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Today’s Show:

Home Theater Stocking Stuffers

Belkin PureAV Home Theater Power Console $195
You have a lot invested in your home theater equipment. This device will keep it protected. And if you have noisy power it will improve your video and audio to boot!


Sewell Silverback Banana Plugs Dual Screw Lock – 12 Pair $30
Securely connect your speakers to your receiver or amplifier.


Power Strip Liberator Plus with Pass Through, 5-Pack $20
We all have powerstrips with unused plugs. The main reason is that you can’t fit more than a few wall warts without running out of space. These short extension cords “Liberate” all your outlets. And just incase you want even more capacity you can plug something into the pass through.


Logitech Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote $135
The Harmony One is still our favorite and at $135 it makes a great gift. Tell your spouse how giving you this gift is really a gift for the whole family!


Mediabridge Ultra Series – High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet 6 Feet Category 2 Certified – Supports 3D and Audio Return Channel $10
About the only thing this cable can’t do is plug itself in. It a high quality cable and it only costs $10. Buy a few to have on hand. Comes in other lengths as well.


NETGEAR Home Theater Internet Connection Kit $75
Just about any piece of AV gear you buy today requires a connection to the internet. Sure you can go wifi but wifi is not always reliable. Powerline networking has come a long way since the HT Guys first took a look at it back in 2006. The Netgear Home Theater Internet Connection kit can deliver up to 200Mbps through your existing power lines. We have tested these devices for years and find that while we have never gotten the advertised rate we did have plenty of speed for streaming video from Netflix or iTunes.


Home Theater in a Box Buying Guide

Each Holiday season we put together buying guides to help you make it a bit easier for you to make some decisions on what to spend your hard earned cash on. We kick the 2012 season with our Home Theater in a Box buying guide. To be honest and upfront with you, we are not big fans of HTIB systems because they typically compromise on everything. However, we understand that something is better than nothing and for those of you on a budget this is the best way to improve your experience without breaking the bank.

We will end the season with the two of us putting a complete system together for a budget to be determined later. If you aren’t in a hurry and you have a bit more money to spend you may want to wait for that show. The following recommendations can be found with relative ease at a big box retailer or through our links at Amazon.com. Without further ado, the 2012 Home Theater in a Box Buying Guide.


Sony BDV-E780W Blu-Ray Disc Player Home Entertainment System $550

We chose this model because it truly is a Home Theater in a Box. The system includes a 3D Blu-ray player, receiver/amplifier, iPod Dock, and streaming device all built into one sleek looking device. You can use your Android or iOS based smartphone as a remote that will make it easier to search for Youtube or Netflix content. The system has 1,000 watts of output and very sleek speakers.


  • 1000 Watts total power (165 Watts x 5 + 175 Watts)
  • 3D Blu-ray Disc Full HD 1080p playback
  • Multi-room Music with PartyStreaming: Wirelessly stream music throughout the home to compatible Sony Network speakers


Denon DHT-1513BA Theater System with Boston Acoustics Premium Speaker System $500

This system is a little bare bones but comes with a decent receiver and Boston Acoustics speakers. The receiver will support 3D through its four HDMI inputs. The 1513 is rated at 650 watts.


  • Fully discrete power amplifiers for all 5 channels (110 W x 5 ch, 6ohm 1kHz 0.7%).
  • 3D pass-through technology
  • 4 x HDMI in / 1 x HDMI out
  • Front Panel HDMI Input
  • Graphic User Interface


Yamaha YHT-797 5.1-Channel Network Home Theater System $700

This is our most expensive system but its the only one that supports AirPlay. It also supports 4K passthrough to help keep it a bit future proof. There is an Android and iOS controller app that should make set up a bit easier.


  • 5.1 with 115W per Channel
  • HD Audio format decoding: Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio; Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
  • Front panel USB Digital Connection for iPod and iPhone, plus YPAO sound optimization for automatic speaker setup
  • ECO mode operation for about 20%* less power consumption


Onkyo HT-S5400 7.1-Channel Home Theater System $365

Onkyo is known for providing value for the money. This system is yet another example. Its a 7.1 system and the lowest costing setup. For those of you with an iOS device the 5400 has a direct connection via the front panel.


  • 4 HDMI inputs and 1 output, with HDMI Support for 3D, Audio Return Channel, Deep Color, x.v.Color, LipSync, and more
  • Advanced Music Optimizer for compressed digital music files
  • On-Screen Display (OSD) via HDMI
  • Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DVD-Audio
  • 80 Watts per Channel at 8 Ohms, 20 Hz20 kHz, 0.7%, 2 Channels Driven, FTC


Download Episode #558

Posted by The HT Guys, November 23, 2012 8:11 AM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.