or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Home Entertainment & Theater Builder › General Home Theater & Media/Game Rooms › Complete 130" Home Theater for under $2,000, If I can do it, so can you!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Complete 130" Home Theater for under $2,000, If I can do it, so can you! - Page 3

post #61 of 156
Thread Starter 
So, I got my kids a pc game that I mentioned above...

It caused me some issues hooking it up, so I figured I'd post all the stuff I did before I finally just ran a vga cable from the projector to the pc...

First I got a vga to hdmi cable. I figured that way, my onkyo would upconvert and I'd be fine... Except my 1 year old laptop with vista wouldn't recognize the cable, or output for hdmi...

Then I tried a scan converter.

Ah, NO. It reduces the size down and the quality is horrific. I blew it up as large as I could and it was only half the size of the screen, and you couldn't read anything...


So then I just got a 25 foot vga cable and "ran" it through the ceiling and down the wall. Which took a while, I removed my speakers and used those holes as my access points. The quality is amazing, most projectors are made for outputting pc vga anyway, and you will be shocked at how good it looks. Plus I used a super long cable, so I can put my laptop in a bunch of different places and it will still reach.

I wish I had thought of this before I put up my drywall. I would have run a vga cable all the way to the front of the room... And then just gotten a wireless keyboard/mouse.

But, you need to hook up a computer to your system. It just adds so much versatility. Plus dance praise (like dance revolution, but with Christian music) is such a fun game...

I have wireless high speed, and we were down there watching youtube video's in high quality on the big screen.

Way fun.
post #62 of 156
Thread Starter 
Well, I added a race track to my room... The kids and I have a ton of fun with it.

These are Xmod cars, available at radio shack. And when they come out with new models they really blow out the old ones... I've paid less than $20 for each of my cars, the police car I got this summer brand new for $7.00...

Here is a pic when I was building the track, it is a left over piece of vinyl, (one side for drifting, the other side for traction) 12' X 5'. Then get some 1/2 inch pvc pipe and foam to cover the pieces, and lay out your track.

cover the pieces with the foam, and you are ready to race.

You can set it up in under 5 minutes. I took it out this weekend to show a friend, and within minutes all 5 of the little girls at our house were racing!

post #63 of 156
hey free, just stumbled onto your thread. fantastic job. you basement/theater/game room looks like so much fun. like you, my only friends with HTs are my fellow AVSers. cheers!
post #64 of 156
That looks freakin BADASS !! man i can't wait to get my house built.
post #65 of 156
awesome work man.... not much to say that hasnt already been said. i thoroughly enjoyed spending the last half hour lookin at this though!
post #66 of 156
Thread Starter 

Finished the track last night...

and made a little video



Edited by FreeEnterprise - 11/16/12 at 6:28am
post #67 of 156
I must admit, I was a bit frosty when I first heard of the race track. But it could really be fun.
post #68 of 156
Thread Starter 
So, we had a Wii party for the family, and had around 30 people over, and the Theater was a big hit. I'm glad I went without walling in my theater as the large room really helped accommodate that many people. Good thing I had the game system in the arcade as well, to keep the little ones busy while the adults were playing Wii...

If you need to move heavy stuff in your basement, get some of those little sliders to help! I moved that huge couch over there from the other side of the basement, by myself easily. They are smooth plastic with a foam on the other side, and you just put them under the feet of whatever you want to move, and then they just glide over the carpet.
post #69 of 156
OK Free, I am officially jealous!! My HT only has an 82" screen. LOL!

I basically did the same thing you did in my living room around 3 years ago for similar cash. Mine looked pretty crude until this past week when I started to finish the project by putting on the wood trim and a credenza around the pull down screen. Now it finally looks fairly nice.

I added up all the costs and I am at about $3690.00. But I also included in this price, all of the wood trim, a coffee table PC for my jukebox, a 42 inch plasma (on clearance for $379, used for regular TV) and 2 custom made glass table tops.

