To go with my Panasonic TH-37PX70

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Just settled on a Panasonic TH-37PX70 for my first flat-screener. I am now looking for a sound add-on and a dvd player recorder. I really would welcome any suggestions or guildlines to aid my selection. For the sound I am looking at something quality that is not too 'intrusive' or which takes up a lot of space. For the DVD player/recorder, I want one that will be capable of 'upscaling' my dvds to HD. Although one friend says the TV itself will have a built-in upscaler and to add another in the chain may nbot be a good idea. My main use will be movies with some general TV watching. Apologies for the basic nature of these questions, but am new to all this. Thank you C
 

Clare Newsome

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There's a test of DVD recorder in our current, September issue - plenty of choice there, including upscaling models, depending on whether you want a hard-disk recorder or not. There's a Panasonic model that may be of particular interest, as it'll allow you to cut your remote-control count in two.

Re sound add-ons. The most simple, space-saving solution is a sound bar - which sits under your flatscreen performing pseudo-surround amp and speaker duties. Can't quite match proper surround sound, but an ideal flat TV companion if you can't face speakers around your room.

Yamaha's YSP range - particularly the YSP-1100 have impressed us.

Any more questions, please fire away.
 

Andy Clough

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Hi Charlotte

Sony make some of the best DVD recorders, and we've just tested the new RDR-HXD970 model (£375) in the Sept issue of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, which has just gone on sale. In fact we've done a whole Group Test of DVD/hard disk recorders, so you might find it useful to buy a copy! The new Panasonic recorders are good too.

Anyway, the Sony upscales all the way to 1080p, includes a 250GB hard disk, dual analogue and Freeview tuners and is good at playing DVDs, so that should fit the bill perfectly.

As for surround sound, there are a couple of solutions. If you want a compact, single unit to add 'pseudo' surround sound to the Sony DVD recorder, then it's worth considering the Yamaha YSP-1100 sound projector (£900). Basically this has multiple speakers and amplification built in to a single speaker unit that sits under your TV, and it bounces sound off the walls of the room to create surround effects.

It won't create true 5.1 surround sound, but it's very effective nonetheless.

If you want full 5.1, with proper rear speakers, then consider a budget multichannel amp such as the Denon AVR-1507 (£250) with some style speakers such as KEF's KHT1005 sub/sat package (£300). The Denon is about to be replaced with a new model, so there are some cracking deals to be had and some retailers are bundling the 1507 with the KEFs.

Ah, looks like Clare got there before me!
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Clare, Andy

...and thanks a lot for these replies. The sound bar look absolutely ideal and will check that out in the stores this coming weekend. Could solve all my space problems in one go!!

Re the DVD, i will get that issue are read up. My one concern is that the dvd-player upscaler might interfere with the screens own upscaling process. My friend says this might be a problem. Could that be the case. Would welcome some reassurance!!

Thank you again.

:)

Charlotte
 

D.J.KRIME

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Your friend is wrong as the upscaler in the dvd player will not interfere with the one built into the set it will simply upscale the image to 720p/1080i/180p (all of which the Panasonic can display but downscales 1080p to fit the screens resolution so I would use 720p as it is closest to the screens native resolution) at source meaning that the screen displays the recieved image as a native 720p/1080i/1080p meaning the screens internal scaler has little or no work to do generally giving better results picture wise as the scalers in a decent dvd player are often beter than those built into the screen.
I used to have a Pioneer Dv757Ai which had no upscaleing and even tho the picture was good on my HD ready Samsung 50"" when I upgraded to a Denon dvd 3930 and set the output to 720p the differnce in picture was staggering and far smother than the results using the screens built in scaler.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks very much D.J, that is very useful. This is really much appreciated! And, of course, exactly what i wanted to hear!

:)

Charlotte
 

D.J.KRIME

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No problem, Just rember not to scrimp on cables as quality cables are just as important as quality equipment. I would even go as far as ditching the power cables taht come with your plasma and dvd player and upgrading to something like the Merlin Tarantula as for about £50 each and believe me when you compare these to the freebee cables supplied there is a definate differnce in proformance.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks D.J, much appreciated. Yes, will be considering the cabling/extras when finalising system. Was more or less set yesterday morning and then 'accidentally' drifted into a Sony Centre....

...afterwards I had to go afor a lie down. :))

Still will tour some more shops, but the physical to the cyber and make a decision!

Thanks :)

C
 

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