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My Micro HT Setup Review Onkyo 6200 HTiB, LG LH70 47 LCD, Pana BD60 BRp

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sam9s

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Hi All,

People who know me on this forum, knows that I am working on my Dream HT project for my new house that would be started in couple of months. I also had a vision for a small HT for my Bedroom in the same house, but since I shifted to a Brand New rented one, I decide to atleast have that small HT for this bedroom (14x12) for now to enjoy my fav Hollywood flicks. Following is my detailed review for my complete setup..

To start with I needed an HTiB, BRp and an LCD to complete the setup with a tight budget of 1 to 1.5 L. This was the way I planned my purchase.

1. 50K for HTiB
2. 80 for LCD
3. 20 for BRp



ONKYO HTS 6200

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I started off with HTiB, and since I already had taken comprehensive auditions for almost all high end brands I was pretty certain what I was targeting at. Also I did not want to go for a separate spk, avr combo as I did not have the energy left to re-audition the spks specifically for HTiB, so the purchase was totally based on forum members experience and online reviews.

After a thorough search I finally went for ONKYO HTS 6200, through the authorized Onkyo dealer in CR Park Delhi.

Personally I am not a great fan of Onkyo. Infact I used to consider Onkyo to be low grade electronic jap company, but as I said online reviews were pretty in favor of this new offering by Onkyo.

I would skip the usual technical details of the AVR except the most prominent ones

1. 160W/C @ 6 Ohms
2. DTS-HD Master AudioT, DTS-HD High Resolution AudioT, DTS-HD Express, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic IIz Decoding (thats an imp update as earlier versions had passthrough)
3. Powered Zone 2 and Zone 2 Line-Out for Playback in Another Room (Separate Source)
4. Universal Port for Single-Cable Connection of UP-A1 Dock for the iPod or Optional Onkyo DAB+ Radio Tuner


When you open the packing completely the very first thing you notice is the Sub Woofer size, its Huge, especially when compared to the Speakers, which I had expected to be a bit big.

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Any way the package comes with the ARV, 7 spk, Sub, iPod Dock, color coded Spk cables, Remote, Microphone for Audyssey and a comprehensive manual.

1. The speaker cables are in one word pathetic. I got oxi free Bandridge cables for speakers and would suggest for the same
2. iPod dock is seriously a nifty add-on, though I agree it cannot replace (or even come close for that matter) a dedicated stereo setup, but still is very good for some casual listening, and you can control the iPod from the remote itself, and yes it charges the iPod as well.
3. Remote is one of the best I have seen as far as the design and ease of use is concerned.
4. Audyssey, Id say did not impress me at all ( later on this in the review)

Setting up the player is a jiffy, but yes you do need to read the manual for correctly assigning the Audio/Video labels.

This is how my set up is connected.

HDMI 1: AC Ryan POHD
HDMI 2: BR player
HDMI 3: HTPC
HDMI 4: Empty

HDMI Out: To the LCD.


Coming to the most important aspect How well the darn thing sounds well I have always believed (infact most of us do) that sound, music is a very subjective and there is no way you can classify if a sound produced by a system is good or bad, it entirely depends on the individual, and so I would not quote how I rate the audio quality in detail, instead give you a very basic picture.
The HiTB is well attuned and is able to give the very cinematic experience you would need in any action pack movie. The treble is top notch and you have enough bass from the subs to satisfy most of the bass hungry individuals. Again how well is the Bass/Treable/Mids is something subjective and one has to personally listen to judge, however for me it was well ahead of acceptable limits given the size of the speakers and ofcours the price. Audios from the MKVs were produced very well (if compared with the BR). Turning the volume up to about 50-60 really gives the money worth sound, the gun shots are BANG on target, the resonance and shaking effect during the first battle of Gladiator is perfectly produced, . at 65-70 it starts to sound a bit shrill and above 70 Id say the audio deteriorate pretty much and touching the max 80 thrashes the sound.
I believe Onkyo has spend much of their efforts in to their AVR than Speakers, and I seriously believe given a good floor stands and center to this AVR keeping the surrounds same would bring out an altogether difference experience. If you ask me the setup produced the effects flawlessly between 40-50, I can vouch for the movie 9 played awesomely crystal clear with the much needed subtle bass at around 36-38. If you are looking for a Kick Ass Transformers earth shaking effect, this setup is not for you.

