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Old March 5 2013, 02:44 PM   #1
TheMurph
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Home Theater in a Box or not...

Hello everyone. I have a question for the videophiles in the room. I'm looking to get a new blu-ray player and I'm thinking about a sound system as well. Someone told me to go with a HTIB because usually it's cheaper, and believe me I am cheap. However I've also been told that's it's a waste of money and I'm better off getting everything separate for about the same I would spend on an HTIB.

Has anyone had any experience with these or any recommendations? Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old March 5 2013, 03:11 PM   #2
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

It's impossible to make accurate generalizations about this. You'd need a real 1:1 comparison: a HTIB system, and a system of equivalent price made of separately-purchased components. How do the features stack up? How's the price?

Personally, I'd go with HTIB because I'm a lazy ass.
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Old March 5 2013, 06:11 PM   #3
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

I had a Sony surround system for about 5 years up until recently. It just crapped out. I only paid $250 for it. It got loud as hell if I wanted to and would shake the walls. I wouldn't mind upgrading to a $2000 system if I had the money and a house.
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Old March 5 2013, 06:12 PM   #4
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

I just have a soundbar (with subwoofer).
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Old March 6 2013, 12:34 AM   #5
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

I have a Sony 3.1 sound bar system. I'm always amazed how during 5.1 tests, the Lr and Rr sound does appear to originate from behind you. It's not as effective as real rear speaker systems but it's pretty good.
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Old March 6 2013, 01:10 PM   #6
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

Eh, personally i'd get different components so you're not stuck with the same setup down the road. Usually the receiver in that set isn't real special.

To make it somewhat easier, you can usually find a speaker system similar to the HTIB setups for a decent price (I found a Sony set a while back I like), and then buy the receiver and blu-ray player seperate.

You'll end up with a lot better receiver, and the blu-ray player isn't tied into it if you need to upgrade in a couple years, want one with more (new) internet connectivity, etc.

Then again, if it's not a huge setup and you just want to watch TV (and aren't an audiophile), the HTIB setup will be a bit cheaper, and no thinking about it. Check out AVSForum.com, that's where the old A/V nerds go to geek out on this stuff, and it has everything you need.
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Old March 6 2013, 02:11 PM   #7
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

If you do buy separate components, make sure that they are compatible with regard to interconnecting cables -- HDMI/optical/coax.
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Old March 6 2013, 11:07 PM   #8
TheMurph
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!

I'm leaning towards a HTIB because much like Robert Maxwell I am incredibly lazy.

Mr. Laser Beam and Asbo, I was considering a soundbar but I couldn't find any I liked. I went to the local Electronics Express and the only one I found that impressed me was a Bose soundbar set up for $2000, which I'm definitely not in at that price!

Speaking of 5.1 Asbo, it reminds of my first tv I ever purchased when I moved out on my own. It was a 27' Toshiba with "3D" sound. And I don't know how it did it, but it somehow managed to project the sound in a way that I honestly thought there were sounds going on behind me because of it. Best tv I've ever owned.

Now Scout, that's an idea. I have seen some sound sets for around the same price as an HTIB and for $70 more I can get a blu ray player as well. May need to research that some more.

Again, thanks all!
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Old March 6 2013, 11:37 PM   #9
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

TheMurph wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam and Asbo, I was considering a soundbar but I couldn't find any I liked. I went to the local Electronics Express and the only one I found that impressed me was a Bose soundbar set up for $2000, which I'm definitely not in at that price
Don't get anything made by Bose. They suck.

I have a Sony unit - can't remember the model number exactly, but it only cost me about $300.

Also, whichever one you do get, get one that has a wired subwoofer.
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Old March 9 2013, 10:50 PM   #10
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

I bought a HTIB about 2 years ago, and I'm pretty happy with it. Set up was a breeze, and it's definitely as loud as I need it.
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Old March 12 2013, 04:05 AM   #11
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

You can get some really really nice HTiB for not a lot of money. They are super easy to set up. The better ones sound very good for what you are getting. Like anything else look at reviews.
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Old March 13 2013, 03:59 AM   #12
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

I have both.

In my den, I have a HTiB from Sony that is acceptable. I use it primarily to watch TV or Netflix, and my Xbox is hooked up to it for the occasional DVD if need be. All audio is routed through it (bypassing the TV) so it is on whenever the TV is on. I have a Harmony remote that controls all the devices in that room. It isn't capable of DTS or TrueHD decoding on-board, but it will do 5.1 Dolby Digital or pcm if the transmitting device does all the decoding (all blu-ray players are required to have on-board decoders per spec. So no pretty little blue light on the receiver if I'm listening to HD content, but it's technically the same sound). The speakers are impedance matched to the receiver, so if I ever need to replace one it must be the same oddball impedance as the receiver.

In my living room, I have an Onkyo Receiver (the Onkyo TX-NR609 to be exact). It is a 7.1 internet capable receiver, but I only have 5 speakers and a sub hooked up to it. This thing blows the pants off the Sony HTiB in the den, and it cost about the same price (maybe $100 more). I bought the receiver in a combo with Onkyo speakers, and if I ever want I can easily upgrade each speaker one/two at a time. It has every connection you can shake a stick at, and also does video processing so I can hook my Wii up to it (or even my SNES/N64) with old school component or composite cables, and it will translate to HDMI on the fly. It also accepts 5 HDMI cables and will do straight pass-thru to the monitor (in my case, a projector). It's also got Pandora/SiriusXM and DLNA, which is nice, but I have a computer hooked up to it so not really necessary.

So as others have said, it depends on what you are looking for. If you want power and options, go with a receiver. If you have other devices that take care of all of your needs already and you just need sound, and don't think you'll ever upgrade the components, go with HTiB. I also suggest going to AVSforum and looking in their HTiB subforum for advice. I'm a veteran over there.
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Old March 14 2013, 08:10 PM   #13
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

FWIW, I have a Sony HTIB, a few years old now and still working great. My son just bought himself a Samsung HTIB because the price was great and it was easy to set up. He loves it. If you like the sound of it, what the hell, go for it.
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Old March 15 2013, 02:14 AM   #14
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

A couple of things to remember. The "better" THiB's can decode DTS-HD and TrueHD. They pretty much have couple of HDMI ports on the back (two/three in one out) and will have a TOSH-link. do go from your HDTV.. In case you are running straight cable.
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Old March 15 2013, 02:43 AM   #15
tighr
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Re: Home Theater in a Box or not...

Toslink is only going to be worth it for any source that is not already HDMI, such as cableTV or OTA antenna, or legacy video games capable of discrete surrounds with optical out onboard (Wii, gamecube) .

I use toslink on my TV with my antenna, gets me 5.1 audio for free!
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