AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I'm new here and a bit overwhelmed by all the information. But this looks like a great place to get help. We are just about to undertake our basement remodel, and I'm trying to figure out what we need to buy, and what sorts of outlets/connections we need to put in.



We have now: XBox360, Wii, DirecTiVo receiver (which I imagine we will need to upgrade to a newer high def one).


We are going to get a 46-52" flat panel tv. (We'll figure out exactly which one once we're ready to put one in.)


Am looking at 5.1 channel with subwoofers.


Imagine we will get a blu-ray disc player later on. Right now we just play DVDs on the XBox.


Writing this out, it doesn't seem too bad. I guess the A/V receiver is the thing I have no clue on.


Questions...


1) So I guess I need an a/v receiver for the 5.1 Channel sound + subwoofer, with RCA inputs for the Wii, HDMI input for the XBox360, HDMI? input for blu-ray dvd player. Anything else I should keep in mind? Any recommendations?


2) Having the receiver means I only need an HDMI cable and a power cable to the tv, right?


3) Speakers - I think in our setup that two in-wall speakers behind the couch, and then two shelf speakers for left/right in front. I'm not sure where we'd put the center speaker unless they come in a narrow size so that it will fit under the tv. How small do these things get? Also subwoofer - can it fit under the couch?


4) Circuits - Going by my list of components, will one dedicated circuit suffice?


I'm sure I'll come up with more questions later.
I will keep you posted on our progress.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,477 Posts
In any of your post's people will need to know your budget.

Look in the respective forums for each product.

Once you do a little more reading repost this in each forum.


scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I was hoping the "modest" in the title would describe the budget.
But I will go ask about receivers and speakers in their respective forums. There's still a few general questions in there though.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,477 Posts
Modest to some is $20,000 and to others $100. So if you can come up with a number it would be easier to give you recommendations.


Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,203 Posts
So very much related to Home Theater is subjective and opinion and emotion - even including the definition of Home Theater.


We bought a decent sized TV - 56in HD 1080p blah, blah, blah - VERY nice tv but we learned that TVs are called Home Theater displays by the makers and retailers that sell televisions but in practical use they are just little televisions.


We learned that real definition of Home Theater is to create in the Home as close as possible the experience of watching a film in a Commercial Theater which means a darkened room with non-reflective wall and ceiling treatments and a truly BIG screen which, today, no consumer made little television can provide.


So, since you haven't purchased your tv yet please let us offer our experience for your consideration and ask that you consider carefully shopping for a front projector and separate screen when you want the true WOW and WOWEEE Home THEATER experience and use television for what it is which is great for casual watching with the lights on and multiple things going on in the room.


You list with care components like receivers and speakers so remember that speakers and dvd players and game systems and receivers are no more than accessories that support the visual experience of the picture/image display.


We thought our 56in TV would create a Home Theater experience but, alas, it is just another version of that noisy box we all call television. When we turn down the lights and watch a movie begin with a 10 ft diagonal image we know we are about to have a true Home Theater experience and as close to a Commerical Experience as our room would allow us to create.

goodluck - hope you enjoy you set up when it is completed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Jay - yes, I totally know where you're coming from. But we're not actually trying to create a home theater, per se. Just something in between that and our current 19" tv.
Playing Rock Band on that sucker is no fun at all.
If there's a section for "not really a home theater system, but better than a sucky 19" tv", then maybe someone could move my post over there.



Okay, so after getting some help in the speakers forum and perusing the receiver options, I am looking at getting the Onkyo TX-SR606 ($369), which will have plenty of inputs for the things that I want. Probably a lot more receiver than I need, but all the 5-channel ones didn't seem to have the HDMI qualities that I may want. If anyone has any other suggestions based on my original post, let me know. Speakers I can get the Klipsch synergy series, B3-SS.5-SC.5 for about 450 bucks all together. I think those will work together? Subwoofer I will get later if I think I need it. They do have under-the-couch ones, I've found.


We've started our demolishing. Our downstairs is that lovely 70's wood paneling, and it is all coming down. While we have the walls down, we will add some more circuits and wire for everything. (Hence the circuit question. I guess since I have models in mind now, I can just crunch the numbers).


