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post #1 of 13 Old 12-02-2012, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone:
I am building a new house and just got a quote that blew my mind from the A/V company. I get the impression he is trying to sell me everything but the kitchen sink. I am brand new to all this and the choice are overwhelming. My last stereo hookup was to connect my components at the source. I am unfamiliar with having all components in the closet upstairs and controlling them with I believe are IR controllers. I have all the Cat 5/6 wiring in place and all the speaker holes/connects ready but I don't want to do it myself. I also don't want to spend more than 6K. With that in mind, here is what I am looking at:

-5 rooms to play music with ability to CD's/Ipad/computer/Itunes. All have 2 ceiling speakers.
-1 room for home theater, there are 7 ceiling speakers

That's all I want. For the home theater room, there is a 7.1 ch Integrated Network AV receiver quoted along with a 10' Subwoofer. I assume I absolutely need these since it is the dedicated home theater room. I want to play music only in the other rooms. It would be nice if everyone could play different music in the rooms but not a need to have. Also dont want any mounted keypads.There is several "Zigby 2 way System remote controls" quoted; how many of these do I actually need? The quote also references a "Balun over 1 ea Cat5e/Cat6". I have no idea what this is or if i need it. It is an Atlona AT-HD4-V110SR. I also looked at the Monoprice Kevlar speakers and wonder if they are any good; the reviews are great.

I have read that the Nuvo system is a good solution. I would buy it from a dealer and have them install it. I live in North Houston so if anyone knows someone good I would appreciate it. Bottom line I don't want anything that's overkill or too fancy. I just want things to sound good and not have my wife kill me for spending too much money. Thanks for all your help.
Scott
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-02-2012, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stentem View Post

I am unfamiliar with having all components in the closet upstairs and controlling them with I believe are IR controllers. I have all the Cat 5/6 wiring in place and all the speaker holes/connects ready but I don't want to do it myself.

Use the search term "Whole House Audio" and you'll get lots of hits here so you can read up on the them...
Quote:
I also don't want to spend more than 6K. With that in mind, here is what I am looking at:
-5 rooms to play music with ability to CD's/Ipad/computer/Itunes. All have 2 ceiling speakers.
-1 room for home theater, there are 7 ceiling speakers
That's all I want.

Well, that's best thought of as two separate systems - a whole house audio system and a theater surround setup. You can connect the two together if you'd like to share sources, but it's not necessary. $6k for both setups will rule out the best choices for a pro-installed solution...
Quote:
For the home theater room, there is a 7.1 ch Integrated Network AV receiver quoted along with a 10' Subwoofer. I assume I absolutely need these since it is the dedicated home theater room.

What else is going here? What speakers? Are they installing a projector/screen as well?
Quote:
I want to play music only in the other rooms. It would be nice if everyone could play different music in the rooms but not a need to have.

While you may not need it, specifying a system that doesn't allow for it will get you a single-source system (yes, cheaper). I would keep that on the list just to steer the dealer's selection.
Quote:
Also dont want any mounted keypads.

If they're building the house now, I assume they have pre-wired for the keypads. If you're new to these systems, why don't you want those controls? It doesn't preclude the use of wireless / handheld / iPad controllers, and provides an "always where it's supposed to be" control location...

That said, if you don't want them, you should talk to a NuVo dealer about the new P3100 system - a pair of those would provide 6 zones and would be within budget easily.
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There is several "Zigby 2 way System remote controls" quoted; how many of these do I actually need?

Those are RF remotes - you need as many as, well, you need. If you've got five rooms in the system, you probably want one remote to stay in each room, and perhaps adjust down from that...
Quote:
The quote also references a "Balun over 1 ea Cat5e/Cat6". I have no idea what this is or if i need it. It is an Atlona AT-HD4-V110SR.

That's an HDMI extender, I would assume to take video source from your closet to your theater. That's going to be one of the best products on the market for such a solution. Without knowing the layout of your theater and wiring closet, can't really comment on all the wiring needs. Is the wiring closet near the theater? Going to the closet to put a disc in for the theater would be a pain... Any place in the theater for at least some of the theater equipment?
Quote:
I also looked at the Monoprice Kevlar speakers and wonder if they are any good; the reviews are great.

