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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, For the longest time now I've been wanting a home theater. Even when I was living at home, it had always been my goal but the way things worked out it just wasn't possible.


Going into my third year of college and suffering with a 27in CRT TV, I decided it was about damn time to do something about it. Hence, I said "The hell with the $900 security deposit" and decided to get one. And who knows, provided my landlord never comes over for the next year (and some creative spackling) maybe I can get away with it after all!


Equipment:


Optoma HD-65 Projector

JVC XV-BP1 Blu-Ray player (not visible in pictures because it's dissassembled ATM)

Cisco Explorer 8540HDC DVR

Cincinnati Bell Fiber Optic Digital Cable

Marantz SR4003 Receiver

Dantax Vision Two Speakers

Western Digital WDTV Media Player with 4 Terrabytes of Storage

Monster HTS3500 MK II power conditioner

Beyerdynamic DT770 80ohm headphones

Logitech Harmony One remote

DIY 110in screen with 2:40:1 masking panels

Track Lighting

Lutron Maestro IR controlled lighting

APC SmartUPS 2200VA

Blackout blinds on doors (trying to find a good motorized blackout blind for the window)


Starting out I knew I was going to face several challenges. First of all, while I decided to go ahead and break the apartment rules by ceiling mounting the projector, I had no way of getting the wiring through the walls (about 25ft distance). Second, I decided that I wanted a fixed frame screen for performance and looks, but I wanted to be able to remove it in 10 seconds if the landlord suddenly knocked on the door (why tempt fate more than you have to, right?). Therefore, I would have to build it to be super-lightweight and come up with an easy mounting scheme.


Even from the get-go, I knew that it was going to be impossible to get truly great performance during the day due to the high amount of ambient light. There are french doors directly opposite the screen, and a window in the kitchen. Also, the room is painted in a light color and I didn't want to get into repainting as I'll only be here for another year or two at the absolute most. Therefore, I went for a "make the best of the situation" approach. Also, I'm doing this on a college student piano performance major's budget so I can't get too extravagant.


Unfortunately, I don't have any build pictures. I was too busy and doing everything alone meant I didn't have someone else to take pictures during the process.


The only thing remaining that I really need is a subwoofer and a center channel speaker stand, both of which will be purchased with the next paycheck. I'm thinking about going 5.1 but seeing as how most of my listening is actually done with headphones, I'm not sure if it's worth it.


Before:





Results:


DIY 110in screen




I made this out of 1x2 strips with heavy duty metal corner braces and Joann Fabrics blackout cloth. I did it this way because it was very lightweight - I managed to make the entire thing under 30lbs which allows it to be hung on a single-nail picture hangar. I can remove it in under 5 seconds if I have to and it doesn't leave any damage on the wall. I ripped up the carpet to hide the speaker wires. The track lighting was installed by me as well (had to rip down the old fan to do it, another mark against my security deposit!) and is hooked up to a Lutron Maestro IR controller.


Masking Panels:




Made these out of foil backed foam, plastic edging, and black velvet from joann fabrics. Total cost - $30. It's amazing the difference in contrast that you notice when the black bars are gone. I measured them perfectly so they fit solidly with friction alone.


A shot of them installed:





Getting the Cables to the Projector:





I used cable raceway to solve the problem of not being able to fish the cables through the wall. You can see the raceway going from my equipment rack up to the ceiling mounted projector.


A projector shot:




Just a standard universal projector mount, it's done a great job so far.


Equipment Rack:




Nothing fancy here either. I'm trying to figure out a way to hide the wiring of the WDTV but it's tough considering there's 4 terrabytes of storage hooked up to it! As I said, the bluray player isn't in the picture as it's in pieces right now



Remote Shot:





I love this remote with a passion. I control the room lighting, the air conditioning, everything! Set it up so that all lights come on when I hit stop, it dims to favorite setting when I hit pause, and all lights go off when I hit play. Playing around the macros is a lot of fun. And I love the channel icons.


