Discreet Atmos / Projector Living Room

beechy06

Well-known Member
Hi everyone, welcome to my living room project, started back in 2017, will update things as I go along,

(Latest major update 26/06/2020 post 64)
————-

First the before pics / story (early 2017) -

The living room was due for a change looking tired and a bit dated in parts, I was also looking to create more space in my kitchen so made plans to square off my L shape living room and bring things more up to date. The room itself was roughly 6.5m by 3.5m (not counting the extra to be given to the kitchen)

Photo 30-04-2017, 12 22 25.jpg


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As you can see from the last picture this space wasn't used properly so made sense to make use of it as part of the kitchen.

Kit list at this time was -
Pioneer 50" Kuro
Arcam AVR750
Arcam UPD411
PMC TB2i front 3 + PMC Wafer 1 rears
BK XXLS400DF
PS4

So I started to draw up plans as to what could be achieved with the space, goals where for it to be modern, minimal and be able to accommodate a nice big projector screen!

I'd always wanted to try a projector set up but until fairly recently not having the space for one. After searching online / using the forums i decided to go and check out the Epson 7300/9300 range. It was a quick trip down the M62 to see Allan at Ideal AV and within 10 minutes i was sold on them! That said thanks to Al's great hospitality I must of been there a good 4 hours atleast!

Another reason for me getting a demo with Allan was i was curious to check out some MK speakers, I'd heard many a good thing and was also tempted by the thought that these could be 'hid' in wall for a nice discreet set up. So i took the plunge, as much as I love my trusty PMC's I couldn't see how they would fit within the new living room idea i had so there now doing a great job in a simple 2 channel set up in another room instead.

Stage one - clear out and running of wires!

Photo 07-06-2017, 23 22 12.jpg


Gone with the old pool table and clutter!

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Fishing rod came in quite handy to run all the various wires!

One thing I wanted to do was to move all the AV equipment out of sight, i toyed with either a unit at the back of the room but ultimately settled on under the stairs, plenty of space / ventilation in there plus internet (Virgin) already comes into the house here, i just had to run new SKY feeds and then the various speaker / HDMI & Cat 6 cables too and from, a few late nights and all was in place ready.

Photo 29-05-2017, 12 14 38.jpg


As you can see on this and the other picture i marked out very roughly where the screen was to go and the new stud partition wall. The plan was to have the TV recessed in a false wall and then for the projector screen to drop down in front of this.

Few weeks later and work started on the stud work

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Now you can better visualise the new layout i had in mind.

One stumbling block I hit was how to install the rear speakers (MK IW85's) these are mainly designed to go into stud walls but my walls are solid block work. Spoke to Allan and few emails to MK, (i almost decided to go for in ceiling in the end) but with the help of my Dad (he's pretty handy with these sorts of things!) we came up with a solution -

Photo 16-05-2017, 22 41 40.jpg


Excuse the bad photo but we came up with this wooden box to house the speakers which could then be inserted into a cut out made in the wall. Tested a few different sizes / depths but this is what was settled on. So the holes where then cut in the walls -

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Never underestimate the amount of dust cutting block work causes! You may be able to see here that there is a compromise with the rear surrounds, ideally i'd want them to be further forward towards the screen / listening position but due to the large (4m) window this is a no goer, I suppose every none purpose built room has its compromises!

It was at this point that i decided to go head first and make the system a full Atmos (7.1.4) set up. I originally discounted it (partly due to me thinking i may need to go with in ceiling rears) but I thought with the room in the state it was that if i don't do it now i either never will or regret i never did in the first place!

More to follow....
 
Last edited:

beechy06

Well-known Member
Then it was on with the plaster boarding, plenty insulation at the front behind the stud work and three boxes / braces where made across studs where the LCR would go

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Things really starting to come together, especially once everywhere was plastered

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Once that was dry the rear speaker boxes could go in

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As you can see they fit fairly flush to the wall with just the frame protruding.

Then it was time to cut some more holes, this time i the ceiling...
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So when planning the room i decided from the start that i wanted everything hidden as best i could, the idea being it retains its look as a living room as opposed to a cinema room 24/7. Ended up with a Pure Theatre lift, be warned though only downside to the Epson's is their size, there not the smallest of projectors so need a decent size lift. Eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed the ceiling had to be boarded and re plastered, this was because the lift was just too large for the ceiling void so needed to be lowered by 2 inch, annoying but now its in i really can't see the difference in ceiling height.

Onto the front and TV was in to test the fit -
Photo 20-06-2017, 18 08 41.jpg

Yep like a glove! In fact there's actually a good inch round it. Should my beloved 50" Kuro decided to call it a day anytime then i checked and most of the latest 55" OLED / LED's would fit in the gap no problem.

