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Puffy's AV Lounge Build

puffy5

Active Member
A little background first.


Back in 2012 we extended our house and built a dedicated home cinema - the thread for which can be found below:


Puffys' Garage to Cinema Conversion


The last photo shows a plasma on the wall but i eventually ended up with an Epson projector and fixed screen - it’s just that i never got round to updating the thread.


Fast forward 3 years and we are now living in our new (for us) house.


In this house there isn’t really any scope for a dedicated room due to several factors including cost and layout. However, my wife has (surprisingly) agreed to having all of the home cinema equipment in the lounge (bar the projector).


This thread will take you through this new project as it moves through the various stages.


So the photo below shows the fireplace wall:





We ‘ummed’ and ‘arred’ over which wall to have the TV on but in the end decided not to put it above the fireplace but to go slightly against convention and put it on the internal wall opposite. The fireplace would be blocked up.

There were several benefits to this:


  1. With the fireplace blocked up we would have better layout flexibility.

  2. We could get a larger sofa (on order) along the ex fireplace wall.

  3. The gas fire that would hardly ever be used would be removed and sold and the money used to help fund the project.

Below is a photo of the TV wall as it stands now:










Initially we were thinking of getting a media unit to house all the av equipment in but i then had the idea of hiding all the equipment away in a cupboard directly behind the wall pictured above. This is the cupboard:





As you can see, it is currently the home for the vacuum and a random office chair!


Putting all the AV equipment in here will give us a nice clutter free wall with just the TV, speakers and a nice floating cabinet on it.


However, hiding all the equipment in the cupboard is going to create another problem...control! (or lack of)


In the old cinema room i had a Harmony One to control everything but as it needs line of sight with the equipment it is going to be rendered useless. I think the solution we’re going to go for is a Harmony Elite utilising the mini IR blaster for the TV.





Speaking of the TV. The Samsung has been with us for 6+ years now and it was decided that we would replace it for something sleeker.

From my wife’s point of view she wanted something thinner and better looking. From my point of view i wanted a 4K Smart TV with great picture quality and a user friendly operating system. After reading many reviews i decided that the TX-50CX802B from Panasonic fit the bill nicely.

After hunting around a bit i found it within our budget from CO-OP Electrical. It’s due to be delivered on Thursday.


Job#1:


Remove the fireplace and block up:


Fireplace removed and insulation packed into space left behind:





Plasterboard cut to size and no nailed into place:





Skimmed ready to paint once plaster has dried fully:





I did buy a vent to allow the chimney to breath but we found that there was a vent on the (external) chimney on the outside so there was actually no need for it.


In the photo of the TV wall above you can see the radiator to the left of the TV cabinet. We didn’t really want to be staring at a radiator all the time when watching tele so there were a couple of options:


  1. Move the radiator off this wall and the under the front window.

  2. Replace the radiator for something a bit more pleasing to the eye.

Option 1 would be costly and time consuming to do so we opted for replacing it with an upright radiator. This should be coming this week and will be another job to add to the list!


So that pretty much brings me up to where we are as of today. The next job will be to mount the new TV on it’s bracket. From there i’ll be able to work out where and how the cables are going to run to the TV and the speakers. It’s going to be a lot of work but i am looking forward to it.
 

TattyWill

Standard Member
Looks good so far. Ill have to follow closely for any ideas. I like the look of the Harmony remote. thats going to fix the issues im going to have with my equipment.

Subscribed. :)
 

Davidjake07

Active Member
Have you looked at simple control formally roomie remote running on an ipad , it controls all of your devices over ip , i have used on my build (daves garage conversion) a stunning and simple solution works really well no line of sight needed

www.simplecontrol.com

TA!!!
 

puffy5

Active Member
Have you looked at simple control formally roomie remote running on an ipad , it controls all of your devices over ip , i have used on my build (daves garage conversion) a stunning and simple solution works really well no line of sight needed

www.simplecontrol.com

TA!!!

Thanks for the link. It looks like a nice solution. However, having two young kids i'm not sure how long an ipad would last in their hands and the software might be a bit too complex for them. The thing i like about the Harmony line of remotes is that they are quite tough and the physical buttons are easy for the kids to learn and use. My Harmony One has taken some abuse over the years and works like new.
 

puffy5

Active Member
The new radiator arrived today. We’re not planning to put it in till after xmas so we just opened the box to check it was okay and the right colour:








Colour looks spot on for the colour scheme we’re going for.
 

puffy5

Active Member
Job#2:


With the imminent arrival of the new TV i needed to sort out a bit of a problem.


