My spare bedroom-to-dedicated theater room build thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-29-2009, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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(7/23/2009)
Dedicated theater/video game room in spare bedroom (under construction)

Room: 11'6" x 12'10" x 8'

Equipment list:
Projector: Sanyo PLV-Z2000 1080p LCD
Screen: Do-Able Board 80" Constant Width (86-92" diagonal depending on aspect ratio of source material)
Masking: Custom-built motorized horizontal masking controlled by IR remote
Blu-Ray/DVD player: Playstation 3
Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR806 Receiver (130w x 7)
Front speakers: Acoustic Research 312HO
Center Channel: Acoustic Research AR2C
Surround speakers: Acoustic Research AR4C
Rear surrounds: Acoustic Research AR4C
Subwoofer Amplifier: Behringer EP2500
Subwoofer Filter: Reckhorn B-1
Subwoofer1: Creative Sound Solutions SDX15 in 9.8cf Ported Enclosure
Subwoofer2: Creative Sound Solutions SDX15 in 9.8cf Ported Enclosure
Seating: Berkline 45002 in loveseat arrangement

Still to do:
Recessed lights in ceiling
Install dimmer switch
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-29-2009, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I already posted this at another forum but I'm passing time at work (lol) so I thought I would post it here as well. It's a dedicated theater/video game room in one of the spare bedrooms in our house. The room is 11'6" wide, 12'10" long at the longest, and has an 8' ceiling. Obviously, the room dimensions are going to mean there will be some compromises. I sure envy those of you with basements to work with as blank canvases! This is what the room looked like when we moved in:



It's difficult to see, but the walls were pink and there were kitty cat paws painted on the wall.

Screen wall (as of 6/20/2009):



The story:

This is our first house though my fiancee and I rented a house and an apartment before these, both of which had some version of a home theater in them. In our rental apartment, this is how it looked:



This was in our living room. The screen wall was a 70" wide Da-Lite pull-down screen over the existing window with a movable velvet Roman curtain acting as a top mask and a free-floating bottom mask. My fiancee was nice enough to sew it all together for me. When we moved into a house, I basically just unscrewed it from the wall and set it up in the new place, now in a dedicated theater bedroom.



This is the CRT projector I was using at the time, an Electrohome ECP 4500 on a DIY stand.



And now with the couch in place:



So I liked the old system quite a bit, but moving the masks up and down never worked quite as smoothly as I wanted. Since we were moving, I started planning what I'd ideally want in a theater room in the new place.

My basic plan for the room would be black walls, a fixed screen, a motorized masking system, a ceiling-mounted digital projector, and a Blu-ray player. I'd upgrade from 5.1 to 7.1, and get a matched set of speakers. I'd run the wires through the wall where possible, as well.

So we moved into the new place in November of '07, and due to my work schedule (~60-70 hrs/wk with two jobs) not much progress was made for a white. I moved the old CRT projector into the bedroom and put up a Do-able fixed screen on the wall. My fiancee was nice enough to paint the walls black for me, but the room sat as-is until September of '08, when I bit the bullet and bought a Sanyo PLV-Z2000 projector and a PS3. Wow, Blu-ray is a huge upgrade!

I already had an Acoustic Research AR2C center channel, and I was able to find some matching speakers for the fronts and surrounds. I picked up a pair of 312HOs for the front and AR4C centers to use as surrounds.

My brother was kind enough to help me run wires through the walls and add the plug for the projector.


AR 312HO doubling as a tool stand.


Sony PLV-Z2000 with Monoprice dual-HDMI wall plate, ceiling plug with a DIY shortened power cord.


There is a mirrored closet door on the back wall. I've pulled away the velvet curtain that covers the wall in this shot. We're short enough on storage space that I still need to keep the closet intact, so I'm not sure what, if anything, to do with the doors. You can see one of the AR4C surrounds on the wall, and my Dayton 10" subwoofer which will move to a different location later.


Here's a close-up of one of the AR4C surrounds. The bracket is very convenient for wall mounting. I cut a 1x6 to match the profile on my scroll saw and screwed it to the wall for extra support. Final painting of the mount will be done later.


This is the bizarre system I came up with to mount the rear speakers in front of the mirrored closet door. They attach to a piece of square tube aluminum that goes through the ceiling and into the attic where they attach to a bar laying across the joists. I ran the wiring through the tube. I'll cover the tubes with black fabric later.


Here's a wide shot of the back of the room. The perspective makes it seem like the surrounds are on a different plane but they're at the same point on the side walls. The section of the rear wall with the door is inset about 10" from the closet door.


