Home Theater

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by stubeeef, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #1
    After working on my basement for a few months, it is now time to start narrowing the field for pieces and parts to my "Home Theater".

    While I don't have a budget, I will not go stupid on it. Will keep it below $10k. Prefer to keep it less than $7k.

    This is where I am narrowing things to now. If you know that one of these parts is good or not good, chime in. If you have advice, chime in.

    PowerLite Cinema 550
    http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/...s.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=-13223&category=

    7.1 Channel Digital Home Theater Receiver
    http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/receivers/RXV1600.htm

    Speakers are still between, Polks, BostonAcoustics, Cambridge. Speakers are personal, and while I have lots of Kef and Polk and BA, It would take a lot to shift me from those. My ear likes them, what ear I have left.

    Sony DVP-CX777ES
    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INT...&Dept=tvvideo&CategoryName=hav_DVD_DVDPlayers


    I am still stuck on the screen, I want to go 100-110" diagonal, it is a basement with windows on the north side of the house. I will use black out curtains. There wil be a suspended ceiling and recessed lighting, with a rope light behind a lowered crown molding.

    Let me have it...........
     

    Attached Files:

  2. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #2
    I, like you, love the polks. But the real question is what kind of couches are you going to have in this home theater.
     
  3. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #3
    You are so correct! I want something cozy yet moveable. I have 3 daughters so it needs to hold 5 in a cozy arrangement. As Clayj can testify, living in NC has furniture advantages, I live smack in the middle of the furniture industry that still exists in the US, 30 minutes to fabulous choices and prices.

    I would love to hear others furniture ideas! The room is 16.5' wide before builtin cabnets on one side, and 28' deep. The back 4-6' should remain empty for a walkway to the basement door. The ceiling will only be 8' high because of duct work I don't want to pay to move.
     
  4. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #4
    I have the Infocus X1 ($500, brand new, but surplus) And I love it. I highly suggest the 16x9 Infocus Screenplay 4805. DLP is the way to go for HT projectors. LCD does not have the contrast for the job. Also, LCD has the "screen door" effect which can be very distracting.
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/InFocus_Home-ScreenPlay_4805.htm
     
  5. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #5
    while i am aware of that from reading this in CR, the review for this 3LCD was great.

    may need a subscription
    http://www.consumerreports.org:80/c...vs/front-projectors/reports/how-to-choose.htm
     
  6. macidiot macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    #6
    I'd choose something besides the Yamaha receiver. I had one. It was fine, until it broke(the surround processing would fritz out). Which I think is kind of ridiculous for a receiver to do.

    I highly recommend Denon receivers. They are generally in the same price range as Yamaha and are rock solid, high quality components. Seem to be better build quality too. If you want to step up, NAD or Rotel make some really nice receivers.

    A comparable Denon receiver would be the 3806 (or 3805, which is last years model). Which from what I can tell is basically the benchmark in that price range.
     
  7. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #7
    I used to own some NAD, I forgot to check them out! Good idea!

    I want 7.1 and atleast a low level of THX.
     
  8. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #8
    How about some beanbags, instead of a couch?​
     
  9. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #9
    I am too old to get back up after I fall into one. They would be great for the kids though! Good idea! Thanks!
     
  10. asencif macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #10
    I too would go for a comparable Denon receiver. While the Yamaha's are great for the price, they tend to be built from cheaper parts. They are also a bit bright sounding especially when playing music. Denon's are very warm sounding on the music end. But for 7.1 or 5.1 I give Denon the edge as well.
     
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #11
    1. Denon has a 2807 (new) receiver that it hasn't yet made available for sale (some time in March '06), but the specs are on Denon's site: http://usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/3038.asp Most notable is 1080P HDMI support (many receivers don't carry HDMI and those that do often offer 1080i only.) This will UPCONVERT analog, s-video, and component video to HDMI. Bad-ass!!

    2. I would also go with something other than Sony (maybe Denon again) for a DVD player. A good RAM buffer is helpful, but stick with HDMI no matter what.

    3. Trust your ears on the speakers - you know what you like better than we do.

    4. On projectors, check out the Sanyo PLV-Z4 -- HDMI input (big bonus) and 7000:1 contrast ratio. Pricegrabber.com to get a good price. Make sure you abide by rules of "too big" (too close to the screen) -- check out projectorcentral.com -- this is the authority for all things related to projectors.
     
  12. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #12
    No where better than good old North Carolina for furniture. Any place I go... probably half of what it would cost back home.
     
  13. asencif macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #13

    That's an awesome new Denon model. The HDMI switching is extremely valuable and even the iPod connectivity is a cool throw in. Denon receivers are better IMHO.
     
  14. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #14
    Ya, that Denon is looking pretty sweet, wish it had atleast a low level THX mode though. Reliability is a plus, my last Yamaha did blow a channel, and hearing others have that experience reminded me of that. The 2807 is at my top of the list.

    The Epson projector still rates high. HDMI, Component Video, RS232, and more.
    The ratings on its picture are great, some issues it seems with set up though.
    I think I am going to have to get to a highend store and view some,and hear the noise of the fans.

    Thanks for the Denon recommendation, does anyone here have a grey screen, motorized screen, glass bead,..... any does and don'ts from experience on screens?
     
  15. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
  16. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #16
    I used to obsess over THX ratings, but then I realized that the companies have to PAY to get the logo on there. THX standards sometimes apply to lower models, but the profit margin on the unit isn't high enough to justify the extra cost of the slapping on the logo. I've never had an issue with a Denon receiver -- I am waiting patiently to get my hands on a 2807...

