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What should I look for in a home cinema system?

Forums - Discs & Movies - What should I look for in a home cinema system? 

14th October 2005 14:49  #1

dan laurikietis Member Join Date: August 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 92
What should I look for in a home cinema system?
I am not in the slightest bit technically minded so I'm asking the DVD boffins here.  What should I be looking for in a home cinema system?
My DVD player has 5.1 and DTS output so I just want the subwoofer & speakers.  I want to be spending about £100 so don't need one that's the mutt's nuts but I don't want some cheap crap either.  Any suggestions?

14th October 2005 14:57  #2

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,112 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Well you're not gonna get a lot for £100... I spent over £400 on a very modest system.

14th October 2005 15:20  #3

Jonny "Me You" Senior Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Canada Posts: 2,863
You can barely even get a set of good PC speakers for £100.

14th October 2005 15:58  #4

floyd dylan Banned Join Date: April 2004 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 913
What did you get Chris?

14th October 2005 17:12  #5

Mark Lim Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Australia Posts: 1,211
You got to be kidding me!

14th October 2005 20:35  #6

Tony DeFrancisco Senior Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United States Posts: 2,652
My dad paid for his surround sounds (he has 2 of the same, one for my living room and one for my basement) 250 dollars American each.

15th October 2005 12:25  #7

Worst Nightmare Senior Member Join Date: July 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 6,706 Send a message via AIM to Worst Nightmare Send a message via ICQ to Worst Nightmare Send a message via MSN to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Yahoo to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Google to Worst Nightmare
lly depends on what you want your system to do....

unfortunatly for 100 pounds you could get a system that's a great boat anchor....

15th October 2005 13:29  #8

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,112 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Quote: Originally posted by floyd dylan
What did you get Chris?


I went to Richer Sounds and got a Kenwood KRFV5050D (100 Watts per channel) Dolby/DTS amp, Eltax Hollywood five speaker pack, Eltax Atomic A6 active sub (only 60 Watts, but that does for a moderate sized living room). Cost me about £420 about three/four years ago, which included the speaker wire.

The manager at Richer knocked a bit off of the price of eveything if I remember. The amp and speakers were brought down to £150 each, then he knocked another £20 off of the sub and gave me the speaker wire at half price.

15th October 2005 16:01  #9

floyd dylan Banned Join Date: April 2004 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 913
Cool, it doesn't matter if it's 60 watts I mean when you hear about people (from the UK), on certain internet sites splashing out on speakers and woofers, that blasts the windows out.

I'm always thinking well wouldn't the neighbours complain, and get the envioroment agency around?  Especially if you live in a flat or a house that has paper thin walls.

15th October 2005 17:05  #10

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,112 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Indeed. My amp has never been anywhere near its highest setting, because even though the neighbour is deaf it would be slightly out of order.

16th October 2005 2:36  #11

Worst Nightmare Senior Member Join Date: July 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 6,706 Send a message via AIM to Worst Nightmare Send a message via ICQ to Worst Nightmare Send a message via MSN to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Yahoo to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Google to Worst Nightmare
Many people say (and I agree) that you should never have the volume control over the 1 o'clock position because then it starts driving the amp too hard it starts bringing in other nasties.

The main reason for going to a higher wattage amp is so that it can run the speakers without problems at a lower volume so that the above comment would apply.

Hope people understand this. I spose really when getting an amp you should look at THD (total harmonic distortion) first then power out...

Just my rant...

16th October 2005 9:55  #12

Mark Lim Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Australia Posts: 1,211
Thanks Adam about the subwoofer volume advice.

Didn't know that. No wonder I sometimes get distorted sound from the woofer. Volume is too high.

17th October 2005 1:25  #13

Worst Nightmare Senior Member Join Date: July 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 6,706 Send a message via AIM to Worst Nightmare Send a message via ICQ to Worst Nightmare Send a message via MSN to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Yahoo to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Google to Worst Nightmare
It should also be noted that distortion when an amp is turned up too loud destroys speakers very quickly...

17th October 2005 5:31  #14

Mark Lim Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Australia Posts: 1,211
Adam, can you also tell me what L.F.E. means? And what setting on my Sony receiver it sould be?

Luckily, I haven't turn up the woofer too loud.

17th October 2005 6:51  #15

floyd dylan Banned Join Date: April 2004 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 913
Does it go to 11? Wink

17th October 2005 12:22  #16

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,112 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
LFE stands for Low Frequency Effects.

17th October 2005 13:05  #17

Worst Nightmare Senior Member Join Date: July 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 6,706 Send a message via AIM to Worst Nightmare Send a message via ICQ to Worst Nightmare Send a message via MSN to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Yahoo to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Google to Worst Nightmare
Quote: Originally posted by floyd dylan
Does it go to 11? Wink
lol - we have a bit of Spinal Tap in all of us...

17th October 2005 15:30  #18

Mark Lim Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Australia Posts: 1,211
Sorry, I did know what it means. But can anyone tell me what setting it should be in the receiver? I got a choice from 0 to -20.

17th October 2005 15:45  #19

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,112 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
There's no definitive setting. Try using a set-up disc, such as the THX Optimizers found on many DVDs.

18th October 2005 9:15  #20

dan laurikietis Member Join Date: August 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 92
Hmm, will have to spend more than I imagined.  Sorry if I sounded naiive, just looked at e-bay and Argos as a price guide.  Since I've seen really crappy systems going for £20 I thought proices were coming down.

18th October 2005 9:46  #21

Worst Nightmare Senior Member Join Date: July 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 6,706 Send a message via AIM to Worst Nightmare Send a message via ICQ to Worst Nightmare Send a message via MSN to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Yahoo to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Google to Worst Nightmare
Quote: Originally posted by Mark Lim
Sorry, I did know what it means. But can anyone tell me what setting it should be in the receiver? I got a choice from 0 to -20.
Mark, if you are talking about volume and the amplifier you have has volume from 1 to 20, then in theory you should not dial it past 12. Different brands of amplifiers present volume levels differently...

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