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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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)
Chromecast Audio

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!













Network map:

 

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Great room or should I say man cave (....I mean man and woman cave). I really like the Reagan 80's idea and of course, now I want Reagan on my wall.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really like the Reagan 80's idea and of course, now I want Reagan on my wall.
I'm 31 and feel like movies peaked around the time I was born. Terminator, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Star Wars - so many of my personal favorites and Hollywood keeps going back to them. I've always really taken to 80s music too (for some reason).

I was at a party supply store and noticed the Reagan portrait. They had a bunch of different presidents, presumably for school teachers to hang up in the class room.

We are big Red Letter Media fans and in one episode of Best of the Worst they had Reagan's portrait in focus in the background. So I bought it as a gag and we decided to hang it below that puzzle. Well, I decided to. She thinks he looks creepy.

And besides - he was an actor - that seems appropriate as a theater decoration :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Most important question is whats to todays drink special? Ill come over and taste test for ya!

Looks nice tho! Now im thirsty.
I've done some home brewing in the past (in bottles only) and i'd like to get back into it. This time in kegs though. So I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a minifridge that could hold two thin kegs.

My girlfriend is a bartender and does a great job mixing drinks. I've never been a cocktail person but I do really enjoy the ones she whips up.

Unfortunately about the only thing I have to serve is Bud Light Platinum (there might be a few Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpins left too).
 

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I used to have a kegerator. I kinda miss it, nothing beats draft beer. I've always thought about trying to brew my own but have never gotten around to it. Maybe some day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Love the wood on the walls!
We debated what dark wall color would work well with them - dark green, maroon, blue. I kind of tried to do a Pitt scheme (hence the yellow bar stools and coming yellow pub table) so thats where the blue walls came from.

I'm the 3rd owner, and I get the sense the original owner was into wood working. They finished the basement themselves, and outside in the back of the room there are some really intricately cut shelves. And along the stairs - the wood going up the wall at the stair well is so perfectly measured and cut.
 

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Nice setup you have there and looks like a great area to hang out.
. I'm glad you finally made your dream....a reality.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I finally finished clearing out my old place last week and set up my 50" Panasonic S1 plasma. I'm using an Xbox 360 as the source. The Steelers open the NFL season against the Pats on September 10th, and the Pirates are also in action that night. So I'm thinking that will be the first big event at the house.

I need to come up with some kind of door for that open space going back to the laundry room. I really don't want to have a traditional door, but I can't think of anything else that would look ok there.





the long suffering Browns fan cheering on her team:



the new Xbox One NFL app, with Yahoo Fantasy updates on the side snap bar:

 

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Discussion Starter #14
I tided some things up ahead of our first party.



Last item is being delivered today - a kegerator!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Everything is stocked ahead of the big house warming cookout on Sunday and opening Steeler game the following Thursday.

Our first 2 kegs were Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Shocktop. Trying to decide what to get for Sunday. I'm fortunate to have a large distributor not too far away that has a huge selection of 1/6th craft kegs in stock AND can fill a CO2 tank.



 

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Discussion Starter #17
So far we've had two house warming parties and (drum roll) an engagement party!

We've kicked sixtels of the Torpedo, Shocktop, local brew Rivertowne Hala Kahiki pineapple ale, and Landshark.
 

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Congratulations on the engagement and I like the multiple displays.

I've got to come up with a way to get a signal to multiple displays like you have. Ever since Comcast required "boxes" to access content, I have only had the projector in my room. I miss the days of having three or four things on at once, but not enough to give Comcast more money each month for more boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I make it happen with a SiliconDust HDHR Prime cablecard tuner. I already have the htpcs, the Xbox 360s, and the Xbox One.

The Prime allows me to turn all those gadgets i already own into cable boxes.

I can tune 3 channels at once with it. I also have an atsc tuner on my htpc that my 360s can access.

My old Android phone (HTC One S) can be plugged into an hdmi display. I can use WatchESPN, NBC Sports Live, and NFL Sunday Ticket on that as well.
 
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