Last night we started removing the rock facade off the fireplace. It started off as just a little experiment to see how easy it was to chisel off the rocks. Found out it was incredibly easy and two hours later, fueled by excitement and caffeine, it was mostly done. Then I crashed, exhausted. Maybe not quite so easy. lol! I will put some pics up soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
I can't offer much advice as I'm new to this stuff too, but sounds like you're going to have a nice room when you get finished. I think the receiver is a good choice. I have the 674 and I absolutely love it. Good luck with it all, and can't wait for some pics.


And imjay, I am with you on the big TV vs. projector screen thing. I have a 50" LCD. It's cool and everything, but firing up the PJ and watching something on a screen bigger than myself is always a much cooler experience. In sugarbeth's case though, it sounds like a TV will be fine for what they want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a few simple pics of the "before". Notice our crappy 19" tv. (We got rid of all our furniture in anticipation of this remodel, which is why it looks so sad and pathetic.) My cute husband is in there too. Tomorrow I'll head to city hall to get my remodel permit. Then we'll start tearing out the paneling/drywall.








We will be putting the big tv over the fireplace (ducks the tomatoes). Let me get my arguments out of the way. 1. Space is limited. The half of the room that you can't see is where we have our computers, and toy storage. We spend a lot of time in here. 2. I want to have a big sectional so the whole family can snuggle up and watch movies together. 3. Putting the tv anyplace else makes it so you can't see the tv from the computer area, or makes a dead space behind the sofa, or puts the fireplace behind the sofa. I have a about a billion sketchup layouts trying to fit the tv anywhere else and it just doesn't work. 4. My dad has the exact same dimensions on his tv/fireplace setup, and it is quite comfortable, and his sofa is even closer than ours will be. 5. More people will have a good line of sight to the tv this way.


The first thing to take care of is the fireplace. This is the trickiest part of the whole plan. We are putting gas inserts into both of our fireplaces at the same time. I need to figure out the best plan for getting the wiring to the tv, probably building out the top half of the fireplace to make access. But then I'll need to build out the bottom half of the fireplace to match. I need to ask the city about this - there is a limit to the depth you can have to the flue. But I think because we removed the rock facade, we have at least that rock depth that we can build out the brick. I'll find out more how to proceed this week. Once we have this part figured out, I think the rest will be fairly straightforward.


So the plan - demo the walls, get the fireplace done, get the wiring/lighting done, put new drywall up, put in some built-ins surrounding the fireplace, and then it's all the pretty stuff.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh, and here's my sketchup plan. Never mind the colors/aesthetics. I was simply trying to see how things fit. The tree by the window is for a parrot. Not sure about the shelving in white - I just wanted to see how much storage I could get into that corner.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
update 10/9


Computer access is a little sporadic, as we've just torn out our downstairs living room (where the computers were). Pictures wil be a long time coming, but I will post them when I can later.


My FIL and I ripped out pretty much all of the drywall in one day. Holy crap was I worthless today I was so beat (and hungover from the after-work beers). My husband got off easy because he was working from home and his only job was to keep our son busy. But tomorrow our dumpster arrives so I'll be making him do the dirty job of loading the huge piles of drywall into that this weekend.


Our speakers and receiver arrived today. I got that Onkyo 606 that everyone seems to love. I got some Klipsch synergy series speakers - bookshelf, center, and rear surrounds that can hang on the wall. Holy moly for being relatively smallish speakers, they sure seem like they are huge. I bet they sound great. That receiver is a beast! I didn't realize they were so big and heavy until I had to lug it from the doorstep. My husband and I were debating between a 46 and 52" lcd, but now that we have these beefy accessories, I'm thinking we'll have to get the big one because it will just make more sense! We are really going to love watching movies at our house.


My FIL is computer network saavy, having worked in IT for many years. He brought over a giant spool of cat5 cable and we ran our network. We have two network cables going to where all the tv stuff is going to be, figuring we can use one for the xbox and one for the directv or something. Then we ran the cables from where our router will be to where the two computers will be. (We do have a wireless router, but I just wanted a regular cable as it seems to be less finicky and we have the wall open so its easy).


Next is just to clean up the drywall mess and then start doing all the outlet wiring that I want to do.


Another addition to our plans: we are going to swipe some closet space for a niche for shoes, cell phones and keys. Hopefully that will help me keep track of that stuff. Friends of ours just built a house with a shoe niche (basically a hole in the wall at floor level) and I thought it was genius. Shoe piles are a common sight at our house. It'll be nice to tuck them out of the way.


I'm also thinking that since this center channel speaker I've got is bigger than I thought, I think a perfect place for it is within the fireplace mantel under the tv. I think I can pull that off.


