Home Theater and Audio

Soms

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Steve
Hi everyone,

I'm new here but have enjoyed reading all of the information contained. To say it's a bit overwhelming to the novice is an understatement.

I need help. I am building a new house that has home theater room. In addition, I had 4 rooms downstairs prewired for ceiling speakers.

I've been reading and am a bit confused as to all of the equipment I should be looking at and what is going to get me the best bang for the buck.

My theater is 18' x 12'. And has been prewired for 7.1. I would like to get a good setup (everything is needed, whatever everything may be) for less than 5K. Want the capability for HD. What else do I need besides:

Projector
Screen
Speakers
Receiver
DVD player

Recommendations on any of these for good quality stuff is appreciated. I didn't know exactly where to post since the forums are split up among components so thought I'd start here.

The equipment room is at the back of the theater so I need to find out how to set up an I/R remote or something like that.

I was just looking at Level Three Speakers at the Home Theater Direct website that I got from one of the posts here. Are they any good? My head finally exploded after monopole/dipole/bipole discussions.

Seems like the technology has really passed me by and I could use some help.

In addition, I need some in ceiling speakers for the 4 rooms downstairs (master, master bath, dining room, back yard). Would like something that will provide decent sound for around $100 or so a pair. In my last house, I had the downstairs wired the same and I couldn't power all the speakers at once with my older Harmon Kardon receiver. Will simply buying an amp solve this problem or is there another way to boost the signal to the speakers without having to purchase a whole new receiver?

Thanks for your time. This is a great site.

Soms
 

Robert_J

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Robert
An amp may or may not help. You didn't tell us how you wired up the speakers in your old house. You more than likely need an impedance matching device like the ones here.

-Robert
 

Alon Goldberg

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Alon Goldberg
Hi Steve - here's an idea of what you could put together on your budget (I did go over a little bit but it was tight!). At the very least this should at least provide a list of all of the components to consider in building a full home theatre.


Front Speakers: Paradigm Monitor 7 ($650)
Center: Paradigm CC-370 ($300)
Surrounds: Paradigm ADP-370 ($650)
Rears: difficult with this budget
Subwoofer: HSU VTF-3 MK 2 ($700) - also look at SVS subs
Speaker Stands: For the surrounds ($150)

Total: $2,450

Projector: Optoma HD70 ($1,000)
Screen: Da-Lite Screen (approx $600)

Total: $1,600

Receiver: Denon AVR-2807 ($750)
HD Player: Toshiba HD-A1 ($400)
Power Filter: APC C5 ($100)
Universal Remote: Logitech Harmony 890 ($250) - includes an IR receiver
Audio/Video Cabling: HDMI, Component, Digital Coax, Optical Audio, etc ($100)
Speaker Cabling: 12 AWG Speaker Cabling, Subwoofer Cable ($100)

Total: $1,700

Grand Total: $5,750
 

Soms

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Steve
Wow,

Thanks for the quick reply Robert and Alan. The downstairs speakers are wired from the wall stub out to a volume control and then directly to a stub out in the wall by where my receiver will be located.

I have never heard of the impedence matching device you directed me to, but it sounds like it'll get the job done when combined with my receiver and probable an amp. Once I get my old Haromon Kardon out of storage and into the new house I'll be able to check the power out. What would you consider the minimum power requirement to be for 4-5 pair of speakers? How do you choose the power rating of the speaker for a reasonable sound level?

Alan,

I was looking specifically at the Paradigm speakers as they were recommended by a friend. Thanks for the reassurance. Time to go and listen.

Thanks, this is great info.

Steve
 

Soms

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Steve
Also,

How do you decide on screen size. When initially setting up the room, I was talking to a local HT shop and discussed a 120 inch screen. We set up the projector wiring to accomodate a projector, but then came across a package deal that has:

New Optoma HD72 Projector
New 92" Fixed Frame Screen With Black Velvet Pro Trim
45" x 80" HDTV
Grey High Contrast Fabric 1.1 Gain
New Universal Ceiling Mount
New 25' Premium 24K Gold Plated Ends Component Cable
New 25' Premium 24K Gold Plated Ends HDMI to DVI Cable

I can get all that for about 2K plus get a $400 rebate.

Why does it say 45x80 in HDTV? Does this have to do with the aspect ratio stuff I've been reading? The projector is both 1080i and 1080p and has 16x9 aspect ratio with a max resolution of 1600x1200 pixels. I guess I need to find out how high this screen is. My room is 12 feet wide so I was thinking a 110 inch screen would fit good and give me the largest screen size. Obviously this is one of those things that requires more thought.

How does the aspect ratio fit into my room?

My head hurts. Thanks for the help.

Steve
 

Robert_J

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Robert
I'm not sure what you are reading about aspect ratios. The projector you are looking at has a native 16x9 aspect ratio so your screen should as well. There are more advanced guys going with fixed height, 2.35:1 aspect ratio screens but you are talking about $1,000+ for an additional lens. There are more details in the Display section of the forum.

-Robert
 

SethH

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Visit Projector Central. They have some calculators over there to help you figure things out.

It has more to do with your sitting distance from the screen and the throw distance from the projector placement than with the width of the room.
 

Soms

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Steve
Thanks to everyone,

Still doing my research. I'm trying to find a place to go and listen to speakers. There is a Paradigm retailer in my area, but I'm having difficulty finding retailers other than online for JBL and Polk Audio in the DFW area.

Any one know of places where I can listen to them both to compare or how to find these places on the internet? I thought just typing in JBL retailer would work but not having any luck.

Any personal opinions on comparisons? From my reading here, it appears that JBL offers the best bang for the buck for a 18x12 theater. I'm thinking of below $400 each for front floor standing speakers. JBL E 90's easily fit into this but I want to listen to them.

Then will have to add the center channel, sub, rears and side surrounds as I build it all.

Any opinions on the JBL E20 and E50 speakers? I read a review that said that the E20 may not be good against a wall. I have my side speakers wired out of the wall and the rear speakers wired out of the ceiling. Is it common/uncommon to use a bookshelf speaker for side or rear surrounds? Are there brackets on the market to mount a bookshelf speaker to the wall or ceiling and make it look decent?

Thanks again, this place is great.

Steve
 

SethH

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Dec 17, 2003
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While big-box stores suck for audtioning . . . I know that BestBuy carries JBL and CircuitCity carries Polk. I'm not sure if either of them carry both.
 

Soms

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Steve
OK, thanks. I looked at both their websites and didn't see much. They probably offer more in the actual store.
 

Soms

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Steve
Looking at a good deal on a Paradigm PS-2200 Sub. I haven't decided on the rest of the speakers. If I want to go with JBL or Polk instead of Paradigm, will the sub be compatable? I guess I'm unsure of what is required to mix and match speaker manufacturers.

Thanks, Steve
 

SethH

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There is no need for the sub to match the rest of the system. It is very important that the front three speakers match and even better for all 5 (or 6 or 7) speakers to match. You will get no benefit from having a sub match your speakers.
 

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