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Need help in setting up home theater!!

Wharfedale EVO 4.1 4.2 Speakers

satya

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Hi All,
I am a novice to the entire home theater arena and should thank all of u who poster earlier for so much of the information I picked up from this forum. Hoping you guys will also help in my decision making..

I have a room 13' X 17' in my new home which i would like to setup as a home theater. I love movies and my primary intention is to watch movies (Hindi and English) as I do not get to go to the theater as much with my little children. I am not an avid music person who can any subtle differences or nuances in audio. I would like to get some kind of a theater feel and hence am thinking of going for a projector/screen.

What should be a good budget for such a setup? I visited Vector at Hyderabad and they suggested me a
B&W 683 front speakers, HTM 61 center, DS3 DI-POLE surround speakers, ASW 610 sub woofer.
Also, for the receiver, DENON AVR 2309
and projector Panasonic AX-200E.
Including the screen and other cables/accessories, this is amounting to close to 5 lakhs.

Firstly, do I need to spend so much for my requirement or is this more than what I need?
Secondly, any feedback on the above suggested components and any suggested cheaper alternatives??

Looking forward to some feedback..
 

marsilians

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Hi Satya

Welcome to the forum! The costs for your components is at the higher end for most systems. usual pricing is around 1 - 1.5 lakhs for a very good HT system that will provide years of service and enjoyment.

Is there a particular reason you are choosing the projector instead of a TV? Reason I ask is that projectors need specific lighting conditions tolook right (usually dark background and very low level room lighting). A TV compensates this by way of internal video circuitry. Also, a projector, if prone, to folds or bumps will immediately ruin your experience.

So, start with a budget and decide what you want to go with and we can help from there.

Also, never ever go to a HT place ask them for a system configuration. It may the salesman's last sale before a big holiday :)
Otherwise take someone with you who is knowledgable and owns a system. Simply listening to one is not a very solid experience in choosing what you want since the options are too many and there is a huge cost of ownership to these things.

Good luck..
 
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satya

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Thanks for the quick response.. you are right.. I do feel that I am being taken for a ride at most of these places and am glad I found this forum!

Coming to the projector, I wanted a big screen so that I can get a better movie experience as opposed to an LCD TV. The larger LCD's that I looked at are way more expensive than a projector and I heard the some of the high end projectors do give good quality picture. Please let me know if I am completely off on this one.

Is your proposed budget of 1.5 lakhs only for speakers ( front, surround and sub woofer).

The estimate I got for the components above are 2.5l for speaker system, around 57K for receiver, around 1lakh for projector, 20k for screen, 25K for cables and so on.

Thanks..
 
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moserw

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Thanks for the quick response.. you are right.. I do feel that I am being taken for a ride at most of these places and am glad I found this forum!

Coming to the projector, I wanted a big screen so that I can get a better movie experience as opposed to an LCD TV. The larger LCD's that I looked at are way more expensive than a projector and I heard the some of the high end projectors do give good quality picture. Please let me know if I am completely off on this one.

Is your proposed budget of 1.5 lakhs only for speakers ( front, surround and sub woofer).

The estimate I got for the components above are 2.5l for speaker system, around 57K for receiver, around 1lakh for projector, 20k for screen, 25K for cables and so on.

Thanks..

Satya,

It's good to look around, in fact the more you look around the better, but don't finalize anything unless you have checked a lot of systems and feel its VFM. Expensive does not always mean better. There are a lot of guys from Hyderabad on this forum (including myself) who can help you out, so just ask. For 5 lacs you should have 5 HT systems in place and that too very good ones. Coming to the projector I would agree with marsilians. An LCD/Plasma would make more sense since a projector would need a dedicated viewing place, more maintenance in the long run and also would be more expensive in the long run with the costs of the bulb replacements etc. (IMHO, but I have had to throw away projectors simply cause the replacement bulb was not available/not being manufactured anymore). Based on your room size a 42" to 50" Plasma (my choice) or an LCD would be great. BTW for movies in SD/DVD/Divx etc. plasma would be a better choice (IMHO before I start a war in here).

Both Yamaha and Onkyo have great mid level HT systems which just rock for movies. I know marsilians will disagree with me here (just joking buddy) but Onkyo and Yamaha are not really good for music (actually no 5.1 system is for playing 2 channel/stereo music), but you will get the "theater feel" with a mid level Yamaha or Onkyo system. I have used Yamaha a lot previously and now use an entry level Onkyo and I can tell from personal experience they are just great for watching movies.
 
