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Workin' 4 Toys
11-01-2007, 11:49 AM
Build my Family room..........:D

Alright, I am going to be putting info together for the family room in general and mainly entertainment center.
TV, stereo, cabinet, shelving, cabinets(Entertainment center), furniture.
Let the suggestions fly.:D (While I DO appreciate the spare no expense suggestions:rolleyes: , I don't have Beau's & Doug's sized budgets, but let em fly anyway) I do have a pretty good idea what I want, but I know you folks have a vast amount of knowledge and suggestions. And if possible I can try to incorporate them.


(FWIW- If not everyone calls a "family room" a "family room". It's the largest room in MY house, most of the family and/or guests gather for entertaining, watching TV, music, talking, having a fire...etc...)

Monte
11-01-2007, 12:00 PM
Build my Family room..........:D

Alright, I am going to be putting info together for the family room in general and mainly entertainment center.
TV, stereo, cabinet, shelving, cabinets(Entertainment center), furniture.
Let the suggestions fly.:D (While I DO appreciate the spare no expense suggestions:rolleyes: , I don't have Beau's & Doug's sized budgets, but let em fly anyway) I do have a pretty good idea what I want, but I know you folks have a vast amount of knowledge and suggestions. And if possible I can try to incorporate them.


(FWIW- If not everyone calls a "family room" a "family room". It's the largest room in MY house, most of the family and/or guests gather for entertaining, watching TV, music, talking, having a fire...etc...)


I like the idea of having a cabinet maker come in and build a perminant "wall of entertainment":cool:

Workin' 4 Toys
11-01-2007, 12:07 PM
I like the idea of having a cabinet maker come in and build a perminant "wall of entertainment":cool:
In short...That's the plan.

RexDog1
11-01-2007, 12:07 PM
this may work for you????

i think i can do better i will work on it:rolleyes:

Workin' 4 Toys
11-01-2007, 12:09 PM
It must be me, but I see no TV, no stereo, no speakers in that picture. In other words, Useless waste of space..;)
But you are on the right track with suggestions..

bcampbe7
11-01-2007, 12:12 PM
Well if your budget is less than mine you may want to just head over to Walmart and see what they have on sale! :D


I have the Polk Audio RM6200 set-up. For such small speakers, these things pump out the sound! I love them and visitors are often surprised at the great sound that these speakers put out.

http://reviews.cnet.com/surround-speaker-systems/polk-audio-rm6200/4505-7868_7-6900409.html

I just sold my 53" big screen TV and will be getting a 42"-50" plasma or LCD sometime soon. Haven't decided which one I want though.

I just have a Sony 7.1 amp (not sure which model). It does everything that I need an amp to do. :)

phecksel
11-01-2007, 12:19 PM
Infinity Beta 50
Yamaha 2600 or 2700
Biggest LCD you can afford
Tivo Series 3
DVD player, you're on your own, LOL

Workin' 4 Toys
11-01-2007, 12:22 PM
Beau, I know better...8p

TV- Is there a "rule of thumb" on TV's on size? I have been to people places the TV was downright the ENTIRE room it seemed. I don't want that. But at the same time my 40" Mitsu. looks "lost" in the room. Hence the reason for the changeover. EVERYTHING MUST GO. I looked at a 60" Pioneer Elite and appears to be the range that may look good...but I am no expert, so I turn to you.
To give you an idea. It's a new place (with our last place's stuff). We have been going through the house room by room (Slowly) and using or improving what we had. But the Family room is next on the list and needs a total "package".

dmayer84
11-01-2007, 12:22 PM
Get one of these
http://www.sharpusa.com/products/FunctionPressReleaseSingle/0,1080,634-34,00.html

bcampbe7
11-01-2007, 12:28 PM
Beau, I know better...8p

TV- Is there a "rule of thumb" on TV's on size? I have been to people places the TV was downright the ENTIRE room it seemed. I don't want that. But at the same time my 40" Mitsu. looks "lost" in the room. Hence the reason for the changeover. EVERYTHING MUST GO. I looked at a 60" Pioneer Elite and appears to be the range that may look good...but I am no expert, so I turn to you.
To give you an idea. It's a new place (with our last place's stuff). We have been going through the house room by room (Slowly) and using or improving what we had. But the Family room is next on the list and needs a total "package".

I know what you mean by the TV taking up the whole room...

How far is the seating area away from the TV?
http://www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-5108580-2.html

Workin' 4 Toys
11-01-2007, 12:29 PM
Get one of these
http://www.sharpusa.com/products/FunctionPressReleaseSingle/0,1080,634-34,00.html
Now that is what I was talking about. It would look rediculous (not to mention we are back to Beau's budget). If I were to go that route, I'd get a projector (I am not doing that either)
I think the entertainment center (Cabinet) is going to be "roughly" 14' wide, and maybe 10' - 12' tall (if everything works out)

bcampbe7
11-01-2007, 12:31 PM
Now that is what I was talking about. It would look rediculous (not to mention we are back to Beau's budget). If I were to go that route, I'd get a projector (I am not doing that either)
I think the entertainment center (Cabinet) is going to be "roughly" 14' wide, and maybe 10' - 12' tall (if everything works out)


Oh and we're going to need pictures!




.

east tx skier
11-01-2007, 12:32 PM
If you're going to keep the mitsubishi (I'm assuming rear projection like ours), something like this will keep it from being an eyesore. After pricing it with cabinet makers, we just ended up building it ourselves. When that TV dies, we will probably go flat panel of 57" or larger and have to reorganize. For that reason, this is 3 separate pieces that can be broken down. The panel above the tv is a hinged piece with grill cloth. The center speaker and satellite receiver is behind it. We're also thinking about building a media room in the attic that adjoins this room, which would be major renovation. But we'll see if that actually materializes.

bcampbe7
11-01-2007, 12:34 PM
Look no further...
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8400624&type=product&id=1179877503499


.

Ric
11-01-2007, 12:37 PM
Now that is what I was talking about. It would look rediculous (not to mention we are back to Beau's budget). If I were to go that route, I'd get a projector (I am not doing that either)
I think the entertainment center (Cabinet) is going to be "roughly" 14' wide, and maybe 10' - 12' tall (if everything works out) hows the garage coming?

Workin' 4 Toys
11-01-2007, 12:38 PM
I know what you mean by the TV taking up the whole room...

How far is the seating area away from the TV?
http://www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-5108580-2.html
At this point, that is the question. It depends on the TV....:confused: And what we do for the entertainment "package". In this deal there will be new furniture too, and placement depends of that depends on the rest of the package.
As it is now, the couch and chairs are probably 15' from the TV with some less than that, however, the kitchen, dinette, and island is where most of the TV watching is done (currenty) which is just off the family room.
And the island is probably 25' ( a guess from where I sit) and the kitchen table is probably 20'.

Workin' 4 Toys
11-01-2007, 12:38 PM
Oh and we're going to need pictures!




.
Help me figure it out, and I'll see what I can do.8p

Workin' 4 Toys
11-01-2007, 12:41 PM
hows the garage coming?
Back to it very soon (I hope). I took a break to get some (ALOT) of outside stuff done. The shack out back is near completion, so I may be back on the inside very soon, and the garage is supposed to be in the scope (although I have been put on the back burner before, so let's hope).:cool:

Workin' 4 Toys
11-01-2007, 12:48 PM
If you're going to keep the mitsubishi (I'm assuming rear projection like ours), something like this will keep it from being an eyesore. After pricing it with cabinet makers, we just ended up building it ourselves. When that TV dies, we will probably go flat panel of 57" or larger and have to reorganize. For that reason, this is 3 separate pieces that can be broken down. The panel above the tv is a hinged piece with grill cloth. The center speaker and satellite receiver is behind it. We're also thinking about building a media room in the attic that adjoins this room, which would be major renovation. But we'll see if that actually materializes.
The 40" mitsu is a TUBE. I beleive the largest they made but I could be wrong, it has 4 handles built into it. It has been brought to my attention they stopped making them years ago because most of them were arriving at their destinations with the tubes blown out because of their size and weight. It takes 4 of us just to move it. Otherwise, its great and I have no complaints about the picture quality, (I am VERY easy to satisfy on picture quality, I don't watch TV enough to care really) I am even fine with the 42" projection I have in the basement. But for this room, it's probably going to be a flat panel of some kind. LCD, plasma, (Heck it could even be a new projection unless I get talked out of it, the prices are less than 1/2, but they are really deep) I still don't know. I have been thinking I want the cabinet to be as "thin" as possible. And I think most entertainment centers used to be built deep because of the TVs. Mine will be hand build so I can do anything I want. It could be 4" deep or 40" deep. Depending on the functionality of everything I guess.

east tx skier
11-01-2007, 01:26 PM
The 40" mitsu is a TUBE. I beleive the largest they made but I could be wrong, it has 4 handles built into it. It has been brought to my attention they stopped making them years ago because most of them were arriving at their destinations with the tubes blown out because of their size and weight. It takes 4 of us just to move it. Otherwise, its great and I have no complaints about the picture quality, (I am VERY easy to satisfy on picture quality, I don't watch TV enough to care really) I am even fine with the 42" projection I have in the basement. But for this room, it's probably going to be a flat panel of some kind. LCD, plasma, (Heck it could even be a new projection unless I get talked out of it, the prices are less than 1/2, but they are really deep) I still don't know. I have been thinking I want the cabinet to be as "thin" as possible. And I think most entertainment centers used to be built deep because of the TVs. Mine will be hand build so I can do anything I want. It could be 4" deep or 40" deep. Depending on the functionality of everything I guess.

Mine is a tube also and is 55". Agreed, great picture. But I don't know about getting another tube. Problem I've had is no HDMI input on my Mitsu. So, with HiDef and HD/Bluray, I had to get a converter with a code stripper to get it to upconvert on my analog rgb inputs.

When I do the next one, I'll go flat and hang it on the wall. Inset the shelves and cabinets enough to frame it. I still love that framed grill cloth to hid the speakers and components, but still allowing me to use my remotes through it. This is a dedicated tv room though.

In our family room, we held off on a tv for a long time on my wish that we have one room in the house without a tv in it. We finally got one and it had to be flat panel so we could hang it up out of the way. We've got an antique bench underneath it. The components are hidden beneath the bench. There's a hold drilled in the wall behind the bench with all the wires run inside the wall with another hole behind the lcd monitor.

With the little ones, I'd also vote for some bench seating that doubles as toy boxes. Woudl be useful for use to hide all the plastic crap when we have company.

M-Funf
11-01-2007, 01:34 PM
Even if the TV is thin, some of the other components will be up to 12" deep...so the cabinet won't be so thin.

Oh, and get some buttkickers :cool:

Slinkyredfoot
11-01-2007, 05:21 PM
This is a picture of the cherry entertainment center a good woodworking friend made for us 10 years ago. We used to have a large tube TV and last spring updated to Sharp HDTV. Since I was pretty much locked into the size of the TV that would fit in the opening, I could only get a 36" LCD HDTV.

The functionality of the center is great, drawers in the bottom store CD's, DVD's and anything you can think of with lots of room, with stereo componets on one side, and dish receiver, dvd player underneath the TV.

Make sure whatever you do, if you get an HDTV make sure it is plenty big enough for the size of your room. My TV's picture looks great, but I do loose some of the HD benefits because of it's size and how far away we do sit. Good luck

JimN
11-01-2007, 06:43 PM
Not enough inf to make precise recommendations.

