General Advice on Wall Mounted TV/AV System

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by ENEM, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. ENEM

    ENEM
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    I hope someone can give me some general advice about the options for a new installation of TV/AV Amp etc. I am not sure if this is the right forum so apologies if I am posting to the wrong place.

    I have a newly built room, with the following Van Den Hull cables buried in the wall: Component (RCA), HDMI, Composite Video, TV Aerial and of course 240vAC.

    We do not and will not want SKY or Cable TV but do want Freeview and best quality DVDs.

    The original cable plan was suggested by our hi-fi dealer who is probably not an AV specialist. The plan had been to install a 42in Plasma Panel only, for example a Panasonic, a Pioneer or Hitachi and to have an AV Amp for all inputs etc essentially using the Component lead. This would involve having a freeview box, a DVD/hard disk recorder with a freeview tuner and probably a separate CD/DVD player.

    Does this sound sensible? I have recently been wondering about getting a TV (as opposed to a panel). They seem to look sexier and maybe even cost less.

    The doubts have arisen because of the sudden (to me anyway) introduction of HD Ready TVs. Are there HD ready panels? The HDMI was put there for 'future proofing' purposes but the future seems to have arrived already! If we do not have SKY will we get any benefits whatsoever from HD before Freeview goes HD? I am thinking about DVDs here.

    Any suggestions are welcome. Any views on the pros and cons of Panel only vs. complete TV? The makes preferred even for TVs are Panasonic, Pioneer and Hitachi but I assume we cannot have a Pioneer TV because of the cables that are already buried?

    We have a strong preference for not altering the current cabling, but if the advice is that it is wrong or flawed then it can be done.

    Thanks for any help that you can give. :lease:

    EN EM
     
  2. MAW

    MAW
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    Your current cable plan is just perfect, mate. I would only have added a cat5 as a kind of 'get out of jail free' if one of the others was bust. Your dealer appears to know what he's doing I'd say. The perfect panel for your install is probably the TH42PHD8, it is HD ready with the addition of a HDMI video board, a perfectly usual addition. IMHO there is nothing to be gained from HD as such, except in the future, during the life of your display, freeview will go HD, and HD-DVD will be with us next year. Choose your devices and AV amp with care to keep costs within reasonable bounds. You could have a Topfield freeview box which outputs component video for instance, paying for 160Gb of bitstream recording instead of a RGB/component converter and an 'ordinary' box. Zone 2 of the right AV amp could be used to switch picture in picture, just for fun, and video upconversion is a useful feature too, you can connect visiting game consoles, video cameras, digital stills etc to the front inputs on the amp, and watch them appear as if by magic. Your dealer may well be aware of all this, sounds like you should be naming him.
     
  3. ENEM

    ENEM
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    Thank you very much for your response. The Panasonic Panel is at the top of my list, and so is an NEC 42in HD panel (NEC PlasmaSync 42XM3). Does anyone have any views on this panel?

    Can you give me anymore information on the AV Amp choices for the system (happy to post to the AV Amp forum if this is best). Any recommendations for makes to look for or makes to avoid?

    Should I be buying an AV Amp with HDMI switching?

    Thanks again
    EN EM
     
  4. MAW

    MAW
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    General consensus is that Denon and Onkyo should be high on the list. Pioneer well worth considering too, they do an HDMi switching amp, Onkyo's is due out 1sr week december, Denon's I hear from scurrilous rumour is delayed, with difficulties. I don't know that I'd find lack of HDMI switching a show stopper myself, though I guess it's the way of the future. Video upconversion is vital though. To HDMI if that's what your final connection is, or component is great for now.

    NEC panels, well, there are a few who seem to like them, I've had demo NEC's, 3 of them in fact. I sent the 1st 2 back cos I thought they were faulty, they were so awful. Really, I have never seen anything so appalling. Not to mention terrifying image retention, and very iffy HD credentials, my 1st would not take 720/50 at all, next 2 did, but were very srange, occasionally zooming and shifting the picture. That's the last dealings I had with NEC plasma, not surprisingly. Love the projectors, love NEC service backup. Panasonic are a staple of the custom install business for lots of good reasons, but contrary to common belief, it's not cos we make loads of money on them. It's cos they do everything pretty well, some things outstandingly good, are reliable, and the most CRT-like picture out there. You might like to check the Fujitsu HHA42 too. Not a personal favourite, but the technology has a loyal following.
     

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