Advice needed on buying CD/DVD player & speakers

  Bootham 20:27 04 Aug 2017

Hi, I am a complete tech novice and have decided I need something to play CDs and DVDs on. The only tech I own is a MacBook Air, which I dislike and only use for watching stuff online (I have a work laptop which I use for anything serious). After years of trying to fathom good ways of listening to music and watching films online, I have come to the conclusion that I actually want CDs and DVDs (I thought about vinyl instead of CDs but the relative expense and scarcity has put me off). So - where do I start? I don't own a TV, so what do I watch DVDs on? Do I buy something that plays both DVDs and CDs, and get a monitor of some kind to watch them on? Do I watch them on my MacBook (hope not)? Do I need speakers? An amp? I have no idea! I don't have a huge budget but can afford to spend a few hundred to get it right, if that's what it takes. I want to rebuild my music collection - I listen to a mix of classical and then 1970s/80s stuff - Iggy Pop, punk, synths, all sorts. Films - I like scifi and independent and documentaries. I don't know where to start! Thanks for any advice you can give me.

  Menzie 22:25 04 Aug 2017

I think one of two options would be best:

  1. Connecting your MacBook to existing equipment. If you already have a TV and/or home theater a few adapters and cables is all you need to turn these into a display for movies and system for sound.

  2. A Home Theatre In a Box. These are made by various manufacturers including Philips, Sony, Panasonic and more. They contain a DVD/CD slot, built in amp and several speakers for surround sound. It will use your existing TV as a display and do the audio itself. The only downside is these devices are tuned for movies sound-wise so aren't the purest when it comes to audio.

  Bootham 22:39 04 Aug 2017

Thank you for your help. A theatre in a box sounds interesting - I'll look into that.

  Menzie 23:21 04 Aug 2017

I've provided a link to an example of one currently in retail below from Currys.

Best thing to do is find somewhere that has them on display, have a play using some of your CDs and see which sounds best to you.

click here

  Bootham 23:39 04 Aug 2017

Thank you! I had no idea such things existed - I think the last time I bought any kind of audio equipment was around 1990! I will check some out in store. Next step is buying a TV or some kind of monitor or screen, I guess - I don't suppose you have any recommendations? Thanks for your help

  Menzie 00:33 05 Aug 2017

Displays are difficult to recommend but for DVDs 1080p resolution is currently good. They have 4K TVs but few content is broadcast or available in general currently.

1080p otherwise known as Full HD is currently the most available.

LED seems to be the main selling type of display with Samsung, LG, and Sony being the top sellers. I personally have a Philips 40" Full HD TV myself.

A good viewing at the shop should help you decide as to what set is right for you.

  Bootham 00:45 05 Aug 2017

Thanks again, it's really kind of you to take the time to help me out.

  Menzie 02:03 05 Aug 2017

No problem, I hope you find the perfect combo of TV and home theater for your needs.

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