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  1. #1
    comixguru's Avatar
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    Default Build Your Own Blu-ray HTiB $400-$800

    Building your own Home Theater in a Box $400-800 [update 5/30/2010]

    This question always comes up. "I have $XXX and I want to build a decent Home Theater system." Or, I want to buy this cheap crappy HTiB, are there better options out there?

    Below is wide range of inexpensive options for building you own system. I've done a bunch of work here to simply organize it in one place. I'm more than willing to expand the sections as they make sense. But the ultimate goal are the components to build a complete, upgradable, component-based Surround Sound system in the $400-800 range.

    Why aren't you covering Blu-ray players extensively? There's no need to include all players at this price range. I've only included value-oriented players to keep value high, and price minimal.

    SPEAKERS
    - Higher-end speakers
    - Separate Subs
    - In-wall/In-Ceiling Speakers
    RECEIVERS
    - 2009 and older Receivers
    - 2010 3D Capable Receivers
    VALUE BLU-RAY PLAYERS
    - Profile 1.1
    - Profile 2.0
    CABLES
    - Speaker Wire
    - Subwoofer
    - HDMI Cables
    PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
    - 5.1 Bargain Low
    - 5.1 Bargain Mid
    - 5.1 Bargain High
    - 7.1 Bargain Low
    - 7.1 Bargain Mid
    - 7.1 Bargain High

    Speakers Options ($121-$420)
    Speakers at the low end of the spectrum are not high performance. The key part of all these systems below is that they work well with stand alone receivers and have a powered subs. They are a great building block for working up. I've included some name brand options but I think the direct stuff from Dayton (on the low side), The Speaker Company (tSc) in the middle, and Fluance (on the high side) blow them away. tSc & Fluance are worth every penny more you pay. They both sell an amazing set of speakers for the money. Definitely add a powered sub to the Fluance.

    How about some inexpensive 7.1 surround options?

    Want some better speakers and to spend more? Sure!
    AV123
    Axiom Audio
    NEW!Aperion Audio 5.1 systems from $999+
    NEW!SVS The Sound Authority 5.1 systems from $1055+
    NEW!Ascend Acoustics HTM 5.0 systems from $670+
    NEW!HSU Research 5.1 systems from $543+

    Sub Options ($135-252)
    Here's a mix of subwoofers. Those Audiosource and Dayton subs blow away anything on the low-end from Polk & Yamaha, I think. I've included a couple of namebrand options here, but I can't really recommend them. I'd take the AudioSource PSW100 vs. The Polk or Yamaha. I'd take the Premier Audio PA-120 over anything under $500 with a name brand on it.

    Want more Bass? $325+
    There's a number of direct manufacturers of Subs out there. Here's two well-respected brands with excellent low priced products.
    Try HSU Research or Elemental Designs ~$325 and up.

    In-Wall/In-Ceiling Speaker Options
    Monoprice has some great deals on in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. I've put together an in-wall and in-ceiling sample configuration below. I used a stand alone subwoofer with these because they are more reasonable than in-wall sub + decent stand-alone high-power amp.

    5.1 In-Wall - $280
    Purchase two pairs of the 6 1/2" speakers and use them for Left, Right, Surround Left, Surround Right. Add the center listed. To keep costs down, I suggest getting a regular subwoofer, like the 10" Dayton sub from Parts-Express.com. If you are looking for 7.1 sound just double the surrounds and takes you to $325.
    • Front Left and Right: 6-1/2 Inches Kevlar 2-Way In-Wall Speakers (Pair) - 60W Nominal, 120W Max (Monoprice #4100) - $41.36/pair
    • Center: 5-1/4 Inches Center Channel Micro-Flanged In-Wall Speaker - 8 Ohm (Monoprice #6317) - $43.98
    • Surround Left and Right: 6-1/2 Inches Kevlar 2-Way In-Wall Speakers (Pair) - 60W Nominal, 120W Max (Monoprice #4100) - $41.36/pair
    • Subwoofer: Dayton SUB-100 HT Series 10" 125 Watt Powered Subwoofer for $142 shipped.