What sources do you plan to use? DVD, Sat/Cable, VCR, iPod, HD/XM/AM-FM radio, iTunes via computer or use a music server, Phono?

How do you want to control everything? One comprehensive remote or a whole box full?

What do you want to watch- some of everything, mostly sports, game shows, reality TV, Oprah?

Sports needs a display that reacts well to action and a tube is best, technically, along with plasma. Sorry, to those who have LCD, but they don't react as fast. Some look really good, though. Sat/Cable are coming along with their tech upgrades, and it's better to make it possible to upgrade instead of not allowing for it. DirecTV is rolling out their Media Share, which makes it possible to have a connected house.

http://directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=P4310202

HD DVD is probably not going to win the war. Some of the Toshiba dual format units are selling for $199 on ebay. Blu-Ray won't work with anything but HDMI and now, it's changing to HDMI 1.3. Along with that, the industry is certifying the cables by length, instead of having a company send the shortest one they sell and have the certification apply to their whole line. 1.3 allows for 7.1 audio, higher bandwidth and better video quality. Plan on at least one network cable in the main bundle, to connect to your router. Receivers are now coning with ethernet connectivity for IP configuration and using a browser for setup and use.

For remotes, Universal Remote Control, RTI and Harmony are three of the biggest. UEI is the biggest and has the largest library of discreet codes but they aren't sold as widely at retail because the bulk of their business is OEM units. If you'll need to hide some of the equipment and you don't want to rely on IR control, RF is the way to go and all of these companies have models that use RF to control a system.

Do you want to have other zones for music or video? Some receivers are capable of sending A/V to 2 or 3 zones. Of you want more audio zones, an impedance matching device and local volume controls will be needed, and will need either only speaker wire or a Cat5e and 4 conductor speaker wire.

Look at:
www.denon.com When you look at the models, click on the 'View More Images'. Start by looking at the AVR-2808CI and go up or down from there.
www.universal-remote.com/product_detail.php?model=36
www.logitech.com/index.cfm/remotes/universal_remotes/devices/373&cl=us,en
www.rticorp.com/products/T3.html
www.jamo.com
www.dynaudio.com
www.furman.com

Don't forget about power conditioning. The grid is overtaxed, old and needs to be updated. This means that all of the microprocessor controlled equipment needs clean power, which the power lines can't provide. Ground currents cause all kinds of problems, like noise, hum, video distortions and shorter equipment life.

You need cabling that meets the specs of what the equipment will need and the sources demand. The thing you don't need is cabling and connectors from the company with the largest marketing budget or the most creative ways to describe sound. Get it?

east tx skier
11-01-2007, 07:07 PM
Jim, I seem to recall reading that BluRay would work over component, but it was subject to the whim of the studios with regard to whether to employ HDCP. The real issue for me thus far has been upconverting as a vast majority of my movie collection is, like most people's, SD-DVD. You can't upconvert without HDMI (unless you have a code stripper that converts to rgb, which was necessary for the mitsubishi pictured above).

HDMI 1.3 connections on the blu-ray payers is backwards compatible. That is, it'll work, but if you're doing the nifty audio stuff, that won't carry over. As far as 1080p goes, whatever preceeded 1.3 will carry that video signal. And for the tru hd sound or whatever, you'd need a receiver capable of that. As for video and 1420p or whatever, anything you get now within reason won't be higher native than 1080p, so a monitor with HDMI 1.3 isn't an absolute necessity (I think I may have misunderstood your statement having typed what I just typed, so feel free to correct me on this).

eyeball_jerry
11-01-2007, 08:17 PM
we build a theater, 110" silver hawk screen, TAW projector, THX Ultra Parasound amps processor and Snell speakers.

best investment ever.

KnoxX2
11-01-2007, 08:29 PM
In short...That's the plan.

I did one myselk this last summer for my mom and it came out good. Saved about $2000.00 by doing it myself:D

JimN
11-01-2007, 09:12 PM
Doug- right, if they didn't make it backward compatible, they'd be doing a serious Barney Fife on themselves. New receivers are scaling it up to 1080P now and most, if not all, of the Denons are in that group. However, 1080P will only come through HDMI on HD/Blu-Ray and AFAIK, you only get 720P via component which, if the display isn't over 42", won't matter. 1080i does go out over component, though. I sold a system this past spring and the customer came home from work on a Friday, when I had a golf tournament on an HD channel. He looked at it and said, "What the he!! is that????" He had never seen it so crisp and clear. I was there last Friday and was checking some things out and when I played the HD channels, it looked amazing. He got a Pioneer commercial plasma , which initially comes into the US as a computer monitor, so it doesn't have any consumer video inputs. It also has an installer setup menu and the manual for that is close to 300 pages. Almost none of the settings in that menu are available to the customer because the possibility exists of really screwing things up badly.

east tx skier
11-01-2007, 09:23 PM
My Mitsubishi is 1080i over component. By the time I finally picked up a BluRay disc, I'd adjusted my setup so I was outputting via HDMI, then to a HDCP stripper that output to component rgb. From that, I was getting 1080i through component. So BluRay worked, but the output was HDMI as far as the machine new. And the code stripper was handshaking with the PS3, so HDCP wasn't an issue.

No idea about 1080p though. None of my displays will do it, so I've got the PS3 set at 1080i when it's upstairs (55") and 768p downstairs 36".

TX.X-30 fan
11-01-2007, 09:31 PM
JimN all of the info is good stuff and if I were doing a system now I would consider all that you have said. Component wise all good stuff, I have all Dyna audio and for the price sound as good as much more expensive speakers, seem to perform well with all music and movie sound.

What you said about information is I guess a missing budget? With a budget you can match processors with amps with speakers ect.... I strongly recommend power management, not only conditioners but wall plugs and if the budget allows dedicated home runs from the main panel. This will eliminate most rf interference and provide maximum power for high current amps. The wall plugs should be hospital grade or better. PS audio sells the plugs I have.

Jim I have not read much lately about the hd war, why do you think sony has this one, seems they both stumbled badly out of the box. Hd provided 1081 & poor audio, blu-ray had crappy transfers and tried to sell the worst movies in the library first.

TX.X-30 fan
11-01-2007, 09:46 PM
My Mitsubishi is 1080i over component. By the time I finally picked up a BluRay disc, I'd adjusted my setup so I was outputting via HDMI, then to a HDCP stripper that output to component rgb. From that, I was getting 1080i through component. So BluRay worked, but the output was HDMI as far as the machine new. And the code stripper was handshaking with the PS3, so HDCP wasn't an issue.

No idea about 1080p though. None of my displays will do it, so I've got the PS3 set at 1080i when it's upstairs (55") and 720p downstairs 36".




Best signal to run through component cables is 720p, if your video sources native resolution is 720p. All this 1080i was bs, I will say there is an upgrade when viewing 1080p. Next place they want to take us is true HD 1920P, open your wallets and get ready!! At some point this will get better than the human eye can distinguish, I think we are close to that now?


Eastie, what is the normal tip for a code "stripper" :confused: :D

mitch
11-01-2007, 09:48 PM
Infinity Beta 50
Yamaha 2600 or 2700
Biggest LCD you can afford
Tivo Series 3
DVD player, you're on your own, LOL

Good ideas! HD-DVD for 100 bucks now at BB and wlmrt. Skip the fireplace/stove, takes up too much room. We just went thru this exercise on a 16x26 game room and so glad I did not put a fireplace in. :twocents:

Good luck and have fun

JimN
11-01-2007, 09:54 PM
Doug- the vast majority of source material is 480p, so 1080P or 1080i is purely a mathematical issue and unless someone is really close, it's usually not a big deal but the clarity can be seen on some material. If you can look at it and like what you see, that's really all that matters. You get used to something and unless something different is right there to compare to, it's a moot point.

east tx skier
11-01-2007, 09:55 PM
Best signal to run through component cables is 720p, if your video sources native resolution is 720p. All this 1080i was bs, I will say there is an upgrade when viewing 1080p. Next place they want to take us is true HD 1920P, open your wallets and get ready!! At some point this will get better than the human eye can distinguish, I think we are close to that now?


Eastie, what is the normal tip for a code "stripper" :confused: :D

Ha! You're acting as if I had a choice. On my Mits, it's either 480p or 1080i. No 720p there. I'd wager it looks better for movies than 720p, but no way for sports.

JimN
11-01-2007, 10:07 PM
Tx.X-30- Is the whole name Dyna or Dynaudio (made in Denmark)? There's a difference. Dynaudio speakers are pretty pricey and the top model is in the $90K range (I want to sell 6 pairs of that model, per year, for ten years). The ones in the system I mentioned are the Audience 52 (5" 2-way front), Audience 42W (4" 2-way wall mount rear) and Audience 42C (4"2-way center), with the Sub 250 (10" direct-fire, amplified). Best sounding small speaker system I have installed, to date. Beautiful cherry veneer cabinets and definitely the best sounding small direct fire sub I have heard.

1080i is actually 540p, interlaced. Still, it's a whole lot finer than 480i/p. As I said, unless the display is larger than 42", 720p is fine. Unless the test material is computer generated and not mass-produced, most consumer equipment will have a hard time with it, although I have a copy of a test that showed 2005 models of LCD and Plasma sets not making the grade in most cases and in '06, they generally did.

It costs less to buy the rights to the worst movies and I can't stand the industry "letting the market decide" on the format. Makes me crazy.

TX.X-30 fan
11-01-2007, 10:15 PM
Ha! You're acting as if I had a choice. On my Mits, it's either 480p or 1080i. No 720p there. I'd wager it looks better for movies than 720p, but no way for sports.



Easy there, sorry I missed your options!!

I have a Sim2 ht300 E-link projector with native 720p output. The screen is a Stewart Screen 92" FireHawk. Seating is 12-13' and the 720p from this unit is just short of amazing!! It has internal scaling that upconverts the dvd signal. When it gets an HD signal like the Masters it down converts to a beautiful picture.

All just pissin for distance in the end, Jim said it, if it looks good to you game over. :D

Leroy
11-01-2007, 10:24 PM
Must haves:
You have to get 1080P now. Don't write off LCD, they are making a lot of improvements. Mount on wall and recess the equipment.

Two channel PVR with >120G HDD

Nice amp.

Good speakers, front, rear and center.

Subwoofer

As many TV chairs as you can fit in.

DVD, I don't have an opinion yet. Directv/Dish/Cable, all the same for video. One will be better and then the other a year later.

tex
11-01-2007, 10:29 PM
Buy DLP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leroy
11-01-2007, 10:30 PM
How much are those bulbs Tex?

They do make a great picture!

Buy DLP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JimN
11-01-2007, 10:38 PM
"Directv/Dish/Cable, all the same for video"

You obviously haven't been to Milwaukee. Cable sucks here and they don't seem to care. I had cable and it was grainy, sounded dull and was too expensive for what it is. I switched to DirecTV and there's a huge difference in sound and video. I also like the XM channels more than what Time Warner has.

I went to a customer's house on Tuesday and the cable guy had been there a while ago to replace the receiver. He removed the IR emitter, left it off because he couldn't get it to stay in place after he added a composite video cable to the Hitachi plasma, removed the A/V cables from the VCR so the A/V out from the cable box would feed that, but left no way to get the signal back to the receiver. While he was at it, he disconnected the component video cables from the cable box and left them off, scratched the front edge of the black receiver, nicked the white cabinet face frame and when he ran the composite cable, he bypassed the grommets I had installed for running the cable through the cabinets and never used any wire ties to secure the cable to the mounting arm, so it just hung down. All of that because the woman said she wanted to be able to record shows that were on the DVR. All he needed to do is disconnect the A/V cable from the receiver's rec out and connect to the cable box line out.

