I've lived in apartment buildings my entire adult life, so a lot of my home theater dreams were just that - dreams. No real chances to let a subwoofer loose or set up front projection.
This summer I finally found a place in a part of town I liked and best of all it had space I immediately could plan out in my head.
Here are some before pics of the basement:
I knew I liked the open "media room" concept over a dedicated home theater. When my friends get together at someones house it is often a special sporting event - Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, Pitt games, etc. So I favored a place that prioritized entertaining above absolute perfect sound and video (as if I had the budget for either
This is what we came up with:
The main components:
Epson 2030 projector
Onkyo TX-NR626 7.2 receiver
2x Sony SS-F5000 tower speakers
1x Sony SS-CN5000 center channel speaker
4x Sony SS-B1000 bookshelf speakers
2x Sony SA-W2500 subwoofers
Why so many Sony speakers? Well, for a while I worked at Sears on the side and Sony was about the only speakers they carried. I was able to get a bunch of open box items far off the normal selling prices. Someday I'd like to have better speakers, but for the time being I'll be blissfully ignorant of what those would sound like
I went with a DIY spandex screen, using silver over white. Im not 100% confident I made the right choice, but I am happy with it. I tried drapping the pieces of fabric over the frame before stapling, and the silver seemed to give me "deeper/more saturated" hues. The colors just looked richer.
I had every intention of trying to hang the screen off of the wall and I just propped it onto a tv stand while I was setting everything up. But given the projector and mount geometry it is the perfect height off the ground. So it will stay until I can build a little "cabinet" to sit the screen on. And I know I need to hide the subwoofer cables a bit better before we have company.
I have a 50" Panasonic TC-P50S1 I am going to put in the area to the right of the screen. I just need to finish clearing out my apartment this week so I can get the tv stand from there into my basement.
My sources are:
Niveus Vail HTPC running LibreELEC
Raspberry Pi 2 running LibreELEC (3D MVC player)
Xbox One (primary streaming and bluray disc player)
Xbox 360 (primary cable/DVR/ATSC device)
Everything is set up in the area behind the bar on a large shelf. I'm using a Monoprice IR repeater and a Harmony 650 to control everything.
I'm a WMC pro, but a total novice when it comes to Kodi. In my living room (and in the past) I've tried to cram as many functions into my HTPC as possible, so WMC was really the only option for cable. But in the basement I am trying to specialize functions a bit more.
I bought the Niveus PC on ebay a few years ago dirt cheap. It has a bluray drive but I haven't figured out how to make that work with Kodi. I installed a small SSD and LibreElec boots in seconds.
I intend to learn Cinema Experience on Kodi and have it serve as my main movie player. I can get most of my cable channels on it as well, but I still use WMC as my DVR so I often flip over to that for television.
I have a series of HDMI splitters and matricies set up so I can play my Xbox One up in my living room, as well as put it on any display in the basement. I can also utilize my Silicondust tuners to get live tv into it as well, and I can then send three different sources to the projector, the soon to be 50" Panasonic tv, and the 37" Element LCD inside the bar.
A few other pics of the basement. I know I still have some tidying to do, but I've been enjoying it too much to finish!