Ronski finally starts his cinema room.


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I know he's using H264, I wanted to see how it compares with H265. Encode time was 2.5hrs, but even though I told it to pass through both audio streams I ended up with two AC3 tracks instead of True HD (Atmos) and AC3, this is also why I mux them back in after using Ripbot. The video bitrate was 807kpbs, compared to 2516kbps that I get out of Ripbot, so quality is much lower, hence quicker encode times. Perhaps the CRF settings are not the same between the two programs. I think I'll stick with what I'm doing/know.


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This is not cinema related and has very little that is audio related, but I thought some would find it interesting.

Well having pretty much finished the cinema room around August 2015 I probably enjoyed quite a lot of weekends off before in the late autumn I had to update the original master bedroom for my youngest daughter. It had been decided that my office was going to be moved into her old bedroom, and my office was going to be turned back into a bedroom, which made sense really.

The front bedroom was quite simply and was completed late November. The conversion of her old bedroom into the office was also fairly straight forward, really just a case of adding more sockets where required and a few network sockets. This was done around Jan/Feb time, probably more February. Then I renovated the back bedroom which also entailed repairing some cracks in the internal block work, this was finished mid March last year.

Now for the major work, we have a through lounge dinner, with an opening between the two, the rear of the dinning room is almost south facing with a large 2.4m wide window. Many a time we've been sat having dinner on a nice summers evening and said wouldn't it my nice if we had doors there we could open.

So crunch time, we had two options, take out the window, knock the wall out below and fit 2.4 meter wide doors/bi-folds. This was the easy option, no structural work, much cheaper and much quicker. Option two was to fit full width (the room is 3.6 meters wide) 3.3 meters wide bi-fold doors, much nicer, much more expensive and a massive structural undertaking.

The question was put to SWMBO, and option 2 was dually chosen, she obviously had a lot of faith in me as this would entail taking out a 3.5 meter section of wall without the house falling down! Giving her the choice also meant she couldn't complain if it took longer than expected, well it always does, something always crops up to slow things down.

We did consider making the two rooms into one and completely removing the dividing wall, but decided this would not suite us, but enlarging the opening from around 1.5m to 2.1 meters would be beneficial. The kitchen back door would also be changed to french doors matching the bi-folding doors.

This is what we had.



I arranged a meeting with the building inspector, discussed it with him, and as the opening was so close to an external corner wall we would likely need a goal post steelwork frame. I found a suitable structural engineer and they came up with a goal post frame arrangement which would need to be fitted, and the columns would need to be bolted to the existing foundation concrete. There was various revisions, and then eventually a design was settled on and approved by the building inspector.

Now you'd think that the design of the steelwork will be dealt with by the structural engineer, and of course it is, well the length and size of the top beam is, the connection detail to the columns, the size of box used for the columns and the connections to the foundation concrete. What they don't specify is the height of the columns - they don't know this, so this was down to me. I dug two inspection pits to discover the depth of the foundation concrete, and from this did a Sketchup drawing of the steelwork. This drawing along with the structural engineers paperwork was passed to the fabricators who then made the steelwork. All the time I hoped I'd got that critical height correct, but wouldn't know until I installed it.


I'll post more info and pictures in due course.


Looking forward to updates on this, I have just bought a house with an extension where they just extended the room by removing the bricks below the window. Starting to investigate options for as close to full width opening to make the room feel as a single room.


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First task was to dig a trench along the back of the house.


I had to take out a section of wall 3500mm long on the inside, and 3280mm long on the outside, this was not going to be a quick job. It had to be secure and reasonably water tight, so what do we do?

Simple really we build a nice shed on the back of the house, that got the neighbours talking!

A narrow section of ceiling was removed full width in the dinning room, bricks removed and wooden needles put through, these would later be used to support the house.




This was August bank holiday last year.

The existing window would be removed and inserted in the gap in the shed, the panel nearest the back door was bolted on so it could easily be removed for access.

Most important thing prior to putting up acrow's is to get the beam in place as it may not be possible, or certainly a lot more difficult to get it in later.


The acrows both inside and out were screwed to 8" x 2" wood plates, which were also screwed to the joists and needles. The acrow's were then diagonally braced, I was not taking any chances. That steel top beam weighed 85kg if I remember correctly.

Now it was all supported we could start removal of the original concrete lintel, bare in mind there was only my brother and myself doing this, no burly builders involved, so I had to put my engineering skills to use.


Horizontal scaffold tubes were clamped under the beam, the beam could then be slid across. I'd hate to think what that concrete lintel weighed. I don't seem to have any pictures of it's removal, but I'd built a frame work in the room above and we used a block & tackle to lower it down into the trench where it still resides now.


You can just about see in the picture above there is a metal angle iron running under the brickwork, this was to stop the section dropping that was under the needles - it worked pretty well but I did have to make good some cracked cement.


