Makeshift to dedicated cinema with garage conversion

Andyos

Standard Member
Like many people over the course of the 2020 lockdown we (and especially the kids) were bored and decided to setup a cinema room in our spare/junk room in the attic space.

The room itself was built as habitable space when we built the house so with shops largely closed we turned to Amazon and ended up with a 100" 16:9 drop down screen coupled with an Epson TW650 projector. Sound was provided by a very old Denon 1902 and a set of Tannoy FX 5.1 speakers left over from the previous house move....

We found pretty quickly that the room whilst a proper room and not an attic still had some drawbacks. Firstly having four Velux windows meant we were limited initially to nighttime viewing, this was solved relatively easily by adding blackout blinds which worked well. Everyone loved the whole cinema experience but again the room itself had more drawbacks - it was on the second floor which was directly above two of the children's bedrooms, which meant nighttime viewing had to be limited to before the kids bedtime but also running up and down two sets of stairs for drinks and snacks started to lose it's initial fitness benefit draw....

Fast forward to early 2021 and we made the decision to convert our attached 6m x 6m double garage by splitting it into three spaces - straight down the middle with a lounge on one side and cinema and laundry on the other....in an ideal world the cinema would have been the lounge to get the maximum space but it means the internal dimensions of the cinema room will be 3m x 4.3m.

The garage roller shutter door is being left in place and the builders will be putting up a false wall on the inside. Flooring will be a floating floor that brings the garage floor level up to the same level as the adjoining kitchen and a false ceiling will be put up even though the current garage ceiling is plasterboard there is an RSJ going the "wrong" way across the centre of the garage.

We won't be applying any specific soundproofing other than boat loads of rock wool as the room above the garage is our bedroom so not bothered about any sound leakage. Building work starts next week on the internals, the garage rear access door has been replaced by French doors for the lounge side and Building Control wanted a small window in the cinema side for ventilation and fire escape.

So on to the interesting stuff, for now we are keeping the Epson TW650 projector - despite rock bottom pricing it provides a pretty decent 1080p image. I am repurposing a Sony STR-DN850 7.1 amp from the current lounge and have bought 7 Fisual HC-LCR in wall speakers from AVOnline after discussing options with @ShanePJ - service and advice was excellent and the speakers arrived next day. The decision to use the same in-walls all round was based on the HC-LCR only needing 72mm mounting depth. I have a choice of two subs to use initially, the one that came with the Tannoy FX5.1 package or an older Mission MS8 sub....any thoughts on which would be better? I appreciate either will probably need to be upgraded longer term.

I intend to cable out for a full 7.1.4 with 4 Atmos ceiling speakers to cater for future upgrades in the receiver but for now the 7.1 should provide enough. I'm also planning to have a go at doing a DIY AT projector screen to take advantage of the in-wall speakers. Looking at room dimensions with 3m wide and the main seating position at approximately 2.7M (there will be a second, raised row behind this for the kids) I think that a 110" screen with 2" border will fit well....I'll probably get the joiners to knock up the frame and I'll use two layers of Lycra, black base and matt white for the screen.

The room itself will have pretty much free reign on colour scheme so I'm looking for recommendations please on wall and ceiling colours that don't make the room look like a giant chalkboard :) The carpet will be grey/silver but will have the option of a dark rug up in front of the seating position.

Anyway, enough waffle, I know that you only really want to see pics so I will try and get cracking with the camera over the next few days. Thanks in advance for any interest, Andy
 

Andyos

Standard Member
Ok, so the builders have been busy and so has work so apologies for no updates....
Floating floor went down and stud walls went up....this is the view from the lounge side into the cinema room on the rhs and the boiler/laundry on the lhs

IMG_2282.jpeg


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Thats the old three seater in there for reference! We've bought a set of Lazy Boy's for the finished room, a three seater and two two seaters....in red, which in the blacked out finished room might just look a little Michael Jackson but the family love them...

I've run the speaker cables and put in a conduit for the HDMI cable to the projector....

IMG_2290.jpeg


I've wired the ceiling for four ATMOS speakers even though the current amp is not ATMOS capable....

They've also built the raised platform for the rear row of seats - this is where the three seater will go and is stuffed with Rockwool too.

IMG_2298.jpeg


Plaster board has been fitted, the fuse box relocated and the in wall speaker cutouts done...

