Magnolia Proposed Setup: Need Some Opinions/Validation - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 40 Old 03-21-2013, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
djtech2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
So I have Magnolia come in and give me some recommendations and do a design for my media room that I want to build. The guys were cool and worked out a couple of different options, but here is the upper end proposal. I am looking for opinions on the equipment choice, price, or anything else relevant. This is a bit new to me, so I want to be sure I am doing the right thing for the right price before I make any big decisions.

Total Cost: @$9700

Projector: Epson 3020 @$1350

Front LR: MartinLogan Motion20 (L,R) @$1500

Front Center: MartinLogan Motion6 FREE (Special for buying Pair of Motion20)

Receiver: Pioneer VSX53 @$500

Sub: MartinLogan Dynamo700 @$700

Screen: Screen Innovations 100" TPF100LG @$1100

Remote: Custom4 HC250, SR250B, Programming @$1100

Misc Parts/Cables/Mounts: @$650

Surround: 2x HELOS10 ceiling flush mount @$460

BluRay: Samsung BDE6500 @$170

Total Labor: install, wiring, all components in a closet, wiring surround, programming, etc @$1725


So what do you guys think? Its a lot of cash, so I am hesitant of course. This was their high-end proposal. Is the equipment right? Price? Install?

Let me know what you guys think.
djtech2k is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 40 Old 03-21-2013, 10:17 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
DaGamePimp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: WA State
Posts: 15,593
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 169
Too high IMHO, especially for that level of projector. They are ripping you off, sorry.

Jason
DaGamePimp is offline  
post #3 of 40 Old 03-21-2013, 11:24 PM
AVS Special Member
 
blee0120's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Merillville, IN 46410
Posts: 3,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 74
Wow, they want you to spend $10K for your setup and use an Epson 3020? That is hilarious
blee0120 is offline  
post #4 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 12:06 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jnabq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Albq. NM, USA
Posts: 1,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 39
Umm, do without the custom remote/programing and upgrade the pj, unless it uses mind control or mixes drinks and pops popcorn? That should bring you near to the Epson 5020 price. The labor seems a little high, but that is alot of work to be done, but for that price, not one darn screw or tie should be out of place. I think their install teams have been a bit of a mixed bag, hopefully you'll get the A team on yours.
jnabq is offline  
post #5 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 02:10 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
coderguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,051
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 153
It would be cheaper to hire an electrician to do all the in-wall wiring and tell him you'll supply all the cables and just pay him hourly (or even just hire a cabling install contractor that isn't an even electrician). Some of them can even install the mount for you and you can make small adjustments later. Get a cheaper screen and SPEND more of the money on the projector itself. Definitely forget the REMOTE purchase and programming entirely. Also, Samsung Bluray players have been problematic if you care, I prefer Panasonic, Sony, or spend more and get an Oppo player.

Then if you want extra stuff on top of that, hire a home theater company to calibrate and/or finish running the wires to the termination points, jacks, AVR, etc... You'll probably save a lot of money because neither company will be able to markup the cost of the cables and Home Theater companies usually over-charge for in-wall runs.

The wiring isn't that complicated depending on how you do it, you could probably finish it yourself after the electrician ran all the in-wall stuff.

Take a look at the Sony hw50es, JVC RS-4810, or even a Sony hw30 or JVC RS-45/RS-46.


Quick and Easy Shelf Mount Method for both one projector or dual stacks

Web Calculator v023 & v025
- Quick Peak at the new upcoming calculator
**Current Projector Calculator** -- http://www.eliteprojectorcalculator.com

Coder's Top Projector Picks of 2012 --http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread....

coderguy is online now  
post #6 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 03:52 AM
Advanced Member
 
jamhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 530
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 20
You can also get a much better sub for the same money.

Also, is that receiver capable of driving 4ohm speakers? I'm not sure.

Yes, you can do better for your money.
jamhead is offline  
post #7 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
djtech2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the replies.

So what is the take on the 3020 projector? Is it no good? I mean their price is $1350, which I didn't think is bad. I saw a demo of it and it looked good. In that price range should I consider something else? My throw is limited to something around @10.5ft - 11ft.

The install is a bit pricey, but I will say that it will not be an easy install. My room is finished with drywall and has a steel beam with duct work that crosses the middle of the room. The components will be hidden in a closet, so that's not easy either.

