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BasilFawlty
May 6, 2012, 12:54 AM
In previous earlier threads, I pondered and sought advice on which TV I should buy to replace my aging rear-projection Hitachi and what AV receiver I should buy to replace my aging Kenwood (which didn't have HDMI inputs). Well, after much thought, research and some helpful inputs here, I have now replaced it all. My new system consists of:

TV: Sony XBR55HX929 back lit LCD.
AV Receiver: Denon AVR1912
Blue Ray: Sony BDP S590
DishNetwork 722 Receiver
ATV2
Bose Acoustimas surround sound speakers
Harmony One Remote (Logitech)

The good:
The TV is fan-freaking-tastik! It came down to two models based on what I was willing to spend: The 55" Sony 929 or a larger 65" Panasonic VT30 plasma. If you did a very technical comparison, the plasma would probably beat the Sony for picture quality - but only slightly. The issue was the room I was putting it in has a lot of ambient light, especially in the daytime. Also, the Sony LCD uses less than 1/3 the energy of the Plasma, thus is cheaper to operate in the long run. So the Sony was the choice that best fit my needs. This Sony, according to CNet reviews at least produces deeper black levels than any other LCD or even plasma on the market. It also is claimed to handle 1080p/24 content properly, and of course it is 3D capable (have not tried this yet) The Sony also has built-in wi-fi and access to lots of internet content and widgets.

The Denon Receiver is 90w per channel, which is more than enough for my needs. It is 3D capable and is also AirPlay compatible so I can easily stream my iTunes music. The 6 HDMI inputs are more than I need and it has to additional digital audio inputs, one of which is optical (which I use for when "TV" is the source). The Denon 1912 is a 7.1 surround system, but I only have a 5.1 speaker system. The good news is, the other two outputs can be programmed to a second "zone" to play in a different room, or different speakers in the same room (I plan to get better speakers for music and use zone two for that). I have all components connected to the Denon via HDMI, with one HDMI out to the TV. I saw lots of very positive reviews of the 1912, and when I saw Crutchfield had it on sale with free shipping, I jumped on it. So far I really like it, but I'm not what you would call a true "audiophile."

Dishnetwork. Had this before with the old TV, but had to connect it with composite. Now with the new Denon I can connect the Dish box with HDMI and can see better HD content on the new Sony TV. (My old TV only did 1080i)

Sony BDP S590. Bought this at Wall-Mart for less than $100. Did not really do a lot of research at the time, but since I bought it I have found that it gets pretty good reviews. It is 3D capable. It plays Blue Ray and up-converts regular DVDs so they look almost like Blue Ray. It too has wifi to connect to the internet and can access lots of content like NetFlix, Hulu PLus, Amazon Video, etc.

ATV: I had the Apple TV2 before, but now my content looks a lot better, even though none of my ripped DVDs are High Def. I plan to eventually get an ATV3.

Bose Speakers. These were a gift from my son when he used to work at the "Power Zone" at a local dept store. They are pretty good for movies (surround sound) but not great for music. So-so at best. I plan to get a set of Bowers and Wilkins 683 floor standing speakers for music eventually.

Harmony One Universal Remote! This is the coolest remote I have ever seen! You can program it to do "activities" so that anything you want to do is just one button away. The "soft buttons" can be programmed to do just about anything you want. For example, I have a soft-button on the LED display that says "Watch DishNetwork". When I touch that button, it turns on everything needed (TV, Denon, and Dish Box) and turns off what is not needed. Then it selects the correct Dednon input for the Dish box. It could not be easier! I touch the "Apple TV" button and viola! I am looking at my Apple TV menu and the remote acts like my ATV remote! Programming is done online and could not be easier. You just tell the online system what equipment you have, and how it is connected, and it programs "activities" like "Watch TV, Watch DVD, Listen to Music, etc) all the activities are then one touch away! No more messing with 4 different Remotes! I high recommend this remote!

The Bad:

There isn't anything bad I can say about the Sony 929. I had been a little concerned that some of the reviews said the picture got washed out if you were off-angle, but I have yet to see any real difference in the picture from watching head-on or even as much as 30-40 degrees off angle. If there is any difference, I don't notice it. I just thought of one bad thing about the XBR-55HX929 - it does not include any 3D glasses - you have to buy them separately.

The Denon receiver has extra audio out that can be uses as a different "zone" (if you only have a 5.1 system( however, the second zone can't play digital content, which kinda stinks). Also, while this Denon does act as an AirPLay compatible device, the bad news is, you have to connect to your network with Ethernet cable since the Denon 1912 does not have wi-fi capability.

Overall, I'm very happy with my new "home theater" and look forward to getting it paired with a new ATV3 soon!



SamSmith
May 8, 2012, 03:52 PM
Sounds great!

I recently ditched my old Windows PC (used before I made the switch) for my home theatre system. It used to run Windows Media Center, but decided to buy an Apple TV to replace it. I use AirPlay for most of my content, it works like magic. I'm now nearly in a full Apple Eco-system, just need an iPhone!

8CoreWhore
May 8, 2012, 10:57 PM
Nice. :)