What can £2000 achieve in home cinema??

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by sameerabedi, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. sameerabedi

    sameerabedi
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    Dear all,
    I have just moved into my first house and hope to start decking out the living room with all my audiovisual needs. Starting from scratch, I need absolutely everything, so what could I achieve with £2000 (max £2500, if push came to shove)?

    The living room is 16'3ft by 12'7ft. The TV will be wall-mounted and the cabling to the TV will be hidden behind the wall. There'll be a unit for the DVD player, Sky HD, AV reciever and game machine at some point to fit into, and obviously there'll be surround sound.

    So what should I get? What TV? DVD player/recorder? AV receiver? Speaker system? The choices are endless, so where should I compromise? What connections due I need to be future proof? 2 HDMIs? 3 HDMIs? Upscaling or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray? The choices are endless.

    Reading through various forums all equipment is catered for, someone out there owns it so what are the best to buy with the budget I've got? Can it even be achieved?

    I'm hoping I'll get a long list of recommendations and what I need to do to design the perfect system for my house!
    Many thanks for reading and more for answering (in advance)!
    Thanks
     
  2. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    Personally if I had your budget I'd go for probably;

    Panasonic 42" plasma
    Panasonic dvd recorder which would be modded for multiregion and has both a large hard drive in and freeview
    good AV amp
    good set of speakers and subwoofer.

    That would be my rough configuration. Firstly it depends on what actual screen you want. Maybe 42" is too small for you or you would find it overpowering. I would sort out the screen you want and see what money you have left for the rest. Also speaker size can you get away with larger speakers or will only small satellite speakers be acceptable?

    After looking at various sets I decided plasma was for me as it has a larger viewing angle and more vivid colour and seems to give better results with standard definition material but you may decide LCD is better especially if your wall mounting and generally LCD resolution is better than plasma.
     
  3. sameerabedi

    sameerabedi
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    I definitely want plasma and so far the choice seems to be a panny 42" or the pioneer. Need to see them side by side - dunno where!
    Next up what is the panny dvd recorder ur talking about? Does it upscale? Is upscaling worth it?
    Good amps such as? I could get away with large front speakers but the rest would have to be subtle. Is the Yamaha virtual surround system which just goes under the TV worth it?
    Thanks
     
  4. 961

    961
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    I'd buy a good tv first. 40" or 42" Sony Bravia or Panasonic plasma. Remember if you are determined to have it on the wall, the plasma is MUCH heavier and the kit to fix is not cheap. Why not start with one on a stand and do the wall bit later if it still appeals? I prefer LCD Bravia because of 1080i screen but many swear by plasma

    Can I suggest if you are getting Sky HD that you leave the dvd recorder till later. With the Sky + recorder in the hd box we never use the dvd recorder now. Have you a dvd player that would do for now?

    AV system. I can recommend the Sony 1200 for terrific sound and easy set up. Around £350 or less if you shop arround

    You'll need good speakers. 2 front and 2 rear and a centre job. Don't buy these small home cinema jobs. You need good front and centre to match. Mission Audio are good. For the rears you can get away with cheapies from Richer Sounds or second hand. I would rate the Yamaha you mention as a no-no

    Remember to leave some dosh for cables. Good speaker cable. Good scarts and av connectors. HDMI cables of reasonable quality are as good as ones costing hundreds so don't overpay for them

    Enjoy the shopping
     
  5. sameerabedi

    sameerabedi
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    I think I'm more set on plasma. The TV will be going on a solid wall, not plasterboard, so it should be ok. What about the 42" pioneer, I forget the name?
    I already have a DVD recorder, old one, which does the job, but good point about Sky HD. Is it better to get a player that upscale?? After 1080p, how far is HD going to go? Do I need the AV reciever to upscale as well, or just the player?
     
