Where do I put my equipment in new HT

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Marty D., Feb 15, 2002.

  1. Marty D.

    Marty D. Agent

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    Ok, I have nailed down the layout that works in my room. It all changed after I convinced my wife to go FPTV. Now I am nervous $$$. Anyway, Where is the best location to put my equipment. Next the seating area, up front , or to the side. What is the most expensive cable run? I assume it will be the video cables for the projector. Should I allocate space for a PC in my room?
     
  2. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    Hi Marty,

    You ask some very pertinent questions, and my advice would be to surf around this and other forums for some ideas and answers to some of it, mainly because in doing so I think you'll stumble onto some ideas that will turn on a light bulb in your head. Also, I hope others will chime in here and directly address some of your questions.

    However, I don't want to send you away totally empty-handed, so I'll take a stab at your "equipment location" question. I guess my answer is that is doesn't really matter where you locate the equipment as long as you decide on a location before you close up the walls, so you can wire correctly. If the equipment is not in the line of fire" for your remotes, you can get some sort of IR repeater system to bounce the IR signal to wherever you need it to go. If you look at other people's HTs (you can check the "theaters" link here at HTF) I think you'll see lots of great ideas for where/how to locate equipment. Some put their equipment behind the screen, others build it into a side wall, etc.

    I haven't really read much about any acoustical issues with equipment placement, but they may be out there and I'm sure someone will advise on this if it's an issue.

    Hope this helps. Do a search for cable using common terms and I think you'll uncover a lot regarding price, type, how to run it, etc.

    Regards,
     
  3. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Scott has provided some good advice. A lot of this depends on the limitations (or non-limitations) of the room with IR remote considerations as well. All my equipment is located up front and the only item that is remote controlled that won't work by aiming my Proto to the front is the lighting. Logistics forced me to place the switches on the side of the room near the entrance. So I have to aim the Pronto in that direction when I change the lighting. (Yes, I know I could set up some IR repeaters - I just haven't gotten around to it since it's not really a big hassle.)
    I also found that I wanted to be able to "see" my control system (currently the Outlaw 950 pre/pro) because the display contains a lot of valuable information that cannot be displayed through component video on the screen (I wouldn't want it to interfere with the picture anyway). So I've located the pre/pro on the bottom shelf of the left rack. I also place my two DVD players and my LD player on the bottom two shelves because this allows me to change discs without having to raise the screen. (The bottom of the screen is about 19" from the floor)
    To answer another question, I located my PCs in the back of the room since I practically live in the HT and it opens a lot of options (possible HTPC in my future, surfing while listening, etc. etc.) And with the size of my media collection it doesn't hurt to have DVD profiler handy (although I also now have the database on my palm pilot.) Also, on some occasions I've actually used my projector to display computer applications since it handles RGB input.
    Finally, yes, the most expensive cable run most likely will be the component video, depending on the location of your equipment in relation to your projector. If your projector allows you to plug in two sets of component cables (like mine does) be sure to run two cables (5 conductor) if the walls will be closed even though you might think you will only be using one right now. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll find a use for that second cable. (Can you say, "HDTV?")
    [​IMG]
    Hope this answers some of your questions.
     
  4. Marty D.

    Marty D. Agent

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    Thanks for the replies. A couple follow-ups. I will be also hooking up a PC and xbox. That is why I thought the the gear would be good near the seating position on the riser. Although It will be tight. Robert how is your computer connected to the projector. Are you running video to the rear as well? I was not really concerned about the IR signal until you mentioned HDTV. How about switching channels? That would be a pain always pointing behind. I guess it comes down to compromises.
    I will continue to research. Someday my photos will grace this forum [​IMG]
     
  5. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    Back wall. It will keep the distracting lights away from the screen and give you a symetric room for acoustics.

    Infrared distribution systems are available so you can aim the remote where you want, and stil have your equipment do it's thing. You can also run an RF remote - mine will work from outside the house.
     
  6. Marty D.

    Marty D. Agent

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  7. Chip_Slattery

    Chip_Slattery Stunt Coordinator

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    Marty,
    My plans call for the equipment to be located at the rear of the room as well. I will be installing a 3" PVC run from the rear equipment room terminating in the face of the riser. This will (hopefully) allow me the flexibility to pull additional wiring as necessary in the future. I'm not sure how I will finish it at the moment. I may just blank off the opening for now.
    There are companies (MilesTek comes to mind) that sell various connector patchbays for this type of termination, so that may be an option as well.
     
  8. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Marty,

    My HDTV receiver has an RF remote so location is absolutely not an issue. If you decide to locate your equipment in the back of the room, that's fine. IR repeaters will allow you not to have to be a contortionist to activate things.

