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newbie here....looking for help in setting up a home theatre in my basement

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by tate101, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. tate101

    tate101 Member

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    Thought I would see if I could pick the brains of people who know much more about this than myself. Here is what I need some help with: building a dedicated home theatre room in our new house room will be 13 x 16 with a 9 foot ceiling plan on putting in a floor riser, insulated ceiling and double drywall on the walls for soundproofing I have a budget of $6500 for equipment which needs to include projector, receiver, screen, speakers, remote and cables. How much should I be budgeting to have the room wired? Is a 100 inch screen adequate? Should be rectractable or fixed? I have seen some screens for as little as $500 and some as much as $2600.....what price point do you get your best bang for the buck? Is there any type of screen that one should consider over the other? These are some of the items that I have been looking at purchasing: LG CF181D projector MX 5.1 sound system or Definitive procinema 800 series Elite Cinetension 2 electric screen URC MX-450 remote Outside of the projector I really don't know where I should be spending my money....is it better to spend more on the screen or on sound and AV reciever? or something else? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. thanks T
     
  2. winniw

    winniw Well-Known Member

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    100" is a good screen size, it balances a lot of different factors. I have the Elite CT2 and I think it is a decent screen but your screen choice should really be based the particular projector that you get, your lighting and other factors. Since you have a dedicated theater room, I would recommend a fixed screen. See pics of my HT and you will understand why I have a retractable screen. I could only get an 80" image with a fixed screen but now I have 100". http://s282.photobucket.com/albums/kk243/NickWizard/ But this is not the case for you, so you can go with a fixed screen, which is less expensive and more trouble free. If you look at the review of the LG CF181D at Projector Central, the reviewer gives specific recommendations in regard to screen choice... http://www.projectorreviews.com/lg/cf181d/screens.php H He mentions an Elite HC (High Contrast cine gray) screen as a compromise between white and a darker gray. That may be a good way to go.


    The Def Tech ProCinema 800's would probably be much better than the MX 5.1 system. I have the Nanosat 5.1 system, which I feel is better than the MX's (and it's cheaper too) but based on some reviews that I read on CNET, I think that the 800's will probably be better for music and play with more authority overall.

    The sound system is very important to the overall experience of you HT. In comparison, you don't even really need a screen, you could use a white wall. So, spend the bulk on your AVR, speakers and subwoofer, rather than your screen.
     
  3. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    I agree with Nick that the speakers deserve the lions share of the budget - figure half or thereabouts. Don't overspend on the receiver - get one that has the inputs you need, don't fret over wattage numbers. A good midrange model from Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, or Pioneer will work for you.


    Lots of folks here swear by going DIY on the screen. If that interests you, consider searching this and other forums for DIY screen projects - there are TONS out there. If DIY is not your cup of tea, I would check out Carada. I got my fixed projection screen from them and have been very satisfied. Their prices are better than Stewart (and Da-Lite, I think) but the quality is pretty darn good. Installation was a snap, too.


    One real rough breakdown might look like this:

    Speakers: $3500

    Projector: $1500 (you could get a Mitsubishi HC4000 + mount at this price point as one option)

    Screen: $600 (this will get you up to around a 100" from Carada w/free shipping this summer)

    Receiver: $600

    Cables, misc: $250


    Check out www.projectorpeople.com for deals on projectors. www.projectorcentral.com and www.projectorreviews.com are excellent resources for detailed projector reviews and specs.
     
  4. tate101

    tate101 Member

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    thanks for your reply
     
  5. tate101

    tate101 Member

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    HI Thanks....I never really thought about the speakers in that regard. Most of the speakers I have looked at range from $600-$1500. Do you have any suggestions for those in the $3000 range? Any thoughts on the LG projector or would you stay with the Mitsubishi? Thanks alan
     
  6. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    The LG projector has been very favorably reviewed and seems like a great option, albeit in a different price bracket than the mitsubishi.


    Your room isn't terribly huge at 13x16, so you're not likely to get a massive screen size. Screen size is dictated by seating distance, and if you're considering a 7.1 speaker layout you should have several feet between the rear wall and the seating position. So if the screen is on the 13 ft wall, you're looking at a seating distance of maybe 10-12 feet. At that distance, 120" screen might be a bit too big (different folks have different opinions on this, but I sit about 11' from a 96" screen and it's the perfect size for me).


    If your screen size is in the 100" range, I wonder if the LG might be too bright. It reportedly is as much as twice as bright as its competitors, and in a room where you will have total light control, too much brightness can have an adverse effect on black levels.


    It's something to keep in mind, and I'm by no means an authority on the LG projector - but a little extra research my be worthwhile, or talk to the folks at projectorpeople.com. They know their stuff and can probably answer any questions you have.
     
  7. tate101

    tate101 Member

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    thanks Jason. I will check with projectorpeople on their advice regarding the projector. I appreciate your help!!! alan
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Well-Known Member

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    I've been using a DIY 103" screen for years with a Panasonic AE900U projector for years. I get nothing but compliments from everyone that watches a movie or sporting event in my theater. Parts for mine would run about $100 now. It would allow you to move $500 to the speakers or projector budget.
     
  9. winniw

    winniw Well-Known Member

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    Alan,


    It sounds like most of the speakers that you have been looking at have been satellite systems... small units with small drivers. Those are so popular now and I have them myself. They work okay for movies but not so great for music... depending on how critical of a listener you are. Satellites are also great for a Living Room HT since they are physically and visually non-intrusive. However, with a dedicated home theater, I would look at speakers that have at least a 6.5" woofer. You will get much richer, fuller sound from them. The most expensive satellite systems will always lack weight and authority, compared to larger speakers. Most satellites have 4" or smaller woofers, a few have 5" woofers.

    Here is an example of what I would recommend (or what I would buy for myself if I had a dedicated room). Here is a compact system and a full-size system, both from SVS. I don't know what part of the World that you live in, so I don't know if SVS is a good option for you. If not, we can make other recommendations. In fact, I hope other people DO make different recommendations anyway, to give you some more options.

    Compact system: SVS MBS-02 5.0

    Full-size system: SVS MTS-02 5.0

    Link: http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-mts02.cfm


    Then add your choice of subwoofer to those and you would be good to go!
     
  10. Andy_Capone

    Andy_Capone Member

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    Always remember you can upgrade in the future. I started out with a 106" fixed screen that I bought for just under $600 and a mid range Denon reciever in the first home theater I built. Then after a few years I upgraded to a 120" fixed screen for around $2000 I believe it was a DaLite screen not sure on all the specs but it fit what I needed, then I also upgraded the reciever after a few years to a higher end Denon. But I did do what everyone here is suggesting and spent more up front for good quality speakers. If you have trouble convincing the wife later on to upgrade just make sure the reciever unfortunately quits working during one of her favorite shows :) Plus going cheaper on components will give you a chance to figure out what brands and options you like or need. I went thought about 3 different brands of recievers until I settled on Denon. I am not in construction of my #3 and #4 theater and will still be using the same speakers I bought for the very first one. So that I think is the key here is getting the right speakers and not slouching on them. If you do slouch on speakers go cheap on the rear speakers they are cheaper to upgrade. I spent probably two month researching purchases and talking to local home audio retailers before purchasing. That is the most important thing before buying, also researching who has the best price I know when I bought my Denon reciever it retailed around $2800 I paid $1700 for it brand new. Projector was $3500 I paid $2300 scratch and dent (still have not found a scratch or dent) I got my speakers for half price because they were last years model.
     

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