Home Theater

kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,304
Tell us about your Home Theater. Or, just discuss potential purchases here.

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  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,699
    Maybe I should say that Bose is the greatest home theater company in the world. That seems to bring people out of the woodwork - with pitchforks and torches usually.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,132
    You left out a word, lemmer. Should read "Bose is the greatest home theater marketing company in the world." Right?

    I'm not talking, because I've got B&W. Unbelieveably great. Only thing I own that's worth over $200, but it's not exactly what most people are looking to pop for.

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  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    B&W? Over $200?

    I guess it is real expensive finding a black and white TV these days.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
    I guess I had a home theater back in the dorm room with the huge 13" B&W with the tin foil on the rabbit ears!

    The young uns now have no idea how to manipulate tinfoil or tape pennies to the tone arm :P
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306
    Funny. I have all Zenith brand televisions and VCRs in my place and all are holding up very well. I have a 1980s Zenith console television in my basement den that still delivers a crystal-clear picture.

    Sony is the Toyota of the electronics industry - still coasting on the fatally false perception held by too many sheeple that Japanese automatically = better.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    Hey, I think a 1980 Zenith would still be a REAL Zenith. They were the best.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306
    VIZIO! The brand Wal~Mart customers KILL FOR!!!
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,665
    Sony is the GM of the electronics industry - still coasting on the fatally false perception held by too many sheeple that American automatically = better.

    Regards,
    OW
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,560
    If you can find electronics actually built and assembled IN JAPAN, they are automatically better and you can take that to the bank. A lot of the high end brands high end stuff is still made and assembled in Japan. The problem in the electronics industry is that you have the equivalent of a Rolls Royce and Chevy Aveo coming out of the same company. Sony has their HIGH end ES line and XBR tv line, and they also have their low end stuff to compete more price wise with the Chinese brands.

    No matter the company though, I look for "made in Japan" on the box of my high end electronics. When I see made in China... it's not a death sentence, but it's a red flag. I'm not saying China doesn't make good stuff, but it's not bullet proof and automatic :)

    Denon still makes some of their stuff in Japan, as well as I think some Harmon Kardon prodcuts are made in Japan, but it's getting harder and harder to find something not made in China or Malaysia or Singapore
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,568
    I don't want to sound like I come from big money or anything, but we have two flat screen tv's in the house now. One of them is a 50" Hitachi plasma, and the other is some off-brand 42" LCD that I can't remember the name of right now. Dynex or something like that? Maybe the big name brands do give you a better picture, but I'll be danged if I can tell the difference. The picture's already big enough and clear enough that you can see every wrinkle, crows-foot, or pimple that an actor might be sporting. And don't try watching anything naughty in the livingroom with the door open, because body parts are recognizable from 300 feet away! :P

    I still have an old early 80's 25" console. Magnavox I think it is. One of my friends gave it to me about 10 years ago, and I retired it about 3 1/2 years ago, when we got a new 32" tube tv for the living room (that one's obsolete now, too :( )

    I'm half-tempted to just pitch the thing, but it's so much of a relic, that maybe somebody would want it. Maybe I'll try listing it on Craigslist or something.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,560
    Hate to tell you this, but Zenith is one of the brands my friends and friends' families regretted buying and skimping out on the higher priced higher quality products. I think their Zenith TV lasted 2 years and busted.

    I had no idea Zenith was American based at the time or any time until you mentioned it once recently. If more people had experiences like you with Zenith and GM, maybe they both wouldn't be bankrupt or on the verge now?

    Sounds like the bulk of the populace had perceptions and experiences more like mine? People eventually vote with their wallets.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,568
    My grandparents had a 1972 Zenith console, with a slate top (probably fake). It quit working in 1986. Granddad took the chassis out, took the sides off, and the top fit down on the base perfectly, making a coffee table. I actually still have the thing!

