Novice setting up system for Xbox, Sonos, Blueray, V+, the right choices?


New member
Aug 10, 2019
I am new to the whole home cinema set-up. I’ve been living with my excellent 32” Loewe CRT for several years now and it’s still going strong. I’ve always wanted to upgrade to a HD TV but we don’t watch many moves since our little girls arrived and there’s not much HD on Virgin’s V+.

So whilst we’re keeping the Loewe in the main living room for now for SD viewing, I’ve managed to grab myself a bit of space for some big boys stuff in amongst a houseful of barbies, pink beanbags, fairies, hairdryers, etc in the playroom. I’m finally getting a Xbox 360 for Christmas and I need something to watch it on. I’m going to be sitting around 3m away from the set and the space is just perfect for a 50” Pioneer PDP-LX5090 or KRP-500A (I’m waiting for the What HiFi comparison which is hopefully coming soon). I would also like to get a Blueray player in addition to an existing V+ box. I’m also planning to put various Sonos players around the house, so I need this to fit in with the system too. I don’t have much space around the TV for big speakers. I’m looking for a 2.1 set-up initially, although I may want to expand this later.

The system will be mainly for Xbox playing and Sonos music playing, with some Blueray/V+ movies.

Being a complete novice I popped into my local Sevenoaks Sound & Vision. The guys in this particular store are not the most approachable, treating my novice questions with disdain, however I’ve persevered and managed to drag a recommendation out of them:

TV: Pioneer PDP-LX5090 (£2000 to £2500)
AV amp: Pioneer VSX-LX51 (£800)
Blueray: Pioneer BDP-LX71 (£600)
Speakers: 2 x Monitor Audio R270HD (£600) plus Monitor Audio R360HD sub (£400)

I know the TV and Blueray player are 5-star and I’m happy with my choices there. However, I cannot find any reviews on the amp or speakers, perhaps they are too new. I’m quite keen to keep everything Pioneer so I don’t have to have different remotes all over the place, however I think the 3 HDMI inputs on the amp is a little lacking, I may want to add a PC later.

I’m also not sure if the amp/speaker combination is going to be good enough for music through the Sonos. Perhaps there are better choices? Maybe a Yamaha amp? I only have 17 cm either side of the TV for speakers so I don’t have much choice. But will I be disappointed?


I had a look at the review of the Yamaha DSP-AX863SE AV amp and whilst it looks good, I wasn't sure about having to manually select Pure Direct when playing music. Ease of use is important (wife friendly) and the simpler the system is to play music/xbox/blueray/v+ the better. Hence why going down the all Pioneer route seems attractive for the KUROLink functionality. But not if the VSX-LX51 is not up to the job. The more expensive Pioneer SC-LX71 (£1200) seems like complete overkill for my speaker set-up. Perhaps the VSX-LX51 is also overkill? Perhaps there are better small speakers I should be looking at?

Or maybe I should ditch the Pioneer 50" idea and go for a 46" TV like the What HiFi recommended Sony KDL-46W4500 and get some larger, more rounded speakers? Can this LCD really be nearly as good as the Pioneer plasma?


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