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The Acme Studios 3D HT - in an apartment!

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

Been a lurker here for quite a while, and picked up quite a few good tips and ideas. When I decided to make a theater of my own, and put some of those ideas into use, it just seemed right somehow that I should document the effort here. So, I'm beginning this thread in the hopes that maybe I can help someone, the way the rest of you guys have helped me.

My situation is very odd, to say the least. 1st - I live in an apartment. It's an old concrete high rise. I've been here forever, and I'm probably gunna die here, so why the hell not make myself as comfortable as possible until then? LOL Since I'm usually alone when I'm here - I was really the only 1 I had to take into account when planning this thing. I knew right off the bat, I was really only interested in 2 things - a giant kick ass 3D screen/wall and teeth rattling sound. Everything else - I really couldn't care less about. Rugs, posters, furniture, decorations? Are you serious? Who cares?!

At least, that's what I thought would be the case when I 1st started. It's funny how quick stuff you were SURE wouldn't mean zip to you - all of a sudden, and without you even realizing it - magically becomes critically important. What's even funnier, at least I thought so anyway, was how this *whatever it is* attains this new found level of importance with absolutely no identifiable or discernible reason WHAT SO EVER! LOL

It just does. And that's all there is to it. But I'm getting off track here. Back to the pathetic thing I call my home theater. The space I had to work with, was about 16X25. Of which, I could dedicate a 16X18 area. After a few days of researching hardware and stuff, these are the components I settled on.

Optoma HD66
Denon AVR1911
Onkyo HT750 speaker system
LG 3D Bluray player
Nvidia 3D Vision setup w/ 4 prs of active shutter glasses
Asstd cables, extensions, and wires

And that was pretty much it... To start off. All of that cost about 1500 bucks. Got most of the cables and things off ebay, along with the Denon, which I got for about 300 new. Got the pj from 6th ave on sale for 700. Got the speakers from B&H photo downtown, also on sale, for 220. The LG blu ray I already had, and the Nvidia setup I got off ebay for 125 which is a KILLER deal for having 4 pairs of glasses. The glasses ALONE go for about 100 each!
Bought a great ball and socket custom mount for my pj - again off ebay for about 30 bucks. Mounting that to the ceiling took 2 days cause I have a poured slab ceiling, and I needed a special drill to make holes in it. Man was THAT a nightmare, but I got it done. Got the pj bolted up, hooked it up to the Denon, hooked up all the speakers to the Denon, hooked up my PC to the Denon - (had to do that for the 3D) mounted the 3D emitter on the ceiling4, put the glasses on, turned everything on and WA LA!

Absolutely NOTHING worked LOL

This is now the point where you find out all the little things they forgot to mention in all those reviews you read, or the sales guy forgot to tell you. Like for example that the Nvidia 3D system will not work when routed thru a receiver 1st. Or the fact that the HD66 - a 3D capable pj is not actually capable of 3D UNTIL YOU SEND IT BACK TO THEM FOR A HARDWARE/FIRMWARE UPGRADE.

Now maybe it's just me, but don't you think that's the type of info that they should tell you BEFORE you buy it? Oh well, minor hiccups actually when you look at the big pic. I send the pj in, they do what the need to and send it back. I will definitely say optoma did a great job with handling my 'pissed-off' ness LOL They fedex'd it both ways free of charge, and had the actual upgrade done the same day it arrived at their factory, So I had it back in 3 days. I worked around the sound thing by running a digital out from the computer to the Denon(just a simple RCA cable), and running an hdmi cable straight from the vid card to the pj. The 3D emitter for the glasses then gave me a prob because it's more than 15 feet from the computer. but a 40' active repeater cable off ebay for about 25 bucks solved that problem rather handily if I do say so myself. I then picked up a wireless kb+mouse set up for like 15 bux-yup, off ebay, and I gotta tell ya - this is hands down the best -functioning- apartment hook up I've ever seen. Worst looking, best functioning. I'm ok with that.

The image is awesome, the sound from the Denon will rattle the fillings out of your teeth, and the speakers just simply look and sound fantastic. Keep in mind now, this is all straight out of the box stuff, and I'm just using a plain wall to throw the image on.

