Family friendly home cinema/music setup
Hi to you all, I would very much value advice from you all.
We are coming to the end of building an extension at our house and I am looking to install a home cinema/music set-up. We will be putting it into a kitchen/living room, of which the living room is about 4.3m x 8.6m, with timber flooring. The TV will be centrally placed at one end on a false chimney ***. The plan is to use this new room as the main living room, watching movies, tv and listening to music. On that note, I was thinking to use a Playstation 3 as a DVD/CD source, as well as a Slim Devices Squeezebox to stream internet radio (which I was told offers better quality than DAB?) and my CD collection which will be ripped to PC from another room. I was thinking to get something like the Panasonic Viera TH-37PX70 plasma TV, which you review well.
Speakers must be children/wife friendly, so floor standers are sadly out of the question - wall mount, style and sound friendly would be ideal. The room is single storey and does not adjoin neighbours at all. Budget wise I have been looking at two main options:-
Lower end (around £1350)
Amps: Perhaps Onkyo TXSR-605, Sony STR-DA1200ES; only bug bear with the Onkyo is that it is half the price in the US, but then that is pretty normal I guess
Speakers: Perhaps Kef KHT-3005 with an in-ceiling Kef Ci160 for 6.1
Higher end (around £1450 to £2000)
Amps: Perhaps Onkyo TXSR-705, Sony STR-DA5200ES
Speakers: Monitor Audio R90 rears and 3 x R225 front and centre, RSW-12 sub (or Velodyne to save a £100?) and a Radius CP ceiling mount rear channel. I have been quoted £1375 for these, but prices quoted seem to be controlled/the same everywhere really. Or still the Kef's or similar?
I'll be looking to buy and install in September/October.
My questions are:
Is a Dolby True HD capable receiver something worth going for at this point (which seems to make the Onkyo 605/705 the only possible, or the new Sony STR-5300ES which is probably too pricey for me) - I have read that the blu-ray output on the PS3 is HDMI 1.3, but also that the digital audio signal was decoded prior to transmission to the AV amp? What does that mean to me ! Am I getting the benefit of Dolby True HD where the DVD has it, or not?
Is it worth putting in an FM aerial, or better to just use streamed radio/radio from Sky HD?
Am I on the right lines, or should I be considering other combinations? Listening to these combinations seems to be quite difficult - in terms of finding hi fi shops stocking them all. I did listen to the Kef's with a Denon 2807 amp - on movies I was very impressed, on a CD I had not heard male vocals sounded a little flat, though maybe that was just the singer! On something I had heard before, the top ended sounded good.
My previous set-up, with a tv in the corner of a rectangular room, used a Yamaha 650RDS amp and Wharfedale Pacific speakers. The sound filled the small room, but spatial definition was pretty average, largely because of poor placement I think. I never listened to my CD's sadly, so I am thinking that the ability to stream them all will get me listening to my music collection again!
Many thanks in advance for your thoughts!