Tell me about your setup

littlepooch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
144
8
I have been looking on this forum for many yrs. I used to have a pretty sweet setup but finances took a hit for many yrs and now I am starting from scratch again. I will be getting some extra money in the next week or so and wanted to get some input on what people are doing these days. Let me know what kind of setup you have. I'm talking about cpu, tv, etc. I don't have anything right now.

I will have about $3,000 total to spend if needed. I live in an apartment so no need for a killer surround sound set up. I have been thinking maybe a sound bar, but I'm not sure. I have also been thinking about a 3D tv, but I don't know if I would use the 3D part much. Do you have a 3D TV? If so how much do you use it? I have been thinking about a Mac Mini as my main cpu and then getting a ATV 3 to get stuff to my tv.
 
Last edited:

JoeBlow74

macrumors regular
Aug 2, 2012
218
8
I have been looking on this forum for many yrs. I used to have a pretty sweet setup but finances took a hit for many yrs and now I am starting from scratch again. I will be getting some extra money in the next week or so and wanted to get some input on what people are doing these days. Let me know what kind of setup you have. I'm talking about cpu, tv, etc. I don't have anything right now.

I will have about $3,000 total to spend if needed. I live in an apartment so no need for a killer surround sound set up. I have been thinking maybe a sound bar, but I'm not sure. I have also been thinking about a 3D tv, but I don't know if I would use the 3D part much. Do you have a 3D TV? If so how much do you use it? I have been thinking about a Mac Mini as my main cpu and then getting a ATV 3 to get stuff to my tv.
If you only have $3,000 to spend, I would get
Plasma TV. $1,000
AppleTV 3. $99
Mac mini $500
Receiver $500-1,000
Book shelf speakers $500
Or a nice set of head phones $500

This should cover all the basics
 

Bozley0621

macrumors 6502
Mar 25, 2009
368
105
I have been looking on this forum for many yrs. I used to have a pretty sweet setup but finances took a hit for many yrs and now I am starting from scratch again. I will be getting some extra money in the next week or so and wanted to get some input on what people are doing these days. Let me know what kind of setup you have. I'm talking about cpu, tv, etc. I don't have anything right now.

I will have about $3,000 total to spend if needed. I live in an apartment so no need for a killer surround sound set up. I have been thinking maybe a sound bar, but I'm not sure. I have also been thinking about a 3D tv, but I don't know if I would use the 3D part much. Do you have a 3D TV? If so how much do you use it? I have been thinking about a Mac Mini as my main cpu and then getting a ATV 3 to get stuff to my tv.
We have a 3D TV and have never used the 3D option. It just happened to be a feature on the TV that we wanted for other reasons. I agree with the above poster that you can get a great TV for around $1000.

We had wired surround sound speakers throughout the room, but I was never crazy about it, but my husband liked it. We upgraded to the Bose sound bar last fall and we both love the sound it gives off. I know some people will poopoo Bose, but we are happy with it.

Otherwise we have a bluray player and an Apple TV. All of our movies on bluray and DVD have been ripped and converted on our Macs to stream from iTunes. We use our bluray player for our Netflix and Redbox rentals.

We also have a Mohu Leaf antenna since we don't subscribe to cable or satellite.
 

littlepooch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
144
8
If you only have $3,000 to spend, I would get
Plasma TV. $1,000
AppleTV 3. $99
Mac mini $500
Receiver $500-1,000
Book shelf speakers $500
Or a nice set of head phones $500

This should cover all the basics
Is ther a specific TV you would recommend? I'm about 10-11 ft from wall to wall. i'm not really looking for a surround set up as it's in an apartment, do you have a sound bar you could recommend? which mac mini would be best?

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We have a 3D TV and have never used the 3D option. It just happened to be a feature on the TV that we wanted for other reasons. I agree with the above poster that you can get a great TV for around $1000.

We had wired surround sound speakers throughout the room, but I was never crazy about it, but my husband liked it. We upgraded to the Bose sound bar last fall and we both love the sound it gives off. I know some people will poopoo Bose, but we are happy with it.

