PDA

View Full Version : home theater advice


Ben
11-14-2011, 09:24 PM
I am looking for some help on what wires to run while I have some drywall off the bottom 2' of my basement. I have been out of touch with technology beyond the surface for 10 years...

My setup will be:
* 46" tv mounted on the wall - all wires in the wall running to it.
* L & R speakers on stands next to it, wires in the wall
* C speaker likely on a shelf of some sort below TV, wire in the wall
* All components off to the side, about 10" from the TV.

My question is what all wires do I need to run to the TV? I need to connect a DVD recorder, my WII for now, maybe blu ray and TBD later... Also, I have always used RCA's to connect my TV to reciever, but now there is this optical audio thing. What's up with that?

I know 1 HDMI for DVD, component cable for the WII, and I'm thinking 2 extra HDMI's. Then whatever I need to get audio back.

Also, I am doing this on a wide wall, and will likely get a sub for the corner where the components are. Should I run a wire to the other corner for a 2nd sub option? If so, is that coax or speaker wire?

Finally, I need to upgrade my receiver and center channel speaker. I found a site with some reconditioned Denon models that seem priced well. Budget for reciever is hopfully under $300. We are not hard core home theater people, just want something decent. On the flip side, Costco has a Sony that would be common to my TV and I could use a common remote, especially if I get a sony DVD/blu ray as well. I typically feel sony is not as good, but may be willing to sacrifice for convenience of one remote - getting older I guess...

Any tips / advice is appreciated.

A few links of what I'm looking at:

Denon AVR591:
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR591/DENON-AVR-591-5.1-Channel-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html
Denon AVR791:
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR791/DENON-AVR-791-7.1-Channel-A/V-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html
Sony STR-D720HP:
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11646237&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|90607&N=4047273&Mo=20&No=11&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=2190&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&topnav=

Also, here is a center channel that seems OK, will mate with some older polk bookshelf speakers I have now, that I am happy with:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108PC350BG/Infinity-PC350-Black-grille.html?tp=189

Thanks in advance. Any good online places to get wires / cables?

east tx skier
11-14-2011, 09:38 PM
If you get a new receiver, you only need to run one wire from the receiver to the TV---an HDMI cable. Check monoprice.com and be sure to get whatever the latest HDMI spec is. Everything else gets fed to the receiver and switched there.

Coax with rca ends for the sub.

Polk makes good reasonably priced speakers and can be had for a song on Polks ebay store.

Check out the Dayton 12" sub at Parts express for a lot of boom for your buck.

As for fronts, I really like Klipsch, but I think those will be out of your budget.

Ben
11-14-2011, 09:56 PM
Thanks ETS. I will run two HDMI's (one as a backup) to the TV. Will that same HDMI bring sound back to my receiver if I am watching broadcast TV? Or do I stick with RCA's or the optical audio? I would think the coax still goes from antenna to TV, unless the receiver has a tuner.

cdstukey
11-14-2011, 09:57 PM
Have you consodered putting in a 1.5" pvc conduit from your equipment location to you tv? easy to do and offers the ultimate flexibility for future up grades. You don't need back boxes for the low voltage stuff so you can just end it in wall at desired locations and put a LV trim ring in your drywall for your wall plates.

Ben
11-14-2011, 10:08 PM
Have you consodered putting in a 1.5" pvc conduit from your equipment location to you tv? easy to do and offers the ultimate flexibility for future up grades. You don't need back boxes for the low voltage stuff so you can just end it in wall at desired locations and put a LV trim ring in your drywall for your wall plates.

I wish. That would require pulling siding off the house so I can slide it in the wall though. Unless I cut it into lotsa pieces ance use couplings between the studs. I don't feel this is good.

ETS - that sub looks good, do you know anyone who has one?

JohnE
11-14-2011, 10:14 PM
You can use ENT aka smurf tube to pipe from TV to receiver. As eastie said, one HDMI will usually do the trick, as long as your reciever will upconvert signals. To be safe, I'd run two HDMI's and a set of components and a CAT5 so you can use it for IR control.

1redTA
11-14-2011, 10:24 PM
I have all Sony components; tv, receiver and bluray all are operated from one remote if the Sony hardware has Bravia sync it will turn all components on and to the right setting for you automatically

quincyfirefighter
11-14-2011, 11:04 PM
Check out Audioholics.com. They really know their AV gear and setups . Good guys also

JimN
11-15-2011, 12:49 AM
Thanks ETS. I will run two HDMI's (one as a backup) to the TV. Will that same HDMI bring sound back to my receiver if I am watching broadcast TV? Or do I stick with RCA's or the optical audio? I would think the coax still goes from antenna to TV, unless the receiver has a tuner.

Don't bother running a spare HDMI- install a 1-1/2" flexible conduit and you won't have any problem re-fishing what you need in the future. Hopefully, HDMI will die soon because it's a royal PITA. If you use HDMI and plan to be up to date, it will need to be HDMI with ethernet. Don't go nuts buying Munster Cable, AudioQuest or any of the other high priced cables. For a retailer, Monoprice and Blue Jeans cables are about as good as it gets.

If you connect an antenna directly to the TV then yes, the HDMI cable will send the audio to the receiver but only if the TV and receiver have the ability to use ARC (Audio Return Channel). The 591 and 791 don't. Receivers don't have a TV tuner, so don't worry about that. I would look at the Denon AVR-1712 if you want to keep it simple. If you want to stream from Pandora, Rhapsody, Napster and Internet Radio, look at the AVR-1912. It will need to be connected to your IP network, either hard wired (preferred) or wireless. If you want to stream NetFlix, your TV will need an ethernet port, too. If you really want to stream a lot of content but not using the receiver or TV for that, look into Roku. It's cheap and it works very well.

BTW- the new Denon remote is a huge leap forward from most of the ones that come with receivers. It can also be set up to control other makes/models of equipment. I just installed an AVR-1712 last Friday and it was very easy. If you get a Denon, I highly recommend running Audyssey in all seating positions. The speakers I installed aren't anything I had heard, seen or worked with before, but after Audyssey was done, they actually sounded good. Little speakers usually don't sound very good.

For speakers, get the best you can afford. Spend extra on them- they make the most difference, other than the room. Call around your area to find a dealer that carry Episode speakers. They come from a distributor called SnapAV and they aren't sold online, but they're probably the best value I have seen in decades.

JimN
11-15-2011, 12:56 AM
If you want a full warranty, don't buy a refurb.

Ben
11-15-2011, 12:01 PM
Thanks Jim, I was unaware of the flexible conduit idea...

Also, The 1712 looks like a decent pick, although a bit higher than I was hoping for. I have no devotion to Denon, just "feel" like they have always made a good product. I have an old Yamaha that I really like as well. Any other $300-400 receivers that you would recommend to someone w/o brand preference.

