Help me place things correctly the first time! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-02-2014, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Help me place things correctly the first time!

I'm getting serious about completing my basement theater setup. I moved into a house with 7 speakers built in to the basement living room and I'm planing to complete the project with a projector, sub and receiver. I'm wanting to go over my current plans and make sure I've calculated things correctly, and am making the best out of what I have to work with.

I have a few concerns with my current plans, which I will detail below, and 1 way to fix it that may or may not be a better solution.

Currently there is a speaker built in at the top of my wall, from the ceiling to the bottom of the top speaker is 14". Starting with my 51" total screen space height down 14" from the ceiling means the bottom of my screen will be just over 24" off the floor, probably no concern there, but it also means that my projector will need to be likely 18-20" total down from the ceiling unless I buy a projector with lens shift capabilities.

Anyways, sorry for the extra long post ahead, wanted to be as thorough as possible!


Budget: No fixed budget, but money is a key factor in all decisions. I want inexpensive quality, not cheap things.
Components:

Projector: Undecided, here are the ones I am looking at:
Acer H5380BD- http://www.amazon.com/Acer-H5380BD-T.../dp/B00I0VRE6E
Benq W1070- http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-W1070-108...rds=benq+w1070
Optoma HD25e- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...productDetails

Any suggestions?


Screen:
I will be building a MDF board painted screen. I have not locked in on what paint I will use yet, but the maximum width possible with the built in speakers is a 98" screen, taking into consideration a 2.5" black border I am planning on a 94" projection area. Please see photos below for constraints and options.

Receiver:
I have not locked down a receiver yet. I want to have at least 5 HDMI in ports ideally, but could sacrifice 1 down to 4 if need be. Has to be a 7-channel as I have 7 built-in speakers. Here are the ones I've been looking at:

Sony STR-DH740- http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STR-DH740...rds=7+receiver
Onkyo HT-RC560- http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-RC560...rds=7+receiver
Yamaha RX-V675- (A bit higher than I would like to spend, but if it is worth it then I can go for it) http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V675...rds=7+receiver

Speakers: Already built in when I bought the house, they are NXG Pro Series, appear to be what is sold at Home Depot for in-wall speakers (Center Speaker I have- http://www.homedepot.com/p/NXG-Pro-S...i_src=17588969)

Not looking to change anything here unless these are completely worthless, or I find out they are not in good shape once I have a receiver.

Subwoofer: Haven't even started to dig into this. I need one, that is about all I know. It doesn't need to be an NXG does it? I know you don't want to interchange speakers between brands, but the sub is a different story, right? Open to suggestions for sure!

Now to the fun stuff!
Here is the area I have to work with. There are 3 speakers surrounding where the screen will go. The center speaker was mounting near the ceiling.

Here is my space I have to work with:


This is my current plan, 94" screen +2.5" border. Blue measurements are who screen, dashed blue is inside dimensions, black measurements is the fixed space on the wall. I will have 1/2" space between each speaker and the edge of the screen border.


Projector will go in between the rear speakers somewhere, don't mind the furniture, that is another step in the process, after we are set for viewing. I don't like the idea of the projector being dropped down too low, the ceiling height is 7.5', I'm a little over 6' tall. If we drop the projector 14" + the projector height of 4-5" I may be hitting my head if I walk under it. If I buy a projector without lens shift will I have to put the projector to start where the top of my screen starts?


Couple additional photos of the space, don't mind the mess, working on some computers and getting cords ran for the projector!




The other option I have come up with is to drop the center speaker to below the screen.


So is my current plan the best idea for the space I have? Any calculation errors or things I should be taking into consideration I haven't listed? Is a 2.5" border going to be the right space for a 94" screen?

Thanks in advance for any help, I'm excited to get going on this and know with all of the reading I've done here, you guys know what you're talking about!
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-02-2014, 09:09 PM
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I'm really not an expert here, but that looks like a pretty good size room and you could probably get away with a larger screen. It shouldn't be too hard to move one of the speakers over and patch the sheetrock.

I went with the Benq w1070 because of a sale and the great reviews, but I can't tell you how it looks. It is sitting in a box until I can get my project done.

I would love to have a room like that as a canvas. Good luck and I can't wait to see how it turns out.
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-03-2014, 07:20 AM
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You do have a large space to work with.
I am by no means a expert either but have been reading a lot on the forums over the years.
There are pro and cons to your both your options and will come down to compromise
"General" rule of thumb is to have the your eyes at about 1/3 of the screen, from the bottom of the screen.
Center - above might be to high for good sound, can it be pointed down?
Center - below would sound better, I am assuming that you will have only one row so the sound won't be blocked
Screen - to close to white ceiling will cause reflections
Screen - look at getting a projector and getting an image up on your wall and see what feels right to you for size
Projector - check out http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ulator-pro.cfm for mounting and sizes
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-03-2014, 07:40 AM
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I second GonzoNerd (go Auburn) on "go with a larger screen" in your large room. I have a wall/screen in one room at 169 inches and a real 92 inch screen in another room. Bigger is better in a large room. Maybe a DIY acoustically transparent screen. Amazon sells the material.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-03-2014, 09:46 AM
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Hi tjwor. Welcome to the obsession.....

