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Old August 13, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Default Home Theater Questions - Gurus? Experts?

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?
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Old August 13, 2012, 01:15 PM
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I'm far from an expert, but here's my thoughts.

120 Hz minimum. No 3D, it's a gimmick and not worth the money. My Dad uses his Samsung Bluray to view Netflix over a wired connection, it works great so I assume the TV app would work the same. 5.1 surround is a huge difference from a 2.1 sound bar, and I wouldn't watch movies without it.

IMHO, the need for a separate HTPC is almost nonexistant these days since most cable companies scramble their signals and tuner cards simply don't work well. I use a PS3 to watch Blurays and network stored movies, and a PVR to record TV. I did have a HTPC system hooked up at one time, but sold it after I didn't turn it on for a month. I think I browsed the net on it twice as I found the text very fuzzy compared to my desktop monitor. I think your money would be better spent on the TV or on a higher end receiver / surround setup.
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Old August 13, 2012, 03:57 PM
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TV apps are a joke for the most part.

120hz is overrated and for some people it actually bothers their eyesight. I have a 60hz and I have no qualms or issues with it.

Depending on the size of the room is what would warrant 5.1 and the size of the tv.
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Old August 13, 2012, 06:27 PM
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Biggest plasma you can afford & wdtv for streaming and netflix. Scour kijiji for your audio gear.

Onkyo/Denon + something from Energy/klipsch/nht/definitive tech/Paradigm and you are good to go!

If you insist on a sound bar, I recommend yamaha.

120hz is shit, get a plasma or dlp projector for sports. Plus you'll be able to play 24fps content natively.
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Last edited by WhippWhapp; August 13, 2012 at 07:59 PM.
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:21 PM
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How big of a room do you have? It's generally recommended to sit 2 x the diagonal screen size away at minimum, 2.5 preferred.
40" screen = seating 80" away (nearly 7 feet)

Plasma's offer better picture quality, blacker blacks, better contrast.
LCD's are great for daytime viewing, 3D is not worth it.

Also, as an iTunes user you may want to look into the Apple TV which is actually a nice little box. Great for streaming Netflix, as well as from your phone, or computer.
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:32 PM
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You don't buy a tv for 3d it just comes with all the higher end models. You also get better black and white levels and a faster processor with those higher end models. Plasma over led for price and performance and this year Panasonic over Samsung.
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:48 PM
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Forget about LED. Grab a plasma and never look back at that inferior technology!

I'd recommend the Panasonic ST50 series.
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:53 PM
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I can't stand the glare of a plasma drives me nuts.
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:55 PM
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Who said all plasma TVs have issues with glare? The ST, GT and VT series have some of the best filters around, all but eliminating unwanted glare.
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Old August 13, 2012, 09:01 PM
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Even the UT is a marked improvement over last years and at a great price point as well.
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