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Back of Theater Tower

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Michael Whitney, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. Michael Whitney

    Michael Whitney Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering about a design idea I had.

    Building a Good looking equipment rack in the back center of my home theater. It would be framed in 2 by 4's and sheetrocked. It would be like a U shape with the bottom of the U pointing towards the screen. At the top I would set my projector and below it on separate shelves, place my equipment facing the left side of the u shape. The right of the U, I would leave an access door to get at the backs of the equipment.

    Thinking of the savings and ease.

    1. No projector mount needed. Saving $100-150 dollars

    2. Cost savings in wirings, by buying the shorter connection cables.

    3. Ease in accessing the backs of equipment.


    Anyone think of any design negatives for this Idea? Its still in idea phase right now. I thought of it because I see alot of theaters that you are staring at the blinking lights, having to buy $150 mounts, long wire runs, not easily accessible components, etc....

    Any thoughts or caveats?
     
  2. David F

    David F Member

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    Would that mount your equipment too high? Or are you planning on putting a large gap between the projector and the equipment?
     
  3. Michael Whitney

    Michael Whitney Well-Known Member

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    I do see the Projector as the top component, facing forward. I see that as the only cutout facing the screen, with the components below it on shelves facing the left side in their own cutout section. Do I have a potnetial problem with running AV and power lines near each other? I do know to run them at 90 degrees if possible to reduce interference. Shape isnt really a rounded U, but a 3 sided square built against the back wall.
     
  4. todbnla

    todbnla Well-Known Member

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    I have a similar rack setup in mine but it is a simple chrome storage 5 shelf unit which I bought at Sam's club. It works great, my p/j is hanging from the top shelf via a cheap ebay mount. All of my other components are on the other shelfs, Works great! I have the space to move this behind the wall it sits in front of and would have done so but we are moving so...
     
  5. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Well-Known Member

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    So if I understand correctly, looking down on this tower would have the open part of the 'U' facing the back of the theater. Looking straight at the tower from the front would only expose the projector sitting at the top. The shelves for the components would be on the left with access to them on the right?

    I think this could be a cool project depending on how it's done. You can make an interesting architectural statement with mouldings or funky paint or such. Do you have access to the back of the theater from an adjacent utility room? The reason I ask is that it would present another alternative:

    Same orientation of the U, but instead with the components mounted on the front underneath the projector. Instead of access from the side you could come in from the back through the adjacent area. Just have a regular door in the hallway, room, utility, whatever. Open the door and you're staring at the back of the components for easy access. This lends itself to other uses for the tower. For example, DVD shelves on either side. Or perhaps movie posters (front or back lit, check out my thread in this forum detailing a built in poster box that could work really well here). Or shelves for movie memorabilia.

    From a wiring standpoint the shorter runs will definitely be to your advantage, just taking care that they're cleanly installed away from AC as you indicate above. You would also need to make sure there's good ventilation given the combined heat of the components and projector. I agree with you that getting the components out of the way is a good idea. Mine are in an adjacent media area so I don't have lights and transport noise as a distraction. With your design you might even consider fully enclosing the projector to eliminate a source of fan noise, just leaving a hole for the lens to poke through. The projector you choose will have to have side or rear exhaust to allow this. And of course ventilation becomes even more important. Check out Active Thermal Management for some effective solutions in this regard.

    Keep us posted.
     
  6. Michael Whitney

    Michael Whitney Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you make some good points.

    I did think of facing them forward into the theater, thus giving me easier access from remotes, rather then trying to bounce around a corner to use remotes or buying a repeater system.

    My thinking on a left to right setup would be to eliminate the blinking lights back into the theater, easy access inside the theater room. (otherwise user will have to walk 3/4 way around basement to change over cables)

    Starting construction soon, Ill post my pictures up after I get my butt in gear. Right now we have clutter and drilocked cement walls.
     
  7. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Well-Known Member

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    Couple of counterpoints to that. First, the component lights will be behind you and won't be a problem. Particularly when compared to the light blasting out of the projector above them. Secondly, how often are you going to be changing cables? Once you've completed the install you shouldn't need to go back there for more then basic maintenance once in a while.

    Re: bouncing the IR signals. I've become very jaded having a new RF based system. Granted, I have to have some sort of distribution as my equipment is in a totally separate area. But the RF control is very liberating as you no longer require line of site. I bought the Home Theater Master MX-850 with MRF-300 base station and love the combination. Makes macros a thing of beauty.
     

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