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Yet to be Named Theater - Small, no frills build

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Just bought a house on June 30, 2006 with a dedicated media room. This was a existing house, so I had no say on the size of the room. The room is roughly 15' x 12' x 9' with no windows. It has a door opening, but no door. So off I went on a spending spree to build a nice room to view movies.


June 2009 above
July 2009 below


More Pictures can be seen here. You may want to sort by filename to see a chronological set of pictures.

Short video here:


My goals

1) Enough room for at least 4 people
2) Keep the budget under $7K
3) 100" screen
4) Clean look
5) Not an ordinary look (I.e. thick curtains, red paint, etc.)

So far, I have accomplished / purchased the following

1) Painted the room a nice dark green
2) Optoma HD72 and Screen (100" Fixed Frame Elite)
3) BIC Acoustech 5.1 Speaker Setup
4.1)Windows 7 Media Center with Dual OTA tuner (~70 hours HD space) (October 2009)
4.2) LG BH200 DVD / Blu-ray / HD DVD Player
5) Media cabinet
6) Purchased all necessary cables
7) New ceiling fan (needed low profile)
8) Sconces on walls
9) Lane Sectional Couch
10) Center channel speaker stand
11) Ran cabling through walls / add plates in wall
13) Logitech Harmony 900 Universal Remote (replaced 880 in December 2011)
15) Outlet for projector in ceiling (dedicated circuit)
19) Wall Decor Added
20) Tactile Effects System (splurged for the TES-100 Stereo set-up)
21) Amp for the TES (AudioSource Amp3)
22) Curtains around and above screen
24) Receiver Onkyo TX-SR605B
25) PS3 -- SOLD November 2009
26) Ottoman with storage and top that doubles as a tray
27) Painted Ceiling to match walls (6/2009)
28) New Carpet (Dark Brown - 6/2009)

Remaining work:

1) Never know what will be next


I know that this isn't all the glitz and glam that some others have done, but for under $7K (I think it will end up about $6K), I am still getting something that will make my friends and family want to come over for movie night and sports. The furniture, projector and screen ate up about $4K of my budget.

I will update as the work progresses.
post #2 of 57
Great start! You must have amazing willpower - you've been here since 2003, and are keeping to a $7K budget? Where's the GG, Infinite Baffles, curved screens, and gargoyles?
post #3 of 57
Absolutely. All the glitz is nice but functionality is what it's really all about.

Good luck.

Bryan
post #4 of 57
I think the "clean" way is the less stressful way.
post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 
by "clean" (which most here are), I mean no wires running on the ceiling, no moving things around to view the movie, etc.

I bought a center speaker stand...decent stand, but the instructions were incorrect. After much frustration, I figure out that they are the idiots and not me. When I followed "my instructions" everything worked fine. It looks okay, but for $38 I guess I can't expect much.
post #6 of 57
Instructions were likely written by somebody in India. Anyway the room sounds plenty big for 4. I fit 3 comfortably in my 10x12 room. Yes, I lay claim to the smallest dedicated HT room in Austin. Did that sometime last year. Have you gone to any of the Austin HT meets? There are several VERY nice ones around that were seen on the Tour last summer.
post #7 of 57
Sweet Austin I will be there in a few months moving down and can not wait to build my theater. I have a head start I have all the audio already just need a screen and projector and it is almost complete. Have fun

Nate
post #8 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver View Post

Instructions were likely written by somebody in India. Anyway the room sounds plenty big for 4. I fit 3 comfortably in my 10x12 room. Yes, I lay claim to the smallest dedicated HT room in Austin. Did that sometime last year. Have you gone to any of the Austin HT meets? There are several VERY nice ones around that were seen on the Tour last summer.

I'm getting a sectional couch, so squeezing in 5 will be doable. Haven't been to any of the HT meets...just started this in August. Updated my city, still in the Austin area, just not Austin proper
post #9 of 57
Travis,

Just down a little ways down from you in Ol' San Antone. First of all good luck with your project. I'm working on a HT room with equal dimensions. I'm debating on using a projector rather than a Flat Panel TV. Some projector questions for you:

1) How is the image quality with your particular model? When playing a DVD in widescreen are the black bars still visible on the top and bottom of the screen?

