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Weekend Roundtable: 2013 Home Theater Wishes

As we close out 2012, it’s time to make our wishes for the home theater plans, releases and developments that we hope to see in the coming year. I’ll leave this week’s topic fairly open-ended. Perhaps you look forward to a new Blu-ray release. Perhaps you’d like to upgrade some of your HT gear. Perhaps you’ve got your fingers crossed for the invention of a new product that will solve some need you have. Whatever you want 2013 to bring, tell us in today’s Roundtable.

Daniel Hirshleifer

I’ve recently revamped much of my home theater, including a 3D TV, new Blu-ray player and new receiver. To go along with all of that, I’d love to upgrade my surround sound with cabinet speakers and a more beefed-up subwoofer. However, such items are pricey and might not be practical with my apartment lifestyle. I may have to be content with an already good set of compact speakers.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

I love my TV more than I love most of my blood relatives. Even though that 60″ Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-151FD is several years old now, there’s not a display on the market that can touch it. The frustrating thing for me is that I’m ready to step up to a 65″ or 70″, but I don’t want to sacrifice the quality of my 9G Kuro for a few more inches of screen size. My biggest home theater wish for 2013 is that other manufacturers will finish playing catch-up, so that I can finally scratch my itch to upgrade. That, or maybe I’ll wish for a house that better lends itself to a front projector!

Luke Hickman

I’m pretty content with both my home theater and my collection right now. My theater space is wide and skinny, so a massive television would be too big for the space, but I wouldn’t mind a little size and capability enhancement. I haven’t started doing any research yet, but I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to upgrade to a 50″ 3D set. Other than in-store demos, I haven’t seen much in the way of active-shutter 3D. Passive 3D has looked fantastic thus far, but before making the investment for myself, I’ll have to spend more time getting to know the other type.

I could also give you a long list of titles that I’d like to see make the transition to Blu-ray (‘Vanilla Sky’ and ‘Garden State’ being at the top), but I don’t want to get carried away with dream talk.

M. Enois Duarte

My home theater wishes for next year are pretty much the same as my Christmas wish list. Other than finishing the surround system with a pair of B&W DS3s (the most likely to happen soon) or adding another Hsu sub (the least likely to happen), I keep contemplating changing the entire system to separates. Part of this temptation is the idea of going to an 11.2 system, and I’d want to ensure that I have enough juice going into each speaker. As a Marantz fan, I’m attracted to the AV8801 coupled with the MM8077, and a pair of small stereo amps for the rest. On the other hand, I can simplify things by just going with the Denon AVR-4520CI, which essentially does the same thing in one package. It’s something to think about, but I’m in no real rush at the moment.

Shannon Nutt

I’d love to see the legal issues get worked out and finally have a Blu-ray (or even a DVD) release of the 1960s ‘Batman’ TV series. However, there are so many entanglements that would need to be addressed, this is something that probably will never happen, let alone happen in 2013. Therefore, I’ll settle for the much-rumored Blu-ray upgrade and release of ‘The X-Files’. It’s one of the best science fiction shows ever made for TV, and certainly worthy of remastering in high-def. Will it happen? “I want to believe!”

Brian Hoss

I can’t wait for ‘Grand Theft Auto V’. With respect to 2012′s ‘Max Payne 3′ and 2011′s ‘L.A. Noire’, it has been too long since the stunning Western love letter that was ‘Red Dead Redemption’, and even more distant lies ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’. Nothing realizes a home theater like the best AAA videogame titles, and few compare with the ‘GTA’ series for detail, scope or grandiosity. By the summer, millions of players will become immersed in Rockstar’s latest, and hopefully, greatest.

Mike Attebery

I live in a narrow, townhome style condo. It’s in a building, but once you’re inside, it has the look and feel of a townhouse. The plus side of this is that while our home is small, it gives us two floors, so I can watch movies when my wife and daughter are asleep. Also, since the living room is only ten feet wide, I don’t need to have a huge TV to feel like I have a good sized TV.

