Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

OT- Need home theater advice-OT

SaltySamSaltySam Posts: 309

I know that there are some audiophiles in this forum.  I need your help.

We are currently finishing our basement, and want to get ideas for a home theater system.  Upstairs we have a 50" plasma, with a PS3 and HD cable. We also bought a Bose CineMate to boost sound...but, that's about it.  We had Netflix for a while, but dropped the service.  We pretty much stayed with a setup from 2003 and stuck with it.  I don't know enough about new technology.  I want to update our equipment, and rather than listen to a pushy salesman, I thought I'd get your inputs. Everyone here tends to be informed, and approachable, and that's my kind of information source. 

We'd like to put in at least a 50" LED Smart TV, and some kind of surround sound.  If I can keep everything around $1000-$1300, I'll be thrilled.  I know woot.com has ridiculous deals on refurb TV's, and that's where I'm leaning. Is a refurb TV worth the risk?

As far as a sound system, I figured wiring everything before we put the walls up will be easiest.  Is that still necessary, or are wireless speakers an option? What are some decent setups?  What all equipment do I need? 

Any advice, no matter how dumb you think it might be, is greatly appreciated.  PM if necessary.  Thanks gang!

LBGE since June 2012

Omaha, NE

Comments

  • CeeGeeWCeeGeeW Posts: 37
    Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Speaker System:  $450
    Yamaha RX-V475 receiver:  $400
    Samsung PN51E550D1F 51-in 3D Plasma:  $800

    To save money, you can go cheaper with the TV.  Visio has some good deals.  I would not go cheaper on the Audio setup.  You will regret it in the long run.
    Los Angeles, CA
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261

    Have you ruled out a projector?   There are some really good projectors that are not far from that price range.    A 110 screen is 4 times the viewing area that  a 55 inch screen is.

    We have a 55inch Samsung LED 3D TV in our family room - the picture on the projector in the theater is noticeably superior.

    I am a big believer if your walls are open during construction - pull some wiring.   I would pull at least 2, maybe 3 HDMI feeds to your video source - whether that is projector or TV.

    Wire for 7.1 - even if you are currently doing 5.1.   Not every source is 7.1 - but probably will evolve over time.

    I would also pull at least 2 cat 5 cables to the projection source ( whether TV or projector).   You may not use initially - but you would have the option to move to balun's if you ever wanted a switched HDMI environment.

    We ran Cat 5 (2) all over the house.   All of our cable box's are in one closet, we used a Home Automation system ( Control4) which controls an HDMI switch and provides RF remote controls ( either hand held or ipad/iphone) control of all video and music throughout the house.

    You may not go as far as immediate cat-5 distribution - but if the walls are open - put the cable in now.   My .02's.

    Cookin in Texas
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,734
    Probably break your budget, but emotiva.com amps are a great value.  There are a few camps with speakers (horn/dome, etc.), I have the Klipsch Reference - Cazzy and NoobinNOLA are the people to talk to.  Worth spending the extra money on good stuff.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,283
    Agree with Boatbum, if the walls are open, pull wires now!  
    If its a basement, and it has few/no windows, I would stick with a plasma set.  I currently have an LED with local dimming, but the motion blur that any LED/LCD set has bugs me, wish I'd gone with a plasma at the beginning.  
    _____________________________________________
     
    I Know Why The Egged Bird Sings.
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • MJGMJG Posts: 133
    How big is your space? Do yourself a favor and look into the Take Energy Classic 5.1 for speakers. $299 on Amazon now and worth twice that IMHO.
    Large Big Green Egg in a nest. North Shore of Boston.
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,460

    It's out of your stated price range, but in a "quality for your money" discussion about home theater audio, nothing beats Axiom.

    http://www.axiomaudio.com/

    Many of us ultimately got an egg after trying to "live with" or "make do with" lesser grills for years and now we sleep well at night because of our egg.  If there is potential for that, buying speakers from Axiom could save you money in the long run. Their home theater speaker systems run $1400 - $3700, but in blind tests their speakers have outperformed speakers that cost 10 times as much.  Friends who come over will take as much interest in your speakers as they do in your egg. 

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 784
    edited July 2013
    I'm looking at a surround system too.

    One thing I learned over the weekend - the HTIB (Home theatre in a box) stuff has proprietary wiring.. so when you see a good/cheap samsung system, you can't use pre-wired in wall stuff.  My room is pre-wired, so I need to buy individually if I want to use the existing wiring.

    Once I went that route, I'm completely overwhelmed with choices and options.  I've all but given up.  There is a cool Sony (blah blah blah 840 model) that was ~500 at Best Buy (not sold at amazon) that was neat.  I really just need Cable TV, Bluray player, and a appleTV.  If it has airplay and HBOgo built in, I can move my apple TV downstairs.  I don't need whole house audio, automation, etc.  But I want 7.2..

