Help me create a partial Home Theater in my Dorm Room! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-21-2012, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi there
I'm currently looking at getting some equipment to make a 'partial' home theater setup in my dorm room.
I don't want to spend crazy amounts of money, just want to get something that's nice for watching movies and TV shows (which we do quite a bit).
I'm currently looking at a total budget of <$2000 (split between my roommate and I and some friends) and obviously want to get the best I can for the money.
Right now I'm looking at getting the following:

My room is only 189 sq ft so I am trying to fit it all in there. Floor standing speakers would be fine though.

Could you guys let me know what you think and what I should look at getting?
Also, in terms of the speakers especially, what are the things I really want to look for? Frequency response + driver size? What's a good size for the speaker to be?
Thanks!
Jonno
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-21-2012, 10:03 AM
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Post dimensions of room (Length x Width x Height).....those are needed to see if a 120" screen will work with that projector.....
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-21-2012, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tadimsky View Post

Hi there
I'm currently looking at getting some equipment to make a 'partial' home theater setup in my dorm room.
I don't want to spend crazy amounts of money, just want to get something that's nice for watching movies and TV shows (which we do quite a bit).
I'm currently looking at a total budget of <$2000 (split between my roommate and I and some friends) and obviously want to get the best I can for the money.
Right now I'm looking at getting the following: My room is only 189 sq ft so I am trying to fit it all in there. Floor standing speakers would be fine though.
Could you guys let me know what you think and what I should look at getting?
Also, in terms of the speakers especially, what are the things I really want to look for? Frequency response + driver size? What's a good size for the speaker to be?
Thanks!
Jonno

Are you really sure you want to know what I think?

Gee, college sure must have changed a lot from when I earned my degrees back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Due to the cost of my education I never had any spare money for other things while going to school. Then again I worked and paid for it all myself and never borrowed a dime. I graduated from college broke with a Master's degree but I owed nobody anything. Nor did I ever have the kind of free time necessary for using a home theater while attending school. I pulled many an all nighter just to keep up with my studies. Just curious, and realize it is none of my business, but who is paying for your education? My suggestion is that you concentrate on your studies now, set the home theater as a goal to look forward to when you complete them, and have the money/place to do it right. I wish you well in your educational pursuit.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-21-2012, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macfan View Post

Are you really sure you want to know what I think?
Gee, college sure must have changed a lot from when I earned my degrees back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Due to the cost of my education I never had any spare money for other things while going to school. Then again I worked and paid for it all myself and never borrowed a dime. I graduated from college broke with a Master's degree but I owed nobody anything. Nor did I ever have the kind of free time necessary for using a home theater while attending school. I pulled many an all nighter just to keep up with my studies. Just curious, and realize it is none of my business, but who is paying for your education? My suggestion is that you concentrate on your studies now, set the home theater as a goal to look forward to when you complete them, and have the money/place to do it right. I wish you well in your educational pursuit.
Yes, I wanted some input on the home theater system, not on what they thought about college.
I am majoring in Computer Science and as such technology is a big part of my interest, thus setting up a theater system.
I am paying for my college (at a private research university) completely by myself by a business I run in my home country of South Africa. I have a little money left over to enjoy my college experience, of which this is venture is a part.
I have pulled many an all nighter and I study as hard as I can because that is what I am here to do. If I have downtime and I want to spend it with some friends playing a little Xbox or watching a movie, then I feel I've deserved it. Thus, I would like to put some money, time and effort into making that as enjoyable as possible.
If you have any advice regarding the home theater, that would be greatly appreciated..

To lewke, the room is quite small at about 12x16 feet. I tested on projectorcentral and found that the HD20 should have a screen size around 120"

Like I said, just want something that can provide a nice environment for watching movies / tv shows for as little money as possible.

Thanks!
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-21-2012, 05:28 PM
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As far as receivers I'll chime in and say Onkyo. I have a budget level model that is a couple of years old and it has performed quite well. Newegg usually has some good deals on their Onkyo stuff. If you wanted you could go with an Onkyo HTiB setup and it would work perfectly with your dorm room setup and would kill two birds with one stone and would not be too expensive.

Good luck on your dorm room theater adventure and your college experience. The memories you make will last a lifetime. I know if I could have done what you're doing I surely would have.

Enjoy!

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Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-22-2012, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks RTROSE, I'll have a look for an Onkyo setup then. In terms of versatility, is there a disadvantage to getting an Onkyo HTiB vs an Onkyo receiver plus speakers?
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-22-2012, 10:01 AM
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You will likely spend more getting a receiver and speakers separately, but you will also get better quality stuff. Also in terms of versatility, you have will have more options for adding and changing components by staying away from the HTIB.

That said, you can find some nice HTIB setups. As long as your expectations are realistic, it's a perfectly acceptable way to go especially for a dorm room.

