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Monitor or HDTV and Surround Sound System help

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by mlee49, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. mlee49

    mlee49

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    Ok so I'm thinking I am going to upgrade my monitor and I need some help. I'm torn between a 24" 1900x1200 monitor(Dell UltraSharp) or a 37" LCD(Visio/comparable). I'm looking to spend no more than $600 and possibly slightly more for a 42" LCD. The monitor must be 1900x1200 and the HDTV must be 1080. I'm looking for super great deals on new equipment so nothing used unless it's a verified source. Also suggestions on what to get in my price range(within $100).



    I also need help with a surround sound set up. I'm looking to spend no more than $600 here. I want a nice home theater system to complement the new screen, so 5.1 is mandatory. I want Quality over wattage, and I also want SPDIF available. I don't know reliable brands, but I'm sure Samsung, JVC, Panasonic, and Sony are all excellent; so if you suggest one please say why you think it stands out from the others.

    I'm really excited about getting the right equipment for my new set up so please help me make it a good one!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  2. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    You need a AV receiver capable of the following standards: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital True HD, Prologic, DTS, DTS Neo, DTS Masters.

    Stuff to look out for:

    Fibre output
    Coaxial output
    HDMI output

    $600 is a small budget, I recommend the Sony STR-DG820 on a budget, supports all the standards expected.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers/sony-str-dg820/4505-6466_7-32868569.html

    Stuff you also need:
    Bookshelf speakers
    Floorstanding speakers (optional)
    Center speaker
    Subwoofer

    http://www.richersounds.com/splashpage.php
    http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=494&name=Home-Audio-Speakers


    Edit:

    3:15 am here, going to bed!
     
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  3. mlee49

    mlee49

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    Sorry to confuse, $600-700 for just the monitor and $300 for the SS set up. Thanks for the help!
     
  4. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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  5. mlee49

    mlee49

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    So you think a smaller monitor would be better? I'm really wanting a larger TV for a future BluRay drive.
    What should I do, Monitor or TV?
     
  6. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    I recommend the Vizio 32" plasma from wal-mart. I use it to game on sometimes. It display 1080P even though it says that it's only 720P.
     
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  7. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    $300 will not get you much if you want proper home theatre equipment. $300 might get you the AV receiver, perhaps the Sony STR-DG820 receiver without any speakers.


    If your budget is truly $300 and you are unable to stretch it, the Z-5500s Logitechs are your only option. They are top of the line computer speakers, but substandard home cinema speakers.

    The Logitechs have a build in AV receiver so you could connect it to a DVD player via SPDIF, but it lacks HDMI outputs so DD True HD and DTS Masters which is found on Blu-Ray titles can not be utilised.


    Edit:

    Is the speaker system for the PC or for living room?

    I'll respond tomorrow morning (in a few hours)


    Edit:


    Send the link for the system you bought. I do not recommend the "in the box" packages for various reasons which I'll explain tomorrow.
     
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  8. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    It can get a Home theater in a box. I got my Samsung 1000W for $150 at Wal-mart. It has a fiber optic in on it.
     
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  9. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Isn't that the one priced at ~$400 right now? If yes, that's really really good! My mom's been wanting to get one.

    EDIT: Yeah, link please for the 1Kw system. I am highly interested.
     
  10. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    I should have been a little more clear. Yes, it's the $400 one, but it was the demo unit that they were selling, so I got it for $150. Even still, I saw a Sammy like min at Wal-mart the other day for $300.
     
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  11. mlee49

    mlee49

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    I know 300 for a good SS is crazy low, but I suppose I could save a bit more. Could you please explain more on why SPDIF doesn't cover all HD audio? I though that was the "one cable resolution"?? :confused:
    This will be fore the PC room that we'll also be using for movie's. If that makes any difference.

    And please expand more on why to build a custom SS set up and not go "in box". Can you put together a custom build with receiver, speakers, and sub for under $400-500?

    I'm very intrigued to know more. Thanks for the excellent help so far! :toast:

    Woot, $400 even better for a 32" HDTV! More $$ on the Audio set up!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  12. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    Wow, i got confused, I thought JR was talking about the Home Theater, which is $400 also. Yes, the 32" plasma is awesome. I have been using it since in was $550 in stores lol. I am very impressed with it.
     
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  13. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    SPDIF is coaxial and fibre optical. PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, and DTS 5.1 can be passed through the SPDIF cable, which can be found on many DVD discs
    The new HD standards such as Dolby Digital True HD and DTS Masters can be found on Blue-Ray discs. HDMI cable is needed because those standards require more bandwidth than its previous implementation.
    This makes things clear. If you are watching regular DVD movies I would recommend using SPDIF, but if you are going to play HD BluRay disc HDMI is wise.
    ----
    BTW, if you download your movies in a .AVI file, or .MPEG file you'll need a specialist soundcard to up mix the 2.0 channels into 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS bit streams for your AV receiver to decode.

