Everyone has made a mistake setting up their home theater at some point or another - it happens. So we'd like to hear your worst real-life stories or funny moments from over the years.
Basically, anything that you can remember that you're willing to admit on here. Be it something that happened while trying to hang your flat panel or even when building your dedicated theater. We'll then pick a favorite and award the winner with a shiny new Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 projector, valued at $1299!
So yeah, just tell us your worst install mistake you've made over the years, and you might just get something cool to feel better about it. (Photos are not required.)
We will choose from of all entries made up until 11:59:59 PM PT Friday June 22, 2012 posted in this thread.
Full Contest Rules:
Founder - AVSForum
DISCLAIMER: All spelling and grammatical errors done on purpose for the proofreadingly challenged...:)
So, we were building our dedicated theater and part of that design was a Star Dome that was 6' x 9' in size...oval. Seeing it is made from fiberglass, it did not really bend much. Of course the size of it did not really come to mind until it arrived and we needed to bring it downstairs to install.
Our stairwell is two levels, so, it was hard to maneuver this big large non-bending costly piece of art. But that was the the "opps" part. The "opps" part was not taking into consideration the angle of the stairs and thus being able to get it though an standard door height! Sure, the door is taller than 6 feet, but when you add an angle to the 9 foot part...well, you have an issue.
We could not clear the door but 1 inch!!!! Opps! And Ouch!
The solution was to remove the entire door, frame and all right up to the header just to give us that 1 inch we needed. I was ready with the rip saw to take out that header if I needed to for that wonderful piece was going in!
So...All in all, it ended well. I won't get into the power stapler and the pex water pipe. I'll leave that for another day.
Founder - AVSForum
DISCLAIMER: All spelling and grammatical errors done on purpose for the proofreadingly challenged...:)
Yep, I didn't even think about it and started terminating with compression fittings. I look up as I finish the last one and then realize the blunder:mad::D
An audiophile likes to talk about how much they spent and how good it sounds.
A DIY'er likes to talk about how little they spent and how good it sounds.
i always end up putting my front speakers too high(cant redrill as landlord will kill me)
after setting everything up; i go to power on the system and nothing works, spend ~30 minutes checking connections before i realize i than when the toaster and microwave are used at the same time, it trips the breaker(lived in very old house when i set up my bedroom ht 1.0)
thought of another one, not an install but pretty funny; when i was moving and packing up our family ht system i removed my fathers adcom (ga-555) amp from the entertainment center's separate, non attached cabinet/rack, i turn around after putting it in a box to start getting the N64 out of the smaller cabinet underneath and the entire a/v rack falls down on top of me, didnt get hurt, was just pinned under it until my mom helped me get it off(me or the adcom, man i should have stole that thing when my parents got divorced as my father yelled at me and left me there) me out but its a pretty funny story i thought worth sharing.
btw this contest is open to all use residents including Rhode Island right?
2nd worst mistake- Teaching the wife how to operate my rack/projector..... My brand new epson has 380 hours on it now in the last 3 months.......
Mark this one under potential darwin award candidate -
So I have/had this bad habit of stripping wire with my teeth. (This is known as foreshadowing) Speaker wire stripping is what I had always used them for. But when I finished my basement (bar area / bathroom / spare bedroom) and my sub basement (theater room) I got in this habit of pulling the jacket off the wire with my teeth no matter what the situation was.
At one point in the project, I had been running up and down between the bar area and the theater room, shutting breakers off, turning them back on. Well, I ran back down in the theater room, all the lights were off, and the work lights were on. So I get up on the ladder to continue wiring the can lights in the ceiling. I cut the jacket off some dangling wire and grab the jacket with my teeth and pull.
About 2 seconds later I'm off the ladder, laying on the ground, a little bewildered. Yup, I striped a 20 amp 12 gauge live wire with my teeth and had my butt handed to me for my efforts. I had made the mistake of thinking the breaker was still off for the lights in the theater room because the bar area was also dark. (The lights were on the same circuit) Turns out I had simply shut the lights off in the bar area and, after being distracted by something else for a moment, had forgotten this minorly important detail. Dark rooms meant the electricity was off, right? Not so much.
