$3,000 to spend on a system for a newbie. Please help. Sorry if this is the 8,000th post like this

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by MondayMonday, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. MondayMonday

    MondayMonday Auditioning

    Feb 3, 2013
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    I am ready to start my first "theater" in our new basement. I have a budget of $3,000 maybe $3,500 to buy everything so I need to prioritize and build around what we plan to do with it. I am not handy, but have some friends who can... uh...help out. The basement was just finished and is pretty much a blank slate. The plan is to be able to use it as a dark theater for movies and sports when possible, but the room will be a multi-purpose area and there will be times (more frequent than not) when we want to watch something with the lights on. The plan also is to have 2 TVs mounted on either side of a 120" white wall where the theater will project. We have more or less 15 feet to work with from our theater wall and the opposite wall (no furniture or anything yet in the way) and a drop ceiling (my wife would prefer that we have the speakers in the ceiling to the extent possible though we can work with that a bit). Screen: We were planning on doing a white wall because we have young children (will eventually upgrade to a screen at some point), but I worry that an expensive screen could be damaged by small hands at this point. We have the space to do 120" plus "screen" plus some extra area at the top and bottom. I had thought to use the Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Smooth Enamel Satin Extra White, # B20 W 51 paint and a black frame recommended on the following website http://www.projectorcentral.com/paint_perfect_screen_$100.htm?page=Paint-the-Screen. I am willing, like other aspects of the project to make changes here, but think the SW paint may be best from a cost perspective. Projector: I was pretty well set on the Epson 8350 (on sale for a refub for $899), but I am starting to think about the Benq W1070 for $889 plus a $50 gift card. Maybe I will change my mind, but I think the 3D is not something we will use much, but who knows. I’m not sure if the DPL is a huge step back from the LCD or if I will notice a huge difference with the contrast ratio. Does the shift make a big difference since I have the ability to change where I place the projector? All things being equal the 3D would be fun, but I don't want to sacrifice features I really want to get it. Maybe the 8350 is the safe bet here. Speakers: http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-NSIW280CWH3P-Easy---install--Ceiling/dp/B0030CLDCE/ref=sr_1_14?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359930049&sr=1-14&keywords=in+ceiling+speakers, http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-10-Inch-Monitor-Subwoofer/dp/B0002KVQBA/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359930149&sr=1-1&keywords=Polk+Audio+PSW10 I'll be honest here. I am not an audiofile and have no idea what will be good on a budget. I am open to all recommendations. It would be very cool to have something that sounds great, but I want to be cost effective. It looks like the speakers above had decent reviews and are cost effective. Receiver: We have an Onkyo HT RC-360 for our upstairs TV. I bought it because it was cheap and I had seen a few people with that brand. I am ignorant on what is going to be cost effective and good. I don't want to be penny-wise pound-foolish. I don't think I need tons of apps and stuff. I just mostly want to be able to connect my TV service and other devices through HDMI. Am I missing something? Maybe there are some cool things these things do beyond just get the sound to my speakers that would be fun. TVs (2) and wall mounts: I am flexible here. I have space. I was thinking of just getting so big slightly used stuff on Craigslist unless there is a great deal on new stuff. Any thoughts on how much of my budget I should allocate here and what type of TVs you'd purchase? Roku - I will connect a roku to stream movies and sports. Is there a better option maybe a Vizio Co-Star. We have a couple roku's and love them. We also have a couple Logitech Revue's which seem to be more comprehensive (love the web browser but hate the crashes). I haven't done my homework on the Co-Star. Maybe a Mac AirPlay. I don't know much about that either, but my in-laws have one and it seemed to work well with their iPads. Maybe some combo will work here or am I missing out . I mostly want to watch sports and Netflix and maybe play movies that are stored on a hard drive. Blu-Ray Player: Thoughts on which one will work best? What else am I leaving out? Maybe a gaming system? Also, is there a way to make it so I can swap from the TV to the Projector from one screen to the other. I must say that I am not crazy about a 2 year satellite contract, but that may be the best option. My preference is to shut down premium TV and do OTA TV, Netflix and blu-ray when football and basketball season is over. How will a Leaf antenna do in my basement (I live NW of Detroit by about an hour)? The ones upstairs do surprisingly well. What about an amplifier is that worth the extra money? Is there a good outdoor antenna that isn't going to look like a monstrosity and cost my my whole budget or cause massive drilling in my house? As you can see I am on a low budget, am not handy, and don't have much knowledge about things. Three strikes and I'm out or can somebody help?

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