Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!) - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 12 Old 08-18-13, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!)

***Realized I don't have a way to capture .jpeg from PDF files...will have to update from work tomorrow!***

Hello everyone!

As backround, I am complete greenhorn when it comes to HT systems. I am getting ready to build my first house with the wife and have carved out a space for a new media set-up. To pass the WAF factor (wife acceptance factor), I had to make it a multi-use space and not call it a dedicated theatre room. As you can see from the attached PDF, I have a LOT of space but am completely clueless as to what is going to work the best in the space. It will measure about 29x20 feet.

I always thought that I would want a projector screen. This room is on the second floor and will have a bit of ambient lighting from the outside so I am not sure if that is going to be the best option. In terms of HOW I envision the space being used.......Saturday college game day, Sunday NFL, family movie nights, gaming as the kids get older. There is going to be a pool table as well as stand up shuffle board and Ping-Pong...and my bar.

So the slate is wide open! My budget is....negotiable. I would be comfortable spending $5000-$7500, the ceiling is 10k. If anyone has opinions or suggestions on projector vs. large LCD/LED please let me know. I am not brand brother has a Denon/Outlaw set up at his house which I really like but thats it!

While I know the room is not ideal for a true theatre, I would like to get a solid surround set up (likely in ceiling for the rears and sides). I am still in the design stage and can build risers, chases, false floors, ect....

I am also going to have a 50-60 inch screen downstairs in the living room for everyday/casual watching. The ceiling will be almost 25 ft. I am thinking my best choice for this space is a high quality soundbar with sub but if anyone has any idea for this space as well I would love to hear them!

***Okay, I updated the post with a photo. The room is 23ft by 16-6ft. Lets designate the top of the image North to make it easy. The structure in the NW corner of the room is a bar that will be about 6-6ft long. As you can see there will be 3 casement windows along the west wall. 4 along the east wall with a set of French Doors going out onto a balcony. I basically have the entire south wall to create anything I want (per the wife). The "cabinet" in the SW corner is a dedicated space for components. The ceiling will be 9 ft tall.

We eventually plan to put a pool table in the room (has been discussed with the contractor for weight support). Until the kids are older it will probably be a ping pong table and shuffle board table. Oh yea...updated budget to $10,000!

Thanks for everybody's ideas and suggestions so far. Danny, I am open to both floor as well as in-wall/ceiling. I am a fan of Polk....not sure if that is because that's all that has been available to me for the last 10 years or because of sound! I DO have a 4 year old and a new one on the way so bookshelf or in-wall/ceiling might be a better option...especially the sides and rears!

Looking forward to seeing if anyone else has any ideas!

UGH.....I can't figure out why the photo hosting won't work...Flickr issue? Sorry for having to follow the link!

Last edited by steamboatgeoff; 08-27-13 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Didnt have the image files to post!/Updated Photo!
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-19-13, 12:44 PM
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Re: Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!)

Research Research Research

$7500 is a nice budget. I don't have much experience with projectors/screens so I'm not sure which direction to point you in regarding that aspect. A nice 64" + plasma or LED would set you back anywhere from $2000-4000.

Speaker sound is very subjective. Do you want "traditional" speakers, towers or bookshelfs or are you looking at wall or in-ceiling mounted? I would probably pick out the speakers first and then find a receiver to power them along with a subwoofer or two.

Keep in mind to take reviews and forum and friend suggestions with a "grain of salt". Do your homework and by all means if you can, get out and listen for yourself.

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-20-13, 02:14 PM
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I have no experience with a projector /screen but if ambient lighting is uncontrollable a direct view TV is probably going to be the better option.
Kinda hard to get a really big picture for a reasonable price going that route though.
Budgets go quickly when building an entertainment center / HT.
Think about what's important to you. Is the video higher priority or do you want big sound to go with it.
If you have to cut back would you knock both audio and video down a notch to get as good as you can for the budget ..... or would you knock one down 2-3 notches to keep higher quality elsewhere?
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-28-13, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!)

Bump with photo link!
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-28-13, 11:04 PM
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Re: Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!)

Sound distributors
Use tv15 in the cart for 15% off, plenty of in ceiling speakers there too.
Add a Outlaw LFM 1 plus or Hsu VTF3 MK4 sub woofer.
Any brand AVR, your choice, around $700 would be more than enough.
Speakers around $3500 for 5 channels.
Subwoofer $700
AVR $800
That leaves around $5k for everything else.

Last edited by chashint; 08-28-13 at 11:25 PM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-30-13, 08:20 PM
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Re: Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!)

Today's family room projectors have little problem with some ambient light. We did not use our HT room much till we upgraded to a projector. I use an Epson 3010 which is not a current model paired with a 135 inch screen. I have no problems producing a good picture with the lights on. Todays models are even better. Some of the gamers prefer dlp projectors with shorter latency times. The kicker is you can implement a projector cheaper that a comparable lcd.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-31-13, 05:45 PM
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Re: Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!)

I would probably go the projector / screen route since you are planning on a TV in the other room. A screen / projector combo really has a big wow factor for movies and games. Also, is the 10k budget just for equipment? There are some room considerations to account for - treatment, sound isolation, etc...

You can always get blackout curtains to control the lighting.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-03-13, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!)

Thanks for all of the feedback so far! 10k was my budget for everything but I am more than willing to do things in stages as well! I am leaning more towards the projector with a 120+inch screen and trying to black things out as best as I can!
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-15-13, 02:10 AM
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Re: Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!)

If I were starting over I would still go with a projector. I have an Epson 3010 also but I would build a false wall to put the speakers behind an acoustic transparent screen. I built one with spandex for my brother and it turned out very good and also was cheap. He has a window 15ft behind the screen and it looks very good without any drapes. That would leave more room for audio.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-24-13, 01:09 PM
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Re: Help me build a system! (Newbie alert!)

There are DIY for screen builing on youtube that will show you where to get the parts and full assembly. Infocus is a good projector company that has been around for awhile.

You will probably need to spend closer to $1100 + for a good receiver(AVR) that has good clean power and all the connectivity you need. Also I would recomend that you get one that has a full set of pre-outs so you can add more power down the road without having to purchase a new pre-amp, receiver.

When you configure your front sound stage, Left/Right/Center, it is a good idea to go with the same brand, as different tweeters and crossover points can cause a different pitch and will effect the sound quality. The center speaker is the most important as it produces around 60-70% of the audio when in surround mode. So I would build around that.

If you have good space on your side walls, I would go with a Dipole surround directly across from the main seating area. Dipoles will provide a much better saturation of sound effects and can also open up the sweet spot some, where as a monopole speaker is much more directional. The Dipole would also be a great option for teh rear surrounds if you went with 7.1. Height placement is good from 4-7ft. If you do not have good wall space for the surrounds, then there are some great options for in-ceilings.

You should be able to stay under $5k for your full 5.1 speaker set up. Read the reviews and take your time. If done right you won't want to leave that room.
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