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Shaorin

Your home Audio/A/V Hi-Fi System

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why compromise at all? how much music can you listen to in one outing and why do you need instant access to so much music at all times? Step back, take a big breath and think about what music do you really love and buy it on Amazon for $10. imports or rare discs might be too expensive, download them for now and save up for the real mccoy. unless you can find .wav downloads of them, but then it gets messy because .wav cannot have meta data and you will have to get track info from wikipedia or whatever and store it somewhere else, ..it goes on and on, or you could have a perfect tomb of your favorite artist sitting there on your shelf ready to be manipulated any way you like. Remember there is no DRM on a CD.

why the mother-f*cking ass-crackers would I want to carry around a bulky CD player and a half dozen CD's when I can just use an MP3 player that's not even half the size of a CD CASE

I can upload all of my music onto my ipod ONCE and go for months and months without having to hook it up to my PC again. I plug it into a wall outlet to charge at night and stick it in my pocket when I leave the house. No having to dig through a box of CD's looking for the one I want, no having to plan out what I want to listen to each day, no having to carry around a case full of CD's, and no fumbling around trying to change out a disk only to drop it in the street and have it run over by a f*cking truck <_< .

Also No carrying around batteries.

And if I want to listen to music at home I've got it all right here on my computer. I do buy CD's; I put them in my computer once and then pack them away in a box in my attic. I've got enough crap and clutter in my room as it is, I don't need big ass speakers and CD players and a rack full of CD's taking up even more space I don't have.

Also I listen to stuff like Podcasts way more often than regular music anyways. I'm not burning that sh*t onto disks just to listen to them once or twice between classes.

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Thanks for the concern, but I enjoy music just fine, whether it be encoded in FLAC or VBR mp3.

If I want to really "experience" music, I'll go the Hollywood Bowl.

Well I suppose you have a point that all recorded music is a compromise on a live performance, but you have to draw the line at as little compromise as possible imo.

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no fumbling around trying to change out a disk only to drop it in the street and have it run over by a f*cking truck <_< .

That actually happened to me, once lol. One of these days I'll cave in and buy an MP3 player of my very own...

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Remember there is no DRM on a CD.

Nah, I'm pretty sure there are still CDs out there with DRM on 'em.

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I really don't get why people wast their time and money on stuff like this.

We payed $75 for a blu-ray player and another 5 dollars for an HDMI cable and guess what, IT PLAYS F*CKING MOVIES AND THEY LOOK JUST FINE!!!!!!! :o

Same goes for music. My ipod with $10 ear buds plays music just as well as CD's or LP's or whatever else you guys use through $800 headphones.

Ewww, ear buds.

I guarantee 10-buck ear buds DON'T play music just as well as 800-dollar reference gear.

At least you aren't using the iPod's pack-in buds. Could always be worse.

Or, of course, I could just envy your less discerning ears. It certainly makes life less expensive.

As far as the HDMI goes... that's a pretty variable thing, and you could write a book about it.

Depending on how long the run is and how much data you're pushing(a 720p signal can work through a wore cable than a 1080p one because it's a far lower bitrate), a crappy cable can be just as good(due to digital showing no damage until bits degrade beyond legibility) or horrible(due to the bits degrading beyond legibility).

Of course, HDMI cables are also one of the most absurdly over-markup products on store shelves today, and a lot of places get 30 and 40 bucks for the same damn 5-dollar cable. Soooo... get the cheap cable anyways.

If it works, and there's no sparklies or dropped frames or desynced audio, then that rocks!

In an analog environment, the cheapest cables WILL show degradation. Almost invariably. If you were pushing HD video signals over component, you'd probably notice a huge difference between the five-buck cables and the 20-buck cables.

There's a lot less markup on the classic RCA-connector cables in general, so it's much more a case of "you get what you pay for," barring a few notable exceptions.

But with a digital feed that's not hitting the limits of the cable... what model the TV is and how well it's calibrated means a lot more.

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Ewww, ear buds.

I guarantee 10-buck ear buds DON'T play music just as well as 800-dollar reference gear.

At least you aren't using the iPod's pack-in buds. Could always be worse.

Or, of course, I could just envy your less discerning ears. It certainly makes life less expensive.

I push the play button and sound comes out of both speakers, 95% of the time that constitutes "just as well" in my book. most of the time I'm more worried about comfort and bulk than sound quality, and my cheapo earbuds do both of those things better than anything else I've tried regardless of how much they cost.