After reading some DIY screen threads, I decided to give it a whirl. I ran over to home depot, got a can of behr silver screen for 30 bucks, got a 2 dollar roller, a pizza and a 6 pack on the way home, then proceeded to see what damage I could do. 3 hrs later, I was stuffed, buzzed and had an awesome new wall screen. That behr stuff is PURE MAGIC!! If your using a wall, get this stuff!! It's awesome!!! The best way I can think of to describe the effect this paint had, is to put like this - Have you ever watched a tv show on an old crt tv that had a dirty screen? Back in the old days, like before remote control old days, every so often you'd have to get up and wipe the dust off the screen. That happend slowly over time due to all the static buildup and whatnot. And when you did it - it was like getting a new TV. You couldn't believe the difference in the image. It was brighter, clearer, sharper and it was hard to believe you were looking at the same tv as 10 seconds ago. The build up was so slow and so gradual that you never realized it was even happening. The 1 day out of nowhere, you just get up and wipe off the screen and POW - new TV.


OK As soon as I figure out how to, I'll post a bunch of pics.

Edited by domz777 - 8/14/13 at 5:12am
post #2 of 41
Originally Posted by domz777 View Post

I live in an apartment. It's an old concrete high rise.

only interested in 2 things - ............................................. and teeth rattling sound.

Got Neighbors? Please let us know how that works out for you.
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 

Well let's see... 15 story building, 12 apts per floor, approx 4 ppl per apt.

...um, ...yeah - I'd have to say I do got neighbors. Quite a few actually, LOL

Don't ask me why, as I always thought stone(brick, cement, concrete, whatever) was a very good conductor of sound, but this building must have industrial strength sound proofing or something. It was built in the early 50's. I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not, but I could have a REAL rock band in here, and nobody would hear it. Now if you go out in the hall - that's a totally different story. If you leave the apt - and go stand in the hall, you can hear almost everything going on in all the apts on that floor. Once you enter an apartment however - forget it, it's like your on your own planet. I'm pretty friendly with my neighbors - and now that i got a 12ft hi-def screen they're all much friendlier with me too LOL - So I tested the whole sound thing. Cranked up The Empire Strikes Back till I couldn't hear myself shouting - then went next door to my neighbors apt to see how loud it was. If I listened REEEEEEEAL close, I could just make out the music at times. Here's some pics as promised...

This is during the whole apartment being repainted. I just moved every single thing into a big pile, then just moved that pile around as I painted.

OK this is the area that became the theater. The room is basically a big backwards "L" This picture is taken from the point where the long and short parts of the L meet, the long part being straight ahead, and the short part is to my left. The wall directly ahead will be the screen. The wall immediately to the left will have a full wall mural on it.

Edited by domz777 - 8/14/13 at 2:42am
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
This is the pj mounted to the ceiling approx 18-19 feet from the screen wall.
You can also see the room darkening drapes I picked up to cover the bay and regular windows
post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 

This is me being too impatient to move anything before playing with the pj's settings.

Edited by domz777 - 3/9/13 at 4:16pm
post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 
Same shot - no flash this time.

post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
phase 1 - getting image on wall - CHECK!
phase 2 - making butt comfortable WHILE enjoying results of Phase 1 - BEGIN

Clearly, the 1st thing I had to do was get all the crap out of the way, so that's what I did.

Slight clutter reduction
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
couldn't wait to reduce all the clutter fully, so I tossed in a rug and a couch(which here is clearliy doubling as a shelf/clothes rack LOL) and then just spread the remaining clutter around the edges of the room. Sometimes just repositioning stuff makes it look better somehow. At least that's what I was told. Clearly, whoever told me that was COMPLETELY WRONG!

post #9 of 41
Thread Starter 
Of course, clutter or not, now that I had a place to sit, I just HAD to give it a test drive...

post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
I wanna point out the the image on the wall is crystal clear and razor sharp. It's the idiot behind the camera that made the pics look blurry. Here, I'll show ya

Scene looks nice and bright on the wall, but blurry like the pj isn't focused properly

Same exact scene, only this time with the light on, see even stuff in the room is blurry too, so clearly(pun intended) it's not pj making the image on the wall look blurry.
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
By this time, it was late and I was running out of steam, so I finished watching the movie, then hit the rack. The next morning, for a change of pace, I decided to take on the wal mural.

Don't ask me why, I have no idea, but for some reason the idea poped into my head that the perfect mural for that wall, would be a giant Millennium Falcon. I'm sure falling asleep to empire had nothing to do with it LOL I measured out the wall, did some quick mental gymnastics, ran down to the studio and spit out 130 8.5X11 digitally printed photo cards - made from an image the size of my palm that I pulled out of a comic book.