TX.X-30 fan
11-01-2007, 10:44 PM
Tx.X-30- Is the whole name Dyna or Dynaudio (made in Denmark)? There's a difference. Dynaudio speakers are pretty pricey and the top model is in the $90K range (I want to sell 6 pairs of that model, per year, for ten years). The ones in the system I mentioned are the Audience 52 (5" 2-way front), Audience 42W (4" 2-way wall mount rear) and Audience 42C (4"2-way center), with the Sub 250 (10" direct-fire, amplified). Best sounding small speaker system I have installed, to date. Beautiful cherry veneer cabinets and definitely the best sounding small direct fire sub I have heard.

1080i is actually 540p, interlaced. Still, it's a whole lot finer than 480i/p. As I said, unless the display is larger than 42", 720p is fine. Unless the test material is computer generated and not mass-produced, most consumer equipment will have a hard time with it, although I have a copy of a test that showed 2005 models of LCD and Plasma sets not making the grade in most cases and in '06, they generally did.

It costs less to buy the rights to the worst movies and I can't stand the industry "letting the market decide" on the format. Makes me crazy.



The Audience 72's, main 2 center channels and the (4) ip24 in walls for the side and rear surrounds. Their in wall speakers sound great. The subs are velodyne ht series not sure which? I have had to re-screw in wall face plates a few times though. :D

What in your oppinion is the best HD format? I guess we agree the launch of the formats was unimpressive?


I would like to hear that set-up JimN.

JimN
11-01-2007, 11:22 PM
If you needed to tighten the screws, it sounds like you have the high pass set pretty low, which causes phase cancellations.

The launch was unimpressive because it didn't need to blow anyone's doors off. The hype that preceded it was enough for people to buy it anyway. Once "the market decides" on the format, I expect the real titles to come out of the woodwork.

As far as format, whatever looks great but personally, if they want the cable to do everything HDMI is supposed to, they should have built it like a DVI plug, where it is screwed in place so it can't fall out. I don't need audio going through my video cable, digital or not. I don't know of anyone in the business who really likes HDMI, either. "And when I say 'business', I do mean the industry".

That system is in a small den, about 10'x14'x9' but it really sounds good. The receiver runs that, the living room has a pair of KEF 107, a B&K AVP-1000 pre-amp (nothing special) and an Audio Research power amp. The kitchen and sun room have Audience 42, the dining room has an old pair of white M&K satellites, the foyer has a pair of little Audio Source speakers and the outdoor pair are Boston Acoustics- all running off of a McIntosh MC-350 amp through a Niles speaker switch/controller. I'm using the Denon's 2nd Zone source selector to trigger the 12VDC outputs, one turning on the switched recepticals on the Furman power conditioner (Audio Research amp) and another directly to the Mac amp. I have a set of buttons on that remote specifically for amp control- Mac ON, Mac OFF, Living Rm ON, Living Rm OFF, Both OFF and another separate remote for the den. Both remotes operate their systems independently, but the den remote can turn the rest of the house up/down and for operating the ReQuest music server, the House remote can turn the plasma on/off for viewing the on-screen server display and make selections, create playlists, etc. There is a pair of LEDs in the den for House System amp status, one red (Audio research) and green (Mac amp).

The music server and DVD feed both systems, the LD player is only for the den, the HD cable box is for the den and they have a std def cable box for cable music channels. In addition, he has a Mac tuner for the House System, which I refinished after it hit the floor in a burglary attempt. The music server is networked for updates, metadata retrieval, monitoring and operation from any computer with a media player, via router port-forwarding. It also has Net-Synch, for sending playlists to an iPod or computer with iTunes.

The Furman, Mac, cable boxes, B&K and receiver are in a Middle Atlantic rack with security door, in the basement. The Audio Research is next to that, because of size, heat dissipation requirements and the fact that it was added to the system after the rack was mounted. The rack has two fans mounted in the top, which turn on with the receiver. All other sources, which would need access for inserting discs or tapes, are in the den cabinet. We're still looking for the right turntable and cartridge.

The Monster Cable speaker wire for the living room is a joke. Big gray insulation and vinyl wire "pants" to make it look bigger than it is and when the pants come off, it has a 16 AWG stranded conductor and a 20 AWG secondary conductor "because highs and lows travel at different speeds". Over 25', the difference is minute and this stuff is about $10/ft.

phecksel
11-01-2007, 11:52 PM
"because highs and lows travel at different speeds". Over 25', the difference is minute and this stuff is about $10/ft.
I love reading stuff like this :) Over 500 light years distance, maybe 92 seconds difference LOL

phecksel
11-01-2007, 11:55 PM
Directv/Dish/Cable, all the same for video. One will be better and then the other a year later.

I went from cable to Direct tv and really loved the sound and video improvement. Then I seriously looked at our tv usage, and it was 90% network and only two must watch non network shows. Were those two shows worth $60/month. We now watch OTA, and the difference is HUGE. I haven't seen video or heard audio this good before.

victorff
11-02-2007, 12:08 AM
I have had my B&W 802 for 8 yrs. Have yet to hear a better speaker.
http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/display.aspx?infid=758

east tx skier
11-02-2007, 12:13 AM
Easy there, sorry I missed your options!!

I have a Sim2 ht300 E-link projector with native 720p output. The screen is a Stewart Screen 92" FireHawk. Seating is 12-13' and the 720p from this unit is just short of amazing!! It has internal scaling that upconverts the dvd signal. When it gets an HD signal like the Masters it down converts to a beautiful picture.

All just pissin for distance in the end, Jim said it, if it looks good to you game over. :D

I'm just playing around. Mine's an older HDTV, so it doesn't convert to its 1080i native resolution. Rather, it'll kick 720p to 480p. My LCDs are both 768p. Overall, they look good when they're getting a good signal. But they're converting everything. 1080i is deinterlaced and downscaled. 720p has to be upscaled.

Kicked cable out of my house over 8 years ago. Picture has been great ever since and I've only had to have one service call.

Leroy
11-02-2007, 12:18 AM
I'm with you, I have Directv and have been threatening to turn it off and put an antenna in the attic. Same for me most of the time I watch tv is OTA. The kids are watching crap I don't want them to so win-win....

I went from cable to Direct tv and really loved the sound and video improvement. Then I seriously looked at our tv usage, and it was 90% network and only two must watch non network shows. Were those two shows worth $60/month. We now watch OTA, and the difference is HUGE. I haven't seen video or heard audio this good before.

cbryan70
11-02-2007, 12:21 AM
I swear JimN is basically knowledge in everything. How do you do it? Sorry for the thread jack. Depending how low or high your budget it i just got a 2.1 system for i beleive 400 which is VERY comperable if not better then the bose 1-2-3 system they have. Its sony i cant think ofthe numbers but if comes with the upconverter...not a bad deal for a basic system

TX.X-30 fan
11-02-2007, 01:15 AM
Seems to me there is going to be a market for high def dvd, unfortunately not a market for high def audio, dvd or sacd. I have to agree the only output available for my hd dvd sat box is spdif? the light thing. I would much rather run my audio through RCA. There seems to be no consideration for music lover in these new formats or connections HDMI? Is what it is right!!!

Direct tv has by far the best picture quality and sound quality.

Whats all this crap about just going to rabbit ears and tin foil???

JimN
11-02-2007, 09:38 AM
You do realize that digital signals can't be colored by the conductor, regardless of whether it's fiber or copper, right? Terminations need to be good on both and tight bends have to be avoided on fiber, though. I'm not a big fan of the little plastic end on most consumer fiber cables but if you want long runs without loss and no chance of picking up RF or EMI, fiber is your best bet. You'll also never, ever have a ground loop with fiber optic, either. However, I like the fact that copper cable with an RCA end can be laced with the rest of the cables and I don't need to worry about how tight (to a point) the wire ties are and I don't have to be so gentle with it. From a sonic standpoint, they're the same, although I have seen ads that say only special cables should be used for digital signals. Most people I know, who do a lot of installations, use either RG-6 (not many) and RG-59 or RG-59 serial digital cable and make the terminations themselves.

HDMI carries digital audio. Because of that, people who can hear a difference have either been told what they'll hear by the salesperson or
want to think they can hear what they really can't. The only reason I can think of, that would cause one digital cable to sound better or worse than another is if there's a problem with the terminations or the cable was pinched. It's digital code and unless there are lost bits and the error correction has to work too much, what goes out will be the same as what comes in.

For people who don't like the programming and cost of cable or satellite, rabbit ears work fine.

Is the tin foil for the rabbit ears or for making tin foil hats?

Workin' 4 Toys
11-02-2007, 09:58 AM
I am not audiophile, I don't really care about picture, or sound, but I don't want the tin can effect.

What sources do you plan to use? DVD, Sat/Cable, VCR, iPod, HD/XM/AM-FM radio, iTunes via computer or use a music server, Phono?
Cable & DVD. I will tell you something you may not want to hear. I like the functionality of the Bose lifestyle systems. MP3 storage, DVD player, stereo, and supposedly it can communicate with my Bose Waves through out the house.
I like simple, simple is better.

How do you want to control everything? One comprehensive remote or a whole box full?
One remote with ON/OFF, Channel up/down, volume up/down. Otherwise the rest is BS.

What do you want to watch- some of everything, mostly sports, game shows, reality TV, Oprah?
I watch racing of every sort. Other Sports- never. Otherwise I suppose misc. shows when others come over. Like Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, How it's made, and Made in America, etc..
Otherwise the TV gets used for Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Shrek, Over the Hedge type stuff.

Workin' 4 Toys
11-02-2007, 10:02 AM
At this point, I need to get past the size of the TV and the location of the "devices". But I suppose I need to know how much cr4p I am going to end up with in this thing to get things moving along.
I had intentions of building the "center" myself. However, lack of time, is motivating me to have the cabinet shop stop by and do an analysis, but I need to know exactly what I am doing first. Including the TV size, location side to side, and up/down. And what devices and where. Including speakers.

JimN
11-02-2007, 10:20 AM
If you have the DVDs of the movies you listed, the best thing I can tell you is to go out and look at some of the models available. Make sure the floor units don't have the color, brightness, etc cranked up. Not only does it let them sell one over another ("This one is so much more colorful that that one") by setting the colors, etc lower on the ones they DON'T want to sell, the tube or panel won't last as long. Find the one that you like the look of, will pay for and has a good warranty. Talk to your friends, ask them what they have and temper their enthusiasm if they just bought it.

Speaking of warranties, I recommend buying an extended warranty. I know of someone with a Sony plasma and the price for the replacement panel is $1500 + a $2500 core charge. Missing pixels are repairable, they do repair them and re-sell the panels in their refurbed sets and possibly as replacement parts, which carry a shorter warranty, anyway. LCD and plasma sets are expensive to repair. Too expensive to throw away.

Buy what you like the look and sound of, and make sure it does what you want, in a way that you want and can use easily. Nothing else really matters. It's your eyes, ears, wallet and mind that need to be satisfied.

TX.X-30 fan
11-02-2007, 10:23 AM
The point I was trying to make was with with analog output on my cd/dvd I can make a single conversion to analog and pass the signal "direct" through my processor to the speakers. Thus eliminating multiple da/ad conversions and the inherent possibilities of loos of information. Some believe this creates a more realistic listening experience? With some recordings I think this is correct.

