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Budget Cinema Home theatre(CHT) systems.

AV Cables

Yogikgf

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Hi,

I have been searching & researching a lot for the last year and a half on building home theater systems. I observe that there are a lot of advice & help available for people who want to buy main stream product line for HT, however i have come acorss enthusiasts who would like to own a HT without burning a hole in their pockets. I have built systems <Rs. 45K which included a LCD Projector a AV receiver with tower speakers!

Today its my conviction that a complete Cinema HT (CHT) systems can be built within 50K budget that can give the main stream product a run for their money.

It is possible with the combination of low cost AV components & main stream AV components.

I want to invite people who share my idea that good quality CHT(cinema HT) need not cost you a bomb.

If you have similar experience pls share with all, and if you need any help or suggestion in regards to low cost systems please do not hesitate to post your questions.


Regards
Yogi
 

dichkaun

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Can you do a breakup on how you would distribute the 50K among player, receiver, speakers and screen?
It would be nice if you can recommend brands with models nos and prices.


~dich
 

Yogikgf

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Here is one such combination,

1. AVR Onkyo 504/505 - 20K
2. DAPIC-3885(Player) - 2.2K
3. Tower speakers(JBT-3) - 6.7K( 2 Towers, 1-cntr, 2-srr)
4. Subwoofer(10''kit ) - 2.0K(Local electrnc market)
5. LCD Projector + Screen -18K(shipped from Shenzhen)

Total=48.9K ~ 50K.

The LCD projector is 7" Polysilicon based with a native resolution of 640x480 and goes upto 1024x780, decent for a $270 cost with $60 toward shipping via 4PX, u can bundle the screen to save on the shipping cost.

Yogi
 

induinfo

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appreciate ur idea about cost effective-ness but what about the result and warranty of projector ? how do u play hd movies on it ?
 

psychotropic

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This sounds like a pretty sad configuration.....firstly the 2.2k "DAPIC" DVD player I doubt will be able to even match the basic 5k offerings (with 1080p upscaling) from Sony and Samsung.

If you really wanted to cut costs you'd get the Onkyo 304 AVR for 12k. what the hell are JBT speakers? if it costs 7k for a 5 speaker setup it can't be terribly great

and a 2000 rupee subwoofer will perform like a 2000 rupee subwoofer...

i have no idea about shenzen projectors, but if it's natively an SD projector, then you are not really going to have a very good experience, so on the whole this sounds like you'll get a pretty sad setup for 50k.

If you want even a serviceable setup including a projector and screen i can't imagine that happening for less than a lakh (and this is budgeting for just an Onkyo 506 AVR, pure acoustics satellites and an Onkyo sub, which is very basic performance).


Here is one such combination,

1. AVR Onkyo 504/505 - 20K
2. DAPIC-3885(Player) - 2.2K
3. Tower speakers(JBT-3) - 6.7K( 2 Towers, 1-cntr, 2-srr)
4. Subwoofer(10''kit ) - 2.0K(Local electrnc market)
5. LCD Projector + Screen -18K(shipped from Shenzhen)

Total=48.9K ~ 50K.

The LCD projector is 7" Polysilicon based with a native resolution of 640x480 and goes upto 1024x780, decent for a $270 cost with $60 toward shipping via 4PX, u can bundle the screen to save on the shipping cost.

Yogi
 

Yogikgf

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Hi psychotropic & induinfo,

First let me thank you for taking the time to read and add your comments, the purpose & intent of my writeup was to address the "budget" audience, i want to push the cost down for setting up a basic system that creates a cinematic experience. I do build systems comprising of hi end components like the Arcam, Denon, Rega and have put together CDP's using the CDPro transport coupled with Burrbrowns, just to make a point that i'm not oblivious to "Quality". IMHO there are lot of experts who are paid to push the cost northward and can consult on the "regular" AV components. But what about folks who desire music and cinematic experiences? who get intimidated by the 1lac and above notion for a basic system?

I refuse to believe that they cannot/don't deserve a system to fit their pockets. I have such systems running for the last 2yrs successfully. I feel happy when i join friends for a movie at their home.

Well, there is a psychological angle to "the best gear" its all subjective. The "quality" of any system is a perception, allow me to elaborate, i have done blind tests on music lovers comparing different brands and combination thereof of CDP's/DVDP's, Receivers & speakers at best my attribute agreement statistical analysis has shown little variation that is attributable to the particular hardware used.

