Rich mans Home theater on a poor man's budget

I've worked as a 1st class Crestron programmer for 3 years now. I have done theaters from $30,000 to $250,000 in cost ranging from intimate 4 seat coves to cavernous 12 seat viewing rooms. This stuff is what the rich people get to use. Those of us that only make a paltry $120,000 or less cant afford this level of home theaters..... Or can we.

Crestron has a lot of older gear that the rich and "videophile" poo-poo as outdated and useless. well it all still works and works better than the newest affordable priced stuff. I'm going to step through getting yourself a rich guys home theater for almost nothing.

Step 1 search ebay. Everything you will want is on ebay. You need a smallish 72" power screen, a low cost projector 1024X768 is good for SDTV or even HD if it's 16X9 and has HDMI or even DVI in. or if you only use a media PC for input a data projectors works great.

get yourself a decent surround sound amp and speakers... dont waste money on 7.1, 5.1 sounds great if set up right. I bought a Kenwood sovereign series amp that is "outdated" on ebay for less than $120.00.. these went for $2500.00 new.

I got my draper screen used for $70.00, a Projector for $250, a bulb for that projector for $250. speakers locally for $190. and I am using a PC with mediaportal for my Main video source, a DVD player with a hdmi to DVI cable for the rare DVD we might want to watch that I have not ripped yet.

Controls. I wanted color touchscreen that had RF wireless with full automation. The wife needs to be able to use it without training. I looked on ebay for used crestron gear. and grabbed a ST-CP and a ST-IO for $50.00 each and a ST-1550c for $100.00 I can now control the screen, lights, equipment and projector with a great crestron processor that can make decisions and automate the whole thing. total cost including seats and some light changes... $2100.00 for a home theater in a spare bedroom that is very close to what the rich guys have. when I press a source the system comes alive, screen drops, lights dim to preshow levels. when you press play on the dvd the lights dim to movie level and pause brings them up to intermission.

Granted I'm a crestron programmer so I know how to program this control hardware and have access to the software. But I have seen the older software floating on torrent sites and you can find it if you want to. Plus if you find a crestron programmer locally he can program such a simple system for you for less than $200.00 bucks and maybe a beer. I got mine programmed including the custom screens in less than 1 hour.

You can have the real home theater without paying the real price. but you gotta give up the "must have new shiney" attitude and accept used and older gear.


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