New to home cinema and need a little guidance!


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Aug 10, 2019
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I was badly flooded out in July and now have an opportunity to aquire a home cinema system.

The set I am considering is: Sony KDL-32D300 LCD, Sony STR-DA1200ES Receiver, Sony RDRHXD970B DVD-RW/HDD and KEF KHT1005 5.1 Speakers.

I am content with the system set up but am a little uncertain about the speakers. I have a budget for speakers of approx. £300 but they need to be small enough to be conspicuous in the corners of the room. I intend on installing ducting behind the new plasterwork with speaker plates ensuring that all cables are hidden.

Can anyone offer any advice on the above set up and in particular suggest alternative speaker systems?




Hello Tim. The electronics you're considering are all very capable, and if you're attracted to the notion of a same-brand, one-remote purchase, you'll be very happy with each item.

However, if you're after the best quality for your cash, we'd rate Panasonic's TX-32LXD700 LCD slightly higher than the Sony TV you cite, and we'd also suggest Onkyo's TX-SR605 receiver in preference to the STR-DA1200ES. In the latter case, it's because the Onkyo can handle new-generation surround audio formats like Dolby TrueHD, which the older Sony can't.

That said, you won't be able to access said formats with your Sony DVD recorder in any event - our recommendation is more of a future-proofing issue. After all, you might fancy a PS3 or similar in due course! As to speakers - yes, the KEFs are great. Do also consider Jamo's startling A102HCS5 package, yours for £250: it's slightly more exciting and energetic.



Thanks for the advice. The Jamo speakers look much more what I'm after and will certainly pass the 'wife' test!

Can you clarify what you mean by 'one remote' set up. When the TV, amp and recorder are all the same brand do they talk to one another and be controlled by one of the remotes?

On a separate issue can you recommend any supplier for speaker plates and surround system plates to thread all the cables into? I'm having a real hard time trying to find some.

My plan is to route all cables through conduit buried beneath the new plaster work linking it to speker plates. I'll then connect banana plugs to all speaker cables to ensure no loss in sound quality. Any thoughts?



Hi Tim. Yes, as you suggest, buying from the same brand means there's a fair chance you'll be able to operate most of your system's key functions from one handset. TVs and DVD recorders, in particular, tend to cohabit fairly well, particularly these days, thanks to an intelligent communication system called HDMI-CEC.

Different manufacturers brand it with their own product name - Panasonic calls it Viera Link, while Sony prefers to call it Bravia Theatre Sync. It all amounts to the same hill of beans in the end: improved usability and less remote clutter. However, it's up to you how much sway that should exert over your purchasing decisions: if it means too much of a sonic or picture-quality compromise for your cash, then don't forget a perfectly acceptabe learning remote handset from the likes of Logitech will only cost around £80.

As fo wiring and speaker plates - you need to visit the Armour Home Electronics website ( They distribute everything you need. Look out for their AVEQ brand, that'll do it. Finally, if you're planning to wire cables into the walls, consider investing in designs that meet the LSOH (Low Smoke, Zero Halogen) spec. Should you be unfortunate enough to experience a house fire, they give off less smoke and no toxins, as the name suggests. It's not mandatory for you install these cables to meet building regs, but it might be a useful point if you plan to sell your house in the future. It's also good to know just for piece of mind. Again, Armour can look after you with the necessary bits and bobs.


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