Visiting HT installer this weekend, what questions to ask.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich Johnston, Mar 16, 2001.

  1. Rich Johnston

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    My dad is building a dedicated HT in our basement. The room is 13'x 27' and only has the initial framing completed. We will be visiting a professional installer this weekend, and I wondered what are the essential questions to ask.
    Our plan is to use Paradigm Reference speakers (studio 100's up front, studio cc, studio apd's for sides and rear). Haven't decided on velodyne, paradigm, or SVS for sub. Will use a Denon 5800 as the receiver.
    On the video side we are looking at the Sony 10HT or one of the Runco/Yamaha DLP's. We want a fixed 16:9 screen, not sure of the size. But would guess 100" or so.
    I think we are headed in the right direction based on HTF members guidance in the past. Any ideas that you could throw our way, or some specific questions to ask the installer would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  2. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like you have done your homework. You have picked out some great gear. Might I ask why you are even using an installer? Are they just going to run the in-wall cable and hook everything up? Just curious.
    Are the installer and contractor one in the same or 2 separate companies?
     
  3. Rich Johnston

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    Brian,
    Thanks. Maybe HT installer is the wrong word, maybe I should say HT consultant. My dad and I will do all the installation, but we are planning on purchasing all the gear from Audio Video Solutions in Maryland. What we want them to help us with are room dimensions, room acoustics, screen size, viewing distance and see if they concur with what our vision is for the theater. I've read stories of individuals who have spent a great deal of money, only to find out that improper speaker placement, room size and acoustics, were not taken into consideration, and they were left very disappointed. We just want to do this right the first time.
    From other HTF members, I was asking if there are some good questions to ask the consultant that I haven't mentioned above. Thanks.
     
  4. ChrisY

    ChrisY Auditioning

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    Speaker placement is often dictated by screen location and seating. So, it is often necessary to use acoustic treatments to get the best sound out of an installation. I would ask if you could visit installations that they have designed. You didn't say how much he was going to charge you and what his proposal was for what he would do for you. Since you are going to do much of the work yourself, you could pay a fee to someone like Dennis Erskine who could recommend the appropriate treatments, screen placement, use of shadowbox, lighting, etc.
     
  5. Jay Sulzberg

    Jay Sulzberg Auditioning

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    My only bit of advice is concerning the projector. If you are going to have a 16x9 screen, you should only consider buying the Sony VPL-VW10HT. It is the only projector on the market right now that is a native 16x9 display device. Any other DLP or LCD is a 4x3 display chip. JVC MIGHT have a 16x9 projector out now that has their DILA chip, but I'm not sure about it. Why is this important? To make a long post short, there is no easy or elegant way to make a 4x3 projector fill a 16x9 screen with a letterboxed or HDTV image. I'm a custom installer and I've tried. The Sony VW10 does not have this problem and, it a great looking projector. If you decide to use a different projector, then get a 4x3 screen and live with the letterboxing. If you don't, you will be spending a lot of time zooming the lens in and out to fill the screen.
    Good Luck, Jay
     
  6. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    To continue Jay's reply... And an add-on 16x9 anamorphic lens will cost over $1,000 extra and can be a beast to set up correctly.
    Sony and others may be coming out with better 16x9 panel LCD projectors this summer, but I don't know how long you can wait.
    Dan
    ------------------
    Boycott JVC, 5C, HDCP, DFAST, and stop the MPAA!! Call Or Write The FCC And Your State and Federal Representatives To Protect Quality HDTV And Other HD Media, And Your Constitutional Rights!
     
  7. Patrick Bennett

    Patrick Bennett Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Poul Nielsen

    Poul Nielsen Auditioning

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    The only thing that pops up in my mind is the room dimensions. You say the room is 13x27 ft. I assume the height is around 8ft (?). It seems to me you might get a nasty bump in the frequency response around 40-45 hz due to the first harmonic resonance of the lenght and second harmonic of the width.
    Perhaps you could ask the consultant if it would be a good idea to shorten the room to about 22.5-23 ft. That way you distribute the room modes more evenly. You could use the space behind the wall for storage of some sort if you shorten the back end of the room.
    I am just finishing building that kind of wall at the front of my room (pictures will follow), where I made recesses for my TV, equipment, front speakers etc., thus utilizing (some of) the space behind the wall.
    Best regards,
    Poul Nielsen
     

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