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How much for a decent Home Theatre setup?

Old 09-06-02, 02:26 PM
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How much for a decent Home Theatre setup?

I know it is a neophyte question but I am considering in the future building a home theatre that would be a quasi-movie theatre (no windows, one use only, theatre style seats). Also if there is a simple way of thinking about how to group the costs together (ie Sound, Projector and screen, setup). In general I will be looking for something that is excellent but not at the top of the cost scale. Thanks for any help you can provide.


p.s currently I have a Sony Dream DAVC770 which seems to be adequate at the moment
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Old 09-06-02, 04:12 PM
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Well, the most expensive part (other than perhaps the labor) will probably be the seats, depending on which ones you choose. You can find a reasonably good projector under $3k, a high quality DIY screen for $300 or so, perhaps another $100-300 for wiring, and then misc. expenses (sound deadening, wall hangings, ceiling mount, etc).
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Old 09-06-02, 05:06 PM
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DLP/LCD Projector : $3000-5000
Sound: $2000-2500 (Receiver $700-900, Speakers $1200-1600)

You could go cheaper, but I think these price points are for excellent, but not top of the line components. These prices assume you are looking around for good deals. Also the price/performance of digital projectors is improving rapidly while the price/performance of receivers/speakers are not.
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Old 09-06-02, 07:17 PM
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As usual skar is right on. The DLP projector is a good angle. There is a new chip coming out in the next few months that has much better brightness and contrast. Once they hit the streets the current models will start to show up used for cheap.

Dont for get a good screen which is very important to picture quality.
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Old 09-06-02, 11:02 PM
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the costs for my mostly DIY HT:

NecLT150 DLP projector: $1800
DIY Screen (including wood and fabric): $40
black Velvet Masking and floor to ceiling frame around the screen (to reduce the effect of dlp halo): $80
(1) refurbished Marquee theater seat: $60

currently i'm upgrading my surround system.
i own a Kenwood HTIB ( at under $500 for 5 speakers, reciever and sub) that served me pretty well the last year and 1/2, but has since sounded kind of shrill.
i've auditioned several speakers( including Magneplanars) in home with Onkyo, NAD and HK recievers.
my clear favorites for HT would have to be Onix Rockets (www.rocketloudspeakers.com).
i had a 250/200 package and the front soundstage for movies was one perfectly seamless sheet of sound.
however, i think i will probably end up going with a set of Ascend Acoustics.
i just got 3 of them in two days ago, and they are absolutely incredible speakers at only $150 each.
musically, i like them better than the rocket 250s.
any music passage in a film soundtrack just absolutely soar with these speakers (was watching Blues Brothers earlier tonight and the soundtrack was stunning!).

so for the audio end i will probably end up spending - speakers: $1100 (if i go w/ the HSU VTF2 sub) or under $750 if i just stay with the Kenwood sub i already have; reciever: looking for something under $800

btw- actual theater seats have a cool novelty factor, but unless you are getting some very high end Marquee seats, w/ large padded arm rests, and a tall back, i would look at other seating options.
i have another $60 chair that gets far more use than the theater seat...its just way more comfortable.

Last edited by ckolchak; 09-06-02 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 09-09-02, 04:51 AM
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I think it really depends. Yes, the higher the budget for your projector, the higher quality you will get with your picture. However, there are reasonably good choices that aren't too expensive.

For me, I'm a color man. I'd rather a bright, punchy picture with excellent, vibrant colors than ultimate black level (though shadow detail is also very important). This is what I have:

It's a Proxima DP8000:

XGA Native LCD with MLA technology (~85% pixel fill ratio)
3000 ANSI lumens
800:1 on/off contrast
<34dB of noise
HDTV (1080i, 720p), EDTV (480p), NTSC 3.58/4.43, PAL, and SECAM capable inputs
1.3:1 zoom
HD15 (x2), HDCP capable DVI-D, 5BNC (RGBHV, RGBS, RGSB, YPbPR), S-Vid, Composite
RS-232, USB, PS2, Ethernet
Silicon Image DVDO internal processing (Deinterlacing & Scaling)

It costed me $2940, new.
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Old 09-11-02, 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by gotapex
I think it really depends. Yes, the higher the budget for your projector, the higher quality you will get with your picture.
i have to disagree somewhat with this.
since i've had my pj, i've had a chance to see some far more expensive set ups (a sharp 9000 and Runco at Harveys in NYC) and the same Runco at a local dealer just the other day, as well as a new Marantz.
the sharp was over $7k, the Runcos were over $17k, and the Marantz was around $11k.

did they present a significantly better image projected onto a $3-600 screen, than my sub $2k pj on a diy $40 screen?
in the case of the Runcos especially, i much perfer the picture i get on my system.
in fact i couldn't get over how underwhelming the picture was that i saw just a couple days ago- at a cost of about 10x what i paid.
one reason, they have to send an interlaced siginal into the scaler on the Runco.
i find the resulting image tends to comb (very badly on video based material) and looks to me much more 'tv-like'.
everybody says the scaler on the LT150 is its weakest element, but w/ a progressive scan player the image i get is far more film like than any Runco i've seen using its propritary $5k scaler.

what you do get for all that extra money is features- like the ability to finely position the picture when your projector is limited to a certain placement in the room, and the pj is likely to be far quieter than a budget presentation pj.
noise is about the biggest factor with my pj at the moment.
picture-wise, i just havent seen even a twice as better picture let alone a picture that is 5-10x better to justify the cost of these HT branded & marketed pjs.

if you are flexible and can work around the deficencies of noise and placement, the best bang for your buck is a presentation pj - absolutely.
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