Sorry I vanished again but work is nuts and has to take priority over my fun. The theater has moved along some finally. Trim is done and we are ready for stain. I will post pics tomorrow with any luck. I had a problem with my infocus 333 and sent it back to infocus for repairs under warrantee. They sent it back after 2 months and it would not even come on so they issued an rma for another trip to the factory. We will see where that goes.
Anyway, I wanted to post some pics of the reason my theater took a back seat. I have my office just about finished. Yeah I know that an office is not a dedicated home theater but I thought some might find it interesting. It has 2 dlp projectors, a 37” lcd and my two desktop lcds and it was a custom diy build. When we moved in the house had a typical layout with the dining room on one side of the entry and a useless living room on the other side (there is a family room that gets used all the time). Right behind the dining room was a small 10 x 13 office so we did some mods to turn the living room into a dining room (that never get’s used) then walled in the dining room and knocked the wall out between it and the office. Easier to just show a picture below.
I found a deal at an old mill nearby for a stack of solid cherry 3/8” beadboard so I carted it home and used it for wainscoating. I always wanted to do a room in natural cherry because I think it is a beautiful wood. I had maple hardwood layed on the floor which is great contrast with the cherry. I built cherry cabinets to go behind the desk and a desktop out of solid 2” thick cherry ( 96” x 42”). To top it off I put in a cherry soffit all around the room then painted the ceiling black to hide all the stuff up there. My wife thought I was nuts of course but I do a lot of videoconferencing and I wanted to be able to put lighting, sonex panels, etc up there and not worry about how it looked. Here is the look of it. It looks like this:
Pardon the legs of the desk. I decided after we were finishing that they looked to plain so I am getting a little more wainscoating and will do them the same as the walls.
For electronics I have a 2 PC’s I built using HTPC techniques learned here. They have solid state drives, silent fans and power supplies, etc. Each has a dualhead graphics card and the output goes into a video DA which feeds both a dualhead KVM switch going to my desk as well as an extron matrix switcher. From my desk I can hotkey between the two pc’s and both monitors switch together. The matrix switch drives a 37” lcd tv on the other side of the room and 2 dlp projectors tiled onto a custom 8:3 aspect ratio, 10’ wide screen at the far end of the room. This way I can for instance put the first pc onto my desktop monitors and tile the second one across the two projectors at the far end of the room.
i also do a lot of videoconferencing on a dedicated T1 from glowpoint (www.glowpoint.com
) so the 37” has a ptz camera above it and the output of the polycom can be routed to any of the screens. I have a standard studio 3 point lighting setup done with track fixtures (key, fill and backlight). When I do videoconferences I use an in-ear monitor driven by a shure wireless in-ear unit. The whole video thing paid for itself in 3 months with not only reduced travel but also meetings that I was able to participate in that I would not have flown for due to logistics. Finally I just ebayed a crown dc-75a 1U amp and a pair of black axiom speakers that will be mounted on the ceiling in front of the desk aimed back at me. in the pics below i still need to wrap the black panel under the tv with speaker grill cloth.
Learning from home theater builds I thought ahead about how to run wires and access equipment. I ran a 4” pvc drain pipe under the floor before the basement was finished which comes up inside the leg of my desk. The other end comes up behind my cabinets so that even if you are under my desk you don’t see any wires. The only thing on the desk are the monitors, keyboard and mouse and all the video, usb, etc go under the floor to the racks behind me. I cut an access panel into the coat closet so that I can stand in the triangular space behind my equipment racks. All phone, network, video, UPS, audio, etc is in that room.
This has been a huge job but I am really thrilled with how it has come out. With work as busy as it has been it took to 2 years to get the office together and I still have a few finishing touches to do. I am most happy with how clean the desk looks with no drawers, computers, wires, etc. As a woodworker I am very pleased with all the natural cherry and maple and even little details like the doors to the cabinets have solid wood raised panels turned backwards rather than plywood panels. It is a dumb little detail but it really makes it feel like it is done right to me.
now back to the theater!