    5.1 In-Ceiling - $360
    Purchase the angled speakers for the fronts, they provide sound that comes from a wall-mounted display. It is possible to mix Left and Right in-ceiling with a in-wall Center if you want to avoid wasting the extra angled in-ceiling speaker. For the rears, you don't need the angeled speakers as surround sound is not as directional, and should be more diffuse. For 7.1 add additional pair of surrounds to take you to a cost of $410.
    • Front Left and Right: 8 Inches Kevlar In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair) - w/ 15 Degree Angled Woofer (Monoprice #4929) - $79.92/pair
    • Center: 8 Inches Kevlar In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair) - w/ 15 Degree Angled Woofer (Monoprice #4929) - $79.92/pair (just use 1 speaker from the pair)
    • Surround Left and Right: 6-1/2 Inches Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair) - 60W Nominal, 120W Max. (Monoprice #4103) - $45.99/pair
    • Subwoofer: Dayton SUB-100 HT Series 10" 125 Watt Powered Subwoofer for $142 shipped.

    In-wall/In-Ceiling Accessories
    No matter what options you pick, I highly suggest using a nice 5.1 or 7.1 wall plate. I've included some sample in-wall speaker wire as well.
    • 2-Gang 5.1 Surround Sound Distribution Wall Plate (Monoprice #4012) - $11.04
    • 3-Gang 7.1 Surround Sound Distribution Wall Plate (Monoprice #4013) - $17.60
    • 16AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Loud Speaker Cable - 250ft (For In-Wall Installation) (#2824) - $25.24
    • 14AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Loud Speaker Cable - 250ft (For In-Wall Installation) (#2821) - $39.59

    Receiver options $230-430
    The top end of this list is now $430. Every receiver below works with every Blu-ray player and the PS3. There are a great number of receiver options as you go up further in price. But these, I think, as of April 2010 represent most of the under $400 options. The Sony's often represent the best price but do not get much love in forums. Lines from Yamaha and Denon have two numbers for the same unit, often. Bargain shopping for Yamaha receivers is usually better with the HTR-XXXX series and with Denon receivers it's usually better with the 3-digit numbers.

    In the past, I've included non-decoding receivers. The time to look for receivers that just take LPCM is past. Even the new PS3 will bitstream TrueHD and DTS-HD MA.


    2009 and Older Receivers
    These Home Theater AV Receivers (AVRs) are from 2009 mostly. These units all decode TrueHD and DTS-HD MA bitstream audio. There are many more options now this now lower price range than ever before.
    • Sony STR-DH710 7.1-Channel Home Theater A/V Receiver (3in/1out) - $210 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Yamaha RX-V465/HTR-6240 5.1-Channel Digital Home Theater Receiver (4in/1out) - 6240 is $238 shipped from Amazon.com
    • Onkyo TX-SR507 5.1-channel Home Theater Receiver [Refurb] (4in/1out) - $240 shipped from Accessories4Less.com
    • Sony STRDH810 7.1 Channel High Definition A/V Receiver (4in/1out) - $280 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Yamaha RX-V565/HTR-6250 7.1-Channel Digital Home Theater Receiver(4in/1out) - $300 shipped from JR.com
    • Samsung HW-C500 5.1-Channel Receiver (4in/1out) - $300 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Onkyo HT-RC160 7.2-channel Home Theater Receiver (low powered TX-SR607) [Refurb] (6in/1out) - $300 shipped from Acessories4Less.com
    • Onkyo TX-SR607 7.2-channel Home Theater Receiver [Refurb] (6in/1out) - $320 shipped from Acessories4Less.com
    • Sony STR-DN1000 7.1-Channel Audio Video Receiver (4in/1out) - $325 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Samsung HW-C700 7.2-Channel Receiver (4in/1out) - $350 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Denon AVR1610 5.1 CH A/V Home Theater Receiver - $380 shipped from JR.com
    • Onkyo TX-SR607 7.2-Channel A/V Surround Home Theater Receiver - $398 shipped from Amazon.com
    • Marantz NR1501 "Slimline" Dolby TrueHD / dts-HD Master Audio AV Receiver [Refurb] - $400 shipped from Accessories4Less.com
    • Pioneer 7.1-Channel A/V Receiver VSX-1019AH-K - $430 shipped from NewEgg.com

