Looking for opinions on these TVs/Surround Systems

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sdilley14, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #1
    I am in the processing of getting a new TV. I figured while I'm upgrading my TV, I might as well upgrade my sound system as well.

    As far as TVs go, I am debating between these two...

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AJU7IBK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2NG4HB43UEDVL

    and

    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-UN55E...F8&qid=1359501549&sr=1-7&keywords=samsung+55"

    I am leaning towards the LG because it is about $80 cheaper (after shipping) and it has 3 HDMI outputs (very important) as opposed to two. I've done reasearch on both and they both have generally solid reviews, and they are both going to be a HUGE upgrade to my 7 year old Sanyo, lol. These are both in the price range I want to stay in.

    And I am debating between these two surround systems...

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004K1EO7A/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    and

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0077V88V8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    I'm really not sure which direction to go on these. They are priced about the same and both have solid reviews. I do have a good pair of Sony floor standing speakers that I'd like to use with whichever system I choose, if that makes any difference.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    JohnLT13

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Boston (aka Red Sox Nation)
    #2
    I would go with the Samsung and the Onkyo.
     
  3. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the lens, UK
    #3
    Another vote for the Samsung. There smart TV options are light years ahead of the rest and the picture quality on my new 40" is none to shabby.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    EedyBeedyBeeps

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    I have the Samsung in 60", and I love it. I used one of the Amazon reviews to help set up the picture. It displays Apple TV content particularly well (I think--I'm used to it on an oldish Sony).

    CNet's review says something to the effect that the black level should keep it from being your primary theater TV. But I don't know what they're talking about. You can change Black Tone to Darkest if you want to.

    But...we have our HDMI devices connected to our receiver, so we only have one HDMI cable running from there to the TV. I can see that the two HDMI inputs could be a deal breaker with a different setup.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #5
    Do you have to have the receiver on to use the HDMI outputs, or does it serve like a type of "active passthrough" sort of thing? The only reason I was considering the Samsung was the thought of using the HDMI outputs on one of the perspective receivers, but I'm not quite sure how that works.

    ----------

    Also, I should have mentioned that I'm not at all interested in Smart TV functionality. Really, all I want is a TV with a great picture, 120hz + refresh rate, adequate outputs (3+ HDMI), 55"+, under $1k... preferably under $900 if possible.
     
  6. macrumors G5

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #6
    Onkyo is what I use, but don't buy the speakers....Choose your own. Get the model that is 3D Blu-Ray capable, works a charm and the sound is fantastic.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Location:
    Dutch Mountains
    #7
    Ditto.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #8
    I picked up the Samsung at Costco a few weeks and its a good TV. Mine has a bit of brightness on both the left and right sides, presumably due to being an edge-lit TV. I'm going to try and exchange it for another unit with a TS-01 or TS-02 panel (look up Samsung panels - you want to look for a TSxx or a THxx model; I have the TH-01).

    On the receiver end, Onyo, Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer are all good receivers. Can't really go wrong with any of them. I have a Pioneer and a Yamaha and both sound great, though the Pioneer is a little feisty with HDMI connections sometime.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #9
    Well, it looks like I'm just going to be getting a TV for now and holding off on the surround sound system for a few weeks.

    As far as the TV goes, is there any particular reason why people would choose the Samsung over the LG? The LG has a great display, it has 3 HDMI outputs as opposed to 2, it's 3D capable (not something I really care about, but it's there), most of the other general specs seem to be about the same as the Samsung, and is $829 shipped as opposed to the Samsung that is $898 shipped.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    #10
    Samsung, IMO, typically offers the best picture.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #11
    No specific reason on the Samsung other than Costco didn't have any LGs that weren't plasma. Samsung in general makes great panels, but LG is right there too (bear in mind that both use other panels from other manufacturers, hence my comment on looking for the panel on the Samsung).
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #12
    Well, I pulled the trigger and went with the LG TV. It came down to a few things...

    1. The LG has 3 HDMI outputs (for my ATV, XBox, and PS3), as opposed to the Samsung which only had 2 outputs.

    2. The LG has 2d to 3d capability, which wasn't a feature I was looking for, but it is an added feature the LG has nonetheless, and I have read numerous positive reviews on it.

