This is my first post so I'll start with a little introduction. My name is Frank, i'm 27 years old and live in SE Pennyslvania. I've been a long time lurker of this forum and finally can contribute something! My fiance and I bought our first home earlier this year and I finally get to build a pretty basic home theater setup. Sadly, this won't be to the same scale as most of the builds here, but I'm very excited for it and it will suit all of our needs. Unfortunately this won't be a projector setup. I know it would have been a much more immersive experience, but I was looking for a decent all around build with a pretty modest budget.
Goals of the build:
TV & Surround Sound:
- Larger screen than we currently have upstairs in our living room.
- Surround sound
- Home automation
- Hardwired home network
- DIY Equipment Rack
- Television: Sony XBR-65X750D - Picked this up during a recent Labor Day sale for $1199. I had $400 in Best Buy rewards from when we purchased appliances. Was able to get it for under $900 out the door.
- Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR626 - Picked this up brand new in the box for $100 from a local guy on Craigslist. This should do the trick for what I need. I know it isn't the newest or best, but it has all of the functions I required and I couldn't beat the price.
- Front Speakers: Polk Audio 65RT Vanishing Series - $90 each on Amazon! - I really wanted a clean in-wall setup. I'd love a really nice set of towers or bookshelf speakers, but had to make some sacrifices to function for form.
- Center Channel: Polk Audio 255C-RT - $195 on Amazon - Same reason as the others
- Rears: Bose 161s - I went back and forth a long time with these. I was just going to run 65RTs in the rear, but I didn't think the room layout really allowed for them. These are the only speakers my fiance didn't mind having mounted on the wall. I'll probably replace them some day.
- Subwoofer: Definitive Technology Supercube 2000 - Picked this up on Craigslist for $100. It looks really lightly used. I love how small it is, but now after reading some reviews I kind of regret buying it. We'll see how it does before I consider replacing it.
- CATV - Verizon Fios
- Amazon FireTV
Eventually I will do a 7.1 setup. It's pretty easy for me to run wires in my basement. Just going to hold off for now on the other two speakers.
- Switch: 24 Port Netgear Switch
- Patch Panel: Some no name one from Amazon
- Cable: Cat6 throughout house terminated at Keystone plates
- Wifi Access Points - Eero Wireless Access points on each floor - Got these for a great deal from a co-worker who bought too many
I plan to run two cat6 cables pretty much to any location in the house that has a RG6 jack already. Then just a few additional ones to my office and other locations in the house.
DIY Equipment Rack
- I have a great utility room in my basement. It's about 10x12 and the only thing in there is a water softener, and bunch of junk that I need to build shelves for and my larger power tools that I don't have a home for in my one car garage. I considered buying a rack, but found some neat 20U rails on Amazon for $28. I have a pretty solid background in woodworking (father has been a carpenter for 40 years), so I really like the idea of building a rack that does exactly what I want. All of this will go in this utility room. I'll go more in depth as I begin to build this and talk more about what I used to create it. I have a vision in my head, but I haven't put it to paper yet.
- I have an iPad Air laying around that never gets used. It was one of those things where I thought I'd use it a ton, but in reality it just sits in my desk drawer 362 days of the year. This seemed to be a great candidate as my remote. So I'll be using a Logitech Harmony Hub to control everything with the iPad. Also plan to use Insteon wall switches so that I can set lighting scenes with the Harmony. The electrician who wired the basement also did a weird job and put all of the switches to each zone completely out of the way. This will allow me to control everything with the iPad or an Insteon keypad at the top of the stairs.
Here is a shot of the TV mounted and the front Polk Audio speakers roughly mounted in place:
Here is one of most of the space I am working with in the basement: