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Topic: Help me build my home theater
Joined: Apr 13, 2005
Posts: 40
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I am building a new house and the "media" room needs help. Stats and restrictions below.

Room 13' X 20' - TV must be on short wall due to windows (blacked out) and door on center of long walls. Seating distance can be variable within the room (your choice)

Budget - $4000 for TV and furniture

Sound - will be prewired for 7.1 surround and I've got the audio side already covered

For my budget I think I am in the right forum room. I would like a solid/true HD picture backed up by watchable SD. I watch a fair amount of sports and fast moving action so keep that in mind. There are no size, weight or wiring (projector?) restrictions. Also, if anyone is in the DFW (specifically Keller) area please advise me on HD provider options.

I realize this is a tall order and I would appreciate any input or direction you can provide.

Thanks in advance....Boyd
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 51
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You'll get a lot of "Buy my setup" replies for this, but my recommendation is to spend some time reading these forums and figure out fair prices. This site may seem overwhelming at first, but the other side of it (Projector Central) has a vast supply of info and a pretty good search and comparison engine. At 4g you're going to have a pretty sweet setup, just make sure to balance it with projector (obviously), screen, cables, and other accessories (mounts, adapters, etc...) before locking into one steup. I spent about 6 months researching before purchasing and ended up buying my first selection, so don't over stress the selection. There are a lot of great projectors in this price range.

Ok, I'll say it: "the Panasonic AE700 and the Sanyo PLV-Z3 are great projectors, and I'll recommend both of them for your setup."
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 13,124
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There is a lot that can be said here, but I would first and foremost, re-examine the room and find a way to lay it out the other way. Somehow. Move the door, do something! The door can still be on the wall the screen is on, but moved to one side or the other, or perhaps just around the corner to the short wall. Remodelling to make the room suit your needs is a much better way to go than compromising your home theater because it would take a few weeks to move that door over 10 feet. Drywall, paint, hammers, sand paper, and spackle. It takes a little time, but isn't terribly difficult.

After that, I would shop for projectors and you are definitely at the entry level HD2+ DLP level which is where I would shop with $3K + to spend.

Spend some times going through and reading reviews and all else before making any decisions.

DO NOT LOOK AT 4:3 PROJECTORS - Unless you plan on upgrading the screen and projector in just a few years. We are going to see 2-3 new HD channels every year for quite a while I believe, so why not be ready for it and setup for it?

Just my $.02
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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Joined: Feb 4, 2005
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For the HD sports fan you gotta consider the Panasonic AE700 and the Sanyo PLV-Z3 as major contenders for your setup. They both do native HD and will give you incredible pictures for the games broadcast in HD.

As mentioned before, keep in mind the budget for cables and a screen. Those are a bigger investment than they should be. If you're a do it yourselfer, I'd recommende a home made screen made from blackout cloth (there are a zillion tutorials out there for this) because you can make a 95" diagonal 16:9 screen for about $30. I've been using a DIY screen and I've compared it to my fathers Da-Lite screen and found little difference in performance. Depending on what screen you're looking at that could free up to $1000 to buy other stuff.

As far as DVD player and Receivers, I'm afraid I wont do much good. Good luck with the setup. Should be killer
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
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Did you mean seating when you said furniture? If not, disregard the rest of the post and listen to the already good advice given.

How much seating do you need? I think that will determine how much you can spend on the display

You can get 3 nice theater-style leather seats for about a grand, figure another grand for the screen and cables, and you've got a 2k projector. As McGurk previously mentioned, the AE700 and Sanyo Z3 are great choices. You can probably stretch the 3 real nice leather seats into 4 leather-like or cloth theater seats. The "Showtime" seats are awesome, check those out.

If you just want a couch or whatever for people to sit on, you can probably stretch the projector budget to the HS-51 or maybe(slightly flexible 4k?) the HD2+ DLPs mentioned by AV_I.

If you plan to have more people piled in there for movie watching, say 6+, you're going to be in for two rows of seating (unless you go wall to wall in that 13'), which will run you probably half your budget or more on their own.
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