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Gurudristi

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since you are planning for a dedicated home theatre room, it would be worthwhile to invest into a good projector. Go for the DLP kind( minimum XGA resolution) rather than LCD type. From my experience DLP produces a smoother picture. If you can, go for a fixed screen rather than pull down. But do remember, the cost of ownership is quite high, since projector bulb have a very short life and cost of replacement is rather high.

Alternatively, you can go for a big plasma instead of an LCD. Plasma perform better in dim or darker rooms, have better and smoother image quality.

Denon is good, You could audition wharfedales for the 5.1 or 7.1 speaker set.
 
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satya

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Hi again,

moserw: Thanks for your genuine feedback. I do have a dedicated room for the home theater setup and hence would like to invest in a projector to get a larger screen experience. I am also boarding up one window to accomodate the screen which hopefully should address the lighting issues you mentioned. Would you recommend the Yamaha RX 1700? How does it compare to the Denon 2309.

Gurudristi: I am leaning towards Infocus x9 DLP projector around 1L. Any other suggestions? Will the Optoma HD 70 serve my purpose as well?

marsilians: My total budget that I am comforable is around 3L. One lakh for projector above, and ~50K for receiver should leave around ~1.5 lakh for speakers, cables, screen etc. Can u help me make any decisions along these lines?

Thanks!
 
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Gurudristi

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1). I will personally go with the Denon AVR 2309. An excellent Receiver. Are you buying from PROFX or the grey market?

If you have one vacant wall on the 13' side, then you get a fixed sceen fixed. or a powered roll down screen ( around 25K for 100'). You may not then need to board up the windows. You could find good black roll down screen to darken the room. In addition, they could be covered with dark thick drape curtains to block all the light.
Get a 16:9 ration screen.

2). Look at some of the NEC and canon projectors models. They are very good and reliable. I understand Canon produces some excellent picture.:cool:

3). you have a good budget,;) so you could look at some in-wall speaker packages from B&W or Jamo. Make sure that your wall can accomodate min 4" depth to accomodate the speakers. Alternatively, you could POP the wall.

Plan the home theatre wiring first... before you start.....:rolleyes:
 
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subhash

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Hi again,

moserw: Thanks for your genuine feedback. I do have a dedicated room for the home theater setup and hence would like to invest in a projector to get a larger screen experience. I am also boarding up one window to accomodate the screen which hopefully should address the lighting issues you mentioned. Would you recommend the Yamaha RX 1700? How does it compare to the Denon 2309.

Gurudristi: I am leaning towards Infocus x9 DLP projector around 1L. Any other suggestions? Will the Optoma HD 70 serve my purpose as well?

marsilians: My total budget that I am comforable is around 3L. One lakh for projector above, and ~50K for receiver should leave around ~1.5 lakh for speakers, cables, screen etc. Can u help me make any decisions along these lines?

Thanks!
hi,try out optoma HD65 ,,,its 720p but accepts 1080p ,pic quality is great,,i got mine for 65K last dec,,AVR--try out ONKYO-875 (90K) or 606 (abt 35k),,speakers try jamos concert sereies C809 or C409,,,dont spend too much on sorrounds u cud buy them separately ,,invest more on the L R C and subwoofer----happy hunting
 
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vemind

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Satya,
Both Yamaha and Onkyo have great mid level HT systems which just rock for movies. I know marsilians will disagree with me here (just joking buddy) but Onkyo and Yamaha are not really good for music (actually no 5.1 system is for playing 2 channel/stereo music), but you will get the "theater feel" with a mid level Yamaha or Onkyo system. I have used Yamaha a lot previously and now use an entry level Onkyo and I can tell from personal experience they are just great for watching movies.

Satya, I just auditioned the Yamaha AVR 863,and I thought the sound was amazing. I like to listen to a lot of classical, Indian and western. I checked out flute and sitar on the AVR with Dali Motif speakers. The sound was wow! At the same time, movies were awesome (Top Gun)!

Would you say (and I admit I do not have as much experience) Yamaha 863 is from a new breed wherein Yamaha is making a serious attempt at changing perceptions?
 
