I’m working on a website about creating a home theater. I know a lot of you have awesome home theaters, do you have any advice, tips, or notable lessons you learned. My website is www.diyspeakercables.org
This walk-through is being continually updated please be sure to check back here, as well as browse the site. Before you actually do anything read the whole walk-through, then come back and follow the steps, this will give you a better picture of what you want your theater to be like.
Table of Contents
Deciding you budget is the least enjoyable part of the process but it is the easiest. You either have money available or you don’t. Although some may argue a home theater adds value to your home, go at this process as a hobby, do not expect to get back anywhere near what you invest. You will have to make sacrifices and you will wish you had more money. Start off by deciding how much you have to spend, make sure to consider the cost of subscription services like TiVo and CATV. Next, split up the budget into categories. I would suggest, construction, seating, lighting, video, audio and other. You can also all Home Theater PC to you list if you want to enter that world. Finally decide what product types you want, maybe you don’t know yet, that’s OK. We will talk about display devices, speakers, accessories and more. But the most important thing is to keep reading, this blog will save you money, and allow you to have a theater you never though you could afford. Later in this walkthrough allocation of the budget will be discussed so don’t stress over how to spend you funds yet, just figure out how much you can use before your significant other puts an end to the whole adventure(Significant others rarely understand the need for better equipment until they use the all in one remote control.
This part is still pretty easy where are you going to put your theater? The first question: Do you want a single room theater, or a multi-room theater? A single room theater will be cheaper and you can always add on later. On the other hand a multi-room system will allow for better integration of your wants and less work down the road. Home theaters can range in cost from $500 to $50,000 so your budget is going to play a part in deciding on a single or multi-room setup. If you budget is low or this is your first time creating a theater start off with a single room theater. Now you have to decide what room to put your theater in. Great options include:
There is no rule as to where a home theater can go, want a bathroom theater, go for it, your crazy but it’s your money. For the sake of simplicity we are going to start with a living room theater, a dedicated theater often requires construction, a walkthrough for that may be coming in the future. In addition to what space you think would work best for your house, think which space would work best in YOUR house. Do you have small children and like loud music? Maybe the basement is the space for your theater. Or do you have teenagers (or yourself) that enjoy video games and socializing, than a living room or den theater might fit you best. Talk with your family about which room they would prefer, they may just have a valuable point. Finally look at the environmental effects the room might have on your theater experience. If you have an open floor plan and lots of giant windows are you going to be able to control the light and audio reflections?
This is where the fun begins. What do you want your home theater to do? It can do pretty much anything.
If you’re not sure what you want your home theater to do, take a look at our reviews page for some possibilities. If you are just starting out go for the basics, Blu-ray movies (Blu-ray players will play DVD’s and CD’s), a DVR and a gaming system or to. Once you get into the internet based services things get complicated quickly, and you can always add them on later.–
After you have decided what you want, decide how you want it to work. Are you ok with 5 remotes or would you like one? Do you want cutting edge or are you ok with tried and true equipment. Do you want you significant other or children to be able to operate it all, or will they just need the DVR? And then it goes back to the budget. The older the technology and the less equipment you choose, the cheaper your home theater will be. We can all agree 3D movies on a 100inch projector with Dolby HD 9.1 surround would be sweet, but if your budget is $1000 it’s probably not going to happen. On the other hand you $1000 you might be able to use one remote to turn down the lights, close your blinds and play a DVD.
First we will look at the Video section.
