Home Theatre Setup

iamdavekennedy

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 14, 2012
168
0
London / Belfast
So, I have just got a lovely new LED TV to use with my mac mini media centre, and my receiver & speakers have just gotten damaged in transit, so I'm looking to find a 5.1 Surround Sound system to upgrade to... however all I can find that aren't stupendously expensive are Home Cinema systems which include a DVD player which seemingly is always used as the Receiver/Amplifier... I'd rather not have this as I've moved my entire library to digital copies so have no need for a DVD player... Looking for suggestions as I've tried AV Forums and that place is a bit of a mess and I don't really trust a lot of the opinions so bringing it here!

What I want

+ 5.1 Surround Sound (preferably wireless if possible)
+ Remote Controlled
+ Digital Audio Input (so I can use the audio out on the tv set & apple tv
too rather than limit it to the mac mini/ps3)
+ Receiver based, no DVD player
+ It'd be great if it looked nice and was fairly compact too!
+ Budget around £100 - £200 (small I know but this is new territory for me)

Anyone have any suggestions?
 
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Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,658
9,281
California
This site's recommendations always seem unbiased and pretty well thought out. Look in the AV Receivers section for a receiver that meets your needs. Just about any modern AV receiver would do what you want.
 
It sounds like you are seeking a receiver and a surround sound speaker bundle. Both are available in abundance. Segregate your needs for connections from your needs for new speakers and it should be easy to get what you want. The receiver will be your connections solution and the speakers will get your bundled surround (minus DVD player). All receivers will come with a remote.

Definitive Technology ProCinema 600 System is the top-rated speaker bundle on Consumer Reports right now. If price is more important to you, Acoustic Research HD510 is ranked #2 for speaker bundles.

Receivers offer a very wide range of pricing and features. You should go shop them. There are many great ones available <$500, stellar ones for a little more. Your current needs don't sound that steep, so there should be plenty of options that are a good match.

Your budget is not good enough- quality will suffer at that cap (even if you go "scratch & dent" refurb). Save up a few hundred more and get much better equipment. Receivers & speakers tend to be A/V you'll keep and use heavily for many years (5+ years is likely). Pay up a bit and get something you can enjoy that will average out to better than about $40/yr.
 
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maril1111

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2010
1,849
2
Denmark
I am sorry but i don't think you will find anything of good quality for this price, especially wireless.

maybe Whathificould also be worth checking out
 

Bymatt

macrumors member
Aug 11, 2011
48
0
To DaveKennedy

in your search dont overlook LAST YEARS LATEST AND GREATEST... Often the new models are not significant upgrades from last year.
I scored some terrific prices on Definitive Technology speakers from a dealer in Colorado almost 18 mo ago because they were close outs.
About that time I was wandering through a big box retailer and lucked into a marvelous 4 HDMI in 3 Optical in and COMPLETE speaker array even the mid height ones with all the power one room would want. Additionally the thing runs cool as a cucumber. I admit to concern when I picked it up, a bit light, but just an awesome unit. Even has the self calibrating mic. Is it a leader in its class, unlikely, is the DTS and 5.1 clear and great, the sub is extremely clear and powerful. It has more adjustments than a 727 ! It is a mid level Samsung and one would have to spend a LOT to get more from a unit. The deals are out there but you got to shop. Not hard on line.
 

itickings

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2007
924
5
I am sorry but i don't think you will find anything of good quality for this price, especially wireless.
This. A thousand times this.

Given the desired price range, maybe the OP could look for second-hand stuff?
Or try one of those sound bars with virtual surround? Won't be stellar performance, but might be a decent enough compromise.
 

bcburrows

macrumors 6502
Mar 25, 2009
417
4
Bristol
Good luck

I presume you are from the UK, having listed the budget in £'s
I managed to buy an old second kef kit for that price range, which was great.
In terms of brand new - not a chance, a good amp alone is £400+, speakers, easily that again.

I wish it were that cheap, but my experience is - you get what you pay for in AV kit!

You will have to go second hand, I suggest limiting your search to collection only on ebay - that way you might strike lucky
 

davcam

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2012
1
0
tech assistance

Hi Guys, i'm new on here and just wanted to ask something as it seems you have got a good convo going on here about technology, firstly just wanted to ask as an iPhone4 user, would it be worth me getting the 5 when it comes out? is there really that much of a difference? also i have always had windows laptops but i am thinking of getting myself a Mac, any suggestions on what is hot at the minute? and finally haha - i need some mounted speakers for my home system, i have a budget of around 500 - 1k i can go a bit more if needed! i have had a look at these in wall speakers so far but they are top end of what i want to pay! has anyone used any of these or know if they are actually worth the money? as i have often found in the past more cost I'snt necessarily better quality.

cheers folks
 

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,806
17
Monterey CA
Do you have a big, good listening room, acoustically correct? Few of us do. You might find that a stereo system works just as well. Any modern receiver, two speakers and a subwoofer. Use HDMI only.

For most TV shows and music, the rear speakers are simply annoying at best, and the dialogue on some shows is muddled when the rear speakers are bouncing sound around. Many so-called surround sound movies and shows are 90% dialogue anyway.

I have turned off surround sound myself, a decent system in a terrible room, and it is an improved experience. If something loud and action-packed is played then it is switched back to surround sound.

You can always pick up a pair of rear speakers used and crank it up for action adventure movies where surround sound is the way to go. Wireless is another matter.
 

iamdavekennedy

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 14, 2012
168
0
London / Belfast
Thanks for all the replies guys, I went to Richer Sounds and managed to pick up an 'end of line' Denon DHT-1513BA 5.1 System with a Boston Acoustics Premium Speaker System for £240

Been told I got a bloody good deal! And it's been amazing so far!
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,658
9,281
California
Thanks for all the replies guys, I went to Richer Sounds and managed to pick up an 'end of line' Denon DHT-1513BA 5.1 System with a Boston Acoustics Premium Speaker System for £240

Been told I got a bloody good deal! And it's been amazing so far!
Congrats... that looks like a nice setup.