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New Projector Lift

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by benjani, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. benjani

    benjani
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    [​IMG]

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    I am a home Cinema and AV enthusiast as well as a custom installer. This is my review of what I consider to be some of the best Home Cinema products on the market.

    The time came for "upgradeitus" one of the things I had always wanted was a decent in ceiling projector lift for my Epson TW 4400. The main criteria was that I wanted the projector to be hidden when not in use as this is our family lounge.


    In the past I have fitted all makes of projector lifts from different companies such as Beamax, Draper, ProAV to name a few, all good products, but, the problem being none would fit into the space in my ceiling. The joists are 200mm or 8" x 2" in old money, no other lifts would fit into the void without building a massive bulkhead which sort of defeated the purpose of what I wanted to achieve. I spent several years searching for the right product to no avail, that was until I came across the "Pure Theatre" website.
    [​IMG]
    The large ceiling recessed projector lift at £1,275.00 was not only more than half the price of other products, it would actually fit into a standard ceiling void in a house, not only that, this lift looks stunning and is way ahead of other products in the Home Cinema market. I also ordered the 12v Trigger Module with RS232 and IR output for my screen and lift.

    I ordered direct via the phone which was a breeze, the staff was ever so helpful and very knowledgeable about their own products. Payment was made via debit card although you can also order direct from the website which is great to peruse. I ordered late Wednesday afternoon and the lift arrived early Friday morning. I was like a kid at Christmas! I could not wait to un box my new toy.


    After checking my measurements and looking under the floor I knew that I would have to make some adjustments to the joists. One joist would be directly in the way of my new Lift. This was no problem as I would trim the joists into the opposite direction. Once the box was opened and after perusing through the instructions, it was time to start fitting my new ceiling recessed projector lift.

    The lift comes with its own metal template that is used for marking the opening, just offer the template up making sure everything is square , scribe around the inside of it with a pencil and mark the 8mm holes. It is so simple, you then drill through the previously marked holes, I then drilled a further hole on the inside of the pencil line so that i could get my jigsaw blade in ready to cut out the plasterboard. Whilst cutting out the ceiling I knew there would be a joist in the way so off I went upstairs ready to take a few floor boards up. I then had to prop the floor so I could cut out the offending joist that was in the way. This was then trimmed in the opposite direction using joist hangers and some new timber with a few fixings. At the same time I had to move a few electrical feeds that was used in my previous setup for the Epson Projector including a double socket and HDMI leads, etc.


    Once everything was prepped it was time to drop the metal template into position and line them up with the previously 8mm drilled holes. Like a dream these lined up perfectly. Next I tested the lift was working before separating the mechanism from the projector housing. I then installed the transformer into the ceiling cavity and connected it to my mains power supply allowing for the 24 volt plug to hang down for easy connection to the lift.


    With my step ladders in place I offered the lift up to its new home and fixed in place using the screws supplied into the template. What surprised me was how sturdy this was when fixed in place. There is further fixing points via the two brackets for later when nearing completion. The lift fitted like a glove! Wow, how happy I felt. After admiring my work for some twenty minutes with a well earned brew it was time for the next stage.


    After placing the Epson Projector into the tray it was time to lift up the housing and fit into the lift mechanism using the two fixings on each side. I then completed final fixings and secured all the screws. The lift was now ready to use. I could not get my hands on the supplied remote quick enough pressing down on the remote control. Almost instantly the Pure Theatre Lift purred down into place looking even more stunning than I thought it would. Time to press up, then down, then up, then down, etc.

    This lift is without doubt a superb bit of kit, it is easy to fit and looks far better than other lifts I have fitted in the past. The price is easy within the budget of most home cinema enthusiasts considering other lifts cost more than twice the price. It works flawlessly and is quiet and very pleasing to the eye.

