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A very, very cheap upgrade

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Old 03-29-2013, 02:13 PM   #1  
fmw
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Default A very, very cheap upgrade

We have pretty nice 5.1 system in our family room. In the bedroom we have nice little 32" Panasonic LED. It is powered by cheap stereo receiver I took out of a closet, A direcTV H20 receiver and a $39.00 no brand DVD player. The speakers came out of the same storage closet and consist of a 1990's vintage Boston Acoustics Sub/Sat system. We normally watch TV there in bed. That cheap little system is about 4 or 5 years old.

The other day my wife asked me why we can't watch blu rays in the bedroom. I explained that our DVD player couldn't handle it. So get a player that can handle it, she said. The problem, I explained, is that the stereo receiver had no way of dealing with video and it had no digital connectivity. So get a receiver, she said.

So I did some searching to see how I could get by with the minimum of cost to upgrade the bedroom system so we can watch blu rays. The major problem is that the furniture that houses the system is limited in space. The reason I bought the cheap DVD player is that it is only 10 1/2" wide and fits next to the stereo receiver. A full width blu ray player wasn't going to fit.

I went to the American Express site to see if I had enough rewards points to get something for the upgrade. I was amazed at what I found. My total points were 63,000 which translates to about $400 worth of merchandise. I don't pay for the points. I get them for using the Amex card. I started with the receiver. I wanted the cheapest one I could find. Man they get really cheap.

I settled on the Pioneer VSX-522, a bottom-of-the-line 5.1 AVR with 80 watts per channel and 4 HDMI inputs as well as an output to the TV. My cost was 37,000 points or $200 and change in real merchandise value. It has two more HDMI ports than we need and 3.2 amplifier channels more than we need but what the heck.

Worried about finding a narrow blu ray player, I searched until I found the Samsung BD-E4500 player with WiFi. And the width? Tada. 10 1/2". The cost was a staggering 15,000 points or, roughly $80 to $90 worth of merchandise.

All that was left was some HDMI cables. A quick visit to the Monoprice site took care of that and added $16.83 to cost of the upgrade.

I was happy to be able to tell my wife that the total cost of upgrade was $16.83 since I paid nothing for the components. Her comment was "Gee, that sounds reasonable." Reasonable indeed. A very, very cheap upgrade. Now if we could only fit a center channel speaker into that piece of furniture. Hm.........

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Old 03-29-2013, 02:33 PM   #2  
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I wish I would have known - there are other companies that make very narrow blu-ray players as well. I would have recommended anything but a Samsung (they are known for problems) but since the cost was right , I hope it works out for you.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:42 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkkyler View Post
I wish I would have known - there are other companies that make very narrow blu-ray players as well. I would have recommended anything but a Samsung (they are known for problems) but since the cost was right , I hope it works out for you.
It was the only one I found on the Amex Rewards site. If it plays blu-rays then it is a success.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:53 PM   #4  
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Oh it will, just not for ong is the problem All kidding aside, since you cashed in accumulated points it will be fine. They (samsung) just have a horrible track record with blu-ray players regarding reliability/longevity and firmware updates. But just use it till it works no more
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:48 PM   #5  
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I have had great luck on ebay, picked up an Integra 85 watts @ $37.00, Then wrangled a real nice Denon for $80.00. The Denon's are hard to get. They lack hdmi ports but who needs it? You can get to gui's with composite or s video anyway. For my needs both are perfect, using an oppo 93 with ne mod output stage and the oppo has the marvel video chip.
Check for a good used center. I was aprehensive but they have the protection plan, and peopel are pretty good about descriptions not wanting a bad review.
All in all you made some smart moves with your cc points! 5.1 works great!
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:52 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkkyler View Post
Oh it will, just not for ong is the problem All kidding aside, since you cashed in accumulated points it will be fine. They (samsung) just have a horrible track record with blu-ray players regarding reliability/longevity and firmware updates. But just use it till it works no more
Saamsung is owned and ran by the South Korean govt. I wouldn't trust any warranty's with Kim Jong Un and his aggresive attitude.
If he starts up agian, it's bad for the product line.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:02 PM   #7  
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Samsung is a public corporation owned by its shareholders and managed by an executive committee appointed by those shareholders. Kim Jung Un is North Korea, not South Korea. South Korea is an ally of the the United States. We have troops stationed there. Take care.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:09 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkkyler View Post
Oh it will, just not for ong is the problem All kidding aside, since you cashed in accumulated points it will be fine. They (samsung) just have a horrible track record with blu-ray players regarding reliability/longevity and firmware updates. But just use it till it works no more
You never know. The $39 DVD player without a brand name has been running perfectly for 4 or 5 years. It runs so reliably I sort of hate to donate it to Goodwill. I guess I'll give them the 10 year old stereo receiver that also runs like a top. My Pioneer Elite VSX-92 cost me more than $1000 and the new bottom-of-the-line receiver I bought does almost the same things. I'm just astounded by what they can make for very reasonable prices.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:11 AM   #9  
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Samsung is a public corporation owned by its shareholders and managed by an executive committee appointed by those shareholders. Kim Jung Un is North Korea, not South Korea. South Korea is an ally of the the United States. We have troops stationed there. Take care.
That, means dick. I know Kim Jung is North K. And, I know they are 90% anti-american as the brianwashing starts at early age in schools. That my friend is frightening if you add nukes. He can (and the US knows it have the South down in a matter of minutes. If China the ally of Kim Jung was to get into it-good bye. The US fought a blood war in the 50's. I have no trust in this country. I am not anti american. But the world is in the hands of fools who have a finger on the button of death.
I trust neither, both sides are fools. I am a student of history. man never learns by his mistakes, The wars have only become worse.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:00 PM   #10  
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The little Samsung player is installed and working perfectly. Nice looking too. It is shiny black with no controls on the front. It is the first component I've ever had that can't be operated without a remote. Nevertheless, my Harmony One remote programmed itself uneventfully to use the unit and everything is running as it should. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it lasts for a while.
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