    My two cents about mounting of equipment and the "distraction" of lights from the equipment is different from some others here. I originally believed the same thing and made sure that in my front racks (see the pix) that I arranged components so that all units with lights would be behind the screen. The only problem with that is that I then lost the ability to see the display of my receiver (Denon 5700 at the time) which provides me with essential information about sound mode, etc. Also, since I use component video to display movies on the big screen (and, obviously for HDTV) I didn't have the option of On Screen Display of this information, which is limited to the composite and S-Video modes.

    The bottom line is that I relocated my receiver (and now my Outlaw 950 pre/pro) to the bottom shelf so that the display is visible. You can dim the display if you want (I keep it bright for visibility) but, speaking as someone who uses his HT a lot, I find that there is absolutely no distraction from lights below the screen. Others may disagree and that is their right, but for me it was far better to look down for mode, volume, etc. information than to have to turn around all the time (and probably stand up as well) to see the component displays. Also, the layout of my room didn't lend itself to this.

    And on the computer/display question: When I first got my projector I had connected a component cable for computer use, but once HDTV arrived I chose to use the cable for that. I have two component connections on my FP - the other cable set goes to the pre/pro where two DVD players are switched into it. Realistically, now I hardly ever use the computer display on my FP. Even the novelty of connecting the XBOX or even the GameCube has worn off and the 45" RPM is fine for my needs. Besides, I just don't have time for this right now.

    That said it's relatively easy, if need be, to connect the computer directly to the projector directly based on the location in the back of the room. I have a 15' component cable (with RGB connector on one end for the computer) that connects in about 10 seconds. And if I ever wanted to use the XBox on the big screen again I found that a very inexpensive RadioShack switchbox added to the cable going to the FP was just fine. It's just that when I added the Outlaw 950 into my system for review I decided to clean up the wiring a bit and I haven't missed a thing.
     
  9. Mac F

    Mac F Agent

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    I like the idea of keeping the flashing lights out of sight from the video image. Where I used to live, I had an equipment room ( OK, I'll confess it was just a closet) where I could keep the electronics. Nothing was in the room except TV and speakers. I can't pull that off where I live now, but would if I could.

    I enjoy playing with the equipment, but the value of watching it while I have a movie going is limited. The fewer distractions, the better.
     
  10. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Location:
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    Wes Peterson
    I am a strong believer in placing the equipment in the rear of the room(see pic below). But You still want to be
    able to see them without too much effort. I have mine placed in the rear right corner and have a Radio Shack
    IRtoRF backto IR repeater. I am not totally happy with the RatShack unit but it does work. If you can design it in
    now you will be very happy later.
    My equipment and media
    Wes
     
  11. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    Another idea, if it's possible in your room, is to mount the equipment into a side wall not too far out of your visual range (perhaps to the side or just behind your seating area. Then, you will be able to see the displays by partially turning your head, rather than getting up, having to turn around, etc. Also, the display lights and LEDs should be pretty much out of your eyesight when watching movies. A final benefit is that it's conceivable you wouldn't need an IR repeater unit since you could just turn the Pronto to the side (although you may still want to get one).
     
  12. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I agree with Scott that a side location, out of immediate eyesight when viewing the screen, is a good compromise. I would have considered this, but the arrangement of my HT just did not lend itself to this. As you can see, one wall was completely covered with shelves and the other wall, where the entrance is located, did not lend itself to equipment installation for a number of construction reasons (not the least being that this is a concrete wall - the old foundation of the original house.)
    I fully understand and appreciate the views of those who don't like distracting lights. In fact, as I stated, I had originally planned my equipment arrangement so that all equipment with lights would be behind the screen, but that didn't work out for me because I wanted to see the display. And, as I also said before, I have never, ever had a problem with the display on during a movie. You just do not notice it. I've even done a bit of reserch on this by asking guests after the fact if they were bothered by the distracting lights. Their response in every case, "What lights."
    Just another thing to consider if side or rear equipment racks don't work for you. And to answer a question that I was asked via e-mail: No, there is no IR problem with the bulk of the equipment being located behind my screen. While many of the "stock" remotes' signals do not penetrate the screen I use a Pronto Universal remote which has a powerful IR beam and does the job. (And the two Dish receivers are of the RF type so I could control them from Pluto, if I wanted.)
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Marty D.

    Marty D. Agent

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    Thanks for all the great ideas. I will be starting on my riser this week. I am going to incorporate a trap door to hide wires and coxial connections. Since I am leaning towards a dlp projector I need to start looking at models to get my specific room requirements.

    I like the conduit idea and may run conduit for all my speaker wires as well.
     
  14. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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