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First props to Shaorin as another pioneer fan.

Component systems are nice because if one component goes your entire system does not need to be replaced. my own system is of pioneer make for the most part. Before I go into the details of another of my aburdities I should say some back ground. From 97-99 I worked for an electronics chain which would put older items on clearence. My first pioneer reciever was a doloby pro 600 watt with learning remote discontinued in 97. No box, no instructions, serial number carved in it with a knife... found in the attic of a mall store... $27.50 with employee discount! I then abused the inventory locating system for the next few years tracking down discounted merchandise in other stores across the country. My store often lost money selling me the items at the discounted price as shipping from other locations was often more that the system price.

the system was as follows until we moved to our first house 5 years ago. All components pioneer unless noted otherwise.

600 watt dolby pro reciever

540 watt dolby pro reciever

3 100disc linear changers

pdap1 radio station control module/interface for the 3 disc changers

Dual cassette deck with link cable to reciever for remote control interface. Tape deck has dolby versions I never heard of like "s"

my pc with all my cd's and friends collections personally ripped by me at the highest sampling rate the program I used back the allowed 190+ something.

remember... speakers make the best speaker stands LOL

each reciever supports 2 a channel, 2 b channel, 2 rears, a center, and a sub pre out.

I inverted one dolby system just for better surround techno music for a total of 14 speakers in the living room plus a powered sub shared between both receivers.

I had a 2 channel mixer between my cd controller and the units so I could hear my videogame system sound fx with my own background music.

I know I am forgetting some components and accessories and am not home till the 27th to check.

The only problem the system presented was that the recievers used the same remote so I would always have to "tweak" the knob on one to make the sound levels equal. I finally solved this by getting another 540 watt and moving the 600 watt into the dining room.

.... well that and when I moved I put all my wiring in one giant tupperware where it became a giant tangle of crap

5+ years after moving and the 600 watt dining room and a 300 watt spare bedroom set are all that is hooked up... for shame.

It's on my to do list with all sorts of stuff... like cleaning my toy room lol.

why the mother-f*cking ass-crackers would I want to carry around a bulky CD player and a half dozen CD's when I can just use an MP3 player that's not even half the size of a CD CASE

I can upload all of my music onto my ipod ONCE and go for months and months without having to hook it up to my PC again. I plug it into a wall outlet to charge at night and stick it in my pocket when I leave the house. No having to dig through a box of CD's looking for the one I want, no having to plan out what I want to listen to each day, no having to carry around a case full of CD's, and no fumbling around trying to change out a disk only to drop it in the street and have it run over by a f*cking truck <_< .

Also No carrying around batteries.

And if I want to listen to music at home I've got it all right here on my computer. I do buy CD's; I put them in my computer once and then pack them away in a box in my attic. I've got enough crap and clutter in my room as it is, I don't need big ass speakers and CD players and a rack full of CD's taking up even more space I don't have.

Also I listen to stuff like Podcasts way more often than regular music anyways. I'm not burning that sh*t onto disks just to listen to them once or twice between classes.

You can connect your pc to a component system easily enough and some games really should be played with great surround sound so you know the direction the thing trying to eat you is coming from.

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This one is for Shaorin. I know you aren't into the new digital formats/inputs, but thought you'd appreciate their "retro" looks. Pretty classy, I think.

ok11_3000-5000-7000_72.jpg

More pics and details here.

i don't really MIND any of the new stuff all that much,

i just prefer to stick with 1980's vintage as long as i possibly can.

and yes, that ONKYO kit is quite fetching, though i am a PIONEER loyalist...

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You know, since I'm in the market for a new TV, I have to get a TV stand to go along with it! I've seen awesome stands from BDI and Salamander but, hah, they are way out of my price range.

I've been eying this particularly stand from Ikea,

Linnarp TV Stand

Made of solid pine the description says. From what I've read and been told, pine is pretty soft. I can understand not being the ideal wood for a bed frame but is there any reason for me to stay away from AV furniture using pine? How is pine really, how easily is it to the nick the wood?

...it would also be nice to see everyone's setup.

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I've got a table from Ikea, and it too is pine. It's soft, so over the years that I've had it, it's picked up its share of dents. Mind you, I'm always putting stuff on it...

Just go to your local Ikea, and poke at it!

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Ah Shaorin... your setup and thread brings back memories.