Lots of folks here have used them. But good luck getting a dealer to use them...
Quote:
I have read that the Nuvo system is a good solution. I would buy it from a dealer and have them install it. I live in North Houston so if anyone knows someone good I would appreciate it. Bottom line I don't want anything that's overkill or too fancy. I just want things to sound good and not have my wife kill me for spending too much money.

I bought mine from my builder but did all the install work myself, but there should be several Houston-based dealers that can install them...

I too balked at the price of a whole house audio system when I first looked into it. But done correctly, it's something your family will use daily - well worth the cost. The worst thing to do is put in a half-way setup that is limiting and/or difficult to use. Then it won't get used, and your wife will be mad that you spent any money on it at all... biggrin.gif

Jeff

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post #3 of 13 Old 12-02-2012, 06:20 PM
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You can put the HT equipment in the theater, and save money on the extender, but then you're buying more furniture, or a 2nd rack for the theater.

Find a Nuvo installer, and research the new Nuvo system. I hear it's cheaper than the old one (which I have, and love).

I personally really like audio keypads in each zone. They're always where I left them, and it's easier to control the music with fewer button pushes. I have iPads and iTouches, but never use them for music control, unless guests want control. In-wall Nuvo keypads are 1 touch, on-off, or all-off, or tap volume up/down. Super simple, my 7 and 9 year olds have no trouble; 5 year old can't reach.

Don't buy a music system without a digital music server - something that provides internet radio, Pandora, and digital music files from your PC.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #4 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Jeff and Neurorad (wondering if you are an INR, my line of work as well). My setup will consist of the Home Theater downstairs with a built in entertainment center to hold all components including TV. I could play the BluRay from there I assume hooked up to the receiver. I also have connections terminating upstairs in closet that will need a rack for the other components (music system). All the speakers for the whole house including the Home Theater room are ceiling mounts, which I have read are not the best for home theater, but I don't really care; all i want to have is a reasonably nice sound when i play movies. The reason I don't want installed keypads, which i agree are nice, is that we have so many plates and switches going on with ceiling fans and lights that I don't want to add yet another plate.
It sounds like the HDMI extenders was his assumption that I will want video for other rooms, which I don't, just want to hook up the other TV's directly to cable.

So according to you guys, my best bet it to go with the receiver and bluray player connected to the TV in the den (home theater location), and then install the Nuvo system for the rest of the house with a music server ( I do like the sound of that). I assume with the Nuvo system, people can listen to the music they want in their room of choice (great for teens). With that said, I would like to summarize:

-Home theater room: Separate receiver and disk player located in built in entertainment center (or use HDMI extender if want to store components upstairs). Assume ability to play Nuvo in that room as well.
-Nuvo System: 2 P3100's look great, would Essentia or Cocerto be a less expensive option?
-Speakers: Assuming I can't buy them myself and expect the dealer to install, do you guys have any recomendations? It looks from the original bid the ceiling cutouts can accomodate 6.5" speakers. Are the Nuvo speakers any good or can I save some money with other speakers?

Bottom line then, with the house already wired and TV purchased, what should i budget (and prepare my wife for) if i get an a/v receiver, 17 6.5" ceiling speakers, subwoofer (do I need or no?), 3 remotes and the Nuvo system installed?

I really appreciate the help!
Scott
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stentem View Post

My setup will consist of the Home Theater downstairs with a built in entertainment center to hold all components including TV.

Oh, ok, that's much simpler then. The HDMI extender could be to get from the cabinetry to the TV depending on what has been wired, though... I assume from your description that the house is already completed?
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I also have connections terminating upstairs in closet that will need a rack for the other components (music system).

If it's just for the WHA system, a "shelf" will suffice.
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All the speakers for the whole house including the Home Theater room are ceiling mounts, which I have read are not the best for home theater, but I don't really care; all i want to have is a reasonably nice sound when i play movies.

