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Buying Theater-in-Box...need help

Tonner Cyn

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I've heard that in general, the TiB idea is not considered to be all that good. However, for my situation I think it may work okay. We currently are in a decent size apartment. I have a 27" hdtv on its way to me, and I'm thinking of getting some new equipment to go with it. Here's what I currently have:


DVD: Toshiba SD-1200

Stereo: Technics SA-AX720 Receiver & Sh-AC300 Digital Sound Processor

Speakers: 2 Cerwin Vega D-7


I have no problems with the dvd player; in fact, it seems to be pretty well-reviewed. The sound, however, is another issue. The foam (rubber?) around to woofers of the speakers has deteriorated and fallen completely apart. Also, it is a common thing to have one channel drop out when watching a movie or listening to a cd.


Because of all this, I am considering buying a theater-in-box from Best Buy. There are two I am looking at:






The Samsung is slightly lower in terms of watts, and it's only 5.1. Those drawbacks don't bother me too much because the room isn't large. The Insignia would be, I think, a lesser brand and it does not support DTS. Still, it does have 6.1 sound. The Samsung is the more expensive item as well.


So, any thoughts on which to buy? Also, I'm pretty sure I'm using a digital coaxial cable to connect my current dvd to the stereo, but under these set-ups I wouldn't need any digital audio connections (for dvd playback at least), right?


Thanks in advance for your help!

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I'm not an advocate for TiB's but without listening to both setups, I'd say go with the Samsung for the DTS capability. There aren't that many titles that get the 6.1 treatment anyway. Plus with the samsung you get the usb connection allowing you to hook up any mp3 device.


Correct, if the dvd player is built into the receiver then obviously no digital connection (coaxial or optical) is need.

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IF you have the cash, the Onkyo HTiBs are generally considered one of the best bang/buck setups.


$249 @ Circuit City, $179 refurbished (sign up for club onkyo):





Cnet review




You might also look for a deal on the Onkyo HT-S780, generally considered one of the best HTiB setups over at AVSforum.




It's $399.


My buddy at work bought last year's Onkyo HTiB and loves it.


Other than that I've heard good things about the Pioneer ones as well.

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I have the Onkyo HT-R520 reciever which is part of the HT-S770 6.1 setup, and I can't say I've been disappointed with any aspect of it. I got the silver version, as the black was quite unattractive. The silver speakers, and reciever are quite attractive. The reciever is well made, provides me with component switching, several optical connections (3), and enough connections to integrate most everything in my home theater. The speakers provide me with a warm "full" sound that I like. I'm very pleased with the audio quality, as I was when I demo'd it at the store before purchasing it. Though it did require some adjustments with a sound level meter, and my Avia disc to get things where I liked them.


I was able to get the full system including the reciever, speakers, and sub for 349 bucks. The sales guy gave me 50 bucks off as it was the last unit left, and they had a 25% off sale going at the time.

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