Small apartment, beginner's home theater. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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After browsing through some of these home theater build threads I have to say I'm a bit intimidated, especially by the sheer size and scope of some of those builds. When I read http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=19087588 I wasn't even sure I could call this a home theater at all but I'll stick with that term because I don't know what else to call it.

As you can read in the title I am new to home theatre and quality audio. I live in a small apartment so my options are very limited but I would like to enjoy TV, games and films on a reasonable level anyway.

This is my apartment's living space:


And a newer picture:


On the pictures you can see my bed to the left, desk in the middle, my 29" Sony Trinitron to the right and my couch at the bottom.


My aim is to find a way to fit a ht in that small area. Since I am renting this apartment I am not planning on doing any (de)construction, just adding (non permanent) stuff.
I intend to replace that sd CRT TV with a high definition plasma TV. Because of the limited area size, the largest screen I can get is 42". I'm currently eyeing the Panasonic TX-P42V20 or G20.
I'm also adding an xbox360 and a PS3 to the mix for games and blu-ray.


My questions are:

* Does anyone know of a good way to get a 42" plasma in there? Seeing as I'm renting, I don't think I'm allowed to wall mount the TV in the far right corner. (As you might have noticed, the back wall is not on a 90° angle either).
The trinitron came with a handy cupboard but it is only usable by that TV so I'm going to need to find some kind of cabinet or something where I can house the consoles, possible receiver, etc. Maybe even put the TV on as well. The distance between the TV and the couch in the pictures is about 6.5-7ft. The distance from the couch to the back wall is at least 10 feet.

* What kind of home theatre equipment do you guys suggest? Nothing too fancy, just something to get more out of what I have. If possible, I'd like to connect it to the PC as well.


Crude MSpaint sketch of the room's layout:


I am eager to receive your wisdom!
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post #2 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 09:01 AM
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For your size room I would suggest something like a Denon HTiB running an optical cable to the receiver from your pc to it for sound. Also if you can I would put the desk behind the couch so you can fit your 42" and watch from your desk if you wish.

Time is precious. Waste it wisely.
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post #3 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah, no. There is no place behind my couch. Or else I wouldn't be able to get through the front door. ¬¬

Which Denon HTiB are you referring to?
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post #4 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 12:29 PM
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Get yourself a quality pair of headphones with a quality headphone amp. Re-visit a home theater when you get a bigger place.
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post #5 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd rather not, I don't even use headphones on the PC. Especially because I wouldn't be able to hear if someone called or knocked on the door.
And it's not like I'm going to be owning a mansion anytime soon.
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post #6 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 12:38 PM
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OK, let me think about for a few minutes if you have the time. I've done small rooms for a few clients before. Give me a second or two.
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post #7 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 12:40 PM
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Would you be willing to relocate your furniture? Can I see a picture of the wall by the front door?
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post #8 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 12:44 PM
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Are you still there?
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post #9 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Wait I'll draw it out, don't have my camera with me.

*Edited the first post.*
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post #10 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 12:58 PM
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Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 Main Loudspeakers
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 Center Speaker (Shielded for your CRT)
2 or 4 Emotiva ERD-1 Surround Speakers
Rythmik 12" Servo Subwoofer
Marantz NR1501 "Slimline" AV Receiver


http://us.marantz.com/Products/2926.asp
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...ubs/f12se.html
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...SRM1/srm1.html
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...M1C/srm1c.html
http://emotiva.com/erd1.shtm

P.S. Save money and get your cables from: http://www.bluejeanscable.com

If you buy a HDTV, then you can consider a universal disc player. For a small room, this would be a great entry level system you can grow.
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post #11 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh yeah, the ht is certainly going to be combined with the new TV. The old CRT is going to one of my relatives.

