Searching for advice on a Home Cinema + Blu-ray player

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by austinbranson, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. austinbranson

    austinbranson
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    Hi, I am hoping to take my first foray into the world of Home Cinema, and Blu-ray following an invitation to a friends house for dinner, and he was demonstrating his ne Sony set-up. It was an LCD television, of about 42 inches, more that that I do not know. It's not easy to find out - he is French, and speaks no English, and my French is nowhere near good enough for technical conversations (I live in France).
    I have recently bought a new Panasonic P42G20B, and while I am happy with the visual stuff, I am not so keen on the audio. I have an elderly Sony DVP NS330 DVD player, but I think a Blu-ray will out perform this significantly - is that a reasonable assumption?
    It's a fairly large room, 2.5 metres wide, 6.7 metres long, with a cathedral ceiling, so the total volume must be close to 50 cubic metres. In common with most French houses it has a tile floor, which I have softened with a large rug. No curtains, large window means a fairly bright sound. The Television has to live in a corner, owing to the room design.
    Although a complete beginner to AV, I have been interested in Hi-Fi stereo for some time, and I still own and use a Linn LP12 record player, and would like to link this in, if possible. I have a pair of Tannoy Revolution r3's, and they are about 10 years old. Some advice as to the possible use of these would be appreciated.
    I don't think I care too much about 3D, but I am interested in possibly expanding the use to include an ipod, and perhaps the PC, but I really am in the dark about potential uses. I don't play computer games.

    I think I have written rather a lot, and I don't want to overwhelm, so if anyone out there would be so kind as to offer suggestions, I would be most grateful. If I have missed pertinent information, I will of course be pleased to add. I probably can't go much above about £600 (the exchange rate means I buy in the UK).

    Many thanks in anticipation,
    Austin
     
  2. davepuma

    davepuma
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    You might just be able to integrate your hifi setup within an AV setup. With the right AV Receiver with front pre-out connections, you could drive your centre and rears with the AV Receiver (and output to sub) and the hifi amp would continue to drive the fronts. This way you get the best of both worlds with both stereo music and movies. Ideally you would source a centre speaker from the same range as your fronts but you can get away with one from the same manufacturer. Tannoy make some cracking budget centre speakers at around £100 e.g. Mercury FC.

    Bluray is indeed a considerable step-up both in terms of visual and audio. Look for HD audio decoding on any prospective receiver and you will be able to hear the latest lossless HD audio soundtracks e.g. Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio.

    You can add an ipod dock to pretty much any AV Receiver. All the main manufacturers make their own docks. If the music is at a high bitrate and you care about quality, the best options are either a digital dock, digital connection to receiver e.g. Pioneer VSX-820 and above or using a decent cable e.g. RA GQ-24. The cheapest way to connect up an ipod is simply using a 3.5mm to phono cable but you could do this with your existing hifi setup. The same goes for the PC. The audiophile approach for the PC is either using a good quality sound card and external DAC or a streaming solution e.g. Sonos or Squeezebox (they're about the cheapest quality solutions). Even Linn have got in on the digital player act with their DS players.

    If you fancy an integrated all-in-one solution, Sony seem to be making the best of the current crop. The BDV-E870 is one such beast.

    There are a few deals knocking around on the Sony 2400ES for £250 from Amazon. If you went with the Tannoy Mercury 5.1 setup for £400 that is obviously slightly over budget but would give you a 7.1 setup. Add a bluray player (Sony again are the most recommended of the current players IIRC and I believe there is a deal to get the VAT back) for a shade over £100. Alternatively do without a sub for now and get the 2400ES and FC and FR speakers for £450. Your fronts should give you enough bass until you can afford a sub e.g. BK XLS200.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  3. austinbranson

    austinbranson
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    Many thanks indeed. I much appreciate you taking the time to respond. Just a question or two - the BDV E870 - does it produce a sound quality to match the seperates, and does it have the pre-out connections to drive the extra speakers (presumably the outputs will go into my pre-amp, for subsequent gain in the power amp?) And a quick question - does the Sony separate also have the pre-out connections? Is it a worthwhile upgrade to go for wireless rear speakers? Can you recommend speaker cables? I have had to discard my old 'Monster' cables, and will need to replace these too.
    I have looked at the Sony Blu-ray players - which one would you recommend? The S470, or the S570?
    Many thanks again.
    Austin
    PS I goofed badly when I gave the room sizes -it's 4.6 metres wide, not 2.5 as I said initially. Sorry about that - will it make a difference?
     
  4. davepuma

    davepuma
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    An all-in-one won't match separates. The 870 doesn't have pre-outs. The whole point of an all-in-one is self contained.

    For speaker cable take a look at van-damme hifi or blue. I use both.

    I would go with the 570 for the bd player
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  5. austinbranson

    austinbranson
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    Hi, thanks for that. Does the 2400ES have pre-outs?

    Many thanks for all your help,
    Austin
     
  6. davepuma

    davepuma
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  7. austinbranson

    austinbranson
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    Hi, Davepuma,
    Just a quick note to tell you that I have ordered up the 2400es, the 570b and the tannoy speakers. They have arrived at my chums house, and he will bring them to France in a weeks time.

    I'm really looking forward to hearing the difference!

    Do you have any recommendations for installation/set-up?

    Many thanks for all your help.
    Merry Christmas.
    Austin
     
  8. austinbranson

    austinbranson
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    Dave Puma,
    I have got the kit, and it all appeared to be working well. I bought a copy of Avatar, but it is almost impossible to play. Every time there is a spike in the volume of sound, the 2400 displays 'PROTECTER' and shuts down. It has also shut down occasionally on satellite (Humax) TV transmission, but the Avatar disc is the major culprit. Do you have any thoughts on what I should do? Many thanks for your consideration, Austin
     
  9. davepuma

    davepuma
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    The first thing to do is check the speaker connections. Make sure there are no stray wires. Remove each one in turn and re-twist the wires.

    It could well be that the receiver is faulty so after checking all the wiring, you might need to return it to your dealer.
     

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