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  My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System 
 
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Scumbag Blues Mar 09, 2007, 07:52pm EST Report Abuse
To put it simply, my parents and I are planning on building an entertainment system in our basement during the March Break. For the first time, I can actually experience the TV at greater than 30 inches. :D

However, we have no idea what kind of TV to get, what kind of speakers, or how to set up the whole system which will include an Xbox 360, HD Cable TV, and other devices.

My parents are insistent in getting a projection TV cast on the wall... is this a good idea?

....

I NEED HELP!


~

Intel i7 2600K @ 4.4GHz | Gigabyte P67A-UD4 | G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 4GB | XFX Radeon HD 6950
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Adam Kolak Mar 09, 2007, 08:09pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
I would steer away from projection personally. Unless you always want to watch it in the dark.

What I would do is get a 42" to 50" LCD or Plasma with at least 720p resolution, 1080p if its a LCD. Then hook up a decent Denon A/V Reciever (or Onkyo, or Yamaha, or Harman-Kardon) to run all your equipment through. Get some decent 5.1 speakers to hook up to the Denon. And hook up your DTV box, Xbox 360, etc. to the Denon box.

Xbox 360 can be hooked upt to the TV with Component or VGA for best picture.

If its an HD DTV box then use HDMI or component for that straight to the TV and run the audio to the receiver.

For $2000 you can get a Samsung 1080p LCD above 40". That would be awsome for HD games on 360 and for your HD TV broadcasts. The latest LCDs look just as good as the plamsas if you shop carefully.

edit: It really all depends on the budget.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
Scumbag Blues Mar 09, 2007, 10:51pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Alright, this might help you in helping me. :D

Budget: $2000 CDN - $10000CDN (Although right now, we just want an idea regardless of budget so we can work off that)

I've looked at the new Samsung DLPs and there's a nice one for $5000 CDN that's a 71 incher. So, working from that, what else could you suggest? I like the idea of having LCD or Plasma because I like the clean crisp picture they offer, but we are aiming towards size. So, getting close to 60 to 70 inches is outside our budget on plasma or LCD.

Are there any particularly good A/V receiver units that we should look at for a starting point? (specifically such as models).

http://ca.denon.com/ProductDetails/AVReceivers.asp

Any good here? ^^

~

Intel i7 2600K @ 4.4GHz | Gigabyte P67A-UD4 | G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 4GB | XFX Radeon HD 6950
phil Mar 10, 2007, 12:24am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
first question(s) you need to answer, how far will you be sitting from the wall, depth of the tv and signal quality...

you can find many guides on the net and in stores to buying the proper size tv for your room.. although they're pretty dated.. so you can use those guides as a bit of a bench mark.. and adjust it with the following rules

1. if you plan on split screen gaming with your xbox 360, you'll want a larger than recommended screen size, considering it will get cut into 4 smaller screens quite often, in this case a 1080p hdtv is highly recommended.

2. if it's a basement with a hung tile ceiling this is IDEAL for a projector setup, as a tile may be removed/cut and the projector can easily be put above head height for uninterruptable veiwing, and the projector may be placed anywhere to avoid fan noise.

3. size of the TV, if seen people buy DLP projection TVs and not be able to get them up or down their stairs, or around a corner.

4. if you're looking for a good basic math guide, then here this is what i would go by:

for "Antenna,Cable,VCR" #of ft from TV screen x 4 in. = optimum screen size
for "Satellite TV,DVD" #of ft from TV screen x 6 in. = optimum screen size
for "Digital TV" #of ft from TV screen x 7 in. = optimum screen size

now then, keep in mind rule #1.. if you enjoy split screen gaming and are purchasing a 1080p HDTV , you can multiply by 1 extra inch

and aslo, be sure when double checking to see if a tv is right for your room, that you subtract the depth of the tv from the distance of wall to couch (you want the screen distance)

5. never ever ever buy a TV from the web or catalog without first actually watching it.. and always have to store hook up a dvd player to it individually,, as those mega setups with 20 tv;s hooked to the same signal do not in anyway represent what each tv actually looks like.

6. when shopping for a projector, keep in mind how many candles a projector is, what candle (brightness) viewing modes it has, and bulb operating life.. a good projector will display the full grey scale even in a well lit room... though when cranked up, the cooling fan may become overly loud (something else to think about)

---
can't access HWA unless I use a proxy... lol

pfft ..f**k that! (almost sounds like work)
Hans Moleman Mar 10, 2007, 01:25am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
I'd be careful about getting a projection TV for gaming. I've read that burn in is a much bigger problem on projection TVs than on CRT or LCD TVs.

AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+
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phil Mar 10, 2007, 01:54am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Hans Moleman said:
I'd be careful about getting a projection TV for gaming. I've read that burn in is a much bigger problem on projection TVs than on CRT or LCD TVs.


? .. ok.. a CRT IS a projection tv.

anyways, types of projection TV's . projection tv's are not vulnerable to screen burn in video games,

CRT projection.. the biggest and heaviest HDTV's , most common resolultion is 1080i/540p/480p.. very rare to find a 720p, or 1080p capable unit. mid-to-low risk of skreen burn (less than a older or cheaper new model plasmas)
LCD projection.. not to be confused with LCD flatpanel tv they have the classic triangle back like everyother projection tv. direct competion with DLP tv's, low suseptibility to screen burn
DLP, stands for digital light processing, great tv, but not flatpanel, incapable of screen burn
front projector.. uses a movie/video projector to cast the picture on a screen.. can be harder to see black or dark colours in well lit rooms on cheaper units.. incapable of screen burn, most good units can display ANY TV or computer resolution
rear projector, a video projector located behind a transparent movie screen displaying the picture backwards, also incapable of screen burn

---
can't access HWA unless I use a proxy... lol

pfft ..f**k that! (almost sounds like work)
FordGT90Concept Mar 10, 2007, 02:22am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Not sure if it's been mentioned but bulbs for projectors don't last very long and cost a s**tload of money to replace. Just a heads up so you don't get hit with having to spend $100+ to watch TV every few months. XD

________________________
If I remember what I forgot, I have not forgotten it.
Adam Kolak Mar 10, 2007, 11:39am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
I can't stand that thing the DLP Projectors do with the wierd color lines when you turn your head sideways. I forget what this is called. My History teacher has a DLP Projector and it does this. It's freaking annoying when you look away for a second and at the corner of your eyes you see Yellow and purple lines and sometimes its other colors depending on the colors being projected Is it the "Rainbox effect"?

I personally am a fan of LCD flat panels. Yes they might be prone to a bit of ghosting, but that doesn't bother me at all. In my opinion a nice LCD in the 42 to 50" range is the way to go.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
Scumbag Blues Mar 10, 2007, 03:48pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Well, looking through, I've gotten some answers, but I also now have new questions...

Firstly, do most LCD TVs give a "ghosting effect"? I know some don't and look really nice but I also know my PSP and LCD monitor do tend to do this and IT IS ANNOYING for me and my family. So that's why we are also looking more to DLP or projection (but I prefer DLP, Plasma).

Secondly, when you say "flat-panel", do you mean the TV screen is perfectly flat or the size? Looking the term up using Google gave me mixed results.

Thirdly, what company should I be looking at for speakers? I need to know that even before thinking about the A/V receiver unit.


Phil, I don't plan on split screen gaming, but we are still planning on getting a 1080p TV anyway. This a good idea?

Also, I always thought that your viewing distance was based on the size of the TV times x?

I'm really confused right now so can anyone give me an example of their set up?

Edit: I think the main source for my confusion is knowing the terms found on HDTVs, AV Receivers, etc...

~

Intel i7 2600K @ 4.4GHz | Gigabyte P67A-UD4 | G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 4GB | XFX Radeon HD 6950
Adam Kolak Mar 10, 2007, 03:58pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
If the ghosting thing bothers you then don't go LCD. For me it is unnoticeable. I get much more bothered by DLP's "Rainbox Effect". But everyone is different. And thats why with TVs one size/technology does not fit all.

For speakers, I recommend Polk Audio. Pretty cheap and sound good. They have 5.1 boxed setups with Sub, 2 fronts, 2 rear, and 1 center for around $499 USD. And they sound very good for the low price (low in the world of speakers). Stay away from Bose at all costs. I assume you don't want to pay over $1000 for 5.1 Speaker setup.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
Greg M Mar 10, 2007, 04:05pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Plasmas are the way to go for 46-60" with amazing contrast and color. LCD is still playing catch-up, but it offers higher resolutions (not that it's bad, but it still isn't as 'rich' as plasma).

A front projector is the only way to go with a screen over 71". Only good in a very dark room and with a decent screen. Cheap ones lack color quality and resolution (both DLP and LCD).