Here's the Monoprice wall plate I used for the speaker connections. It's on the side wall near the front of the room.

I had initially planned on borrowing a lot of the design details from a 4-way masking system Scott posted here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=941076

Since I wasn't planning on running a fixed-height screen, I wouldn't need to use the movable side masking. I figured I'd find a way to motorize it after the fact. After a lot of thought, and realizing I didn't have the space to hide a lot of stuff along the front wall, I modified the design.


I kept the side alignment aluminum U-channel used by Scott, along with the vinyl rope, springs, and turnbuckles used to keep tension on the system. I built a small rectangular frame out of aluminum bar to slide up and down in the channel. One each for the top and the bottom. The vinyl rope pulls the top frame up while the bottom slides down, and vice versa. The frames would be covered with black vinyl, and I'll staple some fabric along the sides for the side masking.


The bottom frame is attached to a linear actuator operated by IR remote. Here it is in the wide open setting.


And here it is fully closed. The actuator has an 8" throw, which is more than enough for the width of screen I'm using.


Here's a closer look at the aluminum frame, vinyl rope, springs, turnbuckles, and patio rollers used for alignment and tension. I wrapped the ends in electrical tape to suppress noise while it's sliding.


And here's the actuator, temporarily mounted to test the system.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-29-2009, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Here my fiancee has finished sewing the velvet covers for the movable masking panels and the side portions. The velvet we used is so dark it feels like looking into a black hole! Great stuff. The aluminum frames were basically wrapped in velvet with a piece of elastic between the ends so it was pulled over the frame like a tight sock. The bottom piece has a draping section to cover the area of the front wall below the screen. The side masks are just strips of velvet stapled above and below the screen. Here's a picture with the masking in 2.35 mode.



I was able to fit 17x17x24 mineral wool bass traps in the corners. Forgot to take pictures but they look just like everyone else's stacked triangles. :whistling: Anyway, I did manage to snap a picture after I covered them. The frame is a simple 1" wide, very thin piece of molding with a little bracing. Covered in speaker grill cloth from Joann.


Here's the grill in place. It isn't very pretty, but as you'll see in a moment it is covered by a velvet curtain.


And now with the curtain in place, you can see that it's covered. The grill mostly serves just to keep the insulation from falling away from the wall, and to keep the stray bits and pieces in place


And now the with both side curtains plus a center valence in place. In the previous pictures you can see the curved piece of wood I cut to staple the curtain to. It's difficult to see in the pictures but the curtain has an even curve on both sides, from 2" from the front wall at the edge of the screen, to about 18" away from the front wall by the time it reaches the side wall. Man, is it hard to get good pictures of a room this dark!

I dug the guts out of my old Sony DVD player and put all the masking electronics inside. I figure that a DVD player isn't worth much these days anyway, and it'll look nicer than putting it all in a project box from Radio Shack.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-29-2009, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I received the Berkline 45002 chairs that I ordered from Roman and Ultimate Home Entertainment at the beginning of the month but unfortunately one of them was damaged in shipment. Roman took care of the replacement parts and now all is well. The chairs aren't much to look at but they're comfy and a good fit for the room. Because of the narrow width, my girlfriend and I decided to go for a loveseat arrangement and it we're very happy with how it turned out.



Since the seating positions were finalized I decided to finally hang my ATS Acoustics panels on the wall:


Hanging the panels went better than expected. I nailed a long thin piece of wood to the wall and marked out all the dimensions with a ruler, then attached the metal clips to the wall. Piece of cake. For the middle bottom clip, I hung a piece of twine over the pair of clips, measured down to the appropriate distance, then centered the clip between the pieces of twine. I think I had all six panels mounted in about an hour. I still have two 24"x48"x2" panels to hang on the ceiling, but I haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to attach them yet.

I also bought a Harmony 550 remote and a Blu Wave to use with my PS3. I really like it a lot and it's sure nice to get rid of that pile of remotes.

I'm going to put a few recessed lights in the ceiling but I need to get my brother back out to help me with the attic wiring. Hopefully I'll be able to do it in the next few weeks. I bought a Lutron dimmer from Lowes that I'll integrate with the Harmony remote.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-29-2009, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm also in the process of building a pair of subwoofers for use in the room. It's a pair of CSS SDX15 subs powered by a Behringer EP2500. They will be in dual ~9.8 ft3 vented boxes placed at the front of the room. here's a few construction pictures.

This is the test fit of the SDX15 in the front baffle. Basset-approved.

