My 17' x 8' Home Cinema Room Project

Phil.LFC

Active Member
OK, this is it. Work is about to start on my project :smashin:

We moved into this house a couple of years ago and the previous owners had converted one half of the double garage into a "family room".
It has been done properly, with timber floor, plastered walls, UPVC window etc. This saves me a load of hassle and work. "All" I've got to do is make a few alterations, redecorate and fill with AV equipment:)

I've spent the last few weeks planning and sourcing equipment for the room. We were using the room as a sort of home cinema room before, but it also became home for various other stuff, including treadmill, table, sofabed.
My previous equipment consisted of a Denon AVR2803 receiver, 37" Panny Plasma, Kef 5005 5.1 speaker system, PS3, and also a hi-fi separate system of Cambridge Audio Azur stuff and some Mordaunt Short MS914 floorstanders.

My new plan is to ditch the Plasma. I'll be using a JVC HD350 projector which I've just bought, a Onkyo 905 amp which I bought off here, PS3, then I'm going to use my 914's at the front together with a MS centre, then use the Kef 5005's at the rear and/or middle for 5.1/7.1. I'm going to have to paint my 914's as they're beech, and I want everything to be dark in this room.
I intend to put in a far bit of effort getting the room right. I have permission from SWMBO to do "what I want" in the room, which is great! In fact, I've even fitted a codelock on the door to the room that only I know the code for, as I want the whole project to be done "secretly" and have a grand opening for the family in a few weeks time :)

My wife has been involved in the planning though, mainly to do with budget, seating and other smaller details.
I can't wait to get on with it now. I'm off work all next week so intend to get quite a bit done then. I'll try my best to keep this thread updated on here for anyone who might be interested.
Thanks must go to all those that have posted their projects. I have read through loads over the last couple of weeks and they have provided me with much encouragement and inspiration. If I can achieve something even half as impressive as most of the projects on here I'll be well happy. I intend to do most of the work myself, although this won't be easy as I work full time and have two boys aged 11 and 12, so life can be hectic. I'm reasonably competent at DIY though, so I'm not too daunted by it all.

I have decided to go with a fixed screen after having a projector demo at fellow AVForum member KBFern's house. (Keith has been a great source of information and inspiration - cheers Keith :smashin:).
As I am going to have a fixed screen, I will need to block up the window at the end of the room (Where the garage door used to be). This will be a good thing in two ways. It will cut out all daylight, also it will reduce the amount of sound leakage I am getting through the window. I will probably block it up from the inside using some kind of framework filled with Rockwool. I'll paint it black on the side that faces the window, then from the outside it will just look like there is a black blind pulled down over the window. With the double glazing it will also have a certain amount of "mirror" effect from the outside.I might also make up a few more frames to use as acoustic panels along the walls.

I've already ordered some seating. 2 power reclining black leather chairs, which will be the main listening/viewing position, about 8 feet away from the screen, then a 2 seater at the back of these chairs, sat on a raised platform that I will build.

I have already tested the projector/viewing distances etc, so all seems good. (The PJ picture is stunning. I've tested the amp tonight too just in stereo and it sounds brill, outperforming my CA Azur, so it's going to sound fab, I hope, with movies when it's all set up properly).

I need to remove a CH radiator, which currently sits under the window. it's never worked very well since we've been here. I reckon the run is too long or there are too many rads in the system. I've decided to get rid of it and I've now ordered an Air Conditioning unit which is coming next week. This will also provide heat.

I'm thinking of going for a black and dark purple colour scheme, with plenty of lighting (Downlights, LED's, rope lights). I'm also thinking of using curtains to cover the fixed screen when not in use. These could also then come back into the room at the sides a little, again helping contrast. I may even get electric curtains. I'm also thinking of using them to mask when watching 16:9, by stitching some strips of upvc into the ends to provide a sharp edge.

Phew, sorry for the long post, think I've covered everything I need to do. It's just doing it now :rolleyes:

A few photos to start with. They are of the room ready to be done and also a couple where I tested the PJ onto a temporary Ikea blackout blind.











 

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snedie

Standard Member
Got my cinema in a very similar setup, but reversed and with 2' extra width in the room. Will be swapping rooms soon for one that is square so that I can get a much cleaner sound stage.
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
A couple of photos from my first days work in the room. Please tell me if it's a bit sad/boring to post photos like this :confused:
Hopefully it'll get more interesting pretty soon.
I can't figure out how to rotate images so that's why the thumbnails are at the bottom.


