Eric's Theater

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Eric_L, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I have finally begun building my MAN CAVE!!!! It is almost finished with framing at this stage. I was thinking about the man-cave and what I am going to put in it when it dawned on me that I have never shared any photos of my home theater, even though I have been a member here for several years. I have a home theater already, so the man-cave is bonus space. I'll discuss that more later. I figure it is about time I share about my home theater; but first a bit about it.

     

    When we decided to create a home theater we considered a dedicated room with theater seating, but decided against it. I have a family of five, and when we watch a movie the kids like to snuggle with us. We also want to be comfortable and able to stretch out our legs when we want. It is also important to be close to the kitchen... and bathroom. We decided that we would make our living room convert into a theater.

     

    We did so and haven't looked back. We love out theater! We love that it has several formats we can use. We love that it is the focus of our entire home. We can watch family movies, slide shows,box office hits, sports, Xbox or whatever.

     

    Here is what we did. In the first two pictures you will see our 'standard' format. This is for typical daytime viewing. You may notice that I have closed the blinds on the deck in order to prevent glare (the windows face west and you will note the time is 5pm) This is what we call our small screen; a 52" Toshiba.

     

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/image/id/360479/width/1000/height/800http://www.hometheaterforum.com/image/id/360481/width/1000/height/800

     

    -btw -sorry photos are sorta blurry - I was in a hurry to get these photos before our kids could mess up the room and I was using my iPhone.

     

    Let me break for a moment to discuss sound. We have a center channel in the cabinet right below the Toshiba LCD TV and the front r/l channels are at the top corners of the wall case. They are Infinity Beta 20 speakers. We have a 700w 15" Velodyne Sub in the bottom right of the case. We really needed that power because the ceilings in the room are nearly 20' in some places. You'll also note that we put the rear di-pole speakers on stands right behind the sectional. (which does recline) We tried the rears on the walls but found that they overshot the sofa. (most people sit with their ears slightly LOWER than the sofa back) Placing them on the stands improved the sound 100%. In fact - I would recommend to someone that the importance of your theater components is as follows: 1) Proper placement and balance of your surround sound. 2) Picture size and quality. 3) Sound quality. They are all important, but sound balance is more important that picture size in delivering the theater experience in my humble opinion. I have listened to higher quality speakers, and I can note the difference - but proper balance is more important that ultra-high sound quality - and so too is picture quality; once you have that down THEN you can work on getting the rich warmth from your strings in the music track.

     

    back to my theater;

     

    In the second set of photos you can see what we watch when it is time for a 'real' movie... That is a 120" screen. It is slightly washed out because I have not fully darkened the room so that you can see the details. It never gets fully dark in there during daytime, but dark enough we don't have to wait until night time to watch a movie. And yes, every now and then I'll let the kids connect the games or even the PC to it. I am quite happy overall, though I think my next screen will be a darker gray and tensioned. This screen has a slight blemish in the bottom right from a household accident, but the picture never projects there so it is only a distraction, and one I can live with.

     

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/image/id/360483/width/1000/height/800http://www.hometheaterforum.com/image/id/360485/width/1000/height/800

     

     

     

    The man-cave I am building will NOT have a theater. It will have a TV (in fact a few) and I plan on transplanting the game consoles to it. I may even go three-D - we'll see what is up with the Toshiba no-glasses 3D first. That part of my house will be for other pursuits, and when it is done I'll share some photos of what I've done with it.

     

    So anyway - here it is. I may add more photos later. As my man cave gets completed I may post it here to, or maybe I'll do another thread.

     

     

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/image/id/360487/width/1000/height/800
     
  2. Eva2100

    Eva2100 Auditioning

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    it seems nice/img/vbsmilies/htf/thumbsup.gif
     
  3. AgnesC

    AgnesC Auditioning

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    Two thumbs up mate!
    Your home theater is very nice. Yah! I notice that the picture is some kinda blurred.
    Good thing that you got some pics before your kids got ruined the room LOL!
    _______________________
    net curtains
     
  4. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    It took a while, but my MANCAVE is done. We built a workshop, bedroom, bathroom, MANCAVE with upper loft and a spare room with an extra-large storage closet. We are super pleased with it. Here are some photos;

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    Eric- On the theater very nice, I think its great when people add a projector to a multi-purpose room. The man cave is fantastic! I've told my wife we are remodeling! The chess set, the train tracks in the bar and the chalk board wall are all amazing. You can tell you put a lot of thought into the space. Please add more pics when you have time.

