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Topic # 138533 8-Jan-2014 00:32 Send private message

Hey geeks, 

I've got an installer working on my dedicated home theatre set up. From his original list of products I've done some of my own research to try and shave a few bucks here and there and basically get max value for money. 

His choices for the Blu-ray player and AVR are: 
1. Blu-ray player = Onkyo BD-SP809 @ $875.64
2. AVR = Integra dtr 70.4 @ $3,285.71

My alternatives based on research are: 
1. Blu-ray player =  Sony BDPS5100 @ $199 OR stick to my PS3!
2. AVR = Sony STRDN1040 @ $1,187.84

My alternatives are highly rated. Why the huge price difference? He insists that his recommendations are top choices in the custom install market. Please show me the light. 

Btw my speakers are Jamo and projector the panasonic PT-AE8000E in case that makes a difference.

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  Reply # 962928 8-Jan-2014 07:09 Send private message

Just on a brief look at the specs of the two AV receivers, you are getting 4 audio zones vs 2 and 11.2 channels vs 7.2. I think installers prefer Integra because they are designed with the professional installer/AV integration market in mind. It would appear that the Sony doesn't have an RS232 port, I'm not sure exactly how important that is these days when most have an ethernet port or wireless connectivity. You may want to look at the equivalent Onkyo receiver, which is virtually the consumer arm of the same manufacturer and tends to be a little cheaper.
I too have the Panasonic PT-AE8000 and have it connected to a Onkyo 809 receiver. At the moment the main source is a Panasonic BD 35 bluray that's a few years old but also use a new Panasonic BR recorder which gives pleasing results. I have only had a play with the mobile app to control the Onkyo, but have found it easy to use.
Your installer may have suggested the Onkyo player because he knows they will 'play nice' with each other. I have found in the past when helping friends set up AV gear that Sony stuff doesn't always have the flexibility in either CEC or configuration. It seems to have a 'we know best' attitude, where all they want you to do is plug in the components and then sit back and relax, in typical consumer electronics fashion.
Depending on the level of integration you are trying to achieve, you may want to look more at the Pioneer, Devon, Yamaha end of the market if you don't want Integra/Onkyo. IMHO Sony isn't a brand of receiver I recommend to friends, family or colleagues, purely from past experience.




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  Reply # 962932 8-Jan-2014 07:28 Send private message

+1 re: Sony amplification.
The Integra unit is aimed at installers, and the installer who is doing your kit may have particular needs from its spec. The PS3 wouldn't be my pick, with the lack of analogue audio outputs, you won't be able to play BluRay/DVD/CD audio into any zone OTHER than the main 5.1 area.
I'm not necessarily a fan of the Onkyo BluRay players... but it looks to have the specs you'll need.
As a note, I use a Sony PS3 at home, but then I'm not running multi-zone, nor am I looking for anything other than a games console.

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  Reply # 963268 8-Jan-2014 14:01 Send private message

The AMP is a good choice I own the Sony STRDN840 the model down it lacks the GUI the Sony STRDN1040 has but is very similar in what it can do. As an amp its great just works both with ARC from the TV decoding multichannel sound from my DLNA server and Apple AIR Play from iTunes the sound quality is great, just wished it has Bluetooth like the US versions.

Personally I would get a Blu-ray player they are really cheap these days and save your PS3 for games. My reason is if I push Blu-ray on the AMP the Blu-ray player and TV automatically turn on and are ready to use and when I'm finished if I turn off the TV from the TV remote in my case the AMP and Blu-ray also turn off.

Another plus is if the Blu-ray is networked they upgrade themselves periodically with updates for new standards. I should also say once the amp is connected via Wi-Fi it will give you the option to update also just remember don't turn it off when it takes the 1/2 hour or so to upgrade as you can brick the AMP.

Anyway enjoy the upgrade whatever you choose.



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Geek


  Reply # 963343 8-Jan-2014 16:10 Send private message

Thanks for the input guys. Please bear in mind I am also getting a Russound CAS44 for multiroom audio so the 2 audio zones provided by the Sony STRDN1040 will more than suffice (may not even be necessary).

But it sounds like what you are saying is that my installer has valid reasons for choosing his options. It is not that I don’t want Integra/Onkyo. I’m just trying to justify the larger costs of these units. Point taken about the PS3…I will not go that route.

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  Reply # 963464 8-Jan-2014 19:18 Send private message

At risk of stating the obvious, have you asked the installer to to tell you, in plain English:

- Why he is recommending that kit;
- What it's advantages are; and
- What you get, over and above the kit you are considering, in return for the extra expense.

If he knows his onions then he should be able to tell you why he recommends spending the extra to get the kit he is plumping for, and the advantages of getting it compared to the cheaper kit you are considering. You can then weigh up the pros and cons and make a decision. If he can't do this clearly and succinctly, then you should consider getting another installer.

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  Reply # 963494 8-Jan-2014 19:50 Send private message

Recently heard a friends ht who runs integra amp off a oppo br player. I think his speakers are image 412s but could be mistaken.

From what I heard, very solid amp, nice sounding, heaps of power.

I would advise not to skimp on the amp, these things tend to be good for many years, a small(ish) difference now may seem insignificant in a few years time.

Also bear in mind, "ratings" are often applied with the price and target market in mind. You may be "pleasantly surprised" by a $1500 av amp, yet if that same amp had a $3k price tag, it may not rate so highly as expectations are more.

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  Reply # 963542 8-Jan-2014 21:08 Send private message

You could ask the installer to cut you a deal on the Integra, I know it will eat some of his margin, but he would rather have some than none if you purchase the kit yourself from another source.  You could also ask them to price you the 40.3, I have personally installed a few of these AMPs and they are a solid piece of kit and very easy to configure into a control system, great if you are only wanting a single or two zone unit.

