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Old 16-04-2003, 12:28   #1
kanedaa
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DVD Home Cinema Systems

Hi everyone,

I need some recommendations!

My parents want a new DVD Player and are open to the idea of an all-in-one Home Cinema setup but would like to spend preferably £400 max. We are currently demoing a Sony DAV-S400 which IMO actually sounds pretty damn good considering the size of the speakers, but its not an option as it lacks even s-video output.

What we want is a player that can do the following....

-DTS, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic decoding
-CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, VCD/SVCD playback

...and of course it should have decent quality picture/sound, be easy to use and preferably (though I know this is rare) have RGB scart.

The new Sony DAV-SA30 over at HCH looks pretty good, but I'm open to any suggestions especially based on your own experiences.

Thanks
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Old 16-04-2003, 19:12   #2
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Well the Samsung HTDM150 is the best cheapest system for features and sound quality and does all you ask. Its also remote hackable for multiregion and has a brilliant RGB picture. Its What Videos best buy at a £350 price point but is available online for £240 delivered. However negatives are that it plays NTSC films in pal mode only and it has no s-video output at all just composite and RGB scart. Still an amazing system. One other point is the speakers are a little larger than some other home cinema systems but definitely worth it for the superb sound. Bass is so tight and dramatic and far more involving that the more clinical sound of most of the sony systems. However if they can spare £500 there is a 6.1 system from JVC which is superb I forget the model number. Check out

http://www.dvdrhelp.com/dvdplayers

Lots of great info on many systems. Don't forget though that its an international site so some info is regarding american models etc so normally ignore references to socketry and progressive scan as its often removed on the uk/european versions. I.e. the samsung has component sockets and progressive scan in the us but its scart rgb with no progressive in the uk.
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Old 17-04-2003, 08:26   #3
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Bonzo Bananas

I am considering this Samsung HTDM150, HOWEVER its not listed on the Samsung website.
Is the hack easy?
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Old 17-04-2003, 09:48   #4
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Thanks for the suggestion Bonzo. I have to admit I only really consider the likes of Pioneer, Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic etc and prefer to buy a unit that is pre-modified but considering the reviews the Samsung has received I'll certainly look into it.
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Old 17-04-2003, 11:21   #5
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Having been approched to start stocking samsung product, I`ve had one of these to evaluate. Yes, for the money it is good value for money. BUT, (and its a big but) spending a little more does outclass the unit.

IMO, if you`re on a budget of about £200ish, then fine, but spending £300 on something like a DCS303 simply sounds a lot better. I am considering stocking these and smasung plasmas, but to someone wanting a good all-rounder for £300ish, I`d say the pioneer. The Samsung is ideal as a second system for a kids room, or if you really cannot afford to spend £250 or more.
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Old 17-04-2003, 12:01   #6
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Well as previously said £400 is the preferable upper limit, and me personally I quite like the idea of the Pioneer HC51 setup as it uses a proven DVD player alongside what I presume are decent quality low-mid range amp/speakers. Thats a little over budget so how does the DSC303 say compare to that kind of system, or indeed the systems you stock on your site Justin that are between £300 and £400?
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Old 17-04-2003, 13:08   #7
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Picked up the DAVS500 back end of last year, and no complaint with it. Got your DTS/DD & Pro-logic that you want. Can't remember off hand about what else it plays othe than SACD. No RGB, but has S-Video.
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Old 17-04-2003, 23:07   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by kanedaa
Well as previously said £400 is the preferable upper limit, and me personally I quite like the idea of the Pioneer HC51 setup as it uses a proven DVD player alongside what I presume are decent quality low-mid range amp/speakers. Thats a little over budget so how does the DSC303 say compare to that kind of system, or indeed the systems you stock on your site Justin that are between £300 and £400?
Yeap if theres room with the budget then something like the HC51 or Sony HTP1000 are good value for money, as you can always upgrade part of the system later on once funds permit or new technology filters down to cheap prices. Something you can`t do with any of the all in ones.

The HC51 is fine for the money, to be honest it will be £399 once I`ve finished the web updates in the next few days anyway. The DCS303 is, for the money, a nice little package that sounds good with movies.

The new Sony AS30 looks to be good value for money on paper, certainly as it has a scart with RGB out, but I cannot really comment further as only seen it at the product launch - not had any come in yet they due very early next month now...

Hope that helps?
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Old 18-04-2003, 03:15   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin
Having been approched to start stocking samsung product, I`ve had one of these to evaluate. Yes, for the money it is good value for money. BUT, (and its a big but) spending a little more does outclass the unit.

IMO, if you`re on a budget of about £200ish, then fine, but spending £300 on something like a DCS303 simply sounds a lot better. I am considering stocking these and smasung plasmas, but to someone wanting a good all-rounder for £300ish, I`d say the pioneer. The Samsung is ideal as a second system for a kids room, or if you really cannot afford to spend £250 or more.
I totally disagree I don't doubt that the Pioneer is capable of pushing out a higher volume of sound but the samsung still has excellent volume. Its sound is superb and 'what video' magazine test this aspect thoroughly in neutral test conditions. At a price point of £350 it is there best buy in preference to some of the japanese branded systems at a similar price point. Not only that but the DCS303 doesn't have RGB scart and so its blatantly obvious the Samsung is going to have a picture advantage straight off. The samsung picture is truly superb probably class leading for home cinema systems at near its price range. The trouble is a lot of people don't accept the merits of the samsung because it is a samsung and a lot of brand snobbery goes on in the av industry. The thing is most of these systems are coming out of similar chinese factories whatever the badge on the front says be it Pioneer, Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic or Samsung. People are making a big mistake if they bypass the Samsung on your recommendation as its well made, well reviewed with great picture and sound. Yes it doesn't have a true ntsc playback mode and that is the main disadvantage however its easily made multiregion without need of special remotes or chips soldered in and even if the system settings got reset you'd only have to do the remote hack again and not pay out tens of pounds to get use of the special remote to redo it like some sony systems or risk voiding the guarantee with a chip. It also plays all media faultlessly and no problem with vcds and svcds even with highish bit rates. Its a truly brilliant system. I realise the Pioneer DCS303 is also remote hackable but its not as good with regard media compatibility or vcd compatibility.

All I say is check out the Samsung for yourselves.
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Old 18-04-2003, 03:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by jahangir79
Bonzo Bananas

I am considering this Samsung HTDM150, HOWEVER its not listed on the Samsung website.
Is the hack easy?

Its the same as the HTDM140 listed. The samsung site is very poor it even lists the usa specification of 'progressive scan' which it doesn't have. Don't consider the HTDM550 as its frankly not as good as the HTDM140/150. It just offers more power but it doesn't sound as good and the bass isn't as tight. I found the hack very easy and it worked first time.
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Old 18-04-2003, 09:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin
The HC51 is fine for the money, to be honest it will be £399 once I`ve finished the web updates in the next few days anyway.
Thats good to hear as I was going to mail you regarding price matching another supplier who have the HC51 at £399. That will definitely go on the shortlist.

Bonzo - do you have any links to online reviews for the Samsung? It certainly has a good write up on the few comments at VCD/DVDHelp but I can find little else regarding the unit, not even discussion in newsgroups or AVForums.
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