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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Tommy's HT Room

Woohoo - first member to start a complete project here. To recap my intro:

Ok to start, I've been framing the basement for weeks, an hour or two per night. Finished basement will have a gym and HT room. I should have got some before pics but I'll get some soon now that I'm thinking about it.

First mistake I made was not calculating how many boards and trips to Home Depot the framing would take. I had an rough estimate but decided to go to HD and pick up like 30-40 2x4's at a time in my Explorer.

Let me say after about 8 trips so far and almost 1k down on wood, it would have been easier and cheaper to just buy it all at once from a lumber yard and have them deliver it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ok most of the walls are framed, I left big gaps for the doors though. Still gotta figure out how to frame them. Low ceiling into the HT (beam going across top of wall) room is going to be a problem.

Started the soffits with 2x4's (ladder type). So far I don't like it, it doesnt seem sturdy enough. 2 of the 3 soffits I have running the basement are going to be like 4 foot wide. I just don't picture the soffits having enough support. Not sure what I'm going to do.

Well that where I'm at with the framing work. Gonna pick up some more wood on my way home from work today. Got reserves tomorrow so that pretty much ruins the rest of my weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, I'm just sort of bloggin where I'm at up to this point. I'd luv for people to jump in with comments in advice though.

I've been reading all over the web and order a bunch of books and I'm still lost. I tracked down a offical HT type of store about an hour from us so we took a trip out the other week to get some ideas.

They had some rooms made up with all that pre-made acoustic **** and it was all nice and good till we started asking the pricing. The guy said the room would go for about 80k not including any of the actual equipment. And about another 10-15k with equipment. We didnt stay much longer.

I started ordering some HT stuff trying to get a jump on what I'll need. I wanted to order the audio equipment and get it here so I can find out what and how to wire it before enclosing the walls.
 

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Yes I want to use in-wall speakers (they look better) even though I've been flamed for mentioning it on some sites (not here). I just want decent sounding surround sound and not to disturb the rest of the house. Shoot, I'm still hard of hearing from Iraq anway. Seriously though, just looking to make it as nice as I can but not go nuts over the sound.

So not know what the **** to get I've basically just been googling and looking at others reviews. I've budgeted about 3 - 4 k for audio and components and know I want in-wall speakers.

I ordered the speakers now mainly just because I want to receive them just to see what type of connections they'll have so I can order whatever speaker wire I need to install in the walls. (Advice appriecated)

Anyway in-wall speakers, in my price range, and with good reviews I found a manufacturer called MTX. For the speakers I ordered:

MTX
8” 3-way - 2 Front Speakers HT8253W
6.5” 2-way -1 Front Center Speaker HT2625W
8” Sub Woofer in-wall HTS28W
8” 2-way surround 2 rear speakers HT825W
Bi-Pole speakers 2 Side Speakers HT520BDP

Came out to about 2k
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also I purchased a slim-rack 5 component shelve. Still waiting for that to come but already regreting it think how I'm still gonna have to frame for the thing anyway. I could have just maded the recessed shelving with no back and saved $500.

Another purchase has been my receiver. Ok before going any further let me say I dont know much about what the receiver is but to my understanding this will be that everything connects into, all the speakers, the dvd player, the cable box, and the TV.

Wanting to put near 1k towards it, I googled again and found the Marantz SR-7500 in that price range, with 7.1 surround sound, THX select and good reviews so I ordered that for about $800

Total so far blown: $4,500
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My HTR room will be 20' x 14' with 8' ceiling except for a soffit on the one side of the room which will be 1' lower.

I figured around a 60" HDTV flat screen. Yes another thing I've been getting flamed on. Yes I want a nice projector but the wife seems dead set against a projector and wants a flat screen (guess she thinks shes takin it with her if we divorce (I'd wreck it first)) haha

Maybe I'll run a pipe anyway in the ceiling to wire it in the future for a projector. I'll have access to the back of most of the room so running things later is an option.

Ok back to the plasma, I know I want something around 60" for the 20' long room. I'm confused as **** with the HDTV **** and ya think I havent been reading out the a$$ about it.

Anyway ya got HDTV, HDTV Tuner, HDTV Compatible, HDTV Ready etc... Ok I know enough that if you get the wrong one you still have to buy more stuff to make it work. But hey I thought thats why I just spent $800 on a receiver.

