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assetrichcashpoor

Home entertainment system advice

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Good morning, can I use the hive mind of houseprice crash to get some advice on a home entertainment system for my parents?

They've got a very old hifi that included a tape deck, radio, record player and CD player. As well as a old CRT TV, a video player and a DVD player from circa 2002 (this is the newest piece of equipment). They would like to get rid of the lot and find suitable replacements.

I think their new system should be able to play CDs, Blu rays and DVDs, and have a DAB radio and perhaps act as part of a surround sound system for a new TV. Is there an all in one unit that can do this? They won't want lots of seperate units or it to be a faff to operate i.e. I can play CDs on my DVD player but its a performance it to do it and takes a while so I never bother.

 

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How good or bad are they with using new technology, particularly computer centric devices with a user interface.

A combination Sony or Samsung system - i.e a TV and DVD combo, (From the same brand so they work together seamlessly.), would give them the new TV and the ability to play both CDs/DVDs and watch TV.

Such a system would also have the ability to play things such as BBC iplayer, YouTube, etc, via either, or both, the TV and DVD player.

That would be 2 units - the TV and the DVD player.

You could add surround sound speakers at the same time or add them later on.

The Dab radio would probably be best be a portable system bought separately.

 

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Yes - age and user capability play a big part.

I got a Kodi system for my dad (mid 70s), and he couldn't really cope.  Replaced it with a Freeview+ system and he's happy with it (even though IMO the interface is a bit more clunky -- but it does normal TV much better, which I don't watch any more).

Also, be a bit conscious of the relative capabilities of the two parents.  My dad can cope with the new TV, but mum can't use it, and only uses the old TV in the back room, which has appropriate buttons for normal channels and for DVD is a case of put the DVD and wait for it to start working (via auto-switching scart). 

 

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9 hours ago, assetrichcashpoor said:

Good morning, can I use the hive mind of houseprice crash to get some advice on a home entertainment system for my parents?

They've got a very old hifi that included a tape deck, radio, record player and CD player. As well as a old CRT TV, a video player and a DVD player from circa 2002 (this is the newest piece of equipment). They would like to get rid of the lot and find suitable replacements.

I think their new system should be able to play CDs, Blu rays and DVDs, and have a DAB radio and perhaps act as part of a surround sound system for a new TV. Is there an all in one unit that can do this? They won't want lots of seperate units or it to be a faff to operate i.e. I can play CDs on my DVD player but its a performance it to do it and takes a while so I never bother.

 

You could go new TV > soundbar > blu ray player with Freeview+ HD recording.  TVs typically have more DAB stations on them than the typical radio.

http://www.samsung.com/uk/audio-video/blu-ray-player-h8900m/

The 5.1 systems mean you have to chase 10m cables in...Bit of a faff.  Samsung do a wireless system, which allows you to add wireless speakers to the soundbar, if you wish...

http://www.samsung.com/us/audio/wireless-speakers/home/radiant360-r1-wi-fi-bluetooth-speaker-wam1500-za/

These speakers work with this soundbar, for instance...

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/tv-and-home-entertainment/dvd-blu-ray-and-home-cinema/home-cinema-systems-and-sound-bars/samsung-hw-k651-3-1-wireless-sound-bar-10145281-pdt.html#srcid=11026

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Thanks for your responses I'll look into the various combos. I think the TV > soundbar > blu ray player with Freeview+ HD recording is probably the way to go. My parents both worked in IT for most of their careers but are surprisingly technologically illiterate.

 

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1 hour ago, assetrichcashpoor said:

Thanks for your responses I'll look into the various combos. I think the TV > soundbar > blu ray player with Freeview+ HD recording is probably the way to go. My parents both worked in IT for most of their careers but are surprisingly technologically illiterate.

 

This Samsung player does pretty much everything you wish apart from the DAB radio - it has a 1TB box to record programmes, plays CDs and DVDs and does Freeview. Has some internet app access such as iplayer, youtube but Samsung are notorious for not updating their smart TV apps or simply disabling them after you buy them.

