First Living Room HT setup...Value for money priority - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 03-14-2014, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,
Greetings from Down Under!
 
I have always LOVED audio and video which I think I must have inherited from my dad. Spending my teen years building speaker boxes and helping dad with his PA equipment at events. Now married with a 5 month old, I finally have built a basic starter system I am happy with for now.
 
The challenge with this is that I had to build it on a budget...and in a living room. That meant DIY and WAF as much as possible. I would have loved to build my own speakers like back in the day but just knew that trying to find the time to do it would be like trying to hit a flying kangaroo blindfolded.
 
So a 'value for money' system was in the mix. I ended up deciding on:
- Sony STR-DN1040 A/V Receiver
- Q Acoustics 2050i fronts, 2000Ci center (upright behind screen), 2010i rears (wall-mounted)
- SVS-PB2000 subwoofer (this thing is huge!). Plan is to get a second one asap. UPDATED: Two Martycube's with Dayton 460HO drivers running on a Behringer EP4000
- Sony BDPS4100 3D Blu ray player,
- Ben Q W1070 projector. (Gotta do something with that cord! But alas, we rent),
- 110" 16:9 DIY Spandex Acoustically Transparent Screen. (Brought out on the weekends and hung. 2mins to set up. Does not colour sound one little bit. Since these photos, I have made some 2.40:1 masking panels for it. Value for money with this type of screen is amazing. Especially considering most AT screens hit around $1500 as a starter, when for $150, you can have an AT screen that is 80-90% as good as a bought one. Made me think. Is the $1500 screen REALLY worth 10 times as much?)
- Behind the screen on the TV unit is a 42" Panasonic plasma for general TV during the week.
- Reclining leather lounge on back wall. I'd love to get it off the back wall, but alas, it would not work for the WAF. :)
 
Being a living room setup, we never watch movies much during the week. The screen comes out Friday night, stays there over the weekend, goes back Sunday night and you'd never know any better. As we don't watch movies during the day, we don't have a problem with ambient light, as at night we close everything up and switch off all the lights.
 
Anyways, I'm pretty happy with my 'compromise living room' setup. I dream of the day I can have a dedicated room, but this will have to do for now. I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions.

NEW FURNITURE, LAYOUT THE SAME.
There are now TWO Martycube's with 460HO subs, and the towers are now on the outside edges of the AT screen. When the boxes are painted they will gloss white to match the TV unit. Headroom is such a beautiful thing...



 


 
 




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post #2 of 32 Old 03-14-2014, 07:03 AM
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Looks good...really good considering the compromise.

One question - where do you store your screen when not in use? That's a big piece to store.
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post #3 of 32 Old 03-14-2014, 07:25 AM
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Love it.
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post #4 of 32 Old 03-14-2014, 01:56 PM
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The size of the screen makes me green of envy. Congrats, you've managed the max. out of a limited budget, and when you turn off the lights, I'm sure the magic begins...

All the best to you and better half. Enjoy! smile.gif

Cheers, Feri


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post #5 of 32 Old 03-14-2014, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamhead View Post

Looks good...really good considering the compromise.

One question - where do you store your screen when not in use? That's a big piece to store.
 

 

Thanks jamhead. The screen goes in my office flat up against the wall when not in use. I have a little logistics system (yes I have timed it) :) where I set up the screen in 2mins at a relaxed pace including the 2.4:1 masking system. I wanted minimal setup time so as to make it as simple as possible to set up so its not an ordeal just to watch a movie.

 

I would have preferred to have a ceiling mounted drop down screen for the sake of ease of use, but it was important to me to have an AT screen. I couldn't figure out a way to make a DIY one that rolled up and extended cleanly so I went with the fixed frame, and decided to make it as simple as possible.

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post #6 of 32 Old 03-14-2014, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

The size of the screen makes me green of envy. Congrats, you've managed the max. out of a limited budget, and when you turn off the lights, I'm sure the magic begins...

