Out of the Blue

Turns out with last night's rainout, our tickets for tonight's Mets game are still valid, even though this will be game #1 instead of game #2. The forecast looks like the weather will hold up, so expect an unusually early evening update so we can make it out to blustery Shea Stadium in time.

Postponed Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Play: The Game of Disorientation.
Link: Get Well Gamers. Thanks Kotaku.
Stories: Hiroshima resets “peace clock” after NK nuclear test.
Carnivorous Plant Eats Mouse At French Garden.
Jail's official color is pink.
Science: 2 scientists name asteroid for Nev. town.
Image: Pinball photos from the ball's PoV. Thanks Boing Boing.
Media: Chad Vader - Episode 4.
Extreme Drive Thru at McDonalds.
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34.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 13, 2006, 01:11
34.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 13, 2006, 01:11
Oct 13, 2006, 01:11
 
My $0.02

Thanks. I have been impressed with the picture I've seen in the Samsungs and will spend some time on research when the time gets closer for a purchase. All things being equal, I'd probably lean towards them, for now. Never thought, say 5 years ago, that I'd be saying that!

I am not going to spend that much on speakers. Just not where I'd spend the $$$. I think I will look for some larger drivers, these were just a quick pick to get some idea for discussion. The room just really doesn't lend itself to 7.1 that well, and I am happy with 5.1.

I am "married" to in-ceiling rears, so I will try to find something that has identical drivers. I have the original Energy Take-5's (very small drivers) and thought that 5.5" ones would be a lot better, but I see your point. A quick look at Crutchfield shows the 6.5" drivers to cost about twice as much, though. I need to shop around. May have to go to a Paradigm or something to see what they have, too. REALLY don't want to start pushing the speaker budget that high - I don't play stuff all that loud, especially with our 3-year old around all the time.

I've had the Energy sub in several rooms of various sizes and been very happy with the performance (and I generally keep it turned down). I don't like big, boomy bass, just that low end "punch" for explosions, etc, and it's been great. If, after moving in, I find it a bit weak, I can always upgrade it later.

I, like you, have never seen an audible difference in the very high priced cables. I go for decent quality, but not the stuff that gets pushed at you all the time in the stores. On-line is the way to go for that stuff.



http://house-update.blogspot.com/

Last update: Thursday, October 12, 2006

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
33.
 
Re: Video and OS stuff...
Oct 12, 2006, 23:03
Enahs
 
33.
Re: Video and OS stuff... Oct 12, 2006, 23:03
Oct 12, 2006, 23:03
 Enahs
 
Most top of the line cards are already DX10 compatible, and they are the best DX9 cards available, so I'm not sure why you'd separate the two. My 7900GT is DX10 compatible

Not according to NVIDIA, the maker of your video card.

Compatible and supporting the features in hardware are two entirely different things.




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This comment was edited on Oct 12, 23:04.
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32.
 
Re: Video and OS stuff...
Oct 12, 2006, 22:10
32.
Re: Video and OS stuff... Oct 12, 2006, 22:10
Oct 12, 2006, 22:10
 

*Thank you* for all your input (even you, WarPig; guinea pig indeed). So I'll keep the hard drives, get a BFG 7950 GX2 card (I really like the BFG cards; my last two have been perfect), and keep XP for the OS.

And hope that a really cool game doesn't come out that will make my machine slow for at least a year ...


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31.
 
Re: Video and OS stuff...
Oct 12, 2006, 21:36
31.
Re: Video and OS stuff... Oct 12, 2006, 21:36
Oct 12, 2006, 21:36
 
1) Most top of the line cards are already DX10 compatible, and they are the best DX9 cards available, so I'm not sure why you'd separate the two. My 7900GT is DX10 compatible. As for how well it will perform with DX10, eh, that's anyone's guess.

2) DX10 MIGHT be worth if before 2008, but Vista won't be. Don't believe any of these stupid screenshots that show DX9 as a marginally decent looking game, and DX10 as absolutely photorealistic. It's all bullshit.

3) IDE maxes out at 133Mb/s, whereas SATA starts at 150Mb/s and SATA2 even goes up to 300Mb/s. But that's all theoretical.
Personally, I feel my SATA drive is a lot faster than my old IDE drive, but ofcourse my system also got a lot faster, so how much of that is due to the SATA and how much just due to the system, I don't know. (I sound like Joe Morgan...)

If you're going for absolute top speed, it's worth going SATA. Also, SATA cables are far smaller and much less of a hassle to tidy up. Better for airflow too. Unless you use rounded IDE cables, ofcourse.

If you want to save some money, keep your IDEs.