No permanent injuries that I know of (My wife might argue some cognitive function was impaired. ^_^) and the resulting theater was totally worth it. ^_^
Happy to oblige and with a ~$2,000 total budget we went ahead and picked out and ordered a new Panasonic 50" GT50 (~$1000) , Panny blu ray player (~$120), Denon AVR (~$450), and (5) Definitive Technology Pro Monitor 100's that I found for a steal, all 5, new, for about $150. The final piece of the puzzle, a Definitive Supercube 1 sub, pushed them a bit over budget, but it was also an absolute no-brainer- virtually new from a girl off Craigslist who was selling her ex-boyfriends "*****" (her word not mine) whom she had "thrown out" a couple of weeks back. Bit of a questionable move on my part, I suppose, but don't fear, I paid for it.
So this stuff trickled in over the next week or so, pretty much going straight to their garage (didn't want it sitting in the house) until all had arrived and we were ready to put it together. When the time arose, we arranged for my wife and I to stop by on a Friday night to get their $2200+ dollar Home Theater up and running. Unbox some equipment, place it on a wide-open entertainment stand, position some speakers on stands, route some HDMI cables and speaker wire, run Audyssey. Easy enough.
Well, these folks have about 20 kids last time I checked (ok, really 6). And they're all over the place.
Just getting all the stuff in the house was an absolute circus...not improved an iota by December weather in Wisconsin. Now, I'm not a man of much patience to begin with, but I'm confident that kids pretty much hanging on your femur while you're trying to move a $1000 plasma tv across a 30' stretch of icy sidewalk is more than anyone can take. When I finally reached my boiling point I stopped and politely yelled at them (and immediately got that feeling a guy gets after yelling at someone else's kids) and they finally relented...so it seemed.
The tv was first into the basement and once it was down there, in an attempt to exercise some caution regarding condensation from the severe temperature change, we decided to remove it from its carton and allow it to "breathe" while the balance of the gear was moved in and situated. Now the reality is it would have been better off left inside the box for a lot of reasons, but especially so to better transition it through the temp change. But hey, who needs to really think when you're "clever"?
Everything else went rather quickly. Receiver in, a couple of boxes of speakers, the BD player. I scooped up the sole remaining item (Super Cube sub) and headed into the house.
Now by this time (we had dinner and hung out a bit first) it was pushing 8:30 and I was wondering why these 2, 4, 6, and 8 yr-olds were still up to begin with, but what do I know (no kids of my own at this point)?
Whatever. The sub was a decent 60 or so lbs but nothing I couldn't handle (hey, I carried my 140lb Captivator up a flight of stairs and into my living room in by myself):
I popped through the door like a guy with his first born- internally beaming about the deal I landed them, picking this sub up for $350- and started heading down the basement stairs just a few steps inside the back door. They (the stairs) were carpeted and my feet were actually relatively dry.
I (cautiously of course ) cruised on down like I had already done a half-dozen times, but with 5-6 steps remaining...
I remember having a feeling akin to someone stomping on the brake pedal to stop a car while you were an unsuspecting passenger. That, and the even odder sensation of my feet remaining 6 feet behind me.
It was all over in split second. The wife said it looked like I was "flying" from where she was standing. I suppose that's what it felt like for half a second so I'll go along with that.
The death toll?
Remember that 50" Panasonic plasma television that we un-boxed? Yeah, we decided to keep it at the foot of the stairs so it would be "out of the way" while we configured the speakers and other gear. The Supercube was now firmly implanted, dead-center in the TV. Done. Exploded. I remember the smell being like nothing I had ever encountered. I was staring at crap all over my hands while I was trying to figure out how they weren't cut anywhere. My chest burned...this 60lb cube had seemingly attempted to puncture my lungs. The bd player and AVR also laid in front of the tv (of course).
The AVR came out unscathed (yea Denon packaging), but the 300+ cargo (I'm about 240) was too much for the Panny BD player...I snapped the internal foam and bent the casing so badly the LCD screen was cracked and the disc tray wouldn't open. The sub, fortunately, was largely alright. Some of the mounting screws on the (rather stout) driver had either sheared off or busted through their cabinet mounts, but simply rotating the driver and tapping some new holes mostly addressed that problem.
