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Projector is a BenQ W1070. They go for about $500 now. Widely considered one of the best projectors under $1500. Its a DLP projector, 1080p, and 3D capable. Has pretty good bulb life in economy mode. Good for up to around a 140" screen.



Couple pictures from before I had the screen and everything setup. Phone pictures, so not the best quality, but you get the idea. Also shows that you can still see the picture relatively well, even with the light on directly overhead.





My screen is 118". That is the largest I could fit between the two windows in my living room.



Because I'm attempting to hide 90% of my home theater equipment, the screen needed to be acoustically transparent. Ready-made acoustically transparent screens are pricy. In the neighborhood of $750-1000, if I remember correctly. I'm not sure what mine cost, but it was much closer to $150. Instead, I ordered two pieces of spandex from SpandexWorld.com (silver/white). I build a frame out of some cheap 1"x4" boards from Home Depot, and wrapped the spandex around that, Silver as the base layer, and white as the top layer. To hold the spandex in place, I used porch screen track and the little rubber seals. Same type of stuff is used on window screens as well. The screen is hung on the wall with a single french cleat on the cross brace.



All 7 of my surround speakers are the same. El cheapo 6.5" 3-way in-wall speakers from Monoprice.com. I think these run around $50/each. The center speakers on the front stage had to be offset because of a wall stud. This isn't at all noticeable though.



Side and rear speakers are indeed, the same. There are 3 fronts, 2 on each side, and 2 rear speakers.



Here is one of the rear speakers hidden behind some "art". Again, wanted acoustically transparent, so the stuff hiding the speakers doesn't interfere with the sound. Its funny when someone doesn't know there are speakers back there, walks by right as a gun goes off, dog barks, etc. on the movie, and scares the crap out of them.



The "art" is nothing more than some custom printed fabric from SpoonFlower.com stretched over a wooden frame. Total cost to build 4 of these was around $85. You can upload your own images for these. Super high-res is going to be better, obviously.



Held up to the light, so you can see how thin it actually is.



The projector is bolted to the ceiling with a combination of some galvanized steel pipe pieces from Home Depot, and a projector mount I bought off E-bay. I think I scored the mount for around $100, and the pipe was like $8. Lots of options here, but Chief is a good brand. They make some pretty high end stuff. You can also see my massive 25' HDMI cable and the power cable running up through the pipe into the attic.



The receiver is a Denon AVR-x1100w. I picked it up from Accessories4Less.com for around $225-250. It has plenty of HDMI inputs for me, and will support 7.2 output on audio. So, 7 speakers and 2 subwoofers.



There is a jumble of mess behind it going to my wall plate. I haven't gotten around to cleaning it up yet, because I still have lofty plans of building a candy/popcorn stand, that will also hide all the electronics.



Wall plate is just a cheapy from Monoprice.com as well.



To power my subwoofers, I picked up a Behringer EP2000. This has the capability of pushing out 2000 watts to the subwoofers, which is PLENTY for my small setup. These are pro quality amplifiers made for concerts and stuff. Should last forever in my home audio setup. Price was around $200 on Amazon.com. Could possibly be found cheaper elsewhere, but I snagged it on one of their Lightning Deals. These have a pretty loud cooling fan inside them. I yanked it out and installed a new one I purchased from DigiKey.com. CFMs are only slightly lower, but the noise is now almost non-existent.



My subwoofers are actually mounted in the attic. I cut a hole in the ceiling and installed the subwoofers firing at each other in an infinite baffle setup to cancel out any vibrations through the roof. To cover the gigantic hole in the ceiling, I stretched some speaker grill cloth over some MDF which attaches to some mounts using rare earth magnets. The grill cloth and magnets I picked up from PartsExpress.com for a few bucks.



Luckily for me, there is a power outlet in the attic pretty close to where my projector is mounted. I had to buy a longer power cord for it so it could reach to it, but they are pretty inexpensive. Same funny D-shaped 3 prong cords like your standard PC uses.



Here is the subwoofer box that holds both of the subwoofers. I splurge a bit on these. They are FiCar Audio IB318 subs. Around $300/each. But they are 18" diameter with 60mm of total travel. These can seriously push some air!



And my favorite picture to show off the size of these subwoofers.



For the unseen stuff, all speaker wires, HDMI cable, etc, running through the wall are CL2 or CL3 rated. These are in-wall rated, and you should make sure to get the right ones for whatever is required by code in your area. If you ever had a house fire, which would suck, and don't have in-wall rated cables, the insurance company can pitch a fit, and refuse to pay. Or at least, so I am told... Speaker wires are 14/2 from Monoprice.com. HDMI is 26awg (I think) also from Monoprice.com. Speaker wire is CHEAP. Buy more than you think you need. Trust me on this. I got to the end of my 250' spool, and didn't have enough to finish out the job.
 

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Thanks for the excellent write up! I too am a Monoprice junkie. I put some in-ceiling speakers from MonoPrice in our bathroom because my wife loves music when getting ready in there. They sound great and were affordable. I also like their heavy HDMI in-wall wiring.

Really nice setup, and good idea about concealing most everything. That makes it kid proof and gives you much more space in the room. I'll have to take some pictures of our setup and post them later.
 

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Don't think I've seen 18's in the ceiling before. That's crazy.

When we moved into our current house there were four speakers in the living room ceiling. I convinced my wife that we should at least add one more to have proper 5.1 sound. And if I was going to add one I should do two more to have 7.1. I just have a BIC PL-200 for my sub. And then came outdoor speakers on the back poarch, CAT5E drops in every room for optimal streaming, mounting the TV on the living room wall, moving all of the AV stuff into our closet (which is on the other side of the wall the TV is mounted on) I really like the clean look as well, and finally putting a TV on the wall in our bathroom.