    2010 3D Capable Receivers
    These receivers are brand new, or actually not yet released. All of them have some support for HDMI 1.4, with marketing that they will support Blu-ray 3D video when it hits, or after a future firmware upgrade. They many only support dual 1080i video. There is nothing wrong with picking up an older receiver at this point.
    • Pioneer VSX-520-K 5.1 Channel 3-D Ready A/V Receiver (3in/1out) - $200 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Onkyo 5.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver TX-SR308 (3in/1out) - $230 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Pioneer VSX-820-K 5.1 Channel 3-D Ready A/V Receiver (4in/1out) - $299 shipped from JR.com
    • Yamaha RX-V467/HTR-4063 5.1-Channel Digital Home Theater Receiver [3D w/Firmware] (4in/1out) - $330 shipped from JR.com
    • Onkyo 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver TX-SR508 (4in/1out) - $350 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Pioneer VSX-920-K 7.1 Channel 3-D Ready A/V Receiver (4in/1out) - $350 shipped from JR.com
    • Onkyo 7.2-Channel Home Theater Receiver HT-RC260 - $400 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Yamaha 7.1-Channel Receiver RX-V567BL/HTR-5063 - $430 shipped from NewEgg.com

    Value Blu-ray Players Under $150
    I've included what I think are quality Blu-ray players regularly available at or below $150. Since the purpose of these list is to create a value-priced, but high-quality and long lasting system, I've not included store-brand units like Insignia, Magnavox, etc.

    Profile 1.1 Players
    There's nothing wrong with a Profile 1.1 player, especially if you have no plans to hook the player up to the internet from your Home Theater.
    • JVC XVBP11 Blu-ray Player for $110 shipped from 6ave.com
    • LG Blu-ray Disc Player BD270 Blu-ray Player for $130 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Panasonic DMP-BD45 Ultra-Fast Booting Blu-Ray Disc Player for $130 from JR.com
    • LG BD550 Blu-ray Disc Player for $150 shipped from Amazon

    Profile 2.0 Blu-ray Players
    Many of these are last year's low-end units or big box version of those players. When they are gone, they are gone. The Pioneer BDP320 from JR.com is an incredible deal at $150 shipped.
    • Panasonic DMPBD601K Blu-ray Player (same as DMP-BD60) for $109 from JR.com
    • Sony BDP-S360 Blu-Ray Disc Player for $129 from JR.com
    • Toshiba Blu-ray Disc Player BDX2000 for $130 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • Panasonic DMP-BD65 Ultra-Fast Booting Blu-Ray Disc Player for $143 from many sellers
    • Pioneer BDP320 BD-Live Blu-ray Disc Player for $149 from JR.com


    Cables
    These are Product IDs from Monoprice.com:

    Speaker Wire
    100' 16 guage (AWG) for under $20 from Monoprice (product ID# 2793) $12.84 + shipping
    Heavy Subwoofer Cable RCA Male to RCA Male
    12' CL2 RG6/U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 2682) - $4.86 + shipping
    25' CL2 RG6/U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 2683) - $7.40 + shipping
    Inexpensive Subwoofer Cable
    12' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 620) - $2.05 + shipping
    25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) - $3.52 + shipping
    Heavy High Guage HDMI
    4' 24AWG CL2 Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4965) $7.83 + shipping
    6' 24AWG CL2 Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3661) $9.98 + shipping
    Inexpensive Lower Guage HDMI
    4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.20 + shipping
    6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $3.56 + shipping
    So what are some nice mixes of products? Here's some ideas --

    Putting it All Together, Complete Bundles
    These are some complete bundles that show how to put together various options from above to make a complete Home Theater In A Box type kit for yourself. I tried to create various bundles at increasing price points that add significant value with each step up.

