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Help a noob out (HT advice req.)


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Craig Sherman

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Posted July 29 2006 - 09:45 PM

Greetings,

I usually lurk and occasionally post in the HTF software boards, but recently an opportunity has come up with which I would very much like the advice of the venerable HTF community here.

My clients, a film production company, are looking to construct an editing/screening room in their new offices, move-in date 8/15/06. The room is currently bare, a clean slate to do whatever I may suggest (they are also fielding competing bids). It measures 24'10" (298") long by 11'5" (137") wide by 8' (96") tall. It is my task to get the best-for-the-money screen, projector, receiver, speakers, soundproofing, and seating for this screening room. The projector will be connected to a DVD player (perhaps one of the HD formats?) and an AVID editing machine. I need to get a sense of how much (or little) a quality setup of all this is going to run, and most importantly, what brands and retailers you all recommend-- and who I should avoid like the plague. I figured this kind of request comes up all the time, but I didn't know to whom else I could turn on such short notice.

What do you think?

Thanks for being here,

CS

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Don.l

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Posted July 29 2006 - 11:22 PM

screen? IMO Stewart
Projector? I like Runco
DVD HD? I don't know. I am personally not interested in the DVD HD thing yet. I know it is suppose to look better, but still way to expensive, and there is a format war. I'll wait.
Speakers? That's a tough one. I'll let others comment on those, but as for a sub, I love the SVS and my fav is the cylinder 20-39 PC Plus.
Receiver? Can't go wrong with Onkyo


Don

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Craig Sherman

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Posted July 29 2006 - 11:23 PM

Don, thanks for the suggestions for brands. Any models that stand out?

CS

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Glenise

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Posted July 30 2006 - 12:46 AM

receiver: Denon or Yamaha
speakers: Mirage or Klipsch

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Luke_Y

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Posted July 30 2006 - 08:55 AM

Budget?

If it's not known, you have to feel them out. How can you make a competitive bid if you don't know their specific goals or approximate budget. You may spec. a six figure system and be laughed out of the room, you might spec a budget system and be declined for quality reasons...

The recommendations here will range wildly as to price and quality with no specified budget.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Don.l
screen? IMO Stewart
Projector? I like Runco
DVD HD? I don't know. I am personally not interested in the DVD HD thing yet. I know it is suppose to look better, but still way to expensive, and there is a format war. I'll wait.
Don

I cant help but find it amusing that you recommend a Stewart screen and Runco pj but a $500 HD DVD player is over the top Posted Image
Luke

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Craig Sherman

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Posted July 30 2006 - 12:13 PM

The best sense I got of their budget is two examples of some hardware they were recommended by another tech:

JBL 5.1 kit: Includes 5 LSR6325P satellite speakers and a LSR6312SP subwoofer. At Musiciansfriend.com on sale for $2,599.

They were also told "You shouldn't be spending more than $1000-2000 (on the outside) on a pj," and were told to go to projectorcentral.com for reviews and such.

Finally, as for screens, their other tech said, "I have a Dalite High Contrast Cinema Vision in a Cinema Contour frame (with the black trim). Expect to pay from $850-1500."

Now, I can say it will have to cost more than all that because they were recommended crap, but at least these are the numbers they've heard so far.

Does that help?

CS

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Don.l

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Posted July 30 2006 - 12:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke_Y
I cant help but find it amusing that you recommend a Stewart screen and Runco pj but a $500 HD DVD player is over the top Posted Image

I know, but the main reason is a format war. I can't see putting down that kind of $ for something that is first generation, not completely accepted by all the studios, and is still a little expensive. I know it seems kind of silly, but right now the way it is, I'd rather get a up conversion player (I think that's what they are called). I've seen those in action and they look very nice. I think it's an incredible picture.

Don

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted July 30 2006 - 12:57 PM

I too would rather the format war settle before I make a move. I bought a second generation Toshiba player in 1997 that I still use for $450 with three free movies and can remember not having anything to play on it beacause I would only buy titles that I thought I would watch again. Only when rental became available did I really began to enjoy it and the format had been decided, unlike this time when one or the other may fail, discs are going to be expensive to start, and MAYBE we will see a universal player. I've been an early adapter before but this is one time I will sit on the sidelines.
I know enough to know I don't know enough!

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Luke_Y

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Posted July 30 2006 - 04:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sherman
The best sense I got of their budget is two examples of some hardware they were recommended by another tech:

JBL 5.1 kit: Includes 5 LSR6325P satellite speakers and a LSR6312SP subwoofer. At Musiciansfriend.com on sale for $2,599.

