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OT -- LCD TV with decent sound
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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2297
Location: Canberra, Australia

8/20/11 6:04 PM


quote:
I have had speaker surrounds get crumbly after 35 years in a sunny room, but I don't consider that a lack of durability.


I had to get the roll surrounds of my Tannoy dual concentric drive units replaced last year because of that problem - there were radial cracks appearing. I purchased them in 1974, so couldn't complain about the longevity. It cost me $400 to get the two drive units done, they now sound as good as they ever did.

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2850
Location: Midland, MI

8/20/11 6:10 PM

Remotes


quote:
My wife and I both hated the complexity of having to turn on the receiver and the TV and the cable (now FIOS) box.


Ha! That's a larf. We have a remote for the DVD player, DVR, receiver, projector, VCR, and the cable box. Several of them can be made to control several devices (acting as a "universal" remote) but we decided that it was actually easier to know clearly what each remote did. One button to turn on each unit rather than several buttons (and button sequences) on a single remote. Our only problem is that the receiver remote can get a bit scrambled if somebody sits on it (starts a programming sequence I think) so we have to keep it out of "butt range."

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Glenn James
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 158
Location: Livermore, California

8/20/11 6:19 PM

Just get a Harmony remote like we did. One button for "watch TV" turns on the TV and DVR, and sets the buttons to act like the DVR remote. One button for "Watch Movie" turns off the DVR (if on), turns on the TV and Blu-Ray player, and turns on the 7.1 surround system. One "Off" button turns whatever is on, off.

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PLee
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 3493
Location: Brooklyn, NY

8/20/11 6:43 PM

+1 for a Logitech Harmony universal remote. Once you program it, which is very easy, it's just one button for whatever you want to do.

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sandiway
Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 4902
Location: back in Tucson

8/20/11 7:06 PM

iPhone/iPad as remote

You could also use your iPhone. There are many apps/emitters available, e.g.

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/gear4-unityremote-universal-remote-for-iphone-ipod-touch-or-ipad/

Some modern receivers also allow your iPad to be the remote. I saw a screenshot where you can adjust equalization by moving sliders on the iPad. Also wirelessly stream audio from your iPad.

It's a shame not all components have an IP address and are networked...

Sandiway

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 15809
Location: Portland, OR

8/20/11 9:40 PM

"We have a remote for the DVD player, DVR, receiver, projector, VCR, and the cable box. Several of them can be made to control several devices (acting as a "universal" remote) but we decided that it was actually easier to know clearly what each remote did."

Us too, and we sing 'Lum dee lum dee laa' as we go through the turn on and off rituals..

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3772
Location: Nashua, NH

8/21/11 4:57 PM

Logitech Harmony One

I've had one for over a year now and it's somewhat of a mixed bag. It does control all of the components of my home theater system:

- TV
- Tuner (the TV doesn't have a built-in digital tuner)
- Receiver
- DVD player
- VCR

I have one-button settings for:

A - "Watch TV" which just turns on the TV and Tuner.
B - "Watch TV - Surround", which turns on the TV, Tuner and Receiver
C - "Watch DVD" - which turns on the TV, Receiver and DVD player
D - "Watch Video" - which turns on the TV, Receiver and VCR

For the most part it works quite well. However, it cannot set the volume of the TV or Tuner to zero or 100%, which means I have to do it manually using their respective remotes when switching between A and B, which sort of defeats the purpose of the Harmony. Consequently, I end up using one mode or the other most of the time.

Also, it will at times get out of sync, with one component or another not turning on or off at the appropriate time. While it has the capability of re-sequencing, it can be aggravating at times.

All in all, I'd probably buy one again, but it's not the panacea I hoped it would be.

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Glenn James
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 158
Location: Livermore, California

8/21/11 6:04 PM


quote:
However, it cannot set the volume of the TV or Tuner to zero or 100%, which means I have to do it manually using their respective remotes when switching between A and B, which sort of defeats the purpose of the Harmony.