    Low 5.1 Bargain Bundle $409
    Here's a good starting point for getting into high def audio.
    • SPKRS: Dayton Speakers from Parts Express 5.1 speakers with 8"powered sub $169 shipped.
    • RECVR: Sony STR-DH710 7.1-Channel Home Theater A/V Receiver (3in/1out) - $210 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • CABLES: from Monoprice $30 Shipped
    • Speaker Wire - 100' 16 guage (AWG) (product ID# 2793) $12.01
    • Subwoofer Cable (Recv to Sub) 25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) $4.25
    • HDMI (BR Player to Receiver) 4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.68
    • HDMI (Reciver to TV) 6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $4.08

    TOTAL $409 = Spkrs $169 + Recvr $210 + Cables $30
    Make it a complete bundle with Blu-ray player for $518 total.
    • Panasonic DMPBD601K Blu-ray Player (same as DMP-BD60) for $109 from JR.com


    Mid 5.1 Bargain Bundle $527
    This steps up the receiver and add a large subwoofer for another $100 or so.
    • SPKRS: Dayton Speakers from Parts Express 5.1 speakers with 10"powered sub $198 shipped.
    • RECVR: Pioneer VSX-820-K 5.1 Channel 3-D Ready A/V Receiver (4in/1out) - $299 shipped from JR.com
    • CABLES: from Monoprice $30 Shipped
    • Speaker Wire - 100' 16 guage (AWG) (product ID# 2793) $12.01
    • Subwoofer Cable (Recv to Sub) 25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) $4.25
    • HDMI (BR Player to Receiver) 4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.68
    • HDMI (Reciver to TV) 6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $4.08

    TOTAL $527 = Spkrs $198 + Recvr $299 + Cables $30
    Make it a complete bundle with Blu-ray player for $636 total.
    • Panasonic DMPBD601K Blu-ray Player (same as DMP-BD60) for $109 from JR.com


    High 5.1 Bargain Bundle $798
    This represents a significant upgrade over the previous bundles in terms of speakers.
    • SPKRS: Fluance 5.1 set, $275 + 10" Sub, $140 for $418 shipped
    • RECVR: Onkyo 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver TX-SR508 (4in/1out) - $350 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • CABLES: from Monoprice $30 Shipped
    • Speaker Wire - 100' 16 guage (AWG) (product ID# 2793) $12.01
    • Subwoofer Cable (Recv to Sub) 25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) $4.25
    • HDMI (BR Player to Receiver) 4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.68
    • HDMI (Reciver to TV) 6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $4.08

    TOTAL $798 = Spkrs $418 + Recvr $350 + Cables $30
    Make it a complete bundle with Blu-ray player for $907 total.
    • Panasonic DMPBD601K Blu-ray Player (same as DMP-BD60) for $109 from JR.com


    Low 7.1 Bargain Bundle $502
    Very basic starting point for 7.1 configuration.
    • SPKRS: Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System w/Powered Sub for $192 shipped from Amazon.
    • RECVR: Sony STRDH810 7.1 Channel High Definition A/V Receiver (4in/1out) - $280 shipped from NewEgg.com
    • CABLES: from Monoprice $32 Shipped
    • Speaker Wire - 100' 16 guage (AWG) (product ID# 2793) $12.01
    • Subwoofer Cable (Recv to Sub) 25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) $4.25
    • HDMI (BR Player to Receiver) 4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.68
    • HDMI (Reciver to TV) 6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $4.08

    TOTAL $502 = Spkrs $192 + Recvr $280 + Cables $30
    Make it a complete bundle with Blu-ray player for $611 total.
    • Panasonic DMPBD601K Blu-ray Player (same as DMP-BD60) for $109 from JR.com


    Mid 7.1 Bargain Bundle
    Forthcoming

    High 7.1 Bargain Bundle
    Forthcoming

    Note on Pricing and Links: Links and deals come and go. I appologize if any of the above links are dead. Prices are subject to significant drifting up and down on the net. Pricing tomorrow may be less or more.