A rear projection set (LCD, CRT, DLP) is probably the best bang for the buck (followed by front projectiors). You can pick up a 60" with 1080P for under $2500. Cons? Can't be viewed from an angle, often have glare issues.

For gaming, I'd recommend an LCD.
For movies I'd recommend a front projector.
For sports I'd recommend a plasma.
For budget, I'd recommend a rear projection.

This isn't to say that plasma is bad for games, or LCD is bad for movies. They all can do the other things well, but they are best suited to a category.

*NOTE*
These are not from any website/magazine/newspaper/class. This is simply what I have found through real-world experiences with myself, my friends, my neighbors, and walking through stores.

----
FX-55, 2x 1GB GSkill, X1800XT (512MB), 2x250GB RAID-0, DFI SLI-D
http://www.gandmpc.com <-My 'project'
http://www.knownpsycho.com <-Web games!
Adam Kolak Mar 10, 2007, 04:40pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Maybe thats why I prefer LCDs...since I'm a gamer.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
phil Mar 10, 2007, 09:00pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Firstly, do most LCD TVs give a "ghosting effect"? I know some don't and look really nice but I also know my PSP and LCD monitor do tend to do this and IT IS ANNOYING for me and my family. So that's why we are also looking more to DLP or projection (but I prefer DLP, Plasma).

not all tv's do a ghosting, my sharps dont.. but you wont find a better lcd tv either.

Secondly, when you say "flat-panel", do you mean the TV screen is perfectly flat or the size? Looking the term up using Google gave me mixed results
.

flat screen.. the screen is flat,, or i should say flatter, or curved with a flat piece of glass in front.
flat panel the whole tv is flat.. like less than 6" thick at the most.

Thirdly, what company should I be looking at for speakers? I need to know that even before thinking about the A/V receiver unit.


that depends on your budget.. you could go with bowers and wilkins.. but that would chew up $20,000-$500,000 .. im not really an authority on price/performance speakers, so i'll leave that to someone else.... or you could also go with custom speakers such as that my brother builds.. http://www.verheyloudspeakers.com .. yes i realise the incredibly bad pun.. the sites down but if you want a incredibly long and boring conversation about Thiele-Small specs.. then he's the guy to talk to..

Phil, I don't plan on split screen gaming, but we are still planning on getting a 1080p TV anyway. This a good idea?
.. sure the higher resolution the better right :D .. a 1080p tv will still display other signals just as good, so really there's no downside except for the price as it will be more expensive.

Also, I always thought that your viewing distance was based on the size of the TV times x?

I'm really confused right now so can anyone give me an example of their set up?


sure.. example say your veiwing distance from the screen is say.. 10ft .. and your primary use of the tv will be digital hi-def content (xbox at 1080p) . so take 10 x 7inches = 70inches.. the most emmersive (largest tv you can get without it looking too stretched is ~70" (65"-72" area)

.. now then.. if the primary content is different, like regular tv, it would be 10 x 4 = 40 inches.. you could have a 40inch tv before it looked likes**t from being stretched out too big.. and HD cable/satalite/dvd would be 10 x 6 = 60 inches ..

Edit: I think the main source for my confusion is knowing the terms found on HDTVs, AV Receivers, etc...


terms found on hdtvs.. like what?
Colourstream, Composite, HDMI, 1080p,1080i,720p,540p,480p, digital line or Comb filters, picture in picture(PiP), picture on picture(PoP), contrast ratio, brightness???

---
can't access HWA unless I use a proxy... lol

pfft ..f**k that! (almost sounds like work)
Scumbag Blues Mar 14, 2007, 10:37am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Well, apparently we will only be doing two things on this entertainment system: movies and games. Therefore, my parents won: we are getting a projector instead of a TV. We also have a set budget now.

Projector: $2000 CDN
A/V Receiver: $1000 CDN
Speakers (5.1): $2000 CDN

For everything else, there's mastercard....

On a more serious note, do you guys have any idea what to get now, now that we have a relatively set budget? The actual cost between the three units can change, but they must add up to $5000 CDN or less. If it is REALLY necessary, there might be some leeway...

To start off, for an A/V Receiver, I'm thinking about getting this one:

http://ca.denon.com/ProductDetails/3058.asp

What do you think? It's about $770 CDN.

http://ca.denon.com/ProductDetails/2879.asp

Or how this one for about $1470 CDN? I know it's basically double the price of the previous one, but perhaps we can cut back on something else? Is it worth getting a better A/V?