The picture and sound quality in my opinion for these prices are truly amazing. You can't go wrong with a HUGE screen and 7.1 surround for $2-4K. I have a wife and four kids... so what does that break down too? One trip to the Kalahari Resort in the Wis Dells, and taking the kids out to a dinner and movie once a month for a year. They all voted for canceling the trip and movies to pay for our own HT back in 2006. It has been well worth it. Here we are 3 years later still enjoying our own HT that we affectionately call "The Dixon IMAX", and we enjoy it together as Family.

I have come to realize that it is not about the price or quality of the equipment, it is about family coming together for a nice dinner and a movie and spending time with each other at home.

(RIGHT!!! Who am I kidding?!! An 82 inch screen and a 28 speaker 900 Watt 7.1 Surround System!!! The wife and kids only gave me a HUGE fathers day gift that year!! LOL!!!! )

Great Job on your HT FreeEnterprise!
post #70 of 156
Very nice party room.

I just viewed your XMod video and noticed some chairs that looked like "bean" bag chairs but seemed to have a back rest on them. Can you tell me a little more about these chairs?
post #71 of 156
Thread Starter 
I have two of them, the large, (good for kids) and the extra large (good for adults, and kids).


We love them, easy extra seating that is portable, and easy to move around when "Wii"ing.
post #72 of 156
I just finished reading through the whole thread, including the drama from Chris. I also spent very little on my setup and I'm really happy with it. I spent just $600 on my projector setup 1.5 years ago. I already had the surround/speakers/room so I couldn't say what the price was for all that, it's ancient by today's standards. It's only Dolby Prologic II (no digital anywhere!).

Anyway, nice setup and more importantly, it seems you've gotten some people over to enjoy the setup.
post #73 of 156
Thread Starter 
Our family watched "Igor" last night.

I've been planning on taking some pics of the screen to show what the picture is like on a HC1500. I love this projector, the picture quality is amazing, the blacks are great and the color is amazing. But, enough of my ranting, check out the pics.

Here is a very dark scene, you can see how the projector is very good with blacks, not faded out like many of the lcd projectors.

Here is the other end of the spectrum. Very bright scene, but notice how the whites of the eyes aren't blown out. Very clean picture.

Here are a couple more pics.

I am still pinching myself each time we watch a movie. I haven't been to the real theater since we put ours in...
post #74 of 156
Just an awesome setup. Great work! I bet you must enjoy it even more knowing that you did all of it. Again, wickedly awesome freakin setup.
post #75 of 156
I too love this setup and check this thread frequently for more updates. How does the projector do during the day time? Looks like you get some sunlight coming through the sliding glass door?

Any regrets on not painting the walls (particularly around the screen) any darker? I keep reading that improves the contrast of the screen picture a lot, but I am a little hesitant to paint my walls that dark. I want the atmosphere of the room to be nice and open like your's and not so completely dark.
post #76 of 156
Thread Starter 

First off, love your theater room. I was always a big Wolfpack fan as a kid. I even delivered pizza to Jimmy V back in the day, as I grew up in Raleigh...

The windows and door are not a problem for 90% of the time. They are on the same wall as the screen, so I only have to worry about sunlight bouncing into the room and then reflecting back on the screen.

In the winter, when there is snow on the ground and it is morning (when the sun is low and on that side of the house) it is very bright. I can still see the screen ok, but I usually close the blinds to brighten up the image.

But, most of the time we leave the blinds open. The HC 1500 is very bright. And with my screen having a black felt boarder, it blocks any direct light coming in the window or door.

Concerning painting the walls a darker color... Honestly, I never notice the walls. I look at the screen when I watch a movie. Its logical that darker walls and ceiling would create less distraction and reflection. But, you would have dark walls... I personally don't like the "cave" like look of dark walls. Shoot, I put in 50 can lights for a reason. I like my rooms bright. And even with all the lights on, it doesn't wash out the screen. Its not as bright, but it is still plenty bright enough. We even run lights over our chairs when watching movies. Not turned up bright, but barely on so you can see the popcorn in your lap...