    Latest Update: 5/30/2010 - Updated Bundles.
    Last edited by comixguru; 06-06-2010 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Updated links, pricing, and bundles for 2010

  2. #2
    Chickengas's Avatar
    Chickengas is offline Member
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    Default

    That's some good work. Perhaps a sticky? The "what should I buy" comes up a lot, and this would be a good list to point someone to. Granted, it will outdate itself rather quickly, but it's an excellent starting point for new people getting into HT.

    Nice Job.

  3. #3
    comixguru's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I hope it gets outdated soon. It seems like this set of product has been around for about 6-9 months now with little change, other than price moves up and down on this stuff. he biggest news are the new Pioneer models of receiver. I hope there will be a new quality budget king in there to replace those weak Sony receivers.
    Display: Epson HC 6100 Proj/106" Da-Lite High Power screen or Panasonic 50" Plasma
    Receiver & Speakers : Yamaha AVR HTR-5940 / Boston Acoustic LCR DSi495 & Rears DSi455 (In-Ceiling)
    Sources: Toshiba HD-A3 (86 titles), Panasonic BD655AK (240 titles), Sage TV HD HTPC (8TB), Comcast w/crappy HD, SD-DVD ~950

  4. #4
    bujee1 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by comixguru View Post
    Building your own Home Theater in a Box $400-800 [2/20/2009]

    This question always comes up. "I have $XXX and I want to build a decent Home Theater system." Or, I want to buy this cheap crappy HTiB, are there better options out there?

    Below is wide range of inexpensive options for building you own system. I've done a bunch of work here to simply organize it in one place. I'm more than willing to expand the sections as they make sense. But the ultimate goal are the components to build a complete Surround Sound system in the $400-800 range.

    What's not covered? Blu-ray players. There's enough specific information on those. It would be difficult to find a new BR players that won't work with the Decoding Receivers below.

    SPEAKERS
    - Higher-end speakers
    - Separate Subs
    RECEIVERS
    - Non-decoding Receivers
    - Decoding Receivers
    CABLES
    - Speaker Wire
    - Subwoofer
    - HDMI Cables
    PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
    - PS3 Bargain Low
    - Bargain Low
    - Bargain Mid
    - Bargain High

    Speakers Options ($130-$400)
    Speakers at the low end of the spectrum are not high performance. The key part of all these systems below is that they work well with stand alone receivers and have a powered subs. They are a great building block for working up. I've included some name brand options but I think the direct stuff from Dayton (on the low side) and Fluance (on the high side) blow them away. Fluance is worth every penny more you pay. They are an amazing set of speakers for the money -- but definitely add a powered sub.

    Want some better speakers and to spend way more? Sure!

    Sub Options ($135-252)
    Here's a mix of subwoofers. Those Audiosource and Dayton subs blow away anything on the low-end from Polk & Yamaha, I think. I've included a couple of namebrand options here, but I can't really recommend them. I'd take the AudioSource PSW100 vs. The Polk or Yamaha. I'd take the Premier Audio PA-120 over anything under $500 with a name brand on it.

    Want more Bass? $325+
    There's a number of direct manufacturers of Subs out there. Here's two well-respected brands with excellent low priced products.
    Try HSU Research or Elemental Designs ~$325 and up.

    Receiver options $210-450 --
    There are a great number of receiver options as you go up in price. But these, I think, as of Feb 2009 are the bargain lot. The Sony's represent the best price but do not get much love in forums. I suspect the ranks of the decoding receivers under $400 to increase dramatically by the end of the year.

