Designing a Home Theater on a Budget

Last month I discussed how to protect your home with steps to improve security and a quick tutorial on surveillance systems. This month as the title says I’ll be talking about one of the most enjoyable products I work with…Home Theaters and specifically designing systems that maximize performance while still meeting a budget. I like to say that we (at Madrona Digital) specialize in systems 5k-500k and within that range many things are possible. For the purpose of this article I’m going to walk through the building of a ‘reasonable’ 25k system that is a current iteration of what I want to put in my own house.

 

Questions to ask:

What’s most important – Audio/Video, and how important is each?

 -          High impact dynamic range that can rock a concert or blow me away is very important, having a nice big image with proper color is important…I’d like an ultra-wide screen for the most cinematic experience…and think 3D is cool but hate having to wear glasses

 

What’s my total budget – including build costs, room treatments, furniture and of course equipment and installation/calibration/programming?

-          Approximately 25k seems reasonable 15 for equipment 5 for build/furniture/ 5 for install/misc. parts. + 10% other tbd/overage.

 

How big is the room and how many people do I want to share with?

-          Room is 15x20, I’d like at least 6 seats…but 8 would be preferred.

 

Do you have a style or design for the room in mind?

-          I’m wanting a fairly stealth install, I want stuff hidden…but it is a dedicated room so I want it to feel like a theater. I also would like a modern look maybe with some sconces, cove lighting and a riser for the second row of seats.

 

Are there accessories/products/brands/features you’ve seen/listened to that you like and would like to include in the theater?

-          Yes, I’m partial to Yamaha AV receivers and have had great luck with Sunfire Subwoofers…I also know I do not like single chip DLP projectors as the rainbow effect gives me headaches. I’d like to include some kind of snack bar/concessions area (maybe a kitchenette/wet-bar) with a popcorn machine as well as some Movie posters that can be highlighted with spot lighting. I also want a large easy to use remote with hard buttons as I’m a perennial channel surfer…but if I can also have control with an iPad or android device that would be great too.

  

These are just a few of the questions I would ask a customer when designing a Theater. There are usually many more as well.

 

The system below features all of today’s newest capabilities including an ultra-wide perforated screen, 3D video (with video scaling and up-conversion), Audio and Video Streaming Services (Pandora, Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, etc.), the best Cable DVR interface and top notch audio and video performance from any optical disc (CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/DVD-Audio and SACD), plus all the accoutrements to make the room look and feel like a real Home Theater!

 

The List: Turn-Key Price $27,650 + tax

Video: JVC DLA-RS35 Projector MSRP: 3500

Projection Screen: Dalite 139” 2.35:1 Perforated Screen MSRP: 2500

Speakers: Revel W552 (3), W560 (4) MSRP: 2750

Subwoofers: Sunfire HRS10 (2) MSRP: 1800

AV Receiver/Pre-Amp: Yamaha RXA-2010 MSRP: 1600

Sources: Yamaha BDA1010 Blu-Ray Player MSRP: 500,

            Yamaha YDS-12BL iPod Dock MSRP: 100

TiVo Premier MSRP: 100

XBOX360 MSRP: 300

AppleTV 3 MSRP: 100

Control System: RTI T2Cs+ & RTI XP6/ZM24 MSRP: 1450 (+ iPad, Approx 500)

Lighting Control: Lutron Radio Ra2 and Serena Motorized Black Out Shades Estimated 3000

Surge/Power Conditioning/Battery Backup: Panamax MX5102 MSRP 650

Room Treatments: Custom Package by Kinetic’s Estimated 1000

Seating: 2 Rows of 3 Theater Seats by Mira (Black Leather) Estimated 2000

Rack: Sanus CFR2127 55” Pre-configured Rolling Rack MSRP 800

MISC. Cabling/Install Parts/Construction materials: Estimated 2000

Installation/Calibration/Programming/Build: Estimated 3000

 

For those of you who desire a higher level of performance including fully engineered state of the art custom designed rooms, or for those on an even more modest budget check out a few of my other sample systems at different price points below.

Questions?

Eastside Audio/Video
Phone: 425 922 8145

EastsideAV@hotmail.com

 

Showroom by Appointment

29 148th AVE SE, Suite 200

Bellevue WA 98007

 

News

New Location and website are officially in the works!

1/8/2015, Eastside Audio/Video is in the process of moving to a new location in the heart of Bellevue at the cross section of Main and 148th.  Official grand opening is slated for late July once renovations have been completed.  Stay tuned for details. 

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