They were also told "You shouldn't be spending more than $1000-2000 (on the outside) on a pj," and were told to go to projectorcentral.com for reviews and such.

Finally, as for screens, their other tech said, "I have a Dalite High Contrast Cinema Vision in a Cinema Contour frame (with the black trim). Expect to pay from $850-1500."

Now, I can say it will have to cost more than all that because they were recommended crap, but at least these are the numbers they've heard so far.

Does that help?

CS


Budget projectors:
Panasonic PT-AE900U @ > $2000 or
Optoma HD72 @ > $2000
Both nice budget pjs

A slight step up:
Samsung SP-H710AE @ > $3500
Has an outstanding out of the box picture. Had some production issues with early build models (start up failures ) but current production appears to have this sorted...

Budget speaker system:
Ascend Acoustics CMT 340SE x3
CBM 170SE x4
Sub Hsu VTF-2 MK2 x1
= > $2000
or go with 7 CMT 340SE + sub >$2300

Receiver:
Outlaw Audio 1070 @ $900
Denon 3806 @~ $1200
Onkyo TX-SR803 @~ $800
My vote would be the Denon or the Outlaw

DVD: This is easy Toshiba HD DVD HD-A1 @ $500


So about $5000-$6500 in all Posted Image

Crap, forgot the screen. That will depend on the Projector choice. (cop-out Posted Image )

**Also another note. My speaker recommendation was for the room set up as a screening room. For editing purposes I would go with a set of Near-Field Monitors. Two different goals there.... Really depends on how they want the room set up.
Luke

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   chris_everett

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Posted July 31 2006 - 03:56 AM

Your post talks about seating and soundproofing. Do you also need accoustics? Decorating design? Honestly, the equipment is the least of your problems. Your client (clients? what exactly do you do?) Need to be introduced to the Money/Time/Quality triangle. They get to pick two of the three. To build a real screening room in a short timetable will probably cost upwards of $50,000. And you will need to get real contractors who do this sort of thing, this is not a DIY job.
--Chris Everett

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Luke_Y

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Posted July 31 2006 - 11:45 AM

Chris, when I asked about budget the response led me to believe that there wasn't a large one. but then again the op did mention that they would be patching in their AVID editing machine. They aren't exactly budget items, so there must be money... just don't know if its available for this project.

What bothers me more is that he stated the purpose as "editing/screening room". To me that would be two completely different animals, what makes a good screening room does not make a good working edit room, and what makes a good working edit room does not make for a good screening room...

So Craig can you find out more detail as to the budget and goals/use for the room? Also could you clarify what your expected role is in the project?
Luke

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Craig Sherman

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Posted July 31 2006 - 06:09 PM

Sure, sorry about the vagueness.

I've been the go-to tech guru for this film production company for the past 18 months. I helped hook them up with a Dell PC based on Avid Xpress's specs. I installed an internal DVD burner in said Dell, and I've done a variety of other tech jobs for them. I'm a tech consultant, primarily working with home and SOHO users. Now it's true that they've always been very budget-minded, but it appears now that they have received an investment specifically for overhead in their new office space, and they want to "do it right." However, the only figures they've received to date as far as this relatively high-end equipment, I posted earlier in this thread. I can tell them they'll need to spend more than that for quality equipment, but I know I am competing with others for this project, so getting a solid number re: their budget may be difficult. Lowest bidder and all that...

As for dual-purposing the room, that is imperative. Their current editor watches the results of his work on an SD NTSC monitor (a 30" TV, truth be told). They want to give him the option of viewing his work on "the big screen," which of course would also serve to screen their films for cast, crew, and investors.

They have a decorator, but it was put to me to look into "theater seats" like you see in all the home theater magazines, plus soundproofing. Basically, I wanted to get a sense of a general bottom line for parts and installation on this list-- could we get it all done for $10K? $15K? If I can get a number like that, then I'll be better prepared to get a sense of their ceiling.

Thoughts?

CS

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   chris_everett

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Posted August 01 2006 - 03:13 AM

Big question marks:

Time frame. If they want this in two weeks, the costs will skyrocket.

Extent of soundproofing. Do they need this room completly soundproof? What are the spaces around it? What is the building construction like?

Extent of Accoustical treatment. If using this as a _sound_ editing room, the accoustics must be _perfect_ (or nearly so) This means hiring a pro in this field, and that alone won't be cheap. If you can accept accoustical imperfections, you can save a lot of money.

