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Home Theatre Install.. finishes? by sadd3j

Well, not entirely true.. as I’m still waiting on the powerbridge, but, I got enthusiastic and spent the better part of Friday evening and a few hours on Saturday hard at work. Unfortunately I’m horrible at taking pictures as I go.. so there isn’t much in the way of in-progress.

A few snags along the way:

The metal studs turn out to be furring strips and approximately 1.5″ wide.. which was sad, but since my brother was originally planning for dry-wall only installation, I figured any kind of extra support would be bonus.

The holes for the toggle bolts I bought had to be 6/8″! The part of the wall mount that attaches to the wall wouldn’t take that size, so I had to enlarge some of the holes and dremel bits away to make the bolts fit in.


The green tape on the wall (and there was a LOT of it on the wall) shows where the studs in the wall are.. I also had tape showing the top/bottom/left/right edges of the tv, as well as the top/bottom edges of the mount and tape showing the center position on the wall.

After the initial fear of screwing it up.. cutting holes in the drywall was quite fun.

Holes for everything!

Mm.. dream of wall-plate AV connectors.. achieved.

The speakers were actually more of a pain to put in than the tv. I guess I thought it was cake after putting the plasma up.. so I didn’t measure 5 times.. and had some problems aligning them.

It’ll be a lot cleaner once I get a proper powerbar, a smaller sub, and commission a media console. I’ve been sketching a few ideas out. It’ll be pretty much the same height as the one in the photo, but wide enough to cover up the A/V wallplates. Right now there are two power cables coming out on each side, but it’ll be cut down to just one power cable eventually.

I’ve also decided the rear surrounds add so much to the movie experience.. and so will be investigating options. Currently there’s.. buy flat speaker cable and run it around the wall and paint over it.. or run it on the ground under the rug. Decisions.. decisions..

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Home Theatre Install.. begins! by sadd3j

Well, as of last night, my temporary home theatre has been dismantled and the components have now been carefully stored. Tonight begins the first stage of the home theatre install which is going to coincide with the final painting of the rest of the condo. After painting two swatches of paint.. we’re still not happy with the colours.. so will check out Benjamin Moore tomorrow and try to find that in between grey colour. Currently, one patch is a bit too green and saturated, the other is too neutral and grey. Looking for something grey and warm.

Anyway, back to the theatre. The powerbridge that I ordered hasn’t arrived yet, but I’ve decided to go ahead and install the actual TV onto the wall and then deal with putting the cables in the wall after that. Here is what I’ve planned and how it’ll break down, barring any other things which come up.

Equipment I have lined up:

Samsung PN42A450 42″ Plasma Television
Onkyo HT-R550 A/V Reciever
3 x Paradigm Cinema 220 Monitor Series L/C/R
Onkyo random subwoofer.
Microsoft Xbox 360
Harmony 550 Remote
Apple Airport Express

CL2 rated HDMI, Component and 16ga speaker cable (50ft) all suitable for in-wall installation.
A bunch of 3-6ft HDMI, Component and Optical cables for connecting AVR to the wall/components etc.
7 pairs of banana plugs for speaker cable so it’ll be easy to plug/unplug.
Component, HDMI and speaker wallplates.
For each wallplate, a single gang, existing installation, Carlon wall bracket for low-voltage communication/media
24-pack of Toggler brand 3/8″-16 hollow wall anchor toggle bolts, UL rated at 576lb per.
Power bridge recessed outlet pair, w/existing installation J-boxes.

As it stands, this is where I’m at:

– the wall studs have been identified and marked using a stud sensor, they appear to be 2 1/2″ wide, 16″ apart on center.
– the horizontal and vertical markings have been made for the mount and tv location, however, it will most likely shift about 2″ horizontally to accommodate hitting two studs, as well as shifting up an inch or two.

Tonight I plan to:

– finalize the measurements of where the tv goes, in an attempt to hit 2 studs but if not, at least one.
– drill pilot holes to locate the exact center of the stud(s).
– drill lots of holes and install 6 togglers to hold the wall mount mounting plate to the wall.
– mark out the location of the wallplate locations for the HDMI, RCA, Speaker and Power along the baseboard.
– mark out the location of the upper conduit hole for the media connections to the TV.
– mark out two locations for the upper and lower power outlets.
– cut out all the A/V wallplate locations, install the Carlons, and pull the media cable through.
– mount the TV! power cable will most likely just dangle for now since I don’t have the powerbridge.

If I have time:

– measure out the speaker placement horizontally away from TV (vertical measurement will be centered on the tv)
– cut holes and fish the speaker wire for the speakers. this might include routing a pathway in the surface of the drywall to move the speaker wire horizontally across a stud or two. This will also mean patching up the drywall afterwards, sanding and painting.