When people come over to my house, they always comment that the basement feels just like the upstairs. That is because we strived to make it bright, with high ceilings, and similar color schemes. As well as the same woodwork, doors, tile, ect.

I guess it is a personal preference.

Thanks for the comments guys. We doubled the square footage of our house with our finished basement, and we use it all the time now. I hooked up my laptop with my mame games on it the other night...


Oh, I forgot to mention, that I unscrewed the bulbs in the two can lights that are right next to the screen, as they were bathing the screen with light. So, I guess we have 48 lights now...
post #77 of 156
I am totally with you on keeping the space multi functional and making it fit in with the rest of the house. My wife actually likes your setup the best of some I have showed her (always wise to get the WAF as I go along planning ).

If I lived by myself, I might do the man cave thing, but knowing this will be a family room with kids, in-laws, etc. I think a multi-use atmosphere is the direction we are planning too. (BTW we are planning for our next house that we hope to build in 12-18 months).

I am glad to hear you get satisfactory results with the semi-bright walls. I will not probably go with something quite as drastic as Wolfpack red in the next room. I figured this was my one shot to do a Wolfpack color scheme the way I wanted it, so I went for it!

Next house will be a little more less specialized, although it will still have a Wolfpack flare to it. But your pics have convinced me I can still make the room look neat and be multi-functional at the same time.

Like your idea of running the VGA cable for CPU hookup. May include that and run a cable from the AV receiver to our snack bar/ countertop area so we can set a laptop on the bar and project the image onto the screen.

We just got the Wii for Christmas, so we have not moved it to the basement yet. Gotta invest in a component cable before I bother hooking it up to the HDTV. Does your generic brand component cable work OK? Does that convert it up to 480p? My wife is going to love the bowling pics though!

Thanks again for sharing.
post #78 of 156
Thread Starter 
I would think any component cable would be fine. In my system, I run my component into the onkyo 606 and the receiver upconverts it to 1080.

The only issue I have is underscaling, which I guess is pretty common on Wiis. It bothers me, but no one else seems to care...

You can see what I'm talking about in these pics.

I know... my cables are a rats nest... I just moved my receiver as it was getting too hot on the bottom shelf, not enough air space around it... And I was afraid someone would kick it when bowling.

post #79 of 156
nice space, the theater seats should be thrown in that price.
post #80 of 156
Thread Starter 
I wasn't figuring buying "theater" seats when I budgeted. As I already had the couch shown, and planned on using that (still do when we have a crowd).

That is why it isn't in the original posts pricing, or thread title.

The theater seats really make a huge difference though. And they are comfy, not as good as my lazyboy recliners upstairs, but much better than a couch. And the cup holders/remote holders are a must.
post #81 of 156
Thread Starter 
So one of my kids was sick this weekend. And we needed movies to watch... But, I live out there, and didn't feel like making a trek to the movie store.

My wife signed up with netflix. And we tried out the download movies feature.

WOW! It looked great, even at 130 inches. We watched an old movie, (Dr. Doolittle from the 60's) and it played film widescreen aspect ratio. The sound was great, and fast forwarding was even easy. The software took only a minute to download (onto my vista dell laptop) and I was using my wireless high speed, then a vga cable to my projector, and then audio out of my laptop into my receiver.

And the best part is, unlimited downloads, so you can watch movies all afternoon.

This is a great service, and I was blown away by how easy it was. Yet, another reason to go with a projector instead of a tv...
post #82 of 156
Thread Starter 
My wife was out of town this past weekend. So I finally watched "when we were soldiers". With Mel Gibson, But, something was wrong...

The sub didn't seem to be working... I checked and the light was off. It was plugged in... Everything seemed fine...

I pulled it out of the cabinet, and saw the fuse, and fuse cover laying underneath!

Evidently the bass hits vibrated it loose and it popped out. I wonder how long I've been without bass...

That movie is very intense and I turned it up bigtime. My whole house was shaking with each explosion. It was cool.
post #83 of 156
Wow, this looks great. Great job.
post #84 of 156
Well done!

People really dont get how nice a PQ the HC1500 puts out.

