Home Theatre newbie set up - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 44 Old 03-22-15, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Home Theatre newbie set up

Hello there!

I've recently undergone some remodelation at my living room and I think it is finally time to step up and start building a decent home theatre setup. However, I'm in need of some advice/guidance. We're not an audiophile family, but we're not comfortable just going to a random electronics store and buying something random they have sitting there. We'd like to get some fine quality with a bang for the buck, entry level-wise.

That said, we currently have a Sony KDL 46HX850 with the "stock" sound bar. We mostly watch 720/1080p movies and TV series, Netflix and so. I'm considering adquiring a Minix NEO Z64 to work as a "tv pc" and use XBMC. We stream some music from the PC, mostly pop/rock and jazz/bossa nova stuff.

I attached to this post a map of my room with dimensions in cm and a few photos. The remodelation works are not fully over yet, but I'd like to place the couch on the "left" (on the map) wall, and the TV on the "right", besides the door, on that TV stand there. I intentionally left a tube beneath the floor so I can pass cables from the right wall to the left, without having to hide them under mats and stuff The couch will be the one pictured too, and I'm guesstimating the viewing distance will be around 3 meters. TV could be bigger I know, but I'm happy to stick with this one for now.

Sound-wise, I know I'd like some 5.1 system, but I'm very new to DAC, digital signals, SPDIF, DTS, multi-channel passthrough and all those things. I'm really confused on all those, to be honest. I don't feel like investing in something just to find out I bought it all wrong. For one, looks like the Minix can't do the multi-channel passthrough, so I'm not sure how shall I arrange the connections between the TV/media player/sound-system-to-be. Can someone point me some directions on where can I go to, from here?

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post #2 of 44 Old 03-23-15, 01:02 PM
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Re: Home Theatre newbie set up

First, welcome to the Forum!

Hate to be the bearer of bad news to a new member, but the biggest challenge I see right off the bat is going to be speaker locations. There is virtually no room on either side of the TV cabinet for front speakers. A front corner is usually best for a subwoofer, but there isn’t one available. No good locations to the sides of the sofa for hanging rear speakers, and the soffit virtually nukes any chance for the rears being in-ceiling.

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post #3 of 44 Old 03-23-15, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Home Theatre newbie set up

Thanks for your honest answer Wayne

Looks like I'm in some trouble then. There's high potential for silly questions ahead, so I apologize in advance.

Let's start with the back: The wall where the couch stays has a little recess, which I plan on building a shelf, about the height of the couch. Would that be a good place for the rear speakers, or closer to the floor would be a better place?

Regarding the TV cabinet, the TV doesn't take all of its space, meaning there's room for a) placing at least one speaker on the cabinet (ugly?) and/or b) de-centering the TV cabinet in the wall, opening room for one speaker on the floor, besides the cabinet. As for the subwoofer, I don't see much options on top of my head :\

Equipment-wise, I started some digging. Found some good reviews on the Dayton Sub-800; Might be an option.
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post #4 of 44 Old 03-23-15, 04:04 PM
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Re: Home Theatre newbie set up

You spoke about meters - are you from the USA?

It is possible that you can wall mount some speakers

I would aim higher than the Dayton 800 sub.

What is the max budget for speakers and sub?

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Speakers - MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
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post #5 of 44 Old 03-23-15, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Home Theatre newbie set up

Hi zieglj

I'm in Europe, hence the meters thing

My budget is flexible, I can aim higher but that would mean stretching the project along time. I'd point to 800-1000 USD for now, but I might raise it a bit if worthy.
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post #6 of 44 Old 03-23-15, 06:32 PM
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Due to placement issues, your limited budget, and worry about wrapping your head around the technology; I'd suggest looking at a good soundbar like Sonos or for a slightly higher price the Panorama from Bowers and Wilkins.

If you were to extend your budget 2-3x a passive CLR soundbar like the definitive technology SSA-42/50 with a Denon X2100 and pro-monitor 800 and an entry level sub would be a knockout and wouldn't force the issue of speaker placement.

Out of curiosity is this a 1 or 2 story building/is there attic space above this room?
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post #7 of 44 Old 03-23-15, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Home Theatre newbie set up

Its an one-story apartment. Would the soubdbar solution replace all the speakers in a 5.1? How?
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post #8 of 44 Old 03-23-15, 10:04 PM
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Yes and no...
Soundbars very in quality from scarcely better than TV sound to giving mid-range surround sound systems a run for their money.

No soundbar will give you a surround sound experience as good as having 5.1+ speakers in the proper location (something most people with surround sound don't really do right anyway). If you have a local home theater (cinema) shop I suggest going in and giving a listen to what they have.

A passive soundbar is a compromise. It is powered by an AVR (audio/video receiver) and replaces the front 3 speakers. They don't take up as much space as 3 separate speakers but don't sound as good dollar for dollar/pound for pound as conventional speakers for the same price. That's not to say they can't sound good, just to say you pay a premium for a good one and because it's a bit of a niche component.
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post #9 of 44 Old 03-24-15, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Home Theatre newbie set up

I will check if some hifi stores have passiive soundbars up for testing. Im more keen on the proper-placed 5.1 though...
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post #10 of 44 Old 03-24-15, 09:28 AM
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Please post a picture of the space that is to the right of the door?
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