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Old August 13, 2012, 09:42 PM
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We have several Panasonic plasmas in our family, (54" G20 for me) and we've seen a lot of 6/7 blink failures out of warranty. It seems to be an issue with the SU/SD/SC boards: there's one theory that a thermal fuse is faulty, but most techs have been slightly baffled because the boards use parts that are known to be very reliable. (and expensive) Fortunately, none of us have had issues getting free out of warranty replacements. (my G20 was over a year out of warranty, however YMMV)

But in terms of the image quality to price ratio, nothing beats the ST/GT series from Panasonic. I'm just a little leery because of my personal experience, but all the big HDTV manufacturers have had equally bad/worse issues crop up in recent years.
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Old August 14, 2012, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonanza2000 View Post
Any experts out there?

I have been thinking about a home theater and there are so many choices and options. I guess ultimately I want to keep it simple but sometimes that is harder than expected. I want to watch TV, play movies, play songs through the speakers via ipod or itunes on a computer, and maybe use the TV as a monitor for a computer.

My basic thoughts were 46-55 inch LED TV with a blu-ray surround system. I currently like the Samsungs so maybe:
Samsung - 55" Class - LED - 1080p - 120Hz - Smart - HDTV Model: UN55ES6100FXZA
Samsung - 1000W 5.1-Ch. 3D / Wi-Fi Blu-ray Home Theater System Model: HT-E5400ZA

However there are so many possible options:

TV - internet apps? wifi? If I have a computer hooked to the TV do I even need all those smart apps? 60 hz/ 120 hz/ 240 hz? 3D? no 3D? I mean really, it's like trying to choose from 3 beautiful women.

Blu-ray player - these also come with wifi and internet crap - do I get it on the TV or the Blu-ray player or it doesn't matter or just use the computer to view hulu / netflix/ etc?

5.1 Surround sound (or 7.1 or 999.1 )- I don't have a huge house - maybe just get a sound bar? (back to keeping it simple) Is home theater a lot of hoopla over nothing? heck I hear that old people like me can't hear anyway.

I don't want to spend money for no reason and it seems like the smart aps bump up the price yet don't do anything more than a computer hooked up to the TV would do and actually less in some cases.

Maybe just the TV, basic blu-ray player, sound bar, and hook up the computer to the TV too? 3D kind of seems gimicky. Not sure I would wear those stupid glasses to watch TV.

Maybe I should see if I can find an old tube TV at Goodwill. . . . .

Thoughts from the void?

1st you need decide on a budget. This will greatly reduce your choices. which may make the decision process easier.

2nd. Once you have decided on what you would like try to find a local store that specializes in home theatres. They will have the equipment setup in a proper setting unlike costco/fs/bb

Now for my 2 cents.

I would agree that if i had to decided between a plasma or lcd i would go plasma but only if i was buying a good brand (panasonic) if your looking at other brands then i would recommend getting an LCD. Also invest in a good mount. It's going to cost a bunch of money but will be worth it in the end.

Also have you considered projection. (of course depending on budget/room size) but alot of the 720p and some 1080p models have come way down in price over what they were 5 years ago.

As for the sound system. You would want to stick with brands that have a good history with sound reproduction (Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, HK)

As for speakers good ones will likely cost more than your tv/display device. depending on the room size will depend on the size (book shelf vs floor standing)

As for the getting all the cables, connectors, etc. Just do one big order from monoprice you will save a bunch of money.

Also you don't necessarly need to get everything now. You could enough for a basic system of higher end components then add to it over time. My setup took me around 3 years until i got everything i needed.

This is my setup for reference

Marantz SR5003 Reciever
Epson 1080p UB Projector
JBL Floor Standers
JBL ES-110 Surround
JBL Bookshelf Surround Rear
JBL Centre
Athena P-4100 Sub
Apple TV (Gen 3)
Panasonic BD

Again this is something that i built over 3 years (i went through 2 other recievers before i found one i liked)
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Last edited by lcdguy; August 14, 2012 at 06:14 AM.
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Old August 14, 2012, 06:10 AM
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All good suggestions on plasma, our LCD has some light issues that drives me nuts. On the sound front, if you are a small room that is close to the TV then 7.1 is pointless, I have not seen any bluerays that are recorded in 7.1 anyways. if you are the long shoe box room(can still be small) and you spend some decent coin on a receiver then you could then benefit from 7.1. maybe

For the price point I like Yamaha receivers, you get a solid unit for a decent price.
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Old August 14, 2012, 06:15 AM
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i agree yamaha makes some very nice recievers
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Old August 14, 2012, 07:01 AM
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Thanks for all the info.

As for budget I would say definitely under $1800 for all components.
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Old August 14, 2012, 08:11 AM
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we will need some more info as well.

how far back are you sitting from where the tv will go as this will dicatate how large of screen you would need.
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Old August 14, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcdguy View Post
we will need some more info as well.

how far back are you sitting from where the tv will go as this will dicatate how large of screen you would need.
about 12 feet
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Old August 14, 2012, 08:57 AM
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At that distance, a 55" or 60" is probably what you want. I sit about that far away with my 46", and I find it's a bit small at that distance.

If it's a dark room or specifically a media room, you may want to look at projectors. You can get a decent 1080p projector for under $1000. My parents have a Benq W1100 and 120" screen in their media room, it's a pretty decent set up.
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Old August 14, 2012, 08:59 AM
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ok according to the calculators i ran that distance rating through the minimum ideal diagnoaly screen size is around 83" to 112" for HD. I would seriously do one of 2 things.

1. Either move closer
2. Consider projection

Otherwise the viewing enjoyment might suffer.

I did a quick search on newegg and 1080p projectors there rang from around 800-1300 bucks which is much better than what i paid for mine.
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Old August 14, 2012, 11:15 AM
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Harmon kardon and denon WERE good until the became mass marketed. Now pioneer, marantz, yamaha, and nad are some of the better brands. I would buy onkyo before hk or denon from big stores.
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