    Non-decoding Receivers (work great with PS3)
    These provide lossless from the LPCM streams from a PS3
    • Sony STR-DG720 - $230 shipped ($210 Refurb from SonyStyle.com)
    • Yamaha 6140 or 463 - $260 shipped
    • Marantz SR4002 - $324 shipped from Accessories4less.com

    Decoding Receivers (work great with any Blu-ray player)
    These will take the LPCM from PS3 or bitstreamed TrueHD/DTA-MA from any BR Player
    • Sony STR-DG820 - $290 shipped
    • Yamaha 6160 or 663 - $350 shipped for HTR-6160
    • Onkyo TR-SR606 - $399 shipped
    • New Pioneer Models due in April 2009 to be added


    Cables
    These are Product IDs from Monoprice.com:

    Speaker Wire
    100' 16 guage (AWG) for under $20 from Monoprice (product ID# 2793) $12.84 + shipping
    Heavy Subwoofer Cable RCA Male to RCA Male
    12' CL2 RG6/U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 2682) - $4.86 + shipping
    25' CL2 RG6/U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 2683) - $7.40 + shipping
    Inexpensive Subwoofer Cable
    12' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 620) - $2.05 + shipping
    25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) - $3.52 + shipping
    Heavy High Guage HDMI
    4' 24AWG CL2 Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4965) $7.83 + shipping
    6' 24AWG CL2 Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3661) $9.98 + shipping
    Inexpensive Lower Guage HDMI
    4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.20 + shipping
    6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $3.56 + shipping
    So what are some nice mixes of products? Here's some ideas --

    Putting it All Together, Complete Bundles

    PS3 Low Bargain Bundle $392
    This assumes you have a PS3 already, you will decode in the PS3 for output LPCM to the receiver. Ideas to upgrade? Ditch the Sony Receiver and pick up the Marantz from Accessories for less the extra $94 dollars gets you a great receiver.
    • SPKRS: Yamaha 5.1 set w/sub, $130 shipped.
    • RECVR: Sony STR-DG720 - $230 shipped
    • CABLES: from Monoprice $32 Shipped
    • Speaker Wire - 100' 16 guage (AWG) (product ID# 2793) $12.84
    • Subwoofer Cable (Recv to Sub) 25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) $3.52
    • HDMI (BR Player to Receiver) 4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.20
    • HDMI (Reciver to TV) 6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $3.56

    TOTAL $392 = Spkrs $130 + Recvr $230 + Cables $32

    Low Bargain Bundle $452
    This assumes you BR player than can bitstream TrueHD and DTS-HD MA sending bitstream to the receiver.
    • SPKRS: Yamaha 5.1 set w/sub, $130 shipped.
    • RECVR: Sony STR-DG820 - $290 shipped
    • CABLES: from Monoprice $32 Shipped
    • Speaker Wire - 100' 16 guage (AWG) (product ID# 2793) $12.84
    • Subwoofer Cable (Recv to Sub) 25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) $3.52
    • HDMI (BR Player to Receiver) 4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.20
    • HDMI (Reciver to TV) 6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $3.56

    TOTAL $452 = Spkrs $130 + Recvr $290 + Cables $32

    Mid-range Bargain Bundle $568
    This assumes you BR player than can bitstream TrueHD and DTS-HD MA sending bitstream to the receiver.
    • SPKRS: Dayton Speakers from Parts Express 5.1 speakers with powered sub ~$186 shipped.
    • RECVR: Yamaha HTR-6160 - $350 shipped
    • CABLES: from Monoprice $32 Shipped
    • Speaker Wire - 100' 16 guage (AWG) (product ID# 2793) $12.84
    • Subwoofer Cable (Recv to Sub) 25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) $3.52
    • HDMI (BR Player to Receiver) 4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.20
    • HDMI (Reciver to TV) 6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $3.56