When it comes to video you have a few good options, your choice will probably depend on your budget, but even the lowest budget can afford a DVD player. Your options for video include Movie sources, Television sources and Other sources. In the movie category you can choose between Blu-ray, DVD, VHS, Laserdisc, beta-max or any number of other odd sources. I would recommend starting with a Blu-ray player. It can play DVDs, and most importantly you can get one at an affordable price. If you are on a budget I would suggest looking for a Blu-ray player under $150. If you search out good deals you might be able to stay closer to $100. When looking at a Blu-ray player consider your Displays inputs. If you have a new TV, stick to HDMI its simple, works well and looks great. If you have an older TV that only has a composite connection (yellow RCA cable) make sure your Blu-ray player offers this output. A general rule of thumb is to stick to well know brands, but If you know someone with an off brand Blu-ray player, and they like it, save some money and go with it. If you insist on using that Beta-Max player or your Laser disk player make sure you buy a receiver with enough inputs to accommodate them all. If you new at this I would recommend keeping it simple at first and leave the old technologies in the closet.
Ok so you insist on having more than one video device, now it starts to get complicated. If all your devices offer the same output and you receiver and TV offer the same inputs and outputs it’s easy. The problem is this will most likely limit you to composite video, aka no HD. So if you are going to go the route (multiple video inputs) the most important thing to look for in a receiver is analog to HDMI up conversion. Make sure to read reviews and insure that the receiver converts all inputs to HDMI; some only convert component or component and s-video.
Some receivers that have received positive reviews and offer analog to HDMI up conversion include: Yamaha RX-V567, Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K, Sony STR-DN1000, Onkyo TX-SR608, Denon AVR-591
This is nowhere near a comprehensive list of worthy receivers; this is merely a short list of quality receivers I have read about.
Another feature to look for in a receiver is HDMI 1.4
HDMI 1.4 improves upon previous HDMI standards in the following ways:
HDMI Ethernet Channel – Adds high-speed networking to an HDMI link, allowing users to take full advantage of their IP-enabled devices without a separate Ethernet cable.
Audio Return Channel – Allows an HDMI-connected TV with a built-in tuner to send audio data “upstream” to a surround audio system, eliminating the need for a separate audio cable.
3D – Defines input/output protocols for major 3D video formats, paving the way for true 3D gaming and 3D home theater applications.
4K Support – Enables video resolutions far beyond 1080p, supporting next-generation displays that will rival the Digital Cinema systems used in many commercial movie theatres.
Content Type – Real-time signaling of content types between display and source devices, enabling a TV to optimize picture settings based on content type.
Additional Color Spaces – Adds support for additional color models used in digital photography and computer graphics.
If you are looking to purchase a new receiver, do youself a favor and get one that supports HDMI 1.4, this will allow you to use it further into the future, and allow for easier integration of HDMI 1.4 components. Speaking of components the next video source to decide upon is your television feed. Deciding between cable, digital cable, and sattelite is really a personal preference. Ask your friends and neighbors what service is reliable and affordable in your area. Don’t be afraid to barter for a lower price or extra service, even if it is for a limited time. What everyone will need to do is insure the cable running from your CATV drop or satellite is up to date. Even if you have a new home your builde rmay have skimped on the CATV cable, which will cause poor picture quality and slower internet speeds(if you have cable internet).
The best in wall cable for most homes is RG-6 quad shield, you go crazy and install RG-11 cable but unless you have a very long run, the extra work will no be worth it. RG-11 is stiffer then RG-6 and thus harder to install.
RG-11 (top) is about twice as thick as RG-6 (bottom)
Make sure when installing CATV cable that you install a grounding block in the line between the outside and any components. For extra peace of mind you can purchase a RG-6 surge protector/grounding block.. Once your main line is protected you may want to run CATV to more than one room in the house. This leads to a whole different discussion (multi room distribution) but the most basic way is to purchase an amplifier and a distribution block. One last comment about CATV cables, if you have gone to all the trouble of replacing you cables, don’t skimp on the wall plates, for just a few dollars you can make you theater pop with nice new wall plates and high quality connectors. Wall Plates with keystone inserts are great because you can always add more connection later without cutting into your drywall.
Now that you have a clean signal to your home theater what are you going to plug your cable into? Remember that everytime you add a passive splitter your signal strength drops, look at an active splitter if you are going to be plugging CATV into multiple devices. If you choose to install a TiVo or DVR you may need to run a telephone or ethernet cable to your home theater, depending on the model you choose.
Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix
Hulu, Youtube and Netflix all started out being HTPC only choices, but with recent technology you don’t necessarily need a HTPC to use these sources.
(Not standard free Hulu) can be viewed on the Xbox 360, PS3, Roku Media player, some TiVo boxes, and a handful of HDTV’s and Blu-Ray players. The interface may vary per device, but the outcome is the same. You can watch Hulu Plus content on your TV, with out the extra hassle of a HTPC. Hulu Plus starts at $7.99, allowing you to watch current TV shows from ABC, BET, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC, MTV and VH-1. In addition you can watch a hand-full of movies, some entire TV show series and many shorts and clips. At the time of this article, Hulu is offering a free one week trial of Hulu Plus, and a free month for anyone with a .edu email address. All the supported devices can be found here.
Although not as readily available as Hulu, YouTube is available on many devices other then HTPC’s. You can get a YouTube app for GoogleTV devices, the WII, PS3, Apple TV, and some TiVos. In addition a few HDTV’s support YouTube apps natively. The full list is available here. The best feature about YouTube is that its FREE. However, the content is limited, and often hard to search.
The most well source for TV and Movies is Netflix Starting at $7.99 a month Netflix is a great option if you want to “cut the cable”. Netflix is most well known for its movies, but it also has a wide selection of TV shows. Just like Hulu, Netflix offers a free one month trial, but if you just want to see if your favorite show is offered, their website has a full list. For a list of supported devices, click here.
Amazon.com, MLB.com, ESPN, NBA, and many, many other websites offer similar streaming sources. The best bet would be to decide which sources you want, and find a device or TV that offers those applications, One device that can do all of the above and many more is a HTPC. If your against the HTPC, a TiVo, Xbox 360, or Apple TV are basic devices that can probably do what you are looking for,
The HTPC is an often misunderstood beast. It used to be that a HTPC was a loud, ugly server case sitting in a bachelors living room next to mismatched couches, and unreasonably large speakers. No longer! With the help of some very user firnedly front ends, Home Theater Computers can function much like ant other a/v component. Keep in mind the more you want your HTPC to do, the more things that can go wrong. Don’t let this frightne you, there are many users with fully functional HTPC’s that rarely break down, home made or store bought.
There are 3 main schools of HTPC thought. Windows, Linux and Apple. This article will dot dive deep into the differences, but merely show the options available to you.
Windows 7 has brought about some great features in HTPC land, mainly Windows Media Center 7. Other windows HTPC front ends include XMBC, NextPVR (formally GBPVR), Media Browser, MediaPortal, Beyond Tv Boxee and many others.
Windows 7 Media Center
Windows 7 Media Center comes free with Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions of Windows 7. This video shows a quick overview of Windows Media Center 7’s capabilities.
In Windows 7 Media Center one can watch and record ATSC (Free over the air HD) or NTSC (cable) channels. You can setup the TV guide which will function much like a TiVo or DVR. You can record single episodes or series’s and even TV movies. In 7MC (short for Windows Media Center 7) you can watch movies from a DVD or Blu-ray player, or movies off a hard drive. You can also view pictures, listen to music in a jukebox style layout and even listen to FM radio if you have a FM tuner installed. Other cool features of 7MC include the ability to monitor sports scores via internet connection, and even play games on your TV. There are literally hundreds of plug-ins for 7MC ranging from changing the theme colors, to adding logos on the TV guide. If the stock 7MC isn’t enough for you consider adding Media Browser.