However, my TV is starting to irritate me when I watch movies. The screen has some issues, and while it works great with bright images and broadcast TV, I’m finding myself longing for a pull-down screen and a short-throw 1080p projector. Since my Blu-ray player has two HDMI outputs, I think a screen, $1,000 projector, and a nice long Amazon Basics HDMI cable would be just the ticket for movie time. Anyway, that’s my wish. (Feel free to buy some copies of ‘Bloody Pulp‘ if you want to help that wish become a reality.)

Josh Zyber

As I’ve mentioned in other recent posts, I’m in the process of building a proper home theater from scratch in my new house. Right now, all of my budget is dedicated to getting the room itself into a usable condition. For a while, I’ll have to make do with simply bringing in all of my existing HT equipment. Unfortunately, I’m fairly certain that my speakers, and absolutely certain that my subwoofer, aren’t up for the task of filling the much larger space. Once I’ve recovered a little from the construction expenses, I’ll have to put some money toward hardware upgrades. A new receiver and/or amp will probably be required as well.

Oh, and it’s time for a new smartphone while I’m at it. I’ve had my current model for at least three years, and it’s getting to be a little long in the tooth.

What are you looking forward to in 2013? Tell us in the Comments.

The blog will be closed on Monday and Tuesday for another long holiday weekend. We’ll see you back here on Wednesday. Have a happy New Year!

21 comments

  1. Drew

    Adam,

    You’re dead wrong. I, too, was an owner of a Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-151FD. I can tell you, first hand, that the Panasonic VT50 outperforms it in every regard, with the exception of black level. And it you’re not viewing them side-by-side, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in their black level performance. The VT50′s black level is that superb. Moreover, the VT50 is brighter, exhibits vastly superior bright room/high ambient light condition performance, has better color accuracy and saturation, has better video processing, and is 3D, to boot. If you’re ready to go up in size, buy a VT50, now, while they are priced lower than they ever have been. All signs point to Panasonic releasing a flagship that is manufactured with many of the corners cut, and is of cheaper and flimsier build quality, in 2013. The VT50 appears as if it will be the last truly great plasma.

    Take it from someone that has owned both. The VT50 is at least the Kuro’s equal, in any estimation, and is actually superior, in most. If you don’t want to shell out $15,000+ for one of the first generation OLED televisions, or wait five years-plus for the price to drop, and the quality to increase, now is the perfect time to upgrade, yes upgrade, to a VT50.

    • The VT50 is near-Kuro but still not better than the Kuro other thani in the features aspects. The upcoming ZT series, however, is the only worthy Kuro contender.

  2. Drew

    My wish list is pretty simple. I want some new B&W surrounds, and I want the following movies released on blu-ray: ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Munich’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Bring it On’, and ‘She’s the Man’.

    I upgraded much of my equipment in both my primary HT and great room that moonlights as a secondary HT, in 2012. So, I’m happy with my projector, screen, television, blu-ray players, amps/receivers, and most of my speakers. I just want those new B&W surrounds, and missing titles to come out, and I’ll be quite happy. (Until the next big must-have piece of gear comes out, or I feel the itch to tweak, modify, toy with, or upgrade something else, that is).

  3. Well, I recently moved, and my HT space is much smaller than what it was before, which is actually a good thing, as all of my equipment is suddenly more than enough for my space. While I have a 42″ set, as I am sitting 4 feet from it, it is plenty big, and my reciever and speakers are plenty to fill the area.

    I guess my big wishes are a new video card for the PC, along with a better processor and bigger Harddrive. My current video card was fine until I got the 3DTV, and I burned my 8 core processor up a few months ago, and only had the funds available at the time to replace it with a single-core. And I have a 750gig harddrive that is on its last legs, and am seriously hurting for space (especially since I just got a cable card TV Tunner for my PC to use it as a DVR), so a 3TB HD is in my future (probably before the new processor. In fact, I probably should have go the new drive instead of the tv tuner, but that is water under the bridge right now).

