thaxphenomx Home Theater Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-29-2011, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I have completed my second version of my living room home theater build. The pictures from each version are in my gallery. Enjoy and please provide any feedback/suggestions.

Version 2 changes:
Replaced bulky TV stand with Salamander Synergy 237 Black/Black
Wall mounted TV with Sanus XF228
Ultralink MX-2 Speaker cables for front three speakers
APC-H15 Power Conditioner
Moved the subwoofer to the right side of the soundstage
Logitech Harmony One
Integrated Cable TV into HTPC via HD Homerun PRIME

Sony KDL 55HX800 LED TV
Anthem MRX 300 A/V Receiver
Polk Monitor 60 fronts
Polk CS10 center
Polk OWM3 rears
HSU VTF2-MK3 subwoofer on an Auralex Gramma
APC-H15 Power conditioner
PS3
HTPC with Media server in my office
Ultralink MX-2 speaker cables
Salamander Synergy 237 Black/Black
Sanus XF228

Future upgrades:
GIK Acoustic Panels
Aperion Verus Grand speakers
Emotiva UPA-1 x3
HSU VTF-15H (two would be awesome but WAF is low there)











[IMGhttps://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GEZZoorJw5o/TtXTdD4JCRI/AAAAAAAAAEE/xq8ogjBH0ZI/s640/DSCN1857.JPG[/IMG]





















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post #2 of 23 Old 11-30-2011, 05:22 PM
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nice setup! Interesting you're using Windows Media Center for your HTPC usage. I never had any success using it with MKV files and found XBMC more flexible. Looks nice bro!

My Setup
Stage 1 - Enthusiasm
Stage 2 - Realism
Stage 3 - Obsession
Stage 4 - Acceptance

Which stage are you on?
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post #3 of 23 Old 12-01-2011, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nosferatu View Post

nice setup! Interesting you're using Windows Media Center for your HTPC usage. I never had any success using it with MKV files and found XBMC more flexible. Looks nice bro!

I see you are an XBMC user from your setup. I actually configured WMC/Media Browser to launch MPC-HC to play my MKV files. MPC-HC is the most configurable media player out right now...you should check it out. I have madVr as my renderer and all LAV codecs....probably the best picture you can achieve on an HTPC.
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post #4 of 23 Old 12-01-2011, 05:20 PM
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Looks pretty awesome, I like the way WMC looks with media broswer aswell. Well organized.

TV - Panasonic 55GT50Main Speakers - Klipsch Gallery G28'sCenter Channel- Klipsch RC-52Sub - Klipsch Sub 12Surrounds - Klipsch RS-52 II (new)Bluray/Game - HTPC/PS3Receiver - Onkyo RC-360HTPC - Intel Core i3, HDMI,Windows 7,XBMC,Bluray,3 TB,wireless WMC keyboardVideo processor - Darbee
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post #5 of 23 Old 12-02-2011, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaxphenomx View Post

I see you are an XBMC user from your setup. I actually configured WMC/Media Browser to launch MPC-HC to play my MKV files. MPC-HC is the most configurable media player out right now...you should check it out. I have madVr as my renderer and all LAV codecs....probably the best picture you can achieve on an HTPC.

how clean does the external player (like MPC-HC) load up when you go to play it in WMC? Does it just use the codecs and interface cleanly in WMC or is it launching the whole program in a separate window and then going full screen? If it's the 2nd way I find that rather sloppy looking. Let me know!

I'm always up for a change so point me in the right direction.

My Setup
Stage 1 - Enthusiasm
Stage 2 - Realism
Stage 3 - Obsession
Stage 4 - Acceptance

Which stage are you on?
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post #6 of 23 Old 12-03-2011, 12:15 AM
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If you moved that equipment rack on the right maybe you could get the two VTF 15s . I think the WAF would be fine

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #7 of 23 Old 12-03-2011, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nosferatu View Post

how clean does the external player (like MPC-HC) load up when you go to play it in WMC? Does it just use the codecs and interface cleanly in WMC or is it launching the whole program in a separate window and then going full screen? If it's the 2nd way I find that rather sloppy looking. Let me know!

I'm always up for a change so point me in the right direction.