All the best to you and better half. Enjoy! smile.gif

Thanks mogorf. Yes we are happy with the screen size...for now... It has an inclusive horizontal viewing angle of 38deg. My goal was to be between the THX recommended minimum of 36deg, and it's max of 40deg. I feel like it would be possible to go up to a 120" though in order to get 40deg. But in my research and own experiments, I have found that it is the image height, not so much the width that has the greatest effect on involvement in a film. One day I would like to go CIH, but I wanted to avoid the extra work with an anamorphic lense for now.

 

Thank you for your well wishes too. :)



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post #7 of 32 Old 03-14-2014, 05:31 PM
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I love this. Any details on screen construction?

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post #8 of 32 Old 03-14-2014, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by devotech View Post

I love this. Any details on screen construction?

Thank you devotech. Sorry I don't have any WIP pics, but I made it as lightweight as possible so it is easy to move around. 

 

The material is 20% spandex, 80% polyester? (I think). As you can see in the pics, I have white material for the main screen, with a black spandex rear backing to the screen. We have white/cream curtains behind the screen, so I didn't want ANY reflections bouncing off them onto the back of the screen so that is why I used black as opposed to a silver or grey. I knew the black backing would make it slightly darker than the greys available, so I didn't want the black directly on the back of the white. To help with this, there is a gap (thickness of the frame) between the two, which helps it to retain some light, but still absorb any pass-through light.

 

The frame is just some 40x18 pine. The border was another frame of 40x11 pine wrapped in black felt and nailed over the white spandex to the screen frame. It is very lightweight and easy to move around myself. I would have preferred velour but it was just too expensive, but eventually I will put velour on it.

 

To hang it, I installed 2 hooks in the ceiling, two hooks on the top of the screen, and hang it using some lightweight chains. This way, I found I was able to use the chain links to adjust the height until I got it just right.



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post #9 of 32 Old 03-15-2014, 04:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's some screenshots. You can see the 2.40 masking system on this. 

 

It's so hard to replicate a projector screen image with a photo. Looks great when all the lights are out, but to give you a bit of visual context, this is what it looks like at night with that one light on.

 

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post #10 of 32 Old 03-15-2014, 06:10 AM
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Is the masking done witb black spandex as well?

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post #11 of 32 Old 03-15-2014, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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The masking is a light pine frame covered in the same black felt as the border.


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post #12 of 32 Old 03-17-2014, 07:02 PM
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The next time you have it setup can you snap a pic of 16:9 content on display?

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post #13 of 32 Old 03-17-2014, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Sure thing. 

 

I'm also looking for some suggestions on how to sound treat my room?



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post #14 of 32 Old 03-22-2014, 05:51 PM
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Gday Mate, great set up!! i have the same projector
I'm looking into DIY acoustic screens and what you have created for $150 is perfect. Where did you get your material for the screen?
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post #15 of 32 Old 03-23-2014, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey mate, I see you're from Aus too. Cool. 

 

I got the frame materials from Bunnings, and the spandex from Spotlight. Some more details up in post #8.



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post #16 of 32 Old 03-23-2014, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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BTW, I would recommend using velvet for the borders if you can. The black felt from Spotlight doesn't soak up enough light.



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post #17 of 32 Old 03-23-2014, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudyoVidyo View Post

Sure thing. 

I'm also looking for some suggestions on how to sound treat my room?

Very nice!!

As far as treatments go, that's a pretty busy room.

This is what I'd start with; If you can bring the mains forward so the drivers just clear the screen then aim them at the listening seats at the back wall, you may be able to improve the imaging. Having the seating right there in front of the L main doesn't make it easy.

Also, if you can pivot the surrounds "just" away from the wall, it looks as if you have some 1st order reflections going on with most of your speakers.

