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HTPC / Home Theater Setup

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|DRC| psycheus

Sunday, November 27 2011, 19:44:53 #43883     HTPC / Home Theater Setup

Hey Guys,

I'm working on finishing our downstairs room into an office and theater area. It's approx 25' (7.6 meters) x 12' (3.6 meters) or about 300 sqft (91.5 sq meters). Half is the office area and half is a game/theater/family room (multi-room).

I'm doing this because I have another baby on the way and need to move my office to make room. BTW it's another boy!

Anyhow I'm trying to think this through thoroughly;

I need suggestions or links to give me some ideas. This is limited on budget and it's not going to be high end, just mid range. I'm going to use a good projector and screen and I also want a TV (when we want light down there and you can't see the screen). Also I'm going to be building a media closet with HTPC, decent receiver (with 2 output sources) and built in speakers.


Walls; Double 1/2 drywall with green glue between Green Glue Company
Ceiling; IsoMax sound isolation system with 5/8 drywall Resilient Sound Isolation Clips (Kinetics Sound Control)
Insulation; Bonded Logic's blue jean insulation OR QuiteBatt's cotton based insulation
Ultra Touch Batts (blue jean insulation, EcoHaus.com)
Bonded Logic (blue jean insulation, Manufactures website)
QuietBatt Insulation
Flooring; Carpet (on a concrete floor, floor has been sealed)


Media Closet Ideas
I'm going to building approx 4' high due to space issues


HTPC (Home Theater PC);
Mid-range HTPC
ZDnet's $600 Low cost HTPC
Price = < $1000

Mid-range Receiver
The Receiver needs to support 2 video outputs and approx 4 inputs (HDMI).
Inputs will be DirecTV box, Xbox, Wii with spares
Outputs will be TV & HD Projector
Receiver Price = < $750
Speakers Price = < $750

Mid-range built in speakers; Bose, JBL, Pioneer?...

Good Home Theater Projector (HD 1080); Epson, LG? Projector Reviews
Price = < $1500

Projector Screen < 100" Projector Screen Reviews
Also debating if it's going to be auto or just manual

Decent Plasma or LCD TV (HD 1080, approx size 55")
Price = < $1500
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|DRC| Wartex

Sunday, November 27 2011, 21:35:25 #43884     

Things must have:

Learning remote, one of the Logitech ones.

WD TV Live Hub

The htpc you posted had ATI4200 vid card, I have this in my netbook and it's super slow. WDTV on the other hand can play BDROM rips with ease, 1/10th of the size, support wireless keyboards, external storage, hundreds of formats, netflix, youtube and tons of other services, has NAS etc. Check it out.

For a projector get Casio XA series that uses lasers and LED and not halogen bulbs, it has 10x bulb lifespan so you can use it every day. It has less lumens than bulb based projector but in a dark room it makes no difference.

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|DRC| psycheus

Monday, November 28 2011, 00:36:08 #43885     

I'll look into the remote, that's last on the list.

Would that WD TV be a better fit instead of the HTPC? It looks to be much cheaper.. What OS does it run..?

Also do you mean Casio XJ series? I can't find any XA series ones. I'm going to probably use 100" screen at about 10-11 feet away.

Also do you have any suggestions on speakers? I want to use some in-wall units.
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|DRC| Wartex

Monday, November 28 2011, 01:35:18 #43886     

WDTV is running custom linux. If you are not using TV for browsing inet and don't plan on playing games on it (good luck playing games on ATI4200), WDTV will fully replace HDTV *and* act as a NAS. For $200 you get a player and 1TB WD Blue HDD in it, it's a great deal hands down.

The XA projectors are discontinued I guess, this is what I meant: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824124017
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|DRC| Iceman

Monday, November 28 2011, 18:58:16 #43889     

Hey Rick,

I have a set of Polk Audio RTi10's, Wartex's old RTi4's in my rec room with a 12 inch Velodyne Subwoofer, I have them for awhile now but audio technology has not really advanced much so you could probably pick up the same set I have now for around $800 - $1000 which is about half what I paid for my RTi10's. Great sounding speakers that will make your windows shake if you want them to.

Receiver wise, personally I would recommend HK (Harmon/Kardon) as a decent mid price range receiver. Yamaha also makes some good high end receivers as well. There are more expensive ones out there, but in honesty I think you would be wasting your money if you spend anymore than $1000 - $1500 on a receiver. Audio technology has not really advanced much, so as long as you have enough power in your receiver to drive your speakers that is all you should need. The rest is all mostly just cosmetic differences.

Here are the specs for the RTi10's.


Hope this helps Smile
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|DRC| psycheus

Tuesday, November 29 2011, 09:38:49 #43892     

Thanks for the feedback.. one feature I think I want but please interject if you know better.. but I'm going to have a TV and a projector. I've noticed that not many receivers have 2 HDMI outputs. Is there a simpler cheaper way to switch between the TV and Projector?
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|DRC| Iceman

Tuesday, November 29 2011, 19:42:51 #43894     

I have seen a few projectors operate but it has been awhile so now they might be different (i.e. more advanced) but I am not sure. Originally I was thinking to get a projector as well but after seeing the quality of several I decided I would go for a High Definition TV instead. The good thing about projectors is that you will have a larger than life picture, but if you look closely the quality is less than a regular TV. They kind of remind me of seeing those old reel movies to be honest.

I am no TV pro, but from what I have learned I would recommend buying an LED Big Screen as they are more energy efficient. I ended up buying a smaller big screen 40" Phillips because it had the most features for the money. Something to keep in mind if going with a big screen is the refresh rate.
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