Next question, is 2 subs something good to do, or would I be better to spend the extra $150 on better center, surround, etc.

I'm OK to stream from my iphone, WII, so I don't think the Denon 1912 is worth it for me.

Trying to stay around $1000 for receiver, center, sub(s), rears. I could delay the center, but since that does the most work, that is probably what should get upgraded 1st.

JimN
11-15-2011, 12:16 PM
Thanks Jim, I was unaware of the flexible conduit idea...

Also, The 1712 looks like a decent pick, although a bit higher than I was hoping for. I have no devotion to Denon, just "feel" like they have always made a good product. I have an old Yamaha that I really like as well. Any other $300-400 receivers that you would recommend to someone w/o brand preference.

Next question, is 2 subs something good to do, or would I be better to spend the extra $150 on better center, surround, etc.

I'm OK to stream from my iphone, WII, so I don't think the Denon 1912 is worth it for me.

Trying to stay around $1000 for receiver, center, sub(s), rears. I could delay the center, but since that does the most work, that is probably what should get upgraded 1st.

The flexible conduit is what JohnE referred to as "Smurf Tube".

I sell and install Denon. It's your call but their products have generally been very reliable and I like what they do. I'm more familiar with their setup and working with all brands just isn't practical, so I pick the ones I want to use.

The center is important but I wouldn't say it does the most work. In surround mode, it handles mainly dialog, not special effects. For music, it's kind of in the way if you really want accurate reproduction. I would focus on the L/R fronts, then the sub, then the rest. Ideally, all of the speakers will be exactly the same, but when WAF is involved, that usually doesn't happen.

If you want to run a second zone of music, look for a receiver with a Zone 2 line out, nto speaker level output. Speaker level is OK if you only have one pair but if you want that zone to get up and go, a separate amp will be necessary. The AVR-1712 is the first in the line with a line out for Zone 2.

ntidsl
11-15-2011, 12:39 PM
be careful with the flexie...if anything would happen its tough to get a fish tape through fexy because of the ridges...I always prefer pvc with street 90s. I always over size, just used 2" pipe in my basement...you just never know. To the speakers I don't use pipe as speaker wire won't change in my opinion.

I just got my HDMIs from Amazon...

Hey Jimn...question for you...if I am using HDMI's for everything, is it a waste a time to use optical cables for sound too? I used both to be sure.

Patrick Hardy
11-15-2011, 12:42 PM
Ben spend a minute or two to join this forum - http://www.avsforum.com/ and you will get all of your home theater advice you need. It is a great forum with a lot of advice from top people in all of the electronic industries.

sp00ky
11-15-2011, 01:56 PM
My 2 cents is too consider a projector as you can go to 90" pretty easily IMHO. This makes the home theatre experience. IMHO Anything else is just a TV

sp00ky
11-15-2011, 01:59 PM
ALSO hdmi sucks its sensitive to wreckage comes unplugged easily . You can get entire wall plates with sound video and network baluns fed by 2xcat 5/6 connections

Ski-me
11-15-2011, 02:08 PM
I'd also recommend the Denon if possible and the Audyssey too if that fits in your budget.

I have one, velodyne 12" sub in our basement concrete floor and it is plenty strong for the whole room. Also, an updated reciever will help with the various input conversions. I have a Pioneer Elite and it takes the Wii signal, VRC signal, BluRay signal, etc and sends it to the TV via one HDMI cable.

Also, on the HDMI cable, if you are running long distances, I think you can use a Cat6 cable with connectors on each end to be used for HDMI use.

slight thread jack but on the same subject.....

We are re-modelling our home (majorly) and need to run sound wire throughout the house. I was thinking a 4 pair from the stereo unit to each room junction box and then 2-2 pairs to the speakers in each room. Also would run Cat6 to the same junction box location. Does this sound like a good method? Budget is getting tight (as usual) but want to think ahead before sheetrock.

Here are the wires I was thinking to use....

Wire:
http://www.amazon.com/Monster-14-Gauge-2-Conductor-Speaker-500-Foot/dp/B00009V3RP/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_T1?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2AXKKLB5NLSNR&colid=13ESZ2874OKLF

http://www.amazon.com/Monster-14-Gauge-4-Conductor-Speaker-500-Foot/dp/B00013BLI6/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_T1?ie=UTF8&coliid=I34M4LRVYJ8S77&colid=13ESZ2874OKLF

Niles Controller:
http://www.amazon.com/Niles-VCS100R-control-impedance-magnification/dp/B001B1QZX8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_T1?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2ZFG8U11DE9X3&colid=13ESZ2874OKLF

Amplified HDMI:
http://www.amazon.com/PTC-100ft-Premium-Amplified-Built/dp/B001H4ZILE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1V62O6YDRGSB4&colid=13ESZ2874OKLF

JimN
11-15-2011, 07:00 PM
be careful with the flexie...if anything would happen its tough to get a fish tape through fexy because of the ridges...I always prefer pvc with street 90s. I always over size, just used 2" pipe in my basement...you just never know. To the speakers I don't use pipe as speaker wire won't change in my opinion.

I just got my HDMIs from Amazon...

Hey Jimn...question for you...if I am using HDMI's for everything, is it a waste a time to use optical cables for sound too? I used both to be sure.

90 degree bends make it hard to use much of the inside diameter and it's far harder to pull. If the cables are all taped together at the leading end, they can be pushed through Smurf tube, as long as the bends are gentle. Also, a pull string can be sucked through the conduit (any kind), using a shop vac. Put a wad of paper towel on the end of the string and it flies right to the vacuum end.

HDMI carries sound too, so yes, optical would be a waste. If you want to have a Zone 2, you often need an analog audio pair from the source because, in their endless greed, the powers that be decided that the audio and video from HDMI can't legally be separated so, unless the receiver can separate them, you need the redundant cables (no big deal if all of the equipment is near the receiver). That's just one of the reasons I hate HDMI.

Keep as much of the equipment on the same electrical circuit- all of it, if possible.

BTW- did I mention that I hate HDMI?

maxpower220
11-15-2011, 07:44 PM
Trying to stay around $1000 for receiver, center, sub(s), rears. I could delay the center, but since that does the most work, that is probably what should get upgraded 1st.

Buy once, cry once. Try to save and get really nice items to begin with; even if you have to wait longer.

Center speaker is a critical item, since basically all voices and sounds need to be reproduced by it during a movie. Get something good. I really like B&W speakers, but like everyone else these days, they make different levels. I would not recommend any speakers that are sold at Best Buy/HH Gregg.

Read up on reviews from magazines/internet about receivers. I had a Sony reciever and I thought is was nice. I finally got some nice speakers and sent my center chanel back due to it's sound quality. They found nothing wrong. I later replaced the receiver and the sound difference was amazing. Nothing wrong with the speaker, it was the receiver.

