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Home Theaters for Condos and Apartments
March 09, 2007 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Learn how to squeeze a home theater experience into a small room.
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11 Comments (displaying chronologically) Post a comment
Posted by santaru  on  03/09  at  11:47 AM

These are great tips, I rent but still want a surround sound system. I can’t cut the walls, and have no room for anything else. EH covered a cool new solution last week that hides your speakers in floor lamps. they look like an awesome way to save space without any installation-

Posted by Ryan  on  03/09  at  01:34 PM

I live in a apartment in chicago and front projection has always worked for me, i move every year and all i have to do is move a 10 lb projector and a manual pull down screen, my speakers though especially my svs sub are a bit tougher to move

Posted by Gene Turner  on  03/09  at  08:51 PM

I help folks get Distributed AV & convergence of other systems and networks.
I would like to see more info on “Cable Clutter” solutions for use with or addedto every project. It just distracts from the system.

Posted by Chris  on  03/10  at  11:05 AM

I second front projection. My Panny 900, with lots of zoom and lens shift, makes placement a snap. I use high-quality two channel (open livingroom/kitchen, brick/concrete off kilter walls, 12 ft ceilings make surround an echoic nightmare) and a manual pulldown. When things are off, I have a TV-free living room. When on, I get a system that is superior to any of our local theaters.

Posted by AngelaC  on  03/12  at  09:03 AM

An additional layer of drywall is also a possible solution for condominium owners. We do home theater and media room design, and we use this solution often.

Posted by Steve K  on  03/14  at  12:04 PM

I have to say I’m pretty happy with my home theatre rig (950 sq. ft. condo - so space was my biggest concern).

Plasma TV + A/V receiver of course….but where the space savings come in are the other peripherals. An XBOX 360 is my single media hub. With it I’ve eliminated the need for a DVD and CD changer. As for speakers I use a Poke Audio SurroundBar, which reduces the number of speakers in a typical 5.1 setup down to one speaker (you can still use rears if the simulated surround is not up to par on your preferences). With this setup I can keep the tv, receiver, sound, and 360 to a minimal footprint. Very happy with the setup, and the neighbours don’t seem to mind :)

Posted by bob  on  03/14  at  12:58 PM

Front projection is the way to go.  I installed a 118 in pull down screen over the patio windows and my Benq PE 7700 projector sits behind the couch.  Above the screen and beside the main couch rest white Mirage Nanosat speakers with their cables hidden in the walls and along the baseboard with white plastic cable hiders that can be purchased from any hardware store or home center. 

For renters I recommend either the pull down screen.  It only takes a few screws or a collapsible pull up/down screen paired with a front projector.  Front projectors run 1000-2000 dollars right now and will provide 60-145 inches of hd viewing.  There are also a number of phantom multi channel uni speakers out there.  A sweet spot for one center viewer/listener remains the caveat for these systems.  For those who desire true 5.1 or higher, high quality colored speaker cable can found online for cheap relatively cheap.  Paintable flatwire costs more but accomplishes a cleaner look.

If you want to save rack space consider a home theatre pc.

Posted by Jason  on  03/31  at  10:08 AM

While placing drapes on windows and placing soft furniture in the room may cut down on some sound travel, it will do practically nothing in stopping the rumble from your subwoofer from reaching your neighbors.  Rather than forgoing a subwoofer altogether, though it is an option, use a subwoofer with an isolation platform underneath it.  Auralex, with whom I’m not affiliated in any way, makes a good one called the “Subdude”.  It made a huge difference in the amount of rumble in my NYC apartment.

Posted by Meeran  on  11/12  at  08:19 AM

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Posted by toronto condominiums  on  11/14  at  04:45 PM

I would suggest few things. Rather than forgoing a subwoofer altogether, though it is an option, use a subwoofer with an isolation platform underneath it.

Posted by Paul  on  11/14  at  06:31 PM

Another great alternative or supplement to a subwoofer is a buttkicker or another brand of low frequency transducer.  Since you would have your seat(s) isolated using the rubber grommets provided, it provides the tactile punch of a great sub, and you can have your subwoofer turned down much lower and still get the same effect.

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