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looking for surround sound home cinema system

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by chirpychippy, 24 Dec 2012.

  1. chirpychippy

    chirpychippy

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    I have decided I want a home cinema surround sound system preferably with blue ray, the wife has demanded that if I am going to put such a device into her beautiifully kept house then I am forbidden from screwing speakers to her immaculate walls and therefore I must incorporate speakers on stands. I have had a look at a few systems and am favouring Sony as we have a Sony Bravia telly. My budget is around £400 can anyone give me any pointers or things to watch out for things to avoid when purchasing etc,

    Thank you in advance Merry Christmas to you all.
     
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  3. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    I'll leave this one for Chris but I think your budget is going to dictate what you buy. It's going to be a compromise. Maybe skimp on the speakers and buy decent ones later.

    Thankfully, my wife doesn't dictate what I do. Our house already looks like a Swiss cheese! :)
     
  4. ChrisFrost

    ChrisFrost

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    This is one of those situations where pragmatism overrules the normal recommendations. We would normally suggest giving the all-in-one home cinema kits a wide berth and go for a separate AV amp, Blu-ray player and speakers. But £400 isn't going to achieve that and get free standing towers too, so it's now a case of choosing the best all-in-one with tower speakers. So here goes...

    We need it to have a BD player, and tall boy speakers all round, and if possible a decent range of inputs. This is where most people come to grief with all-in-ones. There not enough sockets for connecting other stuff like the Sky box, games console, or TV if it doesn't have ARC (Audio Return Channel via HDMI) etc.

    Samsung HT-E4550 £330 - 1x stereo phono input + 1x optical input + ARC

    Samsung HT-E5550 £350 - 2x HDMI Input + 1x stereo phono input + 1x Optical Input + ARC

    Sony BDV-E690 £430 - 1x 3.5mm stereo jack input + 1x optical + ARC

    Pioneer BCS-717 (2011/12 model) £450 - 2x HDMI Input + 1x stereo phono input + 1x Optical Input + 1x 3.5mm stereo jack input + ARC

    Pioneer BCS-727 (2012/13 model) £370~£550** - 2x HDMI Input + 1x stereo phono input + 2x Optical Input + 1x 3.5mm stereo jack input + ARC

    Pioneer BCS-414 (2011/12 model £380 - 2x HDMI Input + 1x stereo phono input + 1x Optical Input + 1x 3.5mm stereo jack input + ARC

    Pioneer BCS-424 (2012/13 model) £289~£349** - 2x HDMI Input + 1x stereo phono input + 2x Optical Input + 1x 3.5mm stereo jack input + ARC


    Most prices above are from amazon. The double starred (**) prices from other retailers not amazon.


    My order of preference would be: Pioneer 727, Pioneer 424, 717, 414, Samsung HT-E5550

    The Pioneers will look classy, sound pretty good, and give you enough sockets that you can connect the TV, a games consoles, a Freeview/Freesat/YouView box and an iPod and still have an input or two spare for other ad hoc sources.
     
  5. garrymum

    garrymum

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    The type of surround system you need depends on what other devices you want to connect to it. For example, if you only want surround sound from a bluray and the TV then a "all-in-one" system maybe be suitable. However, these "all-in-one" systems are very limited on connectivity. The minute you need to connect another device you will be stuck.

    Personally, I would wait, increase your budget to about £500-600 and you will then have an dedicated amp, 5.1 speaker package and separate bluray player. This will blow an "all-in-one" system out of the water and you also have the flexibility to connect several devices if you ever need to.

    http://www.richersounds.com/product/av-receivers/sony/strdh820/sony-strdh820 - £200

    http://www.richersounds.com/product/speaker-packages/tannoy/sfx5.1/tann-sfx5.1-blk - £200

    You then need to add a bluray and stands if required.
     
  6. chirpychippy

    chirpychippy

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    Hello all, thank you for all your replies I feel a little more educated now.

    Another question please, ok, I want a surround sound system, my current budget is not enough, do I have to buy a blue a blue ray player at this stage or can I leave it for now and still reap the benefits of a surround sound system if I went down the route of buying the components separately and a blue ray later.

    The system I have my eye on is the Sony BDV 950, I don't have any desires to plug anything else into it, we don't have sky or virgin and the free view is built into the TV, I can't play computer games anyway so the Xbox, playstation are out of the window for starters.