    They replaced it with another Zenith, but by this time they were cheapened considerably. The thing crapped out in about 5-6 years.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,560
    Sony 50" SXRD 1080P TV
    Harmon Kardon AVR 745
    Polk Audio LSi Towers in front, LSi C Center, Lsi 7 bookshelves in back, and Klipsch 10" subwoofer. Monster cable high end stuff throughout to connect. Panasonic VCR. Denon 3910 DVD/DVD Audio, Super Audio CD universal player.
    Belkin PureAV POwer Center
    Harmony/HK remote TC30
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,665
    I bought a Sony TV 2 years ago and it stopped working! Garbage.

    Regards,
    OW
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    Zenith was the last of the big American electronics companies to stop making their products here. We had a 1975 Zenith 25" TV that my dad had past 2000. He hated replacing it.

    The company that makes Zenith now has nothing to do with the old company other than that own the name and logo.

    Dad replaced the Zenith TV with an RCA - another name that doesn't mean what it did - and it has outlived dad.

    Somewhere up in the house we had a couple old Zenith AM radios that date back to the thirties. Last I tried them they still worked.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    oooh, the old Monster Cable scam. Talk about marketing. :P
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,790
    >Sony is the GM of the electronics industry ... that American automatically

    But Sony isn't American. That argument doesn't work.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    lemko - if you're going to wait until your Park Avenue dies GM is doomed! That car isn't going to die. It has found the fountain of automotive youth and is regenerating....

    But you've certainly done your part.

    Sony, in addition to having put their name on some mighty bad junk after making such efforts to make a good name, is invariably full of proprietary parts so if anything goes wrong with it you HAVE to go through Sony. No, thanks.

    My big TV is a Toshiba plasma but right now the video inputs aren't working. There's no way this should be an issue. It's only a couple years old.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306
    I think the Zenith name is now owned by LG. I remember my aunt who just passed away at age 93 had a still operating DuMont television which I believe was manufactured in New Jersey in the 1950s. My Dad told me his family was the first on the block to have a television and all the neighbors would come over to their house to watch it. I believe it was a Sylvania brand television the family received as a gift from his brother-in-law who owned a radio and TV store in Jersey City.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,560
    Did you contact Sony about your frustration?

    Did you buy the cheapest Sony product line of TV's money could buy?

    I bet Sony would help you out in making that TV work again if you contacted them to express frustration that a SONY TV of all TV's would die in 2 years.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,560
    Now BOSE is all marketing hype and no substance, no doubt about it. Though maybe they make halfway decent car systems, not sure (certainly overpriced).

    BOSE makes the worst home products, and then sells them for big bucks? I don't get it, don't people listen?

    Now to Monster Cable, yes, it is a lot of marketing, and yes they are somewhat overpriced. But if you can get deals on their good stuff, it's very worth it. I'll take the Radio Shack vs. Monster Cable challenge (blind sound test) anyday. I did my own A-B comparisons before comitting to spending big bucks on cables and wires, and unbelievably, the cables and wires do make a BIG difference with high-end equipment. Now if you have a $100 DVD player... no sense in paying as much for the cables. A good rule of thumb is to spend 15% of your home theater budget on the wires and cables.

    My speaker bi-wires in front cost me about $200, but they are lifetime guaranteed (and so well-built) I'll never need to buy speaker wire ever again in my life. Not a bad deal.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • dad23dad23 ColoradoMember Posts: 640
    Wasn't it here that someone said "all highs, no lows, must be BOSE?" I can't say that I've ever heard anything good about them...
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,304
    But... just made my purchase this week..

    We just finished our lower level, and have a custom built-in entertainment center.. Really wasn't looking for the whole "home theater" experience... Just wanted a big HDTV with surround-sound.

    Went to BB for the advertised special.. Sony KDL-52XBR6 with BluRay player and Geek Squad install for $2350.. Ad started Sunday.. so, naturally when I went on Monday, they were sold out of the XBR.. Got the same bundle on a KDL-52W4100, which doesn't have the 10-bit panel of the XBR (8-bit), but does have the 120hz refresh rate. Even better, the price was $400 less.. Added a cheap Sony surround-sound 5.1 system for $250.. and, 36 months, interest-free..

