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A full 4K Res Home Theater on a 125k Budget


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#1 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 20 2013 - 11:23 AM

After a lot of debate, working with a friend we've finally elected to move forward on building a home theater that really hits all the right notes.


That having been said, while I would love to shoot the moon, we have a set budget - but one I feel will comfortably mesh out with what I'm after.


For room construction and design, we'll spend about $75, and we have a set equipment budget of $125k.


Today, I took the first big stab at it, committing to the video projection device, which will be the JVC-RS56U.   It manages to get me 4k at a reasonable budget as part of the whole (less then $10K, including mounting, install and wire runs)


For our racks, I am going all Classe, using the Classe SST-SSP (HDMI 1.4) for my Pre/Pro, and Classe CT-M2300 Block Amplifiers * 3.


We are still debating speakers, but so far, I am sold on the B&W.  I'm committed to no more than a set # on speakers, so we're going to us the CT800 7 speaker package.


We plan to start construction very soon, so hopefully I will start getting some good pictures and updates as we go!


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#2 of 48 OFFLINE   Bobofbone

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Posted February 20 2013 - 02:12 PM

You say you're starting construction soon. Is the design done? How big is the space? Looking forward to seeing what develops.

#3 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 20 2013 - 02:17 PM

It's a framed in area that we had already committed to a project, we were just trying to see what was possible and how much I could... whittle into it.


I'm eagerly awaiting grabbing in some of the equipment, and we'll start doing some runs as they go.  I'll keep updating this thread with pictures/graphics and I'll try to do some equipment reviews.


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#4 of 48 OFFLINE   Dominic Jahn

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Posted February 20 2013 - 10:00 PM

Hy, did i get this right... youre building an 4k home theater for 125 K and youre using an JVC-RS56U which only does 4K-Upscaling? Or did i miss an update of the projector? Best Regards from Germany....

#5 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 21 2013 - 12:31 AM

Do you have an alternative suggestion? I still have today to change my mind. I looked at the jvc and the Sony, which seem to be my options in the lower cost 4k. But the jvc rep and brochures seem to indicate it handles native 4k content. Are you saying it does not? After having seen one, it appeared - at least from my test that it did accept a PC Resolution of it's native (3600x2100 or something similar). I recognize that we're not talking true "4K" but I figure we are years away from that being available, and when we come down to that point, changing a projector will be straight forward, and the resale value of my projector will play into it. Meanwhile, replacing a rack or speakers at that point is the kind of investment I have to put real money in because they will likely need to last me for a very long time.

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#6 of 48 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted February 21 2013 - 01:26 AM

I'm in the same boat of wanting 4k but at a much lower budget. I'd suggest going with a high quality sub $5k 1080p PJ today and save the real 4k buy in for 2014/2015. I'm projecting 720p at 120 inches right now and anyone who isn't a HT addict like we are is absolutely gobsmacked at how good it is. 1080 would be even gooder. =) There is no 4k content outside of a few timelapse videos, ridiculously expensive Sony appliances with clips and a half dozen movies, PC output. etc. Why be the guinea pig and not even get to enjoy it?

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#7 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 21 2013 - 02:27 AM

I think since I can keep it under 10, it should be fine. Having seen it, its pretty great to look at and I'm putting in a 13' screen so I want as good as I can get within reason for now. I'm putting most of my efforts into speakers amps etc, but want something solid for now

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#8 of 48 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted February 21 2013 - 06:19 AM

My concern is that early adopters will get stuck when a new HDMI format is needed to support whatever transport mechanism is finally decided on. So they will have invested in the display mechanism but never be able to get content to it in bulk. I can wait 2 years for that and enjoy the best that 1080p has to offer in the meantime. In many cases it's the pioneers who risk the arrows in their back to get in on all the risky opportunities first, but with this I don't see all that much upside to being first when there is very little reward right now... You sound convinced so I don't wanna be the guy instilling doubt in to you so that's the last I'll say on it, but that's where I stand. Either way you are talking about being the 1% of 1% who is ready to jump on this before it's fully baked, and I know a little bit of your background so I don't expect that any of this is news to you....