Media Browser can be ran as a stand alone HTPC front end or integrated with 7MC. Either way it behaves the same. Media Browser is a software that is based on content being stored on Hard Drives or Discs. It also offers the ability to stream trailers but the main focus is on stored media. Media Browser allows you to automatically download metadata (information such as actor images, details about a movie, movie length, rating and cover art), play your media library on a Xbox 360 in another room, stream trailers off the internet, organize movies, tv shows, music and even video games, all in a way that can be controlled with a remote. The beauty in Media Browser is the eye candy and the ability to customize. This video shows a setup where Media Browser is integrated into Windows Media Center 7, but you can also run Media Browser on its own.
Media Portal is a replacement for Windows Media Center 7 and works on the Windows Operating system. It allows you to do many of the same things as 7MC such as:
◦Listen to music and radio ◦Play videos, movies and DVDs ◦View pictures or create a slideshow ◦Watch, schedule and record live TV – like a TiVo, but more, and for free! ◦Stream media, radio and TV to any HTPC / PC connected to your network ◦Use a remote to control your HTPC from your couch ◦Check weather, news, or information on the web, even play games.
One of the great features about MediaPortal is its FREE. You can choose different application and skins to fit your needs, and customize it allot easier then Windows Media Center 7. You can check out all the plug-ins available for Media Portal here.
Linux offers Myth TV, Sage TV, XMBC and others.
Myth TV is a open source Linux/BSD/OSX software that has the ability to operate in a server/client setup. In addition Myth TV offers the following features:
•Watch and record analog and/or digital TV, including HDTV. •Pause, skip, and rewind live TV shows. •Completely automatic commercial detection/skipping, with manual correction via an intuitive cut-list editor. •Intelligently schedules recordings to avoid conflicts. •Parental controls to keep your kids out of the good shows. •Watch and archive DVDs. •Listen to your digital music collection. •Schedule and administer many functions remotely via a web browser. •Flexible client/server architecture allows multiple front-end client machines to access content served by one or more back end servers (although the most common installation consists of a single computer running both the client and server together).
Much like the other programs, Myth TV can be customized and can support multiple plug-ins. At first its operation is basic, but with proper configuration it can rival 7MC and others, specifically due to its ability to operate in a client/server setup and its cost… free. More information on MythTV can be found here.
Sage TV is another great Linux/Windows/OSX option, it is very similar to the other, features that do stand out are:
◦ability to mark favorites ◦support for the TV out feature on the PVR-350 ◦works with HDTV, cable and satellite ◦time shifting in DIVX ◦built in commercial skip Sage TV also works with Sage TV Client to allow a server client setup much like Myth TV. Sage TV is a for purchase software, but a trial is available here.
Apple HTPCs can run FrontRow, XMBC, Boxxee or others.
FrontRow is the media software built into OSX. With the release of Lion FrontRow (also called Apple TV Take Two) will be no more.FrontRow is a full-screen display of your favorite movies and photos. When you launch Front Row, your desktop fades out and an elegant interface appears, letting you choose from songs, slideshows, and videos on your Mac or on other computers in the house. With access to both your iTunes and iPhoto libraries and a huge collection of movie trailers, Front Row transforms an evening at home into a blockbuster Hollywood premiere.
Although FrontRow is free with OSX, it is lacking when it comes to plugins and custimazations. This may be a plus If you rae looking for a simple setup that works with your itunes library, but for must it is underpowered.
Although XMBC is available on windows, linux, osx and more, it has been put under the apple header to make OSX feel better.Currently XBMC can be used to play almost all popular audio and video formats around. It was designed for network playback, so you can stream your multimedia from anywhere in the house or directly from the internet using practically any protocol available. Use your media as-is: XBMC can play CDs and DVDs directly from the disk or image file, almost all popular archive formats from your hard drive, and even files inside ZIP and RAR archives. It will even scan all of your media and automatically create a personalized library complete with box covers, descriptions, and fanart. There are playlist and slideshow functions, a weather forecast feature and many audio visualizations. Once installed, your computer will become a fully functional multimedia jukebox. XMBC can also be run on the Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Xbox and Xbox 360. XMBC offers a Live edition that installs a basic version straight from a cd with little to no setup, but limited features. More information about XMBC can be found here.