Creston

This comment was edited on Oct 12, 21:49.
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30.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 19:45
30.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 19:45
Oct 12, 2006, 19:45
 
My $0.02:

Most of the current generation DLPs are pretty similar in quality. I've been thinking of upgrading to an 88W myself, but really need to see them in-store next to the Mitsus and Sonys first.

I think you need to re-evaluate your speaker choices, though. The speakers are almost as important as the TV, and maybe just as much if you're into music. If you're gonna drop $2,500 on the TV, I'd shoot for at least half that much for speakers, and go for 7.1 if possible.

Also, you'll never get good voice matching if the speakers aren't identical. If that's not possible, at least try for identical drivers in the same line. The in-walls you've chosen will probably sound very different from the others. Different drivers in a completely different cabinet. Of course, if you're married to in-walls, you're choices are much more limited.

The CS1 does seem to match the monitor 30, but they only have a 5.25 inch driver. You really need a 6.5 inch to get the full frequency response.

As for the rest, if the room is anything but small, the Energy 10 is going to be underpowered. I've currently got one connected to my PC, and it's fine for the small den, but even my current SVS cylinder is a bit underpowered for my home theater room, which is around 8x12. Room placement for subs is also critical.

Finally, please don't buy monster cables. They are waaay overpriced. You can get the same quality for much cheaper on-line from several merchants. If it's a digital connection, just about any cheap cable will work fine. Even high-bandwidth HDMI cables can be had for around $12. Also, I don't know if this makes any difference to you, but no double blind test has ever shown any difference between similar gauge cables, except those specifically designed to change the sound. If you do go with regular speaker cable, don't forget the banana plugs.

-B

29.
 
Get Well Scammers
Oct 12, 2006, 19:23
29.
Get Well Scammers Oct 12, 2006, 19:23
Oct 12, 2006, 19:23
 
I wonder if that "get well gamers" page is an elaborate ruse to get there hands on a Playstation 3

28.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 17:47
28.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 17:47
Oct 12, 2006, 17:47
 
If you use the higher quality outputs, it really does pay off. Especially when you are using outputs like component, optical, DVI, etc.

Oh, yeah, I know. I'm the guy who goes over to a friend's/relative's house to hook their stuff up and convinces them to use component and S-Video (as appropriate) vs. the composite connection they are usually using.

Edit - and Enahs, you may have a point there about the HD-DVD upconversion features/quality vs. the stuff available now. I'll have to look at that.


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Last update: Wednesday, October 4, 2006

This comment was edited on Oct 12, 17:50.

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
27.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 17:43
27.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 17:43
Oct 12, 2006, 17:43
 
And, in my case, the better cabling, like Monster, really did have a better sound and picture. I know it's horribly overpriced, but i think it's worth it.
Maybe overpriced, but it's a relatively small investment compared to the cost of the rest of the system and it really does sound better. Especially treble gets much airier and less shrill.
listening to http://www.progulus.com/ a mountain stream of progressive, rock and metal
26.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 17:25
Enahs
 
26.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 17:25
Oct 12, 2006, 17:25
 Enahs
 
I am passing on the whole HD/Blue-Ray thing for now. Upconverted DVDs are just fine. Now, if something major happens in athe format war in the next couple months where one "wins", I'll change my tune. If not, I'll be happy with that.

I totally agree, and am with you. But when it is closer to time to buy the stuff, if just one of the HD formats have come down in price, it would make so much more sense buying one of those then a upconverting DVD player.

Note, the only quality gained in a upconverting DVD player is minimum, the only difference is that it is always digital, where as a normal DVD player even if it goes out over a DVI cable it has been converted from digital to analog at least once. The quality improvements are nice, since it is “free” from a technical standpoint, but nothing to write home about.

However, a “cheap” mid quality upconverting dvd player right now runs for $150, a decent one that actually gets good reviews cost over $200. By early next year it is very likely that HD-DVD players (as in HD-DVD, not BluRay) will be ~$300 and they will also have top of the line upconverting features. So why not then spend that extra $100 to get everything you want and so much more. Do not think of it as committing to a type of media, think of it as getting everything you want and being able to watch watch half of the new movies coming out in “true” HD.


That is my plan anyway, I almost bought a upconverting DVD player but the prices are just too damn high, I would much rather wait and get so much more for so little more $.


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25.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 17:01
25.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 17:01
Oct 12, 2006, 17:01
 
Yeah, and the rewards points from BB with a purchase that large would be nice, too!

That'd give you just enough to buy a single set of cables for something at best buy!

I'm sure you know this, but never buy cables at best buy. You'll get taken.

And that reminded me that i forgot to mention in my previous post about cabling. If you use the higher quality outputs, it really does pay off. Especially when you are using outputs like component, optical, DVI, etc. Using the optical or component as opposed to the basic connections was a noticeable difference. And, in my case, the better cabling, like Monster, really did have a better sound and picture. I know it's horribly overpriced, but i think it's worth it.