A little more detail of the bracing arrangement:


I also cut and applied the foam lining:
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-30-2009, 05:45 AM
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Great job!

The Zen Garden HT - Move Along...There is Nothing To See Here.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-02-2009, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quick update.

I finished up the rough construction on the first box and have put it in place for a test fit. There is a lot of finish work to complete, including trimming off some edges with the router, sanding, painting, etc. But while I finish the second box I figured it couldn't hurt to use the first one.

Here's where it will sit, more or less. It's really impossible to get the feel of the scale from a picture. In the room, it looks enormous. Two is going to be borderline hilarious.




I'll be starting the next box soon. So far I haven't come up with any great ideas for putting the ceiling acoustical panels up. I'd like them to be as flush as possible to the ceiling drywall, so right now I'm thinking of using very small L brackets and painting them to match the ceiling, or just using the same style hanger as the wall panels except one in each corner plus a small stop to prevent them from falling down. I'd like to avoid hanging them from hooks. If anyone has any thoughts, I'd appreciate it.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 01:41 PM
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wow man...great sub. btw..can you provide costs for building that and dimensions? how does it sound? looks like just PVC tubing for the port eh? how come you didni't get the flared 4" port kits from partsexpress? just curious. anyways, great room way to go!
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

wow man...great sub. btw..can you provide costs for building that and dimensions? how does it sound? looks like just PVC tubing for the port eh? how come you didni't get the flared 4" port kits from partsexpress? just curious. anyways, great room way to go!

Thanks! The box is 25" tall, 32" deep, and 28" wide. Those are external dimensions. It's about 9.8 cubic feet in volume with the bracing, speaker, and port installed.

Each box uses two 8x4 sheets of MDF plus about 25 linear feet of .75"x1.5" poplar. The speaker was $280. About $5 for the PVC for the port, $20 for the foam lining. With glue and screws I'd guess around $400 for a painted box with speaker.

It sounds good to me but I'm waiting to finish the second one to do any equalizing or further setup.

The PVC port is 6" in diameter. I know that you can buy a 6" flared port but I thought the cost was a little higher than what I was willing to spend. PVC pipe is cheap at a local plumbing supply. I suppose I could have used multiple 4" ports but a single 6" port seemed easier to me. Cutting the circles out is a pain, even with a jig. I'd rather do one set than two or three.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 02:24 PM
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um..."hole saw" my brother!!! that would simplify your life considerably....anyway, great job. i was just curious about costs....cause my 3 mfw15's were around $600.00 each USD shipped (plus Canadian taxes) but they are real wood veneer and diamond finish...so in the end...i think for me it wouldn't have been worth it to build my own. now...the new price on the MFW15's w/ diamond veneer..well that's a different story for sure...but i got a good deal (as i usually do since i'm a cheap bastard)

look for my pictures tonight of my home made 120" 1.78:1 screen
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-06-2009, 07:56 PM
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You have a beautiful Theater!

120" Electric Motorized Remote Projection Screen Movie Projector Black Matt 16:9, Elite Screens R115WH1-WIDE ezFrame Fixed Projection Screen (115" 2.35:1 AR)(CineWhite), Onkyo TX-NR616 7.2-Channel THX Select2 Plus Certified Network A/V Receiver(Black), Klipsch Reference Series R-1650-C In-Wall/In...
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-20-2009, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I finished the second sub box last week, and now both subs are essentially done. The subs got a basic coat of flat black paint and then we covered the top and both sides with the same type of black velvet used on the masking system for the screen. Because the subs are right underneath the screen I was worried about reflections even with a flat paint, and the velvet is much better about reflections. The finish isn't perfect but I still don't know whether I will be using a grill or not, so it may not even matter. Overall I am extremely happy with how they turned out aesthetically. I'm waiting to pick up a new receiver with Audyssey to do any EQing and will just set the basic levels with HD Basics in the meantime. I'll update the thread after I do adjustments. First impression is that the second sub added a lot of volume.

Please excuse the fingerprints and uncombed velvet nap.







Still waiting to hang the ceiling acoustic panels, which will probably get done this week. More pictures and updates to follow as things wrap up. Not much left at this point!
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-20-2009, 05:44 AM
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Nice work. Quite the black hole. Considered painting the ceiling, door & baseboards?
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-20-2009, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_pilgrim View Post

Nice work. Quite the black hole. Considered painting the ceiling, door & baseboards?

Thanks! I'm probably going to paint the door and baseboards at some point but I'm still torn on whether to paint the ceiling. I'll have to watch a few more movies and decide whether the ceiling is distracting or not.
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