Newbie looking for some advice on his home cinema plans

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by Nicholsono, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Nicholsono

    Nicholsono
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    Hi there, this is my first post so very much looking forward to getting all of your advise. I've spent all morning looking through this site and am really impressed by the community here. I have tried to gather the best advise and now have a plan for setting up my home cinema. I was hoping you could sense check it in case I've missed something.

    I about to renovate my house and the front room will be stripped and put back together. I want to set up a ceiling mounted 3d projector with surround sound. My current plan is as follows:

    1 - I need to get the electrics done so I was planning on getting a plug installed on the ceiling next to where I want the projector. I also was planning on getting another plug where I want the electric projector screen.

    2 - I have my eye on the Optoma HD600x-LV (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Optoma-HD600...5373850&sr=1-1)

    3 - I have a Virgin media box and a PS3 which I was planning on using a HDMI selector box plugged into a wireless HDMI kit to transmit the signal from the floor up to the ceiling.

    4 - I would like the option to use the 3d function so I was planning on getting the Optoma 3D-XL (Optoma 3D-XL data projector). I'm pretty sure this will work, if I connect the 3D-XL box just before the wireless HDMI kit, is this sensible? Also, I have an old PC with a pretty decent 3d graphics card, could I use that instead of the 3d-XL box?

    5 - To get the surround sound to work I was planning on using the optical out from the wireless HDMI kit and plugging it into a surround sound. My friend has this one which I listened to and was quite impressed, especially for the price (Kikatek.com: (980-000116) Logitech G51 Surround Sound Speaker System)

    6 - I will be laying a laminate floor so I was planning on running the cables under laminate and bringing the speakers up through discrete holes.

    7 - Finally I was looking at getting an electric projector screen.

    So that is my plan. It would be awesome if you could check if I've missed anything, have any suggestions on better ways to do it or have ideas for better equipment. I've costed this all up for £850 and I don't want to spend more than that really.

    Any help would be great.

    Cheers,

    Owen
     
  2. MaturityDodger

    MaturityDodger
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    I guess from this that you're getting the electrics done over the whole house?
    That being the case, a small amount of extra investment can save money in the future, and enhance your systems.
    You should look at putting networking cables in. (cat5e at a minimum, but ideally cat6 now). If you're going into the walls already, the extra cable is a small price to pay.

    Designate somewhere in your house as a 'hub' area. (I used the built-in wardrobe in the spare room that I use as an office). Run high quality cable to here for a telephone extension. Your internet router will go here, and a networking switch. Remember to put power in the hub area too.
    Then run cat6 cables from here to wherever you want them. I did two cables to every room in the house, but now I wish I'd done 4 to the lounge.

    More and more AV equipment is network enabled, and it just works better with wired connections. You'll be opening yourself up to multi-room audio, wireless control of your equipment (e.g. iPhone app connects wirelessly to your network, then this controls equipment with your wired network), better connection for PCs etc.

    Also I'd put a wired connection up to your projector point, not rely on wireless HDMI.


    And finally re. equipment, £850 is a really low budget to set for a home cinema install. I don't know much (or anything really) about projectors, but those speakers really aren't up to the job of a home cinema. They look like they're designed to be used on a desktop with a PC. i suppose that on its own this wouldn't be a major problem as you can upgrade later on. But...
    It also wouldn't surprise me if they didn't have regular speaker cables to each of the satellites. So installing these now might close off future options.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  3. Nicholsono

    Nicholsono
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    Cheers for the response. Really good advice. I certainly am getting all the electrics done. I will definitely look into getting the Cat 6 cabling running through the house, that would be pretty sweet. Future proofing the house is a good call.

    So the wirelsess HDMI's no use? I guess I could run a wired HDMI cable but I wanted flexibility. From what I've seen the wireless HDMI is pretty much perfect over short distances.

    Good spot on the speaker cables, I think you're right about that. I will look for a better surround system.
     
  4. MaturityDodger

    MaturityDodger
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    I'm not saying that the wireless HDMI is no use - I've never used one so couldn't possibly make such a claim.
    But in my mind, if you're cutting into walls and ceilings anyway, it just seems counterintuitive to do anything other than put a cable in.
    If you're looking at under 10m, then HDMI all the way. If over, then HDMI via cat5. I think you can get these built into a wall-plate?

    I think I remember seeing that this forum's staff did reviews on such devices a little while back. but I could be thinking of powerline ethernet.


    EDIT: Yes you can get HDMI-over-cat5 built into a wallplate - I just looked it up. There are a few that I can see around £50, or less if you want to ship it from abroad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  5. MaturityDodger

    MaturityDodger
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    You really want to be looking at an AVR, 5 passive speakers and an active sub. Anything less will be a disappointment in a room that's billed as a home cinema.

    If your budget doesn't allow this yet, then I wouldn't spend out on 'surround sound' at all. Find a cheap way of getting sound of some kind, until you've saved up for it.

    A top-of-my-head, ball-park figure says that you're starting at £500 for fairly basic 5.1. But this will be with an AVR, so well-featured in distributing your sources to your projector, speakers etc.
     

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