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MovieBox – Moveable Home Theater System

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys!

I am a home cinema freak since eleven years but in the first ten years i could not life my dream to have a professional home cinema, because i don't have a own house and my budget to realize a home theater was very small. In the first ten years i was living with a home cinema solution in my living room but I never was satisfied with this situation.

I am living in a house for rent and the point if i want/have to move to an other living place are against a hard home theater installation. I would not make a lot of work and later, if i want/have to move, i have to do it new. But my instinct to own a professional home theater was always there and so i began planning to realise my dream for a professional home theater.

The goal was to build a home theater that can move to an other place if necessary. I am not really a workman, so the whole construction should be easy doing and the budget was strong restricted because I am not a millionaire. BUT the home theater should look like a professional cinema and should have awesome picture and sound performance.

First I doubt to can realise the project because it seems that the points moveable', no workman' and strong restricted budget' contradict to professional home theater'.

But after a detailed planning and four months of construction i have really arrived my goal.

In the attachment you can see two panorama pictures from my home theater.

On my webside you can read the whole story and a detailed construction reporting of my home theater and perhaps some information are helpful for your own home theater building.




LL
LL
post #2 of 50
First, my opinion is you have done an outstanding job creating your viewing area.

I do want to share with anyone thinking they want the WOW of Home Theater/Cinema they only need a projector, big screen and simple surround sound system - even a really good two channel stereo will pass for the soundtrack part.

All of the rest is just decoration and while I am not trying to take away from all the planning and work that goes into creating the ambiance of the space it doesn't add a thing once the lights go dim and the screen lights up.

A simple definition of Home Theater is creating in the home a viewing experience as near as possible to that of a commercial Cinema/Theater and the primary components are, again, projector, screen and surround sound.

So far as I am concerned I created exactly that in a single afternoon. I placed our projector on an existing wall shelf directly across the room from where I mounted our fixed wall screen over a large window frame. Just a bit more time to place speakers and connect cables from video sources to the projector and I was completely finished and completely enjoy the 10 ft diagonal movie image which is not affected a bit by our lack of screen dress kit (surrounding curtains) or movie posters or popcorn machine or special seats for viewers. We view in comfort on our sofas and love seat.

I guess my comment is by all means create a theater "feel" for your room if you care to do that but renters and others should know that they can have a true Home Theater WOW time with just the basics and suffer the consequences of a LOT less time, planning, expense and hard work.

Again, very nice and creative Theater environment you have made. I fancy it would take quite a bit of work to tear it all down and move it but it's beautiful and I'm sure you enjoy it very, very much.
post #3 of 50
Very nice. Those seats look cool. I notice that you don't appear to have an anamorpic setup but you're using a 2.35 screen. Are you just doing the zoom method to go 16:9 when needed?
post #4 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imjay View Post

First, my opinion is you have done an outstanding job creating your viewing area.

I do want to share with anyone thinking they want the WOW of Home Theater/Cinema they only need a projector, big screen and simple surround sound system - even a really good two channel stereo will pass for the soundtrack part.

All of the rest is just decoration and while I am not trying to take away from all the planning and work that goes into creating the ambiance of the space it doesn't add a thing once the lights go dim and the screen lights up.

A simple definition of Home Theater is creating in the home a viewing experience as near as possible to that of a commercial Cinema/Theater and the primary components are, again, projector, screen and surround sound.

So far as I am concerned I created exactly that in a single afternoon. I placed our projector on an existing wall shelf directly across the room from where I mounted our fixed wall screen over a large window frame. Just a bit more time to place speakers and connect cables from video sources to the projector and I was completely finished and completely enjoy the 10 ft diagonal movie image which is not affected a bit by our lack of screen dress kit (surrounding curtains) or movie posters or popcorn machine or special seats for viewers. We view in comfort on our sofas and love seat.

I guess my comment is by all means create a theater "feel" for your room if you care to do that but renters and others should know that they can have a true Home Theater WOW time with just the basics and suffer the consequences of a LOT less time, planning, expense and hard work.

Again, very nice and creative Theater environment you have made. I fancy it would take quite a bit of work to tear it all down and move it but it's beautiful and I'm sure you enjoy it very, very much.

