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Home Theaters

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by afgm, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. southernwalkres

    southernwalkres New Member

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    How about for someone with a budget of $1000. Does anyone have experience with a home audio set purchased from Best Buy, Sears, etc that they recommend? I'm talking about one of those 7-piece sets that includes the satellites, sub-woofer, and front speakers. Just looking to get some good quality surround sound in time for football season to start. Thanks.
     
  2. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    The AVS forum has a whole thread on this and they would be better to help you then here. There are is a lot of misinformation out there and this link to the avs is the best there is for sorting the bull no matter what you spend.
    http://www.avsforum.com

    Sad thing about homeowners as a group they are mostly not professionals in the homebuilding field yet many think their way is the only and best way. Go to any HOA meeting and many many times it becomes a nightmare. They know the best type of fence and colors for your home the way the new addition should look like and landscaping for everyone yet most of the time they are non professionals in the building business.

    A little story I was designing a home for a friend near hollywood but in LA after the Northridge earthquake. Their home was comdemned by the city engineers and by our engineers. No economical way to fix the home.

    This neighboorhood was in the infacy of setting guidelines for a new historical district. 4 homeowners with no experience or professional qualifcations set out to write these guidelines well my friends and client got caught up in a nightmare you would not believe.

    Finally the city of LA got involved a year and a half later because nothing would please these lay people of the newly formed historical committee no matter what we designed. Finally we were having a metting at city Hall called by the city of LA with TV cameras rolling and everything. It finally came down to these two housewives on the committee saying they didn't think my clients should have a new home better then theirs and just fix up the old home which was impossible.
    Hey I have nothing against housewives I am married to one. :D

    Everyone was stunned by that statement and a long story short my friends and clients have been living in their new home which blends beautifully into the community for awhile now. The making of the guidelines for the historical district were also taken over by professionals mandated by the city of Los Angeles.

    I am not trying to offend anyone here just trying to open a view from another side.




    Lee J. Buividas
     
  3. sasha_j

    sasha_j New Member

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    Interesting story Lee, but I'm at loss as to what this has to do, even tangentially, with Home Theaters, which as I understand it generally don't need HOA approval. Are you talking about pulling general construction permits from Loudoun County?
     
  4. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    Excellent point Sasha. I will start a new thread on building permits in the appropriate place.

    Thasnks
     
  5. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    Lee,

    Great insight thank you.

    I have been researching the 4805 as you suggested. The Optomo H31 jumps out as a significant competitor to this projector. Did you consider the H31 when you purchased your 4805?

    The H31 has a DVI capability. In general, how important is it to take advantage of DVI? Should I look for a receiver that supports DVI? As I am fairly certain the 4805 or the H31 is going to be my choice.



     
  6. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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  7. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    For speakers the following have jumped out at me. Some of this has come from influences from BestBuy Magnolia, Myer Emco, and AV Systems (Herndon independent)

    Boston Accoustics (ME and BB favorites)
    http://www.bostonacoustics.com/ds_products.asp?CategoryID=29
    http://www.bostonacoustics.com/ds_products.asp?CategoryID=30

    Speakercraft (BB)
    http://www.speakercraft.com/our_products/aim/aim_four.html

    JAMO (AV Systems)
    http://www.jamo.com/Default.asp?ID=1676

    I am looking at in-wall front speakers, in-ceiling center, in-wall side speakers, and in-ceiling rears. Mostly driven by the dynamics of my room.
     
  8. Jerry

    Jerry New Member

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    Never heard the Jamos, but I like both Speakercraft and Boston Acoustics at their respective price points.

    I've got two rooms full of Speakercraft in-wall speakers -- my family room has five MT6Ones with an 8.1BAS in-wall subwoofer (more like a midbass, actually). My basement home theater has Starlet 4s across the front with MT6Ones on the side and CR6Ones in the ceiling rear plus two Bass X-10 subwoofers.

    Initially, my reasons for choosing Speakercraft were mostly financial due to being able to obtain them at dealer cost. That bias not withstanding, I think Speakercraft makes excellent speakers at many different price levels even at full retail. SACD and DVD Audio on my basement setup makes me grin everytime I listen to it. Movies on both systems are very enjoyable and I was very content listening to the MT6One setup for over a year before adding my basement theater.

    In my opinion, the key with any in-wall speaker is having one with an enclosed backing. Some companies, like Triad and JMLab, only do enclosed in-walls. Others, like Speakercraft and B&W, have an option for adding some sort of enclosure. Seems to help with the "thinness" and lack of dynamics that most lower-end in-walls seem to have.
     
  9. brim

    brim Member

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    As far as in-walls, I have used the Niles HD (HD-CTR, HD-LRS) range before and they sound fantastic.
     