I'll try not to bring posts from other sites over anymore (hopefully this will be the only site I need for now on) and limit it to this quote. While asking for recommendations on a 60" flat screen someone commented:

You can either connect your video sources through your receiver then to your display or directly to your display. Either will work. Your Marantz doesn't appear to have HDMI connections so if you want/need to use HDMI that will have to connect directly to your display.

So now I'm a bit lost if I wasted money or not and what I still need to get and/or send back.
Comments appriecated.
 

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Tommy, you did not waste money on the Marantz reciever, I use them in my designs and they're a great product. If you choose to connect HDMI cables from a dvd player, cable/sat box, etc...you will have to go directly to your video source, whether that be projector or plasma. That Marantz model does have componenet video switching which allows you to run three sets of cables to the receiver and one out to your video display. Some receivers over HDMI switching and that is what the previous post was commenting on. Hope that helps.

E
 

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BTW...when you say flat screen are you talking plasma or DLP? DLP's in that size are MUCH more affordable than plasma's but they are not as thin and don't hang on the walls. IMHO I would HIGHLY recommmend front projection like you've heard others saying...you'll save money and it will give you a "more realism movie experience." If you have not seen a front projection system, I recommend you check one out!:T

E
 

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A few comments:

Re: Video Display
I second NorwegianDawg's comments on the TV issue. The only reason to go with the Plasma is if you can't use a projector and you want to wall mount the display. If it's possible to put the TV on a stand, the DLP option would be the way I'd go (IMO). It might not have the sex appeal of a plasma, but it'll cost less, last longer and give you a better picture. All of this is moot if wall mounting is what you really need/want though.

Also, I wasn't clear if there was something you were still confused about regarding the HDTV stuff.

Re: Receiver
That Marantz is a great piece of equipment. No worries there. The fact that it may or may not have HDMI switching capabability can be problematic, but there are always solutions. I have an older Denon unit -- no switching capability. Fortunately, my TV has 5 inputs to accomodate my various video sources; however, if/when I upgrade to the new DVD format, I'll have to get some other video switcher. Maybe something like this would work well.

Re: Pipe
I think the idea about running a pipe for future/potential cables is an EXCELLENT idea. In fact, I'd be doing that for all of the in-wall wiring you're going to be doing, just in case you have to later switch out the wires for something else anyway.

Re: Accoustic Treatments
IMO -- very important to improve the imaging/sound/etc of your system. And since you're in the building mode, they're really easy to make, and don't cost a ton of $$. Here are a couple of sites that show you how to build them.
DIY Panels
DIY Panels Also
This second link I think is more relevant -- newer information and it's more specific about the fiberglass to be used -- Owens Corning 703 is the standard, but there are many other manufacturers with the same specs. The trick always seems to be able to find the fiberglass -- it's not something you can generally just pick up at Home Depot.
Also, be warned, too much treatment will kill a room just as bad, or actually worse, than too little. You only need maybe 25% coverage. The spots I'd definitely hit would be the first reflections on the side walls and the first reflections off of the ceiling. If you're willing and able, I can expand on this.

Re: Room
That room is REALLY making me jealous.

Let me know if anything above wasn't clear and I'll do my best to clarify.

JCD
 

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I agree with E and JCD here... front projection is the bomb! You get so much more picture and for less money. E and I both have the Sanyo Z4.

I have a Toshiba 65" Widescreen RPTV as well, but it don't shake a stick at the Z4.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
NorwegianDawg said:
Tommy, I built my own HT from the ground up and I'm also a custom HT designer/installer...so I'll be happy to help you out! :D

You can check out what I did here: http://www.devotionsbyerik.com/E-Cinema.htm

E
Hey thanks to both of you and thanks for the offer to help, you may just wind up regretting it.

Ok, I'll keep the receiver and consult everyone here more before proceeding.

I will talk further with the wife about a projector system. My only reservations about that is that one it's only a 20' room and if the first row is only 10' (center) how big should the screen go.

Unless I'm calculating it wrong from what I'm reading I should be trying for something 45" to 60"

And second is width, the room with is 14' but I will have a soffit about 4' running off the side wall bringing the ceiling there down to 6'8.

Now I'm thinking in order to put a wider screen such as a projection screen it will now have to go partly under that soffit which may or may not be to low.

And to answer your question I was thinking a flat plasma hung on the wall. I'll try and get some pic's up asap of what I have to work with so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
How bout the MX speakers, good / bad choice?