But there was all this and this profound feeling of dread and despair. This was not a family of unbridled means (with 6 kids, not many are). I know they had been saving for the better part of a year (at least) for this moment which was now irreparably disintegrated. I felt horrendous.
When I discovered that their 4 year old had stuck a plastic sword through the banister and directly in between my feet, setting the wheels in motion, I have to say I felt about 10% better, realizing- at the very least- the catastrophe wasn't entirely my doing.
But, sigh, it didn't really matter. They were out a $1000 tv, a nice BD player, and now had a not-so-beautiful subwoofer.
Home owners insurance is nice, but it's not free, either.
When it was over my wife and I insisted that they allow us to cover half of their deductible .
And that was one check I'm glad I never saw as I spent the entire weekend on the couch, watching football, recovering and recalling how my Kuro had arrived to my home just a year earlier...
yes, those are gigantic cracks if you cannot tell...destroyed by two imbeciles who moved (really, bounced) it up my drive way on a cart in the middle of January.
ahhhhhhhhhh, isn't this stuff fun?
Actual phone call (see pic to left):
Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"
Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."
' , broke out the RS SPL meter and recorded peak levels of > 126 DB at the LP before the smoke suddenly spewed forth from the R front speaker, the sweet smell of ozone filled the air, then the breaker tripped in the basement. All was dark, and very quiet , except for the ringing in our ears. I went down & reset the circuit breaker, & we played around a while longer. We both agreed that the new amp sounded incredible. The following day I re-ran Audyssey, & discovered that I had 4 blown tweeters & 4 blown midranges in my front towers, along with a fried crossover in the R front speaker. Several weeks later, & several hundred dollars poorer, all was back to normal. The AVRs' volume limiter is now set to +10, versus the prior setting of +18.. I think that the ringing in my ears is gone now also.
And the best part was I couldn't do anything about it and I called maintenance. They told me they'd be over in the morning!
My Theatre Build
1. I had to run and ethernet cable from one side of the house to the other for the Denon. Ran down into a dark damp crawlspace only about 2ft high all the way to the router, drilled appropriate holes throught the house and the concrete footings. It's a 40ft run.
I never checked the cable to ensure it worked. Guess what? It was a brand new BAD cable. Had to buy another one and do it all over again.
2. Installed an inwall component cabinet and installed all equipment, then tied and ran all the wires on the back to reduce cable clutter. Well, I forgot to cut for the fan and run wires for zone 2. I made everything so tight i was unable to pull out the denon enough to remove the wires from the back so I had to cut the back of the cabinet off.
It all worked out in the end as i made it into an access door for future fiddling.
Klipsch RB-61 II (Fronts), Klipsch RC-52 II (Center)
Deftech StudioMonitor 350 (surrounds)
Klipsch SW-115 (sub)
I have several stories, as I have put together several media rooms in the various places I've lived...
Most recent, and probably my wife's favorite... We moved into our new condo, and had everything actually put in the rooms. I set up the baby's room so we could get her down for a nap quickly, as she is a complete terror (4-5 hours straight screaming) if she doesn't get her nap. We got her down, and we went to our respective areas to unpack. Of course my first priority is getting the media room back up. I have a Samsung 61" DLP TV. It's not HUGE, and it's not very heavy, it's just awkward to move around. I figured I could get it up on my stand by myself easily enough. I tried a couple different things, and almost had it a few times. My last attempt the edge slipped off and I could just see the screen falling forward to smash itself on the stand and the floor.... SO, I did what any theater loving man would do... I sacrificed my body. I threw myself under the screen so it smacked into my chest instead of the stand. It knocked the wind out of me, and fell completely on top of me, and I was laying on the floor with my TV on top of me. Again, the TV isn't super heavy (specially when compared to the 57" widescreen old school rear projection I had before, THAT would have crushed me), BUT, I had the wind knocked out of me, and it was laying across my chest and arms and I couldn't get any real leverage. I'm trying to QUIETLY call for help (since the baby is asleep), and my wife can't hear me. My phone is in my pocket, but I can't quite reach it. Its one of the old "candy bar" style phones, and she is speed dial 1... So I try pressing the keys through my shorts until I hear her phone ring upstairs. She answers the phone, and of course can't hear me. She hungs up thinking I'm kidding around with her. After about 5 times, she comes STORMING downstairs and yells "WHAT?!" as she hits the bottom of the stairs. She immediately bursts out laughing for about 10 seconds *THEN* asks if I'm OK. Of course, me being the smartass that I am said that I was fine, I was using the TV to help stretch my back :P She took a pic on her phone (I'm trying to see if I can find it to attach). She helped get the TV off of me (AND onto the stand!) and asked why I just didn't yell for her... I told her I didn't want to wake up the baby. She looked at me and said, "So, you're being crushed by a TV, and you didn't want to wake the baby??"
