8.15.2010

Dream Home Theater System

Once again, I find that there is an unintended hiatus between blog entries. To call this summer stressful is an understatement. With everything going on, it has been difficult to find the time & subject matter to blog.

There is a method to my madness here; and, no, this isn't going to be one of those downer blogs solely focused on my woes.

It is no secret that I am a TV fanatic. Same also translates to movies, though not as intensely. Like great beer, it is as much about the experience as it is the quality. My current entertainment system ranges from 10 to 12 years in age. It has treated me well. Saw me though some very big changes in my life. Watched some of the best shows (Farscape, Lost, True Blood, etc) & movies (Abyss, Transformers, X-Men, etc) with it. However, it is showing signs of its age. The receiver remote doesn't work, and the TV is square, often clipping the right/left edges off of the picture (mainly on the big broadcast networks). I love it, but it is long past due for an upgrade.

This epic fable is a couple of years in the making. Toggling between Amazon, cnet, & various manufactures websites, I began looking into home entertainment system components. 2 months of on-again-off-again research yielded what I feel is a frelling sweet Home Theater System. It is by no means top of the line (aka, it is affordable), but meets (hey, lets be honest...exceeds) my current needs, as well as leaves room to upgrade as technology develops (the biggest weakness of my current system).

The Dream system is:
Toshiba REGZA Cinema Series 55SV670U 55-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV with LED Backlight and ClearScan 240

A TV over half the size of the wall it will be up against.
I admit a total bias towards the Toshiba brand. My current TV is a Cinema series from 10 yrs ago, and our other Toshiba is pushing the 20 year mark. When pursuing the HDTV option, there was no doubt it would also be a Toshiba. Reviews supported that this is the right TV. Though I might opt for the 46" version, 'cuz the 55" is too big for the room...but having a TV that takes up half the wall is an appealing concept, so we'll see if "common sense" or "want" wins out when I get the system.

Onkyo TX-SR608 7.2-Channel A/V Home Theater Receiver

The hub, the heartbeat of the system. The decision for going with the Onkyo over the Yamaha RX-V863BL 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver is pretty much price point. Both receivers have similar functionalities, not to mention constantly received positive reviews. Even now, I go back and forth between them, Key features I'm after here are multiple hdmi ports, and versatility with digital audio. Can't forget the dock for my iPhone!

Mirage Nanosat 5.1 Small High-Performance 5.1 Speaker System

Probably the most time spent on researching was on the audio system. Audiophiles are an opinionated bunch, and don't hold back their criticisms. After a lot of reading...A LOT of reading...I settled on the Mirage Nanosat systems. Not only do they sound like amazing pieces of technology, but it was immersive 360ยบ sound performance which won me over...and positively reviewed by audiophiles & regular folk only backs up Mirage's claims. But this is going to be a 7.1 surround sound system, & I'm going to bring in an extra speaker & central speaker. Plan is to perch them on stands going down the length of the room.

PlayStation 3 160GB

If you're in the market for a Blu-Ray player, why would you not buy a PS3? Not only do you get a quality player (w/ a ton of internal memory), you can also play video games! Aside from the obvious game or 2 (suggestions welcome), gotta get an extra controler, & a remote control for the Blu-Ray.

APC 8 Outlet 2525J Surge Protector

To protect the investment. Want it to last at least 10 years, you know?

All in all, it should run around $4500...at least a thousand more if I go through Best Buy. My goal date to get it is April 2011...for my 40th birthday. After pushing it back for better part of 2 years now, it needs to happen...after all, a man can only live w/o volume control for so long.

Cheers!

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