I agree that the remote is high. Its extremely nice though. Its an IP remote that can control anything in the house. Since my components will all be in a closet, I need a good multi-remote. The equipment is about $800 and they are required to program it, which is $300. If I don't get it, then I need a good alternative. They told me that the Harmony remotes are inconsistent, plus Logitech is selling off harmony to another company. I am not sure what to do on this one.

I think this whole thing comes with a calibration, etc.

All of the labor and parts is broken down on the sheet they gave me, but I just combined it to post here. All the individual costs are broken down though, and they are not outrageous.

So is the biggest concern the projector? I have no experience with it, so what should I request if the 3020 is bad?
djtech2k is offline  
post #8 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 07:30 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
coderguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,051
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 153
Is there a place in the firewall to run the cables through (or go outside round/above it), if yes then it won't be particularly tricky.
What is hard about hiding components in the closet?

Cabling is not rocket science, any cabling installation company can do it cheap. With so many online sites to evaluate local contractors, I don't see why you'd even source installation to one over-priced Mega-Operation like Magnolia,

You will not even get a great calibration from Magnolia most likely (you might).

You're better off installing an iPhone or Android compatible controller. Fancy remotes that control the house are a total waste of money because you will never have it on you and many are too big and klunky. Just use your cell to do it, because that is something you usually have on you. Get a couple nice learning remotes with RF or IR repeaters as well for the HT room itself.

Fancy remotes seem awesome at first, but you will find that in the end every super FANCY REMOTE is a bit klunky and that you don't use that stuff NEARLY as much as you thought. I doubt you will want to use that thing during normal viewing or if you will have cable channels, or to adjust PJ settings, etc...

Finally, I wouldn't even want my HOUSE controls to be mixed up with my home theater control system. Just keep them separate.


Quick and Easy Shelf Mount Method for both one projector or dual stacks

Web Calculator v023 & v025
- Quick Peak at the new upcoming calculator
**Current Projector Calculator** -- http://www.eliteprojectorcalculator.com

Coder's Top Projector Picks of 2012 --http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread....

coderguy is online now  
post #9 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 08:29 AM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
I do this for a living and might have a different take on things. First this is an enthusiast site and there are many DIYers and some of their opinions don't always work for the average person. First do not get rid of the remote system. This is a device you will use every time you use the system and you want it easy to use for yourself and family. Many enthusiasts don't mind halving a half dozen remotes on the table and writing out instructions for their wife on how to use the system. This is arguably the most important piece in the system, like I said you use it every time you use the system. I'm personally not fond of the remotes that use your phone or tablet and neither is my family. They always grab the regular remote. Nobody likes switching between apps to change the volume or a channel. They are nice feature in a pinch but you can't beat a dedicated remote if programmed well. And many of the systems today allow you to use a remote and your phone or tablet as well.

With that being said there are other remote control systems that cost less and might be worth considering. Companies tend to use systems they are familiar with programming and I'm sure that is why they recommended Control 4. I would ask if they have other control systems that cost less. I'm would definitely not recommend Harmony either and since I do the programming I've used a lot of different control systems. Control 4 is not my favorite either but it is capable and has more to do with having the right programmer than which system is used. It has also been a long time since I have had to work on Control 4, so I'm sure they improved. It should be customized for the way you and your family use the system.

The prices are not out of line for the equipment. They might be retail with a slight discount and the equipment seems decent. No bargain here but you are not being raked over the coals either. Labor is tough to say without doing a site inspection. Could be pricey, could be bargain. Labor rates also vary considerably in different areas and for different expertise. The guy pulling wire might not be cost as much as someone doing design, programming or calibration. The remote in your quote has an MSRP of $800 and their charging $300 for programming. In some areas that could be 1.5 hours in another area 5 hours.

Magnolia used to have a good reputation before Best Buy bought them out. Unfortunately, they lost many of their good installers. It is a little bit of hit or miss with their installs now. Like someone said hopefully you'll get their A team.

One thing I can suggest if you are not a DIY type of person is get a few quotes and see what other companies offer. I'd look for companies that have ISF, HAA, THX, CEDIA certifications, you might want to search those organizations websites for certified people in your area. They might not have all of them but knowing that they have some formal education in audio and video definitely helps. People with good knowledge will put together a system for you that will work best for your environment and are not just selling boxes. They'll also spend the time to make sure everything is properly set up.

