Home Theater Systems

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rich Gibson, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. I've constructed a front projection system with a home built screen. I replaced a huge cabintet rear projection TV with a 100" wall mounted screen and gained 29" to the family room.

    It's almost as big a passion as digital photography.

    Rich
     
  2. It can certainly get a LOT deeper in the ol' pocketbook than photography -- in a hurry. :lol:

    This photography thing has caused me to back off investing any more in my HT setup right now. Two expensive hobbies is one too many. Thank goodness my HT is working very well and has been trouble-free. (knock wood)

    I am a music nut and my wife and daughter are movie nuts so, naturally, I had to disassemble my stereo setup in the family room and build a minor HT. I wuz outnumbered. I moved my stereo to a different room but it just doesn't have the acoustics of the larger room so I tried to make my HT double as a somewhat "musical" system without breaking the bank in the process. Not an easy thing to do. I put it together about 3 years ago or a little more and most of the componenets were new except for the primary front speakers. I used a pair of older speakers I had on a stereo at one time, KEF 104/2, for the fronts -- excellent speakers. I used a KEF reference center and some smaller KEFs for the sides/rear. My subs are a pair of B&W 14". All the wire is Audioquest -- some of it big as a garden hose. :wink: For power, I went with a Marantz SR14EX with a true 140w/ch. It was the most "musical" amp I could find at the time without spending massive amounts of money and it certainly wasn't cheap by any means. For a mid-range system now a few years old, the sound is fantastic -- even if I do say so myself.

    What kind of sound system are you running, Rich?

    Phil
     
  3. I have a Denon 3802 6.1 receiver, Vandersteen 2e main and Vandersteen center, two Bose sides, and two aluminum RadioShack minis (noted for their exceptional sound) in back. Smasung HD tuner, two Kenwood 5900 400 DVD jukeboxes connected serially, a Toshiba DVD burner/player. I use a COX Cable HD box which has component outputs. The projector is a Sanyo PLZ2 HD projector. We have two TIVOs as well. All my head unites are connected to TV channel rf generators all going into a channel master distribution cabinet.

    All my head unts (2 Cable boxes, 2 DVD single players, 2 Jukeboxes, HD tuner, and TIVO) occupy a channel on the internal video system. Thus you can watch any single head unit signal from any television from anywhere in the house.

    Rich
     
  4. Guess there aren't too many of us? :)

    First real post to this site, and it had to be non-photography related. :D Actually, it's not completely unrelated since the cinema has influenced my "eye" some -- if one can call it that. :lol: But this post itself will remain non-photographic I guess... :wink:

    Anyway, my HT is not really complete and more a hack job than anything. Can't afford a more serious one (and don't have the space for one anyway), and now that I've gotten into photography, can't afford to upgrade or make it more complete either. Still, I think it does just fine since I can't really push the sound and rattle and shake the house in our neck of the woods anyway. :lol: And at the end of the day, all that matters is enjoyment and satisfaction w/ the results, not the gear itself -- admittedly, I did used to dream about truly highend audio back in my college days, but then I wised up some... :D

    * Panasonic 53" HD RPTV -- 2 years old and spazzing out, fortunately I have EW for it
    * Vandersteen 2Ci for fronts -- bought used years ago for stereo
    * No center -- seems fine going phantom mode
    * Cheap Bose bass-reflex for surrounds -- from really long ago
    * No sub -- can't really use one in our neck of the woods anyway
    * B&K AV5000 5-channel 105wpc power amp -- bought used several years ago to replace my B&K ST140 stereo amp for double duty in HT
    * Rotel 960(?) A/V analog preamp -- bought used several years ago to replace my old B&K stereo preamp for double duty in HT
    * Technics SHAC500D(?) DD/DTS decoder -- several years old; use it as a passive line stage controller also
    * Philips 963SA SACD/DVD player -- <2 years old; region-hacked (via remote code) w/ decent PAL->NTSC conversion; good 96Khz upsampling for CD playback; SACD sounds great though I've been slow to buy them and only listen to the stereo tracks since my system can't really do surround SACD; replaced a dying old Sony ES CD changer
    * Samsung HD OTA Tuner w/ an indoor Ratshack amped antenna using long run of cable to one window -- tuner bought refurbed off eBay; had tried Time Warner's HD cable for a year; would probably go w/ Dish for HD service if they ever get YES Network :D
    * Cables are modestly good w/ mix from the various "boutique" brands like Audioquest, Straightwire, AudioMagic, etc., except for the CAT5 coax cabling for HD reception -- all several years old now

    My used Pioneer LD player died a couple years ago and not much point in replacing it. Still have a modest collection of LDs sitting around collecting dust.

    _Man_
     
  5. Hmmm... Talking about HT/audio gear w/out the playback content is like talking about camera gears w/out photography.

    So what music do y'all listen to on your systems? Do you actually go mostly for audiophile quality recordings or are the performances themselves still the most important to you even if it means going back to mono or whatever?

    I guess I should start first. :D I listen mostly to pre-modern classical music although I do enjoy mixing it up some w/ most other kinds of music other than rap, hip-hop and the like -- to me, they just aren't musical. I don't "get" modern classical (aka new music) either and don't ask me about Mahler -- anyone want to buy my Tilson Thomas SACD of Mahler #1. :D I started buying a little jazz (particularly some classics on SACD) a couple years ago.

    Not extremely picky about recording quality as the music itself matters most. Did most of my classical CD shopping w/ aid from Penguin Guide, but haven't bought much in a long while. Was gonna pick up the PG for jazz, but haven't gotten around to it.

    Never got into vinyl. But I did like the sound.

    What movies do y'all watch on your systems? True classics? Big budget Hollywood flix? Art house indies (of various persuasions)? Foreign films (ie. non-American)?

    I watch a fairly wide range although haven't gotten around to that many of the true classics yet. Still, I must admit a bias toward reasonably modern films. It just seems to me that the old classic films don't hold up quite as well as the old classics from most other art forms. I'm not a particularly big fan of Hollywood blockbuster action flix although I enjoy my fair share. I guess if there's one (sub-)genre I tend to avoid, then it's probably gross-out comedy (for the most part). :D

    Haven't watched much foreign films actually other than Chinese ones, which are not that foreign for me. :D Just a small handful non-Chinese ones like Kieslowski's Three Color Trilogy, which I liked quite a bit -- well, not too crazy about the ending in White though. Amelie is very charming. Didn't really care for Dancer in the Dark -- the musical style didn't really work for me.

    Do you find any of this stuff relate to your photography? If so, how so?

    I think appreciation for cinematography is the obvious one. And certainly, I can appreciate the various "technical" aspects of filmmaking more now that I'm delving into photography. Well, the advent of special features content, especially on the affordable DVD format, helped a whole lot of course.

    Wouldn't say there's any particularly concrete influence on the way I approach photography. But there are probably certain ways of expressing feelings, moods, storytelling aspects that are influenced by the cinema. I think the music I appreciate also somehow plays into that a little, but maybe that too has something to do w/ the cinema as there is heavy use of sound and music score in modern cinema. :D

    _Man_

    PS: Hope this is not getting too "heavy" on the subject for others. :D
     
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