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post #31 of 93 Old 09-05-2010, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Just back from vacation...


imprez25,


Much obliged. I hope your build goes well. Mine was somewhat cursed but in the end came out perfect for me.

mhdiab,


Sorry I don't know the exact brand of remote controlled black out blind I have. I got them from an installation company called Solarfective (in Toronto) if that's any help.
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post #32 of 93 Old 09-15-2010, 10:58 PM
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Rich, so sorry....somehow I am just now catching your link to all the great pictures and explanations about your wonderful theater. After I ragged numerous times for you to take some for us following all the time the process took. It REALLY turned out sweet!!!! What a great vision and plan you had. You knew what you wanted to achieve & still be on great terms with your wife for this main room, and you damn well did it. Major props!!

Does she enjoy it too very much or more is just happy you are finally done and happy with it?
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post #33 of 93 Old 09-16-2010, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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RonF,

Thanks for the props.

As for my wife: Yes she enjoys it. She's not into the whole Home Theater thing and rabid movie watching like me, but, thank goodness, she thinks the room came out beautifully (most important to her) and in fact she clearly has some pride in the room when guests come over. (Not that she'll ever admit it to me, but I can tell).

The project was so gruelling that even I resented it for a while. Even after it was finished and working it took me a while to relax and enjoy it, although part of that was I had ongoing remote control issues (that are now solved).

Everything has been working great for many months now and I can hardly express how much I love the room. I use it every day either for listening to music or watching some or all of a movie. And my place has become the go-to place for hosting UFC parties with all my pals who can't believe what it's like watching it in HD on a big screen. Floating in black it's like a window on to the event, like we bought tickets.

But the comfort and cool factor for me blows me away. For instance, listening to music, at night I choose a "mood" lighting scene, which lowers all the lights except some dim beams over the sofa, and with colored lights on the screen. The feeling is like walking into a cool club or fancy restaurant...just super cool vibe with the room slightly undulating in rich colors reflected from the screen. My toes are caressed by the thick, fluffy (but classy-looking) shag rug, which sets the "come in and relax" mood.
I recline on the deep-seated, thickly cushioned sofa, legs up on the soft-topped ottomans, maybe a furry pillow to lean on, and with the remote cue up some surround music to listen to (or my two channel stuff). It's friggin' heaven and I can't believe I can have this experience whenever I want. Last night I put on the Inception sound track (I love movie music) thinking I'd just hear a cut or two, but it was so comfy and involving I listened to the whole album.

It really feels "good for the soul" as it were, to be able to dip into such a relaxing state of mind (especially given I work some crazy long hours in my film work).

Sorry to blab...I guess 8 months on I'm still in the honeymoon phase with my room :-)
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post #34 of 93 Old 10-16-2010, 07:45 PM
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Wow... Color me TOTALLY AWE-STRUCK!!!! Absolutely phenomenal setup you got there. I'm particularly impressed with how intimate yet grand the environment is. It's quite clear all your hard work has paid off in spades. Congratulations on creating such a beautiful room!

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post #35 of 93 Old 10-16-2010, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot BasicBlak.

The comments have been very rewarding because most people, like you, seem to really "get" what I was trying to achieve in terms of the atmosphere, so it indicates I met some success.

Cheers,
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post #36 of 93 Old 10-16-2010, 08:57 PM
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Rich fantastic room I love the masking.

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post #37 of 93 Old 10-17-2010, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Glad you like it Franin.

I was just going through some old threads in the forum and it made me realise it had taken me two years just to research and design and the room, then another whole year to do the reno. Yikes.

I never thought I'd have to have so much patience. Funny, now with the all the research behind me and having experience with the reno it feels like I could whip up a similar room much, much faster the next time (if I ever move). Although, naturally, all sorts of unforseen things will go wrong, knowing my luck. :-)
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post #38 of 93 Old 10-17-2010, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Thanks a lot BasicBlak.

The comments have been very rewarding because most people, like you, seem to really "get" what I was trying to achieve in terms of the atmosphere, so it indicates I met some success.

Cheers,

Some success, eh? The understatement of the year. Indeed you did, my friend. A little while ago I sat down to peruse your build thread from start to finish, and I can't help but be amazed not only by the room's transformation but how you were able to navigate the treacherous waters of keeping your family from stringing you up on a lance. (I howled out loud when you nearly "bought it" after your wife discovered the A/C fiasco. Priceless! Fortunately, as they would say back in the Bogie & Bacall days, seems like she ended up being a real Joe about it all.

