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Old 01-22-2009, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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First a little background. I have been lurking on here for a while with some small posts here and there. I had purchased my first home in '06 that needed a lot of TLC (to say the least). I have been doing all the design (I am an architect) & labor myself and have completely gutted the entire place. It has been time consuming and I don't have a lot of extra cash to throw around so I have to plan every step carefully. I have since finished about half of the upper living areas (bedrooms, bathrooms), ok maybe less than half when I say it like that!

I have finally gotten to a point where I have been designing/building my living room, kitchen & dining room. I figure it is to the point where I will need/want advice and/or comments from everyone here at AVS.

The living room/kitchen/dining room area is very open with a small loft above. See the finish plan & perspective:


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Old 01-22-2009, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Equipment:
Equipment I Own:
Onkyo HT-S790
Dish Network VIP622
Westinghouse 42 LCD
60 GB PS3
HTPC
Equipment I am planning on purchasing:
Projector - Either HD65/DT-510/HC1600 - I am looking for suggestions, but am leaning away from the HC1600 due to 2x color wheel/rainbow effect
Screen - Elite Screen 100" 16:9 Electric Retractable

Then of course I will need to get a 4x2 HDMI splitter as my receiver is obviously older with no HDMI switching. I am thinking about the monoprice 4x2 because the new release seems to be more reliable.

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Old 01-22-2009, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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The 100" Retractable will be recessed into the new soffit. A few questions/concerns:
  • Will the fireplace cause the screen to move due to the movement of air?
  • I am placing the center channel behind the retractable screen, which is not acoustically transparent. How much of an issue will this be?
SCREEN UP


SCREEN DOWN


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Old 01-22-2009, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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The receiver I own is a 7.1 system and due to monetary constrants, it is waht I am going to stick with for the time being.

I believe for the front speakers I am going to place the center channel directly on the mantel, below the 42" LCD. This will place it behind the 100" screen as previously posted.

The left and right channel will be placed in the bookshelves flanking the fireplace at approximately ear level.

Ok, so the rear surrounds are giving me hell!!! If you look at the electrical/AV plan, right now I have the two rear surrounds mounted to the edge of the loft above (About 7'-6" above finish floor) which I think looks ugly and would really like suggestions. As for the left and right surrounds, I have the right surround sitting below the stairs to the loft and the right will either be wall mounted just behind the window, or more likely stand mounted in the same location.

The sub will not move as this is where I want it. It will be placed on the lower level shelving under the stairs to the loft.

SOOOOO . . . I am really looking for suggestions/ideas for all rear speakers. I am not really sold on the rear surrounds at all.
ELECTRICAL/AV PLAN

REAR SPEAKER PLACEMENT

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Old 01-22-2009, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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The Specs:
Throw Distance: 13'-2"
Shelf Mounted (Actually Loft Mounted)
Center of lense to top of Screen (Drop): Approx. 6" but is adjustable

The Choices:
As I am on a budget I am going to have to stick with 720p. I do not know if RBE bothers me, but I am going to assume it won't. But I am still slightly weary of it. I want DLP due to the colors they can represent. I have therefore narrowed it down to the HD65 (very bright), DT-510 (not designed as a budget projector which I like) and the HC1600 (free lamp and a big rebate until the end of the month, but the 2x color wheel really seems like a draw back to me). I am looking at spending not more than $800 for the projector. Suggestions?

As for the screen, I am going to stick with the Elite Screen Electric100H (or similar) for price. I want a 100"+ 16:9 formate electric screen for under $250ish. Which really limits my choices.

More Pics:


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Old 01-22-2009, 10:45 AM
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If you place the center behind a non-AT screen it will effect the sound drastically. Elite carries the CineTension2 screens that are electric retractable AND AT! So check those out. I have been eying one for my family room as well.

For the rear speakers I would only do 5.1 and use the corner options. Having all four speakers on the back wall will not adding anything, IMO.

Mike
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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My main questions are:
  • Any suggestions for rear speaker placement?
  • Will the fireplace cause my drop down screen to move?
  • Projector suggestions?
  • I built an AV cabinet with adjustable shelves that I pre-wired with standard duplex outlets (all on one circuit). This has already been built and is not changing. I thought I saw something about how to create surge protection at these outlets by using a certain type of breaker at the box. Am I mistaken or is there such a product?
  • Any suggestions for some limited acoustical treatment that will fit in with the decor?
  • I am sure I will have more questions in the future or some that I forgot, but I would like to THANK EVERYONE HERE FOR THERE HELP! I hope my thread will create some interest. Sorry this got so long, there is a lot of information and thought that goes into this as you all know.

