Thursday, October 28, 2010

Been Busy Building a New Theater System...

So, the other day Cathy mentioned that the 32" LCD TV that we have in the basement was acting up. Normally this wouldn't be too big of an issue, but Cathy uses that TV every day for her workouts and to play her Nintendo Wii. Because of that, the TV down there going bad is a pretty big deal. I think it's still got quite a bit of life left in it, but getting it taken care of before it NEEDS to be taken care of is always a good idea.

So, we started looking around to find a good deal on a TV to use to replace that one. Here's the thing, if the best deal was on something to replace the bigger TV in the living room, that would work just fine and we could move the 37" LCD TV that's in the living room into the basement.

I normally buy Vizio TVs. I have two of them and have had amazing results with them. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one in the future.

But, we were in Sears and they had some good financing deals on the Sears card, and they don't have Vizio TVs. But they do have some good brands.

What we ended up with is nothing short of awesome.

That is a Sharp AQUOS Quattron LED LCD TV. It comes in at 46 inches. It's an LED LCD, so it's ULTRA thin. It's probably only about 1.5" thin. It's got the Quattron technology, which is the new fourth pixel in yellow so that the yellows appear brighter and more natural. It also has all of the online App type things that are popular on TVs right you can watch Netflix right on it and other things like that. It's an amazing TV, and it will replace the TV in the living room, which will find it's new home in the basement.

Now that we have a new TV, what else do you need to go with it??

How about this...
I got us this 320 gigabyte PS3 with the Move controller system as a bundle from the Home Shopping Network. It comes with the 320 gig console, which is the largest PS3 hard drive, the Move controller and the Playstation Eye, an HDMI cable, and three games...which is awesome because all three of them are games that I would want. Normally when you get a bundle, you end up with some games that you want nothing to do with...but all three of these will be games that I enjoy.

I have been wanting a PS3 for a while now for a few of the games that it has for it. What made me make the plunge, however, was a trailer for a new game coming out called "The Last Guardian." It looks like it's going to be absolutely fantastic, and it's only on the PS3, so that was basically the last straw and the order was placed.

Well, now we run into a bit of a problem, though. We now have the PS3, the Xbox 360, and the HD cable box all upstairs. All of them provide Hi-Def pictures, which we can accommodate. However, they all also use the new Hi-Def sounds...such as DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. These are all sound codecs that can NOT be sent over the optical cables that my current receiver uses. They must be sent over HDMI (not the Xbox 360, but the other two) in order to have the actual true 5.1 surround audio. We actually have a Blu-Ray player right now that we never use because the audio isn't as good as I would like it to be during movies.

So, what's the solution to that??
A new receiver, of course, courtesy of Cathy. She got us this because I got us the PS3. This is a Pioneer VSX-520-K surround sound receiver. It's 110 watts into the five channels. It's got EVERYTHING that we'll need to make sure that we have the best possible sound and video from all of the devices that will be hooked up to the TV. It's got 3 HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, so we'll be able to plug the PS3, the HD Cable Box, and the Blu-Ray player all into it. It will then decode all of those new fangled audio codecs and give us true 5.1 surround, even with the DTS-HD and the Dolby TrueHD sounds that my current receiver doesn't use. The HDMI output will then transmit the video via passthrough into the TV. The Xbox 360 will still use component video connections to the TV and it will use an optical cable to connect to the receiver.

This new receiver uses all of the speakers that I currently have, so those don't have to be replaced, save for one. The subwoofer with my current receiver is a passive subwoofer, which means it's not powered. The new receiver only has an output for a subwoofer, not an amplifier. So that means we needed this...
That's a Sony SA-W2500. It's a 100 watt powered subwoofer that will sit behind the TV stand and provide the bass and low frequency effects that complete a home theater experience.

So basically, we're revamping our entire living room theater experience. You may be wondering, why do we spend the money on things like this?? The easiest answer, because we really enjoy our TV watching. We both watch quite a few shows and movies, and I really enjoy playing video games. So basically, the TV and surround sound is an integral part of a couple of our major hobbies.

The nice thing, too, is that even though it is quite a bit of money we still got great deals on everything. The TV was $350 off and came with 12 months no interest. The PS3 was about $40 less than the sum of it's parts and came with 9 months no interest. The receiver was $50 less at Amazon than anywhere else at $179 and came with 6 months no interest. The subwoofer was on sale on Amazon for only $79 with free shipping. So basically, we got pretty good deals on everything and basically upgraded our entire TV viewing experience.

We should have everything here and in place within the next 10 days or so. I'm looking forward to getting it all set up and enjoying some games and movies...

1 comment:

Doug said...

You're almost making me jealous...

Almost ;-)

Though the new game system is really cool.