Hope no one minds my rambling. I like reading other people's project threads because it helps me coordinate the details. So maybe this will help someone else. This forum has been a great resource for learning about this stuff. Thank you for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Still no pictures, but hope to have them soon!


After a couple weeks of frantic work, our basement is totally rewired. We added 5 new circuits to the house in total (one for the new electronics, one for the computers, one for the ten bizillion recessed lights I just added, one for the microwave, and one for the bathroom). I used almost a 1000 feet of wire. My poor hands. They got so trashed. And I really need to not talk to people while I'm slicing wire sheathing with a utility knife. I'm loving all my new lights and their dimmers, though. It used to be so dark down there. We also have all the speaker wire run in the walls, and network cabling from the computer area to the tv area.


All is done to code and has been inspected, no worries.
Also had our gas line run for our new gas fireplace inserts.


Now we're putting up the drywall. Most of it is up and on the walls, but we still need to put in a ton of screws. And then mud of course. Oh, that will suck. It is a lot of walls.


The complicated part is trying to finagle the wires over the masonry above the fireplace. We have to fur out the fireplace to accommodate everything, and of course you have to do it with noncombustibles close to the opening. So it will be metal studs and cement board on the lower half, wood studs and drywall on the top half. I have a Power Assisted Tool (PAT) to help with bamming the furring onto the cement blocks (though I'll make my husband do that since that thing makes me nervous!) I want to place some sort of conduit for the hdmi cable from where the tv will be to the cabinet where the receiver will be. I need to figure that out still. That'll be the last piece of wall that goes up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak808 /forum/post/14987919


man if only my gf would work and be at least half as enthusiastic as you. Your husband is a lucky man.


Yeah, I'm the handy one in my family.
My husband is very patient and understanding of my many projects, but he doesn't know jack about wiring or plumbing, so I get stuck with that stuff. He's good for the heavy lifting, though, which is why he's in charge of the drywall portion of this remodel. (We did rent a drywall lift, too, and it was totally worth it.)


Speaking of, I think we've got 1/4-1/3 of the screws in the damn drywall. Ugh, it is so much work. I only weigh about 110 pounds, and it's very hard for me to get any weight behind these screws to sink them when they are being stubborn. So I am doing the ones on the lower half, and my husband can do the ones higher up, because I just cannot get the leverage. It's frustrating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yeah, we could definitely use a better cordless drill! We have a corded and a wussy cordless, and my FIL loaned us his dewalt. Anyhoo, it is all moot because my husband and our friend Bob took care of most of the screws last night - woo hoo!


I finally have a couple of pictures to post of the mess we made tearing out all the old paneling/drywall.






I'll get some more recent progress pics up soon, now that I have found my camera cable.


My other news is that I got a little note in the mail from Directv giving me a free HD-DVR receiver upgrade. I'd sent them an email a while back, asking if they had any special deals for me since I was a longtime loyal customer, and I didn't hear back from them which made me a little sad (I'd remembered all sorts of free stuff that they used to send to me long ago - coupons for free pay-per-view movies, stuff like that). But in the mail came this little thank you note. So that'll save me 200 bucks - yay!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So by now I'm probably past halfway with the drywall mudding. I have to say, it goes a lot easier when you thin that stuff out with water! How did I not know that before??


Our gas inserts are in and running as of today! Yay! We have fire! These things are nice and toasty. But you know, as blazing hot as it is right in front of the fireplace, it really isn't all that hot above the fireplace. And think with the mantle deflecting the heat even more, the tv won't be so bad off. I am loving this fire at the flip of a switch.


I tested out my speaker and network wires that are in the wall, just to make sure that they all work before I get too far gone with all the mudding, and they do work, thank goodness. I had a little anxiety with one of the network cables, but it was just the end that had a loose wire and it is all good now.


Getting ready for the tv...


So we are putting a big tv above our fireplace, furring out the wall to accommodate all the wires. The bottom half of the fireplace wall is furred with metal studs turned sideways, with hardiboard on top. The top half of the fireplace is furred out with 2x4's on their sides and will be drywalled. The fireplace is hollow cinderblock, which made this furring thing take DAYS.


Originally our plan was to use PAT fasteners (which is something like a gun with little bullets and makes me so nervous, but it is great for attaching studs to concrete), but they did not work for this particular application. First attempts, the charge was too small and did not penetrate the stud+cinder block. Second attempts were with the largest charge and it got the fastener in there just fine, but basically disintegrated the cinder block so the fastener was loose.


