Why's the basement unfinished? Why's everything removable? My wife and I love our house, but the neighborhood is just OK and not where we'd like to raise a family. So the plan is to live here for another 4-5 years (been here 2 already) and then move to our "forever house". So, I didn't want to spend all the money to finish the basement that I wouldn't reap back after selling the house. And I plan to take all the theater equipment with me when we go. Nothing is permanently attached - just a few screws that can be backed out.
I built the screen myself, with help from the wife (she actually really enjoyed it!), and I'm pretty proud of the result. I bought spandex online that was recommended in a few DIY Screen section threads. Gunmetal gray underneath matte white moleskin. I built the frame using 1x4 poplar and then wrapped the edges of the spandex around the yardstick to help stretch it evenly. Then we used a staple gun to staple straight through the yardstick into the poplar. This gave the spandex a nice consistent stretch because the yardstick was evenly applying pressure. And the yardsticks were only 98cents each at the local blue bigbox store. Then I built a larger frame around using 5/4x6 pressure treated decking and wrapped it in velvet and attached the two frames in the back.
Because the screen is acoustically transparent, I really wanted cool effect of having the speakers to sit behind the screen. So I used eye-hooks and 3/32" thin metal wire to hang the frame from the ceiling joists. The only holes drilled were through the velvet. No holes were through the spandex, except the staples through the yardsticks.
The projector is hanging using a peerless mount, and then an extender that I threw together using 2x4 and 2x6 scraps. Not the prettiest mount ever but works flawlessly and is strong.
All the furniture is leftover and hand-me-down. Don't laugh! :-) Yeah it's not fancy, but its comfortable and works great. And 95% of the time it's just me and the wife.
Unfinished Basement, Completely Removable, With No Budget
I also did not want to see any lights or anything distracting, so I put all the equipment behind the couch against a wall. I didn't have the budget to buy or build a fancy rack, so I'm using an Ikea table for now. Works great, fits everything - again, just not very pretty. But the components are easy to access and use, and most importantly are out of eyesight while watching a movie.
The PJ is a BenQ w1070 (my first PJ ever). A single HDMI run down to the receiver, a Pioneer VSX-523-k. It's works well enough. That is connected to Polk speakers (tsi300 for L&R, CS10 for center, and monitor 30s around back). They also work well enough for now. For subs I have a TSC-ASW10 (company went out of business) and a JBL 10" but not sure of model. I think the TSC sounds better, bigger, and cleaner, but I might try connecting both. I'm thinking of stacking behind the screen? Just waiting for a long cable to get shipped.
Future plans: get some cheap carpet or carpet squares. Or maybe even some free scraps to cover the floor. Also thinking about making a few acoustic panels to deaden the sound a bit. Floor is currently concrete, walls are block, and ceiling is just wood joists and subfloor. Sound proofing is not a concern.
So there it is. Thanks for reading. Please let me know feedback and suggestions! (But save the "it sucks" comments, because I know it's not as awesome as most of the other theaters people build here. But it also only cost me a few hundred bucks after the cost of the PJ.)
Finished product. The stuff on the far right is our workout area, so you can see rubber tiles and dumbells on the floor.
During fabric stretch and mounting:
An "after" view...camera quality is bad. Looked a lot better on the screen.
Another finished shot, without furniture in the shot.
The equipment "rack". The subs are going to moved from this position to behind the screen. Currently I have receiver, xbox 360, ps3, record player, and an HTPC running XBMC.