Help with home theater.


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pmh

Hey guys,

I was hoping to pick your brain on a few things. I'm currently looking at getting a new home theater system (my 32" SD just isn't cutting it anymore :p), and had a few questions.

TVs:

I think I've settled on a plasma tv, as the tv will be placed in the basement (so glare is a non-issue), and I think I prefer the look. I think I've settled on Panasonic, but I could be persuaded. I'm thinking of getting a 50", but that's kinda where I stop knowing what I want. Should I get 1080i or 1080p? I'll be watching a lot of hi-def movies on it, so I should I consider 1080p? I know there is a lot of discussion saying that you won't notice a huge difference, but with a blu-ray source, would I?

I know (most) movies are recorded at 24fps, so will that make a difference?

Sound:

To be honest, I'm not much of an audiophile. I'm more concerned about having a loud system, then a "pure" one (please don't burn me at the stake). That being said, I want it sound clean. Does that make any sense?

Blu-Ray:

Will I be okay getting a PS3 as a blu-ray player? I've read things going both ways on it, and would just like your opinion. As a bonus, GTA4 comes out soon :)

ANY ADVICE you guys had, would be great! Thanks guys!

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BGM

get 1080p if you can afford it, i see little point in getting anything less other then not having the cash

sound, just get an out of the box 5.1 system from sony, samsung, panasonic etc you can run optical to it, it will do the job and be nice and loud :)

ps3 is the 'best' blu-ray player at the moment. it is the cheapest, fastest and most future-proof unit, and i also think only one currently that supports 2.0 profile (unsure on that one)

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bdsams

For TV's, Ive always compared the black level's. Make sure its 120hz and then compare black levels. Others may argue blah blah blah, but there all pretty similar, whatever looks best to your eye should be your purchase. 1080P all the way!

Im more of a sound person...if all you want is loud (bah, no quality!?!?!) go for a pioneer....there usually absurdly powerful but do lack quality as they are more of a punch amplifier than a clean pure sounding amplifer....although, id suggest the Harmond/Kardon AVR 146 for about $300.00 as its a great sounding amp for a decent price. Speakers, id stay away from over priced bose and would go with Klipsch or Yamaha....

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MMaster23

I'm no HT pro but i've set up a few...

TV:

When you're looking at 42 or even 50 (or more), you'll need 1080p. I'm an LCD kinda guy so I can't advise on plasmas.

Sound:

If you aren't an audiophile I'd pick up an ready-to-go set. I picked up the Sony HT-SF1000 .. it's got an 1000W RMS output, does HDMI, 2x toslink and 1x coaxial. It doesn't have an built-in AV reciever or nothing but it just handles audio. You can pick up the HT-SF1000 (or the slightly newer and more powerfull 1100) for around 400 euros in the EU. Sound is great!

Blu-ray:

I picked up an PS3 for blu-ray on my 37" .. it's OK I guess .. It's not the best expierence and some "pros" complain about the quality. It has the best value tough .. giving you both an higher-end gaming system and an Blu-ray movie player for just 400 bucks ... it's great. I don't game that often on PS3 as I prefer the other systems but it plays Blus just perfectly for me.

(I got my new DJ Tiesto blu-ray disc today .. it rocks ... picture on my 720p 37" LCD is crystal sharp and the audio is 5.1 lossless DTS. It's great!)

edit: ps. By ps3 expierence I mean the menu's, the remote (which is an 30$ rip-off) and the overal handling of digital content. Me no like :(

pps. As BGM said .. when looking at an standalone player, be sure to check if it's got any system for updates. Ethernet or update CDs... PS3 handling this bit great.

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+StevoFC

Ok a few things here...

I'm an LCD person myself, but there really isn't anything wrong with getting a plasma. To go against what other have said here, some of the highest rated plasmas are 720p sets. So 1080p isn't as necessary as everyone here is trying to make it out to be.

Also, as stated already I would just get some home theater in a box for the audio since you said it doesn't matter too much to you. You could get a nice JBL set or something fairly cheap.

And as for the ps3, I would definitely recommend it. oh and I only paid $19 for the official ps3 remote. Not $30 like someone else mentioned.

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+Fahim S.

I would say go for the 1080P as you will really notice the difference with HD movies.

For the BlueRay player, go for a PS3 - it is the most sensible one for upgrades et al.