Room size and dual purpose functionality. The room is small to be a real screening room, let alone an editing room as well. 20x12 is what I would like my next HT to be, for a half-dozen people. If you want an avid in the room, you'll probably need to take out a row of seats, and that would leave only three seats (maybe four, if you used reguler theater seats instead of HT berkaline type seating).

An option would be to have the Avid on a rolling card, and interchange that with extra seating as needed.

My price _guess_ would be $23K for:
Two rows of theater type seats, one removable (4000) (8 seats)
Enough soundproofing to make it usable in an office type environment, but not a critical environment (2000)
Enough accoustics for good sound, but not critical listening. (2000)
Good, but not top of the line, gear.
A HD projector (2500)
Good processing for 7.1 (1000)
Subs and amps (2000)
Playback devices (500)
Speakers (real studio monitor types) (5000)
Some construction materials (1500)
Decent lighting, paint, etc. (1500)
Misc (1000)
Not spending a tremendous amount of time price shopping.

This is gear and materials cost, and doesn't count installation/labor if you need to hire contractors and the like. If you do, double that price guess to 50K
(edited to fix spelling)
--Chris Everett

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   David-Wright

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Posted August 01 2006 - 04:47 PM

With such a long room I would consider framing in a projection room at the back. This can act as soundproofing but it also gives you room for your components, projector, or anything else you want. You could have a 6 foot wide room and still have 18' for you viewing room. which is plenty for two rows of seats.

My projection room is 5' wide and it is one of the best features of my HT.
David-Wright

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Craig Sherman

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Posted August 01 2006 - 04:50 PM

I like that idea because it could serve double-duty as the editing room. But I'm a little hesitant, only because that would mean more construction. I'm not too sure we're going to need soundproofing after all, but I like the idea of a separate section at the back for the projector and equipment (if we decide not to ceiling-mount the pj, anyway.

Thanks!

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Shoottv

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Posted August 02 2006 - 08:34 AM

I've done a one of these for an ad agency I worked for although we spent about $300K on a large room and projection system. A commercial install is completely different than a home install. Without a budget to work from you are shooting totally in the dark. You may want to present 3 proposals ranging from cheap to extravagant. (If you do your job right they'll choose the middle one.) Don't worry about coming but giving them the best value for their money. Somebody will always be able to do it cheaper just show them where their dollars are going.

If they are using it out of the AVID you need to see what kind of work they do are they working in HD or is it mostly NTSC commercials. Also if they are not producing 5.1 soundtracks but only stereo. Run the wires for 5.1 but put in a really good 2 channel system. Also are they trying to replicate the environment in which their projects are shown. This may be arthouse theatres or a home living room. If they do commercial spots I would include a 32 inch NTSC television on a cart in addition to their main projector.

If they are looking to for a live edit facility for the AVID you may wish to design a workstation that can be placed over the chairs in the theater with outputs for the needed monitors a keyboard and input device so the editor can sit in there an work. Another idea is to put in a talk back system between the theater and the AVID suite so they can watch live pics from the avid an give directions to the editor in the AVID suite.

You may also be looking at 601 digital output which would require a converter box to anything component.

How much is the room going to be used. If it will be used for many hours each week you want to figure in your per hour cost to run the system. Lamp life becomes a major issue if you need to replace a lamp every 2-3 months. An old lamp that is OK at your home may not be OK when you are showing a project to a client.

Whatever you do put in patch points into your system and include BNC video plugs which is the composite broadcast standard. After all someone may need to patch in a digibeta deck at some point.

I would also stay away from home equipment and move to an industrial/broadcast DVD player. They have true jog/shuttle controls on them and some have timecode to make edit decisions easier.

*Personal note. The decorator will be an idiot and most likely try and make a cute space that has nothing to do with quality AV installation. Get with them early and work on lighting, colors, texture and the like or you may end up with a beautiful room that sounds like **** and doesn't enhance th viewing experience.

Most of all remember that commercial installs will not be handled with the care that most of us show our home theatres. Buttons get pushed harder and more often and don't stay nearly as clean unless you have someone who "owns" the room like a dedicated projection tech.

Just a few thoughts,
js

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   David-Wright

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Posted October 21 2007 - 01:27 PM

One of the cool things about having the separate room is that I can have a light on in there and see what I am doing. I can have the components on a simple shelf (sitting sideways so I can get to the back). So I can load a DVD or make an adjustment without my guests being bothered.
David-Wright





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