Otherwise we have a bluray player and an Apple TV. All of our movies on bluray and DVD have been ripped and converted on our Macs to stream from iTunes. We use our bluray player for our Netflix and Redbox rentals.

We also have a Mohu Leaf antenna since we don't subscribe to cable or satellite.
sounds like you guys have a pretty good set up. what brand/model tv do you have? i have been looking at the 3d tv's but i'm not 100% sold on them. do you have a plasma or an led?

yeah i like the sound bar idea. i saw that bose sound bar they released last year, but i don't like the premium price for it.

i would really like to do the ripping like you guys have done. what do you use to rip your movies? what kind of mac do you have?
 

2020mike

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2012
338
1
This is the current set up I have in my man cave.

46" Vizio Led tv
Xbox 360 for Netflix/amazon and Comcast on demand. I like XBoxs Netflix interface better than Apples.
Apple TV 3 that runs my media server.
LG blu ray player

The whole set up cost me less then 900 bucks. I currently am ripping all my DVDs to an iTunes format and use home sharing to get it to my Apple TV. Works great for my needs. I plan to add a sound bar and wireless sub woofer for some extra umph. I can't really comment on 3D tv's because I personally see no need for it for my uses. Plus I don't want to look like Ray Charles sitting in my living room.
 

Bozley0621

macrumors 6502
Mar 25, 2009
368
105
sounds like you guys have a pretty good set up. what brand/model tv do you have? i have been looking at the 3d tv's but i'm not 100% sold on them. do you have a plasma or an led?

yeah i like the sound bar idea. i saw that bose sound bar they released last year, but i don't like the premium price for it.

i would really like to do the ripping like you guys have done. what do you use to rip your movies? what kind of mac do you have?
We have a 55" Sony HX 850. It was bought to replace a 4 year-old Sony XBR series TV that our movers busted. I was smitten with the old TV, and wanted something as close as possible. We chose the HX series other than another XBR b/c we found a great deal for the amount we were being reimbursed from the movers. Had we gone with another XBR, we would have had to add $1k on top of our reimbursement. The only difference I could tell was that the XBR had a deeper black. We are very happy with the picture.

I have 2012 Macbook Pro. I bought the stock spec MBP and then upgraded the hard drive to 1TB and the Ram to 16Gb. You don't need these specs though. Prior to getting this computer, I was using a late 2009 MacBook. I upgraded the hard drive in that to 1TB and the Ram to 4GB. The only reason I bought a new computer was b/c I began working from home full time and wanted a bigger screen.

I use Mac Ripper to rip DVDs, MakeMKV to rip blurays, and Handbrake to convert them. I then use Identify to add the data to the movies. For more info than you probably need, I prefer purchasing movies on disk (I can't explain why). I buy movies that don't have a lot of action or great scenery on DVD, and purchase action and scenic movies on bluray. I buy TV shows from iTunes, b/c they use considerably less storage than converting them from disk.
 

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,656
148
I
s ther a specific TV you would recommend? I'm about 10-11 ft from wall to wall. i'm not really looking for a surround set up as it's in an apartment, do you have a sound bar you could recommend? which mac mini would be best?
I would recommend going to a site that has a tool to calculate your optimal screen size for the distance you are sitting away from the tv. I sit 13ft away and 55" was the minimum recommended size. With that screen size, plasma/lcd became very expensive and I ended up going with a 65" Mits DLP. Very happy with it, although it doesn't have that "cool" hanging on your wall look. I also bough a couple replacement bulbs (~$35/ea). By the time the tv goes bad or I am out of bulbs, I am sure the next big thing will be on the market.
 

Bozley0621

macrumors 6502
Mar 25, 2009
368
105
I can't really comment on 3D tv's because I personally see no need for it for my uses. Plus I don't want to look like Ray Charles sitting in my living room.
I really don't even like plain 3D in the movie theatre. I feel like it has to be in Imax 3D to get the full effect.

I busted out a hardy laugh when I read the Ray Charles line.
 

