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Living room/cinema room

Dan201

Well-known Member
*Updated pics on page 3*

I've been a member of this site for a couple of years now and its been a great source of inspiration for my home. What started out as a plan to get an all in one Bluray 5.1 speaker system quickly progressed into a more ambitious plan. And with the help of people on this site I've pretty much got my living room into the cinema room/living room I've dreamed of.

Id like to share what I've done in the hope the information will help others like myself and hopefully they can improve on it in their own rooms.

Like most of us I am limited by my budget. I live in a ground floor flat and don't have the spare room to make a dedicated cinema room so I had to combine my living room with a cinema room and hope I could get good results without ruining the room for other use.

This is a small picture from the estate agents showing the room before I moved in;

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The room is 6.3m long and 3.6m wide.

The first thing I did was gut the room and completely redecorate it. Being a flat I decided to install some sound proofing on the side wall and ceiling. The ceiling was fitted with accoustic plasterboard and the side wall had some very heavy double plasterboards with rubber between. With the existing solid walls it seems to have done the job as I haven't had any complaints (yet).

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I also took the old door off as it was glass and I needed to stop the light from coming in.

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I decided I was going to use a projector with a 7.1 speaker system. I opted for height channels and had the speaker cable and projector cable put behind the drop down ceiling. The projector's HDMI cable was 13m long, I ordered an amplified model to help with the distance.

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The walls are painted Taupe and the ceiling is Chalk White. Not ideal colours for a projector room but nice and bright from a living room. I spent quite a bit of time reading a thread called Maximising Image Contrast, full of nutters like myself that wanted to improve their images by improving their rooms rather than equipment.

Someone on this forum kindly helped me work out how much space I would have and if my big head would fit under the projected image;
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Here you can see my original projector screen, a horrible one off ebay. I had nothing but problems with the seller and id recommend avoiding them if you can. They are called Primebuy and you can see others having problems here, http://www.avforums.com/forums/projector-screens/1395376-primebuyuk-ebay-screens-any-good.html
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My new Lazyboy 3 seater sofa is there too! I love that sofa!

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I ordered an autogliss electric curtain rail to go over the window at the end of the room. They have several options and I chose one with the IR remote control. Its used daily and has never missed a beat. I hung a custom made curtain from it made by Whaley's in Bradford. They sell a Devore material that is very very black. They told me it is usually used to make dresses but I know members of this site have bought a LOT of it over the past couple of years so this site is owned some commision. Its fitted with a blackout lining as its not very thick.

I painted the area around the screen Flat Matt Black (dulux);
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It didn't take long for me to change my screen, I went for a Saphire 106" matt white model with black casing;

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My equipment at this stage was an Onkyo 608, Kef 3005se 7.1, Philips 7404 42" TV, Epson 8500UB projector. It was working really well and I was very happy with it.

A year or so later I decided I wanted to upgrade my speaker system. The Kfe 3005se was good but I had since heard much better and really wanted the same thing.
I stuck with Kef and decided on their new R Series speakers. I also took the chance to upgrade my AV receiver to an Anthem MRX 300 and a seperate Anthem Statement A5 amp.

I decided I wouldn't need height channels with such good speakers up front so I decided to put 2 on the rear wall instead. I put new speaker cable around the ceiling (Van Damme Blue 4mm).
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The speaker cable didn't fit in the trunking I had put up but luckily the cable peeled off very easily. It looks like they put 2 layers of projective coating on their 4mm cable and the outer one came off which made it fit into the trunk. That was a relief!
 
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Dan201

Well-known Member
Here you can see the new Kef R800ds dipole speakers and my Epson projector. I also added some red towers to the walls to match the sofa a bit;

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Because the new speakers and amp took up so much space I had to get a new TV unit, one that wasn't as wide. I chose the Sonorous Neo Troy unit found here, Sonorous Neo Troy Cantilever TV Stand for Up to 50 inch TVs - Graphite: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

Its a great unit that hides cables away and disappears into the black;

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At this point I had also added a black carpet runner ordered off ebay. It didn't fit perfectly but it was close enough. You can also see the MRX 300 and A5 stacked up there next to the speakers. The new grey sofa was from Dwell.

