$600 Challenge

trevorjd

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 29, 2010
26
0
Goshen, IN
I have a $600 budget or so...give or take some... for a home theater system. I would prefer to not have a HTIB...so my challenge, given my budget and needs/wants below, what is the best I can do?

Needs

-5.1 Surround Sound
-3D HDMI AV Receiver
-Blu-ray Player

Wants

-AirPlay compatible
-Front Floor Speakers
 

trevorjd

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 29, 2010
26
0
Goshen, IN
Well done! I don't know much about either of those companies...more with the Sony's, Polk's of the world. But this is also my first system. Thanks!
 

teachsac

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I tried to focus as much as I could on speakers. They are the most important piece of your HT, on the audio side. I love my Denon receiver. As for the BD player, you won't go wrong with either the Panasonic or the Sony.

S~
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
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Sep 29, 2003
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How do you feel about a Playstation 3 vs a BD drive? Do you care about Dolby True-HD?

The Playstation 3 was a great solution 4 years ago, but technology has moved on. PS3 is OK if you want to use it as a gaming machine in addition to being a BR player, but there are better, cheaper players out there from Panasonic, Sony, LG, Samsung, etc. Any of the entry level players will match or exceed the PS3 in all particulars.
 

lakebum431

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Sep 5, 2005
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I'm just curious what do you mean by "better"? I agree there are cheaper, but I am unfamiliar with what would make them better?
 

jayn_j

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Sep 29, 2003
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Should probably let Jason or John Kotches do the answer as they are the real videophiles.

To me the PS3 picture is a tad soft. There have been three generations of video processing chips released since the PS3 committed their hardware. There are also more options on audio processing, although that may not be an issue if you have a recent receiver with all the codecs. The question then becomes whether you send raw audio or decoded PCM.

There are also the convenience features. My most recent Panasonic turns on in 5 seconds and loads a BluRay disc significantly faster than the PS3. I haven't used a PS3 recently, but menus and access have been greatly improved on recent dedicated players.

That is why I made my statement. Others can chime in now and agree or disagree.
 

teachsac

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I agree 100% with jayn_j. Unless you are a gamer, there are better and less expensive options. The PS3 does use software based encoding which has allowed it to be upgraded over its lifetime. I found the picture to be soft, also.

S~
 

Strino

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 1, 2010
39
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Canada
I only asked because of the Dolby True-HD and MA support offered by the PS3. The OP didn't state any requirement for the receiver to have True-HD or MA, but the PS3 would be capable of decoding it, and passing it through on Multichannel 5.1 @ 192Hz/24-bit audio quality. One thing the the PS3 has, that nobody else seems to have is Netflix with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio. From an article I read, it seems Sony Playstation and Netflix worked together on that. I haven't seen DD Plus 5.1 on any Netflix app for stand-alone BD players.


To each their own though.
 

teachsac

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Way old news. Many stand alone players have offered 5.1 DD+ for over a year including, ROKU, Panasonic, LG, and Sony players. Players can also decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio and pass it along as multi-channel PCM. I only know of one title that is 192/24-bit. Almost all moveies are 48/24 bit.

S~
 

gadgtfreek

SatelliteGuys Master
May 29, 2006
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Lower Alabama
I agree 100% with jayn_j. Unless you are a gamer, there are better and less expensive options. The PS3 does use software based encoding which has allowed it to be upgraded over its lifetime. I found the picture to be soft, also.

S~

I agree as well. Compared to my Oppo, and the past two gens of Panasonics, the PQ of a PS3 is soft on a larger screen.
 

jvc

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 25, 2004
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nc
I have a ps3 and an Oppo BDP-83. There have been BD movies the Oppo wouldn't play, until a firmware update was done (Star Wars, LOTR Trilogy E.E.). The ps3 played them perfectly, without a FW update. In fact, my ps3 has never had a FW update, and it's played everything I've put in it. I can't say the same for my Oppo.

I sent Oppo an email asking them why my very expensive Oppo needed 2 FW updates to play movies, so far, and my ps3 didn't. They didn't answer me. So, I sent them another email asking the same question. Here is their response:
When Blu-rays are authored, they are authored with specific patches which can be temporarily installed on the PS3. This is why no Blu-ray will ever be released which does not work on the PS3. Other manufacturers, such as OPPO, require releasing new firmware to fix issues related to differences in the BD-JAVA runtimes or other incompatibilities.
The only reason I can see for ever doing a FW update to my ps3, would be to add the 3-D capabilities. Since my tv isn't 3-D, there's no need for my ps3 to be a 3-D player. My tv is capable of 3-D with a kit that's a little over $100, but I'm not really interested.

For awhile now, studios have required BD player manufacturers to make their players so they will no longer play ISO files. This quote is from Oppo's page, but it pertains to all players:
Per the request from the studios, the ISO file playback function has been removed in this firmware version. The previous firmware had the ability to play ISO files, but it was an undocumented function and was never officially announced or supported. Future firmware version will no longer support ISO playback.
Because of this, I'm trying not to do another FW update to my Oppo. I don't have many, if any ISO files, but it's the principle of the thing. I don't think the studios have the right to tell us what we can and can't watch in our own homes. Good luck with whatever you do.............. :)
 

berck

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Jan 18, 2006
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It may depend on when jvc bought his PS3. I too have a PS3, and have had trouble playing some of the POTC movies when they first came out. I've allowed my PS3 to get updates to take care of this issue. If you're a gamer, you can't use the PS store without updating the FW to the current version. Hense, no on line gaming without being on the current FW.
 

jvc

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 25, 2004
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nc
I've had my ps3 a little over a year. Maybe close to a year and a half.
I couldn't care less about online gaming, so that isn't a problem for me at all.
 

Strino

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 1, 2010
39
1
Canada
I've never had any playback issues with the PS3 for BD or DVD movies. I'm also a light gamer, so I tend to keep my FW updated. It would be fair to mention that a PS3 can do one thing a stand-alone BD player can't do: integrate seamlessly with your Windows, Mac and Linux network. I've been using PS3 Media Server for over a year now, integrated into my five PC Windows 7 and Windows Vista network. (Using Windows Media Player 11 to Transcode).

My PS3 is able to see my PCs.. and I can stream pictures, audio and video from any PCs directly over the network to the PS3. The PS3 is also able to extract and play video files on the fly from .ZIP, .CAB, .RAR files, as well as play directly from an ISO file. This is particularly nice if you like to convert your BD discs to ISO images --- turning your PC into a media server.

Yes, granted that unless you're running a dedicated gigabit ethernet connection to the PS3 and PCs... you're not likely to get a constant 15 Mb/s throughput to match that of true 1080p HD content.... it isn't _that_ bad.
I'm getting a steady 10Mb/s using WiFi.... the picture and audio are quite acceptable.
 

teachsac

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Nov 3, 2005
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You all missed the point of the OP. He has/had a strict budget. Half would have been spent on a game system/BD player, which the OP did not say he needed. The objective was to get the best system possible for the least amount of money. Hence the best speakers possible in that price range, plus a receiver and 5.1 speakers. $300 won't cut half way decent 5.1 speakers and a receiver.

S~
 

gadgtfreek

SatelliteGuys Master
May 29, 2006
22,105
862
Lower Alabama
I think the ONLY reason to get the PS3 is for gaming. Sure it has online content, but so does the Roku and ATV. Is it a great media streamer? Yepp. Even if I wanted to game AND watch blu-ray, Id buy the PS3 for gaming and a $120 Blu player from Panasonic. The PS3 is just not the ideal BR player any more, standalone all the way.
 

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