Cheap Dave's Home Theater


Low cost system recommendation


I enjoy getting questions on this site. Here is one I recently received:


Hey Dave:

I found your review on the same TV I just bought. I wanted to know what Surround System you suggest I buy to go with this TV? I look forward to your reply and thank you!


Leanda


I responded:


Leanda,


I am glad you found my site. I have a lot of general advice on Home theater stuff. Particularly how to get the most bang for your buck. So check out my articles. But to answer your question I will have to ask you some questions. What is your price range? Are you mainly going to watch movies or TV? What other components do you have (receiver, subwoofer etc.)


I look forward to your reply


Whatever you do, don't run out and buy a Bose system.



I enjoy getting questions on this site. Here is one I recently received:


Hey Dave:

I found your review on the same TV I just bought. I wanted to know what Surround System you suggest I buy to go with this TV? I look forward to your reply and thank you!


Leanda


I responded:


Leanda,


I am glad you found my site. I have a lot of general advice on Home theater stuff. Particularly how to get the most bang for your buck. So check out my articles. But to answer your question I will have to ask you some questions. What is your price range? Are you mainly going to watch movies or TV? What other components do you have (receiver, subwoofer etc.)


I look forward to your reply


Whatever you do, don't run out and buy a Bose system.


Hi Dave:

Thank you for your reply. I guess my price range is about $250-275 Max. We would like to use the surround sound when watching TV and Movies. Don't have any other components except a 6 Disk Toshiba DVD Player. I've looked at a few systems that are receivers with a subwoofer about 6 speakers as well as systems that have a DVD that has a built-in receiver with it and subwoofer and about 5 speakers. I'd like to go wireless with it. I saw a Sony wireless system (receiver w/ DVD) I might be interested in at Costco, but when I was shopping around the guy at Circuit City told me it wasn't good? he told me to buy Onyxo? Please let me know what you suggest for $250 max.


Thank so much!Leanda


Ok I have to admit when I saw the price range I thought there was no way I was going to find something I could feel good about recommending. But I did a little research on Amazon and was plesently suprised. The key for me in choosing this system was finding out that Leanda already had a DVD player.





Click here to see my recommendation:

I was surprised what is out there at this price level. I have seen inepensive all-in-one theater systems. They often have everythng included, DVD player, subwoofer, amplifier and speakers.


Out of the three systems above I am going to recommend the Yamaha YHT-380BL. I made this choice for several reasons. Many of the systems in this price range are either complete systems (DVD included) or speaker packages, (no DVD or amplifier).


This system has a separate receiver, speakers and sub, so with Leanda's DVD player it makes a complete system. Yamaha is also a respected name and one of their receivers at this price point should perform nicely. Amazon doesn't show th price (until you add it to your shopping cart) but I willl say it is at or very near the price range given.


So for a very nice price you are getting a name brand receiver, powered sub and 5 speakers. What I like about this set-up is that it leaves Leanda with a clean upgrade path in the future. If she hasn't had a surround system before I am sure this will really impress her. But over time if she gets more into the HT experience she can tweak this system by upgrading the sub or buying new front speakers and moving the original units to perform as surrounds.


The main speakers appear to have decent size drivers. (4.5") which at this price isn't bad and a definite improvement over the cheaper Yamaha system listed above.


Also based on the price (and the fact Amazon is only listing 3 units left) I get the feeling that this model is getting closed out and thsi is a real bargain (I found if in other places on-line for a lot higher price).


I did include the other two to give Leanda a more expensive and a less expensive unit to compare.


The smaller unit really had tiny drivers and that concerns me if she is trying to fill a decent size room.


The more expensive unit would make a nice upgrade if she feels like she can push her price point up a little. Onkyo is another good brand. This is a 7.1 system so that is nice. It also has 2 in and one out HDMi. that is a neat feature but probably of no immediate value to Leanda with her existing DVD player and no other HDMI source.


I know many people who would like a wireless system. But it doesn't seem to work out as well as you would think. It might help a little with room layout but you still need to plug in the speakers to an outlet.


Don't forget the surrounds do not absolutely have to be located behind you. They can be to your side and if you really have a hard time locating them, experiment with keeping them towards the front and aiming them towards the walls wehre they should be.


You can get a plastic conduit material that you can run along the base board and run the wires to the back. And if you have carpet and baseboard you can often force the wire in the space between (careful not to violate your electrical code).


I hope this has helped. At least click the links and read about the systems in more detail.


Keep those questions coming.


Cheap Dave