I was using a Logitech Harmony one remote originally but I kept having problems with commands getting lost. That remote requires direct line of sight and with the projector to the rear and everything else to the front I decided to sell it and buy the IR version, the 900.

I switched the light switch over for a Green-i model. Its IR activated so I could use it with the remote! Lazy or what?!

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Dan201

Well-known Member
Finally I upgraded my projector to the Epson TW9000. Its black so fits in well and so far I love it.

Here are some final snaps of my room as it is today;

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I love the room and although a lot of people won't agree I believe I have a great compromise of living room space and cinema room entertainment in one room. It cost a lot but I did it over time. If I could change any decision then it would be to get either a cheaper amp or not one at all. The MRX does such a great job anyway that in my room I don't need a seperate amp. Ill be glad I've got it when I move though Im sure.

Thanks for looking.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
Looks stunning, you should be proud of yourself.

Did you have any problems ceiling mounting the projector or any tips for someone that is going to be doing so?

I notice your using plasic cable hiders for your rear channels, but what are you doing with the cables for your projector, i can't quiet see on the picture, looks like they are going into the wall?
 
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GloopyJon

Distinguished Member
Yes, nice place. As you said, a bit different from many of the rooms that are on display here, but it does what you want and looks good! Also, it's great to see different styles of rooms because they give different ideas that people may not have thought of - one example is the red towers that you've painted on your walls. Not sure if I'd do the same thing myself, but it's interesting to see.
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
Looks stunning, you should be proud of yourself.

Did you have any problems ceiling mounting the projector or any tips for someone that is going to be doing so?

I notice your using plasic cable hiders for your rear channels, but what are you doing with the cables for your projector, i can't quiet see on the picture, looks like they are going into the wall?

The builders mounted the projector before putting the dropped down plasterboard up and then they cut a hole which the mount pokes through. The plasterboard on its own wouldn't have been strong enough to support such a large projector.

Another way to do it would be to put a solid wooden block behind the plasterboard so that things like ceiling speakers and the projector screen can be mounted into a solid surface. The last thing you want is it all to come crashing down!

The projectors HDMI cable is run along the joists behind the plasterboard on the ceiling but I didn't use a tube. I wish I had as it would have helped if I needed to drag another one through.
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
Yes, nice place. As you said, a bit different from many of the rooms that are on display here, but it does what you want and looks good! Also, it's great to see different styles of rooms because they give different ideas that people may not have thought of - one example is the red towers that you've painted on your walls. Not sure if I'd do the same thing myself, but it's interesting to see.

To be honest I wasn't sure on the red towers either, I nearly painted over them again after I did it and maybe one day I will. But its grown on me and I quite like the look. The good thing about paint is its easy to cover up!

Im glad you liked to see a different room. The more that are put on here the better it is for people when they come to change theirs. The last thing we want is for them all to look the same.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
My flat came with red curtains in the living room (being lazy, they are sill there) and i really like the contrast between them and the black of pretty much everything else.

Seems to work well in your room also.
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
andy2322 said:
i'm loving your setup looks very clean.where did you get them dts hd & true hd signs from?

They were bought on ebay a couple of years ago. No home cinema is complete without them!
 

Silverblack

Well-known Member
Wow you have a very nice setup it looks very well done, I also like the red sofa as it adds a bit of contrast within your room watching movies in there must be epic!!!:smashin:
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
Chosing a red sofa wasn't an easy decision. For one thing it was expensive to import a Lazyboy and the other was that everyone seems to have brown leather in their rooms. But I wanted to make a feature of the sofa and although the red paint can take away some of the sofa's presence it still feels like the centre of the room.


The room isn't anything like I planned it to be but I hope i continue to change it as time goes by, as I see better rooms on here.

Variety is the spice of life after all.
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
I should mention that I use a Dune HD Max to stream my movies to my living room. My movies are stored on my custom home built server in another room.

