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My Home Theatre Room and System

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

Alas I beleive I found the right place to post my setup and my home theater.

I dont have any pics right at the moment, Im waiting til I get my new projector, and the HT room a bit more finished.

For now here are my components:

Video Components:
Sony VPL-AW15 LCD Projector
Sony 5 Disc DVD-Changer with HDMI Upscaling (Dont remember the model)
Sony VHS Player, Still have some good VHS Tapes you cant get on DVD

(Do plan to get a HD DVD Player and Blu Ray Player)

Audio Components:
Pioneer Elite VSX-80TXV 7.1 A/V Receiver (I love this little unit!)
Pioneer 25 Disc CD Player (again cant think of the model off the top of my head, but I do plan to get a Pioneer 301 Disc DVD Changer)
Pioneer Tapedeck (Dont really use it, but its there if needed)

Game Console:
Microsoft XBOX 360 Halo 3 Special Edition w/HDMI

And my favorite part of my system:

The speakers:
Fronts are Jamo E875 Bi-Ampable Floorstanding speakers
Center is a Jamo E8 CEN.2 Center Channel
Sides are Jamo E825 Bi-Ampable Bookshelf Speakers. I currently have them on the matching stands.

The fronts Sides and Center are all the same series, and all the same color, Black Ash.

I do plan to get the E855 Floorstandings for the side speakers, and make the E825's the rears.

Currently for the rears I am using a pair of Jamo E5 50W RMS 70W Peak Bookshelfs. Why you may ask? They were $50 for the pair brand new.

The Subwoofer is a Jamo E7 SUB 10" Driver, 350W RMS, 675W Peak. Its a sealed enclosure. I actually happen to like it. I didn't know if I would or not.

I would like to get another one of the E7 Subs, or possibly go to the larger 12" SUB650.

The Home theater room, is my 6 foot tall basement, its not very big, but its what I have to work with, I dont have any pics yet like I said before, but I defenitely will be getting them on here so you can all see for yourself!

Still have to wait for my projector I should be getting it this Friday!
post #2 of 35
Thread Starter 
And did you ever notice in these HT Construction threads, how everyone has their projector already setup and functioning? :P
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Projector due to be delivered Monday the 19th
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Ok I havent posted pics on these forums yet so I dont know if I got it right, we'll see.

Here are some pics of what im currently attempting to do in my basement.

Its only 6 feet high, and most of the people I know have to slightly bend their heads to get down here, but I dont have to Though no one complains of this so its not really an issue!

This pic is what you see currently when walking down into the basement. Its a total disaster yet but its not as bad as it looks!

This is where I will be putting my screen, its going to be somewhat low to the floor because of the window, but picturing this in my mind, it wont look bad once all is completed. I plan on building a riser here as well for setting my speakers on, in the event my basement decides to flood (which is highly unlikely).

This is the tile I am putting in on the floor. Why Tile? Because My dad bought a pallet of tile off ebay for about $100 and gave me what he had left over. I am going for a random look since I dont have enough of one style to do the whole floor, however I feel that it is turning out quite nicely. You can see I had to level my floor to do this as well. I also plan on putting a rug on the floor just for warmth, though I have to say the floor isnt just too cold!

Here is the bench that is used to store misc items that I have, as well as being used for gaming. as you can see I am into computers, and I have these setup for when friends come over, so they stay away from my good computers, plus, its nice to have them for different uses. I have some Dell 1505FP 15" that I plan on using for wallmounts. I also have some Dell W1700 LCD TV's for the computers, and for when I have Halo parties. Kind of messy right now!

This is the heart of my home network, my new 24 port network switches 3Com SuperStack III 10/100 and then my netgear wireless router, and my Cable modem. My Dell Dimension 8200 (far left) is what I will be using for my HTPC, I have tested it to make sure it works good for what I want to use it for. She may be 7 years old, but its the best damn computer I ever spent $1500 on. infact, one of the few I have that ever worked as they SHOULD. It has a 2.66GHz P4, 768MB Rambus memory, 64mb nVidia GeForce 4, 60GB HDD, DVD Rom CD Burner, etc... I do not store any media on this PC because of the size of the hard drive. Instead I have my media stored on my main gaming computer which is located elsewhere.

