What's your next A/V entertainment upgrade?

Many of us know all too well that new gear is what keeps our A/V worlds going round. With that in mind, here’s our question for this week’s HT Poll. If we missed something you’re planning to add to your A/V rig, tell us about it in Comments.
What's your next A/V entertainment upgrade?
1080p HDTV
4% (62 votes)
1080p smart HDTV with Internet connectivity
7% (93 votes)
1080p projector with a jumbo screen
11% (153 votes)
4K/Ultra HD TV
12% (166 votes)
I'm waiting for 4K/OLED TVs to come out
14% (198 votes)
Blu-ray player
3% (37 votes)
Blu-ray/universal disc player so I can spin SACDs and DVD-Audio discs
5% (69 votes)
Network media player
3% (43 votes)
Wireless audio system
2% (27 votes)
Surround-sound speaker system
9% (129 votes)
Bigger, badder subwoofer
11% (153 votes)
A good set of headphones
2% (34 votes)
Too many choices—I can’t make up my mind!
7% (97 votes)
Nothing—my rig is perfect as is!
11% (150 votes)
Total votes: 1411

thrillcat's picture

I've got the equipment, this spring we're gutting the theater and doing a complete remodel…I guess we will be getting a new Seymour AV acoustically transparent screen, but we have all the electronics already.

Now it's atmosphere…….

kevon27's picture

How much debt are you in because of your home theater upgrades?

Rob Sabin's picture
:-) Also, how about, "Have you ever been divorced or lost a love relationship because of your hobby?" -Yes - No - Depends who you ask...
Jarod's picture

Lol I love it!

Billy's picture

I am very pleased with my AV set up but I crave more control. I have recently been ripping my discs to use with a WDTV but I find it has a so-so interface. I wonder if creating a HTPC from one of the many old PCs I have sitting in the garage might be better. I have an old HP Dc5750 with an Athlon X2 with 2GB RAM that would be easy to bump up to four. I thought maybe a solid state drive would give me quicker response times. Upgrading to Windows 7 Home Premium would give me a pretty interface and Windows Media Center. A simple 1GB videocard would be like 20 bucks and give me an HDMI out to route throughout the house and multiple inexpensive apps on a tablet would give me ample control for both my movies and music anywhere in the house. You guys have any thoughts on that? What kind of tablet, IPad or Android? What size? A cheap 7 inch Samsung would be easy to hold, or would a smaller app on a smart phone be better?

jnemesh's picture

I would go for the 7" tablet...either the Samsung or the Nexus 7. (Google actually gives Google Fiber customers a Nexus 7 to use as a remote for their cable system!). They can easily be held one handed, and the screen is large enough to read easily.

While you CAN find individual apps to control your AVR, TV, Blu-Ray player, etc...I would HIGHLY recommend finding an integrator that can set up a control system with a unified app to control everything. I prefer the RTI system, but there are many options from Elan, URC, Crestron, and others. Note that some companies (URC, Savant) only provide support for iPads not Android, so your tablet choice may be dictated by the control system you choose.

shiitaki's picture

I would suggest you try XMBC for a few reasons.

IT's free.
Multiple apps for both Adroid and Apple that work over wifi, no television required when using a tablet, smartphone.
Minimal computer hardware required, old and slow is fine.
Supports all the major codecs, no transcoding required.
I like Openelec,tv as a install and go solution, but there are others for Mac, Win, and Linux
No bit twiddling, it outputs the native resolution of the file as long as you have crossfade turned off.
No patch Tuesday, no antivirus, etc.

Once you have it setup, you can use it entirely from a tablet.

instybob's picture

Now it's just doing upgrades by the piece. Subwoofer is first and a new projector won't be far behind.

cvillevideo's picture

A separate amp. Currently using my AV receiver

Jarod's picture

I currently have two HSU Research VTF-2 MK-4s behind my 125" Elite AT screen and my next purchase will be a third. After I save more I'm getting a fourth.

jnemesh's picture

All of my main gear is great right now...I just bought a Marantz SR7007 (replacing my Onkyo TXNR609 that died), and I got a sweet deal on a 64" D550 Samsung plasma, so I am set for my display (that replaced my HL61A750 LED DLP). My speakers are good...I have Martin Logan Motion 12s with the Motion 8 center and Motion 4s in the rear. And my Era Designs Sub 10 is more than adequate for my room.

