Advice needed on first home cinema setup


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Aug 10, 2019
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Evening all,

I've never had anything more than a 28" CRT TV and a DVD player but I've now decided to treat myself to a decent TV, receiver and speakers. I've just put this spec. together from reading magazines and looking at a few forums so (a) I have no idea whether all the items will complement each other and (b) I really am a bit clueless so bear with me.

I don't have Sky and at present have no plans to get it so I'll be using the TV for SD content as well as the PS3/XBOX360/WII/PS2/GC/DC.

The room is 3m 30 x 4m 20. The screen will be in the middle of the longest wall and the sofa will be opposite. On the right, as you're sitting in the sofa, is a large window with a low radiator under it. On the left there used to be french doors opening into the dining room but these have been removed so this is now open. The floor is laminate. Decor is white walls other than the wall that the sofa is in which is orange. Units in the room are white.

I've worked out rough cable runs for the speakers as follows:

Left rear - 12m. I will need to run the cable back behind the sofa, past the right rear speaker, under the window to the receiver.
Right rear - 4m
Left front - 4m
Right front - 2m

That makes 22m but cable runs need(?) to be the same length so that should actually be closer to 32m.

I'll be seated approx.2.5m/8ft away.

The following is my shortlist of items:

- Pioneer PDP428XD - £1600 (+ stand)
- Panasoinc TH-42PZ700 - £1400

I was going LCD but have decided to go with plasma - mainly due to the SD content I'll be watching as I understand plasma is better for this than LCD.

SPEAKERS - good for surround but also audio.
- Q ACOUSTICS 1010i 5.1 - £500
- KEF KHT3005SE (gloss black) - £1000
- MORDAUNT SHORT ALUMNI 5.1 (White gloss) - £600
- TANNOY MERCURY F1 5.1 (apple wood / dark oak) - £700
- AUDIO PRO ALLROOM 5.1 (white gloss, blue, red, black, silver) - £700

The Alumni and Allrooms would go well with the room as you can get them in white gloss but colour is not the main deciding factor! The speakers also need to be good for music. I'm not too fussed about whether the front speakers are on the floor or stands. Rear may need to be wall mounted but I think I could also get away with floor/stands.

ONKYO TX-SR875 £1000

The above choice is purely based on the What Hi-Fi recommendation.

I don't need a DVD player as I have the PS3 for the time being.

QED Silver Anniversary XT Speaker Cable?
XBOX 360
360 to 3 RCA or 5 RCA? Will I also need a separate optical cable?
WII to 3 RCA or 5 RCA?
PS2 to 3 RCA or 5 RCA? Will I also need a separate optical cable?
GC to 3 RCA?
DC to S-video?

Is it also worth upgrading my aerial cable to something better?

Being a bit of a noob here but presumably the console cables will all go into the back of the Onkyo (where possible) and there will only be an HDMI cable to the TV from the Onkyo?

Some places are doing deals on the receiver and certain speaker packages so I may be able to save a bit of money there.

My budget is £4000 tops.

Apologies for the length of this post but thanks for taking the time to read it.




That's a mighty 1st post! I'm fairly new to this forum too, so welcome.

I can't answer all your questions but here's some feedback..


I've just bought the Pioneer and it's great. I'd not bother with the PZ700 but consider the cheaper PZ70 (circa £1100 with, at the moment, a 5 year warranty) that delivers virtually identical picture quality for less £££. You then have a decision, same as i did, as to whether you want to spend £500 extra on the Pio or use it elsewhere in the system. That choice is yours.


Not sure if you are going to play music via your system but if you do then factor this in along with the type of room you have, carpeted / wooden floor, furnishings you have, etc.
Style speakers (the 3005 and Allroom) will not give the same oomph as similar price traditional speaker systems but you obviously need to way up the look and how they will fit in your room.
I'm considering upgrading to the Tannoy's but you may want also to consider the Quad Lites (£600), SVS package (£800 if you buy via AVforum following sign up) and others depending on how much cash you have left. I'd spend as much as you can on the speakers but you will need to audition a few sets before deciding.


I've bought the Onlyo 605. Your choice is a great one but ensure that you are not over buying and can get the functions and qualities you need on the next model down (805) to save cash for other areas.