Boxee is unique, it works on OSX, as well as windows, linux, the boxee box and others. It runs in a application based format similar to an iphone where you can add or remove application. Some great application that Boxee does best include Pandora Radio, LastFM, netflix, youtube channels and much much more. You can even control boxee with an Iphone app. With Boxee you can watch LIVE shows from sources such as MLB or BBC, you can also play stored files from your harddrive or network. Boxee also supports Dolby True HD, and many other recent media formats. You can use boxee for free, although some premium applications do come with a cost.
Back before the invention of 3D TV, HDTV and even plain old TV there was a mysterious thing known as audio. Not the 9.2 channel, ear blowing, 192hz surround sound that we have today, just simple one channel pure audio. Now this is not to suggest that you home theater should be set up in a mono only configuration,but it should look back to the basics, quality audio will provide a quality theater experience. The audio sources that you may listen to in your theater (not audio for video sources) will vary, but there are 3 main categories to be discussed: Music Tracks (MP3, Cd,Cassette, 8-track, LP), Radio (AM Radio, FM radio, XM/Sirus Radio, HD Radio, Internet Radio) and other sources (pod-casts, your Ipod, etc). The first and probably most common audio only source is music tracks. This could be a MP3 or other digital format, a CD or even an old 45. This walk through is not how to make an audiophiles dream listening room, but merely suggestions to take when planning an all purpose theater.
MP3’s and other digital formats MP3 is probably the best known digital audio format, but it is not the only, or even the best, especially for theater listening. The MP3 format is lossy, meaning that there is a trade-off between the amount of space used and the sound quality of the result. Typically, the creator is allowed to set a bit rate, which specifies how many kilobits the file may use per second of audio. The higher the bit rate, the larger the compressed file will be, and, generally, the closer it will sound to the original file.With too low a bit rate, compression artifacts (i.e. sounds that were not present in the original recording) may be audible in the reproduction. Some audio is hard to compress because of its randomness and sharp attacks. Besides the bit rate of an encoded piece of audio, the quality of MP3 files also depends on the quality of the encoder itself, but the most important thing to relize is that MP3 files are great for an Ipod where there is limited space, but fro your home theater you might want to take advantage of the extra storage space on your HTPC or digital music player and upgrade your audio format. Other lossy formats include:
◦AAC ◦ADPCM ◦ATRAC ◦Dolby AC-3 ◦MP2 ◦MP3 ◦Musepack(based on Musicam) ◦Ogg Vorbis (noted for its lack of patent restrictions) ◦WMA So if you want the best quality what format should you use. Well that is always up for debate, but some good options include:
◦Waveform audio format – WAV ◦Free Lossless Audio Codec – FLAC ◦Apple Lossless– ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) ◦apt-X– Lossless ◦Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding – ATRAC ◦Audio Lossless Coding – also known as MPEG-4 ALS ◦MPEG-4 SLS – also known as HD-AAC ◦Direct Stream Transfer – DST ◦Dolby TrueHD ◦DTS-HD Master Audio ◦LPCM ◦PCM ◦Meridian Lossless Packing – MLP ◦Monkey’s Audio – Monkey’s Audio APE ◦OptimFROG ◦RealPlayer– RealAudio Lossless ◦Shorten – SHN ◦TTA– True Audio Lossless ◦WavPack– WavPack lossless ◦WMA Lossless– Windows Media Lossless WOW that’s a lot of codecs, If you have a of free time on your hands you could read through them all and decide what the best option is for you, but if you want a few good suggestions keep reading. lot
WAV and FLAC are some of the best formats for music, but realize that encoding a MP3 to FLAC is like trying to put a Escalade Logo on your ford explorer and pass it off as a real Escalade. you will know the quality isn’t there. The best time to choose a format is is when purchasing digital music, or converting past technologies such as CDs or Tapes. WAV is a format commonly used by professionals such as radio broadcasters. WAV files can be quite large, but almost all home music servers, and PCs can read them, and they offer high bit rates for quality sound. FLAC can be compressed to save space with out giving up quality, but many systems cannot read FLAC files. When deciding how to play your digital music files, there are two main options, a digital music player or a computer. Digital music players can range from affordable to extremely expensive, but remember that with digital audio, the difference is going to be hard to hear.
