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Done Deal's Contemporary Living Room Home Theater Build - Page 3

post #61 of 149
Thread Starter 
Not a big update, but Mrs Done Deal and I applied window film to all the windows in the living room, kitchen and above the front door this weekend. I also rigged the 2 rear windows with aluminum foil so all light is blocked from there, and with the blinds you can't even tell it's there. If I can't afford to remove them I will just keep it like this. It's made a drastic difference in light glare, and even without the drapes I have planned it is much more watchable in the daytime, even without having a screen yet.

Watched a few more movies this weekend. I'm in love with 159" and Mrs Done Deal is amazed with it!
post #62 of 149
What brand of sectional do you have?
post #63 of 149
Thread Starter 
It's from Ikea, actually. From their Karlstad line.

I think in a year I will probably move this stuff to my mancave/pool room and go for more dedicated seating. These are very comfortable short term, but less so for a long duration. With 2-plus hour movies seemingly becoming the norm we get uncomfortable about half way through. With that and the style in mind they would go great in the mancave where shorter duration seating is common.
post #64 of 149
Thanks for the info.They look much better with the metal legs you've added. Is it comfortable when you lie down on it?
post #65 of 149
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I agree. I don't know what they are thinking by default selling a black leather sofa with wood legs. The metal legs were a fairly cheap upgrade that was definitely worth it, especially since we bought the chairs lightly used for a great price and they already had the metal legs.

Assuming you've got a pillow laying down on it is good enough, though in my particular room doing so isn't all that great for watching a movie from an ergonomic perspective. It's mostly just the low back that makes long haul movies tough. The chaise and/or foot stool is a must buy to allow scooting down IMO.
post #66 of 149
Any new 3D movies have you seen with your new Pj? I just got done watching Life of Pi and that movie is incredible for 3D!
post #67 of 149
Thread Starter 
I only have the Life of Pi in 2D. frown.gif

So far just The Avengers, Prometheus, and of course Avatar. I've thought about upgrading my 2D Life of Pi disc to the 3D version. I love the vibrancy even in 2D. The colors really pop and it's a joy to watch. I haven't seen the new Star Trek yet but I pre-ordered the 3D version from Amazon. Will probably get The Croods in 3D when that comes out too.

Any others you'd recommend?

I had the AV company out again this morning to finalize a few things and hopefully we can start work on it soon. Sounds like it's about time to order the 159" Da-Lite HP. Functionally my theater is in pretty good standing but aesthetically it's a nightmare. It's completely rigged. HDMI run across floor from AVR to PJ, Ethernet ran all the way from office to living room across floor, projector sitting on an outdoor patio table, etc. I don't know how my girl puts up with me. smile.gif But at least I know everything works.
post #68 of 149
You got a good girl right there!

Other 3D BD worth buying are the IMAX ones. I have IMAX Under the Sea which is short but incredible to watch. I have seen IMAX Hubble at a B&M shop and it was incredible. Finding Nemo is incredible in 3D and the sound is awesome, especially when Darla taps on the aquarium. Hugo is a really good 3D movie, Titanic is probably the best post-production 3D I have seen and Transformers Dark of the Moon is pretty good too! Those are off the top of my head and I am sure I am missing a few.

Your theater is coming along and I am sure it will be sweet with that big screen!
post #69 of 149
Thread Starter 
I have Hugo in 2D too. Good movie.

I will keep my eye out for the IMAX stuff. It's available on cable but I can't figure out why I get apparent loss of sync/glasses blinking wit the cable content. The sync is rock solid with bluray and I haven't been able to figure it out.

I'm really excited to get it finished to where its at least more presentable. I'm looking for a center channel stand right now, the sound anchor ones look nice.
post #70 of 149
Forgot to add Dredd and Prometheus to that 3D list.

