Making a home theater

  • 4 April 2018
  • 8 replies
  • 506 views

Hey guys,

I am quite new here, so I still can't find my way around. However, I would like to turn the additional guest room I have into a home theater. Do you guys have any suggestions? I don't know where to start. I am simply standing in front of the room the whole day, staring at it and simply no ideas come to mind. 😃

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8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
How hard core a home theater - like seats and full experience. I guess these days for the full experience people would go with Dolby Atmos as the audio and then a couple rows of home theater couches (a platform for the rear couch lifting it up a stair level would be cool)
Userlevel 7
Badge +14
If you want a proper setup and want to be able to hear proper surround audio as present on most bluray and ultrahd discs and not silence, and not have to do even more research and have to buy special players that decode and then lower the quality of said audio.... then, as Sonos doesn't even play normal DTS sound, nevermind higher bit rate versions, Sonos isn't for you.
Get a proper setup.
If you want a proper setup and want to be able to hear proper surround audio as present on most bluray and ultrahd discs and not silence, and not have to do even more research and have to buy special players that decode
Get a proper setup.

I agree. And said proper set up may even cost less than Sonos. For example, capable receivers are quite cheap these days, with the power to fill small to moderately sized HT rooms with sound quite well at home. And with capable front, centre, and surround speakers, even the Sub can be a later buy. The problem with these set ups is speaker wiring, but in a dedicated to HT spare room, this ought to be manageable.

In addition to not being cheap, Sonos HT involves the compromise of not having physically separated front speakers. Sound panning effects across the screen need this separation to be well heard. That compromise is made to offer the benefit of less cabling and a more discreet installation where the space is not just for HT.

The one area of research that may be needed is how to get and play streamed movies via this set up.

Caveat: This above is based on my thinking that if one wants double digits for the speaker count and perhaps triple digits now for the screen size, it is better to go to the nearest multiplex that will always yield the best viewing experience for reasons beyond just sound and picture size/quality.
Userlevel 2
Badge +6
All depends what you want to do. Sonos sells a great 5.1 package. If you have money to burn the top AV receivers are 13.2 Atmos these days.
Projector or flatscreen? If flatscreen LED or QLED etc. many choices.
I’d suggest you spend some time browsing YouTube and the web for home theatre. Lots of howtos and pros and cons pages.

If you want recommendations. I like Samsung displays and Yamaha audio equipment. Both are decent quality and middle of the road price points. I have a Sonos connect and a few Sonos stand alones to fill in the rest of the House. Along with outdoor zones. Yamaha makes good entry level AV receivers and great flagship models.
When picking out equipment pay attention to numbers and types of inputs and outputs to make sure you have flexibility for the future.
Userlevel 7
Hi cllnscthrn

IMO everything starts with your total budget.

A Sonos DD5.1 system will retail (USD) from $1,696 - $1,896 consisting of:
_Playbar or Playbase
_Sub
_Surrounds (Play:1 x 2 or Play:3 x 2)
I don’t recommend Sonos One’s as surrounds due to Alexa hearing (actual or sounds-like the wake command) which will be annoying.

Sonos is less forgiving as the Playbar/Playbase only accepts an optical input from your TV that must pass DD5.1. The remote to operate the Playbar/Playbase must be IR. You also need a good Wi-Fi signal although a problem Wi-Fi signal can be compensated for by using what Sonos calls “Boost Mode”.

Read more about setting up Sonos at the link: https://www.sonos.com/en-us/support/setting-up-sonos

On the positive side_Sonos basically pioneered the wireless/whole-house speaker system. Sonos IMO is the most versatile allowing expansion, integration with non-Sonos products such as a stereo system or turntable via the Sonos Connect and/or Connect: Amp and caters to a variety of streaming services.

I offer this comparison not as an endorsement of the product mentioned but as a guide:

Given the Sonos price points mentioned above you can purchase a Yamaha YHT-5920UBL DD5.1 System (same number of components as Sonos) for $699.95 or a Yamaha RX-A3070 Dolby Atmos 9.2 Channel A/V Receiver for $1,999.95 (that price does not include speakers). The upside to the latter is that you can purchase speakers of your choice not necessarily the Yamaha brand. Finally, there are other peripherals to consider such as a Blu-Ray Player and maybe a turntable.

My point being that your budget will basically dictate what you get. Then you can consider if you want to go with Sonos (as a wireless option) which means you’ll be invested into the Sonos ecosystem with little room to deviate or go a more traditional route with something akin to the Yamaha RX-A3070 with more flexibility. I might also add that Yamaha offers wireless systems as well.

Caution: With any wireless system of substantial cost you’ll be locked into that ecosystem; so do your homework and choose wisely. Full disclosure I also own a Definitive Technology HT speaker system powered by a Sony ES AV receiver that IMO out performs my Sonos setup. However, my Sonos system serves a different purpose.

I hope this helps and best wishes on your endeavor to design a HT system that suits your needs.

Cheers!
How hard core a home theater - like seats and full experience. I guess these days for the full experience people would go with Dolby Atmos as the audio and then a couple rows of home theater couches (a platform for the rear couch lifting it up a stair level would be cool)
How come you left out the D Box seats that shake/move in sync with what is happening on the screen?!:-)
Hey guys!

I appreciate all your help! I will make sure to go with some of the Sonos products, they do seem to be the best. :)

One thing is left to decide on. Since I am turning the extra room into a home theater, I will need to do some remodeling. It's too bright after all. Plus, I would like to do some work on the walls because I have a crazy idea of "building the gear in". So to speak, to turn the walls into shelving. I have spoken to some architects in Melbourne (http://www.superdraft.com.au/melbourne-architectural-services), since I live here, but I would love to hear your feedback on this crazy idea. Also, if anyone has experience with them or with a similar project, I would really appreciate it! :)

Thanks guys! You're the best!
What's the size of the room? I think that's another big factor. If you room is only 10x10 ft, for example, 5.1 sound is about as many speakers as you could go. You said you're converting a bedroom, so I'm guessing you don't have a lot of space to work with.

And since you are willing to do remodeling along with, I'd have to honestly say you probably would get a better experience with a wired system over a wired. Sonos is the best when it comes to whole house audio, IMO, but wireless has limitations for a home theatre system. I'm also guessing that this room is going to be used for watching tv/movies only. You aren't going to be listening to music in there or have a desire to sync audio from that room with the rest of the house. That means a lot of the advantages of Sonos aren't very useful.

If I were you, I would look for companies that specialize in home theatre renovations. That would be able to help you with the stereo equipment selections and some of the renovations as well. What they can't do, I'm sure they can partner with a company that can.