Digital Music Players
Digital music players can be broken into two categories, music servers and music clients. Music servers store the music inside and do note require a computer. Music clients read music from a computer and do not store the music themselves. Music servers are often more expensive, but for a dedicated audiophile they may be the best choice. for those looking for affordable quality audio a digital music player setup as a client will probably be the best bet. Systems such as the Logitech Squeezbox, Sonos zone player or Yamaha MusicCast2 are easy to setup and allow for audio in multiple rooms. If you are looking to go high end the Marantz NA7004 is a great option and it allows streaming of internet radio, which will be discussed later.
Another option, that may be cheaper if you already have a computer is a computer based digital audio player. All you need is a computer with a sound card and your ready to go. If you computer needs a sound card, or you sound card is the one that came built in you should probably upgrade to a sound card with a digital audio out. This will allow clean transmission of your music without having to spend alot on a quality analog sound card. One great option is the Creative Labs X-FI series, which offers Toslink out. And for under $100 its a great deal. If your computer is not in the same room as your theater, or if you want a wireless option you can get a wireless media adapter such as the Apple Airport Express. With an option such as the Airport Express you could even use an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad as the remote, all without running a single wire. To read more about using the Airport Express with an iPod/iPhone click here.
CD Players Now working backwards in level of technology, not necessarily enjoyment we will look at CD players. How many discs do you want at your fingertips?
One major differentiator to consider when you’re choosing a CD player is disc capacity. If you rarely have time to listen to more than a single CD or a few songs at a time, a single-disc player is probably all you need. Even these players feature programming functions that let you cherry-pick only the tracks you want to hear on a disc, and play them back in any order you choose.
If, on the other hand, you love the idea of hours of uninterrupted playback, or the ability to randomly play songs from several discs at a time, get a multi-disc changer. Multi-carousel changers let you change discs while the current keeps playing, for nonstop music.
Jukebox changer options
For the ultimate in playback flexibility, go for a mega changer. Also referred to as jukebox changers, these units provide a permanent home up to 400 of your favorite discs. They’re popular with music fans because they keep your CD collection loaded and ready to go.
If you’ve decided you want a jukebox changer, one feature you might want to keep an eye out for is disc naming capability. Some mega changers let you enter the title and artist name for each CD stored, which makes searching for a particular disc especially easy. A few even provide an input for a PC keyboard, which allows for much quicker name entry.
And for those of you with truly massive music collections, some of our mega changers let you connect a second changer and operate the two units as one. This not only increases your disc capacity tremendously, but in many cases also provides sophisticated playback options like cross-fading and no-delay shuffle play.
CD recorders If you’ve ever wanted to record your own discs, you’ll love the world of possibilities that a CD recorder offers. From quickly dubbing copies of your favorite CDs for the road to archiving copies of treasured old LPs and cassettes, a CD recorder lets you create discs from almost any audio source, digital or analog. You can even pick choice tunes from a dozen different sources to compile any “mixed” disc you can dream up.
CD recorders, also called CD-R/RW decks, make it simple and affordable to create great-sounding discs — direct digital recording means that your copies will sound virtually indistinguishable from their original CD sources. And you’ll be able to play back your self-made CD-Rs in newer home, car, and portable CD and DVD players and changers. You’ll also be able to record CD-RWs, which allow you to re-record different music on the same disc dozens of times.
Note: Blank computer CDs are not compatible with audio CD recorders, so be sure to use blank audio discs (the logo on the packaging must include the words “Digital Audio”).