    Now this is going to sound crazy, but when I moved, I sold one of my HDTVs, as my roommate offered me more for it than I could have bought a replacement for. His reasoning was that it was already hooked up in his living room, and he knew he liked it, so I was saving him the trouble of having to go out and buy one. So that went toward paying deposits on the new place. Now that I have moved, I am kinda glad I DON’T have a big 42″ in the bedroom – it would be just way too freakin huge for that bedroom. So, this is the crazy part, I am looking at hitting Craig’s List and getting a 21″-27″ CRT to put in there. Yep, I am going to a SD TV in the bedroom.

    I also hope to get my VCR and Laserdisc player back – I asked some friends to repair them back in like January, and they still have them.

    As far as Blu-Ray releases, looking forward to Willow! Also hopign that CBS will bring Seasons 3 and 4 of TNG back in house, and not give us another release like the crap we got with Season 2.

    I would also love to see Blu-Rays of Enterprise, DS9 and Voyager, but as Enterprise is already in HD on Netflix, and as they won’t have to remaster anything, the discs had better be under $50 a season, or they won’t get any money from me!

    I would also love to see the prices on some shows drop, or for them to at least break some set up by season. I want The Dick Van Dyke show very badly, but cannot justify $350.

    *Note: I see that Amazon has it on sale right now for $150! Shoot, if I hadn’t of just purchased the tuner card and spent $65 on Vudu, I would have ordered that! That is a great price!

    I can’t think of any more “must-have” catalouge releases on Blu-Ray. Most that I wanted have now been released. I guess a couple of my wishes would be stuff like “Flight of the Navigator” and a few other of Disney’s live-action movies from the 50s – 90s. “Mary Poppins”, “Summer Magic”, “Honey I Shrunk The Kids”, “The Parent Trap” are just a few I would like to see.

    I would love to see a drop in prices on Classical music discs. $35 a pop, on Amazon, is outragious. My collection of classical discs are quite small, just simply because I do not want to pay those high prices. In fact, a few discs don’t even have video – they are audio only, and at the prices they charge, it is cheaper to get the piece on SACD.

  4. Drew

    Luke,

    You should either look into buying a cheap all region blu-ray player, on ebay, or buy a multi-region OPPO BDP-93. They sell for $500 or less now, with the region-free kit already installed, which is the same price as the new BDP-103. I’ll admit that the BDP-103 is a greatly superior player (I got one from OPPO, prior to the release of it to the public, as part of OPPO’s early release customer loyalty program), but you would invest a lot more money to get a BDP-103, and eventually make it region-free, and the 93 is still so good, that it is the last blu-ray player you would ever need (I kept mine, merely for it’s multi-region capabilities).

    Anyway, if you pick up a multi-region player, you will be able to satisfy most of your blu-ray needs, without waiting for titles to be released domestically. I’ve owned ‘Garden State’, for about two years. On top of that, many European blu-rays are significantly cheaper than their American counterparts, and get released long before the state-side release date.

    Multi-region players are essential to the needs of any self-respecting Home Theater nerd. :)

    • hurin

      The Oppo BDP-103 is the most interesting piece of Home Theater equipment we have seen this year. A player that has a HDMI input and also works as a preprocessor. I suspect Oppo’s future aim is to offer a complete Home Theater solution.

  5. Drew

    Adam,

    A few more things to consider, in regards to upgrading to the VT50:

    Aesthetics, aesthetics, aesthetics! The VT50 gives you a frameless design with a single sheet of glass, and a 1″ deep housing. It’s absolutely gorgeous! The 65″ VT50 has a smaller footprint than the 60″ Kuro. Not only will you be gaining 5 inches in screen real estate — which is a much bigger difference than you would imagine — you’ll be getting something akin to a work of art to replace a bulky, frumpy, thick, and almost too deep to even call it a flat-panel in 2012, behemoth. If you want to gain screen property, and you care about enhancing the look of your HT, I think you’ll be very happy with the VT50.

