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View Full Version : Tell us about your Hi-Def/Blu-ray set up



Matt A
04-04-2009, 05:23 PM
So, my hope with this thread is to get sort of an AV Maniacs Consumer Reports going. I think many of us who haven't taken the HD plunge yet are curious about other members' experience with the format so far and although many have posted their opinions and advice in other threads it would be nice to have a single place for the following:

- What equipment do you have?

- What do you regret buying, or not buying, hardware-wise?

- Which disc is your demo disc?

- How about some pics of your set-up?

- Which settings work best for different types of entertainment?

Have at it. :)

EDIT: Please feel free to elaborate beyond the above questions

Vincent Pereira
04-04-2009, 05:38 PM
- What equipment do you have?

Panasonic AX-200U 720P LCD video projector, Sony PS3 (Blu-ray), Toshiba HD-A2 (HD-DVD), Oppo 970 (other region DVDs), Panasonic LX-101 LaserDisc player (nearly 20 years old and still kickin' ass!), Onkyo TX-SR606 receiver, Cambridge Soundworks Ensemble speakers (see my comments re: the Panasonic LX-101)


- What do you regret buying, or not buying, hardware-wise?

No regrets, although I wish it was in my budget last year to buy the Panny 1080P model projector, but the AX-200U looks incredible as it is, even though it's "only" 720P.


- Which disc is your demo disc?

BARAKA Blu-ray.


- How about some pics of your set-up?

When I borrow my mom's digital camera, I'll take some and post them :)


- Which settings work best for different types of entertainment?

In a darkened room, I have my Panny set to "Natural" (and "eco" mode for the lamp) and calibrated using the new HIGH DEFINITION BENCHMARK Blu-ray from Stacey Spears and Doung Munsil: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1131344

If we have some lights on, I set the projector to "Vivid Cinema" with no additional adjustments and it looks bright enough but still pretty natural for viewing in a lighted environment.

Vincent

Dick Ringeisen
04-05-2009, 03:01 AM
So, my hope with this thread is to get sort of an AV Maniacs Consumer Reports going. I think many of us who haven't taken the HD plunge yet are curious about other members' experience with the format so far and although many have posted their opinions and advice in other threads it would be nice to have a single place for the following:

- What equipment do you have?

- What do you regret buying, or not buying, hardware-wise?

- Which disc is your demo disc?

- How about some pics of your set-up?

- Which settings work best for different types of entertainment?

Have at it. :)


- Toshiba 57HX94, Cinema Series, RPTV (1080i)
- Magnavox (Funai) Blu-ray player. In a year or two, I will upgrade to a newer/better machine.
- Oppo 983 DVD player
- Oppo 970 DVD Player
- JVC SVHS 5902U VCR
- Onkyo TX-SR806 receiver
- Speakers: A 5.1 setup involving Polk RTI, RTIA, and PSW505 Subwoofer.


-----

I regret buying the Onkyo 806. A few months after the return period, I was wondering why I didn't buy the 876, or wait to buy it. Still, the 806 is decent enough and sounds great. It just lacks a few things and clips black when video is piped through it.

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I don't usually demo my stuff to others. The only times recently is witht he Blu-ray for Cloverfield, and that's more to show what the surround sound can do.

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http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w201/mrfulci/DVD%20and%20other%20media/WhyImage1.jpg

Picture is snapped from behind the sofa. Sofa is glowing in the lower right of the pic.


----------

I had my teleivision ISF calibrated. I prefer my video signal to not be tampered with in the teleivision, I just want it to be a display. I prefer to let my DVD player, Blu ray, handle the video settings.

I watch television with lights on, off, either way. Though with movies, I prefer lights off.

-----------------

Jason S
04-05-2009, 12:51 PM
Any audio experts care to help me?

My broke ass is looking at the Sony STR-DH700. What exactly does "decodes uncompressed audio (LPCM via HDMI) making it compatible with Blu-ray Disc, the PlayStation 3 and other HD sources." mean? Will it handle ALL the audio through HDMI? Or just discs with LPCM tracks?

I know the low end Sonys have suspect audio quality, but my co-worker's model from last year sounded fine to me.

Here's what my set-up is:
-40" LDC Samsung LN40A500
-Popcorn Hour A-110
-PS3
-Philips DVP-5982
.....the receiver and speakers are best left unsaid.

Demo discs depend on the friend. The Road Warrior for Matthew Allison. Enter the Dragon for my buddy who can recite the film.

Vincent Pereira
04-05-2009, 01:07 PM
Any audio experts care to help me?

My broke ass is looking at the Sony STR-DH700. What exactly does "decodes uncompressed audio (LPCM via HDMI) making it compatible with Blu-ray Disc, the PlayStation 3 and other HD sources." mean? Will it handle ALL the audio through HDMI? Or just discs with LPCM tracks?

I know the low end Sonys have suspect audio quality, but my co-worker's model from last year sounded fine to me.

The PS3 internally decodes all audio formats (so long as you have it set to output PCM via HDMI- if you choose Bitstream, it will only output Dolby Digital or "standard" DTS), including the new "advanced" ones, Dolby True-HD and DTS-HDMA. It then outputs the decoded tracks as multichannel LPCM VIA hdmi, so I think this is what that's referring to. As for whether the receiver itself can decode "raw" Dolby True-HD or DTS-HDMA, that would be indicated in the receiver's specs. If it doesn't say it can, then it can't, and you'll have to rely on a player to do the decoding itself and then output the decoded audio as LPCM (like the PS3 does).

Vincent

Jason S
04-05-2009, 01:24 PM
The PS3 internally decodes all audio formats (so long as you have it set to output PCM via HDMI- if you choose Bitstream, it will only output Dolby Digital or "standard" DTS), including the new "advanced" ones, Dolby True-HD and DTS-HDMA. It then outputs the decoded tracks as multichannel LPCM VIA hdmi, so I think this is what that's referring to. As for whether the receiver itself can decode "raw" Dolby True-HD or DTS-HDMA, that would be indicated in the receiver's specs. If it doesn't say it can, then it can't, and you'll have to rely on a player to do the decoding itself and then output the decoded audio as LPCM (like the PS3 does).

Vincent

Thanks Vincent!

The next step up in the Sony receivers handles Dolby True-HD and DTS-HDMA. Thats a bit advanced for me. I'm just looking to decrease my cables. If I could use HDMI to hook up my 3 video sources AND their audio, it would be useful as the Sony receiver only has one digital coaxial input.

K.O. Svines
04-06-2009, 07:58 AM
BenQ Q10000 1080p DLP projector. Panasonic BD50 (Blu-ray player) and Toshiba A35 (HD DVD player). Everything is routed through the Onkyo 875 A/V receiver. The picture is projected on a 106" screen. I've calibrated the projector with a professional probe and computer program.

Here's a complete list over equipment:

TV: Loewe Xelos 32" CRT
Projector: BenQ W10000 DLP (1080p). Projected on a 106" screen
Blu-ray: Panasonic BD50
HDDVD: Toshiba A35 and Toshiba XA1
DVD: Denon 3910
Laserdisc: Pioneer CLD-925
S-VHS: JVC HR-S9600
AV Receiver: Onkyo SR875
Power Amp: Rotel RB-990BX
Turntable: Denon DR67L
Cassette Deck: Denon double deck
Minidisc: Sony (can't remember model)
+ Satellite HD DVR/PVR

Front Speakers: Canton Karat 70DC
Center Speaker: Canton Karat CM 40
Surround Speakers: Canton Karat 10DC
Subwoofer: XTZ 12"

Headphones: Sennheiser RS140 (wireless) & some Philips headphones (wired)
Remote: Logitech Harmony 880

Also got some DVD players and TV in my bedroom. Plus some various concoles (NES, SNES, C64 and Sega Genesis)

mark t
04-06-2009, 08:31 AM
Mine is pretty simple....

1) LG 42LBX 42" 120Hz refresh 1080P HDTV
2) Sony Playstation 3, outputting via HDMI to TV, wireless link to PC for streaming divx and mp3.
3) RCA something or other receiver. I'm in dire need of a new receiver, the one that i have is about 8 years old. DD 5.1 is about as high end as it can handle, no friggin' DTS.
4) RCA speakers that came with receiver.
5) For PAL DVD, I have a Philips DVD player that upconverts via HDMI to 1080P.