In a nutshell, just for Spks/Sub

Fronts : Above Average
Center : Average
Surrounds : Good
Sub : Excellent


Lastly the Audyssey Dynamic EQT, what Audyssey Dynamic EQT does is to use its own algo to enhance the audio per the listening environment. Seems to be a good preposition, but sadly for me it completely ruined the audio, you have to configure the setup using the mic for that optimum listening position and switch on the Audyssey Dynamic EQ for the effect. Unfortunately for me manually setting the listening position and keeping the Audyssey Dynamic EQ OFF worked best. Anyway thats a feature Onkyo has given so it might be of use to some potential buyers.
Over All I believe at <50K there might be just a couple of HiTB out there to give a stiff competition to this one. Id rate 3.5/5.

PRICE: 47K including the oxi free cables

A snap of how the front setup looks. Plus the AVR and Equipment Rack

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LG 47LH70 YR LCD

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Next comes the Display, initially I had planned the get a 42 LCD infact up till the last moment I was opting for 42 but given the price I got this one for was tempting enough to go for 47. First of all I am not mesmerized by these so called LED LCD, especially Samsung have advertize LED like a revolution of some sort in LCD TVs, where as in reality there is not much of a difference. The showroom people might configure their displays to show one LCD giving a better PQ than the other, but if you play your own BR, resetting all the settings of the LCD, you would not see much of a PQ difference, infact LCD came out to be a winner in terms of Blacks.

For me contenders were ofcourse Samsung and LG, SONY I would say have seriously over priced their products. As I said earlier the showroom display should never be treated as your deciding factor. If I had done that I might have landed buying a Samsung. But finally went for 47LH70YR
What I did was I took my own BRp and disk and connected it to a Samsung 47 and two of LGs 47, re-set all the display setting to one neutral figure. Turned off all enhancement modes available for all the models and reviewed. The BR I played was my Night in the Museum 2. Now believe it or not after doing this all 3 LCDs more or less were same in PQ, If I had to differentiate LG had better vibrant colours, and Samsung was better in displaying blacks. Sharpness was also better in LG, but the Glossy shine of the picture was in Samsung. Then what made me decide for LG.?? that is when I started fiddling with the PQ controls and started customizing the picture, that is where LG out performed by a fair margin, few adjustments with the picture controls and I was surprised how good LG PQ was looking over Samsung, unfortunately I could never configure Samsung controls to get the same PQ as LG. The blacks that were looking good on Samsung on neutral setting were overshadow and easily lacking by the richness of LG blacks by adjusting the Blacklevel, gamma, contrast and dynamic contrast. And trust me when it comes to customizing controls, LG has provided enough to adjust PQ per your needs. A clear winner.
An example is .
I am very particular in doing all the TV adjustments manually, and I was kinda skeptical as to how the TV would integrate with the inputs provided by my AVR. This is how I have configured my picture modes.

1. Expert 1: BlueRay player
2. Expert 2: WD Media Player
3. Game: HTPC
4. User: TataSky+ STB


Each mode is configured differently, and no settings are lost at any point, even if as I said I pull out the plug. Infact when I change the mode through my AVR say for example from BR to HTPC my TV automatically changes its picture mode from Expert 1 to Game (and I was surprised on the initially) , I practically have to do nothing. If you ask me I am very satisfied how LG has worked on this

Another clrear advantage with LG is the IPS pannel, IPS is anyway better then TN LCD, which is what sony/samsung is, not only does it gives better contrast, the viewing angle improves drastically.

Coming to the Menu, which is made very simple and self explainatory.....

few snaps of how the menu looks...

wasls5.jpg


nfn192.jpg


Apart from this, LG had the following noticeable features

1. USB Input with DivX/XviD/Mpeg 1/2 playback support along with MP3/WMA music files and Images (Jpg)
2. Bluetooth to connect you phone and view the pictures/ play music directly off the phone. Also can connect a Bluetooth headphone to have those night movies. Apart from this has a 1,000,00 : 1 contrast ratio, 2.4 ms GTG response time and 3 HDMI inputs.


