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Rental Home Theater Build

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok everybody, long time lurker, but first post on AVS Forum. A lot of ideas for this theater build came from this site, so I'm posting this to see the results, and to hopefully return the favor and give yal some ideas of your own! Feel free to ask questions below and I'll try to respond in a timely manner.

This is the home theater we put together, while we (me and 2 roommates) rent a house for 3 years. The project took about 2 months to complete, and little odds and ends still need finished, like hiding some wires, and getting some wall lights/sconces. Basically I've always loved home theaters, but never had the income to support my hobby. With time and fortune on my side though, my collection of gear keeps growing and like they say, out with the old, in with the new, upgrades and such. Things just keep getting better.

Below you'll see my first theater ever, renting a basement of a townhouse. The second photo is when I started getting serious, buying towers and a nice screen. Third time around, renting long term, we decided to go all out. Flat black paint, crown molding with rope lights, a platform for the rear couch, etc. What we had to start with though, an ugly yellow painted living room, was far from what I called ideal for awesome movie and game sessions with friends, so here are some pictures which shows the process we had to go through to get everything the way we wanted. Feel free to ask questions below and I'll try to respond in a timely manner.

First theater ever... (2009)


Simple home theater in last house (2011)


Current Home Theater! (2012-now)

Edited by freespace303 - 1/13/14 at 10:41pm
post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK, here are the photos of what we all went through...

Ugly yellow living room, getting ready to paint


Ugly yellow living room, getting ready to paint


Ugly yellow living room, getting ready to paint


Ugly yellow living room, getting ready to paint


Ugly yellow living room, getting ready to paint


Ugly yellow living room, getting ready to paint


Ugly yellow living room, getting ready to paint


Starting to paint all the walls in GLIDDEN GRIPPER GREY


Starting to paint all the walls in GLIDDEN GRIPPER GREY


Starting to paint all the walls in GLIDDEN GRIPPER GREY


Starting to paint all the walls in GLIDDEN GRIPPER GREY


Starting to paint all the walls in GLIDDEN GRIPPER GREY


Starting to paint all the walls in GLIDDEN GRIPPER GREY


My roommate James creating home made safety glasses, lol


My roommate James creating home made safety glasses, lol


My roommate James creating home made safety glasses, lol


My roommate James creating home made safety glasses, lol


Walls done, working on ceiling now


Walls done, working on ceiling now


Walls done, working on ceiling now


Walls done, working on ceiling now


Walls done, working on ceiling now


Walls done, working on ceiling now


Walls done, working on ceiling now


Walls done, working on ceiling now


Walls done, working on ceiling now


Now to paint the ceiling and back wall BEHR Mouse Ears Black


Now to paint the ceiling and back wall BEHR Mouse Ears Black


Now to paint the ceiling and back wall BEHR Mouse Ears Black


Now to paint the ceiling and back wall BEHR Mouse Ears Black


Now to paint the ceiling and back wall BEHR Mouse Ears Black


Painting done! Removing painters tape...


Painting done! Removing painters tape...


Painting done! Removing painters tape...


Painting done! Removing painters tape...


Back wall done


Removing more tape


measuring for rear couch platform


Always vacuum!


Measuring for rear couch platform


carpet and paint done, for the most part, still need curtains of course


carpet and paint done, for the most part, still need curtains of course


carpet and paint done, for the most part, still need curtains of course


carpet and paint done, for the most part, still need curtains of course


Crown molding install


Crown molding install


Crown molding install


Crown molding install


testing out some rope light I had laying around


More pictures below...
Edited by freespace303 - 2/10/13 at 4:50am
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Pictures continued...

Building the couch platform


Building the couch platform


Building the couch platform


Building the couch platform


testing out the rope light


close up of the rope light


testing out the rope light


testing out the rope light


testing out the rope light


test fitting one half of the platform


building the other half of the platform


Both halves, test fitting


screwing the platform halves together


the plywood that will serve as the top of the platform


air nailing the platform top down


platform done!


test fitting the couch on the platform, still lots of space for end tables!


Building the screen


Building the screen


Screen built! (Elite Screens Cinewhite 120")


Screen built! (Elite Screens Cinewhite 120")


cutting the rugs for the platform (Ikea)


cutting pieces of the rug to cover the white carpet underneath


cutting pieces of the rug to cover the white carpet underneath


cutting pieces of the rug to cover the white carpet underneath


cutting the rugs for the platform (Ikea)


cutting the rugs for the platform (Ikea)


cutting the rugs for the platform (Ikea)


ugly ceiling light removed


ugly ceiling light removed


test fitting the screen


DIY Home Depot screen mounts


mounts and speaker wire for side surrounds


Side surround speaker installed! (Klipsch KS-14)


Projector installed! (Optoma HD20)


aligning the projector to the screen


aligning the projector to the screen


seating area, good view of the platform


seating area, good view of the platform


seating area, good view of the platform


so far, so good


new track light installed (Ikea)


new track light installed (Ikea)


Tools of the trade


Tools of the trade


Finally get to break my babies out of the box (Klipsch Icon KF-28 and Klipsch RW-12D)


Yamaha RX-567


So many wires!