Monte
11-02-2007, 10:24 AM
[COLOR=red]I watch racing of every sort. Other Sports- never. Otherwise I suppose misc. shows when others come over. Like Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, How it's made, and Made in America, etc..
Otherwise the TV gets used for Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Shrek, Over the Hedge type stuff.

Sounds familiar:rolleyes:

Personnaly, I would get the size of the TV. Put it in the middle, make enough room for the stereo/speakers. Make the rest cabinets and drawers for the kids' stuff.. Video games, movies, accessories to the video games,..

JimN
11-02-2007, 11:18 AM
TX- if you go from the CD/DVD player with an optical or digital coax cable, the D/A conversion is done in the receiver's pre-amp. Also, many of the newer receivers have better D/A convertors than CD/DVD players, unless you buy a high-end player. Analog is prone to degradation over long cable runs, RF, EMI and cable quality. I bought my DVD player and plugged it in, using the cable from my VCR. I was incredibly disappointed by the sound quality and thought about returning it until I realized that the cables I had been using were just a cheap set. I connected it to the ones from my CD player and was instantly happy again. I had made that set from bulk cable that I bought when I was running a 12V installation shop. Stinger audio cable and gold RCA ends, soldered on.

For digital signal, the cable makes very little difference in actual sound quality. I used Planet Waves for the system listed before. That cable also delivers very good sound/video quality and works great for digital coax.

east tx skier
11-02-2007, 11:30 AM
If you have the DVDs of the movies you listed, the best thing I can tell you is to go out and look at some of the models available. Make sure the floor units don't have the color, brightness, etc cranked up. Not only does it let them sell one over another ("This one is so much more colorful that that one") by setting the colors, etc lower on the ones they DON'T want to sell, the tube or panel won't last as long. Find the one that you like the look of, will pay for and has a good warranty. Talk to your friends, ask them what they have and temper their enthusiasm if they just bought it.

Ain't that the truth. Turn the backlight down to as far below 50% as you can stand. Take any one of those Pixar DVDs with you and run the THX video optimizer to adjust contrast, brightness, hue, color, and sharpness. Go to the color temp setting and, at the very least, go to a factory setting of neautral or cinema. They'll have it set at "cool."

This will get you close.

Or, you can order the special disc with the tinted glasses if you're really hard core about this sort of thing.

The manufacturers each have presets that they think will sell the tvs. BB or CC will jack with the cheaper displays to make them less desireable, I'm convinced. My wife was convinced we should spend several hundred more for a TV with a lesser contrast ratio, but otherwise spec'd the same as what we ended up with on our most recent TV upgrade.

For Audio, optical has always been my preference. Good thing, too. On the Mits rear projection, I'm glad I have a separate optical audio out on the PS3 as my code stripper doesn't pass the audio (not that I cared about that as I'm running the audio to the receiver.

tex
11-02-2007, 11:36 AM
How much are those bulbs Tex?

They do make a great picture!
Leroy,

Here is the email I got back from the wife about bulbs.

Morning. I had too much wine last night. I am about to shower but feel pretty yucky.

The bulb typically costs about 200 but some people give it to you for free. He should not let the bulb scare him. Think about our tv. We have never had to replace it and our tv is on a lot.

bcampbe7
11-02-2007, 12:11 PM
Leroy,

Here is the email I got back from the wife about bulbs.

Morning. I had too much wine last night. I am about to shower but feel pretty yucky.

The bulb typically costs about 200 but some people give it to you for free. He should not let the bulb scare him. Think about our tv. We have never had to replace it and our tv is on a lot.

Is she trying to tell you that you watch too much TV? :D


.

phecksel
11-02-2007, 12:21 PM
Friends don't let friends buy Bose...or totally useless cyro cable, cables made from UFO dung, or anything else beyond a few pennies a foot.

tex
11-02-2007, 12:28 PM
Is she trying to tell you that you watch too much TV? :D


.

I thinks so!

phecksel
11-02-2007, 12:29 PM
I'm with you, I have Directv and have been threatening to turn it off and put an antenna in the attic. Same for me most of the time I watch tv is OTA. The kids are watching crap I don't want them to so win-win....

Combined with the Tivo Series 3, it F* rocks! I was worried about missing the "options", and haven't. Plus, I found out with Tivo, you can DL several shows from amazon, including one of the ones I thought I would miss.

If you decide to go that route, and I was lucky WRT my position to the broadcast stations, you have to decide on a omni-direction UHF or directional combo UHF VHF antenna. Two things will impact that decision, location to broadcast towers, and the stations future digital frequency plans. In my market, HD and digital content is UHF. If the FCC ever truly holds a deadline, I will have some digital on VHF. What isn't clear to me, is the HD plans wrt frequencies.

Leroy
11-02-2007, 01:33 PM
Pretty good so your wife if your technology consultant! Nice!

Leroy,

Here is the email I got back from the wife about bulbs.

Morning. I had too much wine last night. I am about to shower but feel pretty yucky.

The bulb typically costs about 200 but some people give it to you for free. He should not let the bulb scare him. Think about our tv. We have never had to replace it and our tv is on a lot.

Workin' 4 Toys
11-02-2007, 02:52 PM
Buy what you like the look and sound of, and make sure it does what you want, in a way that you want and can use easily. Nothing else really matters. It's your eyes, ears, wallet and mind that need to be satisfied.
If you were going to buy a 50" - 60" TV (Of any type) today for yourself, what would you buy?

If you were going to buy a DVD player today, what would you buy?

If you were going to buy a stereo and "surround" speakers" for such a room today, what would you buy?

Workin' 4 Toys
11-02-2007, 02:55 PM
Friends don't let friends buy Bose... While I appreciate the humor, this helps very little in a decision of any kind for me. If you have something you suggest, I am open.
What would you buy?
Or better yet, what would your entertainment center look like if you were to build one?

Workin' 4 Toys
11-02-2007, 03:07 PM
Jim,
I should clarify something. When I say I don't care about the sound or picture. I mean, I don't know the difference, and I need advice. I do not need the high end stuff you are probably used to working with.

When I say simple, I also may have given a false impression. An example of what I don't want. This guy has a family room. Very nice entertainment center, I believe it to be a 50"Sony about 3 years old, and has a STACK of high end components and has no clue how to use them properly. And has probably 6 remotes. Its a nightmare. I can only imagine what kind of money is wrapped up in it. But to watch someone try to just figure out how to turn on the TV is a joke. To turn on the radio is a chore because there is this "LCD" remote control that is the size of a laptop and it is also a joke to operate. What I don't want is to be this guy.
I want NICE, but I want simple. And I am looking for advice. I went to a local equipment store called Tweeter. And they have several WALLS of TVs. With prices ranging from 1,000 to 20,000. As you said, they probably have certain models adjusted to this that or the other. I don't know, and I don't know how to find out.

X2M
11-02-2007, 03:08 PM
If you were going to buy a 50" - 60" TV (Of any type) today for yourself, what would you buy?

We have looked into getting a new tv a little. From what I have read and heard I would go with either a Sony, Samsung or Sharp LCD. A Sony is at the top of the list, but I don't know yet that I want to pay that much. We would go LCD because... 1. Our family room has a lot of windows and the glare is not so bad with a LCD vs. the plasma. 2. My family likes to play video games on the Wii. It takes alot longer for a picture to be burned into the screen.

Does my :twocents: help?

Roonie's
11-02-2007, 03:09 PM
What would you buy?
Or better yet, what would your entertainment center look like if you were to build one?

I would buy a Plasma Pioneer Elite HD at least a 43" or bigger. (I currently have all these now but would buy them again). I have the Denon 2910 DVD player and it works great maybe a bit too much money. Also have the Denon full surround theatre which powers three definitive speakers on the side of the TV and 6 paradigm speakers built into the ceiling for surround sound. I have a serious Bass made by REL Acoustics which pretty much shakes the whole house when turned up loud on a movie. Everything is IR wired (infrared wired) so I can keep everything in a mechanical room out of site including my cable box. I have a hand held IR remote made by Aeros that has an lcd screen that you can choose your options from whether you want TV, DVD, VCR, CD, IPOD, Radio, Xbox, or whatever you can control them all from the remote.

So when you look at my wall all you see is the plasma TV and three speakers around it, Everything else is hidden.

I have wiring in place for a projection screen but I like the plasma too much now.

If you go with a TV any of "S" are good (i.e. Sony, Samsung, etc). Pioneer is the best for plasma. I also have a 32" Samsung LCD HDTV in our other room and it is a nice little TV. Great picture quality on the HD channels. Almost better in some ways then our Plasma.

Workin' 4 Toys
11-02-2007, 03:21 PM
We have looked into getting a new tv a little. From what I have read and heard I would go with either a Sony, Samsung or Sharp LCD. A Sony is at the top of the list, but I don't know yet that I want to pay that much. We would go LCD because... 1. Our family room has a lot of windows and the glare is not so bad with a LCD vs. the plasma. 2. My family likes to play video games on the Wii. It takes alot longer for a picture to be burned into the screen.

Does my :twocents: help?
That reminds me, this system is going to need a place to put the Xbox 360 so I can play Forza all night long.:D (Someday)

My family room is also full of windows, however we just installed some blinds and drapes so I can pretty much block out the sun if desired. But: they are rarely closed all the way, so I suppose if I thought about it, do I have to close up everything just to watch TV....hmmmmmm:confused:

FWIW- I am not sure Sony is the top of the "line", but the sales people at some stores sure do make you think that.

east tx skier
11-02-2007, 03:24 PM
Combined with the Tivo Series 3, it F* rocks! I was worried about missing the "options", and haven't. Plus, I found out with Tivo, you can DL several shows from amazon, including one of the ones I thought I would miss.

According to Amazon's site, it doesn't work with the direct tv tivo boxes.

east tx skier
11-02-2007, 03:28 PM
That reminds me, this system is going to need a place to put the Xbox 360 so I can play Forza all night long.:D (Someday)

My family room is also full of windows, however we just installed some blinds and drapes so I can pretty much block out the sun if desired. But: they are rarely closed all the way, so I suppose if I thought about it, do I have to close up everything just to watch TV....hmmmmmm:confused:

FWIW- I am not sure Sony is the top of the "line", but the sales people at some stores sure do make you think that.

Okay, so you have an Xbox. With burn in being a concern, like it would with me, I'd go with LCD. I'd probably get a 57" Sharp Aquos 1080p. I'd keep my speakers, I'd upgrade the tuner to something that would handle HDMI 1.3. Most of my stuff is Sony currently. If you mean DVD and not HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, get a player that will upconvert to 1080p. Otherwise, unless you're getting something like a PS3 that can double as a gaming console if the format wars don't go its way, I'd hold off for something that can play both. Or, since you have an Xbox 360, you can get the HD-DVD add on.

Roonie's
11-02-2007, 03:35 PM
Okay, so you have an Xbox. With burn in being a concern, like it would with me, I'd go with LCD. I'd probably get a 57" Sharp Aquos 1080p. I'd keep my speakers, I'd upgrade the tuner to something that would handle HDMI 1.3. Most of my stuff is Sony currently. If you mean DVD and not HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, get a player that will upconvert to 1080p. Otherwise, unless you're getting something like a PS3 that can double as a gaming console if the format wars don't go its way, I'd hold off for something that can play both. Or, since you have an Xbox 360, you can get the HD-DVD add on.