So we moved on to tapcon screws which worked fairly well, but sometimes were a little too loosey-goosey for me to be confident about them. We ended up using the tapcons only for the perimeter furring strips, but where the tv was going to be mounted, we used some really beefy sleeved anchors on the 2x4's (The kind that when you tighten them, they wedge themselves in from the back). Those things are not budging. So that's a relief. They will be anchored even more when we put the mount on and double the amount of fasteners going through the (4!) studs and cinder block. I do NOT want the tv coming off the wall and falling on one of my kids. So I am totally overdoing this. Yes, I am paranoid.



Anyhoo, our goal is to get the drywall finished, primed, and textured by this weekend. I think we can pull it off. Then I get to paint!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
I'd put some liquid nails behind the boards too. That will help "glue" it to the concrete and keep it from moving down the road.


I love my onkyo 606. Great receiver, make sure you leave enough room around it to breath, heat is not a receivers friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
I had a similar experience with both the Hilte and the Tapcons. I thought they'd work a lot better, being purpose-built and all.




The project is looking good so far - I'm subscribed for updates.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeEnterprise /forum/post/15119224


I'd put some liquid nails behind the boards too. That will help "glue" it to the concrete and keep it from moving down the road.


I love my onkyo 606. Great receiver, make sure you leave enough room around it to breath, heat is not a receivers friend.

Yep, we used Liquid Nails also, forgot to mention that. I think my husband thought that it was overkill, but "overkill" is my middle name.
And the plans call for a lot of breathing room for the receiver, so we should be good!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cybe /forum/post/15119449


I had a similar experience with both the Hilte and the Tapcons. I thought they'd work a lot better, being purpose-built and all.

I think the tapcons would probably work better in just straight concrete rather than the crumbly cinder block. Ah well.



So we got a new mount, the Sanus VMDD26 (I think those are the right letters/numbers). I found a pretty good deal on ebay, and also used the msn search/ebay/paypal cash back deal to get like 80 bucks back. That was sweet. The mount is VERY beefy. Omg. But I will feel a lot better with that mount.


The drywall is all mudded and textured, and now all it needs is some paint!


The texturing was a total nightmare. We have done this before, and we've never had as difficult of a time as this time. We kept getting the settings on the sprayer wrong, or the consistency wrong. And we'd spray some and then scrape it back off, try it again, and it still sucked and we'd scrape it off again. Finally we got it worked out and were able to get everything. Holy crap what a mess, though! We had plastic down and there was still tons of texture everywhere and embedded into our soles. We'd walk around and the plastic sheeting would stick to us. Ugh, it was awful! lol! Oh! and we also ran into technical difficulties when the coupler holding the compressor hose to the spray gun came off and exploded into several pieces, and which apparently have an infinite number of possible combinations to fit back together, but only one works.


I'm so glad it's over.
And I'm especially glad that I can now clean the rest of my house without the threat of drywall dust returning.


Oh, we also ordered our new tv. We got a 52" samsung ln52a80 from Best Buy during their thanksgiving sale. Ordered it online, though, to avoid any trampling. It will be here in a couple of weeks. It comes with free installation, even though we don't really need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,717 Posts
Hey good work so far on your build. It is very nice to see that a wife is the handy one around the house (no offense to your husband) my wife is also very handy around the house with the painting, staining, and general decorating. She has me for all of the plumbing, wiring, general remodeling, and heavy lifting.


She is definitely the brains of our operation where I'm the brawn. I am currently building a dedicated HT in my basement and I have taken her out of the loop for this project as the basement is MY project.



Oh well I digress the real reason I wanted to post is regarding the tapcon screws. One of the problems I had was the head snapping off while cinching them down tight. I had to be very careful when I was screwing them in. I did find that after predrilling it was better to clear the hole of the concrete dust from drilling to get the screw in tight. At my local Lowes there seemed to be two different type of screws using a phillips head. One was a "normal" sized slot the other was an over sized slot. For whatever reason I had better luck with the over size slot.


You picture of the drywall demo reminded me of tearing down my drywall! My wife left in the morning everything normal. Wife returns 12 hrs later looks like a bomb went off in her house. Needless to say I had some serious 'splaining to do. What a mess!


Keep up the good work and post some more pics when your able.


Regards,


RTROSE
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top