That's more of a limitation of your TV and tuner than the remote. If they have a "mute" code, then use that. Unfortunately, hitting mute on most TVs these days puts a big MUTE icon on the screen.


quote:
Also, it will at times get out of sync, with one component or another not turning on or off at the appropriate time.


That's also (sometimes) a limitation of the TV, etc. again. I see it sometimes when switching inputs. The TV does not have a code for each, it just has a code to move up or down one. That can be an issue.

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Steve B.
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Posts: 645
Location: Long Island, NY

8/21/11 7:11 PM

FWIW, on the Bose remote that came with the Cinemate it can control:

- Power on/off for TV, FIOS box as well as Bose audio
- Change to any channel on the FIOS box, access Guide, do multiple channel skip, Info., everything the FIOS remote does
- The Bose audio is the audio. You turn off the TV speakers, so volume and mute is on the remote and controls the Bose system.

So essentially it's an all-in-one and works just fine, provided you keep a set of reading glasses around. I basically found the Bose system to be about as painless as you can get and the sound is MUCH better then the TV speakers.

SB

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3772
Location: Nashua, NH

8/22/11 5:12 AM

Glenn

You're right about the mute, but as you state, you end up with an icon on-screen and you have no way to remove it, hence the need to set the volume to zero.

I haven't had problems with modes on my electronics, but I have had frequent issues with components not turning on or off. The tuner is a particular problem in that regard and I suspect that it's due to a mis-match between the beam strength of the remote and the sensitivity of the sensor on the tuner.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6093
Location: Westchester/NYC

1/15/13 6:15 PM

another update

Resurrecting a really old thread... because this is how long it took me to try out one of the recommendations! I'm not exactly a quick action kind of a gal.

Picked up a soundbar (Boston Acustic TVee 10) from Best Buy and hooked it up to the TV for a test. It's a tiny little thing. But the sound it produced was MUCH better than the one out of the flat panel TV! Night and day...ok, I mean music vs noise!

In fact, so good I want to get something better than that! (I don't have to keep the current one, I have 30 days to return it if I find a better one) Anyone know a good review site for these things? I need to make a short list before hitting showroom floors with sample CD...

Now the sat/sub setup probably sounds even better. But I would need to have something to put each piece on, right? (the apartment is a bit bare in furniture) Soundbar I can just mount it on the wall, or on the same stand the TV itself sits.

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bboston75
Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 364
Location: philadelphia

1/15/13 9:16 PM

December Consumers Reports likes the Vizio sound bars, $165 to 300, Bose, Denon, and Yamaha home theaters, cheapest Yamaha is$330.

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1470

1/16/13 9:10 AM

If it's in your house already, sounds good, you are happy with it, why not just keep it and enjoy it.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6093
Location: Westchester/NYC

1/16/13 11:21 AM

why not just keep it?

Oh, I'm greedy! :o)

It's one of those things. It upgraded from intolerable to reasonably pleasant. But there's different degrees of enjoyable. There might be better ones out there costing not too much more and produces even better, "real" music that are even more enjoyable than this one.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 15809
Location: Portland, OR

1/16/13 11:31 AM

Bose has a lot of engineering going on and always impresses me in the end. Especially when they make something to do what other great stuff already does with a lot less real estate footprint wise. But usually more $$. ;)

I am sure there are other very good setups of similar design out there...

I will restate my comment regarding the speaker being a critical piece of reproduction of sound. Being they are the device that tunes energy into SPL which a sense, hearing, should interpret as live presumably. Or hopefully close. ;)

SPL=Sound Pressure Levels, as in sound waves your ears hear and process...


Having a Tin Ear is the best thing to keep one from buying/needing to buy the way expensive stuff. ;)

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sandiway
Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 4902
Location: back in Tucson

1/16/13 12:15 PM

next level: soundbar + subwoofer

April,

Next level for you is probably a soundbar + subwoofer. Soundbars by themselves don't offer good bass.

