The Home Theater Showcase Thread

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A system of cells interlinked
I have replaced a few pieces over the last couple of years...


Harman Kardon AVR 630



X-box 360




Samsung - PN50C550 - 50" plasma TV - 1080p





Polk Audio TB 90 Front Mains - CsI3 Center Channel - FxI3 Dipole Surrounds


Velodyne Vx-10 Subwoofer


Motorolla Dual Drive/Dual Tuner DVR HD Cable Tuner

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"It doesn't do any good to say, 'This is what it means.' When you are spoon fed a film, people instantly know what it is. I like films that leave room to dream." - D. Lynch

Film Review by Sedai



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Nice. TV's new, yeah? I got a new one back in November and it felt weirdly huge (though it's only 40 inches) at first, but after a month or two it became the new standard and I couldn't imagine going back. I get weirdly grumpy when a show I DVR turns out not to be in HD, too.
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The People's Republic of Clogher
I bought a 42" LG before Christmas but I'm not amazingly happy with it.



Should have either saved up for a bit longer or bought a smaller sized higher range TV. Oh well, it'll do me for a few years...

Had my Onkyo receiver for about a year and love it to bits. It's 7.1 compatible but I've only experimented with a full set-up a few times - 5.1 is fine for the size of room it's in.



I've got a collection of Yamaha speakers but can't remember the model numbers for a photo. They're black, if that helps.

PS3 for Blu Ray, DVD and TV watching/recording.
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A system of cells interlinked
Yep, why else would I bitch about HDTV tech in the shoutbox the other day? I was swimming in tech review articles... I got my TV for 899, and the thing is ridiculously awesome. My X-box seems to up-sample my standard DVDs, so films are already a pleasure with no extra expense beyond the display.

I am glad I finally have a screen to match the quality of the HK surround system, which blows the walls right off my house.



The People's Republic of Clogher
Seds, the 360 does indeed upscale DVDs if you're connected via HDMI, dunno about component.

Why is it that tech prices over here are so high compared to The States?

My bog standard 1080p LCD cost me the equivalent of $775, I hate to think what it would cost Stateside. $600?

Here's the thing which has been annoying me about my TV, and I'm beginning to think it's a fault which can be fixed/replaced under warranty. Maybe someone who has experience of HDTVs knows what I'm on about because friends and family sure as heck don't.

I noticed a few weeks ago that when the picture is moving vertically (camera panning up or down) I could see very faint darkish blurry horizontal lines across the screen - it's almost like interference. They're not as obvious as scanlines and disappear completely when you move close to the screen. They only show up when the picture shows a light coloured expanse with no detail, like a wall or a clear sky and only when the camera moves vertically - horizontally the picture is perfect.

It's not a fault in any cables or interference from other electrical equipment as I've tried the TV with nothing else plugged in, well away from my other electrical stuff - it happens on standard TV programmes as well as HD stuff. My friend has a 42" LG set a bit higher up the range and I tested it with the same movie I first noticed the lines appearing on - It coped fine.

Maybe I'm expecting too much and am being overly picky - people I've pointed it out to don't notice a problem. I'm half expecting the warranty people to laugh at me and say that they all do that but posting in the thread has set me thinking. I'll phone them tomorrow.



A system of cells interlinked
I'd check the AVS forums, as they seem to cover every set in existence at the moment. Someone might ave run into it and come up with a reason and/or fix.

And this TV lists for $1200... I hit a Presidents Day Sale and got a good deal.



The People's Republic of Clogher
Believe me, I've tried everywhere (which makes me think I might just be overly picky - Once you notice something you're subconsciously looking out for it) but any threads which sound like my problem turn out to be something really obvious, ie a definite fault (like huge streaks across the screen) that Stevie Wonder could diagnose.

It's only 4 months old so has plenty of warranty time left but it might be worth getting someone to have a look at it. I've not been lucky with HDTVs - My first died after 10 months and its replacement had loads of dead pixels on delivery. The second replacement was fine but I just fancied something bigger.



My Tube (Samsung 42 inch Plasma)

I personally love Plasma. Before this one I had the LG 50 inch plasma. Lots of people perfer LCD, I just love the picture on the plasma. My room is on the darker side so it works out nicely.
I have this for sound

Its also Samsung
I watch Hdtv on this PVR

Naturally with a four year old boy we have one of these conected to all this crap

Some games we have:
Gretzky Slapshot
Super Hero Squad
Mario Galaxy
Tiger Woods 2010
Nerf shooting game or some crap
WII Resort and Sports
WII fit (This was bought for us but we are all pretty thin so its a little dusty)
We have two WII Hockey Sticks, the Nerf Gun, The WII fit board.
Next WII game: Tony Hawk



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
No, you have tremendously good crap. I think I've always had good crap, I've always been a sonic aficianado because I love to hear things. As I get older, it's almost that embarrasing that I ignore people's best goodies. Yet, when my friends and family come over, they always seem to recognize whatever the hell my latest piece of crap is worth (or I fake them out.)
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No, you have tremendously good crap. I think I've always had good crap've always been a sonic aficianado because I love to hear things . As I get older, it's almost that embarrasing I ignore people's best goodies. Yet, when my friends and family come over, they always seem to recongnize whatever the hell my latest piece of crap is worth (or I fake them out.)
The stereo is pretty good crap we have an MP3 always plugged in. I love my T.V I think 42 inch is a great size. We still are working on changing some things furniture wise. I only watch sports on TV so we have hundreads of chanels that never get watched. I cant stand when I cant get a certain game in HD. Other then watching a movie every night the T.V is ushally playing a kids movie or program.



