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2230 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 675178 21-Aug-2012 17:07 Send private message

When it comes to secondhand audio gear, you need to be a little careful... well at least in Christchurch.
A lot of gear down here has taken a tumble or two in the quakes, or, in some case, filled with plaster dust from constant shaking.
These factors shorten the lifespan considerably, which definitely sucks.
I still think you can get a new receiver with 4 x HDMI inputs and a nice set of bookshelves for under 1k. And re: subwoofers, be careful you don't get a one note blunderbuss. Make sure it's musical (it's going to be doing a relatively decent amount of work if your front bookshelves can't go down too deep... and if it's only performing well in a limited range, it may detract when you listen to music than add to what you're hearing.
Having said that, I have a 2.0 system right now and feel no need for a centre or a sub at all. Then again, it's predominately a music based setup that happens to be looped to my Sky box :-)

370 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 679040 30-Aug-2012 00:10 Send private message

If you are interested in a home theatre in a box I can recommend the Panasonic bt790, retails around 1000 but often less on special and has 2 hdmi inputs that also allow for standby pass through to the tv, and an digital optical input. Also comes with 1 wireless box to make the rear speakers wireless from the main unit, or you can purchase a 2nd wireless box and 2 small speakers to make 7.1 using the 2 wireless boxes for the left/right rear and surround speakers.
It's also 3D.

We upgraded to this from a separate 3d bluray payer and a slightly older Panasonic htib (bt230 that had 2 optical digital inputs and also used the same wireless boxes for the rear speakers).
It's certainly not earthshaking, and purists will hate but it does simplify everything and we can use it with the anynet turned on or off.

Ps we also have the same tv as you so the setup is comparable.
Cheers



137 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 679133 30-Aug-2012 09:38 Send private message

Loismustdye: If you are interested in a home theatre in a box I can recommend the Panasonic bt790, retails around 1000 but often less on special and has 2 hdmi inputs that also allow for standby pass through to the tv, and an digital optical input. Also comes with 1 wireless box to make the rear speakers wireless from the main unit, or you can purchase a 2nd wireless box and 2 small speakers to make 7.1 using the 2 wireless boxes for the left/right rear and surround speakers.
It's also 3D.

We upgraded to this from a separate 3d bluray payer and a slightly older Panasonic htib (bt230 that had 2 optical digital inputs and also used the same wireless boxes for the rear speakers).
It's certainly not earthshaking, and purists will hate but it does simplify everything and we can use it with the anynet turned on or off.

Ps we also have the same tv as you so the setup is comparable.
Cheers


Thanks a lot for this. So has the Panasonic been perfectly fine in terms of 3D etc. with the Samsung TV? i.e. I don't need to constraint myself to only Samsung ones?

Did you find Panasonic ones as better value for money over the comparable Samsung models or was there any particular reason for choosing them?
Thanks!

370 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 679292 30-Aug-2012 15:05 Send private message

The panny has worked fine with 3D bluray, and currently we have a WD media live box plugged into one of the hdmi passthroughs and that works well also.
Ive also used the PS# as a 3D player for the TV and that has worked fine also (you don't need to match brand to brand for a 3D setup as (i'm assuming) 3D is a standard tech that doesn't vary between manufacturers, much in the same way Blu-ray is a standard format.

I went for the panasonic in both cases:
- I had an existing wireless receiver box, so coupled with the new system I could make it 7.1 surround.
- Its easy to be made region free for DVD, just take the unit and the receipt to the nearest panasonic service agent and they do it for free.
- When I initially looked at a HTIB bluray a couple years back, after firing off emails to the main players with a couple of questions (mainly about region unlocking); Panasonic replied within 10 hours, sony replied with 2 days, LG replied 4 weeks later (I will never buy an LG product again, due to the extreme rudeness/disregard of customer service of the reply from the representative who stated in no uncertain terms that it is illegal to sell unlocked or even unlock players, I thought the law stated the opposite), and samsung never replied. In saying that I would consider Samsung or Sony if it met my needs.
- The Panasonic had more features connectivity-wise compared to the other brands, the older system had2 separate digital optical inputs and the newer bt790 has optical in and also 2 hdmi inputs that could be set to passthrough the signal when the HT is turned off.
- Price wise the panasonics tend to be cheaper and/or on sale more frequently than the other brands.
- It also has built-in wifi so it connects to the modem wirelessly for updates etc, and there is also an app for the ipad/iphone that can be used to control the unit if its in a cupboard or out of infrared range.

The only thing that is not ideal with this setup (and indeed yours due to the TV) is that the TV does not support ARC (audio return channel), so to get surround sound from the TV the digital optical out of the TV needs to be connected to the optical in on the HT (D-in).

It works well, it sounds reasonable and for the average joe bloggs wanting as simple/easy/less intrusive a setup as possible it does the trick nicely (IMHO anyway).

A similar system to the 790 is the 490 (which is around a similar price but has smaller speakers for the surrounds and doesn't come with a wireless receiver.
bt 790:
http://shop.jbhifi.co.nz/home%20theatre/home%20theatre%20system/panasonic-sc-btt790gnk-full-hd-3d-blu-ray-home-theatre-system/56533 It was a little under $900 last week at JB, I got it at the recent friends and family for just under $800.

BT490
http://www.dicksmith.co.nz/product/AE3696/panasonic-blu-ray-home-theatre-sc-btt490
http://www.noelleeming.co.nz/shop/audio-mp3/home-theatre/panasonic-sc-btt490gnk-sc-btt490-3d-home-theatre-system/prod116614.html

Please note this looks horrendously biased (I don't work for panasonic), and as such I cant really comment on the other brands.






137 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 679308 30-Aug-2012 15:36 Send private message

Loismustdye: The panny has worked fine with 3D bluray, and currently we have a WD media live box plugged into one of the hdmi passthroughs and that works well also....... 



Thanks a lot, this makes the Panasonic tick most of my boxes as well.
Last query:
Since you are already using it, how useful are the Youtube etc. type apps? Are they fully functional and flexible to allow you to stream any youtube videos? Does it have a browser or only a restricted set of apps that can use Internet?

Cheers

370 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 679417 30-Aug-2012 18:47 Send private message

I can't comment on those as I never use them sorry. I'm fairly sure they are more like apps than browsers, although the new systems may have dedicated browses in them, I've just never looked. :-)

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