2) How is the noise factor on the projector? Any problems with the projector overheating and shutdown?

Thanks,
post #10 of 57
Get rid of that arctic white ceiling and you'll be amazed on the improvement in the picture, probably the best (and cheapest) upgrade I ever did. If it wont pass the WAF try for the front third of the ceiling. Or, do like I did and tell her you just want to temporarily try it out, after it was done even she admitted that the picture was much improved.
post #11 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by avg joe View Post

1) How is the image quality with your particular model? When playing a DVD in widescreen are the black bars still visible on the top and bottom of the screen?

Since this is my first projector, I'm not sure I can say, although I think it blows away my cousin's Infocus X1 (although that is just a 480p projector, so maybe not a good comparison).

The "black bars" are visible if you are playing a movie that isn't 1.85:1. There are a lot of movies that are 2.35:1 resulting in black bars, although not as big as on a 4:3 (conventional) TV. The projector has some zoom features, but of course, being a purist, I would never do that to a movie. Original Aspect Ratio only for me.

Quote:
2) How is the noise factor on the projector? Any problems with the projector overheating and shutdown?

I have it on "economy mode" and only notice the projector (mounted on a 9 foot ceiling) in almost silent movie scenes, the AC kicking on is much more noticeable than the projector, so I call it "silent." I have used it for about 35 hours and no overheating problems at all.
post #12 of 57
Good luck. Sounds nice
post #13 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdputnam View Post

Get rid of that arctic white ceiling and you'll be amazed on the improvement in the picture, probably the best (and cheapest) upgrade I ever did. If it wont pass the WAF try for the front third of the ceiling. Or, do like I did and tell her you just want to temporarily try it out, after it was done even she admitted that the picture was much improved.

hmmm...what about some type of dark colored textured ceiling treatment? Could both give a different look and help acoustically. No "W" in the WAF equation, so I have free reign...well the dog might not like it, but he doesn't speak English well enough to get his point across
post #14 of 57
Anything darker than white would be an improvement.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver View Post

Have you gone to any of the Austin HT meets? There are several VERY nice ones around that were seen on the Tour last summer.

Where does one go to find out about these meets?
post #16 of 57
"Austin Movie Nights!" over on hometheaterforum.com (topic id is 78424) is likely the best bet. Seems to be the one most people watch. Been kind of slow as late but there been two little get together's in the last month.
post #17 of 57
I will certianly get in on this when I get down there. And host once my theater is up and running. I want to start now but no sence since I am moving soon.

Nate
post #18 of 57
Thread Starter 
Theater is 90% done (can one ever really be done with a Home Theater) and is being put to good use. Updates (with pictures) in the first post.

Now I just need some ideas for a name...hmmm...
post #19 of 57
Travis,

How do you like the Elite screen with your HD72? Can't tell from your photos if you got the matte white or grey?

I have a project very similar to yours in the works. Finishing the basement on a new house with one room a 11x23x10 dedicated theater. I have a new HD72 that will be 14' from the screen. I've been looking at the 106 & 120" Elite in grey.

Mark
post #20 of 57
Thread Starter 
I got the screen in a package deal for about the same price as the projector alone (at the time). I think it is a matte white 1.1 gain. I was surprised how well a job this screen does -- I was originally looking at Da-Lite and a couple of others before running across the package deal. So far I am very happy with it.
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivartk View Post

I got the screen in a package deal for about the same price as the projector alone (at the time). I think it is a matte white 1.1 gain. I was surprised how well a job this screen does -- I was originally looking at Da-Lite and a couple of others before running across the package deal. So far I am very happy with it.