I use XBOX on my plasma all the time and never had a problem of permanently burning in. Almost always I get some residual image once turned off whenever I use it but it never lasts. As soon as you turn it back on again it disappears. I have accidentally left my plasma on at the end of a DVD for hours and image went away after I turned it on again. I like both LCD and plasma as our LCD has some strengths in areas that the plasma doesn't and vice versa.

east tx skier
11-02-2007, 03:41 PM
I use XBOX on my plasma all the time and never had a problem of permanently burning in. Almost always I get some residual image once turned off whenever I use it but it never lasts. As soon as you turn it back on again it disappears. I have accidentally left my plasma on at the end of a DVD for hours and image went away after I turned it on again. I like both LCD and plasma as our LCD has some strengths in areas that the plasma doesn't and vice versa.

My friend plays PS2 on his 50" plasma and has yet to have problems. All the same, it's happened to someone. I've played lots of stuff on my rear projection with no burn. Lucky I guess. LCD has come a long way. Plasma still, on average, has a much better contrast ratio and true black going for it as I recall.

X2M
11-02-2007, 04:47 PM
That reminds me, this system is going to need a place to put the Xbox 360 so I can play Forza all night long.:D (Someday)

My family room is also full of windows, however we just installed some blinds and drapes so I can pretty much block out the sun if desired. But: they are rarely closed all the way, so I suppose if I thought about it, do I have to close up everything just to watch TV....hmmmmmm:confused:

FWIW- I am not sure Sony is the top of the "line", but the sales people at some stores sure do make you think that.

I should have said that the Sony was at the top of 'our' list.

Good luck with the window glare. I have solar shades on the exterior, blinds in the house and we still have glare.

tex
11-02-2007, 06:48 PM
My friend plays PS2 on his 50" plasma and has yet to have problems. All the same, it's happened to someone. I've played lots of stuff on my rear projection with no burn. Lucky I guess. LCD has come a long way. Plasma still, on average, has a much better contrast ratio and true black going for it as I recall.
DLP won't burn in!

phecksel
11-02-2007, 09:19 PM
According to Amazon's site, it doesn't work with the direct tv tivo boxes.
I dropped Direct TV, just OTA now

phecksel
11-02-2007, 09:35 PM
While I appreciate the humor, this helps very little in a decision of any kind for me. If you have something you suggest, I am open.
What would you buy?
Or better yet, what would your entertainment center look like if you were to build one?
I told you earlier what I would buy, LOL

Infinity Beta 50's which are AWESOME sounding speakers. if WAF (wife acceptance factor) is in play, then mirage speakers. Get at a minimum 5.1 configuration. 6&7.1 setups are nice, but not required. Don't let best buy set you up.

Yamaha 2600 (on close out now) or 2700. Denon is also a good choice. Don't get sucked into the Bose systems, over priced poor performance :)

I have a beautiful custom built entertainment unit, which I thought I had a picture of on the web site...couldn't find it. Problem is, it was designed before we had wide screen TV's. Now for me to put a wide screen in, means a small screen. I'm looking to possibly have a cabinet maker come out and open up one of the side lites to allow me to put something in the 50" range into the cabinet.

Inexcusable to have six remotes. Most high end receiver remotes are programmable. There are several choices available for aftermarket remotes, some of which you plug into a computer and specify your equipment and done.

audioholics.com is a fantastic research and learning site.

TX.X-30 fan
11-03-2007, 12:41 PM
I should clarify something. When I say I don't care about the sound or picture.



Google HTIB, and read some reviews of the good ones. That simple, no need for suggestions if sound and picture quality mean nothing. Any cheapo HTIB will do.

JimN
11-03-2007, 01:44 PM
WFT-
"If you were going to buy a 50" - 60" TV (Of any type) today for yourself, what would you buy?

If you were going to buy a DVD player today, what would you buy?

If you were going to buy a stereo and "surround" speakers" for such a room today, what would you buy?"


Sorry for the delay, I didn't see this before. There's no good way to condense this, so....

I like Plasma. I like LCD for some things but my eyes notice things that move, away from the main parts of the picture, so "pixel creep", "mosquitos", etc really don't make me happy. I look for natural skin tones. Usually, if the skin looks natural on someone who isn't wearing makeup, it should be correct for the rest. I also look for things that I have in the room with me, to do a direct comparison. Obviously, if a scene is lit for a certain effect, that's a bad time to make the comparison.

As far as a DVD player, I sell Denon for stereo and home theater, mainly. For larger systems, I sometimes need more power, but for receivers and DVD players, that's the brand I like. I can get other brands but sell those because I like the way the video looks, how they set up, the sound is really good and they work, usually for a long time. I still have my original CD player and it still works. I have sold millions of dollars of equipment (mostly for other people:cry:) and I still see many of my old customers. They don't hit me. Durability and consistent operation mean more to me than a brand name or what the marketing says about something. I hate the "throw away" mentality that has taken over. One thing I like about some of the new equipment is that updates can be made, via firmware. It's not a mechanical thing but will keep many devices from being rendered obsolete in six months.

That said, I don't think everyone needs the top of the line- $3900, or more, is for those who really want the best (and can afford or justify the expense) or want to brag about how much they spent. The first is OK with me, the second isn't.

Speakers don't all sound alike, for a reason. Everyone's hearing is different and when someone designs a speaker for sale, the end product needs to make them happy if they have any integrity. They have to know that it does what they intended or were paid. If it doesn't, they failed. Some failures work to their benefit, though. There are lots of accidental successes, from people who didn't necessarily have the technical knowledge, but they were curious enough to try different things. What sounds incredible to some, sounds like absolute garbage to someone else. Some can't hear the difference, usually because they don't know exactly what they're listening for or they don't have a frame of reference. I want the instruments to sound realistic, but I also want it to be easy to listen to for a long time period. Anyone who has stood next to a drum set knows why total realism is a bad thing when they need to listen for a long time. Same with many other instruments- being near them isn't necessarily pleasant but the music that was made with them can be really incredible. That crunchy guitar was probably cranked to 10 (or 11) when the tracks were recorded. Mixed down, it blends in well.

When I said "buy what you like, etc, I wasn't being flippant or waving you off, I was being serious. It will only be right if you like it. If you want the Bose system and the other equipment because you like them and they fit your ideas of how a system should be, look, operate, that's what matters, not what someone else would buy. As a retailer, this shoots me in the foot on several levels because I'm recommending that you buy what you like, not what I specifically mentioned. I have made thousands of recommendations over the years (decades) and as I said, my old customers don't hit me. In fact, many still have a lot of the equipment they bought from me, even more than 20 years ago.

Speakers determine how a system will sound more than any other factor, other than the room. I have more happy customers who bought good/great speakers and were using good/mediocre electronics. OTOH, the better the speakers are, the easier it is to hear flaws in the rest of the system. The way the speakers and room interact is absolutely critical. Huge speakers in a tiny room are just loud. Some people like that, I don't. A huge woofer sounds great- 30'-50' away. the wavelengths of low notes is much longer than most rooms, so hitting 20 Hz is not going to happen inside of a normal sized room. I'm not going to say that everyone needs to go out and hire someone to make their place acoustically perfect but all hard surfaces will sound like crap. It's better to have a bit more that absorbs, like carpeting/rugs, drapes, etc.

I did the setup for that system detailed before, and first, I connected it to my speakers, then theirs. I listened to various music, first on my system, then on theirs. I listen more critically than most, because I need to. If someone is asking for my opinion, I need to know how it's similar and different. That receiver sounded great! It's more powerful than my amp but there are some major similarities. My speakers have Danish made drivers, so there's a definite similarity there, too. I like their sub more, too. I hated to see the plasma leave (42" Pioneer commercial display), too. Mine is nice but not as good.

JimN
11-03-2007, 01:54 PM
A lot of Plasma displays have a white balance setting, which can help with burn-in. The problem is that it has to be in white balance mode for the same amount of time as whatever caused it. It's usually in "service mode".

Workin' 4 Toys
11-05-2007, 11:41 AM
Here is something I found interesting (Confusing)
I don't recall model numbers but it went something like this.
LCDs: (I think it was about 46" or so)
Sony Model# 1234X1 = $4500.00 (Clearance)
Sony Model# 1234X2 = $4800.00 (On Sale)
Sony Model# 1234X3 = $5100.00 (New model)

As if selecting the right size wasn't enough, now it's what model of the same thing.

Is it fair to assume, the longer you wait, the larger they get, and the cheaper they get? Or is there a "break point" for this theory? For example, the same size projection is $1600.00. And it appears to me they have been in the $1600 price range for many many years.

Workin' 4 Toys
11-05-2007, 11:48 AM
Jim,
I saw Sony offers the same "all in one" as Bose. Without the wireless communication with the Wave. but I can get past that.:o
Sony's was a DVD player, stereo, and speakers (I think 6). And it had a ipod dock, optional. It also appeared to have all the controls to operate everything including the TV (in which may or may not be a sony at this time)
Does Denon offer something similar?

Also available was a Bluray player for another $600 or so. Is this the way to go? Blueray instead of DVD? Or is the next style player on the horizon and the bluray will be on the way as the Beta tape was when VHS came out?

I am a point, I am trying to figure out how many components in all I am going to have (now and in the future), and that will help me figure out space requirements to get a rough idea where all the pieces go within the center.

Workin' 4 Toys
11-05-2007, 11:54 AM
What do I need to know about these components that can be wired/wireless to download movies?

Of course I am talking about a component other than a PC/laptop.

Workin' 4 Toys
11-05-2007, 12:00 PM
Okay, so you have an Xbox. With burn in being a concern, like it would with me, I'd go with LCD. I'd probably get a 57" Sharp Aquos 1080p. I'd keep my speakers, I'd upgrade the tuner to something that would handle HDMI 1.3. Most of my stuff is Sony currently. If you mean DVD and not HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, get a player that will upconvert to 1080p. Otherwise, unless you're getting something like a PS3 that can double as a gaming console if the format wars don't go its way, I'd hold off for something that can play both. Or, since you have an Xbox 360, you can get the HD-DVD add on.

I should clarify, I currently have Xbox. But that is in the basement now and haven't look at it in months, but it's around with Forza loaded if I ever get a "free" minute.
The Xbox 360 I do not have, and when I do the only game that is required is the new Forza (I don't recall the title) but you make a good point about it doubling as a player, I forgot it does that....:o

JimN
11-05-2007, 12:19 PM
The problem I have with HTIAB is that some have an "umbilical" that connects the main unit to the sub, which has the amplifiers in it. The main unit or amps go, you have no way to replace only the amps/main unit for a decent price, after it's out of warranty. They aren't usually the highest quality, either and if you really want to crank it up, it's not gonna sound very good.

Blu-Ray IS DVD, it's just one of the newest versions, but it is backward-compatible. You don't need to buy both but a regular DVD won't play a Blu-Ray disc.

Right- the longer you wait, the bigger/better they get for the same price and in theory, you'll still not have one if you wait long enough. I did that with cassette decks, in the '70s. Saw some I liked but kept "waiting till the next model year". Never bought a new one, but I did get one of the ones I liked in '78, about 7 years later. Still have it, haven't used it in years. I hate tape. At some point, whatever you buy will be "last year's model", so find the best one, at the price you want to pay. That's the only way to get the best deal now.

Denon does make HTIAB. Go to www.denon.com and look for them on the left side of the home page. I don't know who sells them, though and I have no experience with them.

