“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Next: Audio-Video Systems and Party Zones

By

This is the part of the party where an Audioholic (and Videoholic) differs from the mainstream. I'm going all out. I want the game to be seen from every room in the house. Heck, I'd put an extra TV in the bathroom, but that's just obscene (or is it). The bottom line is that if you can round up some additional televisions and you have some additional sources for HDTV, why not broadcast the game in multiple locations? Yeah, we didn't think there was any good reason not to either.

Zone 1: The Entrance

Fortunately for us, we have a big open space that makes up our living room and dining room. The idea here is to simply go for quantity and screen real estate. To Zone off the entrance, however, we simply utilize a television in the corner of the living room which also directs audio into the rest of the room. This is a good anchoring system for the large central living space and it truly got more use than I would have expected last year. This system is actually driven off of an HDMI 4x2 matrix switch from PureLink (prototype) which sends a duplicate HD signal from the primary A/V system over a DVIGear active HDMI optical cable. Yeah, it's pretty cool and I get audio off the same feed which I can then output to the Marantz integrated amplifier.

Gear List for Zone 1

  • Westinghouse LVM-47w1 47" LCD Display review
  • Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3250HD Cable Box
  • Yamaha Soavo 1 Speakers info
  • Marantz PM-11S1 Integrated Amplifier review
  • DVIGear Fiber Optic HDMI Cable info

Zone 2: The Dining Room

We do this zone by simply taking a cable feed from the bedroom and sending it to an additional cable box in the dining room. This cable box feeds dual outputs to a projector which fires across the room to the opposite wall, and an LCD television which is positioned next to the set-top box. Voila - a triple set of displays that allow viewing from any point in the conjoined living area.

Gear List for Zone 2

  • Yamaha LPX-510 LCD Front Projector (720p) review
  • Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW 24" LCD Display (1080i)
  • Da-Lite Deluxe Insta-Theater 90" Screen info
  • DVIGear SHR HDMI/DVI-D Cables info
  • Impact Acoustics analogue interconnects and speaker cables info

As we did last year, we'll probably experiment with setting up remote sound further into the dining room. This year, we'll likely accomplish this by taking a B-speaker feed from the Marantz amplifier and routing it to a couple of RBH Sound 61-SE/R speakers situated next to the portable Da-Lite screen. The PM-11S1 integrated amplifier has more than enough power to drive these speakers and it will allow us to better control the room acoustics in both areas. The sensitivity difference between the two speakers is about 2dB @ 1W/m, so we should be able to get away with this method.

Zone 3: The Kitchen "Hang Out"

I could probably put a live rattlesnake in the kitchen and people would still hang out in there. It's just what people do at parties. With that said, I'd hate to have someone trapped in some kitchen conversation, unable to escape back to the game. For this reason I always make sure I place a TV in there. I never pre-wired the kitchen for cable (I'm just not that addicted to the news) so we typically route a cable feed from the dining room system and provide a standard definition version of the game on that television. It's simple and it works.

Gear List for Zone 3

  • Niko OTP-2011R 20” LCD Television info

The theater roomZone 4: No Kids Zone

This Reference System is the featured room for our Super Bowl XLII party. There are only five real seats, so people tend to stay as long as they can hold out until nature calls or they get hungry - then the room becomes fair game. I predict a typical 70% turnover rate hourly. This is by far the most fun room to experience the game in as it includes surround sound and a large screen with full 1080p resolution. We tend to keep the room very dark, so there is excellent contrast here as well.

