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Help with what to purchase etc?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by anticlaus105, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. anticlaus105

    anticlaus105
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    I've been reading this forum for a few days and now it's time to post. Please excuse me as I am a complete novice.

    I'm looking to purchase a complete home cinema system starting from scratch. I want to be able to link the screen to my PC about 4m away to play movies, games etc directly off it. I also have Sky+. I have no other equipment except an old scan dvd player. Money is not too much of an object as long as what I get is future proof for a few years.

    Prior to finding this forum all my research was from home cinema magazines and on this basis I ended up with this shortlist of screens: Philips 32pf9986, Sony kde-p37xs1 and pioneer pdp-434hde (Panny has to low a res for PC). I then found the pioneer has been superseded by the 435xde but not to glowing acclaim. Other factors influencing me are talk of screens "buzzing" e.g. 434 and various connections required e.g. HDMI to be "future proof". With a plasma I'm worried about screen burn when using my PC. It has been mentioned that TV channels displaying constant logo can do this also. Is this a big effect and how long can the screen stay idle before it gets damaged?


    Matters became more muddled when reading that separates are a better way to go. I am now inclined towards the pioneer PDP-43MXE1. Is this the same screen as the 435xde? And if so can some of the mentioned limitations of this model (e.g. poor TV/Sky pq) be reduced by selecting equipment that performs a better job than the xde media box. Or are these qualms native to the actual screen? Is there a significant drop in pq/performance if I go for a 50in screen?

    What exactly does a scaler do and are what would be a partic good model. Heard Lumagen mentioned. What is the basic level of connectivity to a screen like the mxe. Is extra connectivity achieved using slot in style boards? I have got that impression so far.

    Enough about screens. What would be a good dvd/amp/speaker package be. I have old scan sc-2500 dvd. I've already assumed this to be crap but how much better is say Dennon dvd-3910. If huge improvement then don't mind paying. Would it be worth getting a recorder eg Panny e85 or Sony hx900. I have Sky+ but would DVD recorder have much better quality?

    Need to ensure amp can alter for lip synch if needed. Would this be standard on most amps? Read Dennon, Arcam and Yamaha are good eg Arcam avr-250, Dennon avr-3805. Is it better to keep to same make with dvd and amp?

    As for speakers I need a compact set-up. Looking at genies. I have seen KEF get good reviews also. Would genies suit the above amp/dvd well?

    What’s the best way to hook all this together and what would decent cables cost? Finally is it worth getting the screen professionally calibrated? How long does it have to "run in" for?

    Sorry to post so big but as you can see I`m pretty thick when it comes to all this and don't want to get taken for a ride when I speak to a dealer.

    Who’s a good dealer for Preston in North of England and will be able to set system up/provide support?

    Hugh thanks in advance for all your thoughts/help.



    -----------------------------------------------------
    Anticlaus is coming to town!
     
  2. anticlaus105

    anticlaus105
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    Come on people! I know it was a long and novice question and perhaps should have been spread over a few of the forums but someone must have some input.
     
  3. guli

    guli
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    well, you're looking at the right things for a mid priced set up.

    There are no hard and fast rules in av - its up to what you like in your living room - and it's really hard to decide blindly. Everything you listed performs fine.

    around 5-10% of total costs for cables. Speakers you mentioned are fine with the amplifiers you mentioned. Any/either of them.

    Just don't forget the laws of diminishing returns (say a 3000 quid dvd player - its not 10 times better than a 300 quid dvd player)

    Spend on what you budgeted.

    Hope it helps



    Alex
     
  4. toby_smith

    toby_smith
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    Now I'm no expert here, but since you asked for opinions....

    1) I've been looking at the PHD7 since it has 1024x768 for more native PC resolution
    2) I heard the Genie speakers - to my ear they were awesome on both AV and muisic. This was through a Denon 2910/2805 combination.
    3) Sound and Vision have a shop on the outskirts of Bolton. I went there to get a feel for screen size - they have lots on display, and guys are knowledgable on the screen side, but not so much on the audio side which I find quite common e.g. you have hi-fi shops and you have TV shops, but rarely both combined. S&V just seemed to have home cinema sound systems, but back when I visited I didn't really know much about separates, so I could be doing them an injustice.
    4) £150 for cables should be OK
    5) Lots of ways to connect things as you will see from the threads. I'm am going to go with putting everything into the amp via component input and then run a single component output to the plasma. Not that this is necessarily the "best", but it minimises cabling to the plasma, which is what I wanted.
     
  5. grahamtriggs

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    Yes, the Denon would significantly outperform the Scan. Particularly if you use the DVI or HDMI connection, which is extremely high quality. Although if you do use the DVI or HDMI connection, then the 3910 won't really outperform the 2910, and maybe not even the 1910. Unless you want extra performance for playing audio discs, it's not worth getting anything more than the 2910.

