My home theater - construction has begun!

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by DonRC, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. DonRC

    DonRC Stunt Coordinator

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    (Edit: updated 3/14/2005 with wall screen progress picture.)

    WooHooooooooo!

    As of now, I've actually started construction on my home theater. (I guess I'd actually started before, but now you can SEE progress. Before I was just building my lights for the room, but nothing had been put up.)

    When the day started, I had the media room just as it was made by the builders - not bad, but certainly not a home theater.

    Now, at the end of the day, it's still not a home theater - but progress has been made.

    We installed a power outlet above the ceiling for the projector to plug into. We ran wires through the walls for the light sconces. We installed wall boxes to hold the lights. Finally, we installed the lights themselves - and they even turned out well. Not bad for a homemade job. [​IMG]

    Now I just have to paint the room, run some video cables from the projector area to the equipment closet, build a screen, and buy a projector.

    It feels good to be doing more than just thinking about building...
     
  2. Dan_J_H.

    Dan_J_H. Stunt Coordinator

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    Way to go Don! I know the joy you are feeling. Please post some pictures if you can. Sounds like your HT is going to be done in a snap. Look farther down to view my updated HT pics. Do you know what model projector you want to get yet?

    Dan
     
  3. DonRC

    DonRC Stunt Coordinator

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    Pictures!

    [​IMG]
    This is the view into the room from the hallway/stairs into the media room - before any work is actually completed.

    [​IMG]
    This is another picture before any work is done. This is looking back at the entrace to the room from the far corner of where the screen will be.

    [​IMG]
    Another one, this time from the opposite end of the screen.

    [​IMG]
    This is almost the same angle, but at the end of the day with the sconces installed. This shows the two on the north wall (between the windows).

    [​IMG]
    Here are the two sconces on the east wall - ignore the lamp between them. :p

    [​IMG]
    This one shows the west wall. I think this picture shows off the light patterns from the sconces the best.

    The next several pictures are closeups of the individual light sconces. Picture quality varies...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
    (This one isn't really attached, so it looks a little odd. I just placed it over one of the others to take a picture.)

    There are a couple more light covers I made as spares, but I didn't take pictures of them. (One is a movie camera, teh other a strip of film.)

    Overall, I thought these turned out pretty well, and I'm pretty happy with them for a total cost of less than $25 each.
     
  4. DonRC

    DonRC Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't decided for sure yet, but I'm leaning toward the Panasonic AE700U.

    I want something that projects 16:9 and will do true high-definition, and I want good contrast levels. I can completely control the light in the room, so I think the brightness of the Panasonic will be good enough even though I'm planning on a 120" diagonal screen.

    I like the Panasonic because it seems to meet the minimum brightness qualifications, has good contrast levels, and (importantly) fits within my budget.

    Before the Panasonic came out, I was kind of aiming toward the BenQ 8700+, but I don't really think I can afford it, and I'm not sure if it is enough better than the Panasonic to justify the extra cost.

    Anyway... those are my current thoughts. I'm open to other suggestions. [​IMG]
     
  5. Jack Ferry

    Jack Ferry Stunt Coordinator

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    Love the sconces!
     
  6. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Those sconces are pretty cool.


    Are those airline seats I see sticking up??
     
  7. DonRC

    DonRC Stunt Coordinator

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    Why yes... yes they are. Those are going to be my back row of seats - kind of whimsical, yet functional.
     
  8. Lyle_E

    Lyle_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Don, where did you get the seats?

    I have been looking for first or business class seats..
     
  9. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Keep your eyes on this projector, in march BenQ has 2 new models coming out so the 8700's price may and probably will be dropping, I would go with the 8700 if I was you, nothing wrong with the pic on the AE700, I just like the longterm reliablity of DLP, 8700 has better contrast too

    those sconces look great, what material is that, what did you cut them out with, the DTS one is awesome
     
  10. DonRC

    DonRC Stunt Coordinator

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    Lyle,

    I got the airline seats as surplus about a year ago. It was something I had access to because of my job, and it was really a one-time deal. I went ahead and picked them up because I knew I was going to be putting this room together and I thought it would be kind of fun. (They were also pretty inexpensive.)

    Even if you can find them, though, I think first and business class seats would be pretty expensive.
     
  11. DonRC

    DonRC Stunt Coordinator

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    I am still keeping my eye on the BenQ - but to be honest I'm not all that hopeful. The estimated street prices of the two new models are around $3300 and $11,000. I'm just not sure how much downward pressure that will put on the 8700_.

    As far as the sconces go, I'm very pleased with them. The light covers are made of plexiglass, and the "cutout" isn't really a cutout. It's simply an unpainted area. I simply printed a pattern, cut it out, and glued it to the plexiglass. Then I sprayed the plexiglass with a black enamel paint and just pulled the paper off. Voila! [​IMG] I molded the plexiglass to shape by just heating it in the oven until it became very soft and pliable. Finally, I painted a highly reflective silver metallic paint on the back (to avoid excessive heat build-up by light absorption in the black paint).
     
  12. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I'm so envious, as I'm still well over a month before we start work on my HT! Love them sconces![​IMG]
     
  13. Travis_R

    Travis_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Don thats a great Idea on those sconces, genious!!, as far as projectors go I am in the same boat, I really want an 8700, and am tempted by the AE700 but I still want DLP so I have decided to go with the PE7800, after doing alot of research the majority of people say that side by side the picture on the 8700 is slightly better than the 7800, but not enough to justify the price difference between the two, I also have heard quite a few guys say that in thier opinion the overall PQ on the PE7800 is better than that of the AE700
     
  14. DonRC

    DonRC Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay... it looks like I'm committed to this project now. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've now marked out a space on the wall for my painted DIY screen. I sanded down all the texture on the screen area. (warning... if you do this in a finished room, cover EVERY horizontal surface with plastic, and tape it all down. This is a very messy job.) Once I got sanded down as far as I could, I discovered that in some places I was in danger of sanding into the underlying sheetrock, while still not having the wall texture completely smoothed in nearby places. I went to Lowe's to pick up some wall compound and added a skim coat to the screen area. After allowing that to dry for about 18 hours, I went back to it and discovered that it had dried somewhat rough. I applied 240 grit sandpaper and was able to get it quite smooth and ready for priming and painting - except in one corner there is a little residual texture from the original wall. I think I'm going to wind up throwing one more skim coat of wall compound on. Once that's done, I'll sand it again with 240 grit paper, then with 320, then with 400 to get as smooth a finish as I possibly can. THEN I'll be ready to prime (probably 3 coats, with light sanding between coats) and paint (again, probalby 3 coats, with light sanding between coats).

    Seeing that big white rectangle up there, I really want to go set up a projector and watch something...
     
  15. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    What are you going to use to frame around the screen? Just curious. That mixture you put in the paint, was it Floetrol?
     
  16. DonRC

    DonRC Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't put any actual paint on the screen yet. I just put up some drywall compound in a very thin coat to even out some remaining texture. I put the drywall compound on with a roller after diluting it slightly with water.

    I'm planning on just using some simple wall molding to make a frame for the screen. I'm planning on just painting it black - very flat and very black. [​IMG] If I see light wash on the frame, though, I'll go back and cover the frame with black velvet.

    I should also mention that before I put the final coats of paint on the screen, I'm painting all the walls and the ceiling. The walls are going to be dark grey, and the ceiling is going to be flat black.

    Don
     

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