Home theater sound without the 5.1 clutter

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Gregintosh, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    Alright, so lately as some of you probably know from the Apple TV forum I got a new TV (Insignia 37" LCD HDTV), an AppleTV, and now Walmart Blu Ray player).

    What I am looking to do now is add home theater sound quality to this system without the clutter or hassle of a proper 5.1 system.

    Currently I have a Panasonic HT-900 Home Theater in a Box from 2003 (the only thing left over after selling the rest of my old equipment). It has 4 annoyingly large speakers, a decent center speaker, and a big subwoofer.

    It looks nasty in my room (this is a bedroom) and because of my other furniture I can't even have it laid out in proper 5.1 fashion anyway (so I'm not really getting the full benefit of it anyway).

    The 5 DVD changer it comes with is useless to me as the most it can do is 480p, and the cheapo Walmart player actually upconverts to 1080p, so it will display DVDs better than this thing ever could. Not to mention I'd rather have a compact HDMI cable running into the TV rather than the necessary 5 plug component setup my old changer requires.

    As of now the only thing plugged into it is the optical in from my TV's optical out port, so its basically just a receiver for the speakers.

    What I am looking to do is get rid of all that garbage (and the endless wires which surround my room that go with it) and replace it with something that can give me good sound quality (can get loud, good bass, and a "surround feel" etc.).

    What interests me the most is the BOSE CineMate system, but it has a major problem: no optical in. I wonder if that means it won't support as good of a sound quality (plus I'd rather just have one cable running into it). Perhaps if my fear is unjustified I might end up with this system (they have it for $349 refurb on their website), though I would really feel better about having less cables.

    Basically I am looking for any SMALL system that can support optical in, not take up a lot of room, and produce great sound. The budget is flexible, but I'd prefer not to spend more than $300-$500 on it.

    Any suggestions?
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Nothing ever replaces that "home theater sound." All of the virtual surround sound bars to me still sound like a single speaker in front. My suggestion would be to go with something wireless. The effect of having speakers behind you is a 200 percent difference.
  3. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
  4. jecapaga macrumors 601


    Jul 1, 2007
    Southern California
    I sat through a demo of this item a couple days ago and it was rather impressive. Everything plugs into it, even your appletv and it's all navigated easily on screen with a simple remote.

    It also can create a pseudo surround sound 7.1 environment with a 2.1 speaker setup. Here
  5. canes960 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2009
    I used to agee with you until i got the Yamaha YSP-4000. Its a Sound Bar with 40 mini speakers and 2 Sub woofers. Its truly amazing. Just sit though a demo.

    The Yamaha YSP 4000. Its kinda Pricey but its worth it.

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