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10 posts

Wannabe Geek

#95589 8-Jan-2012 23:20
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I am going to start building my own house soon) and looking to have a home theater setup.

I am quite lost and need advise from experts:
I am thinking to use the living room as a theater, which means that I will have a projection screen fixed to the ceiling and when needed, to pull it down. Most of the time, a plasma is used when not watching movies.

But considering that my living room may be rather open concept, the sound my not be good. Any ideas how to resolve? Fixed curtains around?

Secondly, any recommendations where to get affordable projectors and screens? Some places I note is rapallo, dond+bond, noel and harvey. 

Thirdly, any recommendations for companies who provide consultations and installations for the theater?
How would the coordination be like with the builders during the construction of the house?

I currently have my own marantz 7.1 receiver with polk audio sat 5.1 speakers.

Sorry for the many questions and thanks for the advice. :) 

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10 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #567145 10-Jan-2012 22:21
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Hmmm no one can help?

7073 posts

Uber Geek


  #567160 10-Jan-2012 23:00
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matthewscl: I will have a projection screen fixed to the ceiling and when needed, to pull it down. Most of the time, a plasma is used~~~

I currently have my own marantz 7.1 receiver with polk audio sat 5.1 speakers. 


open concept, the sound my not be good. Any ideas how to resolve? Fixed curtains around? 


any recommendations where to get affordable projectors and screens?


any recommendations for companies who provide consultations and installations for the theater?
How would the coordination be like with the builders during the construction of the house? 

First up you're gonna need to route the hdmi signal to a TV and then to the projector as needed.
You need to remember this and think about how you are going to route it.  Runs to projectors can be long.  If you're going over 10m make sure you have good quality cable.  I don't mean expensive necessarily, just that its heavy gauge and works.
Does your receiver have twin hdmi outputs?
You may need an hdmi switch etc etc

If it sounds crap then you'll need to work out why.  I'd check that the distances to the seating position etc are all configured correctly.  I personally love the receivers that have a setup mic and compensate for crap speakers or varying distances to the seats etc.  (Though best sound I've ever had was using a direct unfiltered line direct from the source to the speakers, but that's another story).

Curtains may work for you.  You could glue egg cartons to all your walls perhaps too.

If you're after a mainstream projector then your best bet is likely a deal from a major retailer on a sale day, like Waitangi perhaps etc, or wait for Easter or Boxing Day....  If you're after a 'non major' item then you'll need to shop around.      

No I don't know of major companies doing this sort of work.  Where are you in New Zealand?   Given you haven't said I'll guess you are in Auckland?  There are some specialty companies around, google/your home type magazines may be your friend.  Architects will help I'm sure, well they will think they are helping, but to some degree you want to get someone on board who knows the pitfalls before you walk into them.  Let us know where you are and someone might know someone locally etc.

How will the build be managed/home theatre integrated?  Well that really depends on how your contract is staged.  If you want physical build components then you'd want these spec'd out clearly in your plans and contract with the builder.  How you include it is really up to you but if you are building there is much you can install that will really help out down the line.  You'll know where cable runs need to go and where additional support beams/dwangs etc need to be added to mount the plasma etc etc.  The short answer is it will be up to you to determine, in conjunction with your building company, how much and what additional work is done and by whom.  


10 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #567183 11-Jan-2012 07:17
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Excellent! I am staying in the northshore, auckland. I am using Marantz NR 1601 with only 1xhdmi out. :)

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Uber Geek


  #567189 11-Jan-2012 08:07
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The more info you provide, the more people will be able to assist you.
Highly recommend Rapallo AV for hdmi cables if you need longer runs.

There is much to think about really, but it all depends on how wild your plans are, as to whether it's something you need to get designers involved with etc.  If you need anything specific, like raised platforms or thicker walls to sink a TV into etc then you need to discuss these with your builder and get the specifics detailed on the plans.  That way everyone is on the same page and you will know the additional costs etc.  I'm assuming you are getting a building company in to actually build it etc, so really you just need to know what you want and then convey this to them.  

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Uber Geek

  #567190 11-Jan-2012 08:08
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My only advice that I can pass on when building a house is what I was told and have lived by on each build..."you can never have enough power points or AV cables".

For the moment I would just work out where you want everything placed and make sure you have cables routed to those areas to cover a primary and secondary plan. Cable is a cheap cost when building, and it's damn hard putting things into walls after the fact.

+1 on the advice re major retailers, lots of price competition and some good deals to be had. The alternative if you want to go upmarket is I guess to import something yourself, or there are specialist AV shops around that will do consultations and installs (hope you have lots of $$$$ for that).

Not sure how much you want to put into this but you could consider getting sliding walls/folding dividers installed through the build to secure the room for movie viewing. Not sure on the cost but we have them at work and they are quite soundproof. Personally I would just see what it's like first.

Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be the Batman

10 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #567419 11-Jan-2012 15:51
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I see. I dont think i can spend lots of $ to sound proof the room. I have experienced having home theater setup in living area and sound sucks due to large open areas. And i am not sure if custom curtains will help. Meaning that when projecttion is use, the surrounding will be enclosed by curtains. Will that help in the sound?