PICTURE TIME (please don't laugh at the state of my house. . .limited money and I do it ALL myself, so this is going to take a while):










If there are any specific pictures you want to see, let me know. These are just to give you a general idea of where I am at in the process.

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Old 01-22-2009, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry about the picture sizes. I will fix that in the future!!!

Thanks for the suggestion In2Photos.

What is the price difference for the CineTension2 compared to the none tensioned models. I am willing to go up a bit in price, but not much. I believe these will unfortunately be out of my small price range.

I was thinking about going 5.1 myself. Seems like the easiest cleanest solution. Is it possible to do 6.1 using a 7.1 receiver? I thought if you were to go '+' from the surround back left & '-' from the surround back right (at the receiver to the speakers) that would work. But I am unsure. If I would go 6.1 I could mount the rear center to the post that supports the loft above.

The other concern is that I would lose some SFX by dropping down to a 5.1 from a 7.1. What is the common thought on this?

EDIT

The CineTension2, although it is exactly what I want, is waaay out of my price range.

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Old 01-22-2009, 11:45 AM
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MOST IMPRESSIVE WORK AND DOCUMENTATION. I am amazed. Thanks for sharing.

My expertise is in electronics, my only suggestion would be to follow NIST recommendations since surge suppression will be needed for your gear:

p r a c t i c e g u i d e NIST r ecommended

There are NEMA outlets with built in surge suppression, but I think except for the aesthetics of it, its tends to be more costly than external plug in ones. Should they malfunction or need replacement, you need to remove the module from the outlet and install a new one. These modules are custom for each manufacturer, so you are trapped with that manufacturer. Plug-in offer the widest flexibility of choice and lower cost.

The other issue is its better to have whole home surge suppression too, to serve as 1st line defense, then the plug-in variety serves as your 2nd line defense.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjm1024 View Post

Sorry about the picture sizes. I will fix that in the future!!!

Thanks for the suggestion In2Photos.

What is the price difference for the CineTension2 compared to the none tensioned models. I am willing to go up a bit in price, but not much. I believe these will unfortunately be out of my small price range.

I was thinking about going 5.1 myself. Seems like the easiest cleanest solution. Is it possible to do 6.1 using a 7.1 receiver? I thought if you were to go '+' from the surround back left & '-' from the surround back right (at the receiver to the speakers) that would work. But I am unsure. If I would go 6.1 I could mount the rear center to the post that supports the loft above.

The other concern is that I would lose some SFX by dropping down to a 5.1 from a 7.1. What is the common thought on this?

EDIT

The CineTension2, although it is exactly what I want, is waaay out of my price range.

I see the CineTension is priced too high. Look for alternatives then. You might find an AT screen in your price range.

If you opt for 6.1 on a 7.1 receiver there is usually an option in the setup menu for this choice. The manual should tell you how to hook it up.

I still think you would be hard pressed to notice 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 with your speaker locations. Thus I would use 5.1. I have the same issues in my room and 5.1 works great. Plus I can now use the extra 2 channels to run some outdoor speakers.

Mike
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saturation View Post

MOST IMPRESSIVE WORK AND DOCUMENTATION. I am amazed. Thanks for sharing.

My expertise is in electronics, my only suggestion would be to follow NIST recommendations since surge suppression will be needed for your gear:

p r a c t i c e g u i d e NIST r ecommended

There are NEMA outlets with built in surge suppression, but I think except for the aesthetics of it, its tends to be more costly than external plug in ones. Should they malfunction or need replacement, you need to remove the module from the outlet and install a new one. These modules are custom for each manufacturer, so you are trapped with that manufacturer. Plug-in offer the widest flexibility of choice and lower cost.

The other issue is its better to have whole home surge suppression too, to serve as 1st line defense, then the plug-in variety serves as your 2nd line defense.

Thanks for the info & compliment. . .I browsed through the first few pages, but it's going to take sometime to get through it all. Looks very informative.

