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Low cost solution for HD Audio with both HD/BR?

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Low cost solution for HD Audio with both HD/BR?

Old 01-27-08, 02:27 PM
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Low cost solution for HD Audio with both HD/BR?

In the next few weeks I am moving out of my apartment into a home. I will have more then ample amount of room to finally, finally, have a decent sound system. Whats my best option? Currently I have an XA1 (maybe an A35 soon) and PS3 and want to take advantage of PCM, TrueHD etc. Ive been looking at various HTIB setups and not sure which would be the best to get. I see Samsung has one with a 1400 already included (which I would need as an extra BR anyway).

The only problem is that I only have one HDMI connection on my TV. Can I still use my HDMI switchbox with both a HD/BR player hooked up to audio?
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Old 01-27-08, 02:43 PM
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Get the Onkyo HTIB that includes the 605. Around $800.
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Old 01-27-08, 02:47 PM
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$800 is a bit more then I wanted to spend. I was looking around the $400-$500 range.
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Old 01-27-08, 04:29 PM
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I don't want to be a jerk at all or rain on your parade, but if you're spending that amount of money you would be better served to spend it on just a nice amp and then save up for good speakers. While TrueHD and all the new audio stuff sounds better than regular DD 5.1, it's not that much better, ESPECIALLY on low end equipment. I would think you would need to spend at least $1000 (realistically $2000) to get a system that would perform well enough to warrant an upgrade.

I have a $500 amp and a $800 set of speakers and I can barely tell a difference, and I'm an audio nut.
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Old 01-27-08, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DamingR
I don't want to be a jerk at all or rain on your parade, but if you're spending that amount of money you would be better served to spend it on just a nice amp and then save up for good speakers. While TrueHD and all the new audio stuff sounds better than regular DD 5.1, it's not that much better, ESPECIALLY on low end equipment. I would think you would need to spend at least $1000 (realistically $2000) to get a system that would perform well enough to warrant an upgrade.

I have a $500 amp and a $800 set of speakers and I can barely tell a difference, and I'm an audio nut.
I just want decent audio (so a HTIB solution would be best). I don't want to spend $1k more just so it can sound just a wee bit better.
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Old 01-27-08, 05:35 PM
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Do the HTIB options you're looking at have a receiver that will output multi-channel PCM? $400-$500 sounds like a helluva bargain if it contains a receiver that does that + speakers.
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Old 01-27-08, 05:37 PM
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I am also pricing better equipment for my home but as of now I think I'm staying away from this hign-end audio game. Receivers starrting at 500 plus make this price war on HD players look like childs play. I think I like the sound of an extra 800-1000 in my bank account more than the added sound of the movies. I too would like to hear the better audio options but not at that price.
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Old 01-27-08, 06:04 PM
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If you don't want to go "next gen" audio, I would suggest the 4x1 monoprice HDMI switch and a lower end receiver that doesn't provide HDMI switching. There's a thread on the switch in the gear section. I just ordered it for my display and I'm pretty charged to get it.

You can probably find a decent onkyo (maybe the Onkyo TX-SR505), yamaha or Pioneer in the $250 range. Or you can go digital and get the Panny SA-XR57 (Look at Jr.com). I have the SA-XR55 for our bedroom system and it is very nice and efficient for movies. It works really well with a digital source (optical/SPDIF)...but is mediocre for analog (red & white rca cables).

As for speakers, Audio advisor has a decent deal on the Athena LS-Series (supposed to be similar to Energy C Series).

I'm a budget guy, and currently have a Pioneer 1014 running some Athena point5's and an ASP400 sub. It's good enough for our family room right now. I get the upgrade bug about every few months but for some reason I've been able to talk myself out of it every single time.

As soon as I finish the basement though...I'm going all out!

Last edited by nmr1723; 01-27-08 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 01-27-08, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
$800 is a bit more then I wanted to spend. I was looking around the $400-$500 range.
I agree with those who say that in your price range you're not going to get much benefit from the next-gen audio formats.

This would be a good choice in your price range.

But if you really do want Dolby TrueHD, etc., I would recommend saving up just a little while longer for this one.

Something I like about the Onkyo HTIBs is that you're getting really good receivers that just happen to come with a set of speakers. If you want to upgrade the speakers down the road, you can without having to replace the whole system.
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Old 01-27-08, 09:14 PM
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Even though most players are decoding next gen audio, I would still be hesitant to get a receiver that can't decode next-gen audio. You never know when you might want it.

But regardless of what receiver you have, IMO to get any real benefit of next-gen audio, you need good speakers.

I went way over my preferred budget for a new audio system when I moved into my house (like 3K total), but it has been very much worth it to have high-quality, large speakers with good clarity and frequency response.
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Old 01-27-08, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
I agree with those who say that in your price range you're not going to get much benefit from the next-gen audio formats.

This would be a good choice in your price range.

But if you really do want Dolby TrueHD, etc., I would recommend saving up just a little while longer for this one.

Something I like about the Onkyo HTIBs is that you're getting really good receivers that just happen to come with a set of speakers. If you want to upgrade the speakers down the road, you can without having to replace the whole system.
Thank you for those two recommendations (though I'm not the OP!). I have pretty much decided that if the tax rebate comes to fruition, I will be getting one of those Onkyo HTIB -- it's nice to have the option of upgrading speakers later and getting a top quality receiver that you won't need to replace.
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Old 01-28-08, 12:19 PM
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The cheapest popular receivers that have HD audio are the Onkyo 605 and the Yamaha 661.

The 605 has been available for as low as $400 at times. Onecall has it right now for $431 shipped.

You should pick that up and some cheap but decent speakers. HTiB market and the HD audio market are kind of far apart and so you're not going to see much convergence there.

Grab the 605 (or the 661): $400ish

Decent budget speakers:

Polk R50 or R300 speakers go on sale frequently at Frys.com for $50 each make 2 good fronts,

Polk R150s work well too...J&R has R150s at $80 a pair.

http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.proc...afeed.POK+R150

Years ago I got the Fluance AV-HTB 5-speaker set and a scratch and dent Sony Subwoofer for $50 at Crutchfield...and still use all of it. Good well-reviewed speakers for the price - about $250 shipped.

You're not gonna get a cheap HTIB with HD audio. The receivers alone are about $400-$600 still.

Also watch shoponkyo.com... you can get refurb 605s and refurb HTiBs for pretty good prices, and their refurbs are topnotch.
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Old 01-28-08, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
The cheapest popular receivers that have HD audio are the Onkyo 605 and the Yamaha 661.

The 605 has been available for as low as $400 at times. Onecall has it right now for $431 shipped.

You should pick that up and some cheap but decent speakers. HTiB market and the HD audio market are kind of far apart and so you're not going to see much convergence there.

Grab the 605 (or the 661): $400ish

Decent budget speakers:

Polk R50 or R300 speakers go on sale frequently at Frys.com for $50 each make 2 good fronts,

Polk R150s work well too...J&R has R150s at $80 a pair.

http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.proc...afeed.POK+R150

Years ago I got the Fluance AV-HTB 5-speaker set and a scratch and dent Sony Subwoofer for $50 at Crutchfield...and still use all of it. Good well-reviewed speakers for the price - about $250 shipped.

You're not gonna get a cheap HTIB with HD audio. The receivers alone are about $400-$600 still.

Also watch shoponkyo.com... you can get refurb 605s and refurb HTiBs for pretty good prices, and their refurbs are topnotch.
I have the Onkyo 805 and Polk Audio R50's for both my fronts and my surrounds. I woudl like to get some more powerful fronts, but it will be at least a year for me.
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