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ces's Journal: Ask Slashdot: Home Theater and HDTV? 13

Journal by ces

I'm wanting to take the plunge into home theater and HDTV but I have not the foggiest idea of what to buy.

Actually I lie, I know exactly what I would get if I had $5000+ to spend. However my budget is more the $1500-$2500 for the whole thing.

Note that I need in addition to the TV itself at least: a DVD player, A/V receiver, and speakers. None of the components I currently have (old DVD player and crappy stereo) are worth recycling really and I'd want to replace any I kept even on an interim basis.

I do know I don't want a tube TV or rear projector. I also want the best sound and video quality I can get for the money.

So what would you recommend?

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Ask Slashdot: Home Theater and HDTV?

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  • I have a few ideas for you, but I don't trust typing them up on this machine (the power cord broke, the battery is permanently dead, and the rigging I did just to get the laptop to power up tells me that I will type it up only to lose it when the machine dies.)

    Once my other machine is up and running (or the replacement components on order for this machine come in), I will try to remember to come back.
    • by ces (119879)
      I have a few ideas for you, but I don't trust typing them up on this machine

      Sounds like you actually have a bit of advice. Please do try to remember to come back and post it.


      • More like: I am really pleased with my new widescreen television, which falls within your budget. And, I know that I have a mental wish list put together, and think that I can still stay within your budget (upper end) with these things, I just need to sit down and compile it all together (with specific brand names), check my prices to be sure, and then type it up on a non-mangled machine. :)

        We'll see how it turns out. :)
        • by ces (119879)
          Hoping you can get this posted soon. The credit card is getting itchy and I'm probably going to start buying stuff soon.
  • ...but just ran across this article [statesman.com] on the subject a few minutes ago.

    I don't do home theater myself, but certainly some of the other folks here do, Iwouldn't know a good Tv setup nowadays, little behind the entertainment loop. I mean, I am still scoring used VCR tapes because they are a dollar or less now....

    I stay at the raw bleeding edge of 15-20 year old TV and stereo tech...that's the sweet spot for my wallet!
  • I did read Bob Cringley's column this week [pbs.org], and thought it interesting.

    So from that point of view, BIG is best, if it meets some minimum resolution. I've got a big screen (analog, rear projection) TV from ages ago, and 'really big' certainly is nice. I think I just just blew your $1,500 budget though....

    • by ces (119879)
      Given the limits of the room 50" is about as big as I want to go ATM.

      Given the limits of the budget 42" or even 37" is more likely.
  • Mossberg knows.

    But, failing that, check out the NY Times.

    That said, your best bet is to just go to Costco and get a good one there. ...

    A word of advice - bigger is NOT better. My brother and sister both live in Santa Barbara and got honking big screens and they find it's a nuisance. The screen dominates your room. Either get a picture that slides over the set, or get say a 40 or 42 inch set at most.

    They will all be cheaper very soon, as the market ramps up production - so the best time to buy is usually
    • Mossberg knows.

      Good point but sadly behind a paywall.

      But, failing that, check out the NY Times.

      Seems mostly to be CNet content which I've already read over at CNet.

      That said, your best bet is to just go to Costco and get a good one there. ...

      Was looking over there. I've heard some good things about the Vizio's which are among the cheaper models. I have to say I'm tempted to go for a refurb though.

      A word of advice - bigger is NOT better. My brother and sister both live in Santa Barbara and got honking big sc

      • You can read the print version of the WSJ at a library.

        I would avoid refurbs before 2009, personally, based on prior market introduction of technology. Your best bet is a recent model they're phasing out.
  • DO NOT GET A TUBE TV. STAY AWAY FROM CRTs. Unless you mean "tube" as in "direct view," as opposed to "projection." But CRTs ARE BAD.

    Get an LCD. They are relatively cheap. I don't know what size you want, but if you are talking rear projector, that means pretty big, since they usually don't do rear projection until you're well over 40 inches. But I'd rather get a smaller LCD than a larger tube. Especially since rear projection tubes require regular maintenance. Don't waste your time and money. When
    • by ces (119879)

      DO NOT GET A TUBE TV. STAY AWAY FROM CRTs. Unless you mean "tube" as in "direct view," as opposed to "projection." But CRTs ARE BAD.

      Wasn't planning on getting any type of CRT. Too damn big and bulky either as direct view or as a projector.

      Get an LCD. They are relatively cheap. I don't know what size you want, but if you are talking rear projector, that means pretty big, since they usually don't do rear projection until you're well over 40 inches. But I'd rather get a smaller LCD than a larger tube. Especial

  • I hate to just shill for a brand name, but when I had my 5.1 setup I loved my aperionaudio speakers. Purchased 3.1 from aperion and used my old stereo speakers for the rear/surround. The satellites were the 2004 equivalent of the current Intimus 532-LR model. Avoid big subwoofers if you're in a small apartment — the ear can't tell the difference but the neighbors hate you more. I got the 12" (on sale, couldn't resist) when the 8" would have been fine, and the volume on that device was always set to wi

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