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Old 01-22-2009, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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For a little more insight and thought process on my retractable screen, check out a previous thread of mine in the DIY Screen section.

I decided to go with a manufactured model. . .Much easier, possibly cheaper and I am sure I will get better results.

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Old 01-22-2009, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjm1024 View Post

Thanks for the info & compliment. . .I browsed through the first few pages, but it's going to take sometime to get through it all. Looks very informative.

My pleasure. Its the definitive consumer reference. The executive summary:

Make sure you have a good ground, National Electrical Code quality

Make sure all other grounds, phone, coax cable or satellite, are also bonded to the AC ground

Use whole home surge suppression usually installed in the service panel of your home power, it may require an electrician to do depending on the unit you buy for installation.

Lastly, plug in surge suppression; plug all the devices preferably into one well rated surge suppressor with enough rated wattage for your devices.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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After thinking about the speaker placement I think I am going to drop my system down to a 6.1 system. It appears easy enough to do and I don't think I will lose much, if any, special effects. So the left and right speakers will remain where they are shown on the AV/Electrical plan and the rear center channel will now be mounted to the loft support post using a wall mount bracket.

I started to install the drywall in the hall near the AV Rack. . I now remember how much I hate doing drywall!!!

Two coats of joint compound with rope light.


AV Rack. . .What a PIA it is to drywall around the already installed cabinet!


View from the stairs from the first level.


View from screen area.


I am going to be trimming out the light cove with stained pine that will match the railing pine to the right.

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Old 02-05-2009, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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A quick update. . .

I have made siginificant progress on the the drywall (I'll try to post pictures soon) and am to the point where I need to run the remaining cables for my AV equipment.

Thank you monoprice!!! I don't even want to know what this would've cost me at a big box store:

(1) - High Speed HDMI 1.3a Category 2 Certified CL2 Rated (In-Wall Installation) Cable (22AWG) - 20ft (Gold Plated Connectors)
- 4x2 HDMI Box to Projector

(1) - Speaker Bracket - Black (Max 33LBS) - Set of 2 - Left Surround and Rear Surround (the Right Surround will be on a shelf)

(11) - 1 PAIR OF High-Quality Copper Speaker Banana Plugs - Closed Screw Type - Obviously for various speaker connections to and from the receiver.

(2) 12AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Loud Speaker Cable - 100ft (For In-Wall Installation) - Wanted to buy the 200' or 250' spool but they were out of stock.

(3) 1-Gang Recessed Low Voltage Cable Wall Plate - Black
$2.19 - One for behind the LCD, one for below the projector, one for behind the sub (I have conduit installed in the AV rack so I don't need them for those locations).

(1) Keystone Jack - Modular RCA w/White Center (White) - For the sub connection at the AV receiver side.

(4) High Quality Banana Binding Post Wall Plate for 1 Speaker - Coupler Type - Obviously for speakers at various locations.

(1) HDMI Tin-Plated Copper CL2 Rated (for In-Wall Installation) Cable (22AWG) - 40ft (Gold Plated Connectors) - AV Rack to the LCD TV. I calculated a 32 foot run, but wanted to make sure I had enough left over for connections.

Grand Total with Shipping: $192.82


I'll update soon with build pictures.

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Old 02-05-2009, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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The only item that isn't in stock it the 4x2 Matrixed HDMI Switch/Splitter Rev 2.5. I am going to give it a try (with almost everyone else it seems) when it gets back in stock. Unless someone else has a suggestion for similar priced switch!!!

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Old 02-05-2009, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking for a electric retractable screen in the 105"-125" 16:9 range. My budget is $300 tops, but closer to $200 would be much better. I really want to go grey to improve black levels (which greatly limits me), I figure I don't need much gain with the HD65 as a projector. I realize I am in the bargain basement category but any suggestions?

Here is my throw specs:


Thanks a lot for the help!

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Old 02-06-2009, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick Update. Pulled a last minute executive decision and went with the DT-510 over the HD65. Got a good deal on it using live as another member suggested. I can't wait to take delivery but fear it will totally stop any build progress I would have been making. It is my first projector ever and I am psyched out of my mind to get a nice 100+ imagine for the cost of my 42" LCD!!!!!!!!

EDIT

I promise, progress pictures coming soon!!!! Oh, if anyone cares I bought my kitchen cabinets today too. . .Talk about burning all my money in day. . .Jeshhh!!!!!!!!