I'm not sure I would try to download movies over wireless. Make sure you run additional Cat5e, or some kind of conduit that will allow you to upgrade it later, to that location. Either bore holes that are large enough or use the 2" Carlon orange flex tubing.


In any case, if I was building/having built and new entertainment center, it would be capable of changes. The TV opening would have panels that would remove, so I wasn't looking at the area behind the TV, it would have places for the speakers with grill cloth over them, or doors that could open and hide and some of the boxes could be used for some other purpose at a later date, if needed. The opening doesn't have to be drastically larger, just a few inches on each side. You'll probably never want to go a lot bigger, because of the size of the room and your distance to the screen. If you'll be 12' from the screen, 50" is about the biggest you really want. If you can see the screen pattern or pixels from your seat, you're too close. It should look smooth and seemless.

JimN
11-05-2007, 12:22 PM
WFT- IIRC, you live in/near Chicago, right? Ever thought about going to the Sony Outlet store, in Kenosha? They might have something for you. The equipment is rarely "new in the box" but as refurbs, they usually make a point of it being "good as new". A lot less money, too.

X2M
01-19-2008, 08:20 PM
Questions for those of you who have wall mounted flat screen tv's....

What size tv do you have?

How high is your tv mounted on the wall?

Pro's and con's of wall mounts?

Did you do the install yourself?

And of course..... comments from the peanut gallery.

Thanks. :)

Workin' 4 Toys
01-19-2008, 08:41 PM
I mounted a 40" plasma on the wall (about 2 years ago). I reinforced the "inside" of the wall with a piece of plywood. Hung the mount from that. It's on a swivel arm so it can be extended out about 12" to get behind it with lag screws or bolts.
I chose the bolt route, so it's going to be ugly when it needs to be removed one day. But I'd rather it not fall off the wall.

Keep in mind, LCDs are lighter weight and more energy efficient if either of those matter to you.

Try this link...
http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Tools/ProductRecommender.aspx?g=260050

wakolman
01-19-2008, 09:29 PM
Questions for those of you who have wall mounted flat screen tv's....

What size tv do you have?

How high is your tv mounted on the wall?

Pro's and con's of wall mounts?

Did you do the install yourself?

And of course..... comments from the peanut gallery.

Thanks. :)

50 inch plasma, the bottom of the tv is 56" off the floor.

Pros: Our wall mount is tilted down a little, toward the sofa. We don't have an entertainment center that takes up space on the floor. I have the components in a built-in on the side of the fireplace. We can see the TV while in the kitchen making dinner.

Cons: Hard to access the inputs and outputs on the tv while on the wall. It is a pain to take tv off wall: heavy + awkward, need two ppl.
You might not have the components close to the set, meaning you need longer cables to connect everything (costing more $$).

I installed it myself. I have 2x12's inbetween the studs behind the drywall. I drilled pilot holes and used 2 or 3 " lag screws. I think I have 4 or 5 of them in the mount. I grabbed ahold of the mount and pulled myself off the ground after I put it on the wall, before placing the plasma on it.

Don't buy a mount from the electronics store before checking on ebay or someplace similar. You don't need to spend a couple of hundred $$ to make it work. Spending more at Best Buy doesn't necessarily mean your tv will have less chance of falling off the wall. I got mine for $30.

Here is one

http://cgi.ebay.com/Plasma-LCD-TV-Tilt-Wall-Mount-32-37-42-50-55-tm2-s_W0QQitemZ230214670551QQihZ013QQcategoryZ48656QQs sPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

To answer all your questions in advance, my mantle is going to be a solid cherry beam. I cut the tree down when clearing the lot to build our house, so I am still letting it dry before installing. The toys everywhere are normal after a day of a 1.5 yr. old running the show!

JimN
01-19-2008, 10:54 PM
The center of the display should be at eye level and up to 15º above. Lower isn't usually comfortable and more than 15º up is a bit like being in the front row of a movie theater- not great and it reflects too much ambient light/ceiling light fixtures.

I don't have a problem with people buying mounts online but it needs to be sized properly. Low profile tilt mounts are much better than non-tilting mounts for a variety of reasons, including making connections.

No real cons for wall mounts, other than the absolute need to make sure the lag bolts are the right diameter/length and they are in the meat of the lumber. Pre-drilling is definitely recommended because of the quality of a lot of lumber sold and if it's off-center, the stud can split. If the wall is open, I like to either cut the stud back to place 3/4" plywood (glued and screwed) or screw 2x in the area where the mount will be. Using the studs is fine as long as the bolts are centered and pre-drilled.

I install these all the time. I just can't wait 'till someone calls and tells me they want the new 150" Panasonic mounted on an articulated arm, in a condo or apartment with metal studs spaced 24" O.C.

X2M
01-19-2008, 11:30 PM
Thanks for the info guys. :)

So, for mounting a 52 inch LCD we will have to cut a hole and beef up the studs behind the wall?

Another question with the mounts... I have read that the mounts with the arms that extend are made to sit with the TV away from the wall 24 inches or so. If we mount the TV on the wall with one of these mounts and extend the arms 100% of the time will it hold up? They say they are strong enough for this, but is it true?

Reason for this will be... Current TV sits in a nook cut out of the wall. New TV will not fit in the nook. So instead of mounting it above the fireplace (which we had already decided for us was to high for us) we would like to use a mount inside the the nook and the TV will hang outside the nook. (Hope the description can help you understand the mental picture.) Will this work?

JimN
01-20-2008, 01:51 AM
If you want to use that kind of mount (articulating arm), I wouldn't worry about the mount itself but I would add some structure to the wall. Plywood works well for this and if the mount has a large footprint, the load is distributed over a larger area, whether the arm is extended straight out from the centerline of the mount or the arm is at an angle to the wall (looking from the top, the arm wouldn't be square to the wall).

I don't remember seeing that the arms should be extended 100% of the time but if the mount is designed for more than the display weighs, it should be OK.

JohnE
01-20-2008, 09:52 AM
X2Momma, Rather than use that articulating mount, you might consider bolting a regular low profile tilting bracket so that it spans the nook. If the nook is narrower than the display, you could span the nook with something like unistrut or even angle iron (painted black if it would show) and bolt the bracket to that. You should be able to bolt the strut to the inside of the nook so that the mount sits exactly where it needs to. Just a thought, but the articulating sounds like it would work too. The problem with the articulating arm is that the mounting portion of the bracket has a small surface area, which is why Jim suggested beefing up the wall I'd guess. Also, my method would save about $175 I think. When I buy brackets, the regular one is about $75 and the articulatin is around $250. The angle iron or unistrut would cost about $15.

JimN
01-20-2008, 10:46 AM
It sounded to me that the face of the nook is at a right angle to the viewing area. If it's a nook for a big screen, I would think about framing it so there's a cabinet on the bottom and a flat wall above, at a suitable depth for a plasma/LCD to be mounted without a mount that needs to extend.

Peerless, Chief, Sanus and others make articulating mounts that have a large footprint. The very fact that it would be extended that far dictates the need for a larger footprint when it's larger than 32" because of the lever arm, caused by the extra weight. For a small LCD, a VESA mount is fine but unless the mount is being clamped to a pole or other column with U-bolts, a larger back plate is definitely better.

The Chief JWDVS and Chief PNRUB show this difference, but the other brands are similar in their own ways. Of you google the models, you can see a photo.

JohnE
01-20-2008, 11:17 AM
Jim,

I guess I'm not viewing it right. I thought the nook was built for the smaller tv to sit in being viewed straight on. And the larger display does not fit in there. The Sanus articulating mount I used last only had a base that was around 8"x8". It would not span 2 studs like the flat brackets do.

wakolman
01-20-2008, 11:21 AM
X2 Momma,
How about a pic of the nook?

X2M
01-20-2008, 12:00 PM
Here is a pic of the current tv in the nook. It is a 48 inch wide screen projection.

X2M
01-20-2008, 12:01 PM
What do you think of a mount like this. Is this what you were talking about JohnE?


http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7567028&type=product&id=1151658133240

JimN
01-20-2008, 12:13 PM
Now that we have a pic, it's easy to see what's there.

I never use small plate mounts. it's not worth worrying about whether it'll stay in place, or not. For a small one, fine but never for 32" or larger.

If it was mine, I would build the top out and add a cabinet below. More storage space is always a plus and another big screen rear projection TV isn't going to happen. With the build-out, you can do whatever you want for framing and won't need an arm at all.

JimN
01-20-2008, 12:20 PM
X2momma- that mount doesn't extend as far as I think you'll want. The larger Chief mount will let you turn a 50" so it's square to the wall. It also weighs close to 60 pounds, with no TV on it.

If there's another nook on the other side of the fireplace, making a "temporary" wall behind the new TV could be done. That way, if you sell the house and want to restore it to it's former look, it's a matter of removing some lag bolts and patching a few holes in the drywall/texture.

X2M
01-20-2008, 12:24 PM
Problem we are having with building a cabinet there is that the fireplace is 2-3 inches on one side of the nook and there is a window 4 inches on the other side. Not a lot of space to work with. The other side of the fireplace won't work either because there are more windows. Only place for the TV is in the nook.


Would this mount from an ebay seller be as structurely (sp?) sound as the one from Best Buy?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Articulating-Cantilever-42-63-Plasma-LCD-TV-MOUNT-BL5_W0QQitemZ230214190531QQihZ013QQcategoryZ48656Q QcmdZViewItem

TX.X-30 fan
01-20-2008, 01:10 PM
What about building equipment and media storage in the nook, and leave a spot near the top for a center channel speaker. Then mount the flat screen above the cabinet on the wall. Depending on how far back the viewing area is, raising the screen may work well. Were you talking 50" 10-12 feet back would be good and slightly above the viewers seated position would work fine.

X2 Momma, I would always in the end trust JimN. :D ;)

JimN
01-20-2008, 01:19 PM
What I meant is that you can use the nook space, building a frame that mounts closer to the edge of the opening (wall plane) to hold a piece of plywood or cover it with drywall to maintain the "look" of the space, at a depth that allows the mount to remain generally hidden, but make the TV look like it's more flush to the wall. Depending on the brand, a 52" may be wider than the opening but the back of the LCD is beveled, so it's not much of an issue. This would make an arm type mount unnecessary and a simpler, tilt mount could be used.

JohnE
01-20-2008, 03:55 PM
X2momma, this is the of bracket I usually use: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7859249&type=product&id=1158317764871

And if it were me, I would do exactly what TX.X-30 suggested. Put some shelves or even a cabinet in the nook for the equipment and mount the display on the wall above the nook.

X2M
01-20-2008, 04:38 PM
I wish we could do as Tx x-30 suggested. There is a nook the same size as the one that holds the TV above that space. I think the builders thought was for the bottom nook to hold the TV and the upper nook to hold the cable, dvd, vcr, wii and audio equipment... which is what we use ours for.

Thanks for the info everyone. It has been very helpful. :)

JohnE
01-20-2008, 06:13 PM
Why not mount the display over the fireplace? Or close off the higher nook and do it as TX.X-30 msuggested? I didn't notice the higher nook in the pic.

Workin' 4 Toys
01-21-2008, 01:29 PM
Would framing in the existing opening (nook) be out of the question?
As Jim said, it's not likely you'll ever be going back to a projection. So the "nook" is really the problem.
How about framing in the top half of the opening and leaving the "back" accessible. Meaning: Install 2X4s in the upper half of the opening, and drywalling the front and back of that "wall" and paint it. Then you can do whatever you need as far as mounts.

