T Nation

Audio/Video

Hey fellas, I’m in such a great f-ing mood right now. I just got the contract of a lifetime, I’m so pumped.
Besides that, I need a little help on trying to find a good audio/video system for 1 of my clients living room. The guy is looking for a 42"or higher plasma flat screen and a good surround sound system. As far as budget the sky is the limit basically, he doesn’t care how much it will cost him he just want quality.
I’m a big fan of toshiba but my tv doesnt go over 32" and as far as audio I prefer Bose speakers and Yamaha decks.
I’d appreciate any type of opinion or advice on this. thanks
Tommy

Don’t buy Bose, they are overpriced crap. Nobody who takes audio seriously would give Bose the time of day. No serious AV installer or installation uses their gear. They are all about marketing, why do you think they sued Consumer Reports for giving their spaekers bad reviews? Why do you think they always set up shop in Circuit City and Fry’s? It’s to take advantage of people who don’t know better than to shop there.

Look at the guys who’ve been making serious home theater systems: M&K, B&W, Atlantic Technology, Energy, Klipsch, Paradigm, Infinity. There’s too many good brands out there to settle for the best shit Fry’s and The Good Guys will push.

Nick

Bose sucks! Klipsch are good. I just wrapped up a job using Truaudio speakers, and they were awsome. I wish I could design a system without price being an issue. That would be fun. If that were the case I would definately buy the processor and amp separately. I would go with a Lexicon processor, and either an Adcom or Crown amp. The Crown cp-660 has never let me down. As far as video, there is now an 80" plasma available(I cant remember who came out with it) You should have some fun with this one. If you need anymore advice, post back.

I’m looking into buying a 42" plasma in the next couple of months. I checked out this site:

www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com

I thought it was informative. Way back when, I had a 19" Panasonic and the picture was awesome - it still is (I gave it to my parents for their vacation house), so I’m comfortable with Panasonic. I would be cautious though, because tv’s can be such a personal choice based on what its to be used for (movies, sports, games, etc)and your client’s visual preferences. Size is very important. Consumer Reports puts out a buyer’s guide each year with a lot of good buyer’s tips including how to pick an appropriate size tv. The size of the room and distance to viewers is extremely important as the larger tvs can appear grainy if you are too close.

DB

If price (and space) are no limit, why go with Plasma. If you are going to drop some serious coin on a quality HD plasma TV, you should really spend it on a nice DLP projector and screen. You can get a really nice HD projector for 3-5 K and a swank screen for 1200 bucks. So now not only do you have a kick ass sound system (see the speaker recommendations above), you have a 90-100 inch screen as opposed to a 42 inch. Yeah bulbs burn out on the projectors and need to be replaced but once a plasma goes south there is no fixing it, you have to go get a new one.

Thanks guys. I think I’m going with Klipsch for the sound system.
What I’d like to know what’s the difference between LCD Picture and Plasma. Whats the best overall quality for you guys.
I’m still learning the ropes here, I’m use to my 27 inch sony, I hardly watch tv.

[quote]T-Quinn wrote:
Thanks guys. I think I’m going with Klipsch for the sound system.
What I’d like to know what’s the difference between LCD Picture and Plasma. Whats the best overall quality for you guys.
I’m still learning the ropes here, I’m use to my 27 inch sony, I hardly watch tv.[/quote]

Lcds are more expensive. You can find the same sized plasma for less. An lcd will have a better contrast ratio, but the viewing angle sucks. If you have an lcd monitor or have access to one, try moving your viewing angle a little to the side. The picture will almost disapear. Definately not something you want in a home theater. In that scenario, to get the best view, everyone would have to sit directly in front of the LCD.

[quote]lothos wrote:
If price (and space) are no limit, why go with Plasma. If you are going to drop some serious coin on a quality HD plasma TV, you should really spend it on a nice DLP projector and screen. You can get a really nice HD projector for 3-5 K and a swank screen for 1200 bucks. So now not only do you have a kick ass sound system (see the speaker recommendations above), you have a 90-100 inch screen as opposed to a 42 inch. Yeah bulbs burn out on the projectors and need to be replaced but once a plasma goes south there is no fixing it, you have to go get a new one.[/quote]

A projector and screen is a good option, but you have to consider ambient light an issue. What if it is daytime and you want to watch tv or a movie, you would have to close the blinds(if you have them) or the image on the screen would be horribly washed out. One solution to this would be rear projection, but that would require a back room with either one or two first surface mirrors, a rear screen, and in some cases, a short throw lens for the projector.

[quote]T-Quinn wrote:
Thanks guys. I think I’m going with Klipsch for the sound system.
What I’d like to know what’s the difference between LCD Picture and Plasma. Whats the best overall quality for you guys.
I’m still learning the ropes here, I’m use to my 27 inch sony, I hardly watch tv.[/quote]

What line of speakers from klipsch are you shopping? I would go with thier Synergy line. They even sell them in a theater package. Have you settled on your audio source yet?

What line of speakers from klipsch are you shopping? I would go with thier Synergy line. They even sell them in a theater package. Have you settled on your audio source yet? [/quote]

I decided on the Synergy theater package. Not sure on the audio. The video might be a Sony LCD Grand WEGA 42" or higher.

