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_Sin's Living Room

Discussion in 'Members' Home Cinema Gallery' started by _Sin, May 19, 2008.

  1. _Sin

    _Sin Member

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    Hi All.

    I've finally sorted out the last big bit of my living room setup, which is to get some coloured lighting behind my plasma. I wanted a proper colour-changing setup along the lines of the Philips Ambilight - but without buying a Philips telly. This resulted in an extended period of fiddling with electronics before I finally threw caution to the wind and connected a bunch of home-made electronics to the internals of my lovely Lumagen...

    Fortunately, I didn't kill it, and now have a very nice (IMHO!) lighting set up.

    For completeness, the kit I have here is:

    A Panasonic 50" plasma panel (6th gen)
    A Felston 740 to sort out audio delay
    An Onkyo 805 to replace my aging Sony 925 that mysteriously died when I left my girlfriend alone with it (which I'm sure was purely coincidental... and gave me an excuse to upgrade!)
    A Denon 2900 with SDI out
    A PS3 (original UK 60GB model)
    A Hush PC for most TV and media duties
    A Lumagen HDP with a few added bits of wire :)
    Oh, and my speakers are Kefs (except the rears which are old Mordaunt Shorts).
    I did have a Rel Strata-III but it died and I don't really need a sub in here so I'll wait until I move to somewhere bigger before I replace it...

    Everything is connected digitally where possible.

    Here's a few pics...

    Here we are in the daylight. Notice that my rear-wall is quite strongly coloured, which doesn't help the lighting - however the light still shows up quite well, and reflects off lighter surfaces such as the roof too.

    [​IMG]


    This is from the Planet Earth Blu-ray:

    [​IMG]


    This is an explosion from Casino Royale - the lights respond well to rapid changes like this:

    [​IMG]


    I should point out that in less strongly coloured scenes I get a fairly neutral backlighting effect, which works pretty well. It's hard to capture in a photo, but you really notice it now when it's not there...

    Stronger colours show up a lot more though:

    [​IMG]


    And here's a couple of pictures of how I developed the lights...

    Prototyping the microcontroller stuff (using a cheap network media player instead of my precious Lumagen!):

    [​IMG]


    Here's the internals of the Lumagen after I've added my wiring and glued in some mounting points:

    [​IMG]


    Here's my little microcontroller installed:

    [​IMG]


    I didn't want to ruin the thing, so there is actually just one little port added on the back, using a hole pre-drilled for an optional output I don't have:

    [​IMG]

    "No user serviceable parts inside." - ahem...

    It was a hell of a lot of effort, and not a little expense, but I like the results.
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  2. elootos

    elootos Member

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    Hell yeah, that's some project you've done there. Looks great! :cool:

    I read somewhere else today that there's some ambilight DIY stuff on the internet, is yours following the same idea or something you've mocked together yourself?
  3. _Sin

    _Sin Member

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    I've seen other people tackle this kind of thing, but I designed the system I have myself.

    The main problem is that most of the projects I've seen are driven from a PC, where the colour can be derived in software and the hardware is really just a simple lighting controller.

    I wanted to drive the lighting from any source, which includes my PS3 (for gaming and Blu-ray) which is not only digital, but encrypted... that had me stumped for a while. In the end I worked out that the internals of the Lumagen could be hooked up to a micro-controller to measure the colour levels digitally before the Encryption was added. Other than that, it's nothing particularly special. I'm using RGB LED strips on a wood and Aluminium frame I built which sits behind the plasma (and rests on the plasma mount) and they get powered by a little black box I built (not really visible in the pictures but it's sat on top of the Lumagen). This can switch the LEDS on and off rapidly so I can output a PWM signal from the micro-controller to drive them.

    At some point I might add an IR receiver so I can alter the colour settings from my Pronto.
  4. elootos

    elootos Member

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    I've always wanted something similar behind my TV but I don't like the look of the current Philips TVs, however going to the lengths you have is way beyond me so I guess there's no other option. Well done with it, the photos look great! :smashin:
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  5. SG-22

    SG-22 Member

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    wow love the self made Ambilight very impressive, i wouldnt know where to start! Do you do this kind of thing for a living or are you just a clever sod :rotfl:

    Great set up :smashin:
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  6. Kryptix

    Kryptix Active Member

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    Different -- I love it.

    Could you make these to sell? I'd buy one!
  7. alz2605

    alz2605 Active Member

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    I'd buy one too! Nice one mate!
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  8. _Sin

    _Sin Member

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    My day job is an R&D engineer, but strictly software (I work on PS3 FWIW).

