Want to build HT for my husband as a surprise gift

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by shaniceMW, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello. This is a fabulous community. I am a new member. My husband and I are getting a home built. It is semi-custom. I would like to get a HT done for my husband as much as possible without him knowing. We are both kinda techie, but I am a lil rusty with regards to home theaters. Does anyone know if there are packages from any source that include just about anything you will need for a midrange home theater? Including screen, projector, speakers, dvd player, amps, etc... Everywhere I look, I only find dvd player with speakers or just speakers or just screen and projector. Is there a place on this site that gives you a poll with what most members have in their theaters? Like a page that says for a basic home theater on a budget, get this... For a midrange system for like 20k get this... (I am in the 10-15k range including seating and equipment not including construction costs) If money is no object get this... Also my room in question is about 13x23 feet. And I already have the design laid out for the seating (theater seating from a sponsor on this site with two rows of five seats). The last experience I have had with building a theater was a project I helped with the company I worked for where we had a theater within a conference room with the size being about 20 x 40. Think corporate meets matrix. That was about ten years ago and I know technology has really changed since then. I appreciate all the help. When I get things started I will post links for progress. Thanks very much. Ugh. I know I butchered this post grammatically so please forgive me.
     
  2. Jarett

    Jarett Stunt Coordinator

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    hi there,
    sounds like u got a hole lot of fun ahead. i'd say u need to decide what format u want your speakers set up in (5.1, 6.1, 7.1). I would opt for 7.1 or 6.1 as 6.1 is goin to be the wave of the future lol. Once that is figured out you can wire the room for the speakers and projector etc. I am no pro at this i'm just trying to shed some light, I usually ask questions lol. Also, head over to projector central for a look at good choices. One that i am interested in is the infocus 4805 which looks nice but has low lumens the x1 or x2 look great but have no component inputs. Those are budget projectors....but you will wanna look at high performance ones considering your awesome budget.

    Also, the screen ratio is also important, 4:3 or 16:9...many people have different opinions on trhis and it depends on if your goin to whatch much tv or full screen dvds...i've always figured a 4:3 with a good masking system would be the way to go but i have no experience with this so its just an opinion. I thik you are able to get a bigger image if you take 4:3 down to 16:9 rather than 16:9 down to 4:3. How high is your ceiling?

    Like i said i'm no pro so hopefully others will post to. I'll be happy to answer any other basic questions as well.

    Peace and good luck,

    Jay

    P.S. Does your husband know quite a bit about home theater and have a big interest in it? Because if he does he probably has equipment that he would aprove of and not aprove of that u might be able to find out about. Ex: "Check out this flyer, do u think toshiba makes good dvd players or wat?" haha i dono, but good luck
     
  3. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    16:9 screen definitely and I think the one I picked out was somewhere around 100" diagonal and that puts the seats around 13 feet from the screen which leaves enough space for the riser and comfort seating behind the first row. I got this from someone's website I saw on this forum somewhere. I have the electrician who will do the wiring so I guess he knows which type of wiring to do for the speakers. One thing my husband will want is good speakers and equipment which is why my budget is so high. I guess looking at some of these theaters on here my budget may not be high enough. I will figure that out as I go along, but I DEFINITELY will not go past 20k. My goal is 10-15k. I want this to be a birthday gift for my husband and since we are not getting the basement finished by the builder, I have guys that are going to do the basement while he is working overtime to afford this house. lol I Know that he has some links saved on his computer for stuff that he is interested in and I have looked at that equipment. That's why I got this idea to try to surprise him. And he is thinking with time constraints that we may be able to get the theater in about a years time after we move in. My goal is to get it done in two months after we move in. Looks like I need to do some research on speakers. As I have no clue to what you are talking about, but the electrician should.
     
  4. Glenise

    Glenise Supporting Actor

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    Shanice,

    That's a nice gift but how in the world can you do this without your husband knowing?
    I think that's great.
    Do your research and you will have a lot of things to try out and think about.

    Equipment, accessories, etc.
    I'm going to send you a private email in a few mins.
    Be on the look out for it.
     
  5. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    I am hoping that most of it can get done without his detection. And if he finds out early he just finds out. Most of it should be done before he suspects anything. But he will be working a lot and right now he eats and goes to bed without walking around the house. Poor thing is just so tired from work. So I am assuming things will be the same when we move. When the movers put our boxes and etc into the basement, I will request that they put everything on that side of the basement so he will really not see too much of anything going on should he happen to peak down there for whatever reason. Glenise thanks for the links. I really appreciate it. It helps a lot.
     
  6. Adam W

    Adam W Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Tom D

    Tom D Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Shanice, it would be helpful if you could name soma of the stuff your hubby has on his computer. Equipment wise - Sanyo plv z-2 and Panasonic L-500 I think is the model number make good projectors, DaLite has some inexpensine screens. Speakers are really components you need to listen to, and if possible make side by side comparisons with models you like. Some suggestions are Paradigm Reference, Canton Karat's, Linn Ninka's. Then you need to think about power, you go separates, like Rotel pre/pro and power amp combo, or a rcvr like the Denon 3805 with auto calibration built in. There are way too many choices to even recommend a system, the best way is to visit as many shops as you can armed with cd's and questions.I hope this helped some.

    Good luck, regards Tom
     
  8. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    He has like benq projector. Bose speakers (which are on the very high end and I dont know if we need those). Dalite screens. Thanks for the help.
     
  9. Tom D

    Tom D Stunt Coordinator

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    Shanice if you do a search for Bose, you will find most people do not recommend them. You could find better speakers (performance) wise other than Bose for less.
    A lot of people here like Paradigm speakers, Studio 20's, 40's, 60's. Subwoofer wise you could stay with Paradigm PW2200 or many people also prefer SVS subwoofers. Again you can search for SVS and find lots of info or visit the link from HTF. RCVR wise there is a wide range: Nad, Denon, Rotel.

