Your dream bar ideas wanted

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Gravel, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Gravel

    Gravel Auditioning

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    Hello,
    I'm an extreme DIY doing a project and would love to have any input on cool, fun, smart ideas. I have a ~600sf bar room and I'd like to make it a fun place for 'movie night' and day/night 'game nights.' I'd love to do something smart-home ish, and I have a decent budget. So what's your dream-bar look like?
    I wanted one large TV for 'movie night' so I went with the 65" vt50 panasonic plasma. The salesman originally talked me into samsung's flagship but the glowing nametag was as annoying as the glow around the screen perimeter in dark scenes - so I returned it. The vt50 has lame software (they charge a lot for the tv but still display advertisements in the menu - ridiculous).
    For the blu-ray I'm thinking about the Oppo BDP-103. It looks like that's all I need - no receiver needed since I can hook the speakers directly to it and use just about anything for an input. Any suggestions here, should I still buy a receiver?
    For sound I need new front speakers. I have a big old center-channel Focal, a sunfire sub and two old PSB towers, then four Focals in the ceiling. (I used to have a projector hanging from the ceiling and speakers were set up around that system, but instead I'm going with the plasma tv for better full-time/daytime viewing). I want to replace the center channel and towers with either a pair of in-wall speakers and a bar (I have been using a samsung bar and don't care for the quality) or maybe some other creative solution - any ideas for this?
    Lastly, I just built an "IT closet" to keep all the devices/cables/etc. I have it next to the electrical panel and it would be nice to put as much 'stuff' there as possible. I think I need the Oppo near the TV in order to keep the cable runs to a realistic length but I'm open for ideas on how to put as much of it out of sight as possible. I have all 'ambient sound' speakers in the house in one place (laundry room but moving them to the closet soon) and I may just add a couple to the bar for when the TV is off. But it would be nice to tie it all in somehow if useful.
    The room is L-shaped with the TV in the center (near the corner). The TV is about 25' from where the TV will hang, and ceilings are all 8'.
    Thanks for any input - and I'll post pics as I move forward!
     
  2. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Owner
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    Jim,
    Welcome!
    You will definitely still need a receiver with the Oppo - unless the speakers are active (internally amplified). From your description, they are not, so you'll definitely need a receiver or pre/pro and amp. You can run HDMI up to 30 feet comfortably - so that should give you an idea of where your gear needs to be versus the display. If you need a longer run, there are good extender options available.
     
  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Your sources need to be with the AVR...unless some of those sources are PS3/Wii/Xbox.
    Like mentioned above, a BD player doesn't replace an AVR...as a BD player is merely a source.
    To control your hidden equipment, are you using Xantech? RF? Other???
     
  4. Gravel

    Gravel Auditioning

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    Dave and Sam - thank you for the answers! I am realizing now just how much I do not know.
    Thank you for mentioning the controller, I had not thought too much about it but after reading the Xantech site I see it's useful and not a simple answer so I'll begin mapping this out. I would like as few devices as possible, so I think having this tie to an ipad or smartphone would be better than an RF/IR. I do not see away around having at least one remote since I'll have cable tv as an input too, and I haven't heard of a way to tie all that in to one remote - thoughts?
    Great idea on the wii - that's a must-have, and even though my wife mentioned it I had forgotten it already.
    So there are options for setting it all up. Perfect world I'd have all devices in the new closet except the TV, speakers and wii bar, and have it all controlled by my iPhone/iPad, but this is a real jigsaw puzzle. I think maybe something like this:
    - TV on the wall, wii sensor bar mounted beneath it. A second TV on another wall since the receiver/Oppo can more than one, and then maybe add some splitters for more small TVs around the room, later on.
    - Long HDMI cables and/or extenders - what do you suggest? I need probably a ~40' HDMI run from the closet to the TV, but that's cutting it close. Once I add the additional TVs I'll need at least one run as long as 75'.
    - Any suggestion for a receiver? I have an 'old' Sony STR-DH520 that seems a little outclassed here, so maybe an investment in a new receiver is warranted. I had been looking at the Yamaha RXA1000 a while ago but I'm sure there are newer/better ones out there now. My price point is somewhere around 1k for this - I can go as high as 2k or more if it's really worth it but 1k seems reasonable to me. (I'll eventually put in a sound system in another room for listening to albums, and I'll go all-out on that receiver)
    - In the closet I assume I'd have all inputs running into the AVR, which would go out to the TV on one HDMI, but the Oppo is a question - should I run it directly to the TV or pass-through the AVR? I hope I can now closet all inputs - the wii, cable TV, Oppo, file-server with movies and music.
    The more I think about it, the more important the AVR is starting to look. If there is one out there that can communicate well with the inputs and can be controlled over a phone/pad, maybe that's the solution?
    By the way - I appreciate the feedback on this, I really do. I spent months researching this about two years ago and there is no easy way to pick the 'best' system without spending time at a trade show or maybe working part-time with a HT company. In that time everything's changed and there is too much new stuff to keep track of!
     
