QUOTE(sp3cialk @ Dec 17 2007, 12:07 PM)
Oh yea... Then I don't even wanna think what a new system would cost... lol.. I would say in the BOSE price range... lol
Bose blows ass... They have cheap crappy small paper drivers and then millions spent in R&D to make such crappy speakers sound decent, and they do a good job... if they actually charged what their systems were worth they would make great low end equipment. I can tell you that their $2000 flagship 901s cost them less than $30 to manufacture even after labor costs and overhead (I know because I know several current and former Bose engineers).
When you buy Bose you're pretty much funding R&D into how to make the cheapest speakers possible sound passable. It's a great business strategy... but that's about it
QUOTE(wuzup101 @ Dec 17 2007, 01:43 PM)
My honest advice would be to go on e-bay and look for a factory re manufactured receiver from Harmon audio (IE: the manufacturer of Harmon Kardon receivers). Their AVR 347 will do what you want it to do. They generally sell in the $300 ballpark on e-bay. Go to frys.com and order a pair of Polk R50's ($80/each with shipping) and be happy with a decent 2.0 setup with a lot of room for future upgrades. When you get a bit more money, get a matching polk center channel, and a sub. When you get more money after that, get a pair of surrounds, etc... A quality 2.0 system IMHO is better than a crappy 5.1 system.
Know that for $400, you aren't going to even get a HTIB with audio processing over HDMI. You are pretty much lucky to get HDMI pass through at that price. The AVR 347 will not only give you audio processing, but it also features a DCDi Faroudja video processing chip for upconversion. It will also pass a true 1080p signal. 7.1 channel amp @ 55w per channel... and has pre-outs if you ever want to go that rout. I would spend the money on it and a pair of decent towers like the polk's now... then figure in $100 or so for the matching polk center... probably a bit less than that for a pair of bookshelf surrounds, and maybe $200-500 down the road for a decent sub (depending on what you want of course).
^this is the best advice so far in this thread... I completely agree.
I built my own system by just getting a nice receiver and some front speakers, then I added rears, then a center then a Sub... etc. etc. etc.
The problem with getting a refurb receiver with goals of HDMI is that HDMI 1.3a is so new that most refurb units are only 1.2 at this point. That works for Xbox 360 but if you want the best support for Blu-ray or HD-DVD in the future then you need to go with something that supports 1.3a since that's the final HDMI spec.
Another good place to get refurb units is http://www.accessories4less.com/
I've bought several pieces of equipment there and always had great results. one unit was damaged in shipping (a CD changer that had the tray come lose inside and jam the drawer) and they replaced it quickly and easily without question and at no cost to me. They're an "official" refurb reseller for most if not all of the brands they carry so it's not like some guy in his garage fixing up broken units.
QUOTE(SphtKr76 @ Dec 18 2007, 12:25 AM)
Unless you have a stand alone HD DVD or Blu Ray player, then HDMI audio really does you no good, other than you only have to run one cable. The reason is this:Video games use Dolby Digital surround, which can be passed just fine over optical cables. HDMI audio really comes into play when using Dolby Digital Plus, or Dolby True HD. Go buy yourself an Onkyo HTIB for $400 and prepare to be surprised.......
unless you live in an 8x8 cube HTIB systems really blow... and if you do live in a cube then they're only really good for spatial awareness when gaming. They WILL impress most people in the same way an 82 Ford Escort might impress someone who's never seen a car before, that is to say if you've never owned a system with a sub woofer and rear speakers and the only audio you've had for movies and games are the built in TV speakers then of course they'll impress.
If all you want is to hear someone walking up behind you when playing Halo 3 and you live in a small room then a HTIB system is your cheapest solution... If you want HDMI audio so that you can play SACDs and Blu-Ray in 7.1 surround then save your pennies and build your system in steps as wuzup101 suggested.