_________________________________________________
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24.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 16:58
24.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 16:58
Oct 12, 2006, 16:58
 
I don't buy it that HD or blue-ray will revolutionize anything, so i'm holding out. And as much as i love movies and music, i'm not a freak about it, so i'm good with what i've got. No need to spend the extra money on the bells and whistles that once you have set, you'll never notice again.

Right there with you. I am not the "have to have the latest and greatest" kind of guy, so I'm going to wait a while to see how this pans out. It's not like we're talking about VHS to DVD quality difference....



http://house-update.blogspot.com/

Last update: Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
23.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 16:50
23.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 16:50
Oct 12, 2006, 16:50
 
That link does not have anything in the cart, just the message from the guy.

Sorry-I'll check the link.

Eh, screw it - here's the details:

Samsung HL-S5687W
56" high-definition 1080p rear-projection DLP TV $2,500

Polk Audio Monitor 30
Bookshelf speakers $200/pair

Polk Audio RC60i
In-ceiling speakers $200/pair

Polk Audio CS1
Center channel speaker $180

Sony DVP-NC85H
5-disc DVD/CD changer with digital video output and upconversion $150

Not necessarily looking to buy here, but a handy place to throw together a list.

Honestly, I would wait on the upconverting DVD player. This is for the new house right? Hopefully by then a real HD DVD player will be much cheaper. I mean, a good upconverting DVD player is at least $150. If the HD DVD players get down to ~$300-$350 then just get one of those instead, as they also upconvert DVD’s.

I am passing on the whole HD/Blue-Ray thing for now. Upconverted DVDs are just fine. Now, if something major happens in athe format war in the next couple months where one "wins", I'll change my tune. If not, I'll be happy with that.

I want a DLP - great picture and a decent price. The in-laws have one and I'm cool with the technology. The house will have a 8-ft wide "nook" for the entertainment system/TV, so plasma/LCD isn't an advantage space-wise.

A friend is going to give me an old projector for use in the garage, if I want. It isn't good enough for inside the house for day-to-day use.

Also note though, BestBuy and CircuitCity and the like almost every other month do deals on TV’s over $500 that there is no interest for 18+ months, so when you are ready to buy one I would look into that option.

Yeah, and the rewards points from BB with a purchase that large would be nice, too!

Thanks.

Edit - I have a Sony DVP-NC875V progressive-scan DVD changer now but am going to have a separate receiver hooked up to outside speakers on the rear patio and planned to use it for a CD changer. For that price, I'll get the upconverting DVD changer.

I am not really a Sony fan at all, but they had such a good sale a while back I got the receiver and DVD player on sale. Any other upconverting DVD changer for a similar price (of decent quality) would be fine. Any first hand experience with any of these speakers or TV?


http://house-update.blogspot.com/

Last update: Wednesday, October 4, 2006

This comment was edited on Oct 12, 16:55.

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
22.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 16:49
22.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 16:49
Oct 12, 2006, 16:49
 
We wired our living room for surround back in May, running the wires thru the attic and mounting the speakers at the ceiling corners, both inside and out (we spend a lot of time on the patio grilling, so we love to have music out there). We purchased a new receiver and DVD player at big buy and after the research i did and talking to people at various electronics stores, i found out that upconversion really doesn't improve the quality of the picture, so we just bought a nice progressive scan DVD player. There are occasions where upconversion may look better, but on a 65" high def TV, you're gonna see the details regardless of whether it's upconverted or not. Personally, i didn't need a TV that large, but it was my wife's before we got married (she bought it to watch Cowboy games :P). But the progressive scan does great, the receiver is is at the upper end of the middle quality receiver level (Sony) and the speakers are Onkyo.

I don't buy it that HD or blue-ray will revolutionize anything, so i'm holding out. And as much as i love movies and music, i'm not a freak about it, so i'm good with what i've got. No need to spend the extra money on the bells and whistles that once you have set, you'll never notice again.

And as far as TVs are concerned, i'm still under the impression that you should stay away from plasma because of it's short lifecycle. If you want great quality, go with DLP.

that's my partially educated opinion.

_________________________________________________
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21.
 
Re: Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 16:14
Enahs
 
21.
Re: Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 16:14
Oct 12, 2006, 16:14
 Enahs
 
That link does not have anything in the cart, just the message from the guy.

Honestly, I would wait on the upconverting DVD player. This is for the new house right? Hopefully by then a real HD DVD player will be much cheaper. I mean, a good upconverting DVD player is at least $150. If the HD DVD players get down to ~$300-$350 then just get one of those instead, as they also upconvert DVD’s.