  5. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Owner
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    In general you want everything running into the AVR (even the Oppo), as that is how you get the audio to your speakers. The receiver will HDMI switch for you so you don't have to fiddle once you program your remote.

    As for the 75' run, you could use one of these cables: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10240&cs_id=1024002&p_id=2893&seq=1&format=4

    But you will likely need right angle adapters for stress relief and you may have some video artifacts. If that is the case, you can purchase HDMI signal boosters for about $50.
     
  6. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Owner
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    On the subject of remote control - check out this solution for your iPad/Android devices: http://www.iruleathome.com/
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Onkyo/Integra, Denon, Elite(no Pioneer) and Yamaha all have "multi-zone HDMI"...but not for $1000.
    To get multi-zone HDMI(which would greatly simplify what you are doing here) you need the Elite SC67, Onkyo NR3010(I don't think the 1010 will cut it) or the Yamaha RX-A2010/20(I don't think the 1010/20 will cut it either). I know Denon has one in the pipeline that will do this called the AVR4520...supposedly it exists...but I've never seen one...Denon is still bouncing back from the earthquake/tsunami...so they are still behind the 8-ball, so to speak.
    For your needs, I would give the SC67 the nod, cause it has HDMI Zone 4...and it costs less than the "similar featured" Yamaha and Onkyo/Integra.
    Why do you need the Oppo? Everybody elses $200 BD player will do all the Oppo does, and frankly the Oppo is a waste of time if all you are connecting is HDMI. I'd rather buy a $200 BD player and
     
  8. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    It is a "moot point" with 2-zone HDMI(the SC67 allows 3 zones of HD...one is component) needing two STB, two BD, two BD...or whatever else.
    If the OP can't figure out that part(as in duplicating sources if need be)...then he's totally lost.
    On the AVR4520, I've seen reviews already...but what I don't remember is if they were European forums. I wouldn't be surprised if Europe is already on the XX13/20...
     
  9. Gravel

    Gravel Auditioning

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    ** Got it. Thanks for the cable info, I was under the impression there was a lower limit to hdmi cables, something like 50'. And, I'll look into this further but you've steered me to what I needed to know.
    ** Sweet. That is the kind of thing I have been looking for - and that's the problem with this project, it leads to real "scope creep" once I start seeing what's out there. The iRuleAtHome system looks open enough to grow into....
     
  10. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    My comment was more that, you should know...ahead of time, what sources you want sent where...
    Then those sources you have to decide if any will be "doubled up"...meaning, used at the same time.
    Like will one room be on SportsCenter, while another room is on "whatever the Kardashians are doing"...
    That needs two cable/sat STB.
    Will one room be streaming music files, while another room is on Netflix...
    That will require two streaming sources.
    And so on.
     
  11. Gravel

    Gravel Auditioning

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    understood - and that is helpful, thanks.
    I'm in the process of mapping it all out, which might take a couple of weeks, and of course holding off buying more equipment....
    Thanks
     

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