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  1. #1

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    Default My new home theater build on the cheap.

    So after getting a new Onkyo 3010 and shipping my 1007 off for repair (which will likely end up for sale here once I get it back), two friends needed a roommate and showed me the living room of the house... which was way better than my current pad for theater, and they were willing to let me do whatever I wanted with it (and the rent/utils were cheaper!). Of course, that meant I could actually get a fixed frame screen and set things up the way I wanted... so new theater build! Naturally, I don't have a ton of money... so this is all being done as cheaply as possible and may progress over time.

    This is the room we started with:
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    Naturally, I had to set the front soundstage up immediately after I moved in. Ignore the cabling... I'm cleaning that up as I go.
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    Of course, wood flooring = bad, so the first purchase was a nice thick 8'x11' area rug.
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    Then for temporary use, I hung the Elite pulldown I already had on the wall and set the projector up on a table to the side. I also hung the side surrounds and ran wire to them under the rug just for kicks, then gave Audyssey a quick run-through to see how the room would sound once calibrated. Needless to say, it's a VAST improvement over my previous room.
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    Obviously, the 100" pulldown wasn't big enough... so last night, we hung a 120" Elite Sable fixed frame on the wall, which JUST BARELY clears the top of my SVS 20-39CS+ when it is on its Auralex platform but should be fine once the projector is mounted up high.
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    After sliding the table with the projector back further to fill the screen, I grabbed the first Blu-ray I could from my collection (which is sadly still in boxes) - Cowboys And Aliens.
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    We've already picked up light-killing curtains for the two windows to get the room as dark as possible. Tonight, a friend who used to do home theater installs is coming to help hang the heights and rears, mount the projector on a shelf on the back wall, and run 40 ft of HDMI and all my speaker cables for the surrounds through the walls. Then my roommate has the idea of building a wood frame lined with black Duvetyne or something to hang on the ceiling above the screen to kill the worst of the light from the screen. I was going to try to figure out how to hook up my Buttkicker, but we're getting such a nice vibration in the couch as-is that I really don't think it's necessary.

    I will update as things progress. This is just as far as I've gotten in the 6 days since I moved in.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  2. #2

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    Kuntasensei,


    Did the speakers in the second pic, replace the light colored sofa in the first pic? I'm just trying to follow the photos?

  3. #3

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    Yeah, that light couch on the front wall got moved into the dining room temporarily until we get the motivation to move it to the sunroom, and there's a recliner that will go on the right side of the room once the projector is mounted and out of the way.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  4. #4

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    Only in an audio forum do you hear people covering up beautiful wood flooring with an area rug Had to do the same to my laminate in the basement. Nice progression in a such a short time. Will you be able to use the ceiling as a permanent mount for your projector or do you have other plans?

  5. #5

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    Looks good dude.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    Only in an audio forum do you hear people covering up beautiful wood flooring with an area rug Had to do the same to my laminate in the basement. Nice progression in a such a short time. Will you be able to use the ceiling as a permanent mount for your projector or do you have other plans?
    Ceiling turned out not being a great option. But shelf-mounting it up high on the back wall is going to work nicely because there's already power there and the HDMI run should be easy. Won't look quite as slick as a ceiling mount, but the recess for the fan and the way the fan drops out of that recess made ceiling mounting a bit iffy. The shelf mount should be quicker to do and won't look awful. Not that the lights will be on much anyway.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  7. #7

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    Kuntasensei,


    Sounds like a nice project. I would be interested in any tips that you discover for fishing wires in a finished room.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    Ceiling turned out not being a great option. But shelf-mounting it up high on the back wall is going to work nicely because there's already power there and the HDMI run should be easy. Won't look quite as slick as a ceiling mount, but the recess for the fan and the way the fan drops out of that recess made ceiling mounting a bit iffy. The shelf mount should be quicker to do and won't look awful. Not that the lights will be on much anyway.
    Sounds like a good plan, I know main floor ceilings can be a real bear when it comes to mounting/wiring.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by D_M View Post
    Kuntasensei,


    Sounds like a nice project. I would be interested in any tips that you discover for fishing wires in a finished room.
    Electrician's "fish tape" works well. I just ran some AC90 12/2 wire down a finished exterior basement wall (read: sheet rock, insulation, concrete). I used heavy string and a 1/2" drive universal from my socket set. Tied the string through the universal and dropped it down like a plumb bob till I hit the hole I had cut for the box, worked well in that situation. I find many times it helps to let your imagination run a bit and see what you have laying around you can use for a given situation. Necessity is the mother of invention, or so I've heard

  10. #10

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    Already looking great; well done sir.

    And you're the kind of roommate that should be welcomed with open arms
    2007 Club Polk Football Pool Champ

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  11. #11

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    Well, the friend who is coming to run the wires says he has "fish wires and everything" to run the wires in the wall... so we shall see tonight. We're kinda' hoping it rains so the attic cools off some first. Pretty sure I'm on the hook for beer and pizza.

