Saturday, September 05, 2009

Home Theatre - Next Generation

Way back in January 2004, half a year before I moved into my current residence, which I've had build then, I purchased a Home Theatre system to enjoy the new era of home entertainment. The Sony DAV-S880 was a good all-in-one choice at the time. My budget at that time was not that big due to my movement and the purchase of my house. For displaying the video I bought the Sony KV32FQ86 including the complementary furniture. A CRT TV with a 32" display, very big at that time. All together it had cost me about € 1900,00 (US$ 2680,00), € 600,00 HTS and € 1300,00 for the TV. In the meantime I've hacked the regioncodes and it is regionfree since then. But there were also some major flaws. The main shortcoming was the passive subwoofer. So the power of the sub wasn't that high, since it had to drain it's power from the main receiver causing the temperature rising rapidly. The satellite speakers were good with a power of 100W rms per speaker. But as usual, satellite systems are not made for audio or music events. The mid-range frequencies were not that good. Sony's S-Master digital amplifier system made the AV-receiver very compact and gave it a superslim design. But the drawback was that it could, despite the S-Master technology, overheat. Slowdown processing and even crashing could be the result. And as time goes by, the still goodlooking Home Theathre System has became a fossil in the HT scene.
This summer I assembled my next generation Home Theatre System. First thing first. The heart of a HT system is an A/V Receiver. My choice is the Onkyo TX-SR876. A high-end receiver and top of the line along with the TX-NR906. The receiver has an output of 200W rms per speaker and has many features like 7.1 with all Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio + variants, Bi-amp wiring, up to 3 zones performing. The THX Ultra 2 Plus and ISF calibrating is also included. One of the great things is the upscaling proces to high defintion display with its advanced HQV Reon-VX video processing. This guy is really big and weights 24 kg! Ironically, as I'm writing this blog now, the successors of the SR876 and the NR906 are presented as the NR3007 and NR5007 respectively. Speaking of first things first. It was a pain to get a new AV furniture since the depth of the Onkyo is 46 cm. Besides of that, the old AV furniture was a part of the CRT TV and the glassplates would explode in thousand pieces should the Onkyo be placed onto it. So the German company Spectral was the solution. The Brick 1501 was my choice. My version is a black one with black glass on top and front. To get a good sound, I choose between Focal Sib & Co (JM-Labs), Mordaunt Short and KEF KHT 3005SE. Since the first two were hard to get and becoming obsolete I purchased the KEF. The black high gloss version has a good design and even the sub is very stylish. The performance is very good and in pure audio setting the satellites have enough power of their own. The packaging of the speakers also gave me confidence since it has a precious sleeve to protect them.
For the video features I purchased the Samsung LED LCD-TV UE46B7090. A 46" (117 cm) wide flatscreen with an ultraslim design. The screen is only 3 cm (1,18") deep!! Originally I ordered the B7000, but it was not in stock anymore, so the retailer offered me the B7090, which has no red lighting edge. I didn't bother, so I ordered the B7090.The specs are the same as the B7000.
At this moment, I do not have a really DVD player anymore. I borrowed my brother's PS3, so I can also play Blu-Ray movies. I'm considering to get a PS3 (or the new PS3 slim) of my own, because it can also play videogames and has several other multi-media features, which a regular BD-player doesn't have. Besides, it is said that the PS3's Blu Ray player has better performances than many other players. the last thing I noticed is that the PS3 slim will support DolbyTrue-HD and DTS-HD, something the PS3 Fat doesn't do. This is something I have to think about..... Of course, there will also be a cheap DVD player next to it which accepts all legal and illegal crap from all over the world.

These finishing touches will be coming soon.

Suggestions for the choice between a regular BD player or a PS3 are welcome. (Except for the first 2 pictures, all pictures are taken with: Sony-DSC P8)

Onkyo in Pure Audio setting
Final setting Home Theatre



  1. Awesome! Isn't it a beautity that 'Willem van Oranje'! (name of that PS3 :P)

  2. Thanks. De PS3 is a great machine.
    I'm thinking of purchasing a PS3 slim.
    I'm very pleased with my brandnew High-end HT.