Mike and Katie's media room & bar - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 41 Old 07-27-2015, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Mike and Katie's media room & bar

I've lived in apartment buildings my entire adult life, so a lot of my home theater dreams were just that - dreams. No real chances to let a subwoofer loose or set up front projection.

This summer I finally found a place in a part of town I liked and best of all it had space I immediately could plan out in my head.

Here are some before pics of the basement:





I knew I liked the open "media room" concept over a dedicated home theater. When my friends get together at someones house it is often a special sporting event - Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, Pitt games, etc. So I favored a place that prioritized entertaining above absolute perfect sound and video (as if I had the budget for either

This is what we came up with:



The main components:
Epson 2030 projector
Onkyo TX-NR626 7.2 receiver
2x Sony SS-F5000 tower speakers
1x Sony SS-CN5000 center channel speaker
4x Sony SS-B1000 bookshelf speakers
2x Sony SA-W2500 subwoofers

Why so many Sony speakers? Well, for a while I worked at Sears on the side and Sony was about the only speakers they carried. I was able to get a bunch of open box items far off the normal selling prices. Someday I'd like to have better speakers, but for the time being I'll be blissfully ignorant of what those would sound like

I went with a DIY spandex screen, using silver over white. Im not 100% confident I made the right choice, but I am happy with it. I tried drapping the pieces of fabric over the frame before stapling, and the silver seemed to give me "deeper/more saturated" hues. The colors just looked richer.

I had every intention of trying to hang the screen off of the wall and I just propped it onto a tv stand while I was setting everything up. But given the projector and mount geometry it is the perfect height off the ground. So it will stay until I can build a little "cabinet" to sit the screen on. And I know I need to hide the subwoofer cables a bit better before we have company.

I have a 50" Panasonic TC-P50S1 I am going to put in the area to the right of the screen. I just need to finish clearing out my apartment this week so I can get the tv stand from there into my basement.

My sources are:
Niveus Vail HTPC running LibreELEC
Raspberry Pi 2 running LibreELEC (3D MVC player)
Xbox One (primary streaming and bluray disc player)
Xbox 360 (primary cable/DVR/ATSC device)
Chromecast Audio

Everything is set up in the area behind the bar on a large shelf. I'm using a Monoprice IR repeater and a Harmony 650 to control everything.

I'm a WMC pro, but a total novice when it comes to Kodi. In my living room (and in the past) I've tried to cram as many functions into my HTPC as possible, so WMC was really the only option for cable. But in the basement I am trying to specialize functions a bit more.

I bought the Niveus PC on ebay a few years ago dirt cheap. It has a bluray drive but I haven't figured out how to make that work with Kodi. I installed a small SSD and LibreElec boots in seconds.

I intend to learn Cinema Experience on Kodi and have it serve as my main movie player. I can get most of my cable channels on it as well, but I still use WMC as my DVR so I often flip over to that for television.

I have a series of HDMI splitters and matricies set up so I can play my Xbox One up in my living room, as well as put it on any display in the basement. I can also utilize my Silicondust tuners to get live tv into it as well, and I can then send three different sources to the projector, the soon to be 50" Panasonic tv, and the 37" Element LCD inside the bar.

A few other pics of the basement. I know I still have some tidying to do, but I've been enjoying it too much to finish!













Network map:

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My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma

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post #2 of 41 Old 07-27-2015, 07:00 AM
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Congratulations on your new place. It looks great.
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post #3 of 41 Old 07-27-2015, 05:29 PM
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Most important question is whats to todays drink special? Ill come over and taste test for ya!

Looks nice tho! Now im thirsty.
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post #4 of 41 Old 07-27-2015, 07:09 PM
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Great room or should I say man cave (....I mean man and woman cave). I really like the Reagan 80's idea and of course, now I want Reagan on my wall.
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post #5 of 41 Old 07-28-2015, 03:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve1106 View Post
I really like the Reagan 80's idea and of course, now I want Reagan on my wall.
I'm 31 and feel like movies peaked around the time I was born. Terminator, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Star Wars - so many of my personal favorites and Hollywood keeps going back to them. I've always really taken to 80s music too (for some reason).

I was at a party supply store and noticed the Reagan portrait. They had a bunch of different presidents, presumably for school teachers to hang up in the class room.

We are big Red Letter Media fans and in one episode of Best of the Worst they had Reagan's portrait in focus in the background. So I bought it as a gag and we decided to hang it below that puzzle. Well, I decided to. She thinks he looks creepy.

And besides - he was an actor - that seems appropriate as a theater decoration

My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #6 of 41 Old 07-28-2015, 03:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkpenguin View Post
Most important question is whats to todays drink special? Ill come over and taste test for ya!