~

Intel i7 2600K @ 4.4GHz | Gigabyte P67A-UD4 | G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 4GB | XFX Radeon HD 6950
Adam Kolak Mar 14, 2007, 02:47pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
I wouldn't spend twice the price for the better one. It has HDMI ports, but you don't need that provided the projector your getting has the amount of HDMI ports you need. But if it only has one then you might want to get the Reciever with the mulitple HDMI inputs and then output it to the projector in just one cable.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
Scumbag Blues Mar 14, 2007, 03:20pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
The biggest problem is trying to find a good projector for $2000 CDN...

and for that matter... speakers too.

Edit: How's this projector?

http://www.epson.ca/cgi-bin/ceStore/consumer/consDetail.jsp?BV...d=60032833

It's ~$2699.99 CDN and looking into it, it looks decent but does anyone have a better projector they know of?

Here's some info about it but I'm not sure if it's 100% correct.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_Pro_Cinema_800.htm

Edit2: What about Runco? Sony? Please give me a name/product name. Speakers too.


~

Intel i7 2600K @ 4.4GHz | Gigabyte P67A-UD4 | G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 4GB | XFX Radeon HD 6950
Scumbag Blues Mar 15, 2007, 11:21am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
BUMP

~

Intel i7 2600K @ 4.4GHz | Gigabyte P67A-UD4 | G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 4GB | XFX Radeon HD 6950
phil Mar 15, 2007, 06:45pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
IMO, your best bet for shopping for a projector, as it's going to be the deciding factor for the rest of your budget, would be to see them and hear them in action.. that's always the best bet when buying a tv, but even more so with a projector, you have to take in to consideration many other factors that are case by case that effect everyone differently, like light pollution, and sound...

i think one should go out and see them working, then it can be judged personally if the projector will display a picture good enough for your liking in your room, while not making too much noise cooling itself down.

generally it a comprimise between how loud and how bright the projector is, and it's all personal preference..

if you're intersted i have seen comparison reviews on projectors at places like tomshardware, where 6 or 7 units are all compared against each other, it may lead you to a starting point, but i really do suggest looking at them before you actually purchase anything.

then when you have you I/O and budget figured out, you can really seriously look at what you can by with the rest of your budget as far as audio is concerned.. also dont forget about the screen itself.. a good projector screen is not cheap, and is not included with the projector... it should also have protection, either be retractable (manual or motorised) or be in a dartboard like cabnet, with fold away or bi/trifold doors.. some folks go with a classic curtain, i've seen very nice ones done in velvet and silk, with a heavier leather or pleather backing to provide protection against more rigorous or sharp threats

---
can't access HWA unless I use a proxy... lol

pfft ..f**k that! (almost sounds like work)
Scumbag Blues Mar 15, 2007, 10:10pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Actually, we're having it displayed on the wall painted in a special "grain egg-shell" paint that will basically act like a screen. The level is something like 1.0, so ideal for home theatre...

I thought it was strange at first (and probably not going to work), but I went and saw a friend have a similar set up, and it looks fine. Cheaper too.

Yeah, I went out and saw some projectors, Epson Pro 800, Hitachi, and so forth and the one we like best is the Epson one.

The only thing stopping us right now is audio. I do not know anything about speakers at all. :( The speakers will have to be between $1000 - $2000 CDN.

~

Intel i7 2600K @ 4.4GHz | Gigabyte P67A-UD4 | G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 4GB | XFX Radeon HD 6950
FLO 1337 Mar 16, 2007, 07:45am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Speaker shopping is always fun, to many options. But off the top of my head you can get the Klipsch synergy series, Athena, Polk Audio, JBL, PSB, Infinity, Axiom, Paradigm Monitor series. Most important is to audition all the different speaker makes. And as far as receivers go a 1000 budget is great shouldn't need anything more. Look at Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, Harmon Kardon. Go to a local sound store not just futureshop and bestbuy, try and find a home theater specialty store and Good luck!!! :_)

Scumbag Blues Mar 16, 2007, 12:35pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: My "Soon-To-Be" Entertainment System
Thanks! I needed to know the brand name speakers to look at. :D

~

Intel i7 2600K @ 4.4GHz | Gigabyte P67A-UD4 | G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 4GB | XFX Radeon HD 6950

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