AV suggestions please?

Hello all,
I have just moved into a house that has a dedicated cinema room ( used for storage while we are getting straight so ignore the mess !) which is set up with questionable stuff I would say. Projector make I have never heard of, speakers in the ceiling are non branded so no idea what they are (complete with electrical cable as speaker cable) but does have an onkyo amp. I have it up and running and it sounds as you would expect although picture is “ok” I think it could be better. I am not a TV person at all so have no idea about AV side. Has anybody got any good ideas/suggestions that might work at all please ?
Thanks for help.

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Benq used to be the AV division of computer brand Acer, which was made into a separate company about 20 years ago. It’s a decent consumer-level brand but not really focused on high end gear.

What is your actual question? Are you looking to upgrade anything specific and are looking for recommendations? If that is the case, then you would need to tell more about what you would like to achieve, what your budget is, etc.

If you are looking to upgrade the entire room it might be best to contact a local specialist for a comprehensive plan. There are a lot of options at a lof of different price points in this regard.

What are you actually trying to do please?

BENQ projectors are pretty decent for the money and readily targeted for the RS crowd - that one was around £700 when new but is a few years old now.

The ceiling speakers alone will sound horrendous, however pair them with a 5.1 speaker kit (making 5.1.2, the .2 being Atmos) and they will sound better. But they do look to me Amazon-jobby ceiling speakers so won’t be fantastic.

What’s the make model number of the amp as you will need something that supports Atmos channels to run a 5.1.2 setup. I’m guessing its a cheapo one based on the standard of wiring and what’s been used for ‘speaker cable’ !!!

The screen has more kinks in it than a 60’s disco so I would install a fixed-frame one for a better picture.

AV installs can be scarily-priced but all you really need is a decent AVR (Cheap = Marantz, Denon, Sony, Yamaha or Expensive = Arcam, Anthem) that supports Atmos (if you want it) and a 5.1 speaker package by Monitor Audio or Q Acoustics (~£1k) or B&W, KEF (£1k+).

For Dolby 5.1 you wont need celling speakers, for 7.1.2 you will need ceiling (aka. Atmos) speakers.

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Yes I am looking to upgrade it, as you can prob tell the sound is less than ideal with “noname” speakers and mains cable to connect them to the amp. I really have no idea about AV and know of a couple of specialists around here but don’t know them form Adam so I would rather go to them with a bit of knowledge … Budget … again, no idea really, I want it sound decent (I have a 500 based system to give you idea) 10-20k ? It is about making the most out of the room so if there is a system a lot more I can evaluate if it makes sense, but on the flip side if there is something that is 5k but is great I will look at that. I don’t want to spend up to a budget just to say I have. I doubt I will watch it much, mainly for the kids but when I do watch it I don’t want to get annoyed with the sound/picture.

@gav_sw20 thank you, you have confirmed what I thought about what I have. I was thinking of ripping it all out and starting again which is sounding more and more like the best option …

The Onkyo AV Receiver is probably reasonably decent for the money and well worth keeping initially to see how it fares with some real speakers properly connected with speaker cable, and well set-up and positioned. Do you know which model it is?

Epson and JVC make great 4K and faux-K projectors that can range from £2.5k ~ £6k+.

£20k will get you a reference system, £10k will get you an amazing system but so can £5k. I suppose it all depends on how you will use it. If you’re watching 4K movies three-times a week then maybe go mad on spend, but if all your going to do is watch a bit of HD Sport, Netflix and the odd Blu-ray then maybe reign it in a bit.

Whatever you do make sure you paint every wall and the ceiling black and install some of these - https://www.starscape.co.uk/home_cinema_lighting_infinity.php

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@Richard.Dane Thanks richard it is a TX-NR515. I hope that means more to you than me !

As @gav_sw20 advised upgrading the screen will be really important, a good screen will cost you somewhere around 1000-2000. A good beamer to go with that will cost you between 2500-5000, depending on the type/technology and brand.

Something like the JVC DLA-N5 is killer for a room like that, but it would set you back somewhere around 6000,- for the beamer alone.

There are different types of screens that work best with different types of beamers, so this is something to consider carefully.

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BTW - the projector looks like a BENQ W1070, it’s 1080p and 3D and still worth £200+ on the auction site / AVF.

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Thanks all, gives me some ideas to start looking at. I love those ceiling lights, they are on the shopping list !

I installed fibre panels in my ceiling and they are the business especially when watching sci-fi movies. They twinkle too so have a great effect in a dark room.

If you want deep inky blacks (and who wouldn’t) then go with a JVC projector as they give the best IMO.

I have an Epson TW9400 which are also highly-rated but only cost around £2500. I use mine primarily for Sky Sports (daily) and Netflix / Prime / Bluray / 4K viewing (weekend).

A word of warning though, once you have a projector TV viewing will never be the same again.

@gav_sw20 thanks for help and insights. At the mo it does have TV connected and I have watched a bit and a DVD but I would rather be in the other room with music if I am honest … :slight_smile:

By all accounts it’s reasonably decent for what it is. I stuck the model number into google and it came back with a few reviews, most very good. I’d say it will do for now while you try to sort out the more critical issues with the whole set-up, which will almost certainly be down to the in-ceiling speaker system. A decent 5.1 system that will allow you to really enjoy films need not break the bank and should elevate what you have to a much higher level. Then you can decide whether it’s worth going further, where expenditure will increase dramatically.

Oh, and properly calibrating the set up of the projector will make a big difference to the picture quality. However, note that you need to get the room as dark as possible.

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I would probably attack in this order:

  • Add suitable 5.1 or 7.1 speakers.sub
  • Change AVR (that supports Atmos)
  • Add 2 or 4 ceiling speakers
  • Paint walls & ceiling black / dark colour (Stiffkey Blue is a nice colour if you don’t want black)
  • Change Projector + add fixed frame screen
  • Sell projector
  • Get 100+ hours on projector and have it calibrated

Thanks, first step this weekend was to tidy the room out ! all ready for a strip out now, going to do the ceiling with lights, but need to work out what stuff to buy before I pull ceiling down. Last thing I want to do is spend time doing that and then realize I need ceiling space to run cables etc. Onwards and upwards now ! appreciate everybodies help.

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