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post #1 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,
Can't say enough about how much I learned from lurking this site in regards to setting up one's own media room. I had to post the result of a lot of hard work, penny pinching, lots of dealing/shopping/negotiating, and just overall patience.

Being in Texas, basements are not common so for me the conversion would be one of our unused guest rooms. All deco and overall set up is based on compromising to one huge component...the wife. So blacking out the room, knocking something down, huge holes in the wall, etc. were deemed unacceptable from the get go. With that in mind, this room MUST also be able to be converted back into a regular bedroom in little to no time...so says the wifey.

So we got the wife constraint, room contraint (small bedroom), and a budgetary limit. Less than 4k on the entire system. Yes, that was my given budget...what the heck...let's give it a whirl. I need to find a way to save some dough while not sacrificing huge quality. This wasn't easy but I think I did it.

Let me put a few posts up so I can insert some pics.

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post #2 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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1.) Okay...first way to save money, plan to do it myself. I'm not the handiest of guys but I do have patience and can really analyze my situations.

2.) Research - query the heck out of this site and read user opinions on budget projectors, cables, DVD players, screens, etc. Go to Best Buy and Circuit City websites and read ALL the customer reviews, some of them are useful and some I will take with a grain of salt. Opinions are that...opinions, I was just looking for facts.

3.) Shopping - find reputable dealers online, in stores, look at warranties, compare prices and see what I come up with. Quickly highlighted any product that folks claimed on here as 'bang for the buck'.

4.) Be smart - do it right the first time, take my time, read instructions thoroughly, time is money and mistakes costs both time and money.

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post #3 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I've attached a sheet of the prices and all expenses all the way down to extension cords. The items used that I did not list were items I already had on hand. I'm not ashamed of how much I spent. On the contrary, pretty proud, and if this helps anyone else find a great price or help them decide on what to go with then it's worth it for me to post.

Receiver:
Sony STRDG810

Projector & Screen:
Mitsubishi HC4900
Elite EZScreen - 92" White

Speakers + Sub:
Dayton Audio HTS-1200B
Infinity HTS10B (hand me down)

DVD:
Toshiba HD-A30 (Open Box)

Projector Mount:
Omnimount Floating Component Shelf

Acoustic Panels:
ATS Acoustic Panels 3 x 48"x24"

 

HT Budget.txt 1.314453125k . file

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post #4 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Alrighty...pics time. This is what I'm working with.






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post #5 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Let's start painting and putting in the little things...and the screen.








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post #6 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Speakers mounted and brackets ready for screen.






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post #7 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Projector is next...shelf mounted instead of ceiling mounted.






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post #8 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are the pics of my DIY rack in the closet.





I'll be cleaning up the wiring a bit more soon.

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post #9 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Add a little deco and just got in the furniture.









The chaise is paradise.

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post #10 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Acoustic Panels tacked on






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post #11 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Front speakers wired and screen mounted





and I'm spent. It's finally done.


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post #12 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 12:15 PM
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A fellow Texan!

Nicely done.

Exactly what are your room's dimensions?

I had similar constraints on building my theater (bedroom which had to be convertible back again, etc.) and an even lower budget $2,500.

My original plans called for a using a sectional sofa in the same manner you have done but after I stumbled upon an unbelievable price on some home theater seating, I ended up re-working the whole design.

One piece of advice? Try to talk the wife into letting you darken the ceiling. It makes a huge difference in the reduction of reflected light spilling back onto the screen.
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post #13 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I've asked about that, the walls aren't that bad (pretty dark khaki) and the goal was the ENTIRE room but I was able to lobby for one wall. I was giving the whole spiel on how the picture will pop more on a darker background and with darker surrounded walls there will be less reflection...and the reply was "that's nice, well you can do an accent wall and that's it...and make sure it's a nice pretty color". My answer..."Sure, Babe".

I really like your budget room as well.

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post #14 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 01:25 PM
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I like it alot - especially the projector shelf.

I'm also planning a theater room with the same $4k budget. I'm looking hard at the same Dayton HTS-1200 speaker set; how do you like them?
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post #15 of 43 Old 04-11-2008, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm impressed, this set was to be place holder until I budget up for some other drivers but I'm quite happy. I don't have the best receiver in the world but I tuned it myself (not auto calibrate) and I'm pleasantly surprised about the clarity and a louder volume. Overall, very happy with that piece of the system so far.

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post #16 of 43 Old 04-14-2008, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx_flip View Post

Yeah, I've asked about that, the walls aren't that bad (pretty dark khaki) and the goal was the ENTIRE room but I was able to lobby for one wall. I was giving the whole spiel on how the picture will pop more on a darker background and with darker surrounded walls there will be less reflection...and the reply was "that's nice, well you can do an accent wall and that's it...and make sure it's a nice pretty color". My answer..."Sure, Babe".

Rather than painting, think about tacking up some dark fabric on the ceiling. Even just the first few feet next to the screen would help a lot. If you built a simple light-weight frame out of 1x1s you could anchor it to the ceiling just near the corners and be able to take it down quickly with minimal clean-up.
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post #17 of 43 Old 04-14-2008, 08:33 AM
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Very well done and the budget and room use is very similar to mine. Great job. btw: how big is the bedroom?

