Really need some advice before I waste money....

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by BobWo, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. BobWo

    BobWo Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please excuse the length of this posting but I want you to have all of the information so that I can avoid costly mistakes! Here is what I have:

    Imagine your monitor is the overhead view of my basement. In the upper lefthand corner is a small 4 foot hallway that leads upstairs. In the upper right hand corner is a doorway and in the lower righthand corner is another doorway. More or less, this leaves me with a 25x25 foot square in the middle of my basement. The walls are cinderblocks with 2x4 framing and drywall. The ceiling is 8 foot height and is exposed to the floor joists. This open exposure will remain as we use a corn stove (installed in the bottom lefthand corner of your screen) in the basement and any ceiling we put in would prevent the heat transfer. We will simply paint the ceiling black.

    As for equipment, I have the following purchased:

    Infocus IN71
    Da-lite 120" ceiling mount screen

    I have a cheapo 5.1 surround system by philips that is temporarily installed right now.

    So, with that said, here are my goals:

    1) I want a system that allows us to have a solid home theater experience
    2) I am not an audiophile so "pure" sound is not a requirement
    3) I do not want to spend thousands more on equipment
    4) I would like to stay under $1000 for the speakers/equipment
    5) I want the layout to allow for easy access but great viewing.

    With those goals in mind, here are my questions:

    1) Is 25 foot enough room for me to create an elevated platform for one row of seating and then put another row of seating in front of the platform? I don't want to place anyone too close to the screen.

    2) What system would you recommend to allow for solid all around great sound, keeping in mind my budget?

    3) Would and Xbox 360 allow me to not only fulfill my son's gaming requirements but also allow us to use it to play dvd's in such a way that it gives a great picture? Or do I need to purchase a seperate dvd player?

    4) I have played with my projector and I have a great view, with no loss of picture etc, from most any angle as the gain is only 1.3. So, seating arrangment should be fairly wide, correct?

    5) How far back from the screen (it will be about 24 inches out from the wall due to entertainment center) should I mount my projector in order to maximize viewing size?

    6) Lastly, I have a HP dual core HCE computer that I bought since it allows the Tivo option. Are these things more a novelty then actually something that you would want to use in a home theater?

    I think that is it for now. Thanks in advance for any advice/suggestions!

    Bob
     
  2. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,131
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know what your expectations are, but I have a feeling that you may be rather disappointed with a system that is priced this low ($1000 for surround speakers, subwoofer, receiver, cabling, speaker stands) in your sizable room... The size and budget definately present a challenge!

    I encourage you to visit a reputable dealer (not the big box retailers) that can show you several systems at several different price points. You don't have to buy anything from them but, they can give you a good idea of what you can expect at a given price point. Armed with that information, you are better prepared to make an informed buying decision.

    In the end you still may decide that $1,000 is your budget but, at least you can rest assured that you checked your options before investing!

    Good Luck!
     
  3. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,289
    Likes Received:
    281
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Hello Bob, welcome to the forum!

    I will not try to answer all your questions, especially not about systems/prices of equipment on the US market.

    But here are a few of my opinions:

    1) Yes 25 feet should certainly be enough to do that. Keep the backside of the last row at least about 3 - 5 feet from the back wall (for the best surround sound), take what's necessary, given your seats (say: 3 or 4 feet) for each row. That will bring the front row at 16-18 feet from the screen, which is excellent (IMO, but I happen to be far-sighted [​IMG] ).
    You may even consider sitting more close to it (1.5 - twice the screen width, at least, is the rule of thumb; some people like sitting even closer, especially children).

    3) If you plan going HD one day, an console may play some (or one) of the formats, but you cannot be sure all formats. And the price will be higher.
    Currently, if you have an Xbox doing what you want, use it. But then again, what does a very reasonable DVD-player cost? And it may be much more convenient.

    4) A gain of 1.3 is fine indeed. But although there won't be too much restraints from the reflection angle, you don't want to sit too much to the side, mainly because the sound stage will become too problematic if someone is sitting relatively close to one of the speakers. Center is best.
    Therefore, I would suggest less seats in the front row than in the second one.
    (Of course no-one should sit too close to a surround speaker either, but the front stage is the most important in this respect.)

    5) That depends on the projector/lens. it should be able to fill the screen. Personally, I would like it to be as far to the back as possible without "overfilling" the screen. [​IMG]

    6) Mmm. Depends on your taste. Do you like to see sport on the big screen too? Or the occasional TV film? If yes, then the option is great to have.


    Cees
     
  4. BobWo

    BobWo Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the replies!

    As for the system, here is my thoughts:

    1) Receiver $300
    2) Sub Woofer - $250
    3) Center - $150
    4) Surrounds - $300

    I am basing those prices strictly upon what I have seen on eBay and in the used marketplace. I want something that will allow the movies to come alive but not necessarily make the walls shake or have me sitting back aahhing over the musical experience. Does that make sense?

    Xbox - We do not currently own one. I was simply trying to figure out a way to kill two birds with one stone. If the 360 will allow me to obtain a great picture then this might just be a good way of going. I don't plan on purchasing a Blu Ray etc as of yet. We simply do not have stores carrying the dvd's for this yet.

    Seating - I will still have seats off to the sides (actually right up against the wall) as many times we have larger groups over and I need to be able to accomodate them. I realize the "experience" won't be that great compared to dead center but at least they will still be able to enjoy the movie. Or, will the speakers make it hard for those to the side to hear and follow along?

    Speakers - Is there any real benefit to moving to a 7.1 setup vs a 5.1? Is the experience that much better?

    Again, thanks for the help!

    Bob
     
  5. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,289
    Likes Received:
    281
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Bob,

    That depends also on one's taste. Most of the current systems don't have a "real" extra channel. They derive the center rear from the other rears. So, it may be a little better, but it's uncertain what it would be worth (money wise). Again: it's mainly a matter of taste, IMO.


    Cees
     
  6. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,281
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Where are your main speakers in that list?

    -Robert
     
  7. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page