Very general home entertainment advice

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by bac, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. bac

    bac
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    First, sorry for posting an "on topic" question on the "off topic" area of the site, but my question seems to be too general to fit in any of the specific AV forums. I'm more than happy to repost to an on topic part of the site if some one can point me in the right direction!

    I'm looking for an arrangement that will give me HD, Blueray, will allow easy recording of TV to hard disk, and an auxiliary input on the amp that will allow me to stream music wirelessly from my computer (currently through a Squeezebox).

    All of my system, apart from the television, will need replacing. There's a really confusing range of options available these days, and I hardly know where to start. I'm the type of guy who does a little research, buys his system and then doesn't think about it for a few years and I'd be very grateful for the advice of people who take a more active and ongoing interest.

    Currently I have an HD ready Sony 40 inch LCD - I'm not sure the model but it's around three years old and I doubt I'd be looking to upgrade that just yet. I have Sky +, but it's an oldish box with a maximum of 20 hours storable on the hard disc, and with no HD. I'm considering moving to the Sky HD box, which hopefully would give me better storage and HD capability, but an alternative would be to scrap Sky altogether and move to a freeview HD system. I would want a system where it was as easy to record as the Sky + - I gather that other systems will do this now. This would presumably save money but there would presumably also be downsides. At present I have the movies and sports package from Sky, but I'm not making extensive use of the movies in particular so it might not be a huge problem to give them up.

    For amplification I have a Denon "home cinema in a box". It's about five years old and the DVD player no longer works. When it gave up the ghost (probably around a year ago) I bought a very cheap DVD player as a stopgap until I worked out what I wanted to do next, but I've been paralysed by the range of choices ever since. Other complicating factors are that while the easiest solution to replacing the home-cinema-in-a-box might be to buy another one I've been put off by the fact that I'm needing to replace the whole Denon system when only one component is gone - would I be better of with separates? Another factor is that I really like the look of the speakers that came with the Denon and these are already wired into the room - none of the other recommended systems seem to have such an aesthetically pleasing speakers, and I might be tempted to hold on to the Denons and just replace the DVD player/amplifier if that was considered a practicable option.

    As for cost, I'm not hard up but I'm not the type to pay a heavy premium for stuff that's super-refined or to be an early adopter. My TV cost around £1600, the Denon £500 so that may be a reasonable guide to the area of the market I'd be looking at. I would have hoped I could solve these problems for what, £600 - £800?

    I'd be very grateful for any thoughts or advice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  2. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    Dont take this the wrong way, but your query would be easier to read if you cut out the waffle.................:D

    Hi and welcome though.............:hiya:

    Btw, i dont mean to be rude....:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  3. Dony

    Dony
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    Not sure how much research you have done, but it would be best if you took each requirement in turn (amp, speakers, dvd/blu) and read the specific forums.

    Be prepared to wade through a lot of information, and don't for get your wallet.

    Try and set a budget for each element of your system, and search for threads recommending equipment in your price range.

    Enjoy the ride. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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    PS3 plus PlayTV or a HTPC could do it if you want a one box method.
     
  5. kBm

    kBm
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    Am i the only one who thinks another 'new member' will come up with a very helpful solution? :rolleyes:



    cynical perhaps, but its not unheard of!
     
  6. bac

    bac
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    It's fair comment Kevo. I'm not normally so waffly, but I haven't really worked out in my mind what I want/need. I know where I am now, so it probably just seemed easier to start by explaining that. I appreciate that "I need to junk everything but my TV" would have covered it.
     
  7. eric pisch

    eric pisch
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    possibly

    but its a very complex and literate post for a spammer :)

    with regard to sky+ and sky hd, both systems can have there drives upgraded to increase storage, i have a 1tb drive in my sky HD and over 40 HD films stored, if you are after HD content then nothing comes close to SKY HD in the uk atm, freeview HD is very limited in terms of channels.

    another vote for PS3 for BD, they work brilliantly, startup faster than just about any standalone BD player, are easier to upgrade (wifi) and u can play games on them if u so wish.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  8. Hillskill

    Hillskill
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    Has been happening alot in the Xbox360 forum. Very easy to spot after the 2nd time :rotfl:
     
  9. nheather

    nheather
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    Amps with network connections (wired or wireless) tend to be in the upper part of the range and would blow you budget in one go.

    How about this

    HD Sat - Sky HD or Humax (the Sky HD will be cheaper for initial outlay)

    BluRay and Streaming - PS3

    Amp - Lower end AV Amp

    Speakers - would you be using your existing ones - not clear.

    If you want new ones then you will struggle to remain in budget unless you go for another speakers\amp all in one package.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  10. bac

    bac
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    Many thanks for the helpful input. Some further clarification/questions:

    -- people are recommending the PS3. I'm probably just showing my ignorance here, but my immediate thought is that this is for playing computer games, which is not something I do. Is the view that the PS3 is still a best buy blueray player, even for non-games players?

    -- as regards speakers, I'd be happy to retain the ones I've got unless people think this is a bad idea. The Denon was viewed as a best buy in its day, and I wouldn't have thought speaker technology would have changed too much. However, this would only work if the speakers were compatible with the amp I buy.
     

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