  6. 961

    961
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    If I was buying plasma I'd pick Panasonic every time. All the sets in this house are Panny except the large LCD which was bought for 1080i. I've read of some compatibility issues with Pioneer, although these may have been resolved

    You really don't need the av receiver to upscale. (The Sony 1200 doesn't anyway but any av that does it well will cost lots more than you want to pay. It only creates lots more wires and chances for stuff to go wrong or introduce interference etc) If you already have a dvd recorder give Sky HD box 6 months before you buy a new one. In this house the (still under guarantee) Panasonic 75 recorder is no longer even powered up because it is used so rarely.

    I am sure it will be a long time before HD goes beyond 1080i from the broadcasters because of the bandwidth. As for plasma, the technical problems of fitting all those pixels into a flat panel and getting them all to work while keeping the weight to a reasonable level and the price to what folk will pay leads me to think anything beyond 1080 is many years away
     
  7. howardlamby

    howardlamby
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    I've got a sony 32" with Panasonic amp and Bose speakers (accostimass 10 series III ) the sound from them ,IMOH is very very good to say the least.
     
  8. terencejames

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    I recently bought a Panasonic Viera TH42px60CAB and a Sony Dav DZ810w for around £1,500 and have been more than happy with both. The 1080i output from the Sony gives a superb picture and the sound quality is pretty good too. Also got myself a decent HDMI cable and already had SKY + connected. I know a lot of people would probably recomend you go down the seperate's route but these have been great for me.
     
  9. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes
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    sameerabedi

    For your budget you should really consider moving into seperates rather than an all-in-one system which this particular forum section is focused on.

    The Panny and Pio models certainly seem to be the best mid-level Plasmas and would suit your budget. Sevenoaks sound and Vision can be found it most cities and sell both models. Don't make the mistake of demoing a Fujitsu along side these two... you will only end up wanting one and bang goes most of your budget :) I know it happened to me...:rolleyes:

    Denon and Yamaha Receivers are generaly regarded as the best of the crop along with Pioneer and Onkyo.

    Kef are one of the better satellite speaker packages so a deal like this would be great: http://www.creative-audio.co.uk/HCS_DEN2807_KHT3005_g4g45gew45g.htm

    As for video upscaling in player or Receiver... the display itself (Plasma) has its own scaler and video processor and depending on the model it may well be better than a relatively low cost scaler in a dvd player or receiver. I wouldn't get all hung up on resolution, picture quality is based on several factors and resolution is a relatively minor one.

    For instance you would need to be sitting only a few feet from a 1080p 42" Plasma to see the difference in quality between it and a 1024 x 768 panel. The video processor on board generally has a bigger impact on picture quality.

    As with all things do some demoing with material you are familiar with. Don't let the salesman wow you with the best HD material... even a really cheap LCD will do a relatively good job of it :) Remember SD material will probably be 85% of your viewing for some time to come so you have to be happy with your panel's ability to display it.

    Work out a budget for each item and then ask a lot of questions in the individual component forums and you should get there eventually :)

    Adam
     
  10. danbl

    danbl
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    I would consider getting an HDMI upconverting amp (such as the Onky TX-SR674E). This means that the amp will convert any signal you put into it up to HDMI, meaning you only need one cable running to the TV (and possibly a scart if you want to use RGB scart from sky).

    The onkyo is only £399 and is great value for money - have a look at Creative Audio for some good speaker/amp deals.
     
  11. sameerabedi

    sameerabedi
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    Crunch time is fast approaching and I'm soon going to have to part with some cash.

    So I've decided too purchase the Panasonic th42px70 after reading hundreds of pages about it on this forum and other sites, it seems to be the best available, short of 'full HD'.

    I think at this stage the PS3 is a distant dream. I'll purchase the denon dvd-1930 to upscale my DVD collection which leaves an amp and speakers purely for sound (movies and music).

    So, what is the best solution? I don't really need all the video connections of the AV recievers since one HDMI will be used by the DVD player, the other by Sky HD on the TV set. I need the amp for sound so does that make a difference? As far as the speakers go, there are so many differing reviews and at this stage I'm going to choose between the AEGO T and the Q Aqoustics.

    It's all about the amp I guess, what amp is best for sound???
     

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