Let's see here,

Receiver: $400
Subwoofer: $900
2 surround speakers: $350
Center speaker: $400
2 main loudspeakers: $850
+ ----------------------------
$2900


Already seems to be a pretty steep in price to be honest. They don't seem to sell Emotiva around here either... or Ascend.
Thanks for the recommendation though, you're very helpful.
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post #12 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 01:39 PM
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The speakers and sub are sold direct online to avoid middleman cost. If you are a gamer, go with a PS3 which will cover your game/blu-ray/DVD/CD and media streaming needs in one unit. If this system is too steep cost wise, then look at a Sony or Denon HTiB solution. You can't expand that system, but it will cost a little less. You can substitute The Emotiva Ultra Sub 10 for The Rythmik subwoofer which is currently on sale for $289.00.

http://emotiva.com/ultra_sub10.shtm

If you go cheaper in any of the other areas, you WILL loose sound quality dramatically.
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post #13 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 01:45 PM
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Here's another option at $599.00 you may want to consider:

http://usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/5324.asp
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post #14 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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That DHT-591BA does look very interesting for a tighter budget configuration. I'm trying to find a seller at the moment.
Does this set have another name in other parts of the world perhaps? I can't seem to find this particular model.
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post #15 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPhD View Post

That DHT-591BA does look very interesting for a tighter budget configuration. I'm trying to find a seller at the moment.
Does this set have another name in other parts of the world perhaps? I can't seem to find this particular model.

I have no idea where you live, but I'm pretty sure it can be obtained online from an authorized retailer that will honor the warranty.
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post #16 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in Europe. Denon does get sold in Europe but when I check out the various European Denon sites this particular model isn't there.
I've tried the French, German and UK Denon sites and none list the DHT-591BA. The UK and the German site only list a set called DHT-1311XP.
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post #17 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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But judging from your recommendations, prices and what I've read so far, an all-in set like that Denon is probably the way to go.
In case I can't get my hands on the DHT-591BA, are there other sets with the same or even better quality? I noticed you mentioned Sony before as well.
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post #18 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 04:23 PM
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My input:
Get Rid Off
+ Desk
+ PC monitor
+ Old TV & Cabinet
+ Computer Chair
Get
+ 42" TV (doubles as computer monitor)
+ Low profile TV stand with cabinets
+ Logitech z5500
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post #19 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobboi View Post

My input:
Get Rid Off
+ Desk
+ PC monitor
+ Old TV & Cabinet
+ Computer Chair
Get
+ 42" TV (doubles as computer monitor)
+ Low profile TV stand with cabinets
+ Logitech z5500

Hah, quite a radical change there. I appreciate the idea but sadly it will not be possible.

+The desk is owned by the landlord, can't get rid of it that easily.
+The PC monitor is brand new. (you'll notice that the monitor in the first picture is not the same as the monitor in the second picture.)
+The old TV is will be going, together with its dedicated cabinet.
+I'm going to keep the chair, it's quite comfy.
+I will be getting a 42" TV but it won't double as a monitor. Wouldn't want a monitor over 24" in size to be honest, nor just one screen for the whole thing. Not to mention that my PC is hardly HTPC quality.
+I am on the lookout for a stand and a cabinet. It will have to hold at least the receiver, a PS3 and an XBOX360.
+I'd rather use a ht speaker system as PC speakers than a PC speaker system as ht speakers to be honest. I'd also like a receiver to bring it all together.

Thanks for the input though, I could certainly see an idea like yours work for some people.
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post #20 of 44 Old 08-24-2010, 10:21 PM
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Bed looks elevated with space underneath. Slide bed to far right pictured wall. Place couch underneath leaving headroom. Move TV to opposing wall. Leave desk at current location just move it slightly towards the new tv wall.

Time is precious. Waste it wisely.
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post #21 of 44 Old 08-25-2010, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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With the couch underneath the bed a person can not sit on it unfortunately.
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post #22 of 44 Old 08-25-2010, 06:11 PM
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I use a 28.5" Hannspree hdtv on my computer desk. 1920x1200 and nine inputs. Took a little getting used to size-wise, but everyone now loves it. Using it right now. I could totally see you rolling the computer chair out of your way and using it as a display with your couch.