    The other thing that springs to mind is how clever the design is, whoever thought that they never had the room for a lift in the ceiling now do as Pure Theatre have designed their products to fit in most dwellings between standard floor joists - Pure Genius!!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  2. benjani

    benjani
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    Previously the Projector was attached to the ceiling.
    P1060976(1).jpg 171.JPG P1070159(1).JPG

    After completing the lift installation, it now looks like this.
    023.jpg 016.JPG
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    It looks so much better, really pleased with the outcome. You can see in the last picture with the projector lift closed how I decorated the lift door to match the existing wallpaper on the ceiling.

    It has the trigger module fitted that is from Pure Theatre, this also works via the RS232 connected into the projector and then 12 volt trigger out to AVR. It is the best trigger module I have worked with to date, press a button on the remote and the lift drops along with the projector screen and the Marantz SR 6006 automatically turns on. It is all controlled via my Harmony 900.

    This lift is so quiet in action and looks a lot better than before.
     
  3. benjani

    benjani
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    Managed to upload some bigger pics...







    [​IMG]






    I had to trim the floor joists as one of the joists was in the way.






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    Joists trimmed and opening prepared ready for the projector lift.





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    Lift ready to fix into opening.




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    All in and working. Once fitted into place you can hang your weight on this due to its fixings being that sturdy.



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    All decorated to match existing ceiling.[​IMG]

    Well pleased with the outcome.
     
  4. J-a-m-e-s_7

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    Great work will be hoping to do something like this in my parents living room early next year when i get around to finally doing it. Joists run the right way for my projector screen which is lucky but as you have shown no bother really to trim joists out if necessary which will be the case for the projector lift. You must be in the trade by the quality and workmanship i can see! Nice to see someone who is very gd at what they do and also takes pride in there work. Well done! Just a note to others you can also double up the trimmer joists to add even more strength and help spread the load but for smaller areas its not as necessary.

    Have a gd Christmas!!!
    Regards
    James
     
  5. KelvinS1965

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    This looks really neat and the lower price would tempt me too. However I don't think my JVC X35 would fit in this lift (or between my joists) so I can't have one. I've had to compromise by choosing a white projector as it will be on show when not in use and I'm building a strong floating shelf as per my thread. I'd love something like this though...
     
  6. benjani

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    James,

    You are correct I am in the trade, I take tremendous pride in any work I do as I treat it as my hobby, especially all the Home Cinema goodies.

    Your correct as well about doubling up on the joists, no need on mine due to being so close to the wall.

    Merry Xmas and thanks for those kind words.

    Benjani.
     
  7. benjani

    benjani
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    Kelvin,

    They do a lift for the JVC X35, I fitted one last month and it looks great. The lift for the X35 is slightly bigger and costs a couple of hundred pounds more. Still worth it considering other projector lifts cost twice as much and more.

    I am so impressed with the quality of these lifts and screens.

    Have a great Christmas.

    Benjani.
     
  8. inzaman

    inzaman
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    That looks fantastic :):cool:
     
  9. benjani

    benjani
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    Thanks for the great comments:D Merry Christmas.
     
  10. benjani

    benjani
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    12 Volt trigger module that sits neatly on top of the projector tray out of site. The RS232 allows the projector to switch on automatically when the lift is opening. It also switches off automatically when the lift is going up, etc.[​IMG]








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    PureTheatre™ 12v Trigger module with RS232 and IR OUTPUT simply plugs into your PureTheatre Projector Screen or Lift.

    This module adds trigger functionality allowing all control systems, projectors and AV amplifiers with a 12v output to be connect directly to you Pure Theatre Projector Screens and Lifts.

    When the module receives a 12v Input signal the Screen / Lift will lower. When the signal is cut to 0v the Screen / Lift will raise.

    When the Screen / Lift is lowered the output line is set to 12v. This can be directly connected to any projector with a 12v input to automatically turn the projector ON or OFF as you raise and lower the lift.

    With IR OUTPUT we can turn Panasonic and OPTOMA projectors ON and OFF without the need for any cables. The module will simply send out the ON and OFF signals via Infa Red.

    The12v output will go high when the Screen / Lift is lowered. Once the Screen / Lift are retracted the 12v output is cut to 0v.

    The RS232 port allows the Screen / Lift to be connected to a PC to allow firmware updates.
     
