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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 94477 12-Dec-2011 17:06
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Hi all,

Firstly, after spending many weeks researching LCD TV's last year, it was through this forum that I decided to go with the 6 series Samsung TV and it is brilliant - so thanks!

I have been using a basic freeview decoder and a DVD home theatre system and want to upgrade to Blu ray, but after speaking to sales consultants at HN, DSE, NL and LVM, I'm more confused than before - especially as they all say completely different things.  One told me to start with the Blu ray player, another the speakers.

I'd like to have an HD recorder and freeview, or better still, Myfreeview.  I'd also like a home theatre system.  I don't mind if it's boxed or separate component, I only want what's going to work best.

I bought the Samsung TV because of it's superiority and recommendations, but all I've read about Samsung's Blu Ray and home theatre systems says that they're unreliable.  I was just about to buy the BD-D8900, but I've only read one positive review on it, with most saying that it's too difficult to master and one consultant said he took 15 minutes to delete a programme.

So I've looked at Panasonic.  The BWT700 does that same job, but has Myfreeview built in. 

Then there's the Myfreeview set, half the price but doesn't have a Blu ray player. 

With each of the above three I'd need to get a separate home theatre system. 

Finally, I've looked at the Parasonic BTT370 which has the Blu ray and home theatre all in one.  I've been told the sound isn't nearly as good as the separate component, but I could put it with the Myfreeview set for possibly the cheapest option.

Is there anyone out there who also bought the Samsung 650 LCD 40" TV?  What did you do, what works, and what didn't?  I'm especially interested in whether you went with Samsung for the Smarthub Anynet they have, and whether you actually use this.  I also would like to know if you find any issues having a Samsung TV and a different make Blu Ray player, eg Panasonic.

Thanks for reading and I hope someone can help.
Matt

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  Reply # 557123 12-Dec-2011 17:55
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Panasonic recorder + home theatre receiver.
If your budget allows, I struggle to see a downside. What conflicting advice are you getting from sales people? The Samsung units are being specialled off around the traps as they're a bit useless - and Panasonic's top recorder unit is a very flexible, mature unit now.
The question is, what home theatre receiver and speakers are you looking at?

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  Reply # 557141 12-Dec-2011 18:30
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I use a PS3 to play blu ray, an onkyo amp ($500 or so), and Wharfdale Vardus speakers ($1000 on special). All entry level stuff, but still pretty nice to watch/listen to.

Blu ray player will give you a better picture. Speakers won't do much without a receiver, but with one you'll get better sound. Just decide what you want first. Or get a home theater in a box, just beware they're not always awesome quality, but the value's not bad.

Edit - and remember salespeople have ulterior motives - sales targets and commissions. 




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  Reply # 557153 12-Dec-2011 19:05
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Think about it...
If you buy a new amp + speakers, you can continue using your existing DVD player. Meaning you can spend a little more initially and get a somewhat better setup that will last you. IMHO, when it comes to speakers, you will keep them for 5-10 years, so spend the money there. BUT, if the amp won't run them well enough, you're wasting your time.

The staff at Dick Smith won't sell 'proper' home theatre in the box will they? They'll be trying to sell you an all-in-one solution as, well, it's all they have. NL, HN and LVM will have access to more options, so they will no doubt point you towards a component setup. Unless they don't have a clue...

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  Reply # 557154 12-Dec-2011 19:09
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Dunnersfella: Panasonic recorder + home theatre receiver.

+1
I got the BW880 when they were being specialed off just before the BWT700 was released.
Only wish I'd waited a few more weeks and got the BWT700 which does 3D as well.
IMO the Panasonic is the only way to go.
If I was replacing my ancient (circa 2000) Sony 5.1 Amp which still works great but lacks HDMI and 3D etc, I'd probably go for a mid range Onkyo.
I got KEF speakers (Bookshelf) front and centre which seem to be OK but only cruddy old JVC at the back left over from an old stereo system.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 557270 13-Dec-2011 08:12
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Thanks for your quick replies. I have an old Technics separate component system that I have been using, but it hasn't got HDMI. At HN I was shown the Denon receiver and speakers - $1250 for both. To be honest, until two days ago, I hadn't been thinking separate components, but I want to get something decent that's going to last.

I went to two separate HN, two NL and a LVM, and between the 5 different sales consultants they all told me 5 different things. I like the look of the BWT700, it's definitely top of my list at the moment. Perhaps I just need to update my receiver and continue to use my Technics speakers.

Cheers, Matt.

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  Reply # 557300 13-Dec-2011 09:34
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Hmmmm - tell us about your Technics speakers...
Is it a 5.1 pack?
If so, is the sub woofer powered or passive (does it plug into power at the wall or not)?
What are the rated Watts and ohms for the speakers?

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  Reply # 557307 13-Dec-2011 09:40
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Dunnersfella: Hmmmm - tell us about your Technics speakers...


Assuming I know where you are going with this....
Some people frown upon it, but I've seen great things happen to crappy speakers using a receivers microphone auto setup system.  The receiver can apply separate auto equalisation/compensation to each speaker to get the best (flattest) response out of it. 

If you have a reasonable set of speakers already then you can maximise you dollar initially be going for a good receiver and bluray / freeview unit.  You can then revisit the speakers situation at a later date.

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  Reply # 557315 13-Dec-2011 10:00
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Have you thought about a TiVo?
It would mean you would have to then get a seperate BluRay player, but TiVo plus BD player will be cheaper than the Panasonic BD Recorder/MyFreeview.
It will all connect nicely to a new receiver.

Get a Harmony remote too while you are at it.

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  Reply # 557321 13-Dec-2011 10:16
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trig42: Get a Harmony remote too while you are at it.

There are others now, especially a few iphone type options that require additional gear etc, but I still think the harmony offers superb bang for buck and recommend this also.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 557461 13-Dec-2011 14:21
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The Technics receiver is a SA-AX730. The speakers are each 200W except the centre which is 220W and they are each 8 ohms. When I bought the components there wasn't a sub. It's already got enough base in the two tall boys. Unfortunately my wife hates big speakers and wants little ones instead.

I haven't thought about TiVo. I'll look into it. Thanks for the Harmony idea too.

On a separate note, do any of you use a Blu Ray recorder? The Panasonic has one, but I'm not sure if I'll use it.

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  Reply # 557551 13-Dec-2011 18:00
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Match:

On a separate note, do any of you use a Blu Ray recorder? The Panasonic has one, but I'm not sure if I'll use it.


Yes. I've used my BW880 to copy some recordings from the HDD to a BluRay RW disc. Works fine. Only takes a few minutes for HD to Blu Ray copy but converts in real time to SD on a DVD.
The blanks are still a bit expensive and hard to get like DVD Dual Layer.

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  Reply # 557573 13-Dec-2011 19:29
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The burner part would be useless for me...
I'd simply copy the content via my network (DLNA as described elsewhere on here) instead. However the analogue in / out on the 700 could be handy me thinks... and the model below doesn't have this.
Personally, I believe the act of burning media is dying, so I wouldn't let it rule my decision.

Oh yeah, if you're used to 200W floor standers - then compact satellites may not keep you smiling! Think carefully...

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