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Old 10-21-2013, 11:18 PM
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Home theater....

Ok....finishing lower level of the house. Framed in for zero clearance fireplace Saturday. Moving on to frame the rest, then hvac and electrical.

Want to do 7.1 surround and considering in wall/in ceiling speakers. Looking for experiences and thoughts on the A/V system.

Think i am doing TV over projector but opinions there too??



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Old 10-22-2013, 12:12 AM
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I personally don't think the projectors are as versatile as TVs. I haven't cheeked the technology out in a couple years though.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:24 AM
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Kweisner Kweisner is offline
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We have a full on home theater with a projector and 110" screen. At the time we put ours in, projector tech was moving really fast and that meant the second-hand market had some great deals. We picked up a Sony "Ruby" (originally a $10K projector) for two grand. Yes, we took a chance buying used, but in our case it's worked out great. Provides a full HD picture with really terrific color, tone and does blacks well (one of the hardest things, BTW). To get optimal performance, most projectors/screens require a dark room, and even the paint color should be a medium to dark tone, otherwise it reflects too much light from the screen. In our case, we have a bit of a high-gain screen which dictates a fully darkened room. If you will have (or want) some ambient light, you can get a lower gain screen. Regular TV is certainly a fine option, but a projector / big screen really does make it a theater for strictly viewing, vs. a TV room where you can do other stuff besides viewing.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:18 AM
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Projectors are certainly not as versatile. Need pretty dark room. Kinda large picture. But they sure are nice. A friend has a massive one in his basement with 7.1+ 3 or 4 subs. Very cool.

TVs are cheap now. I saw a 55" at Walmart for like $400. How about a 55 for watching tv Andries usage, then lower the screen in front of it for movies and football?
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:23 AM
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Go give the 4K TVs a look. We have a 7.1 system. We are using 8" ceiling speakers for the surrounds and rear surrounds. We are using bookshelf Klipsch speakers for the center and front speakers (since the TV and components are installed in a built-in built for the TV. The center speaker is obscured behind a hinged panel with a nice tweed grill cloth we found (old Fender Amp grill cloth). The fronts are visible, but discrete. We have an attic with easy access to the side of the built in from above. So running wiring for the surrounds and the sub was very easy.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyB View Post
Ok....finishing lower level of the house. Framed in for zero clearance fireplace Saturday. Moving on to frame the rest, then hvac and electrical.

Want to do 7.1 surround and considering in wall/in ceiling speakers. Looking for experiences and thoughts on the A/V system.

Think i am doing TV over projector but opinions there too??
Can you post a floor plan?

What is the viewing distance? Drywall/insulated walls with drywall or suspended ceiling? If you're willing to use floor-standing speakers, you'll definitely have better sound than using in-wall for the front. If possible, use front speakers that are all the same- L, C and R. Don'r expect a sound bar to be adequate for high SPL use. How much automation will you need? If you do use a projector, you'll need some kind of trigger to turn it on and IR is far less reliable than a 12VDC trigger. Some receivers have it, most don't. You'll also need to let it cool down before shutting it off, so the bulb can cool without re-tempering the glass and making it brittle. These are expensive to replace and using a UPS on the system is a good idea (UPS is often used to mean surge suppressor, but I mean battery backup). I installed one for someone's office and during a strong storm last week, their power went out and came back on while he was using the computer. When the computer wasn't affected at all, he looked at his wife and said "Well, that just paid for itself".

Install 2" orange Smurf tube from the equipment location to the projector or TV, if it's not next to the equipment. HDMI sucks and it's likely that the cable will have to be replaced at some point or something added in the future.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:39 AM
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I can't say enough good things about my Bose home theatre. i got mine about 6 yrs ago and they've developed some new stuf since then. Its expensive but it is that for good reason. i've heard louder and i've seen bigger but nothing is as clear and high quality sound as Bose.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:40 AM
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Are you going to get a drop down screen? If not, the area you are going to be putting your TV is not that big. Go with the TV. A good projector will cost you $2500. Panasonic and Sony make great units for the money if you decide to go that route.

As far as speakers go. ARX makes an amazing speaker for the money and just won the $1000 shoot out on the Home Theater Shack. SVS, HSU or Powersound Audio will be the Subs you will want to look at.

If you want to go the extra mile and make your room sound tons better, then look at acoustically treating your room. Before you Sheetrock would be the time to start addressing this.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:18 PM
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I just finished a small upstairs media room that tightly fits four wide in an arc and is single depth. Based on the size of the room, the nook and cabinet, I have a Sharp 80" LED. It's good in any light and okay for movies but not the same as a good projector. If the room is large enough to support a projector and larger screen then I would go that route. I have recently watched a Panasonic and JVC projector. Both knocked me out.
I'm running a 5.2 audio. I went for a system that would also sound great on music, which is a major challenge for many AV systems. The front uses small floor-standing towers and this makes a giant difference. Free-standing sounds better. Great fullrange and musical bookshelf speakers (like a dual 6" & tweeter, or single 8" & tweeter) on stands can also sound great in the front. Substantial in-cabinet (different from standard in-wall) front speakers can sound good if you fill the surrounding void in the cabinet. Smallish front satellites never sound natural to me and certainly don't play music well.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:07 PM
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If this is going to be a dedicated home theater space, I would personally go with a projector. That being said I have seen many installs done various ways based on the need of the customer. A few options to look at.

-TV and Projector, I've seen some solutions go this route as the TV is used when you do not want to have the room at darker light levels or do not want to burn through the projector bulbs. This is accomplished via higher end receiver units which have 2 hdmi outputs. Receivers such as the Denon 3113CI have two video zones which allow for not only using a tv and projector in one zone but outputting different video and audio to two zones.

-As far as speakers go, I prefer Bowers and Wilkins. The own the market in speakers which cost over $1,000 a piece. While expensive, they simply are they best. Martin Logan also makes a very high quality speaker, the electrostats are phenomenal and have a very deep and wide sound stage. I would stay away from anything in wall as the quality is lacking compared to a floor standing or even bookshelf. Keep in mind that a true bookshelf speaker will port to the front vs the rear, an important note to make when choosing speaker location.

-HDMI Cables, while there are some people that will say "the cheap cables will do" this is not the case. Its very complex and with 4k coming there is a lot of data needed for 7.1 or greater audio along with a true 1080p signal. A great article on hdmi cables is located here: http://www.monoprice.com/home/home.asp?pn=help&idx=12.

-Controlling the system is another hurdle, you can go with something very simple yet limited such as a Logitech Harmony system to a URC system which will be programmed based on your individual system by a system programmer or even something like Crestron or AMX. If you are looking at something like Creston you may want to look at Control4 as it is an easier system to use and it is modular to expand into other areas of your home such as lighting/climate/security.

I've been out of the HT game for just under a year now but I was a Magnolia employee for four years and have done a lot of custom installs for customers.

My suggestion is to head to a Magnolia branded design center and they will set you up with something really nice, it will be expensive though as the word "discount" doesn't exist in their world.

Check out Magnolia at http://magnoliaav.com/, they offer a service called consultation (not sure of the current price or promotions) but its well worth it as an adviser will walk you through your needs and design a custom solution based on what you want done with the space.
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