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Retrofitting Dedicated Home Theater

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi,
This is my very first post here. Friend of mine who just bought 8 yrs. old house which has a dedicated home theater room. The equipment room is located across the corridor. Previous owner took all of the existing equipment such as receiver, amplifier, control equipment etc leaving all of the cables hanging in the rack. I am helping my friend to restore the home theater back to normal. I need help in the following:

1. All speakers are concealed and cover with screen cloth panels. I'm not sure if the subs are powered or need separate amplification. If the subs are in fact not powered, what are my options for the amplification? I am planning to use Onkyo TX-NR709 or HT-RC370 receiver.

2. A new Universal remote control will be needed to control projector, receivers, amplifier, light Dimmers and curtain. I am not sure what type of light dimmers are in the Equipment room. (See attached pics) I would like to control all of this equipment/lights/curtain using one remote control from the Theater. I need help in understanding the concept of controlling all gears in Equipment room from the Theater. Is it IR or RF? Do you think Harmony 890 with Z-wave will do the job?

3. If I need new light dimmers, which one should I use that can be compatible with the Harmony 890 remote (if that's used)? open for other options as well.

Open for any suggestions. I 'm here to learn.

Thank you very much in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 4
>>I'm not sure if the subs are powered or need separate amplification.
>>If the subs are in fact not powered, what are my options for the
>>amplification?

You can tell if they're powered by checking the wiring that runs to them - if unpowered, you'll have speaker wires (hopefully they're labeled); if powered, you'll have RCA cables. If unpowered, the choices are usually either pro rack mount power amps (like used for PA systems), or "plate" amps. Need more info on what the subs are to determine how much power is needed.

>>Do you think Harmony 890 with Z-wave will do the job?

I use a Lutron GrafikEye lighting controller, and control it with a Harmony 880 remote - works pretty well. There are certainly many other options.
post #3 of 4
The installation looks professional. I would try and find whoever did the original design and installation and hire him to do the equipment install.

You can tell on the subs based on the speaker cables. Count and match all the speaker cables to speakers. Does this installation have other zones (speakers in the bedroom, family room, patio?) After you have accounted for wires for all the speakers whatever is left is for the subs. If it is speaker wire, the subs are likely unpowered. If it is coax with rca plugs, it is likely powered subs.

Since all the other equipment was yanked, are you absolutely sure the subs are still there? The seller probably would have considered them as equipment, not furnishings.

Overall, that is an intimidating bundle of wires, and it all looks unlabeled. Hard to tell from the pictures.

Bottom line. Get help.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much:
The sub woofer cables are open ended (Just like speakers) so it is non-powered subs. I will start looking to the Amp options per syour suggettions. I agree, I need to find out more detail on subs specially power ratings and impedance. Jayn_j, good point. I didn't put extra effort to check for subs...i thought they must me conceal in the wall just like other speakers or under the floor. I will look into the detail.

I will look into the Lighting controller.

Some cables are labelled; some are incorrectly marked and some are not identified at all. However, i'm not that concerned as many cables are not going to be used. The house is quipped with the zoned audio system only on the main floor and i have already took care of that.
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