Originally Posted by jhughy2010
Very thoughtful post. I too dream to one day have a "White Oaks Cinema Theater" but know that it takes a lot of time, patience and hard work to save up the amount of money it takes to attain such a beautiful possession.
I'm a bit younger than auburn008 (31) but have been able to make quite a bit of use with my space and income. What I would recommend is just keeping the hobby "alive" but keeping it reasonable and in perspective. What I mean by that is understand that this hobby shouldn't be your "life". It is easy to see how much of an energy drain (both time, money and mental/physical energy) that this hobby can cost. My wife wouldn't tolerate me spending every penny on this hobby. In fact, a few times when I have, I was in hot water for it.
Perhaps start with investing a little bit of money in a nice flat screen TV. Heck, you can get a nice 60" 4k television for less than $2,000 these days. Then get yourself a nice receiver that'll last a few years if not longer. Maybe budget $500 for the receiver. Then the speaker purchase... start reasonably affordable but focus on quality and not size. If you can pull of floor standing speakers for the fronts than do it. Otherwise a 5.0 bookshelf set-up might be nice. Then get yourself one nice sub.... I'm partial to PSA but there are many others to choose from. BAM! Now you have a theater for under $5,000 and if you sit close enough to that TV then you'll have an immersive experience just like with a projector.
Once you get just a 5.1 system set-up with a nice television then you can waist many many hours calibrating it and perfecting it. This is where you really learn the hobby... interaction with us here on the forum and figuring out how your equipment works. You might be satisfied for a few months or a year just by tinkering with what you got.
Then comes the real fun in my opinion... when you tweak your space to your liking to find the best possible solutions for what you have to work with. Moving furniture, treating walls, switching out a speaker here or there. Purchasing another sub, etc.
Once you get the A/V stuff pretty much under wraps (have a good grasp and understanding with it) you might consider media streaming. Auburn has a sick set-up! Personally I have built many many computers and am working right now on the sickest media streaming server. You can keep this simple and clean or you can make it crazy cool and "grandiose" like Auburn did. Auburn did a great job and in fact my network infrastructure ideas came specifically from this thread. Unfortunately for myself I am doing my whole house post build... so I'm dealing with crawling around in an attic filled with insulation. Still though, it isn't bad and I'm having a lot of fun doing it. Since I cannot afford to do it all in one sitting I'm having to do a little bit at a time. But that is the fun of it in my opinion. Finding the balance and building what you can.
Thank you so much for your comment and the time you took to write it, every word really helps when you're sort of grasping for straws!
Definitely, the hobby wouldn't become my life, nor is it a situation of me finding just the next big thing. I genuinely love A/V things, exceedingly enough to the point where I'd like to create a genuine cinema experience in my own future home.
This would be, by far, the largest undertaking I could imagine for myself. In the sense of a DYI perspective. I've built my own gaming computer and took months and months of researching and scouring the web for the best components I could, while also trying to understand what pieces wouldn't really be giving me back what I'm spending (diminishing returns). But a HT would be years and years of research, and saving! I don't exactly need to have Auburn's same exact build, but I definitely will aim for it. If I can never afford it (time/space/money), at least I'll have something I can still be proud of, because if I have even half of what he has, I'm pretty sure I'll be more than okay :joy:
Black Friday of 2014 I bought a 65" Vizio M series television. I also bought the biggest 5.1 Vizio soundbar system they offered (they stopped making it after, and the successor is less powerful and smaller, so I got lucky). I am incredibly happy with what I have, especially after calibration. If I had to live with just a great flatscreen and 5.1 system for the rest of my life, I'd be content. But I'm going to work very hard to be beyond content and strive for great things that I and my family and friends can enjoy immensely.
The next step, I think, would be to try my hand at getting a projector and graduating to a full on receiver and official 5.1 system. But I have no idea what sort of projector would give me the best bang for buck, what kind of receiver to get, or if I should find a decent home theater in a box, or buy separate components.
But like you said, part of the fun of it is in doing these things yourself and taking time. In my experience, like with building my computer, you learn all the ins and outs, and if ever there's a problem, you know all the parts to the thing and can diagnose it easier. The pride of knowing you did it yourself is great, but pride is impractical compared to the knowledge of the specifics and placement of your components - at least to me.
Ultimately, my goal (if my fianc? and I can get where we want to with our careers in the future) is to have my own house built with a few bedrooms - one being specifically for a theatre. I absolutely love the size of Auburn's... perhaps I'd make mine a little larger to support a larger screen. And that's why I want to start planning these things now, so I can save all I can and be where I want to be by the time I'm 40 or 45. Thankfully my wonderful fianc? is completely on board and we share a lot of the same aspirations.
I'm sorry for this being so long winded, but this is the biggest goal I have that's on the back burner until I can bring it up and start cooking one day. Again, I really appreciate the suggestions!