Try to get an idea of what other components you will need to hook up to the receiver: DVD player, Xbox, PS3, cable box, etc, and make sure your receiver is capable of handling all the switching.

Check out Accessories for Less for some good deals on speakers and receivers.

Good luck.

-




Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-22-2012, 10:16 AM
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Reading this thread.... college must have changed a TON from 1995-1997 when I went. My dorm room was just barely big enough for two twin beds and two desks for me and my roommate, and you're planning on fitting a 120" screen in there? Must be nice, man. Best of luck to you my friend.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-22-2012, 04:59 PM
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Except for the weekends though, are you truly going to get to enjoy the HT to it's fullest in terms of playing the movies. Unless it has changed in the dorms you are usually limited to
how loud you can be at certain hours. I know on the weekdays alone quiet hours usually began by 9PM with only the weekends being 11PM. I'm just saying this in regards to your sound
system that you might not even get to appreciate them like you might want to, at least not all of the time. Otherwise my only other concern would be not getting too cramped in such a small
space since you also have to remember you're going to be living in this room as well meaning everything else that you need besides this equipment.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-22-2012, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tadimsky View Post

Thanks RTROSE, I'll have a look for an Onkyo setup then. In terms of versatility, is there a disadvantage to getting an Onkyo HTiB vs an Onkyo receiver plus speakers?

I was purely suggesting the HTiB for convenience and cost savings. The Onkyo receiver in their HTiB's are pretty much stand alone receivers especially the mid to upper level ones. Is this the best option? No. Obviously getting to hand pick all of your components is the best, however I would do a HTiB in a heartbeat if I were in your situation and then when I got out of college then work on getting a "better" system when money and location allow. Had I not run into such a great deal a couple of years ago on my media room system, I had planned on the mid to upper level Onkyo HTiB system. Again if your in a college town craigslist would be another way to by "separates" for the budget minded. Just trying to help you see all of your options. As to a disadvantage to the HTiB? Well as others have stated the speakers included with the HTiB's are usually the weakest link, however that is less of an issue with the upper to mid level HTiB's from say Yamaha, Onkyo, or Denon vs. some of the say offering from Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, etc.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-22-2012, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the further input all.
Yes, I understand that a separate system built from individual components would be the best, but maybe for now a HTiB would be the best solution.
I'm currently looking at the Onkyo HT-S3500 for $257 http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3500-5-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B0077V88V8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1345693078&sr=8-3&keywords=onkyo+htib
or the HT-S5400 for $329.
The HT-S5400 seems to be more reliable according to the Amazon reviews (and of course it's 7.1). Any feedback on whether those are any good and whether the S5400 is worth $60 more?

Yeah, this system would be mostly used on weekends (when there is some free time) but it will be used occasionally during the week. Quiet hours are later than that and we would not be blasting forth at full volume anyway. That's why I'm not really looking to get big, fancy speakers. Just some kind of entry level system that will provide good sound quality.
The nice thing about the projector is that it takes up less space than the 32" TV I had last year, so in terms of that it's actually more space-economical. My room is 189 sq feet and about 80 years old so I don't think much has changed since anyone else went to college, just trying to make the most use of the space I have and optimize the use and enjoyment it will provide.

The one thing I will havea problem with is mounting the projector. Possibly looking at shelf mounting it at about ceiling height by angling the projector on the shelf (no lens shift in the HD20). Will have to investigate that more.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-23-2012, 05:13 AM
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I'd check Craigslist daily.

People seem to like the Goo Systems painted-on screen; not all dorms allow painting (but I know many do).

HTIB + used projector might be a good option.

I could be wrong about this, but If you do buy a used projector, I think making sure it has an hdmi input might be important, if you want to play Blu-ray discs. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can chime in.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #13 of 15 Old 08-23-2012, 05:23 AM
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And, my 2 cents on college - it's not always all about book knowledge. It's a comfortable (and often relatively 'secure') place to help transition to adulthood.

I have forgotten almost all the book learning, but still use social skills every day.

Grad school is a different story; I still use that knowledge daily.

I guess the utility of college depends much on one's needs.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #14 of 15 Old 08-23-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tadimsky View Post

The one thing I will havea problem with is mounting the projector. Possibly looking at shelf mounting it at about ceiling height by angling the projector on the shelf (no lens shift in the HD20). Will have to investigate that more.

Not to mention, make sure of what you actually can do "physically" to the room in order to support this idea of your's.
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-23-2012, 04:02 PM
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I would definitely step up to the next model the 5400 or the 5500 as they use the binding posts vs. the spring clips for the speakers. I'm here to tell you that using a white or off white sheet stretched out is going to do just as good for you as anything you actually get as a screen plus it wont do any permanent damage to the room. Angling the PJ and using keystone is the least desirable way to "mount" your PJ, but if that is all you can do then that's all you can do.

Regards,

RTROSE

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Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
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