Till know i was not in the situation to tear my home theater down. When i calculate the time do tear it down i say it would take one or two days of work to do it. My home theater looks like it would take longer time to tear it down, but the most parts of the theater are not screwed to the walls and they can be take very easily out of the room.

When i was starting my home theater carrier i was happy with my living room solution, but after a while my pretensions are going higher and my instinct to build a professional home theater was born.

Also, my wife are not a movie junkie and with my separate home theater i can look movies if i want and she can stay in the living room.
post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by victor-eyd View Post

Very nice. Those seats look cool. I notice that you don't appear to have an anamorpic setup but you're using a 2.35 screen. Are you just doing the zoom method to go 16:9 when needed?

My projector is the weak point in my equipment. The projector is only HD Ready and i use the zoom funktion for the 2.35 screen. When i look Blu Ray the picture quality is (with the zoom function) very, very nice. With DVD the picture quality is not so good but although 'lookable'.

Next year i will buy a Full HD projector and i think it will be the Panasonic 3000 with the automatic zoom function for 2.35 screens.
post #6 of 50
Really like what you have done from an engineer's perspective. I think the final product is a good blend of mobility, utility, and appearance. I also think you met your goals pretty well.

Very very cool. Not to knock other people on this board who have spent a lot of effort making the great, if extravagant, theatres... but anyone can build a theatre when there is a substantial budget and free space available to work in. That is how theatres of any kind have been built for the last 100 years. This project is unique because it addresses challenges that are normally regarded as assumptions in a traditional build without compromising the function of the room.

Again, great job!
post #7 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Boardman View Post

Really like what you have done from an engineer's perspective. I think the final product is a good blend of mobility, utility, and appearance. I also think you met your goals pretty well.

Very very cool. Not to knock other people on this board who have spent a lot of effort making the great, if extravagant, theatres... but anyone can build a theatre when there is a substantial budget and free space available to work in. That is how theatres of any kind have been built for the last 100 years. This project is unique because it addresses challenges that are normally regarded as assumptions in a traditional build without compromising the function of the room.

Again, great job!

Thank you for you commendation, Alex!
post #8 of 50
Thread Starter 
With my thread i want to motivate all the guys who see the fantastic home theaters in this forums and who think it is a bid budget necessary to realise a professional home cinema.

Hey Guys... you don't need a bid budget!... and you must not be a worksman. It is possible to build a nice home theater with simple funds.

Here you can read how i have done this job and perhaps my reporting is the starting of your own home theater project.
post #9 of 50
Hey I just came across your post...

This is awesome... great job!!!

I specially love the seating... really, really great.
post #10 of 50
Hi MovieBox,

unbelievable that we met us here again. Your moveable HT is really impressive. And i know what i am talking about - i was there
That`s why i also know that you have better pics by far. Why o you don`t show us your latest pics?

Best regards
Roman
post #11 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth-Roman View Post

Hi MovieBox,

unbelievable that we met us here again. Your moveable HT is really impressive. And i know what i am talking about - i was there
That`s why i also know that you have better pics by far. Why o you don`t show us your latest pics?

Best regards
Roman

Hi Roman!

What a great chance… nice to meet you here @ avsforum.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit at the MovieBox Home Theater. It was a pleasure for me.

Since your latest visit, i have worked on the room acoustic and the sound performance is going enormous better.
In my boldest dreams i have not thought i can arrive these sound quality in my theater.

When you will be nearest to me, you are always welcome to the MovieBox Home Theater.

And yes… with your help, i have a lot of famous pictures from my home theater. See the attachments for some examples.




LL
LL
post #12 of 50
You did a great job. Looks very good, especially for a theater that can be broken down and moved.
post #13 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

You did a great job. Looks very good, especially for a theater that can be broken down and moved.

Hi mjg100!

Thank you for the flowers.
post #14 of 50
Thread Starter 
In the next days I will start here a detailed reporting about the story and construction of the MovieBox Home Theater. I am still working on this reporting, but in a few days it will be finished and I will post it here.