For my RC3 center I used a leather trash can that I put upside down. Kinda rigged but it works.
post #71 of 149
Thread Starter 
Life of Pi 3D is on sale at Amazon for $20, thinking of grabbing it. Prometheus in 3D is excellent. It doesn't have anything that juts out at you, but makes great use of the 3D for depth. I didn't like Dredd in 2D so it's a no go in 3D for me. LOL

Currently working with the AV company to get things in order. Hoping we can start work in 2 weeks or so. It looks like its about time to order the screen... probably today or tomorrow. biggrin.gif
post #72 of 149
Life of Pi 3D is probably one of the best ones and worth it at that price. Right now there are ton of movies on sale on BD on Amazon including the Criterion collection BD movies. 159" screen is going to be a big box, and I thought my small 100" screen box was huge.
post #73 of 149
Thread Starter 
Yep, the size of the box is the reason I haven't ordered it yet. I didn't want to try to store something that big for a month or two. I am using an empty guest room for all of my other AV gear storage right now but its not big enough for a box that big I don't think.

I'm too intrigued, went ahead and ordered Life of Pi 3D. You sold me. biggrin.gif
post #74 of 149
Cool you ordered it! Just watching the first minute of the film is pretty awesome! My wife will never watch that movie again because of the boat scene with the all of the animals and the ending lol.
post #75 of 149
Thread Starter 
I got the copy of Life of Pi 3D in earlier this week. biggrin.gif

No big updates, I've scheduled some appointments with a couple companies to go over some small portions of the project. I've got one company coming out this weekend to go over the drywall and electrical work for the rack area, and in about a week and a half I have an interior company coming over to go over some drapery options. I'm ordering the Da-Lite screen in the next few days, so this project should start really picking up in the next month or so.

Watched Escape from Planet Earth and Warm Bodies last night on cable, we enjoyed both of them.
post #76 of 149
Thread Starter 
I watched a few parts of Life of Pi 3D yesterday to demo to my brother in law, lots of ooohhh's and awww's. The colors in either 2D or 3D presentation are really wonderful, and the 3D really seems to add to the experience. Looking forward to a full watch soon.

Got a decent update... received the 159" 16:9 Da-Lite 2.4 HP screen from AVS this past Friday afternoon. It's still in the (absolutely gigantic) box, I'm contemplating putting it together on my own (with a friend of course) or just waiting and having my AV install company put it up when they are doing the wiring work. I really want to see how it looks, but if I put it up now I'd have to take it down when the drywall work occurs in the next few weeks to avoid getting dust all over it... or maybe just put a couple sheets over it. I'm trying to firm up dates for the various contractors today, I'd really like to get this room more or less completed because although it's rather functional now everything is so rigged it's silly.

I also got a quote for the drapery system that would cover the wall the sliding glass door and windows are on, roughly $2,400. I had budgeted about $2,000 for it, but I know next to nothing about drapery so it's not like I can say that is expensive. Seems to be about the going rate for drapery that size. It would be a ripple fold in a dark gray-ish contemporary material that is supposed to be black out, covering the entire wall. I'll need to wait for the other parts of the room to get done first so I don't cover the drapes in drywall and crap, but I think it will really add something to the room and make the room more functional for home theater use. I'm currently covering the sliding glass door with a blanket literally nailed up, so it only gets better from here. rolleyes.gif I'm currently researching how to build a wood "cornice" box for the drapes, I'd probably paint it black and contemplating putting some LED rope light in it to give the wall a little kick when desired.
post #77 of 149
I bet your family want you to have a 'opening theater' night when you build is complete! I need to get some drapery done in my basement, for now I did the same thing over my black out shades (which don't block all the light) with some old drapery panels pinned up with pins. Drapery in not cheap, especially fabric that is a custom length or width (thickness and type of fabric factor in too). IMO, I would wait till the AV company is done and let them put it up because you will be hard pressed to maneuver that big of a screen around your house. And it will be that much more of a surprise when everything is squared a way.
post #78 of 149
Thread Starter 
One thing that worked really well, probably too good... was on my rear 2 windows I taped aluminum foil up, which is then covered by standard blinds. No light coming through and can't even tell it's there. Of course such a solution wouldn't work over the wall with the window and sliding glass door because I want to be able to see through those windows at times. My plan is to make a window plug that will help a bit with sound escaping the house but would ultimately be removable if I were to sell the home.