Secondly, any good place to purchase good quality cables but not sO expensive?

Any idea how much consultants or installers charges to setup the projectors and sound for the house?

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Uber Geek


  #567423 11-Jan-2012 16:00
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I honestly don't think you can have not 'expensive' and 'consultants' in the same sentence.

A larger area requires larger equipment. Have a look around, there are lots of topics on this site that cover bits of what you are wanting to achieve. From my point of view you'd want a good centre speaker and you'd have to give some thought as to where this would be located/mounted with a projector screen pulled down at the front. Then a big a$$ subwoofer should fill the area. Having curtains that pull around you sounds rather odd and money spent on that might be better routed towards getting larger/better speakers to overcome the problem in the first place?


10 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #567431 11-Jan-2012 16:24
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You have a lOgic there. Thanks man for the valuable feedback.. I will have a chat with the builder first to see how best he can accomodate to the requirements. ;)

959 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #569152 15-Jan-2012 16:52
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For the projector, best you first have a thought about what features from the projector you are after, there are a few 3d projectors out now, Mitsubishi, Panasonic and JVC (not sure about Sony), there are also non 3d options available which opens up other brands too. Full HD is pretty much a given these days (although I am still very happy with my "only" 720p Panasonic PTAX200), but other things like fan noise, adjustibility, colour accuracy etc are all important factors.

Do you want DLP pojector or LCD / Lcos. Do some research on each projector type and their pros/cons. Personally, I can't live with the DLP effects, messes with my eyes, but then so does 3d, but again, you may be different.

You mention that its an open plan lounge where the projector will be? What is light control like, presumabely you are happy to accept that daytime viewing on the projector will be pretty much no go, even the brightest of projectors arent designed for daytime (light) viewing.

How much space do you have to play with? Each projector will have different specificiations as to how much zoom there is to use (and how much zoom you use also then alters the projectors brightness). Have a look at's projectorcalculator pro tool, this will give you an indication as to whether or not a model in your short list will theoretically work or not.

How much do you want to spend?

If you are still in the design phase of your build, have a chat with Murray at Rapolloav, he has just set up his own personal theatre (there is a thread about it on audioenz forums and you can see its progress there), he will most likely have the right contacts. He does sell the 3 brands of projector I mentioned above, so at least amongst those brands you could consider his advice "unbiased" whereas others may only sell 1 or 2 of the brands so will steer you towards the one they sell.

You could cut a corner or 2, go to Harvey Normans etc and buy either a Panasonic or Epson projector (I think the only 2 they sell, could be wrong) with one of their nasty drop down screens and be "happyish" or you could spend a little more (and still get the Panasonic or Epson projector) but have it done properly. In the terms of what you are likely to go over budget with when building a house (just been there, done that, finished $30k over a "stretched budget") an extra $1 - 3k now will be quickly forgotten.

10 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #569219 15-Jan-2012 20:36
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Thanks. I had a word with paul money hifi today. They are ok to do a package price (projector, mouting, 100-120 inch screen and 2 more speakers for 7.1 setup, with their recommended installer. I have been to their showroom. The projector panasOnic pt ar100.. Looks quite ok.

For builder wise, will b discusiing with them on tuesday. Get the position of the screen and speakers ready so that those areas area equiped with thicker support.

Hope everything is ok.. Any advise on the panasonic projector?

959 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #569566 16-Jan-2012 18:13
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I'm a big fan of panny projectors, have reviewed the AE300, AE500, AE700 (bought it), AE900 & AX100 for Audioenz over the years, now own the AX200.

From what I can tell, the AR is the replacement of the AX line of projectors, same housing etc, obviously upgraded panels to the full HD and if I read the review at projector central correctly, the lamp from the AE4000 (rich red?). They actually weren't particularly complimentary about the projector as a "home theatre" projector, but for a multi-puropse / non dedicated environment, it sounded like it could do the business.

If you can see it going and are happy with what you see, then thats a pretty good indication. Just be wary of the screen, read my review on the indigo screen on audioenz and the downside of the cheaper screens on offer

Good luck


86 posts

Master Geek

  #572661 24-Jan-2012 11:12
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I have the AE4000 projector and have it in a dedicated room.  The room is 7m long x 4.5 wide and have a fixed 110" screen.  I haven't seen any other projectors but I find that the AE4000 produces a fantastic image using bluray as well as HD contect from TV.  The colours and black levels are excellent.  The room is reasonably light controlled with black out curtains so can watch a movie no problems during the middle of the day.  I don't use it with the curtains open so can't comment about ambient light.

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Uber Geek


  #572662 24-Jan-2012 11:15
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+1 for Panasonic projectors too. These days I'd only go for full HD too as you're likely to have a large screen. 720p looked great but with TV1,2 and 3 and bluray all in full HD you'd have to be looking at that now.

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Uber Geek


  #572716 24-Jan-2012 13:09
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My builder just put in a new wall to put a TV on. It's a standard 4x2 wall, but over that there's 2cm thick ply, then there's gib. You can recess the ply into the studs too. That's meant to be a better way of attaching huge, heavy TVs to a wall than bolts to studs.

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