I would advise buying a compatiable Samsung TV with it.

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/tv-and-home-entertainment/dvd-blu-ray-and-home-cinema/blu-ray-and-dvd-players/samsung-bd-h8900m-smart-3d-blu-ray-player-with-freeview-hd-recorder-1-tb-hdd-22083934-pdt.html

I would caution a warning though. Alot of these boxes and TVs only really work properly with their own brands. So Sony DVD and Sony TV or Samsung TV and Samsung DVD player. You enter a world of pain if you try to get the features of each item working 100% if you try to combine a Sony TV with a  Samsung DVD or vice versa.

In fact, you have to be even more careful because certain Samsung DVD's do not have full functionality with certain models of their own TVs. Ditto re Sony. It is a minefield. Even when well-known shops advetise both as a combo you can't really trust them to actually work together once they have your money.

One last point, Sony had actually behind the game when it comes to combined Blu-Ray DVD / PVR player. This is because they are trying to milk the DVD player sector for as long as possible by forcing people to buy two pieces of kit instead of one.

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3 hours ago, The Masked Tulip said:

This Samsung player does pretty much everything you wish apart from the DAB radio - it has a 1TB box to record programmes, plays CDs and DVDs and does Freeview. Has some internet app access such as iplayer, youtube but Samsung are notorious for not updating their smart TV apps or simply disabling them after you buy them.

I would advise buying a compatiable Samsung TV with it.

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/tv-and-home-entertainment/dvd-blu-ray-and-home-cinema/blu-ray-and-dvd-players/samsung-bd-h8900m-smart-3d-blu-ray-player-with-freeview-hd-recorder-1-tb-hdd-22083934-pdt.html

I would caution a warning though. Alot of these boxes and TVs only really work properly with their own brands. So Sony DVD and Sony TV or Samsung TV and Samsung DVD player. You enter a world of pain if you try to get the features of each item working 100% if you try to combine a Sony TV with a  Samsung DVD or vice versa.

In fact, you have to be even more careful because certain Samsung DVD's do not have full functionality with certain models of their own TVs. Ditto re Sony. It is a minefield. Even when well-known shops advetise both as a combo you can't really trust them to actually work together once they have your money.

One last point, Sony had actually behind the game when it comes to combined Blu-Ray DVD / PVR player. This is because they are trying to milk the DVD player sector for as long as possible by forcing people to buy two pieces of kit instead of one.

The Freeview boxes should also have DAB on them...channels 701 and beyond. As for mixing brands, it should be fine, as long as you have HDMI CEC turned on, on each of the devices.  So if you have volume control or channel control on a Samsung remote, then link it with a Panasonic recorder for instance, it should all work.

http://www.guidingtech.com/53974/hdmi-cec-tv-support/

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Freeview is not DAB. In fact it is in far better quality.

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18 minutes ago, MrPin said:

Freeview is not DAB. In fact it is in far better quality.

Well you can get dab stations, such as 6 music on freeview...Apparently the bit rates on freeview seem to be higher than on dab...

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2014/apr/25/what-are-the-options-for-radio-in-a-digital-age

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39 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Yep, you will get the national stations but you don't tend to get the local radio stations. All depends on what the OP's parents listen to.

I've just had a look.  It seems as if I can get BBC Bristol | Somerset | Wiltshire | Cymru, although I don't typically use Freeview radio that much...

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2 hours ago, Dave Beans said:

I've just had a look.  It seems as if I can get BBC Bristol | Somerset | Wiltshire | Cymru, although I don't typically use Freeview radio that much...

Yes, but not the local radio stations. We have Swansea Sound, The Wave, etc, here in Swansea. You don't get those on freeview just as you don't get 99% of similar stations in every town across the UK.

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12 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Yes, but not the local radio stations. We have Swansea Sound, The Wave, etc, here in Swansea. You don't get those on freeview just as you don't get 99% of similar stations in every town across the UK.

True, Freeview I don't think carries much commercial local radio, although you can have an app on a phone or tablet, such as rdio, and stream directly to the soundbar through bluetooth. 