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The plan with the fuse box is to put a slimline access panel in the plasterboard which I'll cover with self adhesive felt which will also run around the perimeter of the screen and on top of the boxed in roller shutter you can see at the top of the pic....unfortunately there was nowhere else the fusebox could go without sticking out.

Sides and rears are cut out too

IMG_2303.jpeg


Plasterers are here now and cracking on so by early next week it should be dried out and second fix....

The only snag so far is the projector (Epson TW650).....whilst it's a really decent 1080p picture for the price it doesn't have any vertical lens adjustment which wasn't really in issue in the attic cinema however placement means it's smack bank in the centre of the step up to the back tier of seats....given the ceiling height is only 2.3m its a no go and the throw means the picture is too big if it's mounted at the back (4.3m from the screen)....so it will be going in the classified shortly and I'm looking for a low cost option to replace it with that can be ceiling mounted and with a throw of around 4m that has vertical lens adjustment......

One final one, the Fisual in wall speakers - looking forward to getting these mounted :)

IMG_0007.jpeg
 
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Andyos

Standard Member
The plastering has been completed and is pretty much dry throughout

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An update on the projector front...thanks to @JamesBaby I now have a pristine JVC DLA-X3 to replace the Epson TW650 which means I can mount the new projector above the rear seating and use the lens shift. After much research I’ve ordered the Peerless AV PRG-UNV mount which seems to be the best option for mounting these large units.

I had a quick play with the projector and have been trying to work out screen size - a 120” 16:9 just fits with ~8cm each side of the frame so not sure if a 110” might be a better bet but I’ll wait until seats are in.

Talking about the screen, I ordered 2 layers of white Lycra and one black from Tia Knight to do the diy AT screen.

Builders are back tomorrow to carry on, I’ve opted for a black radiator so slightly intrigued to see what turns up 😀
 
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Andyos

Standard Member
Not much happening in the cinema, they've fitted the vents to the riser step and cutout for double sockets to power the Lazy Boys (there's one on each side)

IMG_0015.jpeg


The Peerless AV PRG-UNV projector mount has arrived and I've fitted it to the bottom of the projector - it's a seriously slick piece of kit!

IMG_0016.jpeg


Looking at paint now for the bulk of the room, I'll use sticky back velvet around the screen and immediately to the sides....So far the Valspar Tempest Teapot looks nice....
 

NeoAdjuvent

Active Member
Hello Andyos

Always nice to see a build thread that progresses quickly - that's extremely selfish but it's just exciting to see people's progress instead of waiting!

A question about the Epson you have replaced if you don't mind. I am planning an outdoor cinema to project onto my neighbours garage wall and the TW650 is the projector I've had my eye on because of the high lumens. How have you found it in general? I'm looking at the projector being 4m from the area for projection, probably placed slightly higher up on a shelf. Would this work with this projector do you know?

Sorry, I know it's your old projector but don't see much discussion about them. Depending on your answer I'd be interested in taking it off your hands!

Cheers
 

Andyos

Standard Member
Hi there, no problem talking about the Epson, it's what led us to the new cinema build after all! In general it's a really well made product for the price I think - build quality seems good and the picture was very bright - a touch too bright in fact in the untreated original room.

The downsides are no vertical or horizontal lens adjustment and it's a bit loud so we ended up running in eco mode. What it means for placement is that if ceiling mounting the centre of the lens needs to be about 14cm below the top of the screen at a 4m throw and image size would be 128" to 155" : -


This wasn't too much of a problem in the old room as the projector was at the back of the room, but in the new room it would have been right where the step up is on the riser so coupled with a lower ceiling height to start with meant it was far too low.

I don't think this would be much of an issue for an outdoor cinema and I half toyed with doing the same with mine but have enough on with building this dedicated room!

Cheers, Andy
 

Andyos

Standard Member
No builders here today, they're back in tomorrow.....thinking about the decoration, costs are similar for paint and decorator vs a 25m roll of self adhesive velour....I've run it by the Mrs and she's at the point of being "a bit over the whole room" now as it's pretty much dominated conversation for the last month....so I might just pull the trigger and go for the velour whole room treatment....
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
I've painted mine, took 3 cans of paint. Am now in the process of covering it all up with self adhesive felt.

  • Paint marks horribly just by touching it gently and the marks cannot be wiped off.
  • There is a significant difference in the amount of reflection light between the matt black walls and the sections that I have already covered in the felt (Soffits/Ceiling etc.)
 