And maybe leave the bottom 2' or 3' open with shelves for storage? Or close that in as well?

stuartmcnair
01-21-2008, 02:27 PM
Can you get a picture of the entire wall?

Workin' 4 Toys
01-21-2008, 03:12 PM
An assumption on my part, but if it were a possibility, it would already be posted.
It's california, there might be some funny stuff burning in that fireplace we aren't supposed to see...:rolleyes:

Workin' 4 Toys
03-31-2008, 01:18 PM
Anybody in here have a 57" or larger LCD?

dmayer84
03-31-2008, 01:26 PM
I will be putting one up very shortly

Workin' 4 Toys
03-31-2008, 04:04 PM
I will be putting one up very shortly
Post the "overall" dimensions would you? (Diagonal)
And which mount you use...;)

JimN
03-31-2008, 04:16 PM
WFT- you want a static mount or tilt/swing? I have used the one in the Omni Mount link and it's very solid.

http://ww.omnimount.com/consumer/product.aspx?ProductId=1cb677fc-879d-40ce-a1c9-cde15c17b785&CurrentId=2.3.3.5

Also, Peerless makes good ones, Here are some of them, and you can go back/forward for others:

http://www.peerlessindustries.com/dyn/Products/BrowseProducts.aspx/screensize/40,60/categoryID/195

BrandonKTM
03-31-2008, 04:32 PM
You know in 34 years in construction I never did anything like this w/o a sketch or drawing with dimensions. Do that first before you get hung up in all these details. Then make sure your furniture fits, and you don't have a window behind you when you sit and watch the TV (reflections). Then, once you have the general room layout figured out, you can go to Lowes or HD and they will design and price a set of cabinets that you can install basically in any fashion. For mine I went to the KraftMaid outlet warehouse, got about 10 cabinets, installed, then painted all white to match trim in my house. That has a tube TV. Next project is for a flatscreen, and fill in the big hole where the 32" tube TV sits now.

#47of100TeamMC
03-31-2008, 05:16 PM
I put up a 58" Plasma a few months ago. hung it on the wall with the a tilt/swing cantilever Omni mount. I like it for the most part. One of the draw backs is that it sits about 5inches out from the wall. plus the thickness of the tv. which looks a little goofy from the side. But I like that I can pull it out about 28" and swing it to the side. and my tv weighs 147lbs.

#47of100TeamMC
03-31-2008, 05:21 PM
WFT- you want a static mount or tilt/swing? I have used the one in the Omni Mount link and it's very solid.

http://ww.omnimount.com/consumer/product.aspx?ProductId=1cb677fc-879d-40ce-a1c9-cde15c17b785&CurrentId=2.3.3.5



That is the OMNI that i have, holds up to a 200lb tv. I hung mine, and then did a few dips on it before hanging my tv just to test it out. It's Rock solid! Just a tip... buy it from Amazon if you go with that one, you'll pay about half of the recommended MSRP of 599.99!

dmayer84
03-31-2008, 06:25 PM
http://www.peerlessindustries.com/dyn/Products/BrowseProduct.aspx/productId/149287/categoryID/195/u/T (http://www.peerlessindustries.com/dyn/Products/BrowseProduct.aspx/productId/149287/categoryID/195/u/T)

That is the bracket that I will be using, I am going to be putting up a Samsung 57" lcd in the OR at the hospital

This is the lcd

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=1210094

Workin' 4 Toys
04-02-2008, 10:26 AM
WFT- you want a static mount or tilt/swing? I have used the one in the Omni Mount link and it's very solid.

I want it to dance.... Alright not really. But I would like it to tilt, swing, and telescope.
Am I asking too much??


Where is the ideal location for a SUB box front or rear of room, or doesn't it matter like I have been told so many times before.


What receiver has more than 2 HMDI ports?
Unless there are more options I don't know about.
Using this example of components.
Cable box, Blue-ray, Receiver, X-box 360, LCD.

Next question.
If all of these components are in a confined space, will some sort of air circulation be required, if so, do you have a suggestion/recommendation?

JimN
04-02-2008, 11:12 AM
I like to use the receiver for the video switching because the ones I sell do video up and down conversion.This way, only one long HDMI cable or set of component cables is needed. I never use the TV speakers for audio, anyway and with a tilt/swing/telescope mount, less cables is best.

All Denon receivers above the two lowest models have more than 2 HDMI ports. The work great, sound great, have enough inputs for any system (IMO) and I haven't had one die yet.

If you need ventilation, computer stores have 120V fans, which can be powered by the receiver's convenience outlet on the back.

GET A REALLY GOOD POWER CONDITIONER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't screw around with a cheap one on equipment like this. Warranties don't cover anything that is caused by surges, lightning strikes, dirty power or anything like that. You know what a fuse looks like when it blows- the wires and traces in an IC are a fraction of what is in a fuse and when the voltage surges, these minute wires and traces lose some of that metal, which decreases the cross-sectional area. This decreases their tolerance for subsequent surges and when they go, it's not always a major event and sometimes, it just shows up as acting flaky.

If you use one subwoofer, it should go along the same plane as the front speakers, slightly off-center. Placing it off-center reduces the problems caused by standing waves and being on the same plane as the front speakers makes the sound more "coherent". Seeing an explosion at the right-center part of the screen and feeling the blast from across the room to one side or behind doesn't exactly add to any sense of realism. Bass is NOT omni-directional if you know what to listen for and is does matter where it's located.

If you look at the photo, to the left of the remote on top of the rack, you'll see a chrome grill for a fan. This one has two fans and has good air flow from the bottom. If you put the equipment in a regular built-in cabinet, you should be able to put a fan or vent hole at the bottom and vent the warm air into an adjacent cabinet. You'll probably need to cut the shelves a little short to allow air to flow from the bottom to the top.

Workin' 4 Toys
04-02-2008, 12:01 PM
I was at the store the other day and had the guy pull the denons from the display to look at the back. And they all had 2 HDMI ports. From the $350.00 units to the +$1000 units. Or so it seemed, maybe he didn't pull the right ones out, but it seemed all of them had 2. He was also looking at the Pioneers, etc. So I can't say for sure I looked at everyone, but it seemed like it.
Which model for sure has 3 or more.

This is important correct? Or can these be connected in series to other components?

Or will all four of my components need to be HDMI'd to the receiver directly?

I do not intend to use the TV speakers.

JimN
04-02-2008, 12:30 PM
You're right, they have two inputs for HDMI. I don't know why I was thinking they have three.

To be honest, I don't use HDMI because the chance of having a glitch is higher than using component video. OTOH, since the industry has once again decided what's "best" for us, HDMI is the standard connector for BluRay and that's what's going to "save their bacon". HDMI has a handshake between units every three seconds and if this doesn't happen, it tends to stop transmission of audio or video. I would recommend using the HDMI inputs for the DVD and the second most used HD source. If it's cable/sat TV, use it for that. If it's X-Box, use it for that and use component for the rest. If you only want to use one cable to feed the LCD, you can use HDMI but make it possible to pull a replacement later and this is even more important if the TV will be moved a lot. That way, if the HDMI fails, you can replace it since they aren't field repairable at this time. Don't bother buying the most expensive one, either. Some of the less expensive ones work better. Get the most flexible cable you can- stiff cables tend to fail when they're moved a lot.

Just being a digital signal doesn't make it better- it's all digital until we see or hear it, and then it's analog. HDMI will provide no real benefit when audio isn't being sent to the display and I have connected LCD displays with component and had comments from people who don't know/don't care anything about connections/formats that the component signal looked better. Some cable channels actually look better via composite because they aren't HD and up-converting to anything above 480 results in less than stellar video quality.

You can't connect these in series but switches are available for most video formats. The Denon receivers will take a component video signal and up-convert it to HDMI, and they will down-convert an HDMI signal to component. Between 1080i and 1080p, unless the signal is perfect and you know what to look for, the differences are difficult to see. Most of the differences are from one signal just being better than the one it's being compared to.

Workin' 4 Toys
04-02-2008, 01:02 PM
What's the most power conditioner for the $$$?
Assuming I will only at most have these 5 components connected?
Do I really need to drop a few hundred on a "power strip"??

TX.X-30 fan
04-02-2008, 01:28 PM
What's the most power conditioner for the $$$?
Assuming I will only at most have these 5 components connected?
Do I really need to drop a few hundred on a "power strip"??



My opinion would be to spend a little on surge and power conditioning.

Try these guys, they sell inexpensive on up.

http://www.psaudio.com/

The first place to start would be at the plug, ps has hospital grade plugs, work your way out from there.


Is the power to your system on a dedicated wire, If not watch the use of dimmers in that room, or for that matter anywhere close.

JimN
04-02-2008, 01:48 PM
I would recommend one of these for the LCD since they're expensive to repair: Furman Video Power Conditioner AC-215MC24 and for the other equipment, the minimum I would use is the Furman PST-6MC, available at Parts Express. PanaMax and Furman are part of the same company and you could also look at TrippLite. I wouldn't bother with Monster.

The one in the rack is the Furman Elite 15PFI and I got that one because I wanted to have outlets that could be 12Vdc switched for the Audio Research power amp (using the Denon receiver) and so it would have the capacity for everything in the rack, the Audio Research and even for peaks in demand from the amplifiers. I also had the electrician wire the wall outlets for the TV and the rest of the equipment to the conditioner. That way, there are no ground problems, either.

These aren't just "power strips". The higher you go, the more they do. If you check your line voltage, it peaks and dips during high demand periods and dips when they don't need to generate as much. At my house, it's usually 122-126V during the day. Nothing with a microprocessor likes voltage fluctuations and as if that's not bad enough, look at your AC supply voltage on an oscilloscope sometime. There's so much RF and other garbage on it it'll make ya puke! Well, maybe not, but when I plugged a device for checking for line noise, I was listening to a baseball game. Not through the TV or stereo, from the AC line! Get a good one and use the RF/Phone filters, too. The PST-6MC has them and will keep your stuff from having problems from all kinds of causes.

Watch the PS Audio video and go to the Furman site to watch theirs, too. Garth Powell is a musician and also an electrical engineer. If you watch his video, you'll definitely see that he's really passionate about this issue.

Do you plug your computer directly into the wall? I doubt it. Why? Because it won't last long. You know thise DVRs in DirecTV receivers (specifically the HR-10 and HR-20)? They have a 250GB hard drive inside. Same kind used in a regular computer.

TX.X-30 fan
04-02-2008, 01:57 PM
You like the panamax Jim, I use 2 5510's in my system and the volts on the meter never budge. I have no idea how many times they have caught the surges or drops and shut off the system. I would guess they have saved me thousands as well as extending the life of the equipment.

JimN
04-02-2008, 02:25 PM
I use some PanaMax, too. Depends on the application, but for really expensive stuff, I use Furman. Not all of my distributors sell the higher-end PanaMax, but they do sell the Furman, so I buy those.

I did try the small video conditioner on my TV last year and noticed a definite improvement. This is most noticeable when the TV is not close to the source equipment. In many cases, the TV's power comes from a completely different circuit in the panel, often on a different phase. This usually causes diagonal noise bars that drift up from the bottom to the top of the screen. In the audio, it causes humming.