Coming to the point of warranty & serviceability: This setup is for music enthusiast who know how to tweak/repair, experiment or risk their setup for the sheer thrill of putting a cinema system within their reach.

To to just conclude my thoughts, the 2k Dapic i mentioned carried a VGA out 2 yrs back with a card reader, when the LG & samsungs of the world were limping to just catch-up.

I respect your view points, at the same time i request you to ponder if you can do something to enhance the configuration i put up long time back keeping cost as constraints.

Besides this technology keeps pushing the prices down for the same or slightly older products!! remember VCRs/VCP's never got to the sub 5K point, today you can bet on a DVD system with comparatively greater quality with greater affordability.

If only wishes were horses, we all would've had Meridians for breakfast :)

Wishing you a happy, colorful & musical new year.

Rgrds.
:)
 

marsilians

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the purpose & intent of my writeup was to address the "budget" audience, i want to push the cost down for setting up a basic system that creates a cinematic experience.


Good stuff and fairly noble wish. I am sure there is a market for products at such a price point.

I do build systems comprising of hi end components like the Arcam, Denon, Rega and have put together CDP's using the CDPro transport coupled with Burrbrowns, just to make a point that i'm not oblivious to "Quality".

This is good to know since you will be in the best position to see how much you are sacrificing by going with low cost alternatives. While I know that there is a point of diminishing returns with equipment beyond certain price point, you are still playing in the range where additional budget will get you better experience IMO.

IMHO there are lot of experts who are paid to push the cost northward and can consult on the "regular" AV components.

This statement I take offence to...While I am not an expert to any extent, I have been dabbling in HT and music gear for close to 10-12 yrs seriously. I first listened to analog audio around 1983 timeframe in a 2.0 system one fine summer afternoon. At no point have I been approached to offer suggestions that lead to buying more expensive items. I have not spoken to even one member in person re: such an issue. Also, no expert has offered to upsell me on components on this forum. If you are refering to dealers, then not sure if they fall in the experts bracket either, as I have seen lots of potato heads around the world both in retail and special audio stores.


But what about folks who desire music and cinematic experiences? who get intimidated by the 1lac and above notion for a basic system?

This need not be the case for atleast 3 reasons.

* If a person is happy with the stock speakers on their TV, then they have reached the goal of getting 'cinematic experience' - they don't need a HT system at all. A lot of guys I have seen are happy with movies playing off of their PCs and audio with PC speakers. Why would you even suggest an HT system for these folks? IOW, who is your target audience?
* You can assemble off the shelf systems for much less than 1 lakh.
* If you pull the BS out of the marketing and sales pitch then you could get lot more people to adopt HT gear. Unfortunately this is not the case due to ever changing technology. Hence you have forums like this that can make it less blurry for someone to get upto speed rather quickly.

I refuse to believe that they cannot/don't deserve a system to fit their pockets. I have such systems running for the last 2yrs successfully. I feel happy when i join friends for a movie at their home.

No one has forced you to think that expensive (this is also a relative term) systems are required for HT I presume.

Well, there is a psychological angle to "the best gear" its all subjective. The "quality" of any system is a perception, allow me to elaborate, i have done blind tests on music lovers comparing different brands and combination thereof of CDP's/DVDP's, Receivers & speakers at best my attribute agreement statistical analysis has shown little variation that is attributable to the particular hardware used.

While I agree sound is perception based, I am confused with above statement where you mention blind tests as well as statistical analysis. Could you elaborate please?

While there are numerous variables that cause 'good sound' to be perceived, such as other components in the chain, room acoustics, listening levels, cables, music type, the source, ...., I will also disagree that a cheap 1000 Rs. player will not play with the same quality as a 10K machine (though it may not be 90% worse). My ipod does not give me the same listening pleasure as my audio setup driven by a Cary source.

Coming to the point of warranty & serviceability: This setup is for music enthusiast who know how to tweak/repair, experiment or risk their setup for the sheer thrill of putting a cinema system within their reach.

You are contradicting yourself here, on one hand you are talking about budget conscious buyers and on the other you are asking the same folks to 'experiment or risk their setup'. This is not a prudent option.

Again, I have nothing against you buiding low cost systems, but you have to line up your facts and not take swipes at folks such as me who have no commercial interest in any feedback on this forum.

Good luck to you on your endeavours.
 
