Project: New house, new home cinema

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by jws, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. jws

    jws
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    My wife and I recently moved into our first house in September 2012 after looking at lots of properties we finally went for a new build since my DIY skills were none existent (more on that later) and the thought of having to pull apart an older house seemed rather daunting!

    However, while we were looking I always had in the back of mind that I wanted my own home cinema as my parents have one in their home and it's always a delight to take advantage of when we go back home for the weekend.

    I had always thought I would need to convert a garage into my cinema but the costs of converting it did worry me somewhat! But by pure fluke the plot we ended up buying had a slightly modified version of the house style which had the garage converted into another reception room, the builders sold it as another bedroom on the ground floor, I saw a far better use for it!

    So followed many months of research on many different sites and many hours of reading about all the various aspects of home cinemas and then I condensed it all down into a spread sheet of what would work and then put together a shopping list, then came the painful part of saving and watching for any price drops on the kit I wanted.

    The Room:
    The room is a modest size at, 3.69*2.51m (12"1' x 8"3') but a near perfect fit for what I wanted, a c. 105" screen where you could sit far enough back from the screen to enjoy it properly.

    Room Before
    [​IMG]

    The Room Prep:
    On moving in to our new house all the rooms where the obligatory magnolia, so I had a great blank canvas to work with. I originally wanted to paint the room black or put up black curtains on three walls, but that was shot down in short order and a compromise of grey on three walls with a white wall for the screen was reached. The grey we used was Chic Shadow and we went for the Once version to save having to do multiple coats.

    Once we had finished painting the room in late December I had saved up enough to start ordering the kit I wanted.

    At this stage my DIY skills started to get remarkably better, funny what a good dose of motivation can do!

    Room ready for painting:
    [​IMG]

    Paint applied:
    [​IMG]

    And look once dry:
    [​IMG]

    Screen end, wall to be painted with four coats of white paint, very carefully and slowly (result with border after kit list)
    [​IMG]

    Back of room once put back together:
    [​IMG]

    The Kit
    Projector - LG PA70G - £490 Pixmania

    Projector mount - Wall mount unit as my ceiling joists would have meant having to mount the projector off centre and as no lens shift on the projector would have been an issue!
    Projector wall mount - £30

    Speakers - Tannoy TFX 5.1 all in one - £250 Richer Sounds

    Amp - Onkyo TXNR515 - £270 - Richer Sounds

    Screen - White paint, any DIY store

    Screen edge - Black velvet - Ebay about £25 (shipped from India and it's still cheaper than buying locally)

    Speaker cable - Still deciding, but something around the £2/m mark

    LED Lights - 2x5m rolls of RGB 60/m LED lights for the ceiling to add mood lighting from Amazon - LED Lights

    Coving for the lights to sit on - 10m of thin polystyrene coving from any DIY store, lightweight, cheap and perfect for sticking the LED strip to.

    Remote - I was originally going to buy a Nexus 7 tablet but then went for a cheaper brand and a 10.1" screen to make it easier to scroll through my media catalogue - c. £160

    Media player - Raspberry Pi - £30

    Media storage - NAS Box + 2x2Tb Hard drives - c. £200 depending on price of hard drives which seems to move daily

    So all in c. £1500, but you could easily have done it for less if you dropped out the lights, tablet, media storage/player (and just bought a Blu-ray player) and could save another £70 by getting a Sony amp which doesn't have networking but does have up-scaling (as I personally believe it's a must with screens of over 80" really).

    Result
    So after two months of painting, tinkering and setup my cinema is finally in a near finished state (LED lighting still needs final wiring and setup) and looks like this:

    Screen turned off, can clearly see sharp edging with black velvet. A real pain to put up but makes a huge difference on a white painted wall
    [​IMG]

    Shot of Tron Legacy in full screen IMAX (picture is grainy due to camera phone being rubbish in the dark!)
    [​IMG]

    Shot of Jurassic Park
    [​IMG]

    I'll upload some close ups of the screen along with a few of the projector and mount shortly and give a bit of detail around why I went for an LED projector instead of a normal bulb one.

    Hope you all like it, I know it's nothing compared to some of the stunning builds others have done but it does the job for me and at 105" it's an absolute steel for what it cost.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  2. chocobear

    chocobear
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    It looks really good, I'd be interested in how you did the coving?

    How about painting the door a matt black?
     
  3. jws

    jws
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    Thanks.

    I spent ages trying to find products or solutions online and in the end I just got the some super lightweight polystyrene coving (most DIY stores sell it) and then just hammered nails into it every 25cm.

    I probably could have put a bead of no more nails for extra strength, but didn't want to wreck my fresh paint (should have put the coving up before I painted in hindsight since both wall and coving are grey so could have painted the lot in one go!

    I used a mitre block from a DIY store to take care of the corners and then just tapped the nails in carefully using a screwdriver and hammer so they were recessed a little then filled them over with coving filler before painting with two coats of the grey I used on the walls.