Looks nice tho! Now im thirsty.
I've done some home brewing in the past (in bottles only) and i'd like to get back into it. This time in kegs though. So I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a minifridge that could hold two thin kegs.

My girlfriend is a bartender and does a great job mixing drinks. I've never been a cocktail person but I do really enjoy the ones she whips up.

Unfortunately about the only thing I have to serve is Bud Light Platinum (there might be a few Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpins left too).

My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #7 of 41 Old 07-28-2015, 09:03 AM
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I used to have a kegerator. I kinda miss it, nothing beats draft beer. I've always thought about trying to brew my own but have never gotten around to it. Maybe some day.

Just 'cause you're right doesn't mean I'm wrong
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post #8 of 41 Old 07-30-2015, 10:28 AM
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Love the wood on the walls!
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post #9 of 41 Old 07-30-2015, 10:31 AM
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Home brewing for the win! I like your space, man. Enjoy
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Yippee-ki-yay...
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post #10 of 41 Old 07-30-2015, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy_819 View Post
Love the wood on the walls!
We debated what dark wall color would work well with them - dark green, maroon, blue. I kind of tried to do a Pitt scheme (hence the yellow bar stools and coming yellow pub table) so thats where the blue walls came from.

I'm the 3rd owner, and I get the sense the original owner was into wood working. They finished the basement themselves, and outside in the back of the room there are some really intricately cut shelves. And along the stairs - the wood going up the wall at the stair well is so perfectly measured and cut.

My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #11 of 41 Old 07-30-2015, 07:05 PM
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Nice job with the space. Seems like a great place for everyone to hang out and your ready for football season too.

Projector & Screen: Epson 5040ub Elite Screens 100" Electric Video: Oppo 103d Audio: Denon 4520ci Speakers: Infinity RS5 (LW L C R RW) Infinity RS1 (LH RH) Infinity Beta ES250 (SL SR) Subwoofers: 2 SI18d4 Martycubes with iNuke3000dsp and 2 Infinity BU120 Shakers: 4 ADX shakers with Dayton SA230 amp

My Builds--Media console build----Martycube build----ADX Bass Shaker Install
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post #12 of 41 Old 07-30-2015, 07:49 PM
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Nice setup you have there and looks like a great area to hang out.
. I'm glad you finally made your dream....a reality.

Chris

"The Boy has no patience" Yoda
"He will learn patience. Was I any different when you taught me?" Obi-Wan
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post #13 of 41 Old 08-04-2015, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I finally finished clearing out my old place last week and set up my 50" Panasonic S1 plasma. I'm using an Xbox 360 as the source. The Steelers open the NFL season against the Pats on September 10th, and the Pirates are also in action that night. So I'm thinking that will be the first big event at the house.

I need to come up with some kind of door for that open space going back to the laundry room. I really don't want to have a traditional door, but I can't think of anything else that would look ok there.





the long suffering Browns fan cheering on her team:



the new Xbox One NFL app, with Yahoo Fantasy updates on the side snap bar:

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My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma

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post #14 of 41 Old 08-20-2015, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I tided some things up ahead of our first party.



Last item is being delivered today - a kegerator!
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My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #15 of 41 Old 09-01-2015, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Everything is stocked ahead of the big house warming cookout on Sunday and opening Steeler game the following Thursday.

Our first 2 kegs were Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Shocktop. Trying to decide what to get for Sunday. I'm fortunate to have a large distributor not too far away that has a huge selection of 1/6th craft kegs in stock AND can fill a CO2 tank.



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My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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Looks good!
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post #17 of 41 Old 09-16-2015, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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So far we've had two house warming parties and (drum roll) an engagement party!

We've kicked sixtels of the Torpedo, Shocktop, local brew Rivertowne Hala Kahiki pineapple ale, and Landshark.
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Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #18 of 41 Old 09-16-2015, 05:37 PM
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Congratulations on the engagement and I like the multiple displays.

I've got to come up with a way to get a signal to multiple displays like you have. Ever since Comcast required "boxes" to access content, I have only had the projector in my room. I miss the days of having three or four things on at once, but not enough to give Comcast more money each month for more boxes.
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post #19 of 41 Old 09-16-2015, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I make it happen with a SiliconDust HDHR Prime cablecard tuner. I already have the htpcs, the Xbox 360s, and the Xbox One.

The Prime allows me to turn all those gadgets i already own into cable boxes.

I can tune 3 channels at once with it. I also have an atsc tuner on my htpc that my 360s can access.

My old Android phone (HTC One S) can be plugged into an hdmi display. I can use WatchESPN, NBC Sports Live, and NFL Sunday Ticket on that as well.
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post #20 of 41 Old 09-17-2015, 09:09 AM
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Great thread! Hope you guys beat the Hawkeyes on Saturday!!!