This was my project from last summer, its the only actual wall in the whole room, the rest of the room I used pink 1" thick styrofoam. it works almost like the real thing, you can texture it with real texture, and paint it with regular wall paint! its even strong enough to hold a few things. But this pic is of my fishtank, got a steal on the tank and the Trickle filter for it, it is a rather easy to maintain tank too, I still need the backround for it, and more than 2 fish would also be nice! its not a saltwater, I didn't feel like having to work with it that much. The color of the wall was a random thing, it actually looked nice, but the gray that you see is what the room will be. I have some other details as well that need tending to. The track lights are getting moved to a different area (not gonna tell til its done)

just a picture of my current seating, as you can see this room is very small so there is really only room for just the love seat, however I can have additional chairs without making it crowded. also sitting on the love seat is my old subwoofer and some custom stands for a pair of speakers you will see in the next few photos.

This is a picture of the only window in the room I figured tiling it would add a nice touch to it

This is the end of the room where it goes into the back room. some more of the Tile I am using. Its turning out quite nice actually. I would have never thought this basement could look as good as it does at this moment (which beleive me, it blows away what it used to look like!)

Even my youngest cat had to participate in the construction progress

This is my old gateway LN-520 A/V Receiver, and the Gateway AD-520 DVD Player that matches it. Got this for free for helping a friend out. it came with all the surround speakers, except the sub (which I had to wheel and deal for).
I never could figure out who actually made the receiver and DVD player, but the speaker set is the Ventriliquist set from HSU, as is the Subwoofer. The center channel and subwoofer are the only 2 things I liked about the whole system. Which is why I upgraded!

Here are the speakers I used for the old HT system, some Omage Genesis G90 bookshelfs that I decided to use because they obviously sounded a lot better than the little HSU's that came with the system.

Front pic of the Omage G90. They cost me $250 about 6 years ago, but really for the price, they have excellent sound quality. They will make good garage speakers

here is the HSU Sub, its got some texture on it because the plastic slipped off of it while I was repairing some wall dings. It works great, and I replaced the woofer with a much better one, I can tell the difference because this one you can feel the lows, rather than just hear them. I plan on also using this sub with the new setup

Here is my Sony 5 Disc DVD Changer with HDMI Upscaling. I love this DVD player!

Here's my new system. Currently sitting in my closet awaiting to be used. I have probably used this system less than 10 hours since I put it together. My Sub (Not Pictured, sorry) is sitting elsewhere in the room.

heres my halo 3 Special Edition XBOX 360 Game Console with HDMI. Currently I have Halo 2, Halo 3, Crackdown, The orange Box, Guitar Hero III, and GTA IV for it. I love HD Gaming!

here is my Motorola HD DVR. My SP is Charter communications. Currently I have all programming available through them, though I am dissapointed in the lack of HD Programming. Come on cable! We need more HD!
Above it is one of my Dell W1700 LCD TV's. I dont even use the cable box on it, just my 360.

Thats pretty much it for right now. Everything is everywhere. My Projector is going to be here this coming monday, which I am anxiously awaiting!

I will take a pic of it and of my sub when the PJ gets here.

A Work in Progress, indeed
post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 
Also I apologize for the blurriness of some of the pics, I did fix the hugeness issue though
post #6 of 35
I can't wait to see your finished home theater. Compared to mine, your system requires some real work and sweat. Thanks for providing details. I have much to learn.
post #7 of 35
Im not sure but this post could be the poster boy for wasting bandwith. ROTFL
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments guys!

I know it takes some downloading for the pics to work, but its on my webserver so I have no worry of losing bandwidth

I have been finishing up the floor so I can finish the walls and start working on the stage for the speakers. Main reason for that is just so they arent on the floor, and it will look cool

and David, that is ok, what I have learned about home theater has all been from reading on this website! I could only dream of having some of the theaters these guys have!

Well Better get back to work
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
ALso next time I take pics, I will try to get them to be less blurry
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hello guys, Dont know where to post this, Ill look around, but in case someone sees this and can help me here goes:

Where you see the network equipment is where I am going to be putting up a rackmount of some sort. I am thinking about building one, but also thinking of buying one.

I dont know if rackmount A/V Equipment and network switches are the same width to rackmount or not. I am currently bidding on a THX Certified sound processor just to tinker with it and see if its any difference than the VSX-80TXV.

Any input on a rackmount would be appriciated
post #11 of 35
Here's my home made one:

I have to update the pic as I have since upgraded the two Netgear FS526T switches to a single Netgear GS748TP 48 port GigE/PoE managed switch. I also had to modify the wall mounts from the originals in the pic above as the GS748TP is a much deeper network device than my deepest gear at the time being a Cisco 2611XM router.