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satya

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Thank you all for ur valuable feedback. This is what I have narrowed down to so far and i would not be buying them from the grey market.
These are the combinations I got from two different vendors and am stuggling to decide between them. Listing them below in no order of preference.

Option 1:

- Deli Ikon6 Front towers, IKON vokal 2 center speaker, IKON On Wall Surround, IKON subwoofer
- Denon 2309 or Yamaha 863. (Leaning towards Danon 2309)
- Infocus X9 DLP or Panasonic AX 200 (Leaning towards Infocus X9)

Option 2:
- Wharfedale Diamond 9.6 front towers, Diamond 9.CM Center, Diamond DFS Surround, SW-250 subwoofer
- Denon 2309
- Infocus X9 DLP or Panasonic AX 200 (Leaning towards Infocus X9)

Option 3:
- Jamo C607 front towers, C60 Center, C60 Surround, sub 550 subwoofer
- Marantz-4003 Receiver
- Infocus X9 DLP

I have viewed the demos at these vendors for these systems but each demo played a different DVD and I am unable to compare each of them.

Going by Venkat's suggestions in earlier forums, I will take along couple of DVDs of my choice to each of the vendors and play that same DVD in each of these systems to make my final choice.
Do u guys have suggestions for any good DVDs to use for these auditions? Any particular movie scenes which come to mind which would help me decide between these options?

Thanks!
 
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Gurudristi

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I will go for
1).Denon 2309 or a slightly higher series( your room is not very small).:cool:
2).Infocus projector seems ok, but do check out the Canon and NEC also.:confused:
3). Wharfedale 9-series. ( your setup seems like 5.1), Denon can give you 7.1 so you can use the pair of DFS for Back surround and go for Surround left and Right seperately.;)
Do check out B&W and Jamo in-wall series....they are really good.:D

For the Music, I suppose
Eagles : Hotel California....

I also like the DTS version of the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over" DVD, especially the bonus track of Seven Bridges Road that is only available for DTS. You can hear the fingers on the guitar strings in that concert.


For the movies: you could audition :

1). U571 - initial scenes and then I nearly fell out of my seat listening - Your sub will get an amazing workout. If your system is good you can still hear the dialog with all the mayhem...

2).King Kong - new one, there are some very good sound effect thrroughout.
3).Saving Private Ryan - First few scens and the Last chapter action scene

Then there are among my choices :Armageddon, Titanic, Pearl Harbor, Master and Commander
Enjoy....

Tell me Satya,
Have you already planned the layout and wiring or that work still need to be done. Since this is where you will make most of your mistakes...:p
 
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satya

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I will go for
1).Denon 2309 or a slightly higher series( your room is not very small).:cool:

Great! I will either go with this or the Denon 2809.

2).Infocus projector seems ok, but do check out the Canon and NEC also.:confused:

I will certainly look at those options as well based on what the vendors are offering.

3). Wharfedale 9-series. ( your setup seems like 5.1), Denon can give you 7.1 so you can use the pair of DFS for Back surround and go for Surround left and Right seperately.;)
Do check out B&W and Jamo in-wall series....they are really good.:D

Sure. I will check out the in-wall series. How do they compare to the front towers?

For the Music, I suppose
Eagles : Hotel California....

I also like the DTS version of the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over" DVD, especially the bonus track of Seven Bridges Road that is only available for DTS. You can hear the fingers on the guitar strings in that concert.


For the movies: you could audition :

1). U571 - initial scenes and then I nearly fell out of my seat listening - Your sub will get an amazing workout. If your system is good you can still hear the dialog with all the mayhem...

2).King Kong - new one, there are some very good sound effect thrroughout.
3).Saving Private Ryan - First few scens and the Last chapter action scene

Then there are among my choices :Armageddon, Titanic, Pearl Harbor, Master and Commander
Enjoy....

Tell me Satya,
Have you already planned the layout and wiring or that work still need to be done. Since this is where you will make most of your mistakes...:p

Thanks for the inputs for demo discs. I have some layout planned and will get the vendor where I buy the entire system do the wiring for me.

Find the layout of my entire second floor attached. I attached the entire floor so that u can get an idea of the entries and exits from the room. So, u can see why I need to board up one of the windows on the 13' wall. I also have the tentative cabinet drawing of the unit. Any feedback is welcome.

