Re: Help me please!! What should I buy????
Ummm, excuse me jcck, but your logic doesn't really make sense here. First, how many people do you know that would be like "sure here's 4 speakers, take them."? Second, why make a half-hearted attmept at your audio system? It causes more stress, cost, hassle to put temporary junk components in your system. Third, why spend $250 on an upconverting DVD player when the technology is heading toward the like of Blu-ray & HD DVD? They way in which you are suggesting to piece together a system will result in extremely subpar performance.
While "limited budget" is a little vague, this is what I would suggest. Get an Onkyo TX-SR805 receiver ($999) or a little less expensive would be the Onkyo TX-SR605 ($499). Both have HDMI in/out, all video source conversion to HDMI output, Toslink, Digital Coaxial, up to 7.1 speaker setup, 2 or 3 zones for multi-room audio, HDMI 1.3a, Compatibility with Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD audio formats, and so much more.
Then get yourself some nice speakers. I would suggest some RBH speakers or Definitive Technology. Speakers are a matter of taste and room arangement. What do you want the speakers to look like? Do you like naturally brighter sound or deeper sound? Are you looking for in-walls? Do you want in-ceiling surround speakers? So many questions to ask your self. With your room dimensions, I would utilize a 5.1 setup. Proper setup of some good quality LCR speakers and fine-tuned subwoofer, will fill your room quite nicely. As for subwoofer, I would recommend Revel, Velodyne, Paradigm, and Definitive Technology.
As for 5.1 and 7.1 sound, take it from me. There is barely a handful of source material out there that is natively mixed in 7.1 (and it is on Blu-ray/HD DVD). There is about the same amount of source material that has pseudo 7.1 mixes. Just because something is Dolby TrueHD and is capable of having 7.1 channels of audio, does not mean that it does. 99% of the time it is just uncompressed Master tracks of a 5.1 mix. The only utilization you will get out of having a 7.1 setup is that Dolby ProLogic and Multi-channel selections on your receiver will output to all 7 speakers. However, all this accomplishes is blurring the spatial recognition between the rear channels. There will appear to be less movement from one side to the other as it extrapolates the movement across 2 more speakers in between the true Srround Left and Surround right speakers. I could go on and on about the topic, but trust me when I say that 7.1 has so many more cons that pros. Stick with 5.1. If you feel you need more warmth to your system, try some EQ or add a second subwoofer to make a 5.2 system.
Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.