It launches the second way but it's cleaner than it sounds. I make my desktop background a solid black so when transitioning from WMC to MPC-HC it just looks like the movie is loading. My TV switches from 1080p/60 to 1080p24 anyways, and by the time the TV switches you couldn't even tell a separate program launched. Try it for yourself before you make a decision. MPC-HC is a much more powerful program and allows you to have full control over the codecs and renderers (madvr and lav).
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post #8 of 23 Old 12-03-2011, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

If you moved that equipment rack on the right maybe you could get the two VTF 15s . I think the WAF would be fine

That's the plan. Actually I'm getting a Salamander stand pretty soon so I will get rid of that equipment rack altogether. Only problem is the wife wants to use that right corner for a Christmas tree so I'd have to move the second sub for a month out of the year. I'll try and find a better place for the tree
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post #9 of 23 Old 12-03-2011, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaxphenomx View Post

It launches the second way but it's cleaner than it sounds. I make my desktop background a solid black so when transitioning from WMC to MPC-HC it just looks like the movie is loading. My TV switches from 1080p/60 to 1080p24 anyways, and by the time the TV switches you couldn't even tell a separate program launched. Try it for yourself before you make a decision. MPC-HC is a much more powerful program and allows you to have full control over the codecs and renderers (madvr and lav).

hmm...how easy can you access remote content? I have 2 HTPC's (bedroom & living room). Living room houses all the content and I have XBMC capable in my bedroom to wirelessly access and stream all my content. Can you set up remote folders in WMC?

How much better are the MadVR and LAV codecs? I find the picture looks pretty good via XBMC already.

As for the refresh rate change, I do similar in XBMC (switch from 1080p/60 --> 1080p/24) to basically match the frame rate of the content being played.

My Setup
Stage 1 - Enthusiasm
Stage 2 - Realism
Stage 3 - Obsession
Stage 4 - Acceptance

Which stage are you on?
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post #10 of 23 Old 12-03-2011, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nosferatu View Post

hmm...how easy can you access remote content? I have 2 HTPC's (bedroom & living room). Living room houses all the content and I have XBMC capable in my bedroom to wirelessly access and stream all my content. Can you set up remote folders in WMC?

How much better are the MadVR and LAV codecs? I find the picture looks pretty good via XBMC already.

As for the refresh rate change, I do similar in XBMC (switch from 1080p/60 --> 1080p/24) to basically match the frame rate of the content being played.

Actually most of the configuration for streaming is done with Media Browser. I have a server in my office and I have all my drives pooled into one storage drive that my HTPC from the living room can access. With Media browser you can point to shared network drives.

I would say most people won't notice a difference with madVR video quality but for me I use it because it gives you control over the different rendering algorithms and it allows you to automatically change the refresh rate without having to use an external program. I use LAV because they are extremely easy to setup and get bitstreaming working flawlessly. In MCP-HC I uncheck all internal filters and have LAV Audio, LAV Cuvid Video decoder and LAV splitter. To me it's just cleaner to have 3 codecs to all the work. Go over to the Home Theater Personal Computer section here at AVS and you'll see lots of discussions on madvr and lav.
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post #11 of 23 Old 12-03-2011, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaxphenomx View Post

Actually most of the configuration for streaming is done with Media Browser. I have a server in my office and I have all my drives pooled into one storage drive that my HTPC from the living room can access. With Media browser you can point to shared network drives.

I would say most people won't notice a difference with madVR video quality but for me I use it because it gives you control over the different rendering algorithms and it allows you to automatically change the refresh rate without having to use an external program. I use LAV because they are extremely easy to setup and get bitstreaming working flawlessly. In MCP-HC I uncheck all internal filters and have LAV Audio, LAV Cuvid Video decoder and LAV splitter. To me it's just cleaner to have 3 codecs to all the work. Go over to the Home Theater Personal Computer section here at AVS and you'll see lots of discussions on madvr and lav.

Gotcha I'll look into it. Thanks for the information. However, just to comment though on what you said, bitstreaming your audio is simple on the PC you don't need LAV.

CD Audio / FLAC / etc.: Foobar2000 with WASAPI
DTS/DD5.1: XBMC will take care of it
True-HD / DTS-MA / etc. : TMT5

Just saying.

My Setup
Stage 1 - Enthusiasm
Stage 2 - Realism
Stage 3 - Obsession
Stage 4 - Acceptance

Which stage are you on?
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post #12 of 23 Old 12-03-2011, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nosferatu View Post


Gotcha I'll look into it. Thanks for the information. However, just to comment though on what you said, bitstreaming your audio is simple on the PC you don't need LAV.

