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  1. #1
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    Default School me on Home Theater-in-a-box? Need some suggestions to look at

    Hi all,

    I am going to be researching some Home Theater-in-a-box systems but wanted to get a jump start here by soliciting for some recommendations that you've all had practical experience with (good experience)?

    Presently I have a JBL SCS500SAT surround speaker setup married to a Harman Kardon AVR 146 receiver. System works out fine except for the fact the AVR 146 does not process digital data through HDMI, it just "passes" through the data requiring me to have separate connections for audio and video. Here's where the problem lies.

    We recently moved into a new home that has a wall mount above the fireplace and is wired in the wall with an HDMI cable, red/green/blue component wires in addition to two sets of analog red/white audio and yellow video. In my old place using an optical cable for the audio was no problem, but for this new setup it's not an option because of the placement of the hidden wiring that comes out of the wall from the TV mount. I cant run an optical to where I have a tower that will house my receive and a blu-ray DVD player (that I have NEVER used). So I am guessing that my only option is to find a receiver (or system-in-a-box that processes HDMI data so that I do not need separate audio/video connections?

    Am I wrong in this thinking or correct? I am by no means an audiophile, nor remotely close to being an electronics guru. I actually do not like setting up all of this stuff myself.

    Crutchfield is a great place to start but their HT products are basically separate components and are pricey. I was thinking just going Best Buy (which is where I bought my first system) to gather intelligence and see if I can snag something on Amazon Prime. I'm not looking to spend a fortune here, I've already done that in purchasing this house and then all of the stuff we've needed since. Budget is really no more than $400 if I can swing it, I'd like to sell my current setup to help offset the cost. I havent' even begun looking so I'm not even aware of what I am getting myself into price wise for a home theater system in a moderate budget. Maybe $400 isn't even in the same realm, I don't know.

    Thanks for reading and for any information/recommendations you can provide!

    Edit: I do not care about 3D just to be clear.

    Justin
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  2. #2
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    I'd be tempted to use adapters that can be had from here:

    www.monoprice.com

    http://www.monoprice.com/Search?keyword=hdmi+adapter
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  3. #3
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    first step is to decide what you want it to do. you have bluray and you have I would guess some form of sat/cable receiver and want a receiver to switch them. if you are never using the bluray and don't plan on it, run the hdmi to the tv and use the red/white pair back to the audio input on your receiver and job done, no money spent. if you are happy with the current sound, then no reason to step to 5.1digital sound.

    won't take advantage of the bluray output, but you can also run hdmi from sat/cable to tv, use the rgb from bluray to other tv input and then connect tv to one receiver input and bluray audio outs to another input and done. again no money spent but really not taking advantage of bluray quality and still no 5.1 sound.

    if you want a new setup, go to bestbuy and tell the guy what you have. they will be able to show you several sets from different manuf. that will have a small amp/switching box for 2-3hdmi inputs, a 5ch speaker system and a powered sub in the $4-500 range that will sound good. it'll be easy to install, easy to switch and be a solid tv setup, although lack the quality of sound if you enjoy music on a 2ch mode..
    one other option is to check craigslist if you live in a metro area. lots of audiophiles switching gear all the time and might be able to find a 7-900 setup for 4-500 that's gently used. find the right guy to demo it and they will also love to walk you through how to install and setup as well. did that with the guy that bought my old polk setup. we talked for almost 2hrs on the system.

    my .02 at the end of the day... budget $69 for the harmony remote control if you havent.. http://www.logitech.com/en-us/produc...te-650?crid=60
    that remote is the shizznit at controlling a multi-piece setup, great pricepoint, easy to use and even easier to program. It's my 3rd harmony and the best one yet. bought it 2 months ago..
    Last edited by sandm; 10-21-2013 at 04:13 PM.
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaneboats View Post
    I'd be tempted to use adapters that can be had from here:

    www.monoprice.com

    http://www.monoprice.com/Search?keyword=hdmi+adapter
    I'm not following you on what any of those adapters would do for me.

    And after doing some prelim research I may just need a new receiver, rather than choosing a HT in a box and replacing the whole system. Others seem to enjoy the JBL system I have and to be honest I never really had a problem with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandm View Post
    first step is to decide what you want it to do. you have bluray and you have I would guess some form of sat/cable receiver and want a receiver to switch them. if you are never using the bluray and don't plan on it, run the hdmi to the tv and use the red/white pair back to the audio input on your receiver and job done, no money spent. if you are happy with the current sound, then no reason to step to 5.1digital sound.

    won't take advantage of the bluray output, but you can also run hdmi from sat/cable to tv, use the rgb from bluray to other tv input and then connect tv to one receiver input and bluray audio outs to another input and done. again no money spent but really not taking advantage of bluray quality and still no 5.1 sound.

