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Ideas wanted! Starting new media room soon


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#1 of 41 OFFLINE   BPStovall

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Posted August 30 2011 - 01:55 PM

Several questions. Would really appreciate any and all help. right now I have a 55" samsung flat screen. I plan to continue using it but I am interested in prewiring for a projection. Need help with that. What wires do I need to run for a prewire? hdmi, power??? this is going on a concrete slab. I planned on carpeting but read in another thread where some guys were complaining of not enough bass. I don't think this will be a problem. (def tech super towers and seperate sub) I would still like your input. room size will be 18x23x10. Is there a general formula for determining the number of can lights that is appropriate??? I am assuming solid wood doors to limit vibration??? I had planned on upgrading my front towers and using my older ones as the side surrounds. Other than the eye sore of towers on the floor is there any disadvantage vs wall mounted? I'm sure I will have more questions later, but would appreciate any and all help.

#2 of 41 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 30 2011 - 02:10 PM

I wired with power, HDMI and component video. But that's all the sources I have. You need to look at what you have now and what you may upgrade to in the immediate future. I'm carpet over concrete and have no problem with bass. Then again, I have 1,600w of power and dual 15" subs. I have applied a 12 band parametric EQ to give me a ruler flat response to 17hz and usable bass below 15hz. That's about the size if my room. I have a pair of cans in the rear. I use them when eating and watching TV. I have sconces on the sides and a ceiling light near the front that may be replaced with a ceiling hugger fan. Yes, solid wood will limit some noise. But you have to determine if you are wanting to keep noise out or contain the sound of your theater. The first is easier and cheaper and that's the way I went. It's just me and my wife and we watch movies together so no need to worry about keeping the sound contained. And I can't contain the bass when watching an action movie anyway. I can shake my concrete slab all the way to the other side of the house. What eye sore? As soon as the lights are out you don't need to keep looking at your speakers. Towers can deliver much louder sound therefore less power is used and less distortion. I see no disadvantages at all.

#3 of 41 OFFLINE   BPStovall

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Posted August 30 2011 - 02:32 PM

Thanks alot. Is there any advantage/disadvantage to taller ceilings. This will be a carpot that I am closing in. I could go up to 12 feet, but thought heating it would be an issue, but as far as sound any ideas. Plan on doing a tray ceiling with 9 feet then up to 10. If I do a progection pre wire, does it matter how far back i put it back from the potential wall it will project to? If I plan on having a U shaped sectional then a row of love seats behind that. Would you just do can lights over the seating areas only? Initally I had planned on doing 2 rows the length of the room. Thanks in advance. What type of speakers do you have. Do you have a seperate amp to run it? I was concerned my receiver might seem a little weak in the bigger room.

#4 of 41 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 30 2011 - 10:54 PM

Taller ceiling means more room to excite with the sub. Unless you are extremely tall then there is no advantage. Project location is determined by throw length and screen size. Unless you get a projector with an adjustable throw length then you need to figure our your screen and projector locations during construction. I went with a Panasonic AE series which gave me a huge distance to mount for a 103" screen. It would work between 10 and 25 feet from the screen so I could mount it anywhere in the rear of the room. Why U shaped. Won't the people sitting on the sides get tired of watching TV with their heads turned? No, I wouldn't do lights over the seating areas. That would be too bright unless they are on a dimmer. 90% of the time we watch TV in total darkness. I run Dayton III's - http://www.speakerbu.../D3/dayton3.htm powered by a Pioneer VSX 1014. It can easily drive them to ear bleeding levels. I run dual 15" subs that are the older models of these - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=293-642 powered by a pro amp - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=248-748 .

#5 of 41 OFFLINE   BPStovall

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Posted August 30 2011 - 11:09 PM

The reason for the U shape is to allow for people to gather around and be socialable even if TV not on. We have 4 kids so when we invite other families over I would like to be able to have a room to visit together and/or the family sit together and watch a movie. (our den isn't big enought to sit more than 6) I definiately need to do research on screen size and projectors. Thx for the heads up. My plan is to put the lights on dimmer and operate with my remote. I have a harmony now that can control lighting. Did you build your speaker boxes? impressive. I have somewhat looked into a multichannel (7 channel) amp. Any suggestions on those? Thx again really appreciate your help!

#6 of 41 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 31 2011 - 12:32 AM

You have different uses planned for your room than I do. That's why there is no hard and fast rule for any of this stuff. Customize it to your liking. I've had the Panasonic projector for over 5 years and it still looks awesome. If I had to upgrade, I'd get the latest Panny without even looking it at. Yes, I built my speaker boxes. Not a big deal if you have a few woodworking tools. There are DIY speaker sites that make my 6 sided box look like it was built by a 5 year old. What is your budget on the amp? Some people get a receiver with pre-amp outputs and a 3 channel amp. That amp is cheaper and takes the majority of the load off the receiver. The surround speakers don't put out much sound. Either way you go, Emotiva is a good company. http://www.emotiva.com/xpa3.shtm ($699) Or if you want to spend a little more, I've heard some Boulder monoblock amps that run $42,000 each (you would need at least 3). They sounded great when connected to a pair of $55,000 speakers.