    Then once it was all dry I ran the LED tape along the top edge using the sticky back tape it came with and firmly pressed down since the coving has a flat edge for the wall and ceiling the ceiling edge was perfect for the LED tape and that's it job done.

    I'll take a few pics of a few off cuts I have with the LED tape on and a nails in place so you can get a better idea of what I'm on about!
     
  4. jws

    jws
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    A few images of a sample of coving I used to test out my solution to putting LED lighting cheaply and easily in my room.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I placed it so that there was a 2.1cm gap between the top of the coving and the ceiling which gives a good amount of diffusion, as shown here:

    [​IMG]

    Another shot I took of the coving before I painted it, the LED light gives quite a nice glow through it since it's just polystyrene.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  5. Linx08

    Linx08
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    Hmm, that is very successful. I must admint when I read your plan I had my reservations but on seeing it up it does work very well.

    Kind regards

    Linx
     
  6. jws

    jws
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    A few shots of the LED lights
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Had a bit of fun with this one as the two LED strips can be controlled independently
    [​IMG]

    Another showing the back of the room, in blue this time:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. jws

    jws
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    Thanks Linx.

    I was just as concerned about whether it would work, but I took the view it hadn't cost me much in terms of materials so it was worth a shot and if it didn't work then lesson learned and I'd save up for the "pro" solutions for the lighting!
     
  8. jws

    jws
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  9. jws

    jws
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    One point I thought worth mentioning is how I aligned the projector and the screen as from what I've read it can be a pain to do.

    The solution I came up with was to measure my screen to find the centre of it, nothing fancy, just a tape measure and a pencil and then I used one of these quite frankly amazing bits of kit (which has helped me no end with literally everything I've had to put up since moving in):

    Bosch Quigo

    I placed the back of it against my centre mark, held it flat against the ceiling then turned it on and boom, one centre point on my opposite wall where the projector mount was going, no measuring, no messing about.

    I then measured the lens offset on my projector and adjusted my "centre" line accordingly, then marked my drill holes for the wall mount, crossed my fingers and went for it!

    And it actually worked!
     
  10. Linx08

    Linx08
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    You can use two bits of string from the edge of the screen to the lens, but a good tape measure and a laser level work easily enough. :)

    Linx
     
  11. jws

    jws
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    As I noted in my first post I specifically went for an LED projector over a normal bulb projector. There seems to be a wide range of opinions on whether LED projectors are worth buying right now, mainly due to their lower brightness levels and the fact no pure LED projector is 1080p yet (you have to get an LED/laser hybrid if you want full 1080p and they have their own issues).

    Dealing with the fact it's not full HD first, this didn't bother me since I didn't want to spend too much on the projector and as I was going to project onto a painted wall it didn't really seem worth the money for the extra resolution that I'd probably not be able to see anyway.

    With regard to brightness, this did concern me a little since I had used a normal 1600 lumen bulb projector for my parents home cinema which did look great for the first few months, but did start to fade overtime which from what I've read shouldn't happen with an LED light source. I was also planning to use the LG in a very light controlled room to minimise the impact of the lower brightness (700 lumen).

    On using the unit daily since I got it setup I will say that it is quite sensitive to outside light sources, but I am running it at about the maximum screen size that is advised for the unit, so if I'd gone down to say 80" I believe it would be a little less susceptible to outside light sources. Having said that I can have the blinds drawn, the curtains open and the lights off and still see a perfectly bright and clear image on the screen.

    In terms of fan noise, on the lowest brightness setting the fans are audible, but in my opinion, no more so than the normal bulb based Optoma my parents have (both setups are similar in that they unit is basically directly above your head).

    But the key reason, for me anyway, as to why I went for LED is the fact there isn't a bulb to replace or look after so I can turn the unit on and off at leisure and watch TV, Movies and play games for as many hours as I want without the worry of a £100+ bill every 6 months for a new bulb.
     
  12. jws

    jws
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    Now where's the fun in that? Besides lasers are cool! :)
     
  13. jws

    jws
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    Some close up shots of the screen and the edging which is just black velvet tape which I trimmed to the width I wanted (that took some time and patience to get right!).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also a few close up shots of the projector and mount:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see the LED tape here as well as I need to trim it to a final length before final wiring. It's very cool stuff but quite fragile and has a habit of overheating if you bend it too much or overlap it!
     
  14. noterms

    noterms
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    I didn't think you could get those poly covings anymore? We had them and plasterer said you cant buy them as they are rated a fire hazard.
     
  15. jws

    jws
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    Hopefully your plasterer was referring to how they used to be made... I hope!

    But this is the stuff I bought a few weeks ago - comes in packs of 4 lengths:

    Coving
     
  16. inzaman

    inzaman
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    It looks great and just shows you what can be accomplished in a small space really :cool:
     

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