Anyways, I looked at buying a pre-fab'd wall mount rack but didn't like the prices I was seeing and the sizing was was smaller than I'd like. I ended up buying rack rails from a music supply store which are 16U (16 space for the musicians) and then custom fabricated some aluminum wall brackets. Total cost for everything including the shelves for the non-rack mountable gear, rack screws, aluminum stock (including the redo), rack rails, and various miscellaneous stuff comes in under $100.
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
hey guys,

Wont be around much til wednsday or thursday, internet change, so Im wifiing it. I got samples for screen material. I will probably be going with high contrast gray at 0.8 gain. I havent tested them yet but my projector comes tomorrow!!! So I will then. I am very excited. I got a lot more done in the basement since these pics so I will update them when I get back online. and WonHung, nice rack !

Ok all I have to go! cya around!
post #13 of 35
Are you running a DMZ in your house? I ask because I see two ASA 5505's in that last pic. Also, a bunch of switch ports and 2611xm. I'm curious what you have going on this house. lol.
post #14 of 35
thats some serious networking equip for any house in my opinion, reminds me of the fathers house in meet the faulkners and meet the parents
post #15 of 35
LOL. Yes, my home network is a bit excessive. For you guys wondering, I'm a network engineer by profession. This network has grown from buying a gear here and there to build a small lab to what I have now. My previous employer wouldn't spend any money on getting me proper test gear. So I did it on my own. Oh and I'm no longer with that company.

Yes, I have a DMZ....it's more like a DMZ subnet where I host a bunch of servers I have running. From this, I've segmented the network to have two isolated subnets where I run wireless (the DMZ also has wireless capability) on one and the other is strictly wired. The 2611XM and the two 1841s you see at the top are strictly for testing and labing things. They're not part of my "production" network. One of the ASAs is being used as a WebVPN concentrator. The new pic I have below shows the two Netgear FS526T managed switches removed. In their place is a single Netgear GS748TP managed switch. Below the GS748 is a patch panel that has ports designated for phone and a couple set up for console access to the ASAs.

So here's the new pic with some wiring cleanup still left to do (will be getting a Panduit cable manager):

The rack is going to grow by one more member in a few weeks as I'll be getting a Cisco 1861 router to do some more VoIP work.

OP, sorry for the thread jack.
post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hello again guys,

I finally made it back to AVS! I received my projector monday, and....

I WAS BLOWN AWAY!!! This is my first HD projector, and compared to my old SP4805 and 42" Plasma I had, it kicked them right out the door!

From what I read on here this projector was rather dim compared to most in its price bracket. However, If I can see ALL the colors and shapes and crispiness, its ANYTHING but dim!

Very satisfied with it! I got the original receipt with it as well. it is less than 2 months old with a total of 9 hours of use on it, so it was an excellent buy!

I have been working on the theater some more and its getting there, but its got a ways to go yet.

I will be posting pics tomorrow.

Also WonHung, I wish I knew that much about networking. I know some obviously, but not nearly as much as you do. I commend your skillz!

post #17 of 35
Thread Starter 
Okay, I finally have internet again, at least I didnt have to worry about that Fibre Optic line that got hit by the construction worker yesterday!

I got the window all finished, and Im working on the entry door for the HT room, I am also going to do some mild upgrades to the stairway going down to the HT just to make it a bit nicer. It hasnt been updated in about 10 years and the trim boards I am using do not match what was in the stairway.

Still have to finish the floor, build a stage, run conduit to the stage area for speaker wire and what not.

I decided to go with a Matte White screen since the contrast on this projector is much better than I thought it would be. I also noticed HDMI has much better black levels than the component input does on the Sony VPL-AW15. What sucks is there is only 1 HDMI port on the Projector, 2 HDMI Ins on my receiver, I have my Sony HDMI Upscale DVD Player and my Xbox 360 that can use the HDMI, but I would also like to use it for the Blu Ray player and HD DVD player when I get them!

Possibly time to upgrade from the VSX-80TXV?? :S If I do I can Bi Amplify my speakers then!

Anyway thats about it for now, I will get the pics of the Projector and Subwoofer on here too later today.

I will also have a Zip File attached to the next post I do of a couple videos I shot of the Projected image. They are pretty accurate to what I saw in real life.

One Video is of the Projected image During daylight, and the other video is of the projected image at night. Both videos are 33 Seconds long, one has muic going with it and one doesnt, mainly because I didnt have the audio hooked up at night.

The videos of the image are on a white wall with texture. It looks pretty good considering the pimples the wall has!