When I got the cards home, I laid them out on the floor, then transfered them to the wall 1 by 1. I did it that way to make sure I put them up in the right order. I was using spray glue, so a mistake now would've ruined the whole thing. Believe me, when you've got 130 of ANYTHING - it's easy to get them mixed up LOL So I laid them out on the floor 1st just to be doubly safe.

post #12 of 41
Thread Starter 
The entire process from beginning to end took about 4 hrs - but that includes beer brakes, phone calls, a small argument, and 1 vist from a Jehovias Witness(those last 2 things have nothing to do with each other - in case you were wondering)

post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
And here we have the finished product....

and just to give you a little perspective - I'm 6' 2"

post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 
Next - sound...

Sorry, but I got so wrapped up in doing it, I forgot to take pictures. But here's a few after the fact. These are the Onkyo HT-750's being powered by the the Denon reciever.

The 3 that surround the screen

left side

rear - obviously

and this is a shot of the ceiling mounted 3D emitter.
post #15 of 41
Originally Posted by domz777 View Post

The entire process from beginning to end took about 4 hrs - but that includes beer brakes, phone calls, a small argument, and 1 vist from a Jehovias Witness

I answered the door last week and a nice young man introduced himself as "Frank" told me he was a Jehovah Witness, and asked me if I had a few minutes to speak with him.

I said sure, invited him in and offered him a cup of coffee... After fixing the coffee and sitting down at the table I said "Ok Frank what would you like to talk about".. With a timid look on his face, Frank replied "I'm not sure, I've never made it this far before"

Don't mean to derail your thread

Actually the Millennium Falcon Mural reminded me of an HGTV "Room Chrashers" episode where they made a skyline diffuser from 4x4's. They applied ~ 400 little pictures to each face to create the mural. Kinda Cool..
Heres a link to the video..


Hope you enjoy your space.

post #16 of 41
Thread Starter 

That was perfect!

That's exactly the attitude I would love for all people to have when they read anything of mine. Thanks for that vid link too! I checked it out, and I can definitely see how the 2 seem similar. Mine is 100X's cool tho LOL Not to mention about 100X's lighter too LOL
post #17 of 41
Is that 4 cases of Mighty Maple Peanut Butter and Co.??

That stuff is awesome! We just recently found it up here in Rochester.

Wait! 5 cases! I missed the one in the bottom corner.
post #18 of 41
Thread Starter 
OK, in the very 1st post, at the end I mention painting the wall with screen paint.
The original paint is sherman williams interior semi gloss eggshell white. Why it looks yellow in this pic I have no idea.
The screen paint I used is Behr Silver Screen. If your shooting your image on a wall, GET THIS. The difference was STUNNING. 300 bucks for a quart of Screen Goo? Yeah, I got your 300 right here, pal. A GALLON of silver screen premium plus ULTRA cost me 31 bucks with tax. Took about 20 minutes to slap a coat on. Next day, I did it again just for the hell of it. Made no difference at all, but it just made me feel better somehow LOL Here's a counterclockwise sweep around the newly painted wall screen, to show you the edges.
I painted it this sloppily because I'm going to trim the top and sides with a 4" black boarder. The bottom trim will be 18" - level with the top of the electrical outlet cover plates.

post #19 of 41
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ADDUpstate View Post

Is that 4 cases of Mighty Maple Peanut Butter and Co.??

That stuff is awesome! We just recently found it up here in Rochester.

Wait! 5 cases! I missed the one in the bottom corner.

It sure is! You missed 2 cases actually. If you look at the last pic in post#10 you can easily see the 6 cases on cabinet on the left. I had white chocolate, cinamon and rasin, and all natural. That stuff sells like wildfire around here. Especially now, around the holidays. It usually costs somewhere around 6 bucks a jar down here. but I know a guy, who knows a guy, who has a friend, yadda, yadda, yadda....

I get it so cheap that I can I sell it for 25 a case(12jars per). Last year, I got 100 cases and thought for sure I was going to get stuck with it and wind up eating nothing but peanut butter for the rest of my life. When word got out that I was selling it for 25 a case - it was all gone in less than 2 days
post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
Oh, in case anyone cares(probably not) that's a new Boba Fett mural I made. It's gunna go in the front foyer. It's 5 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide. I still have to trim the white edges off obviously, but I just laid it out to check the framing and composition. Here's a better look.