How would you rate the frame construction and quality? Does it hold the screen material evenly without waves? Any hotspotting? What's your throw distance? Sorry to pepper you with questions, but there doesn't seem to be much info on the forum on the Elite screens despite the good reviews. Like you said, they seem like a good alternative to the Da-Lite especially as far as the frame is concerned. Still wrestling with grey vs. white with the HD72, so user feedback really helps.

Thanks for your comments,
Mark
post #22 of 57
Thread Starter 
The screen is very sturdy and went together very easily. I have seen no hot spots and it is been "wave-less" since day one. I have had it hanging since September. I hangs just like you would with a heavy mirror. I like the velvet border as it seems to absorb any "overscan" areas letting me not have to adjust the overscan on the projector.

My projector is about 13.5 feet back for a 100" 16:9 image. It is about 8" from the 9 foot ceiling and the bottom of the screen is about 36" above the floor.

However this is my first experience with a fixed frame screen. My cousin has an infocus 106" screen, but it is a pull down...I think mine is better as far as picture quality (we both have HD72's)

It got a good workout today...Dallas Football game and then Monster House with the niece and nephew (5 & 4). Other than the dog hair hanging on the front of the lens, the picture was great.
post #23 of 57
Hey Travis,

Greetings from a fellow Round Rocker. I just noticed your sig over in another section and thought I'd drop in. My theater sounds somewhat similar to yours. I have an 11x17 room with an InFocus IN76. Have you dropped by the Austin HT thread over at hometheaterforum.com that Driver mentioned below? It's been rather quiet, but I'd like to organize another get together if we can get enough interest.
post #24 of 57
Nice project Travis.

My room I'm designing now is identical in size. I have a 15' X 13.5' X 8' loft. I have 3 windows though. I plan to put a wall and doorway to seal off the room. I was thinking of going with a 92" as my seating would be around 13' from the screen. How far is the seating in your room from the screen?

Also can you post a link to where you purchased the wallplates for the VGA and HDMI? I would love to get those.
post #25 of 57
Thread Starter 
thanks...I finally got all my pictures (or at least the first 4) hung today. Tactile transducers are next along with some type of table to put snacks/drinks on.

The seating area is just a shade over 13 feet (when reclined, your eyes are probably 14 feet away). I probably should have gone with a 106" but the screen/projector was a package deal I couldn't pass up. 120" wouldn't be too big for me, but the room didn't have the needed throw distance.

The DVI/HDMI wall plate wasn't cheap (about $70 for just that plate and the necessary cables -- not including the cable that runs in the wall to the projector). I bought it and the cables here -- http://www.datapro.net/catalog/face_plates.html I think it was worth it to get the clean look.
post #26 of 57
PartsExpress has a HDMI wall plate. $23.64. PN is 186-522 and includes a pigtail.

So when's the meet?
post #27 of 57
Thread Starter 
I got the TES-100's installed and am using an old "hand me down" amp (actually a Sony 5.1 receiver that I saved from a terrible death). The effects are okay, but not what others describe...guess I will be looking for a new more powerful amp. Running the Sony at "VOLUME MAX" all the time probably isn't that good
post #28 of 57
Nice HT, I'm looking to do something very similar, although I have slightly larger room 17x20x9.5 with one window. What did you find was the best way to fish all the wires, or did you re-do all the drywall, I'm thinking to run all the wire I want to run, I would be better off ripping the drywall out and starting from scratch.

Thanks
P
post #29 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickCarter View Post

What did you find was the best way to fish all the wires, or did you re-do all the drywall.

Now, redoing drywall would be a lot of work...and a lot of people here have done it, but probably didn't keep their budget down like mine.

I am lucky that I have a single story house and the room is in the middle of the house, so no insulated walls. (even though insulation isn't that tough).

Cut holes for the plates in the walls, drilled holes in the header (in the attic), dropped cables down both ends. Filled holes to prevent air leakage. Pretty simple actually....but in Texas, you only do this in the winter...no way would I get in the attic in the summer
post #30 of 57
Very nice, im also looking to do something on a similar budget
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