Thanks!
 

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Gurudristi

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My Immidiate reaction to your layout is:

You have a 13' wall and are using only 7'6" for the width of the screen. Your projector will be able to throw a much larger image on the wall. Believe me the larger the image the better the effect. I fell you could look at atleast 100 width screen. You have a slightly long room.

One of the reasons for looking at inwall speakers is to hide them behind the screen. Like any cinema hall.

If you are not inclined to in-wall speakers, then instead of tower speakers, you could go in for bookshelf/satellite which can be placed below the screen. They would sound equally good in combination with a good sub.
In any case, your centre speaker is going to be placed below the screen and if the Left and right are placed on the same height, then front staging will be even better.

I feel your current cabinet drawing is more suitable for a large plasma than a Projector screen.:confused:
 
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satya

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You are absolutely right in your observations! Thanks for the valuable feedback. This is a tentative drawing given by the interiors person a few months ago when none of the components were decided. I will get a new drawing again and am thinking of a screen of 96X54 or 108X60. I am leaning towards 96x54 as I am not sure I have enough viewing distance.

I mentioned 17' as my room rize as I need to leave a couple of feet for accessing the bathroom door.

I will certainly audition the bookshelves as well before I finalize my system and will send an updated drawing for your feedback.

Thanks..
 
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moserw

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I have not seen the Yamaha RX 1700 in action, but the Denon 2309 is good. I have heard from quite a few about the new breed of Yamahas (have not checked them out myself yet) but give Yamaha 863 a listen. Coming to 1700 it seems to be discontinued/older model and without HD audio support. Yamaha 1900/1800 (have not checked if available here and the cost) and 863 are with HD audio support i.e. for Dolby True HD and DTS HD-Master Audio as is Denon 2309 and to my mind this is an absolute must considering the budget you are spending and also the AVR must be fairly future safe for at least a couple of years so don't go for any AVR without HD audio. Coming to the projector the Optima HD70 should be good, HD65 is truly VFM and great PQ too having used it so my vote would go for the Optima HD70 but do check it out for yourself. The speakers, I can recommend Wharfedales having setup quite a few HT rooms with them and they are quite popular on this forum too.

One more thing I would recommend adding to your setup would be a good universal DVDP like an Oppo 983. This would really make great use of upscaling normal DVD content especially considering you are going for a large screen.

Demo DVDs, carry stuff you listen to/watch so you know what to look out for since you would be familiar with them. Most demo setups play stuff off of a budget DVD player so I also carry mp3s ripped at 128 kbps and Divx movies on a USB so I can check them out too or else burn them on a DVD. Otherwise Gurudristi listed some great movies for sound FX like King Kong (Peter Jackson's), Saving Private Ryan, U571 (I have not seen it myself), Lord Of The Rings series, etc., but I would still recommend taking movies/music that you are familiar with more than anything else.
 
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Athulan

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If you are not particular about HDMI and 1080p, you can go for Infocus X16 projector - it can accept signals upto 720p. 1500 lumens is the bulb spec - OK at night.

Gives a reasonably good output where the source DVD is good. Obviously it cannot handle fast moving scenes very well - there is a definite blur

Has only composite and s-video inputs and cost me 35k rounded off along with a 6x4 screen. My room size is 13 x 16 and I get a picture that is 6 feet wide from around 10-10.5 feet

Infocus x9 has seen some very good reviews - but seems to cost more than 80k

Athulan:)
 
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subhash

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If you are not particular about HDMI and 1080p, you can go for Infocus X16 projector - it can accept signals upto 720p. 1500 lumens is the bulb spec - OK at night.

Gives a reasonably good output where the source DVD is good. Obviously it cannot handle fast moving scenes very well - there is a definite blur

Has only composite and s-video inputs and cost me 35k rounded off along with a 6x4 screen. My room size is 13 x 16 and I get a picture that is 6 feet wide from around 10-10.5 feet

Infocus x9 has seen some very good reviews - but seems to cost more than 80k

Athulan:)
hi , wanting to upgrade my rear spkrs,,my current set up --onkyo 875 AVR,carver TFM35x pre power stereo , Jamo C809 mains ,velodyne CHT12R sub and very old Book shelves called pandam for the rears ,now wanting to upgrade rears with a dipole from either jamos C80/C60 or klipsh reference series ,the pricing is 60k/30k and 25k respectively ,a frnd of mine suggested on BOSE S301 for the rears priced at abt 18k any suggestions plz
 
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Gurudristi

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Satya,

So Denon 2309 or 2809 settled. 7.1 speaker setup....Go for it.