  11. Aberdeen Al

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    Looks great - gives me an idea ;-)
     
  12. OBee1

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    Got the same lift and I also got the screen from pure theatre. I too had to trim the joists which was a real pain! Well worth all the effort though. The power pack in my lift failed after 2 months and they sent me a new one with no problems.
     
  13. benjani

    benjani
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    Agree totally, well worth the effort.

    Their after sales is secound to none, they sort things rapidly - well impressed.
     
  14. KelvinS1965

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    Did you need access above to replace the faulty parts or could it be done from below? Do they have a manual over ride to lower the shelf as if I fitted one of these then I wouldn't have access above once installed due to laminate flooring going back down in the room above?
     
  15. benjani

    benjani
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    Kelvin

    You get access from below. You undo four screws and the lower half of the lift comes away for maintenance, etc.

    No need to access from above.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  16. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    I wonder if it's possible to install one from below as I'd have to take up the flooring in the room above, then re lay it, which is just another step I could do without.

    Once the Christmas decorations come down I was going to start installing the floating projector shelf that I welded up a while ago. However, if this lift could be installed from below then I think I could be tempted despite the high cost as I want as discrete an installation as possible. It's a pet hate of mine seeing living rooms that look like a hifi/AV shop.
     
  17. benjani

    benjani
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    [​IMG]
    Kelvin,

    The pic above shows the lift with the projector housing taken off, you can get all the access you need from there.
    It is possible to install from below without taking the flooring up, but, this depends on the size of the Projector lift. They come in all sizes, small, medium, large, extra large and custom made. The standard joists are 400mm centres in some dwellings its more, them again I have fitted them where the joists had 600mm centres. Its all about what siuze projector you have that determines what size lift you need. If it fall in the catagory that it fits inbetween the joists then you can install from below without touching the floor upstairs.

    I have fitted eleven of these in the past 15 months, the vast majority fitted without needing to touch the floor upstairs. The others needed the joists trimming due to them being in the way or the projector lift being bigger than the standard gap between joists, etc.

    If you go on the website, you will be able to get all the info you need.
    Ceiling Recessed Lift - Projector Mounts - Product Range

    Should you need any further help drop me a message and I will help as much as I can:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  18. KelvinS1965

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    I can't remember what the spacing is between my joists but I had my bathroom floor up a few years ago so I'll have to dig out the pictures to see if I can work it out. They go across my ceiling at right angles to the projector which fires down the room. However I have a feeling the joist gap is not as big as my X35 (it is nearly 500mm deep), so this could be a problem for installation only from below. :(
     
  19. benjani

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    If thats the case it means taking a few fllor boards up to trim the joists. Its no problem you only have to roll the carpet back. Look at the earlier pics, you will see I rolled the carpet back a few feet. Use a stud finder to see which way the joists go.

    These lifts look the Dogs Do Da's when they are fitted:D
     
  20. KelvinS1965

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    The problem is that there is laminate flooring in the room above, which I'd prefer not to have to take up. I'd then have the added expense of fitting a carpet or replacing the laminate flooring. To be honest it's not so much the cost, but the hassle of more DIY as I'm also starting some major work in another bedroom in the new year.
     
  21. chienmetallique

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    Go for it Kelvin, the one thing stopping me from getting an X35 or 55 is it won't fit in or on the cabinet we have. I don't like the idea of ceiling mounts either, I have thought about this solution but with 400mm joist centres considered it a no go. If you do it and catalogue it, I may join the JVC club. :thumbup:
     
  22. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    Chienmetallique, I'm seriously giving it some thought as to whether I could do this from below, even if I have to modify a joist. I was going to start fitting my floating shelf, but pointless doing this and then fitting the lift as I'd have to make good where the shelf has been.