    How did you do the chalk board wall? Is it actual chalk board panels or a special wall paint?
     
  6. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Thanks Adam;

    I am really pleased with how it came out. The chess set was my middle son's idea. We got a tarp the same size as the planned checkerboard during construction and moved it to various parts of the room to sample where it should be placed. At one point I was going to place it in the center as a medallion in the room. I am glad I didn't. It was too big plus I prefer the subtlety of 'hiding' it under the cocktail table. If you are curious - that is a stained concrete floor.

    Of everything in there I am most pleased with my train set. As a child I was HUGE into model trains. This lasted through age 19 when I left for university. I entrusted my layout to my older brother when my folks sold the house. He stored it in his shop and it got destroyed. Now that my kids are older I have time for hobbies again. I had told my wife that one of the first things I wanted to build in the new air conditioned workshop (not shown) was a coffee table train. We were looking at designs for the bar as we discussed this and the light bulb went off for both of us!

    The track you see is a temporary layout, about a 50' continuous double loop. I put it down in about 12 hours right before Christmas. Later this year I will be doing the permanent layout with turnouts, a roundhouse, a town, beach and vineyard with mountains and tunnels. I'll be limited in heights, but I should be able to adequately model a valley with the mountains just starting at the sides. I grew up in the wine country and I now live on the Gulf of Mexico - hence the scenery. I have already built a scale replica of the house I grew up in and the bar I frequented in college. I also plan to build a replica of my current house, my wife's childhood home, the church we were married in, and a few others as mood strikes me. In one of the photos you can see the house I grew up in at the center of a track loop.

    The chalkboard wall was the biggest challenge for us. It really wasn't that hard, but our paint contractor tried to make it so. The material we used is a special chalkboard paint - but not the kind you get at Home Depot. It is oil based and the same stuff they use for ping-pong tables. After two unsuccessful attempts to put it on with complicated techniques, I did some research and asked the painter to put it on very thinly and to dry roll the crap out of it. I should never have told him it was chalkboard paint. I should have told him it was flat-black paint going onto an untextured wall. He would have got it right the first time then. Anyway - the final coat went on quite well - no orange peel or runs. There were a few very very faint roller lines you could see - but only a jackass would complain - considering the purpose. It is literally impossible to see any roller lines once the first layer of chalk went on - even knowing where to look.

    The chalkboard wall has been the highlight. Everyone loves it. It is versatile too - we can decorate it for holidays and birthdays. I have drawn a caveman drawing on it (it is a mancave afterall) depicting cavemen taking down a mastodon, celebrating over a few beers, then getting home late and facing the old lady. Oh, and btw - that is a 52" Plasma 3d tv on the wall. I also just mounted my rear speakers under the balcony rail last week.

    Oh yes, almost forgot my beers. I have a dual-tap fridge which dispenses my home brew - a new hobby I have discovered and love. It is one of the more popular features in my cave for visitors. My cocktail liquors barely get any love. Fine by me - the beer is much cheaper! I use the freezer below to store my mugs. It is sweet. Right now I have a pilsner and a red ale on tap. The best beer I've made yet is a splendid wheat beer recipe I found at homebrewheaven.com called 'West Coast Blonde. '

    I could put more photos up, but I've not really got a camera eye. The ones I posted capture the room pretty well. Maybe I can put some of the loft, though it isn't decorated yet. My plan for the loft is to put our drumset, piano and guitars up there. I also collect goofy stuff (like an Albert Einstein action figure) which I had thought would be fun to display at the bar - but it turns out that the bar is too 'fancy' for that to work well. Whoops. So I figure I'll use the loft. Still massaging that idea in my head. Let me know what you'd like to see more of and I'll put it up.

    Thanks for the kind compliments.

    -E
     
  7. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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  8. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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    They got erased in the migration. you can ask a mod for permission to go back and edit your old posts.
     

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