Radiator removal, not the nicest job:






Today I've got to start working out what wood I need for the raised area, pelmets and screen. I had my AC unit delivered yesterday so that's got to be fitted too. Looking forward to going back to work next week for a rest :laugh:
 

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kbfern

Distinguished Member
Keep up the good work Phil:thumbsup: if you feel knackered now just think back to when you were bringing the 905 home and you will feel as fresh as a daisy.:D
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
Nowhere near as much progress as I'd hoped for today. Spent most of the day planning what woodwork I needed to buy. I was originallly going to have a large pelmet running around the ceiling but this wasn't going to work as I'm restricted for space where the screen is going. I've now designed a different kind of pelmet using skirting board - sounds dodgy I know, but hopefully it'll look ok. I'll post some photos when I start that job.

I've managed to order a load of wood which should be delivered tomorrow. The 8' x 4' sheet of MDF for the screen was not something I wanted to carry on the roofrack, but I did manage to collect the joists for the raised area. This looks a lot of wood:eek:


Air Conditioning unit that arrived damaged :mad:




Indoor unit which is ok:


I'm not a good artist, but just to give you a bit of an idea of what I'm trying to achieve, here's a couple of little sketches I've done:
 

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mossym

Distinguished Member
I have decided to go with a fixed screen after having a projector demo at fellow AVForum member KBFern's house.
good choice, nothing beats a fixed screen.
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
I didn't get anywhere near as much done as I'd hoped last week. Spent hours doing electrical work and fitting the air conditioning.

A few pics of the work so far:

Electrics


Found a good home for the old carpet!!!


Raised area


Air Con outdoor unit - a PITA to fit!


Raised area again
 

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JamesDavison

Active Member
Thanks for the comments :smashin:

It's great to get some feedback. I wasn't sure if anybody would be interested at this "boring" preparation stage of the build.

I'll post some photos later. Been doing a lot of electrical work and fitted the indoor part of the air conditioning unit.
It's certainly not boring! :rotfl: Keep the pics coming, good work :smashin:
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
Hit a slight snag.

Under the floorboards that the previous owners had fitted as part of the conversion, there is no insulation. You can see the original concrete garage floor. Would it be best for me to put some insulation under there? If so, what sort, also how deep, bearing in mind there are air bricks at the front to ventilate the floor. Is it ok to fill it up with insulation?

I need to decide what to do quickly as I am ready to fit my raised area. :confused:
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
Been really busy but still doesn't look much different :(

Everything seems to take far longer than expected.

I've filled the raised area with rockwool and fitted chipboard flooring to it.
I've figured out the wiring for the sidelights (4), LED ropelight, LED downlights and the 2 main downlights. I've also got some LED's for the raised area/step to fit, as well as an illuminated EXIT sign for above the door!
I am going to control the 2 main downlights and the sidelights with a double RC Varilight dimmer. Controlling all the other lights caused me loads of problems, as I want to do it myself and don't want the expense of some of the more elaborate lighting control systems, as well as the amount of time this would take.
I think I may have come across a great idea though. I have bought a 4 way extension socket from TLC which is remote controlled. I am planning to run the ropelight and LED's into this, together with the exit sign. I can then control them individually or all together by remote. I just need to figure out how best to wire the ropelight and led sets, as I have 2 separate ropelight circuits and 3 LED circuits. With the exit sign I will have 6 plugs in total. Would it be ok to wire the 2 ropelight circuits into 1 plug, and do a similar thing with the LED's?

I've also been busy fitting woodwork for the screen frame/window boxing in and also for the pelmets which will house the ropelight and LED downlights.

The window is now completely blocked off. I made a framework up and filled it with rockwool type slabs. I then fitted it to the window rebate, making sure it was a tight fit (I gave the window one final good clean on the inside first!). I painted the back (hardboard) of the framework black. I also left the vertical blinds in position in the window, tilted slightly. From the outside of the house I'm really pleased with the result. It looks normal as the blinds are there. with the black hardboard looking quite invisible from a distance. You have to get really close up to see the black, even then it just looks like a blackout blind is in place.
On the inside I filled the (small) gaps around the edges with plenty of frame sealant. I tested it afterwards and the room is now PITCH black with the door shut :smashin:

I now need to choose a carpet colour. I'm going with a very dark theme. Black walls, ceiling and sofas/chairs. I am thinking of going for either dark red or dark blue carpet, together with similar colour wall panels (rockwool/material). As usual though I'm useless at deciding so I'll have to think about it a bit more. Red or blue:confused: SWMBO is also undecided btw!