    My electronics are strictly amateur hour - it's amazing I didn't destroy anything while building this!
  9. _Sin

    _Sin Member

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    Cheers, but for anyone who'd like one, I'm afraid I'm only going to be of limited help. For one thing, I have a day job, and having built one of these in my spare time, I'd like to move on to something else. Also it relies pretty heavily on having a specific model of Lumagen (no idea if it would work with anything else, I'd need to peer inside any other units to find out!) and risking blowing the thing up to install it all. So it's a very expensive solution even if the install goes well (if it goes badly, the cost would rise rather more sharply!)

    I'd happily describe the details of what I did though, if anyone were interested. It's not actually that difficult to build if you can handle a bit of soldering and don't mind applying that soldering to the inside of an expensive bit of hardware...
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  10. Kryptix

    Kryptix Active Member

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    Major respect to you dude. :smashin:
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  11. v CJ v

    v CJ v Active Member

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    Love the lighting, and very cool mod :)
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  12. Batman182

    Batman182 Member

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    Great set up man, well done on the diy lighting :smashin:
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  13. redblew

    redblew Member

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    Quality setup, love the lighting.:thumbsup:
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  14. isayisay

    isayisay Member

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    Thats looks really cool,very impressed.:thumbsup:
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  15. twintroy

    twintroy Member

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    wooooaaa :eek: , braver man then me ! awesome setup
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  16. Punjabi Geezer

    Punjabi Geezer Member

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    Good job mate! Definately something most people would not attempt lol
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  17. Mac User

    Mac User Active Member

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    Looks great :thumbsup:
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  18. Sleepy

    Sleepy Member

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    nice i like that a lot

    what stand is that?
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  19. jolly

    jolly Active Member

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    Great setup, lighting looks amazing

    :thumbsup:
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  20. X monkfish69 X

    X monkfish69 X Member

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    I'm massively impressed with the lighting. Good quality photos you have as well as a lovely looking setup !

    You must be very very pleased with it all ! I know I would be. :clap:
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  21. _Sin

    _Sin Member

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    Sorry, didn't notice your question when you asked it...

    It's an Optimum 2000. I've actually got two of the shelves mounted as one, because at full height the center speaker would foul the screen...

    I've had it for ages, I see that they have a much wider range now.

    I have a matching corner unit that's currently in the bedroom.
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  22. xcross

    xcross Member

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    Very nice lighting, would'nt dare to connect my own electronics up to my beloved ps3!!!:eek:
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  23. Kero-chan

    Kero-chan Member

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    Nice and tidy little setups like this are my favourite - looks great! Unlike most, I'm not a fan of coloured back-lighting, but that changes-with-the-TV-colour stuff is pretty nifty. :smashin:

    Edit: I especially like the TV - no glossy frame for once!
  24. weyland-yutani

    weyland-yutani Member

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    that's a fantastic system you've designed. it's a shame no company has seen the hole in the market for this. i have an apollo kit which is great but i'd snap up an "intergrated" lighting system no bother.
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  25. paulgjohnston

    paulgjohnston Member

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    Lovely set up. Could you tell me the name/make of the stand?
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  26. _Sin

    _Sin Member

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    Seems like there's a gap in the market, but it could be that Philips have it soundly patented.

    So it's probably ok for individuals to roll their own solutions, but any commercial effort might get squashed like a bug.

    I'm kind of surprised Philips don't do some kind of after-market kit, but then I suppose they want to sell people new TVs and not have them buy competitors products.
  27. _Sin

    _Sin Member

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    I just mentioned that a few posts up - it's an Optimum 2000. Specifically I think it was an AV400 (in ash) but their range has changed a bit since I bought it so I'm not sure if they still do that particular model.
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  28. Mark Botwright

    Mark Botwright Moderator & Reviewer Staff Member

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    Very tidy setup mate. :smashin:

    Are the fronts Q35.2s?
  29. _Sin

    _Sin Member

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    Cheers.

    The fronts are actually Q35s, but the center is a Q95.2, as they just introduced the new range as I was getting the kit together.

    I like my Kefs... they were pretty much the first bit of kit where I got to test them at the dealers, against some alternatives. Lovely sound.

    Everything else in the setup has been replaced at some point, but the speakers remain - I'll be sad to replace them, but eventually I'm sure I won't be able to resist.

    That can all wait until I have a bigger room to put it all in, and I'll immediately want some matching front and back speakers, which is the biggest issue right now I reckon.

    Plus I want my sub back...
  30. Brynmiller

    Brynmiller Member

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    fantastic setup!:smashin:
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