The wall that the TV was to go on only had a twin satellite socket and no Aerial socket. I wanted to have the option of both Freesat and Freeview so i was going to need both on that wall (somehow!)

I didn’t really want to have to run a new cable around the living room from the socket on the opposite wall, so i came up with a plan.


At one point down the side of the house the satellite cable and the aerial cable ran very close to each other. I did a bit of research and found that it is perfectly okay to run an aerial signal down a satellite cable. So, i decided to convert one of the satellite sockets on the TV wall to an aerial feed.


I bought a waterproof junction box from ebay and joined the aerial and satellite cable together like so:








This meant that the cable below was now being supplied with a freeview signal:





I bought an adaptor from ebay and fitted it to the other end of the cable:








I tried it in my plasma and it worked a treat.


The thinking behind all this is that i will use the Freeview twin tuners (with a USB HDD for recording) the majority of the time and just use the single Freesat tuner as a back up. In fact, as long as the HDD works as i hope it will (currently on order) then i will sell my Humax Freesat Recorder as it will be made redundant.


The next day this arrived:





I forgot to take a photo of it in it’s temporary location but i’ll take one and upload it soon.
 

puffy5

Active Member
So, today i got the chance to set the picture up using the calibrated settings off this forum. After which i took some photos to show off the image quality:











I also tried a Blu-Ray (Watchmen) on it - wowsers! The upscaling engine is brilliant! A bit too good perhaps for this film as some of the special effects are now looking a bit ropey!
 

puffy5

Active Member
New sofa arrived yesterday:





We hadn’t seen the colour in the flesh, only on a swatch, so we were nervous about what it would look like in real life. But, we needn’t have worried as (we think) it looks fantastic. The sofa is extremenly comfy (especially the corner where you can get your feet up) and is just the right size for the room. The boss is very happy!.
 

Plasma Dan

Well-known Member
I bought a waterproof junction box from ebay and joined the aerial and satellite cable together like so:






A little late now, but you can join coax cable in-line without a junction box. Connect an F connector on each end of the cable to be joined, and join them using an F coupler:

412-1-large.jpg


To make it watertight, wrap the joint tight with some self-amalgamating tape. :smashin:

23876.jpg


Alternatively, you could sleeve the joint using some glue-lined heat-shrink, but self-amalgamating tape is fine, it forms a watertight seal over the cable. :)

Joining coax with block connectors defeats the purpose of the braided shield. :censored: It's not like an electrical connection, it should be jointed using appropriate coax fittings. That being said if it works then no need to fix it. :rolleyes:

You can happily use RG6 satellite cable for aerials, and for cable (eg, virgin media), since it is designed for high-frequency LNBs. You might run into problems with very long cable runs due to the cable impedance.

Dan.
 

puffy5

Active Member
A little late now, but you can join coax cable in-line without a junction box. Connect an F connector on each end of the cable to be joined, and join them using an F coupler:

412-1-large.jpg


To make it watertight, wrap the joint tight with some self-amalgamating tape. :smashin:

23876.jpg


Alternatively, you could sleeve the joint using some glue-lined heat-shrink, but self-amalgamating tape is fine, it forms a watertight seal over the cable. :)

Joining coax with block connectors defeats the purpose of the braided shield. :censored: It's not like an electrical connection, it should be jointed using appropriate coax fittings. That being said if it works then no need to fix it. :rolleyes:

You can happily use RG6 satellite cable for aerials, and for cable (eg, virgin media), since it is designed for high-frequency LNBs. You might run into problems with very long cable runs due to the cable impedance.

Dan.

Thanks for the advice Dan. I'll bare that in mind for the future. It is working fine at the moment so i'll see how it goes. Cheers.
 

puffy5

Active Member
Got some units from Ikea the other day and assembled them today;








One on either side of the sofa.


Got the TV mounted on the wall today too:





And here is the cabinet which will eventually be wall mounted underneath the TV;





It isn’t actually blue by the way that's just the protective film still on it.
 

puffy5

Active Member
So, with xmas over and done with we were able to crack on with putting the new radiator on the wall. First the system was drained, then the old radiator was removed, new holes marked and drilled and the new radiator mounted to the wall. Finally, the radiator was plumbed in and tested once the system was re-filled. Here it is mounted to the wall:





Just the pipework left to paint.


It was then time to start on the fun bit.


Our idea is to have a nice clean looking TV wall so i needed to hide all the cables in the wall and make sure that there were no sockets etc in view.