So thats all for now folks!
post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by WonHung View Post

The rack is going to grow by one more member in a few weeks as I'll be getting a Cisco 1861 router to do some more VoIP work.

OP, sorry for the thread jack.

No Problem, I dont mind staring at your "Home" network anyway
post #19 of 35

Seriously, please post more pictures as soon as you're able now that you have piqued our interest. You have a major renovation to accomplish and after all your posts I believe you will pull it off!
post #20 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by i30krab View Post


Seriously, please post more pictures as soon as you're able now that you have piqued our interest. You have a major renovation to accomplish and after all your posts I believe you will pull it off!

Will do! I am getting to the point where its actually time to paint the walls and ceiling, I have my wall color, but Im hesitant to go with white again since there is enough white ceilings in this house.

Whats a good Theater color to go with? Just in the general area doesnt have to be specific.

Also, bass traps and Acoustical Panels... As far as a bass trap goes I will have to research that a bit more on here, but if any of you can give me a rough idea of what it is I am sure I will catch on!

And I am debating acoustical panels, Was thinking of doing some DIY panels but I dont know what foam I am supposed to use...

And I may possibly be getting my screen material on order finally. It comes with instructions for a good frame, and I hope by good it means better than what I built for my old projector.

Also, any cure for using the projector before the HT is finished?? I have already put on 25 hours since I got it monday! Thats 25 hours less on the HT
post #21 of 35
Thread Starter 

You are all probably wondering... Where the heck are the pics?!?!?!?!?!!!

Truth is I havent taken any yet. I want to get some more work done so it looks better when I take them. I would like to clean it up a bit (not clean as seen in pics above this post).

I got the Stairway going down to the HT area done today. It looks amazing compared to the horrid white that was all worn out, and the outdated trim as well.

All freshly painted and nicely too I might add! I put new trim up as well as refinished the hand rail.

I still have some more trim to put on in the stairway, and I need to put my track lights that are in the pics above in the stairway (I already checked for tall people head clearance), and I would like to get a recessed light to put where the regular one currently is. This will allow for good amound of light going down the stairs, as well as more room on the shelf thats in the landing, (and it would look better too.)

Also need to put new carpet on the stairs. Im not going to until I get the rest of the home theater area done (getting closer!!) And I may put rope lighting going down the stairs, but that may have to wait a while.

I finally finished the walls in the home theater room as well, they look good, but I can see where some areas could have used improvement, though overall if you arent going to carefully stare at the wall, you wount notice any of it.

I am going to put some new trim where the fish tank is, and new trim around the top of the counter top. I dont know if I mentioned it in another post, as I am too lazy to scroll up, but I also took the white face boards on the bench and refinished them to "Puritan Pine". It looks much much better and you can see the beauty of the cheap pine boards I used! I spent my time making them look like the more expensive ones, however.

Stopped working on the floor for a while, I wanted to get a bunch of the little stuff out of the way, plus I am a little mad at Menards, since they no longer sell FloorCraft Tile products anymore >_
I am also redoing the doorway into the HT from the stairway landing. I also bought myself a big bag of grout for the floor, call Naviao Brown. (Not sure how it was exactly spelled.) I think it will go good with the tile. Its not a dark brown, I want the grout to be noticeable, but not noticeable. Maybe I shouldnt have used such huge grout lines then?

Ok I think I have said enough in one post, I will post pictures when I get a little more done, don't worry!

post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I promised more pics, so here are the pics of my subwoofer and projector. The room is almost done so I will take pics of that then!

Anyway, on with the pictures!

Here is my Jamo E7 SUB Subwoofer. 10" 350 Watt RMS 675 Peak. Sealed enclosure which allows for tight bass. Doesn't match the rest of my system but I didnt care at the time! It still looks beautiful.

Picture of the speaker. After a couple months of use it started to act like it had a blown voice coil. Since I didn't have a warranty I had decided to replace the original driver. However, when I took the original woofer out, I saw that one of the wires going from the terminal to the voice coil had broken off. That was a HUGE sign of releif. I also got to see how the woofer was made. I can tell you its unlike many I have seen! Anyway end of story is that I still have the original driver in it which is what I wanted. The speaker I ordered for it I put in my gateway sub box. And the woofer that came out of that is sitting in the closet.

The amp of the sub. This thing never gets hot, and yet it performs like something that would cost thousands of dollars (its retail value is close to $1k U.S.)

