View Full Version : Home Theater Advice

12-26-2008, 02:41 PM
Our TV died so we bit the bullet and bought a 52" Sony, the deal included a PS3 that is a blu-ray player. I want to up grade our home theater package with a new cd player and speaker system that will be compatible with the PS3. I don't want to spend a ton of money but I don't want a piece of junk that sounds terrible. I also don't want to fish wire through the house to hook up rear speakers. The room is about 20x 40. Suggestions Please:001_rolle

12-26-2008, 03:14 PM
The PS3 will play CD's and DVD's as well as BluRay discs.


12-26-2008, 03:40 PM
If you don't want to take the plunge and wire up rear speakers (which unfortunately is the best surround sound experience), you have bascially 2 options: Wireless rear speakers, or some sort of virtual surround solution.

I'm not a fan of wireless surround systems due to the fact that there is usually some sort of delay in the rear speakers caused by the wireless signal transmitting from the receiver to the speakers, which tends to make the wireless speakers out of synch with the main wired speakers. I experienced this when I hooked up my iPod dock that has wireless speakers to my stereo.

The other option, the one I'm looking at myself, is a virtual surround system. The pros: ease of installation and freedom from a room's physical characteristics that might limit speaker placement in a traditional fully-wired system. The cons: the "surround" experience is not as good as a real surround system. Sound seems more like a 180 degree experience rather than a 360 degree one.

You didn't really specify a budget amount, so it's hard to recommend a specific product. I'm personally looking at a Polk Surroundbar with a powered subwoofer and an Onkyo receiver which comes to about $1k from Amazon. I'm primarily looking at this sort of system due to the fact that I'm in an apartment and doing a clean, hidden wire surround speaker install is not really possible without ticking off the landlord.

There are similar single-speaker virtual surround systems out there that may be cheaper, however. I've seen Sony and Yamaha systems that are cheaper thatn the Polk. If you do go with Polk, however, stay away from the one that has the included DVD player with a subwoofer. I've read that people who got that could not use the HDMI connections on their PS3s to connect to the DVD player in order to get the best picture and sound from the PS3. They had to use component connections instead, thus degrading the signal to the TV.

12-27-2008, 01:20 AM
You've got a big, awesome room. Please put large speakers in the front of it, with serious amplification. Look at used options, you can save a lot of money there (although with your surround processor/preamp/or receiver it's still a bad time to buy for a few months yet).