HT project decisions, decisions....

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by JackHC, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. JackHC

    JackHC Auditioning

    Apr 17, 2004
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    I am just about to finalize my HT project. I have been agonizing over many different decisions concerning audio, video, lighting, you name it. Went to the two primary HT vendors in town, (GV) and (PA),as they will be known. Very interesting differences.

    Room Description: 19' x 12'; med blue with white window trim; flat white drywall ceiling

    Lighting: started off with two lights w/ 3 spots per light. Changed to Tiella rails with 20w halogens and blue glass shades

    Audio: my own JBL sub, GV spec with Klipsch rf $1500 ; PA spec Mordaunt Short 906 $1451; was not happy with either one especially after seeing Axioms online which I have chosen in $1800 range w/new sub

    Video: Front Projection, 45x80 92" screen; both spec Sony vpl hs20 for $3500. However, the screen has become the hardest and overriding factor of the whole project. GV says white Vutec "Vu-Easy" at $940 should be good enough; PA says Stewart Firehawk (silver) $1604

    6.1 A/V Receiver: GV Denon avr 1804 $499; PA Harmon Kardon avr 230 $489; Have a Denon 5.1 now and would like to stick with them.

    Labor: Install will be difficult with the drywall already in place. GV suggests cutting thru drywall toward back of room (me finishing mud and paint) using an infrared device located by the screen. $930; PA suggests same but would like to go sideways and place components at side of room and no IR. $500; I've been reading here where I could do it myself including making a screen. Not a real big deal but I would like to have it done right.

    Total inc tax: GV $7553; PA $8585 ; I've figured if I buy it all online and install it myself approx. $4800 with the screen still a big question.

    I'm also installing new carpeting with will be about $1500 - $2000 (whole basement) but can't decide on which color. lighter color or darker??

    Everytime I decide on something, along comes either a new wrinkle or a decision on types.

    My decisions:
    Projector: (easy) Sonyvplhs20 (please no more wrinkles)
    Audio: Axiom, just need to decide on correct setup which changes cost
    A/V Receiver: Denon avr 1804 (or better)

    Screen: oh my goodness, Stewart, Da-Lite, Vutec, my own design,grey, white, silver. I've read the info on this forum about screen which is great. Especially the one that tested all the different types including paint. Had a decision made until I read this.

    Comments? Suggestions?
  2. Chad Anson

    Chad Anson Second Unit

    Feb 13, 2000
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    If you really want to do it right, you need to consider room acoustics. Do either of your quotes include any kind of analysis and/or room treatments?

    As far as color goes, for carpet or walls or anything home-theater-related, for better HT-performance go with darker. Of course, in the real world you have to balance that with aesthetics. My theater has burgundy carpet, burgundy and black fabric walls and columns with brass-colored trim. I think it looks pretty sharp and the color is dark enough not to be distracting.

    Re: your screen -- this is easy to change, so don't sweat it. If I were you, I'd just go with a white, 1.0 gain, DIY fabric screen (there are a couple of vendors on E-Bay that sell decent fabric for cheap). Takes about an hour to make the frame and 20 minutes to stretch the fabric. Total cost ~$100-150. That'll get you going and allow you to get used to your projector, giving you a good baseline to compare with some of the pricier screens. If you want a professional non-DIY solution check out Carada ( If you want a more expensive DIY screen, you can buy the material from Vutec, etc. and attach it to your own frame. Probably 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of a full screen and frame.

    Retrofitting cabling behind drywall can be tricky but not terribly hard (there are lots of tips you can find using google -- i.e., hide behind baseboards to avoid having to cut through every stud). You could probably hire someone to help you with it. For me, making it look pretty after I'm done cutting a bunch of holes in the drywall was always the biggest challenge. However, drywall is cheap and drywall contractors can work magic. I would consider wiring for 7.1 if you can afford it.

    Before I end my rambling, have I mentioned the importance of addressing room acoustics? [​IMG]

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