The past of my home theater career:

In past I was having a home theater living room solution, because I was living in a apartment with some other families in the house and I don’t had a empty room for a separate home theater. The most negativ point in this time was the fear a neighbour can complain about the noise when I was looking a movie. And this thought was always there when I was turning on the receiver. So I was never relaxed when a DVD was playing in my player.

End of 2005 I moved to a house without neighbours and there was a separate room for my home theater dream. I was so happy that it was not necessary to show consideration for a neighbour anymore.

I have realized the first theater within 14 days. The walls was painted with dark color, the loudspeakers, the screen, the cables, the electronic equipment und my old couch was placed into the room and so my first separate home theater was done.





But after a few months I was not satisfied with this solution. The hole theater looks like a cheap solution and the picture and sound quality was not so good.

So end of 2006 I decide to make the hole theater new.


… to be continued…
LL
LL
post #15 of 50
Thread Starter 
The idea:

My idea was to build a theater that looks like a professional cinema, with no compromise in picture an sound quality… but… the hole theater should be moveable, because I am a renter and I don’t want to make the job new if I have to change my living place. And my budget was strongly restricted, because I am not a millionaire.

Distribute the budget:

It is important to think about how much money you will invest in which component. Projectors become every year a new generation and the value of older generations going down like a stock exchange crash. So you should exactly think about how much money you will spend for a projector. The same applies to receivers and DVD and Blu Ray player. The loose of value are also high because the technical advance for this appliances are very fast. Loudspeakers and screens are stable in value, so it will be worth to invest more money for them.
A special theme are cables. The possibility of investment in cables are endless. Someone hears with expensive cables a enormous up in quality. Other says that this is Voodoo. You can orient by the following rule: The money you will invest in cables should be 10 percent from the money you have spend for the other electronic equipment.
Then you need also budget for theater building material, seating, curtains carpets, and so on. To avoid the overrun of the hole budget, it is advisable to skip the costs for the hole theater.

The planning:

Before the building began I planed the theater on my computer with a special 3D-Software. The software is a simple tool for planning buildings. But the tool is also able to plan discrete rooms.

My room in which I have build my theater has the following dimension
  • Width: 11,4 / 10,1 feet
  • Length: 16,4 feet
  • Height: 8,2 feet

In the back area of the room, on the place where the seating was planed, are a droop. A room without a droop will be better for best optical and acoustical results, but I had no alternative to this room. So this is one of the few compromises I have to live.
A good planning is the half way to the goal. To think first about how to begin the building, which step I have to do first, to calculate the and with the dimension of the theater parts (front stage, back stage, screen, and so on) helps to avoid many problems in the building phase. There is one rule: If the planning was exactly there are no problems in the building phase!
In the attachment you can see my planning results with the 3D-Software.







… to be continued…
LL
LL
LL
post #16 of 50
Thread Starter 
Here is another pic.


LL
post #17 of 50
Thread Starter 
Preparing the home theater room:

In January 2007 I started the construction of the theater. For best picture quality you should avoid light reflections from the walls and the ceiling. Light reflections makes the contrast very bad and the picture looses brilliance, so the walls in a home theater should be dark. You arrive best results with black walls, but black walls are not spread a comfortable atmosphere, so most of the guys uses red or blue color for their home theater.
I decided to make the walls blue and the walls should have the same color like the Molton curtains I would later installed in the theater. So I took a little piece of the Molton and went to a shop for professional painters. I let mixed there the wall color in the same tint like the Molton. That was not cheap but for best optical results absolute necessary.

You should know that painting walls with dark color is very difficult, because if the walls are not paint regular you can see a lot of stripes. It is necessary that dark color apply very big and regular to the walls and often you have to paint the walls more than one time. I had to paint myself the walls 3 times before the result was acceptable, so you should buy enough color for the wall painting.

I planed a acoustic transparent screen in my home theater, so it was necessary to paint the wall behind the screen black. The black color avoid shadows that can come to the picture if light reflect from the area back of the screen to screen.

My home theater room has a wooden ceiling and the used boards are very light. This is not the best condition for perfect picture quality, but for me as a renter it is not possible to paint a wooden ceiling with dark color. In best case you paint the ceiling black or with the same tint you have paint the walls.