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That's a pretty hefty price for a soundbar!  There are much cheaper ones.  Look at the Amazon reviews to get the best bang per buck.  

KitSound Chorus Soundbar 

This one will allegedly work with most TVs.  It was even cheaper at Argos and Tesco, but currently out of stock.

It works better with an optical connection.

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12 minutes ago, Alba said:

That's a pretty hefty price for a soundbar!  There are much cheaper ones.  Look at the Amazon reviews to get the best bang per buck.  

KitSound Chorus Soundbar 

This one will allegedly work with most TVs.  It was even cheaper at Argos and Tesco, but currently out of stock.

It works better with an optical connection.

Most reasonsably sized TVs have around 20w speakers...Whether 60w speakers will make a difference, will depend on the size the room...It doesn't have HDMI, so no HDMI CEC, no separate sub, so the sound can be a bit thin, and no expandability, which the Samsung offers.  If its for a bedroom TV, it would be fine, but it might not be loud enough for a sitting room.  Admittedly you can get some decentish models with HDMI from about £130-£150...

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8 minutes ago, Dave Beans said:

Most reasonsably sized TVs have around 20w speakers...Whether 60w speakers will make a difference, will depend on the size the room...It doesn't have HDMI, so no HDMI CEC, and no expandability, which the Samsung offers.

The reviews are generally really positive on the quality of the sound.

Only £49 on this site, including delivery!  http://ao.com/product/chorus-kitsound-soundbar-black-37382-111.aspx?WT.srch=1&WT.z_MT=yourmark&WT.z_RTM=PHG&WT.z_CN=1l1009700&WT.z_AG=Voucher%2FCoupon&WT.z_AT=&WT.z_KW=yourmark

Surely for the price comparison difference, using a separate remote is no great hardship.  If you read through the reviews there was mention of some remotes working with it.

It could do quite a good job with minimum investment!

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Just now, Alba said:

The reviews are generally really positive on the quality of the sound.

Only £49 on this site, including delivery!  http://ao.com/product/chorus-kitsound-soundbar-black-37382-111.aspx?WT.srch=1&WT.z_MT=yourmark&WT.z_RTM=PHG&WT.z_CN=1l1009700&WT.z_AG=Voucher%2FCoupon&WT.z_AT=&WT.z_KW=yourmark

Surely for the price comparison difference, using a separate remote is no great hardship.  If you read through the reviews there was mention of some remotes working with it.

It could do quite a good job with minimum investment!

I would probably go and hear a few first, and make your own mind up...

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I suppose it depends on what level of audiophiles the parents are.  What their budget is, and whether they are incapable of using two remotes.  You suggested  for their radio listening they could "use an app on a phone or tablet, such as rdio, and stream directly to the soundbar through bluetooth".  A little more complex than simply using another remote for the soundbar.

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59 minutes ago, Alba said:

I suppose it depends on what level of audiophiles the parents are.  What their budget is, and whether they are incapable of using two remotes.  You suggested  for their radio listening they could "use an app on a phone or tablet, such as rdio, and stream directly to the soundbar through bluetooth".  A little more complex than simply using another remote for the soundbar.

The more features you want, the extra layer of complexity it'll add..Unfortunately, there isn't a 49" TV that has a soundbar and blu ray player built into it, with every radio station and smart app available, within one unit...

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Hello, I'm just writing to a quick update. I've steered my parents towards a Samsung TV, Blu-ray player and soundbar. They'd already gone ahead and got a BT TV box. I wired it all up last night bar the soundbar as there isn't room for until I get some sort of stand. It all seems to work seamlessly and they seemed to get the hang of it. 

Thank you to everyone who contributed. 

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8 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Now all you have to do is buy them an xbox or a PS4.

And a six pack of cola?:huh:

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On ‎27‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 8:36 AM, MrPin said:

Freeview is not DAB. In fact it is in far better quality.

Indeed. DAB in the UK is 128kb/s MP2, but Freeview currently broadcasts at 192kb/s using either MP2 or (if it's on an 'HD multiplex) the far superior AAC codec.

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