Need help on putting it all together

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mark Francis, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Mark Francis

    Mark Francis Auditioning

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    I would post this on the basics forum but no one is there. So I apologize if people view this as basic. I think it should be OK.

    Basically, I have finished my basement and I am now ready to add all my equipment. This is what I have or need to put together:

    (1) 55 inch big screen (currenly have)
    (1) 42 Plasma TV - above flat screen (need to buy)
    (2) Directv for both TVs (have it on big screen with Hughs equipment)
    (1) Xbox (have)
    (1) Playstation 2 (have)
    (1) DVD player (have - will upgrade)
    (1) VCR (have - will upgrade)
    (1) Surround sound (need to buy equipment)
    (2) Ceiling speakers for bar and pool table area (need)

    Wiring - I have wired everything to a central base behind the big screen and shelf to the side. This includes 2 directv hookups and two phone cords. I have run speaker wire to the back corners of the surround sound, front corners of the area, and to a spot for the base. If I need a front channel speaker, it could come off the big screen. This is a problem with the flat screen unless it has speakers.

    I have also run speaker cord to my bar for a ceiling 2 way speaker s weel as the pool table are for the same ceiling speaker set-up (volume controls on wall).

    So this is what I want to accomplish:

    The ability to watch 2 TVs for Football season (NFL ticket). I'd like for the Hughs equipment to be different so that changing the gane on one doesn't change it on the other TV. I'd like for both TVs to have the ability to be plugged into the surround sound, but I could pick one if I had to do so. I also want to be able to play the video games through one or both TVs. I have kids so one game on one and another system running on the other could work. I also want to be able to watch TV on one if the kids are only using one TV. I want to play DVDs and VCR tapes.

    I want to be able to run music to the bar and pool room speakers. I also want to listen to music on some self speakers in the TV area (or I could just use the surround sound speakers.

    So there we are. I'm not trying to get too crazy with multiple radio stations playing. The same music played on one channel or all 3 areas. I can select 1 TV (probably the plasma) for DVD, VCR, and surround sound. Video games on the big screen, maybe on the plasma (is that bad). I do want the plasma to have picture in picture.

    So, could I get some recomendations? What kind of beast will hold this all together? What kind of technology do I really want to go for or must have? Should I get a plasma with a speaker for the center channel? I can spend money, but don't want to kill myslef. I'd be happy with decent quality regarding ceiling speakers, VCR, DVD player. I want to put most money into the plasma and tuner. Thoughts? Thanks a lot in advance.
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I will answer this one. Surround sound speakers should be timbre matched, especially the Left Front - Center - Right Front (LF-C-RF) speakers. Timbre matched means the speakers have matching tone characteristics so a sound panning from LF->C->RF (or vice versa) sounds seamless. The easiest and most reliable way to timbre match is by buying timbre matched speakers from the same manufacturer. Speakers that are built into the TV are useless for this; they are often bad quality and they most definitely will not timbre match your mains (LF-RF). In a true HT, the TV/projector serves as a monitor only, no TV speakers are needed unless you just want to listen to the TV's speakers without the receiver being on.

    Do a search on "timbre matching" for more info.
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    > I'd like for the Hughs equipment to be different so that changing the gane on one doesn't change it on the other TV.

    not probable. they use the same ir codes.

    > I'd like for both TVs to have the ability to be plugged into the surround sound, but I could pick one if I had to do so.

    easy. both tv's will have an audio-out option. just run those to your receiver then choose which you want to listen to.

    > I also want to be able to play the video games through one or both TVs. I have kids so one game on one and another system running on the other could work. I also want to be able to watch TV on one if the kids are only using one TV. I want to play DVDs and VCR tapes.

    easy. both tv's will have multiple video inputs, so you should have no problem.

    > I want to be able to run music to the bar and pool room speakers.

    do you mean *independently* of what is being watched on tv? if so, you need a receiver capable of multi-zone functionality. many higher-end receivers have this, but some require external amplification. if you mean just whatever is playing on the receiver, then all you'll need a speaker selector box.

    > Video games on the big screen, maybe on the plasma (is that bad).

    yep. you'll be susceptible to burn-in if you're not careful. limited (and i mean limited) playing probably won't cause any damage, but if i were you i wouldn't do it at all. if video games are required, think about a dlp or lcd tv.

    so, it sounds like you're video gear should be fine, with enough inputs and outputs to handle your wants. you may just want to make sure you're receiver is up to snuff.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Mark,

    Most home theaters use a basic receiver as a “central command unit” that switches both the audio and video from various sources. Various components, like the VCR, satellite and DVD player are connected to inputs on the receiver. From the receiver you select which component you want to view, and the signal goes out to a single display device and single set of speakers.

    With that in mind, some of the things you’re asking for are pretty complicated from a connections and technical standpoint, and will probably require specialized equipment that you can only get from a professional installer. This is a fairly common situation when you get into multiple display devices utilizing different video sources simultaneously.
    This will first depend on the capabilities of the TV. Beyond that, any PIP function requires two program receivers; in this case it means a third sat receiver, especially if you want a separate sat picture on the other TV at the same time (as indicated with the NFL ticket). Once again here you will have the remote control problem if you want to be able change both the main and PIP channels.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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