    3. The LG has a thinner profile.

    4. I was able to get the LG for about $80 less after shipping. I was able to get an $800 Amazon credit card with 12 months no interest, and the LG was $800 right on the button, so it worked out perfectly in that regard. I'll have it paid off in 3-4 months at most.

    They both look like great TVs, but the LG was more in line with exactly what I was looking for. AT $800 I feel it is a great deal. There weren't many reviews for it on Amazon, but looking on other websites (walmart.com, tigerdirect.com, bestbuy.com) I was able to find hundreds of positive reviews for the LG. That pretty much sealed the deal for me. Regardless, this is going to be a major step up from my 6 year old, 42", 720p, Sanyo LCD that is starting to show some dark discoloration/burn-in. :D

    My next move is going to be pruchasing that Onkyo surround sound system when the time is right.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    JohnLT13

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Boston (aka Red Sox Nation)
    #13
    I have both receivers also, great units but I also have occasional issues with HDMI handshakes on the Yamaha.:(

    ----------

    Glad it worked out for you. I buy only Samsung or Panasonic sets. Not saying LG is less of a TV, but I have been told by service techs some LGs are bad and stay bad. Hope you got a good one.;)
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    EedyBeedyBeeps

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    The receiver does need to be on in our scenario, which is fine for us because we want the speakers active for all of our HDMI devices.

    I looked at both of the receivers you're considering and do think you could have your HDMI cables running to the receiver and then one HDMI cable to the TV, as you noted. I'm not really sure how it works either (i.e. no idea what the receiver is doing with the video other than moving it along to the TV), but it seems as simple as plugging in the HDMIs to the receiver instead of the TV. Then we have an on-TV menu system for the receiver; I assume that's standard now.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #15
    I would go with the Samsung as both of my past 2 TVs are and I have that 55". Great TV.

    As for the other. Get this receiver.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004O0TRCO/ref=aw_d_detail?pd=1&qid=1359587952&sr=8-6

    Add you existing speakers and a sub and surrounds as you can afford. I recommend Definitive Tech. I would not get a HTIB. You sacrifice too much.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    ATL
    #16
    I didn't like the Samsung's viewing angles when i was looking at them.
    But they are having good deals on them right now.

    I ended up with a Sony.

    AVSforum was a great help in deciding.

    I also went with a Pioneer receiver.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #17
    When I put a projector in my living room, I upgraded my receiver to this Onkyo:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004V8KWQO/ref=oh_details_o03_s03_i00

    Chose because it has 8 hdmi inputs (I think you really mean "inputs" when you say "outputs", right?) and 2 outputs to go to my tv and my projector. Plus, for the component and optical options, 3D and 4k. I plan for the future. Everything I have (ATV, Blu-Ray, DVR, XBox) goes into the Onkyo first because I want the sound to go to all my speakers. I bought a 5.1 speaker set from Take and using two tower speakers from my last surround to get to 7.1. Unless your tv allows full sound to pass through, you won't be getting all the sound you can from attaching your stuff directly into the tv first. Found that out when I ran out of hdmi on my old surround and went through the tv with my ATV instead.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #18
    For the TV, I haven't had any experience with Samsung, but I can tell you that I love my LG TV. My old roommate used to have an LG TV as well and he has since upgraded to a newer one. The user interface, the reliability, the picture, etc, are all great. LG is my first choice when it comes to TVs. I have nothing bad to say about mine.

    As far as the sound system, I highly recommend you listen to them before you buy one. I did a little bit of shopping at Best Buy before Christmas with the intention of buying a 5.1 home-theater-in-a-box like the two you linked and found that for the price I was looking at (around $250) they just didn't sound very good at all. I ended up buying a soundbar for my parents instead, partially because it seemed to suit their living room better, but also because for the same price it sounded much, much better.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    #19
  20. Avatar74, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Avatar74

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    #20
    I have the Samsung model you're looking at. Some reviews pick apart the black levels saying there are plasmas with better black levels, but plasmas also have their own potential defects/problems that LCD's are not susceptible to.