    I would be very wary of those speakers. Bose has made a fortune on selling the "idea" of top-notch sound (in a very small form factor) but in fact, the sound is NOT that great when compared to mid and full-size speakers (although they do sound pretty good compared to average speakers.) Larger magnets and cones/woofers/tweeters give you a much better (accurate) dynamic range -- it's just pure physics.

    For a screen, you need to match it to your projector. If your projector has a lower lumen output (<1000) you may want to go with a much higher gain (2.0 etc.) Depending on the contrast ratio, you may choose a grey screen or matte white. Sorry to outsource again, but projectorcentral.com is a phenomenal resource for this kind of info.
     
  17. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #17
    Screens

    Also, if you are 100% sure that you will ONLY watch wide-screen aspect ratio material, get a 16x9 screen. Keep in mind that there are different sizes of 'widescreen' available: 16x9; 1.85:1; --

    My recommendation is to go with a standard 4:3 screen 84"x84" etc. You won't stretch 4:3 programming, and the top and bottom will still be dark if your contrast is set up correctly.

    Motorized is up to you. You can find a good seller on Ebay (I forgot his name) for around $550-600. It's completely a luxury item at that point. I'd start with a manual (pull-down) screen for your first time.
     
  18. asencif macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    #18
    Hey carltonmusic. I agree with you on the Denon receivers, however I am researching on buying some new speakers. I think this info can help the OP as well.

    What set or brand of speakers would you recommend to match with a Denon receiver?

    I know when it comes to speakers it's very subjective and depends on what sounds good to one's era, but what is recommended to be a good match at least in you opinion. Thanks
     
  19. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #19
    Stu,

    I can't comment on any of the components except the projector - so here are my recommendations:

    If resolution isn't of the upmost importance to you (but good picture is) - there are a couple of projectors that are bargain-priced with excellent performance. They are 1/4 HD resolution.

    The first is the Optoma H31, which is supposed to be a phenomenal projector for the price-point (~$1000.00). I have an Optoma and they are great projectors.

    The second is the InFocus Screenplay 4805 - which is also very good at the same pricepoint.

    Above that, Panasonic makes an XGA projector (the P900 iirc) that is supposed to be great and eliminates the screen-door effect of visible pixels from virtually ANY distance. Can be had for under $2K.

    If you haven't already, check out Projector Central - a fabulous resource -I've used it to research all of my projectors.

    Oh, and go Widescreen.

    Good Luck.
     
  20. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #20
    While I am aware of most speaker issues, my hearing is going to mush. Infact I have some Kef 105.4's in storage cause I can't hear the difference anymore. I have some Kef 101's still pumping out beautiful stuff though. I have some oldies but goodies, Polk M3's, for the family room 5.1 and a Boston subwoofer. I was considering some Boston's, Polk's, and even Cambridge for the basement. I am wary of the Orbs, but like the small Kef 101's, occassionally some good stuff comes out of little packages.

    The use of the this room is for theater. I am sure it will be a March Madness room, and NFL, Superbowl too. But the major reason will be THEATER. I want a large and accurate image with blackout curtains being used. I am hoping for a good 96" wide or upto110' diag.

    Fox, thanks!:)

    I will absolutely go with HD, Component and HDMI inputs are a must too. 3000 to 1 is a minimum! and while lumens are great, accuracy and blacks are more important to me. Lumens will payoff for sporting events with friends over I'm sure.
     
  21. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #21
    You're right on target when you say it's up to the listener, but in general - it's preferable to get speakers matched to each other. For the prosumer market, JBL/Infinity, Polk, Klipsch, and Boston make great products. After that, you need a lot more research and a much heavier pocketbook.

    I would go to a place like Tweeter and test out some of the different sounds (keeping in mind that the home theater setup they have is designed to sound good with almost any speakers.) Take in a sample CD that plays different parts of the audible range; maybe make a mix CD of rock, classical, jazz etc. to get an idea of how different music sounds.

    Then, factor in sales tax and compare to online retailers who are going to likely charge lots for shipping heavy items. Pricegrabber is a good resource. You can often find e-tailers that have free shipping.
     
  22. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #22
    How about Saaria screens?

    The pricing seems too resonable.

    Viewing angle should not be a big deal, 60 degrees at most, but do I go with a matt white, grey, and what gain? Are these mostly projector driven or room light driven?

    What is the terminal velocity of an unladden swallow?
     
  23. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    mi
    #23
    Not to try and go back on what it seems like you've already decided, but I just needed to throw in that I fell in love with my Onkyo, so while I haven't used this particular reciever, might be worth looking at...

    http://www.us.onkyo.com/model.cfm?m=TX-SR803&class=Receiver&p=i

    and it can be had for about 800 bucks.

    That denon does look pretty mean though...
     
  24. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #24
    I am going blind reading so much.

    While the epson has been holding up well in my reading, this Panasonic has come on strong and tied it, well it is leading it actually.

    From what I am reading LCD Tech has pretty much eliminated the screen door effect. So high end LCD is not a bad route anymore.

    Panasonic PT-AE900U 1100 Lumen 1280 x 720p 16:9 5500:1 Contrast Home Theater Projector

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...=1696335&Sku=P333-1074&SRCCODE=&CMP=ILC-GUIDE

    Lots of pro and user reviews out there, all pretty great too.

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/panasonic_ae900.htm
     
  25. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #25
    Recent LCD vs DLP review

    ***MUST READ**** if buying soon!

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/ae900_pe7700.htm

     

Share This Page