You're going to want to spend some money on the front speakers for home theater. Are there holes cut for the ceiling speakers - I'd highly recommend avoiding in-ceiling for the front L/C/R and put those in the cabinetry around the TV instead. Having the voices come from "above" is not a great solution. If that's set in stone, you'll want to get LCR in-ceiling speakers made for this purpose (general, architectural in-ceiling speakers will give you terrible results here).
Quote:
The reason I don't want installed keypads, which i agree are nice, is that we have so many plates and switches going on with ceiling fans and lights that I don't want to add yet another plate.

Have you played with them? Good keypads are highly functional and attractive - they are normally positioned above existing switches to avoid chewing up wall space.
Quote:
So according to you guys, my best bet it to go with the receiver and bluray player connected to the TV in the den (home theater location), and then install the Nuvo system for the rest of the house with a music server ( I do like the sound of that). I assume with the Nuvo system, people can listen to the music they want in their room of choice (great for teens).

Yes. And any WHA system will allow for independent source/volume control within each zone (room). So everyone can listen to whatever they want...
Quote:
With that said, I would like to summarize:
-Home theater room: Separate receiver and disk player located in built in entertainment center (or use HDMI extender if want to store components upstairs). Assume ability to play Nuvo in that room as well.

Possible to integrate them, you need some connectivity between the systems.
Quote:
-Nuvo System: 2 P3100's look great, would Essentia or Cocerto be a less expensive option?

No, they will both be more expensive because they'll both need the separate MPS4 music server to get the functionality of the P3100. And if you're dead-set against keypads, you're paying for a lot of unused functionality. The P3100 will need a NAS/fileserver somewhere on your network (a computer will do) for your stored digital music.
Quote:
-Speakers: Assuming I can't buy them myself and expect the dealer to install, do you guys have any recomendations? It looks from the original bid the ceiling cutouts can accomodate 6.5" speakers. Are the Nuvo speakers any good or can I save some money with other speakers?

Doesn't hurt to ask, just understand they'll likely say no. The NuVo speakers are ok, but they're nothing to write home about - they're not bad.
Quote:
Bottom line then, with the house already wired and TV purchased, what should i budget (and prepare my wife for) if i get an a/v receiver, 17 6.5" ceiling speakers, subwoofer (do I need or no?), 3 remotes and the Nuvo system installed?

Not a home theater without a subwoofer... biggrin.gif

Really hard to guess - but you're probably above your $6k budget with all those speakers - even at $200/pair plus installation, you're probably over. I believe the price for the NuVo P3100 is $1499 each (that may have changed since they originally announced the product - it just started shipping last week).

If anything, drop the den setup (except the speakers) from the dealer and pick up an AVR and BD player from Amazon/Best Buy and install that yourself. Dealer will be using similar products but with higher price points (and likely more integration capability) there...

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 09:16 AM
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Diagnostic, not INR, but did a ton in fellowship. wink.gif

All of your in-ceiling and in-wall speakers, for WHA, should be 'budget', 'contractor grade'. Buy them yourself if you can; as Jeff said, not much harm in asking. Proficient makes some good budget speakers, if you can push your installer to order them for you, if he doesn't offer a more affordable line than Nuvo. And +1, shoot for better speakers for the L-C-R in the den, and not in-ceiling for those. If they must be in-ceiling, your installer will have a favorite line of directional in-ceilings (perhaps Triad).

Even if you have only a few components, I'd still install them in a rack, maybe a small wall mount. Looks so much nicer, and easier to service. I was thinking about rack mounting my AVR, DVR, and BDP yesterday, for the FR; however, my current AVR is too large for the cabinet. When it dies, I'll install a nice small slide-out MA, and add cooling.

You're forgetting the cost of hanging the TV with a mount, and programming those 3 remotes.

I'd attend to the WHA first, and hanging the TV, and the speakers. Buy the AVR and RCs yourself. Upgrade when you can afford it.

Tell them you want the Nuvo to play in the den, when you discuss.

