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My cheap-ass "home theater"

Rega

psychotropic

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Jul 19, 2008
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Chennai, India
Okay, I didn't really go through any deliberations on hifivision before putting this together, simply because it would have been WAAAAAY beneath everyone's dignity, so I just went ahead and did it, and I must say i am quite happy!

Ingredients
-----------

1)

Philips 5996 DVD Player - Rs. 3994 + HDMI cable - Rs. 799 OR
Philips 3388 DVD player with HDMI cable - Rs. 4990

2)

Philips SP 080 FM , 5.1 multimedia speakers (80 W RMS) - Rs. 4990

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I've put together a "home theater" for under 10,000 bucks (out of which 5000 was for the DVD player which I got after selling my Sony NS708 on ebay for 3000, so net cost is mor like 7000 bucks). or if someone already has a DVD player with analog 5.1 outs, then the cost would be just 5000 bucks.

Yes, it's cheap as hell, and nowhere near "hi fi", but I have a very small viewing area, 8' by 8' with one side open. In this space, I've set up this combination tweaked around a bit with the channel levels and delay (all of which can be tweaked on the Philips DVD player), and i am getting a pretty nice surround experience. I watched "Body of Lies" yesterday and and for a speaker setup costing 5000 bucks it sounded like a champ! Gunshots, helicopters, explosions and surround-heavy street sequences are pretty convincing, although once again I reiterate, it's not to be compared with a proper big-budget home theater. I am still going to be tweaking the levels and delays till i get the best soundstage possible, but it's already very promising.

Because the centre speakers are not particularly designed to be any different from the satellites, i've increased the relative volume of the center channel a notch, so that dialogue comes through pretty clear.

I would not recommend this to the discerning audiophiles or for anyone who wants to use it for playing music also (although I haven't tested it with music), but if you have a nice big-screen TV (42" plasma) in a small viewing area, and you have a DVD player with analog 5.1 outs, and you don't want to spend too much to get a significantly superior movie watching experience, then the Philips SP 080 FM is what you should go for. It comes with a remote, each satellite is 10W RMS, and the Subwoofer is 27W RMS, yes it's puny, but it's a quantum leap in quality and experience, compared to the sound coming from the plasma.

Oh ya, it has FM radio....in case anyone is interested. Think of it as a cheap dose of adrenaline for your flat panel display. At 5000 bucks you won't even feel bad when you "upgrade" even if you're doing it a few months down the line. Anyone who wants to audition (in Chennai) is welcome to come over to my place by the way.
 

suprateep

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I would not recommend this to the discerning audiophiles or for anyone who wants to use it for playing music also (although I haven't tested it with music), but if you have a nice big-screen TV (42" plasma) in a small viewing area, and you have a DVD player with analog 5.1 outs, and you don't want to spend too much to get a significantly superior movie watching experience, then the Philips SP 080 FM is what you should go for. It comes with a remote, each satellite is 10W RMS, and the Subwoofer is 27W RMS, yes it's puny, but it's a quantum leap in quality and experience, compared to the sound coming from the plasma.

.
Congrats man :yahoo: - we seem to be addressing all segments of the population now.
psycho thats a decent setup for movies. For audio we might look elsewhere but for sheer fun for movies in a small environment-i know its gotta be fun.

i had a creative 5.1 along with soundblaster platinum some 8-9 years back and it was fun watching movies in small 'khopchas" we used to call rooms in IIT D
 

prakasse

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Oct 16, 2008
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bangalore
Hi,

My best shot at low cost Home theatre.
Pioneer dv 610 - 6.5k grey
Creative inspire 5200 - 4k.
y cable - 3, one video cable, [one HDMI cable- optional, will explain later]

Pioneer dv610 has very good onboard DTS and DD decoders.
Connect the analogue o/p of dvd player to creative subwoofer. Care should be taken while choosing the left and right speaker connections. I have a THX demo dvd, and i setup using that.

Also its important to swap the centre and subwoofer o/p in the dvd player side if you don't get the voice. All these is because you are using Y cable to do the connection.

Video o/p goes to TV directly using composite cable.

I played original dvd Dil chata Hai and especially the song "woh ladki hai kahaan" & koi kahen. My room size was 10*10 and i was surprised by the clarity.

ofcourse the bass is little week and if you increase the volume it becomes boomy.But for a size of 10*10 the bass was sufficient.

I then connected the video o/p of the dvd player to TV using HDMI cable. To my surprise i could feel a difference in audio o/p quality from analogue out. How this is possible? The rear speakers were sounding great and lively. earlier they were week. clarity was better than earlier. Still i am not able to find a reason for the same.

I was happy with this setup for 8 months, then i upgraded my setup.

Drawback: dvd player doesnt have volume control and you have to use creative wired remote to adjust the sound

Thanks,
Prakash.
 
Last edited:

gap g j

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Dec 24, 2008
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I built mine for Rs. 5200/-

I bought a DVD player with DD, dts, divx, PLII with 5.1 output.
When I searched for this there were only 2 players available in branded (Onida & Philips) segment. I downloaded a sample divx video from their website and played on these players both the player failed to play this video.
While a non branded player named 'Mitashi DVD Divx-999' with a slot loader for Rs. 4000/- played smoothly.