1 vs 2 subs is up to you, but you only need 1 unless you have a very large room or you are pushing a lot of power. Based on your buget, you aren't at the power level point yet.

east tx skier
11-15-2011, 08:13 PM
I wish. That would require pulling siding off the house so I can slide it in the wall though. Unless I cut it into lotsa pieces ance use couplings between the studs. I don't feel this is good.

ETS - that sub looks good, do you know anyone who has one?

If your source, i.e. satellite receiver, cable box, bluray player, etc. has audio output, the hdmi will drop it off at the receiver and pass through the video to the TV/monitor. You might need to adjust the delay on the receiver so the sound syncs up. Not sure why you would need to run two. No need for a return unless the TV has apps for netflix or the like and will be used as a source as well as a monitor.

I have the Dayton 120 and it is a great home theater sub for the money.

east tx skier
11-15-2011, 08:21 PM
Ben spend a minute or two to join this forum - http://www.avsforum.com/ and you will get all of your home theater advice you need. It is a great forum with a lot of advice from top people in all of the electronic industries.

AVS is a great forum.

The only reason I can think of to use optical for sound is if the component doesn't support HDMI. Optical won't carry the "high definition" audio or 7.1 audio. So you would have to use the source to decode the audio and then send it over optical as PCM. Probably fine, but it's easier to bitstream and let your receiver do all of the decoding. Actually, I don't know if it's easier, but it's how I have it setup and it's easier for me to think about it that way.

Roku was suggested and, for the price, if it works, go with it. I have Apple TV (no, I'm not a fanboi) and it's pretty seemless for netflix as well as video/audio/photo streaming from your PC.

east tx skier
11-15-2011, 08:28 PM
Also, I'd stick with one sub unless your receiver has an output for two or sends a lot of power to the sub channel. Otherwise, you'll need to boost the signal. I have never used them, but I've seen good write ups on these as an additional item for the bass feel.

Aura Bass Shakers (http://www.amazon.com/Aura-AST-2B-4-Pro-Bass-Shaker/dp/B0002ZPTBI)

fstaslp
11-15-2011, 08:31 PM
I love my HSU Sub.

www.hsuresearch.com

JimN
11-15-2011, 10:10 PM
No need for a return unless the TV has apps for netflix or the like and will be used as a source as well as a monitor.

I have the Dayton 120 and it is a great home theater sub for the money.

ARC (Audio Return Channel) will send the audio to the receiver if the TV and receiver have it. Otherwise, a lot of BluRay players do the same thing, so there's really not much need to use the TV for it unless a BD player isn't in the system or a network cable can't be run to the receiver/BD location.

Dayton has a lot of good stuff and the selection is just getting better.

JimN
11-15-2011, 10:21 PM
AVS is a great forum.

The only reason I can think of to use optical for sound is if the component doesn't support HDMI. Optical won't carry the "high definition" audio or 7.1 audio. So you would have to use the source to decode the audio and then send it over optical as PCM. Probably fine, but it's easier to bitstream and let your receiver do all of the decoding. Actually, I don't know if it's easier, but it's how I have it setup and it's easier for me to think about it that way.

Roku was suggested and, for the price, if it works, go with it. I have Apple TV (no, I'm not a fanboi) and it's pretty seemless for netflix as well as video/audio/photo streaming from your PC.

The way they're getting equipment to communicate, it's making stand alone media servers obsolete, unless someone wants to access it from several sources without needing to set up a VPN. I have a Denon receiver and can control it with my remote or any computer that's in the network, including my iPhone or Android tablet. I can also use the receiver to look for music, photos or video on a networked computer- I just need to go into Windows Media Player and allow sharing. It not only streams the audio/video but it converts MP3 files to PCM, so there's no problem with low bitrate files sounding like crap. The iPhone app can use IP or DLNA and it's capable of two-way communication, which shows the status of the receiver (muted or not, which source is being used, volume setting, power setting, etc). It has buttons for Zone 2 and/or Zone 3, if applicable. Pioneer's app allows control of receivers AND BD players.

DLNA allows easy comm access and it includes computers using Windows 7.
http://www.dlna.org/about_us/about/

This stuff is really cool- Since I switched to an iPhone and Windows 7 on my laptop, I no longer need to run more cabling to my garage in order to control most of my system. Once I get another Roku, I'll be able to control that from out there, using the app I got from the App Store.

JimN
11-15-2011, 10:22 PM
repeat post- delete, please.

east tx skier
11-16-2011, 08:55 AM
ARC (Audio Return Channel) will send the audio to the receiver if the TV and receiver have it. Otherwise, a lot of BluRay players do the same thing, so there's really not much need to use the TV for it unless a BD player isn't in the system or a network cable can't be run to the receiver/BD location.

Dayton has a lot of good stuff and the selection is just getting better.

Hmm. Wasn't familiar with that. My TV's "smart" features tend to date it a bit. Cheap to add those with a media box though.

That Dayton sub has been just great for what it cost me. Not nearly as boomy for music as it was advertised in reviews, but hits plenty hard in movies.

east tx skier
11-16-2011, 09:00 AM
The way they're getting equipment to communicate, it's making stand alone media servers obsolete, unless someone wants to access it from several sources without needing to set up a VPN. I have a Denon receiver and can control it with my remote or any computer that's in the network, including my iPhone or Android tablet. I can also use the receiver to look for music, photos or video on a networked computer- I just need to go into Windows Media Player and allow sharing. It not only streams the audio/video but it converts MP3 files to PCM, so there's no problem with low bitrate files sounding like crap. The iPhone app can use IP or DLNA and it's capable of two-way communication, which shows the status of the receiver (muted or not, which source is being used, volume setting, power setting, etc). It has buttons for Zone 2 and/or Zone 3, if applicable. Pioneer's app allows control of receivers AND BD players.

DLNA allows easy comm access and it includes computers using Windows 7.
http://www.dlna.org/about_us/about/

This stuff is really cool- Since I switched to an iPhone and Windows 7 on my laptop, I no longer need to run more cabling to my garage in order to control most of my system. Once I get another Roku, I'll be able to control that from out there, using the app I got from the App Store.

A couple of things, I'm guessing Windows 7 does a much better job with Media player than Vista does. I tried just about everything with WMP, but it was so unreliable with streaming on the PS3. I went Tversity to stream and never looked back.

So is Roku pretty good? I have liked Apple TV, but wish I had access to Amazon movies. The Apple's streaming (since I have my music organized in itunes) is pretty bullet proof and its netflix and youtube is pretty seamless. If I were to get another little box, I would consider Roku, if only for it's lower price by comparison (probably by 1/2) to AppleTV.

hondaprlud
11-16-2011, 09:16 AM
I did this dance about 18 months ago. These things have gotten so advanced I found that I didn't even know the right questions to ask. For the receiver I ended up buying the Pioneer VSX-1020. I've been pretty happy with the sound quality and it handles the audio return so I can stream from the TV or BD player.