Monster power strip


connecting everything up


testing out the ps3 on the screen


testing out the ps3 on the screen


First night having the theater functional enough to use, some friends over, you can see the rope light really well, still need to hide some wires


First thing they want to watch? Comedy Central on Netflix, figures!


First thing I want to watch? Some BBC Documentaries on Blu-ray of course! (new curtains incoming)


Rental Home Theater done! (still need to hide wires and get sconces)


Rental Home Theater done! (still need to hide wires and get sconces)


Rental Home Theater done! (still need to hide wires and get sconces)


Rental Home Theater done! (still need to hide wires and get sconces)


Rental Home Theater done! (still need to hide wires and get sconces)

Edited by freespace303 - 2/10/13 at 4:51am
post #4 of 20
Looks good, this gives me inspiration to build my first theater this year (in a rental).

Maybe I missed it in the posts, but what's with the red carpet? You bought & cut it to fit and just laid it overtop the beige carpet?

Thanks,
Rob
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
The red rugs, 3 reasons...

1. We already had them from the previous house theater (shown in the second picture)

2. None of us liked the color of the beige carpet

3. I wanted to darken the room as much as possible to obtain better image quality

Also, most of what we had to cut was for the rear couch platform, what we had left over was for the little bits of carpet the main rug pieces didn't cover
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Finally upgraded my projector to the amazing Mitsubishi HC5, check out all the photos here!!!

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467628/official-mitsubishi-hc5-owners-thread/330#post_23874638
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
My UMC-200 and UPA-700 arrived a couple days ago. I decided to upgrade my entertainment center at the same time, reasons being it's old and cheap, and my new center channel doesn't fit. Some quick thoughts, then on to pictures!

I did a EMOQ calibration, and some of the test tones scared the crap out of me actually lol. I didn't expect them to be that loud. I noticed that it set my center and sides to small, which is fine, but at 130hz? I lowered them to 80hz. The emoq set my sub xover to 100hz, which I then lowered to 80hz. My towers are set to large, which is good.

I played a bit of Star Trek, and the sound had a dynamicness about it that wasn't there before, it was pretty awesome. I've seen this intro a million times and use it to test new equipment out. Highs were crystal clear (although a bit harsh at times, but that could be due to me not being used to this, or I might need to fiddle with the EMOQ some more), and there were some sounds that I didn't notice before, even on top of that, some sounds that were there, had more "surroundness" to them.

I used trim settings a bit to lower my center, up my sub and sides, which, to my ears, sounded more balanced. I still need to learn more about Octave curves and such, as some of the voices in the film were a bit "bassy". I initially thought that was due to me lowering the xover on my center channel, but I moved it up to 100hz and it sounded too "sharp" for my taste. I'll mess around with some settings later when I have time.


(the toaster is actually a fully functional xbox360, lol)


UPA-700 and UMC-200



Stacked Front



Stacked Rear Profile



Stacked Rear



Slowly moving everything over to the new entertainment center



My Emotiva interconnects haven't arrived yet, so I have to use some RCA cables I had lyin around. The thicker RCA Y cable is for my 2 subwoofers.



New AV gear, entertainment center, and center channel!



Closeup



Some updated pics...



Some updated pics...
post #8 of 20
to the OP,

I'll be moving in a couple months and was thinking of using something like the Home Depot DIY screen mount like you pictured.

I've never seen a fixed frame screen put up like that before....isn't the screen away from the wall? also, what exactly is the screen hanging off of? the top of the frame itself?
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misery4eva View Post

to the OP,

I'll be moving in a couple months and was thinking of using something like the Home Depot DIY screen mount like you pictured.

I've never seen a fixed frame screen put up like that before....isn't the screen away from the wall? also, what exactly is the screen hanging off of? the top of the frame itself?


I used the same parts for the top and the bottom, and I took the screen and basically hung it like a big painting, with the L brackets on the top going into the screen frame groove. The bottom just rests against the L bracket. I'll try and take some more pictures in the morning.

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Wall sconces up, still gotta hide the wires/install the dimmers. In case your wondering, found them on ebay for about $35 each.





post #11 of 20
Those wall sconces add a lot of class and pizazz for the small cost! You guys have done a fantastic job with that space.