PS on netflix watch our for SpongeBob! If your kids are that age they may co-op your projector
post #85 of 156
Let me start by first congratulating you on a great job..

I recently bought a yet to be constructed house, and planning to have a similar home theater as yours.

I would really appreciate if you could answer the following questions.

1. Distance between overhead projector and screen
2. Do you have any wiring plan etc which I can use as a reference?
3. On a scale of 1 to 10 ..How does the audio quality on the speakers compare with the Bose lifestyle in Best Buy or any other store? 1 meaning far inferior to Bose and 10 meaning superior than Bose
4. Any other suggestions which you could give newbies like me

post #86 of 156
That's one of the nicest spaces I've seen for ages! Great work. AND it's HUGE!
post #87 of 156
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by telugodu View Post

Let me start by first congratulating you on a great job..

I recently bought a yet to be constructed house, and planning to have a similar home theater as yours.

I would really appreciate if you could answer the following questions.

1. Distance between overhead projector and screen

Each projector has different specs for the throw distance. My projector HC1500 will project a 130" image at 16.5 feet. Which is the location I put my mount.

2. Do you have any wiring plan etc which I can use as a reference?

Ahh, wiring... That is like asking an artist to explain how he paints... No, seriously, I do have a wiring diagram, but it wouldn't make any sense if I scanned it and put it on here. I have the floorplan, and I mark where each line goes, and I give each cable its own number or letter, to keep them straight. Then I mark the ends of each cable with the same number or letter.

Here is what you need to replicate what I have now (and I did have to do some additional wiring AFTER the drywall was in... Not fun...)

First off, I ran rgb wires from my receiver wall (under the screen) to the projector. After I had the drywall done, I realized how much better a HDMI cable looks... So I ran one of those (a 50 footer), I don't even use my rgb wires, in fact, I ended up using two of them for my extra speaker wires I needed when I switched from 5.1 to 7.1. A good switching (many sources) receiver and an HDMI cable are all you really need running from your receiver to your projector.

From receiver to projector

1. HDMI cable, 50 foot in my case, off ebay for $50.

Options include;
2. (I didn't want this, but you may) a remote wire (two strand) to control your screen when projector is turned on.
3. Cat 5 wire, for future upgrades.
4. Standard coaxle cable, in case you ever need it...

From receiver to each speaker location, (go ahead and wire for 7.1...)

Get good thick wire. You can put ends on it yourself with a soldering iron and connectors from radio shack or online. (online better quality)

Keep your speaker wire apart from your video wires and power wire, video is shielded, but you might as well keep it apart just incase...

1. Run each wire to each speaker, making sure to label each end of the wire clearly for ease of hookup.

2. Run a extra seat of 2 channel speaker wires for extra room listening that can be accessed in the future. I ran mine into my storage area. So I can put wires outside, or in a different area later.

Power. Run power to your receiver area, and a different circuit to your projector. Also run power next to your theater seating area for phone, or laptop.

Run a video/stereo audio cable from your receiver area to your seating area. (so you can hook up a laptop later with sound into your theater surround sound).

Run a VGA cable from your projector box, down the wall to your theater seating area, so you can plug in your laptop later. (netflicks online is great with this feature). (cables off ebay are the most cost effective I've found).

Don't forget your phone wiring. I ran one next to my theater seats, and another line behind my receiver as most satelite systems need a phone line.

Run 3 or 4 coaxle cables to your receiver with access in another place in your basement.

I use 2 for my directTV hookup (most 2 receiver setups need 2 cables), third is for my over the air antenna, which I use to get channels on my dvd recorder over the air, and also for use on my receiver to pick up am/fm radio. I have a wineguard 2000 antenna on my roof which is a great way to get great picture quality from very far away without rotating an antenna. Fourth is to run video from a different area of your house if needed in the future...

Here is a pic of my ratsnest, excuse me, my wiring behind my receiver. Speaker is on the left. middle is video wiring, on the right is the phone, and far right is power. A few wires are missing as I ran them after the picture was taken... hdmi, rca to theater seats, ect.

put a big OPEN box in the ceiling for your projector stuff, and mount a board to support your projector mount. Label all your wires...