You could still use the computer with it, just change inputs via the remote.

My computer has Bluray, but we've had a Wii and a PS3 hooked up to the Hanspree's inputs. I also like that I can work on a computer and still have access to my pc and flip back and forth via remote.
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post #23 of 44 Old 08-25-2010, 07:34 PM
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Put the bed on risers.

Time is precious. Waste it wisely.
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post #24 of 44 Old 08-25-2010, 10:25 PM
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If tour willing to get a different case for your computer or atleast using the tv as the main monitor I suggest this as a tv stand. You dont have to get from here, but an idea. It gives you an idea of what is possible to reduce the perception of clutter and still give you what you want.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/42-Palisad...Mount/10843655

For a small surround sound try this:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+...&skuId=1153274

I am not trying to push anything on you. I remember the days of having a small area to work with and wanting the best dound and picture. These are Ideas. I think getting rid of the desk and using a stand like I suggestef can help. I know that the tv's of today cant completely stand up to a true "monitor". But you could give it a try and possibly find a stand that will let you keep the monitor right under the tv etc. Remember this is your space. Do what you feel will make you happy. Spend wisely and youll have everything that you want and need in your theater. Good luck. Keep the pics coming with the progress.

If at first you don't succeed, pay someone to do it!
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post #25 of 44 Old 08-26-2010, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Oooh, lots of interesting ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

I use a 28.5" Hannspree hdtv on my computer desk. 1920x1200 and nine inputs. Took a little getting used to size-wise, but everyone now loves it. Using it right now. I could totally see you rolling the computer chair out of your way and using it as a display with your couch.

You could still use the computer with it, just change inputs via the remote.

My computer has Bluray, but we've had a Wii and a PS3 hooked up to the Hanspree's inputs. I also like that I can work on a computer and still have access to my pc and flip back and forth via remote.

I do know someone who did something similar with a 32" screen. Sad to say it just isn't for me. I'm very happy with my new monitor (a Dell U2311H IPS panel) and I intend to keep it. If I do use a monitor/TV combo on the desk I would have to move the desk to the corner because a bigger screen would probably block a lot of the window. My apartment is naturally dark and I'd like to get a good amount of light in during the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrsavetheworld View Post

Put the bed on risers.

An interesting thought. I'm not sure how I'd be able to raise the bed that much without making it unstable though. And I would still need to relocate the closets currently under my bed as well. I also want to be able to sit upright on my bed and that means I can't raise it too much either.
However, I sketch your idea and post it here. It never hurts to try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrckonertr View Post

If tour willing to get a different case for your computer or atleast using the tv as the main monitor I suggest this as a tv stand. You dont have to get from here, but an idea. It gives you an idea of what is possible to reduce the perception of clutter and still give you what you want.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/42-Palisad...Mount/10843655

For a small surround sound try this:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+...&skuId=1153274

I am not trying to push anything on you. I remember the days of having a small area to work with and wanting the best dound and picture. These are Ideas. I think getting rid of the desk and using a stand like I suggested can help. I know that the tv's of today cant completely stand up to a true "monitor". But you could give it a try and possibly find a stand that will let you keep the monitor right under the tv etc. Remember this is your space. Do what you feel will make you happy. Spend wisely and youll have everything that you want and need in your theater. Good luck. Keep the pics coming with the progress.

As a matter of fact I will probably be changing the computer case, the PC is 4 years old now and I'll probably be doing some upgrading by the end of the year or early 2011. But I've got another idea as well, I've taken a picture of the room with a table where the trinitron usually is. It might be possible to use a small table like this and put the TV on it, with the receiver/360/PS3 in some kind of cabinet underneath. (the table here is actually my dinner table so if I do take this route I'll get another one.)
In this configuration I might also be able to put the computer enclosure on the floor so there's less chance of it obstructing the TV.
Thanks for the recommendations as well, but (with the PS3 and Xbox360 in mind) I'd like to get a home theater system with at least some HDMI ports on it.