#7 of 41 OFFLINE   BPStovall

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Posted September 06 2011 - 09:39 AM

If I prewire for a projector, should I go ahead and run the hdmi or just get some 3" conduit and try to snake it when I actually do it when/if I ever get a projector? (my thinking is the upgrades in cables change yearly) Thanks again!

#8 of 41 OFFLINE   BPStovall

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Posted September 06 2011 - 09:40 AM

Also anyone use a web site firefold.com? seems to have good prices

#9 of 41 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted September 06 2011 - 05:24 PM




Originally Posted by BPStovall 

If I prewire for a projector, should I go ahead and run the hdmi or just get some 3" conduit and try to snake it when I actually do it when/if I ever get a projector? (my thinking is the upgrades in cables change yearly) Thanks again!

Both.  Run the HDMI cable now (check out Blue Jeans Cable) and put in the conduit saving it for the future.





#10 of 41 OFFLINE   BPStovall

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Posted September 06 2011 - 11:13 PM

What type of HDMI cable or Gauge for a 40 -50' run?

#11 of 41 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted September 07 2011 - 12:56 AM

I run a 35' HDMI cable from monoprice. I went with their most "expensive" model.

my thinking is the upgrades in cables change yearly

I've been running the same projector/HDMI cable for 5 years. I don't plan on changing anything anytime soon.

#12 of 41 OFFLINE   Arie Aandewiel

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Posted September 08 2011 - 07:21 PM

Interesting post. I haven't tried this before. Did you build any speaker boxes? Ready to assemble cabinets

#13 of 41 OFFLINE   BPStovall

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Posted October 15 2011 - 10:27 PM

Will start construction in 2 wks and I am ordering from monoprice. How much cat6 do I need. 1 run to projector and another for possible ir repeater at front of room. Anything else? What am I missing. Showing my ignorance with this question. Do I use cat 6 to run from my router to the new addition for internet or is that a completely different cable? Thanks.

#14 of 41 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 16 2011 - 09:25 AM

Cat 6 is overkill for IR repeaters. Get some cat 5 or lower at Lowes or Home Depot. I just bought a box of 1,000 feet and make network cables for me and family. It's not going to go bad. Cat 5 will work fine for internet connections as well. I have 80 feet snaked through the attic to my theater room. In that room I have a Rosewill 8 port switch connecting my Blu-ray & DirecTV receivers to the internet as well as my home network. I can watch YouTube on my BR player as well as stream Netflix. On my DirecTV receivers, I can listen to music stored on my office server or I can use my office server to watch programs stored on either DirecTV DVR.

#15 of 41 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted October 16 2011 - 09:40 AM

Here's my advice from someone who just worked on building a home: run Cat6 everywhere imaginable.  It's cheap if bought in bulk, and it's easily converted to damn near anything later.  Maybe overkill now, but the cost difference is minor, and if in the future you need it, there it is.   More cable providers are offering side-of-house ethernet boxes here (TimeWarner, Surewest) Verizon offers FIOS, etc.   Google is about to offer Google Fiber.  ATT Uverse connects to extensions via Cat5, Wireless, whatever... I'm telling everyone:   Cat6 is so damn cheap in big bulk, I'd drench a place with it.   It's a smart future proof investment, not just for a media room but for a house.


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#16 of 41 OFFLINE   BPStovall

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Posted October 17 2011 - 08:53 AM

What is the difference between riser rated, in wall rated, and this Cat 6 Bulk Bare Copper Ethernet Network Cable STP, Solid, In-Wall Rated (CMG), 550MHz, 24AWG - Blue . All from monoprice.com

#17 of 41 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted October 17 2011 - 08:59 AM

Depends on the building codes and types you're in.  Most of it has to do with shielding and fire certification.


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#18 of 41 OFFLINE   Joel...Lane

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Posted October 20 2011 - 03:59 PM

Take pictures of everything.

#19 of 41 OFFLINE   BPStovall

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Posted October 23 2011 - 01:01 PM

Trying to decide on 1 or 2 subs and placement, for prewireing in new build any general recommendations. I was planning on opposite walls and corners. Do you need to have the same subs or will different brands not make a difference?

#20 of 41 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 23 2011 - 01:13 PM

Identical subs makes setting them up much, much easier. They will have the same roll-off, same sensitivity, same phase characteristics, etc. What subs are you thinking about going with? Because a pair of good subs might cost more than a single, great sub.