Prior to Christmas vacation of 2012, I spent a great deal of time (almost a year!) researching home theater systems with the hopes of having a set I was completely thrilled with installed and operational by December 20, 2010 Ė the beginning of schoolís holiday break. The whole system was perfectly in place by the 18th which gave me until January 3 to figure out how everything worked! I could not be happier with the entire setup, and I really have a few folks in particular to thank from two of the boards I frequently visited: Buylongterm, Robert Zohn, and Perpendicular (from AVS). Thanks so much, guys, for all of your helpful input. I scoured both boards and all the reviews I could make time to read before ordering everything.
Hereís what I wound up with: Panasonic TC-P58VT25 plasma mounted on an Omnimount ULPC-X, the Panasonic DMP-BDT 300 Blu-ray player, Denon AVR 991 driving 4 ORB Mod IIís, one Mod IV for center channel, and the ORB Uber 10 subwoofer (Itís a gut ripping beauty!) Went to Havertyís on Black Friday and found the perfect cabinet for all the components at a bonus discount courtesy of a scratch card promotion. It complements the rest of the roomís furnishings and conveniently houses everything. When Iím using the system, I leave the doors open for full ventilation with no loss of space or inconvenience. (See photos.)
I wanted a sound system that would be great for both home theater and music. What Iíve got here satisfies me completely. I canít think of a feature or quality that I wish I had thought to have included in the system. I had Zip install everything. They recommended and supplied the mount at a great price. They didnít know that itís not best to trust the Audyessy Auto setup for use with the ORBís, but ORB called me during the weekend and mentioned it to me. No harm had been done. I LOVE the sound which really has become even richer as the speakers have broken in. One of the first films we watched was True Lies. The harrier jets sounded as if they were in the room with me Ė awfully impressive! My CD collection is producing ďnewĒ music. Nothing distorts at any volume level Iíve dared to churn up.
The Direct TV DVR, the blu-ray player, and the AVR are all connected to my router. I use the dongle that came with the player for wireless connectivity, which has performed fine with Netflix streaming, and Iím only buying 1.5MB of speed. Occasionally Iíll connect the dongle to the TV to check for firmware updates. Everything else is hard wired to the router except my laptop which I connect with the ďDĒ connector to component in on the AVR. Itís beautiful. If you find me overly impressed, itís probably because the Pannyís predecessor was a 32Ē RCA tube set, and I was pretty happy with it except for the sound! I actually went out and bought a set of Bose Companions for it so I wouldnít have to struggle with dialogue listening to it!
I know there are other settings and capabilities that I have yet to master, but Iíve got the BD-Live stuff going, the Vierra Castís Netflix streaming and Pandora features playing perfectly. Couldnít be happier.
The one tip I can give, having had a bit of a problem with image retention from MSNBCís banner at the top of the screen is to make use of the zoom within aspect settings to get banners like that off of the screen.
The Panasonic combination was a no brainer from everything Iíd read, Could have waited for the new Oppo but didnít see the additional features and cost as worth it for me. The ORBís were the biggest surprise. Their site is really well done and informative. The sound is amazing!
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