    Thank you once again.
     
  7. garrymum

    garrymum

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    The Sony BDV 950 has a bluray built in. This is an "all-in-one" system.
    If you don't want to connect any other devices then this should suit your requirements.
     
  8. ChrisFrost

    ChrisFrost

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    I have no idea what a BDV 950 is. It certainly doesn't appear in any Google search I do. And TBH, you seem to be really confused about the whole home cinema thing. As I mentioned at the outset, you're not going to get a separates system with tower/tall-boy speakers for £400. So your only option is an all-in-one kit. And that means it has a Blu-ray player built in!!

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do. I'm outta here.
     
  9. chirpychippy

    chirpychippy

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    Thanks Chris, remind not to ask you in the future after all the whole reason people use this site is because they are uneducated in a certain field or just plain confused it would seem I fitted into both categories. So when I put in a typo 950 instead of 590, which may I add Garymum was able to decipher, you find it fitting to start ranting about me being confused.

    The wife and I went to Richer sounds today where I discussed my confusion with the shop assistant along with the advise given by the people on this forum. We have bought an Onkyo amp with 5.1 Tannoy speakers. I didn't have enough money for a Blu ray player at this stage nor tall boy speakers, we are happy with our purchase. If it hadn't been for the people on this site educating me i could have bought an all in one nightmare,

    I will thank you Chris for your help at the outset.

    Thank you all.
     
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  11. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    This looks to me like an unwarranted attack on Chris who spent time trying to help you and asked for nothing in return.

    It also looks as if you expect us all to be clairvoyant and to guess that the information we thought you gave in good faith was actually incorrect - to the extent that both Chris and I wasted time searching for this imaginary "BDV 950".

    Criticising those who try to help is not a good thing to do and won't be forgotten.
     
  12. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    By the way, type whatever Onkyo model you bought into "Google" and add the word "overheating" to see what pops up. Unfortunately, nobody can say what the reliability of any specific model is until it's been on sale for years but Onkyo has a certain reputation so one can make an inspired guess.
     
  13. chirpychippy

    chirpychippy

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    Ok, I am out of order, there is no excuse for my rant and for that I apologise to Chris and anyone else I offended. I have always wanted a surround sound cinema system but my apparent lack of knowledge I am finding very frustrating. I am not in a strong financial position and am trying to find the best for the money I have.

    It isn't fair to take out my frustrations on those that are trying to help me, I took. Chris,s message personally and in hindsight I can see it wasn't personal.

    Sorry.
     
  14. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    I can empathise with your budget problems. :oops:
    In fact I don't recall a Christmas when I've spent less (nor had less to spend).
     
  15. chapeau

    chapeau

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    If you only have £400 to spend you are going to have to go second hand and even then you will compromise. You will find you end up spending more on your audio kit than you do on your tele and to be honest it's worth it.

    So get over to avforums onto their classified section. AvForums is full of audiophile nerds who will throw out a perfectly brilliant piece of kit because the latest model has another knob on the front.

    Currently a panasonic DMP-BD55 Blu Ray is going for £50-£60 quid. Snap it up.

    Decent AVRs which are a few years old are going for £100.

    And you just missed a Wharfedale Diamond Surround 5.1 Speaker System c/w Mission Stands which went for £300.

    Absolute bargain at that price.

    Hang around on that forum, ignore anybody who says speakers or amps sound bright. Also ignore anybody on there who says you need oxygen free copper silver plated cable at £20 a metre.

    Just pick up some great deals.

    Be patient, it might take several months, but the only problem you will have is finding the right colour kit to keep your missus happy.
     
  16. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    Good advice and I agree but "barn door advice" because:
    However, something to consider when cash is available if the Onkyo fails to please.
     
  17. chapeau

    chapeau

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    Ah yes.

    Well Richer Sounds are fine, they do some good deals and have a good returns/repair policy. Bought lots of stuff off them when a student and they only had a London Bridge shop. They still sell overpriced cable and connectors mind you.....

    When buying an amp you need to make sure it's overpowered, if not it will get hot if you turn it up and it isn't up to the task. But mostly overheating at normal volumes is due to poor ventilation. Most houses you cannot crank them up anyway due to neighbours so it's not an issue.
     
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