Show Us Yours: Ray, the X-ray technician, has put together a living-room home theater and a playroom theater on a tight budget. See what he came up with.
This is Ray. He and his family live in a small town in Oklahoma. He sent us pictures of their "Average Joe budget living room" home theater, as well as his separate "playroom."
He's been working as an X-ray/CT tech for a little over 10 years, during which time he's acquired all his equipment.
"Most people I know buy these big TVs, but use cheap sound bars or worse, the built-in speakers," he says. "I like to have big sound to go with my big screens."
He used Polk speakers in his living room.
"Most of my Polk Audio speakers were heavily discounted outgoing models, or finds on eBay," he says. "Same with the Wharfedale speakers in my playroom."
He says he paid $300 for his pair of Polk Audio RTi10 front-channel floor-standing speakers during a closeout sale.
His AV receiver, the Onkyo TX-NR717 ($400), only powers the center and surround speakers while his Emotiva UPA-2 ($300) powers his two front-channel tower speakers.
Here we see Ray's Insignia Blu-ray player and Blu-ray collection surrounded by wolves. He's also got an old-school Apple TV in the mix and a Linksys WRT1900ACS wireless router.
Polk Audio FXiA4 Dipole/bipole surround speaker, $180 on eBay.
The surround speaker with the cover off. "I like that even though the placement isn't optimal, with room correction and being dipole you wouldn't know by the sound," Ray says.
The Polk PSW-1000 brings the boom with dual 10-inch active woofers. Close-out price: $400. "My favorite," Ray says. "It makes movies sound huge."
From the other side.
Polk Audio CSiA6 center-channel, $140 on eBay.
The sub from yet another angle (he took three shots because he likes it so much).
On to the playroom, where the TV is a bit larger: 65 inches.
"The Vizio M65-E0 I bought after reading CNET's review and I couldn't be happier, it's a great monitor," Ray says.
He bought it for half price ($500) due to a small defect at the bottom of screen. He uses the center channel to hide the defect, which doesn't "notch" the bottom image at all when he watches ultrawidescreen video like this.
A Nintendo Switch is docked up front next to his Wharfedale 9.CM center-channel speaker, which he bought for $80 on eBay.
The Wharfedale speakers are an incredible value, Ray says. They deliver the sound of much more expensive speakers.
He bought his Wharfedale Diamond 9.2 bookshelf front speakers on eBay for $180 (pair).
His guitar collection includes a Tobias Toby bass and an EVH Wolfgang Special.
There's also a PlayStation 4.
Ray bought his Sony STR-DN1080 7.2 Channel Atmos AV receiver based on CNET's review by Ty Pendlebury and Steve Guttenberg. He bought it refurbished for $350 and is quite happy with it.
The couch with rear speaker placement (this is a 5.1.2 Atmos setup).
He's using Wharfedale 9 SR speakers as ceiling Atmos speakers ($65 for the pair on eBay). The rears behind the couch are Wharfedale WH-2 bipole surround speakers ($60, eBay).
The Joker flanked by rear speakers. That's an Echo Dot on top of one of the rears for voice control of the system.
Another closeup of the front speaker.
His Sony PlayStation VR has a home on top of his Phase Technology FL-10 10-inch subwoofer ($165, eBay).
The underside of the Phase sub.
Ray says: "The 5.1.2 sound is so enveloping and the Wharfedales do a good job of sounding seamless in transition."
Closeup of the rear with the Amazon Echo Dot on top. Alexa says, "That's it, folks. Thanks for checking out another edition of CNET's Show Us Yours."
Alas, that's not one of her skills, but we wish it were. If you want to see more Show Us Yours showcases, there are plenty more here.
And don't be shy. Submit photos of your own home theater here.