I would say a HTIB (Home Theater in a Box) would be the best option for a no fuss approach, except as far as I know there aren't any which can do DOLBY-HD and DTS-HD. So my recommendation would be pick up a reasonably priced Receiver (Pioneer, Onkyo or Denon I would say) and some good speakers (B&W or Kef) - but to make a better recommendation, I would need to understand what your budger is.

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User6060

Plasma's are on the way out I believe, I recently purchased a Sharp top of the line 92U series 46" 120hz 1080p and I can say I am overjoyed and completely satisfied with my purchase. What are you thinking of spending on a TV? I got mine for about $2400 CND plus tax.

Any HTOB Receiver/ Setup should be fine if you not worried about perfect reproduction because today's equipment is usually pretty good at wowing people in movies and stuff.

A PS3 is an excellent choice for a Blu-Ray player (Y)

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pmh

Thanks for the help guys!

So if i'm reading this correctly... *most* would highly recommend going 1080p? And most of you prefer LCD over plasma? Why is that? Just preference, or is there technical reasons? Thanks guys!

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Sikh

Well im young and and maybe coming from me this might not help.

But going to friends houses, where the fathers have the Basement Home Theatre Set Up for Football and etc,

Most of them have LCD.

Mainly I think its becuase, Plasma wear out faster then LCD(?).

As far as I know, My dads friend had a 42" HDef Big Plasma TV that he got 3 years ago, and now he has a 42" LCD from Pana(same as last tv) and he notices that LCD is better then Plasma. He has been using this for like 1 year + and says he noticed a difference in the Plasma TV after 1 year then he did with the Plasma.

Only bad thing is, for some reason, he had a dead pixel, but he found online tutorials telling him to pinch it out and he did with a pen. Even if he couldnt he had the Best Buy Protection Plan.

But my point is. From experience and talking to people that actually have LCD's and Plasma's. Most prefer Plasma.

Im thinking its the Life Time more then the actual "Oo its a LCD not a Plasma" arguement.

Cheers,

-Sikh.

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Joni_78

Most important thing to check is that it is 1080p/24. Some HD TV's still won't support it, if your TV doesn't support 24Hz, then you'll get stuttering picture when watching Blu-ray movies.

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pmh

Will I be okay if the tv supports 120hz since it divides equally?

I really appreciate all the help guys. Thanks!

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+StevoFC
Most important thing to check is that it is 1080p/24. Some HD TV's still won't support it, if your TV doesn't support 24Hz, then you'll get stuttering picture when watching Blu-ray movies.

That's not true at all...it's not quite as fluid as a 120hz set but stutter definately isn't the word for it. Amazing how we all thought it was perfect until tv's with new "features" were released. If your basing this off of those demo tv's they have set up the one side looks horrible in comparison because if it looked too much a like no one would buy into the new tech. But in reality you won't notice an extreme difference.

As for why i prefer LCD over plasma, for the most part...

Older plasma have really low native resolutions. A lot of them now don't, but you need to be careful because some still do.

Most plasma televisions draw way more power than LCD televisions. So much power that one of my friends electric bill nearly doubled after she bought one.

Image retention - still happens in plasma tv's no matter what they have built in to prevent it. Yes, it's not as bad as it used to be with image burn in but retention still exists and can be very annoying if you are the type of person to notice things like that. For example, if you watch a show on CBS for an entire hour, or any station for that matter that has the logo in the bottom corner, you will still see a shadow of that logo for a while after you change the station.

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bangbang023

God, it scares me read some of the information being passed around in this thread. I finally have some time to post, so I might as well make it a useful one.

TV:

Plasma is a great choice. On a good plasma, like a Panasonic or a Pioneer, the image quality is going to easily match or exceed most LCD televisions on the market. Panasonic is a great quality for the price, though Pioneer is the ultimate quality (and carries a price tag that matches it). If you stick with those two brands, you'll be more than fine.

As far as resolution goes, I don't think 1080p is a necessity. Read the reviews of TV's from 2007. The Pioneer PDP-5080HD was continuously rated one of the best TV's, period, on the market and it was only 720p. The reason? Contrast is just as important, if not more important, in helping distinguish details in an image.

My best advice when picking a set is to look at them yourself and only focus on the image. Don't look at the specs or listen to someone tell you this is better than that. Just compare image quality and determine which set appears best to your eyes. To my eyes (and the yes of many others), the Pioneers are breath taking and the Panasonics are very very good.

Sound

If you don't want to go crazy, get a Home Theater in a Box, though you need to get a quality one. Do not get a unit without a standalone receiver. The All-in-one solutions often times exclude any kind of connectivity for surround sound from external sources. I'd personally recommend Yamaha home theaters such as the YHT-380, though Onkyo packages also tend to get very high reviews and should be listened to, also.

