Help!!! With Projector / Wireless 6.1 Surround Sound System (Before Purchase)

Jrobinson156

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Nov 16, 2016
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The Goal

Firstly, I understand that typically there's either a 5.1 or 7.1 system. I also understand that "wireless" doesn't mean no AC power which is good because I prefer a plug over battery anyhow. The goal is to build a non-invasive "hidden" AV system for my new apartment. I plan to purchase a short-throw projector to connect to my PC (a switch between HTPC and Editing/Gaming Rig) and I'd like to also be able to wirelessly transmit surround sound audio from that system.

The Application

Obviously, the short throw projector probably cued you into the fact that I'm trying to create a moveable home theater setup that cuts down on the cords. From research, streaming music is the easy part of the application. But I'd like to be able to trasmit audio when playing video from my PC, gaming through PC and console, etc.

The Speaker Setup

As of right now, I'm thinking that I'd have a typical central speaker with the left and right speakers being either floor-standing or bookshelf (still on the floor) with a toe-in placement (angled towards the viewers). I'd then like to try to place three (hidden) surround sound speakers. Two behind or underneath couches though these will probably get placed above the couches for ideal audio and one hidden by the kitchen island with the sub being placed next to the island.

So to try to provide an image, imagine a square orientation with a projector screen at one end, a wall (A) to one side, a wall (B) at one end and a kitchen island on the other side. On each side of the projector screen will be the left and right speakers. Underneath or behind will be the center speaker. Along Wall A will be a couch that hides one surround sound speaker. Along wall B will be a couch that hides another surround sound speaker. The kitchen island will hide another surround speaker and to the right of it between the couch I'll place the sub.

The Budget

I haven't really come up with a budget for this and I don't want to lock you guys/girls into thinking within a certain box. I'm open to all inside and outside of the box ideas. Though I haven't delved into it, I've been considering going to estate sales/buying an older system online and converting it to wireless for example.

Other Ideas I've Explored

- Sonos: I looked but it doesn't seem to offer much more than music playback
- Play-FI: This was the first thing that intrigued me. Ability to mix and match speakers. Ability to stream via Wi-Fi. Ability to future proof with backwards compatibility but with limited options and multiple reviews stating the unpredictability of the Wi-Fi transmission I have my doubts
- Wireless transmitters: Could still use more knowledge on this from you guys/girls
- Phillips Fidelio: The ability to remove two sections of a sound bar for selective surround sound but they don't come with wires meaning you have to plan ahead and recharge

In my mind before reading up, I thought it'd be as easy as using an HDMI into the projector and then either an Aux or another HDMI into a transmitter before going into my PC settings and telling it which one to play sound from. Unless I input entire soundtracks into an app to then sync and stream it doesn't seem to be readily available info about how to do this.

Thanks for all of the help in advance.
 
Using a Play 5 won't get you surround sound. It will just send the stereo TV audio to all the speakers. Not the same thing at all.
If you still want to go wireless do a Sonos Playbar and Sub. (3.1)
If wired is OK
http://www.paradigm.com/products-current/model=millenia-ct-2/page=overview
http://www.paradigm.com/products-current/model=milleniaone-ct/page=overview
http://www.paradigm.com/products-current/type=bookshelf-powered/model=a2/page=overview
A Marantz receiver and unpowered Paradigm speakers would work well for 5.1

 
Play-fi won't work for surround sound at all.
You could use Sonos - Playbar+Sub+2 Play speakers with an HDMI input selector that has audio extraction to provide an optical input for the Playbar and HDMI out for the projector. You might need a Sonos Bridge too. Cost would be about $1900 with the HDMI switcher.
I am going to suggest that you not go totally wireless. It can cost more and lower sound quality quite a bit.
Get a surround sound receiver and 3 wired front speakers. You now have HDMI switching for the projector.
If you place the sub near the equipment then that can be wired too. The sub will work better closer to the screen than to you. If you can't do that then many subs have wireless connectivity.
You can get a wireless adapter for the surround speakers and use it with most receivers. That will eliminate the long and sometimes hard to hide surround speaker wires.
https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Transmitter-Receiver-Subwoofers-Surround/dp/B00SJ49ZJQ
You will need powered speakers for the rears.
 

Jrobinson156

Commendable
Nov 16, 2016
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I appreciate an actual response. I trust these forums (mostly for computer issues/responding to issues) but the lack of responses has been frustrating.

As stated, I prefer that each speaker was powered. I've mapped out ideal locations next to sockets. I already knew about the Sonos playbar option and I already kind of decided against wired in the traditional sense which is why I was hoping for creative solutions and theories.

Examples: Buying a wired system for cheaper and then pairing the speakers with wireless receivers. Or a better example that I've seriously considered... 1) Buy a Sonos system of choice. 2) Use Kodi as my main Home theater app. 3) Make VLC the default external player as it can broadcast audio and allows for video to be delayed for syncs 4) Find the audio as a "radio station" in Sonos and settle for that.

I know that all of that is complicated but it's a creative solution/theory that allows me to fulfill my application. I view this as a semi-long-term investment and I don't want to have to build furniture around a system but rather incorporate it into whatever setup I have. So I need mobility rather than static placement.

Also, why wouldn't play-fi work? Is that subjective as an opinion?
 
Play-fi is two channel. The Martin Logan soundbar does pseudo surround internally but I don't think you can assign additional speakers as rears. No true multi-channel audio as far as I know.
The Sonos Playbar is three channel (L-C-R)and connects to the optical out of the TV. You can assign a Sonos Sub and two Play speakers to the same zone and set each speaker as left or right surround. A Bridge may be needed to do this. I would suggest Play 3 or Play 5 (the Play 1 may be too small for some rooms) for surrounds.
You could buy a surround sound preamp processor (no built in amps) or receiver with 5.1 preamp outputs and connect wireless transmitters to the outputs.
You would need a different one for each two channels and they still might interfere with each other if they share the same RF band.
 

That's the way it goes with free consulting. The folks here responding to you are not paid employees, you will attract as many respondents as there are interests in your project. May wanna try avsforum.com.
 

Jrobinson156

Commendable
Nov 16, 2016
3
0
1,510
0


I see. Thanks again for all of the information. I know that with Sonos another option would be to get a Play 5 as it has an audio in input and throw it to other speakers (according to Sonos). But with that being said, what would you suggest as non-invasive and mobile wired options?

Again, this is an apartment so I can't run wires through the walls for example (which is what I've done previously). Also, I've noticed that a lot of TV shows and other AV programs/outlets (Youtube, Vimeo, etc) tend to only support 2.1 audio anyhow. I rarely buy DVD's anymore and I know that I can do virtual surround sound in headphones.

I guess, what would be your suggested solution for a 2.1 system and a 5.1 system.
 
Using a Play 5 won't get you surround sound. It will just send the stereo TV audio to all the speakers. Not the same thing at all.
If you still want to go wireless do a Sonos Playbar and Sub. (3.1)
If wired is OK
http://www.paradigm.com/products-current/model=millenia-ct-2/page=overview
http://www.paradigm.com/products-current/model=milleniaone-ct/page=overview
http://www.paradigm.com/products-current/type=bookshelf-powered/model=a2/page=overview
A Marantz receiver and unpowered Paradigm speakers would work well for 5.1

 
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