And congrats on the engagement!!!
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post #21 of 41 Old 11-28-2015, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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did a little christmas decorating in the theater/bar room:







grilling some wings now and going to watch Its a Wonderful Life
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My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #22 of 41 Old 12-02-2015, 01:02 PM
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I like this setup. Has a nice atmosphere.
What size are those movie posters? Where did you get the frames?
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post #23 of 41 Old 12-03-2015, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigchieftaco View Post
I like this setup. Has a nice atmosphere.
I appreciate that. I feel like its a warmer place than pictures can get across, but we really do spend most of our free time down there. I'll watch sports, history documentaries, read, anything. My fiance is doing her masters degree and she will study down there, as long as I'm not cranking up the volume.

Quote:
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What size are those movie posters? Where did you get the frames?
I have three different sizes. Most of them are 11x17. I think I bought several three packs of frames at Walmart. There are a few "normal" poster sized ones at 24x36. Those frames either came from Walmart or Target, you'd be able to easily find those for sure. And the Rocketeer one (one of my favorite posters AND favorites films) is 27x40. There's also a 27x40 Miami Vice print in the bar that I guess I don't have a good picture of.

If you haven't seen the Rocketeer, or haven't seen it in a long time, its really worth seeking out. Its such a great, fun movie. It was just one one of those rare misses where the film works but circumstances (marketing, Terminator 2) keep it from connecting with a wide audience.

My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #24 of 41 Old 12-04-2015, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
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I have three different sizes. Most of them are 11x17. I think I bought several three packs of frames at Walmart. There are a few "normal" poster sized ones at 24x36. Those frames either came from Walmart or Target, you'd be able to easily find those for sure. And the Rocketeer one (one of my favorite posters AND favorites films) is 27x40. There's also a 27x40 Miami Vice print in the bar that I guess I don't have a good picture of.

If you haven't seen the Rocketeer, or haven't seen it in a long time, its really worth seeking out. Its such a great, fun movie. It was just one one of those rare misses where the film works but circumstances (marketing, Terminator 2) keep it from connecting with a wide audience.
Ahh, I forget it's sometimes better to buy things from the store. I'm so used to buying everything online anymore.
Looks like Target has some 24x36 for $9 each. I'll swing over there one of these days and grab a few.

I will have to check out Rocketeer. I have to admit I have never heard of it.
Reminds me of when someone was talking about Rad. They were so crazy over that movie. Ended up finding it and I liked it.

Thanks for all the help
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post #25 of 41 Old 12-07-2015, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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We had a get together last night with the Steelers and Penguins both on in prime time:



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My basement media room and bar
Epson 2030, Onkyo TX-NR626, and Kodi based system

Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #26 of 41 Old 12-07-2015, 01:42 PM
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That's a pretty lonely looking party . . .
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post #27 of 41 Old 12-30-2015, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post
I make it happen with a SiliconDust HDHR Prime cablecard tuner. I already have the htpcs, the Xbox 360s, and the Xbox One.

The Prime allows me to turn all those gadgets i already own into cable boxes.

I can tune 3 channels at once with it. I also have an atsc tuner on my htpc that my 360s can access.

My old Android phone (HTC One S) can be plugged into an hdmi display. I can use WatchESPN, NBC Sports Live, and NFL Sunday Ticket on that as well.
I have the three tuner SD as well and love having multiple displays. If I run out of tuners I can always stream something to another TV and have even more options.

Can you elaborate on the ATSC tuner and how the 360 can access it? Does it act like WMC with the guide and run live TV as well?
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post #28 of 41 Old 01-01-2016, 07:22 AM
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Did you move from WMC to Kodi for TV viewing? I also have an HD Homerun Prime, but I'm still on WMC. I'd like to move to something else, as WMC keeps having problems, but I'm not sure what to move to.

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post #29 of 41 Old 01-02-2016, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I still use WMC as my primary DVR (that PC is in the living room). I'll boot up my 360 down in the basement if I want to watch a recorded program.

But if I'm watching live TV down there (mostly sports) I just use the Silicon Dust add in on the OpenElec computer.

I'm fortunate enough to have a very permissive provider (Comcast), so I can get all my channels in Kodi. I like using it in the basement because of how light weight OpenElec is, refresh rate switching, and the Cinema Experience add in.

My days of trying to cram everything into one HTPC are over.
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post #30 of 41 Old 01-02-2016, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gingrbredman View Post

Can you elaborate on the ATSC tuner and how the 360 can access it? Does it act like WMC with the guide and run live TV as well?
I have a Windows 7 HTPC in my living room. The atsc tuner is just a PCI tuner card in that machine. I set it up as a source in WMC. That computer and all my extenders will go to it first for the local.
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