Andyos

Standard Member
I've painted mine, took 3 cans of paint. Am now in the process of covering it all up with self adhesive felt.

  • Paint marks horribly just by touching it gently and the marks cannot be wiped off.
  • There is a significant difference in the amount of reflection light between the matt black walls and the sections that I have already covered in the felt (Soffits/Ceiling etc.)

Thanks for this, that's what I was concerned about - the room isn't the biggest to be fair and we have three children that will undoubtedly brush up against the walls.

Given that it is going to be a dedicated cinema room and doesn't need to double up as a home office/lounge etc I may as well go for the full monty :)
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
I'm sure some paints are better than others, but the Dulux Matt Black I've painted marks if you lightly trace your fingers over it. I've had to repaint the skirting board last night after the carpet was fitted, as it scuffed the skirting to pieces, even flaking off in some areas.
 

GrazzaB

Well-known Member
I've painted mine, took 3 cans of paint. Am now in the process of covering it all up with self adhesive felt.

  • Paint marks horribly just by touching it gently and the marks cannot be wiped off.
  • There is a significant difference in the amount of reflection light between the matt black walls and the sections that I have already covered in the felt (Soffits/Ceiling etc.)

I find this too, I used black liquorice paint from Wickes I think for my garage conversion, and while it’s very black it also marks so so easily. Not a problem as it’s effectively a bat cave but in bright light the marks would show up a lot. I considered velour but I think that would be going a step too far for my situation in terms of permanently changing the room without a lot of hassle to redo the walls if the velour needed to come off. The black paint has got to the point for me where it suppresses the light spill sufficiently to work really well.

Also I absolutely 100% recommend a black carpet / rug for the floor, it transforms light spill to the floor. I had a dark grey carpet before and it still lit up when the image was bright. Now with a large black rug I get zero light spill to the floor. I’m also lucky in that the ceiling above the screen rolls off at an angle so there’s very little light spill to the ceiling.

Also with velour / black paint you can easily use panels to mask 2.35:1 films and by shifting the image up from your 1.85:1 screen onto your black wall you’ll never see the black bands.
 

Andyos

Standard Member
I've ordered 25m of the plain black velour....I think that should be enough to over the whole room but will start at the front and work back.

Regarding the screen, the builders were looking for an elegant way to cover up the access to the fuse box in the top left front wall and asked why we can make the screen the full room width (2.8m). I explained it was because the screen width impacted the distance from the projector and that's fixed by the length of the room, however, my thoughts were if I make the screen hight correct for a 16:9 it doesn't really matter as I can create masking panels for the sides and bottom if I change to 2.35:1

They have a mounting system that would allow the screen to lift off easily in the event of needing to access the fuse box.
 

Andyos

Standard Member
I still haven't quite got my head around the different screen ratios, I know that my JVC DLA-X3 has the lens shift but doesn't have the lens memory so until its mounted on the ceiling tomorrow I event really had chance to play around with different aspect ratios. The bulk of watching will be movies from Plex via AppleTV but there will no doubt be some Netflix and Amazon Prime watching...
 

NeoAdjuvent

Active Member
Hi there, no problem talking about the Epson, it's what led us to the new cinema build after all! In general it's a really well made product for the price I think - build quality seems good and the picture was very bright - a touch too bright in fact in the untreated original room.

The downsides are no vertical or horizontal lens adjustment and it's a bit loud so we ended up running in eco mode. What it means for placement is that if ceiling mounting the centre of the lens needs to be about 14cm below the top of the screen at a 4m throw and image size would be 128" to 155" : -


This wasn't too much of a problem in the old room as the projector was at the back of the room, but in the new room it would have been right where the step up is on the riser so coupled with a lower ceiling height to start with meant it was far too low.

I don't think this would be much of an issue for an outdoor cinema and I half toyed with doing the same with mine but have enough on with building this dedicated room!

Cheers, Andy

Thanks Andy, really helpful. Good luck with your build you must be really pleased with the speed of the progress!

Do you have plans to move your Epson on?

Oscar
 

Andyos

Standard Member
Thanks Andy, really helpful. Good luck with your build you must be really pleased with the speed of the progress!

Do you have plans to move your Epson on?

Oscar
You're welcome - its been pretty fast paced but we have a good team of sympathetic builders!

I have a buyer for the Epson and 100" drop down screen but if it falls through I'll let you know.
 