Another thing is tell them what your budget is. Everybody wants to spend as little as possible, we hear this all the time. It doesn't help us and it doesn't help you. If you tell them $8k but really your willing to spend $10k you might not know what you are missing. That extra $2k could be a big jump in audio, video, features, etc. If you want a good, better, best quote then tell them what your max budget is and make sure they stay under it for the best quote. Then you can decide if the jumps between levels is worth it. A good company will give you the best system they can for your budget.

About the projector. It is a good projector and many would be happy with it, but it is entry level and you get big gains if you go closer to the $2.5K price range like the Epson 5020. At this price range I'd go with a more basic screen and up the projector budget if possible.

Hope this helps.
stuvalou likes this.
BobL is offline  
post #10 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 08:40 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
coderguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,051
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 153
Just to clarify, I didn't mean to use the phone to turn the channels, volume, AVR, bluray, etc (none of that). You just put the On/Off stuff on the phone, and use a regular remote or (semi-fancy $300 remote) that is programmed for the home theater. You don't need to be DIY to use a regular remote. That way if you forget to turn off your home theater, you can do it from the car or whatever or downstairs.

Though if you are more concerned about it looking fancy and having a "COOL" remote, then go ahead and waste the money. There are a gazillion remotes out there under $300 that you can program them to do anything you want, you don't need to spend more.

I used to have the $200 Phillips remote, but mine broke. I have a $20 Sony Remote right now, not even backlit. I get by, just haven't bought a new remote yet. I prefer any remote with a smaller lcd screen and a jog shutter, easily programmable, RF or IR repeater, soft buttons, backlit keys, NOT too heavy in the hand, good comfort, and this doesn't have to cost over $300. These things are not hard to program to make them do whatever you want. Go look at reviews online for the $200-$500 remotes.

Remotes don't tend to particularly last that long (or they get lost), so the cheaper the better for the features you need. If you have kids aged 4-15, I definitely wouldn't get an expensive remote, it will get broken or lost (guarantee you).


Quick and Easy Shelf Mount Method for both one projector or dual stacks

Web Calculator v023 & v025
- Quick Peak at the new upcoming calculator
**Current Projector Calculator** -- http://www.eliteprojectorcalculator.com

Coder's Top Projector Picks of 2012 --http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread....

coderguy is online now  
post #11 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 10:12 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jnabq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Albq. NM, USA
Posts: 1,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by djtech2k View Post

Thanks for the replies.

So what is the take on the 3020 projector? Is it no good? I mean their price is $1350, which I didn't think is bad. I saw a demo of it and it looked good. In that price range should I consider something else? My throw is limited to something around @10.5ft - 11ft.



So is the biggest concern the projector? I have no experience with it, so what should I request if the 3020 is bad?

It's not that the 3020 is bad, its nice for its price and what it does, but with all the money your spending on everything, you can really improve on that pj with around another $1k. That range is where the better pj's start to really improve on their blacks/contrast. For a better choice, take a look through Coder;s breakdown, http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1391476 Pick the most important aspects/strengths of the ones listed, then do some price checking.
jnabq is offline  
post #12 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 02:28 PM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
The Control4 remote they quoted isn't one of the 'cool' remotes IMHO. I think a remote with an LCD screen is a great choice as it allows good button customization for the customer. The screen on the Control 4 is not that useable. You are correct practicality wins but everybody has a little different layout they would like depending on how they use the system. There are remotes (URC and Pro Control) in the $400-$600 range plus programming that would be a great choice. Although phone/tablet integration will cost more it is often not a necessity for a one room system. I find the phone/tablet integration more useful for whole house automation applications. A simple LCD screen remote could save the OP some money or use it elsewhere in the system. I don't know if his local Magnolia uses those brands.
BobL is offline  
post #13 of 40 Old 03-23-2013, 10:45 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Liked: 17
I also think it's a little bit to much that BB is asking. If you shop around you can get better deals on all the equipment and installation.

jsil is offline  
post #14 of 40 Old 03-23-2013, 01:52 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Verge2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: arkansas
Posts: 1,684
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked: 24
No point in buying 3000 dollar speakers and using a simple reciever to power them.

1000 for a remote? Really? Use that money for amps.
Verge2 is offline  
post #15 of 40 Old 03-23-2013, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
djtech2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Ok, so I am really narrowing it down.

I have a screen question....

A guy here at the forum highly recommended the Carada screens. Has anyone else had experience or compared them to others? As of now, I am leaning toward getting it.