Last edited:

Yogikgf

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Hello marsilians,

I appreciate your thoughts. I regret & apologize if i came across taking swipe against any one, that is not my intent even remotely. I have utmost respect for the participants here as much i do for my music.

w.r.t the statistical tests, i used the "Attribute Agreement Analysis(Gage R&R) to record the response of the listeners using a 8 X 8 matrix that incorporated 8 listeners, 8 musical sources(CD, SACD & DVD-A) with 8 replicates randomized. I have done this over a years time with 3 different combination of gears & listening space.

I used Minitab to do the math, and i did not see any significant variable in terms of listener rating that was "statistically significant" that can be attributed to a particular gear.

In one of the tests a 2k DVDP scored over my Pioneer DV600( Played Indian Fusion music). I was surprised, but i guess some one has inadvertently put a system that had better musicality & resolution.

I realize that music is music, a sensation at best, if i blind sounds switching between a 10k system & a 1k system to a reference rig the mind finds it difficult to rate. (This has to do more than the equipments involved.

I strongly believe the bias induced by $$$ & the brand has significant impact on how you perceive sounds. For example i played Bjork:Vespertine(SACD) on my Pioneer DV600AV to blinded listners who were rating the music. I did two replicates of the same test, in the second round all i did was to manipulate the volume and infromed the listeners that they were listening from Rega Apollo, i also handed them a printout of Apollo's review.
The results of my "Two sample t-test showed a "p vlaue" =0.001 which made me reject my "null hypothesis" that there is no significant difference in the Quality of source sound.

The implication from the above test is that the listeners perceived the music differently at different time eminating from the same source. The biasing factor was the article handout and the notion i put in between their ears about a top cla$$ CDP.

I'm not for or against any brand or budget bracket, i very well know that we are all passionate about our music, but i am intrigued by the significant change in perception brought about by media, cost of the gear, market reviews & expert comments on ones judgment.

I may not be articulate enough in expressing my idea, but i want to use my insights & little understanding of music so that anyone who desires can enjoy & appreciate the splendour of Jascha Heifetzs & the Chopins of world with out having to necessarily have a Linn or Denon for that matter.


Regards
:)
 

psychotropic

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he he, yes i must concede that my points were completely perception based.....if you've tried these things out and they deliver the level of quality that you claim then that's pretty impressive....
 

Raghav

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Coming back to the basic CHT system for around 50K. I feel this should be done with known brands easily available. Not something which requires imports and also that the users be knowledgeable to tweak the system.

I would want others to help out in the choice and pricing of the same. To start of with I suggest (please suggest alternatives and the lowest price for the equipments):

1. DVD player: Samsung or Sony as pointed above for 5K.
2. AVR + Speakers package (Onkyo HT-S3100 or Yamaha-195) for 20-25K
or
Can someone suggest a reputed Indian brand with a similar offering?
3. Screen: At this price point, we will go with a clean wall for 0K
4. Projector: We should have around 25K left for this. Instead of the chinese stuff, can we get something in India. Maybe a office projector 640X480.

Please elaborate so that one can a proper system in the budget using good components with proper warranty and service.

Cheers
Raghav
 

marsilians

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Yogikgf,

I don't mean to be nitpicky but you have not provided all the info on your tests nor are they equitable (your biasing re: the Rega). Also why do you think Gage R&R is the best way to measure the responses?

What type of listeners are these, i.e, are they qualified? Do they have any idea as to what to look for the in the playback? What environment and ambiance have you provided them? In this day and age when people still talk about Bose as being the leader in audio and 320 Kbps MP3s as being 'CD quality', I am suspect about any such claims.
 

Jith77

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lots of flaming and less of answers. Is ok to warn someone but this is over the edge. Not only one is not giving answers, but is also forcin others not to give suggestions when the budgets are not acceptable to regulars. Sad
 

arminder

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4. Projector: We should have around 25K left for this. Instead of the chinese stuff, can we get something in India. Maybe a office projector 640X480.
I doubt whether you can get one in 25K, but yes, add 5-6K to it and you can grab Benq MP512 SVGA DLP projector with 2 years warranty. Those Chinese ones too are available in India as well costing around 18-25K under the brand of Pagaria (Pagaria LCD Projector) and have 1 year warranty. So it would be better choice to buy from here and get some warranty as well. There could be others as well, possibly I'm not aware of.

Cheers!
Arminder
 

anm

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onkyo 3100 - I think it is available at 16-17k at ezone (or was during 26Jan sale), with a free dvd player.
Screen - you can get an instalock screen for 7-8k 5x7ft.
Cable - HDMI 10 mt or component - within 3k
ceiling mount + installation - 3-4k.
Total projector setup should cost you around 15-18k depending on how hard can you bargain.
So for 35k, you should be set for projector setup + audio. Put the rest in the projector.
Or may be use projector on a wall to start with, and get screen + setup later.

