The $300 HT Challenge for this budget basic HT room!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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This is my version of a cheap man's HT room when I moved into my new house recently.

I got a small $300 bonus from work that I'd like to invest in there. I dont mean to upgrade any of the hardware but more thinking along the lines of movie posters, paint, etc.

What are some of the ways I can convert this space into a more real home theater?



Appreciated
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post #2 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 01:21 PM
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If I were you, I would paint the room a darker color of whatever you like (red, blue, whatever), then maybe get a stand for the center speaker, then use whatever's leftover to buy more Blu-rays
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post #3 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 01:22 PM
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Black screenwall would be a great start. Ceiling too. Something dark on the other walls.

If you want poster frames, people on this thread seem to like framesusa:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ghlight=frames
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post #4 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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For the paint, do I go semi gloss or totally flat?

Thanks again
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post #5 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 01:57 PM
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Get that center on a stand, or at least something less squishy.
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post #6 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 02:08 PM
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Room acoustics so it doesn't sound like the echo box it is currently
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post #7 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 02:17 PM
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Move L and R speakers out of corners and closer to the screen. Elevate them so that the tweeters are at ear level.

I agree with others on paint and I would use an eggshell finish since it won't scuff and show fingerprints as easy as flat does, yet will help remove many reflections.

Ken
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post #8 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 02:31 PM
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1. Paint
2. Center stand
3. Window treatments.


Is that your equipment rack in the center of the back wall (and projector on the wall)? Why not move the equipment rack to the corner or over by the windows, so you could make that second seating area parallel to the screen (and move that side speaker to the correct location)?

"The dream never dies, just the dreamer."

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post #9 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew4msu View Post

1. Paint
2. Center stand
3. Window treatments.


Is that your equipment rack in the center of the back wall (and projector on the wall)? Why not move the equipment rack to the corner or over by the windows, so you could make that second seating area parallel to the screen (and move that side speaker to the correct location)?

U read my mind....I've been thinking of doing that forever as that rack is taking up one seating space already. The only thing is I dont know how to run the cables along the wall to a corner location

For the paint, here's what I'm thinking:

Screen Wall=Black (low sheen)
Surrounding Walls=Dark Maroon (low sheen)

Do u knows paint the ceiling too? Also, anything cheap to cover up the window? The blinds dont do a good job of blocking out the hot Sacramento sun right now.

Frag

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post #10 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 03:07 PM
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If you really wanted to go cheap covering the windows use some garbage bags, but if not black out curtains work great.
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post #11 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fragster View Post

U read my mind....I've been thinking of doing that forever as that rack is taking up one seating space already. The only thing is I dont know how to run the cables along the wall to a corner location

Well, since your seating will be on that back wall, you could just run any cabling behind the seats and it wouldn't be noticeable. If you need to hide it, you can pull up the carpet near the baseboards and try to run it under the carpet or you can find cable tracks like THESE that will replace your baseboards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fragster View Post

For the paint, here's what I'm thinking:

Screen Wall=Black (low sheen)
Surrounding Walls=Dark Maroon (low sheen)

I think those colors would work well. I'd also paint the baseboards and trim (outlets, window sills, etc.) black. Get eggshell.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fragster View Post

Do u knows paint the ceiling too? Also, anything cheap to cover up the window? The blinds dont do a good job of blocking out the hot Sacramento sun right now.

Yes, you should paint the ceiling too (preferably black). As mentioned, you can get black out shades to cover the windows (they're white, BTW) from any fabric store (i.e. Joannes) and then just put up some nice black curtains (or something that picks up the color of your rug if you'd rather) over that.

"The dream never dies, just the dreamer."

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post #12 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 10:44 PM
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If you are a do it your selfer
Paint
Movie Posters
Curtains
and for god sakes re adjust your speakers and get a nice stand for the center. Heck just make one.

I'm sooo blu right now.
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post #13 of 35 Old 04-11-2008, 11:36 PM
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Why does your equipment rack have the best seat in the house?
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post #14 of 35 Old 04-12-2008, 05:13 AM
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I think we should focus on the obvious...and it won't cost any dollars.

Take that lamp down to goodwill.
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post #15 of 35 Old 04-12-2008, 06:00 AM
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1. speaker stand for center.
2. paint a darker color on walls
3. Acoustical wall treatments
4. more bluray disks
5. beer.
6. I agree ditch the 80's lamp.
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post #16 of 35 Old 04-12-2008, 08:54 AM
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I made a dirt cheap star ceiling with some plywood, black spray paint, christmas tree lights (they randomly twinkle) and a map of stars to get it all accurate.

Dear god that lamp. $10 floor lamps will work.

I'm sooo blu right now.
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post #17 of 35 Old 04-12-2008, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a bunch guys! U guys rock! I ordered some stuff from Ebay last night.....a set of 3 DTS, THX, DD Sound insignias on wood frames. Also orderd 2 large posters from 300, Finding Nemo from movieposters.com.

Will be moving the AV rack to the side this weekend. Next weekend is painting weekend for me :-).

And BTW, that lamp is the object of my wife's hatred too :-). I picked it from ChinaTown, San Francisco a long ago and for some reason, it keeps following us from apartment to house to new house!. I guess its about time it finds it way to the garage.

Thanks for all the responses again. I'll post more pictures as I start tidying my HT room.

Frag

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post #18 of 35 Old 04-14-2008, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Guys

I took the advise and got the paint. Got "Mickey Ears" from HD (following Landshark's thread ;-)). Also bought 2 gallons of dark gray tinted primer (had the paint rep throw in 1 oz of black colorant in the Killz primter).

