Home Theater Update

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At least, I’m getting a few cycles in when not reading Google News. In any event, my mom and dad are moving into a new house and good ol’dad wants a great television setup. Here’s an update about this the latest to buy given it change so quickly
h4. For Dad’s new Home Theater
For rear-projection TVs. There are many other sorts, but for my dad, this is probably the lowest cost way to go in his relatively small room. Here are the current choices after a search through “HomeTheaterSpot”:http://hometheaterspot.com run by my buddy Paul Carleton as well as “The Perfect Vision Picks and Pans”:http://www.avguide.com/inthenews/currentnews/2.17.2003/picksandpans2003.jsp as well as “HDTV Voice”:http://www.hdtvoice.com/voice/index.php ” “AVS Forum”:http://www.avsforum.com/ and “HDTV Forum”:http://pub1.ezboard.com/bdigitaltelevisionhdtvforum plus “DBS Talk”:http://www.dbstalk.com/index.php:
* “Pioneer SD533HD5”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=585816/blsrt=1/ut=0ce41693b950d0f3. About $2,200 delivered. Has the same innards as the amazing Elite versions. Main issue is that it doesn’t have DVI so high resolution cable or satellite could be a problem later. Important for the future. Also doesn’t have any HDTV tuners.
* “Toshiba 50HDX82”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=617910/blsrt=1/. This has DVI and also an amazing line doubler for ordinary input. That is regular cable TV and satellite TV. Cheap too by $200 compared with the Pioneer.
* “Pioneer Elite PRO520HD”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=552586/. If you can afford it, this is probably the best set out there with 7″ CRTs. Connie’s Dad has one and its line doubler is amazing. Nearly $3500 though.
* “Toshiba 57HLX82 LCoS RPTV”:http://www.avguide.com/newsletter/2002.12/toshiba57.jsp. The future is in this new technology called liquid crystal on silicon. Here’s an early preview of it in a rear projection form at a not cheap $8K, but what technology. “OneCall”:http://www.onecall.com/PID_17557.htm has them but only for retail sale right now.
* “RCA Scenium L50000”:http://www.costco.com/frameset.asp?trg=subcat%2Easp&catid=79&subid=2341. Reliability is the big question with this rig, but for $3.5K from Costco, you get an LCos with built-in high definition satellite and over-the-air tuner
* “HDTV Copy Protection”:http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?postid=1620871#post1620871. See this post for why it’s important to get an HDTV with the right copy protection. Depressing really.
We’ll use the existing Outlaw 1050 AVR and Energy Take 5 speakers I think so the only other things needed are:
* “OTA HDTV”:http://www.hometheatermag.com/showarchives.cgi?156. A good overview of getting high definition with a good ol’antenna. My dad can do this at his new home.
* “Dish HD Channels”:http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/programming/hdtv/index.shtml. This requires a “Dish 6000u”:http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/technology/receivers/6000/index.shtml at $700 list for a complete system. The terrestial OTA adapter if $149 list.
* “Dish Upcoming HD STBs”:http://www.dbstalk.com/attachment.php?postid=70052. A view of the upcoming STBs they have. They all have this new encrypted digital interface.
* “DirecTV HD”:http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/imagine/HDTV.jsp. Set-top box for HD-SAT and of course dishes. Main issue is that they don’t have Discovery HD. They have many more models that are compatible including Hughes Network Systems HIRD-E86, Mitsubishi SR-HD5, Panasonic TU-HDS20, Philips DSHD 800 R, RCA DTC100, Sony SAT HD100, Toshiba DST-3000, Zenith DTV1080. There are also updated models. Sony has the HD200. Main issue is what about digital outputs for TVs.
* “DirecTV Tivo HDTV”:http://www.tivo.com/5.3.1.1.asp?article=166. One of the more exciting announcements. Sometime this year, one box that has it all. Tivo, HDTV for both satellite and over-the-air. Wow! It will have component outputs, DVI-HDCP digital outputs.
h4. For the New Play Room.
I’ve got a new play room that needs:
* MP3/CD Player. Ideally I need something that plays CDs, MP3 CDs and also can browse my MP3 files on my PC server. Need to study this.
* AVR Receivers. I’m going to use the one in the living room and move the other stuff into the familiy room where I think it will get more use. So, my old Yamaha 3090 AVR goes to the playroom.
Family Room.
This just has an old Sony 32XBR100 (a great TV though), so it needs an AVR and speakers. This last should be my old Yamaha 3090 given its power rating, so I’m in the market for a low cost receiver to be deployed in the family room. So, here’s a quick review based on “Home Cinema Online”:http://www.homecinemachoice.com/testbench/index.html. and also looking at “AudioReview”:http://audioreview.com
* Denon AVR-2803. This was just released. The older Denon 2800, 2801 and 2802 got good reviews consistently. About $600 street.
* Outlaw 1050. I got this for dad and it is a nice deal for $500 at least a year ago. Hasn’t been updated since however, so doesn’t have all the latest modes.
h4. Main Home Theater Upgrades.
Since I also do a troll to see what’s up for my current setup (an old Mitsubishi 73905). Here’s what’s up with that in terms of upgrades. BTW, this is a nice set that is 73″ diagonal with 9″ CRTs. Very bright.
* Faroudja NRS Scaler. Costs $3K, but it is the best for my old Mitsubishi since it scales to 540p.
* “Mitsubishi Promise Module”:http://www.mitsubishi-tv.com/promisemodule_news.html. This has been promised for three years (no pun intended) as an upgrade. For $1K, you get an OTA HD tuner, a cable HD tuner (not clear when we get HD cable in Seattle. sigh.), an IEEE 1394 firewire connector for camcorders and the like, a HAVI command and control system. Since I can’t get over the air HDTV here (a big hill in the way), the most useful thing would be cable HD if it ever comes.
* “Onkyo TX-DS989 Upgrade”:http://pub106.ezboard.com/faussiedvdandhtforumonkyotxds989informationforum?page=1. I’m sad I didn’t hear about this last year. It was $300 at introduction and is now $500. Was a fair deal at $300 as it fixes bugs in the Dolby Digital EX processing, adds 96/24 DTS (so for the right DVDs, you get super high quality sound) and is THX Ultra2 certified (not quite sure what that really means). At this price though, I’m not sure it is worth it. Main thing to wait for is a direct digital Firewire connection from a CD/DVD Player so that it is all high-bit-rate digital all the way through. Cool.
* “Definitive Technology Surrounds”:http://www.definitivetech.com/loudspeakers/surround/surround.html. I need another set of surrounds to get to 7.1 sound. The value leader looks like the BP1.2X at $175SRP or the BP2X at $250 SRP. The BP2X got good reviews in “Home Theater Magazine”:http://www.hometheatermag.com/showarchives.cgi?46:2.

2 Replies to “Home Theater Update”

  1. I’m a local A/V installer who could get you the new Toshiba 57HLX82 57″ LCoS set for less than what OneCall is charging. I’ll also be carrying the upcoming Dish 921 HDTV PVR/set-top box. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. I have three in stock.

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