That projector lift is easily one of the room's star attractions (right after the masking system, of course). Is yours a modification of one of Flat Lift's standard models, or was it a top-to-bottom custom creation? If the former, could you tell me the model on which it was based? I think something along the lines of what you have might very well solve a pj mounting dilemma I'm currently grappling with. Appreciate your sharing.

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post #39 of 93 Old 10-17-2010, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BasicBlak View Post

Some success, eh? The understatement of the year. Indeed you did, my friend. A little while ago I sat down to peruse your build thread from start to finish, and I can't help but be amazed not only by the room's transformation but how you were able to navigate the treacherous waters of keeping your family from stringing you up on a lance. (I howled out loud when you nearly "bought it" after your wife discovered the A/C fiasco. Priceless! Fortunately, as they would say back in the Bogie & Bacall days, seems like she ended up being a real Joe about it all.

Oh, there were a lotta close calls on this one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BasicBlak View Post

That projector lift is easily one of the room's star attractions (right after the masking system, of course). Is yours a modification of one of Flat Lift's standard models, or was it a top-to-bottom custom creation? If the former, could you tell me the model on which it was based? I think something along the lines of what you have might very well solve a pj mounting dilemma I'm currently grappling with. Appreciate your sharing.

The projector lift has worked out beautifully. It is a really, really fine piece of engineering. Smooth, quiet, reliable and amazing to watch in action.

I first found this particular lift on the company's website:

http://www.flatlift.net/index.php?id=28&lang=en

The "Pop up Gold." What caught my eye was the telescoping design and the amazing amount of travel in the design, from really short on the floor to way up high. That gave me hope I could actually pull off my projector lift idea.

I contacted Flatlift (main factory in Germany, though they sell via the States), told them my desire to use one of their lifts to hide a projector behind my sofa and raise it up high for use. You can actually use the Pop Up Gold for a projector. They sent me photos from a client who had done so and it looked excellent. They gave me the price for the Pop Up Gold model but suggested a custom-made solution would be even better. Especially as I was trying to get the sitting/retracted height as low as humanly possible. And their price for a complete custom-made job was only $100 more!

Sold!

The company was great to work with in back and forth sessions nailing down exactly what I wanted, always sending me really nice 3D renderings of the design. Very professional and highly recommended if you don't mind parting with the money. For me it's been worth every cent. It not only completely hides my projector when not in use, and gets it to a very tall, perfect height in use, but it is a show stopper and it's also EXTREMELY convenient to be able to get at whatever part of the projector I need. If I'm cleaning it, or fiddling with cables, or changing the bulb, or adjusting it's position to be square with the screen, or whatever, it's so simple to just lift the projector up to a perfectly accessible height to work with.
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post #40 of 93 Old 10-17-2010, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Glad you like it Franin.

I was just going through some old threads in the forum and it made me realise it had taken me two years just to research and design and the room, then another whole year to do the reno. Yikes.

I never thought I'd have to have so much patience. Funny, now with the all the research behind me and having experience with the reno it feels like I could whip up a similar room much, much faster the next time (if I ever move). Although, naturally, all sorts of unforseen things will go wrong, knowing my luck. :-)

I wish back then I knew what I know now I would of not swapped and changed too much, especially the gear( I guess that's part of the fun in this hobby of ours).

Lesson learnt for me next time I build it would have to be right the first time but I'm in that unlucky category also something cannot be done due to a beam, structure who knows what.

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post #41 of 93 Old 10-17-2010, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post


Oh, there were a lotta close calls on this one.

The projector lift has worked out beautifully. It is a really, really fine piece of engineering. Smooth, quiet, reliable and amazing to watch in action.

I first found this particular lift on the company's website:

http://www.flatlift.net/index.php?id=28&lang=en

The "Pop up Gold." What caught my eye was the telescoping design and the amazing amount of travel in the design, from really short on the floor to way up high. That gave me hope I could actually pull off my projector lift idea.

I contacted Flatlift (main factory in Germany, though they sell via the States), told them my desire to use one of their lifts to hide a projector behind my sofa and raise it up high for use. You can actually use the Pop Up Gold for a projector. They sent me photos from a client who had done so and it looked excellent. They gave me the price for the Pop Up Gold model but suggested a custom-made solution would be even better. Especially as I was trying to get the sitting/retracted height as low as humanly possible. And their price for a complete custom-made job was only $100 more!

Sold!