You're right, custom drapery is expensive. I was hoping for 2k max, and I actually just found out from the interior company that it's an additional $330 for the blackout liner bringing the total to over $2700. She said the fabric was 97% light blocking but I really just don't want to take the chance of not being happy with it, so I will have to add the liner to be completely sure it will work. I have to look at this as both a home and home theater expense, because if it was solely for home theater I'd say hell no and figure out my own cheesy solution that would do the job but wouldn't look nearly as good. It will end up being a major component of the house so I guess that makes it a bit easier to stomach $2700.
post #79 of 149
Thread Starter 
Well, curiosity got the best of me and I couldn't wait to put the screen together. I wrote a short little review for a guy on the Sony HW50 thread.
Originally Posted by Done Deal DR View Post

Not a full review by any stretch of the word, but I received my 159" 16:9 Da-lite 2.4 HP a few weeks ago and got it mounted a couple weeks ago. It has made a huge difference in my usage of the HW50. For one, I can now run it on low day or night (159" in a living room!), where as on the wall even on high daytime usage was fairly weak. It now looks better on low in the day with ambient light than it did on high projected on the wall pitch black. Colors pop and resolution is awesome. This means substantial increase in bulb life and thus reduced operating costs. I haven't watched 3D on the screen yet but I expect a substantial improvement. I haven't noticed hotspotting.

Installation was very straightforward but my god those last few snaps were a beast to finish. My hands were brutalized trying to get those and I'm glad it's done! I could not be happier with the purchase, it's perfect for my application but would also work in dedicated rooms with large screens.

Let me know if you have any questions.

It's really made a dramatic improvement in my usability of my projector and the theater in general, and will also reduce the cost of bulbs since I am now running it on low virtually all of the time. Colors pop much more with the screen and I really can't come up with any downside to this Da-Lite HP screen.

I also got the interior company the down-payment for the drapes, and it sounds like those will take somewhere around 6 weeks to get the material and get them made and installed. Everything is moving slower than I'd like but I can still enjoy it in the meantime so not all is lost. smile.gif
post #80 of 149
Cool! Yeah those snaps almost kick my arse, especially with those damn gloves on! My screen is a 1.3 gain (in reality closer to a 1.4) and I have the Pj is low lamp mode since I hooked it up.
post #81 of 149
Thread Starter 
It will definitely make it more economical to run keeping it on low, the colors pop just a tad more on high mode... but low is more than enough to satisfy me.

Those last few snaps just about killed me!
post #82 of 149
Thread Starter 
I had the AV company out this morning to do the wiring, it took 2 guys about 6 hours what it would have taken me a month to do, if not more. The attics in Arizona are so brutal right now, they were warriors going up there. I had them wire the 5 speaker locations to the rack area, along with 2 subwoofer RCA's to the front soundstage, a couple HDMI's to the projector location, cat6 run from the rack to the cable modem and router in my office on the other side of the house to feed the Cisco switch, and also ran a coax line from main splitter to the rack area as well. They also mounted the projector ceiling mount.

I've got some homework to do now. I just ordered the correct pole for the projector mount so I can get it exactly in the middle of my Da-Lite HP screen as well as some more GLS banana plugs. I just wired up the front sound stage to the new terminals they installed. Now I've got a lot of installing and wiring to do for the rack before I can actually watch or listen to anything, since right now they just got the wiring to the rack area (at my request). It will probably take me around a week or so to get the rack more or less sorted, along with some additional time to get a proper faceplate made for a new Cisco DVR I have and debating if I will bother getting a 360 faceplate since the Xbox One is so close to arrival... I'll probably skip that.