As for equipment, here is what I am thinking about ordering:

Projector: Epson 5020
Screen: Carada ?
Front L/R: MartinLogan Motion20
Front C: MartinLogan Motion6
Receiver: Pioneer VSX53
Bluray: Oppo BDP-103
Sub: MartinLogan Dynamo700
Surround: MartinLogan HELOS10
Remote: Control4? URC? Harmony1100?
djtech2k is offline  
post #16 of 40 Old 03-23-2013, 07:17 PM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
The 5020 is definitely a big improvement over the 3020, while better screens do make a difference at this price point you'll get a bigger improvement with the better projector. Spend more on the projector and less on the screen.

Remotes: Skip Harmony. URC, ProControl, RTI and Crestron are good choices and all have models about the same price or less than the Control4 in the quote. Control4 is fine too, its design is not my personal favorite but it is capable. Touch screens seem cool but for most practical purposes a wand style remote with a screen works better. You can have some customized buttons on the screen portion but all your main functions like volume, channel, numbers, play, pause, fast forward, rewind, skip, etc. are just easier to push a button than have to look at the screen.

As far as the speakers and the receiver. You will get MUCH better performance by spending more on the speakers, $3000 speakers with a $1000 receiver will be better than vice versa and better than a 50/50 split. Martin Logan speakers are pretty efficient but they do dip down to about 3.5 ohms at certain frequencies which could strain your receiver at very loud levels. If you plan on playing very loud than I would consider an amp, at moderate to loud (not cranking) levels you will be fine with the receiver.
BobL is offline  
post #17 of 40 Old 03-23-2013, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
djtech2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Ok so the guy just sweetened the deal on the c4. He offered me the whole package plus a new android 7" tablet with the c4 software for a total of $850. Much better than before but still alot for a remote. I was all set to buy the harmony 1100, but now I am thinking.

has anyone used the carada screens?
djtech2k is offline  
post #18 of 40 Old 03-23-2013, 11:06 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
coderguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,051
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 153
For that level of projector, I wouldn't spend more than $100 on a remote. Use the savings to get a better projector. Why spend so much on a remote which forces you to a sub-2k projector. If I am going to pick, the main thing in the movie experience is the video (And some would argue audio), the remote is just something to change the volume, that's about what it comes down to.

You are spending over $4000 on just the remote and audio, and less than $1500 on the projector, it's an imbalanced quote. What you buy depends on you partly, if you are an audio guy more than video, fine that isn't that big of a deal (but movies are about video IMO). If it were me, I'd get used speakers in the forums or online, get a MUCH better more expensive projector. Otherwise, some cheap non-HT speakers to hold you off and upgrade them later.


Quick and Easy Shelf Mount Method for both one projector or dual stacks

Web Calculator v023 & v025
- Quick Peak at the new upcoming calculator
**Current Projector Calculator** -- http://www.eliteprojectorcalculator.com

Coder's Top Projector Picks of 2012 --http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread....

coderguy is online now  
post #19 of 40 Old 03-23-2013, 11:25 PM
Senior Member
 
man4mopar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rochester MN
Posts: 457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

For that level of projector, I wouldn't spend more than $100 on a remote. Use the savings to get a better projector. Why spend so much on a remote which forces you to a sub-2k projector. If I am going to pick, the main thing in the movie experience is the video (And some would argue audio), the remote is just something to change the volume, that's about what it comes down to.

You are spending over $4000 on just the remote and audio, and less than $1500 on the projector, it's an imbalanced quote. What you buy depends on you partly, if you are an audio guy more than video, fine that isn't that big of a deal (but movies are about video IMO). If it were me, I'd get used speakers in the forums or online, get a MUCH better more expensive projector. Otherwise, some cheap non-HT speakers to hold you off and upgrade them later.

I think different. Spend the big money on sound (speakers) as they do not get outdated and improved like receivers, projectors etc. But I do agree I wouldn't limit my sound or video for a remote.
man4mopar is offline  
post #20 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 12:27 AM
AVS Special Member
 
fatuglyguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mars
Posts: 1,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Liked: 136
See if you can get them to kick you a discount on the screen to help offset some of the cost of a better projector like a 5020 or vice-versa.

I do not think the labor is cost is exorbitant, but paying for labor is usually termed a "rip-off" by DIY guys. Are you working with a Magnolia Design Center location or a Magnolia Home Theater location? If it's an MDC location, you will get dedicated magnolia installers (e.g. not Geek Squad) and they are generally very competent and knowledgeable, which isn't to say that Geek Squad wouldn't be able to do a good job as well.

