The sub-$2000 Theater - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-19-2013, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi AVS forums,

I’m a long time lurker, just now getting my feet wet with the hobby of home theater. I wanted to showcase my room to inspire those with a limited amount of space and budget. While my room pales in comparison to some of the monstrous, top-of-the-line and painstakingly designed theaters on this forum, I like to think that it makes up for it in functionality and charm. Hell, the entire room cost less than some people’s AVRs and most people's televisions. smile.gif

My wife and I just moved into the house the last week in December. It's new construction and our first home so were pretty excited. Thankfully, we have no kids and I caught her in a good mood when I shared the idea of setting up a small dedicated movie room. smile.gif The room is roughly 12x15 (not including the closet); not a large space by any means, but enough to work with. The entire thing took me about 5 days of on and off work. I've listed the materials below and the prices. Now when I say the whole thing cost less than $2000 I mean it. It actually costs a good amount less than that for myself as I already had the loveseat, but I went ahead and added it to the total cost for the sake of the point. I started purchasing the equipment/materials around the Thanksgiving holiday and got very fortunate finding a few great deals along the way.

*please note that these pictures were all taken with a smartphone and are not of the best quality. My good camera was in storage at the time. It also doesn't help that the room has horrible lighting* smile.gif


Projector – Acer H6500 (1080p Native) - $502 (very short sale on Amazon)

Mount – PCMD Ceiling Mount - $32 (Amazon)

Screen – Elite Screens ER106WH1 106” 16:9 Sable Fixed Frame Projection Screen - $256 (Amazon)

Receiver – Denon AVR-1613 - $350

Speakers – Jamo S 426 HCS 3 (Wenge) - $119 (Amazon Cyber Monday deal)

Subwoofer – BIC America F12 - $199

Blu-Ray – LG BD630 - $60 (Wal-Mart Black Friday)(this is just to hold me over)

Cablebox – Motorola HD DVR - Model #? - Free w/my subscription

Gaming – Xbox 360 (had this already)

Cables – BlueRigger HDMI, Monoprice Speaker Wire, Monster Surge Protector, Sewell Banana Plugs - $100

Shelf – Wal-Mart Bookcase - $20

Seating – Brown Leather Loveseat - $250 (used to be part of my old living room furniture, but I included the
price for reference)

Paint/Misc Supplies - $100

Total: $1988

The prewiring started early on. The builder was nice enough to do this at no charge as part of a promotion they were doing. The original plan was to do ceiling mounted speakers, but I ended up changing my mind later on.

Amazon rocks. Everything came in one shipment. The F12 is a beautiful looking/sounding sub for $200.

Empty room with finished prewiring.

Man this thing was a ***** to assemble. Note to others: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ASSEMBLE WITH WIFE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER biggrin.gif

Painting...and waiting....painting... and waiting.

Cable outlet installed in the closet, speaker wire ran and a cleaned up plate.

Stripes finished, equipment in, finally realizing what the big deal is about 2.35:1, screen mounted (not level I might add mad.gif).

Time to fire it up! This is all before any calibration or adjustments. I just needed to see and hear it at this point or I was going to go crazy. The wife and I watched Kill Bill and she was convinced this was all a good idea. I played a little Xbox 360 as well. The H6500 produces a great picture for the price.

Adjusted the settings a little. Although nowhere near Blu-Ray quality, I managed to get 720p cable to look pretty sharp.

The finished product. The sub was moved to the corner in the closet (the prewiring was located next to the front right speaker) due to some issues with the in-wall wiring (don't really want to talk about that). It actually works very well there. The projector power cord and HDMI cable are not the prettiest exposed like they are, but until I figure something out, that's how it's going to be. The only thing I really have to do is clean up the short wires connecting to the rear speakers.

Overall, I really enjoyed putting it all together. I've never had the chance to put something together like this and it's really cool seeing the end result. My friends and family think it's great and they're especially surprised (and sometimes a little bitter) by how inexpensive the project turned out to be; especially my dad who just purchased an 80" Sharp for $3700 biggrin.gif). I also see how addicting this hobby can be now, as I am already looking to add new things to the room. Which actually brings me to my next question...

For my next upgrade, should I go with acoustic panels for the side walls or a new Oppo Blu-Ray player? Both are probably necessary down the road, but which do you think I would benefit most from at this moment?

Thanks for looking!
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-19-2013, 02:16 PM
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I like it! That is a great way to ease into the hobby and not break the budget in the process.

Personally I wouldn't spend money on upgrading your blue ray or on acoustic panels at this point. From personal experience with a room that size (16x13) I think your biggest concern is going to be heat issues. I would replace the current light with a low profile ceiling fan and add 8 of these on a dimmer.

If you are on a budget then separate heating/cooling for the room probably inst an option however the airflow from the ceiling fan helped us tremendously. ($120 for the lowprofile fan) Wall mounted lamps are an option instead of the ceiling lights if that is a bit beyond your skills.

either way, enjoy!

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post #3 of 3 Old 01-19-2013, 04:50 PM
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Nice job! The only thing I'd do is move your sub out of the corner (if that's a corner, hard to tell from the pick). It won't sound as boomy.
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