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New home theater advice (1 Viewer)


Dec 3, 2007
Real Name
Hello everyone,

I'm relatively inexperienced when it comes to home theater solutions. I realize I should be consulting with an HT professional, but I would much prefer to do this job myself, with some help by experienced people such as you.

I have a $15K budget for the entire solution. I believe that should be enough to give me excellent results!

The room is rectangular in shape, in the basement, on concrete, and will be used as a home theater and games room. It's 30 ft long and 16 ft wide. 14 ft of the length is dedicated for the theater, including seating. I plan to put in thick underlay and nice carpet. I can't put in a subfloow without sacrificing the already minized ceiling height (~7.5ft) We are having a gas fireplace installed and the design calls for the TV to be mounted above the fireplace on the 16ft wall. We are very aware that we want the tv as close to eye level as possible, and we also know about the warnings of tv's over fireplaces. We have some strategies in place, such as a mantel, to divert heat away from the tv. I am getting R40 insulation on all interior walls and in the ceiling. I'm also getting sound bar installed on the ceiling. Wiring will be done through conduit when possible. A dedicated circuit will be provided for just the components.

I'm looking for 7.1 surround sound and a 52" LCD. The front left, right and center speaker can be on wall or in wall but cannot be on stands. The side left and right speakers can be in wall or on wall. The rear speaker must be in ceiling. I know the ceiling mounts are not optimal, but we do not want any speaker stands.

Based on the research I have done thus far, I have come up with the following:

- 52" Sony Bravia KDL52XBR5 LCD
- Sony ES STRDA5300ES A/V receiver
- Sony BDPS500 Blue-ray disk player
- XBOX 360 (already owned)
- Speakers, including sub - Still not sure but have been looking at Tribes from Totem acoustics (they are very expensive - perhaps too expensive)
- Media center (maybe)

I would be interested in hearing feedback on this setup, including suggestions for a speaker system as well as any additional tips you can provide.

Thanks in advance!


Senior HTF Member
Feb 11, 2001
Spring for a stand alone HD-DVD player. It will be queter, and will support high resolution soundtracks.


Dec 1, 2007
Real Name

Excellent television, couldn't have picked it out better myself. Great choice on the receiver as well, Sony's Elevated Standards (that's what the ES stands for) line of audio equipment is some of the best you can get for the money, and eliminates having multiple remotes. The Blu-Ray Player will work as well, and should look great on that screen. For the speaker system it's tough call. Where I work we sell Monitor Audio, which are great sounding speakers made from real wood, they own their own forest in which they take the woods for the cabinets. Depending on the series they can run 500-5000 for a pair of speakers, I recommend the silver series which runs about 1000 for a pair of towers, and 1000 for back speakers, and about 1500 for the center channel. The sub I recommend a JL Fathom sub, they put out immense power, and are so rich when they play that I wish I had the money to own one myself. Make sure you get a decent surge protector for that whole setup though, you want that receiver and tv to be under consistent power. A monster power strip (off ebay for like 35 bucks) that prevents power spikes will be sufficient, you can't sweat the small stuff in these situations. Any questions get ahold of me and I'll clarify.

joseph westcott

Second Unit
Oct 24, 2005
Front speakers should always be placed on the short wall of a rectangular room for optimal acoustics. Seating distance should be 2/3 back from the front speakers to avoid sitting in a null or rear wall where room reflections amplify bass frequencies.

Find some room mode calculators on line to determine what frequencies will be a problem in your room dimensions. They are easy to use and can help you decide what is the best way to orient your equipment in the room.

Also, give your speakers plenty of room to breath. This means keep them away from the side and front walls, and preferable at ear level for the tweeters and midrange drivers. This is especially true of the center channel speaker. Also budget for acoustic treatments because of all the concrete.

Planning is the best way to make a room sound like a million dollars. Do not rush into this. Take your time and do a LOT of research. The internet is a wonderful thing and between white papers and semi professional advice from real die hard audiophiles, you can have a really well thought out system that can outperform systems costing 10 times as much.

By the way, the equipment selection is the easy stuff. That can wait. Great equipment can sound terrible if you do not take into consideration the acoustics of the room it will be placed in.

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