It was the 80s and I was in highschool when we got into this anime stuff. I remember getting my first copy of a copy of a copy of Macross on Beta and watching that over and over again. My friend and I were totally into this hifi stuff and nothing like the real "Made in Japan" components of that era. We were totally loyal to Yamaha at the time and funny enough, I still am today. I remember the tape Dolby-S and glass heads, flying erase heads, 4-6 head VHS-HiFi and linear tracking turntables! My love of Macross goes hand in hand with my introduction and love of these components.

We started out in the 80s with;

Yamaha AVC-50

Yamaha DSP-E492

JVC HR-S7600U (SVHS)

Panamax 1000+ (Power conditioner)

Sony SLV-900HF (VHS)

Sony SL-HF400 (Beta)

Sony KV-27V15

Technics SL-L3

Sima ColorCorrector Model SCC

Pioneer CLD-1091 (LD)

Sony DVP-C650D (DVD)

Akai EA-A7

Akai GX-A5X

Akai GX-A5X

Bose Acoustimass AM-10

Paradigm Model 7SE

Polk Audio PSW350

Then later on in the 00s we finally got a decent stereo only system with good speakers (to this day they are the best purchase I've made, they sound awesome and I highly recommend them) B&W CM4s;

Yamaha TX-480

Yamaha AX-596

Yamaha CDC-685

B&W CM 4

Finally in 07 we finally got into the home theatre properly with a 1080p HD front projector, 100" screen and the Yamaha RX-V3900 amp with full Dolby-HD DTS-MA and HDMI;

Yamaha RX-V3900

Panasonic PT-AE2000U

Elite Cinetension2 100"

Sony PS3 (40Gb) (BR)

All that old equipment still works great, but just can't keep up with the 7.1 surround, HDMI inputs and HD video. Its too bad, because I baby my equipment and I still have the boxes, bags, styro inserts, instructions, receipts and they are totally scratch free and looked the same as the day they were bought. Unfortunately they are worthless now. But they sure have great memories as we took the laserdiscs and dubbed them onto S-VHS and watched our favourite anime over and over again - we even re-mixed and re-edited the Bubblegum Crisis songs into our own music videos with scenes from our favourite anime - back in the day before YouTube and PC editing! They knew how to make quality components where there was a real steel chassis, 10-20lbs per component with cast aluminum knobs, non of this plastic crap. Decent remotes where every function had its own switch/button and remember the jog/shuttle dials! Ah, I'm getting misty just thinking about it now. I just got a new 50" Panasonic Plasma for the bedroom as just a TV and the materials and workmanship really has gone downhill. However the picture quality is miles ahead of this ancient stuff. The last time I watched my Blade Runner LD on my 100" screen was almost un-watcheable compared to the Blade Runner BluRay - amazing how much difference 4x the resolution makes!

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I've got a table from Ikea, and it too is pine. It's soft, so over the years that I've had it, it's picked up its share of dents. Mind you, I'm always putting stuff on it...

Just go to your local Ikea, and poke at it!

Will do! I somehow already convinced the rest of my family to gravitate towards this stand; now all I have to do before I purchase the stand, is purchase the TV bundle sometime next week. In time for Lunar New Years, I guess.

...

Wow... your setup blows me away. Not to mention the price tag on your home theater setup... Wow.

Edited by shiroikaze

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LOL, I got some SWEET headphones for my ipod. They were like 30 bucks.

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5346146352_8762e0ae1e.jpg

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You can`t really see but I got a Sony DA50ES amp I got used for about $300 (retailed about $2000 in my part of the world back in `98), a cheap Sony Blu-ray deck for region free DVDs and BRs, a japanese PS3, a 40 inch Sony TV doubles as my monitor in my extremely small bedroom (share a house), cheapo Sony speakers (SSB-1000, contrary to internet reviews these don`t sound very good at all. ) that I need to elevate somehow. Get pretty decent/acceptable sound out of the setup though, will upgrade speakers and CD player soon (currently use PS3 with optical which isn`t bad at all and I prefer the sharper more detailed sound of optical) Genuine Sony Japan type R-master keyboard and mouse, VAIO theme downloaded (not a VAIO, just a frankenstein cheapo job tucked in the back of the desk.) No space for my Macross toys in this configuration!! One day I`ll have more space...

Edited by Peabody

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5346139544_6a4c41f819_z.jpg

a better shot of the screen where you can see my `90s VAIO icons!! I love VAIO.

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My NX810 TV finally arrived last week :). It came all the way from Michigan without any damage and the TV is without any apparent defects, woot.