The company was great to work with in back and forth sessions nailing down exactly what I wanted, always sending me really nice 3D renderings of the design. Very professional and highly recommended if you don't mind parting with the money. For me it's been worth every cent. It not only completely hides my projector when not in use, and gets it to a very tall, perfect height in use, but it is a show stopper and it's also EXTREMELY convenient to be able to get at whatever part of the projector I need. If I'm cleaning it, or fiddling with cables, or changing the bulb, or adjusting it's position to be square with the screen, or whatever, it's so simple to just lift the projector up to a perfectly accessible height to work with.

I have a projector lift stuck in my roof it used to house a sim 2 Domino D35. Unfortunately it was too small to house a jvc so it sitting there not being used.

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post #42 of 93 Old 10-19-2010, 07:42 AM
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Great to see another user from Toronto here! As soon as I saw the house, I knew it was a Toronto home. I don't have the WAF factor to do what you have accomplished! Who did you work with in Toronto for wiring etc?
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post #43 of 93 Old 03-29-2011, 01:20 PM
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I just came across this thread and it deserves a bump - Beautiful room. Nice to see an audiophile quality theater. I still need to check out your entire build thread.

I came across your thread while searching the threads for turntable because I am considering incorporating a turntable in my theater. Your thread mentions one but I wasn't sure if it had been incorporated yet. I haven't seen a theater that incorporated a turntable within the room so I was looking for ideas.

If you do have the turntable, is it located in the equipment room? I am thinking if I do incorporate a turntable I would like it to be in the room for ease of use. I'm wondering how well a turntable is going to work in a room with big subwoofers.

I haven't heard the MBL's but I have been a long time fan of Hales speakers. I wish Hales was still around. Ive owned Concept 2's, Revelation 3's and Revelation Center as well as the T1's. I still have the T1's which were damaged in shipping. The metal frame that supports the grill bent so I tried refinishing them - After refinishing the cabinets they no longer worked - The drivers are still good but something happened to the crossovers. While they worked though they were amazing speakers. My new current favorites are PBN audio's Montana speakers.
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post #44 of 93 Old 03-30-2011, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, another Hales owner (or "ex" Hales owner). Cool.

I still haven't set up my turntable. The turntable situation is probably my biggest compromise in my system. I wanted the HT/music room to be entirely free of equipment. All my source equipment is down the hall in another room. which has worked out great. However, obviously the turntable is another matter. It would be better to have it in my room for ease of use I'm sure. Once I have it up and running I'll report back as to how usable it is, being in another room from the speakers.

Cheers,
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post #45 of 93 Old 03-31-2011, 07:32 PM
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Very cool room. Classy and elegant, yet I feel like I could drink a beer in a can without having to hold my pinky out!
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post #46 of 93 Old 03-31-2011, 10:59 PM
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Awesome room. I'm totally loving those MBL's. Could you describe some of the main differences between them and the Hales?

You mentioned that you take them in and out of the room, do you still have the Hales on permanent duty?

Congrats!
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post #47 of 93 Old 04-01-2011, 05:35 AM
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This-theater-is-excellent. The star of the show is, without a doubt, that screenwall. I also love those blackout blinds for a particular reason: I currently cannot use my Theater until the day approaches sunset, because it, like yours, is also a living-room and light control is quite the obstacle. I've checked out a number of black-out curtains, but none have been aesthetically pleasing enough; however, the concept of black-out blinds is precisely what I need. Does the installer you used have any branches in the US?

Everything else is stunning as well. I"m excited now, because I see what's possible in a room similar in size to mine. I previously thought having a fixed screen in such a room would be tacky, due to its multi-purpose functionality. I now see that this is NOT the case. Kudos Kudos, and more Kudos. Now i just need to sell my firstborn son (not yet conceived, mind you) to pick up that Stewart Masking Screenwall.
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post #48 of 93 Old 04-01-2011, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm glad people are enjoying the pics of the room!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

Awesome room. I'm totally loving those MBL's. Could you describe some of the main differences between them and the Hales?

You mentioned that you take them in and out of the room, do you still have the Hales on permanent duty?

Congrats!

Hales as you know are a classic dynamic box-speaker design. Nothing unusual.

The MBLs are entirely different beasts. The drivers are formed into spheres so they radiate omnidirectionally instead of mostly forward. Supposedly the idea sound source is just that: a radiating point source, which is what MBL has tried to create. They are very, very highly engineered speakers and damned expensive, normally, which is why I had to find used pair.

So what you get with the MBLs are a seamless tonal balance - no matter where you sit you get the same sound. The imaging, being omnidirectional and having no box surrounding the drivers to diffract the sound, is just about as astoundingly "there" and "boxless" as you can get. Really, you just put them on and they take another step beyond conventional speakers of making the musicians appear magically in front of you. You can stare at the speakers and it doesn't even register that the sound is coming from them.