GAMING

I also have connected my HTPC, through HDMI cable, I have a HD5850 and believe me gamers I swear to Quake series, gaming at 1980x1080 on 47 display with DD/DTS 7.1 Audio is fu*kin AMAZING, The PQ is Razor sharp not even the BR comes close to the PQ through HTPC on HD5850. The LCD again should also be made commendable for this, but as I said make sure you configure the LCD settings, for example the sharpness bar is almost notched to full while I am surfing on 47 or playing games, but believe me, I am playing NFS-Shift and COD4:Mordern Warfare 2 and I am simple LOVING it.

Special Note on True Motion: True Motion @ 100 Htz or 200Htz is a technology, that displays 100/200 images per second as compared to 50Hz for a normal TV. Now I dont know if I am being picky here but True Motion on an LCD for Movies looks absolutely pathetic, yes it does makes the picture smooth, but when you are actually watching a movie, it make it look more like a documentary rather than a feature film. Surprisingly this is only on LCDs, I also have a Philips 720p CRT with 100 Hz Motion, but it does not show any such deformity. I was very disappointed with this tech BUT as people say, sometimes things happen for good as well..fortunately there was an option to turn that off plus while playing games, true motion does wonders to the gameplay, I was like WTH, finally something good about this godawfull technology. Keeping the TM to full makes the gameplay amazingly smooth and that is what is required, while playing games.
Also point to note is that not all LG LCDs have the option to turn this thing off, so make sure you do your complete research before buying the LCD.

PRICE: 73K nothing extra

Panasonic DMP BD-60 BlueRay Player

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This purchase by far was the most satisfying in terms of value of money.., reason and courtesy 20North and Stengen Electronics, incase people do not know I am talking about buying the player from 20North and Modding it to make it Region free. Blue rays are still far to go as far as public popularity is concerned in comparison to LCDs, which are selling in decent number, and hence is the still high price for BRp in India. That is why I went for the online purchase route. Though I do not usually opt online purchase so easily, the reason for doing this was, a substantial price difference in the product (that too a far better model). The only drawback about shipping it from US was the Region Locking and Voltage difference. That is where stegen Electronics came in to picture, they sell Mod chips with which you can make the player Region free. The best part was even after adding the price for Mod Chip to the player it was landing 10K-15K cheaper than what I was getting in India.
More details on how I took this route is on this thread

http://www.hifivision.com/dvd-players-dvd-hard-disk-recorders/7342-panasonic-dmp-60-a.html

So off I went with the player and got it after 14 days.

j64k7k.jpg


Now again I would not put a review for the usual PQ which any one can Google and confirm, just one sentence, despite of loads of online features including wifi other players are offering these days, the PQ for Pana BD 60 is still one of the best out there. No complains what so ever on the PQ, Though I would agree that I did not have much of a comparison except a laid back cheap version of LG BRp, but reading the online reviews and seeing it on my LG LCD I can confidently vouch that PQ of Pana is amazing. The menu is very easy, offers PCM and Bitstream digital audio out. The major drawback for BD 60 is the Huge Disk/Player loading time, fortunately the latest firmware does take care if this but not to the extent that can be compared with other players, its still slower than other offerings. But trust me not that annoying, make sure you upgrade to the latest firmware, else the load times does annoy you.
Other features include the network connectivity that has Picasa, youtube and world weather as the widgets, I loved Picasa, you can view all your online albums straight from the player menu on your LCD. It has the slideshow option with decent background music and best part is Slide show works flawlessly without any hiccups. (Atleast on my connection 1Mbps :D)

2emlu1i.jpg


There are few settings I would like to share for the people who have this player connected to the AVR that CAN decode DTS-MA/True HD and cannot get to see DTS-MA/True HD displayed on their AVR.
Press function on the remote.Go to other functions..setup..scroll down to Audio.

1. Dynamic Range Compression : OFF
2. PCM Down Conversion : OFF
Then go to Digital Audio Output
1. Dolby D/dolby D+/Dolby TrueHD : Bitstream
2. DTS/DTS-HD : Bitstream
3. DB-Video Secondary Audio : OFF


Thought this might help few out there with the same BRp.
To conclude the player also has SD card and USB input in case you want to view stuff from the same. All an all nice package.

PRICE: 14500 via 20North online purchase
This concludes a small review of my HT setup, any queries and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards
Sammy

.
 