Ok, so maybe I've stripped a few live wires with my teeth as well
Here is a story from my first media room.
I moved into a house with my best friend and his wife. He and I were always the Go-To guys when people moved, and we had helped some friends of ours (brothers) both move from their houses. One of the brothers had a pool table that he no longer used, so he gave it to us for helping them move. It was a pretty nice 3 piece slate table, and we figure we could handle moving it and setting it up. We had JUST finished the basement which included a media room with a bar area (and perfect place for the pool table). We took the legs off the pool table and figured we could just take it down the stairs and swing it around and it would be easy. It BARELY fits through the doorway, but we managed to squeeze it through with some mild scraping of the finish. We get to the bottom of the stairs and THEN realize that the stairway wasn't all open like we thought, there was a beam a the very end that went to the ceiling, so that plan was shot! We thought we might be able to tilt it and work it around the beam, so we give that a try. We end up putting a HUGE hole in the wall at the end of the stairs, and completely tear apart the ceiling, AND it doesn't work. My friend decided at this point we'd wrecked the landing, might as well finish destroying it to get the table down! He went to go get some tools, and one of our other buddies helping us looks at it and says, "Hey, from underneath, it looks like it has seams, I think this thing may come apart." We spent the next 45 minutes taking it apart and found out it was a nice THREE piece slate table :P Then of course we had to call a professional to come redo the felt for us, and by the time it was all said and done, we paid them about $20 less than if we had them completely move and set up the table for us! The landing never did get fixed :P
Denon 3808ci | PS3 80Gb | Harmony One | Toshiba XA2 | Samsung 61" PN60E6500EF | HTPC with HDMI
Have you ever heard of the Laserfilm video format? Of course not. Why would you? It’s an ultra-obscure video disc format developed by McDonnell-Douglas in the early ’80s for flight simulators. The format didn’t catch on and was never marketed outside the company.
Nevertheless, several years back, someone got hold of a bunch of these players (they were cleaning out McDonnell-Douglas storage, I assume) and listed them on eBay for extremely low prices. Curiosity got the best of me. I think I paid $10 for one, but the damned thing was so heavy that the shipping cost twice that. Still, $30 was still not a lot of money to waste, so I didn’t feel too bad about it… until it got to my home, and I quickly realized that I had no idea what to do with it.
The Laserfilm player was a big, heavy tank of a machine. It had only one video output: RF coax (the pointy one that cable TV comes in on). I managed to plug this in (I had to route it through my VCR) and power on the unit. That brought up a blue screen that verified it was working. And then… Well, that was it. I had no software to play on this thing, and no way of ever getting any.
So, two minutes later, I unplugged it. That was the end of my grand Laserfilm experiment. I eventually got rid of the player, but I have to admit that it sat as a doorstop in my home theater room for quite a while, taunting me with repeated reminders of my foolish impulsiveness. I’d like to say that I learned my lesson and never made similar mistakes again after that, but sadly that’s not the case.
See, I recently moved to a new place, and while I bought mount and everything needed to hang my set on the wall, I was dragging my feet on actually installing it due to my massive lack of motivation!
Well, fast forward a month (yes, a month, I told you I was lazy!) to May 23, 2010 and the finally of Lost. I have a bit of a "lost" problem, and that's putting it mildly. Ya, I I like TV and watch shows, but for some reason I kinda went gaga for Lost. (you don't even want to know how many times I've re watched the series!) So, with the finally coming I figured what better time to get everything installed proper and enjoy it they way it should be.
So, I take my time, measure twice and cut once on all drilling and such, and get her mounts and ready to roll about an hour before showtime. Easy speazy!