[quote]T-Quinn wrote:
What line of speakers from klipsch are you shopping? I would go with thier Synergy line. They even sell them in a theater package. Have you settled on your audio source yet?

I decided on the Synergy theater package. Not sure on the audio. The video might be a Sony LCD Grand WEGA 42" or higher.
[/quote]

Dont install an lcd, please. Like I stated in a previous post, the viewing angl is horrible. Lcds are good for your computer if your a gamer(because your directly in fron of it)but if you move to the side the picture sucks. Ill try to explain it like mr. wizard. Imagine a wall of empty paper towel rolls pointing out at you. Imagine a bright light behind that wall of paper towel rolls. If you move to the side of this wall, your not going to see the direct light. That is how an LCD works. A plasma on the other hand works different. The plasma phosphors are directly on the screen. There is no space between the projected image and the face of the screen. The viewing angle is not an issue. If price isnt an issue, go with a plasma. If you still dont want to do a plasma, go with a retro rear projection TV with HD capabilities. The sharpest Ive seen is the Scenium by RCA. I was doing a job at thier tech building when they were designing it, and I was literally drooling over the picture quality. It may have been the fact that they had a superior HD source than most cable companies, but its by far the best picture I have ever witnessed.

Nobody wants to admit this, especially the market people at the electronics manufacturers, but you will still get the overall best picture from a tube TV or CRT projector. Each technology has it’s advantages and disadvantages, but the overall color performance and especially black-level performance of CRTs still reigns supreme. The other technologies are catching up fast, and I’m sure they will surpass CRTs in the next couple years, but not yet. They are mainly being sold on sexiness, although there are certainly cases where the thin form factor of a flat panel is a real advantage.

Another tech that hasn’t been mentioned yet is DLP. This is a digital technology that provides a very sharp and bright picture, and the latest HD2+ sets have really good color and contrast performance. They are not flat panels, but they are much thinner (about 18 inches) than older rear projection sets. They are sort of a middle point in price and size between CRT sets and flat panels, and IMO outperform LCD and plasma.

Whatever you buy, if price is not an issue you should look into having an ISF certified technician calibrate the set. No matter how much you spend on a TV or how good it’s supposed to be, between variations in manufacturing and getting bumped around during shipping, your TV will perform nowhere near it’s potential out of the box. In fact some manufacturers ship TVs with default settings that compromise picture quality for the sake of standing out on the showroom floor (which is usually a very poor viewing environment). A qualified tech will run test patterns on the TV and then use instruments to measure how close the set conforms to the expected output. Based on this they can tune the set so that it will reproduce source material as accurately as possible. This may run you a couple hundred bucks, but if you are willing to drop a few grand on the set, why not make sure it performs to it’s potential. Check out:
http://www.imagingscience.com/

Nick

I’m not in TV retail but in TV repair and I agree that a decent CRT will give a superior picture over plasma or LCD.

However if you want over 36" you’ll have to get an Flat Panel TV or a projector.

As far as Bose goes, we have a LOT of their stuff in for repair, it’s good stuff but highly overpriced.

Im not sure what CRT your talking about. If you talking about a crt projector, step into the 21st century. If you can even find this dinosaur of a projector, it would be at an old sports bar, or in my basement. CRTs are a pain in the ass to install. You cant zoom and focus like you can with todays modern projectors. You have to install them, and converge the lenses to focus on your screen. Its a pain in the ass. If your talking about a CRT monitor, The biggest Ive seen is 32’, and I own one. Its a tank. Mine will only do svga, and the most they wil do is xga at 60 Hz. And only 60 Hz. Theres no HD involved in any of this. Plasma is the way to go.

[quote]cbeefyt wrote:
Im not sure what CRT your talking about. If you talking about a crt projector, step into the 21st century. If you can even find this dinosaur of a projector, it would be at an old sports bar, or in my basement.[/quote]

I’m talking about CRTs man… A technology that is used on direct-view (tube), rear-projection and front projection sets. It may be an older technology but a CRT front or rear projector with 9" guns is still the technology to beat as far as image quality is concerned. There’s plenty of sets on the market that will display an HD signal and they retain better color and black-level performance than the newer (LCD, plasma, LCOS, DLP) technologies that cost two or three times as much.

Plasma’s can be OK, but a lot of them have terrible blacks, and by “black” I mean that muddy gray they degenerate to when they try to display detailed blacks. They also look horrificly bad when displaying a standard defenition signal. Sure this can be blamed on the manufacturer and the scaler they use, but since 95% of your content will still be SD, this is a big deal. There’s also a lot of bullshitting going on in the plasma market with “high defenition” sets that don’t actually have enough pixels to display an HD signal. If it’s not least 1280x720 pixels, it’s not an HDTV. Be careful.

Nick

[quote]cbeefyt wrote:
If your talking about a CRT monitor, The biggest Ive seen is 32’, and I own one. Its a tank. Mine will only do svga, and the most they wil do is xga at 60 Hz. And only 60 Hz. Theres no HD involved in any of this. Plasma is the way to go. [/quote]

CRT’s are still available at 36" and are excellent. As far as projectors go I wasn’t talking in terms of a CRT projector, but an LCD projector. I can’t comment on High Definition as it is only just about starting to be released in the country.