AVS Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Gruhin Family Theater


I have been trolling AVS for a long time now and decided

that since my theater project is nearing completion,

I would post, letting everyone know that this site

and the posts of other members has been a great inspiration

to me during my first theater project.


I will begin the story with details of how we came to own our current house.


My fiance and I were living in an apartment complex which unfortunately

burned to the ground due to faulty electrical wiring with the building.

A few months in a hotel and some nice insurance money later

we purchased our first home together.


Built in 1953 it had a bit to be desired but the price was right and

plenty of rooms!

(5 bedrooms, 3 bath, a partially finished Basement and 2 car attached garage)


It has always been my wish to have a Man Cave so to speak but...

the fiance was not having it, she did not want a room in the home

dedicated to beer drinking and my drunken buddies.


So we came to a compromise, a family theater/game room,

and I could design it however I wanted within reason,

without any remodeling & my modest budget of around $6,000.


I set off on a quest to get the most bang for my buck

and to make the room as clean and clutter free as possible when finished.


I was not so great about documenting my build as I was just trying to get it

done within an acceptable WAF time frame.

Things Still to Change:


Carpet needs to be changed

Asbestos Acoustic Ceiling Tiles....I could leave them and they are not hurting

anyone but I just don't like them being there

Riser for sofa, and 2 more matched recliners for another row of seating

Perhaps a small stage under the screen

Equipment Used:


Epson Cinemalite 720p

Yamaha YSP-900 & matched Yamaha Sub

Lutron IR Dimmers

Logitech Harmony 550 Remote

ATLONA 4 Port Component Video Switch w/ IR Learning

Sony DSS Modulator/IR Sender over Coax (used for IR only)

SA8300HDC HD PVR Cable Box

Nintendo Wii

Belkin PureAV Battery Backup/Line Conditioner

Custom HTPC Runing Vista Ultimate (I know but it works)

All Cables from Monoprice.com


Items In Rack Not Specifically Theater Related:



Netgear FS726TP POE 24 port Smart Switch with GB

Cobalt Raq3i converted to IPcop Firewall/Router

Linksys wrt54g running DD-WRT with Panel Antenna in garage

Dell Dimension running Trixbox for whole home VOIP System

(Phone on wall in some pics is an Aastra 480i, which are deployed througout the house using POE)

Rest Of Home AV Equipment:


3 x Vizio VX32L 32" 720p LCDs

1 x Vizio VO47LF 47" 1080p LCD

1 x Hanns-G 22" LCD Monitor with HDMI in for Kitchen TV

4 x Linksys DMA-2100 MCE Extenders

1 x Xbox 360 (Used only as MCE Extender/DVD player)


(One of the VX32L sets is hooked up to cable only for Clear QAM)


HTPC:


Core 2 Duo e6400

4GB Ram

Nvidia 8600GT

Lite-On BD-Drive

3x250 GB Drives for Boot, Programs

1x500 GB Drive Recorded TV

2TB (4x750) GB Raid 5 Storage

2x AVC-3610 Dual Analog USB Tuners, 4 Analog Tuners

2x SiliconDust HDHomeruns, 4 HD Tuners

Intel 1000MT NIC for GB


Games:


Ms. Pacman (Saved from our apartment fire, needs some TLC now, the glass cracked in the heat but it still works!)

Family Guy Pinball NEW!! (My 1975 Williams Grand Prix pinball machine did not survive the fire....Hooray Insurance!)


Now on to the pics


These first 2 pics were actually taken when we looked at the house with our Real Estate Agent, who is pictured in one of the photos






This next image is just after I had painted most of the room to get rid

of the White walls and the new theater sofa was delivered. I would have loved Berklines

however budget dictated I look outside the box and found this

gem at Value City Furniture, with ottoman and delivered for $999.00,

4 cup holders storage bins between end recliners and a storage ottoman. Even my dog Shadow loves it!










Below is a photo of "The Brains of the House",


I am a network guy at heart so my theater project is really a mix of

Whole Home Networking and Home Theater.