Also I'd read that you didn't need to buy the expensive HDMI, so I didn't. I bought the $2 ones online. then Those broke and I bought the $5-$6 ones. that seems to be a cheap as you can go. The 3 pack from Amazon worked for me.

I also spent a good bit of time on AVS forum. It's a great resource.

JimN
11-16-2011, 10:18 AM
Hmm. Wasn't familiar with that. My TV's "smart" features tend to date it a bit. Cheap to add those with a media box though.

That Dayton sub has been just great for what it cost me. Not nearly as boomy for music as it was advertised in reviews, but hits plenty hard in movies.

Most inexpensive subs tend to be pretty bad but having talked with the guy who designs the Dayton drivers and speakers, it's clear they don't come from someone with a chart and a few diagrams. Some of the less expensive ones I have heard lately sounded pretty good- they're far better than what was available before. I bought a pair of 6-1/2" two-way Episode speakers for evaluation in April and I was amazed by the whole package. The sound is great but the fit and finish was exceptional- flawless piano black. I sold them and added the matching center and sub- the sub is almost as good as his other one, at about half the price.

ARC is pretty new- I think it came out with HDMI 1.4 or maybe 1.3 (they don't use the number system anymore- the HDMI group decided it was too confusing). If a TV has ARC, it will show that next to one of the HDMI inputs (usually HDMI 1).

JimN
11-16-2011, 10:28 AM
I did this dance about 18 months ago. These things have gotten so advanced I found that I didn't even know the right questions to ask. For the receiver I ended up buying the Pioneer VSX-1020. I've been pretty happy with the sound quality and it handles the audio return so I can stream from the TV or BD player.

Also I'd read that you didn't need to buy the expensive HDMI, so I didn't. I bought the $2 ones online. then Those broke and I bought the $5-$6 ones. that seems to be a cheap as you can go. The 3 pack from Amazon worked for me.

I also spent a good bit of time on AVS forum. It's a great resource.

Which HDMI cables are needed depends on what's being sent through them. The cheapest ones won't necessarily work for 3d unless they're extremely short and what used to be called HDMI 1.4 is now called High Speed HDMI with Ethernet. When people recommend "don't buy the expensive cables", it means "don't buy the ones that sell based on BS and snake oil"- you still need to look at the construction and ability to send 3d or ethernet, if these are needed for the system to work as designed.

This is another reason I don't like HDMI- they're making it too complicated for so many people and when they end up buying accessories or equipment because "I just wanted to be done with it" or "I got fed up with reading the spec sheets and hearing the sales pitches", they settle on something that leaves a bad taste for the whole process and the industry- they're unhappy with what they bought and they won't be satisfied. Nobody wants to spend $300 on cables and then talk to someone who gets the same performance after spending $50.

Ben
11-16-2011, 12:24 PM
Thanks for all the great info. I may not have mentioned we watch tv via antenna using TV tuner, so that is why I need to get sounds back to the receiver. I don't think my TV has capability via HDMI, so which is better for that, digital coax or optical? Do both pass surround back equally?

As for the 2nd sub, my room is 19x26 with the TV on the 19' wall, and primary couch about 1/2 way back. The Dayton sub ETS linked up looks decent for me. Should one still be good, and two overkill for my room?

If I do 2 subs, crutchfield has a Polk Audio special buy $500, get a free sub, so if I get my surrounds, center, and one sub, I can get the 2nd for free, which would be the same money as the surrounds, center, and two of the Dayton subs. Then the question is which is better, 2 Dayton 12's, or 2 Polk 8's. I'm sure that's a Ford v. Chevy thing...

I'm not upgrading my fronts or TV now, so if I only get one sub, I'm not sure the $$ would go to "upgrading" anything else. Maybe it would lock in the Denon 1712 v. 1612, although I am leaning to the reman 1712 anyway. I guess it would be more beer and popcorn money.

Here are the speakers I'm considering:
Surround, Polk RC60i - 6-1/2, 2 way in ceiling for $150, or pick some from OSD (not sure how to pick). I have outdoor speakers from them, and am happy.
Center, Polk TSi CS20 or infinity PC350, both $200 (thoughts?)
Subs, Dayton SUB 120 for $140 ea or Polk PSW111 --> only if I get two as mentioned above

The 2nd HDMI to the TV from receiver would simply be a spare. For $5, I'll do that vs fishing one thru the wall, PVC or not.

The roku seems like a good deal, although for a mimimal amt more, you can get a cheap bluray player that does the same stuff. This is what I put in my gym, although we rarely watch DVD's in there. TV is 17 yrs old too, and has a bluray hooked to it...

JimN
11-16-2011, 01:56 PM
Thanks for all the great info. I may not have mentioned we watch tv via antenna using TV tuner, so that is why I need to get sounds back to the receiver. I don't think my TV has capability via HDMI, so which is better for that, digital coax or optical? Do both pass surround back equally?

As for the 2nd sub, my room is 19x26 with the TV on the 19' wall, and primary couch about 1/2 way back. The Dayton sub ETS linked up looks decent for me. Should one still be good, and two overkill for my room?

If I do 2 subs, crutchfield has a Polk Audio special buy $500, get a free sub, so if I get my surrounds, center, and one sub, I can get the 2nd for free, which would be the same money as the surrounds, center, and two of the Dayton subs. Then the question is which is better, 2 Dayton 12's, or 2 Polk 8's. I'm sure that's a Ford v. Chevy thing...

I'm not upgrading my fronts or TV now, so if I only get one sub, I'm not sure the $$ would go to "upgrading" anything else. Maybe it would lock in the Denon 1712 v. 1612, although I am leaning to the reman 1712 anyway. I guess it would be more beer and popcorn money.

Here are the speakers I'm considering:
Surround, Polk RC60i - 6-1/2, 2 way in ceiling for $150, or pick some from OSD (not sure how to pick). I have outdoor speakers from them, and am happy.
Center, Polk TSi CS20 or infinity PC350, both $200 (thoughts?)
Subs, Dayton SUB 120 for $140 ea or Polk PSW111 --> only if I get two as mentioned above

The 2nd HDMI to the TV from receiver would simply be a spare. For $5, I'll do that vs fishing one thru the wall, PVC or not.

The roku seems like a good deal, although for a mimimal amt more, you can get a cheap bluray player that does the same stuff. This is what I put in my gym, although we rarely watch DVD's in there. TV is 17 yrs old too, and has a bluray hooked to it...

Coax for the digital signal is cheaper- all you need is regular coax with RCA connectors although, by design, the digital signal is supposed to be on 50 Ohm cable (RG-59/RG-6 are 75 Ohm). I don't know why they didn't use 75 Ohm as the impedance.

