Allocating budget to various components - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-22-2020, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Allocating budget to various components

We've been in our house for 10 years now, and we're finally starting to think about actually using our media room for its intended purpose (rather than using it as a giant closet).


The room is pretty large, 13'6" x 18', so it really needs a 75+" screen. It is pre-wired for both side and rear speakers, and the positioning of the connections makes me believe that a 5.1 setup won't work well. (The side speakers connections are literally beside the main seating position, and the rear speaker connections are only about 5' apart.)


Budget for the A/V equipment (TV, AVR, subwoofer, and speakers) would be about $4,000, so goodbye OLED dreams.


I haven't purchased anything more complex than a replacement TV or a soundbar for a number of years, so spec'ing out a full-on home theater system is a bit overwhelming. In particular, it isn't clear how a $4K budget should be allocated between the various components. A simple Google Shopping search, for example, shows 75" LED TVs for anything from $800 to $2800; speakers and receivers have similar wide price ranges. So I could easily spend $2800 on the TV and only $1200 for all of the audio components or vice versa.


I'd love to get some ideas on how to "balance" a setup like this.


Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-23-2020, 10:06 AM
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I’ll be the first to comment and first as if you have considered a projector setup. With a room that size and that it was intended to be a dedicated media room I have to think it is crying out for front projection.

Your budget isn’t a lot but is well within building a really nice say 120” front projection room complete with some great sound to go with it. Many people just assume front projection is for the uber-wealthy.

What will your content be? If it is blu ray or streaming, cable or satellite etc. a 1080p system with 5.2 or so audio with a nice DVR and all the rest should be easy to do for $4k or less and have money left to treat the room to theater specs.

Another misconception is that you can’t have a little controlled lighting in the room so for family viewing the room doesn’t have to be pitch black.

Just food for thought.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-23-2020, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
I’ll be the first to comment and first as if you have considered a projector setup. With a room that size and that it was intended to be a dedicated media room I have to think it is crying out for front projection.

We have considered a projector. In fact, the room is "pre-wired" for a projector, with a power outlet on the ceiling and a conduit running to the front of the room. Ultimately, we just don't like either the appearance of the projector or the inconveniences that go along with them. One of the reasons that we're starting to think about this at this time is that the price for a "big enough" may now be something that we're willing to spend.



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What will your content be? If it is blu ray or streaming, cable or satellite etc. a 1080p system with 5.2 or so audio with a nice DVR and all the rest should be easy to do for $4k or less and have money left to treat the room to theater specs.

Blu-rays, streaming, live sports, and DVDs; basically everything except gaming. With the 720p sports and DVDs, good upscaling will be important.


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Another misconception is that you can’t have a little controlled lighting in the room so for family viewing the room doesn’t have to be pitch black.

Indeed. I actually hate sitting in the dark.


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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Just food for thought.

Welcome to the Internet! Ask for help narrowing down options and get more options.


Thanks for the feedback!
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-23-2020, 02:22 PM
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Didn’t want to pull you in yet another direction. In defense of projectors and simplicity We turn ours on around 6:00 each evening after dinner and it goes off between midnight and 1:00 am. We flip between OTA TV, streaming TV, BD/DVD, and our HTPC setup going to anyplace web surfing leads. We eat and drink in the room and unless we are watching a serious dark movie there is enough light to feel social. We don’t have a screen we have a DIY screen wall so we are free to change the image size between 60” –110” and we do just that because DVD no matter how you do it doesn’t look stealer super huge but modern BD and UHD BD look amazing huge. Everyone in the family runs it without many problems.

I understand the desire for the new flat panels also and if that’s your preference you are for sure in the majority today.

I guess the simple answer in the division of finances will boil down to how important sound quality is or picture quality is to you. My guess is about 2/3 picture 1/3 sound.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-24-2020, 05:33 AM
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I agree with bud16415 in that you should 1st consider if video or audio quality is most important for you. Perhaps another way to allocate funds is to think about which components have longevity and spend more funds there. You're more likely to upgrade your video / sources (tv/bluray) , power (avr) and lastly speakers as new standards are introduced.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-10-2020, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I just wanted to say to thanks to those who responded.


We ultimately "over-pivoted" to the video side. We ended up with the following:


  • TV - Sony XBR-85X900F - $2800
  • AVR - Onkyo TX-ZR730 - $500
  • Front speakers - Infinity SM-120 - $170 to repair woofers & 1 cabinet
  • Center speaker - Polk S35 - $200
  • Side speakers - Yamaha NS-IW470WH - $150
  • Rear speakers - Yamaha NS-IC800WH - $108

We haven't purchased the sub-woofer(s) yet, but the Best Buy points that we earned with the TV & speaker purchases will more than cover a single SuperCube 2000.


Thanks for the ideas!
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-10-2020, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipilcher View Post
I just wanted to say to thanks to those who responded.


We ultimately "over-pivoted" to the video side. We ended up with the following:


  • TV - Sony XBR-85X900F - $2800
  • AVR - Onkyo TX-ZR730 - $500
  • Front speakers - Infinity SM-120 - $170 to repair woofers & 1 cabinet
  • Center speaker - Polk S35 - $200
  • Side speakers - Yamaha NS-IW470WH - $150
  • Rear speakers - Yamaha NS-IC800WH - $108

We haven't purchased the sub-woofer(s) yet, but the Best Buy points that we earned with the TV & speaker purchases will more than cover a single SuperCube 2000.


Thanks for the ideas!

As far as audio goes, a good set of speakers can make a mediocre receiver sound great, but a bad set of speakers can make a great receiver sound mediocre. The receiver you picked out is a fairly decent one. As far as the speakers go, you could pop over to the Speaker Forum, post which receiver you are thinking about and your price point for the speakers and see what the suggestions are.


With regards to the room lighting, during the evening we use a bias light (MediaLight) which gives us just enough light to walk around without stumbling over the furniture and really improves the pq when properly setup reflected off of a neutral colored wall.

I never trust an atom, they make up everything.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-12-2020, 03:14 PM
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I think you made a fine choice focusing on your video. Your receiver is going to do great things, and speakers are easy to upgrade later. Just as much of your audio performance is due to the room and speaker placement as it is the speakers themselves, so make the most of what you have with proper placement and simple acoustic treatments like carpets, furniture, artwork, wall hangings, etc. -- 7.1 was the right choice for your pre-wiring.
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