I would stay away from the Harmony remotes. They're decent, but really aren't reliable as far as consistent functionality and build quality. Magnolia sells URC universal remotes as well, and if you're working with a Design Center location, they should offer AMX control systems as well. Control4 is probably the most user-friendly out of the three.

ht Panasonic 60" ZT60, Monitor Audio: Silver RX6, RX Centre, RX1; Martinlogan Dynamo 700, Marantz SR5006, PS3, Oppo BDP-103D, Panamax M-5100PM
2ch Sony 32" W650A, Sonus faber Toy Monitor, REL T3, Marantz PM8004, Sony BDP-S1000ES, JVC T-X3 tuner, Apple TV, Peachtree Audio DAC•iT, Panamax MR4300
pc Monitor Audio Radius 90HD, Audioengine D1, FiiO A1
+ Sony 65" XBRX850B, Sony BDP-S5100
fatuglyguy is offline  
post #21 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 07:16 AM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
I let my wife read this thread and she laughed. Her response. "Do without the remote are they freakin kidding?, Surely they jest!". I definitely take flack everytime I decide to swap out a piece of equipment in my system to test/ play with and don't update the remote, and my family aren't idiots to how this stuff works either they are just spoiled.

djtech2k, remember this is an enthusiast site. They have no problem turning on all their equipment with different remotes, setting everything to the correct inputs, changing their sound and picture modes as they please. They installed their own stuff, they know how it should work, and it is second nature to them. Spending a little bit extra time to do this is not a big deal to them and remote seems a waste of money to them. We deal with average people everyday and to them and they just want the system to work reliably and be super easy to use. If they have to press more than one button to watch TV it is too complicated. Press the 'TV' button and everything comes on, goes to the proper connection, sets the proper modes and you are ready to go. It should be that simple.

If you are not an enthusiast you want this stuff automated and it comes at a price. There are some less expensive options that might save a few hundred as well as a lesser screen. I think one thing we all agree on is go to the next level for the projector. I wouldn't trade off audio for it like some would but there may be less expensive options that perform as well.

Any retailer/ installer is going to use equipment they are familiar with. The brands BB has in their quote are all decent brands and if Control4 is what they use for remotes go wtih it. It might not be worth the savings if you make them program a remote they don't use all the time. I don't think Control4 is the easiest to use and don't like the listen/ watch type of set up (another button to press) but others might like this layout. Either way it comes down to the programming and make sure it is easy to use for how you and your family use the system. Make sure the screens have your most used buttons where they are easy to access and not on a second or third page. Everybody has different likes and a layout which works well for one might not for another. Believe me I have seen some strange requests in this area.

None of this stuff is rocket science but neither is plumbing, HVAC, electrical, carpentry, etc. Any DIY person can do something for less if they want to put the time in to learn and the time to research products and find better pricing. A good system integrator will put together a system that will work well for you and your family and be easy to use. The best thing to do if you are not a DIY person for this type of stuff is to get some different quotes and go with the system that best suites your needs.
BobL is offline  
post #22 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 10:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Verge2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: arkansas
Posts: 1,684
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by djtech2k View Post

Ok, so I am really narrowing it down.

I have a screen question....

A guy here at the forum highly recommended the Carada screens. Has anyone else had experience or compared them to others? As of now, I am leaning toward getting it.

As for equipment, here is what I am thinking about ordering:

Projector: Epson 5020
Screen: Carada ?
Front L/R: MartinLogan Motion20
Front C: MartinLogan Motion6
Receiver: Pioneer VSX53
Bluray: Oppo BDP-103
Sub: MartinLogan Dynamo700
Surround: MartinLogan HELOS10
Remote: Control4? URC? Harmony1100?

Looking better, I would still drop the 1000 dollar remotes though. I'd look at the JVCs with the extra money.
Verge2 is offline  
post #23 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 11:02 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
coderguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,051
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 153
I automated everything on a $20 remote temporarily when my expensive remotes broke, so I have no idea what you guys are talking about using multiple remotes. I've also used $200 remotes and $600 remotes. Any backlit learning remote with an IR repeater (or RF function) does the job.

Although I can understand not wanting to do some of this stuff DIY (screen install, calibration, etc...), the remote part is VERY simple. I would not compare that to plumbing or HVAC, I've seen people do plumbing and it's a LOT harder than setting up a remote, the remote comes with 1-2-3 instructions. Comparing electrical/carpentry to programming a remote is even funnier, electrical and carpentry is a true trade-skill that takes 2-3 years to master.

If it takes 2-3 years to master programming a remote, I feel sorry for you guys smile.gif


Quick and Easy Shelf Mount Method for both one projector or dual stacks

Web Calculator v023 & v025
- Quick Peak at the new upcoming calculator
**Current Projector Calculator** -- http://www.eliteprojectorcalculator.com

Coder's Top Projector Picks of 2012 --http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread....

coderguy is online now  
post #24 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 11:15 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Verge2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: arkansas
Posts: 1,684
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked: 24
Yea the OP has some decent disposable income, I doubt he is an idiot.
Verge2 is offline  
post #25 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 01:54 PM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
Your $20 remote isn't going to work with equipment in a closet where the OP said his equipment is going to be placed:) Part of the remote is the base station and this requires a wireless remote. If you were pointing the remote at the equipment there are less expensive options. Custom programming a remote with a screen will probably take 1-3 hours maybe more depending on what level of customization the customer wants.

Many controls systems are not easy to program like Crestron or AMX. They are scripted programming languages like C and not something you punch a few codes into like the universal at Walmart. A good programmer takes years to hone their skills as well. I've seen some great woodwork by DIY people. My best friend for instance, which is a programmer by trade and never worked as a carpenter or in construction. Just something he likes doing as a hobby.

Now the Control4 specified has RS-232, network/IP, contacts and relays that can be used for various sensors and triggers. Individually addressable IR ports. Component and HDMI ports for the on-screen display. It can check the status of components or with sensors know if a given component is on or off. It is in a different league than the consumer models. But, these features can add a lot of reliability to a system and takes longer to program.

The Control4 system is not a DIY remote. An enthusiast could learn it but it is not something they are going to learn and have remote programmed in a few hours. Just wiring the remote into the system will probably take an hour alone especially if they like to make their wiring neat.

Here are some less expensive options if BB uses these systems.

URC MX-780 remote with MRF-260 or MRF-350 base station. MSRP $450-$500 depending on base station needed. Plus an estimated 1-3 hours of set-up, programming, and testing. This option doesn't have RS-232, contacts, relays, IP, or RS-232 but for basic control of a simple system should work fine. URC has other options for those features.

Procontrol Pro24R remote with ProlinkR base station and emitters. MSRP $556. Plus an estimated 1-3 hours of set-up, programming, and testing. This can also be used with iDevices but the IDevice option costs more because you have to pay the licensing and it depends on how many iDevices you want to be able to use.

If the OP wants a DIY option URC MX-450 remote ($250) with MRF-260 or MRF-350 base station for a total cost of $400--$450. It takes longer to program and isn't as flexible for programming as the MX-780 but is easier to learn. If you don't need RF they have the R40 which is $100 less for those that have the ability to point at their equipment. This could save up to $700 and take several hours of time if he wants to customize it.

So these options could save a some money but I don't see going much less than that for this type of system.

I don't know why so many get hung up on the remote. It automates tasks and makes it easier to use the system which many people enjoy. Some people open their garage door manually, some spend a couple hundred and install an opener themselves. I spent $700 to have someone install a new one for me last year. I keep my car in the garage and use it every time I use my car, it was worth it to me. The remote is something you use every time your system is used, some prefer this ease of use.
stuvalou likes this.
BobL is offline  
post #26 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 02:17 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
coderguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,051
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 153
I was not speaking in MSRP terms (talking about online purchase price), that is why I did not refer to specific devices.

Well my $20 remote works in the closet with an IR repeater. Actually I use the IR repeater even though my stuff is not in a closet smile.gif
The IR repeater was NOT complicated to setup, I had to plug it in the wall and then it just worked. The IR repeater I use cost $40 on Amazon at the moment (http://www.amazon.com/X10-Powermid-PM5900-Control-Extender/dp/B00023KG40/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364157079&sr=8-1&keywords=x10+ir+repeater), but there are probably updated models (haven't looked in a while).

Yes, the $200 and $600 remote was "EASIER" than my $20 remote since those had LCD screens (which as I said was temporary). That said, I would hardly call this remote "difficult". I'm sorry but even though I AM A PROGRAMMER BY TRADE, programming a remote for 99% of people in this forum is simple, no matter how complex the REMOTE? Why is it so simple, because they are in this FORUM AND CAN ASK QUESTIONS. I am aware of all the interfacing crap you can do with remotes these days, but most of it is useless gimmicky features that people will never use.

