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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for help in upgrading my home theatre so I can watch blu-ray discs and also camcorder (Canon HFS100) HD video of my Wee in action (there's your obligatory V-Strom content).

I think I need the following:

- blu-ray player (3d-ready would be nice to have)
- receiver (3D ready, whatever that means, would be nice to have)
- new Bell TV satellite receiver (with HDMI output). HD PVR capability would be nice.

Here's the rub... I don't really want to upgrade my TV yet... it's a Hitachi 46F500 projection unit, probly 6-7 years old which has up to 1080i resolution but doesn't have an HDMI input (it has 1 DVI input plus component video). I believe the DVI is HDCP-compliant so it should work with an HDMI to DVI converter (but won't be 1080p of course; I can live with that for now).

Another issue is that I will want to record the Bell TV signal to my old Pioneer dvd burner/player or otherwise get programs saved on the Bell TV pvr to dvd. The problem I see here is that if I use the receiver to route the signal to the recorder, it will have to be turned-on for unattended recording.

Any help would be appreciated.

- Martin
 

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Here's the rub... I don't really want to upgrade my TV yet... it's a Hitachi 46F500 projection unit, probly 6-7 years old which has up to 1080i resolution but doesn't have an HDMI input (it has 1 DVI input plus component video). I believe the DVI is HDCP-compliant so it should work with an HDMI to DVI converter (but won't be 1080p of course; I can live with that for now).
While analog component video cable is, in practice, every bit as good a method of delivering video to displays as HDMI cable, the content-providing industries have strongly supported HDMI because it provides a platform for the implementation of HDCP (High Definition Content Protection) to prevent consumers from having complete access to the contents of high-definition digital recordings. As one might expect from a standard that was developed more to serve the content providers than to aid the consumer, HDMI has presented a few problems. Unlike analog component video, the signal is not robust over distance because it was designed to run balanced when it should have been run unbalanced (SDI, the commercial digital video standard, can be run hundreds of feet over a single coax without any performance issues); the HDMI cable is a complicated rat's-nest arrangement involving nineteen conductors; switches, repeaters and distribution amplifiers for use with HDMI cable, by virtue of this complicated scheme, are made unnecessarily complicated and troublesome; and the HDMI cable plug is prone to falling out of the jack with the slightest tug. On the plus side, in the great majority of simple installations, HDMI works trouble-free, and its "one-cable" approach to home theater interconnection has simplified the process of setting up most equipment racks.
HDMI Cable from Blue Jeans Cable
The HDMI spec requires that HDMI devices be backward-compatible with the DVI standard, which in theory (though, unfortunately, not always in practice) means that whenever you have a device with a DVI connection on it, an HDMI to DVI cable will give you a funtioning connection.
HDMI to DVI Cables at Blue Jeans Cable

Can you find new devices so you can make your connections with component video cables?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I went to check out the Oppo players and they don't seem to have any available... something about a component shortage.

I ended up ordering the following pile of stuff based on reviews I've read... it's not high-end but should do the job quite well...

Sony BDP-S570 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
Pioneer VSX-1020-K 7.1 Home Theater Receiver
Polk Audio FXI A4 Surround Speakers
Polk Audio PSW125 12-Inch Powered Subwoofer
AmazonBasics HDMI to DVI Adapter Cable

Now I just need to get a new Bell TV satellite receiver with PVR capability.

I think hooking up the old dvd recorder should be a none-issue because it uses component video and both the Bell unit and receiver include those connections in addition to HDMI. And the Pioneer receiver upconverts analog signals to HDMI so I shouldn't have to switch inputs at the TV (which will be much less confusing to the wifey).

This is all theory at this point; I'll let you all know how it works out once the stuff comes in and I hook it up.


Thanks for the help,

Martin



- Martin
 

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Excellent choice on the Pioneer receiver. They get my highest stamp of approval ;) Also, if you find that you do NOT like the Polk which I hear are very good speakers and make a great match with the Pioneer, you may want to look at these guys:

SVSound - The Sound Authority

SVSound is a family business based out of Ohio and much like Oppo they cater to a discrete and discerning market with budget in mind. I picked up my 5.1 speakers from them including a subwoofer that is disturbingly profound. Their speakers combined with the Pioneer are truly shock and awe. It rivals most public theaters around me.

This is my theater just after we had the house built. The basement is 17.5' x 37'. Through the white door is a 350 sq-ft room and under stairs access.



* Pioneer VSX-1016TXV 7.1 Receiver
* SVSound SBS-01 5.1 w/PB10-NSD Subwoofer
* Mitsubishi HD1000U Projector
* EliteScreens 100" Cinewhite Fixed Frame
* Oppo DVD Player (Non Blue-Ray)
* DishNetwork DVR
* Logitech Harmony 880 Remote

About $3k total with HDMI cables, building the equipment rack into the wall, a Logitech Harmony remote, dimming lights and a plethora of other miscellaneous items.