New Nuvo write-up, arrived 1 minute ago, includes MSRP. http://www.residentialsystems.com/residential-systems/0001/nuvo-releases-wireless-home-audio-solution-/84095

Edit - not sure if that new Nuvo system fits in a rack neatly; might be too small. Maybe a half rack width?

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post #7 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 09:29 AM
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Smaller than half rack width.

That new Nuvo system looks pretty sweet.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #8 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 11:13 AM
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I'd really like to play with one of those to see how well the user interface / app works... And I'm going to email my contacts there tonight to see about getting the specs on the network interface (since they mention it in that article, too!).

And the P3100 is a normal 1U rack-mount unit (essentially 3 of the P100 units in one box, sans wireless - hence the naming!).

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post #9 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 01:02 PM
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This thread is full of lots of good suggestions. But I'd like to loop back and touch briefly on the original poster's sentiment.

It's difficult to make an accurate assessment knowing only what we know. But from a high level I'd like to point out one thing. It's very common for clients to get sticker shock when they see an initial proposal. Is it possible that he's trying to over-sell you? Yeah. Is it likely? Probably not.

Don't assume anything. It's OK to be honest and let him know that the proposal took you off guard (trust me, he's heard that before), but don't presume that be was trying to pull one over on you.

I'm sure he will be happy to explain exactly why he designed the bid the way he did. And from that point the two of you can probably get the price down by removing features that he may have built in, but that you don't necessarily want or need at this point.
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for all the help. I feel so much more informed and not getting "taken to the cleaners". A couple more questions:
- I know in ceiling speakers aren't the best for the L-C-R, but the wifey doesnt want any visible speakers in the entertainment center...sooo, I have found 15 degree angled speakers with an adjustable tweeter. I would use that for the center, should I also use it for the L and R? Plus I have 4 speakers in the back (surround, I guess), do those need to be angled or just downward? The Monoprice ones have adjustable tweeters so maybe that is enough?
-Can either of you suggest a site for a half rack?
-Preferred A/V receiver? I got quoted one for $650. Its a 7.1 with HDMI v1.4a for a 3D set which i have but probably won't utilize much. I have heard Denon receivers are pretty good.
-Preferred 10 inch subwoofer?
- Do I need to get weatherproof inceiling speakers if i have some outside in a covered patio? Or just humidity and heat proof? I think Polk makes some.

You guys have been great! Thanks again!
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post #11 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 02:55 PM
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Do not expect an installer to use equipment you purchase. He will most likely walk away, and you up a creek, with a pile of very expensive hardware.

If you think you can DIY a portion of this, think it through completely. It will take A LOT of time to research, and install.

I wouldn't use Monoprice for the L-C-R. Get better quality for the den.

You can hide speakers in cabinets behind acoustically transparent GOM fabric. These can be designed to look like cabinet doors to appear very discrete.

You can use invisible speakers, behind drywall mud (professionally installed, expensive). I don't think I'd use those for the L-C-R speakers, as the sound won't be crystal clear.

Some speakers have more discrete grills, and narrower (or absent) bezels, for a cleaner look.

Have him install the WHA, at a minimum. Use the installer's rec'd cabinet guy for the built-ins; they'll work together.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #12 of 13 Old 12-03-2012, 02:59 PM
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That Nuvo system is brand new - there will likely be hardware or software issues. Let the installer deal with the troubleshooting.

There are currently no deals on Nuvo hardware, online. It's now a 'protected' line, and the 2 authorized internet sellers will be selling at or near MSRP.

Most DIYers with Nuvo bought from distributors, at near-wholesale prices, before Nuvo cracked down.

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post #13 of 13 Old 12-04-2012, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I am not going to do this myself and my installer HAS agreed to use the components i have purchased. He of course, still gets all the labor costs. So he will purchase and install the Nuvo system. I will try to convince wife that speakers on the entertainment center shelf are ok; barring that i may have to go with the angled ceiling speakers. Anyone have experience with those? Do I need them for the surrounds?
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