First off was to remove the TV from the wall. I removed the unused phone socket which left a nice hole to help run the cables in:





A hole was cut within the tv bracket to allow power and signal cables to be run to it. Also, the satelite/aerial socket was moved up so that it would sit within the new cabinet. A new hole was made to allow the power and signal cables to come out inside the cabinet:





The double socket was moved up inside the cabinet too. The hole left behind the socket was just in the right spot to enable me to drill a hole into the cupboard directly behind. I then opened up the hole with a chisel bit in an SDS drill. I made the hole just big enough to enable a piece of plastic pipe to bridge the gap between the two rooms:








The pipe was then sealed into position by silicon sealent:







New brush plate in place within the TV bracket:





Trunking run from hole in wall to old telephone socket hole and cables run in:





Cables now in AV cupboard:





Next job was to fill/plaster the holes up. I used some mesh to help the filler/plaster adhere:





Holes filled:





1st skim of plaster applied:





Had to cut some slots in the cabinet to enable the various cables to pass through eventually:





Cabinet hung on the wall:








Today I made a start on the wiring in the AV cupboard - power strip mounted:





And, made a start on the DIY av rack:


 

pompeydean

Active Member
Just a thought on your remote situation if you would like to stick with your harmony one - I previously had all my AV equipment in a cupboard without line of sight but still used my harmony one to control it. I used an ir receiver and emitter to send the signals into my cupboard. Something like KEENE IR DISTRIBUTION EXTENDER COMPLETE KIT INCLUDING STANDARD IR RECEIVER would do the trick.
The receiver would be discretely mounted below your tv, and the distribution unit and emitters would be in the cupboard where your equipment can see the signal [emoji106]
 

puffy5

Active Member
Thanks for the suggestion. I did consider doing exactly what you suggest. The main thing that swayed me towards the Elite was the remote's use of RF over IR as one of my kids really struggle with the concept of pointing the remote at the device they want to alter and the use of RF means that this wouldn't be an issue. (Quite fancy a new remote too!)
 

pompeydean

Active Member
No worries, I can definitely see the benefit of RF from an ease of use point of view. Plus it is nice to have new toys every now and then! [emoji5]️
Good luck with the rest of the build, I'm subscribed
 

puffy5

Active Member
Continuing with the AV rack (the design of which i’ve completely ripped off from someone on the internet. I don’t know who came up with the original idea as there are lots of copies but thanks has to go to that guy/gal):

Ripped off design similar to this:




I had some left over MDF from a cabin bed i built for my daughter last year. I managed to get three of the shelves at the same thickness but the last one had to be made from a piece a couple of mm thinner (i couldn’t warrant buying a new whole new sheet just for this one piece). I decided that the thinnest piece would make up the bottom shelf and be for the PS4. This shelf will probably end up being ‘beefed’ up anyway when i come to mount the castors:





Above you can see all four shelves have been cut and a nice radius put on the front top corners. The top front and top side edges have all been chamfered too. The cuts aren’t perfectly straight as i cut them with a jigsaw but they are good enough for what i need.


I needed to roughly judge where the 16mm threaded bar was going to pass through the shelves so that i could judge the spacing around the equipment. I found a 15mm olive and used this as a rough guide:




Above you can see several markings used in the process of getting the spacing of all four corners just right.


Once i was happy i drilled a 4mm pilot hole through all four shelves at once to ensure that they all lined up:





At this point i had to down tools as i’d spent far too much time locked up in the garage away from the family. That night though i ordered the threaded bar, nuts and washers i needed from Screwfix ready for the next stage.


Back to work today! Booooo!!
 

puffy5

Active Member
Carrying on from where i left off i finished the holes in the shelves:





Here you can see the threaded bar, nuts and washers ready for assembly:





And here it is assembled (needs leveling):





Next step is to cut the bars down to size then fit some castors to the bottom of it.
 

deekay37

Active Member
Love it well done great job you have done there
 

IrishPete

Active Member
Impressive stuff, subscribed! Love the rad and the updated light switch blends in beautifully. Great work on the rack. Are you planning on using vinyl wrap or painting it? Vinyl wrap would work really well. A little more hassle than painting though.
 

puffy5

Active Member
Impressive stuff, subscribed! Love the rad and the updated light switch blends in beautifully. Great work on the rack. Are you planning on using vinyl wrap or painting it? Vinyl wrap would work really well. A little more hassle than painting though.

I've got some left over primer and grey paint so i'm going to use that on it. To be honest, as it's going to be locked away in a cupboard i don't really need to paint it either but the perfectionist in me want's it to be as good as it can be without spending too much on it.
 

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