First, some background about the setup at my prior house, nearly all of which was brought with me and stored in what will be the new theater space.
The original McTheatre (McTheatre Legacy? I just borrowed that from the screenshot below. I think I'll keep it.) was a living-room integration with partial light control and some improvised acoustic treatment, but no acoustic isolation from the rest of the house (bachelor life!). It evolved over several years through my late 20s - below is the final setup as it was removed in 2015 for the move.
By AVS standards, much of what you will see is cringeworthy and by no means special. I had big plans for this room - but instead I left the projector hung, sat on my butt, and the big plans gradually mattered a lot less than enjoying my equipment.
I actually don't have any good shots of the room with the lights up. Probably because I didn't put the work in to make the room meet my vision for it. Nonetheless... it was 2 rows of seating (couches) with 6" can lights overhead controlled by a RF-operated dimmer. Extremely budget-minded, effective for setting and changing light levels from my chair, but not automated.
As it was a living-room integration, there was an exterior french door on the left wall (blackout curtains were installed so I could close them for daytime PJ viewing), and two open doorways to the rest of the house along the right wall (one right of the screen, the other right of the seating). I did not convert to a dark color scheme since it was an open living area, which is plainly visible in the image splash on the ceiling.
Here is a highly cluttered shot of the screen wall - I believe this is when I had first brought the 18" sub cabinets in from the shop and installed the drivers, hence the oddly misplaced coffee table and rubble everywhere. The tape mark on the ceiling was where I was about to install an IR target.
And the rack, just around the corner from seating. I must have been cabling something at the time, with the side panels off and velcro ties nearby.
Let's not dwell on the speaker cables "temporarily" taped down to the carpet (which stayed like that until the day I moved out), or the mess of game console cabling. Please.
I work in IT, and the rack was a beige Compaq unit which a client declined to keep after a facility move. I was able to convert it to 20" depth which works great for AV gear and allows for easy cable management.
McTheatre Legacy equipment list:
- Infocus SP5000 (2007, 720p LCD). This purchase was influenced by AVS and projector central - I needed a sub-$1000 light cannon to compete with the lack of light control in the room.
- DIY 49" x 87" 16:9 screen, painted on a section of existing drywall. I sanded off the texture, primed many coats while filling minor imperfections and wet-sanding, painted Behr Pewter Mug with back-rolling technique, added velvet-wrapped border made of bevel-cut 2x4s. All thanks to researching in the AVS DIY Screen forum. In 2007, prefab screens did not meet my budget requirements.
- Pioneer Elite VSX-49TX - upgraded from Elite VSX-25TX, and I don't remember which Pro Logic AVR came before that.
- MiniDSP for sub EQ processing (4-way advanced plug-in). It's a bare MiniDSP board which I grafted into a blank 1U rack enclosure - front panel has USB for programming and power LED; rear panel has XLR inputs/outputs wired to the board with shielded balanced microphone cable.
- MiniDSP measurement mic and REW for sub measurement and EQ adjustment. The selection of these MiniDSP components was knowledge gained from the AVS DIY Subwoofer forum.
- Crown XLS-402D x 3 powering LCR channels, bass shakers installed in seating, and "aux" passive 12" sub (more on that later)..
- Crown XTi 4000 powering subs (a DIY Sub forum favorite, when people aren't buying Behringers!)
- Modified Tripp-Lite PDU (using a relay and setting it up for 12V trigger from the AVR) to control power to the pro amps, since they lack trigger input or signal sensing
- Mains: Infinity RS-5 (all are late 1990s RS series. RS-5 is a MTM tower, two 6.5s and 1" silk dome, ported)
- Center: Infinity RS-3 (same drivers as RS-5, in bookshelf format, single woofer)
- Surrounds: Infinity RS-2 x 6 (same woofer as RS-5 and RS-3, with 1/2 poly tweeter)
- Subs: Two Dayton Reference HO 18s in DIY small sealed enclosures (4 ft^3 each) - built with my eye on tuning the low end using the DSP - heavily influenced by the AVS DIY Subwoofer forum. I call them "the twins". This room build WILL drive me to finally paint the bare MDF enclosures.
- "Aux" sub: Infinity BU-120 with the no-freaking-good plate amp bypassed (powered by 1 channel of an XLS-402D, and signal runs through the MiniDSP). For times when the 18s would be uncivilized, I can run this and still enjoy "some" LFE.
- Emerson/Leibert GXT3 1500VA battery backup (with a proper power inlet and cabling to the PJ outlet, to battery-protect the PJ)
Source gear has varied through the years but includes two Elite DV-F07 DVD carousels, some form of CATV/Sat STB, BD player, and game consoles.
Now, with that out of the way, on to the new room!
- I found some earlier pics of the old room, attached below, in various states in the earlier years. Looks like the projector was first hung in 2007, and eventually I fished the signal cable to the PJ, moved the "equipment cabinet" out of the room, then acquired the 4-post rack much later. By no means a dedicated space!