I'm off to Bristol tomorrow to the What Hi Fi Sound & Vision Show. I've not really got much else to buy, other than a 10m HDMi lead, a surge protection socket and maybe some Dolby/DTS signs if I can get some. I'll just be glad of the rest really as I've worked my socks off this week. I'm going back to work next week for a rest:laugh:

If anyone could help with some of the qustions I have that would be great. To summarise:
Red or blue carpet? (I know it's personal taste but opinions always welcome!)
2 or more sets of Ropelight/LED's into one plug?
A couple of other things I'll need to sort out soon too:
Which cloth for the front wall/side wall/ceiling (1st metre or so)?
Anyone have experience of fitting 30mm LED's into steps/raised areas through carpet too?
Best Matt Black paint for ceiling? (I used Dulux mixed by B&Q for the hardboard and it seemed ok - ie quite black!)
Best paint for my screen (MDF board)?
Are the acoustic tiles on fleabay any good for ceiling/wall use?
Am I best to run a Cat5 cable to my amp (Onkyo 905)? If so, where's best place to buy?
Mid and rear speaker positions? Mid 90 degrees from main listening position? Are they both best at ear height when seated?

Sorry for all the questions. I'll probably find the answers out myself eventually but just thought I'd ask anyway.

Some photos:

Raised area with insulation added


Window boxing in/boarding up




 

JamesDavison

Active Member
Yep can see them now :) thanks

Interesting... that thing for the window for sound insulation or light?

Is the insulation in the riser doing its job? I wondered whether that or sand would be better...not sure

Good work, keep it up :)
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
Thanks Simon :smashin:

The window board is for both light and sound insulation. Even though it is a double glazed window, it's rubbish at keeping sound in/out. So fixing the board in place will hopefully help and has automatically blocked out ALL light.

The insulation in the raised area was fitted because I'd read on here a few times about people doing a similar thing to stop it becoming a "boom" box or something like that??? I've not tested it yet, but I'm hoping it'll be ok?

Thanks again for your comments, it's nice to get encouragement (SWMBO doesn't want to know - it's just all "a mess" to her :rolleyes:)
 

inzaman

Moderator
This is really coming on so far. The window solution is great; genious even :cool:
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Glad to see some results for your hard work:)

Can't help much with most of your questions but the colour.

Well you can't have blue because it will remind you of Everton it just has to be RED don't you think.:laugh:
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
Hi Inzaman and Keith,
Thank you for your very kind words, but I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without the help/advice/encouragement and inspiration from yourselves and everyone else on this great forum :smashin:

It's a shame AVForums are not at Bristol as I could have shown my appreciation in person as I'm just on the train on my way to the show.

Lol, everton blue, yuk!!!
Saying that I'm having blue LEDs so thought it would look good, but might be a bit too much blue.....decisions, decisions.. :rolleyes:
 

Flimber

Distinguished Member
Do you have aircon elsewhere in the house 'cos that seems like overkill for such a small space :)
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
In such as small place it's surely even more reason for a/c.

Projector/Onkyo 905/3-4 people watching/other electrical equipment/no windows or other ventilation/summer weather.

All good reasons to have a/c in any room let alone a small room which will get hot and sticky pretty fast especially in the summer don't you think.
 

shadybrady

Novice Member
Looks like everthing is coming along nicely there Phil !

As regards your lighting, there are a number of options you could choose depending on how flexible you wanted it to be.

The lights can be run from a plug no problem, there are only 2 issues in that you need to make sure of, the plug should have a 3 or 5 amp fuse in it instead of 13 (lighting circuits run on a 5 or 6 amp circuit depending on how old your electrics are !) The plug could be wired to a 20amp lighting junction box and from this you could feed several lighting circuits (obviously the load (wattage) needs to be known so you dont overload the circuit but as they are leds the wattage should be pretty low).

This would of course mean that one plug would turn on all the lights - or you could run 2 independent circuits, each from its own plug/junction box arrangement and then have these plugs into a spreader/extension cable with remote control timers on them. This way you could use a remote to turn on each of them separately.

The other option (which would be my preferred way) is to connect them into your existing lighting circuit (if you can access the junction boxes/ceiling rose wiring etc), this would mean you could control the main lights/other lights from the varilight dimmer - again they would be all on the same switch or you could add another light switch and create another lighting section on the existing lighting circuit.

Or a final option, run them from a fused spur of your ring main. If you have a plug socket nearby you can run a spur cable off it to a fused connection unit fitted with a 3/5 amp fuse and then a cable from this to your lights - this would mean the lights would be controlled by a manual switch though.

As regards the spotlights through carpet - the issue is always heat ! Leds dont give out anywhere near as much heat as halogens but the manufacturers still advise to not have them near too much insulation or boxed in too much. The toggle springs will keep them pretty flush even if they are going through carpet and then wood - bit of 'adjustment' may be needed on the spring toggles to get a tighter flush fit.

Hope this helps.

Shady
 
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Phil.LFC

Active Member
Do you have aircon elsewhere in the house 'cos that seems like overkill for such a small space :)
In such as small place it's surely even more reason for a/c.