    if you want a new setup, go to bestbuy and tell the guy what you have. they will be able to show you several sets from different manuf. that will have a small amp/switching box for 2-3hdmi inputs, a 5ch speaker system and a powered sub in the $4-500 range that will sound good. it'll be easy to install, easy to switch and be a solid tv setup, although lack the quality of sound if you enjoy music on a 2ch mode..
    one other option is to check craigslist if you live in a metro area. lots of audiophiles switching gear all the time and might be able to find a 7-900 setup for 4-500 that's gently used. find the right guy to demo it and they will also love to walk you through how to install and setup as well. did that with the guy that bought my old polk setup. we talked for almost 2hrs on the system.

    my .02 at the end of the day... budget $69 for the harmony remote control if you havent.. http://www.logitech.com/en-us/produc...te-650?crid=60
    that remote is the shizznit at controlling a multi-piece setup, great pricepoint, easy to use and even easier to program. It's my 3rd harmony and the best one yet. bought it 2 months ago..
    I do not have a cable/satelitte STB. I do not pay for cable nor do I want to. My Mohu Lead Ultimate antenna picks up 55 channels from Charlotte and since we barely watch TV as it is this suffices.

    I would really prefer not having to resort to analog audio. I have a nice speaker setup and a nice room for it with everything all pre-wired (even F/R and surrounds) so I'd like to be able to have it setup correctly.

    Good point about checking CL, hadn't thought of that even though I've been scouring it for other stuff we need for the home. I have had the Harmony One in the back of my mind for years now but just couldn't pull the trigger on a +$150 remote control. You like the 650 I assume? I would LOVE to get rid of the multi-remote setup I have going on now, what a fiasco!!

    Just a receiver $249.99
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/yamaha-5...&skuId=8046066

    Or Pioneer $249.99
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/pioneer-...&skuId=7606045

    I will take your advice and just head to BB and bring my owner's manual for the receiver and system and see what they say. It's better than trying to do all this research myself since I don't know anything about it....
    Last edited by Cigars n scotch; 10-21-2013 at 05:40 PM.
    2008 Supra 21V
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  5. #5
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    What do you want from your sound system?

    Friends don't send friends to Best Buy for a nice home theater system, but maybe you don't want a nice system.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxpower220 View Post
    What do you want from your sound system?

    Friends don't send friends to Best Buy for a nice home theater system, but maybe you don't want a nice system.
    What do you mean "what do I want?" I want what anyone would want. Nice clear loud sound. I know what you are asking, but I just want to set up my system without having the need to see wires where everything else is pre-wired in the wall. What does a "nice" system consist of? If your talking high-end then no I do not want a high-end system. HT-in-a-box is more than sufficient for my needs.
    2008 Supra 21V
    2,600 lbs., Gravity III
    Z5 Cargo Rack
    Stereo: Pair of Wetsounds Pro 80's, Rockford Fosgate P500-2, Kicker ZX200.4, Exile ZLD, stock Kicker in-cabins, stock Kenwood HU
    Tow rig: 2008 Slate Tundra, Bilstein 5100's (F&R), 295/65/18 wrapped in Duratracs

  7. #7
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    max I would disagree with you. I just replaced my onkyo txds838(15years of faithful service) with a yamaha 675 from best buy. price was one of the lowest I could find. granted I don't consider it real high end, but if cig was looking for something beyond what bestbuy sells, he probably wouldn't be asking for advice on here. bestbuy owns magnolia and ships to stores. I would consider them on the moderate side of high end systems...

    cig.. if you are happy with the speaker sound, then just go invest $3-400 in a decent hdmi-switching receiver and keep them. ht in a box isn't going to give you anything different if speakers are still good. this leaves you with the $$ for that remote. I would highly recommend it. I replaced my old harmony with this new one and difference is night and day. if it was my money, I'd spend it on either yamaha(first choice) or onkyo. yamaha seems to have a little better rep. onkyo will have a few more features for the $$ but doesn't sound like that's important to ya and they have had a few quality issues on some of the newer units.

    on an unrelated note, assuming you have a sub? that makes all the difference imo to a setup.
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  8. #8
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    Can you go wireless with a blue tooth system?
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  9. #9
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    Heard this was Aewsome for the tv system.

    http://www.crutchfield.com/p_018SOLO...nd-system.html
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  10. #10
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    Default School me on Home Theater-in-a-box? Need some suggestions to look at

    I do have a sub, the JBL came with a 10" subwoofer.

    Wireless with Bluetooth? Is the technology there yet to deliver sound as good as wired? My LR is already wired up. Maybe wireless for the bonus room if I ever get around to it down the road.

    That Bose system only accommodates "up to" a 42" TV. My Sharp Aquos is 46", and in a few months I'm upgrading to 55" or so.
    2008 Supra 21V
    2,600 lbs., Gravity III
    Z5 Cargo Rack
    Stereo: Pair of Wetsounds Pro 80's, Rockford Fosgate P500-2, Kicker ZX200.4, Exile ZLD, stock Kicker in-cabins, stock Kenwood HU
    Tow rig: 2008 Slate Tundra, Bilstein 5100's (F&R), 295/65/18 wrapped in Duratracs

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