    I'm a happy camper... 6 months ago, when we started the construction project, I figured to pay at least that much or more for a 46" LCD with 60hz.

    regards,
    kyfdx

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,304
    We have cable service... I was looking into HD service.. Called the cable company, and the agent said that I could try hooking the cable directly into the TV, and it's possible that I'll be able to receive some of their HD service without upgrading or getting a cable box. :surprise:

    She said that if I now receive a channel that is also available in HD (Discovery Channel, for example), then theoretically, I should also get it in HD. (assuming that my TV has an HD tuner, which I believe it does). She did say that the only way they would guarantee that I could get the HD channels, though... was to rent their HD cable box with DVR for $15/mo.

    So, does that sound right? Or, is she entirely mixed up? I've got Insight Cable, if anyone else is familiar with that. I'm not wild about increasing my cable bill, so if I could get the main network channels plus ESPN in HD, that would be enough for me..

    regards,
    kyfdx

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  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 14,933
    So, how do you like the W4100? I'm still leaning toward the Panasonic PZ800U. I've been too busy to install the Energy Take Classic in the basement, but I am anxious to hear what it sounds like.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,304
    Don't know yet.. not hooked up..

    It looked good in the store.. ;)

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  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,560
    You should be able to add an HD cable box service rental for less than $10/mo. However, you don't have to have DVR to have HD, which is what they are trying to sell. Now maybe your company has purposely not made a simple HD only box (DVR is an entirely different thing). Sort of like GM deciding only to make trucks with V8's and saying you can't get a car with a V8 because you have to have a Truck in order to get a V8.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • tallman1tallman1 Member Posts: 1,874
    (assuming that my TV has an HD tuner, which I believe it does)

    She was probably talking about a digital tuner vs. analog. Your Sony does have a digital tuner so you can hook up the cable and have it find the digital channels for you. Sometimes the channel numbers are strange. I know I had a heck of a time figuring things out for my parents because they wanted to avoid a cable box, but they did get some digital channels.
  • okko1okko1 Member Posts: 327
    we bought a bose system with 90 day satisfaction guarantee. they called it the acousta-mass system and it was junk all the way. it worked for about a month and started having hard drive problems. they wanted me to ship direct to them for the fix. we also purchased a wave plus at the same time. did not care for it either. to make a long story short returned them both to the bose store. i might add they were very cooperative about the return. bought a jvc ed plasma and yamaha surround and have been very satisfied. also have a toshiba that's older than dirt and is still in use. :)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,304
    Yeah... the only HD box they offer includes the DVR.. It's $15/mo..

    I think I could have plugged the cable directly into the TV and received some HD channels, but probably not all.. and, not guaranteed..

    Anyway, picked up the box this morning... The DVR will come in handy, as we only have a VCR for recording programs now... If I ever get another TV with a digital tuner (meaning: when the next one breaks), I'll probably just try plugging in the cable to see what happens..

    Our cable company has dropped all other fees for HD programming.. If your tier offers a channel that is also available in HD, you automatically get the HD channel at no extra charge, assuming you have the HD/DVR box.. This makes me fairly happy, as my cable bill is only going from $53 to $68 (more or less).. We have the 2nd tier cable package... about 75 channels.. I think we'll get about 15-20 HD channels.. Basically, all the cable channels that aren't on a premium tier.. I won't get the NFL Network or Speed, but I don't have those now... I could add all of the other channels for $20/mo., but would then need a digital cable box to watch them on the other TVs in the house, at $8/mo. each... :surprise:

    Anyway.. I'm hooking it all up tomorrow (with some help). Considering our main TV now is a 36" Sony tube, I think it will be pretty cool... Not wild about having to go downstairs to watch it...

    Thanks for the replies...