So, minutes before showtime, I get my seating area all set up, phones off, dogs are fed and depoopified, etc, etc, etc ...... and I notice the picture seems "off". I check my settings and I accidentally plugged the main HDMI cable in HDMI 2 instead of HDMI 1, rather then re-input all the settings I just got to swap the ports, pull the TV away from the wall and "pop". The HDMI cable got hung up on part of the frame of the mount and got pulled and, from what I can assume, cracked the input board ...... wonderful!
So, with just the Sammy being my only watchable TV in the house and seconds to showtime I had to hustle and hook up my Acer monitor to my AVR and plop that 23 inch behemoth on my coffee table and watch, eye's squinting, a finale to a show I apparently couldn't get out of my own way enough to actually watch!
Might not the most exotic or expensive install nightmare, but for me, a guy on a fixed budget, was pretty intense ........ and one that had me cursing six ways from Sunday and am just recently finding humor in!
It ended with me puking after getting all dehydrated, all over the new oriental rug. They are not my friends anymore, the rug was very expensive, and I understand they took the HT back.
My worst mistake was buying my first set of speakers. Its turn into a habit ever since bought gear, sold gear have some stored and still selling gear. As of now I have 5 Hdtv , 4 bluray players , one HD player.A preamp, 2 amps richard gray power station 4 onkyo recievers 3 surge protectors 3 set or speakers (paradigm) 4 sub woofers hdmi cables , XLR cables , speaker wires, and storing audio cables for SACD. Over a 1000 s of movies and dvd audio, sacd audio. 3 computers the biggest mistake was writing all this down here. Gotta go I'm sick now.
FS - Three pairs of JBL LSR 705i speakers, one pair NIB
FS: Four (4) KEF CI-200RR-THX in ceiling/wall speakers (link to ad)
FS: JKP Affinity .09 Fixed Frame 2.35 screen, 12.5 feet wide - PM for details
Finally decided to move to a new place. Really nice room. So excited!! Moving day came and I just couldn't decide if I should set-up using the long or short wall. Could care less about unpacking anything else or setting up the bed to sleep. Nothing was as important as setting up my HT in my new and much better room!! I set-up everything on the long wall but did not connect cables. Put the area rugs down. Put the couch in place. Put the tables in place etc.
After a half hour I hated it! I moved the couch and chairs. Lift the area rugs. Move the tables. Moved some boxes. Moved all of the HT from long wall over to the short wall. The display, the speakers, the 115 lb amp ect. Put the rugs down, furniture back, tables back. Ugh I was so tired but perfect!! This is it. The room I always wanted!!!
Even though I was dead to the world, I must set-up everything. I have a maze of wires and cables. I got the pre-pro and amp connected. Got the CD player, and Blu-ray player, TIVO box, headphone amp and display connected. Probably two or three hours here carefully connecting everything. Managing the cables. Screwing with HDMI cables that didnt want to stay seated. But after midnight now. Oh my gosh. Done!!! Oh boy time to fire it up. Perfection. Need to calibrate but that's for tomorrow. This is great!! Finally a good room.
Looking at my work. Room looks great. It sounds great. Wait! What's that? One of my interconnects is drapped over my right speaker cable. Hanging there in space. That looks horrible and will never do! Let's just unplug my speaker cable from my right speaker and untangle the two cables. No big deal.
Unplugged the speaker cable and oh no! It slipped out of my hand and the spades landed on the back of the amp connectors. ZZZZZZzzzzz sparks burning smoke .No!!!! This just didn't happen. I just moved in!! There is nothing like the smell of burning electronics. Tears actually welled up! This can't be!
Even with protection circuits I fried two of the five channels. The heavy beast at over 100 lbs that I just moved in to new place had to be packed lugged out of the house and shipped to Canada from CA. With shipping it took over a month for repair and return. After all of that set-up and excitement and moving everything from long to short wall, there would be no HT or stereo for five weeks in the new place.
I was so tired that night. I knew better. I won't even touch a wire now until everything is turned off or unplugged.. It was a $1300 mistake and lesson. Not to mention it took the fun out of the new place for a few days. Just because it wasn't perfection with two cables wrapped over each other hanging there in the air. What a doof!
The amp is repaired now and pictured in my Avatar. All is now good.
|Epson , Epson Projector|