    Worst case, we just pop the speaker wires through small holes in the wall to get the system running and come back later to do it right. I think we're all tired from everything we've done in there so far, so this may be quick-and-dirty.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    Well, the friend who is coming to run the wires says he has "fish wires and everything" to run the wires in the wall... so we shall see tonight. We're kinda' hoping it rains so the attic cools off some first. Pretty sure I'm on the hook for beer and pizza.
    Worst case, we just pop the speaker wires through small holes in the wall to get the system running and come back later to do it right. I think we're all tired from everything we've done in there so far, so this may be quick-and-dirty.
    As it should be...have a great time

  13. #13
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    Looks good, but how does it sound?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    Looks good, but how does it sound?
    Oh, even just with the 5.1 setup that I cobbled together so far, it sounds SO much better than my previous room. Enough so that I don't think I'm going to bother hooking the Buttkicker up. 2-channel music also sounds vastly better. I wasn't really impressed with the Onkyo 3010 until I got it into the new room. As it turns out, that sterile sound I was hearing was more a matter of the room itself than the gear.

    Not a fan of Christina Aguilera, but she does a track on Herbie Hancock's Possibilities... and it's just an incredible sounding recording. Playing that in the new room brings out the clarity of her voice so much more... and the presence of Hancock's piano has taken on an "in-the-room" sound that I'm digging. There really isn't a negative so far.

    Sadly, last night, I was too burned out from work and the previous work on the theater for us to mess with it, so we're doing it tonight instead. Seems like I've pushed myself more than I should have to get all this stuff back together.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  15. #15

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    Your set up looks very nice. Hard work pays off in the end. Congrats
    Randy
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  16. #16

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    Love projects like that....indespenable tools .......fish tape...and glo rods!

  17. #17

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    Sadly, my friend got sick, so no wiring was done yet. However, out of impatience, I hung light-blocking curtains, the height channels, and the shelf for the projector over the weekend. Everything's slowly but surely coming together, even with temporary wiring strung under the rug. Got a text earlier that he wants to come out tonight to do it, so maybe it'll be done soon. Ran a quick Audyssey runthrough with the heights in place and couldn't be happier with the sound of the room thus far. Should be incredible once the rears are in place and everything is wired up a little stealthier, though we're trying to keep it sane as far as being able to patch holes later. At least I know the 40 ft. of Redmere cable works with the Darblet installed behind the AVR instead of at the projector.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  18. #18

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    Curtains are up, surrounds are up, projector is up. Got it as high up as I could given the recessed fan, but it looks and sounds amazing. Got some more wiring cleanup to do and have to run a network cable behind my gear, but 9.1 in this room sounds AMAZING, as does music. I know everyone says rear surrounds are a bad idea this close to the back wall, but post-Audyssey, it works astoundingly well. Just had to find good angles for the speakers to cover the seats.
    Click image for larger version

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    Also got a shelf for my Blu-ray collection and cleaned up all my moving boxes.
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    Still have to address the reflection off the ceiling, but that's going to be the next project. You can see the height channels to either side of the screen here.
    Click image for larger version

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    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  19. #19

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    Sweet setup, I'm in the process of doing another HT myself. Planning to run 7.2 again. Sucks having to start all over and put things back together. Enjoy it bro, nice work.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

    Home Theater Pics in the Showcase

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...p?userid=73580

  20. #20

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    OP how do you like the Darblet? Debating adding one for my HT setup..
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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  21. #21

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    Impressive and inspiring to say the least.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    OP how do you like the Darblet? Debating adding one for my HT setup..
    I read a lot about the Darblet before I bought it from a Polkie here... and though I'm all for accuracy in the display in theory, I gotta say that I couldn't do without it now. If you use it at a reasonable setting (I'm using HD 60%), it can really give a projected image so much more depth, and it does it without obscuring detail the way sharpness controls do. I'm very impressed with it. I would say pick one up from somewhere with a solid return policy and give it a spin. My Epson 8500UB is pretty sharp on its own, but with the Darblet, it looks even better.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  23. #23

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    I purchased the same screen for my theater - what are your impressions of it so far? I have an Epson 8350 coming today. Not as cool as your UB model, but I have to stick within budget for now! The brightness is pretty good in my 100% light controlled room - almost too bright with the LG CF-181D LCoS projector.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    OP how do you like the Darblet? Debating adding one for my HT setup..
    If I might add my 2c..

    I have one in my theater hooked into my JVC RS40 and found turning down all the sharpness controls on the projector to zero helped the Darblet do its magic. If you have one of the JVC projectors with their E-Shift the paring of the two is a match made in heaven.

    They do make a very noticeable difference and in my experience are worth the expense. I have a very early model, and it does lock up and/or reset it self every now and then.

