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”: 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”: 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”:, it is hard to beat.
* “Outlaw 1050”: 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”: 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”: The current state of the art. Has every decoding mode under the sun box. All for $584 today. I love competition.
* “Paradigm Atom”: Top rated by “The Perfect Vision”:, “Stereophile”: 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”: These also got great reviews in The Perfect Vision. Much more available as well from “Pricegrabber”:

2 responses to “Home Theater Recommendations”

  1. Byron Miller Avatar

    Nice equipment list! Feel free to publish your pics at Would love to see your setup!

  2. Kevin Avatar

    I just bought the Denon 2803 and am trying to hook it up to my home theater which consists of Mitsubishi 55 (HD), Motorola digital cable box, Motorola HD decoder, Pioneer dv-656a, and a sony VCR. I’m having a hell of a time. Can you help? I would love a connection diagram and/or any tips. I have hooked up several of my own systems…but this ones got me completely baffeled.

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