Spinning the rear tire at 150mph while at 3/4 lean angle will put wrinkles in your seat
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post #18 of 32 Old 03-23-2014, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudyoVidyo View Post

Hey mate, I see you're from Aus too. Cool. 

I got the frame materials from Bunnings, and the spandex from Spotlight. Some more details up in post #8.

Seems i was on the right track , i found the 80%20% spandex at spotlight.

Will look into the velvet also.

Cheers mate
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post #19 of 32 Old 03-24-2014, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Seems i was on the right track , i found the 80%20% spandex at spotlight.

Will look into the velvet also.

Cheers mate

Yep that's the stuff. See if you can find the matte white. The only stuff I could get has a slight sheen to it. In some very bright scenes, it seems to wash out some of the contrast a little. Almost like it is 'spreading' the light onto the darker areas as well if that makes sense. With the black backing, the whites are like a slight off-white, but the blacks are very deep. I love deep blacks so watching star wars and anything spacey is a pleasure. 

 

Good luck with your screen! DIY gives you a good feeling knowing you've saved a ton of money, and it's 90% of the way to a commercial screen 10 times the price. ;)

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post #20 of 32 Old 03-28-2014, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Some 'behind the scree' shots.

 

Covers on

 

Naked


Center channel horizontal for general TV viewing but goes vertical for movie nights


The hub




Still some tidying up to do


Noise makers






The vision



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post #21 of 32 Old 03-31-2014, 07:02 PM
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I love your setup. High performance but practical and reasonably priced.
Bringing out the "theater" only on weekends will keep it special. When you watch everything on a monster screen the experience loses some of it's shine.
I am running a very similar setup; a W1070 shooting onto a white over black spandex screen. Mine is some what larger at 112" width and it is setup in a blacked out room, but similar idea. Stupendous bang for the buck.
My only suggestion for acoustics would be to add a large 2" thick (or 4" if you can make it fit) absorptive fabric covered panel on the wall directly behind your couch. Reflections that close to your head can be a bit confusing.
You shouldn't feel disadvantaged by your "non-dedicated" room. A typical living room such as yours, provides reasonable levels of diffusion and absorption...something that those who build dedicated, double-drywalled, green glued bunkers have to work very hard to obtain.
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post #22 of 32 Old 04-02-2014, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I love your setup. High performance but practical and reasonably priced.
Bringing out the "theater" only on weekends will keep it special. When you watch everything on a monster screen the experience loses some of it's shine.
I am running a very similar setup; a W1070 shooting onto a white over black spandex screen. Mine is some what larger at 112" width and it is setup in a blacked out room, but similar idea. Stupendous bang for the buck.
My only suggestion for acoustics would be to add a large 2" thick (or 4" if you can make it fit) absorptive fabric covered panel on the wall directly behind your couch. Reflections that close to your head can be a bit confusing.
You shouldn't feel disadvantaged by your "non-dedicated" room. A typical living room such as yours, provides reasonable levels of diffusion and absorption...something that those who build dedicated, double-drywalled, green glued bunkers have to work very hard to obtain.

Yeah you can't beat bang for buck. There's a certain satisfaction in knowing you've saved your pocket from some grief, but you still get to enjoy a similar theater-like experience.

 

I will be making (hopefully) a 4" panel for behind the couch. I just can't seem to find any rigid fiberglass in my area. I can get batts no worries, but not rigid! No one seems to sell it.

 

That's encouraging to hear about the rooms diffusions and absorption. Thanks for that. And thanks for the compliments.



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post #23 of 32 Old 04-03-2014, 05:57 AM
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If you build a simple wooden frame just small enough to friction fit a 4 foot X 2 foot piece of Rockwool it will hold in place.
The main problem of course is that you can't buy a single sheet of insulation. Need to buy the entire bat typically.
Presumably the rigid fiberglass is just every so slightly better at absorbing, and of course it is easier to work with.
Really, not a big deal. Good luck.

