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5 posts

Wannabe Geek

#51539 28-Nov-2009 17:10
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I was hoping you guys could recomend me a good Home Theatre in a box system to get fror under $1300. I am not after something that can crank lots of volume but rather something that has a good quality sound (as good as I could expect from HTIAB).

I am wanting something that does HDMI processing. I am wanting all the current (worthwhile) technologies (I dont understand them all), 24p, high def digital input etc

Blue Ray player would be good but not essentail, DVD(1080p upscaling)/Divx/MPG/AVI/MPEG essentail

Preferably speakers that I can mount on walls or speakers that are tall enough to stand on their own.

An ipod dock would be nice but not essentail

Wireless rear speakers would be nice but I think those systems go for more than $1300

What is an exceptional Home Theatre in a Box system out there at the moment for the $$ I ask?

What do you guys (and girls) recomend?


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425 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #277256 28-Nov-2009 17:32
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HDMI Input is going to be the most difficult and expensive part of that.

There are very few cards with HDMI Input. The Blackmagic Intensity is the only one I know of, and it won't work with HDCP encrypted signals (it's only really useful for video cameras). You might be able to combine that with an HDCP stripper of some sort, but that'll be expensive, possibly illegal and unreliable (could stop working with future content).

What do you plan to feed into with via HDMI? If it's Freeview, you're better off just getting a DVB-T tuner for the PC. If it's MySky HDi, there are threads on this forum of how to receive and decode Sky on a PC using the Sky card. That's also of questionable legality though.

The rest of it is fairly simple. The graphics capabilities you require are available in many integrated graphics cards, so it should all be fairly cheap.

If you're willing to build your own, have a look at the Antec NSK2480 case, a micro-ATX motherboard with AMD780/785/790 or GeForce 8200/8300/9300/9400 or even an Intel X4500 HD and generic components, should be able to create something fairly cheap.

There are a number of good pre-assembled systems, but few are available in NZ and they tend to be overpriced here.

5 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #277287 28-Nov-2009 18:33
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I am not really sure what you just said but I have just bought a Samsung 32B650 32" LCD TV and I want to plug that into the home theatre sound system.

Thinking about it I am not sure why I asked for the HDMI input, I dont think I would need it


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Ultimate Geek

  #277289 28-Nov-2009 18:46
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I obviously didn't get enough sleep last night.

Disregard everything I wrote earlier. I was discussing Home Theatre PC's with someone last night and my mind was on the wrong track.

Actual home theatre systems is something I know less about, but the best value option is probably to go with a separate upscaling DVD/blu-ray player, and a home theatre system with HDMI passthrough (so yes, that'd have a HDMI input).

Can't even begin to suggest a unit though.

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Master Geek

  #277294 28-Nov-2009 20:00
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The only home theatre I've seen that even rates a mention is the muteki system from sony

It's almost as modular as a proper AV reciever and speakers but with that HTIB simplicity. No blu ray player(get a ps3) though.
You can get the older one, the 7000 for close to $1000 maybe under if you're good.
The fronts and subs can stand on their own and the satellites are wall mountable.

If you want anything better sounding do it properly, buy: AV reciever from pioneer/onkyo/denon/yamaha, some quality 5.1/7.1 speakers

Virtually all HDMI systems these days do the worthwhile stuff, the rest is just icing and shouldn't be a substitute for a quality piece from a reputable manufacturer.

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Uber Geek

  #277296 28-Nov-2009 20:12
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its the 700.jsp model that you can find for around $1200, you may have trouble finding it because they have replaced it with the newer model i have it and it sounds great with a ps3 connected , i also run MYsky hd through it, all through 1 main hdmi cable to a tv, the newer model is more expensive as they have updated it slightly by putting the subwoofer bass level into a seperate unit instead of a bass level switch on the back of the subwoofers, for the money it is great value

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Uber Geek


  #277331 28-Nov-2009 22:36
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Yeah, I was quite impresed with the value in the sony system I saw at a friends place.

MUCH better than those craptastic ones with the slim silver towers - I would say the mains are providing usable content down to about 75Hz or so in the casual listen I did. They are ported tho so will get boomy and not handle it if you try to throw too much into them, but the setup with the sub seemed to be done quite well by default so it was able to get good levels without sounding like crap on the movies we tried.

Source was a PC so no idea on its handling of LPCM over the HDMI however. Someone else may be able to comment.

If i needed another system it may even be enough to sway me off my "never buying sony again" stance at the moment. But thats largly as a result of their nugent street disservace center than the product.


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Wannabe Geek

  #277594 29-Nov-2009 21:38
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Those Sony Systems listed above are quite ugly and "in your face" in my opinion, though they might sound really good I am after something that doesnt look so nasty and would fit into the "lifestyle systems" niche


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Uber Geek


  #277634 29-Nov-2009 23:37
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Then you are not going to get anything that sounds good if you are looking at lifestyle systems. Most struggle to even get a movie anywhere near as loud as it should be.

One I was trying at a friends place was so bad that if you turned it up so the dialog was nice and loud, then during all the loud parts of the movies it was distorting massively. It was a bose wannabe so sounding like crap is one of the features they must have been copying from the original


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Uber Geek

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  #277645 30-Nov-2009 00:12
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aIf you have your own HDMI DVD/BluRay/PS3, you can certainly look into Sony HTIS-100 which I mentioned in another topic. for $599 instead of $1199 at the Sony Style online store. It has 3 HDMI inputs, 2 Component inputs and a normal RCA input with configurable Optical/Digital audio inputs. It had DMPort for digital media dock.

I added S-AIR Surround Wireless ($249.95) and we got the back speakers "wired" up. The auto calibration is great for easy tuning for optimal sound spots. Those golf ball size speakers are amazing and you won't believe the crisp of the sound from those tiny speakers.

IF you're looking for HTIB with DVD/Bluray player, bear in mind that you won't be able to have HDMI inputs/bypass and limited upscaling.

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Ultimate Geek

  #277709 30-Nov-2009 10:00
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From the research I have done it appears the Sony htddw7500 and htddw7000 models do not decompress dolby hd, or true hd so whatever device is connected to these systems will have to do the HD audio decompression.

A PS3 will work well.
A HTPC with Asus Xonar, or Auzentech x-FI HD Homethreatre will work well.

Anything else is device dependant as usual. If you are not bothered by HD audio then these are pretty good units, you will be hard presses to find the old model (7000) now for $1200 or less. The new one on sale can be had for about $1500 if you are lucky.

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Ultimate Geek

  #277737 30-Nov-2009 11:00
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chiefie: IF you're looking for HTIB with DVD/Bluray player, bear in mind that you won't be able to have HDMI inputs/bypass and limited upscaling.

That's true in most cases, and the lack of HDMI inputs is a real issue, however the LG HB954WA BluRay Home Theatre system does have two HDMI inputs. The LG is quite expensive, selling for just below $2,000, but now LG have broken rank maybe other manufacturers will release models with HDMI inputs and we will see prices come down a little.

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