    Speaker in a box:

    Plastic light weight speakers (low material quality)
    Weigh about 0.5-1KG per speaker
    Usually lacks rear base ports (bass reflex)
    80Hz - 22 KHz sound range.
    Usually lacks tweeters for high frequencies

    Bookshelf speakers:
    Pine Wood or other wood, usually varnished
    Bookshelves speakers weigh between 4.5 KG - 10 KG
    Floor standing speakers usually weigh between 10 KG- 30 KG
    Rear base ports (bass reflex) on all speakers
    45Hz - 22Khz sound range typically
    Multiple tweeters for high frequencies
    Grill of speakers can be removed

    Typical home cinema in a box:

    [​IMG]

    Typical bookshelf speakers:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Typical floor standing speakers:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
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  14. mlee49

    mlee49

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    Damn is that your set up? What kind of floor standing speakers do you suggest? I'm debating putting more into an excellent audio system for future purpose. I want an excellent Cinematic experience.
     
  15. HolyCow02

    HolyCow02 New Member

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    Those floor speakers are insane! What wattage are they? Good lord you must be able to blow any animals across town with those.
     
  16. mlee49

    mlee49

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    Ok so I'm set on a HDTV, either a Visio 32" 1080 or a Sharp 42" 1080 or this Westinghouse 40" 1080 LCD.

    As for surround sound I'm going with a custom set up and here's what I've got so far:

    Receiver: Sony STR-DG720 for a quality 7.1 channel setup, 105w per channel, and connectivity out the ass(plus it has a headphone jack in the front, always nice to have :) ) $231

    Speakers: Pioneer S-H352F Floor Speakers w/dual 6" woofers, 3" mids, and .5" tweets for $75 used at a local pick up.

    Sub: Infinity PS10 w/250W amp for $225 shipped.

    Total will be slightly over $1200 but that's as close to my budget as I can push. Comments, suggestions on the parts? Thanks!
     
  17. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    I would avoid the Westinghouse TV. They usually do not get good reviews. Sharp makes better stuff, but the Vizio is awesome. Everything else looks NICE.
     
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  18. mlee49

    mlee49

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    I really like the 40" Westinghouse. It has a slick built in DVD player. But yeah Sharp's ratings are better and overall quality is probably better. Thanks though.
     
  19. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    Nah, that was n't my set up, I wish it was. I found it on an AV forum where people show off their home cinema rooms.

    I do not know the specification of those speakers, I found them at random.


    I'd avoid that receiver, it doesn't support the new standards such as DD True HD and DTS Masters, get the STR-DG820 or STR-DG920 if you are buying Sony.

    The floor standing speakers are good, although you could probably find ones that go all the way down to 45 Hz opposed to 50 Hz, but they are suffice.

    The Infinity PS10 subwoofer looks good, overpriced, but specification looks alright.


    Edit:

    You are missing bookshelf speakers.

    You need two floorstanding for the fronts, and two bookshelve speakers for the rears.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
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  20. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    Im currently running this package on my Yamaha amp(RX-V661)
    PSB are well known high end speaker manufactures from Canada. This is an entry level package, tho they still use the same crossovers as their higher end models.

    http://www.audioproducts.com.au/ProductInfo.aspx?pid=ALPHAHT1BLK

    I couldn't really find a better link to the package
     
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  21. mlee49

    mlee49

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    I know, I'm picking up some rear speakers and a good center channel at a later date. I think for starting that will be a huge upgrade from stock TV speakers. Thanks for all your help man! :toast:
     
  22. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    Oh! I forgot to mention is that I have had them over a year and am a ridiculous audiophile being a musician and they STILL impress me with their stereo imaging alone not to mention fantastic surround. Whether I'm playing a game on my PS3 or playing a Blu-Ray they just sound damn good(My amp is only HDMI 1.2a so I lose out on HD audio but I don't really feel all that bad)
     
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  23. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    The problem with the Yamaha RX-V661 receiver isn't that its only "1.2a"

    The issue is that it only does not support the Blu-Ray standards, DD True HD, DD Plus, and DTS Masters. The new standards are utilising up to 7 channels via HDMI.

    Yamaha along with a lot of companies in the AV scene are guilty of putting HDMI connectivity on a receiver which can not make use of its functionality due to the missing codecs, they are advertising HDMI to trick the naive average customer into buying the product, the customer may never realise that DD True HD can not be played back.

    Edit:

    You shouldn't feel bad, the PS3 uses regular Dolby Digital 5.1 for its games, your receiver fully support that :)

    Only Blu-Ray material (on PS3) can play back True HD and DTS Masters in either 5.1 or 7.1 depending on the film. I've read somewhere that the PS3 has an internal decoder for the new standards so it should be able to pass the data straight to the receiver depite the receiver not having offical support for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  24. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    SHHHH Don't remind me. I bought it JUST before 1.3.....It still runs the HD soundtrack in a very decent bitrate none the less. I only have a few Blu Ray so far that have it anyway.
     
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  25. Darren

    Darren New Member

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    lol.

    That is changing though, Blu-Ray have officially agreed a deal which says "DD+" and "DD True HD" are mandatory on all commercial titles, although most new movies are being released in DD True HD 5.1 opposed to the 7.1 version. DTS Masters isn't compulsory but is also growing in popularity. A very few Blu-Ray titles have regular DD or DTS.
     

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