    Given how cheap the UN55EH6000 is, I can't complain. I'd paid way more for a 34 inch Sony XBR 720p WEGA CRT some years ago.

    I get by fine with the 2 HDMI ports because I have an AppleTV and a Blu Ray player. I don't want to have to pay an extra thousand for 3D and a bunch of nonsensical bells and whistles I won't use, and I can always upgrade my receiver to expand the HDMI ports if need be.

    On the surround sound system I can't really help you much... I bought full-range separates. Up to a certain point, you get what you pay for, and $250 won't get you in a sound system anywhere near what $900 gets you in a TV. One person suggested the soundbar idea. That's a thought. It depends on whether surround or fidelity is more important to you... or, conversely, whether bad fidelity or lack of surround irritates you more.

    I have always liked the economical quality of Sony's packages. I have had large and small systems-in-a-box from Sony when I was in high school and college, and they served me well for many years. I don't know what their quality is like these days though. But I suspect for the price you can't go wrong with either one... you may want to just give them both a listen somewhere you can demo them, to decide what your listening preference is. It's not so much that they should sound fundamentally different to different ears, but people have different preferences of perception. There might be some people who like a more punchy sound, some who like a more nuanced sound. I don't know. That's subjective and the only way to test it is to give the systems a listen.

    Beyond that, I'd suspect at that price they're fairly evenly matched in features.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #21
    I am not a big fan of Sony only because I think they pack a bunch of often useless bells and whistles and jack up the price; I do like Onkyo quality. I went with a Yamaha HT in a box, and am very impressed, especially the sub, only 100 watts but it booms loud and clean.

    For the TV, I have a new LG plasma and am blown away by the quality of the TV. Samsung may be the leader, but LG seems to be working hard to catch up and may be right there, espcially at the price points.

    Tough call, but I do not think you can go wrong with either. Me, I would go LG and Onkyo, but give the Yamaha systems a look...
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #22
    Wow...thank you for all of the responses! The LG TV is bought and paid for...can't wait for it to arrive! :)

    So yes, $250ish is the price range I'm looking at to put together a sound system. Of course quality and durability are important to me, but I'm not an audiophile nut so I don't necessarily need something that is top of the line. Are the HTIB not really a good route to go? Is it possible to put together a good system in my price range with separate components? And as far as the sound bars go, are those just large center channel speakers that put out the effect of a full surround sound system? I don't really know anything about them.
     
  23. warvanov, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #23
    Basically, a soundbar is a single large component that sits above or below your TV. It has stereo speakers that will far outperform the speakers built in to your TV. (Honestly, if you have a nice flatscreen TV and you're watching it with just the internal speakers, you're missing out.) With a sound bar, the money you're spending goes towards basically two quality speakers and, depending on the model, a separate subwoofer. When you spend the same money on a HTIAB, you're splitting the money between five speakers, a receiver and a sub. You do the math.

    A soundbar also has a feature where it can mimic a surround sound experience by altering certain frequencies, or some audio mumbo jumbo, that basically tricks your ears into thinking that certain sounds are coming from behind you. Different models may be more or less effective at this. In any case, it's not as effective as an actual surround set up. But for my money, I'd rather have a pair of decent speakers near the TV producing rich, full sound then five crappy speakers around the room producing tinny, poor quality sound. Most of the sound comes from the front anyway. Regardless, these are my opinions. I repeat my earlier advise to listen to both in person before you make any decisions.

    If you have any existing components, like an old stereo receiver or a couple of bookshelf speakers, I would start with those and build a system piece by piece.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    #24
    You'll regret it. Marketing gets another lcd buyer.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #25
    Haha, thanks for that vote of confidence. Marketing had absolutely nothing to do with it. Features, price, and the hundreds of positive reviews I read (about 100 "5 star" reviews to every "1 star" review) are what made me decide on that TV.

    ----------

    Thank you for the info!

    I have a decent (Yamaha) surround sound receiver now, though it is 6 years old and lacking in the features/settings that newer systems have. I also have two pretty nice floor standing Sony speakers. Ideally, I would like to get a new receiver (whether it be an individual receiver or a receiver from a HTIB), keep those Sony speakers, and integrate them into my new system.
     

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