Planning theater for new home

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Victor:H, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Victor:H

    Victor:H Auditioning

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    My family may build a new home this fall, so I took initiative to plan out the home theater. My budget is about $5,000. I'd like to spend roughly half on visual and the other half on audio.

    I've been doing some research on projectors and screens lately, and I've thought of using a painted wall rather than a screen. That plan would allow for a much nicer projector. I'm thinking, size wise, that the screen will be at least 100+ inches diagonal (16:9). There is plenty of room (20' x 20' x 9'), so I'd like to go as big as the budget will allow, but I read in a magazine that a screen larger than 110" would need an extra bright projector to do the job well. I never figured out how bright so I'm still hoping it could be done with a DLP projector in the $2-3k range.

    Audio wise, I'm not very sure of what I'm doing. Most likely I will go with a 5.1 speaker set, receiver, and whatever else is necessary to get the job done. The center, left, and right speaker will be built into the wall, but I'm not sure about the sub or surround speakers. Does a sub still get the job done behind drywall?

    Also, I'm a bit in the dark about video inputs for the projector. Since it would be hard to run cables to and I plan on using the system for gaming, is there a way to run the video to a separate controller which feeds into the projector?

    Hopefully you guys can give me some good suggestions. Thanks.
     
  2. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    I can only cover a little of this so bare with me. If you want a sub in the wall they have ones that are designed with the intent of being installed in the wall. If it is behind solid drywall it is probably not going to sound very good. know that doing this yourself could cut cost, but it will take some know-how. Those guys at the audio video stores that install you stuff the way your talking will cos an arm and a leg.
    Sony and Sharp both have LCD type projectors that are capable of produceing a fairly bright and large image in this price bracket.
    Also, what kind of gaming; computer, or consule?
    I can help more once I now what your plans are.

    Seth=L
     
  3. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Your screen size depends on your seating distance from screen, and if you get a 480p or 720p projector. A painted wall will work good for a screen as long as the wall is nice and smooth. You will want a projector with DVI or the newest input(HDMI) and they all have component inputs these days, S-video and composite. Why would it be hard to run the cables to the projector? If the projector doesn't have enough of the proper inputs, you can run your cables into your receiver and use it to switch between sources. But I recommend running video cables directly to projector if possible. I also think putting a sub behind drywall would sound bad. Projectorcentral.com and Projectorreviews.com are 2 great sites to read about projectors and read reviews.
     
  4. Victor:H

    Victor:H Auditioning

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    Ok, here is a basic idea of what I'm thinking about. The ceiling is vaulted and mounting the projector to it would be difficult, so it will have to be mounted somewhere on the back wall. The question is, though, would it be a good idea to also put the receiver, DVD player, game consoles, etc. on the back wall as well? My guess is that it would cause accessability problems using a remote, but it sure would be easier to do.

    Upon further review, I have decided that a 110" diagonal screen will be plenty large, so I think a DLP projector with at least 720p would fit into the budget.

    I plan on console gaming mostly, but there is the possibility of running the PC in there (which I think has an HD output). So it would be easy to hook a PS2, Xbox360, DVD Player, and cable box into the projector? I'm just concerned that I will have enough HD inputs since most technology is heading in that direction.

    [​IMG]

    The sub will probably just be mounted in the wall along with the center channel below the screen.
     
  5. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    The back wall is the best spot for your equipment rack because it keeps the video cables short, and you won't be looking at all the lights on the front of the components. I don't know of any projectors that have 4 HD inputs. So you need to buy a receiver with enough inputs to switch with, or buy a standalone HD switcher. You will be limited in your projector choices due to the long throw distance if you mount it on back wall. Projectorcentral.com only shows 2 projectors that will for your situation(110" diagonal screen, and a 18'-20' throw), the Panasonic 900 and Sanyo Z4, and both are LCD. If you can shorten your throw distance, you will have a lot more projector options.
     
  6. Nick:G

    Nick:G Stunt Coordinator

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    You might have to go the ceiling-mounted route by using an extension pole on the mounting bracket to keep your projector within a $2-3k price range. One of my customers ended up doing that; a little unsightly if you ask me, but it works.

    DLP's that can throw at about 20 ft. away to a 110" screen size get a lot more expensive because they have to be equipped with better lenses AND they need to be brighter.
     
  7. Victor:H

    Victor:H Auditioning

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    I'm not positive on the screen size at this point. I've been looking at the BenQ PE7700 projector lately, and it looks like a good buy for a $2000 range DLP. Of course, the problem is the throw distance. At ~18 ft away, the screen would need to be 130" diagonal. If the room would allow it (which I am unsure of), I would do it. Projectorreviews.com states that it is bright enough to project onto a 133" screen.

    Wouldn't that cause problems with using a remote? Also, there's the game consoles that would probably need to be up front, too. I think running one cable from the receiver to the projector would be the easiest solution. I'll probably have to make most of these decisions during the building process, so I'll see then.
     
  8. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I wouldn't even consider the Benq 7700, it's had terrible problems with early bulb failures. You can read about it at Avsforum.com. The remote won't be a problem if it's RF like my sat. receiver remote. If not, you just point it to the rear(BIG DEAL). Why would your game consoles need to be up front?
     
  9. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    My equipment is in the back of the room and I'm tired of pointing the remote that direction. I'm installing an IR signal distribution system from [email protected]. I'll also be able to put IR receivers in other rooms so to control things like whole house audio being sourced from the theater room.

    Since you will be using the receiver and possibly and external switcher to connect all of your sources to the projector, I also suggest getting a Harmony activity based remote. I have one in both the living room and the theater room. I also waited until they were on sale and save between 50% and 65% on each one.

    If you aren't going to put your equipment in that closet, why not build an IB sub. You don't lose any floor space and you get the best sound quality available. Check out Cult of the Infinitely Baffled for more information.

    -Robert
     
  10. Victor:H

    Victor:H Auditioning

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    Interesting...so rather than a small enclosure you use the entire space as the enclosure? I'll look into it.
     

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