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Old Mar 13, 2010, 1:26 PM   #1
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Default Buying home theatre: HD or not?

Hi there,

Recently, our home theatre and digital camera were stolen in a burglary. I've now ordered a Panasonic FZ35/38, and am shopping around for a home theatre. Mostly, we use the home theatre for music listening, and watching the occasional DVD. So, my first priority is sound quality.

While shopping around today, I saw an LG home theatre that was marked down quite drastically. (LG HT304 SL, for about US $200.) Later, I saw the same system, much more expensive (almost US $ 300), and wondered how one shop could have such different prices from another - until I spotted the small difference: the more expensive one was HD-enabled (model HT304 SLH), while the other one was not.

Our TV set is a 74 cm CRT, i.e. neither LCD nor plasma. I've been told that normal "old school" CRT-type TVs cannot show HD movies. However, I'm wondering whether I should buy the HD-enabled home theatre system anyway, because the Panasonic digicam that I've ordered features HD? Perhaps, if we need a replacement TV in the future, then it would be good to have an HD-ready home theatre?

I'd appreciate your opinions and inputs.

Regards,
Mark
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 1:28 PM   #2
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Go HD, everything will go that route one day.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 1:43 PM   #3
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Hi there,

I've just seen on our TV (it's a Samsung "Plano", bought about 4 years ago) that it says "HD ready 1080i". So perhaps this TV can actually handle HD movies? I'll have a look in the manual as well.

Thanks for the advice, shoturtle.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 1:55 PM   #4
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I really don't know, so I'm wondering: does that mean your Samsung can simply handle HD or it'll actually produce HD quality? Would that make a difference to you?
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 2:45 PM   #5
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Hum, lets see.
If you wanna watch Hd movies , you should get plasma or LCD TV . plasma vs LCD fight has ist long and rich history and I dont wanna suggest anything untill you say what kind of programs you watch mostly and which TV size you want .
To make HD home theatre centar isnt easyest sport you know.
You will need blu-ray player, or video player that supports files which are called .mkv files . Its like dvd-divx , bluray-mkv.
Resolutions . ...every plasma or lcd supports HD resolutions. Some of them have (can show) phisicaly 1080 horisontal lines, they are called "full hd" Tvs.
If TV can show only 720 lines , its called "hd ready". It can still get 1080 singal but it downsizeis is to its 720, 768 or similiar number of lines which it shows.

DVDs are made in 576 lines...


Id recommend going for 42+ inch plasma screen , preferably panasonic. AS I said , I dont know what kind of programs are you watchin , but if you wanna build Hd HT , its a good start .
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 2:52 PM   #6
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Think the op has a tv right now an not looking to upgrade that piece of the system. But I do recommend getting the HD system, as the op's tv is 4 years old, and may want to get a hd lcd or plasma in the future. That way instead of upgrading both the home theatre system and tv. The op will only have to upgrade just one thing.

Also I would get a system with HDMI inputs and outputs. That way you can plug you the FZ35/38 right into the home theatre system to view the photos and video on the TV. Allot simpler then using the component cable of older HD systems.
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Old Mar 13, 2010, 5:53 PM   #7
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I would tend to agree with shoturtle - nearly all content is beginning to migrate to HD, so you will need it eventually. May as well start now since you are having to make the purchase.

1080i means it is interlaced rather than progressive (which would be 1080p), so the very highest level of HD is beyond it, but you would probably not see too much difference. I wouldn't junk it for a new set, unless you really want the huge wide screen type.

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Old Mar 13, 2010, 7:49 PM   #8
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I cannot find exact specifications on the "HD" unit you mentioned. I would not suggest it as a base for building on an HD entertainment system. It says HD enabled and on low end systems that could easily mean it has an HDMI output and plays DVDs (not bluray) and upscales them to 1080p. This is not HD. You want to make sure it can decode both dolby digital and dts HD master audio. Also being a lower end system its unlikely to have much room for expansion, for example routing audio through it from a bluray player later on when you wanted true hd video and audio. It would need either HDMI switching or digital coax input for HD audio or fiber optic input if you wanted to settle for just 5.1. You cannot get HD master audio through fiber optic. Its unlikely the unit your looking at does any of this.

The only one I did find that seemed to be what you are looking at fell into the category I listed above so it would not be a good start.



This would be the minimum I would start with... It has all the inputs you need now and if you were to add a bluray player later. You do have to purchase speakers though.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158STDH...00.html?tp=179

Last edited by Widowmaker; Mar 13, 2010 at 8:12 PM.
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 7:05 AM   #9
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Hi there,

Hmmm, Widowmaker, I don't think I want to go quite that fancy. (Besides the fact that many of the terms you've used simply make no sense to me - I thought that HD had to do with image quality, not audio quality? But I'm a layman, and may be completely mistaken...)

I certainly don't want to junk this TV set for another one. It's served us well, and the one feature that I like to this day, is its complete absence of flicker (to which my eyes are much more sensitive than average eyes), at 100 Hz.

From what I can understand in this thread, I think shoturtle has summed it up more or less the way I see it myself.

Regards,
Mark
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 8:22 AM   #10
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Whatever you decide make sure you understand the lingo. Go true HD not HD enabled, compatible or other silly terms which actually say its not HD. Whatever you buy make sure its the latest technology and not the end of the last decades technology. And as far as I know, HD refers to picture quality. 5.1 surround stereo sounds fantastic with an HD picture. Good luck.
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