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Fixing up an old home theater- complete beginner overwhelmed! (1 Viewer)

jackb1117

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So I have been browsing this forum for a few days and the amount of expertise and information here is- overwhelming, to say the least!

We moved into a new (to us) house a few years ago- they had some semblance of a home theater setup in the basement that life has kept us too busy to really look into. I decided a few days ago that I want to try to bring it back to life. There is an existing screen & overhead projector mount, but no speakers or projector. So I am hoping to figure out the correct projector to buy and hopefully pair a couple of wireless speakers, but am completely clueless on how to begin.

To start (since I am a visual learner) I took a few photos and added what I figured may be relevant dimensions that would play into selection. I also took a picture of the old (non-working) projector that was left behind in case that yields any clues. I am looking for something functional but not top of the line; probably some general movie watching with the kids. No specific budget but since I am not looking for anything much more than a basic setup, hoping to keep it reasonable.

Thanks in advance!
 

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DaveF

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Unless you're planning to remove the built-in cabinets, don't waste your time and money setting up a projection system. You've only got room for a <80" 16:9 screen in that space. It's cheaper and better to buy a 70" or 80" LCD or OLED 4K TV.

You can get a budget model 75" 4K TV for about $750 that should fit that space. It will look better and require less maintenance than any projector system you'd buy for the same price.

I've got a projector setup. Conventional wisdom, IMO, is don't bother with a projector for a screen size smaller than 100" diagonal.
 
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JohnRice

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I completely agree with Dave regarding a projector. Just get the best 65-75" TV you can afford.

Regarding speakers, "wireless" speakers that work the way you are expecting probably don't exist. You'll want to look into a surround receiver and bookshelf speakers. Also allow space with your TV choice to be able to place a center speaker under it. That looks like a floating ceiling, so you should have a variety of options for running speaker wire (make sure to use CL2 rated) just about anywhere you want for surround sound.

Are the shelves to the sides of the image area movable at all?
 

jackb1117

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Dave,

Thanks for the reply! I was down the same path last night; prices of large TVs have come down significantly since I last bought one and I was debating if that was the direction to go. Sounds like I will venture that way- thanks much!

Unless you're planning to remove the built-in cabinets, don't waste your time and money setting up a projection system. You've only got room for a <80" 16:9 screen in that space. It's cheaper and better to buy a 70" or 80" LCD or OLED 4K TV.

You can get a budget model 75" 4K TV for about $750 that should fit that space. It will look better and require less maintenance than projector system you buy for the same price.

I've got a projector setup. Conventional wisdom, IMO, is don't bother with a projector for a screen size smaller than 100" diagonal.
Unless you're planning to remove the built-in cabinets, don't waste your time and money setting up a projection system. You've only got room for a <80" 16:9 screen in that space. It's cheaper and better to buy a 70" or 80" LCD or OLED 4K TV.

You can get a budget model 75" 4K TV for about $750 that should fit that space. It will look better and require less maintenance than any projector system you'd buy for the same price.

I've got a projector setup. Conventional wisdom, IMO, is don't bother with a projector for a screen size smaller than 100" diagonal.
 

jackb1117

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Do you want to work a subwoofer into the mix?

Thanks for the response(s)! As I said very much a beginner, so appreciate the clarification. Open to a sub but possibly overkill? Basically looking for a space for family movie night with a slightly better experience than stock TV sound.

The shelves on either side of the viewing area are not easily movable.
 

JohnRice

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You can always just do a soundbar, but don't fall for the marketing. Don't waste money on one with "Atmos". A soundbar might process an Atmos signal, but it really can't do anything with it that'll make any difference.

Next step up would be a receiver and a 3.0 or 3.1 setup in the front. Your room looks like it would work with any surround configuration up to a 7.1.4 Atmos, which is probably far beyond what you want to deal with. A 3.0 or 3.1 setup would be extremely easy to do by just drilling a few small holes in the back of a few shelves for wires, especially since you won't be going with a projector.
 

Dave Moritz

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Hey Jack first off welcome to Home Theater Forum. :D

What is your goal over all and your budget?
Do you consider yourself a critical listener?
Do you like to listen to movies loud?
How big is your room?

Depending on your budget and your listening habits and the size of your room will dictate what you can and should do. Just realize that while you do not always need to spend large sums of cash to have a nice home theater there are things that will effect the quality of your picture and sound. While soundbars will blow away the tv speaker just do not expect it to come close to a dedicated surround system. Using a soundbar will keep your set up simple and very user friendly and most likely if you go that route then you only have to worry about how many sources you will run.

Your next step up is a surround receiver and bookshelf speakers and I would run the same exact speaker around the room no matter if you go with a 5.1 or 7.1 based speaker layout. With the exception of the center channel then I would just stick to the same model family and I would get a subwoofer as it will add a lot. Bookshelf speakers will be very lacking in the bass department but even if you do not start out with one you can always add one.

While I agree that in your particular layout a display may be the better option as I would also go 100" or better to go projection. But depending on how good you want it to look or maybe your not picky. If your not really picky you can save money with a lower end 4K TV but IMHO I would not go with anything other than Sony, Samsung or LG! Panasonic makes a really nice 4K Blu-ray player and for a streaming box I highly recommend the Apple 4K TV streaming box. For receivers my recommendation is to stick with Marantz, Denon and Yamaha unless you have a good amount of money available then you could look at some high end options. Get good quality cables but it is not necessary to spend outrageous sums on cables! Try to keep your tweeters and midrange drivers very close to listening level where you are actually sitting. If your going with a low end receiver do not choose a speaker that is 4 ohm as lower end receivers do not do well with 4 ohm impedance speakers. More expensive surround receivers will give you better amplifier sections, more power, better dac's, better decoding and better quality parts and usually a nicer power supply to feed the needs of your receiver. Most important is speakers then receiver and you can get away with cutting some corners for the other things. Then it depends on how good you want the picture to look. Another reason for going with a display over a projector is you will not have to worry about controlling the amount of light in the room like you would with a projector. With a projector the darker the room the better! With a projector you can always move the mount you have which you might have to do anyway and I would go with a acoustically transparent screen that would allow you to place speakers behind the screen so it would be your three left, center, right speakers behind the screen and to keep the room looking clean you could go with inwall speakers for your surrounds and depending on your ceiling inwall Atmos speakers if you want Atmos capability. I would not go with the bouncing type speaker that would bounce sound off the ceiling and that is off the table anyway if you have a angled ceiling. Another thing you could do or your surrounds if you go with bookshelf speakers is to get speaker stands as they work very well and you do not have to mount them to the walls. Many inwall speakers have paintable grills so you can match the grills to the color of your walls to help them blend in.

Many here have been in this hobby many many years like myself. This is a great time to build a home theater!

Here is some photos of my system which may or may not give you some ideas for your own home theater.


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