Personal preference, but I like the center speaker below the screen. For some reason I like my line of sight to cross the line of sound. Not sure if there would be any proof in one way or the other being "better". However then you have to consider the height of any component racks that might sit on the floor and block the speaker. Your picture has 24.5" below the screen with the center channel up high. Does that give you the clearance you need for components below? You might consider an IR repeater or hiding your components someplace. Since you've got in-wall speakers, hiding the components would give you a very minimalist looking setup...and it would draw all focus to the screen during movie time. You could probably put that setup together for about $150 plus the cost of any additional HDMI/catx cables.

Screen size - Bigger is better I guess, but too much isn't good either. I believe the ratio on projector central is recommended seating distance should by about 2x the width of your screen. So the best place to sit would be 164" back from your 82" screen. (Almost 14'.) Just remember that if the couches are up against the wall everyone has to walk between the viewer and the screen. If you've got the room size to go bigger, go for it. If not, don't...you wouldn't sit in the front row at the movies, so don't make your home theater seating the front row. You wouldn't put a 100' yacht into a 150' pond....just doesn't make sense.

I like how you have the couches angled. Makes a good conversation area as well as maximizes the viewing angle for each person.
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I'm confused too.


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post #6 of 15 Old 07-03-2014, 10:36 AM
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I guess I am one of the guys that would put a 100 foot yacht (if I had the money to burn) in a 150 foot pond. (I'm not saying djearl81 is wrong, because I am sure he is right...but, it is also a matter of taste.)

You have a large room. If I applied the math, I would need to be back at least 28 feet from my image, but we (family/friends) like it big. Of course, I have about the worst possible setup with just a pj, 5.2 sound and a painted (per projector central) wall.

So like Waterboy77 said above, get the projector (pj) and try it on the wall. See what image works for you and your family, then decide on the screen size. Of course pj placement/cost will drive the image size. Also, if you get to close the pixels become a issue, but look at this picture of a 70 inch TV verses a 160ish image on my family room wall at 30 feet. Which one gives you more of a home theater experience? (This is with an extra pj and not in my "media room".)

Attached Images
File Type: jpg test1.jpg (50.6 KB, 117 views)
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-08-2014, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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First off, Thanks to everyone who has given some input here! Definitely helps get the additional thoughts rolling in my head!

I'm getting closer to making up my mind on what direction I'm going to head.

Here is what I'm thinking about the setup:
At this point a larger screen is out of the picture. This room is going to be a multi purpose room with regular seating, at some point a pool table on one side and a bar on the other. If it were a dedicated theater I would look to the bigger is better, for our situation I think having a 94" will be about perfect (based on the picture in my head staring at a blank wall). I also would have to do some serious negotiating with the wife to let me start cutting additional holes in the wall to move speakers around. With that being said, I will get the projector and get an idea of the screen size and how well it will actually work before I go through making the screen.

One other thing to mention is I have 17' of space from projector wall to rear wall, and need to have at least 3-4' space to walk behind the couches, putting the actual viewing location at the furthest back around 12-13'. Seems like this will work well for the 94" picture.

Based on the eye line at 1/3 of the screen I think leaving the speaker on top will work best for that. I may try to tilt the top of the speaker as much as possible to direct the sound down to the seating area. We will also avoid reflection off of the white ceiling by having the projector and screen down a bit.

As for the 24" under the screen, I think there should be plenty of room for my components. I plan to make a stand similar to what I built for our upstairs TV. It will be designed around the components that will be kept there. I plan on a setup where there are no wires to be seen, and there will be nothing that sits on top of the component stand (except for a black table runner if reflection is an issue).






For projector:
I'm leaning towards the Benq W1070. Initially I was planing to go with the Acer 720p projector with plans to upgrade within a year or 2, but with the recent price drop on the Benq to under $700 I don't see any reason to not just go for it. ***This is unless I should spend an extra $50 on the Optoma HD25E. My primary use will be watching tv and sports. Room will also not be completely dark at all times while watching as the side lights in the room will be on if we are having people over to watch games.


I plan to buy my projector within the next week or 2 and I'll go from there!
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-08-2014, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Scratch the projector choice in the prior post...

Price on the BenQ went up to $755 now. Also doing some reading, I think the fan noise may be an issue since it would be just above or slightly in front of the seats for my 94" projection. I think that the Optoma HD25e seems to be more logical for me.

Again, completely open to suggestions, any convincing arguments against the HD25e? Or suggestions for something else?
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-09-2014, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwor View Post
Scratch the projector choice in the prior post...

Price on the BenQ went up to $755 now. Also doing some reading, I think the fan noise may be an issue since it would be just above or slightly in front of the seats for my 94" projection. I think that the Optoma HD25e seems to be more logical for me.

Again, completely open to suggestions, any convincing arguments against the HD25e? Or suggestions for something else?
Well, I snagged the BenQ a couple months ago for about $750 with a free mount. I did a ton of researching and found this projector had the best overall reviews for the price-point. I, like another fellow in this thread, have yet to set it up and it is just sitting in a box for the time being, but I still am happy with my choice. I took the projector out to make sure it worked and it looked great just on my bare wall. Also, my credit card has a price protection benefit. So if I buy anything and within 90 days I see the price drop, I can file a claim and get reimbursed for the difference. Check your credit card and see if it has a similar benefit...this made me comfortable enough to jump the gun and buy it. Hope this helps!