Back at home, I moved my AV rack to the corner and made sure all the cables would reach the stand. The prep-work took me over an hour, getting the equipement unhooked, moving the sectional sofa, taping baseboard, etc.

Now that the screen wall is painted black, my 120" WilsonArt looks more bigger and brighter. Just for the sake of it, I hooked up my PS3 (no audio) and the Prince Caspian 1080p trailer looked almost too real. I think the black background really brings out the contrast and vivid colors on the screen.

By the time, I was done priming the room and finishing the screen wall, it was close to 9pm (started at 8am). I was exhausted but certainly feel the pride and my other half loved the color, outcome of the room. My wallart should be arriving sometime this week (posters for 300, Finding Nemo and 3 THX, DD wooden insignias).

Here's how things look right now.......room's still a mess till I paint the walls.

Frag




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post #19 of 35 Old 04-14-2008, 08:30 AM
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What are the room dimensions?

Victor

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post #20 of 35 Old 04-14-2008, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victor-eyd View Post

What are the room dimensions?

Victor

Its a upstairs gameroom ....approx 10X25 ...kinda a rectanglar shape.

Frag

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post #21 of 35 Old 04-14-2008, 08:41 AM
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Great job so far. Paint is definitely the best first step. Any since you have moved everything to paint, do a little reading and be mindful of where you put your speaker back, raise that center, bring in those mains away from the walls, didn't notice a sub before, but play around with where it goes. Finally, think about some acoustic changes, either some paneling or even just a heavy curtain down the sides to help with reflections. Remember, now that your picture pops, it is going to be the sound that envelopes you and truly bring the environment on the screen to life.

_________
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post #22 of 35 Old 04-15-2008, 09:57 AM
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glad to be helpful.

paint the rest of the wall in some dark color and paint the ceiling too. it'll change the whole room's appearance!! also, just get some heavy curtain that could block the light from the windows. (target has some heavy flux drape for like $20-25!)

move the L/R speaker closer to the screen's edge, and might need to be away from the wall a little more too (depends on your speakers). get a center channel speaker stand (many HT online store carry them).

I would leave the equipment rack as it is (the last pic), at the corner of the room.

good luck and be sure to show us some finished pics too!!
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post #23 of 35 Old 04-18-2008, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys

Its all done finally.......well, almost...just waiting for the poster frames, 15 feet hdmi cable and my wife to finish making the velvet curtains for my 2 windows.

Once again, my heartedly thanks to everyone's responses/suggestions/feedback for helping me take on this project. In the end, both me and the wife are extremely happy with the outcome and while my setup is very cheap and simple unlike most of u here, it does the job for me.

The paint, speaker stand, posters, materials cost me under $220 so I still had $70 left. So what better than to pick up a EBay used copy of Planet Earth on BR for $50. The rest was for beer :-).

Here are some final pictures. Id also like to thank my producers, my director, my fellow cast members for putting up with me during filming. I'd also like to thank the Globe academy for hosting this award and most of all, the fans for voting me for the best actor for 2008. Without you, I wouldn't be standing here with this trophy in my hand. Thank U all and c u next year.

Frag






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post #24 of 35 Old 04-18-2008, 07:34 PM
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Wow! What a difference from this


to this


Great job!

Victor

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- Mordecai and Rigby

Big Screen/Small Space! My 13x12 Bedroom HT

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Small theaters gallery
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post #25 of 35 Old 04-18-2008, 08:20 PM
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Nice job! It certainly does look much better and I bet watching movies in there takes on a whole new experience.

Mike

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Still Dreaming! But I built a shed!
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post #26 of 35 Old 04-18-2008, 08:27 PM
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Looks great. Do you notice any audible difference with your center off the ottoman?
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post #27 of 35 Old 04-18-2008, 08:57 PM
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Great job fragster.

Now, next time you get a few dollars, paint your trim black too.

"The dream never dies, just the dreamer."

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post #28 of 35 Old 04-18-2008, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghause View Post

Looks great. Do you notice any audible difference with your center off the ottoman?

U'd think I'm lying but certainly ....that and moving my sub (now hidden) in the corner with the AV rack.

Its amazing how little things like these add so much to a true HT experiance.

The other good thing is now when watching movies, the screen actually appears larger as the borders 'bury' into the black wall, thus only leaving the picture

One of my PJ buddies came over to my house for a few drinks tonight and was totally taken my surprise when he saw my 'new-look' setup. Now he's motivated so he'll be putting his small HT project together now but at least he'll have me for help.

The 'darkening' of the room now also makes my screen watchable in the daytime with the blinds closed. Before the makeover, the ambient light would wash out the screen a lot but now its very minimal. Hopefully my wife completes the black curtains before the weekend so my project would be 99% complete.

Frag

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post #29 of 35 Old 04-20-2008, 07:52 AM
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VERY NICE!!! see how little things (color, paint, blinds, rearrangement) could change the whole experience and appearance of the room!! and it's not necessary to be expensive too!!!

really really great work!!!

next on the to-do list: may be try to paint the ceiling too? and the trims?
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post #30 of 35 Old 04-20-2008, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys

Another question for ambient lighting. Since I took my cheapo light away, I currently dont have any lights in there (the hallway lights are illuminating the room right now).

Since Im not electical savy (last time I tried it, I almost burnt down my house!) so any suggestions as to what I get for ambient lighting while watching movies, etc?

Maybe standing floor lamps or something?

Appreciated
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