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Ht On A Budget


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Hi all,

I'm about to join the home theatre club although with severe budgetary limitations.

I have a 84" Red Leaf manual pulldown projector screen ($80 - GumTree) and I'm about to pick up an Infocus ScreenPlay 5700 (with new lamp, $500 - GumTree). I know I'll need an upscaling DVD player (no point going Blu Ray with my setup) but I want to know what else I'll need to be able to watch (FTA) television? Will I need a set top box or will a PVR also do the job?

Current Amp is the Sony STRDB1070 also now rather aged as it has no HDMI. What's the best way to set this up? The TV issue has me the most confused.

Thanks in advance.

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yes, you'll need a STB or a PVr (which is a STB with recording ability).

i assume you have some speakers to go with your amp?

i disagree re: blu-ray. i think its worth going blu-ray even on a budget setup since:

a ) why make the medium the weak link and

b ) in 2/3/5 years you may upgrade to a nicer system and wish all your DVDs were blu-rays. especially since there's only a few dollars difference a lot of the time.

Edited by Dwain
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yes, you'll need a STB or a PVr (which is a STB with recording ability).

i assume you have some speakers to go with your amp?

i disagree re: blu-ray. i think its worth going blu-ray even on a budget setup since:

a ) why make the medium the weak link and

b ) in 2/3/5 years you may upgrade to a nicer system and wish all your DVDs were blu-rays. especially since there's only a few dollars difference a lot of the time.

Hi Dwain,

Thanks for the info, you're right re: the Blu ray. For speakers I have a Bose Cube 5.1 setup (don't flame me I was young and naive and I got them second hand at a good price).

I intend to upgrade it all in a year or two once I have more discretionary spending.

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I would consider getting a PS3 and get PlayTV also.

This combination would then provide you with:

1. Blu ray player

2. High definition PVR/set top box

3. Media player- stream your video/audio from your PC over wireless or cord.

4. Console to play games if you wish - certain games can play other people without subscription fees.

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Great advice Masseter, that seems to be the way to go. Looking at the DVD upscalers and PVRs on the market they don't seem to do optical out anymore if they have HDMI, only the Blu Ray players had the option. At Sony Central the only way I could get a PVR with optical out was through the Playstation 3. They're doing a bundle of the 250G with PlayTV for $599 and it will keep the connectivity issues nice and simple.

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Keep an eye out on second hand BD players, I picked one up recently for $50 and it works fine. It is only 1.0 though and therefore a tad slow.

Also DVD is worth squat secondhand, so you'd be well advised to go down the BD path. At least if you don't like a film you can actually sell it for more than a couple of dollars!

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Great advice Masseter, that seems to be the way to go. Looking at the DVD upscalers and PVRs on the market they don't seem to do optical out anymore if they have HDMI, only the Blu Ray players had the option. At Sony Central the only way I could get a PVR with optical out was through the Playstation 3. They're doing a bundle of the 250G with PlayTV for $599 and it will keep the connectivity issues nice and simple.

No worries, I regret not buying a ps3 straight up instead of the standalone BD player. Have since got a ps3 - have picked up some cheap racing games for $8 - Sega Rally/Stuntman.

For $599 at WOW (latest catalogue) you get the 250gb ps3, Play TV and Resident Evil game. I think at JB?or DSE you get a different game - Iron Man - can't remember.

Bear in mind that I think with Play TV you can only record one channel at a time.

I'm still using optical out myself with an older Yamaha.

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The PS3 has it's issues as a PVR but for someone who still has a VHS recorder my expectations are not high and I'm not exactly a 'power' user. I could probably get a BD player second hand but the PVR is a must have for the wife and the more expensive item so simplicity is desirable. I like the flexibility of the PS3, it seems to have it all.

With all the PS3 when buying a tv giveaways the market is flooded with them. Brand new 120g models are on the market for $350-380. Upgrading the harddrive is easy enough in the future. If I can get a cheap PlayTV this seems the way to go.

@Dwain : This projector setup is not for primary tv veiwing, I have a 40" lcd (Sony Bravia) for that. This setup will be used only at night when the kids are all down to sleep.

Edited by Flats
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