Posts Tagged home

Marantz AV7005 – Home Theater

6527948817_ace4721f6b_mFunny (short) story: I wasn’t actually ready to step up to the AV7005, but our Denon receiver in the library was “gifted” with some cat vomit through the top cooling vents; I didn’t know it had happened, because the back of the receiver was through-wall and sort of invisible inside a closet on the other side of that wall. So the Denon just kept on working until eventually, the acid in the vomit actually ate through some of its wiring. Nice, eh? Silly cat.

So the Denon went downstairs into my shop, where it will likely sit until the weather warms up (our basement is cold!) and I”m willing to sit there, rip it apart and fix it. My Sony 7.1 receiver then moved from our home theater to our library (and I built an anti-cat cover for the unit, there will be no more “vomit surprises”), and then I picked up the Marantz AV7005 and some MA-700 amplifiers to serve in our home theater — I’d been eying this specific unit for a while, and well, as I told She Who Must Be Obeyed, “the cat made me do it.” I can’t say I’m depressed over the upgrade, but this wasn’t exactly how I thought it would come about.
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Starting Out – priorities and pratfalls

It occurred to me in a moment of introspection that I, probably like many others, had my priorities set entirely wrong when I populated my very first apartment with… well, with stuff. And later on, my first home. If I knew then, what I know now. Sigh. Well, can’t fix that, but I can sure issue some good advice that others can benefit from if they so choose.
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Home Theater: Thinking Big. Really Big!

As some of you know, Deb and I bought an old Nazarene church in 2006 with the idea of converting it into our home. It was, once the pews and other church furniture were removed, basically a big, empty cube. One of the key features that weighed in on the decision to purchase the building was a large space behind the pulpit that we could see was about 16:9. We thought that would make a great theater; and after a fair amount of work and kicking equipment around, it turns out that was right. Here’s what we ended up with:

204" 1080p DLP FP home theater
I pushed the shadow levels up so the details of the system are easier to see; this makes the projected image look like it isn’t getting very black, but it actually is — DLP projectors make good blacks

You’re looking at a 17 foot (205 inch) diagonal, 1080p projection system with well over a thousand watts RMS distributed across 7.1 channels. It presently features a Mac (as media librarian), DirecTV / HD-DVR, 16-channel IR/color 1 TB security DVR, SVHS, DVD, MD, CD, Sirius sat. radio, XM sat. radio, broadcast HD receiver, blueray / PS3, HD-DVD / XBox360, PS2, XBox, Gamecube, and a Wii. The receiver is a Sony STR-DA5300ES with six HDMI inputs, and the projector is an Optoma HD-80. Deb and I built and finished the audio cabinetry, and I put the electronics together. Seating is a 12-foot wide, 8-person couch with two built-in recliners at the center “sweet spot” just out of the picture, a few feet in front of the cabinetry.

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Deb's Stained Glass work

The Pumpkin, candlelight, edited
Deb
(“The Pumpkin”)

Deb and I bought a church in mid 2006 and are working to turn it into a home.

It was a “Nazarene” church, and as part of their outlook, there wasn’t anything fancy about the building. No stained glass, per se, just some yellow “rippled” glass panes that probably served to keep the congregation focused on the proceedings inside.

Well, early in 2007, Glasgow experienced a hailstorm with baseball sized hail, and it took out all of our west-facing windows. And I mean completely. If you’d like your windows broken, three or four minutes of consistently baseball sized hail has few peers in efficiency. So anyway, we boarded ‘em up, insulated them, and resolved to get to them later.

Well, later is here, at least, for our bathroom spa window, it is. Deb spent two months of evenings down in her workshop putting together that beauty; I spent three days learning how to frame it into the old window casement, and what you see here is how the window looks inside the spa by the bath (our bath is in its own room, separate from the other fixtures.) You can see the tree branches outside just a little bit during the day, but it isn’t distracting:

Stained glass in bath / spa (interior view)

We plan to do all the windows this way. Other than the huge amount of time, which Deb seems more than willing to contribute, this is a very inexpensive way to do windows. We’re looking at about $100 per window for double layered, sealed single acrylic panes, including all the woodwork, which I do. The building has 13 huge windows, most are about six feet tall; we’ll have all manner of opportunity to do cool things, and at very little expense compared to standard window treatments.

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