    I haven't even looked at speakers... floor, wall mount, in wall.  'll spend more on speakers than the amp.  

    What the hell!  The samsung in a box with cool vacuum tubes is 400 out the door!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 784
    image
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • SaltySamSaltySam Posts: 309

    @sumoconnell    Amen.

     

    LBGE since June 2012

    Omaha, NE

  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261

    Are you a serious Audiophile?   Several suggestions on speakers which sound very good.

    Speakers I went with were not considered "high end".   They exceed my discerning ear.  

    Think about what is important - what you will be watching in the room.   If 95% of your time is sporting events - then I would not go high end on speakers.   If it is movies with great sound tracks - then think about nice speakers.

    I have a friend who is an Audiophile, really into quality of sound.  He uses his theater room to just sit and listen to music.   He spent more on specialized speaker cables in the wall with acoustic baffling than I did on my speakers.    That was not my priority.

     

    Correct me if I am wrong - speakers are the easiest to change out in the future - long as the wiring is in the wall.

    For us - the video was very important.   We went with a projector ( at the time around 3K) which is fantastic.  Our speakers are good - not top end by any means.  They exceed our listening skills.

    Did a dedicated AMP with 7.1,

     

    Whatever you do - wire for speakers, HDMI, and Cat 5 now.   Don't forget power outlets also.

    Cookin in Texas
  • SaltySamSaltySam Posts: 309

    @boatbum

    What is the opposite of audiophile?  Audio idiot?  Or, audiot?  That's where I'd rank myself.  I know nothing about speakers, and probably can't discern the difference between mid-level quality and high-level.  In fact, the responses above are a little overwhelming.  I appreciate the input so much, but it's clear that I haven't been paying attention to changing technology for a LONG time.

    The area that we'll be setting up the TV is fairly small.  From wall to wall, it's only about 11 feet, so a projector may not be the best choice.  I'm afraid we would lose resolution by mounting it so close. 

    We own a plasma, and I liked the idea of an LED, since it's so thin and doesn't generate as much heat.  I didn't realize that they tend to have motion blurring, so that's something I learned today. Thanks @botch!  I'll have to reconsider my pick.

    The picture quality is more important than the sound quality.  This will be an everyday TV, used for sports, lots of movies, and the kids' video games.  I doubt it would take much to impress me.

    @MJG, I like the reviews for the Take Energy Classic 5.1, and the price is right.  Thank you for the tip.  If I get a decent receiver, will that be all I need? Do I need an amp?   Keep in mind that it is impossible to underestimate my audio knowledge.  Talk to me like I'm five years old.

    Thanks everyone for the advice.  You guys are awesome.

    LBGE since June 2012

    Omaha, NE

  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261

    Receiver has an amp inside it.  A receiver that supports surround sound - most made in the last few years do - is all you need.

     

    Cookin in Texas
  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 784
    +1 boatbum.  Also, with 11' room, I would do 5.1 surround, no need for 7.1.  

    One weird thing - I have a sharp TV and it changes channels quickly, adapts to 1080 vs 720 quickly.  I have a cheaper insignia (Best buy brand) and it takes about 3-4 seconds.  Doesn't sound like much, but hurts my ability to browse.


    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261
    +1 boatbum.  Also, with 11' room, I would do 5.1 surround, no need for 7.1.  

    One weird thing - I have a sharp TV and it changes channels quickly, adapts to 1080 vs 720 quickly.  I have a cheaper insignia (Best buy brand) and it takes about 3-4 seconds.  Doesn't sound like much, but hurts my ability to browse.



    Guessing its an upscale/downscale issue.   Native res may be lower/higher, the TV is changing the resolution mathematically.    Every TV can do this to some extent.   Variation will be the native modes in the set and the speed of the processor.

    From my understanding this is "part" of what makes TV's of the same size vary so much in price.    Someone else out there may have a more specific or more accurate explanation.

    Cookin in Texas
  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 983
    With a total budget of $1300 and needing about $800 for the TV, you are not left with much for the audio system.  You might watch Craigslist for a used TV to allow more $ for the audio.   Also, in an 11' room, you can get away with less than a 50" screen.  Mine is a 42" plasma bought years ago (about $900 at the time).  I view from about 8' away and it is plenty large.  Some other suggestions:

    Go witha 5.1 rather than a 7.1 system - fewer speakers, lower cost and you won't miss the rear channels. 

