New home theater setup

Mozex

[H]ard|Gawd
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Apr 13, 2009
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1,319
I'm in the process of researching parts for setting up my home theater. I plan to buy everything in the next two weeks or so (unless there's some crazy-hot-deal/new-thing right around the corner).


As far as receivers goes I'm planning on going with the Harman/Kardon AVR-254 because I think it has all the features I want.
* At least 3 HDMI inputs (Cable/PS3/PC)
* HD audio decoding
* Standard def upconversion

I was also looking at the Onkyo TX-SR606 but reviews of it seem to indicate that it's upconversion is kinda crappy, as it tends to artifact SD signals even when turned off.

So my remaining questions about the 254 are:
* Can upconversion be turned off?
* Does it get along with the PS3?
* Does it get along with nvidia and/or ati?


For a television I'm looking for something with these features:
* 1080 resolution
* 24p support for blu-ray
* no overscan for digital signal (I want to see the entire picture please)
* Somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-52 inches

I think it's going to be the Samsung LN52A650. I was also considering Sony Bravia KDL-52W4100 but from milling about on google and the AVS forum it seems like the samsung might be better about reproducing digital sources without overscan or edge "enhancements". Any thoughts or experience?


Any other receivers/TVs I should take a close look at?

Where is a good place to learn about selecting speakers?
... new PC build thread to follow in a couple months.
 

Aivikrames

n00b
Joined
Jul 18, 2006
Messages
32
have you taken a look at the pioneer VSX-1018TXH-K receiver? Excellent features for the price point. Check out reviews over at avsforum.com (there comparisons to the avr-254 and many prefer the pioneer).
 

Mozex

[H]ard|Gawd
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Apr 13, 2009
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have you taken a look at the pioneer VSX-1018TXH-K receiver? Excellent features for the price point. Check out reviews over at avsforum.com (there comparisons to the avr-254 and many prefer the pioneer).

It looks like it also has all the features I require, but I think I'll pass on it due to the higher pricepoint.



Unfortunately that model doesn't support enough HDMI inputs for my needs.
 

Yakyb

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
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474
samsung LN52A650

i have the LN46A656 at home and im more than happy with it my only 2 complaints are the audio isn't great (but no bother as im going to buy a 2.1 setup shortly) and that swapping between sources can be quite slow (however with your receiver that shouldnt be an issue)
 

EndersShadow

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 27, 2008
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Please check AVS forum for the many speaker choices.

+1. You do however need to get out and hear the speakers in action to really decide. I went with Polk Monitor's (see sig) as they were just being discontinued so I could get them at a very deep discount (Newegg), and I have Polk speakers in my car so I am partial to their sound.

If cost is a problem it is always better to get fronts and a center before a sub and/or surrounds. 70% of your effects come from your fronts and 80% of your vocals come from your center. If you get those three speakers to start with and some cheaper surrounds you will be happy.

Once again, you need to go listen. Numbers and frequency's while facts do not always mean you will personally hear a difference. Each person has their own opinion on sound. The way they sound in person is about the best way to see if the 1,000 dollar speakers make a difference to you personally over the 200 dollar speakers.
 

Alai

2[H]4U
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Jul 19, 2008
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2,701
Then again, part of the problem with auditioning at the place they are sold is that the setup is not generally conducive to the benefit of those certain speakers. For example, if you setup the LSi15 with a bad amp... you're not going to get particularly full sound since the LSi15 are demanding speakers in terms of power. The same with SDA series. Also, room acoustics is extremely important for speakers, an issue that lead many to using headphones.
 

EndersShadow

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
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Then again, part of the problem with auditioning at the place they are sold is that the setup is not generally conducive to the benefit of those certain speakers. For example, if you setup the LSi15 with a bad amp... you're not going to get particularly full sound since the LSi15 are demanding speakers in terms of power. The same with SDA series. Also, room acoustics is extremely important for speakers, an issue that lead many to using headphones.

I agree with everything you said. I was simply trying to point out that buying speakers based on spec's alone may lead one to spend more money than needed as the speakers that are so much better on paper and may not sound different enough to justify the cost difference with your particular setup.

Also while accoustics play a major role, depending on the reciever some may have software/eq's that can help balance the accoustics (like Audyssee). While these are not a replacement for a accoustically sound room, they may help enough that you wont tell the difference, but once again everything is pretty subjective based on the users ears.
 

wadec22

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
3,915
I own a Harman Kardon AVR 254. A tad tricky to setup, but it really pays off in the end. Friends are blown away with my setup.

It will play very nicely with the ps3 as long as you are running the latest firmware, which you may need to download and update (I had to). Before the update it did not get along with my ps3 well at all.

You can change the display resolution output.

I am still a major plasma person, especially anything larger than 50".

The infinity beta's mentioned earlier are outstanding. If you have a local retailer that carries Canton, I highly recommend them, especially paired with the HK.
 
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