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Old 03-06-2007, 09:37 PM   #1
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Home Theater Help!


We are about to move and are planning to build a home theater in our attic. The room we are planning to build it in is a 17' x 12', and we are wondering how big the screen should be, along with the projector type. We are also looking to hire a contracter, and are wondering if there are any tips we should be aware of. Another factor is the home audio system, such as what brand it is, the sound quality, etc. Help would be much appreciated!

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Old 03-06-2007, 10:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kiwibird View Post
We are about to move and are planning to build a home theater in our attic. The room we are planning to build it in is a 17' x 12', and we are wondering how big the screen should be, along with the projector type. We are also looking to hire a contracter, and are wondering if there are any tips we should be aware of. Another factor is the home audio system, such as what brand it is, the sound quality, etc. Help would be much appreciated!
It will depend somewhat on the projector you pick, but 8 feet wide is middle of the road for a lot of HT owners (including me).

If you are going to ceiling mount the proj. you'll need to run cable - typically component, HDMI, or both - and you'll need an outlet on the ceiling. Look for a receiver with a lot of inputs (w/ a couple component ins, and at least one component out). You can then use your receiver as a "switcher". I have a Pioneer 7.1 channel. Cost about $200. Works great and has excellent sound. Try to match your speakers if you can.

Infocus and Optoma HT projectors are very highly rated. I have an Infocus 4805, and I love it. Bulbs are rated for a couple thousand hours. Of course they can go sooner, and they are expensive to replace ($300-400). Mine is about 2 yrs old, 1000 hours and still on bulb #1 [knock on wood].

You'll want very good light control.

You can easily spend a TON of money, but you really don't have to. If you're willing to do a little work yourself it's easy to do a DIY screen and mount. My screen is just the wall, sanded smooth and painted flat white. I bordered it with a frame made trim pieces and covered with black felt-like material. The whole set-up was less about $1500. Friends are amazed when they see it the first time. I did not buy the expensive HT seating as we like our couches better anyway.

Here are a couple of very good sites:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=68
http://www.projectorcentral.com
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=3

Great plavce for cables:
http://www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp

Good luck!
Ben

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Old 03-07-2007, 03:57 AM   #3
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you'll want to do your research, but amongst the most important features of a projector are it's contrast ratio (higher the better), it's brightness, and native resolution.

don't forget a quality screen as well, it has it's own gain rating, it isn't "just a white surface"

DLP technology is a pretty popular technology these days.

It all depends on your budget...
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:09 AM   #4
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You should go to a Home Theator store that specializes in these.
It should not cost you anything to go in with your dimensions and speak to them. They will be able to share alot of information with you.

Do research on the internet to get ideas and more understanding about how it all works....

If you are willing to spend the money, such Home Theator stores do home installations and are connected with contractors who specialize in that.

You could also look into the yellow pages (paper or online) for your area and find contractors who do home theator installs....

As Element said. a key factor here is; "it all depends on your budget" ...You could spend 'thousands'...or you could spend 'tens of thousands'...

Another option-
(If you are handy: To save money, my advice would be to do tons of research, speak to others who have installed in their own homes. Buy a book or magazine on it. Speak to knowledgable sales people and make it a DIY project)
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:28 AM   #5
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ME = Derrr....

..... I just realized/noticed that there is a Home Theater Forum on this sight ....Post any questions you have there and I'm sure you will have many useful replies....

Good Luck
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:22 PM   #6
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Thanks to all of you who helped us with our home improvement project! Help is still much appreciated though! This information will really help us. Just a big thanks to all of you !
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Old 03-11-2007, 01:06 PM   #7
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Hey, one more big consideration for this project -- how far will you be sitting from the screen? I would let this determine much of the visual aspect of your work. As a general rule you want to sit back from the screen (from you eyes while seated to the screen) at least 2.0 times the width of the screen. So if you plan on a 7' screen, you want to sit at least 14' back from it. This would be hard to pull off in a 17'x12' room, and only the back row would be that far back. If your seating will be toward the middle of the room even a few feet, you may find you don't need a projector, or want a smaller screen in the 5' to 6' range.

Here's what they say at one Home Theater site about this, and below is a link to another with great info on configuring a dedicated home theater. The link is from Axiom Audio, and they also sell great speakers, which are the heart of a great HT in my opinion. Good luck and have fun - it's a great thing to set up.

From Projector Central.com:
"So as you plan your theater's layout, be aware that watching a very big screen from a close distance is physically demanding. Have you ever tried to watch a tennis match from side court in the first row? Your head is moving constantly and your eyes go buggy. It is not a pleasant experience. If you go too big with your screen, you will have the same effect. The huge image might have awesome impact for the first 30 minutes of viewing, but it will be a chore to watch it for long periods of time."

From Axiom Audio: http://www.axiomaudio.com/dedicatedhometheaterroom.html

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