I use my old Sony VCD Hi-fi System V800 for my Front which is very good for movies. I use my old Pioneer Amp for surround. I connected the centre to the TV itself (previously I had Philips 29" HDTV ready TV).
For the Sub, I got a LG Sub woofer which is 6" powered & down firing.

With this setup finely tuned for Sweet spot, I have watched many great movies. I felt the axe-saw cutting the buildings, right over my head while watching 'Tomorrow never dies',
In 'Pearl Harbour' the dialogues came from all speaker and they were heard right inside my head, while the fighter planes surrounded, all around and the bombs blast only from the Sub.
And made me wade through the streets along with Tom Cruise in "Eyes wide shut'. These are few examples that I enjoyed in Surround Sound.

Now I have replaced the CRT with LCD for a wide screen experience and since I have 2 kids, I wall mounted it. So, the Centre moved behind the front, now I feel the delay in dialogues than the front speakers (i.e the dialogue that is slightly audible through the front speakers comes first before the Centre Channel and there is no delay function for the front speakers in the DVD Player). Also the speakers of LCD are very small & poor quality the audio from the LCD is not at all clear.

Because of these 2 reasons I started to search for a AVR and Speaker package, which lead me here.

This forum is very informative and I would thank the members Venkatcr, Spirouvious, moserw, madbullram, prakash, anm etc.. You people are really great and keep it up and keep going.

Thanks
Gap G J
 
Last edited:

psychotropic

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great to see many cheap "home theater" users coming out now :). But I must mention one thing, I've listened to creative's 5.1 speakers and some logitech ones also, and this cheapo philips set-up sounds a bit better IMHO, of course i heard them in totally different settings so it's not a very reliable test. And of course, anyone who's in chennai is welcome to audition (bring your own DVDs, i don't have any good test material of my own).

Also the fact that the 5996 player lets you adjust levels and delays for each channel is useful (although I have no idea if this is present or absent in other DVD players with analog 5.1 outs). Does anyone have any tips with regard to that? How can I get a perfect surround soundstage...without using an SPL meter?
 

anm

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you forgot anm! :eek:hyeah:

I built mine for Rs. 5200/-

I bought a DVD player with DD, dts, divx, PLII with 5.1 output.
When I searched for this there were only 2 players available in branded (Onida & Philips) segment. I downloaded a sample divx video from their website and played on these players both the player failed to play this video.
While a non branded player named 'Mitashi DVD Divx-999' with a slot loader for Rs. 4000/- played smoothly.

I use my old Sony VCD Hi-fi System V800 for my Front which is very good for movies. I use my old Pioneer Amp for surround. I connected the centre to the TV itself (previously I had Philips 29" HDTV ready TV).
For the Sub, I got a LG Sub woofer which is 6" powered & down firing.

With this setup finely tuned for Sweet spot, I have watched many great movies. I felt the axe-saw cutting the buildings, right over my head while watching 'Tomorrow never dies',
In 'Pearl Harbour' the dialogues came from all speaker and they were heard right inside my head, while the fighter planes surrounded, all around and the bombs blast only from the Sub.
And made me wade through the streets along with Tom Cruise in "Eyes wide shut'. These are few examples that I enjoyed in Surround Sound.

Now I have replaced the CRT with LCD for a wide screen experience and since I have 2 kids, I wall mounted it. So, the Centre moved behind the front, now I feel the delay in dialogues than the front speakers (i.e the dialogue that is slightly audible through the front speakers comes first before the Centre Channel and there is no delay function for the front speakers in the DVD Player). Also the speakers of LCD are very small & poor quality the audio from the LCD is not at all clear.

Because of these 2 reasons I started to search for a AVR and Speaker package, which lead me here.

This forum is very informative and I would thank the members Venkatcr, Spirouvious, moserw, madbullram, prakash etc.. You people are really great and keep it up and keep going.

Thanks
Gap G J
 

jaudere

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Apr 24, 2009
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Panjim,Goa
hi,

i had a nice system too. It was Artis s6600r 5.1 channel system. it was a digital magazine award winner. beautiful sound. had to give it up as it did not rpovide adequate volume for DVDs in my new room. still working fine in a small room in my older home. got it for rs 6200 4 years back, used it witha Samsung DVDp bought for rs 2800. worked very well in 10 x 10 room.
 

iaudio

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Mar 9, 2009
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Kuwait/Kochi
Psychotropic, Nice! Cheap or expensive, its what works for you that counts! If you dont have the big bucks to spend or a dedicated room, a small set up that gives you the best vfm is the way to go! I am happy that the Philips 5.1 is doin good. Dont think I am familiar with the model though.
I still have the cheapa$$ mercury 1980fm 4.1 speakers from my pre colg days, its 8 years old and still breathing:D. I would rather keep mum about the SQ but it works! Bought it for 1400rs back then!
 

kaushik

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congrates,

1000Rs DVD players do 5.1 ch ...to cut costs to minimum.

think it over , short term future upgrading wastes money , you never know when you have wasted money...
 

Santy

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go for artis 5222 model 1.8k

Buddy Welcome to HFV.
That's a good advice but by now, the OP must have progressed from cheap-ass HT to big-ass HT because the thread is more than 2 years old :eek:hyeah:
 
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