I think my living room is at least on par with the average HT setup. I'll probably try and convince my wife we need an ATMOS receiver once the kids are older and our living room is no longer a race track. I really didn't want speakers on the floor with them running around like maniacs all the time.

You've probably been there before, but this is where I hang out for all my AV stuff. http://www.avsforum.com/forum/index.php
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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Great write up GIJ!! I love how you put together an awesome home theater on a budget!! I also like how you spent your money in all the right spaces.

BTW, I have a 7.1 setup with all Klipsch speakers and a Sony ES receiver. I am kind of into home theater but no where on the level of you :)
 

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I now have two separate home theater systems. Living room HT is 80" flat screen, 5 Sonance in-wall LCR THX speakers, dual M&K 350 THX subs, B&K 5000, AMX audio and video switches all programmed on RTI remote products. Also in the rack I have a 12 channel amp pushin speakers in the master bed and bath, patio speakers and garage speakers.

Out in the pool house I just built the HT consists of Yamaha amp, B&K 600 series speakers, 2 - SVS15" subs, Epson 3250?? projector and 133" screen. I really listen to more music that movies but do watch movies occasionally
 

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It's nice to see that there some other people here that are also into HT/Stereo audio systems. When I was growing up my mother often had a "movie night" for my brother and I. It was something we always enjoyed and looked forward to and it became something I wanted to do with my family. Now I'm fortunate enough to have an area in the house to do it.

Currently the setup is a 5.2 system with a 50" TV. I may consider moving to a over head projector in the future but for now the TV is more than adequate.

TV - 50" Pioneer Elite Plasma
Receiver - Pioneer Elite SC-07
Blu-Ray - Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD
Power - Panamax 7500 Pro
L/R - Martin Logan Purity
C - Martin Logan Feature
SL/SR - Martin Logan Fresco
Sub - 12" Martin Logan Abyss & Dual 10" Polk Audio

The sound quality is amazing as far as I'm concerned although Martin Logans are a bit directional and less ideal for multiple people in a larger area. I bought the setup roughly a decade ago when I was working for Magnolia Home Theater inside Best Buy and was fortunate enough to have a very large discount. In hindsight, different speakers (Definitive Technology) probably would have been better but the sound quality of the MLs was well above IMHO.







The L/R/C channels all have their own internal amplifiers so they are run off the pre-amp outs and the receiver only works to power the rear two surrounds. Also the BDP has a dedicated DAC for each channel of audio when connect through multichannel instead of HDMI.
 

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gijoe4500 said:
Decent looking setup. That room is begging for a larger screen. Almost no windows from the way it looks! Not necessarily a projector, but it would be an option.
Yeah it's a finished basement. Half the basement is finished and the other half is the garage. The only window in the room is the one you can see directly behind the couch. That's also East outside that window so in the afternoon the light doesn't shine directly in too much which is beneficial. The space could definitely house a larger screen but unless the wife lets me mount that 50 in the bedroom I don't think I'm gonna be able to sell her on getting a bigger tv down there for now.
 

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Togo said:
It's nice to see that there some other people here that are also into HT/Stereo audio systems. When I was growing up my mother often had a "movie night" for my brother and I. It was something we always enjoyed and looked forward to and it became something I wanted to do with my family. Now I'm fortunate enough to have an area in the house to do it.

Currently the setup is a 5.2 system with a 50" TV. I may consider moving to a over head projector in the future but for now the TV is more than adequate.

TV - 50" Pioneer Elite Plasma
Receiver - Pioneer Elite SC-07
Blu-Ray - Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD
Power - Panamax 7500 Pro
L/R - Martin Logan Purity
C - Martin Logan Feature
SL/SR - Martin Logan Fresco
Sub - 12" Martin Logan Abyss & Dual 10" Polk Audio

The sound quality is amazing as far as I'm concerned although Martin Logans are a bit directional and less ideal for multiple people in a larger area. I bought the setup roughly a decade ago when I was working for Magnolia Home Theater inside Best Buy and was fortunate enough to have a very large discount. In hindsight, different speakers (Definitive Technology) probably would have been better but the sound quality of the MLs was well above IMHO.







The L/R/C channels all have their own internal amplifiers so they are run off the pre-amp outs and the receiver only works to power the rear two surrounds. Also the BDP has a dedicated DAC for each channel of audio when connect through multichannel instead of HDMI.
Awesome! I toured the ML shop in Lawrence KS back when Gale (founder) ran the co. So when I had the means, I bought oddessys (sp?) and ran them with a proceed HPA. Now they sit (now that I am married), waiting on me to finish the basement. I should sell them!
 

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Bumping this up.

I am venturing back into home audio/theater. We finished our basement reno. I regret a bunch of things now that it is finished. In the back of my head, I wanted to turn it into a movie room and but didn't act on it. I could have ran wires, extra outlets (ceiling) and speakers in the walls but ended up not doing it.

@gijoe4500 I found some great prices on Denon AVR-S930H or AVR-X1400H , is one better than the other?

I am thinking of starting with 2 front speakers and a sub first then build on it. This should be better than a soundbar/sub setup right?
 

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Soundbars are a compromise.

I'm in the middle of building decoupled walls /soffits in the basement ....greenglue, clips, sealing outlets, cans etc. Not a theater but a room where I can enjoy 2-3 channel as loud as I want without interfering above.
 
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