Lots of information here http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/satellite

Sandiway

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Chris Klaren
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Posts: 79
Location: Iowa

1/16/13 5:21 PM

+1 on the Visio sound bar

We have a Visio sound bar with RF rear speakers and sub. May not be studio quality, but we like them for our basement setup where they sound just fine.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3772
Location: Nashua, NH

1/16/13 7:10 PM

Make that +2

My girlfriend has a Visio soundbar combined with a Cambridge Soundworks powered subwoofer and the sound is great. BTW, check Craigslist for things like subwoofers and you can get screaming deals. I picked up hers in like-new condition for $30.

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2297
Location: Canberra, Australia

1/17/13 5:08 AM

For sound output with our Samsung LCD flatscreen, which sounds like crap with the built-in loudspeakers, I purchased a 2nd hand Marantz AV amp for $80 and hooked up an old pair of Wharfedale Diamond III bookshelf speakers that I must have had for over 20 years. It's not surround sound and the bass isn't as extensive as with a subwoofer, but for most of my viewing, which is in large part classical music and opera DVDs and Blu-Ray, the sound quality is excellent.

I also bought one of Logitech Harmony remotes, which so far has worked without any problem. Being able to push one button to turn everything on or off and switch everything to the correct inputs certainly beats having to fiddle with several separate remotes.

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1470

1/17/13 9:24 AM

That is a great idea.
I am just setting up a new TV in my "pain cave" and was thinking about a soundbar but I like your idea better only thing is that I don't have old speakers laying around.

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sandiway
Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 4902
Location: back in Tucson

1/17/13 11:43 AM

re: old speakers

Speaker technology hasn't advanced that much over the years. If you have good speakers from a few decades ago, it's surprising how much more you'd have to spend to get significantly better sound.

I have a pair of Celestion SL6 speakers from more than 30 years ago. To get significantly better sound, I'd have to spend $2000-$5000.

Sandiway

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 15809
Location: Portland, OR

1/17/13 12:17 PM

"If you have good speakers from a few decades ago,"


Barring deterioration of the surround on the woofers...

Easily repairable. I have had AR9 repaired, and my beloved DCM Time Frames are also re-surrounded. ;)

There is some chance parts of the crossover circuit can fail. But in a nice interior environment decades of these parts in common....

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6093
Location: Westchester/NYC

1/17/13 12:51 PM


quote:
only thing is that I don't have old speakers laying around.

That's exactly the problem I have!

By the time I get a pair of traditional speaker of half way decent quality, it's price right up there with a cute sound bar. I would have still need to add the amp and something for the speakers (and the receiver) to stand on... all of them I don't have!

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sandiway
Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 4902
Location: back in Tucson

1/17/13 4:01 PM

soundbar advantage

An advantage of some soundbars over traditional speakers is the ability to simulate a 5.1 (surround sound) setup.

This is useful for movies and music dvds that have a 5.1 soundtrack as well as the regular stereo one.

I believe Yamaha were the first to do this years ago with their YSP-1. Now see their range:

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/digital-sound-projector/

Sandiway

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6093
Location: Westchester/NYC

1/30/13 10:08 PM

Not impressed

Carted home another sound bar, this one has a subwoofer.

On first turning it on, it sounded pretty impressive and "powerful": with strong rich base. But flipping back and forth between the one with and without subwoofer, I found the one with subwoofer having TOO MUCH base! Felt like the deep base was just too "artificial"! Turning down the base of the TV's rudimentry output equalizer (base/treble) produces a more acceptable balance. But I can also hear the cross over between the soundbar and the sub.

(on a single instrument piece, like a violin solo, it's really easy to hear: one moment, the sub has no part, the next note, there's a lot of sub. Not a gradual smooth cross over)

The one without sub sounds more smooth at the mid-range, albeit a bit thin on the low spectrum end. It doesn't have that artificial enhanced base that comes on suddently.

Granted, these are not expensive models. So probably the cross-over circuitry isn't as refined as it could be. But in any case, I'm going to stick with whatever low end ones for now. So I just need to find one I like, if not the most faithful reproduction of sound signals.

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