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Friday
Dec162016

Podcast #770: Ultimate Home Theater in a Box for 2016

Each year we design a Home Theater setup that is considerably better than a typical home theater in a box. We have seen complete setups for less than $500 from manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic that quite frankly do not sound good. While our system costs more than a name brand HTIB your satisfaction will be dramatically more. Plus we include EVERYTHING you need to actually setup a home theater.  Minimum components for our system are a HDTV, Blu-ray Player, Receiver, and 7.1 speakers.

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Special Offer:

Great deal for HT Guys Listeners on a completely wireless system from Axiim. As you may remember we reviewed their system on Podcast #728 and felt that the Axiim Q Wireless Home Theater System is the first wireless system that truly delivers on the the promise of being a wireless solution that is simple to install, looks fantastic and sounds great!

  • Sale of $500 off a 5.1 or 7.1 system. $1999/$2499 down from MSRP of $2499/$2999. Sale runs from now through the end of the year.
  • Free upgrade to the 4K UHD version for anyone who buys a system now. The UHD Q supports 4K at up to 60Hz, HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2, and HDR from all 6 HDMI inputs.
  • Anyone who uses promo code "HTGUYS" at checkout gets an extra $100 off.

http://axiim.com

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Ultimate Home Theater in a Box for 2016

Each year we design a Home Theater setup that is considerably better than a typical home theater in a box. We have seen complete setups for less than $500 from manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic that quite frankly do not sound good. While our system costs more than a name brand HTIB your satisfaction will be dramatically more. Plus we include EVERYTHING you need to actually setup a home theater.  Minimum components for our system are a HDTV, Blu-ray Player, Receiver, and 7.1 speakers.

For this feature we choose components that we either have direct experience with or have experience with a similar model made by the same manufacturer. This year we have set a maximum price of $5,000. The amount we paid for our first HDTVs.  We are defining a system that can had by anyone who is serious about home theater. These systems will look and sound great by anyone’s definition!

Rodney:

Sony XBR65X850D 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV (2016 model) $1,498.00

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more capable 4K TV at this size and price.  It uses Sony’s X1 processor which provides some of the best color, contrast, and clarity. It’s also equipped with Android TV with Voice Search and Google Cast.

Yamaha RX-A760BL 7.2 Channel Network AV Receiver $649.95

This receiver has everything you need to support 4K content and to listen to music streamed from your phone or off the internet. It supports 4K Ultra HD video upscaling with HDCP 2.2, HDR and BT.2020 support. Its features Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound processing. It also has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM, vTuner, NAS support.

BIC Acoustech PL-980 7.1 Home Theater System-NEW!! PL-200II Sub  $1,699.00

BIC America isn’t as well known as Klipsch, but they’ve been in the speaker business for over 20 years and have a fan following. This 7.1 set comes with floor standing speakers that incorporate a 3-way multi-driver design rather than the standard 2-way design. The 4 surround speakers also have three way design and are angled so they can add more depth of sound. This set also includes a front-firing 12 inch long-throw subwoofer with BASH amplifier.

Xbox One S 500GB Console - Battlefield 1 Bundle $249.00

Instead of throwing in a standard Blu-ray player or a set top box, getting a 4K gaming system that supports HDR is way more versatile. You can watch UHD Blu-ray movies and stream 4K content on Netflix and Amazon Video. You can also play games that will utilize the home theater and put you right in the middle of the action.

Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control for Smart Home and Entertainment Devices, works with Alexa $129.99

Of course a remote is needed to control all the awesomeness. So why not get a remote that can work with home automation and smartphones? You can use your Smartphone or Harmony Remote for one-touch control of your entertainment system and home automation devices. Plus it also works with Alexa.

Summary

With a grand total of $4,225.94 you will be the envy every man, woman, and child on your block. For that price you’ve got a complete 4K HDR system, with bombastic audio, gaming entertainment, and a remote that supports home automation. All that and you’ll still have money leftover to buy a lots Blu-ray movies and video games.

 

Ara:

My theme this year has been 4K HDR and Wide Color Gamut so there is no reason to move away from that now. My Ultimate Home Theater in a Box will serve you well for years to come!

LG Electronics 65UH8500 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV $1697

My first HDTV was a 50 inch DLP capable of 720p. This LG gives you 15 more inches and more than 4 times the resolution for less than than half the cost. Not only that, you get better color and contrast! It's a smart TV featuring WebOS 3.0 so you’ll be able to stream your 4K content from Amazon and Netflix. We have come so far since 2002.

UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player $549

This year I have gone back to Oppo for my Blu-ray player. We have increased our budget this year and since Oppo just released this product we felt why not include it in an ultimate HTiB setup. Since most of your library probably Blu-ray at this time you need a player that can upconvert well. The UDP-203 does just that with a custom developed quad-core processor. On the audio side the player features a 8 channel 32-bit DAC from AKM that will easily handle any hi-resolution format you throw at it. All the latest sound formats are supported. Suffice it to say this is the ultimate UHD Player on the market today!

Yamaha RX-A1050 7.2-Channel MusicCast AV Receiver with Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth $898

I went with a receiver from this years receiver buying guide. I kind of cut costs on the receiver this year because I felt it necessary to not skimp on the speakers.  From the buying guide:

Plenty of power (110W), Auto Calibration, Multidimensional sound, and wireless connectivity. I went with this model over the A850 because in addition to Dolby Atmos you also get  DTS:X and and Advanced HDMI switching! You can watch different sources in different zones. Yamaha says that this receiver employs “audiophile grade design that incorporates a rigid chassis and symmetrical amp layout with the latest ESS SABRE DACs”.

RSL CG3 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System - Special Edition $1270

There are so many choices when it comes to speakers. This year I decided to go with RSL CG3s. We had Howard and Joe Rogers from RSL speakers on our show a few years ago and have since been really impressed with the company’s speakers. They are some of the best speakers you will listen to, and at $1270 for a complete 7.1 system, and incredible value! What struck me was how much effort the guys put into making their speakers accurately reproduce the sound of live music. No need to upgrade these in the future. This set will pretty much last you forever!

Miscellaneous

You will need a remote control to tie everything together. There are many options out there and rather than specify one, I’ll just allocate $250 and let you choose between Harmony, Simple Control, or iRule.

The last thing to consider are cables, power strips, and connectors. We will allocate an additional $200 for these items as well.

Summary

There you have it! An ultimate home theater in the box for less than I spent on my first HDTV. Last year my system came in at $2,995 plus tax, this year the grand total is $4,864 plus tax. Last year’s system was not future proof. This system is! Well for the next few years anyway.

 

 

Download Episode #770

Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for mentioning the fact that we need to disable ad blockers on your site to see the Amazon banner. I always wondered why I could never find it. My Amazon shortcut now points to htguys, then I just click the logo. Trying to help out!

December 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

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