I wouldn't worry about cable run's being exactly the same. You can adjust timing on the amp if need's be. You did forget to add in the centre but as that's the closest speaker it's hardly going to add much.

Get the best connection for each component as you can and i don't mean the most expensive cable. You will need an optical for the 360 as i'm guessing (with all those consoles) that you were an early adopter and don't have an Elite.

Wait until you have everything set up before you think about your tv aerial as you may live in an area of strong reception and have no need.

Don't forget to ensure that you have a decent Plasma and gear stand so that it can all sing with ease. There are many sites you can visit - and are just 2 examples.

Think about a nice all-in-one remote to as you'll have plenty of settings and inputs to switch between. A good starting point is the Harmony 555, £66 on Amazon.

Utilise this forum and as much as you can but beware that speaker choice is very varied and you may (like i have) get bogged down in finding the perfect set.

Shop around and utilise the Interent. Don't just use the shop comparison sites. In fact i wouldn't, use google for products and then use the links to find some cheaper sites like petertyson, hifibitz,, weymouth hifi, superfi, etc.

Stick to your budget too, it's very easy for it to be teased upwards when you start seeing all those lovely wares out there!!

Hope this helps and good luck.


Hi Rob,

Many thanks for your reply. I'll answer your comments in much the same way if I may.


I'm looking at the Pioneer as a good 4 or 5 year investment so I'd much rather spend the extra on something that's going to last that length of time. I'm still a bit worried about it only being 'HD Ready' though, should I be?


From what you've said it looks like these are going to be the bane of my life! Serves me right for having so many to choose from. The lounge is going to have a 3 seater sofa in it, perhaps a coffee table and some units on which my consoles and amp will sit so pretty minimalist. It does sound as if I really do need to demo quite a few speakers before I make any kind of decision.


I'll look into this more and see whether I am indeed paying for something that I'm not going to utilise fully. Any surround sound will probably sound amazing to my untrained ears so if I can save some money then that's probably not a bad idea.


Can't believe I forgot the centre speaker! I did have an original 360 which I have since sold but do intend to get an Elite as soon as everything else is in place.


I'm probably going to mount the plasma on the wall due to the fact that my centre speaker will need to sit on the same unit infront of the plasma. If I go for a large centre speaker it will be too high and cover some of the screen. Not a great problem but the wall I want to mount the plasma on is a dividing brick wall and I'm not sure quite what I'd need to do to get it sorted out without upsetting the neighbours. Cheers for the links to the sites too.

I've been looking on AVForums as well - as you said, that makes things even more confusing at times!

I have been looking on the internet at various prices and deals but I'm tempted to (as this is my first time at all this) to go to a shop and perhaps pay slightly more than online purely to get a face to talk to and, more than likely, some advice on setting the whole lot up. Richer Sounds do some of the kit I'm after so I may pay them a visit.

Thanks for taking the time to reply to what was a rather long post!




Happy to assist...

HD ready only.......that's a can of worms. IMO i think it depends on your viewing distance which, should, directly impact on your screen size choice. After seeing a mates 50" back projected screen my wife was eager to get the same size. After actually realising how far away we'd be from our TV and actually viewing some plasmas and LCD's we decided that 42" was enough.
I think that Pioneer are only making their full 1080P screens at 50" or more because they have come to the conclusion that it doesn't make a huge difference to a 42" but it is beneficial to 50" and above. I am in agreement. Many may argue. I went for the pioneer because it was the best screen we could get and also wanted 5-10 years from it. It's got some great features and tech.

Get a rough gauge on your budget and work from there. I've doubled mine in the last 3 weeks. Dangerous but exciting territory. Just listen to whatever you can and take a 2nd set of experienced ears, if possible.


You definitely need some face to face interaction. It's also nice to the kit in front of you.
Go to a good reputable shop with the wisdom you've picked up on this and other forums. Don't be taken for a mug and accept what they say, they are sales staff. It's probably worth a few extra quid to purchase from a shop but do ask for package discounts and any freebies like cables.

Richer Sounds will stock some of your list but i think they are lacking in the speaker department. Check out other local dealers and see what they do as most have a viewing / listening room.

I'd be interested to know how you get on.


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