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"Practical" but effective home cinema setup

Discussion in 'Members DIY Home Cinema Showcases' started by Tim_Q, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Tim_Q

    Tim_Q
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    Whan I say it's practical I mean this is a setup which I am pleased with performance wise but it does not dominate our living room which my wife is also pleased with! :smashin:

    The screen over fireplace debate!

    The placement of our plasma display may be controversial as it is over the fireplace, to make matters worse it is a working solid fuel fire. :eek: After a lot of research and deliberation however I decided to go for it, here are my reasons:

    1) There was no other way of wall mounting the screen, the only other option was to have it on a stand in the corner (as it used to be) also making speaker positioning difficult. Having the screen over the fireplace it is central in the room and the audio quality has benefitted considerable.

    2) Before redecorating I hung the screen up on the wall to see if it was a comfortable viewing position and it was fine. I don't see what all the fuss is about. From the "viewing sofa" it is very comfortable.

    3) The fireplace is brand new and we intend to use it but it won't be regular. Last winter I checked the temperature above the fire and it was fine, there was also little sign of soot on and around the chimney breast when we redecorated. If anything the design of the new fireplace should improve this even more. The wooden surround is substantial and should insulate the display from the fire very well.

    Equipment

    Philips 37PF9965 pixel plus plasma display
    Pioneer DV-585 DVD Player
    Pioneer VSX-915 AV amp
    Eltax symphony speakers
    Xbox
    Daewoo digital freeview box
    Dual CS505-3 turntable

    Connectivity

    The Philips plasma has a seperate receiver which is great for simplifying connectivity when wall mounting the screen. The only cables going to the screen itself are a power cable (run seperately to the signal cables to reduce interference) and a VGA and stereo phono cable. The phono cable is a good quality 5m job, the VGA cable is 5m Lindy. These cables are buried in the wall just below the screen then run through the fire surround and behind the skirting board to the glass Alphason designs hifi stand.

    The DVD player is connected via Van Damme component cables and Cambridge Audio digital optical cable

    The centre channel is reproduced through the speakers in the screen. Again this is a "practical" compromise as there is nowhere for a dedicated centre speaker and I am happy enough with the sound.

    All speaker cables simply run under the carpet. The rear Eltax HT-2 bipolar speakers are set on stand in the corners of the room. Again not ideal positioning but I think the bipolar design helps here.

    Everything is protected against power spikes and surges.


    Setup and calibration


    Still work to do here but the amp has been configured using Pioneer's automatic MCACC system which employs a microphone located at the optimum listening position during setup. I have also played with screen settings using Digital Video Essentials as a guide.

    Future plans!

    This is my first real attempt at a decent home cinema setup. There is a lot of compromise and it is fairly inexpensive but I think the results are very good. I will probably not make any major improvements to this system except to add a subwoofer at some stage.

    Some time in the future I would like to have a dedicated home cinema room using a projector for a real big screen experience. However this will have to wait till we have a house to accomodate it!

    Hope this is of interest to people, I will add more information later but let me know if you want any information on a similar setup.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    Now that, sir, is a very tidy set-up...I like it a lot...It may be me but it looks like your screen is a tad lower on the left?
     
  3. Tim_Q

    Tim_Q
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    Ah, you can see that from the picture?! Yes you are right...the screen is actually perfectly level but it turned out that the floor isn't hence the fireplace isn't! So unfortunately it will have to come down and the bracket "un-levelled" so it looks right.
     
  4. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    sounds like a bit of a faff around, I would leave it unless it really bugs you...maybe you could put some ornaments on the fireplace to disguise the line, this would be much easier...
     
  5. RHCP

    RHCP
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    Great setup! :thumbsup:

    Where did you get your stand from??

    Would it hold a plasma 42"?
     
  6. Tim_Q

    Tim_Q
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    Hi, the stand was from Swifts of Wilmslow not far from me. They trade as http://www.hifi4less.com/ on the Internet. It worked out cheaper than anywhere else because I collected it myself. I think it's too small to hold a 42" screen but if you go to http://www.alphasondesigns.com/ there are plently of other sizes. They are fairly expensive stands but good quality and well regarded.
     
  7. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    Very nice setup, love the wire free look (must adress my spaghetti some day).

    First time I set my Philips up on the wall I found my mantel piece wasn't level. I certainly wouldn't like to admit I got the bracket off level ;)
    By carefully placing coins on the flat part of the bracket hook where the screen rests I was able to level it off. If you want to try it stick them on the bracket with blutak and be careful they don't drop inside the TV! Not sure what the warranty issues would be if a coin shorted anything out after falling inside. A piece of plastic may be a safer option. I've since moved it to another wall and made sure everything was square before mounting the bracket.

    Dave
     
  8. Tim_Q

    Tim_Q
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    Good tip, thanks Dave! :smashin:
     
  9. 00mistry

    00mistry
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    i have seen someone place their tv just where the fireplace starts. Therefore the top of the tv touches the line of the mantlepiece. I think that is far too low. What do you rekon becasue i want to fit a tv into my chimney breast but i'm not too sure where to put it.... answer asap!!!
     
  10. T800

    T800
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    Too low because it's near the mantle piece and the gap isn't big enough or too low for viewing (eye level) ?

    I removed my mantle so it wasn't in the equation. It's more comfortable looking straight ahead to looking up.
     

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