I'm going to have to echo the sentiments of just about every owner of this model, "This TV is a beauty, both on and off."

The "monolithic design" is really something to behold, the front of the screen is literally one flat slab of glass--No bezel stepping at all. As for the picture quality, it looked great out of the box. Now, I'm no expert on TV calibrations so I've been mostly relying on other people's settings at the AVS Forums. From there, I adjusted a few things to put the TV to my liking. I know it's not picture-perfect, but it looks good to me as everything looks a bit more "natural" and not overly-bright; my dad on the other hand, prefers the original settings.

(If anyone here has any advice/suggestion to offer, I'm all ears.)

The TV has built-in WiFi and it's chock-full of internet-related features. Not to mention, it's ever-updating. You get all sorts of staple premium and free content, I'm damn sure that I won't use all of them, but some are really nice to have. Just the other night, I was watching Steamboy on Crackle.TV, I'm on a 3 Mbit connection and I was pleasantly surprised that the only hiccup I get is when the movies first resumes from ad breaks. Hardly any other hiccups otherwise.

I love my new TV but If I have to list any negatives...

  • The first thing on the top of my mind are the speakers. Maybe because the speakers are situated at the back of panel, the sound sounds really tinny. But since the TV is hooked up to a receiver, I can live with that.
  • Which brings me to the next point, passing sound through from the TV to the receiver. Currently I have my PS3 hooked up to the TV via HDMI, and from the TV to the receiver via optical. I can get Dolby Digital and LPCM to come out but not DTS :(. I'm not sure if it's correct or not, but I've heard that the NX810 doesn't support DTS. I'll need to read up some more on that.
  • The TV did exhibit some sort of clouding, though I can't really easily reproduce it. I fed an all-black image to the TV from my laptop via HDMI with all picture enhancements off and I can't see any clouding. I think the only time when I actually see clouding is when the TV is set to photo mode... maybe, I'm not sure. I can't see it during movies or games anyway, so it's no big deal.
  • Another thing to note is the bundled TV stand. It's pretty wobbly, but I think that's inherent with almost all TV stands nowadays.
  • Lastly, 3D for TVs as it is in this generation, sucks. It's not perfected. I've tried Gran Turismo 5 in 3D and it was terrible, huge amounts of ghosting/crosstalk. I've tweaked the settings to minimize that ill-effect but the icons and text suffer as a result, and I don't feel like adjusting anymore since it's pretty cumbersome to do. Yes, the 3D effect is really stunning but the ghosting is just TOO distracting and painful to look at. Alice in Wonderland was slightly better as it had alot less ghosting, but it wasn't perfect either. I've noticed that if you're looking at a certain "plane" in the image you'll get the full 3D effect, however, when things start moving towards and past the foreground, it starts to unravel and look like crap. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 3D preview was probably the best I've seen so far... :rolleyes:

img2202m.th.jpg img2208eo.th.jpg img2221t.th.jpg img2220f.th.jpg img2214m.th.jpg

Oh, I ended up not getting that Linnarp TV stand from Ikea, it looked disappointing in person, honestly. The Besta Burs glossy stand caught my brother's eye and we went with that after some deliberation--I think we didn't think it through all the way though. The stand's pretty shallow and we barely had enough room for the receiver, had to drill a hole through the cardboard back to connect the optical cable. Not to mention, we were missing four sets of screws and cushions to which Ikea has not sent all of yet... Seriously, they ship me two envelopes of replacements and yet I'm still missing the cushions.

Edited by shiroikaze

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Just got a low end LD player(Pioneer CLD-S300V for $20). Finally playing my small collection of LDs and really appreciating the film like quality of the analogue video.

I don`t mind a soft picture, but what are the best ways of getting the most out of my LDs on a HD LCD TV? I know its not an ideal monitor but to maximise picture quality what LD player would people recommend as good value for money in the 2nd hand market? Also are there some kind of booster boxes to improve picture? I don`t expect or want my LDs to look sharp like DVDs but sometimes the blurriness is extreme and I just want to get the most out of the format. I can see myself building a big LD collection in the future. (I can`t get over the smoothness of the picture, it really pleases me in an oldschool way, at the moment I am preferring the CAV DYRL? to the remastered DVD and my FX copy in many ways.) Star Wars trilogy definitive as well as a stack of concert LDs are on their way... :)

Anyone else here still get excited about LDs?

