Home Theater Receiver question


I am in the process of building a home theater system. As my funds are somewhat limited, I am looking for a dvd players/av receiver solution instead of spending money on seperate components. My budget is around $200-$300. I am looking at the JVC RX DV31SL dvd player/av receiver. What do you think about this receiver? It will be powering Infinity TSS-450 speakers. Also, do you know if the Harmony 890 remote will be able to control the JVC receiver?
I'm sure it will (but I don't have specific experience with that one).

Out of curiousity, you mention having a budget of only $200-$300 for DVD and Reciever, but you are referencing a $400 remote. Given those circumstances I would try and buy the best reciever I could using all the funds and then just get the cheapest DVD player I could find (think you can get some around $30 these days) and then work on other items later. Taking the $400 for the remote and the $300 you referenced can get your into some nice Denon gear which you can build upon over time.

You can use the remote that comes with the reciever (which should actually be pretty good and will work with the limited components you will have initially). The 890 will drop over time at least a bit (look at the 880) so you could save a bit there as well (and may not need the harmony as much until you get a more complicated setup).

I have the 880, so I am a big fan of the harmony, I'm just giving my opinion on how I would proceed with those constraints.

It depends on what is important to you and what you want this to look like over time.

A few you might want to take a look at in that price range (roughly):


This one is a bit higher than your budget.

If I were to upgrade I would look at the Denon (I have a Harman Kardon system that has been good to me, and if you need to stay on budget I would think you would be happy with it). Both of the above has rs-232 control if you are planning on growing into a comprehensive home automation setup.

There are many, many more choices depending on where you want to take this though.
More in line with you budget the hottest receiver going right now and getting rave reviews over at the AVS forums is the Panasonic SA-XR55. It's one of the new digital receivers and one of the beauties of this is they produce no heat so they can be put behind closed doors or in a closet. They can be bought for a little over $220. The avs forum had this receiver and the Athena Micra 6 ($~300) as the Home Theater Killer system that sounded as good as systems costing thousands more.

Thanks for the tip on that Panasonic. It uses the same chip as the Sonic Impact T-Amp. I'll start dropping birthday present hints asap. ;)
Here is the deal in that price range:

Onkyo TX-SR503 $239 at Circuit City during their 2-day sale.


# of component video inputs 4
# of digital optical inputs 3
# of digital coaxial inputs 1
Multi-channel input 5.1

Most receivers only have 2 component inputs or are hurting on optical inputs... This box has the most I have seen at this price. If you are Hi-Def, you gotta get a receiver that can switch everything for you, else it will take 2-3 remotes to switch inputs properly, the wife will never use it and you will be in trouble...

I am thinking about buying one of these, so if anyone has any negative feedback, I would like to hear it. The 603 does not look that much better to me...

While not in the same category at all, I wanted to share about the HT setup that I installed in my master room two months ago. I only had the DirecTV box, 5-DVD changer and a Sony Wega 24" TV. However my wife was complaining about the sound of the TV - it was distorted since new.

So I ordered a Logitech Z-5500 computer speaker system for $206 + shipping. Its a really capable 5.1 system. The best thing it that the receiver console is tiny and fits nicely in my TV cabinet. The sound, while not for audiophiles, is huge and loud (specially the subwoofer). My wife loves it.

Since my family room's Onkyo receiver is 10-7, the Z-5500 has become my primary HT system for these two months. The only thing that I miss is the video switching, but since I only have two sources my TV can handle the switching (with help of my Harmony). Considering all the capabilities of this amplifier+speaker system you cant beat the price. I'd say its the poor-man Bose system (with probably a better subwoofer).

Disclaimer: You cant rely on my opinion as an audiophile: I have moderate hearing loss and steel implants on both ears (the staple). For the same reason, when I say that a sound is loud most people use to agree. :)