  6. JM

    2013 I want a PS4 + 4K blu-ray, reveal at CES or E3, in stores Nov 15.

    A cinema-quality LED projector, or an 84″ 4K OLED.

    A 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display, powered by Haswell.

    And ‘Bad Boys II’ on blu-ray.

  7. Very true as one said I too love my HT more than I love most of my blood relatives. I always opt for newer bluray titles particularly action movies because according to me the older blurays have decent video but audio is a question mark. I have a decent HT set up in my bedroom with all latest gear like Panasonic 7000 3d projector with 120″ screen Oppo 103 3d bluray player (recently acquired)Pioneer lx85 amp. with 11.2 config. speakers 2 nos Paradigm Ultracube sub woofers etc. & purchasing regularly 3d & normal blurays (resident evil retribution 3d,looper, total recall) I am more than happy with my set up since i upgrade regularly.

  8. Scott Hunvald

    I am happy with my entertainment setup for now, as I live in an apartment and i have only had my setup for 3 1/2 years now and it’s still great. My 2013 blu-ray wishes are, iron giant, aladdin and, true lies to come out. What’s taking so long Cameron.

  9. Drew

    I completely forgot my most important home theater wish for 2013. I really need a Dolby Atmos equipped receiver! That would be the best piece of HT gear I could get, in 2013, or any other year. I need blu-rays to start being authored with Atmos tracks, as well.

  10. Jay Alexander

    For HDMI to be a well-defined and implemented component with a rock-solid set of guidelines that promotes “simple” connectivity without interrupted handshakes or constant demands for equipment upgrades that rivals pc hardware.

    Can’t we all just get along with simple ideas such that overhead costs don’t push companies to cut corners on chip manufacturing whereby device A can’t talk to device B because the HDMI cable is more than 2 meters in length.

    • William Henley

      I had this isssue with some cheaper cables (cheap quality wise, not cheap as in price). I got a 3 meter HDMI cabler running from the PC to the reciever, and it works just fine (once again, had to go with a $15 cable over a $5 cable, I was having handshake issues before I changed out my cable). If you are going futher than that, HDMI amplifiers work just fine. But this is true for basically any cable – the longer the cable, the more the signal degrades. The reason it is most prevaliant on HDMI is because of the handshake issue. Get better cables, get an HDMI amplifier, or convert your signal to cat6 / dvi and that will take care of the issue. I’ve ran HDMI 100 feet, and an amplifier fixed the issues (although idealy you would probably want to have a repeater about every 10 meters).

    • Jason

      Try monoprice’s redmere HDMI cables. somewhat pricey but they work very well. I’m running a 50ft redmere to my projector and it’s been working flawlessly.

    • If you get decent quality HDMI cables, you won’t get handshake issues even at 50ft length. I’ve designed and installed more than 300 dedicated theatres with zero (yes, ZERO) HDMI issue.

  11. Pyronaut

    I’d like to see them update the Blu Ray spec to support HFR (48 or 60fps). Many of us already have 120Hz+ displays, so the display end should be able to handle it. Now we just need the player end to catch up.
    I’m guessing that would mean an increase in space for the encoding, but I wouldn’t mind having more than one disc to accommodate it.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Even if your TV refreshes at 120 HZ, it won’t accept input signals at anything other than 24 or 60 (and posssibly 50 if it’s compatible with PAL).

      • Pyronaut

        OK I’d be happy with 60 instead of then :).

        I’m not sure if that could mean that The Hobbit could be played back in HFR properly or not, but I imagine that the difference between 24 and 48 is much more noticeable than between 48 and 60 so perhaps some kind of frame repetition could be used to make it work.

  12. Armando

    My wisher a for a new 120″ Electrict Elite Screen and new BenQ W7000 3D projector. Screen coming as part of the reonovation and projector when all renovation bills are paid.