There are some systems available from JBL/HK as well. See here - http://sumaria.co.in/index.php?cPath=45_81_83&osCsid=2376e54c002d15aa171f59e3da909e2f
 

venkatcr

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Since you are so fond of DBTs and documenting results, how about organising one for some real audiophiles in Bangalore - Prithvi, Shridhar, some of our forum regulars? That would put to rest any doubts anyone has about your claims for sure, and maybe I would get one of your 50K CHTs just for giggles, sight unseen and unauditioned if it could actually beat out the big boys.

Interesting thread. Wonder how I missed it completely. Anyhow if the above happens, I am ready to travel from Chennai and participate. Can we bring our own music. :):)

Just to bring a slightly different perspective to this issue, just like Lithos and others there are number of local manufacturers who make reasonably good speakers for a pittance. BTW, Lithos new 2.1 is 1 lakh or around that !! I remember the days when his max price was 10K. He must be doing well.

I know of one nice gentleman in Chennai who can assemble a 5.1 with FS fronts and 10 inch sub for about 30,000. The sub has just a wire coming out. You cannot make any adjustments of any kind.

I have auditioned his system quite some time ago, and found it to be pleasant and good enough for people on a budget. Please mark my words. I am not comparing this to well know brands, and there is a qualifier - for people on a budget.

He also makes a multi channel amplifier that has just analogue inputs and supports Dolby Digital and DTS - bare minimum. This again is less than 20 odd thousand. Again the amp has very few adjustment options, if any.

I plan to test his equipment at home using standard speakers and standard amplifiers such as my Onkyo, Yamaha, Wharfedale and Oppo. When I am doing this audition, my perspective will be completely different. I will looking for clarity, but most important ear fatigue. And to compare these to any other equipment would be completely unfair. So the objective would be to decide whether individually the amps and the speakers have VFM.

Coming to TVs and projectors, I have my own doubts whether we can achieve anything at all around the prices mentioned by the OP. You can to a certain extent fool a person in terms of what he is hearing. But can we do that with a bad display? I am not sure at all.

Regarding blind tests, I want to recount (I have mentioned this elsewhere) an interesting episode I had with Audire when they demonstrated in Chennsi quite some time ago. The first day they had their own amplifiers and speakers, and I was tempted enough to go again the next day. The owner Dr. Chandrashekaran was experimenting with some tiny mono block amplifiers connected to a pre amp. The equipment were in a dark area and I could not see anything. But the minute I heard the music, I asked Dr. Chandrashekaran, 'Are you using any Parasound equipment?'. It turned out he was using a Parasound pre amp connected to small mono blocks made by Nelson Pass. I did not recognise the amps, but strangely recognised the pre amp. That was the quality (and quantity?) of improvement in sound that that unit could register in my ears.

No offense to anyone.

Cheers
 

Yogikgf

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Hi all,

Yesterday i stumbled into one "Melody Electronics" while shopping for some computer peripherals in SP road, i spotted a single LCD projector( he quoted a price tag of Rs. 21K), though there was no demo and little info available from the new shop owner.

Very interesting and diverse piece of gadgets from Pagaria, for all enthusiast running on shoe string budgets i'd sugget you visit this place to have a glance.

I found a boombox with 7'' LCD!!! it was nifty, portable media players, a Wifi + Blue tooth dongle, which is vista ready & host of other stuff for gadget lovers.

Do let me know if you find anything interesting and useful to make a Budget Home theater.

Cheers
;)
 

anm

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I agree that 2 good speakers are better than 8 bad ones, even for movies. I was watching batman last night, on just two small sized floor standers and found the experience to be much better than onkyo 5.1 speakers that came with htib. Though I just spent like 5-10 mins with this setup but I did find it pretty enjoyable.

regards
 

venkatcr

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@venkat: what happened to those auditions you were threatening us with? ;)

I have been a bit lazy. :eek:. Or shall I say busy? :) That sounds better, eh?

I am yet writing the original auditioning that I did. I shall contact the manufacturer tomorrow and set up a home auditioning very very soon.

Cheers
 

nthaan

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hello

i am from b"lore can u suggest some low cost budget HT/cinemas systems and manufactures as i am planning in setting good home cinema with quality music and films. regards,
 
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