The only issue I have seen using coax is the possibility of a ground loop, which causes hum. You can convert from coax to optical, though- that will break the loop and won't sacrifice sound quality. The adapters aren't expensive.

Patrick Hardy
11-16-2011, 03:20 PM
Which HDMI cables are needed depends on what's being sent through them. The cheapest ones won't necessarily work for 3d unless they're extremely short and what used to be called HDMI 1.4 is now called High Speed HDMI with Ethernet. When people recommend "don't buy the expensive cables", it means "don't buy the ones that sell based on BS and snake oil"- you still need to look at the construction and ability to send 3d or ethernet, if these are needed for the system to work as designed.

This is another reason I don't like HDMI- they're making it too complicated for so many people and when they end up buying accessories or equipment because "I just wanted to be done with it" or "I got fed up with reading the spec sheets and hearing the sales pitches", they settle on something that leaves a bad taste for the whole process and the industry- they're unhappy with what they bought and they won't be satisfied. Nobody wants to spend $300 on cables and then talk to someone who gets the same performance after spending $50.

Jim, I feel the same as you on expensive cabling. Like all things relative to ones income, it is a hard sell to someone who spends $2,000 to $100,000 for their system and only $50 to $200 on the cables.

east tx skier
11-16-2011, 03:33 PM
Most inexpensive subs tend to be pretty bad but having talked with the guy who designs the Dayton drivers and speakers, it's clear they don't come from someone with a chart and a few diagrams. Some of the less expensive ones I have heard lately sounded pretty good- they're far better than what was available before. I bought a pair of 6-1/2" two-way Episode speakers for evaluation in April and I was amazed by the whole package. The sound is great but the fit and finish was exceptional- flawless piano black. I sold them and added the matching center and sub- the sub is almost as good as his other one, at about half the price.

ARC is pretty new- I think it came out with HDMI 1.4 or maybe 1.3 (they don't use the number system anymore- the HDMI group decided it was too confusing). If a TV has ARC, it will show that next to one of the HDMI inputs (usually HDMI 1).

I had a Polk 10" before the Dayton and it was not good at all.

As for ARC, my TV is a 2009 Samsung of the 1.3 HDMI era. I haven't looked behind it in some time. I don't use any of the Samsung media features because the interface and its ability to handshake with my computer is so poor. Easier for me to let other devices do that.

east tx skier
11-16-2011, 03:37 PM
Thanks for all the great info. I may not have mentioned we watch tv via antenna using TV tuner, so that is why I need to get sounds back to the receiver. I don't think my TV has capability via HDMI, so which is better for that, digital coax or optical? Do both pass surround back equally?

As for the 2nd sub, my room is 19x26 with the TV on the 19' wall, and primary couch about 1/2 way back. The Dayton sub ETS linked up looks decent for me. Should one still be good, and two overkill for my room?

If I do 2 subs, crutchfield has a Polk Audio special buy $500, get a free sub, so if I get my surrounds, center, and one sub, I can get the 2nd for free, which would be the same money as the surrounds, center, and two of the Dayton subs. Then the question is which is better, 2 Dayton 12's, or 2 Polk 8's. I'm sure that's a Ford v. Chevy thing...

I'm not upgrading my fronts or TV now, so if I only get one sub, I'm not sure the $$ would go to "upgrading" anything else. Maybe it would lock in the Denon 1712 v. 1612, although I am leaning to the reman 1712 anyway. I guess it would be more beer and popcorn money.

Here are the speakers I'm considering:
Surround, Polk RC60i - 6-1/2, 2 way in ceiling for $150, or pick some from OSD (not sure how to pick). I have outdoor speakers from them, and am happy.
Center, Polk TSi CS20 or infinity PC350, both $200 (thoughts?)
Subs, Dayton SUB 120 for $140 ea or Polk PSW111 --> only if I get two as mentioned above

The 2nd HDMI to the TV from receiver would simply be a spare. For $5, I'll do that vs fishing one thru the wall, PVC or not.

The roku seems like a good deal, although for a mimimal amt more, you can get a cheap bluray player that does the same stuff. This is what I put in my gym, although we rarely watch DVD's in there. TV is 17 yrs old too, and has a bluray hooked to it...

Avoid the Polk sub. See my post above. I really like their car audio components, all of my speakers in my boat are Polk, including the sub. And I have a friend who has Polk as his fronts and centers. But the less expensive Polks subs are not worth the money.

Jim, will coax carry a DTS signal? I seem to remember that you had to have optical to do DTS, at least back when DTS started showing up as an option on DVDs way back when.

JimN
11-16-2011, 05:01 PM
Jim, I feel the same as you on expensive cabling. Like all things relative to ones income, it is a hard sell to someone who spends $2,000 to $100,000 for their system and only $50 to $200 on the cables.

OTOH, the common "we recommend spending 10% of the system price on cabling" doesn't make sense if the differences just can't be substantiated. It's great to see shiny, cool looking cabling but when cosmetics are the only real difference, I have to say that it's wasted money. Did you ever see the speaker wire comparison that included coat hanger wire? No audible difference. I don't know if it was a true blind A-B comparison but if people can't hear the difference reliably, something is wrong with the hype.
http://consumerist.com/2008/03/do-coat-hangers-sound-as-good-monster-cables.html

Commercial, industrial and pro audio/video contractors NEVER use the hyped cable brands unless they also do residential, and even then, commercial/industrial clients have someone on staff who makes the final decisions and they often know if there's a difference. The name brands for commercial/industrial/pro audio have typically been Belden, Canare, Mogami, Genesis, West Penn (now, part of Belden) and a couple of others that aren't recognized by the home audio enthusiast because they never get any mention in Audio, Home Theater, Stereo Review and the other magazines. The fact that they have been standard issue for decades says they work at the specs listed in the design.

I was looking at the site from one of my suppliers and they have a 50' HDMI cable that retails for $500. That's insane! Component video worked fine (and by 'fine', I mean the first time, reliably and they can be unplugged/plugged in repeatedly without damage) for all current formats until HDMI came about just because Hollyweird decided that they needed to come up with a way to keep people from copying their crappy movies. Most of the titles I have seen lately were remakes, if I looked into the details more closely. Other than fresh, new faces and special effects, they're really the same plot. Nothing I need to own. I would rather have an extensive library of great concert videos, anyway.

JimN
11-16-2011, 05:28 PM
Avoid the Polk sub. See my post above. I really like their car audio components, all of my speakers in my boat are Polk, including the sub. And I have a friend who has Polk as his fronts and centers. But the less expensive Polks subs are not worth the money.

Jim, will coax carry a DTS signal? I seem to remember that you had to have optical to do DTS, at least back when DTS started showing up as an option on DVDs way back when.