I don’t plan to install the speakers today.. as I still need more information about the actual speaker mounts from Paradigm. The screws don’t seem to fit.. I promise to add photos 🙂

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PSP! by JasonC

So I was digging through my crap cleaning out stuff yesterday, and I found something incredible!
If you remember from my earlier post, my S2 IS pretty much dead, or became useless due to the fact that the iris gets stuck, and doesn’t seem to open up when you turn on the camera. Or if it does, and I take a shot, the iris “blinks”, and stays shut afterwards…sometimes.
Looking through my crap, I found a receipt for my camera, costed me around $450 before tax back then. Then I looked a bit more into it, and found….PSP!
Product Service Plan..that lasts till 2010!
I’m actually very surprised by this…why?…because it costed $130 for the plan. No matter how much I think, I can’t figure out how I would possibly be talked into buying the plan.
Anyhoo, I’ll take the camera (hopefully it’ll still malfunction as it should, cuz it kinda slowly goes away with frequent use), to Future Shop this weekend and see what they’ll do about it. Says they’ll try to fix it, and if that’s not possible..then replace…but since they don’t have S2IS anymore…..S5IS??…..
We’ll see……
Even if the problem doesn’t happen all the time if I bring it to FS, the PSP says they’ll get the product to operate as the manufacturer’s spec says it should…
Maybe I can bundle this with buying TV?…or maybe I should separate the two cases….else I might get pwned with the sales focusing my “jackso” on fixing the camera and not giving me deal on the TV….what do you guys think?


First impressions: Paradigm Cinema 220 by sadd3j

Well, just in case you weren’t: A. at the condo the day I bought them (JasonC) or B. demanding a live update (teewee), the new item was in fact, the Cinema 220s. The name of the press event was originally chosen for the mac reference in an attempt to divert attention, but anyhow, the clues all kinda pointed to the speakers. Anyway, without further ado, the Paradigm Cinema 220 L/C/R speaker.

Right out of the box, with bad placement and no configuring at all, they sound rather tinny. This was a far cry from being blown away by Michael Buble’s Everything at the store. I had an idea of how they should sound and this wasn’t it. This wasn’t even close. This was like playing some KOSS computer speakers with the “DOUBLE BASS” button on the front, the button being off. I chalked it up to needing to “break in”, or “burn in” the speakers as we are so often led to believe. After a day of burning them in (which an audioholics article has actually proven to be useless) they weren’t much better.

I read more articles about setting up systems, speaker frequency response and crossover settings (oh my!), and it turns out that I was putting too much of the audio load on the 220s and not enough on the subwoofer. Now, with the size of these speakers (especially compared to the computer speaker size that we’re pretty used to), I was under the impression that they would carry most of the load and the sub would just be there for LFE (low-frequency effect). I was wrong, it turns out that these Paradigms have even less frequency response than the original Onkyos’ (claimed response) and so need even more help from the subwoofer.

The 220s frequency response is rated at 115Hz-20kHz +/- 2dB. The Onkyos are rated 60-50kHz without a dB rating or somesuch nonsense. I originally had the receiver’s crossover set to 80 Hz, which meant that I was actually sending the 80-115Hz range of frequencies to the Paradigms, which they couldn’t reproduce (or at least not well). After learning this, I set the receiver crossover to 120Hz and now the sound is a lot more full, and fairly tolerable.

However, due to not having an Audyssey microphone for the automatic speaker calibration that the Onkyo receiver is capable of, and also no real idea on how to set the equalizer manually.. I’m stuck with a sound which has the range, but sounds pretty flat and not rounded and “warm”, if you would. They’re far and away better than the Onkyos, especially off axis, but I’m fairly confident they haven’t reached their true potential as of yet.

My next step is to somehow get a hold of an audyssey microphone and calibrate the system properly. While first impressions of the 220s leave me happy with the purchase, or more accurately, the potential of the purchase, I have to reserve my full judgment until after the calibration.

The downside so far? The speakers have only too clearly revealed the weaknesses in the rest of the system.. which usually leads to one thing. Or many.


TPX Press event: Three’s Company =UPDATE= by sadd3j

MARKHAM, Ontario – October 27, 2008 – TPX INDUSTRIES – [tpx]sadd3j announces a tpx press event: “Three’s Company”, featuring the unveiling and unboxing of a new toy. The event will go live on Wednesday, October 29th at 11:00PM EST.

=UPDATE= Unfortunately, due to logistical problems in the supply chain, we’re unable to proceed with the event this week. While it saddens us to do this, the press event will be tentatively rescheduled to Sunday, November 2nd at 11:00PM EST.


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