Blu-ray

I have a 360. I don't care much for Sony. That said, the PS3 is the only Blu-ray player I would get right now. It's the only unit that supports Profile 2.0 and this ability to be upgraded without having to purchase new hardware is important for the longevity of the device.

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deuz

finally a good post... and to add to bangbang's post.... with the 1080p thing if you have got a 50 inch and ur sitting id say around 3m+ away from the tv u wont see a difference between 1080p and 720p tele.... honestly unless ur like <2m ....difference is very minimal unless ur reeaaly close....

also i find it weird that alot of the 720p panels have higher contrast then the 1080p panels(though US have updated panels, so i cant speak for them)

and if ur in a basment imo id think plasma mite b better...better in darker rooms(better contrast, generally)

agree with most ppl sound opinions

and blu ray not really sure but yeh ps3 has profile 2.0 so if u want seomthing now get that

hope i dont get grilled for the post...lol

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bangbang023

Pretty good set. I have nothing bad to say about it. I remember thinking the color richness on it seemed really good compared to other sets in the same range

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pmh

Okay, other sets i was looking at were in the $1,800 range. Could I get something significantly better with that?

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shockz
alright guys... help me decide between this samsung http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/sam...7-32887581.html , and this panasonic http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/pan...7-32887121.html .

i hope you guys won't pull your hair out as much as i have :p

thanks!

Panasonic out of those two... we've got those two at work. The Panasonic has deeper blacks.

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Joni_78
That's not true at all...it's not quite as fluid as a 120hz set but stutter definately isn't the word for it. Amazing how we all thought it was perfect until tv's with new "features" were released. If your basing this off of those demo tv's they have set up the one side looks horrible in comparison because if it looked too much a like no one would buy into the new tech. But in reality you won't notice an extreme difference.

Ummm, If your telly only supports 50Hz you will get shitloads of studder with panning scenes with Bly-ray or NTCS DVD's. There are unfortunately many 1080p tv's that don't support 23,976 or any multiples of it.

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Matrix XII

Pioneer plasmas are amazing, I work at Future Shop and I get to see all the latest TV's and Pioneer look the best, as well as Panasonic.

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+StevoFC
Ummm, If your telly only supports 50Hz you will get shitloads of studder with panning scenes with Bly-ray or NTCS DVD's. There are unfortunately many 1080p tv's that don't support 23,976 or any multiples of it.

Ok well first off, I have never even seen a 50hz television here. And second why would you even mention a 50hz with an NTSC dvd? You should be using PAL there anyways. Of course an NTSC dvd won't look right. It's made for 60hz (59.94 to be exact). Please have a valid argument atleast if you are going to try and say I am wrong.

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Joni_78
Ok well first off, I have never even seen a 50hz television here. And second why would you even mention a 50hz with an NTSC dvd? You should be using PAL there anyways. Of course an NTSC dvd won't look right. It's made for 60hz (59.94 to be exact). Please have a valid argument atleast if you are going to try and say I am wrong.

You still don't get it, There are 1080p HDTV's from all manufacturers that don't support 24p or any multiples of it. These sets are the same all around the world, so if you live in US, you end up watching stuttering Blu-ray movies. It's like buying a PAL CRT set into US and then watching NTSC movies.

It's important to check that your DLP/LCD/Plasma manual says 1080p24.

Edited by Joni_78
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+StevoFC

I do "get it" you just don't understand the point i am trying to make. I agree 1080p/24 is good, but it's not essential. In fact, few televisions truly support it. The only way there would be bad stuttering is if you have a cheap ass tv. Yes there would be slight motion blur, just like with any 3:2 pulldown but to have true 24 you would need 5:5 pulldown anyways. And even fewer tv's support that also.

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Joni_78
I do "get it" you just don't understand the point i am trying to make. I agree 1080p/24 is good, but it's not essential. In fact, few televisions truly support it. The only way there would be bad stuttering is if you have a cheap ass tv. Yes there would be slight motion blur, just like with any 3:2 pulldown but to have true 24 you would need 5:5 pulldown anyways. And even fewer tv's support that also.

That's not correct, stuttering is REALLY bad on panning scenes where camera moves. Exactly as bad as watching NTSC source with PAL set.

sry, i don't really understand what you mean about true 24. Blu-ray standard is 24p=(23,976).

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