers: number of drivers in a speaker enclosure. Two way would have woofer and a tweeter. Three way would have a woofer, midrange and a tweeter.

Optical and coaxial cables - digital cables that connect a digital source (DVD player, digital cable box, etc) to the optical / coaxial digital input on the receiver, usually in full range multi-channel format.

Upconversion - ability to take, for example, a 480p video signal and "upconvert it" to 720p for display on a 720p monitor.
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