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Help setting up projector / entertainment / sound system (1 Viewer)

Shinta255

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Steve
Hi all!

We are trying to set up a home theater system in our living room of about 21x14'. Seating would be along the shorter side and viewing across the 21'. I already have an Optoma HD20 from years ago as well as a 100" screen that will go in front of the fireplace hung from the ceiling. We plan on playing video games and watching moves/TV on it. We have bookshelves where we can conveniently place video games or players on near/behind where the screen would go.

The problem is
1. Where to set up the projector. Preferably so that it could be connected to multiple sources and switch. I was told it's difficult/impossible to run cables through the ceiling between floors (we have a second floor above). We don't want cable showing but if that's the best solution so be it. Placing the devices next to the seating area is not out of the question as well.
2. What audio system to use. Don't need anything too fancy, but something of decent quality is probably fine for us. I was thinking a 7.1 system. (my wife loves Costco)
3. How to connect it all together. I am overwhelmed with what I may need to get. As mentioned earlier it'd be nice to be able to just turn on the projector and sound and device and not have to keep changing out cables to switch. How would this be accomplished?

Thank you!
 

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John Dirk

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Welcome!

Here's what I can offer. Hopefully others will chime in as well.

1. Where to set up the projector. Preferably so that it could be connected to multiple sources and switch. I was told it's difficult/impossible to run cables through the ceiling between floors (we have a second floor above). We don't want cable showing but if that's the best solution so be it.
Are you open to purchasing a new projector or do you need to use the existing one? A Short Throw projector would be ideal for your room as it sits on a table or shelf only a few ft in front of your screen. If you're trying to use the Optoma then you'll likely need to consider the best available cable management/concealment options or something like this. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this route, as performance can be spotty, but it is available.
What audio system to use. Don't need anything too fancy, but something of decent quality is probably fine for us. I was thinking a 7.1 system.
That's a very broad question, especially considering the fact that your room is of decent size. What type of performance are you looking for? Do you plan to listen at moderate volumes or do you want true Theater-like realism? Check out this thread for a wealth of speaker information but, generally speaking, I would budget a minimum of 2K for decent speakers in a space like yours.
How to connect it all together. I am overwhelmed with what I may need to get. As mentioned earlier it'd be nice to be able to just turn on the projector and sound and device and not have to keep changing out cables to switch.

That is the job of an integrated receiver, or AVR and will add another [minimum] few hundred to your total cost. Again, there are many options depending on your budget. I would suggest finalizing speakers before making this decision as different speakers can have varying power requirements. If you locate the AVR in the same area of the room as your seats then you should be able to minimize cable runs but you would now likely need a more advanced [RF or IP controllable] remote since you won't have simple line-of-sight.
 

Shinta255

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Welcome!

Here's what I can offer. Hopefully others will chime in as well.


Are you open to purchasing a new projector or do you need to use the existing one? A Short Throw projector would be ideal for your room as it sits on a table or shelf only a few ft in front of your screen. If you're trying to use the Optoma then you'll likely need to consider the best available cable management/concealment options or something like this. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this route, as performance can be spotty, but it is available.

That's a very broad question, especially considering the fact that your room is of decent size. What type of performance are you looking for? Do you plan to listen at moderate volumes or do you want true Theater-like realism? Check out this thread for a wealth of speaker information but, generally speaking, I would budget a minimum of 2K for decent speakers in a space like yours.


That is the job of an integrated receiver, or AVR and will add another [minimum] few hundred to your total cost. Again, there are many options depending on your budget. I would suggest finalizing speakers before making this decision as different speakers can have varying power requirements. If you locate the AVR in the same area of the room as your seats then you should be able to minimize cable runs but you would now likely need a more advanced [RF or IP controllable] remote since you won't have simple line-of-sight.
Thanks for the reply!

I think that buying a new projector isn't out of the question, but we'd rather keep the room clear of any more tables/furniture in the center area at least. We were probably going to mount the Optoma to the ceiling somewhere. We were considering hiding the cables running along the ceiling/wall with some sort of cover (maybe paint it the same color as the drywall?) Are there projectors out there that can reliably (and instantly - like for gaming purposes) output wireless video to a receiver?

