Building a home entertainment system - Suggestions and Advice PLEASE! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-21-2011, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-21-2011, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks,

Please see the post below (has URLs). Apparently I need to get to 3 posts before I can post them.

Thanks!
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-21-2011, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-21-2011, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks,

I'm a first-time user and a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information in the forums and I just wanted to see if I could get some suggestions for the project that i'll be undertaking early next month.

I'm moving into a new place and will be building a home entertainment system (i see all of the impressive and ambitious home theater projects but this is much smaller in scope) and I wanted to get some suggestions from the more knowledgeable as to what I should be installing. As a rule, I definitely am not looking for the nicest or most expensive items but things that I will be happy with for the next 2-3 years and won't leave me feeling like my techonology has become obsolete

Here are the key data points:
-The room will be 28'' x 11'' x 11'' but the focus will be closer to 15'' x 11'' x 11'' (extends into the dining area)
-Not a lot of natural light (but small windows up top) if that factors into the led v. plasma debate
-The side walls will be difficult to work with (one is brick and the other is a garage) so I will probably just be doing a front system

Here are the things that I'm planning on installing:
Speakers (~1,000 or less): I'm looking to install an in-wall speaker on each side of the tv as well as an in-wall center speaker that is, wouldn't you know it, centered directly below the tv.
This is something I'm considering for the speakers:
http://www.polkaudio.com/customaudio...ex.php?s=265rt

TV (~1,500 or less): I'm thinking around 55'' but am curious to hear your thoughts on what is the ideal size.
Possible TV:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004OOVIHW

A/V Receiver (~500 or less): I'm really not sure what to get for this, i would probably look for something in the $500 range, I'm pretty sure that should be able to handle everything i need, not very familiar with these

Subwoofer (~500 or less): I was on the polk website so I was considering one from there, however i've never purchased a sub so i don't really know what exactly fits best for the profile of my room and speaker setup.
Maybe something like this?
http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/p...x.php?s=psw125

Would be very interested in suggestions and recommendations for any of these, as i'm truly a neophyte and willing to soak up any information you guys have to offer.

As an added bonus, I'm going to ship $50 bucks via paypal to the person with the best advice / suggestions! Thanks to everyone who chimes in.

Regards,
Dan
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-21-2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasamoto View Post

Hi folks,

I'm a first-time user and a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information in the forums and I just wanted to see if I could get some suggestions for the project that i'll be undertaking early next month.

I'm moving into a new place and will be building a home entertainment system (i see all of the impressive and ambitious home theater projects but this is much smaller in scope) and I wanted to get some suggestions from the more knowledgeable as to what I should be installing. As a rule, I definitely am not looking for the nicest or most expensive items but things that I will be happy with for the next 2-3 years and won't leave me feeling like my techonology has become obsolete

Here are the key data points:
-The room will be 28'' x 11'' x 11'' but the focus will be closer to 15'' x 11'' x 11'' (extends into the dining area)
-Not a lot of natural light (but small windows up top) if that factors into the led v. plasma debate
-The side walls will be difficult to work with (one is brick and the other is a garage) so I will probably just be doing a front system

Here are the things that I'm planning on installing:
Speakers (~1,000 or less): I'm looking to install an in-wall speaker on each side of the tv as well as an in-wall center speaker that is, wouldn't you know it, centered directly below the tv.
This is something I'm considering for the speakers:
http://www.polkaudio.com/customaudio...ex.php?s=265rt

Those speakers are not bad, but I would recommend a speakers with an engineered enclosure. Something like this for your mains:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Definitive-T...item27ba887c95

This is the reason you want an engineered enclosure:
http://www.cepro.com/article/how_to_...peaker_systems

Quote:



TV (~1,500 or less): I'm thinking around 55'' but am curious to hear your thoughts on what is the ideal size.
Possible TV:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004OOVIHW

How far back will you be sitting from the TV? The viewing distance will really help determine the size you need.

Personally, I am a fan of plasma. I feel they give you the best picture for the money. I usually recommend Panasonic. Is 3D a must have?