Wiring is not difficult, any idiot can wire something that is not through the wall. The trick to clean cabling is usually simple, get all thin cables longer than they need to be and then neatly "drop wrap" the slack in a cable manager. Use wire ties if you need them, though get the thicker HDMI cables in different sizes so you don't end up with much slack on those, the thinner wires you use the theory of lots of SLACK so the connecting points to the equipment can FAN OUT sort of like a circular pattern. Getting multi-color wiring can make it even simpler.

There are a lot of COOL features on those more expensive remotes, but most people will never use them more than 2-3 times. Some of those remotes you listed are functionally good (the URC ones), but the ERGONOMICS generally suck on all those.

My favorite remote design is the JOG shutter on the Phillips remotes, only problem is those were tedious to program (not complex, tedious) and the buttons were too stiff though and that kind of ruined it, the best remote design I have ever used was this one ONLY if the buttons didn't suck.

I wish someone made one like those with softer buttons and a stiffer JOG shutter, but same simple single design and I'm good. I have tired 6 different remotes (including several URC's), and almost everyone I return due to ERGONOMICS (too heavy, too wide, uncomfortable in hand).

That is why I am MOSTLY sticking to cheap remotes from here on out, tired of buying and returning. I will try another remote with an OSD once they come down in price and I find with a better form-factor and lighter weight. The more expensive remotes are bulkier because they need more or heavier batteries. The ones that use lighter batteries run out of juice too often.


Quick and Easy Shelf Mount Method for both one projector or dual stacks

Web Calculator v023 & v025
- Quick Peak at the new upcoming calculator
**Current Projector Calculator** -- http://www.eliteprojectorcalculator.com

Coder's Top Projector Picks of 2012 --http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread....

coderguy is online now  
post #27 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 05:33 PM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
I am programmer by trade and go back to the days of DEC, IBM, RPG and assembly language. Many of the control systems are very C like especially if they don't have the routines you need and you have to write it yourself with SDK. This happens more than you think especially on commercial projects. This is probably not worth discussing since we are talking about Control4, URC, etc and they were designed for installers to program and aren't as sophisticated to program. But, the average person isn't going to load the software and be done in a few hours. Some remote programming is tedious, heck a lot of any programming is tedious:)

I think we both agree a good interface is vital and the little things that customize a remote count. He has an Oppo and maybe he uses Netfliv frequently. How about a Netflix button to make things easy. Maybe they use On Demand a lot, load that into a URC and it is probably on page 4 by default. Maybe they want in the first page when they are using their TV. Would they like some favorite channels? You get the idea. I don't put commands they are not going to use and clutter the remotes screen. Nobody needs 10 pages of commands. These little things take time to go over with the customer and make it best for their use. The programming fee seems reasonable if they do it well. We also don't know how many components are in the system.

Wiring is easy but in wall wiring does take time. Time is what you pay for with an installation. His $1700 does not seem high for 5 speakers, subwoofer, projector, and equipment in a closet. It also depends on labor rates. The going rate varies from probably a low of $60/hour to $400/hour for top firms and their top personnel. Granted this would be high end stuff not in the BB realm. I would say around $100/hour is about average for most of the country. That's one day for 2 guys, seems about right. If it is an easy install like a drop ceiling it could be high. If it is hard and no easy way to snake wires and you have to take out sections of wall and then re-do the wall and paint it would be cheap. Dressing a rack takes time but I don't think a rack is being used here and they should just try to keep the wiring neat.

I'm personally not fond of IR repeaters for a customer. Not that they don't work but customers forget and it causes a service call. We have one area on a mountain that has high end homes. The only thing we could use was IR repeaters because all the transmitting antennas on the top of the mountain caused so much interference ALL brands of RF remotes wouldn't work. A kudos to URC for coming out to that mountain and making your new remotes work in that environment. I love getting that call that some of the equipment isn't turning off. You go there and find out they hit off and placed the remote on the chair where it wasn't pointing at the IR repeater for the whole macro:eek: Or somebody puts a new lamp or fluorescent light bulb in the room that floods the IR sensor and it doesn't work. It is just not a reliable professional solution. I speak from experience with these. They work but these little issues always tend to pop up with these and I don't like going to do service calls:eek: We have had very little problems with remotes breaking, knock on wood;)

There are some wonderful inexpensive remotes if you don't want a screen and don't need wireless. We use the URC WR7 MSRP $35. We usually charge $100 including programming but we have to use one of our more expensive remotes to teach it the discrete codes for the equipment. But for a simple button remote programmed that has a backlight it works great for 3-4 device systems on a budget. We nickname it the elderly remote.

