November 14, 2010

The Movie Guys Have Landed!

My Hifi/AV room was a hive of activities. AV Designs sent their crew to get my home theatre system installed. The kids were anxious, they pestered me frequently with "Can we watch movie yet?"

It took slightly more than half a day. The AV Designs crew went about getting the job done efficiently. You know they have done this numerous times. It was also the cleanest job any contractor has carried out in my new house, literally. The AV Designs guy asked for my vacuum cleaner. For every hole they drilled in the wall, they put either the vacuum or a plastic bag underneath the drill bit to collect the dust. At the end, I needed to do only a very light wipe-down of the place. It was a job well done!

The equipment list:

Projection System:

JVC DLA-B250 D-ILA Full HD Projector -RM9,999
This is JVC's new entry level full HD projector. It also marks the first time that a JVC D-ILA projector is available below the RM10k price point.

Unic FVP-106 Framed screen, 16:9 format (106in diagonal) -RM1,500
I decided to take this lower cost screen option. The other screen option that James proposed is from the renowned Stewart Filmscreen. Its SNL-100 framed screen (100in diagonal) would set me back RM7,900. If you want to see what a premium screen can do to the picture quality, visit AV Designs' showroom, one is used in its demo system.

Wireworld Chroma 6 HDMI cable 9 metres -RM1,190

Audio/Video System:
Pioneer VSX-LX53 AVR -RM4,599

Pioneer BDP-LX71 Bluray Player - RM4,599
This bluray player is under evaluation at my place for a short while while I decide. I am still contemplating whether to go for a Bluray player; since for DVD duty I can use my Marantz DV7001, while for Bluray replay, I am considering a Sony PS3, which can do dual duties, as in Bluray movie and gaming duties (not that I am a big gaming fan, but the children would be thrilled).

Wharfedale Diamond 10DFS Surround speakers (4 pieces) - RM1,000 per pair
One pair for surround L-R, and one pair for surround rear (shown)

Q-Acoustic Q-AV Subwoofer - RM2,790

Cabling - RM1,500, Pictured is the oxygen free bulk cable used for the surrounds.

As an alternative, a higher end audio option was also proposed by AV Designs. For the surround duty, it was the PMC DB1i at RM4,400 per pair. For subwoofer, it was PMC's TLE-1 at RM12,500. Both are pictured below.
As you can see, I have chosen to go for mainly entry level stuff, figuring that it being my first step into home theatre, there is much for me to learn; and upgrading, just like hifi, can come later (and honestly, after all the renovation and furnishing for the new house, I also needed to look after the wallet a little bit. :-) ). AV Designs' James Tan proved to be flexible, he listened and recommended the combinations accordingly.

I have also saved some money on the audio side by using my EgglestonWorks loudspeakers for front left-right duty. After decoding by the Pioneer AVR, the L-R analogue signal is passed through the Pioneer Pre-out to my Pass Labs pre-amp which has a bypass for HT, where the pre-amp is set to unity gain and the volume control is done by the AVR.

There is also one unusual thing about the audio setup of my home theatre system, see whether you are eagle-eyed enough to spot it. I'll touch on this in my next post. Anyway, I shall share more on the audio side of my HT system in the next post.

On the visual side, I can say that I was totally bowled over by the picture quality that the JVC DLA-B250 displayed, despite it being new out of the box and not yet calibrated too. The quality on Bluray material was approaching films I see in the cinemas. The picture was natural, easy on the eye, yet very detailed. My better half and the children also commented spontaneously on how clear and nice the picture was, without any prompting from me. I believe it can only get better after AV Designs come over to do the calibration next week.

If you like to discuss with AV Designs your home theatre needs, you may contact James Tan at 03-21712828


Big E said...

Congrats Odioslueth!

Looks impressive, must come to your place to sample the video capabilities!

Hi-Fi 4 Sale said...

No centre speaker yet?

OdioSleuth said...

Big E,

Hi-Fi 4 Sale,
you are indeed eagle-eyed. :-)