Quote:


A/V Receiver (~500 or less): I'm really not sure what to get for this, i would probably look for something in the $500 range, I'm pretty sure that should be able to handle everything i need, not very familiar with these

Highly recommend Denon. This receiver should be a good fit:
http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-1712...3990634&sr=8-4

Quote:


Subwoofer (~500 or less): I was on the polk website so I was considering one from there, however i've never purchased a sub so i don't really know what exactly fits best for the profile of my room and speaker setup.
Maybe something like this?
http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/p...x.php?s=psw125


I would skip Polk when it comes to subs. They are not bad per say, but you can get better for the money Something like this:

http://www.epiksubwoofers.com/legend.html

Or this:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2-mk3.html

Would be a great fit for your space.

One other thing. Have you considered in-ceiling speakers for your 5.1 surround? These will give you the additional surround speakers that you will want when watching movies/TV and you don't have to worry about the challenge of your room. I have used in-ceiling speakers in several builds and have been quite happy.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-22-2011, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Those speakers are not bad, but I would recommend a speakers with an engineered enclosure. Something like this for your mains:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Definitive-T...item27ba887c95

This is the reason you want an engineered enclosure:
http://www.cepro.com/article/how_to_...peaker_systems

+1.

I like Definitive Technology speakers but at this price point, you might want to look at Axiom, too (www.axiomaudio.com). All of Axiom's satellite speakers are available as traditional bookshelf speakers, in-wall speakers, or an in-wall/on-wall kind of hybrid enclosure. The satellites represent a good bang for your buck, although I think there are better subs available for the money.

Quote:
I would skip Polk when it comes to subs. They are not bad per say, but you can get better for the money Something like this:

http://www.epiksubwoofers.com/legend.html

Or this:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2-mk3.html

+1 on the Hsu sub. Again, really good bang for your buck.

Quote:
A/V Receiver (~500 or less): I'm really not sure what to get for this, i would probably look for something in the $500 range, I'm pretty sure that should be able to handle everything i need, not very familiar with these

I agree with ack bk that Denon makes really nice receivers, but at the lower price range I prefer Onkyo. Something like the TX-NR609: http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR609...4030902&sr=1-1

Quote:
Personally, I am a fan of plasma. I feel they give you the best picture for the money. I usually recommend Panasonic.

+1. If you're looking at 55" LCD sets, $1500 won't buy much performance. On the other hand, a $1500 55" plasma can be a perfectly acceptable set. Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-VIER...4031197&sr=1-2

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post #7 of 8 Old 08-22-2011, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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i'm going to give this quote thing a shot, apologies in advance when it's just butchered.

Quote:
Highly recommend Denon. This receiver should be a good fit:
http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR-1712...3990634&sr=8-4

I really like the clean look of that Denon receiver, I will definitely do some research on it, thanks.

Quote:
How far back will you be sitting from the TV? The viewing distance will really help determine the size you need.

Personally, I am a fan of plasma. I feel they give you the best picture for the money. I usually recommend Panasonic. Is 3D a must have?

I'll probably be sitting about 10 ft. back from the TV. I do like the vieras a lot so panasonic is definitely a consideration. I want the 3d (even though i know it's a gimmick right now) because I don't intend on getting another tv for at least a few years and i assume that 3d will be pretty prevalent within the next few years. 2d viewing is of course first and foremost in the process. As an aside, has anyone viewed the difference between active and passive 3d? I first came across it when viewing the LG that i linked to and the reviews for the passive seemed overwhelmingly positive.

Quote:
One other thing. Have you considered in-ceiling speakers for your 5.1 surround? These will give you the additional surround speakers that you will want when watching movies/TV and you don't have to worry about the challenge of your room. I have used in-ceiling speakers in several builds and have been quite happy.

I have considered them and would really like to do the in-ceiling above the couches, but I think it would be pretty tough to install without hiring someone. I'd like to do the installation myself (more just to learn than for anything else) and I am not even sure how you'd do the ceiling without having some crawl space to work with.