I knew I wanted to watch my movies in any room of the house and I also know I am

as lazy as the next guy when it comes to loading the DVD player. So Vista

with Media Center seemed like a good fit and the extenders on ebay are

pretty cheap at about $200 each.


I spent a lot of time ripping the movies I had which survived the fire and

rebuilding my collection, but I am happy to say I have about 800 movies

stored on my main HTPC and can watch them in any room of the house.


My equipment makes a lot of noise not really being designed for a quiet

theater environment but I luckily had space under the steps next to my

theater room in which to install everything!






The rest of the pics are pretty much just the room as it is today.

I will call it 90% completed at this point.


I still have some painting to touch up but nothing major.

I have the candy stand pretty much stocked and ready for movie night.


Early Pics of the room













Paneling Removed to Pull Wire




Game Area





More Movie Posters and New Light Fixtures




Candy Stand & Some Movie Posters





Lots of Benjamin Moore Eggshell Black Paint....





Lutron IR Dimmer




Picture coming down the stairs





I hope you enjoy my pics and if you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them!



Thank You AVS!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here are a few additional pics:

New curtains up ceiling paint finished.



A little more paint on the panels and we will be good to go.



The doorway leads to the unfinished side....

Laundry and a large room I would Like to finish and make an Arcade
.



Just another angle




Media Center In Action With Custom Hacked Menus




MyMovies Plugin for MCE displaying some of my HD titles.

Viewable from any room of the house!





Spider-Man 3 Blu-Ray Action!




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Awesome room!! What is that movie library? Did you download movies to something and you dont have to use a disc player each time?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The movie library is MyMovies for MCE.


I do not know if i can post links, so I will just say use Google and search for MyMovies for MCE.


Basically I took my dvds and ripped them to my MCE machine so I do not need to worry about loading discs or even have a DVD Jukebox.


The best part is, that while using the Media Center Extenders on other TVs in the house the interface is the same and the collection is viewable in any other room.


The extenders also allow me to watch anything I have recorded from TV in any room of the house from the 8 Tuners I have in the system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So Carpet....


I am looking for some input based on the rest of the room.


We want it to be comfy on the feet but durable for our extensive Wii Playing!


I found something I liked at Home Depot..I know not the best place for carpet, it was commercial grade and solid black color with a bit of a pattern to it, but ended up being like $23.00/SqYrd and that seems pretty expensive.


I also need something which will not show all of my Dog's fur she has shed!


Thanks For the Help
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bos98 /forum/post/14183346


So Carpet....


I am looking for some input based on the rest of the room.


We want it to be comfy on the feet but durable for our extensive Wii Playing!


I found something I liked at Home Depot..I know not the best place for carpet, it was commercial grade and solid black color with a bit of a pattern to it, but ended up being like $23.00/SqYrd and that seems pretty expensive.


I also need something which will not show all of my Dog's fur she has shed!


Thanks For the Help

Berber always works in a basement, go to a store and see what kind of pads they have that you can afford. As for color, your dog is black so you will need some black in the pattern on order too hide the fur.


That fur much really show up on the red couches.


Griff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by griff32 /forum/post/14188676


Berber always works in a basement, go to a store and see what kind of pads they have that you can afford. As for color, your dog is black so you will need some black in the pattern on order too hide the fur.


That fur much really show up on the red couches.


Griff

Thanks for the advice, I have never purchased carpet before but figured the pad was pretty important.


The carpet I have is currently just glued to the floor.


As for the dog.... I love her but i have to vacuum everything she touches on the regular!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
How many movies can you hold on your hardrive? I am very interested in purchasing a HTPC. My needs are the following, any help is much appreciated. What should I expect to pay? and which too look at?

1) create movie library (holding as many movies as possible) That is catagorized. I assume MCE would catagorize them.

2) Use of internet

3) Games (xbox, Wi) this is the least of my concerns but kids may have a say in that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by augieboy /forum/post/14216132


How many movies can you hold on your hardrive? I am very interested in purchasing a HTPC. My needs are the following, any help is much appreciated. What should I expect to pay? and which too look at?

1) create movie library (holding as many movies as possible) That is catagorized. I assume MCE would catagorize them.