CD Audio / FLAC / etc.: Foobar2000 with WASAPI
DTS/DD5.1: XBMC will take care of it
True-HD / DTS-MA / etc. : TMT5

Just saying.

I never said there weren't other ways to do it. I just like having an all lav suite :-). Good luck
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post #13 of 23 Old 12-04-2011, 12:26 AM
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Nice setup. How do you like the sub stand? Does it improve the sound?
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post #14 of 23 Old 12-04-2011, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Nice setup. How do you like the sub stand? Does it improve the sound?

It stopped things on the wall from rattling that's for sure. I would say it makes the bass more controlled. Worth the purchase imo
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post #15 of 23 Old 12-04-2011, 09:22 AM
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What theme are you using with mediabrowser?

And how do you get those colored icons? (16:9, AVC-1, dts-hd ma, 1080p, etc)
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post #16 of 23 Old 12-04-2011, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

What theme are you using with mediabrowser?

And how do you get those colored icons? (16:9, AVC-1, dts-hd ma, 1080p, etc)

Chocolate. Just google "mediabrowser colored icons". I know I downloaded them from media browser site and placed the images in the images by name directory
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post #17 of 23 Old 12-04-2011, 11:52 AM
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Hi thaxphenomx,

An awesome setup, indeed!

Just a couple of thoughts if you allow me.

1. Center speaker. In order to get the maximum outta your center speaker its always best to:

- tilt it to make it face seated ear hight at the MLP (Main Listening Position)
- nudge about an inch by pulling it out of the shelf a bit
- these tips are supposed to ensure intelligibility of dialog in movies where on-axis of Center speakers have their widest frequency response together with highest SLP (Sound Pressure Level)
- please try to find a way to solve both above issues

2. As regards Rear Surround (pre-wired) I'm not really fond of them, they usually do not add much to the enjoyment, coz as you may also know 99.9. % of movies are only recorded to 5.1. Therefore getting rid of those rears and adding Surround speakers (#4 and #5 in a 5.1 system) on both sides of your sofa with some handsome speaker mounts (and with WAF, of course) would bring about an awesome result for surround effects. They should be raised to about 2-3 feet above seated ear level for best effect.

3. Coffee table. I would put a table cloth on that piece in order to eliminate another case of untamed reflections caused by such flat surfaces having effect mainly in the mid-to high frequency range again degrading dialog quality.

Call me a perfectionist, and I'll happily take that on myself!

Take care!
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post #18 of 23 Old 12-04-2011, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Hi thaxphenomx,

An awesome setup, indeed!

Just a couple of thoughts if you allow me.

1. Center speaker. In order to get the maximum outta your center speaker its always best to:

- tilt it to make it face seated ear hight at the MLP (Main Listening Position)
- nudge about an inch by pulling it out of the shelf a bit
- these tips are supposed to ensure intelligibility of dialog in movies where on-axis of Center speakers have their widest frequency response together with highest SLP (Sound Pressure Level)
- please try to find a way to solve both above issues

2. As regards Rear Surround (pre-wired) I'm not really fond of them, they usually do not add much to the enjoyment, coz as you may also know 99.9. % of movies are only recorded to 5.1. Therefore getting rid of those rears and adding Surround speakers (#4 and #5 in a 5.1 system) on both sides of your sofa with some handsome speaker mounts (and with WAF, of course) would bring about an awesome result for surround effects. They should be raised to about 2-3 feet above seated ear level for best effect.

3. Coffee table. I would put a table cloth on that piece in order to eliminate another case of untamed reflections caused by such flat surfaces having effect mainly in the mid-to high frequency range again degrading dialog quality.

Call me a perfectionist, and I'll happily take that on myself!

Take care!

Hey mogorf,

I really appreciate you taking the time to review my setup. Thanks for the compliment.

1) The center can't be moved in its current shelf, it fits perfectly height wise but this will be remedied soon as I am getting a new media stand (salamander synergy 237) and then I will be mounting the TV about 10 inches above the stand so I can place the center on the stand and adjust it as I need from there. I may buy something to allow me to adjust the direction the center faces...any ideas for that?

