decisions, decisions

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by SimonHod, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. SimonHod

    Standard Member

    Sep 10, 2004
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    Hi there

    I'm looking for some general advice on a whole host of issues relating to a complete Home Cinema setup. I've got some decisions to make and would just appreciate opinions and advice. I'm also pretty green so please excuse any 'newbie' mistakes!

    I will be hoping to spend in the region of £3,000-£4,000 total on the system. I have a DVD player (Although a little old now) so I'm looking at a Projector/Plasma, Receiver and Speakers.

    First the visual side of things. I'm very much interested in the scale achievable from a projector for a relatively modest price. I'm struggling at the moment to find a place to demo in my area - does anyone know of a retailer with decent demo facilities in the Oxford area? From my limited experience I've picked out a couple to try ranging from the Themescene H30 to the Screenplay 5700. So I guess that demonstrates my price range. I believe there may be a Sony, an Epson and a Sanyo worth looking at as well?

    I am a little concerned about the affect ambient light will have on the picture. Do the brighter projectors cope well with this?

    The other issue here is how a decent Projector compares with a similarly priced plasma for picture quality. From what I can gather plasma's around the £2k-£3k mark are not much cop. I've only seen plasmas in retailers with the picture going through those cheap splitters they use and have been very unimpressed. I guess demoing is the only way I'll know for sure but some thoughts on how they compare and what to go for would be very much appreciated.

    Now on the Amp/Receiver side of things I'm a little stuck. I am certainly aware that quality of sound is going to be vitally important. However I cant decide whether to push my budget on the receiver and cut back elsewhere. I've looked at some Yamaha offerings and have been put off by DSP.

    I think I have been most impressed with the Pioneers. The AX3 and AX5i look like my early preferences. I've also been considering the cheaper Harmon Kardons. Perhaps the new Denon 2805 would be my best option. I would love to be able to afford THX but am unsure what this means for the rest of the system. Is it just wise to go for it from a future proofing stand point? I assume it means I will need THX certified speakers and obviously DVD Player? I'm sure initially I will be more than satisfied with DD and DTS.

    I've scanned through many choices of speakers but the real stand out contender for me is the Mordaunt short Avant premiere plus. I cant have anything too bulky but would obviously like quality. Also when positioning the rear speakers I may not be able to have them wholly behind the viewing point. They may for example need to be wall mounted and pointing in and down at the position. Is there any equipment and/or methods to minimise the impact on the surround soundstage?

    As an aside I will almost definately be playing an Xbox hooked up to the system. Are there any potential hurdles here? I also have a PC which I may play DVD's/Divx from.

    Finally I am more or less completely baffled when it comes to cabling and interconnects. so any general thoughts there would be useful. Is there a reasonably priced method of having a virtually wireless system?

    If anyone has got this far thanks for reading through my waffle. I look forward to any responses!!



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