Putting in 3 new home theaters in. HELP!? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-29-2007, 01:36 AM
To anyone who can help:

I'm setting up 3 movie theaters in the house. One is an actual screening room, the other two will be projector systems, as well. In the screening room, I have a THX speaker set up. Not sure of the models, but the center channel is square, with 4 small speakers, the two fronts are tower type speakers, the 2 rears are recessed into the wall. The sub is huge and recessed into the floor, I think it's about 4' long?
My screen is a Stewart and the diagonal on it is 144" and the throw distance from screen to projector is 18.5'.
I'm thinking of replacing the old Vidikron with a Mitsubishi native 720 DLP projector in that the lowest priced 1080p I can find is a Sony for about 5k, but the sony only has 900 ANSI lumens and I'm a bit afraid that won't be quite bright enough for the throw distance.
Any thoughts on projectors and AMPS that can work for this room? Best Buy wants to sell me their highest end Pioneer amp and highest end surge protector/power conditioner, as well. I've looked at the specs and it seems I can get virtually the same features on a much lower priced amp through Best Buy (lower end Yamaha or Sony or even Pioneer). Also, it seems the power conditioning/surge protection can be had for lower costs, as well.
With a screen size of 144" diagonal and a throw distance of 18.5 feet, am I going to be able to tell the difference between a really good 720 DLP projector and a 1080p playing it through an upconvert DVD player? What if I spend the $1,200 on a LG player that does both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD? I'm not cheap, but I don't feel like spending an extra $7,000 for the projector & Hybrid DVD player if it's not going to be that much more visually appealing vs. waiting a year or two for more 1080p movie titles to hit the market & the costs of a 1080p projector to decline.
Any thoughts on this?

However, for my "mancave" I'm using an Optoma HD70 projector against a wall with special paint for movie projectors and for sound, I'm using an NHT (now hear this) speaker system of 2 Absolute Zero bookshelf speakers, one of NHT center channel speaker and NHT iw3 side fills and an SVS 10" sub. This will be the identical set up, actually, for the basement as well. For an amp, I'm using any one of several that are available through Best Buy. There seem to be a lot less costly Pioneer amps than Best Buy's top of the line Pioneer for $1000 that appear to do the same thing in terms of plugging in a microphone and having it calibrate to the room. The total harmonic distortion is different, sure, but for the sake of .03%, I think my ear can live with it, right?

I'm more affluent in terms of the video side of things than the audio, so I'm looking for some help from anyone out there that really has an idea of what they are doing in this world of audio/video. Since I am buying all my components through Best Buy, can anyone help?

The last part of my question is: I bought an Xbox 360 through Best Buy, as well. I haven't taken it out of the box yet, so, since it's nearly April 1st, should I just take it back and buy the one that comes with a bigger hard drive and the HDMI cable? Keep in mind, the projector that I'm using supports everything up to 1080i. The T.V. on the opposite side of the movie wall will have a 1080p T.V. on it (bedroom).

So, talk to me like I'm a 4 year old when explaining things to me, people. I want the best value for my buck. Just because I'm putting in several theater systems, doesn't mean I want to be raped on the cost of components, as well.

If possible, could anyone please write me back on my personal email listed below. As I am new to all of this, I have a difficult time finding my way back to the original posts, etc.

Thanks to anyone that can help,


03-29-2007, 02:53 PM
Too much information here for me, and I suspect for you, too. It's a little disconcerting that you don't know what the speakers in your screening room happen to be, let alone that you're buying all of this relatively esoteric equipment from Best Buy. If ever there were someone on an A/V forum in desperate need of a specialty dealer, it's you. Short advice: From my vantage point, it's very difficult to size up someone's environment. You're worried about the Sony's lumen count? I can't begin to enumerate the basic complications involved with installing a front projection home theater. Geez, your screen might not be the correct size or type to support a high-quality hi-def image, anyway, given the room and your choices of projector. The screen gain might not be appropriate for seating at a proper distance; ambient light might interfere with black level and color integrity; the screen composition might soften your picture unnecessarily. The pitfalls and contingencies are endless so long as screen, room, and projector aren't matched correctly. Once everything is set up, you might get lucky and have it look "okay" (a relative assessment at best), or you might end up wondering why your neighbor's little CRT looks so much better than your far more expensive and elaborate digital home theater. Big and expensive isn't always better--nor is saving money on expensive equipment by going to the wrong place to buy it.

Do yourself a favor. Run, don't walk, to your nearest high-end video emporium. Tell them what your budget its. Let them come to your house with a light meter, a tape measure, and a boat load of expertise. I'm betting that the job done right, even with equipment scaled down from what you think you want now, doesn't have to cost much more than what Best Buy is offering you. You need more practical information than is convenient, even possible, to give you here. What's a guy like you doing in a place like this?

Mr Peabody
03-29-2007, 06:48 PM
In addition, why would you spend $7k on video and then cheap out on audio? As in video, generally, you get what you pay for with audio as well. And as Edtyct said, paraphrasing, for God sakes stay out of Best Buy and find some place with higher quality gear and know how. Take specs with a grain of salt and actually listen to some of the audio gear. For a high quality screening room you really should consider a separate processor and multi-channel power amp.

03-29-2007, 11:28 PM

I think the best thing to do would be to develop a game plan with each system having it's own budget and goals. That's the first obstacle. So, do you know what your overall budget is for audio? If so we can then break it down into 3 parts and make sure that each room meets your needs. Keep us posted...we can help you out.