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,656
148
I really don't even like plain 3D in the movie theatre. I feel like it has to be in Imax 3D to get the full effect.
I'm with you on that. I saw The Hobbit, 3D 60fps filming on a "normal" screen size, and did not enjoy it at all. I just watched it again at home through iTunes (so no 3D) and really enjoyed watching it much more.
 

linds15

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2012
535
1
Great White North
what size TV do you want? you can get a great 40" for around 500 and a great 55" for under 1000. if the mini will just be for basic computing and homesharing id probably go with the base and add in some ram. im not a fan of soundbars so i will let others chime in about those
 

littlepooch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
144
8
This is the current set up I have in my man cave.

46" Vizio Led tv
Xbox 360 for Netflix/amazon and Comcast on demand. I like XBoxs Netflix interface better than Apples.
Apple TV 3 that runs my media server.
LG blu ray player

The whole set up cost me less then 900 bucks. I currently am ripping all my DVDs to an iTunes format and use home sharing to get it to my Apple TV. Works great for my needs. I plan to add a sound bar and wireless sub woofer for some extra umph. I can't really comment on 3D tv's because I personally see no need for it for my uses. Plus I don't want to look like Ray Charles sitting in my living room.
What are u using to stream to ur atv?

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what size TV do you want? you can get a great 40" for around 500 and a great 55" for under 1000. if the mini will just be for basic computing and homesharing id probably go with the base and add in some ram. im not a fan of soundbars so i will let others chime in about those
I was hoping to at least get a 46 inch.
 

Che Castro

macrumors 603
May 21, 2009
5,671
511
You can get a 60" led tv for $1,000

A Vizio soundbar for $100

Apple TV $99

A tv stand since you live in an apartment $300


And I'm guessing you already have a computer so you should be all set
 

StinDaWg

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2012
295
0
If you only have $3,000 to spend, I would get
Plasma TV. $1,000
AppleTV 3. $99
Mac mini $500
Receiver $500-1,000
Book shelf speakers $500
Or a nice set of head phones $500

This should cover all the basics
Put more money into the tv and less into speakers. You can get a 65" Panasonic plasma for less than $1500. There's no reason to spend $1500 on audio unless you are a serious audiophile. You can get a decent sound system for $300.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,199
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
My curent setup, which has actually been downsized comprises of:

1) Imac 27" 3TB FD 2GB GPU 32GB RAM

2) rMBP 13" 3GHZ

3) Ipad 4 64GB

4) Iphone 5

5) Sony Bravia 46" 3D LED smart TV

6) ATV 3's X 2

7) 3TB Time Capsule

8) Onkyo AV system connected to the Sony

9) 42" LG 3D TV ( bedroom)

10) Sony 3D Blu-Ray Player ( lounge TV)

11) Little LG 3D Blu-Ray player ( Bedroom )

All stream using the two ATV's one lounge, one bedroom

I've listened to a few sound bars, but thought they were overpriced, although like you say, if you live in a small apt, there is no need for a large sound system.


If I were starting from scratch..( boy, that was back in the day) I think I'd look at an Imac as my primary since no word on the Pro range updates.

A cheaper 3D ( yes I do use it a fair bit and it's fun if done well) The LG 42" was under £500 or $700.00 but that's a straight conversion...I've seen them on the US Amazon site for way less.

An external HDD for backups...No need for an expensive Time Capsule really. Depending on the size of your apt. maybe an Airport Express / Extreme to take care of wifi....I'd look at the refurb section of the Apple store...these Macs are as good as new, and you can save yourself a chunk of cash by grabbing a bargain there. Let us know what you go with!:)
 

littlepooch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
144
8
You can get a 60" led tv for $1,000

A Vizio soundbar for $100

Apple TV $99

A tv stand since you live in an apartment $300


And I'm guessing you already have a computer so you should be all set
which LED and sound bar are you recommending? no i don't have a cpu at the moment either.

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Put more money into the tv and less into speakers. You can get a 65" Panasonic plasma for less than $1500. There's no reason to spend $1500 on audio unless you are a serious audiophile. You can get a decent sound system for $300.
which panasonic plasma are you recommending?