Now that fits its time to test the real screen!
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Yep fits too! The screen is a 2.4m boarder-less ReAct screen. Again being a novice to the projector scene I was unsure how much difference a good quality screen would actually make but this does the job perfectly, obviously i haven't got much to compare against but it really does give a great picture even with ambient light around which there undoubtedly is bound to be in a living room set up with a 4m south facing window! The screen itself is controlled via a trigger from the lift, both work great in tandem (i'll try upload a video if someone lets me know how!.

Now time to test the speakers out before the painting starts!

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LCR duties are done by 3 in wall 150's, these look and sound great, not heard a better level of detail than i have in these before!

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Look great with or without the grills on!
 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Rear and ceiling speakers in for a trial too
Photo 25-06-2017, 16 15 29.jpg



Then the lift fully installed for the first time

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After a few films it was time to pack back away and mask up ready for some paint.

I um'd and ar'd for an age on what colour scheme - or at least which shade of grey to go for! Decided on both from Dulux - Urban Obsession for the screen wall with Chic Shadow everywhere else, ceiling just painted a nice matt white together with the window frames

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Colours turned out great in the end, just the fire place i'm still unsure on if to paint / change for a black front or leave as is :/

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As you can see on the other walls the speakers just blend in nicely and i've not even had to paint the grills! (Total fluke!) Obviously the door sticks out like a shore thumb and will need changing but all in good time.

Photo 18-08-2017, 19 56 13.jpg

New curtains also up, not the best photo but they look great in person, cut out alot of natural light with the help of a black out lining, i did consider blinds too but i don't think there needed - these where bought from Dunelm if anyone's interested.

Then it was new carpet time -

Photo 26-08-2017, 12 56 58.jpg


(Being a Yorkshireman crickets often on in my house!)

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Its a nice thick pile on the carpet with decent underlay so very comfy under foot and pulls the other colours together nicely.

Here's where the electrons are housed under the stairs, directly behind the fire place -

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This room needs tidying up with painting and new flooring but i'm in no rush given its tucked nicely out of sight.

I managed to re use my old Atacama hifi stand which was sitting in the garage unused but too good to get rid of, just had to buy another shelf to fit everything on (hence the different shade of black / grey on the top section)

As you can see i upgraded from my old Arcam 750 to an 850 and p429 combo to allow for Atmos duties. I've been a fan of Arcam amps ever since my first one (AVR300) some 10+ years ago and this latest incarnation has to be their best to date.

Everything is controlled through a Logitech Harmony hub, this in tandem with the remote works great. No requirement to run any IR extenders etc as its all done over RF and communicates fine through the wall
 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Next (last for now) piece of the jigsaw was the sofa, ordered through Furniture Village - took an age to come (10 half weeks to be precise!) but alas was well worth the wait. Might be hard to pick up from the pics but it is a very light grey - most importantly very comfy :)

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(note the old window latches - this weekends job changing them to chrome!)

Here some pitches at night -

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And most importantly with the screen / projector down -

Photo 17-09-2017, 20 07 56.jpg


Photo 17-09-2017, 20 12 27.jpg


And that pretty much brings us up to date, been around 7 months to get to here and can finally sit down and enjoy a few films, I loved watching films before but now it feels like a real event. I cannot recommend going down the projector route enough to people, it lifts everything that your watching.

Have to say thanks to Allan @ Ideal AV for his help and advice. Also to my builder James @ Outwood Interiors who i couldn't of done this without

Whats next?!

Well apart from moving on to decided what i want to do with the extra space created for my kitchen there is still a few bits in here to finish off - New doors, new furniture (small bits), decide what to do with the fire & decorate under the stairs.

On the AV side of things, I originally was happy to just stick with blu ray as i get a great picture from this but i keep seeing more and more disks that are only having Atmos on the UHD disk so that may make me re think this. SKY Q is an option too but i've got far too much back log of old programmes on my planner at present! Then finally my BK sub. It's still a great sub but i'm leaning towards changing it in the near future, firstly because it sticks out like a sore thumb in that colour with the new decor (!) plus i'm curious how much more i can get out of my MK's / the overall sound when paired with a different sub more inline with these speakers.

Anyway thanks for looking and I hope I've given you guy's some inspiration for your own home theatres as that's what its all about (or atleast how i fall into the upgrade trap on these forums!)

Thanks

Chris
 

ben16v

Active Member
very neat that, like it a lot!!
 

madmtnbiker

Novice Member
Like the look and it makes me want to complete mine! I've pre cabled my new extension and built in joists to cater for a pure theatre lift and in ceiling screen too. Once funds allow I will be fitting it out!

Out of interest which size lift did you go for?
 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Like the look and it makes me want to complete mine! I've pre cabled my new extension and built in joists to cater for a pure theatre lift and in ceiling screen too. Once funds allow I will be fitting it out!

Out of interest which size lift did you go for?
Thanks

Its a CR50 which I think they started making for these wide projectors like the Epson.