Projector/Onkyo 905/3-4 people watching/other electrical equipment/no windows or other ventilation/summer weather.

All good reasons to have a/c in any room let alone a small room which will get hot and sticky pretty fast especially in the summer don't you think.
Thanks Keith, you answered that one for me!

What you said is exactly why I went for AC, also the fact that the radiator that used to be in the room never worked properly (The fault wasn't with the radiator as I checked it and flushed it out, it was something to do with the supply or the fact that the system probably had too many rads on it anyway).

The AC unit I have bought and fitted also provides heat and I'm more than happy with it for the very reasonable £400 that it cost me. :smashin:

Maybe it is overkill, but then again so is my 8' wide screen, Monolith sub and beefy Onkyo amp, together with an over the top amount of lights, speakers etc, but what the hell, it's exciting for me and I can't wait to get the room finished :D

I might not have the best sized room, certainly haven't got the best gear or knowledge to set it up properly, but friends are always taking the P about "Phil's Climate Controlled Multiplex" as they jokingly refer to it, and I love it really :smashin:
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
Looks like everthing is coming along nicely there Phil !

As regards your lighting, there are a number of options you could choose depending on how flexible you wanted it to be.

The lights can be run from a plug no problem, there are only 2 issues in that you need to make sure of, the plug should have a 3 or 5 amp fuse in it instead of 13 (lighting circuits run on a 5 or 6 amp circuit depending on how old your electrics are !) The plug could be wired to a 20amp lighting junction box and from this you could feed several lighting circuits (obviously the load (wattage) needs to be known so you dont overload the circuit but as they are leds the wattage should be pretty low).

This would of course mean that one plug would turn on all the lights - or you could run 2 independent circuits, each from its own plug/junction box arrangement and then have these plugs into a spreader/extension cable with remote control timers on them. This way you could use a remote to turn on each of them separately.

The other option (which would be my preferred way) is to connect them into your existing lighting circuit (if you can access the junction boxes/ceiling rose wiring etc), this would mean you could control the main lights/other lights from the varilight dimmer - again they would be all on the same switch or you could add another light switch and create another lighting section on the existing lighting circuit.

Or a final option, run them from a fused spur of your ring main. If you have a plug socket nearby you can run a spur cable off it to a fused connection unit fitted with a 3/5 amp fuse and then a cable from this to your lights - this would mean the lights would be controlled by a manual switch though.

As regards the spotlights through carpet - the issue is always heat ! Leds dont give out anywhere near as much heat as halogens but the manufacturers still advise to not have them near too much insulation or boxed in too much. The toggle springs will keep them pretty flush even if they are going through carpet and then wood - bit of 'adjustment' may be needed on the spring toggles to get a tighter flush fit.

Hope this helps.

Shady
Thanks for the comments Shady :smashin:

Thanks for your very detailed response to my lighting questions too.
I think I'm going to go with your suggestion of running 2 circuits from each plug. This will mean I'll have 2 sets of LED ropelights off one plug, 2 sets of LED spots off another, the riser LED's off another, finally the Exit sign off the fourth. These will then plug into the 4 way remote controlled extension socket. :thumbsup:

I did actually wire in a fused spur for the riser lights, but I think I'll change it for a socket because as you said, that would be a "manual" switch which is just not on :laugh:

I'm going to run the two sets of "main" lights off the 2 gang Varilight RC dimmer.

So, now I know what I need to do, I just need to get on with doing it! I'm off work tomorrow so plan to get quite a bit done then. I'll post some pictures of my progress.

Thanks again for your help.
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
A couple of photos showing how it looks from the outside. As I explained, using the black painted hardboard and leaving the vertical blinds in place makes it very reflective and difficult to see in, which obviously you can't anyway!




 

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for carpet I would go for Dark BLue, for the fabric go for Black Velvet from whayleys from yorkshire. Deluxe matt black is fine (looks more dark grey against velvet, so will give a nice colour range. For acoustic form/panels go for Auralex, Dolphin Music is the main dealer in the uk, they also sell on ebay. you will possibly need some bass traps for the BK Sub in that room lol.

good luck

Baz
 

Phil.LFC

Active Member
B****y hell Baz,
Did you have to go and say blue! Just spent half the day deciding which dark red carpet sample looked the best, lol :suicide:

Wanted to add a bit of colour but thought it might be a bit much going blue as the ropelight and riser lights are blue. The red we're going for is quite dark though, more of a burgundy, so I'm hoping it'll look ok. I'm probably going to coordinate it with matching wall panels and possibly cushions too.

I did look into bass traps but I don't think I can fit any in as they go in the corners don't they? I have a door in the one rear corner and a sofa in the other. Can I just use two bass traps, one in each front corner behind the floorstanders?
 

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