After a few weeks of thought and research, I zeroed on a home theater system and bought and installed it a week back. It is a Yamaha NS-P436 6.1 Channel Speaker system and a Yamaha HTR 5840 6.1 Home theater receiver. Just before a month, my knowledge of home theater system was very limited and now I know a little. I got this desire to buy one when I experienced the home theater sound at my friends place. He had the same Yamaha NS-P436 but a HTR 5740 receiver, slightly older model. Well, as usual i set out to search and read reviews on the internet for a good home theater system. With a constrained budget, I thought it would be wise for me to simply buy a Home theatre in a Box. There were a lot of 5.1 home theater systems but I wanted a 6.1. So the options were very limited in the Box side. The ones that were there were too big, which means i can’t carry it to India. Onkyo had a fine 7.1 model for $400 but it was too heavy, the whole set was 115 pounds. Even their simpler 6.1 model was heavy and the subwoofer was as big as a suitcase. I didn’t even consider Bose for the price (it started from $999!). So I decided to build my home theater by buying speakers and receivers separately. The final choice I made was what I started with, my friends configuration ! I didn’t get a HTR 5740 so I got the next level model HTR 5840. The speakers are neatly designed and compact enough to be carried back to India. The whole unit weighs a total of 45 pounds (about 20 Kg). It costed me a total of $450, and bought them off the internet.
Speakers : 2 Front Speakers – 100 W each. 1 Center main speaker – 100 W. 3 Surround rear speakers 100W each and a Powered Sub woofer – 100 W. Total output – 700 W.
Receiver – Has it all – Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic , Pro Logic II, NEO DTS … all of it! Plus several sound settings. The unit needs a little manual reading, but once you know the basics it is really easy to use ( atleast for all your basic needs). For a detailed spec, please check the Yamaha website.
The verdict, I have only one word – Fantastic. I probably haven’t experienced much home theatre before but this is really superb. I watched two great tamil movies over the weekend – Chandramukhi and Virumaandi. Chandramukhi rocked ! Superstar’s stunt effects were all over my house. The first intro scene was sensational and gave me a feeling of watching it in a theatre in Chennai (Devi theatre). The sound effects were awesome. The climax song – Ra Ra was amazing. While I was watching, I really got a doubt if I was disturbing my neighbour. So during one of the songs in the middle of the movie, I walked upstairs to the apartment above mine and spoke to them politely if I was disturbing them with my movie. Guess what! they heard nothing. I have to give full credits to my apartment design folks, the acoustics is just phenomenal which enabled a superb setting of the system. I also watched a movie on my Cable and since the Set top box had a digital audio out, I was able to watch the movie “The Bourne supremacy” in Dolby Digital. The sound was simply pristine and stunning.
So if you are out there searching for a Home theater with a good sound experience and easy on your pocket and want to carry it back to India, this would be a really good choice.
Caution: Prolonged exposure to high powered sound effects will cause damage to your hearing. I always keep it between -20 to -30 db, it is good enough and the overall sound experience simply depends on the acoustics of your room rather than the speaker volume.