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  • tallman1tallman1 Member Posts: 1,874
    Odd that they don't offer a non-DVR option. But you will love the DVR... worth every penny, IMHO.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,304
    We are all hooked up.. The picture is stunning! In fact, the picture is so good in HD, that even the Bengals looked good this week.. :surprise:

    Unfortunately, I've got a bad splitter in my cable box... Didn't find that out until we spliced into the cable that was connected to it (which ran to an outlet that we don't use).

    Switched a couple around, and now I can watch my new TV.. but, now the one upstairs is out, until the cable company replaces the splitter.. :sick:

    Oh yeah... Haven't got the rear speakers hooked up yet... Took us half the day to figure out why we couldn't get a signal.... But, that's all that's left... Except the four new remotes makes me think I need a universal..

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  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 14,933
    Except the four new remotes makes me think I need a universal..

    One of the Logitech Harmony universals would be my choice.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,560
    I've noticed companies have their own strong suits and areas of expertise:

    Sony - TV's and monitors
    Panasonic - Plasmas
    Canon - Cameras
    Harmon Kardon - amps/receivers
    Denon - Amps/receivers/DVD players
    Oppo - DVD players
    Monster Cable - wires and cables, connectors
    Onkyo - Amps/receivers/ Home Theater in a Box systems
    Sharp - LCD TV's
    Belkin - Surge Protectors
    Polk Audio - home audio speakers
    Logitech - computer speakers, and computer peripherals
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    Hi Tag,

    I would suggest either the Samsung 65" B650 LCD, or Panasonic 65" V10 plasma, depending on your viewing preferences. The Samsung will be brighter overall, and probably the better way to go if you want to mostly watch television programming with the lights on. The Panasonic has the edge in viewing angle and black level, and is better for movies. Unfortunately the LED back lit sets top out at 55".
  • clemboclembo Member Posts: 253
    LG & Tag,

    I'm not an expert but last year I bought a Pioneer Elite 60" Plasma and it is terrific. I looked at pretty much everything and found this to be the best picture in my opinion. Now they don't go to 65", I think the 60" is the largest but it is great.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaMember Posts: 8,441
    Thanks LG! Yeah, shame no backlit LED on the 65"ers I was also wondering about Sony's top LCD. What do you think? I recently saw a 55" Panasonic plasma and the whites were not pure. I don't understand the reason for that, but it makes me concerned that their 65" would have the same issue.

    TM
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,715
    I'm looking to buy a 40" LED backlit TV soon. What would anyone here recommend? I see the Sharp is the cheapest, but the Samsung brand seems better.
  • jlbljlbl Member Posts: 1,333
    I've bought recently a lateral-lit LED 40" Samsung 8000, to be watched from 3 yards. Image is great, the best I've seen; sound is not. (No Samsung 8500 Series over here. Samsung keeps promising it but never delivering.)

    Regards,
    Jose
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    Hi Lexusguy,

    I bought one just today.

    The Samsung B650 no longer sells in Toronto and has been replaced by the B610 which I bought at a compellingly low price relative to other retailers. The 52" is 50 percent cheaper than last year. My wife wanted a 46" since she finds that screen too big already. But I won the debate since our kids were on my side.

    I have patience and will buy a 3D Wall Unit OLED TV when they sell at the same compelling low price as my LCD TV today. Not much of a TV fan myself. For leisure my wife and I prefer reading books --yes we are just two boring Canucks.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,715
    The highest series I have seen in NA is 7000, but we tend to lag behind in many areas. The Samsung models look like a safe bet according to online reviews.

    I will be watching the unit from maybe 2 yards...I want that size as anything larger won't fit in my wall unit, and I am not buying new furniture for a TV.

    To think, I paid $800+ for an off-brand 27" LCD 5 years ago.
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    The highest series I have seen in NA is 7000

    I saw a Samsung 55' 8000 selling at the store I bought my tv here in Toronto, Canada.