Couple ideas...I know some people love the look of a nicely organized a/v stand and want it front and center. If thats your idea then ignore the following. AV equipment also has potentially distracting lights, some even may harm the blacks from your projector. Have you considered moving stuff behind your sitting position? You could easily run cords underneath your red carpet and if sandwiched between two layers of carpet, you might not even feel them when walking. Coming from a rental perspective, I typically run cords under my rug lol. Here's my rental home theater: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1506659/marks-old-time-home-theatre-version-2-0

The rope light is flashy and fun, do you run that for ambient lighting when friends are over or most of the time..?
Edited by mboyko - 12/20/13 at 8:46pm
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yup, rope light and/or sconces stay on for guests. For more critical viewing, aka when I'm just the one watching a movie, I turn all the lights off for the best picture quality.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
They're here! Will be able to play with them on wed, my first day off this week.

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
My new SVS Dual PB12-NSDs are here, and I got some time to open them up, tune, and play some movies. I ran the EMOQ software and then played a movie I've seen a million times. Star Trek (2009). I was a bit underwhelmed actually and there was a lot of bass missing now, with only a couple specific scenes really allowing the SVS to shine, but shine they did! Two parts, one where in the intro, the shuttlecraft lands, and a part right after that is when the shuttlecraft with the chick in labor flys out of the hanger. Huge rumbling clean bass. It was amazing. But I was wondering where that mid bass punch went like I had before. I chocked it up to the Klipsch being better at the upper bass range, where as the SVS dug really deep. My answer was to, at a later time when I acquire another RCA Y cable, add the klipsch sub back into the equation. (or do some more tuning)

2nd movie, Basilisk fight scene from Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets, and again underwhelmed with the upper bass. I swapped it out quickly for another movie...

3rd movie, Star Wars Ep 3 - Revenge of the Sith.... BASS!!!!!!! wow!!! This movie made my previous subs bottom out soo much and now I know why. The opening scene right at the beggining, where the two star destroyers slowly pass by... Just monsterous bass filling my room and making everything vibrate, but with none of the bad vibrations that was making things rattle like my previous subs were doing. throughout the space battle scene where my previous subs bottomed out, the SVSs just produced nice clean low bass. It was awesome. Same thing goes for SW Ep1 during the pod race, and near the end in the space battle and Darth Maul fight scene. Monster swoops of bass when a pod racer flew by, or a space ship flew by. Just awesome powerful bass that sounded amazing.

Played some music, Two Steps from Hell, Audiomachine, and Distant Worlds. All sounded really nice and powerful, bass being there but not overpowering.

All in all, while I do miss some of that upper bass punch, the low end dig bass definitely makes up for it. And who knows, maybe I was over emphasizing the upper bass levels, and they aren't supposed to play that high (db level) in the first place. I still need to go pick up my UMIK-1 microphone from the post office to see what's really going on. I'm pretty happy though right now.





SVS PB12-NSD / Klipsch RW-12D / Infinity HTS-20



TOWER OF BASS!!!!

Edited by freespace303 - 1/2/14 at 10:38am
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Got my Darbee video processor today. Here's a few images. This thing is awesome!!! Looks MUCH better in person of course! (split screen, left original / right processed)



post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
My parents came over to watch the Superbowl on my big screen. This is the first time they've been over since I've upgraded my projector/subs/center/rears/PrePro/Darbee. The Superbowl was received via OTA (Fox @ 720p/5.1) + Mohu Leaf Ultimate + HD Homerun tuner + HTPC and the picture/sound quality was pretty damn good IMO. My parents said it sounded like they were really there. The pictures don't really do the whole setup justice, but it gives you an idea. (Samsung Galaxy Note 2)





Me and my dad. (I need to teach my mom how to take better pictures, lol)





Edited by freespace303 - 2/3/14 at 10:03pm
post #18 of 20
How the hell did you convince your landlord to let you do that to a rental?
post #19 of 20

Looks awesome, really like your colour scheme. How long are you in the rental property for? I'm moving on friday into a new place, and i'm getting my first ever mancave/HT. Thing is, i'm only there for around 9-12 months, so i can't work out if it's worth painting the walls or just having curtain on the back wall.

 

Thoughts?

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahands View Post

Looks awesome, really like your colour scheme. How long are you in the rental property for? I'm moving on friday into a new place, and i'm getting my first ever mancave/HT. Thing is, i'm only there for around 9-12 months, so i can't work out if it's worth painting the walls or just having curtain on the back wall.

Thoughts?

Our lease is for 2 years. If it was only a year then I wouldn't have done it. If I were you, I'd just either paint the back wall black, or hang a curtain/sheet/velvet. It definitely makes a huge difference though. The last place we had was offwhite walls all around, and the amount of light bouncing back at the screen was insane compared to now. Still perfectly watchable with no lights on, but the black level was nowhere good to what we have now.
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