Designing(components, Architecture) for a dream home theater setup - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-22-2012, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I am trying to come up with a game-plan(hardware, architecture etc) for setting up a home theater in my newly purchased home. I believe that in addition to the projector, AV receiver & speakers, I will need to add an HTPC to the mix, to be- central media store, dvr, media server to multiple rooms etc...

My intention is to make the HTPC the central reciver+server for live TV(using the centon infitv) and of course all the digital media stored on the harddrive. This will then become an input to my AV reciever which will then be capable of feeding media to the Home Theatre(3D video & 7.1 audio) & the Family room(3D, 5.1 audio). Apart from these two rooms I would want to distribute my media to 4 other rooms(4 audio only, 2 video+audio).

The following is a list of features that I need my HTPC to be capable of doing; please suggest components(hardware, software etc) that can help me achieve this. Also, feel free to tell me I'm crazy to think I can pull this one off

Features of the home theater
1. Central server which accepts & plays all kinds of media(file, cd, dvd, blue-ray etc).
2. Ability to distribute media to multiple outlets at home - 4 video outlets(2 of them 3D), 6 audio outlets( one 7.1,one 5.1, one 2.1 & three stereo)
3. High quality video & audio playback at all outlets.
4. Sleek interface to select stored media/tv(egs: XMBC, WMC7) at each outlet(via rf remote/ device such as ipad..)
5. Dvr multiple shows at the same time(or simultaneously record and watch shows).
6. Watch live tv in multiple locations( at least 4 simultaneously)
7. Watch tv and other media simultaneously(4 outlets)
8. Watch tv and listen to music simultaneously (worst case = 4 video(tv+movie), 2 audio)
9. Ability to plug in devices(USB, hdmi etc) at any outlet to available for streaming at other locations.
10. Ability to transfer files from various devices either via usb(from outlet locations) or wirelessly (from anywhere in the house).
11. Use an atx case but keep it in a closet(no line of sight)
12. Ability to play games in the home theater room.
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-23-2012, 04:43 AM
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Welcome, most seasoned DIY home theater builders will tell you to start by planning the room. I can pretty much predict that your planned room is lacking in sufficient soundproofing and an undersized HVAC. Resolve those issues before dreaming about equipment.

This section of the forum is about construction, there is a section for HTPCs you will find more informed feedback there.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-23-2012, 06:32 AM
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What is missing from your "here's what I want to do" is any requirement for sound or video quality*, environmental comfort, ergonomics, etc. "High quality" playback is missing how you're going to get there since the equipment is only a minor part of that equation.

Dennis Erskine CFI, CFII, MEI
Architectural Acoustics
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-25-2012, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that heads-up guys . You are correct; it may seem that I am jumping the gun a little bit with the hardware requirement. My intension was to kill 2 birds with the same stone – the room architecture & the equipment for it…. But obviously I posted the wrong content in the wrong forum.

So let me talk a little bit about my room to get some pointers from experienced folks such as yourself on the architecture side of things. FYI – the basement, where this home theatre room is going to exist, is not finished; so there is some flexibility I have in terms of what I can do here. I have attached a hand drawing of the basement floor plan, along with some options for the home theater(based on the availability of floor space).

Please comment on which of the three options may work best for a HT. Also, I would like to able to fit about 9-10 people for a movie, let me know if that’s realistic. Since the room is still unfinished, do let me know your thoughts on how to progress on the following-



1. Screen location/ theater configuration –
- Of the three options, which room lends better to a home theatre? Which is the best location for a screen?
- My first choice was Option I, with the screen on the 15’5 wall. Does this work?
- Is the room for Option I any better than the room for Option III?

2. Sound proofing –
- If sound proofing means better acoustic experience then I am all ears. What are my options; what materials do I need to use?
- What are the most important factor(s) for acoustic performance?

3. Light control - As for the light in the room; I don’t see issues since the room is half underground. I do want to put a couple of widows(towards the ceiling) on the 33’4” side of the room(options I and II). But am planning on using curtains to darken room(manual is ok).

4. Speakers – Should I think of in-wall speakers(so the contractor can design for it) at all; or should I instead go for floor/regular satellite speakers. I would like to keep a budget of around $1500 for speakers for a 7.1 system. Which would be more efficient?

one more thing I forgot to add-

-Currently, the basement is unfinished. I am going to be installing a high-efficiency air heating/cooling system to the entire home, so I will be ensuring that the HVAC system will be able to handle a home theater..... is there anything I should concentrate on specifically, for instance, does having a projector mean I need to have "additional" coooling?
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