    TOTAL $568 = Spkrs $186 + Recvr $350 + Cables $32

    High Bargain Bundle $782
    This assumes you BR player than can bitstream TrueHD and DTS-HD MA sending bitstream to the receiver. I would have put the Onkyo 606 or Pioneer 1018 here had I been able to find them on a deal for under $400. But currently prices suck on these items out there.
    • SPKRS: Fluance 5.1 set, $275 + 10" Sub, $135 for $400 shipped
    • RECVR: Yamaha HTR-6160 - $350 shipped
    • CABLES: from Monoprice $32 Shipped
    • Speaker Wire - 100' 16 guage (AWG) (product ID# 2793) $12.84
    • Subwoofer Cable (Recv to Sub) 25' CL2 RG59U 75ohm Subwoofer cable (product ID# 621) $3.52
    • HDMI (BR Player to Receiver) 4' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 4956) $3.20
    • HDMI (Reciver to TV) 6' 28AWG Cat 2 HDMI 1.3a Cable (product ID# 3992) $3.56

    TOTAL $782 = Spkrs $400 + Recvr $350 + Cables $32

    Note on Pricing and Links: This list was put together on 2/20/2009. Prices are subject to significant drifting up and down on the net. Pricing tomorrow may be less or more.
    Very nice work.
    I'm going to refer to this post when I design my brother in law's theater. The only things I would like to see that aren't here are choices of projectors and screens. There are people who are worried about the leap to truly big screen Hi def as well. (I used to be one of them!).
    Why not include the video as well as audio?
    My Theater:
    Panasonic AE4000U Projector, 100" Elite Screen, Onkyo TX-SR606 Reciever, Klipsch Synergy F1 Towers, C1 Center speaker with B1 bookshelf Surrounds, 2 Boston Acoustics 12" Subs, 1 KLH 10" sub behind my chair (don't knock it till you try it!)
    Sony PS3 60g, XBOX 360 Elite, Samsung BD-UP5000, Sony 400 disc BDP-CX960 Blu-Ray changer

  5. #5
    rac15074 is offline Member
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    Hi

    This list is perfect for people like me. I have "X" amount of dollars to spend and looking for the most bang for the buck. I'd like to get your thoughts on my situation. I was in Circuit City tonight because I'm looking to upgrade my receiver also. They had the Onkyo 706 for $480 and the 606 for $299. I'm leaning toward 706. Is this a better choice?

  6. #6
    bujee1 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rac15074 View Post
    Hi

    This list is perfect for people like me. I have "X" amount of dollars to spend and looking for the most bang for the buck. I'd like to get your thoughts on my situation. I was in Circuit City tonight because I'm looking to upgrade my receiver also. They had the Onkyo 706 for $480 and the 606 for $299. I'm leaning toward 706. Is this a better choice?
    The 606 will give you more bang for the buck but if you can afford the 706 get it. It doesn't hurt to have that THX logo.
    My Theater:
    Panasonic AE4000U Projector, 100" Elite Screen, Onkyo TX-SR606 Reciever, Klipsch Synergy F1 Towers, C1 Center speaker with B1 bookshelf Surrounds, 2 Boston Acoustics 12" Subs, 1 KLH 10" sub behind my chair (don't knock it till you try it!)
    Sony PS3 60g, XBOX 360 Elite, Samsung BD-UP5000, Sony 400 disc BDP-CX960 Blu-Ray changer

  7. #7
    Chickengas's Avatar
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    It doesn't hurt to have that THX logo.
    It doesn't hurt the ego....but it doesn't do much else anymore..

  8. #8
    holsty101 is offline Member
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    Yeah, good post comix. I've vote sticky too.