2) Use of internet

3) Games (xbox, Wi) this is the least of my concerns but kids may have a say in that.
1.) Well storage of movies depends on many variables.


I encode my DVDs at 1.4GB per movie for a 2 hour feature film.


Based on my 2TB storage array I can store approximately 1462 movies give or take.


Now High Def Material is another story, depending on how you encode (I use x264 for video) I can get 1080p material down to about 8.5GB per 2 hour film.


MCE itself has a horrid video browser, which is why I am using MyMovies plugin for MCE which can do just about anything you want in terms of categorizing your collection.

2.) My machine is a dedicated Media center machine, I rarely use it to do normal computer tasks such as web browsing. However when I do use it for such tasks the most important factor is decent wireless controls and I am using a Microsoft MCE Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse combo. I think it is the entertainment 7000 series

3.) My gaming system of choice is the Wii. It is hooked up outside of the MCE experience and that is what I recommend. I have a 360 upstairs in our exercise room as an extender and dvd player only we dont have any games for it.


As for the cost of the HTPC system.... That is up in the air. What is your budget?


I can make some recommendations depending on what you want to do.


In terms of recording, how many things do you want to record at once?


How many of those recordings need to be HD (either ATSC or Clear QAM)?


How many movies do you want to store?


Do you want redundancy for your data?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
bos98, just cam across your thread and I admire your setup. I just made the media center splash, although I've been using Vista for some time. I purchased a DSM-750 for the bedroom and plan on adding more extenders to distribute content.


Just a few questions. How well do you like your skeletek rack system? It seems pretty affordable.


You state that you have 8 tuners? Are the sources the same? How do you configure that in VMC? I have a dual tuner but one STB. I can control one tuner but not the other. When I configure the tuners its looking for a second STB.


Good to see MCE being showcased!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockChok
bos98, just cam across your thread and I admire your setup. I just made the media center splash, although I've been using Vista for some time. I purchased a DSM-750 for the bedroom and plan on adding more extenders to distribute content.


Just a few questions. How well do you like your skeletek rack system? It seems pretty affordable.


You state that you have 8 tuners? Are the sources the same? How do you configure that in VMC? I have a dual tuner but one STB. I can control one tuner but not the other. When I configure the tuners its looking for a second STB.


Good to see MCE being showcased!
The Skeletek rack is a great rack for the money easy to assemble and pretty sturdy.


As for my tuners, here is the setup.


2 AVC-3610 Dual Usb Tuners, hooked up to straight Analog Cable, NO Set top boxes.


2 Silicondust HDHomeruns, hooked up to cable for clear QAM.


The Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC is run directly to the 4 port component switch I have and is then only hooked in to the projector for viewing in the theater. If I want to watch something from premium cable in another room I can either record it on the 8300 and then use firewire to pull it off the box and store it on the server or just torrent for the shows I care to watch like Weeds, since I am paying for the show and the channels anyway I don't exactly feel so wrong about that.


To get all the tuners working I found a great little program and I will attach it here. It does all the registry editing for you to get the tuners setup. Just run the mce setup wizard and install one tuner for analog and if you have a second card for digital antenna or qam set one of those up.


Once that is done quit MCE and run the tuner program and just setup the others that you have.


As for STBs in MCE if you want to hook one up and have a dual tuner setup or more you need a STB for each card, there is only one guide data source and you cant mix and match in the standard cable realm, only analog and atsc/qam right now.

 

MCETunerAppv2.0.exe.zip 133.7080078125k . file
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
I am looking down the road to do the HTPC setup as well.. i just want to be able to watch movies from any room in the house without having to lug discs all over the place



will have to IM you at a later date when i get closer to that ...


Love the theater seats you have as well.. look very very inviting
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The functionality of the system is also extended through out the entire house. Everything uses the same interface and remote controls creating a unified whole home experience.


These pics were taken with my iPhone so they are not that great. The first 3 are our Living Room and the 4th is the Kitchen.







 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Awesome setup. I hope that someday I can accomplish something like it. Right now I just don't have the space.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top