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#9 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 21 2013 - 09:07 AM

Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

My concern is that early adopters will get stuck when a new HDMI format is needed to support whatever transport mechanism is finally decided on. So they will have invested in the display mechanism but never be able to get content to it in bulk. I can wait 2 years for that and enjoy the best that 1080p has to offer in the meantime. In many cases it's the pioneers who risk the arrows in their back to get in on all the risky opportunities first, but with this I don't see all that much upside to being first when there is very little reward right now...

You sound convinced so I don't wanna be the guy instilling doubt in to you so that's the last I'll say on it, but that's where I stand. Either way you are talking about being the 1% of 1% who is ready to jump on this before it's fully baked, and I know a little bit of your background so I don't expect that any of this is news to you....


Well, I'm not totally sold.. but the best 1080P projector I really looked at was in the $6k range.  So the difference between it and the JVC at it's cost is really not that great.  I'm picking up the JVC at $7800.   So, I would save some, but not a ton.    I had considered the Sony, but I can't justify spending an extra $5k.  But I haven't seen a 1080 that I think really works.  

I do get the future proofing concerns; as such I'm making sure to have 3 Cat6Es run to that location, which should give me plenty of line space to offer up later if need be.  If they switch to a standard wildly different and I have to repull wire.. well, I will have to cross that bridge when I get to it.


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#10 of 48 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted February 21 2013 - 09:22 AM

Put in conduit so pulling wire will be trivial.

#11 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted February 21 2013 - 09:55 AM

Originally Posted by Steve Tannehill 

Put in conduit so pulling wire will be trivial.


Yes, we already plan to have conduit going to every location.   So we should be fine there.   Most of the equipment is going to be in a closet near the back, so everything has to run that way to reach where we want it.


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#12 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted May 27 2013 - 07:11 PM

We finally brought the whole thing online this weekend and I have had a blast.   I have a few things I will add to the "things I wish I had done differently"

 

Things that worked really well:

 

* I put in a motorized drapery screen at the suggestion of a friend.. it was a surprisingly cheap addition and it definitely adds a lot of "cool" factor to push a button and see the curtains pull back.   It adjusts for 4:3 or 16:9 content.

 

* The lift on the seating went very well.

 

* Very happy with the sound quality and performance as a whole.

 

Things now that we're done I wish I had done differently:

The minibar in the back was a good idea, but I find that the sound of the refrigerator at times is distracting, and kids opening/closing the door often really doesn't help... I need to rethink that.

 

We did the ceiling in just a dark blue, I decided to not do a fiberoptic sky type ceiling; I wish I had, I think it could have been done cheaply now after the fact.

 

We went with a B&W CT800 7.2 Theater.  I love the speakers themselves, but I am finding now I should have added a seperate cooling duct for the electronics closet as the Classe amplifiers are NOT cool running animals.


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#13 of 48 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted May 28 2013 - 07:05 AM

Congrats Matt! Always fun to have a plan come together. Which PJ did you go with? One part of your post surprised me tho: 4:3 to 16:9 really? Do you watch that much 4:3 these days? Can you modify it for 2.35 if you wanted to?

As always, TTIUWP!!!!!

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#14 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted May 28 2013 - 10:12 AM

Congrats Matt! Always fun to have a plan come together. Which PJ did you go with? One part of your post surprised me tho: 4:3 to 16:9 really? Do you watch that much 4:3 these days? Can you modify it for 2.35 if you wanted to?

As always, TTIUWP!!!!!

 

Well, the screen we put up itself is in a near 16:9 format.. so to do that, I'd have to have curtains retract top and bottom, that would be difficult.   But setting the curtains to only pull so far to the sides for 4:3 was pretty easy.   I think it's more a matter of: "curtains all the way open" "curtains part way open" on a control pad. 

