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Recommendation for a friend

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  • Recommendation for a friend

    I have a coworker who is about 15 years behind the times as far as consumer electronics goes. He is now shopping for a large flatscreen LCD TV (I'm pushing him towards a Samsung) and he needs to also get a nice sounding relatively inexpensive receiver and 5.1 speaker setup and a Blu Ray player. He'd like to keep the cost of the receiver and speakers to ~ $1000 if possible. BD players are around ~$125 for his price range now.

    I know there are lots of various HTIB choices out there, but from what I've seen in some of the stores like Best Buy they look like real crappy products.

    I'm looking for recommendations of a decent 5.1 or 7.1 receiver and speakers that are not huge (there's a big WAF involved here).
    All my equipment & my DVD collection

  • #2
    Well, you could get recommendations that will be all over the board. When shopping for budget A/V, sometimes what is on sale at the time dictates what will be the best value.



    Receiver -



    I own that Vizio 55" HDTV, you cannot do better for the money, it's great budget set that never fails to impress company for football and movies. The Vizio Full Array LED's are also worth a look.

    Hint, buy the Blu-Ray player, register online for a 10% off Vizio coupon, then go back and get the HDTV.


    • #3
      At $675 for the WAF-3/10.2 package, that still leaves $325 for a mid priced receiver. I'm partial to Yamaha or Denon but shopping around will yield lots of choices. That would kill any HTB system he could find. Going down to $225 for the receiver still leaves $100 for the bluray player and that shouldbe doable.
      As for TV's I'd advise going a little more upscale, like Samsung vs Vizio. The extra money usually pays off in a better picture. Rememeber a "budget" TV usually is not "budget" to those watching it, especially if it is the main viewing monitor for the family.


      • #4
        Unless contraindicated...

        ...try pushing him toward a plasma... :)
        "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones."


        • #5
          I used the word "budget" to highlight the reasonable prices. I have seen some pretty crappy sets without a doubt, horrible picture that can actually make you feel queasy watching them. The Vizios I recommended are NOT of that ilk, I wouldn't suggest something that is. Time spent adjusting the set for your particular room makes a huge difference, more so than a brand name. Without a doubt, Samsung is better, but only by a smidge and at a price. I shied away from them because of some reliability problems they've been having (cheap caps in the power supply).

          The Sony 500 series are really nice, but still around $1500 for a 55".

          Plasma is good if you have a light controlled room, but the OP wants an LCD. I almost bought a new Panny, they sure are nice. My room is just way too bright for one.


          • #6
            I'd echo the idea that time spent seting the TV up is time well spent. You can do more to make a mid tier set look like a top tier set or make top line equipment look mediocre. There's a ton of info on settings for each brand, but it should always be the starting point, not the end point. Individual tweaking is a must for maximum performance. I have a number of friends who own Sony's and the only thing bad I ever heard anyone say about them is that they are a bit pricey. Pictures are great and they seem rock solid reliable. Since I got my Panny plasma, which I love (I don't have light isues in my room) I haven't followed the latest info. If the Samsungs are seeing reliabilty problems then you might want to avoid them. Returning a big TV is a family hassle that no one needs.


            • #7
              I really wanted the Sony EX500 series 55", all the 500's are top LCD's for the money, the 46" is nice too. Yellows are just a little dull, the media has noticed this too, but not enough to make it a nonstarter.

              But getting Sony would've cut into my subwoofer budget. :no:

              Sony 500 series is easy to recommend and worth a look.


              • #8
                I would say consider a few things:

                plasmas are electricity hogs but the picture is sweet.
                a 240hz LCD looks on par with the plasmas I've seen. Go 240 if you can.
                OLED will be out in 2 years. Maybe upgrade the TV last...?
                LED-LCD is hit or msis. Sometimes they look fantastic, other times, meh.
                Is this TV going to be in a room with a lot of windows? when I went shopping, the Samsung had a very glossy screen and wasn't ideal for the room it was going into. I had to pick a matte tv so that I wasn't getting too much reflection.
                You get what you pay for. My Bravia has been pretty fantastic over the last 4 years.


                • #9
                  OLED in 2 years? Maybe, but I doubt it.

                  One advantage of plasmas over LCDs in general that shouldn't be overlooked is better viewing angles. As good as LCDs can look straight-on, I haven't seen a single one that can best the average plasma in this regard.