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post #1 of 12 Old 04-18-2017, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Lost newbie here, hi guys!

Well we are building our new house finally and we went for the media room option. The 8 year old in me just couldn't say no! So ... now what?? So many choices for lighting, sound, picture, etc I'm not sure where to start so I am here looking for tips.

We have our first design center appointment with the builder on Thursday and the thing sticking most in my mind is where to put things. AVR, game consoles, streaming boxes, etc. I've attached a pic of the layout and dimensions of the room. The small door on the right wall won't be there; that will be a shared wall with a bedroom (my daughter's for now). The double doors lead out to the game room and the other two walls to the outside.

So where do I go from here for a nice set up? I'm not an audiophile by any means but want something sounding and looking nice without breaking the bank.

Any tips are greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-18-2017, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok I can't figure out how to edit my OP.

I'll be building the fullness of this in stages for sure but I would like it wired for Atmos and with a projector and screen and not a TV.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-19-2017, 04:45 AM
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How much/what kind of seating do you want/need? That will help decide which direction you want to orient the room. If you can, I'd build the equipment in to that closet in the lower right corner. I'd leave the door in the hallway (rear access for wiring) and have the closet open to the media room for convenience of equipment access.

begin rant...
Since you're heading to the design studio (and you explicitly mentioned Atmos)...DO NOT LET THEM PUT SURROUND SPEAKERS IN THE CEILING (except Atmos). If I have to walk in to one more builder show model with a "theater" and I see LCR and surrounds in the ceiling, I am going to scream.
...end rant
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-19-2017, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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For seating I'm thinking probably 6 would be good. Two rows of three.

I'm not sure if they include any speakers or not. For the cost of this option I sure as hell hope so but no surround speakers will be going in the ceiling.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-19-2017, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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How the hell do I edit a post??

I think I'd like to wire for a 7.1.4 set up but for now will be actually setting up a 7.1 system.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-19-2017, 01:49 PM
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LOL - Totally agree with Aberk. "Surround Speakers" in ceiling should only be done when that is the only possibly option even though you know you're not getting true surround.

First off, I'm jealous! We just bought a house (not custom built - I live in SoCal) so had to "make do" with the living room as is and it's not just a media room so much fewer options than you have. I did a 5.2.4 Atmos set-up and love it. With a dedicated media room, you could likely go 7.2.4 to take it all the way. (With my room the single long sofa is against the back wall so no room for "back surround" speakers.)

For me, there's a few things to think about...
1) Video (TV vs Projector)
2) Sound Set-Up (Not only what the set-up will be but just as important, what A/V Receiver and/or Amp, what speakers to get - skies the limit on price range here.)
3) How to set up the room in general

I'd start with "What will I use this room for?" Some people prefer a straight "cineplex" set up meaning 1-2 rows of cinema style seats (but nice leather comfy reclining ones of course). But that does limit the room to pretty much ONLY being used for watching movies or tv shows. You might consider a hybrid set-up, one that emulates the cinema experience but with furniture/layout that also allows it to be used as a den/family/gathering/party room - a place to also hang out and watch things like sporting events or other more casual viewing. So maybe you still go "two rows" but maybe a sofa and some plush recliners and such. It all just depends on what you want and how you want to use the room.

I would generally suggest having the double doors be the back of the room and the TV/Screen be on the opposite wall. It looks like those are the shorter walls giving you more depth in the room to have your seating and still have room behind for your surround speakers and such.

Other things to consider... With a projector, ambient lighting will make a huge difference - only the most expensive projectors do well with light in the room. Again, this may not matter if you only intend to watch movies/tv in the dark, but something to think about. The latest OLED TV's from LG are amazing picture-wise regardless of ambient light. On the other hand, they limit you in size a great deal compared to projectors. As with most things what is best will depend partially on how you want to use the room and watch stuff and also on what your budget is like.

For speakers and receiver, it depends a LOT on budget. I had a decent budget in my new home theater living room, but not unlimited expenses so I went with the higher grade of "consumer line" products. I bought the premium line of Polk Audio Speakers (their Signature Series). But I didn't cross over into the enthusiast class which the low grade of those type of speakers would cost more than I paid or could afford. At any rate, I love Polk and feel the sound I get out of them is excellent. On receivers, you have to decide to buy a receiver with built in amp (again, more consumer line way) or use a separate amp for sound amplification (the preferred enthusiast way). Really all depends on $$$. I bought the higher end "consumer grade" Denon AVR-X6300H. I don't have an external amp, just the Denon. Because I don't have surround back speakers, I was able to use those channels on the Denon to bi-amp my l/r tower speakers.

