Help me outfit my new room.

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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We’re currently doing some home renovations that will be opening up a 13’x24’ space for a TV room. I am starting from scratch since I will be leaving my current TV and ancient receiver/speakers in the family room that my kids took over a while ago through some manifest destiny move. The current situation:
 
-The TV will be going on one of the 13’ walls
-We thought about having a couch around 10’ away and behind it a raised platform with theater seating to make a second row which would be around 15 feet away.
-Initial thought is a 70” LED TV. I don’t feel the need to have anything 3D/UHD or curved. Does a smart TV make sense though?
-I need a receiver and speakers. I have bought neither in like 20 years so my knowledge of surround sound, compatibility of components, etc. is quite lacking.
-I want (I think?) to hide all the components including the cable box in a closet. The closet doesn’t exist yet. I am assuming I would want to try and keep this at the same end of the room as the TV to avoid running a shitload of cables. I would then need to buy some sort of converter to be able to work my remotes, correct?
-The room is going to have hardwood floors and a cathedral ceiling. Is this going to royally screw with the acoustics and if so how can I mitigate it other than carpeting or lowering the ceiling?
-I’d like to stay in the $5K range for the major components excluding cables, converters or whatever other crap I need to get. If there’s a compelling reason to exceed that number though I’m flexible.
 
Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.
 

JimBoSox9

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My big question is whether you're interested in connected-home type (Nest, Sonos, etc) elements in the various purchases, or if your ambition is limited to a Harmony.
 

Couperin47

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Hardwood floors and cathedral ceiling is a prescription for very bright and harsh unless you stuff the room full of rugs and plush furniture, but you don't have to spend much to prevent this: what will the ceiling be ? If it's standard wallboard, just a few strategic 'panels' applied up there can work wonders...doesn't need to be more than just hardwood frames of 1x4 with any standard acoustic tile panels backed by unfaced R-11 fiberglass. Covering as little as 20% of that ceiling will probably tame everything.
 

derekson

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Personally in my experience Smart TVs are pretty shitty and you're better off with a "dumb TV" and an AppleTV or a Roku.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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We did the same set up about 2 years ago.
65" Samsung TV with components (receiver, cable box, Blu Ray and Apple TV). Sound bar is mounted on the wall below the TV. A low 60" A/V cabinet sits on the floor under that and holds the components plus the sub woofer. There are no wires or cables visible from anywhere in the room. We did this by putting an electrical outlet in the wall at the height of the TV and another 4 plug outlet in the wall behind the A/V cabinet. All the cables etc run from the basement up through the walls and connect behind the TV and sound bar. We have some sort of sensor on the TV that allows the remote to control the components in the cabinet.  
 
The room has a 11' ceiling and HW floors. We have an upholstered sectional and one upholstered chair as well as an area rug in the room. No problems with sound.
 
Sonos makes a sound bar now that wasn't available then. I would look into that. 
 

canderson

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Jul 16, 2005
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derekson said:
Personally in my experience Smart TVs are pretty shitty and you're better off with a "dumb TV" and an AppleTV or a Roku.
This. Smart TVs use the worst interfaces.

For cabling, you could put a conduit straight from the TV mount area to the closet and easily wire everything and have room for expandability.

Can't help with audio components but Couperin47's ceiling advice for noise is spot on.

If there are windows, install black out shades that can be raised/lowered electrically.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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To answer a couple questions - no, this isn't going to be part of a connected home type set up, just the basics in this room. The ceiling is as of now planned to be wallboard so the acoustic tile idea is one I'll add into the project.

I'm not that concerned about lighting since I've intentionally left the window plans at a minimum but I will plan on adding some method of killing the light. Good news is there really isn't a lot of instances where I'm around during the day watching TV anyway.
 

Couperin47

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Tangled Up In Red said:
Sonos soundbar and (optionally) Sonos Play 3 speakers. Mega flexible.
 
Sonos stuff is a step above Bose crap, but for serious sound it's just laughable... otoh there's a whole population now that couldn't give a shit how it sounds as long as they can avoid those horrible scary abominations to humanity: wires.
 

canderson

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Couperin47 said:
Sonos stuff is a step above Bose crap, but for serious sound it's just laughable... otoh there's a whole population now that couldn't give a shit how it sounds as long as they can avoid those horrible scary abominations to humanity: wires.
Any recs for alternatives that aren't much more expensive?
 

Couperin47

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canderson said:
Any recs for alternatives that aren't much more expensive?
 
How many hours you got ?
seriously, these days most folks are constrained by requirements of a partner, mostly female, who will not tolerate speakers of anything but microscopic dimensions.  For use, where ? Home theater, even more serious jass/classical listening ? 2 Channel, 3 or 5 ? A home where you can crank it or an apt where even a modest real sub will get you into serious trouble with your neighbors ?
 