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I got into LaserDiscs in 2007 and have enjoyed the retro hi-tech awesomeness too. There's just something so cool about it. :D And I'll never give up my Star Wars LaserDiscs--never! :ph34r:

In order to get the most out of LD, there are a couple of things you can do. The first is ensure you have a good 3D comb (Y/C) filter (this is different from a 3-line comb filter). This is something that was as true in the 90's as it is now. If your TV doesn't have one, some A/V Receivers, Video Processors, DVD Recorders, and even certain VCRs may have them. In order to take advantage of a good comb filter, you need to use the composite video connection from the LD player, as the S-Video connection utilizes the players filter which (excluding the later, ultra high-end models) generally suck. The connection between the device with the filter and the display should be S-Video or better though. Unlike DVD or even VHS, LaserDisc is a composite format and needs a comb filter--and in order to get the best picture you'll need a good one.

Next you'll want good video processing with 2:3 pulldown detection (for stuff shot and edited on film) and deinterlacing (for stuff shot and edited on video). Again, if the TV doesn't do a decent job then you can use a good AVR, dedicated Video Processor, or quality DVD recorder. The first two (especially the VP) will give the best results.

Another option is to get a better LD player. No matter how good the rest of your equipment is, picture quality will still suffer from a poor quality player. Going from my Denon--which was by no means a bad player--to my CLD-97 was quite amazing. There was so much less visible noise in the video signal.

One more thing that you might not have thought of is to calibrate the display to the LD. That, however, could be another post entirely.

In addition to these things that can help the picture, getting a sound system with Dolby Pro Logic decoding will greatly enhance your LD enjoyment--especially for Star Wars. ;)

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Thanks so much for your post VT 1010, some really good stuff in there. My monitor is an Australian market sony 40 inch 1080P LCD KDL40Z5500 from 2009 apparantly with a 3D comb filter. I don`t know if it has any kind of 2:3 pulldown detection, its not mentioned in the manual. I am using composite and to be honest the picture isn`t that blurry at all and that was an overstatement, I guess I was just used to super sharp video from my blu rays, if anything the video is a little `muddy`, but looks more natural.

The other thing that is bothering me is that I cannot seem to make the most of my screen area. I believe DYRL? was shot in 1.85:1 and my TV is 16:9 or 1.77:1 so I expect some letterboxing but I also get pillarboxing unless I distort the picture. It`s really annoying me!!

I have a sony DA50ES via AC-3 RF for sound processing, DYRL already sounds epic, thats the other great thing about LD, I can`t overstate the richness of the sound at high volumes.

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Widescreen CRT's were crazy popular in Japan, which is why you find a lot of HD Japanese releases that are framed so nothing is lost in overscan.

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Here is my home theater room.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showpost.php?p=9796602&postcount=2222

Setup:

Ascend Acoustics CBM170SE Left and Right Fronts with CMT340SE Center and HTM200's for the rears.

SVS PB10-NSD sub

Onkyo SR804 Receiver

Oppo971 DVD

Xbox360 + add on HD-DVD drive

Not shown in picture is a Sony BDP S570 Blu-Ray player

Mitsubishi HC3000 projector (home made Monkeyman mount)

Screen is 102" (16x9) also DIY with Silverfire super lite screen paint from the screen DIY forum.

Back in 2007 when I bought the projector it was around $2k now you can get it used for $275 :( Buying a used projector I could put this system together for around $3k now. By all means do NOT buy HDMI cables at a chain store like Best Buy, Fry's, Circuit City, etc. Go to monoprice.com and pay 1/10 of what the chains are charging. I've got a 30' HDMI running up the wall behind the screen over the ceiling to the projector and it's perfect. And that's a "crappy" first gen HDMI cable. I made the screen from blackout cloth and a screen paint mix from the avsforum. I also made the couch riser, speaker stands, and component stand. If I were to do it again I would make a vertical component stand and put it in the back of the room and not directly under the screen. All the LEDs from the various components are annoying to look at while watching a movie.

Xbox on anything smaller than a 100+ inch screen is now unplayable for me. It's also really nice when 4 people are playing because each person still gets a pretty nice size screen. My kids love it (spoiled little farts) "back when I was a kid and we played pong and loved it!"

Edited by Steve68

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I'm looking to upgrade to a blu-ray player soon. Should I buy a ps3 or a dedicated blu-ray player?*

Also my local sears is going out of business and they have hdmi cable priced at 40% off. Phillips brand 6 and 12 ft, Sony flat hdmi cable normally $65. that a good deal?