    No, it wouldn't give better quality. Sky+ is in essence 'perfect' in that regard - all recordings are taken of the digital feed, and so your viewing is *identical* to if you were watching it live.

    All DVD recorders, etc. would have to go through an analog conversion step, and an MPEG encoding via a limited quality, low cost chipset (ie. worse than most broadcasters would use). The results may be acceptable, and it is a good way of archiving material from Sky+, but it can never be better.

    Utterly irrelevant. If you are ever feeding an analog signal into the amp, then matching of sonic characteristics may be important -although that doesn't mean that you should use the same make. But mostly you would be feeding a DD or DTS bitstream.

    KEFs are good. Mission do some NXT speakers, which are quite discrete - not particularly outstanding quality, but good enough for movies, and NXT speakers have some interesting properties that are useful for home theatre setups.

    Or, you may want to keep an eye for these: http://www.mission-cube.com/ (also see here: http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/shownews.php?id=7120)

    Seems that these are another derivation of the NXT technology, but they are being pitched much higher up than their existing NXT solution.
     
  6. anticlaus105

    anticlaus105
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    Thanx for input all.

    Will keep the laws of diminishing returns in my mind but it's hard not want more expensive kit.

    Glad to hear I can save a bit on DVD if I want but may go for more expensive and upgrade speakers if/when (screw house prices) I get a bigger place. Would you generally pair a 2910 with 2805 and 3910 with 3805? Guess I will stick with just a palyer. Are these DVD multi-region/convertable btw?

    Is the PHD7 as good as the MXE1 (again is this based on 434 or 435). I read a poor review of the 435xde today along with the comments on this forum so a bit put off.

    I worked in Bolton today, where bouts is S&V. Any other good places around Preston or that I can phone and will deliver/set-up here. I visited sevenoaks couple of weeks back and got impression guy was a rep for pioneer. Tried v v hard to push the xde on me along with all pioneer gear. On other hand heard mission elegante e82s with music. WOW. Don't think neighbours would be impressed tho or bank manager for that matter lol.

    Again would appreciate a bit more info on the scaler. I know nothing about these.

    Also PC connectivety. Will movies played straight of my HD gen look ok. Some other material I want to use is quite reduced quality eg 300meg x-vid/divx files. Hows this stuff goona look? Not too blocky I hope. What is the best way to link PC to the setup esp with the 4 meter dist.


    Once again thanx for your help :)
     
  7. anticlaus105

    anticlaus105
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  8. MAW

    MAW
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    Sounds like you need to get your hands on some of this stuff. Where do you live, we'll send you somewhere.
    A shoot out between the PHD and the MXE will be fun, they both have some top features and advantages, both are top of the tree, you take the one you like best, IMHO neither is 'better'. One make DVD and amp often gives you one less remote to play with, but irrelevant if you'd like a proper all in one. Add Onkyo to your list of electronics, they are making a determined effort to re-establish a UK market presence, and are seriously well priced for the performance and features.
     
  9. anticlaus105

    anticlaus105
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    Hi MAW

    Sorry for late reply but been busy to-ing and fro-ing to Kent over last couple of days (1300+ miles clocked so far).

    Anyway back to business. I live in Preston, North West (did mention this earlier tho). Would like really to speak with someone and demo the kit I'm interested in. Want to get set-up ASAP now. So far thinkin of going for Dennon 3805/3910, Geinies, whatever scaler and cable needed/recommended (noted Lumagen VisionDVI/DVDO iScan HD mentioned on Pioneer PDP-43MXE1 vs Panny TH-42PHD7 thread), not sure between displays so need to see them really with this/similar kit. Also need cabinet/stand and speaker stands etc. I did say I needed everything!

    I am concerned with future proofing to an extent. What is HDCP support on DVI? Not too ar*ed about teletext but how much would an external box set me back roughly?

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  10. anticlaus105

    anticlaus105
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  11. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Here is what I would get for a reasonable budget system :

    Hitachi 42PD5300 42" plasma TV - lots of inputs - about £2100 (go to pricerunner.com for best prices)
    Ellion DVX-520C Mpeg4 DVD Player 5.1 Plays DVD/DVD-R/DVD-RW/DVD+RW MP3 & JPEG - with component & progressive scan - superb value - £47 from Ebuyer.com
    Yamaha RX-V640RDS cinema amp - a cracking amp for the price - £250 from Richer Sounds
    Pair of Mission M73i front speakers (beech) - superb value - £150 from Richer Sounds
    Pair of Gale 3060 Bipolar rear speakers (beech) - £70 from Richer sounds
    Pair of Gale 3050 Centre speakers (front & rear) - £160 Richer sounds

    Total = about £2800 including the cables, etc.

    If you want to archive to DVD from your Sky+ box, you can add a Panasonic DMR-E55 at about £185 (Ebuyer etc)

    The 42PD5300 would give you extra inputs, which would give you a degree of future-proofing, but - hey ! - you're going to want new toys within 5 years anyway !
     

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