Rob has an update on his Kuro plasma shipping disaster. Rob also amends his Reaction Audio recommendation in light of them shutting down. Bret R. found success with our Intel graphics settings for use with Kodi. Jeb B. thinks curtains can offer acoustical advantages, especially psychologically. And Andy C. created a very interesting Windows app for optimizing multiple subwoofers, and he’s giving it away for free, so check it out!
Brian F. has a small theater with actual theater chairs and a stepped tray ceiling. We discuss Atmos speaker placement, recommend Monoprice Caliber Series in-ceiling speakers with Monoprice Back Enclosures, and confirm that he should still upgrade to dual subwoofers. Bret R. wants to know what modern TV will take over the mantel for “best display” from the Kuro plasmas. And we spend a ton of time with Rick and his two setups; first, discussing his UMC-1 EmoQ bass handling, potential alternatives using a miniDSP 2×4, nanoAVR-DL, or just a calibrated microphone from Cross-Spectrum Labs plus the built-in manual EQ options, or replacing his Processor entirely with a Denon AVR-X3300W from Accessories4Less. Then we tackle Rick’s dedicated theater build, including: room dimensions, ideal seating distances and screen sizes, JVC DLA-RS500 vs. Epson LS10500 projectors, and pre-wiring locations for speakers.
John W. wanted a further discussion of Audyssey target curves vs. Direct listening mode playback. Ted M. seems to really want an extremely powerful subwoofer, and he’s willing to leave his door open to get it. And Matt H. wants an affordable, large, cutting edge display, so we suggest the Vizio M-Series.
Heath B. wants to know if three identical bookshelf speakers across the front makes sense, and we also suggest the DIY Movie Rooms Riser Height Calculator to help figure out ideal screen and riser height. Chad T. asks about BlackoutEZ window covers, but we offer a cheaper solution. We also mention Wired and LifeHacker’s pick for transcoding iTunes videos: NoteBurner. And Bill C. wants independent volume control via a tablet or phone for his whole house audio system, so we suggest pairing several Dayton Audio WFA02 Wi-Fi Adapters with a Dayton Distribution Amplifier.
David is moving and wants to confirm his plans for a new theater. We go over subwoofer capability, false wall and projector screen setup, seating distance, acoustic panel placement, and the possibility of a “full” Atmos setup with 11 or 13 floor level speakers and all 10 overhead speakers. Jordan B. wants to know if he should opt for a gray or white projector screen. And Jeff B. is helping his brother-in-law with a long term buying plan. We confirm a speaker audition list including: Aperion Audio, SVS, EMP Tek, Ascend Acoustics, and KEF.
Ian E. wants to save as much hard drive space as possible, so we discuss transcoding Blu-ray audio and potentially using Audio DiffMaker to figure out what lossy codecs are discarding. Michael I. has some upgraditis and wants to know what will be worthwhile when replacing his Ascend CMT-340SE speakers and HSU VTF-2 Mk4 subwoofers. And Fil C. wants inexpensive surround sound in Canada. Rob’s go-to picks of a Yamaha RX-V381 Receiver, Monoprice 12-inch Subwoofer, and Fluance Classic Elite Series speakers, or Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers all end up being too expensive, so we suggest The Wirecutter’s pick for best 5.1 SoundBar, the Vizio SB4051-C, or Vizio SB3851-D with Google Cast.