  10. sasha_j

    sasha_j New Member

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    My only comment on in-wall speakers is this. Don't put them into any wall that serves as your home's exterior. You might regret it later this winter.
     
  11. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    afgm I picked the 4805 first was the response on the avs forum and a friend of mine in the home theater business said for the price it is excellent and for me I should be happy.

    My front row is about 12' from the screen to eye (actually painted wall :D) supposed to be a little close yet nobody has complained and me personally I love the picture from that row though I usually sit in the second row dead center the sweet spot for sound and picture about 18' from eye to screen hey it is my theater so I will sit in the best spot [}:)] in reality I only seem to get that seat when I watching alone :D

    the picture size is about 114" diagonal 8'-4" wide 4'-8" high no problems with rainbows or screen door another rule never never tell anyone what those are unless you hate them and want them to leave [}:)]

    the h31 is also an excellent projector but I went with my friends recomendation which was price and the avs forum.

    I figured at that price if I did not like I would buy another and put this in the bedroom. the 4805 needs a light controled room perferably totally dark for best picture although not bad with a few dim lights on, as you will find with most projectors even some of the more expensive ones.

    the 4805 can do dvi but needs an adaptor and there is a lot of that on the avs forum as well as the pro and cons of dvi for all projectors I use componet cables but I am set up for dvi if I want. Going to dvi when I hook up the home theater computer which is going to be soon that is a whole other discussion.

    4805 is not a hi def projector but does up convert to 1080 and when watching a hi def show the picture looks 3d and even the cable quys yesterday were blown away by the picture especially for the money.

    I will buy a hi def projector within the next year when the new models come out and have been out for awhile to see what the pros and cons are after they are in use for awhile.

    Like I said before I would of spent 10,000 just on the projector and I am extremely happy with this one and saved over 9,000 dollars.
    :D

    I installed everything myself and pre-wired before we drywalled and still had to cut some drywall to get the projector in the right place.
    Nothing hard or mysterious about cutting dryway and patching almost anyone can do it if careful. I do have friends who are professionals that can install this stuff but I enjoy doing it myself. :)

    I do plan to buy the oppo dvd player in the next few weeks right now I have many dvd players but the theater one is a toshiba sd 5980su soon to be replaced by the oppo.

    My tempory speakers are nht which are fairly a high end speakers which I have had for over ten years not much new in speaker technology over the years except for expensive gimmicks. bose????? not very highly rated by the avs forum members especially for the price boston accoustics are highly rated especially their higher end ones as many others.

    I am now planning to put in in-wall speakers soon 5 surrounds with front center left right powered sub-woofer maybe two centers and two subs not sure and I am still doing my homework on this. Very happy with my floor nht speakers they just don't look good.

    I am using a fairly high end marantz reciever only because I got an incredible deal on it, many good receivers out there or separates.

    I have tried the high end way over priced speaker wires and connectors and can't tell the diffenence from the good less expensive stuff as well as speaker wire personally I can't tell the difference between #12 speaker wire which I use or #16 which I also use in the same setup. monster cable is way over priced for what you get from good quality cheaper stuff. The key is Good Quality cheaper stuff. ;)

    Funny little story when I first turned on the projector my son and I sat there and were just blown away by the picture then my son says after 5 minutes "dad wouldn't this be better with sound????" :D

    as far as recommending someone for installing I would be careful with the best buys circuit citys and even the high end places like myer emco's again ask the people on the avs forum and I am sure they will have some great leads for this area. personally I am hesitant to recommend anyone even though I know several excellent installers yet even one of them was a slight problem for a friend of mine who played for the Redskins nothing major though. Actually the problem was in the hi tech system which connected all the tvs and surveillance cameras door bells and internet computers phone system together. way cool system and was not as expensive as you might think.

    Lee J. Buividas
     
  12. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

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    Another thing for setting up your home theater.

    Avia's Guide to home Theater setup disc


    excellent disk

    Lee J. Buividas

    BTW don't worry I will not be spending near as much on these forums in the near future just have taken some time off from my real world. :)
     
  13. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    sasha, what is bad about the outside wall.. Noise leaks or cold air coming in because of lack of insulation?
     
  14. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    Here is one quote I received, any thoughts?