Picture of the table idea (please ignore my awesome cable management ):


My room's layout:


Optimistic Mrsavetheworld's version:

(The upper right rectangle is supposed to be the bed + couch.)

EDIT: I think the "wall to wall" distance in the above pic is about 11.48 ft or 3.46 meters.
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post #26 of 44 Old 08-26-2010, 11:43 AM
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Based on your comments, it seems like the room came furnished (it looks like a dormitory room). If you have any leverage over the furnishings, I'd get rid of the bed and couch and get one of those foldable futon bed/couches. I had one in college and not only was is very comfortable, it was perfect and gave me plenty of room. Or.. take apart the desk and store it under the bed, so when you move out, you can put it back together again

Personally, I like the idea of using your computer monitor as the TV - I have a 23" computer LCD that I am temporarily using until I figure out what to do with my place. It's sitting on top of my laundry hamper in the bedroom, gah.

If you cannot do that, I think moving things around would help. I've got two ideas, you didn't put any dimensions so I went with what was in the pics and your drawing. See my attached ideas.. 2.

1. Move the bed to the side by the window, and since you want window light, take it off the stilts and put it down. Take the dresser/drawers/closet from under it and place it across the doorway. Put your desk in the corner and couch next to it. Put your TV on top of the dresser/closet/drawers.

2. Keep the bed up high with the dresser below it. Put the couch across from the door, and lay the desk across the wall. Mount the TV on the wall of the desk. When you want to watch, just move your computer monitor out of the way.
LL
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post #27 of 44 Old 08-26-2010, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedovaty View Post

Based on your comments, it seems like the room came furnished (it looks like a dormitory room). If you have any leverage over the furnishings, I'd get rid of the bed and couch and get one of those foldable futon bed/couches. I had one in college and not only was is very comfortable, it was perfect and gave me plenty of room. Or.. take apart the desk and store it under the bed, so when you move out, you can put it back together again

Personally, I like the idea of using your computer monitor as the TV - I have a 23" computer LCD that I am temporarily using until I figure out what to do with my place. It's sitting on top of my laundry hamper in the bedroom, gah.

If you cannot do that, I think moving things around would help. I've got two ideas, you didn't put any dimensions so I went with what was in the pics and your drawing. See my attached ideas.. 2.

1. Move the bed to the side by the window, and since you want window light, take it off the stilts and put it down. Take the dresser/drawers/closet from under it and place it across the doorway. Put your desk in the corner and couch next to it. Put your TV on top of the dresser/closet/drawers.

2. Keep the bed up high with the dresser below it. Put the couch across from the door, and lay the desk across the wall. Mount the TV on the wall of the desk. When you want to watch, just move your computer monitor out of the way.

It is actually a real apartment, everything except the desk and one of the large closets is mine.
I can not take away the legs of the bed (short of sawing them off).
I also can not put the couch across from the door, as you can see on the layout drawings in my previous post.
I wouldn't want to deal with the hassle of moving my monitor every time I want to watch TV either. Especially since there are times when I watch both at the same time.
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post #28 of 44 Old 08-26-2010, 01:40 PM
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Okay, sell your bed and couch and get a futon, space problem solved!
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post #29 of 44 Old 08-26-2010, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedovaty View Post

Okay, sell your bed and couch and get a futon, space problem solved!

:O

Since the bed occupies the same place as the closet underneath it I don't think I'm sacrificing a lot of space here.


Not to go off topic here (I would really like to start buying more stuff and enjoy my HD games/movies) but can you tell me more about your futon?
I've slept on futons in Japan but I haven't really seen it implemented in the West.
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post #30 of 44 Old 08-26-2010, 02:17 PM
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Oh for Pete's sake.................MOVE!
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