Really impressed with it, you can tell they're constructed well, nice smooth mechanism to it and sits nice and flush when not in use. Easy to mount the projector in the housing and likewise access it if you need to by unscrewing the bottom section.

With the ceiling all painted white to match your eye really isn't drawn to it at all when its not in use.

Good luck with your build!
 

derekhansen

Active Member
Excellent thread and a great looking set-up.
 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Superb, do you mind me asking the cost of it all roughly?
Thanks

Its not been cheap but the actual costs minus new AV wasn't too bad. For cutting of the joists for the lift, new partition wall and tv wall, lowering of ceiling / re boarding, plastering plus lighting was about £2,500 but this also included removal of a load bearing wall to open up the kitchen along with other work in there so its hard to separate out the living room cost on its own.

All worth every penny
 

ash23t

Member
Thanks

Its not been cheap but the actual costs minus new AV wasn't too bad. For cutting of the joists for the lift, new partition wall and tv wall, lowering of ceiling / re boarding, plastering plus lighting was about £2,500 but this also included removal of a load bearing wall to open up the kitchen along with other work in there so its hard to separate out the living room cost on its own.

All worth every penny
Love the work, and £2.5k for all that is a bargain - one of the benefits of not living in the south as would have been much more in other parts of the country.

I also have a Pure Lift, had to settle for an xLarge though due to joists sizes which as you say limits the projector size but wouldn't be without a discrete projector- best way for a living room.
 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Picked up a little upgrade today -

Photo 20-10-2017, 16 42 46.jpg


First impressions out of the box is that its a quality product, packaged well and a real nice finish to the unit -

Photo 20-10-2017, 16 45 50.jpg


Now - which one of these classics to watch tonight -

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All with DTS:X soundtracks :clap: - this is my main reason for upgrading, frustrated with the lack of immersive formats on the standard Blurays!

This is actually my fourth format for ID4 - VHS / DVD / Bluray & now UHD :eek::D
 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Just read this forum all the way through. Beautiful space you've created - the discrete rooms win hands down for me. Congratulations on it
Thanks Ollie, yep 100% agree, for a dual purpose living room / theatre room set up then in wall / hidden electronics is the way to go
 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Final piece in the jigsaw...

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The build quality and finish of this beast is second to none!

Even more so when you see it in its full glory without the grill on -

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I'd been looking at / researching a few options but i kept been drawn back to the JL range ever since I heard them way back at the start of the year.

After another demo I decided on the F112v2 and boy does it pack a punch :clap: massive step up from my old BK sub, this thing is in another league completely.

Allan from Ideal AV and Manny came over last weekend spending the best part of 4 hours installing and more importantly integrating it into my system. It blends in perfectly with the MK's now for both Movies and Music, could not be happier with it :thumbsup:

Now its time to put my feet up and enjoy.......then onto the new kitchen in the new year!
 

Reece242

Active Member
Great build very impressive! Im having to go the same rout with having a lounge that has to have dual purpose, not quiet as long as your room so im stuck with a tv (had a projector in last set up miss it loads)
Hopefully mine ends up some where near this level
 

djpaulc247

Distinguished Member
Very impressive.
 

GhostWorld

Novice Member
Been looking though hundreds of builds with the wife and this is the first one she's said yes to.

Looks like my Home Cinema dream may yet happen :clap:
 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Been looking though hundreds of builds with the wife and this is the first one she's said yes to.

Looks like my Home Cinema dream may yet happen :clap:
Thanks Ghost, one of my goals when I set out for it to still to retain a nice living room feel (aka wife friendly!) so i’ll take that! Good luck with your own build :thumbsup:

On that point I should probably get round to adding a few more pictures now it looks more ‘lived’ in with more furniture in the room etc, maybe this weekend!
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just stumbled upon this thread. Fantastic build. You should be very proud.

It’s great to see a proper system installed discretely in a non dedicated room. We install many MK sound systems like this for clients as most folk don’t have the space for dedicated rooms. We will have a feature in Home Cinema Choice in the next few months showing a fantastic MK 300 Atmos system installed in a family sitting room.
 

beechy06

Well-known Member
Just stumbled upon this thread. Fantastic build. You should be very proud.

It’s great to see a proper system installed discretely in a non dedicated room. We install many MK sound systems like this for clients as most folk don’t have the space for dedicated rooms. We will have a feature in Home Cinema Choice in the next few months showing a fantastic MK 300 Atmos system installed in a family sitting room.
Thanks Rich, yes seen some great installs you’ve done yeah over on your own & the MK page recently. Loved the 300’s when I heard them but were just too much out of my price range at the time although they are top of my list whenever the upgrade bug fully hits me again!
 

Jay130984

Well-known Member
What an absolute transformation, you should be very pleased with the result
Am sure there was a lot of thought went into this
Have you added/changed anything in the last year? Cant see it been needed but you know what this game is like

Paul
 

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