 

I'm pretty happy with how it all came together.   I have enjoyed a lot of speakers in my time, but I have to give credit to B&W, the B&W CT800 theater is truly impressive.    We watched through The Amazing Spiderman last night, and the score felt sensational.   

 

We upgraded the bedroom to the Panasonic 3D plasma, and I wrote a review of my thoughts of it, but truly, the JVC is pretty sensational.  I went with the DLA-RS56U.   It's not "pure" 4k (3840x2160, upconverting 1080P content), but I figure we are a pretty fair distance from me having real 4K content to show off; and by that point, I can wait and get a second generation true 4K projector.   I also looked at the Sony, which is supposedly true 4K but outside of seeming to be louder to me.. a real distraction, I didn't care for the picture as much viewing the content I have to put on it.

 

I'm going to try and get a lot of photos over the week to throw up in this thread.


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#15 of 48 OFFLINE   Kevin Stewart

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Posted June 07 2013 - 04:28 PM

Well, the screen we put up itself is in a near 16:9 format.. so to do that, I'd have to have curtains retract top and bottom, that would be difficult.   But setting the curtains to only pull so far to the sides for 4:3 was pretty easy.  

 

That's why most nowadays opt for a 2.35 screen and mask it to 16:9.  Just as easy and since 4:3 is now rare, gives a better viewing experience for most movies.


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#16 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 07 2013 - 04:31 PM

I went with a 124". I'm pretty happy with it it. I see hat you mean about changing retraction to accomplish 16x9 i think a lot of that is construction choices and layout.

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#17 of 48 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted June 30 2013 - 03:22 AM

Awesome! Do you have photos or videos of your theater in action?

#18 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted January 17 2014 - 07:14 PM

Dave, I know I am late to answer, but we spent the last seven months building, revising, editing and coming to the final theater!   So, I'm going to start uploading photos from the beginning all the way through the finish.

 

IMG_0175_zps16558233.jpg

 

This is great look at the start.   In the front, we framed it for a 143" (Custom Fit) 2.35 Black Diamond Zero Edge Screen.   This was easy to put together and really delivers a great performance.

 

You'll notice on the sides we have carved locations, which are for the front and center.   I had Bowers & Wilkins custom design speakers, modifying them for my exact theater; so they are one of a kind.   The lift below is for custom  JL Audio Subwoofers, which are built in to deliver ideal base to the configuration and bass for the theater ;)

 

This is the lift below the Center channel.   I'm not running anything down below, but the area below acts as a way to hide cables, and it works in with our heat management system, which I'll get to maybe in the next few days.

 

IMG_0172_zps8e9203cf.jpg

 

This is a look at the rear entry way, you can see where the design marks for the rear back and side speaker setups.

 

IMG_0177_zpsd3fadc0e.jpg

 

This is one of the best views of the lift floor, as well as the rear server room we put in.  All equipment home runs to here, and we put in multiple gangboxes and circuits here for future growth.

 

IMG_0176_zps3a15746b.jpg

 

I'm still indexing, but I will start posting more photos, especially of the process as it went so I can try and show it from start to finish.

 

BIG thanks to Sam Posten, who's advice on a projector steered me clear and gave me time to wait and I finally went with a Sony ES 4k.   VERY glad with that advice, it's a fantastic, unbelievable projector.


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#19 of 48 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 17 2014 - 07:51 PM

Hey great! I'd forgotten about this thread :)

I'd love to see some pics and details on your masking system. (I'm weighing house upgrades, and it's between a deck and basement HT this year. I'm gathering info to figure out what we we'll do.) An affordable CIH system is intriguing.

#20 of 48 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted January 17 2014 - 08:05 PM

No problem.   FYI, this is the screen we ended up going with:

 

http://www.projector...7-/Screen/27208

 

VERY easy install.  I'll try to put up some of that later.


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