Andyos

Standard Member
So lots happening this week, builders, decorators and carpet fitters have all been here and coupled with an extremely busy end of quarter at work means not much time to update the thread!

The screen has been built and I have fitted two layers of Lycra so far, one black and one white with a second white layer to attach when I have some more time...first layer was ok, second not so easy but the results are way better than anyone expected!

I’ve also started to fit the velour wall coverings, starting at the screen end first - it’s not the easiest stuff to work with but not as bad as I expected and the results are really impressive. I would highly recommend the Cinema Blackout version though as I find the cutting of the edge and cutting down to a manageable width tedious.

I’m very impressed with the Fisual in-wall speakers and the 7.1 is definitely worth the additional outlay if space allows. I do however have a problem with one of the subs - I had hoped to use it he Mission MS8 sub I. The short term but it’s blown the internal fuse - seems to be a common problem on these so running with the sub from the Tannoy FX setup - not ideal I guess but will work on that....

I’ll update with more photos over the weekend but thought I’d leave it with one I took of a classic scene from Pulp Fiction - please note the keystone does not need adjusting but is in fact due to taking the photo after too much red wine :)

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This is with just the front wall veloured, the sides have made things even better as will the ceiling once done too!
 

Andyos

Standard Member
The room is nearly complete now but I haven't had time to update the thread so here goes....

Riser completed and cabling pulled through for speakers and HDMI leads

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And at the ceiling end

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Dark grey radiator is a hit with everyone too

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I didn't get many pics of the screen assembly because I mostly did it on my own...however here's the first layer of black spandex fitted which was quite easy as you could see the creases from the back side...

IMG_0026.jpeg


However I quickly realised that the next white layer would not be as easy as you can't see through the black layer....which meant after much swearing and stretching to try and pull & staple at the same time I had to ask the Mrs to help....which she did a great job whilst being scared to death that I was going to staple here fingers....

Screen in situ....

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I moved onto the velour wall coverings next which was a bit if a steep learning curve

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The roller shutter boxing was done first with the screen removed.....and this made an immediate improvement on contrast and colour levels even without starting on the sides

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We had a few movie nights with the room like this as work took precedence during the day.

Seating wise the red Lazy Boys have fitted in really well and everyone loves them

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Carpets have been fitted (mid grey colour) and I've finished off the velour on all the walls which again has made a huge difference. There's only the ceiling to do now which is going to be a pain to do I'm sure.

Covering the side walls again has made a huge difference to the picture, here's one from Gladiator

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On the right hand side you can see the door frame that hasn't been covered yet but you can see where the side wall meets the front wall at all!

I've still got to fit another layer of white lycra to the screen, cover the skirting and door frame with velour and tidy up the cables. I think I'll try and out the velour rolls into narrower pieces for the ceiling....

I'' take some more pics with the lights on over the course of the weekend.
 

Andyos

Standard Member
A quick shout out too to our excellent builders Roy and Paul who have done the whole of the garage conversion and have been super patient with my non standard stuff for the cinema room - If anyone needs any building work in Yorkshire message me and I will pass on their contact details :)
 

THX1138UK

Well-known Member
Hi,

Sounds like you've got everything covered and looks like it's going to be truly excellent!

I thought I would send you a couple of PDFs that document my garage to home cinema conversion anyway. Not sure if you're going to have Air Con, but that's the biggest change in my new environment - dedicated Air Con.

I've recently moved house, and I'm in the process of re-building the home cinema, but this time in an upstairs bedroom. It's almost exactly the same dimensions as my previous space, so very little is changing.

Hope the rest of the process goes well.

Regards,

James.
 

Attachments

  • Home Cinema Considerations.pdf
    392.7 KB · Views: 28
  • Small Home Cinema.pdf
    1.4 MB · Views: 26

maverick177uk

Distinguished Member
Hi,

Sounds like you've got everything covered and looks like it's going to be truly excellent!

I thought I would send you a couple of PDFs that document my garage to home cinema conversion anyway. Not sure if you're going to have Air Con, but that's the biggest change in my new environment - dedicated Air Con.

I've recently moved house, and I'm in the process of re-building the home cinema, but this time in an upstairs bedroom. It's almost exactly the same dimensions as my previous space, so very little is changing.

Hope the rest of the process goes well.

Regards,

James.
Brilliant guides thanks very helpful
 

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