Cheers!
Kevin
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-09-2014, 12:41 PM
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Hardly an expert in this area, but...

Unless you plan to replace the couches with recliners, I think the idea of moving the screen up higher would make it too high at ~13' viewing distance. And anything you put in place for A/V equipment under the TV would make the center channel dialog bounce or reflect off of it. Not ideal.

Not a fan of center channel above the TV but if you can (and you should) angle it down to the MLP then you shouldn't notice any dialog "disconnect".

Since you looked at the Yamaha RX-V675, I think the Denon AVR-X2000 is the better receiver in that price range: http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-X200.../dp/B00CALM2KS. Gives you Audyssey XT which, judging by the pictures, would really help you get the best sound quality from your speakers in that space. I just setup a Yammy for a friend and while YPAO did a fair job in his situation, it is far from what Audyssey did for my similar setup on my now 5 year old AVR-1910 (which has the same level of Audyssey as the Onkyo you linked to).

My 2 cents...

EDIT: Almost forgot about the sub. These are regularly suggested to those who are new(er) to HT and on a budget (from lower to higher-end):
Dayton
http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...D=nuvdvm6ebexv

BIC
http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F1.../dp/B0015A8Y5M

NXG
http://www.amazon.com/NXG-Technology.../dp/B008FSTU4G

And no, your sub does not need to match your LCR speakers.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-15-2014, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I am still moving along on the project.

I ordered my projector on Sunday. I ended up going with the Optoma HD131Xw because the price is too good to pass up. ($649 on Amazon) I put a lot of research into this and found for my needs it was nearly a complete wash between the BenQ 1070, Optoma HD25e, and Optoma HD131X (and also the Optoma DH1011). In the end I just picked the one that was cheapest.

I'm going to run down and price a sheet of ultralight MDF board today, then I need to figure out what I'm going to do about paint...

Any suggestions on where I should look there? I'm thinking a grey screen to help out the black levels, maybe a 0.8 gain of some type. Does that seem to make sense with the smaller 94" screen and a throw of around 11'6", with typical use having minimal light and using the projector on Eco mode? Is it necessary to do a test palate with different colors? What about just using Behr Silver Screen and calling it good?

Next up I have to decide how much I really want to spend on a receiver... I may go with a cheaper (Sony for $229) now and move it upstairs when I'm ready to upgrade to a higher quality unit. I'm struggling with the idea of spending $400 on a receiver, but if it is truly going to be that much better, over the years I plan to have it I guess the price difference isn't that great.

Once I have the projector, screen, and receiver figured out I'll dig into the Sub, that will likely be the last component I get for my system. I have a cheap RCA non-powered sub I can throw in to at least have a touch of bass until I get a real sub.

Thanks for all the suggestions and help, knowledgable people around here!
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-15-2014, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by steve1106 View Post
I guess I am one of the guys that would put a 100 foot yacht (if I had the money to burn) in a 150 foot pond. (I'm not saying djearl81 is wrong, because I am sure he is right...but, it is also a matter of taste.)
No worries. I agree with Steve completely that it's a matter of taste. His advice to try for yourself is the best advice.

I'm confused too.

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post #13 of 15 Old 07-15-2014, 11:45 AM
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Get some painters tape and tape outlines of different screen sizes on the wall. Choose which one looks best at the seating location. I am at a 96" screen with seat backs 10ft from the screen (eyes about 9 feet). With an amp I would definitely get Audyssey or something comparable; it makes a huge difference in audio quality, especially for in wall speakers. P.S. I like having my speakers behind the screen
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-15-2014, 11:47 AM
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I have a friend who is perfectly happy with the wall color you have as a screen. I did the same for a while, but I went with projector central's "painting a wall for under a $100" when I painted my wall. I did do a test by painting a piece of wood and comparing it to the plain wall as I projected on both surfaces (this sold me and my wife on painting the wall).

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post #15 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I got my projector today, and it is pretty awesome. My first time around a quality projector, the picture is great! Even on the wall with holes and missing paint from the previous owner and a flat screen mount, it looks great.

The wife and I messed around with a few different screen sizes, watched a little Netflix on a 144" screen, definitely excessive for the space we have available, but I was very impressed with the quality.

We decided for now we will go with the 94" screen, and may expand larger w/ an acoustically transparent screen at some point. The issue we get is with the throw of the projector is that the top speaker is too high. The projector hits about center of the speaker with it flush mounted on the ceiling. So in order to do the larger screen that goes over the speakers I'll have to patch the top speaker and cut it in lower... We'll see about that at a later time.

As for the receiver, I pulled the trigger tonight and went with the Denon as suggested earlier in the thread. $400 is a bit more than I wanted to spend on a receiver, but I figure it is a long term investment. (I will use it until it dies)

The sub will be next in line when I get the rest of this hooked up and going. I'm starting to get excited about this!
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