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How about a different approach. Idk, maybe a projector? Plugged to an aTV3 and Bose and/or Yamaha receiver.
don't think a projector would be very friendly in my apartment. i have a wife and 2 kids. hard to keep the place dark all the time.
 

littlepooch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
144
8

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,653
583
I have been looking on this forum for many yrs. I used to have a pretty sweet setup but finances took a hit for many yrs and now I am starting from scratch again. I will be getting some extra money in the next week or so and wanted to get some input on what people are doing these days. Let me know what kind of setup you have. I'm talking about cpu, tv, etc. I don't have anything right now.

I will have about $3,000 total to spend if needed. I live in an apartment so no need for a killer surround sound set up. I have been thinking maybe a sound bar, but I'm not sure. I have also been thinking about a 3D tv, but I don't know if I would use the 3D part much. Do you have a 3D TV? If so how much do you use it? I have been thinking about a Mac Mini as my main cpu and then getting a ATV 3 to get stuff to my tv.
My setup?

I've built it over the past 4 years, piece by piece - so, I'm not done yet)

1. Pioneer Elite 9G Kuro plasma 50"
2. Late 2012 21.5" iMac 2.9GHz
3. Yamaha AVR (eyeing a Marantz SR5007 for an upgrade)
4. 2012 Pioneer Andrew Jones Speaker set (front towers, center)
5. Yamaha HTiB sub leftover (the plan is to upgrade it to a BiC America V1220 12" sub)
6. Pioneer BDP-51FD
7. Sony PS3 Slim
8. Wii
9. OTA antenna for broadcast HD
10. DirecTV SD Box (I'm still debating either cancelling DTV altogether or upgrading to HD service).

_______________________________________________________


3D, as well as smart functions, are pretty standard on everyone's mid-range to high-end TVs, so don't think of them as high-priced add-ons. They're not anymore.

It would help us figure out what kind of space you have for your setup, because I'm always one to go big on the TV!

That said, I'd say go for the Panasonic TC-P60ST60 HDTV! Very highly rated by everyone who knows anything about HDTVs. Yes, put half your budget on the TV. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasonic+-+VIERA+-+60"+Class+(60-1/8"+Diag.)+-+Plasma+-+1080p+-+600Hz+-+Smart+-+3D+-+HDTV/8130171.p?id=1218864357165&skuId=8130171&st=ST60&cp=1&lp=2

Then, put $500 on this ZVox sound bar. The sound quality is phenomenal! Everything comes out of the one box, including the strong bass response (courtesy of 3 6" woofers inside) If you're near a store that has a Magnolia Audio Video, or a Best Buy with an MHT inside, you can demo it. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/ZVOX+-+Z-Base+580+2.1-Ch.+Home+Theater+Speaker+System/3868494.p?id=1218437460621&skuId=3868494&st=ZVox&cp=1&lp=1

Next, just get a refurb Mac Mini (~$500) from apple.com and skip the ATV3. The SMART TV can do your Netflix, Youtube, Pandora, etc. Plus, it has a built-in HTML-5 compliant web browser to render non-flash sites without having to fire up your Mac. Save the Mini for watching movies you've ripped to a HD, or playing graphically-intensive games.

Then spend $100 for a Blu-ray player. Right now, Blu-ray players still give you the best picture quality, AND sound quality for when you move into your own place and can add a better audio system.

That leaves $400 for any cables, software, surge protectors, or incidental things you might need.
 
Last edited:

skasol

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2007
354
0
50" pioneer elite
Definitive technology mythos speakers
Super cube I sub.
Yamaha rxv2700
Xbox 360
Wdtv live hub
27" late 2012 768SSD, 32gb ram and a G-raid thunderbolt drive to handle storage.

Stream to my wdtv live hub from my Mac.

Good luck on your set up and let us know what u decide. Since u are in an apartment I recommend spending some decent money on your tv first then your audio.
 

littlepooch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
144
8
My setup?