Some of my favorites are not even in production but can often be found at eBay for very attractive prices.
 
As a start the  following studio monitors represent about the smallest serious 2 way speakers currently made that are respectable. I've had 2 reports from people I respect to know what real speakers are...
and one of them is our own Sumner...they are 8" woofer, barely 1.5 cu ft boxes. In this case they are ridiculously inexpensive considering they are self powered bi-amped and can be run off of a preamp or, more probably a really low end receiver. If this size or price is too much, then you really are the target audience for soundbar stuff.
 
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=115&cp_id=11504&cs_id=1150401&p_id=605800&seq=1&format=2
 
besides that there is a brand I am very fond of that was basically killed last year in the latest round of audio company consolidations: Mirage was a serious Canadian company that made a large range of bidirectional and omnidirectional speakers, they made a more traditional range under the Energy brand. 5 years ago they were acquired by Klipsch, who moved production to.. where else ? ... China but continued both lines with quality... last year Klipsch sold out to... god help us...  what is now called Voxx... actually Audiovox renamed (yes THAT Audiovox... purveyor of bottom end shitty car radios), who killed most of the brands.  The Mirage omnisat speakers still show up on eBay at reasonable prices and they offer a very high quality sound that produces an excellent stable image throughout a room in very small formfactors. Their subwoofers are also very musical, in all cases these can be used for serious home theater and are not embarrassingly colored when you switch to a symphony.  Their omnisat and nanosat speakers are some of the smallest serious speakers ever made, and none of them are "boxes" (google omnisat and nanosat can't easily describe what they look like). Besides eBay I know sources for existing new stock and used Mirage models... there is a small 'underground' of Mirage enthusiasts who know where this stuff is still hoarded...lol
 
btw this is the Mirage website... it's still there but this reflects the last days of Klipsch control and production actually ended over a year ago... http://www.miragespeakers.com/products/
 

Tharkin

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To control boxes and devices hidden in the closet you can get an IR repeater.  It'll have a small receiver you keep outside the closet, and that's where you point the remote.  That relays the command to a unit inside the closet that blasts the IR signal to your boxes.  I don't have a recommendation for a particular brand of IR repeater, but there are a bunch on Amazon.  Some sound bars do the same thing in case you decide to just hide your boxes behind one of those.
 

johnmd20

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Couperin47 said:
 
Sonos stuff is a step above Bose crap, but for serious sound it's just laughable... otoh there's a whole population now that couldn't give a shit how it sounds as long as they can avoid those horrible scary abominations to humanity: wires.
 
You can always try a Samsung home theater system, which has wireless rear speakers. Search on Amazon, there are a bunch of options in the 250-1000 dollar range. I use them and while you do have to plug the rear speaker module into an outlet, you don't have to snake wires from the back to the front of the room. I think a 5-7 speaker set is always going to deliver better sound than a sound bar.
 
And I concur on the "smart" Tv's. You might get one b/c it's the TV you want but it's nearly a worthless perk. The connection always sucks, it needs to be constantly reset and it's significantly worse than something like a Roku, which always works and rarely needs to be reset.
 

smastroyin

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Why the second elevated couch?
 
You probably aren't really soliciting this type of design question, but I hate arguing about electronics and I do like room design, so bear with me.
 
Is the space going to be dedicated to watching TV and that's it?  If so I probably wouldn't bother with the cathedral ceiling, etc.  Obviously that might be a budget choice rather than aesthetic.  But I assume this is more of a general entertaining room that just happens to have a giant TV in it.
 
That being the case, I think you would want something more flexible than a couch on a raised platform.  If it is raised you can't comfortably use it for anything but watching the TV.  If people are just sitting having conversation, even if you turn the front couch, you are looking at someone's navel rather than eyes.  What I might consider instead is to have a sectional with the side facing the TV at about 10-12 feet.  Have the short return be along the wall and allow passage on the other wall.  This gives a primary seating area for conversation, etc., and about 5 seats to comfortably watch the TV.  For a second row, consider a bar top with bar stools.  These are less comfortable for sitting two hours and watching a movie, say, but much more flexible in terms of general entertaining or even watching sports, and then the back 8' or so of the room can be more milling around, or whatever.  Or you could actually put in a dry bar.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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smastroyin said:
Why the second elevated couch?
 
You probably aren't really soliciting this type of design question, but I hate arguing about electronics and I do like room design, so bear with me.
 