In my empty room there was a grey carpet in. I decide to save the money for a new one because the existing carpet harmonizes good with the blue wall color. Meanwhile I can say it had been better to take the existing carpet out of the room, because my used carpet is too light and with a much more darker carpet it had been possible to avoid more light reflections, the picture quality had going much better and a dark blue carpet will harmonize much more with the wall color. This is a point you can do better!






LL
LL
LL
post #18 of 50
Thread Starter 
After painting the wall I installed grey cable canals around the walls. In this canals should later disappear all audio-, video and other cables. The canals should have enough dimension to take up all cables and it is better to calculate the canals a number bigger than a number too small. The canal I have installed have 2 Inch average and it is nearly to small.

Before I have done any other installations, I have lied down the hole audio, video and current cables, because later, when parts of the installation will been finished, it will be very difficult to reach the canal.

… to be continued…


LL
post #19 of 50
Thread Starter 
The front part 1

Basic for the front are two wooden cubes on the right and the left side of the room. The cubes have the dimension
  • Width: 2,6 feet
  • Length: 2,6 feet
  • Height: 2 feet

and are not screwed to the ground or the walls of the room!


LL
post #20 of 50
Thread Starter 
On the right and the left side are two beams from the ground to the ceiling. The beams are connected with some iron angles to the cubes and the ceiling.


LL
post #21 of 50
Thread Starter 
In front of each beam is a hook. On these hooks later the screen would be hang up.


LL
post #22 of 50
Andy,

The white track on the ceiling to the left of your wooden upright in this photo, is that a curtain track ?
post #23 of 50
Thread Starter 
Hi HDGTX!

Yes, that is a simple curtain track. I will later write more about my curtains, the tracks and their easy installation. So, be patient.
post #24 of 50
Thread Starter 
The loudspeaker satellites are build for direct to the wall installation, but I wanted to avoid this, because the deinstallation (if necessary) of the hole construction should be very easy. So I build 3 stands for the satellites (Height 3,9 feet).
There is also the advantage, that there are coming no vibrations from the satellites to the wall with the stand solution.
To avoid light reflections from behind the screen, the top of the stands are covered with black Molton...




LL
LL
post #25 of 50
Thread Starter 
... and then the stands with the THX-Satellites came to their final position.

… to be continued…


LL
post #26 of 50
Thread Starter 
The screen:

I have build a frame for the screen from 6 wooden ledges. To avoid light reflections, the ledges was first covered with black Molton and then connected with some iron angles to a solid frame.




LL
LL
post #27 of 50
Thread Starter 
After that, the screen was cut in the dimension of the frame.

The screen I used in my theater is from the manufacturer Phifer and the material is named Sheerweave 4500 color Chalk. The material is normally used as a sun sail, but home theater freaks used it to build acoustic transparent screens. It works fantastic and I really, really can recommend it.

Attention:
You should know that there can come Moire effects to your screen picture if you use a acoustic transparent screen. If two similar patterns (For example: pattern of the screen and pattern of the projector panel) are on top of each other, there can come stripes into the patterns. This is the Moire effect and the effect is very disturbing when watching movies.

You can avoid Moire effects if you turn the screen to the frame (see attachment) , because in this turned position, the course of the screen pattern is not similar to the course of the pattern from the projector panel.


LL
post #28 of 50
Thread Starter 
After cutting the screen, the material was connected with a lot of cramps to the frame. Here it is important to connect the screen very tight to the frame. When the screen is not connected tight, it is possible that waves come to the screen later.


LL
post #29 of 50
Thread Starter 
On the left an the right back side of the screen I have screwed two iron eyes. Then the screen was hang up with the eyes to the hooks.
The dimension of the screen:
  • Width: 300 cm (9,8 feet)
  • Height: 169 cm (5,5 feet)

… to be continued…




LL
LL
post #30 of 50
Thread Starter 
The front part 2:


On top of the cubes I have screwed a big wooden plate. It is a plate that normally is been used for building a kitchen. Before I have screwed the plate, I have covered it also with black Molton.


LL
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