Last edited:

santhosh

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Sammy, good move. Nice to see you did not make the purchases for your real home theater now itself. Buy them only after the construction etc is complete or nearing completion. This can continue to be in your bedroom in your new house when it is completed:)

BTW, are the walls and floor done up in carpet/fabric? What is the model of the AVR?
 

saumitra

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Sam,
Two questions:
1. Don't you find it a problem/limitaton that LH70 doesn't have any side ports (especially when you wall mount the TV)?
2. Can the Pana BD-60 play movies from HDDs connected through USB?
 

sam9s

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Sammy, good move. Nice to see you did not make the purchases for your real home theater now itself. Buy them only after the construction etc is complete or nearing completion. This can continue to be in your bedroom in your new house when it is completed:)

BTW, are the walls and floor done up in carpet/fabric? What is the model of the AVR?

Yea I was actually etching to have one for the time being. and yes the walls and floors are done with carpet fabric. AVR Model is HT-R670
 

sam9s

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Sam,
Two questions:
1. Don't you find it a problem/limitaton that LH70 doesn't have any side ports (especially when you wall mount the TV)?
2. Can the Pana BD-60 play movies from HDDs connected through USB?

1. I did'nt get Side Ports?? can you explain a bit more

2. Frankly speaking I havent tried using the USB port for BD 60, simply because I dont have the need, I am playing all my media through WD TV, plus my LCD also has the USB port so if I have to view say pictures I'd use the LCD Port rather than BRp Port. But if you want I can try that out for you if this is important to you.
 

srinisundar

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Hi Sam!

Nice review and good decissions on your purchase as indicated by Santhosh..Futureproof:)

Enjoy:clapping:

Regards

Srini
 

spirovious

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Well done & nice setup.
You can colour OR tape front spk wires to hide them.
 

saumitra

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1. I did'nt get Side Ports?? can you explain a bit more

2. Frankly speaking I havent tried using the USB port for BD 60, simply because I dont have the need, I am playing all my media through WD TV, plus my LCD also has the USB port so if I have to view say pictures I'd use the LCD Port rather than BRp Port. But if you want I can try that out for you if this is important to you.

Sam,
LH70 has all the connection ports (component, HDMI, USB) only at the back panel and no ports at the side - as you may have noticed almost all other LCD models have 2-4 ports (USB, HDMI, composite) at the side. I found it to be a big limitation of this model if you have to wall mount it. Because you have to have all the connections setup almost like permanent ones and can't connect things like a USB HDD or a camocorder (with HDMI out) later or at some point when you need it.

On the BD-60, it will be great if you could tell me if you can connect an HDD and play movies and what all formats are supported.
 
Last edited:

sam9s

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Sam,
LH70 has all the connection ports (component, HDMI, USB) only at the back panel and no ports at the side - as you may have noticed almost all other LCD models have 2-4 ports (USB, HDMI, composite) at the side. I found it to be a big limitation of this model if you have to wall mount it. Because you have to have all the connections setup almost like permanent ones and can't connect things like a USB HDD or a camocorder (with HDMI out) later or at some point when you need it.

On the BD-60, it will be great if you could tell me if you can connect an HDD and play movies and what all formats are supported.

Oh ok the connection ports. yes I can say that is a drawback, but definitely not a deal breaker. Its recommended to connect all your cables before hand, but its not like if you miss you cannot connect unless you take out the LCD off the wall, the connections are very low at the back and there is enough space between the wall and the TV to easily snap up an HDMI. About USB, LG has provided a USB extension so that you dont have to plug in the drive at the back. Personally all my connections are going in to AVR and just one HDMI out to TV so its anyhow not a problem for me.

I will test the USB port for BD 60 and get back to you on this....:)
 

SAMUEL

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Hi Sam,
A big Congratulations for your new setup:clapping:. I'm sure you must be enjoying the "New Blazer" -6200:licklips: as it's called in onkyo india.
Your thoughts regarding better sound with better speakers is absolutely true as the speakers that come with 6200 has a sensitivity rating of only 81db for mains and 80db for surrounds. Even a decent bookshelf speaker with a 90db sensitivity will enhance the quality & output to several folds.
Sorry for inducing an upgrade already:D. But don't do it now.Enjoy your system till time & funds allow and slowly build on.
Once again Congrats and Good luck.