    Good luck in your quest, regards Tom
     
  10. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    Actually, Bose are very "low end" with a "high end" price. I would steer clear of Bose, and of anyone who would try to sell you Bose.

    Since it sounds like you need a lot of help, I would suggest you go to one of your local Hi-Fi/Home Theater stores, who specialize in exactly what you're trying to do. Talk to them, tell them your budget, and see what they can do to help. You can get a lot of help here, but there's no substitute for "hands-on", personal help.
     
  11. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    As other's have mentioned . . . don't buy Bose. Here's a website with some great speakers: http://www.theaudioinsider.com/. They are called Swans and get very good reviews (100x better than Bose). Look at SVS for a subwoofer. Also, you need to determine what technology you want for the projector: DLP, LCD, or CRT. They all have pros and cons. Check out the Displays forum to do some research.
     
  12. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    A few questions for anyone who can help...

    Can you use a network equipment rack for ht systems? Are there screw holes in the equipment?

    How much clearance do you leave on either side of the seating? I have 144 inches and estimate the seats to be about 130 inches left to right. Is this enough clearance?

    If anyone is using distributed video, please let me know which products you use and what your experience has been.

    Thanks!
     
  13. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    Most consumer HT Gear does not have rack "ears" for screwing into a network/audio 19" equipment rack, but most HT gear will fit on rack shelves. Some people attach their own rack ears onto consumer gear so they can screw it into a rack.

    Generally speaking, HT gear comes in two sizes. 19" wide stuff like most recievers, amps, etc, that is the same basic size as pro gear, and "set top boxes" like TiVo's Sat recievers, VCR's, that (IMHO) don't fit in anything.


    I would like to see 2' of clearence to walk past, and probably 12-16" of space between a viewers ears and the wall.


    What sort of video are you looking to distribute?
    (Composite, S, VGA, DVI, cable)
    And do you want just distribution, or switching/routing as well?
     
  14. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    Shanice, is this room going to be a dedicated theater? Since it's being built from scratch, you have a great opportunity here to really do things right (and that doesn't necessarily mean expensive).

    I have an unfinished basement room almost that same size that we will be turning into a dedicated theater, and one thing that I will definitely do is to get help from someone who specializes in home theater design before building the theater.

    Basically, you can end up building a room and putting fairly expensive equipment in it, but getting relatively poor results. The room is a big part of how a theater is going to perform (sound and video).

    Personally, I plan to get design help from Dennis Erskine (I'm sure there are others here on the forum who have used his services or are familiar with his reputation)

    Here is his website:

    http://www.designcinema.com/

    I would contact Dennis Erskine (or someone like him) by email or phone and explain what you're interested in doing.

    I believe that Dennis has worked with a wide range of budgets, and he is willing to work with those who want to do a lot or most of the work themselves.

    Another forum in addition to here that you should visit is:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/

    Especially check out the "Home Theater Builder" forum section. You can find numerous posts by Dennis and others there that will help you in building the theater (especially if you decide to design it yourself)

    Matt
     
  15. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    No fair, why can't she be my wife? [​IMG]

    Anyway, welcome to the forum, these guys and gals will take care of ya. Don't fell too overwhelmed by the plethora of information they have for you. Just take your time, you'll find out the hardest thing will be to stop watching so many movies in your rockin theater![​IMG]
     
  16. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    This is a lucky, lucky man. [​IMG]
     
  17. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG] LaMarcus, thanks. I think I will take some advice and get professional design help on this one. Have to refigure my budget. Since I am getting a "hook up" on construction (framing, electric, drywall), I will be saving there so that does not figure into the budget. I think the biggest problem will be picking the dvd player, speakers and projector. Already have the Denon 3805 receiver and svs subwoofer picked out. Trying to figure if we should have in wall speakers. There was something else he was talking about. I have to go through his stuff like a nosey wife again to try to figure some of these things out. I just dont want to have a company come and do everything because I know they will be there past the time my husband will get home, so for right now I have to deal with hookup handymen.
     
  18. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    Just realized you are from Ohio. My husband is from Springfield right out side of Dayton.
     
  19. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Shanice I'm not srue in walls would be a good idea. For one speakers are a very personal choice so if you bought speaker X and he doesn't really like them its fairly simple to swap them out...swapping out in walls isn't nearly as easy and generally speaking they don't sound as good as more traditional speakers.

    I'd also recomend talking with a local installer to help with the project as it sounds like this is going to be a fairly major project..esp if you want to do distributed audio/video etc.

    Also don't forget about the remote...look into the philips pronto's as a great way to integrate the whole system
     
  20. Kevin Stewart

    Kevin Stewart Second Unit

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    Shanice,

    Kudos on your thoughts about surprising your husband with a great HT. If I were you, however (or if you were my wife), I think I'd reconsider. The differences between equipment varies greatly, and most people choose what speakers, subs, receivers, screens, etc. to get after looking/listening to all the options and then making a decision based upon what sounds or looks good to them. I've been planning my HT for over 1 year and finally started working on it about 1 month ago. It took me that long to decide on everything I wanted and to visit many other peoples houses (and B&M's) and listen to various systems. I'm sure you'll be spending a lot of money and I doubt you'd want to spend money on something that he might not be 100% in agreement with (like the Bose choice. ouch). I would suggest having the room set up for a theater (wiring, cabinets, etc.), but choose all of your components together. This way it can still be a surprise and you'll have the experience of researching and testing equipment together and ultimately deciding on pieces that you both love and can enjoy for many years.



    Stew
     

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