    It looks like the one for the X35 would be the X-Large model (PJ size 480mm x 510mm x 190mm) for £1,575:

    http://www.puretheatre.com/products/projector-mounts/projector-lifts/projector-lift-x-large.html

    However, the issue for me is that it only comes down 160mm. I need to check if this is far enough as there is a light fitting 1.5 metres in front so I don't know if this will allow the projector beam to miss the light fitting. It will also make putting my A Lens on a little awkward as I only use it for 2.35:1 content my plan would be to have some sort of clip on shelf extension similar to what I do now, otherwise I'd be looking at the XX Large model which is getting a bit silly at £2,750 (ie more than the projector cost).
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  23. chienmetallique

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    Kelvin, look at it another way, are you likely to move anytime soon? if not, let's face it your next projector is probably going to be a JVC so the lift would seem like a sensible value add on to your house. I know my wife is all for stealth installations and if you can pull it off I will get my hands dirty and have a go. Surely JVC won't make their PJs any bigger, so it is a one time deal. :cool:
     
  24. KelvinS1965

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    It's kind of my thought (since we never plan on moving again) though there is a possibility (eventually) that we might rebuild our conservatory into a proper room with a tiled roof at some point. This would then become the winter cinema room as well as a summer room during the day (the only reason why I would go through the pain of more DIY and disruption). I would move the lift into this new room to keep the installation discrete.

    However, the main issue for now is that the shelf won't drop down enough to clear the lighting so would be a non starter unless they do a version that can be lowered further. I need to contact them in the new year to find out, but if it becomes a custom build for 'silly' money, then I'll make do with my proposed floating shelf instead.
     
  25. chienmetallique

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    I hadn't considered that, I suppose it might also mean difficulties with the Lens Memory function as well? I will :rtfm: and find out.
     
  26. OBee1

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    It is a real bugger though and not a 1 person job
     
  27. KelvinS1965

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    I hadn't thought of the lens memory, but I only use two settings which are very close anyway (just the slight difference in screen height between with and without my Isco II lens). I would probably get away with that, but not if the light fitting is in the way. It's a flat to the ceiling light anyway, so changing it wouldn't help unless to downlighters which IMHO would look awful in the living room (and be lots of work to install).

    It probably isn't easy to fit the lift, but I have a willing (well sort of) helper. :) I'm starting to wonder if there is a DIY alternative, but I won't post on here if I go this route, I'll start another thread so as not to spoil this one.
     
  28. chienmetallique

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    meccano anyone?
     
  29. Blasto

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    I also have a PureTheatre screen and lift and mounted both from below without lifting floorboards. Agree its a two-person job (the screen is better with three), but not difficult if you take your time and think everything through. You need to consider where the power is coming from, routing cables (or nowadays use a streaming client such as an Apple TV?) and linking the two if using triggers. I also had to box inside the ceiling as the dust levels were a problem. Also (as mentioned) think about access should a fuse blow or power pack fail - make the socket easy to reach and power pack easy to fish out again .

    Their sales and customer service was excellent. Not at all pushy, just very informative and helpful. I believe its all made in the UK too - It was almost a shame to hide the lift mechanism - beautifully engineered and built (in the UK I believe).

    It would have been better if the triggers were built in - they were fiddly to install in situ, but top marks anyway - highly recommended.
     
  30. benjani

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    Blasto;18237552]I also have a PureTheatre screen and lift and mounted both from below without lifting floorboards. Agree its a two-person job (the screen is better with three), but not difficult if you take your time and think everything through. You need to consider where the power is coming from, routing cables (or nowadays use a streaming client such as an Apple TV?) and linking the two if using triggers. I also had to box inside the ceiling as the dust levels were a problem. Also (as mentioned) think about access should a fuse blow or power pack fail - make the socket easy to reach and power pack easy to fish out again .

    Their sales and customer service was excellent. Not at all pushy, just very informative and helpful. I believe its all made in the UK too - It was almost a shame to hide the lift mechanism - beautifully engineered and built (in the UK I believe).

    Blasto,

    Agree totally with your comments and yes, it seemed a shame to box in such a great bit of engineering.

    One of the reasons I bought from this company is that they are based in the UK and all their products are made in the UK. I have said before their lifts and screens are much better than anything I have fitted before. The quality is superb and nobody comes near with other lifts I have fitted in the past several years.

    Overall, I think you have posted some good advice in your post.:)
     

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