Get THIS! That is NOT a screen grab, or a photo, or a movie still - It's a drawing! Can you believe that?
Some guy actually sat down at a computer and drew that - by hand - from scratch.
Is that amazing or what?!
post #21 of 41
You shouldn't think of it as clutter, those are your acoustical treatments spread around the room, people pay a lot of good money for diffusers.
post #22 of 41
Thread Starter 
I like the way you think!

Better yet, send all those people with that good money to spend, my way. They can have all the refu, ...um, I mean diffuse they want. LOL
post #23 of 41
Good on you. Just goes to show what you can do with some bargain shopping, beer, pizza, prayers from the JW's and a bit of work. Had a good laugh reading your posts. Just my 2c, but unless you find a lady with the same passion for star wars, that wall mural may result in movies being the only action your apartment sees!
Looking forward to seeing how things finish up.
post #24 of 41
Thread Starter 
Believe it or not, I was worried about the same thing when I was considering doing a full wall mural. I had all kinds of other ideas, a cityscape, a nightime skyline WITH my towers(but that woulda been too painfull to look at everyday), a forest, an underwater shot with like a dolphin or whale or something, but then I saw that falcon pic - and that was it. I've had several over night guests since I put it up, and every 1 of them absolutely loved it. Thought it was so 'creative' of me LOL, and they loved that it was a picture of 'that ship from that space movie' but it was a picture they had never seen before. Personally, I couldn't care less, but if it helps get the bra off - I'm all for it! LOL

The funny thing is, I don't really have a passion for star wars, I mean yeah, sure, I probably like sci-fi more than your avg guy, but it's just coincidence that most of the pics in this thread are SW pics. You gotta admit tho - that Boba Fett pic is pure bad ass. You can never have seen star wars in your life, and the 1st time you see that pic, your gunna go - 'That's cool!'
post #25 of 41
Next you'll be telling me you pick up at Trekkies Conventions!
Glad to hear that your mural has brought with it aesthetic pleasure and gifts of earthly satisfaction. Now, I just gotta get me a mural!
post #26 of 41
Thread Starter 
This is the city, trekkie conventions here are LOADED with super hot chicks trying to get into movies, booth babes, and my favorite - the utterly disinterested and growing more and more angry by the minute girlfriend or sister.
It's like shooting fish in a barrel LMAO!
post #27 of 41
oh man, i wish i had never read this thread. my 7yr old daughter and i are HUGE star wars fans, and those murals are absolutely a truly neat/awesome idea.

must. fight. urge.

did you have any problem with the place that printed the digital prints as far as copyright issues go? some places around here won't touch a print job if they think it's copyrighted.
post #28 of 41
Thread Starter 
@chimpuat - You have a PM

You better believe it! 1 punk actually had the nerve to threaten to call the cops on me for piracy. I bet ya he will too, the second he gets back from the hospital, the little basterd! LOL
Well, like they say, when you want it done right(read cheap) do it yourself. So, that's exactly what I did.

It was a breeze for me, because I have access to the facilities of a graphic arts studio. I think I mentioned that before somewhere in this thread. Anyway, with those kinds of resources at my fingertips, getting murals printed out is dirt cheap, and dam near instant. My falcon is 12 feet wide, 7 feet tall, made from 130 cards - on dam good stock too, and it cost me about 80% less than what some of those custom wallpaper crooks were asking for a mural that size! And the Boba Fett cost even less than that! Granted it's tiny by comparison - only 5 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide, but still and all, a 5 ft tall poster is definitely a sweet thing to be the 1st thing ppl see when they walk thru the door. Then, when they turn the corner, BAM - a 12 ft falcon, right in the kisser LOL


Got a few 'holy ****!' s, a couple of "That's sick!" and I even got a "DUDE! That's the coolest thing I've ever seen!" once.
post #29 of 41
Thread Starter 
Here's 1 I did for a guy in NSW a few weeks ago. If I remember correctly, it's about 14ft wide, and 5ft tall. This is made from an actual frame from the original 1977 movie.
He sent me this pic after he put it up. Says he now wants to sue me because of all the traffic it has caused his kids to bring in the house LOL He loves the mural tho

post #30 of 41
Dude, that's the coolest thing I have ever seen!
Are you in Australia Domz?
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