I really prefer isolated power to all of the equipment but it's more important to be isolated from the actual supply. The reason they leave the amps non-isolated is that inductors (coils and transformers) limit current and if the amp has a loosely regulated power supply, it can starve for power. Active power conditioners are good for this kind of application. They take whatever voltage range they're given, step it up and regulate it to 129VAC, so that even if it drops below a normally usable point (like 90VAC), the equipment still has all the power it needs. I was watching a video with Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads, producer for many) and he was talking about going down South with Kenny Wayne Shepard to play and record with some old blues greats. They got to a couple of the houses and measured voltage that was literally in the 90-100V range. For guitar amps and recording equipment, that's never going to work, so they ended up using the generator on one of the buses.

These definitely extend the life of the equipment. Where I am, we have unbelievable thunder storms and lots of lightning. Plus, the my house is about 150' of cable from the transformer and I have higher than normal line voltage as it is. I have never had a power related failure since I moved here and my power has cut out quite a few times.

Workin' 4 Toys
04-02-2008, 03:12 PM
Jim, it looks like the two units you recommend is a combined $150.00. Not bad compared to the units the sales people pushed....:rolleyes:

Are either of you recommending the LCD and other components be plugged into different outlets or on dedicated circuits? That seems a little extreme to me.

I am starting to believe I am going to have to add some power ventilation with all this stuff in the cabinet. Especially after looking at these conditioners. And to think, All of this just to watch a little "NHRA drag racing" or "How it's made" once a month...:o


I have never given any thought to "power fluctuations" for a television before. Always had them plugged directly into an outlet. As a matter of fact, I have a Gateway2000 PC (Yes that is pre-Y2K) that has been plugged directly into the outlet on and off since 1998. No strips, and has yet to require service of any kind. My other computers are on "power strips" only because there are more than two plugs at any given location within reach of the cords.

Workin' 4 Toys
04-02-2008, 03:14 PM
My opinion would be to spend a little on surge and power conditioning.
Try these guys, they sell inexpensive on up.
http://www.psaudio.com/
The first place to start would be at the plug, ps has hospital grade plugs, work your way out from there.
Is the power to your system on a dedicated wire, If not watch the use of dimmers in that room, or for that matter anywhere close.


You guys are making me want my old projection TV back..:(

JimN
04-02-2008, 03:31 PM
Yeah, well those aren't normal prices. Some of their prices are less than my cost as a dealer.

If your computer and other equipment has never needed service, consider yourself lucky and an exception.

Same circuit, if possible but if not, at least the same phase. If the power cords are all grounded, it's more important because resistance on the ground causes a lot of noise issues and when two pieces are on different phases, measuring voltage on the hot legs will show 240V (or double the voltage at each outlet).

I'll tell you one thing about electrical supply- electricians don't know or care about equipment like this, in most of the cases I have been associated with. Great for motors and lights, mad for anything like this. Sure, they want to get in on "the big money" jobs of structured wiring but most of the wire-pullers don't have a freakin' clue. I just had one pull his AC to the box in a closet, through the 1" hole I was using for all of my low voltage wiring, and then he cut my pull cord when he was done. Effin' jerk! I had drilled another hole for the AC supply and he didn't bother to find out how to access it, and I wanted my low voltage separated from the AC supply as much as possible.

edited to add :rant: :rant: :firejump:

Workin' 4 Toys
04-02-2008, 03:50 PM
"Same circuit, if possible but if not, at least the same phase. "

Should it be an isolated circuit? For reasons unknown like a vacuum cleaner, battery charger..etc..

Do I really need a surge suppression outlet to plug these into?

stuartmcnair
04-02-2008, 04:17 PM
I'll tell you one thing about electrical supply- electricians don't know or care about equipment like this, in most of the cases I have been associated with. Great for motors and lights, mad for anything like this. Sure, they want to get in on "the big money" jobs of structured wiring but most of the wire-pullers don't have a freakin' clue.

And I Say AMEN! The electricians drive me nuts. They sit and watch me terminate network / phone / audio-video as neatly as it can be done in high end patch panels and ask why I bother making it look pretty. They still try to daisy chain phone lines. "It'll work, it don't matter what it looks like". They just do not get it. One of the electrician's on my last job asked why we got paid so much for doing the same thing as them. I told him I would hire him for good money if he could get the VPN between the two offices going.

tex
04-02-2008, 05:25 PM
Yeah? Are you gonna make it all 220?

TX.X-30 fan
04-02-2008, 06:01 PM
Yeah? Are you gonna make it all 220?



Since I'm sure the garage is 3 phase, he can just grab a leg there? :D

JimN
04-02-2008, 07:19 PM
220, 221,......

Battery chargers and vacuum cleaners are good for sending noise into the lines- chargers for noise and switches for spikes on startup and shutdown. If you want to use a cheaper surge suppressor on them, it won't hurt.

If I am able, I like to have a circuit for only my stuff. Usually, it's a luxury that I can't have on most jobs. As I mentioned, if a source or display is far from the receiver/amp and there's resistance on the ground, it'll hum, like my music server that's next to my computer and my stereo is in a closet. Or, it could be from the receiver that's in my garage, on a different circuit. Whatever the cause, it hums and bugs me.

TX.X-30 fan
04-02-2008, 07:42 PM
Tracing that hum can be a job all its own. In my old house we ran 2 dedicated lines for the system 20amp. then did some lighting with Lutron dimmers. Not until the dimmers got there had we ever had that damn hum. I ended up leaving one dimmer off all the time and no more hum. It was the one closest to the system. I'm sure RF can drive installers nuts at times, well that and electricians that cram romex through your 12v stuff.

JimN
04-02-2008, 08:01 PM
If the dimmer is in a plastic box, there's no shielding at all and it it had been in conduit and metal boxes, it would probably be decreased. You can check to find out if it's being radiated or injected by turning a battery powered AM radio on and tuning it off-frequency, then walking around the room. It'll get louder near the source if it's radiating the noise. If it's injecting it into the AC lines, it might be able to be filtered unless the romex is running parallel to the audio cables. In that case, about the only way to get rid of the noise is to re-run the easier cable and/or cross the other one at a right angle. This would be if the noise is being induced into the audio cables.

If it's from a ground loop, a ground lift adaptor can get rid of it. The amp may or may not have a grounded power cord. You generally want the equipment that's close to the amp grounded and the shield grounded at the amp. If there's another piece that's connected at a distance with a grounded cord, use the adaptor. If that doesn't work, get a good ground loop isolator from a good car audio installation shop. It's a 1:1 transformer and isolates the input from the output but the reason it needs to be a good one is that bad ones really screw up the sound. If you ever have a source with digital audio and the shield causes hum (ground loop), changing to the optical output will never cause noise.

JohnE
04-02-2008, 11:45 PM
And I Say AMEN! The electricians drive me nuts. They sit and watch me terminate network / phone / audio-video as neatly as it can be done in high end patch panels and ask why I bother making it look pretty. They still try to daisy chain phone lines. "It'll work, it don't matter what it looks like". They just do not get it. One of the electrician's on my last job asked why we got paid so much for doing the same thing as them. I told him I would hire him for good money if he could get the VPN between the two offices going.

Most electricians are idiots when it comes to low voltage work. It's not their thing. Trouble is most of them are too dumb or ignorant to admit it. I am no expert on low voltage, but I do a bit of it. I know my way around, and also realize my limitations. But I hear what you are saying. Heck, we haven't daisy chained a phone even in a house since around '95. But there was a time when it was the norm, even Ma Bell did it....

Workin' 4 Toys
04-03-2008, 12:29 AM
Since I'm sure the garage is 3 phase, he can just grab a leg there? :D
I don't know what you are talking about, I don't have a garage. And no legs to grab.8p

Workin' 4 Toys
04-03-2008, 12:38 AM
Sorry Jim. What I meant was do the "power conditioners" require a surge suppression outlet as someone else brought up earlier. (I didn't mean, do the vacuum and charger require conditioners) I guess I wanted to know if those devices would create problems for the components if they were on the same circuit. I assumed yes, but asked anyway.

I will plan to change the outlets for these components to an isolated circuit.

Workin' 4 Toys
04-16-2008, 11:29 PM
Oh and we're going to need pictures!




.You asked, you shall receive. (I put the xstars on the bookshelves for your enjoyment)
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd222/Made-in-the-USA/stuff/Entertainmentcenter.jpg

JimN
04-17-2008, 12:15 AM
Sorry for not replying sooner, but conditioners have surge suppression built in, too. Depending on what level of the line the piece is, that will determine how it's suppressed. Some just use a thyristor, which pops when it hits a specific voltage. Unfortunately for a lot of formerly good equipment, the voltage is way too high to survive. Some "crowbar" the voltage, which is exactly what it sounds like- it creates a dead short across the hot and neutral, to keep the spike or surge from ever reaching the big buck equipment. These are basically sacrificial and need to be replaced when it happens but it beats launching a $5000+ amplifier. Some new ones work in a way that keeps the audio/video intact and itself, as well. They advertise them as eliminating a house call after a big surge or spike, which I think is great- the customer's system still works and they don't need to call for service.

Who did your cabinet work? Is he out of Crystal Lake?

RexDog1
04-17-2008, 11:04 AM
You asked, you shall receive. (I put the xstars on the bookshelves for your enjoyment)
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd222/Made-in-the-USA/stuff/Entertainmentcenter.jpg

Wow looks good!!
Nice work builder Bob, very NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

Workin' 4 Toys
04-18-2008, 12:03 AM
Sorry for not replying sooner, but conditioners have surge suppression built in, too. Depending on what level of the line the piece is, that will determine how it's suppressed. Some just use a thyristor, which pops when it hits a specific voltage. Unfortunately for a lot of formerly good equipment, the voltage is way too high to survive. Some "crowbar" the voltage, which is exactly what it sounds like- it creates a dead short across the hot and neutral, to keep the spike or surge from ever reaching the big buck equipment. These are basically sacrificial and need to be replaced when it happens but it beats launching a $5000+ amplifier. Some new ones work in a way that keeps the audio/video intact and itself, as well. They advertise them as eliminating a house call after a big surge or spike, which I think is great- the customer's system still works and they don't need to call for service.

Who did your cabinet work? Is he out of Crystal Lake?
Nope, out of New Lenox.;)

I think am going to end up with the two devices you recommended earlier in the thread on a dedicated circuit. I'll check the surge suppression outlet off the list.

Workin' 4 Toys
04-18-2008, 12:10 AM
Wow looks good!!
Nice work builder Bob, very NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D
Thanks. A little too much thought may have gone into my drawings, however, the outcome was well worth it. It looks better in person than the picture, but I can only do so much with a cheapo camera.;)
The boat shelf is about 6' up from the ground if that helps with the scale............;)

bcampbe7
04-29-2008, 11:23 PM
You asked, you shall receive. (I put the xstars on the bookshelves for your enjoyment)
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd222/Made-in-the-USA/stuff/Entertainmentcenter.jpg


Dang, that is very nice! :worthy: :worthy: :worthy:

Monte
04-29-2008, 11:26 PM
Wow WFT... Much respect due...

Workin' 4 Toys
04-30-2008, 11:23 PM
Next.....TV, Head unit, speakers, Cable box, Blu-Ray, Xbox360, surge suppression system(s), rewire the room to isolate these devices to their own circuit, books for shelves, wife's knick-knacks......Not necessarily in that order...



Come on economic stimulus check....:rolleyes: ...............:purplaugh

coz
05-01-2008, 12:02 AM
Beautiful job W4T :headbang: