home cinema on a budget

yan101

Active Member
hello, i thought i would post my home theatre on a budget project in the hopes that others will be inspired to try it out.

so about 4 weeks ago, i was watching some youtube videos of peoples home theatres, alot of impressive ones, mainly americans with huge set ups, tens of thousands of pounds of equipment, popcorn machines, lighting dimmers etc the whole bit. So i decided to look into what kind of set up i could make work in my house. When i first moved in about 8 years ago, i spent alot of money on gym equipment and turned my loft room into a mini gym which it turned out was rarely used. So going into this i decided i wouldnt throw stupid money at it for if it wasnt going to get used.

i started on ebay, i saw hundreds of led projectors for around £100 all of them looked like chinese made garbage, but some looked like an ok picture from what i saw on youtube, but the resolution was terrible mostly 640 x 480 which i wasnt too impressed at.

i rememberd that someone at my old work used to set up a wii on the works projector and it looked pretty decent. i found a job lot of 4 projectors on ebay and set a cheeky bid of £25. low and behold i won them, all 4 were business pj's 3 were xga and 1 optoma was 800 x 600. i sold one on facebook for £40 so made some money on them, 1 was broken and i kept the other 2. both have alot of life in the lamps only a few hundred hours, one, the optoma is dlp, and the nec np610 is lcd.

i decided on using the lcd nec unit as my main unit as it is 1024 768 and has the most clocked hours at 800 hours. the optoma has 200 hours and will be a backup, to be honest the optoma picture is a little better on dvd content and hd even though neither are hd pj's the optoma has 3000 contrast ratio, the nec only has 500. but for what i am using them for the nec looks good enough for me.

next i looked at screens, i opted for one found on ebay for £25, it is just the material with a black border, i screwed 7 blocks of wood to the wall, fixed 3m backed velcro to the blocks and to the back of the screen and stuck it on, and it looks pretty decent. i had to do this as the walls were crap and had a dado rail that i couldnt get off, so the blocks were used to lift the screen away form the wall. so far with the sale of the gym equipment, moneywise i hadnt spent anything and was in profit. next was the mount, again a cheap ebay unit for £10, this was a real stab in the dark as i didnt know for sure if it would fit, another cinese generic thing with 4 prongs. anyhow it came and i did a bit of bodging and made it if the pj no worries, fixed it to a beam in the loft without too much hassle, and other than a little horizontal keystone problem that isnt too bad it works a treat. i got a blow up sofa bed form a friend for £10 and for audio i picked up a 2.1 sharp dv50 dvd player/amp speaker set seconf hand for £50. not the best system i know but the room isnt appropriate for 5.1 because of all the junk still in the corners.

its a rudimental set up, but in 4 weeks i have managed to make a semi decent home cinema, my daughter hasnt been out of the room all weekend and its pretty comfy, i can manage a 100 inch image on the 100 inch screen, obviously being a 4:3 pj on a 16:9 screen there is some fiddling to get it right. but im not looking for perfection...yet. If the room gets plenty on use then it wont be too difficult in the future to upgrade all of the stuff to a better spec. i have attached som epictures of the finished result. you will have to excuse the mess, it is a loft after all, and i am yet to paint the walls darker.

all in all the equipment cost me £139, i sold a multi gym and treadmill for £140 so it has cost me -£1 to make a room that will be used more.

the whole thing runs off either the dvd player with a hdmi to vga converter £ off ebay, or the laptop down a 20m vga cable to the projector. as you can see in the pics, i am still painting the window frame and the walls need doing at a later date.
 

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paulfoley

Well-known Member
Well done bud, sounds pretty cool but I think you need to throw out that calculator, you actually got a cinema room & a pound coin for free :)
 

SteveCritten

Distinguished Member
When you get a real PJ and a decent screen you will see a massive jump in quality mate but well done for your budget you have done ok.
 

yan101

Active Member
Haha yea. Once xmas is out of the way ill look into a proper projector for the job. But for now its pretty decent.
 

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