Gear List for Zone 4

  • Marantz VP-15S1 DLP Projector info
  • Carada Masquerade Screen Masking System review
  • RBH Sound CinemaSITE Loudspeaker System review
  • Denon AVR-4306 A/V Receiver review
  • RPG Diffusers Absorption Panels info
  • Impact Acoustics analogue interconnects and speaker cables info
  • DVIGear SHR HDMI Cables info
  • Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR
  • PureLink 4x2 HDMI Matrix switcher

Obviously the CinemaSITE really stands out in this room. The loudspeakers, high end Signature Series in-walls from RBH Sound are cleverly hidden in the cabinetry and I always get a kick out of the look on people's faces when I remove the wood-framed cloth grills. The Denon AVR-4306 provides plenty of power and the Marantz VP-15S1 is actually an impressive review unit that overlaps the Super Bowl party this year. Carada's new Masquerade IR-controlled motorized screen masking system is the bomb and really does an amazing job of masking movies with its black hole velvet trim. We won't be using its masking features for the big game, but it makes for an impressive demo. We'll receive Super Bowl XLII at 720p over high definition digital cable, which is compressed, but endurable. It works especially well for most of my guests who have never experienced HD up close, let alone on a big screen. I'm anxious to hear the sound this year, as I recall last year's pre-game show and half-time show sounding very nice in the surrounds. During the game, crowd noise was realistic and filled the room with a nice ambience.

Zone 5: The Great Outdoors

This year, weather-permitting, we are adding an additional zone to the Super Bowl experience - an outdoor zone. The backyard is about the greatest way to expand your living space and ensure you don't run out of room. We'll be experimenting with using a Rocketfish wireless speaker system to drive a pair of PlanterSpeakers Terra Cotta 8.20 speakers for outdoor audio. Video will be run old-school - we'll simply run a robust set of component video cables out the window and into the back yard to a high-power 2500 lumen projector made by Sharp. We'll fire the outdoor system onto a large white sheet since we don't have a third projector screen handy and want a larger size than would be typically available to us in a convenient portable format. With the higher-resolution displays inside, we don't view this as a major problem.

Gear List for Zone 3

  • Sharp LCD projector (model TBD)
  • PlanterSpeakers Terra Cotta 8.20 review
  • Rocketfish Wireless Speaker Kit review

Conclusion

Whew. That's a lot of information, but it should give you at least a few fun ideas for the upcoming game. Let's review...

  • Great food

  • Great friends

  • Great food (oops, did I say this already?)

  • Fun with audio/video gear

Now, you may not be able to have a grand total of 6 displays and 4 dedicated audio zones in your home - but you don't need to. We blow it all out of proportion only because we can and because we really enjoy doing it. For your own party, do the best you can and make sure you enjoy the game with the people who share the experience with you. I know we will.

Happy Super Bowl!

 

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

Recent Forum Posts:

krzywica posts on January 23, 2008 13:46
gene, post: 360888
Pizza and wings,

You need to goto a superbowl party hosted by Colombians. We are talking 20 course meals, giant pots of soup that has been cooking all day long, lots of liquor and plenty of beautiful women. Though, there isn't much football watching at these events which is fine by me since I prefer Hockey

Yeah gene, what should I bring? Beer or chips?
Reorx posts on January 23, 2008 13:30
Back yard projector and Screen…

I was actually looking at doing this myself. In general, not specifically for the super bowl. My backyard is a 50'x50' with 6' high concrete walls.

12 foot screen (12ft across).
Short throw lens on a projector mounted 10ft away.
3 speakers for LCR.
4 rock speakers for surround.

Anyways,
What does your backyard look like?
Do you have to worry about any kind of reflection's?
What are you doing to contain the sound, as to not annoy your neighbors?
Because it is a open area, is your audio quality going to sound bad?

Reorx
dnice555 posts on January 20, 2008 11:21
gene, post: 360888
Pizza and wings,

You need to goto a superbowl party hosted by Colombians. We are talking 20 course meals, giant pots of soup that has been cooking all day long, lots of liquor and plenty of beautiful women. Though, there isn't much football watching at these events which is fine by me since I prefer Hockey


What time should I get there?
gene posts on January 19, 2008 20:30
Pizza and wings,

You need to goto a superbowl party hosted by Colombians. We are talking 20 course meals, giant pots of soup that has been cooking all day long, lots of liquor and plenty of beautiful women. Though, there isn't much football watching at these events which is fine by me since I prefer Hockey
GlocksRock posts on January 19, 2008 16:36
I'm throwing a super bowl party, and I can't wait! Gonna have lots of people here.
Post Reply