Coax will carry it if it's part of an HDBaseT HDMI extender. Otherwise, as long as the cable has passed the frequency sweep test (usually up past 2.6GHz) and the device (DVD/BD or receiver) is designed to pass it, it shouldn't have a problem.

ntidsl
11-16-2011, 05:47 PM
90 degree bends make it hard to use much of the inside diameter and it's far harder to pull. If the cables are all taped together at the leading end, they can be pushed through Smurf tube, as long as the bends are gentle. Also, a pull string can be sucked through the conduit (any kind), using a shop vac. Put a wad of paper towel on the end of the string and it flies right to the vacuum end.
This is why I use street 90s with 2" pipe...nice a slow 90...easy to pull through...vaccuums work if you have flexie with smooth inside...if not forget it...I prefer fish tapes in rigid conduit but i have an electrical background and we are very old fashion...lol...

Ben
11-16-2011, 10:15 PM
After more thinking, I can run rigid 1-1/2" and a long 90 (if I can find) vertically, and run the flexible stuff horizontally. This may help the situation. I just need to find 10 feet of the flexible vs. a big *** roll... Any links where I can buy by the foot? The stuff I got from flexpvc.com for my ballast is way thicker wall than I need.

Kyle
11-16-2011, 11:04 PM
My buddy has the B&W diamond speakers and the Rotell receiver, very high quality cables, etc. That is the clearest sounding music or surround sound I have ever heard. If you ever listen to music with string instruments, those speakers will allow you to hear the bow glide against the strings of the instrument. The system he has is very high end. If you ever get a chance to listen to the diamond B&W speakers you should. It's crazy.

Ben
11-17-2011, 07:19 AM
Jim - any thoughts / opinions on Denon 891 vs the 1712. I know 1712 is newer, but the reconditioned 1712 just became unavailable. If I go new on the 1912, I can get a new 891 for same price. 891 seems like a higher end model from last year, although I'm having a hard time finding a lot of direct comparison info

JimN
11-17-2011, 09:49 AM
Jim - any thoughts / opinions on Denon 891 vs the 1712. I know 1712 is newer, but the reconditioned 1712 just became unavailable. If I go new on the 1912, I can get a new 891 for same price. 891 seems like a higher end model from last year, although I'm having a hard time finding a lot of direct comparison info

The 3 digit models are sold by dealers who buy from most distributors and don't stock inventory. The 4 digit models are from dealers who buy from certain distributors and dealers that do stock inventory. There's really no difference but I would go with the xx12 because of the up-conversion and a few other tweaks.

If you go to the Denon site, you'll find a search bar at the upper right corner, where you can enter the AVR-891 model number. The 1912 is the first that has AirPlay which makes it show up in iTunes as a "speaker" in the same way as an Airport Express or other Apple computer for streaming, as long as the computer and receiver are on the same network. The 891 doesn't have an ethernet port, so it can't do this. The 1912 also connects to a Windows 7 computer for streaming audio/video and showing photos. If you do presentations and/or use a laptop while you listen to music, you'll appreciate this- not only can you control the music you're listening to, but you can control the receiver directly from the computer.

AVR-1912-
http://usa.denon.com/US/Product/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?PCatId=AVSolutions%28DenonNA%29&catalog=DenonNA_US&CatId=AVReceivers%28DenonNA%29&Pid=AVR1912%28DenonNA%29

AVR-891-
http://usa.denon.com/US/Product/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?PCatId=AVSolutions%28DenonNA%29&catalog=DenonNA_US&CatId=AVReceivers%28DenonNA%29&Pid=AVR1912%28DenonNA%29

Ben
11-17-2011, 10:00 AM
Crap, sorry, i had a typo. I meant 1712 vs. 891, not the 1912. While it seems cool, I can't justify and don't need all the network stuff on the stereo for my use.

Would you still go 1712 over 891?

I will check out the links and look for similar on the 1712.

JimN
11-17-2011, 10:08 AM
Crap, sorry, i had a typo. I meant 1712 vs. 891, not the 1912. While it seems cool, I can't justify and don't need all the network stuff on the stereo for my use.

Would you still go 1712 over 891?

I will check out the links and look for similar on the 1712.

The setup on the 1712 is a lot easier and that counts. They'll sound the same but if the setup is easier, it's more likely that people will go through the whole process and it will impact their system's performance. Also, the remote with the 1712 can control other brands of equipment. It doesn't do power on macros (I'm still looking into this) but it still controls cable/sat box, BD or DVD player, TV, etc.

east tx skier
11-17-2011, 11:03 AM
Coax will carry it if it's part of an HDBaseT HDMI extender. Otherwise, as long as the cable has passed the frequency sweep test (usually up past 2.6GHz) and the device (DVD/BD or receiver) is designed to pass it, it shouldn't have a problem.

I think the issue for me may have been my older Sony DVD players, which would not pass DTS over coax. Optical only.

Ben
11-18-2011, 10:13 AM
I somehow how got myself talked into a 2112CI now. Found a good deal.

Based on a comment by Jim earlier and the AVS site, I am 2nd guessing my decision to keep the fronts and replace the 3 surrounds. Debating keeping my old JBL Flix1 surrounds for longer and replacing the fronts if I can find something economical. I would still plan to add the Dayton sub to the mix.

Option A: Old Polk 5JR fronts (which I think sound great although I have not directly compared to anything recently), some sort of $200ish new center, new rears
Option B: New fronts in the $300-400 range, use the 3 pc JBL flix for a few more years, and deal with ugly black speakers hanging from the ceiling.

Opinions? I would likely be patient and watch cragislist or some internet blowout for the new fronts to try and get a 1 year or so old set for a good deal.

Also - is anyone running the 7.1 with the "high" set of front speakers? I would consider this, but the far rears is too much wiring hassle.

east tx skier
11-18-2011, 10:32 AM
I don't know what a "high set of front speakers" is, but I would suggest getting a center that matches the fronts you choose. It's a subtle difference, but worth it in the long run. As someone else mentioned, "buy once, cry once." I would replace the surrounds/rears last.

Ben
11-18-2011, 10:50 AM
I was unaware too, but the manual for the 891 shows that for 7.1, the additional speakers can go at the back of the room (assuming the surround rears are say only 1/2 way back), or high on wall the tv is on. Result is 5 speakers on the front wall, 3 at tv height and 2 up high...

JimN
11-18-2011, 01:17 PM
I don't know what a "high set of front speakers" is, but I would suggest getting a center that matches the fronts you choose. It's a subtle difference, but worth it in the long run. As someone else mentioned, "buy once, cry once." I would replace the surrounds/rears last.

In the speaker setup, the Denon and some other brands with Audyssey have an option for speakers that add to the illusion of height- some rooms just make everything sound like it goes no higher than the listener's head. These are in addition to the side and rear surround speakers, although a couple of models give the choice of rear surround or height (leaving the side speakers as they are).