I have my home theatre with Denon 3805, Pioneer DVD player, Wharfedale bookshelves (Left centre and right), Wharfedale SW150 sub, B&W in-wall speakers for surround left and right (roof mounted) and wharefedale DFS surrounds for surround-back speaker setup. My screen is 100" width (16:9format) fixed screen. I use an LG - XGA projector. My room size is 12X15. I have seating which has L-shaped on one corner, and on the other side I have kept Thick threefold up matteresses. The room has wodden flooring and carpets. I have very heavy drapes on the windows and one of the side walls is treated for resonance by floating POP sheets. The roof has also been treated with wooden beams and wooden surface which is floating on a heatlon surface.

Go for the biggest screen possible....I will go for the 108" width screen with 16:9 ratio format. Believe me you will not be disappointed . Check with the projector specs in order to get the 108" screen for the distance the projector to be installed. Are you planning a fixed screen or drop down?


Do audition the inwalls of B&W and Jamo... they are good, little on the expensive side.
Enjoy..........:cool:
 
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subhash

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Satya,

So Denon 2309 or 2809 settled. 7.1 speaker setup....Go for it.


I have my home theatre with Denon 3805, Pioneer DVD player, Wharfedale bookshelves (Left centre and right), Wharfedale SW150 sub, B&W in-wall speakers for surround left and right (roof mounted) and wharefedale DFS surrounds for surround-back speaker setup. My screen is 100" width (16:9format) fixed screen. I use an LG - XGA projector. My room size is 12X15. I have seating which has L-shaped on one corner, and on the other side I have kept Thick threefold up matteresses. The room has wodden flooring and carpets. I have very heavy drapes on the windows and one of the side walls is treated for resonance by floating POP sheets. The roof has also been treated with wooden beams and wooden surface which is floating on a heatlon surface.

Go for the biggest screen possible....I will go for the 108" width screen with 16:9 ratio format. Believe me you will not be disappointed . Check with the projector specs in order to get the 108" screen for the distance the projector to be installed. Are you planning a fixed screen or drop down?


Do audition the inwalls of B&W and Jamo... they are good, little on the expensive side.
Enjoy..........:cool:

hi ,thnks for the reply ,but i dont thnk u got my point,was only looking to up my sorrounds from my old bookshelfs to dipoles,and wanted to know if it wud make a difference from the bookshelfs,,,and i hav zeroed in on jamo C80 sourrounds ,,,as for my set up its onkyo 875 AVR,with jamo C809 mains and C80 centre ,velodyne CHT12R sub,and a pair of bookshelfs for the sorrounds which i want to change,,,coming to the display its optomaHD65 projector with a grandview 120'' 16:9 pull down screen
 
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marsilians

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hi ,thnks for the reply ,but i dont thnk u got my point,was only looking to up my sorrounds from my old bookshelfs to dipoles,and wanted to know if it wud make a difference from the bookshelfs,,,and i hav zeroed in on jamo C80 sourrounds ,,,as for my set up its onkyo 875 AVR,with jamo C809 mains and C80 centre ,velodyne CHT12R sub,and a pair of bookshelfs for the sorrounds which i want to change,,,coming to the display its optomaHD65 projector with a grandview 120'' 16:9 pull down screen

Hi Subhash,

Choosing dipole vs. monopole is a matter of preference and taste, and most importantly whether your HT room has a side wall or not and budgetary constraints (dipoles are more exp. than bookshelves).

If your primary usage will be HT, then go for dipoles as they offer a diffused sound. If you ever are planning to listen to multi-channel music (5.1 or greater) then go for bookshelves for surrounds as sounds need to be localised for music.

By the way, dipoles are very old technology that is making a comeback. It predates Dolby Digital (in fact it came out at the time of Dolby Pro Logic). DD does not recommend dipoles while THX recommends it as side surrounds.

On last count, there are only 322 THX certified DVDs as compared to thousands that are not THX certified.

Find a THX Certified DVD Title

So bottom line is its a matter of listening taste, room setup and personal choice.
 
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