    Even made a noticeable difference on my Plasma TV before it went into the theater.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by nguyendot View Post
    I purchased the same screen for my theater - what are your impressions of it so far? I have an Epson 8350 coming today. Not as cool as your UB model, but I have to stick within budget for now! The brightness is pretty good in my 100% light controlled room - almost too bright with the LG CF-181D LCoS projector.
    I'm pretty pleased with it. It doesn't reject off-axis light quite as well as the Elite pulldown I had for some reason, but the gain looks about the same. They say you can put it together in 30 minutes... It took us a solid 2 hours, and tensioning the screen material is a pain. But once you have it on the wall, WORTH IT.
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxfj View Post
    If I might add my 2c..

    I have one in my theater hooked into my JVC RS40 and found turning down all the sharpness controls on the projector to zero helped the Darblet do its magic. If you have one of the JVC projectors with their E-Shift the paring of the two is a match made in heaven.

    They do make a very noticeable difference and in my experience are worth the expense. I have a very early model, and it does lock up and/or reset it self every now and then.

    Even made a noticeable difference on my Plasma TV before it went into the theater.
    I haven't had a single lockup on mine. And I agree on the sharpness thing. I calibrated sharpness with AVS 709HD first with the Darblet off, then turned on SuperResolution to 1 on the Epson, then fiddled with the Darblet until I found the best setting (which is HD 60% right now). Absolutely stunning picture and doesn't seem to add any annoying artifacts.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  26. #26

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    Keep sending her to the mall while u work on ur project....good Job buddy!
    Godspeed,
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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxfj View Post
    If I might add my 2c..

    I have one in my theater hooked into my JVC RS40 and found turning down all the sharpness controls on the projector to zero helped the Darblet do its magic. If you have one of the JVC projectors with their E-Shift the paring of the two is a match made in heaven.

    They do make a very noticeable difference and in my experience are worth the expense. I have a very early model, and it does lock up and/or reset it self every now and then.



    Even made a noticeable difference on my Plasma TV before it went into the theater.
    I have a Darblet paired up with a new JVC RS4810 using E-shift 2 and it is amazing. The Darblet is a really nice toy.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

    Home Theater Pics in the Showcase

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  28. #28

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    This project continues... Got a wild hair last night and hit Lowe's after work for a Lutron IR dimmer and after a little work with my Harmony remote, the lights fade in and out automatically for different functions. Pretty slick, and ran me around $57 for the works ('cause I had to replace the other two switches in that gangbox with designer switches to fit the Lutron's wallplate). Nice cheap enhancement that seems a little silly... but does give it a little "wow" factor when people come over.

    Also, we started talking about how we can't see the projector screen from the dining room/kitchen area and are wanting to have people over for football games, etc.... which made me realize that my Onkyo 3010 has dual HDMI outs. So this weekend, we're running a second HDMI to the adjoining dining room wall and hanging a 32" set there. So no more pausing the action when you go get a drink, and you can keep watching stuff while you eat! And we can have way more people in the house for the games without anyone missing anything.

    Funny how this has snowballed. Gonna be a pretty slick setup when I'm done.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  29. #29

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    Snowballing into an avalanche I see .....
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    This project continues... Got a wild hair last night and hit Lowe's after work for a Lutron IR dimmer and after a little work with my Harmony remote, the lights fade in and out automatically for different functions. Pretty slick, and ran me around $57 for the works ('cause I had to replace the other two switches in that gangbox with designer switches to fit the Lutron's wallplate). Nice cheap enhancement that seems a little silly... but does give it a little "wow" factor when people come over.

    Also, we started talking about how we can't see the projector screen from the dining room/kitchen area and are wanting to have people over for football games, etc.... which made me realize that my Onkyo 3010 has dual HDMI outs. So this weekend, we're running a second HDMI to the adjoining dining room wall and hanging a 32" set there. So no more pausing the action when you go get a drink, and you can keep watching stuff while you eat! And we can have way more people in the house for the games without anyone missing anything.

    Funny how this has snowballed. Gonna be a pretty slick setup when I'm done.
    I just removed Lutron wallplate when I was installing it and installed it with a regular 2-switch plate ;) Also controlling mine from Harmony. Look on some people's faces is priceless when they see the lights dim and TV/theater turns on with 1 button.
    Panasonic PT-AE4000U projector for movies
    EluneVision 92" Cinema Gray fixed screen
    Onkyo TX-SR805 Pre/Pro
    Rotel RMB-1075 Amp
    B&W CDM1-SE fronts
    B&W CDM-CNT center
    B&W CDM1 rears
    Samsung DTB-H260F OTA HDTV tuner
    DUAL NHT SubTwo subwoofers
    Velodyne SMS-1
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-Ray player
    Belkin PF60 Power Center
    Harmony 890 RF remote
    Panasonic TC-P50G20 TV + PS3 in the living room

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