Samuel
 

sam9s

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Hi Sam,
A big Congratulations for your new setup:clapping:. I'm sure you must be enjoying the "New Blazer" -6200:licklips: as it's called in onkyo india.
Your thoughts regarding better sound with better speakers is absolutely true as the speakers that come with 6200 has a sensitivity rating of only 81db for mains and 80db for surrounds. Even a decent bookshelf speaker with a 90db sensitivity will enhance the quality & output to several folds.
Sorry for inducing an upgrade already:D. But don't do it now.Enjoy your system till time & funds allow and slowly build on.
Once again Congrats and Good luck.

Samuel

Thanks Samuel for the compliments, yes I am not gonna upgrade this one, not even in future actually, as you must have read I would be building a full blown HIFI dedicated HT room in my new house, which would be my prime HT, this is just for some casual movie/video songs/TV/Gaming setup I have built for the bedroom.
 

sam9s

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Just finished watching Public Enemies on my HT, nothing very special about the movie though it a good one, but then why posting........to give a further experience of the setup. The 2GB+ AC3 (AsCo) rips much to my surprise are kicking ass on this setup. Blazing Audio/Video quality. Trust me when I say this......... BR PQ is not way too ahead on this setup in comparision and the HT is brining out the 5.1 AC3 soundtrack from the WD player splindedly. There is a shootout in the movie in woods almost at the end and I was blown out by the tight bang the woofer was giving for the double barrel gunshot, I was seriously feeling them lying on my bed :D thoroughly enjoyed that shootout.........:D
 

Raghav

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Very nice setup. You have saved a bit from the budgeted figure, which is a rarity here. Suggestions usually tempt you to go up one level.

I noticed that the AVR is a little cramped for space. Is there any issue of overheating on account of this.
 

sam9s

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Very nice setup. You have saved a bit from the budgeted figure, which is a rarity here. Suggestions usually tempt you to go up one level.

I noticed that the AVR is a little cramped for space. Is there any issue of overheating on account of this.

yes AVR is cramped, there is another compartment above the AVR (not coming in the picture) one which was actually made for AVR and had some room for ventilation, but my carpanter ruined things when he did not provide cable holes between each horizontal compartments. resulting in holes at the back, again resulting in shortage in length for my DVI to HDMI cable if ran internally (complicated I guess :D) any way I now have decided to run cables from HTPC outwardly so that I can keep the AVR at the top compartment which was actually made for it.

ATM there are no heating issues as such, but yes the AVR does get really hot while running.....
 

srikarkav

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Hi sam,

Why you call it a Micro HT?:) It is a nice rig. Good you have started with a blu ray setup.You can slowly build on this by upgrading your speakers.That will take your HT to another level for sure.Until then rather than constantly evaluating your system, just enjoy it.:)The upgrade time will come when it is due.;)

BTW are you finding any difference in PQ between the bluray pics of your BDP and the bluray rips of your WD TV?

cheers,
sri
 

sam9s

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Hi sam,
Why you call it a Micro HT?:) It is a nice rig. Good you have started with a blu ray setup.You can slowly build on this by upgrading your speakers.That will take your HT to another level for sure.Until then rather than constantly evaluating your system, just enjoy it.:)The upgrade time will come when it is due.;)
BTW are you finding any difference in PQ between the bluray pics of your BDP and the bluray rips of your WD TV?
cheers,
sri

Well When when I compare my HT with some of the Huge HTs people have built here I thought its better to catagorized mine under Micro :) , anyway as I mentioned I WILL be having a full blown HT for my new house :)

I would not upgrade this one actually, its sufficient for some casual Bedroom watching/listining. Yes the upgrade path wiil be there for my full blown HT when its done.

About PQ between rips and BDP, ofcourse there is but if you read my post for Public Enemies, a good encoaded rip looks amazing even on a 47" and if you ask me I do not miss PQ of BR as much as I had expected. If we talk about audio, small HTiBss like mine does not bring any noticible difference in DTS MA and DTS AC3@350+kbps so I am not missing the audio as well.

Yes thing would change when you have a 100-120" projector screen and high quality system like Dali/Mission/USHERS/DENON/MARANTZ etc etc which would easily pick the difference between rips and originals both in A/V Quality....
 

rover

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HI , Friends i had checked xenex sound works ht set up at cochin, superb equal to mant hi fi brands that cost 50000
sanoj
 

jitubisht

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Thank you for this review, I am a satisfied customer of LG products.. was considering the 47 incher u bought.. was told samsungs and sonys are better... but your test and review is reassuring and helps me a great deal.. i ll stick to LG.
 
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