I've built it over the past 4 years, piece by piece - so, I'm not done yet)

1. Pioneer Elite 9G Kuro plasma 50"
2. Late 2012 21.5" iMac 2.9GHz
3. Yamaha AVR (eyeing a Marantz SR5007 for an upgrade)
4. 2012 Pioneer Andrew Jones Speaker set (front towers, center)
5. Yamaha HTiB sub leftover (the plan is to upgrade it to a BiC America V1220 12" sub)
6. Pioneer BDP-51FD
7. Sony PS3 Slim
8. Wii
9. OTA antenna for broadcast HD
10. DirecTV SD Box (I'm still debating either cancelling DTV altogether or upgrading to HD service).

_______________________________________________________


3D, as well as smart functions, are pretty standard on everyone's mid-range to high-end TVs, so don't think of them as high-priced add-ons. They're not anymore.

It would help us figure out what kind of space you have for your setup, because I'm always one to go big on the TV!

That said, I'd say go for the Panasonic TC-P60ST60 HDTV! Very highly rated by everyone who knows anything about HDTVs. Yes, put half your budget on the TV. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasonic+-+VIERA+-+60"+Class+(60-1/8"+Diag.)+-+Plasma+-+1080p+-+600Hz+-+Smart+-+3D+-+HDTV/8130171.p?id=1218864357165&skuId=8130171&st=ST60&cp=1&lp=2

Then, put $500 on this ZVox sound bar. The sound quality is phenomenal! Everything comes out of the one box, including the strong bass response (courtesy of 3 6" woofers inside) If you're near a store that has a Magnolia Audio Video, or a Best Buy with an MHT inside, you can demo it. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/ZVOX+-+Z-Base+580+2.1-Ch.+Home+Theater+Speaker+System/3868494.p?id=1218437460621&skuId=3868494&st=ZVox&cp=1&lp=1

Next, just get a refurb Mac Mini (~$500) from apple.com and skip the ATV3. The SMART TV can do your Netflix, Youtube, Pandora, etc. Plus, it has a built-in HTML-5 compliant web browser to render non-flash sites without having to fire up your Mac. Save the Mini for watching movies you've ripped to a HD, or playing graphically-intensive games.

Then spend $100 for a Blu-ray player. Right now, Blu-ray players still give you the best picture quality, AND sound quality for when you move into your own place and can add a better audio system.

That leaves $400 for any cables, software, surge protectors, or incidental things you might need.
i'm about 11 ft from wall to wall. its not a huge living room. reason i was thinking atv was b/c i can use a mini or imac as a home cpu and not just for streaming/watching stuff.

----------

Good luck on your set up and let us know what u decide. Since u are in an apartment I recommend spending some decent money on your tv first then your audio.
yeah i have been eyeing a lot of the higher end tv's but i'm not sure that i wanna spend most/almost all my money on the tv. i have been looking at some 46-50 inch tv's right now. i'm not really sure what to do. some of the higher end ones are around $2000-2200. if i do something like that i really won't have any money for a cpu, atv, or sound bar. i don't mind waiting on some of these things like the sound bar, but i don't wanna wait on a cpu/atv b/c i want to be able to start steaming stuff.
 

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,653
583
yeah i have been eyeing a lot of the higher end tv's but i'm not sure that i wanna spend most/almost all my money on the tv. i have been looking at some 46-50 inch tv's right now. i'm not really sure what to do. some of the higher end ones are around $2000-2200. if i do something like that i really won't have any money for a cpu, atv, or sound bar. i don't mind waiting on some of these things like the sound bar, but i don't wanna wait on a cpu/atv b/c i want to be able to start steaming stuff.
Hang on. What TVs have you been considering for that much? ($2000-@2200)
 

littlepooch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
144
8
Hang on. What TVs have you been considering for that much? ($2000-@2200)
i have been looking at a 46 sammy f8000, a sony 802a, and an LG LA7400 i think. i really like all of them, but don't wanna be spending so much just on a tv.
 

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,653
583
i have been looking at a 46 sammy f8000, a sony 802a, and an LG LA7400 i think. i really like all of them, but don't wanna be spending so much just on a tv.
Okay, so what is it you think you'll be getting for those prices on those TVs that the 60" ST60 can't give you at $1500?