Est. 2007

HD Home Theatre System- My Experience

In Home Theater on December 14, 2007 at 9:39 am

Here in Fiji Hi-Def home theater is mostly for the crazy audio and videophile. Only one shop is renting out hd-dvd movies and that is IMDVD. Heaps of amplifiers and speakers and cables and t.vs and projectors are available too. But how many can afford it all? Well not many actually; however, I have had the good pleasure setting one up and using it too.

The worst part of setting it up is that most folks don’t realize that hd stuff is not like standard def. you can’t use coaxial or optic to get the true sound. you cant expect everything to be fast because it all works like computers more than consumer electronics.

But look on the brighter side of it, at least it sound s better and looks good on bigger screens. Remember that not all players support bitstream output and even though you have some of the latest amps out there the amp won’t be able to decode the sound if the player can’t output bitstream audio. This includes the PS3 for now until they an come up with a firmware upgrade to fix it.  So most folks should try to get an amp with hdmi input but note that some are just video switches and will not accept audio through that port. Yamaha amps are good. They aren’t cheap but they are reliable and do decent sound processing. Or the next best thing would be to use the external 6 channel input. Running 3 pairs of analog signal to the amp from the player is the next best thing. This again excludes the PS3 as it only has HDMI output. The only HD-DVD players out there that provide bitstream audio or possibly 6 channel output would be the upper end 2nd and 3rd gen players. So only the A35 toshiba can do it really or else other players can only output 6 channel pcm through hdmi which needs a relatively new amp. The newer ones are ok too but if you want the amp to process and decode the sound you need a combination of a high end player like A35 and also a new amp like the onkyo 605 which can decode hd audio.  Optical in the end only gives SD sound not Hi-def.

On the picture side of things, 720p is minimum to enjoy this thing but a normal SD T.V could do as well, the picture just might not be as good, but it will be better than normal DVDs. The picture vastly improves as the screen gets bigger, so projectors benefit the most. HDMI and DVI are both good as long as the screen supports HDCP. Component will be O.K too. It will give HD picture according to the native resolution of the HD movie rather than the screen but it will not work on those movies which are protected with HDCP. So HDMI it is then.

Overall the experience is way better than DVD and far far better than going to a movie theater if you have a projector. And the only downsides are cost and the fact that there is a format war ensuing. Apart from the fact that also the whole audio side of things is in a bit of a mess and that all the HD-DVD players are really slowwwwwwww; press the eject button and the tray comes out like half a minute later.

All good I say

The Spray Can


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