An Idiot's Primer On How NOT To Build Your HT Room! - Digital Pics Added

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Dave Simpson, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Hey dudes,

    Here's an excerpt from an e-mail I sent to friends and family yesterday after finishing my HT room in the basement. It was intended to be done in a quick and dirty fashion, but the best laid plans of mice and men...It's still a dirty reno, it just wasn't quick. Pretty cheap, however. Associated gear, as my family and most of my friends wouldn't give a rat's ass:
    -Sanyo PLV-Z1
    -DIY blackout cloth screen
    -DIY ceiling mount
    -Yamaha 795a, as poor-man's pre-pro
    -Parasound 1205a, passively bi-amping mains and
    center
    -Parasound 1000a, powering surround channels
    -Liteon 2001
    -Pioneer CLD-704, and B&K DT-1 demodulator/switcher
    -Axiom M60, VP150 mains and center, PSB 3LR surround,
    Axiom EP-175 sub.
    Kindly bear in mind that I am a mechanical idiot. Forthwith, here's how not to build your room:

    "Destruction began on the 28th of July, construction slowly, and I mean v-e-r-y slowly, followed through the fall amid much big talk, and today Kerry and I are thrilled to finally say The Strotoplex is now complete (other than one small cosmetic job that falls to me), and open to all you movie fans. The room is roughly 30' x 10.5', and the viewing area itself is 20' x 10.5'. The back of the room has been tastefully finished as Kerry's Kooky Kocktail Lounge. The projector is firmly mounted to the ceiling with about six bucks worth of plumbing parts, and the DIY screen (blackout cloth stretched around 2x2s) measures 82"x45", or 92" diagonally. Light control is 100%, and with no clock, time stands still in this room.
    The results are simply smashing, we feel, and despite the various trials of the job, it's been fully worth it. We'd surely do it again, 'tho certainly not without a ton of differences. To wit, here's how not to do the job:

    - plan as you go. By the seat of your pants, baby! Really, a rough idea is all you need.
    - don't pre-wire anything before you begin painting. Why would you want to make the job easier and cheaper?
    - on the subject of paint, by all means use flat paint. This way, you have the pleasure of breaking out the tray and roller every time a wall gets scuffed, and your skills won't get rusty (we're finding that the only way to cover scuff marks on flat paint is with more...flat paint). Duhh!!
    - don't bother breaking your back doing a decent job sanding the walls before you prime and paint. Work is for suckers, right? Besides, a basement ought to look like a basement, imperfect walls and all.
    - related to the pre-wiring issue, don't waste any money on a PVC tube above the drop-ceiling through which to run various cables. It's way more fun to string each one manually, panel by panel.
    - further to this, if you'd like to paint your drop ceiling, don't even think about taking each panel down and doing them individually. That would deprive you of the joy you'll feel as you attempt to run cables above the newly-painted panels that are now fully sealed to their supports. Keep your utility knife handy. And more paint.
    - permanently mount the projector to the ceiling without giving it any thought whatsoever. Does it really matter if the view of the people sitting on the rear couch on a riser (to be installed at a later date) is fully impeded by the projector?"

    Moral of the story, I suppose, is that we learn by doing. Next time will be quicker and far more efficient, although we're still over the moon around here with the finished room. Can you believe some people are satisfied paying as much as twice the price of a PJ for an RPTV?? Different strokes, of course, but for me, there can be no going back.
    Cheers, guys!

    DS.

    P.S. Digital pics coming soon...
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Sounds like a nice setup. Can't wait to see some pics.

    I just painted my room. I also have the Z1 with a 106" diag screen. Looks amazing for the price. To think I was going to get a Pioneer 53" RPTV for $1,000 more and twice as small... OUCH. The Z1 is worth the $1,125 I paid for it.... :b
     
  3. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Thanks for the response, Chad. The Z1 thus far has certainly been worth it to me. 150hrs on the counter and all is well. I hope to take some digital pics of the room and a few screenies this weekend. Cheers.

    DS.
     
  4. Sonnie Parker

    Sonnie Parker Second Unit

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    Oh my... lol

    I'm almost scared to show off our new HT room since we finished it in a little over 2 months.
     
  5. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Now that's funny, Sonnie,[​IMG], but you give me a wee bit too much credit, sir. The reason my room took as long to complete as it did is because I'm scarcely wealthier than a pauper, but I always strive to live within my means, and that means if I don't have the money for it, I don't buy it (credit is for emergencies only, no exceptions).Therefore, every small trip to Home Depot was paid for out of pocket, and there were some weeks, particularily over the holidays, that work ground to a stand-still, 'cuz there was no dough. Also, my girlfriend and I both work shifts, and it's often difficult to snyc our schedules, and believe me, she was the brains behind this enterprise; I was just just a pair of hands with a rough idea, some AV gear, and a pocketbook. There were many instances of imaptience getting the better of each of us (mostly me, and neither of us at the same time), but in the end, it's been entirely worth the effort.
    I took a look at your web-site, and you may be assured that my room is nowhere near as elegant or cozy as your own (great job, man!). Mine truly is a basement, but I dig it, all the same. I hope to post some pics shortly, honest!
    Cheers!

    DS.
     
  6. Sonnie Parker

    Sonnie Parker Second Unit

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    Well I'll keep an eye on this thread to see your pics.

    I certainly understand the pay as you go rule. I cheated a little but in my situation my wife wouldn't stand for a long drawn out affair of having the tools lying around in the way (too many to move back and forth to my shop). She also wouldn't stand for partial construction for too long either. She's like... get it done and get it over with.

    To start with I only worked on it on Wednesday's and Saturday's up until New Year's and then I started pouring it on. I worked several nights on the room and took a few days off this month to get it finished on up. My goal all along was to have it finshed prior to the Super Bowl which we'll get to see in HD now.

    Thanks for the comp!
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Now that's funny [​IMG]
     
  8. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Primitive pics of the room are up here. Screenies comin' real soon.
    Mods, could you alter the header of the thread to reflect the newly-posted pics? Thanks, and cheers!

    DS.
     
  9. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    The Strotoplex looks great
     
  10. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Dave,

    The room looks great...[​IMG]
     
  11. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Neil,

    Thanks for your good words, and thanks also for modding the header (or was it Parker?).

    Chad,

    Thanks for the thumbs-up, mate! Your page of Z1 info and enthusiasm has been quite helpful. T3 last night was just swell, and The Two Towers last week was a veritable revelation!

    Cheers, fellas!

    DS.
     
  12. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    dave,

    How do you like the Axiom Speakers. I sent them an email and they recommended the Epic 60 system for me......
     
  13. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Chad,

    I think the Axioms are just swell, and I'd buy 'em again. I'm especially happy with them because I was fortunate enough to get them at a comparitively ridiculous price from a local retail dealer two years ago. The sound, to my ears, is wonderful, but the fit'n'finish ain't the prettiest. No matter, 'tho, as the room is normally pretty dark when I'm listening (watching). Support is also first-rate (one of the M60 drivers failed after a year; a new one was delivered to my door within two days. Easy to install).
    Regarding the Epic 60 package, you may want to upgrade the center to the VP-150. And I think the sub gurus around here might likely suggest you look at SVS or HSU instead. By the way, I'm really keen on trying out a pair of QS8 for myself. Cheers.

    DS.
     

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