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post #24 of 32 Old 04-03-2014, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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That's good to know. Thanks for that. I will try the batts then.



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post #25 of 32 Old 04-10-2014, 10:45 AM
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I really like your clean looking room, especially the tidyness and attention to the little stuff in your decor. Plus I'm biased to living room theaters, hahaha. Keep up the great work!!

My Small Living Room Theater:
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post #26 of 32 Old 08-24-2014, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Updated to include my new LFE friends...
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post #27 of 32 Old 09-04-2014, 04:03 PM
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looks fantastic!

you really did a good job getting the most bang for the buck

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post #28 of 32 Old 09-04-2014, 10:04 PM
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That's some serious low end fire power. Nice!

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post #29 of 32 Old 09-06-2014, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudyoVidyo View Post
Sure thing.

I'm also looking for some suggestions on how to sound treat my room?
Outstanding job to make a theater into a living room.
This is how I started

For the room threatment, I think you got it!
Lots of curtain over the reflective area like your windows.

From your pics, I don't see any first reflection and it is the main cause of audio problem.
Your right side of the room, been open can be another thing (not reflection, just let something like Audyssey take care of it), but not much you can do there due to the room.

I would say, Enjoy and do not sleep over it.

Very nicely done

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post #30 of 32 Old 09-07-2014, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudyoVidyo View Post
Hey all,
Greetings from Down Under!

I have always LOVED audio and video which I think I must have inherited from my dad. Spending my teen years building speaker boxes and helping dad with his PA equipment at events. Now married with a 5 month old, I finally have built a basic starter system I am happy with for now.

The challenge with this is that I had to build it on a budget...and in a living room. That meant DIY and WAF as much as possible. I would have loved to build my own speakers like back in the day but just knew that trying to find the time to do it would be like trying to hit a flying kangaroo blindfolded.

So a 'value for money' system was in the mix. I ended up deciding on:
- Sony STR-DN1040 A/V Receiver
- Q Acoustics 2050i fronts, 2000Ci center (upright behind screen), 2010i rears (wall-mounted)
- SVS-PB2000 subwoofer (this thing is huge!). Plan is to get a second one asap. UPDATED: Two Martycube's with Dayton 460HO drivers running on a Behringer EP4000
- Sony BDPS4100 3D Blu ray player,
- Ben Q W1070 projector. (Gotta do something with that cord! But alas, we rent),
- 110" 16:9 DIY Spandex Acoustically Transparent Screen. (Brought out on the weekends and hung. 2mins to set up. Does not colour sound one little bit. Since these photos, I have made some 2.40:1 masking panels for it. Value for money with this type of screen is amazing. Especially considering most AT screens hit around $1500 as a starter, when for $150, you can have an AT screen that is 80-90% as good as a bought one. Made me think. Is the $1500 screen REALLY worth 10 times as much?)
- Behind the screen on the TV unit is a 42" Panasonic plasma for general TV during the week.
- Reclining leather lounge on back wall. I'd love to get it off the back wall, but alas, it would not work for the WAF.

Being a living room setup, we never watch movies much during the week. The screen comes out Friday night, stays there over the weekend, goes back Sunday night and you'd never know any better. As we don't watch movies during the day, we don't have a problem with ambient light, as at night we close everything up and switch off all the lights.

Anyways, I'm pretty happy with my 'compromise living room' setup. I dream of the day I can have a dedicated room, but this will have to do for now. I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions.

NEW FURNITURE, LAYOUT THE SAME.
There are now TWO Martycube's with 460HO subs, and the towers are now on the outside edges of the AT screen. When the boxes are painted they will gloss white to match the TV unit. Headroom is such a beautiful thing...












Out of curiousity.
How did you installed your screen???

I see in your first pic no screen on the ceiling, but pic #4 and the last one, the screen is held by 2 chains.
Drop and the screen is there, or mount when it is show time.
Just curious, since I had to built a slidind screen for my space.

Ray

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