    Optima H31, Front Projector EDTV 1 $1,300.00
    Bracket For the Projector 1 $150.00
    VU-Tec Lectric 1 RF, 92 inch Retractable RF Screen* 1 $1,000.00
    Denon AVR-1906, 7.1 AV Receiver 1 $500.00
    Denon DVD-1710, Progressive scan DVD Player 1 $150.00
    Jamo 660CS In-Wall Speaker/each 4 $100.00
    Jamo 6.521K4, In-Ceiling Angled Speaker/each 3 $250.00
    Powered Subwoofer, 10 inch Audio Source 1 $200.00 $200.00
    DVI cable 1 $90.00 $90.00
    Wired Remote Extender Kit, Russound 1 $250.00
    Pronto Philips Universal remote control** 1 $300.00

    Additional Equipment for the Bar Area
    Jamo 6.5CS In-Ceiling Speaker/each 2 $100.00
    Wireless Remote Extender for the Bar 1 $50.00
    Jamo Volume Control, AT101 1 $50.00

    Parts 1 $250.00
    Coax Cable, Speaker Wire, RCA Cable
    Junction Boxes, Component wire
    Labor
    Running wire for the speakers and projector,
    mounting the bracket and the projector, mounting the
    screen, installing the speakers)

    * The Tab-Tensioned would cost $800 more
    ** Programming would cost $150
    CUSTOMER HAS BEEN ADVISED TO PROVIDE ELECTRIC POWER FOR

    Subtotal $5,640.00
    THE PROJECTOR, SUBWOOFER AND THE EQUIPMENT. Tax $282.00
    ALL ABOVE INSTALLATION IS UNDER WARRANTY FOR Labor $900.00

    TOTAL $6,822.00
     
  15. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    that projector has really good reviews, but pretty low resolution -- I would get a 1280x720 DLP and you'll be happier for longer... and 720p HD won't have to be scaled down to 480p :)
     
  16. sasha_j

    sasha_j New Member

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    Not an acoustical problem, this is an insulation issue with most new construction production homes like we all have. Any in-wall speaker placed in an exterior wall will displace some insulation and compress the rest that it doesn't displace. The resulting install will tend to form a poor insulative barrier and will likely be the source of drafts and cold air transfer in the winter.

    Obviously, this is not an issue for basement installs, as those speakers go into framed openings INSIDE the home's foundation.
     
  17. Jerry

    Jerry New Member

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    My humble opinion -

    While you're paying MSRP on most of the products you're buying, I think the price being charged for labor is very competitive. If I'm reading this correct, the total install cost is $900 for installing 9 in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, fishing wire through finished walls, and installing a projector and screen? If they do good work then I think that a great price.

    One suggestion: if you're going to buy the Pronto TSU3000, why not ask them to sell you the RFX6000 RF extender? For 1/3 the cost of the Russound equipment, it'll do the same thing. It turns RF signals sent from the Pronto into IR and can blast IR signals to your entire rack of equipment, assuming all your audio/video is being originated from one rack. This way, you're not limited to pointing the remote at any particular place.

    How big is your room and is one 10" subwoofer enough? I suppose you could start with one and add a second if it's not enough.

    Opinions on the equipment are subjective (obviously) and options are probably limited by some sort of a budget, so all I can say is that if you've seen and heard those pieces and like what they can do then that is all that matters. If you haven't experienced everything first hand, then try to do so before committing to the package.

    I don't think $7,000 installed, in this area, is a bad deal for a 7.1 front projection theater + bar audio setup.
     
  18. sasha_j

    sasha_j New Member

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    I'm not familiar with that projector, but in general, I agree. I wouldn't buy any projector (or any large (50" or more) display for that matter) with less that 1280x720 resolution, (ie, 720P). If you're going to the trouble and expense of building a home theater, this is one area not to skimp on. IMO, if the price difference between 480P and 720P projection is a deal breaker for your project, you probably need to reconsider your ability to swing a home theater at all.

    My advice only applies to projectors. I have no problem with 480P plasmas if that's what you want....but that is a completely different animal.
     
  19. sasha_j

    sasha_j New Member

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    I have some besides the comment on the projector.

    I am wondering where the receiver, DVD player and other electronics will be placed? I hope not just sitting on a credenza somewhere with a jumble of wires slapped haphazardly behind the units. This will be a nightmare to maintain, service and upgrade in the future and it looks bad. Your toys need a proper home. You need a rack of some kind and provision for structured cabling and cable support. Ventillation may be an issue as well.

    No ATSC HDTV tuner/recorder/playback device? All you want is a DVD player? I can't see a theater without one IMO. Even if you don't watch a lot of TV, you'll probably want it for events like Superbowl, Oscars, Grammies, "big games", etc. NTSC video on a projector looks like crud.

    I would replace the motorized screen with a fixed matte screen and use the savings on HDTV. Is your contractor doing the 120V electrical for the screen? If not, this is another cost to budget for.
     
  20. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    First, thank you everyone for your in put.

    All components will be going into a closet, out of view. The subwoofer is going into a wall cavity, but will be sitting on the floor.

    As for HDTV. I am currently using the dish (non-HDTV). I am going to upgrade to HD Satellite. Still investigating Dish or DirectTV.

    I've got to go with the motorized screen due to room config. Screen is coming down, infront of double door that goes into a storage/work area.

     

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