Matching the fronts is a great way to not screw up the front sound stage.

east tx skier
11-18-2011, 02:14 PM
My speakers are above the TV and pretty well above my head when I'm sitting down. Doesn't significantly affect sound whether I'm sitting down or standing up. Just how the room came together when we built the cabinetry. My fronts are 5.25" matched Klipsch. The surrounds and rear surrounds are 8" round Yamahas in the ceiling. On occasion, I've considered upgrading the Yamahas to something. But I quickly come to my senses. They seem to do the job just fine and I have better things on which to spend money for any discernible difference it might make.

Ben
11-18-2011, 08:14 PM
So to follow the matching front idea, I would be better getting a Polk Tsi cs20 center since it has silk dome tweeter to match my current fronts, and plan for eventual replacement of better/newer polks than buying a Klipsch rc52ii center for 250 new in box just because it is a good deal and almost 2x retail of the Polk.

Unless I find some screaming deal on a new/used set of Klipsch fronts, it would be a long time to spring for an matchIng set of Klipsch fronts. Boat heater would take priority.

I am seeing a theme of wanting the fronts to match.

Ordered the Dayton 12" sub and denon avr2112 today. Thanks to all for help so far.

east tx skier
11-19-2011, 09:33 AM
So to follow the matching front idea, I would be better getting a Polk Tsi cs20 center since it has silk dome tweeter to match my current fronts, and plan for eventual replacement of better/newer polks than buying a Klipsch rc52ii center for 250 new in box just because it is a good deal and almost 2x retail of the Polk.

Unless I find some screaming deal on a new/used set of Klipsch fronts, it would be a long time to spring for an matchIng set of Klipsch fronts. Boat heater would take priority.

I am seeing a theme of wanting the fronts to match.

Ordered the Dayton 12" sub and denon avr2112 today. Thanks to all for help so far.

Budget rules, but you'll spend more money in the long run if you buy a center and then replace it later. I haven't heard a bad thing about regular polk speakers. My only complaint has been with their moderately priced sub. You will probably be perfectly satisfied with that polk center, assuming it is the same size and series as your current sides. I'm still using the Cerwin Vega center I bought in 1995 on our TV in the bedroom. If you have another room with a good TV, you can always rationalize upgrading by relegating the older speakers to the secondary setup. :)

EarmarkMarine
11-19-2011, 12:55 PM
Just a little sidenote or two pertaining to single or dual subwoofers for those who are thinking about building an AV system.
I would usually recommend a single and larger/more powerful subwoofer versus two subs unless the subs are on the same wall and symmetrically located in relationship to the room boundaries and listener positions. It still may take a little physical movement to get the optimum sub set-up. This will probably be revealed more on music rather than movie soundtracks. You can get into some really complex acoustic problems with longer/lower waveforms and in this case simple is usually the best route for a subwoofer. You can remedy acoustic problems with processors only to a degree. If you have a peak then a dB of peak is easily resolved with a dB of attenuation. But a dB of cancellation is incredibly inefficient to correct without sapping alot of the system's dynamic range. So room correction overdone can be taxing in other performance areas. Its far better to avoid the problems in the initial design.
As for 'bass shakers'...its really just a mechanical vibrator. And, its difficult to integrate with the acoustic bass. I sense the effect as foriegn and detached so I tire of the novelty quickly. If you have them built into your seating presently then I would say 'easy does it' and back way down on the gain until you don't notice their presence until they are gone.

David
Earmark Marine

east tx skier
11-19-2011, 04:04 PM
Just a little sidenote or two pertaining to single or dual subwoofers for those who are thinking about building an AV system.
I would usually recommend a single and larger/more powerful subwoofer versus two subs unless the subs are on the same wall and symmetrically located in relationship to the room boundaries and listener positions. It still may take a little physical movement to get the optimum sub set-up. This will probably be revealed more on music rather than movie soundtracks. You can get into some really complex acoustic problems with longer/lower waveforms and in this case simple is usually the best route for a subwoofer. You can remedy acoustic problems with processors only to a degree. If you have a peak then a dB of peak is easily resolved with a dB of attenuation. But a dB of cancellation is incredibly inefficient to correct without sapping alot of the system's dynamic range. So room correction overdone can be taxing in other performance areas. Its far better to avoid the problems in the initial design.
As for 'bass shakers'...its really just a mechanical vibrator. And, its difficult to integrate with the acoustic bass. I sense the effect as foriegn and detached so I tire of the novelty quickly. If you have them built into your seating presently then I would say 'easy does it' and back way down on the gain until you don't notice their presence until they are gone.

David
Earmark Marine

Interesting about the bass shakers. I had someone try to talk me into one recently. I shrugged it off and am still shrugging.

JimN
11-19-2011, 05:27 PM
Interesting about the bass shakers. I had someone try to talk me into one recently. I shrugged it off and am still shrugging.

Must have been turned up too high.:D

I have never thought they sounded realistic because when a listener is seated, the sound won't be transferred to them the way the Auratones (or other brand) works unless the sound hits the chair/sofa directly and causes more vibration than the direct sound.

The dual sub setup causes the room modes to be more evenly distributed, which makes a big difference. If two subs isn't a good option, GIK or some other company sells bass traps and they make a big difference. The only problem is whether the user wants to see room treatments, or not.

Ben
11-20-2011, 07:59 AM
Jim - a guy on AVS forum mentioned the 891 has "Anchor bay" video processor, which is much better than 2112. Sounds like it can upscale to 1080p better. Would this be a good reason to revert to the 891?

From what I see, the 2112 adds better remote, user interface, network stuff, and is newer. However, if I eventually will be adding network ready blu ray, I sort figure i can plan on the network stuff from that, and the setup issues are OK, as I will the one doing it the first time no matter how complicated it is... My main usage for network would be pandora radio, I have a low level of confidence we will do much of the other "fancy" stuff. Although it feels like the network connect is good from a "what may come in the furure" standpoint. Is the software on the 2112 upgradable, so like apple crap I can plan on more stuff coming my way?

I'm not sure I can cancel the 2112, so this may be a waste of keystrokes. 891 would be $50 less, so apply to a new blu ray sooner.

JimN
11-20-2011, 09:59 AM
Jim - a guy on AVS forum mentioned the 891 has "Anchor bay" video processor, which is much better than 2112. Sounds like it can upscale to 1080p better. Would this be a good reason to revert to the 891?

From what I see, the 2112 adds better remote, user interface, network stuff, and is newer. However, if I eventually will be adding network ready blu ray, I sort figure i can plan on the network stuff from that, and the setup issues are OK, as I will the one doing it the first time no matter how complicated it is... My main usage for network would be pandora radio, I have a low level of confidence we will do much of the other "fancy" stuff. Although it feels like the network connect is good from a "what may come in the furure" standpoint. Is the software on the 2112 upgradable, so like apple crap I can plan on more stuff coming my way?

I'm not sure I can cancel the 2112, so this may be a waste of keystrokes. 891 would be $50 less, so apply to a new blu ray sooner.

