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Don't speak home theater lingo need advice (1 Viewer)

lisa6801

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LISA DAVIS
I am going to build a new house within a year. I want make the right decisions on wiring and equipment. I am looking for a just a good solid system to watch HDTV approx 36"-42" and a good sound system to listen too. Nothing top o the line but a "best bang for the buck." In my 50's and don't do gaming. Want to have sound through the top floor so am thinking about in ceiling speakers (ceilings range from 10-14ft). Think I want all my equipment located together, like in a hub, but not sure need advice. Basically I want to enjoy a system that is not to complex but has decent return on my money. You-all have so much technical expertise. Can you give me some ground rules to go by, system recommendations and what I should consider when wiring. THX ahead.
 

Alon Goldberg

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Alon Goldberg
Hi Lisa, welcome to HTF!

First question for you... what is your budget? Home theaters can range from a couple of grand into the tens of thousands, so the term "best bang for the buck" can often be relative.

Items to consider when building your home theater are hdtv, speakers, receiver, speaker cabling, subwoofer cable, hdmi cables, universal remote, surge protector, sources (e.g. Blu-Ray Player and DVR), shelving or stand for your equipment, possibly speaker stands

You may also want to budget for installation costs for running the speaker cabling, wall-mounting the hdtv (if this is something you'd like to do), and calibration. Or you can do this yourself if you are handy

As for a 37"-42" hdtv, what is your viewing distance? Ideally for 1080p sets this size you'll be sitting at 5-7ft.

What are the dimensions of your room? Is this an open space, or do you have walls beside your seating position? For your speakers, I suspect you may be disapointed with in-ceiling speakers that are 14ft above you, so I may suggest your surrounds to be in-wall, on-wall or stand-mounted.

Last but not least, speakers are very subjective. What sounds great to me may not sound great to you. My advise will be to audition as many speakers as possible before making your purchase. Do you have any local hifi stores in your area, or are you planning to make your purchase from a big box store or via Internet?

cheers,
elapsed
 

Alon Goldberg

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Alon Goldberg
Almost forgot.. for your front speakers, were you thinking of purchasing bookshelf speakers, loudspeakers, or is your preference for the speakers to be in-wall? You will need three speakers up front - left, right and a centre channel.

For best bang for you buck, I'd advise purchasing a 5.1 system (meaning left, right, centre, surrounds and a subwoofer), instead of a 7.1 system (this adds a couple of rear surrounds).

cheers,
elapsed
 

Bob McElfresh

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Hi Lisa.

The first thing to do is plan where the equipment is to go so you can do the wiring. You dont have to buy the electronics yet but you need to know were to run the wiring.

The second is the speakers. You need to select some nice Polks or some other in-walls.

WIRING BASICS:

You want to buy a spool of CL3 or in-wall rated speaker wire. You can get Carol 12 ga in wall, or more common is 4-conductor, 16 ga wire. You twist 2 of the wires together for the plus side, the other two wires for the minus.

BEHIND THE RACK

You will need a telephone outlet, and Cat5 computer network. Newer equipment like bluRay players will have internet content you get when you pop in a disk.

SAT & CABLE

You probably dont know what you want right now so make sure you run 2 RG6 coax runs to behind your rack. One can be for sat, the other for cable.

SUBWOOFER

I know you want in-ceiling speakers - but these do not usually produce good Bass. Good Bass is the secret to outstanding home-theater sound. You may want to plan on a external subwoofer.

Even if you dont want an external sub - put in the wiring. Find the corner of the two longest un-broken walls. Run RG6 coax (Yes, the Sat stuff is fine) to an electrical outlet box here. Zig Zag the wire in the studs so you can pull out slack if you need it.

Somewhere along the longest wall at 1/3 to 2/5 length in from the corner is usually the best place for the sub. Make sure you pull enough cable to reach.

WIRES:

If you are going to bury video cables in the walls, you should learn about Blue Jeans Cable -- Broadcast-Quality Cables at Reasonable Prices . The owner is a member here and takes good care of us. I use his cables in my system. My long HDMI cable ran about $38.

I would suggest you plan on running 2 HDMI cables, and a HD Rated component cable to your TV location. A good AV Receiver can act like a 'hub' and you just use 1 wire to the TV, but the extra wires give you options.
 

Charon

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Aug 17, 2008
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Marty
I have a similar dilemma as Lisa. I have a 15' by 20' room and I'm going to have to run all new cables in the walls. My friends all talk about Bose, but my research has led me here and now I see I have to build a system. The room isn't light, so I'm debating plasma vs. LCD. I'm willing to pay +/- 3000 for the screen and have a budget of 2000 for the sound system.
I've been told the that I need to run all new coax, as the house is over 20 years. I am wondering if I should have a powered central hub for the coax as it enters the house and split it from there.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Charon

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Marty
I forgot to add, the speakers need to be small and inconspicuous.
 

Robert_J

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Robert
Welcome to the forum! Some advice, don't thread hijack. Yes, you have a similar situation but you never know how a thread will take a turn. Ping a mod and have them split this out into its own thread.

This is a relative statement. Small to me means that the speaker is 4 feet tall and not 8 feet tall. Inconspicuous means that it is furniture quality finish and not bright pink. You may want to give sizes or even examples.

-Robert
 

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