Their detail and transparency is also astonishing, as is their tonal richness.
Put on a sax recording and it's freaky, like someone is playing in front of you.
I've got recordings of my son playing saxophone and me playing acoustic guitar. I put them on and, before guests enter the room they assume someone is in there playing the instruments! So, pretty fun stuff.

I don't use the MBLs for home theater duty for several reasons:

1. They are very, very low sensitivity and so it's almost impossible for my (relatively affordable) AV receiver to drive them as L/Rs while driving other speakers. The mismatch shuts down the receiver.

2. I want speakers to completely disappear from view when the lights go down for a movie. This works with the conventionally box-shaped Hales speakers because it was easy to make black velvet covers for them. They become invisible in the dark. Whereas the MBLs shiny finish and unconventional shape, and omnidirectional drivers, are hard to cover up with velvet. So they would remain (to my eyes) a bit of a distraction, catching light from the screen in the dark.

3. The L/C/R Hales speakers are made to work with one another so they produce a seamless tonal balance across the front soundstage. This is better than trying to mix the MBLs in with the Hales center channel speaker.

Cheers,
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post #49 of 93 Old 04-01-2011, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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BrolicBeast,

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

This-theater-is-excellent. The star of the show is, without a doubt, that screenwall. I also love those blackout blinds for a particular reason: I currently cannot use my Theater until the day approaches sunset, because it, like yours, is also a living-room and light control is quite the obstacle. I've checked out a number of black-out curtains, but none have been aesthetically pleasing enough; however, the concept of black-out blinds is precisely what I need. Does the installer you used have any branches in the US?

The black out blinds are my saviour. I knew that dealing with window light would be an ongoing issue and I didn't want to have to lean over the sofa to pull curtains or blinds day in and day out. So automated blinds make things sooooo easy. Since they are remote controlled you can use any universal remote to control them, make macros or whatever. I have a "System On" button on my universal remote control. One press turns everything on and lowers the window blinds...always pretty neat to experience.

I got mine from a Canadian distributor of solarfective products:

http://www.solarfective.com/

But you can find remote controlled blinds everywhere. Since you can usually choose the color of the blind valance and the side aligning slats (the blinds travel through), it's pretty easy to match room decor. I find mine are extremely subtle and neat in the room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Everything else is stunning as well. I"m excited now, because I see what's possible in a room similar in size to mine. I previously thought having a fixed screen in such a room would be tacky, due to its multi-purpose functionality. I now see that this is NOT the case. Kudos Kudos, and more Kudos.

I'm so glad my room can be any kind of inspiration for you.

I had all the same fears, as did my wife, about me "ruining the room" (actually, my wife would describe it as "you are going to ruin our house!").

I kept saying "No honey, I'm as concerned about aesthetics as you are! I can do this so it looks really nice and not simply awkward or weird" (All the while crossing my fingers behind my back hoping I was right).

It took a lot of trial and error in the design stage. Obvious suggestions for introducing projection based home theater equipment into a living room are things like a drop down screen etc. And using a specialty screen, like a Stewart Firehawk material, to preserve contrast without having to change room decor to a drastic dark theme.

However, I had very strict demands for the viewing experience in the room: The image HAD to be surrounded by black, I didn't like the screen artifacts associated with specialty screens so I wanted a white screen, which meant my having to pay special attention to room color/reflectivity/decor etc. But somehow WITHOUT making the room look like a cave by day.

I wanted the equipment to be invisible.

I wanted the room to double as a high-end 2 channel listening room.

I wanted a fully variable 4 way masking system with a fixed screen....etc.

My project was much more demanding than the average attempt at bringing home theater into a regular room in a house. Hence, so much trial and error in the design stage. Most people will have it much easier than I did.

At one point I figured I'd have curtains that would close off the entire screen wall, so it didn't look like a screening room all the time. My wife thought that was "dumb." "It will just look like you are trying to hide something...a wall of curtains. It's a home theater room, just show the screen."

Turned out I think she was right. I can indeed close off the entire screen wall via the black velvet side masking. I do this for music listening some times. But most of the time you see the screen which is fine because, luckily, the aesthetics worked out so neatly that it looks great as it is.

I've tweaked the room aesthetics since the pictures...adding more luxurious pillows and a variety of throw blankets...most of them with a subtle "fur" theme so everything you touch just sort of invites you to sink in and relax.
Even after a year of use almost every time I walk into the room it almost takes my breath away in terms of how beautiful it looks and how inviting and sinfully comfortable it feels. This to me is the result of sticking to your guns to get what you want. All those details that drove me crazy in the design and construction phase, that could have made my life easier if I dropped them...all of them have worked to make the room feel virtually "perfect" for me.