*I don't really care for netflix capability.

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Tubes, though... that's indefensible.

Hey, don't be hating on us tube guys! :)

I really enjoy my Cary integrated. 40 watts per channel of pure triode sound. Mmmmmm, triode....

IMG_3511.jpg

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I'm looking to upgrade to a blu-ray player soon. Should I buy a ps3 or a dedicated blu-ray player?*

Also my local sears is going out of business and they have hdmi cable priced at 40% off. Phillips brand 6 and 12 ft, Sony flat hdmi cable normally $65. that a good deal?

*I don't really care for netflix capability.

just go to monoprice.com for all your cable needs. they are as good if not better than branded cables. heard about them some years back from a few AV forums when i was looking for color coded HDMI cables. have been ordering from them since. my latest being flat HDMI cables and some swivel/angle adapters -- useful for wall mounting, or any tight space

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Speaking of which...

Meritline has a 2-pack of 6' HDMI Male to Male Gold Plated Cables for $1.99 with Free Shipping when you enter code MLCK193350030750NL1 at checkout. Thanks trex3300

Note: Be sure to select the 2-pack option

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haven't watched DVDs for more than a year, so it was an unpleasant surprise when i found my samsung BD-P1500 now refuses to play any DVDs, even after i've updated the firmware. strangely, it still plays BDs just fine. i've googled for solutions but found none. anyone got any ideas?

in any case, i'm looking at the possibility of replacing it. this time, i'm hoping to get a BD player that also plays DVDs from all regions (my considerable DVD collection is nearly split between region 1 and 3, with a sprinkling of region 2). appreciate any recommendations.

p.s. are there players with built-in web browsers?

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As far as the HDMI goes... that's a pretty variable thing, and you could write a book about it.

Depending on how long the run is and how much data you're pushing(a 720p signal can work through a wore cable than a 1080p one because it's a far lower bitrate), a crappy cable can be just as good(due to digital showing no damage until bits degrade beyond legibility) or horrible(due to the bits degrading beyond legibility).

Of course, HDMI cables are also one of the most absurdly over-markup products on store shelves today, and a lot of places get 30 and 40 bucks for the same damn 5-dollar cable. Soooo... get the cheap cable anyways.

If it works, and there's no sparklies or dropped frames or desynced audio, then that rocks!

This seems to confirm a lot of the ideas expressed here.

Why HDMI brands don't matter.

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pioneer_receiver_610x350.JPG

Damn, we totally have one of these suckers in our house somewhere! when I was like 5 I used to sit in front of it and pretend it was some sort of old timey WWII radio or something. lol, I wonder if it still works?

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pioneer_receiver_610x350.JPG

Damn, we totally have one of these suckers in our house somewhere! when I was like 5 I used to sit in front of it and pretend it was some sort of old timey WWII radio or something. lol, I wonder if it still works?

it most probably does, and would likely kick total A$$ if you hooked it up to a good set of Stereo floorstanders and fed it a good CD source.

hell, even it's AM/FM tuner would likely kick butt!!

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Unfortunately, not all old receivers sound better. My dad's old Kenwood receiver (which is older than me) is the source of more buzzing than a beehive. :p The newer one of his (circa 1990's) that I have is of much better quality.

Furthermore, I'd keep my slightly inferior home theater receiver if that means I can continue to enjoy multichannel audio. My weakest links are the speakers and the room anyway, not the receiver. ;)

Edited by VT 1010

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Sorry for the necro-bump... :ph34r:

I undusted this today. My contribution to this discussion on prehistoric (ok, not really, this is more like bronze age) AV technology:

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Sony Hi-MD MZ-M200 recorder. I just loved the "control stick," it is a great idea, never have to touch the main device to access tracks, and control volume. There is a little LCD on the stick too that gives off some basic data like track info and battery status.

The audio quality pumped out by the MD's would depend on the manner in which they were burned I guess, but I never fiddled too much with any of the default settings on Sony's burner software.... but it's GREAT. Can't tell the difference between it and my iPhone 4S.

MD's never quite took off, they occupied the transitional time between combo CD/MP3 players and the current all digital status quo we live in. Rumor has it that they were a bit more popular in Asia (this one I bought in HK actually), but never reached mainstream status either.

Inspecting the device a bit more I think I can still keep it operational, some of the software is still available on Sony's site. I couldn't find the charging USB, so I inspected the whole box of spare USB cables that have accumulated over the years... surprisingly the PS3 controller cable did the trick!

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