I have no regrets at this point. I went LCD because of the light in the room, and the dreaded burn-in from video games, which i play occasionally on the pS3. My receiver was the bomb at the time, it's just dated now.

The LG was setup using the DVD Essentials test disc, though i would like to get the BD version. But it looks fantastic to me. The sound was calibrated via the THX audio test disc, with my ear as the key ingredient. Much as i recognize the supremacy of digital spectrum analysers, a perfectly balanced sound doesn't always sit well with me.

I don't really have a "show-off" disc. Though the KILL BILL BDs look fantastic to my eyes.

Jeff Flugel
04-06-2009, 08:36 AM
Pretty basic set-up (so far):

Panasonic Viera TH-50PZ800 50 inch plasma HDTV
PS3 (acts as my Blu-Ray player -- don't use it for games)
Oppo 980H Upconverting player
Hi-def cable box

No spare cash at the moment to buy any speakers or a HD A/V Receiver yet (getting married soon), but am pretty happy with things so far.

As far as demo discs go, I usually alternate between PLANET EARTH, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and HOW THE WEST WAS WON Blu-Rays. Wows the guests every time...

Matt A
04-06-2009, 10:28 AM
-Popcorn Hour A-110


Jay - when you have a chance can you go into some detail about the features on the Popcorn Hour? From what you've told me so far it sounds pretty cool and if people aren't familiar with it they may want to check it out. A nice alternative to burning a ton of discs.

Wim C.
04-06-2009, 02:04 PM
Equipment - in a blacked-out dedicated room:

- Sony HW10 1080p projector
- Oppo 981H DVD player
- Toshiba E1 HD-DVD player (got a spare bargain A30 stocked away as well)
- Sony S550 Blu-Ray player (modified for regio free Blu-Ray playback)
- Yamaha RX-V430RDS (about 7 years old but I don't really feel the need to upgrade it)
- Yamaha - 5.1 Satellites set-up (I'm not much of an audiophile - still sounds great to my ears)

Regret : I bought into HD-DVD in december 2007, so yeah. Bought a lot of cheap discs during the first sales after HD-DVD's demise, but most of the stuff I got costs about the same by now on future-proof Blu-Rays.

Demo discs : How the West Was Won, Shoot Em Up and Planet Earth.

Settings: Uhm - settings? Have to juggle with remotes a lot. Should get one of those universal gizmos.

Michael Leslie
04-07-2009, 05:36 AM
Equipment:

JVC HD100 D-ILA projector beaming onto a 2.35:1 CIH screen
60" Pioneer KRP-M plasma
DVDO EDGE video processor
Audiolab 8000AP and X7 audio processor and amps
B&W CDM-NT surround speakers and sub
PS3 for Blu-ray
Toshiba EP35 HD-DVD player
X-Box 360
Sky HD

Regrets: I wish I had waited a bit longer for the JVC HD750.

Reference discs: King Kong HD-DVD, I Robot Blu-ray, Bird With The Crystal Plumage Blu-ray (to get excited for more giallo gems to come).

Settings: ISF D65 settings. Look absolutely stunning and make a HUGE difference.

Eric Hand
04-07-2009, 02:42 PM
Great thread...my setup is pretty streamlined. I like just the front two speaker setup with good power..not really into 7.1 etc. The movie room is pretty good size and has an open sound. I recently tried a 60's Mcintosh 240 for the speaker power and actually found it to be flubby but nice on the top end. I am going to go for a Onkyo 805 instead for a tighter low end. The Blu-ray with the 1080p Plasma was an obvious upgrade over the SD DVD and HD CRT we had previously. For Blu-ray reference I use the "The Searchers" and "Zulu" 1964. I am not really in to new films post 1983 but am amazed at the difference from my old SD DVD's of the films I mentioned above that are now on Blu-ray. Blu-ray for older films is simply stunning and a difference you dont have to try and see...it's very obvious.