The People's Republic of Clogher
I wonder how many people have dedicated audio gear these days? Decent quality speakers are everywhere with PCs and surround sets for TVs. My AV receiver has MP3 player inputs and has an excellent radio and my PC has speakers which are the equal of anything I've had to listen to music.

The first thing of value I bought was a JVC stereo set when I was 18, it cost £500 (obviously with inflation and me being so old, that would work out at easily a million quid in today's money), a lot more than my first car and ten times what I paid for guitars. I had it up until a few years ago.

EDIT - I'm actually in the market for a new PVR. Free-to-air HD is coming here within 12 months and my present set-up (the PlayTV box for the PS3) is SD only. I've had a Humax PVR in the past - are they still the kings?

EDIT 2 - Don't mention Sky. Rupert doesn't get my money.



A system of cells interlinked
Plainview: I hear you on the Plasma choice. I tried to like LCD, I really did, but for films, Plasma just looked more film-like, and that was the main factor in this purchase - films.

I got home and LotR : Fellowship was on HD. Yeah, I had to watch the entire thing, of course.

Taccy: I followed your advice to a T for break-in settings. As you said, it's a bit subdued for now, but still looks amazing.



The People's Republic of Clogher
The one thing I wouldn't do (ie: I've done it in the past) is Google calibration settings for your TV model. Who knows what light level etc the person had when setting up his TV?

As we were talking about yesterday, most modern TVs that I've seen have pretty good settings out of the box once the picture enhancing nonsense is turned off. From memory I just had to change my brightness a notch or two to get perfect black level, colour and contrast were spot on.

Here's the link to a fantastic free calibration suite - Link

You'll need a Blu Ray player and at least a blank DVD to run the disc but there are a collection of separate MP4 files which play fine on an Xbox or PS3. All I would recommend are the brightness, contrast and colour ones.

My LG has a built-in calibration thingie which is excellent for basic brightness and contrast.

Quick tip for your Xbox - You know where you can change reference levels in display settings? Leave it on Standard. Expanded and intermediate show colours as more vibrant than originally intended, it might 'pop' out more but I prefer to go with what was originally envisaged. It's the same with the PS3's full colour setting - Movies and games don't use that benchmark because they go with standard RGB values.

Look at me pretending to know what I'm talking about.



A system of cells interlinked
Yeah, No blu-ray for me. Disc based media? What is this, the 80s?? Most people around Boston consider Blu-ray to be dead already, because it is. HTPC already killed it. Taking into consideration the 4 people I interact with most that have HDTVs, 3 of the 4 are already up on HTPC and have ditched blu-ray completely.

Did you know Netflix will soon be legally forced (by Cable companies) to stop using discs completely, moving all customers to streaming only? It's true, and Comcast is leading the charge. Get out of blu-ray, and fast - it's a complete waste of money.

I just don't see the allure of Blu-ray. The up-scaling on my x-box is absolutely good enough to just watch my current SD library while moving into the streaming for newer content.

I'll check out the file tools you linked!



Here is a shot of my messy setup after my 4 year old has rummaged through some movies and shifted everything around. The movies are going into our guest room, where I will continue my collection, and I am currently building an HTPC.

As soon as the DVDs are gone, I am going to have to figure out some serious cable management. I had everything nice and neat with electric tape, but that only worked for so long.



And my favorite wall in the house Note the Bruce Campbell autograph. That is the only autograph I have ever owned and I met him in person to get it, so I am proud of it.

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The People's Republic of Clogher
Yeah, I got nothing. *Runs*
Heh, don't worry, it was an awful smartarse question anyway.

There's a thread up here about physical vs digital media and I'll say the same thing here: Digital is excellent for watching something for the first time (my PS3 is linked to my Lovefilm account and streams thousands of titles on demand) or a quick refresher with an old movie you've not seen in ages but I'll always buy the disc if something tickles my fancy. Eventually.

Not just for the extras but I'm shallow enough to like looking at things on my shelves. It suits my Luddite brain better to browse that way, too, instead of navigating a screen.

Technology will probably offer what I want in one convenient downloadable bundle eventually but for now I'm sticking with my Digital Versatile Blu 8-Track Cylinders.

Hard drives do take up a lot less space than shelves (and I moved my CD collection over to them years ago) though and I've got a few bookcases which are groaning louder than MoFo does at my gags.



Yeah, No blu-ray for me. Disc based media? What is this, the 80s?? Most people around Boston consider Blu-ray to be dead already, because it is. HTPC already killed it. Taking into consideration the 4 people I interact with most that have HDTVs, 3 of the 4 are already up on HTPC and have ditched blu-ray completely.

Did you know Netflix will soon be legally forced (by Cable companies) to stop using discs completely, moving all customers to streaming only? It's true, and Comcast is leading the charge. Get out of blu-ray, and fast - it's a complete waste of money.

I just don't see the allure of Blu-ray. The up-scaling on my x-box is absolutely good enough to just watch my current SD library while moving into the streaming for newer content.

I'll check out the file tools you linked!
Yeah, there's no legal streaming service that offers the quality you can get from a Blu-ray disk. I'm largely thinking the audio gains that can be had, which is the only pro for Blu-ray disks as the HD audio tracks are sick.

However, pirated downloads have the same quality as discs, so there's no argument there. This, of course, isn't possible for most people so there's a huge reason why Blu-Ray is no where near dead. It's like the people saying DVD is dead. DVD is just as alive as Blu-Ray.
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