My Planned AV Setup


Standard Member
Your advice or opinions would be gratefully received.

Not sure if this is the right forum so if a MOD could move this for me, that would be great.

I've decided to go for a complete AV overhaul and have set my heart on either the Pioneer PDP-436XDE or the PDP-506XDE as my Plasma but was after some advice on the kit to go with it. My ideas are;

DVD - Arcam DV79 or Denon DVD3910
Receiver - Arcam AVR300 or Denon AVR3806
Speakers - Kef Q series or Acoustic Energy EVO3

Would these be good choices for a nice setup, especially for the Pioneer???

I was wondering if the DVD's and Receivers may be a bit out of date now or will these last me for a few years with the technology that maybe looming??

I'm not after really expensive high end professional kit but something that would be good quality and last me for a while.

Thanks.....T :)


Active Member
The Pioneer 436 or 506 is good but is a "telly" plasma - meaning it includes a Freeview tuner, amplifier and speakers. You are thinking of a very decent sound system, do you really need the sound features in the plasma? Some do to avoid having to switch on a full sound system but with programmable remote controls I fail to understand why.

The Arcam DV79 and the AVR300 are the units that I have at home. The DV79 is substantially better than the 3910, particularly on the audio side, in my opinion. Can't help with the speakers - I have Gallo with a Velodyne sub.

Final thought - high def is coming and it is going to be important - are you sure it is good thinking to be buying an admittedly very good standard def DVD player now? If you aren't going to replace the DVD player for many years then I doubt it, but if a replacement or additional HD player in a couple of years time is a possibility then I would go for it.


Standard Member
Hi Piers, thanks for the reply.

The reason for going with the Pioneer set was 1). Heard so many good things about the quality of this Plasma and 2). I saw the 43" running against many other Plasma's and this just stood out.

Excuse my ignorance but isn't the DVD79 capable of HD? Or is it just that, it's capable of HD but isn't HD?? I'm pretty new to the latest AV technology so any help/advice would be great.

One of the reasons for me choosing Arcam was that back in 2000/2001 I overhauled my Hi-Fi setup and went for Arcam seperates, fantastic stuff :)



Widespread confusion about this. I have never seen the point of 'upscaling' DVD players. The player is not HD, the output is artificially created in an HD format. No info not present on the standard DVD is present. In view of the forthcoming HD (real HD) players on their way, I am also recommending all my customers not to spend too much on a player at the moment. The 3806 would be a good choice, except don't expect too much from HDMI upconversion. The source material has to be 'progressive' before the output can be displayed on current HDMI inputs. 576i, like s-video or component from current TV is output as 576i HDMI, which is not supported on 99% of displays. Smart move, Denon. Everything else is good VFM on it though. The Onkyo 803 should be looked at too. The plasma, not my favourite either, but it's a damn good telly. Piers and I see eye to eye on most AV matters, this is certainly one of them. With the switching built into your amp, I too see no reason why you need a telly, you'd be better off with a panel, and if you have no sky currently, then something like the Topfield PVR would fit the bill as a tv tuner, way better in every way than any built in digital tuner. It has component video output too, giving excellent integration with your component switching amp. A good analogue DVD player would complete the setup, and leave you some cash to upgrade to full on HD as it becomes available.


Standard Member
Thanx MAW.

Now I'm even more confused!!! ;) ;)

So, the best route if I am to purchase good audio kit would be to buy a panel and a good DVD player that isn't gonna cost me close to a grand.

Do you have any recommendations on a good panel? I've not looked at any panels just TV's, so wouldn't know where to begin!! Also with a tuner, I've no idea what to look at regarding these.

I see you are a specialist in this field, are you based in or close to London??

I wanted to budget say £5k for a Plasma (Stand/Tuner etc), DVD, Receiver, Speakers & Cables.


ETA: Just googled the Topfield box and seen many good things about it. Would someone be able to make it clearer re the setup of all this stuff, please??

Right, for example; I have a Plasma panel and a Topfield tuner and an Analogue DVD player and an Arcam AVR300. How would all this be setup??? Would I connect the AVR300 to the tuner or the panel?? Would the tuner need to have HD connections??? I am useless with things like!!!! :)

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