As far as speaker set up goes, check out the Dolby website - they have great diagrams that you can download in PDF that show the best set up for Dolby Atmos. Speaker set-up is key!!! Can't tell you how often I've gone into a house with a super expensive sound system, but it didn't sound as good as my old cheap surround system because they had it set up horribly. Because you have a dedicated media room, you can, and should, follow the Dolby Diagram exactly - it will give you the best result.

I'd definitely suggest in-ceiling speakers (4 of them) for your Atmos sound. I'd suggest nice tower speakers for your Left/Right (no surround w/great l/r is better than having surround with not great l/r - they are important speakers). Equally as important is your center speaker - it will carry most of the dialogue so get the best one you can afford. (Well, that's kinda obvious - you want the best everything you can afford.) But also don't get cheap on your surrounds and ceiling speakers - you want things to equal out.

Like I said, the sky really is the limit and you could probably spend as much on just your media room as you did your whole house if you wanted to so you have to first decide your budget, then decide what you're gonna use the room for, then get the best of everything you can afford to fulfill that vision - and make sure your speakers are set up correctly!

(If you're like me and have some money to spend but are somewhat limited, let me know - I got some great deals on all my equipment and saved myself several thousand dollars...)
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-19-2017, 01:55 PM
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This is the link to the Dolby Atmos Setup Guide - scroll down to see the various guides for various # of speakers: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/do...tup/index.html
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-20-2017, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Frodo. I'm all for a deal!

I'm not opposed to Denon stuff but I'm very happy with the Onkyo receiver I have now and will probably stick with Onkyo again.

Thoughts on in- wall speakers for the surrounds and center? I want a nice clean install and don't like the look of speakers all over the place. I'm looking at Polk RC85i all the way around and a 255C-RT for the center.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-20-2017, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFellor View Post
...and the thing sticking most in my mind is where to put things. AVR, game consoles, streaming boxes, etc...
I've seen some people put these in cabinets near the end of their media room and it looks pretty nice to me. If you go that route, make sure you have adequate air flow!
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-20-2017, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdxbrown View Post
I've seen some people put these in cabinets near the end of their media room and it looks pretty nice to me. If you go that route, make sure you have adequate air flow!
How about going wireless with a sonos or bluesound speaker application? I did this in my bedroom and it worked well for casual tv but even with their sub and surround back speakers, it is not much more than 5.1 so might be too minimal for you.

BTW, since you have tapped into some experienced AV folks out there, I have a question about my main listening and watching room in the house: since I have a 7.1 system that works pretty well with a Marantz receiver driving the surrounds and my ADS towers, what amp should I add to bi-amp the fronts? Should I buy another Marantz and run it off the pre-amp outs or sacrifice my surround speakers to bi-amp the big guys? Do the amps need to put out the same power or because one is only running the tweeters, can I get away with less than 100 watts?

Thanks and good luck.

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post #11 of 12 Old 04-21-2017, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberk View Post
begin rant...
Since you're heading to the design studio (and you explicitly mentioned Atmos)...DO NOT LET THEM PUT SURROUND SPEAKERS IN THE CEILING (except Atmos). If I have to walk in to one more builder show model with a "theater" and I see LCR and surrounds in the ceiling, I am going to scream.
...end rant
Well you were right; they wanted to put the surround speakers, front and rear, in the ceiling. Nope. I'm going to have them run the wires in the ceiling and leave it alone for now for Atmos addition in the future but I am having them run wires for surrounds in the walls. The wife has relented and granted the use of the linen closet for components so everything will be run into there. Since the room is going to be set up differently than the builder had it I need to put the rear surrounds on the walls that protrude into the room (closet and void space). We did leave the "surround" speakers in the ceiling in the downstairs gathering room since the wife doesn't care about surround and it will be nice to listen to music down there.

Now to figure out where the projector and screen will go ...
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-25-2017, 12:02 PM
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I found the following information very helpful for demystifying some of the specifics of putting together a first home theater. They cut through some of the hype and don't push their products too much.

https://rslspeakers.com/wp-content/u...eo-Guide-1.pdf
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