  9. #9
    Blacklac is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bujee1 View Post
    The 606 will give you more bang for the buck but if you can afford the 706 get it. It doesn't hurt to have that THX logo.
    You also get DSD processing, a 2nd DSP, 1080p over 1080i, Faroudja Cinema chip over Faroudja Edge chip, preouts, Audyssey MultEQ over 2EQ, and INPUT NAME EDITS! lol

    Seriously though, that's not just one or two extra features.
    Panasonic TC-P50G25
    Algolith Flea
    DVDO Edge
    Toshiba A35 & Onkyo 805
    Denon 1610 & Pioneer 51fd
    Denon 1909 & Pioneer 1120 AVR's
    Elemental Designs 7.1
    HTPC

    "Best" version of BD's with multiple releases

  10. #10
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    Nothing by Onkyo listed? I'm shocked.
    Samsung LN46A650A1F Yamaha RX-V1900
    Klipsch RF-52 Fronts, RC-52 Center, RS-42 Surrounds, and RSW-10D Subwoofer
    : 80 Gig with Dualshock 3
    : 172 titles (no more coming by mail)
    Most recent purchase[s]: Too many to type. One of those weeks, lol.

    PSN: Leftoverchinese

  11. #11
    crazzeto's Avatar
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    They may be discontinued but I would add the Polk monitor series to the list... I got my fronts for $99 each (monitor 50's) and the center (CS1) for $79... Best money I ever spent, the upgrade was simply astounding.
    Toshiba 55" 55HT1U LCD ([email protected]) w/Tivo HD, Harmony 880
    HDM Players: Toshiba HD-A30, Samsung BD-P2500 (wow! reon!)
    Onkyo TX-605SR, F Polk Monitor 50s bi-amped, C CS1, Yamaha sur & sub
    X-Box 360, Wii, DreamCast, DS
    HDM Count - Hopless
    Wii: 0774-4826-1902, Disney: Guest13971, WB: crazzeto Uni: Locutus4657 Sony: crazzeto

    *view pictures of my home theater and movies (out dated)

  12. #12
    comixguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bujee1 View Post
    The 606 will give you more bang for the buck but if you can afford the 706 get it. It doesn't hurt to have that THX logo.
    606 is an excellent deal at that price. Jump on it. The 706 is not worth the $180 more, to me.
    Display: Epson HC 6100 Proj/106" Da-Lite High Power screen or Panasonic 50" Plasma
    Receiver & Speakers : Yamaha AVR HTR-5940 / Boston Acoustic LCR DSi495 & Rears DSi455 (In-Ceiling)
    Sources: Toshiba HD-A3 (86 titles), Panasonic BD655AK (240 titles), Sage TV HD HTPC (8TB), Comcast w/crappy HD, SD-DVD ~950

  13. #13
    comixguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazzeto View Post
    They may be discontinued but I would add the Polk monitor series to the list... I got my fronts for $99 each (monitor 50's) and the center (CS1) for $79... Best money I ever spent, the upgrade was simply astounding.
    I was looking for the good Bookshelf solution, but when you go shopping for all the pieces you end up really complicating things. But, it is worth it. I may add a "Bookshelf Options" to the speakers section.
    Display: Epson HC 6100 Proj/106" Da-Lite High Power screen or Panasonic 50" Plasma
    Receiver & Speakers : Yamaha AVR HTR-5940 / Boston Acoustic LCR DSi495 & Rears DSi455 (In-Ceiling)
    Sources: Toshiba HD-A3 (86 titles), Panasonic BD655AK (240 titles), Sage TV HD HTPC (8TB), Comcast w/crappy HD, SD-DVD ~950

  14. #14
    themiz69's Avatar
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    Display 1: 37" Olevia LCD
    Display 2: Planar PD7060 720P Projector @ 92"
    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V663
    Fronts: Paradigm Monitor 11's
    Center: Paradigm CC-390
    Rears: Paradigm Mini Monitors
    Samsung BD-UP5000
    Toshiba HD-A35 x2, Xbox 360 Add On x 3, Toshiba SD-H802A(???)
    (Elite) x3, Nintendo Wii, (320GB BC)
    's = 250+ 's = 160+

  15. #15
    YoniX is offline Member
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    Seriously Sticky FTW This is a wonderful guide, enjoy the ego boost man, you deserve it.

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