Home cinema install (professional) with some quirks

waldopepper

Member
This was installed by a home cinema company so not DIY but I wanted to post here (I checked with admins first!) because they overcame some issues with the room layout that others might find useful.

Three years ago we escaped the clutches of London and moved to the promised land, West Yorkshire to embark on a new adventure and finally be able to afford anything other than a tiny one bedroom flat.

The detached cottage we bought was built in 1876, lots of space over three floors but the basement level (leading on to the garden) hadn't been lived in for a long while and the kitchen was originally down there so we have started the renovation over the last couple of years by making the basement livable and moved the kitchen back down there. We'll be bringing the top 2 floors all back to their former glory but it will take a while!

After that, we had some cash put away for a cinema room so here is the story of how that was done, completed by an awesome local home cinema company. We visited their showroom and were blown away with what we could get for our budget (5.1.2 Atmos with 4k-enhanced projector) and work started a few months later.

Caveats: we like a loud action/sci-fi film but we're not audio-visual nerds and weren't looking for a full-on batcave, this room is also a chill-out/music listening room that opens out on to the garden so it was important that it also functions as a living room without much tech on display when not in use. This was mostly installed a 6 months ago but we have finally finished all the decorating etc so it's now complete in time for Xmas and friends and family visiting :)

01 One half of the basement space as we found it, cold, dark, un-insulated and with this delightful coal bunker, complete with about half a tonne of coal. We demolished this and removed the chunky stone shelves that were built into the wall (maybe acted as a larder at one point).

On practically day one of the general basement renovation we dug up some of the concrete floor to find the original stone flag level hidden under there, great! But we then had to remove the flags, dig down and pour concrete, insulation and under-floor heating which reduced our overall build budget pretty early but the basement is now very cosy and warm all-year round now.

The joists were rotten on the outside wall so they were doubled up, walls were tanked, insulated and the rebuild began starting with with the smaller coal bunker/store room.


02 We had always planned to have a cinema in another room upstairs but the home cinema company found too many issues with the layout (fireplace, ceiling height, alcoves, old-style plaster etc). So we decided on this basement room instead (3.8m squared), starting with cutting through the breeze block wall for the projection hole!


03 Exploratory drill holes to find the ceiling joists, they really get in the way!


04 First speaker holes cut. As the new French doors are directly behind the screen, we couldn't have centre wall speakers there + acoustically transparent screen so instead they put front speakers in the ceiling that bounce the sound off the screen towards the seating area. This would have been just one speaker, but as luck wouldn't have it, there was a ceiling joist right in the middle so it was either a pair, or an unsymetrical single one. It looked weird at first but we don't give it a second glance now.


05 Speaker cables starting to appear. Luckily the ceiling joists go from the projector side towards the screen so it wasn't too painful to get the cables across the room.


06 Cornered Audio for the front L+R, all wires going in the insulated plasterboard cavity (if we had done this room ourselves there would be wires everywhere!)



We have a door preventing the rear L+R speakers also being Cornered Audio so similarly two angled ceiling speakers were installed instead that bounce off the L/R walls for the rear sound, it works really well! The sound comes from a larger area (maybe half a metre high) rather than a smaller speaker area.

07 I miss-heard when there was talk of the comms cabinet, I thought I heard waist-height, it turned up and was up to my shoulders! Who wouldn't like a rack-mount cabinet in their cottage basement storeroom though?


08 Ceiling speakers going in.


09 All the cables going from the comms cabinet into the ceiling to their cinema room destinations.


10 Screen housing built, temporary screen installed (bespoke one on order) with remote control unit added too.


11 Tweaking the sound levels


12 Hopefully I never have to unplug these! Comms cabinet now filled with inputs. This is now the most low and high tech room in the house as we also store coal in here (just the whole bags, we don't disturb it in this room and create dust!)


13 Shelf for the projector. It butts right up to the wall/hole, makes it tricky to get to the filter without moving it but you can change the bulb easily enough on here.


14 Bit more work to make good the projector hole, just like at the proper cinema now :). Wallpapered, traditional plaster coving put up and painted the other walls & woodwork including screen housing the background wallpaper colour to make it blend in better. Finishing the decorating was delayed for a while because we had to deal with the aftermath of a cowboy decorator and separately we were affected by the Valspar paint controversy - it totally smelled like cat pee!




15 Comfy low-level slouch seating.. moved to their final resting place. The furniture is made entirely from foam/upholstery so deadens any echoes very well (otherwise the stone floor might have caused issues!).

Pro-tip AppleTV remotes and stone floors do not mix well because for some absurd reason Apple make half of them from glass! Get a rubber cover if there's any chance you might drop it on anything other than carpet, they are £60 to replace :(


16 Once you're used to the ceiling speakers being there, the room does feels like a sitting room. The walls down here are pretty damn thick and together with the chunky double-glazed doors (and two layers of floorboards above, that's another story) the whole room is soundproofed pretty well.