What I REALLY need to do is program my RTI control system, get my TV wall mounted, wall mount my center channel and rear speakers and get everything in a rack!

aleksandr's picture

OLED... Ok. after... when they drop theirs prices, near plasma or Led level.... Right now I'm happy with plasma/1080p/5.1/two subs /PS3 and 300 Bluray....

Nighthawk68's picture

A/V Receiver is what I would have voted for. Its the last step in my upgrades. I guess I could have voted Blu-Ray/Universal Player, but UPS tracking has my new OPPO BDP-103 arriving tomorrow (Thursday). Two weeks ago I got a Pannasonic 55VT50.
Speakers were upgraded this past year to POLK RTi-A9 (fronts), RTi-A7 (surrounds), 2 sets RTi-A3's, CSi-A6 Center and DSWpro-660 Sub; thus the need for the new receiver. Looking at the Denon AVR-4520 to replace an older Denon AVR-2809.
Oh, guess I will have to get a second sub too :-)


d6a4s5's picture

I'm looking into the Marantz NR1603...it would be a huge improvement from my current AVR, an old Sony (can't think of the model number at the moment) that I got way back somewhere between 2001 and 2003ish...I think? Ha.

If anyone has the NR1603 or has had experience with it, I'd appreciate any feedback/input on it. Thanks!


jnemesh's picture

The NR-1603 is a great little AVR! It has all of the features you might want, including network functions...app control (iOS and Android), network audio streaming from your own pc or music server, Pandora, Internet radio, etc. It has plenty of HDMI inputs, Audyssey calibration and room correction and it's nice and small too!

Note though that it is only 50 watts/channel though, so if you have a smaller room or really efficient speakers, it works great, if you have a larger room or more demanding speakers (or listen at very loud volumes) consider upgrading to the SR5007 (90wpc on that model).

Also note that while the NR-1603 does have a Zone 2 capability, it only offers speaker level output for ONE PAIR of speakers. If you need sound throughout your home, you will want to get the SR5007 which is the 1st Marantz model to offer Zone 2 pre-outs and then get a good multichannel amp to power the speakers throughout your home. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use a "speaker selector" or "impedance matching" device to split that 1 zone output to multiple speakers! (!!) First off, you will lose 40% of your rated power, right off the bat (so 50w goes down to 30), then you split that 3 or 4 ways and you end up with only 7 or 10 watts to each speaker, PLUS you end up burning out the amp since you are using it outside of it's designed parameters!

If those two caveats don't bother you, then go for it. It is an EXCELLENT sounding AVR for the money!

d6a4s5's picture

I really appreciate the feedback!

My theater room is pretty small...it's the 2nd bedroom of a 2 bedroom townhouse/row home apartment...so the 50W/channel isn't a problem for me (I can't recall what it is I've got pumping through my current set up, but I'm sure it's not much).

I don't currently have plans for any other Zones, per se. I figured I'd just take my current receiver and re-purpose it as a 2.0 or 2.1 setup in another room, for use with a turntable. Either way, that's a little further down the road.

Thanks again!

rssarma's picture

Anyone? I recognise the B&Ws, but what are the pair on the extreme corners?

Billy's picture

Thanks for the input but I have never had any luck with XBMC. I use external HDs via USB and not that nor Media Portal seems to want to play nice with those, thats why I am leaning toward purchasing Windows 7.

kent harrison's picture

To be honest,I really don't need anything,yes i seen the new 4k tv by Sony,which is very too expensive plus it don't look good on 720p and 1080i sources,then you have too wait who's going make the best 4k upscaling receiver and right now the ones are out there are pass thru,Iv'e already have Pioneer sc-37 receiver which i upgrade in late 2011,which i think is a beast,i do agree with one of the blogger about the Denon 4520ci and for speeakers Bw"s 804 towers,HTM4 center and PM1 for surround backs thats on my wish list one day for upgrade,Home theater i love soundfield too,thanks for letting me share plus Home theater keep up the goodwork.