2) Yeah I think I agree with you. When I had the house built I didn't know anything about home theater audio so I just had them prewire the back wall and now I'm finding out I don't like it. Eventually I'll take your advice and place some surround speakers to the left and right of my couch placed on speaker stands. Do you have any advice on a good way to run the speaker wire? Any suggestions for nice speaker stands that will give me the height you recommend?

3) I don't think I'm going to do this...I think that table would look tacky with a table cloth...but thanks for the suggestion. I think that with the new media stand and if I'm able to tile the center upward slightly, sound should easily reach my ears without being obstructed by the coffee table. The coffee table is only about 16 inches high.
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post #19 of 23 Old 12-06-2011, 02:21 PM
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Hi thaxphenomx again,


Quote:


1) The center can't be moved in its current shelf, it fits perfectly height wise but this will be remedied soon as I am getting a new media stand (salamander synergy 237) and then I will be mounting the TV about 10 inches above the stand so I can place the center on the stand and adjust it as I need from there. I may buy something to allow me to adjust the direction the center faces...any ideas for that?

The Salamander Synergy 237 looks very promising, though you don't mention but I suppose this means you are going to mount your display on the front wall. In that case you also need to take care of Cable Management from TV down to the AVR! In my case I have my Center above my display with some home-made, but not visible solutions (see pic in my setup, link under my sig). As regards adjusting the direction of the Center why not look into Auralex SpeakerDudes(HD) . Since your Center will need to be pointing upward from the Salamander to seated ear hight you may use these reversed. You get me, eh?


Quote:


2) Yeah I think I agree with you. When I had the house built I didn't know anything about home theater audio so I just had them prewire the back wall and now I'm finding out I don't like it. Eventually I'll take your advice and place some surround speakers to the left and right of my couch placed on speaker stands. Do you have any advice on a good way to run the speaker wire? Any suggestions for nice speaker stands that will give me the height you recommend?

Running speakers wires is another tough game when it comes to Cable Management issues. But, hey, how'bout this. I see a cover strip of your wall-to-wall carpet, dismatling it, putting the cables behind and nicely reinstalling the strips could be one solution. Another one just popped into my mind would be going wireless for the surround speakers, although that would still require an AC power installation. I see an AC outlet on the left side just under the staircase that could be used with some considerations to pull the cable under the carpet to reach beneath the sofa. As for nice speaker stands please note there is at least one ocean between where you and I reside, so I'll leave it to you to look around in your neck of the woods at a local media store carrying such hardware.


Quote:


3) I don't think I'm going to do this...I think that table would look tacky with a table cloth...but thanks for the suggestion. I think that with the new media stand and if I'm able to tile the center upward slightly, sound should easily reach my ears without being obstructed by the coffee table. The coffee table is only about 16 inches high.

I'm sorry this didn't come across to you. You may reconsider like this. Suggesting to your honey to take over the decoration of the coffee table would solve two issues by one shot. 1) Honey will be pleased by caretaking hubby letting her do the home decoration, 2) you get rid of unwanted reflections (though no need to get into deep technical discussion here).

As you may also see, while setting up a living rooom HT there are a lot of small things to consider, one by one they may seem to be minor issues, but at the end of the day they all add up resulting in an SQ (sound quality) never experienced before in the same room. And finally, when you're done with all this cold-setup of speakers you should re-run ARC of your Anthem receiver with the supplied test mic in order to get the ulimate best results out of your HT system.

Wish Ya good luck.
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post #20 of 23 Old 12-16-2011, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm starting to look into acoustic treatments to make my home theater sound even better. I don't know much about treating a room and am a bit overwhelmed where to begin. Looking at the pictures of my room can anyone offer any advice? I've looked into GIK as a promising start for products.
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post #21 of 23 Old 01-23-2012, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I just finished version 2 of my home theater. Check out the first few pics I uploaded. I updated the first post of this thread with more details. Let me know what ya think!
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post #22 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 06:19 PM
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I approve...
....but you seriously need to think about buying some artwork or something!

TV's ain't theaters buddy.

My junk collection.

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post #23 of 23 Old 01-24-2012, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I approve...
....but you seriously need to think about buying some artwork or something!

Haha yeah I know. We just moved into the house a couple months ago and artwork is a little low on the queue right now. I will be adding acoustic panels next so I don't want to start putting up artwork until I know where the panels will go.
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