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Old 02-06-2009, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like I'm going to be in the 120" electric retractable range. I know tab-tensioned is out of my price range so I am going to fill the bottom bar with as much lead as possible to combat curling. I just hope the motor can take it! Probably going to go with a slightly higher gain (around 2.0ish) to make up for the lower lumen output.

Would you suggest a grey screen or a white screen. . .I would prefer a grey to improve the black levels, but I'm worried the DT-510 won't have enough lumen in a semi-light controlled cathedral ceiling living room situation like mine.

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:13 PM
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You have good cause to worry.

11 fl is far enough under where you would want to be to get a good dynamic image with a white surface, that opting for a -1.0 Gray surface would send PQ into the Cellar.

To "get it all" you'll have to use something with a minimum of 1.3 gain. If that 'something' can be of a Gray shade, then yes....an improvement in your perceived Black levels will result. Blacks that actually belong in the "Cellar" dept.

Few Mfg Screens will deliver all that for any remote degree of low expenditure. You could get a inexpensive "Bright White" Retractable and apply (via spraying) one of a few DIY Paints that will getcha there. Hybrid Mfg/DIY ya know.

Choose correctly and the Blacks will look "Interstellar" but your Whites will still remain almost pristine.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"

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Old 02-23-2009, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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You have good cause to worry.
You could get a inexpensive "Bright White" Retractable and apply (via spraying) one of a few DIY Paints that will getcha there. Hybrid Mfg/DIY ya know.

Choose correctly and the Blacks will look "Interstellar" but your Whites will still remain almost pristine.

Thanks for your thoughts MississippiMan.

I really value your thoughts as I have read a countless number of your posts about a variety of DIY projects.

That being said, what mix would you suggest for me? The more I think about it the more I want to go a painted screen route. I want to do a cheap electric model, but think it maybe better for me to get a manual retractable first as this will be my first attempt at a painted screen. If I screw-up a $100 screen I will be a lot less angry than if I screw up a $400 screen.

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Old 02-23-2009, 08:27 AM
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Have you resolved the center channel speaker placement or is it still behind the screen?

Also, as for adding mass to the screen bar, that actually makes the curling worse...so don't do it.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Have you resolved the center channel speaker placement or is it still behind the screen?

I haven't. It is still placed behind the screen. But I have decided to move the center channel off the mantel and am going to mount it to the soffit above so I don't have to worry about the center channel also being behind the LCD. I have tested the sound quality with some boc dropped in front of the center channel and found it to be acceptable. So I'm going to have to deal with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

Also, as for adding mass to the screen bar, that actually makes the curling worse...so don't do it.

If adding mass to the lower bar makes the curling worse I think I'm actually going to go with a manual screen for the time being. I really would like to experiment with painting the screen and don't want to mess up a $500+ electric retractable model. I know a website (not sure if i can mention) has a good deal going with free shipping and a free mount for an Elite Screen. It will cost me $230 for a 120" retractable and projector mount. Not bad at all!

Anyways. . .I'll have to update with photos. I've been busy drywalling and building my soffit. I'll have to wait until I get home.

Thanks for the thoughts.

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Old 06-17-2009, 11:01 AM
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Amazing project! What software did you use to render the room? I am using Punch with not so great results.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Amazing project! What software did you use to render the room? I am using Punch with not so great results.

Thanks!!!

Also, thanks for reviving my thread. . .it actually slipped my mind lately (a long time actually).

The software that I use is called ArchiCAD. . .Very similar to AutoCAD but it is designed more for architects where as AutoCAD was designed more for engineering.

A brief update (I'll work on getting some pictures on here over the weekend):
  • Most of the painting and drywall is installed. Still need to install my flooring.
  • Kitchen cabinets went up about 2 weeks ago. Still need to do the backsplash, wine bar and counter (doing a concrete countertop).
  • I got the projector sitting up-side-down on the loft floor and have been using it A LOT (although it needs to be mounted)!
  • I have my retractable screen installed. It works well enough for the price point.
  • Center channel is installed. . .BIG audio problems like all of you warned (damn my stubbornness), more on that in a later post.
  • And a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff that needed to be done, but is not fun to talk about (wiring, plumbing, etc.).


I'll try to get pics up ASAP!!!!

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