Quote:
I like Definitive Technology speakers but at this price point, you might want to look at Axiom, too (www.axiomaudio.com). All of Axiom's satellite speakers are available as traditional bookshelf speakers, in-wall speakers, or an in-wall/on-wall kind of hybrid enclosure. The satellites represent a good bang for your buck, although I think there are better subs available for the money.

I also really like the design of these speakers, the cherry finish and the speaker look w/o the grill. I'd like for the speakers to match the sub, but it doesn't seem like that's much of a concern for most of you guys.

One other question: if I have the in-wall speakers how much should i expect to sacrifice on sound vs. towers? how about vs. bookshelf speakers that are just installed on platform by the tv? i like the look of the in-wall but have seen things questioning the sound quality, just wanted to get some thoughts on the difference.

Again thanks for the comments so far, they are much appreciated.

Regards,
Dan
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-22-2011, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasamoto View Post



I'll probably be sitting about 10 ft. back from the TV. I do like the vieras a lot so panasonic is definitely a consideration. I want the 3d (even though i know it's a gimmick right now) because I don't intend on getting another tv for at least a few years and i assume that 3d will be pretty prevalent within the next few years. 2d viewing is of course first and foremost in the process. As an aside, has anyone viewed the difference between active and passive 3d? I first came across it when viewing the LG that i linked to and the reviews for the passive seemed overwhelmingly positive.

If it was me, I would base the purchase more on how 2D looks vs 3D. Face it, the vast majority of viewing will be 2D for many years to come, and that is if 3D actually catches on in the home. I would expect 90% of viewing to be mostly in 2D. Based on your seating distance, I would try to push for 60". For reference:



Quote:


I have considered them and would really like to do the in-ceiling above the couches, but I think it would be pretty tough to install without hiring someone. I'd like to do the installation myself (more just to learn than for anything else) and I am not even sure how you'd do the ceiling without having some crawl space to work with.

You would have to be comfortable with making some holes in your drywall and using something like a cable snake to pull the wiring. If you are handy at all this is doable. There are lots of DIY articles on how to remove drywall and then patch it. We had new pipes put in a townhome years ago and they had to open up large sections in the ceiling and walls, and you would never have known it after they repatched the walls.


Quote:


I also really like the design of these speakers, the cherry finish and the speaker look w/o the grill. I'd like for the speakers to match the sub, but it doesn't seem like that's much of a concern for most of you guys.

I would paint the grill of the in-wall speakers to match the paint color on the wall. So I am not sure it matters what a speaker looks like with the grill on? Unless I am missing something here. I know when I looked into the Axiom speakers the sales rep at Axiom was concerned about the size of my room and felt the M22 inwall speakers may not be adequate. Your room is a pretty good size, so you may want to ask them if the speaker can handle your size room.
Quote:


One other question: if I have the in-wall speakers how much should i expect to sacrifice on sound vs. towers? how about vs. bookshelf speakers that are just installed on platform by the tv? i like the look of the in-wall but have seen things questioning the sound quality, just wanted to get some thoughts on the difference.

Again thanks for the comments so far, they are much appreciated.

Regards,
Dan

A good in-wall speaker will sound identical, or nearly identical, to it's bookshelf or tower equivalent. There seems to be a lot of misinformation surrounding in-wall speakers and their sound quality. It seems many people assume that a tower speaker will sound better, but this is not true. If you look through the Triad speaker thread in the dedicated speaker section Paul Scarpelli will tell you the in-wall speakers he sells match the on-wall or bookshelf speakers he sells. I would say the biggest negative for in-wall speakers I have seen are they tend to cost more than their equivalent inroom speaker, and if you want to change your speakers down the road, you will need to either patch the drywall first, or find a larger speaker to cut around the existing hole.

For the positives, well, if you have kids like me you don't have to worry about kids tipping your speakers over. In-wall speakers tend to please the wife, and I love the ability to use three identical vertical speakers (not everyone has this ability with their in-walls). I have also seen people buy large tower speakers and then stuff them in the corner of their room, or right next to a wall, and this can have an adverse effect on sound.
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