    A packaged system may give you the best bang for the buck in this range, and will be easiest to install and use - Onkyo has a very good 5.1 package you can get for about $450 at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S6500-5-1-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B008DB9OMI/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1375207198&sr=8-10&keywords=onkyo+home+theater.

    Run your speaker wires during construction, and don't be too cheap - you may upgrade the hardware some day and would not want the cables to limit you.  Wired speakers will sound much better than wireless.

    Don't forget a Blu Ray player.


    XLBGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,654
    i pretty much lost the upper end of my hearing working in a metal shop most of my life, thank god i only need one speaker
    :)) the louder a woman yells, the less i can hear her
    :D i would just get the big tv that has a nice pic and go from there, i even have a problem with surround sounds muting out the sounds i need to hear when watching something, sports forgettaboutit
  • 70chevelle70chevelle Posts: 277

    If you are set on your budget, you will be at 'entry level', and that's fine.  If you want to purchase a Home Theater in Box, that is just 'OK'.  My suggestion would be the following:

    1)  purchase a home theater receiver that has 'pre-outs' so it can be used as a processor in the future if you purchase an amplifier.

    2)  Start with center, front surrounds and a sub-woofer.  Your budget will allow for 3 better speakers than 5 and/or you'll have money left over for your sub-woofer.  You can always add additional speakers in the future, as you can run 3.1 and 5.1 on a 7.1 system. 

    3)  The sub-woofer is an extremely important part of a home theater system.  It immerses you into the action and let's you feel what's happening.  Don't skimp too much here. 

    4)  Blu Rays are cheap, don't overspend as you will likely want to upgrade whatever you start with.

    I can't make any specific recommendations, but I can tell you what I did.  I purchased an Harman Kardon AVR from their refurb website.  I listened to it for a little while and was underwhelmed, so I purchased an Acurus 200x3 and 200x2 amp to power all 5 channels.  My speakers are all Paradigm, which I also have for 2 channel listening.  It was a night and day difference with the additional power.  A very noticeable difference came when I upgraded my Yamaha sub to a Velodyne.  Start within your budget with upgradeablitiy (sp?) in mind.  Who knows, you may be very happy with a 3.1 system?

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,287
    Lots of suggestions. Usual placement for plasma (glass front) is in a darkened room, LED works in light and window reflected spaces. Might be some great pricing on 3D LED sets, it has not caught on and many retailers are dumping the sets. Have you thought about moving the current plasma to the basement and getting something new for the current room? 
    11' room, suggest 5.1, my current room is 15X24 and 7.1 (depending on source) sometimes overwhelms it. Get a receiver, with wired, not plug connected speaker wires. Think about what you will connect, if everything is HDMI, how many do you need? Do you need an analog input? (audiophile vinyl is getting popular again)
    Run good speaker wire if you are going to bury it in the wall, I'm a bit annal about it and all my speaker lengths are the same. Same with HDMI cables, buy what you need but usually for 1.3 cheap is as good as expensive. If you plan on using ethernet, you need a cable that supports it. Hook and buzz them (test) before you close them in. 
    Good luck.
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261

    Regarding TV's - I like the Plasma's a lot.

    Really like the LED technology.   I went with 3D when I bought my last ones - couple of years ago.   Never watch 3D - however at that time those were the only sets that had the 240 processors.  Minimized blur on the LED.

    Cookin in Texas
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,734
    I have a 5.1 system for the 55" TV, and a 2.1 dedicated to music in the living room.   Turntable is on a 300 pound slab of concrete I poured and is isolated with motorcycle valve springs.  Fun project.  power and preamp are emotiva.


    imageimageimage
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,283
    Is that a drum machine on your turntable?  
    _____________________________________________
     
    I Know Why The Egged Bird Sings.
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,734
    Botch said:
    Is that a drum machine on your turntable?  
    It's a Maschine.  Works with music composition software, but you can use it to play drums.

    http://www.native-instruments.com/en/maschine-groove-production/
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • 70chevelle70chevelle Posts: 277

    Cool concrete top!  When I'm ready for a Home Theater change, I'm thinking Emotiva, especially since they just paired up with Bob Carver. 

    One thing I didn't mention, for all your budget cable needs (in-wall speaker cable, HDMI, RCA's, etc) got to www.monoprice.com  Excellent quality for the very minimal price paid. 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,734

    Cool concrete top!  When I'm ready for a Home Theater change, I'm thinking Emotiva, especially since they just paired up with Bob Carver. 

    One thing I didn't mention, for all your budget cable needs (in-wall speaker cable, HDMI, RCA's, etc) got to www.monoprice.com  Excellent quality for the very minimal price paid. 

    I turned one of my brothers on to emotiva and he bought some of their amps and loves them.  Thanks me just about every time I talk to him.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

Sign In or Register to comment.