17 Lights on, fitted screen down to the floor.. we're now hooked into everything via the Tivo feed, Apple TV, Xbox and 4k discs.


18 Lights off, we're blown away with the picture (especially HDR) and absolutely awesome sound. It's not a huge room so we didn't want to overblow things, but the ceiling speakers and 10 inch sub really do give you spatial surround and a gut punch with loud films. I often sit in here with the screen up.. listening to music via the amp using Spotify/HEOS. We have HEOS wireless speakers elsewhere round the house so we can add this room to them all when we have people over.


Basically no wires or tech on show in the actual cinema room, the iPad controls everything (via Centro) but it's nice to just use the AppleTV remote for streaming TV (and I have the volume mapped to the AMP). We now have the options to add lighting, other rooms etc using the Centro control later. It's nice and simple, one button press to turn on the AMP, input and bring the screen down and one button to shut it all off again.



Kit:
* Projector: Epson TW9300
* Amp: Denon AVR-X3400H
* Speakers:
Cornered Audio C3
Sonance VP62R 6" in-ceiling speakers
Kef Kube10b 10" subwoofer
* Screen: Custom built 2.68m retractable Sapphire screen with extra large top/bottom blackouts
* Centro for iPad control

In the cabinet:
* Apple 4k TV
* Xbox OneX
* HDMI Balun 2way IR set for Tivo feed (from upstairs)
* Centro control unit
* Samsung M9500 4k Blu Ray player
* PC
* PS4 was in there but the Bluetooth doesn't work well enough through the wall. If anyone knows how to make an Xbox (or other wireless) controller work with PS4s, I'm all ears!
 
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kristoffdj

Active Member
Hows the clarity of dialogue etc... with the centre channel speakers being mounted essentially 90 degrees off-axis, in the ceiling?
 

waldopepper

Member
Looks lovely. The seating looks very comfortable. Can I ask where you got the seating from?
Thanks, it's Togo modular seating.. designed in the 70s and the shape hasn't changed since. It's made from just upholstered foam, really comfy and perfect for slouching in front of a screen, listening to music, reading etc. But quite low near to the ground for general living room furniture.

TOGO, Upholstery from Designer : Michel Ducaroy | Ligne Roset Official Site

They are ### expensive but we got our set much cheaper from a refurbisher on EBay who used to work as an upholsterer at the actual Ligne Roset factory. Original foam with new covers.
 
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waldopepper

Member
How far from the back wall are the rear Atmos speakers installed ? Any sound bouncing to rear wall from these ones ?
They're pretty much in the middle of the ceiling so about 1.9m from the back wall. I haven't noticed any bouncing from these, they aren't angled like the other ones specifically for that task.
 

waldopepper

Member
Sorry, I meant the most in the back in-ceiling speakers, I thought they are for Atmos, but seems to be for Back L+R.
Anyway, the same question for these speakers :)
Ah right, the rears are 60cm from the back wall and are directional and pointed at the side walls, I haven't noticed them bouncing from behind. Some of the rear sound does feel like it comes from behind but that's when both are firing.. just like the illusion of rear sound you get from rear L+R 45 degrees behind you. When I play a sound test the L and R rear do come from left and right.
 

flipa

Active Member
Thanks, it's Togo modular seating.. designed in the 70s and the shape hasn't changed since. It's made from just upholstered foam, really comfy and perfect for slouching in front of a screen, listening to music, reading etc. But quite low near to the ground for general living room furniture.

TOGO, Upholstery from Designer : Michel Ducaroy | Ligne Roset Official Site

They are ### expensive but we got our set much cheaper from a refurbisher on EBay who used to work as an upholsterer at the actual Ligne Roset factory. Original foam with new covers.

Hi Waldopepper - Just wondered if you could pass on the details of the refurbisher on ebay you bought your sofa from. This is the sofa I'd like to get for my room but as you say to buy new is ### expensive.

Thanks.
 

waldopepper

Member
Hi Waldopepper - Just wondered if you could pass on the details of the refurbisher on ebay you bought your sofa from. This is the sofa I'd like to get for my room but as you say to buy new is ### expensive.

Thanks.
Hi, it was this guy: this.sign on eBay He doesn't have anything for sale at the moment, I don't know if he is still selling them, I seem to remember he got them in batches so it would be worth contacting him and letting him know you're looking? Solid guy, no problems with the transaction, we paid £2,300 (mostly cash on delivery) for a set of a 3 and 2 seater sofas, 1 corner, 1 separate chair and 1 foot stool.

If his business is the same as when we purchased, it's made in Europe somewhere and he waits until he has a few orders to delivery in the UK and ships them all at once.
 
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flipa

Active Member
Thanks for the message @waldopepper - that's really good to know re: cost and recommendation.
Could you try posting the link again, as I don't think that one is working properly? I can't see any info about the seller when I click through.

Thanks.
 

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