A lot of others have achieved similarly satisfying results so I think you have every reason for optimism when you get to your project.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post


Now i just need to sell my firstborn son (not yet conceived, mind you) to pick up that Stewart Masking Screenwall.

That's why I went with the system I put together. If you read my "build thread" (link under my name) I describe how the commercial 4 way masking systems hovered between $20K to $30K...way outta my league. So I took two cheaper, but high quality, commercially built products - the Carada Masquerade for top/bottom masking and the Goelst panel system for side masking - and combined them for 4 way masking. My system is very large, but they cost just under $5K combined. With a universal remote I have all the pre-set image sizes I could want (16 pre-sets at the moment), and I can tweak to any size in between. For $5K it's actually more flexible than most $20K masking systems.

See my build thread if you want more detail on my design decisions and how I achieved them.

Thanks again.
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post #50 of 93 Old 04-01-2011, 05:57 PM
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What a great room. Everythings look like it intergrates well.
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post #51 of 93 Old 04-23-2011, 08:15 AM
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Absolutely love the setup Rich! I am thinking about picking up the RS20/HD750 for my own HT, and am looking at a 120" screen, viewing distance about 14" feet from the screen with the projector pretty much over my head seated on a sofa similar to yours. Also, I am going to be shelf mounting the projector (instead of ceiling mounting it) at about the same height that you have yours at (6.5 feet from floor). How much did you have to tweak the lens shift in order to avoid keystone/squaring problems with your image?

Thanks!
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post #52 of 93 Old 04-23-2011, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Wittsdream

I just made sure my projector was square to the screen. And it's not to high so keystoning never entered the equation. Since I vary the image size a lot, I use lens shift all the time to move the image around, so lens shift varies.

The RS20 is an absolutely superb projector for a set up like mine. It's lens controls have been awesome and very reliable. It's also very quiet in regular bulb mode, so it's fine at not being too high from the viewer's head.

If you are doing 120" make sure you calculate enough gain. If you start with a neutral gain screen you may be putting it into high bulb mode sooner than you think, which is a bit louder. (But not too bad).
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post #53 of 93 Old 04-23-2011, 07:08 PM
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Rich, that is a truly model setup. Very well done.

Short of having a darker rug on the floor, it's pretty much perfect!
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post #54 of 93 Old 04-23-2011, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks,

The rug is actually much darker than in the pictures.

However, when I want the whole front area to disappear I have a couple black blankets I throw on the ground.

In fact I've employed some more (new) room treatments so the room has become almost a real "bat-cave" for movie watching. The image quality has been even more amazing...I suspect it can't get much better with this screen/projector.
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post #55 of 93 Old 05-12-2011, 10:55 PM
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This is a HT theater of dreams! very good job, Rich!
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post #56 of 93 Old 05-25-2011, 03:13 AM
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Absolutely brilliant setup! My all-time favourite when it comes to keeping HT room also multi-functional yet having uncompromized movie experience. Learned a lot from your light setup/managent with white screen etc. and am currently trying to put these things to good use when designing my own new non-dedicated HT room. So many thanks for detailed descriptions in the build thread and elsewhere. If my new room ends up anywhere near as nice as yours I'll be very very happy.
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post #57 of 93 Old 05-25-2011, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again.

The number of features I wanted perhaps bordered on the extreme, but I use the room every day and after 1 1/2 years I'm only more happy with all the decisions I made.
It all works beautifully.

If you are just starting your room design and can decide on your lighting scenario it's amazing what you can achieve - and what kind of negatives you can easily avoid - with a little foresight.

A zoned lighting system, e.g. pot or track lights that are in groups so you can turn some on and some off, is terrific. Especially if you can control them via dimmers...and even better via remote control. There are a lot of "affordable" systems out there to do so.

This way you can really set moods to the room that make it look it's best and that suit exactly how you want the room to feel at any given time. Sort of like getting heated floors for your bathroom. Once you've lived with it, you don't wanna live without it :-)
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post #58 of 93 Old 07-03-2011, 06:26 PM
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where'd you get that rug?

Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #59 of 93 Old 07-03-2011, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

where'd you get that rug?

Elte Carpets in Canada. It's a Mitchel Gold dark brown shag rug. I absolutely love it - it's luxurious, soft, comfortable, easy to clean...
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post #60 of 93 Old 07-14-2011, 12:36 PM
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Hi Rich,
I am trying to locate some of the programmable LED lights that you use in your HT. Could you post a link to the suppliers catalog page?
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