Victor

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post #18 of 43 Old 04-14-2008, 06:55 PM
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I agree very well done, I like what you've done with the room and gives me even more of a reason to hurry up and finish my basement. Thanks for sharing.
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post #19 of 43 Old 04-14-2008, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WmLGann View Post

Rather than painting, think about tacking up some dark fabric on the ceiling. Even just the first few feet next to the screen would help a lot. If you built a simple light-weight frame out of 1x1s you could anchor it to the ceiling just near the corners and be able to take it down quickly with minimal clean-up.

Great idea, I might try that.

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post #20 of 43 Old 04-15-2008, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victor-eyd View Post

Very well done and the budget and room use is very similar to mine. Great job. btw: how big is the bedroom?

Victor

13.5 x 11.5

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post #21 of 43 Old 04-16-2008, 04:24 PM
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I probably haven't browsed enough of AVSForums to know how you did this but - how were you able to run the speaker wires to the closet?
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post #22 of 43 Old 04-16-2008, 07:07 PM
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I probably haven't browsed enough of AVSForums to know how you did this but - how were you able to run the speaker wires to the closet?

Looks like most was through the ceiling/attic/crawl space.

Love the room! I like to see people getting great result without huge expenditure.

Not sure it would make a huge difference acoustically, but with a little work and a few pokes into the wall you'd be able to run the center channel wire behind the screen so it could be mounted closer to ear height...
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post #23 of 43 Old 04-17-2008, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srev View Post

Looks like most was through the ceiling/attic/crawl space.

Love the room! I like to see people getting great result without huge expenditure.

Not sure it would make a huge difference acoustically, but with a little work and a few pokes into the wall you'd be able to run the center channel wire behind the screen so it could be mounted closer to ear height...

I actually did want to mount the center channel below and the front stage off to the side but the slight compromise were the aesthetics and my own abilities. Mounting the CC below the screen, I'll agree the sound right off the bat was pretty good. After I put the drivers up where I have them now I had to tweak the angles of the speaker a few (dozen) times until I finally got the stage to where I was quite happy. It came pretty darn close to when I had the center channel plus fronts lower. Even with the speakers being that high I cannot tell the sound is originating above the screen. Ideal location sound was a 8/10 at best, where I have them now about an 7.5/10, a slight sacrifice and a possible upgrade in the future.

Thanks for the compliments ya'll. Yes, all the wiring was handled in the attic and what made things easier was a large grommet pre-run for me when the house was built so everything could be run into the closet. All of the wiring was run into the grommet and just pulled through via tied string. Sounds easy until you take into account tons of fiberglass in the attic I had to wane through to find the grommet. It was my first experience and after reading the forums I know I'll gather more info, ideas, and tips (that hopefully may not involve more money ) to improve the room.


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post #24 of 43 Old 04-22-2008, 02:38 PM
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That's really cool! Thanks for sharing. I'll probably have to use some of your ideas when I finally convince the wife that we need a home theater.
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post #25 of 43 Old 04-23-2008, 11:22 AM
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Great setup! If you bulid a frame to darken the first couple of feet of ceiling you could use some acoustic transparent material and install it at an angle to hide the front speakers. Kill two birds with one stone. Also a laser pointer works wonders when trying to aim speakers towards a sweet spot. Tape it to the top of the speakers and aim away.

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post #26 of 43 Old 04-24-2008, 03:28 AM
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how do you like the sound of the daytons?

im purple!
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post #27 of 43 Old 04-24-2008, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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how do you like the sound of the daytons?

As I mentioned before, pleasantly surprised. My intent was to buy some drivers - 'just for now' that were decent quality and inexpensive. The build of the Daytons are quite good, the sound was much better than expected - great midrange and impact (need sub though due to lack of true midbass) and the price, quite a bargain. Not looking to replace them anytime soon.

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post #28 of 43 Old 04-24-2008, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx_flip View Post

As I mentioned before, pleasantly surprised. My intent was to buy some drivers - 'just for now' that were decent quality and inexpensive. The build of the Daytons are quite good, the sound was much better than expected - great midrange and impact (need sub though due to lack of true midbass) and the price, quite a bargain. Not looking to replace them anytime soon.

good to hear i think im going to get the dayton setup with the sub they have on special now.

im purple!
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post #29 of 43 Old 04-27-2008, 01:35 PM
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I actually bought a house that had a 12x15 media room (no windows, one door opening) and spent a little more than you to fix it up (well I spent $1000 of my $6000 (in 2006) on a amp/speaker system to rattle your rear).

I know that in Texas running wires through the ceiling and attic only happens during the months of November to March

Mine is in the link below. Painting the other walls would help...and it's only paint...that can be changed in less than 24 hours...that's the way I look at it.

At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for having read it.

My Little Theater
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post #30 of 43 Old 04-27-2008, 03:24 PM
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Nice work!
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