Concealed Projector Project

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by BenSand, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. BenSand

    BenSand Auditioning

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    Hi,
    I want to build a home theater. But my wife does not want to see any of the equipment and wiress etc in the room. I told her that there are ways of hidding the equipment and that I would try to hide the projector as well. So, now I am running around trying to find any information that may be around that would help a do-it yourself guy like me conceal a projector and still follow the laws/codes etc.

    My setup is this.
    I have two options.
    1. cut into one wall and try and place the projector between two studs.Would need to build some ventilation.
    2. Build a box/frame and bolt it to the vaulted ceilings we have. The cover or box I would build would surround the projector so it would need to be vented etc.

    Now from what I have seen there are codes to follow etc.
    But I havent been able to find a step by step guide on how someone like me could go out about doing this.

    Anyone know of any guides or books etc?
    Thanks
    Ben
     
  2. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Second Unit

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    Not sure if this is in your budget or not, but there are projector lifts that will conceal the projector when not in use and drop it down when you need it. I have a friend who did it very inexpensively in a drop ceiling.
     
  3. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    You might also consider building the projector unit into a coffee table. I've seen it done before to great effect! Search this forum and I believe you'll find snapshots. Important considerations for projector placement include the length of the room, how large your 16:9/4:3 screen will be, etc. You might find that a back-wall placement for your projector and screen size won't pan out.

    I believe the NEC LT240 and LT260 have some pretty powerful digital keystoning, which will increase your placement options (off to the side?). You might look at projectors like that, which give you more flexibility during the pursuit of the coveted WAF.

    As for ventilation in an out-of-wall custom projector compartment, something to consider is a media exhaust fan from Rockler.com. I just installed one in my home office to ventilate an under-desktop corner recess.

    Here is a view of the 120mm fan (exhaust side) from the top. You can see the "media filter" and the faceplate that snaps into place:

    [​IMG]

    Here is a view of the fan (intake side) from underneath the desktop. Note the finger guard. The fan is pre-wired for wall outlets:

    [​IMG]

    The fan is surprisingly quiet for its size. You could buy two fans, one to push air into the projector housing, and another to pull air from the housing. The filters will help minimize the particles that might harm your projector over the long term.

    Here are some methods you might consider using in order to hide the projector:
    • Buy a nice wood component rack to go on your back wall. Store your components here, and set the projector on top of the component rack. You could then hide all of your wires, and you don't have to concern yourself with running cables to a wall/ceiling mounted projector.
    • Mount the projector on a bookcase on the back wall.
    • Mount the projector in a motorized lift as Mathew suggested. This would be more expensive, but the projector would tuck away nicely when not in use.
    • Some sort of custom wall sconce with the projector in the base, and some flower of the wife's choosing on top [​IMG] Of course, you will want to make sure the projector compartment is sealed in case of a water overflow [​IMG]

    As you said, ventilation is key for proper operation of the projector. If you're going to be tearing into a wall, I'd save your pennies and have a contractor do the job for you. Otherwise you're gambling with your life. Projectors generate ALOT of heat, and without proper ventilation you'll destroy your expensive hardware, and potentially start an in-wall fire that, as my wife the volunteer firefighter will tell you, would spread very very fast.

    Sean.
     
  4. BenSand

    BenSand Auditioning

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    Hi,
    Thanks for the responces so far.

    I actually considered other options like a coffee table piece and building a closet space etc to get around having to put it in the ceilieng.

    But this option seems to be the best so far.
    You see we have a vaulted ceiling that starts at about 7Ft at the walls. I am figuring if I build a wood plank to go in between the two beams at about 8 ro 9ft up on the vaulted ceiling part then I should have a good spot. Then I can build some type of wood covering etc. I did look into an electric lift but those will add up to a couple grand to this. I would rather have the projector stationary and hidden in this box with a hole for the lens to poke out.
    I did read some instructions on the electric lifts and saw that the NEC codes require some type of Plenum pieces/wiring in order to put that type of equipment into a wall or ceiling. So maybe there are equipment/ kits for putting projectors into walls and ceilings out there. Im hoping that these kits might have the metal cases that will be regulation in order to put the projetor into it.
    Anyone heard of that?

    Also I am choosing the JVC Pro DLA AX21 projector. And the distance will be about 26 feet from the screen and the screen will be about 150" diag.


    Thanks again

    Ben
     
  5. BenSand

    BenSand Auditioning

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    I guess no one else has info on this..
    Should I be posting this in the DIY forum maybe?


    Ben
     
  6. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Ben:

    Yeah, I would try posting this same question in the DIY section to see if anyone has any ideas.

    Parker
     

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