The heart of my home theater. Without it, there is no theater. The Sony VPL-AW15. bought it with 9 hours of use total on it. its less than 2 months old. I have the original receipt for it as well as all original packaging, documentation, and accessories. It has a stunning picture and blows my old plasma HDTV away!

The rear of the projector. It has HDMI which my plasma and previous projectors did not. it also has the usual inputs as well.

These are some of the cables I will be using. I have a 4 guage 25 foot DVI to HDMI cable for either a PC or my HD DVR since it lacks an HDMI output. There are optical cables 12 guage speaker wire 14 guage speaker wire composite cables etc... I have many many many cables.

So thats all for right now, I hope to have the HT room finished so I can build my rack for the equipment, and start setting up the room!

post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 
Charter gave me a call a couple days ago about DVR service, since I had not previously had DVR service. I signed up and the next day I got this:

The Motorola DCT3416 HD DVR.

The best thing about this STB over the old one is it has an ACTUAL HDMI output! Its about damn time!

No need for pics since its near identical to the one already in the thread.

Almost done with the HT Construction! Just have to finish the floor and trim, and I can then begin the exciting process of installing the equipment!
post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 
Double posting,

I now have a new problem with all of this HDMI stuff now,

I have TOO MANY HDMI COMPONENTS! My A/V Receiver only has 2 ins and one out for HDMI, and I have 4 HDMI Components at the moment, and if I get a HD DVD Player, and a Blu ray player that will make 6!

Any ideas on how to combat this?
post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hello again everyone!

Well I have some bad news to report, The home theater will not be done for a while now.

As many of you may be aware, the midwest, particularly wisconsin has had some serious flooding going on, and unfortunately my house was not impervious to it. I got about 8 inches of water in the basement, and it has ruined a few things such as some of the walls, wood work, and the worst part, my tile adhesive no longer adheres'

SOOOOOOO I will be redoing the whole floor again, and installing a sump pump, Fond du Lac hasnt seen a flood like this in a few hundred years, no one in town has ever seen anything like it, so I wasnt expecting such a thing to happen, well it did and now I have to pay for it!

Luckly the most important stuff (The electronics) Were all away from the basement, and are safely esconced on a table. The water has gone down, and my basement is in the process of drying out. I am going to get this finished, so don't worry!

I also have pics of the flood which I will post on here tomorrow or wednsday.

For now its back to the basement!
post #26 of 35
Sorry to hear about the flooding. The important thing is you are OK. Keep up the good work.
post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thank you David,

I am fine, and the basement is totally dry once again.

I am also happy to report that I have begun working on the basement again! I only have to replace everything a foot from the floor up, so its not that bad!

A good thing that came out of this though, is now I have a chance to rework the tile, since it was very easy to pull up obviously. I am going to improve my efforts

This has been a good experience for me with this flood, it also helped determine where the water was coming in. I will he coating the walls with some sealant to protect it.

I also have another side affect from this flood. I have gotten a large amount of computers from people who dont want them. None were flooded, and its amazing what people will indeed throw away. So I am kind of back logged with organizing that stuff too.

All in all, I survived, no one around town got injured or killed. And most important: The Home theater is still going to happen!

As they say... "The show MUST Go on!"
post #28 of 35
From a fellow Wisconsinite, I feel your pain with water, we had about 12" of rain here in Sun Prairie (by Madison). Could have been worse for us, we just kept shop vac'n and shop vac'n to stay somewhat ahead of everything, emptied 35-40 12 gallon shop vacs full of water. So no standing water, just really soggy carpets.

Let us know how the water proofing goes I will be very interested in that. Sorry to hear about the tile, just get a big staple gun and staple them down. lol.
post #29 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well this sucks, all the posts ive made from the last week are gone Darn unreliable electronics!

Anyway to do a quick reposting,

The floor is coming along nicely, It has a few more days to go before its finished, after its done I will take some pics and post them on here (hopefully no more server crashes!)

I also picked up a pallet of LCD Monitors this past sunday, 8 of which I kept for myself, They are all HP 1740 17" LCD Monitors. They all need new screens, but if all goes well within the next 9 hours I will have new screens for them

I will be using 2 for my wallmount setup, and 4 for the PC's that go on the bench, I think all matching and flat panel will be a nice touch! (and less wasted space from Bulky CRT's!)

So for now thats it, Id like to thank FORCE, for the lost comments on here, and Id like to thank all who posted before the server crash!

For now i must return to the dark depths of the HT!
post #30 of 35
Its really a beauty dude.... Keep it up...
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