What else... I need to call Sound Anchor about getting a center channel stand made for my Klipsch RC-64 II. In the meantime I still need an electrician out, and once I'm done with all the rack installation and wiring I need to have my drywall guy out because he now has a ton of work to do as because they had to cut out drywall in quite a few places to drill through 2x4's that were running horizontally in order to get the wiring throug, in addition to the rack area that needs to be completely done..

It feels like I'm getting closer to having the room sorted, even though it sucks a little bit to have the theater out of commission for even a week or two. I've gotten really used to having and enjoying it, as rigged as it was before. rolleyes.gif
post #83 of 149
Nice! Curious to how much they charged you to run all of the wires?
post #84 of 149
Thread Starter 
It's hard to say right now, it took 2 guys about 6 hours to do. I provided all of the wiring and parts outside of a few wallplates. I'd guess somewhere around $1200 for this stage since I believe they said labor was something like $95/hour, but I haven't signed or paid for anything yet. Still a lot of drywall work to do and some light electrical. At this rate the drapes will end up costing more than just about anything else in the room. LOL

I would have done it but the attic is brutal in this house due to the vaulted ceilings, add in the heat and I was willing to pay. It's one of those times you're envious of people with flat ceilings and giant attics. After watching them do it there is no way I had the skill or knowledge to do what they did. wink.gif
post #85 of 149
Cool! And I bet your attic in the AZ heat is very brutal right now! I paid (after the Drywall was up) for an A/V company to run power to my PJ location w/2x Cat5e wires, and prewire for 7.1 sound. I dunno how they did it fishing all that wire through the walls, but it was worth the money because I think I would've messed up my house.
post #86 of 149
Thread Starter 
I've emailed Sound Anchor as instructed by their site for a custom center channel stand for my Klipsch RC-64 II center twice now and haven't heard anything back (first email was probably over a month ago), not sure what to do from here. I guess I will call them, just a little concerning that they can't keep up with email inquiries when their site specifically points you to email them to inquire on pricing, etc.

Any other options for custom made center channel stands? I haven't heard of any, it seems the options are slim for this market.
post #87 of 149
I had that same issue when I was setting up my room. Mine is the RC3 so it is a bit smaller than your center speaker, but I used a leather, trapezoid shaped garbage can, turned upside down. It works and it saved me the trouble of either sourcing one from god knows where , or building one myself.

I called a local Home theater company to come out and quote me a price for equipment/installation, the guy came out, but no communication after that. That is how I just did everything myself, albeit my stuff was pretty simple to do. I cannot stand companies that do not communicate and I used to work in sales with 60-120 calls a day, and I still kept up with my emails/communication. Hopefully they will have an answer for you soon!
post #88 of 149
Thread Starter 
I guess I'm pretty used to it from the whole car scene, where it seems like just about any part you want is tons of waiting, sketchy communication, unexpected delays, etc. All that said, I put together the rack shelves and other accessories yesterday, and will probably try to get most of the rack assembly done this weekend. I will probably end up doing something like you did short term, where I just place the center on something for the time being since it's certainly looking like I won't have a proper stand for it very soon, but I still want to go that route for aesthetics.

I also still need to get a custom RSH shelf made for a new settop box I have, which requires sending it to the company to make. I just got out my first email to that company today and am waiting on a response. There's a lot of things left that's just going to take a little time to figure out, which sucks because I can't use my theater at all right now and probably won't for another few weeks at a minimum. I miss it. lol
post #89 of 149
I hear ya on the car bit, it seems these days it is the norm, sad really. I used to work at a small car shop in LA in the late 90's and I always gave myself an extra week on special parts. Thankfully Pro-Motion was our distributor of parts so we could get anything from RB parts to Honda parts within a day or two. Everything else I sourced from other shops that I know would have part and give me a good price. Come to think about it, all customer service is becoming this way and I wish people were more OCD about helping/finding a solution for the customer. If I lived in AZ I would have you come over to get your movie fix, because I know how you feel, especially if you have films that you want to see on your screen!
post #90 of 149
Thread Starter 
The BD's are starting to pile up! wink.gif
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