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post #1 of 3 Old 07-14-2013, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I have a house now. Naturally, I need to set up an awesome movie watching/video game playing area.

Here's what I've done so far (mostly just painting):

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The area is actually quite large -- the gigantic sectional throws it off a bit. The sectional is around 14 ft wide in its current configuration and can probably fit 6-9 people (2+ on each section). The screen is 100 inches. I'm still using my Sanyo PLV Z4 projector. If you're wondering what that weird device behind the sectional is, it's a "Powergrid Kilowatt" (exercise game controller).

For sound, I'm planning to go a bit non-conventional. I think I'm going to skip the receiver and run everything directly from my computer. I tested out the 5 inch powered studio monitor speakers from monoprice, and they actually sounded really good, so I plan to get a couple more pairs of those. I might have 2 center channels, since I don't really know what else to do with the extra paired speaker.

Now, tell me if this is stupid, but I'm thinking of also getting 2 of their 12 inch subwoofers. One would take input from the right channel and sub (.1) channel, with the line out on right going to the right speaker. Same thing on the left. The idea being that anything going out to the dedicated sub channel as well as low frequencies on the left and right channels would be picked up. I'm not sure exactly how the sub handles input. I would think it just adds or averages it, but the fact that they recommend using an RCA Y splitter to go from a single channel to the two sub inputs if you only have one channel for the sub makes me wonder...

I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I want to do all the wiring. I actually have my computer upstairs -- basically directly above where I want to ceiling mount the projector. I should be able to put a hole in the ceiling directly below the bedroom wall that my computer is against and run the HDMI cable there. That part should be easy. The audio and power cables, however, are going to be a little more troublesome.

I could get something along the lines of the PowerBridge to put in the ceiling, but those seem stupid expensive for what they are. Even the monoprice version is expensive. Normal wall sockets can be obtained for $1-2. I don't see why it should be $50-100 to get one that's paired with a male version. Am I missing something, or is there just an insane markup?

For the audio, I was thinking of getting several long RCA cables and either running them through the ceiling and down the wall with the projector screen, or down the back wall and through the crawl space. to the projector screen wall. The crawl space would probably be easier. Unfortunately, the upstairs bedroom wall does not line up with the back wall, so I think I'd have to cut open the ceiling, the upstairs floor and/or the wall in order to access it and drill holes to get the lines through. Any tips or suggestions for tools for fishing wires would be appreciated, as I've never done this before.

My house has a ton of reverb for some reason, and it will only get worse if I put something like hardwood flooring in, so I'm considering making some sound absorbing panels. I was initially just going to get some foam panels, but then I saw a DIY guide on how to make some with a wooden frame, some special fiberglass insulation, and canvas (and fireproofing). I thought it might be cool to make several of these in different shapes and sizes, then paint some picture across all of them. I'm not sure if painting them would significantly reduce their sound deadening capabilities, though. I'm also curios if an existing painters canvas could have fiberglass added to it to increase its sound dampening.

Well, I guess that's all for now. Don't hesitate to point out stupidity. I'm no audiophile, and I haven't set up anything like this before.

Expect slow updates in the future... maybe. smile.gif
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-16-2013, 08:05 AM
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Re: the center channel, I'd save the extra speaker as a spare. If you use both you should mount them vertically, one over the other, to keep them from interfering with each other.

Long RCA runs might pick up interference. Going with balanced XLR connectors would fix this if the monitors will take them, but I don't know of an easy/cheap way to get balanced audio out of your computer.

Just run the sub channel from your sound card to the sub, to split it to both subs. If your audio is set up properly it will not be sending low bass to the left or right channels anyways.


I have a tile floor and DIY sound absorbers were VERY helpful in taming echo. You should be fine decorating them as long as you use pigments that don't fill the pores in the fabric--inks or watercolors would be fine. Thick acrylic may be a problem.

I shopped fabric stores and found some interesting prints and used those as-is--more fun than just burlap! (most of mine are burlap though) I think the basic rule is that if you can breathe/blow through fabric without much restriction it'll be fine around your absorber.

If you don't have one, an electric or pneumatic staple gun makes absorber builds MUCH easier!
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-16-2013, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply! I was planning on using acrylic. Maybe I'll thin it out a bit with some water so it won't fill up the pores as much.

The monitors DO take XLR connectors, but, like you said, there doesn't appear to be a cheap way to go from my sound card to balanced outputs... makes me wonder if I should get XLR cables instead, though, just in case I get something like that in the future... probably not worth it. I'm just going down a wall and across a room. Shouldn't be too much interference.

On the note of sound cards, I should probably upgrade mine. I was using an old Sound Blaster X-Fi, but the connector on it worked itself loose, so I switched to the Razer Barracuda AC-1 I had lying around (got it cheap from woot out of curiosity). Sadly, the Windows 7 support on that is terrible, and the control panel is always crashing, so I probably won't be able to configure it properly or easily switch back and forth between surround and headphones. It also doesn't support ASIO, which seems to be necessary these days if you want to create anything (since Windows 7 sucks for sound). I was thinking of picking up the Sound Blaster Z.
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