The CAS44 from Russound is also a very nice unit, the new App is very easy to use.  Great for multi-room music when matched with some nice in-ceiling speakers (especially from Russound).  If you are still in the pricing stage, check out the Sonos range for multi-room audio aswell, we use the Connect Amps with in-ceiling/wall speakers, amazing sound, ease of use (incredible App), easy to upgrade etc...

Are you going for a control system, or multiple remotes controlling multiple pieces of kit?



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Geek


  Reply # 963649 9-Jan-2014 02:39 Send private message

I'm going for a control system. 

I think it sounds like he's got me set in the right direction regarding the amp and bluray choices. I will ask him for his reasons though. Just wanted third party opinions really and so far no one has really dismissed his choices outright. 

Follow up question: I just thought about the possibility of eliminating the russound CAS44. I could do this by upgrading to an amp with 5 zone output (if it exists). Or I could stick to the 4 zone of the integra and combine two zones into one output (if it's possible). Thoughts about these alternatives?

I'm really just trying to rationalize my costs. Looks like i'll be sticking with the integra and onkyo. So wondering if the CAS44 is expendable.  

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  Reply # 963664 9-Jan-2014 08:06 Send private message

Newbie1234: I'm going for a control system. 

I think it sounds like he's got me set in the right direction regarding the amp and bluray choices. I will ask him for his reasons though. Just wanted third party opinions really and so far no one has really dismissed his choices outright. 

Follow up question: I just thought about the possibility of eliminating the russound CAS44. I could do this by upgrading to an amp with 5 zone output (if it exists). Or I could stick to the 4 zone of the integra and combine two zones into one output (if it's possible). Thoughts about these alternatives?

I'm really just trying to rationalize my costs. Looks like i'll be sticking with the integra and onkyo. So wondering if the CAS44 is expendable.  


If you are going multi zone audio, I would advise to keep the Russound (or Sonos ;)), we do not use Multi Zone AV Receivers for distributed audio, we prefer to use dedicated equipment for the dedicated task, ie: Receiver for 5.1/7.1/2 HT zone, Multi Zone Audio Amp for Multi Zone audio, HDBaseT switch for HDMI switching, Blu-ray player for Blu-rays and a gaming console  etc......

If you ask to drop the 70.3 down to 40.3 or 50.3/5 for the HT zone, this may save you $1-1.5K and you will still have a great AVR.  

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  Reply # 963693 9-Jan-2014 09:24 Send private message

overkill:
If you ask to drop the 70.3 down to 40.3 or 50.3/5 for the HT zone, this may save you $1-1.5K and you will still have a great AVR.


Not sure I'd agree with such a downgrade. The 70.4 is an absolute beast and the 40.3 is a middling entry-level AVR from two years ago.
The 50.3 and 50.5 only features Audyssey MultiEQ, so a far better option would be the 50.4 or 60.5 which have XT32.

I'm also luke-warm on the Onkyo blu-ray player. If you are paying that kind of money, then you should be looking at Oppos. At least they have proven themselves as capable players.

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  Reply # 963730 9-Jan-2014 10:46 Send private message

Agree on OPPOs - great players.

The new 103D is amazing !

Not a fan of newfangled do-everything but sound good AVRs.

Too many doodahs, not enough core performance.


www.hinve.st
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  Reply # 963747 9-Jan-2014 11:02 Send private message

I'm have recently bought the BDPS5100 bluray player and the lower model receiver, the 840 model. (6hdmi ins) These go with a middle level Jamo 5.1 home theatre speaker pack and the sony r55 60 inch LCD.
I am thoroughly stoked with the performance of this gear. I've bought sony stuff in the past and have never had any problems.
The tv is awesome, and with the Bravia link I can run the tv, bluray and receiver with the one remote.

I'm not an audiophile and my setup is a plain vanilla 5.1 system, but I am very pleased with the sony products.

So if it meets your requirements IMHO it is great bang for the bucks.

Cheers,
Joseph



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Geek


  Reply # 963990 9-Jan-2014 17:15 Send private message

Ok, I think I’m sold on the integra 70.4. I have been looking at Oppo players too. Will most likely go with the 103 instead of the Onkyo.

Prices on pricespy:

103 = $849
103D = $1099
105 = $1,799


Decisions, decisions. Might probably stick with the 103 ahead of the upgrades.  


Thanks for the tip on the russound. I think I’ll stick with that also.

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  Reply # 964034 9-Jan-2014 18:38 Send private message

Newbie1234: Hey geeks, 

I've got an installer working on my dedicated home theatre set up. From his original list of products I've done some of my own research to try and shave a few bucks here and there and basically get max value for money. 

His choices for the Blu-ray player and AVR are: 
1. Blu-ray player = Onkyo BD-SP809 @ $875.64
2. AVR = Integra dtr 70.4 @ $3,285.71

My alternatives based on research are: 
1. Blu-ray player =  Sony BDPS5100 @ $199 OR stick to my PS3!
2. AVR = Sony STRDN1040 @ $1,187.84

My alternatives are highly rated. Why the huge price difference? He insists that his recommendations are top choices in the custom install market. Please show me the light. 

Btw my speakers are Jamo and projector the panasonic PT-AE8000E in case that makes a difference.


I'd go : 

Oppo BDP-103D and AVR - Yamaha A3030

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  Reply # 964035 9-Jan-2014 18:39 Send private message

ilovemusic: Agree on OPPOs - great players.

The new 103D is amazing !

Not a fan of newfangled do-everything but sound good AVRs.

Too many doodahs, not enough core performance.



Try the Yamaha A3030's they have both!

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