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  #11  
Old 10-22-2013, 02:07 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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  #12  
Old 10-22-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Analog View Post
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.
What did you go with for speakers?
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  #13  
Old 10-22-2013, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JimN View Post
What did you go with for speakers?
In my downstairs family room I run a pair of Dali Euphonia MS5s on a two-channel system.
I had a pair of Boston Acoustics A360 small towers in the excercise room primarily for listening to morning FM while on the treadmill. I was very happy with the way they are voiced (smooth)so I moved them downstairs and listened with a variety of CDs. Based on that, I moved them to the media room as the front speakers and added the B.A. A26s for the rear fill, B.A. A225C center, and two B.A. ASW650 subs. They really sound much like the earlier Boston Acoustics CR series and the original a/d/s bookshelf speakers. In this moderate price range, I would highly recommend them as a great value. If someone spends more, the choices really open up.
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  #14  
Old 10-22-2013, 05:24 PM
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is cooling. Make sure you have a way to exhaust whatever enclosure houses your components. Even if you have them stored remotely, be sure they can breath. A/V receivers and satellite receivers put off a lot of heat. Don't get me started on Playstation 3s. I have two a/c powered fans on an IR plug that is turned on and off with my Logitech Harmony remote. I also have a component fan that pulls the hot air right off the A/V receiver and feeds it to the exhaust fans. They are all quiet and I don't doubt that they have extended the life of my components.
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  #15  
Old 10-22-2013, 05:33 PM
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Out of town....will post a floor plan on the weekend.

Definitely going with flat screen v. projector as it is a multi-use room.

All finishes will be drywall w carpet floor.
Ceiling will be insulated so I finally have a place to watch movies at my volume



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  #16  
Old 10-22-2013, 05:42 PM
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Because we are on the subject of home theater, I'll ask about in-ceiling speakers. I have a pair of B&W bookshelf along with a B&W center. My wife does not want them exposed in the room so I'm resulting in some ceiling type speaker that has some angle to it. How good will these perform and are there some decent ones that can be recommended?

Also, the TV will be in the corner of the room so symetry is not in the cards. TV will be enclosed into a TV pit and blanket chest, and when needed, will lift up out of pit and pivot to viewing area. Obviously, a multi-purpose room. Very hard room indeed with windows everywhere too.

http://www.tvlift.com/high-rise-swivel-tv-lift.html

HDMI - Need some quality converter to send/receive signal over CAT 6a wire at a distance of maybe 80' from TV to component area. Recommendations?
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  #17  
Old 10-22-2013, 06:22 PM
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My in ceiling speakers are angled. They are Yamaha and, because they are surrounds, they are not where I spent my money. That said, they have handled the surround duty beautifully. My fronts and center are matched speakers. I have always considered these speakers to be much more directionally oriented, which is why I have my speakers on the shelf. You might consider some sort of permeable cloth enclosure (grill cloth panel) to cover them up if you don't find a flush mounted solution.
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  #18  
Old 10-22-2013, 06:29 PM
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We had one built in a former house and just never used it enough to justify it (it was a full theatre room) - I would use a large TV going forward - technology is changing so fast that you get locked in with an expensive projector. We loved the room for certain movies (Days of Thunder) and when people came over - but no one would ever go in to watch TV by themselves, which is where I think we lost interest in putting one in our new home.

If in a central location, then you'd likely be ok to do whatever with it. If it is off the main living area, I would be careful about just going for a projector.

We had all in wall speaker (full Yamaha system) - I would definately put the speakers in wall using QUALITY speaker wire that is sealed for such uses.
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  #19  
Old 10-22-2013, 06:48 PM
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Is the TV or screen going above the fireplace straight ahead, or on the wall to the right?

Do those windows face south? If so, you'll benefit from blackout curtains on the windows no matter where you put the screen/ TV.
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  #20  
Old 10-22-2013, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski-me View Post
Because we are on the subject of home theater, I'll ask about in-ceiling speakers. I have a pair of B&W bookshelf along with a B&W center. My wife does not want them exposed in the room so I'm resulting in some ceiling type speaker that has some angle to it. How good will these perform and are there some decent ones that can be recommended?

Also, the TV will be in the corner of the room so symetry is not in the cards. TV will be enclosed into a TV pit and blanket chest, and when needed, will lift up out of pit and pivot to viewing area. Obviously, a multi-purpose room. Very hard room indeed with windows everywhere too.

http://www.tvlift.com/high-rise-swivel-tv-lift.html

HDMI - Need some quality converter to send/receive signal over CAT 6a wire at a distance of maybe 80' from TV to component area. Recommendations?
Ceiling speakers will always be a compromise as compared to free-standing speakers. But in some cases you have no choice, although it is not near the issue on the side and rear speakers.
Angled ceiling speakers can help somewhat on the front L & R and center. Plus, you can improve the angled ceiling speakers by keeping their radiation pattern (a little less than a 90 degree total cone) away from the side walls (so close to 45 degress radius away from the sides). Triad makes some expensive, yet spectacular, angled and fully enclosed in-ceiling speakers using the finest euro speaker components. These would be worth it on the front three speakers. Then you can fill in the rest with a less expensive series from the same brand with the same aesthetics.

Years ago, baluns (converts HDMI to Cat and back to HDMI) were not the best. Today they are very good and very dependable. Like anything else, get the better option. Also, run an extra Cat cable beyond what the balun dictates. Cat cable is cheap and you never know what the future holds.
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