    The picture on my spanking new Samsung B610 is breath taking when compared to my 11 year old Trinitron Sony TV. No wonder I was not a TV fan all these years. As of today I am the biggest TV fan on earth. The hell with my bookshelves ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    I was also wondering about Sony's top LCD. What do you think? I recently saw a 55" Panasonic plasma and the whites were not pure.

    The best LCD Sony offers at 65" is the W5100, which I don't think is as good as the Samsung. Sony's XBR sets are quite good, but I feel like the "regular" models are just average. Sony's media bar menu system is also a huge pain in the [non-permissible content removed].

    Was the Panasonic set you saw a V10? The big difference between the top Panasonics and the lesser models is the color accuracy, which you can easily calibrate by turning on their THX mode. From what I've heard, the V10 is the best looking plasma currently on the market. The Elite Kuros were the best, but Pioneer threw in the towel on those due to pricing pressure.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    I'm looking to buy a 40" LED backlit TV soon. What would anyone here recommend? I see the Sharp is the cheapest, but the Samsung brand seems better.

    Take a look at the 42" LG 42LH90. It's not quite up there with the XBR8 or B8500, but the price difference is huge, and I think its a better performer than the Sharp or Toshiba back-lit local dimmers.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    . As of today I am the biggest TV fan on earth. The hell with my bookshelves

    Hahaha. Samsung does a really nice job with pretty much all of their sets, which is why they are usually my default recommendation unless someone is looking for a specific feature or attribute. Take a look at calibration suggestions for your set on the AVS forum. The guys there should be able to help you dial it in perfectly.

    My wife does most of the TV watching at our house. I watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and Keith and Rachel on MSNBC. That's about it unless it's Top Gear season on the Beeb, or James May has a new Wine Adventure series.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,715
    Ah, I haven't seen an 8000 series online yet, at least not in the size I am looking for.

    A question about these, will they work with a region-free DVD/BluRay player? Are they "multi system" TVs or would one need a convertor?
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,715
    I have just one problem - my wall unit has a TV space that is only 28" tall, and not a fraction more. It limits what I can do...it seems 40" units will fit, but 42" and above won't.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    I have just one problem - my wall unit has a TV space that is only 28" tall, and not a fraction more. It limits what I can do...it seems 40" units will fit, but 42" and above won't.

    Yeah that's a bit of an issue, as most of the local dimming back lit sets aren't made smaller than 46". The Samsung edge lit 6000 and 7000 series are available in 40", but the 8000 and back lit 8500 are not. IMO, Samsung's edge lit sets aren't really any better than the cheaper CCFL based models, and in some areas they are worse. The razor thin profile is neat, but that's the only real advantage.
  • jlbljlbl Member Posts: 1,333
    Fintail, Dewey,

    My 40" Samsung 8000 was a compromise too between my wife whishes (she wanted it smaller) and mines (I'd rather had the 46"). None of us wanted a tv screen being too imposing in our reading cabinet. In the end, the Samsung 40B8000 works most nicely at a distance from the eye of 2-3 yards.

    As Dewey, I have replaced with this Samsung a more than eleven-year-old Sony Black Trinitron. As well, I still have not thrown away the books, ha ha. (A couple of thousands, may be, not counting those related to our jobs; there are two rows of them in each bookshelf.)

    Rising the curtain I put here a few pics of the room including the music set that LG recommended to me some months ago (Simaudio Moon i 3.3 and CD 3.3; Clearaudio Performance; Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand); REL R-305).

    The music is hidden in the shelves.
    image

    Double rows of books on them.
    image

    This is the sub-bass at the room corner, and the old Sony Trinitron
    image

    The new UE40B8000, even though with the image not fitting the screen :blush:
    image

    The "boss chair" in the center, as it should be.
    image

    And, the views behind the windows
    image

    Welcome to my home.

    Regards,
    Jose
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,665
    Outstanding residence! You do not need to worry about TV screen size with a phenomenal view as you have!

    Enjoy!

    Regards,
    OW
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