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August 17, 2009


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Congrats! Ok, now it's time to work on the wifey to go for a home theater audio set! (That is, if you don't already a decent set.)

Seriously. Audio. Arguably the best home theater upgrade you can make!

Great choice! Perfect timing with ESPN picking up the early morning and Monday afternoon Premiership games. 2010 and HD on FSC will make it even better.

Just a shame that Champions League games will not be HD until FSC gets HD now that they have Champions League in the states.

Glad you went with Vizio.

get an antenna installed and watch TRUE HD tv over the air, save $$$ to boot! you'll probably get 20~ ++ channels!

Now buy a Blu-Ray player and watch a movie in 1080p (most HDTV broadcasts are in 720p or 1080i). To say it's like being there is an understatement; an underwater shot will make you think you're underwater - an overhead shot will cause you a bit of vertigo. It's amazing.

I agree with both Eugene and Rod... you now need good audio and a Blu-Ray player.

In reality, you only need a Blu-Ray player if you watch a lot of movies or use Netflix instant streaming (standard on many Blu-Ray players these days). But if you do watch movies, 1080p makes everything really come alive.

Audio on the other hand is a must have IMO. I spent about $800 on my Bose audio setup (retail was about $1200-$1500) and I feel confident in that. You would be surprised how even a basic football game comes alive with good audio. You don't need to spend over $1000 unless you are an audiophile but you should spend at least $500. A decent $700-$800 5.1 surround sound system will completely change your experience.

"Upgrades" so often aren't worth the additional cost, but I must admit that after finally switching from an ancient CRT to LCD last year, I would have a very hard time going back. Just watching the Olympics was a revelation.

I bought 3 Vizio's last year & love favorite is a 26" widescreen that I use for my desktop computer monitor!!

I'm watching the 32" LCD Vizio that I bought from Costco two years ago and it it's been a great value. You can't lose on this one!!!

I also recommend that you get a Blue-Ray player. I would get one with the HQV chip (I have a Samsung model with this chip) as it will also help improve the picture on your standard DVD's.

This is the home theater audio bundle that I bought:

Now, I don't know if they still sell it, but it's absolutely, jaw-droppingly insane. Plus, it's a true Denon receiver (which are high-regarded) along with some rather impressive Boston Acoustics speakers.

But the most surprising thing about the bundle is that it's was actually available for "only" $500! I'm no audiophile myself, but I've listened to a lot of setups, most more expensive than this, and the sound is out of this world. Even Taco Bell commercials sound like it's an Indiana Jones movie! Did I mention that this bundle sounds better than even units that can cost twice as much? It's insane.

But anyways, I also recommend Blu-ray player. Once you have a 1080p HDTV, you'd be crazy not to get one. Netflix, you know I have it, but it's not going to take advantage of 1080p. Only Blu-rays and true HD programming will.

Which model Vizio did you buy?

Samsung is the correct answer for cost to quality sweet spot. Going to buy a really big one soon so the bastards last week who burglarized me can't carry it!


Congratulations on your purchase! If you don't mind sharing, how much did this set you back?

I got a 42" LCD TV by ProVision, a few months back... ended up costing about $650. Been quite happy with the purchase so far.


47" Oh yeah!

Dustin --

I'm not sure. Went to check the box (my wife has the manuals and I didn't want to disturb her) and it didn't say.

Mike --

We paid just under $1,000.

Eugene --

I'm forwarding that link to my wife!!!!! :-)

Glad to hear it! I'm trying my best not to geek out on you with the technical details, but suffice to say, I've searched far and wide for a bundle of this value.

Most audiophiles (from avforums) would never endorse HTIB (Home Theater In a Box), but this one apparently has been the exception, simply because of the quality receiver you are getting, and some surprisingly decent speakers considering the price. Actually, the reception has been lukewarm as more of a starter set or something cheap but decent they would like to set up for their kids, but the fact that they would even buy it is actually glowing endorsement for such a finicky crowd.

The obvious downside to listening to audiophiles is they don't care about the price. To them, audio is their passion, and money is just something you have to save up in order to get what you love out of life. Many will tell you outright that you can't even begin to hope for a decent home theater until you save up at least until $1000, preferably $1500.

Well, I'm a frugal, not an audiophile (although I've played classical music for 12 years of my life), so although I too want great sound, it doesn't have to be the best, and more than anything, I'm looking for the best value.

Truth is, you're probably still best off picking the pieces on your own. Start with a good receiver and a pair of good speakers. Then eventually build up with a sub and eventually rears.

But if you also don't want to be technical and want one of the best-kept secrets out there in audioland (and in SEARS of all places), get this bundle before they are gone!

I think it's so great, I'll bet even your wife will love it when you guys watch a touching movie that's made even more immersive and palpable by good audio!

"we're watching America's Got Talent this summer"

If you liked last year winner - I didn't think he was that great. but you posted you liked him - and Barbara Padilla this year (much much better, IMHO); if you liked the sound of their voices; and if you are at all curious what excellence in opera really means, you may like the HD broadcast of "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella) from the Met on PBS Great Performances. It was on some PBS stations last Saturday, but it will be on VNET/Thirteen this Thursday evening and next Sunday at noon (or 12:30). Here is the preview:

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