I'll definitely check out the post later. But, we don't need a true theater like realism. I can't get into the specifics of what we are looking for as we are ignorant on this subject! We just want something of good quality. (as mentioned earlier my wife loves Costco and we see there's a couple on sale now, thoughts?: https://www.costco.com/vizio-v51-h6-36"-5.1-channel-home-theater-soundbar-system.product.100669728.html or https://www.costco.com/vizio-m51a-h...s-&-wireless-subwoofer.product.100715322.html)

Yeah, I'm thinking buying a shelf for the area behind the sofas might be our best option to set all of this up. I'll wait out on which receiver until I narrow down the speakers, then. We'd like to stream (Netflix/D+/Hulu/etc), would this be easy to set up through the receiver? Do we just need to get a Roku or something?

Thanks again!
 

John Dirk

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Thanks for the additional info. I now understand what you are trying to accomplish a little better. If your wife is open to a ceiling-mounted projector in her living room then you are living the dream! Most [including mine] aren't, which is why I suggested the short throw option. My projector is ceiling mounted in my dedicated room and I run the cables to the far wall on the right and then to the front, all using cable management. As you suggested, there are many options out there to help keep things looking reasonably neat.

The wireless solution I mentioned in the prior post should work for you. I've just never used such a product personally and did see some varying reviews. If you buy the soundbar where would you place it, seeing that you don't want any additional furniture in that area? Are you considering wall-mounting it?

I'm also a big Costco guy. This might work for you as an AVR and then, yes, you could add a Roku or similar for streaming functionality.
 

Shinta255

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Thanks for the additional info. I now understand what you are trying to accomplish a little better. If your wife is open to a ceiling-mounted projector in her living room then you are living the dream! Most [including mine] aren't, which is why I suggested the short throw option. My projector is ceiling mounted in my dedicated room and I run the cables to the far wall on the right and then to the front, all using cable management. As you suggested, there are many options out there to help keep things looking reasonably neat.

The wireless solution I mentioned in the prior post should work for you. I've just never used such a product personally and did see some varying reviews. If you buy the soundbar where would you place it, seeing that you don't want any additional furniture in that area? Are you considering wall-mounting it?

I'm also a big Costco guy. This might work for you as an AVR and then, yes, you could add a Roku or similar for streaming functionality.
Looking further into the wireless options, the response time doesn't seem like it'd be too reliable. Particularly for gaming (which we plan on doing quite a bit). So, that is probably out. The speakers will be placed on the shelves and there's a shelf above the fireplace for the center speaker. We may have to wall mount or place the rear ones on a table/shelf.

You mentioned earlier that you recommend a roughly $2k speaker system. Does that mean you don't recommend the Costco ones I mentioned in my last post?
 

John Dirk

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You mentioned earlier that you recommend a roughly $2k speaker system. Does that mean you don't recommend the Costco ones I mentioned in my last post?

Not necessarily. It really all depends on what you want from the setup. No matter what the marketing material says, you won't get true immersive, room filling surround sound from a soundbar-based solution, especially in a large open space such as yours. That said, it might be acceptable to you depending on how loud you like to listen and how immersive you want the experience to be.

With audio, the only way to really know if you'll be satisfied is to give it a spin. If you're not in this case, one great thing about Costco is their return policy.
 

Bobofbone

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A couple things to consider. Short throw projectors have the added advantage (I've read about, but not used them) of using a screen with what amounts to selective reflection that allows them to reflect the projected beam to a limited (the seating) area, and reflect ambient light elsewhere. The screen is similar to a fresnel lense. This might allow a good image with less light control in the room. The screens aren't exactly low budget, though. You probably would be limited to a fixed, and not retractable screen. Cable and wire run can also be done in more than one way. You can fish wires through walls, but it usually entails making some holes and repairing them after putting the cables through. There's also the floor. I've put in two set ups using the floor by drilling holes, and running the cable between floor joists in the basement (unfinished, with no ceiling) in one, and crawling around the crawl space beneath the house in another. I covered cables in another house with placement along the wall and lots of plastic plants my wife liked in another. If you know any cable guys or electricians, they might provide some advice. You Tube has videos on the subject as well.

Post pictures of the results!
 

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