Man Cave Panorama



I enjoy my play room every chance I get which is any time I'm not on the Wee-Strom. I hope you enjoy your setup and do let me know how your system comes together for you.
 

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Wish I'd have seen this sooner, like ZepRider, I'm a bit of a home theatre nut too!

Another place to get your cables from that will save you a bundle is monoprice.com. I've been buying from them for years now and never had a problem. The one time I thought I had an issue with a cable I called them up and they sent me a second one, no questions asked... and it was a 25' DVI cable! I've been recommending these guys for years and haven't had a complaint yet.

My son's home sick today, I think we'll head down to our theatre now for some Lord of the Rings, what better way to spend a sick day then in front of 106" of high def, DTS surround battles of Middle Earth! :yesnod:
 

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@Fyrman - Amen brother!

Monoprice has supplied me with many-o-cables. My theater runs on their goods! Enjoy LOTR, we do the same just about every X-Mas. DTS is phenomenal.

6 more inches eh? :green_lol:
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Monoprice has good equipment, service and prices. People who say 10% of the theater budget needs to be allotted for cabling need to wake up and smell the coffee.

I like a more compact living space. I built this cabinet for a rear projection TV so the center is barely bigger than the TV box with equipment in the left side, DVD storage in the right and speakers on top. The huge TV box has since been replaced by a flat panel TV and there is plenty of storage room in the box. Right now, all the water based fluids I normally keep in the garage that don't get used in the winter are in there along with a pair of Michelin Pilot Road tires.

 

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Wow Pat, you're a cabinet maker too! This is funny. I too have a beautiful solid cherry tv armoire that I built for a 36" crt that is now a big closet. Damn those advances in technology!! ;)

As for the cabling, I agree that it's ludicrous to spend the kind of money that Best Buy, Future Shop and the rest of the big box or home theatre shops charge for wires. $80 for a 3" hdmi??!! Are they serious??!!

We live in the digital age. When it comes to signals ,(for the most part, or at least what the human ear can decipher), you either get a signal or you don't. There is so little difference between the signal quality of most average cables that it kills me what they charge for stuff like Rocketfish and Monster.

Like I said, I've never had an issue with monoprice cables. They rock!:thumbup:

Here's a couple shots of our theatre:



 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, I got my stuff last Friday and it's set up and working mostly fine.

The only slight hitch is that the soundtrack from the "Avatar" blu-ray disc seems to be getting down-mixed by the Sony player to PCM when going to the Pioneer receiver.

I'm pretty sure I have the correct sound option selected for the "Avatar" disk and regular dvd's like "Gladiator" do not get down-mixed... the Pioneer recognizes them as "Dolby Digital". It's probably a user error.

But otherwise, things are working great... having real surround sound makes a big difference.

- Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If I could make one suggestion to anyone else upgrading their home theatre it would be... buy your HDMI cables either from Amazon or Monoprice.com (as someone else suggested).

I was outraged by the ridiculous prices the local electronic stores were charging for a simple 3' HDMI cable... $25!! WTF!

It seems clear that they are using big screen tv's etc. as loss-leaders to get people in the doors and then absolutely hosing them on cables and other accessories. :fineprint:


- Martin
 

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Martin, glad to hear that everything is working out for you. Not sure what settings you might have on your DVD player. In most cases players offer the ability to leave the audio alone and pass it through to the receiver but you also indicate other discs are un-altered. Just go over your players audio settings slowly and locate options to turn off any possible interception.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK, I've come to the conclusion that there's probably not a problem with my audio setup after all. :hurray:

From what I've read, it sounds like the Sony player is sending the blu-ray audio channels to the receiver as uncompressed Linear PCM over HDMI and this is what the receiver is likely recognizing when it displays blu-ray source audio as "PCM".

And it sounds great in any case... lots of cool surround effects in "Avatar".

- Martin
 

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PCM is the default on most players if I'm not mistaken. Glad all is working. Now ENJOY! A proper theater is nothing short of an awesome experience at home. It will only require a family to view a few dozens movies or so for the investment to pay itself off.

Avatar rocked!
 

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Excellent, sounds like you're well on your way!

Now get yourself a good remote so the Wife doesn't get overly annoyed with multiple controls and maybe some X-10 light switches to give you control over the lighting and you'll have a theatre to show off over the holidays. A decent, middle of the road choice is the Logitech. Watch Ebay for an 890. It has RF control built in so it'll work the lighting as well as everything else. The setup is easy to do right on the PC and if you have any problems the tech support will do it for you, right online. Mine works really well.

PM me your email and I'll send you the wall logos for your equipment... like the ones on my pics.
 
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