regret?....Hmmm, perhaps not buying a 46" or 50" monitor...there's no kill like overkill

gear:
New Panasonic 42" 1080p Plasma (year 2008)
Sony BD 350 Blu-ray
Sony Reciever 100w.
Bang & Olufson Turntable.
Klipsch KG4's (1985 year)

upcoming upgrades:
Onkyo 805 with HDMI (DTS-MA-True-HD audio)

Eric

Chris Wiser
04-10-2009, 01:53 PM
I run my "cough,cough" BR through a POPCORN A110 w/ 1TB HDD using component 720P out to my Samsung HLP 56 inch 720HDTV
Digital out from Popcorn to Denon receiver
From Receiver to a hybrid Canton/Axiom 5.1 speaker system w/ SVS subwoofer

Planet Earth is stunning for demos,Nightmare on Elm Street looks great too!

Matthew B.
04-10-2009, 02:17 PM
I'm not an audiophile so my set up is one of the most basic here:

Sceptre X42BV-Full HD 42" 1080p LCD
Sony Playstation 3 - for blu-ray and occasional gaming

I'm very happy with my purchase. The picture quality on the Sceptre is really quite exceptional for it's price range. My father owns a Panasonic 42" 1080p plasma and from what I could tell it didn't have as good of a picture as my Sceptre. The difference could be that I took the time to calibrate mine, but I'm very happy with it.

Blu-rays I use to show my TV off are Doomsday (reference quality transfer and kick ass movie to boot) and Peter Jackson's King Kong.

Bill Piper
04-11-2009, 01:16 AM
My setup:

Philips 42" 1080p LCD (model 42PFL3603D)
Philips upscaling DVD player via HDMI (plays all regions and NTSC/PAL discs)
HD-DVD add-on for my Xbox 360, hooked up via component (1080i)
Sound set up is the generic Durabrand 5.1 system I bought for less than $100 about 8 years ago. Still works great.

I also have a projector by Dell, forget the model #, but it does HD 1080i.

Demo discs for HD showing off would have to be 2001, Blade Runner, The Thing or Batman Begins. But really, just about any HD disc would do.

As for regrets, I regret not buying myself a blu-ray player last year when I picked up my parents one for $169 from Best Buy during the Christmas sales.

Mark C.
04-11-2009, 01:28 AM
My setup is rather complicated cause I use a projector and lcd set up . I have to re-arange my furniture if I want to watch one or the other, cause of this I have really only been using my lcd for convenience purposes.
I have a 46" samsumg that does 1080p.
For a upconverting dvd player I use a Pioneer dv-400v.
My Hi-def player is a good old PS3, I 've had zero problems with it since buying it.
I dont use high def cable, or any cable subscription at all, I own a lifetime of discs so I'm never pressed to find something to watch.
My projector is a DV-10 optoma, it has a built in DVD player and speakers, and is touted as being a home theatre in a box, anyway I would not recommend this projector it is essentially crap. DVD player broke in the first year, has trouble handling a hi-def signal, (even though it supposidly does 1080i)etc... etc..
oh and I still have a S-VHS hooked up to my lcd.
For sound I have a crappy Sony 6.1 suround sound system.

http://littlewhorerecords.com\setupcc.jpg
http://littlewhorerecords.com\dvdset.jpghttp://littlewhorerecords.com\dvdset2.jpg

Steve R
04-15-2009, 01:27 PM
TV - Panasonic 720p 42 Plasma (TC p42X1)
DVD player - Denon 1740 (upscaling w/ optical audio out)
Amp - Yamaha HTR 5540
Speakers - Polk Speakers (center, l/r towers, l/r rears and sub)
VHS - Panasonic VHS
Direct TV

Got the HDTV two months ago and am just in awe of how good this new Panny plasma looks.

Show off discs - House of Flying Daggers drum dance scene, Man From Laramie. Shine A Light.

The Denon makes a marked improvement on the sound that is fed to the amp to the speakers over the old Panasonic player I had.

Regrets The display of 4:3 (1:33:1) DVDs has been a challenge, but I think I've finally got it sorted. Gotta put the remotes down and just watch the movie.(but I swear some are different)