Another change I am making is to change the rear speakers. I decided on dipoles for the rear channels and sides but after using them for a lot of movies I miss the direct sound from regular speakers.

The dipoles are designed to simulate a much bigger room, to make a very wide sound stage. They do that perfectly. But having the rears the same as the sides means that I can't tell the difference between the 2 during movies and that isn't great news. Im homing that by replacing the rears with the Kef R100's ill get the best of both worlds.

here is the thread which helped me build my server;
http://www.avforums.com/forums/networking-nas/1561544-new-home-server.html
 
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Rich H

Well-known Member
Very well done Dan! Nice and neat and it looks effective, especially for a non-dedicated room.

I keep telling people about the value of doing what you did there for the equipment - create a visual separation
for where your equipment will sit (if visible around your screen) vs the rest of the viewing room. One of the constant aesthetic eye-sores (to me and I'm sure to people who professionally design home theaters) is the equipment around the screen. Too often it just looks like a screen with equipment unceremoniously dumped on the floor around the screen. Really sort of half-assed and jerry-rigged looking (like a frat-school version of home theater...sorry for all the offense I'm likely now causing...it's just a personal pet peeve, though clearly not everyone can get around it).

In your case, as I did with my room, you ran a portion of black carpet under the equipment to match with the general black "stage" area of the screen. You can see from the photos before and after you did this: before it had the equipment dumped on the carpet around the screen look; after it looks like there is a deliberately designed area on which the equipment is meant to sit, separate from the rest of the viewing area. So it looks more neat and professional. Excellent stuff!
 

bravogolf

Active Member
I didn't notice what Rich wrote about until he said as such, and he's right, it looks way more professional. What a transformation though, it's aesthetically very warm and comfy. Initially I thought you should paint the room darker but it looks perfect with the screen on. Cool dog!
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
Very well done Dan! Nice and neat and it looks effective, especially for a non-dedicated room.

I keep telling people about the value of doing what you did there for the equipment - create a visual separation
for where your equipment will sit (if visible around your screen) vs the rest of the viewing room. One of the constant aesthetic eye-sores (to me and I'm sure to people who professionally design home theaters) is the equipment around the screen. Too often it just looks like a screen with equipment unceremoniously dumped on the floor around the screen. Really sort of half-assed and jerry-rigged looking (like a frat-school version of home theater...sorry for all the offense I'm likely now causing...it's just a personal pet peeve, though clearly not everyone can get around it).

In your case, as I did with my room, you ran a portion of black carpet under the equipment to match with the general black "stage" area of the screen. You can see from the photos before and after you did this: before it had the equipment dumped on the carpet around the screen look; after it looks like there is a deliberately designed area on which the equipment is meant to sit, separate from the rest of the viewing area. So it looks more neat and professional. Excellent stuff!

You explain it very well. The black carpet under the kit was one of the last things I did and one of th cheapest too. I just wish I had done it sooner! Not only does it help to keep the room looking like its meant to be that way, it also hides the speakers very well. The Kef R900's really are big, too big for my room really. But with the speaker covers on and black all around them they don't look so dominating.

You can't really see it in the pictures but I have put black tape over the displays of my equipment so there are no lights visible when watching a film. In a dedicated room Id put all that kit behind the viewing area but in this room I didn't have that choice and its amazing how much light bluray players etc give off when all the lights are out!
 

Dan201

Well-known Member
I didn't notice what Rich wrote about until he said as such, and he's right, it looks way more professional. What a transformation though, it's aesthetically very warm and comfy. Initially I thought you should paint the room darker but it looks perfect with the screen on. Cool dog!


Thank you. :smashin:
 

Donnacha

Distinguished Member
Super set up and the balance between home cinema and living space is great and is such a hard thing to get right. I'd love to go darker in my room when it comes to paint but its a fine line when you have to have the room for dual purposes !!

Well done, I bet it looks and sounds great - how's the projector?
 

Rodrigues

Active Member
Just a thought while reviewing your room: Have you ever thought of clearing the path to your front speakers? I mean, eg. remove that gray sofa from that place? I really think you would have a better performance of your front speakers without such obstacle.
 

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