I couldn't find what type of connections they had on the back and I'm not to sure of what to order as far as wire.

I've seen things saying I should find out the connection needed and order each wire to the exact size with the spade or banna connection already on it, is that correct?

Oh well, gonna go try and put up another small section of the soffit, then gotta get ready for reserves tomorrow.
 

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TommyW said:
Hey thanks to both of you and thanks for the offer to help, you may just wind up regretting it.
Naw.. people have helped me, seems only fair that one gives back.


Ok, I'll keep the receiver and consult everyone here more before proceeding.

I will talk further with the wife about a projector system. My only reservations about that is that one it's only a 20' room and if the first row is only 10' (center) how big should the screen go.
Has she seen one in person? She might change her mind if she does. I think they're far more unobtrusive (and therefore a higher WAF) than even a plasma. But that's just me. Oh, if you do go the projector route, best place I know for screens is Carada. Relatively inexpensive and (from what I've heard), great customer service.

Unless I'm calculating it wrong from what I'm reading I should be trying for something 45" to 60"
Try this viewing calculator. It's kind of my reference point for these questions.

And second is width, the room with is 14' but I will have a soffit about 4' running off the side wall bringing the ceiling there down to 6'8.

Now I'm thinking in order to put a wider screen such as a projection screen it will now have to go partly under that soffit which may or may not be to low.
I think I may have to see a picture to make any kind of comment related to that. I'm just a typical guy -- very visual :rolleyes:

And to answer your question I was thinking a flat plasma hung on the wall. I'll try and get some pic's up asap of what I have to work with so far.
Gotcha. Pics are good.

JCD
 

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TW, my theater is 12w x 18l x 8h. I have a 92" (40" x 80") Screen. My first row is about at 10'-6"/11' and it's just perfect. In fact, some go even bigger given that distance. The general rule of thumb is 1.5 or 1.8 x screen width. So given my theater, 1.5 x 80 = 120" / 12 = 10'! :D

The reason for that ratio is to avoid SDE or screen door effect. But I also run calculations for viewing angle etc...and IMHO any larger than 92" at 10' is too big. You don't want the effect of watching a tennis match cause the screen is too big. I dont' think you'll have a problem at all getting a screen even given your soffit issue.

E
 

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TommyW said:
How bout the MX speakers, good / bad choice?

I couldn't find what type of connections they had on the back and I'm not to sure of what to order as far as wire.

I've seen things saying I should find out the connection needed and order each wire to the exact size with the spade or banna connection already on it, is that correct?

Oh well, gonna go try and put up another small section of the soffit, then gotta get ready for reserves tomorrow.
I've never heard MX Speakers, so I can't comment on them. In the end, it just comes down to how you like them.

To find out what kind of connection to get, I'd probably contact MX directly. If the connection is like a "naked" speaker driver, there should be two different spades for connecting the speaker wires like the two in this picture:



They're not always color coded or even the same size, so you'd have to look on the back of the speaker to tell.

The alternative would be a binding post of some sort, like this:



These are pretty standard sized and versatile. If it is like this, any single banana plug would work. If you wanted a dual banana plug, then you'd need to know exaclty how far apart the posts are. I think there is a general standard, but I don't think it's universal.

Hope I'm helping more than confusing..

JCD
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yea there contact section on there site doesnt seem to like any of my .net or .mil email addresses and wouldnt let me send the question. Oh well the speakers are ordered and will probably be here within the next few days to see anyway.

But my real question is, do I have to order each wire already sized, cut and the connectors professionaly put on or is this the type of thing I can buy a spool and a tool and put the connectors on myself?
 

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Ok here are the pic's of the framing so far. This first pic is the right wall (right of the screen), Theres a beam a couple of poles I decided to hide in the wall so this was my starting point.

For this wall only, because of the poles and beam, I did to the 2x6 bottom & top plates with 2x4 staggared studs. The front of this wall will also hold the door to the room. Cutting it close since I have no play room with the above beam.

Also as soon as you would enter the room, 2 ducts will run parrell with this wall which I will have to soffit.

 

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Next pic is just the back wall. Theres a little space between the framing and the actual foundation wall so I can fish stuff by later if I need too. Also if you can see towards the left of the foundation wall behind the HT room will be closeted space under the stairway, so I do have about 3' space on the left of the wall to connect into that empty space.

Problems would be that above soffit has a height of about 6'8 and with a riser there would put that one spot at just under 6' clearance.

 
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