Design & Equipment Suggestions: $7,000 Projection Room [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Johnny B. Galt
12-04-2012, 06:20 AM
A buddy of mine asked for help, so I automatically thought this was the place! He's got a 10.5 by 22 foot room basement room. He is fortunate to have 9 foot high ceilings and $7,000 to turn it in to a theater room. No TV- he just wants projector and fixed screen. Gear will be in a closet on the side wall. Oh, and he wants 7.1 (or 2) with in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. I'm presuming the sub(s) will be regular cabinets- not in-wall... How would you spend the money?

Mr Peabody
12-04-2012, 05:07 PM
I'm not all that familiar with projectors but from the little bit I do know that and a screen will take a big bite out of $7k. So separate audio components are out.

Look at receivers: Marantz 7005, Denon 3313 or Yamaha 1020. These vary around $1k depending on deals. I wouldn't skimp hear he will need the power and features.

On a Blu-ray player you can get a decent Sony for $100.00 to $149.00 depending on model. If budget permits you can get an Oppo or Marantz around $499.00, these will be better in the audio and build quality but the Sony has good picture and features for cheap.

Seven speakers will take up some budget as well, you may have to look at more of a budget but decent performers like Infinity or JBL. Some of the best I have personally heard have been the Revel and Martin Logan. The entry level Revel may be competitive for your budget. If you find a speaker with more efficiency you can get away with a bit lower power receiver.

I personally favor SVS subs, Sound Experts | High Performance Audio Products at Manufacturer Direct Prices - SVS ( the best sub I've owned. This is an area with a lot of options though.

The above would be a good set up in my opinion, you can cut corners by using some of the no name in-walls or less of a receiver but if some one is going to be using this for entertainment a lot I'd spend the money and set it up right.

Johnny B. Galt
12-04-2012, 06:34 PM
Thanks! I put my "HT (TV) room", aka the "family room" together a year ago on a smaller budget. I have an Epson Powermate projector I use for backyard theater (projecting on a CampChef screen) but don't have any real experience with them in a dedicated environment. Speakerwise, I'm curious what people are using in-wall/ceiling. I use Paradigm AMS-150R-30s for my speakers and have been very happy with them. THey are in-ceiling but angled 30 degrees to help project to your listening position.

Mr Peabody
12-04-2012, 07:18 PM
I don't know the price of the Paradigm but I like their product. I personally wouldn't use in-wall unless necessary. In my living room where the kids watch TV most and myself rarely I put a 46" LED on the wall with a Revel 780 on each side and a 525 above for center. From the few in-walls I have heard installed I get the impression the in-wall will have the basic sound character of the manufacturer's other speaker products.

Is your Epson HD?

Johnny B. Galt
12-05-2012, 05:33 AM
Unfortunately, we don't have an A/V store (other than a Best Buy) within 120 miles of us so it is tough to get a good look (listen) to products. I think he is after in-ceiling with the thought that the screen will take up the front wall.

I realize $7,000 really isn't all that much if you are building a theater room. I'm usually on an even tighter budget and try to get as much bang as possible for my buck. I went in-ceilings for my room because the center channel didn't leave me with any other real options as I built a stacked-stone fireplace in the center of things. I did mount my Panasonic 55ST30 on it but my wife objected to the Paradigm Millenia 20 hanging off. I'm a big Paradigm fan (I wish we had a dealer nearby!) and have them everywhere. If I heard other manufacturers, I might have a different opinion. My Paradigm in-ceilings were about $300 a piece. They have a hybrid in-wall that I've been intriqued by... But, I look at Paradigm because that is what I know.

I have Paradigm subs that I've had for a while. I told him to check out HSU for a sub. In his space, I thought it might be nice to have a second sub to smooth things out but this is speculation on my part.

Projectors are the big unknown. My Epson EX5210 works great for my use (box says HD-ready and has HDMI) and was only $500 at Sam's Club. It's a business projector but I hook it up to an old Denon 2103 and it's showtime outside. I'd think he would probably want something more- but what? While several of my own components were picked off the Home Theater/Sound and VIsion magazine's "Recommended Products" list, their entry-level projector is the Benq W7000 for $2,999. Should half his budget go for the projector?

Mr Peabody
12-05-2012, 07:13 AM
I wish I could help you on the projector, I knew it would take a large piece of the budget. Where are you located? I have a friend who is an installer/dealer who may be able to help. Even if you are a long way I can get you some prices and just have some gear shipped. He doesn't have Paradigm, he carries Revel, JBL and Monitor Audio, Canton as well but I'm not sure if they make in-wall. He also carries other brands more only accessible to installers. I'll run your project by him to see if I can get an idea on projectors and pricing. The one he uses a lot is a JVC but it's double the price of the one you saw in S&V. By the way HSU seems to be a good choice by what I've seen users say of them. I might be able to get some good prices on receivers. You being in the middle of no where we shouldn't have any issues with other dealers. My email works here if you email me it would be better to send you the info that way.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
12-05-2012, 09:34 AM
If you really want to understand how to build a dedicated theater for $7000(which is a start IMO), then visit My strong recommendation is to design it first, and get a layout before you consider any equipment. Second, think about acoustics. Basements have notoriously bad acoustics, especially in the bass region because of the solid walls in the room. Once you get your design done, then you start thinking about equipment.

In ceiling speakers are a no no. Its not because of the quality of the speakers out there, it is because sound coming from above is very imprecise because of the angle it hits our ears. In walls can be good for the surrounds and the front three speakers if you can find high quality ones.

My strongest advice is to get around folks who have built their theaters(AVSforum), and get you a design put together before you even think about anything else. Also do your research before spending a dime. Study THX viewing distances and viewing cone so you learn where to place your seats in respect to the screen. Study THX audio standards so you get the right equipment for the job.

$7000 will get you started, and you could put together a decent system. Your projector, screen, and acoustical stuff will dig deep into that. I should also consider chopping the rooms length down to give it a little more symmetry. Maybe shorten the length to 17 or 18ft, and use the rest to house the equipment. The larger the room, the more power requirement you will have - the more expensive the equipment will be. Just food for thought.

I would not purchase a receiver(which is probably what you will have to start with) that does not Audyssey EQ in it. Preferably Audyssey MultiEQ XT at the minimum.

As a person who has done this quite a few times, doing research, and getting a design is the most important thing you can do right now. That is the foundation you should build on.

If you have any more questions, let me know.

Here is a couple of website to visit for projectors and screens. Not only do they have calculators, but great information, and great projector/screen packages. I have purchased three projectors from projectorcentral, and they have great customer services and very knowledgeable people as well.

Johnny B. Galt
12-06-2012, 04:33 AM
Thank you both for the suggestions. I will be looking at AVS and the projector sites. Another option may be to have a professional do the project. Are there some guidelines/questions to ask? Is CEDIA certification a must have?

Sir Terrence the Terrible
12-06-2012, 08:48 AM
Thank you both for the suggestions. I will be looking at AVS and the projector sites. Another option may be to have a professional do the project. Are there some guidelines/questions to ask? Is CEDIA certification a must have?

If you get a professional to do it, then most of your money would be gone before you have really purchased anything. With a $7000 budget, this is a definate DIY project if you can manage it. Overnight I found a very good resource for you to check out. The website is called I downloaded a sample of the book, and it is really quite good - a really good $50 dollar investment.

12-14-2012, 01:21 AM
$7k is a lot of money, but I advice that you will buy mostly those items in just one store. Pick out the best, like the best DVD player, speaker and the best home theater receiver ( brand.