As for the TV, are you interested in a LCD/Plasma so it is thin and you want to hang it on a wall, or do you care if it is a big rear projection and what is the price range you are looking to spend on a TV. Or is this an actual home theater for just watching movies and you want a projector?

Also note though, BestBuy and CircuitCity and the like almost every other month do deals on TV’s over $500 that there is no interest for 18+ months, so when you are ready to buy one I would look into that option.




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20.
 
Re: Video and OS stuff...
Oct 12, 2006, 16:04
20.
Re: Video and OS stuff... Oct 12, 2006, 16:04
Oct 12, 2006, 16:04
 
Then don't buy the blighted card?

At the time, it was great in price/performance. I just wait a LONG time between building new computers or upgrading. $$$, you know, doesn't grow on trees.



http://house-update.blogspot.com/

Last update: Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
19.
 
Home Theater question
Oct 12, 2006, 16:02
19.
Home Theater question Oct 12, 2006, 16:02
Oct 12, 2006, 16:02
 
Need to start thinking about my new home theater once the house is built.

The short version is:

Will reuse the current receiver, sub, and VCR in the HT setup:
Sony STR-DE697 receiver - 5.1 setup
Panasonic Omnivision SVHS VCR
Energy 10" sub

Need TV, speakers, and upconverting DVD player. Looking at Crutchfield for ideas and put this together via e-mail with a rep just to get an idea together on what I'll need and cost. Didn't ask for the cables, DVD, remote, or surge protector - their suggestion, of course - I'll get what I need locally in the right lengths, capacities, etc. How is the TV and any other speaker any better for a similar price? I need something voice-matched to ceiling-mount rear surrounds. I know these aren't quite voice-matched, but he said they should be close.

http://tinyurl.com/skpup

I am not all that finicky about speaker brands, etc.



http://house-update.blogspot.com/

Last update: Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
18.
 
Re: Video and OS stuff...
Oct 12, 2006, 16:01
18.
Re: Video and OS stuff... Oct 12, 2006, 16:01
Oct 12, 2006, 16:01
 
If you can't say anything nice...

Then don't buy the blighted card?

17.
 
Re: Video and OS stuff...
Oct 12, 2006, 15:51
17.
Re: Video and OS stuff... Oct 12, 2006, 15:51
Oct 12, 2006, 15:51
 
On the other hand, some of the early DX9 cards (Nvidia 5*) sucked.

Hey, hey! (covers my 5700Ultra's little ears) They are just a little, uh, challenged. (mumbles something soothing to the 5700U card and pats it's head)

If you can't say anything nice....



http://house-update.blogspot.com/

Last update: Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
16.
 
Re: Video and OS stuff...
Oct 12, 2006, 15:17
WarPig
 
16.
Re: Video and OS stuff... Oct 12, 2006, 15:17
Oct 12, 2006, 15:17
 WarPig
 
This January I will do my usual biannual (or biennial for some of you) computer upgrade. With the approach of Vista and DX10, I have some questions I'd LOVE to get your input on:

I jumped on the XP bandwagon early on and let me tell you, that's NOT happening again. I'll probably wait until 2008 to build a Vista box. I am glad that you'll be building one though, Mr. Guinea Pig.


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________________________________

GO SEAHAWKS!
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15.
 
Re: Video and OS stuff...
Oct 12, 2006, 14:55
Enahs
 
15.
Re: Video and OS stuff... Oct 12, 2006, 14:55
Oct 12, 2006, 14:55
 Enahs
 
1) Do I get a DX10 compatible video card, or just settle for a realy good DX9 card?

I think the current release schedule is Vista for consumers is not even until January. I am also not aware of any DX10 video card that will be released then/by then that is for gamers. That is, they are budget/low end cards that have DX10 but are not top performers. They are just to do the pretty GUI and low end gaming. Somebody can correct me if I am wrong, but I think the first real DX10 video card for gaming is not slated until March.



2) DX10 would be the only reason I'd upgrade to Vista, will it be worth it before, say, 2008?

I do not see it worth it. Every Crysis video released to date has been on DX9 video card. I mean, other then DX10 I do not see any damn reason to upgrade to Vista, and it will be a decent amount of times before we see games really benefit from DX10.


Are SATA hard drives that much faster than "standard" IDE (pata) drives? I've got dual 160 gig IDE drives, and I don't know if it's worth it to replace them.

Hard drives are cheap now, and SATA does perform better..maybe...sometimes. I would say if you got money to burn then just get one that is your base drive where windows and primary apps are installed and use the IDE drives to store you music and videos and such.

You then might even want to by a $30 adapter and turn one of the old IDE drives into a portable 160 gig USB drive (but it will require an external power source).





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This comment was edited on Oct 12, 14:56.
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