WDTV Shot




Love the WDTV too. Best $100 I even spent on electronics. I just wish I had an esata capable laptop - transferring over 1TB of data takes forever over USB.


And the best part is, if I want a snack this is only 10 feet away:




The breakfast bar doubles as great overflow seating for football and baseball games, as well as an awesome place to lay out Nacho's and pizza when I have people over for movie nights.


I'll try to get some screen pictures tonight after my class as well as some pics of the blackout treatments (I have a paper to do; I'm just procrastinating here).


Thanks for everything, I couldn't have put this together without the wealth of knowledge that I gained here.
 

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Great Job. You can easily put the apartment back in the shape you got it in when you move. I wouldn't worry too much there. Enjoy your setup!
 

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That is excellent! I can't see the landlord being upset as everything is easily reversable with spackel and touch up paint. Technically the screen isn't any different than a painting.


BRAVO !!


PS - careful about using a subwoofer - complaints about vibrations from your next door neighbors could be your un-doing with the landlord!!
 

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I remember my college apartment it smelled like empty beer bottles.
 

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I see one glaring problem if your landlord comes over and sees what you have done....
















He's gonna kick you out and move in
Great job for an apartment set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've done a lot of work on the apartment in general. I added the wine glass holder, the magnetic knife rack, the pot and pan rack, changed all of the outlet and switch covers (the old ones were so caked in paint the switches were hard to operate
), changed out everything in the bathroom, and now I'm installing the lutron maestro system in the bedroom as well because I like it so much. For $39 you just can't beat it!


The entire 2nd bedroom of the apartment is filled with the dirty, ugly, or broken stuff that I ripped out when I moved in (gotta save it so I can reinstall it when I move out).


EDIT: BTW, can anyone recommend a fairly priced mechanical blackout shade or blind that can be controlled with IR so I can use it with my Logitech remote? That window lets in a ton of ambient light and it's fairly difficult to reach it anyway so I might as well replace it.
 

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 http://www.remotecontrolcurtain.com/


Heres a website for you to look at. They offer options for curtains, roman shade, roller shade, and/or vertical blinds. The most economical being the roller shade or curtains though.
 

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I have question about your lutron lighting.

- Where did you buy those control?

- If I have three dimmer switches that I want to replace with the lutron dimmer IR. Will each dimmer has each own IR code and how do you set it up in harmony so that when you press play it will turn off all the light? IS that mean that I would have three lighting devices?

- If I have three dimmer, how is harmony going to know which one is which?


thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotelmania /forum/post/16920880


I have question about your lutron lighting.

- Where did you buy those control?

- If I have three dimmer switches that I want to replace with the lutron dimmer IR. Will each dimmer has each own IR code and how do you set it up in harmony? IS that mean that I would have three lighting devices?


thanks

The nice thing is that you can buy them at any home depot or lowes. The downside is that they DON'T have individual IR codes - all of the lights will respond at once. You'll have to upgrade to RF if you want individual light control. I guess that's why it's only $39.


Harmony has the codes built in so it's easy to set up.
 

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You have to work with what you have, but you have done a terrific job. Welll done!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxical3 /forum/post/16921194


Harmony has the codes built in so it's easy to set up.

Couldn't you use a repeater and then identify each one in the Harmony remote and program a button for each?
 

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Waaaayyyy better than my college accommodations. I had a 13 b&w tv, alarm clock, microwave, oh ya and hold on a RADIO! Man you have a killer setup for a college man.


Nice work.


Regards,


RTROSE
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdeuce /forum/post/16923324


Couldn't you use a repeater and then identify each one in the Harmony remote and program a button for each?

I think the problem would be that the Lutron dimmers have a huge field of view - I can point the remote down the opposite hallway and the dimmer will still pick up the command. I would think that if you have multiple dimmers in the same room that there would be no way to ensure that the IR commands only got to the dimmers that you want to receive the codes.
 
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