Avi Greengart is the Research Director for Consumer Devices at Current Analysis (Mobile Phones, Connected Devices, and Digital Home). He also regularly writes for Slashgear, sporadically blogs at Home Theater View and Tweets far too often as @greengartAvi's expertise lies in understanding consumer electronics marketing, consumer behavior, and technology adoption patterns: where new technologies meet the mass market. 



Greengart Theater Specs

The Greengart home theater is fairly basic when compared to high end home theaters - no THX approved speakers, no Krell amplifiers. For that matter, no acoustically isolated room and no bass traps or sound diffusers. Still, many of you have asked what I've got, so here goes (as of early 2009):


The home theater is in the finished portion of the basement. It is used exclusively for home theater, watching TV, playing videogames, and storing Star Wars toys. It is approximately 22' long x 12' wide, though the right wall is simply wood paneling. All but the highest frequencies can be heard in the unfinished room next door, which has identical measurements but contains large appliances/HVAC/boiler equipment. Nothing is done to mute or prevent the sound from the appliances/HVAC from entering the theater. The sound in the room is neither overly live nor dead - a large overstuffed L-shaped couch, racks of CDs and DVDs, ceiling pipes, and wall to wall carpeting absorb sound, while glass poster frames on the side walls used to reflect sound (but have not been placed back on the walls following renovations to the room).

A dedicated 20 amp circuit powers all the electronics; the projector is on a separate circuit.


Front Projection

Panasonic PT-AE2000 (1080p LCD)

Elite 92" 16:9 tensioned motorized screen


Panasonic 50" 720p plasma

Source material comes from HDTV recorded from Cablevision onto a Series 3 HD TiVo (trees block the possibility of small dish satellite), and DVD.  Cables include mid-priced samples from Monster, MonoPrice, Accell, Belkin, Acoustic Research, and others.


A major speaker update was planned for late 2008 but was derailed by budgetary issues (tuitions and a new boiler took precedence).

bulletFront Left/Right - Carver Theater 5.1 mains. Each speaker includes a forward facing midrange and tweeter and a rear facing midrange driver. Carver Theater 5.2 mains were ruined during an April 2007 flood.
bulletCenter - Carver Theater 5.2 center. In addition to two midrange drivers and tweeter (all forward facing), the center channel also contains a 300 watt Lightstar amplifier for the subwoofers housed in the main speaker cabinets.
bulletRear Left/Right - Carver Theater 5.2 surrounds. Each speaker includes a midrange driver facing forward, a tweeter facing front, and a tweeter facing back (all firing in phase). This somewhat unusual arrangement provides a nice balance between diffuse and direct sound.
bulletRear Center -  another Carver Theater 5.2 surround (purchased separately on eBay).*
bulletFront Effects* - Messina In-Corner speakers. Not currently connected.
bulletSubwoofers - Outlaw LFM-1 (two of them)

Main speaker cables are Monster OMC; cable for the surround and effect speakers is Monster XP-NW. Acoustic Research gold plated banana plugs are used wherever they make hookup more convenient.  Monster's THX subwoofer cables are used to hook up the subs.

**The Yamaha RX-V2500 receiver can generate sound effects closely mimicking what program material would sound like in a different acoustic space (i.e., a much bigger room). To do so requires an additional two speakers, mounted above and to the sides of the main Left/Right speakers.  Unfortunately, unlike RX-Z9 which I previously tested, the RX-V2500 cannot play both front effects and surround rear content (Dolby EX/DTS ES) at the same time.  Given the choice between added artificial ambience and slightly richer surround as mixed by the sound engineer, I typically choose to go with the added rear speakers.  But the front effects speakers have been hooked up in the past for comparison purposes.


bulletLogitech Harmony ONE remote control
bulletYamaha RX-V2500 A/V receiver. No additional amplifiers are being used... at the moment.
bulletMonoPrice 4x2 HDMI Switcher
bulletTiVo Series 3 HD with two CableCards. Used both as the HDTV tuner and as a DVR
bulletSony Playstation 3 with Nyko IR receiver (for control by the Harmony ONE). Used for DVD and Blu-ray playback. Could be used for games if we ever got any.
bulletSlingBox HD
bulletNintendo Wii
bulletApple TV
bulletVCR - Sony N81Z (not presently hooked up)


An electronic low voltage version of the Lutron Spacer system provides remote-controlled dimming for eight small halogen track lights.


A home theater needs accessories! We have a miniature old-style popcorn machine (actually a functioning hot air popper, although we use the microwave for all actual popcorn popping duties), theater-sized popcorn and Coke cups, framed movie and Muppets parody posters, a "Dolby Digital" sign welcoming you as you enter the room, and various Star Wars toys occupying any and all otherwise unoccupied flat space. Black folding tray tables provide a place for food and drink to rest.

Finally, http://www.netflix.com provides us with a steady stream of rental DVDs; we've been subscribers from the month they started their all-you-can-rent back four? years ago.