Home Theater Recommendations
At last something that isn't about the war. I'm putting together a home theater system for my dad. This is a mid-range one and includes the following:
* "Pioneer SD533HD5":http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=585816. Actually I probably should have gotten a unit with DVI for the future (this is a new fangled digital connector), but didn't understand it until too late. Looks good, although I'm completely spoiled by my own Mitsubishi 73903.
* "Panasonic DVD-XP30":http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-bin/shootout.cgi?function=search&articles=all. Secrets of Home Theater has the most comprehensive testing ever. I actually got Dad an DVD-RP56 last year which is pretty darn good, but this XP30 is superb and only "$175":http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=608872/, it is hard to beat.
* "Outlaw 1050":http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/1050.html. This is a mail-order only budget audio-video receiver. It doesn't have all the sound modes (and the licensing fees) of the big boys like the Denon AVR-2803, but it sounds great and is only $500. Nice to support a little company in the world of consumer electronic giants.
* Energy Take 5. They don't make these any more, but five years ago they were just great sounding.
* "Samsung TS-151":http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=691699. There are equivalent Zenith and Panasonic models, but this one seems the most common. It is a high definition tuner for over-the-air terrestial signals. This is the cheapest way to get HDTV right now. You don't have to buy a satellite or cable.
I'm also doing a budget home theater system for our family room. Here is what I've got for that:
* Sony 32XBR100. This is an old television set. It isn't HDTV, but boy is it wonderful looking. When I got it five years ago it was state of the art.
* "Denon 2803":http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=703757/blsrt=1. The current state of the art. Has every decoding mode under the sun box. All for $584 today. I love competition.
* "Paradigm Atom":http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/paradigm_atom.htm. Top rated by "The Perfect Vision":http://www.paradigm.ca/Website/SiteParadigmProduct/PReviews/Paradigm/PerfectVision/PV_Atom_CC_ADP70_PDR12.pdf, "Stereophile":http://www.stereophile.com/showarchives.cgi?664 and the other reviews are glowing as well. You need a pair of Atoms ($170), a CC-170 for the center, ADP-70 for the surrounds and PDR-12 subwoofer. Main issue is that you have to find a local dealer.
* "Acoustic Research AR HC-6":http://www.hometheatersound.com/equipment/acousticresearch_hc6.htm. These also got great reviews in The Perfect Vision. Much more available as well from "Pricegrabber":http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=463769.