What types of discs do you want to play? Of course, all players handle the standard CDs you’re used to buying in music stores, but there are other options to consider these days too. And when it comes to format flexibility, all CD players are not created equal.
If, for example, you’ve got a computer or a component CD recorder that lets you burn your own CD-Rs or CD-RWs, you’ll probably want a player that can handle these formats. All newer players can play recordable CD-Rs, and many also work with rewritable CD-RWs, but if this is an important feature for you, be sure to check before you buy.
If you’ve got loads of MP3s on your PC, and you have the ability to burn them onto CD-Rs or CD-RWs, you may want a CD player that can play back MP3 discs through your main A/V system.
Another type of disc is the SACD, or Super Audio Compact Disc. These discs require a specialized player because they’re based on a recording technology called Direct Stream Digital (DSD). SACD players, however, are built to play both SACDs and standard CDs with outstanding precision.
DSD captures four times as much musical information as the Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) technology used for CDs. As a result, SACDs sound warmer, smoother, and more “analog” than standard compact discs. SACD faithfully captures the purity and freshness of the original musical performance, right down to the ambience of the studio or concert venue where it was performed.
This unprecedented level of sonic realism is further enhanced by SACD’s multichannel capabilities. Some SACDs are recorded in two-channel stereo, but many take advantage of the format’s ability to store music in up to 6 discrete channels. Best of all, this multichannel capability is designed for compatibility with a standard 5.1-channel home theater system.
Making a direct digital connection You’ll want to check for digital input/output compatibility if you want to make a direct digital connection between your CD player and A/V receiver. Many SACDs require digital-to-analog conversion that can currently only be provided by SACD players themselves. Therefore, some SACD signals can only be sent to a receiver using analog connections. That means you may need a home theater receiver with a 5.1-channel analog input to enjoy multichannel SACD sound. Other SACD players offer digital connections via SPDIF.
If you are looking to buy a CD player, be sure to get one with a SPDIF connection, it will save you the time and trouble of connecting 6 rca cables. Modern DVD and blu-ray players can play all types or recorded and manufactured CD’s, so unless you are looking for audiophile quality, or a large changer, skip the dedicated CD player all together, and rip your Cds to FLACC files, or use your Blu-ray player.
That is an awesome idea, I just happen to be in the “planning to plan” stages for one, myself. I probably won’t go nearly as far as many folks (I don’t plan on buying the popcorn machine, the microwave will be sufficient) but a lot of the nuts-and-bolts stuff will be of interest.
Thanks! I want to setup the site so it applies to everyone. I do not have the funds or space for a dedicated theater, but its still been quite a bit of work. At the same time I want to have info available for those doing a dedicated theater.
My site is up and … limping. Its not really running but its a start.
Jeff from thegreenbutton.com says:
1 realize it’s a journey and not a destination, technology will probably change before you get done with your original design concept and installation.
2 Sound is as important, “maybe more”, than video
3 What ‘“type” of home theater: Dedicated (screen, projector/lcd display,popcorn machine, bar, theater seating), Deticated Media room or theater in you living room
4 It’s a hobby, not an investment
That’s enough to get started! Jeff
I am going to first start off with a walkthrough of a shared living room theater as I think it will be easiest. I am going to write articles on the following main categories:
Let me know what you think.
Great idea. I'm sure there are a lot of folks willing to contribute. Perhaps you can have articles written by contributing authors?
Just visited your site. Your social media links are taking a long time to load. If you are using something like wordpress, you might want to look for a different plug-in.
I'd be happy to contribute on what an HTPC can do for the home theater.
know any GOOD companys that will build an htpc from a list of ANY parts u give them?
Check out my article on “the top 10 tips when building a hometheater” on my blog.
I think one of my favorite and most important mottos in regards to planning an electronics purchase is the following:
“There is always something better on the horizon. Always.”
As long as you remember this when buying electronics it will keep you sane.