Is the space going to be dedicated to watching TV and that's it?  If so I probably wouldn't bother with the cathedral ceiling, etc.  Obviously that might be a budget choice rather than aesthetic.  But I assume this is more of a general entertaining room that just happens to have a giant TV in it.
 
That being the case, I think you would want something more flexible than a couch on a raised platform.  If it is raised you can't comfortably use it for anything but watching the TV.  If people are just sitting having conversation, even if you turn the front couch, you are looking at someone's navel rather than eyes.  What I might consider instead is to have a sectional with the side facing the TV at about 10-12 feet.  Have the short return be along the wall and allow passage on the other wall.  This gives a primary seating area for conversation, etc., and about 5 seats to comfortably watch the TV.  For a second row, consider a bar top with bar stools.  These are less comfortable for sitting two hours and watching a movie, say, but much more flexible in terms of general entertaining or even watching sports, and then the back 8' or so of the room can be more milling around, or whatever.  Or you could actually put in a dry bar.
Design advice is more than welcome. We are still trying to figure out what the hell we're doing. This room will most likely be used for more than TV viewing so your comments on the 2nd row seating are valid.
 

AlNipper49

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I just did this and went all in-wall speakers for everything but my front two and center.  I think that there is a thread here somewhere about it.  Fucking awesome.
 

Infield Infidel

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smastroyin said:
Why the second elevated couch?
 
You probably aren't really soliciting this type of design question, but I hate arguing about electronics and I do like room design, so bear with me.
 
Is the space going to be dedicated to watching TV and that's it?  If so I probably wouldn't bother with the cathedral ceiling, etc.  Obviously that might be a budget choice rather than aesthetic.  But I assume this is more of a general entertaining room that just happens to have a giant TV in it.
 
That being the case, I think you would want something more flexible than a couch on a raised platform.  If it is raised you can't comfortably use it for anything but watching the TV.  If people are just sitting having conversation, even if you turn the front couch, you are looking at someone's navel rather than eyes.  What I might consider instead is to have a sectional with the side facing the TV at about 10-12 feet.  Have the short return be along the wall and allow passage on the other wall.  This gives a primary seating area for conversation, etc., and about 5 seats to comfortably watch the TV.  For a second row, consider a bar top with bar stools.  These are less comfortable for sitting two hours and watching a movie, say, but much more flexible in terms of general entertaining or even watching sports, and then the back 8' or so of the room can be more milling around, or whatever.  Or you could actually put in a dry bar.
 
A friend just finished his basement reno, and he did the bar with bar stools. If they have backs, and rotate, they are reasonably comfy and convenient for food. Great for sports. 
 
His space was similar, 12x28, but he wanted a small office so that took about 8 feet of the length. But the dividing wall has the TV on it, the components are in the wall, but all of the wiring, etc, is accessible from the office. So that's another option to keep that stuff out of sight. 
 

SumnerH

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Couperin47 said:
 
As a start the  following studio monitors represent about the smallest serious 2 way speakers currently made that are respectable. I've had 2 reports from people I respect to know what real speakers are...
and one of them is our own Sumner...they are 8" woofer, barely 1.5 cu ft boxes. In this case they are ridiculously inexpensive considering they are self powered bi-amped and can be run off of a preamp or, more probably a really low end receiver. If this size or price is too much, then you really are the target audience for soundbar stuff.
 
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=115&cp_id=11504&cs_id=1150401&p_id=605800&seq=1&format=2
 
 
These really do sound great, especially for the price.  You won't need a subwoofer with them, for sure: the 8" is the woofer size; the boxes are 15.0" x 10.1" x 11".  I don't even have a real preamp on them, they're hanging directly off of my DVR/media machine's audio outputs (my old AudioEngine 5s have been moved to the rear for surround).
 
I paired them with Sanus BF24B 24 Inch Speaker Stands which were $38 at the time and put them at about perfect height for couch listening.
 
Monoprice also has a well-regarded 5.1 speaker setup if you prefer the tiny-speakers-plus-subwoofer thing (which gives worse sound quality, IMO, but if you don't like bigger speakers flanking the TV can make sense): http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=109&cp_id=10906&cs_id=1090601&p_id=10565&seq=1&format=2
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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So based on some things I read here I decided to go the floor speaker route. After reading some stuff online and visiting a couple stores I'm leaning towards outfitting the room with Golden Ear products. They sound amazing and I haven't been able to find much if any negative press on them. My plan right now is to get the Triton 7s coupled with the ForceField 3 sub, the SuperCenter X for the center channel and a couple SuperSat 3's for the side. It seems like the other option would be to move up to the Triton 3s and eliminate the sub but then I'm powering both speakers instead of just a sub.
 
Anyone have any experience with these speakers?