Theater seat area. things missing from pic, rca wires to receiver, and vga cable, they both come out next to the power which is on the right, phone on the left. The extra coax wire is from my receiver to a extra tv in my arcade...

3. On a scale of 1 to 10 ..How does the audio quality on the speakers compare with the Bose lifestyle in Best Buy or any other store? 1 meaning far inferior to Bose and 10 meaning superior than Bose

No offense to Bose owners. But, I think my speakers sound just as good as Bose. The biggest thing you need to remember in speaker selection is getting a matched set. If you pick one type of speakers up front, and a different type in the back, they will react differently, and cause sound reproduction issues. Placement is critical, as well as the speakers having a large enough harmonic range. I love my "super cheap" inwall speakers, and they sound amazing. The inwalls even have decent bass response, but I would not want to skip the sub. The sub makes the system. I have not had anyone say anything bad about my sound reproduction. I have a full bose sound system in my luxury car, and my home theater has a much better sound system... I have turned it way up (when my wife was away) and literally shook my house. Even then the sound quality didn't diminish, still very clear bright sound.

I would very much recommend my entire system, receiver, speakers, projector. The only component I don't like is my dvd/vhs recorder. It is tempermantal, and takes way too long to turn on, and to eject disks. But, playback is fine, and the HD tv tuner is really nice.

On Monday, My satelite lost the local channels (right when 24 season final episode was about to start... PANIC!). So I went down to the theater, and programmed my DVDRAM to record the episode off of my antenna picking it up off the local over the air signal from cincinnati.

Then after I put the kids to bed at 9:00, my wife and I went down and watched the final while it was still recording. And commercial skip is much better on my dvdram than on my dvr. As you don't have to watch each commercial, it just skipped ahead 1:00 with each button push... We watched the 2 hours in 1:30:00 hours as it had 30 minutes of commericals...

4. Any other suggestions which you could give newbies like me

My wife was nervous about me doing this project, as she thought a large screen tv would be much easier. After we price checked large TV's, and I figured out what I could do my room for... We were both pretty excited. Now we are past excited. Every time we go down to our basement we still say how amazing it is... The bigger you can go the better. You won't regret it!

Any questions just ask, there are tons of guys on here that can help you with the process, and you will be popping popcorn and carrying down drinks before you know it!


Good Luck!
post #88 of 156
Thread Starter 
Oh, and another use for your rca video/stereo wires from your receiver to your seating area. Makes for a great place to hook up your old video game systems, with corded controllers. I can easily hook up my old nintendo 64, or playstation 2 and still sit in my theater seats and the cords reach fine. That coupled with a set of headphones, and you have a pretty cool gaming system.

Or just hook up your laptop and use mame... That works well too!

Did you know that n64 actually resizes to fit 16:9... I didn't either until I hooked it up. Mario kart is pretty cool on the huge screen! Course maybe its my onkyo 606 that is doing the conversion... I'm not sure...
post #89 of 156

unbelievably great job

I'm loving my 606 also

i am also trying to decide if i should go with a projector or a new flat screen
i like the idea that the pj is mounted to the ceiling out of the way of the "accidental" bumping or touching
post #90 of 156
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jewing1043 View Post

unbelievably great job

I'm loving my 606 also

i am also trying to decide if i should go with a projector or a new flat screen
i like the idea that the pj is mounted to the ceiling out of the way of the "accidental" bumping or touching


Ahh, you noticed my "hide the projector over the seats to avoid whooping it with your wii remote..." placement. Yeah, that was on purpose, we often get pretty animated when playing, and also one of the reasons I had my wife design the house to have the maximum ceiling height in the "theater" area of the basement. I also think I need to patent my use of "wrapping the power cord around the ceiling mount, to look cool"... too.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Home Entertainment & Theater Builder › General Home Theater & Media/Game Rooms › Complete 130" Home Theater for under $2,000, If I can do it, so can you!