Did the guy on AVS mention exactly why the 891 is better with Anchor Bay? Using a worse processor on a more expensive receiver won't make anyone happy and I doubt Denon thinks it would be a good idea to not be able to up-convert as well as anyone else. It will up-convert from anything to HDMI and it does that well.

Yes, firmware updates are done online. You can also save the configuration to your computer, then re-load to the receiver in the event that you need to do a reset or update (it's always a good idea to save your config before any update, just like any other computer).

Ben
11-20-2011, 10:06 AM
Here is the link. I am likely staying with the 2112, but wanted to check your thoughts, as you seem in the loop by doing instals vs. just judging by MSRP, as the stores do...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=21235500&posted=1#post21235500

Next topic, you can see on the link, but I'm sort of debating scrapping the fronts and going in wall with polk 6.5's or 8's. Wall is 2x6 insulated. With a sub added, will music be in the same ballpark as my 20 year old polk 5JR's? I figure the movies will be fine, correct? I used to be really into audio stuff, but my "approval level" is reduced, as priorities have shifted. The clean approach of all in wall would be nice, but not if I take a 50% hit to sound quality.

If I go to bet buy and listen/compare, will it be a "fair" comparison of in wall vs. bookshelfs?

JimN
11-20-2011, 01:14 PM
Here is the link. I am likely staying with the 2112, but wanted to check your thoughts, as you seem in the loop by doing instals vs. just judging by MSRP, as the stores do...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=21235500&posted=1#post21235500

Next topic, you can see on the link, but I'm sort of debating scrapping the fronts and going in wall with polk 6.5's or 8's. Wall is 2x6 insulated. With a sub added, will music be in the same ballpark as my 20 year old polk 5JR's? I figure the movies will be fine, correct? I used to be really into audio stuff, but my "approval level" is reduced, as priorities have shifted. The clean approach of all in wall would be nice, but not if I take a 50% hit to sound quality.

If I go to bet buy and listen/compare, will it be a "fair" comparison of in wall vs. bookshelfs?

I would start by connecting the cable/sat box and BluRay directly to the TV and if the picture quality is lacking with a signal that is known to have great video quality, it would sway me toward the 891 as long as you can see a difference when you compare a 1080p disc with a 1080i disc. If you can't see a difference, I might consider the 891 over the 2112CI if I wanted a little extra power. That power difference won't be very noticeable, though- only on strong peaks, not for overall SPL.

After I installed the 1712 two weeks ago, I was impressed by what I saw and heard. Audyssey did a really good job and the video quality was excellent, through a 55" Panasonic plasma. It was very easy to set up and, being 2 models below what you're looking at, you should be satisfied with it. If audio is extremely important, the 2112 has AudysseyXT, which does more than the basic version.

As far as speakers, in-wall and in-ceiling speakers are usually a compromise between decent sound and unobtrusiveness. Given the choice, I would take a good pair of bookshelf speakers/sub over in-wall or in-ceiling. Do your Polks have a passive radiator? If so, definitely not. If they don't, I'd say the Polks will sound better than most reasonably-priced in-wall/ceiling speakers. While Audyssey tries to correct for the room, it can't make up for shortcomings in speakers and other than the room, the speakers are the single most important part of an audio reproduction system. The best electronics won't sound good with bad speakers. How much can you spend on speakers?

Who are you buying this from? You know there are only a few authorized online sellers for Denon, right? If you buy from someone who isn't authorized, there's no warranty.

Ben
11-20-2011, 05:38 PM
I can't tell if you are saying to get the 891 or stick with the 2112.

I agree the power difference is negligable for my application.

Still trying to weigh out the better procesor vs, newer other stuff. Part of me is now thinking the 891 is fine, and it may be easier / better to keep up with the network stuff via blu ray players or other devices instead of chaning receivers. That points me to the 891. Other option is to admit whatever the 2112 does is good enough for me (hurt, but true), and if I want to listen to pandora I won't have to turn the TV on, and can just run the stereo.

I'd have to see if we even have a 1080p anything, have not bought a dvd for a while. Other issue is the room is tore up right now so setting everything up is not an option. Hence the online splattering of input I've been doing + calling around.

I'm debating getting the in walls I would use for the rears and installing in the front wall temporarily to check out if I think that is good enough for music. As much as I would like, I don't have rock concerts in the basement anymore... It just seems like 3 painted grills on the wall would look a lot cleaner for what the system is used for. Most of the reading I have done certainly mentions compromise though, and that is obviously a subjective thing...

hmmmmm

JimN
11-20-2011, 06:00 PM
I can't tell if you are saying to get the 891 or stick with the 2112.

I agree the power difference is negligable for my application.

Still trying to weigh out the better procesor vs, newer other stuff. Part of me is now thinking the 891 is fine, and it may be easier / better to keep up with the network stuff via blu ray players or other devices instead of chaning receivers. That points me to the 891. Other option is to admit whatever the 2112 does is good enough for me (hurt, but true), and if I want to listen to pandora I won't have to turn the TV on, and can just run the stereo.

I'd have to see if we even have a 1080p anything, have not bought a dvd for a while. Other issue is the room is tore up right now so setting everything up is not an option. Hence the online splattering of input I've been doing + calling around.

I'm debating getting the in walls I would use for the rears and installing in the front wall temporarily to check out if I think that is good enough for music. As much as I would like, I don't have rock concerts in the basement anymore... It just seems like 3 painted grills on the wall would look a lot cleaner for what the system is used for. Most of the reading I have done certainly mentions compromise though, and that is obviously a subjective thing...

hmmmmm

If you'll watch mostly regular DVDs, you need good up-conversion. If you watch mostly BluRay discs, the resolution is already higher than a DVD, so it will need less tweezing to get it to look good. If you set the DVD, BluRay and cable/sat box to their highest resolution, the receiver's video section won't have to work as hard. Set the TV to one resolution, too. It will take less time for the video to show up and it won't flicker while it's starting.

Trust me- if you're disappointed in any part of the system, you won't be happy about spending the money. According to the recent surveys, more than 50% of the impact of a really good Audio/Video experience is from the sound quality. Unfortunately for people who want the best sound, speakers aren't/can't be invisible AND sound great. The only way to feel the impact of special effects is by moving a lot of air and if you listen to a lot of music, dinky speakers aren't gonna cut it. You don't have to use speakers that would be at home at The Filmore, but they won't fill the room to a satisfying degree if the room is anything but small. Having said that, matching the speakers to the room gets the best results- you don't want monster speakers in a small room, nor do you want little ones in a great room (unless the wife and/or interior designer win the arguments).

If you go out to listen to speakers, make sure the demo includes equipment that's similar to what you have or ordered and that the room is similar to yours (that's hard to do, sometimes). The fewer differences, the more accurate you choice will be.