Ergonomics of the remote is very personal and you are probably what I term a power user as are many enthusiasts. But, we have to look at what is right for the person using it and not our personal preference. The poster wanted to know if the proposal was reasonable. It is IMHO. Just like me with my garage door opener, I could have done it myself but did I didn't want to so I paid the price. I could have searched and probably found a less expensive unit or the same unit cheaper and installed it myself. But, I just wanted it done and the price was reasonable.

I don't think this proposal is unreasonable or over priced. I don't think he is getting a bargain either and that is why I suggested getting some quotes from other local companies. He never stated he was planning on doing any of this himself.
BobL is offline  
post #28 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 05:58 PM
AVS Special Member
 
blee0120's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Merillville, IN 46410
Posts: 3,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked: 74
Coderguy,

I'm with you, the remote should be the last thing to worry about. I have the Harmony 1100. Its a one button, turn everything thing on. Then, volume and navigation on the side. The remote is very convenient. Got it used for $100 and that should be the max for any remote. Spend the money on the projector, then get a decent screen. The carada is a very good screen and not over priced. Then, I would go with the sound.
blee0120 is offline  
post #29 of 40 Old 03-25-2013, 04:53 AM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
Harmony 1100 with base station $450 MSRP plus programming. Same price range as some of the models I mentioned and nowhere near as customizable, less reliable RF, less build quality, no independent emitters. No wonder Logitech is dropping the Harmony remotes:rolleyes:
BobL is offline  
post #30 of 40 Old 03-25-2013, 10:34 AM
AVS Special Member
 
coolhand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

The going rate varies from probably a low of $60/hour to $400/hour for top firms and their top personnel. Granted this would be high end stuff not in the BB realm. I would say around $100/hour is about average for most of the country. That's one day for 2 guys, seems about right.

Bob, you seem to be playing into the role of the high priced installer to a T.

Maybe you are just in the Boston area and everything is more expensive. If you are paying someone $400/hr to run cable for you you are an idiot. If you are advocating people pay $400/hr you are far worse. I paid an electrician to wire my 600 sq foot theater, including 6 sconces and 14 recessed lights on separate remote dimmers, an outlet in the freaking ceiling, etc, for ~600. And he was there for days.

As for the remote, well that generally IS something the client can't really do for themselves which is why some of the prices on these things get so out of whack. While your interests likely don't include seeing a product like the Harmony succeed, they work great and are a fraction of the price. For instance, a Harmony 890 is a few years old but you can get a new one for ~$100 and it has RF. No IR repeaters or anything. One button Macros to bring down the screen, dim the lights, turn on the PJ, turn on the receiver and move the input to Blu-ray, and turn on the Blu-ray player. At 1/10th the cost. And LOL at charging programming fees for a Harmony.

As far as the budget, most of us here are salivating over getting to spend that much on our preferred hobby. Your receiver and speakers do not align (you cannot power them properly with that AVR). Did you try the speakers? Are you an audiophile? For a 10k budget it seems peculiar to me to A) not have 7.1 and B) to drop more on the speakers than the PJ (though this has been debated here for years).

I would tell you that 1700 for labor + 650 for cables/mounts is absurd to most of us. Every room is different but I think it is VERY likely there is significant fluff in this total. Great mounts and solid cabling is far less expensive than it once was.

Also, dump the sub. Subs don't match and its not as highly regarded as some $700+ subs.

I don't know much about the screen but I would never pay as much for a screen as for a PJ. Or even close.

And replace the BD Player with the Panny 500, the Sony 790, or the new Oppo.

I would imagine a handful of hours around here will get you into some more appropriate products that may provide more value and quite possibly allow you to save on some of the installation.
coolhand is offline  
Reply Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

Tags
Pioneer Elite Vsx 53 Av Network Receiver 7 1 Channel 3d , Epson 5020ub Powerlite Home Cinema 3d Front Projector , Sony Vpl Hw50es 3d Projector
Gear in this thread



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off