Once the ends were opened up and the external brickwork slotted through the new steel was winched up and slid into place, and adjusted until level.


I'd taken a long weekend off, Friday through to Monday, the above picture was taken on Saturday 3rd September at 14:20.

I'll leave it there for this update.


Active Member
Only just discovered your posts. Made some brilliant bedtime reading. Truly epic skills. Looking forward to seeing how your latest project goes :D .


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So, continuing on from my previous post the steel is supported by the two scaffold tubes which are clamped to the acrows. The next phase is to get the columns in either end, to do this the brickwork needed to be cut out. I did hire an Arbortech AS170 Brick & Mortar Saw which worked well to start with but the motor brushes wore out, so out to revert to my petrol disc cutter.

With the inner and outer skin cut both ends the brickwork was removed.



The next stage was to cut out the block work down to foundation level, on the outer skin I was able to remove some blocks complete by using a diamond burr on the grinder to remove the cement, but then I found the cavity was filled with concrete. We had to resort to drilling, cutting and chiselling out the concrete, and I ended up hiring a heavy duty hammer drill. Another complication was that behind the inner skin and under the floor slab was filled with pebbles, and these just kept falling out. We tried wedging in plywood, but this did not work very well. I eventually used expanding foam, I'd drill various holes through, inject expanding foam which stabilised the pebbles, problem solved.


This bit was very hard work and slow going, the above photo was taken at 9:21 on Monday 5th September, ideally the columns both needed to be in by the end of the day, but this wasn't going to happen.


Midday and the left-hand is down to the foundation concrete. We had to then get the column temporarily in place and drill the three holes through the base plate, also workout where the starter kit ties had to be bolted to the column, the column was then removed. The three holes drilled to the correct size. The starter kit fixed to to the columns, and the ties put in. Respective holes also had to be made in both the inner and outer skins for the ties - these are where the yellow splodges of paint on the walls is. Once this was done the columns then needed to be painted with bitumen to protect them up to DPC level, I did the sides that were not accessible after installation.


First column in at 07:45 on 5th September, if I remember correctly this is just hanging from the top steel. The base plate is clear of the foundation by about 10 -15mm, this is actually planned, as you'd never get it perfect. The bolts holes in the foundation were thoroughly cleaned using compressed air and hole brushes, then M12 studding was chemical fixed into the concrete and left to set.


Wednesday night I filled the gap underneath the column with structural grout, which would be left to set. The jack was used to adjust the column to vertical, has it was hanging from two bolts it would tend to lean one way.

Then above had to all be repeated for the other side, which was just as hard going. The foundation concrete was also slightly higher so we had to take a bit out.



The starter kit ties were then resin bonded into the brickwork, once this was done the building inspector came and inspected the work, he was happy with it, so then it was a case of drilling and resin bonding some stainless steel studding in, and pouring lots of concrete around both columns.




Distinguished Member
Apologies if you mentioned this earlier in the thread, but I was wondering about the scale you used in SketchUp.

I've started knocking together my room, and initially used the exact dimensions in mm, but it looked really small on the screen - as in a zoomed out view for perspective made the room look really narrow.

I started again but on a 4:1 scale, and it seems better, but I wonder whether I should increase the scale even further.

Also, where did you get some of the materials from, like the floorboards that are marked Wickes?



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@adam-burnley I always use 1:1, as you can zoom in and out, and pan around as you desire - a mouse scroll wheel is a must . Only time I'd use a different scale is if drawing something intricate, then rescale it back to 1:1 afterwards, this was because there used to be a bug when working at fine detail levels, not sure if it still exists now though. Drawing in 1:1 also makes measuring things easier, but remember that Sketchup is drawn square and the room won't be built square. I drew my cinema room off square and it made it very hard work.

You can make your own materials from a photo texture, I can't remember any Wickes floorboards though???


Distinguished Member
Thanks @Ronski

I am using a proper mouse, not sure how you'd manage without one tbh, but found the 1:1 scale just didn't look right. I suspect it's something I'm doing / not doing though as I'm still getting to grips with the software :blush: I have used a couple of layers so far in the hope that I could make the external walls disappear when required, however, when I turn off layer 1 it loses all the colour from layer 2, aarrgh.

What do you mean about square?

Oh and the reference to Wickes was in relation to the animated GIF early on in the thread - however, my eyes are clearly failing me as I have just zoomed in 400% (!) and can now see that it actually says "Whole" and not Wickes!


Well-known Member
Scale should not make any difference, I don't think you can even set a scale apart from drawing it bigger. Sketchup is a steep learning curve, I only scratch the surface of what it can do. Don't bother using layers, and all drawing should be done on layer zero anyway. Most important thing is to use groups and components, a component is an item that can be reused over and over, when you edit one those changes appear in all the same components, so for your room walls you'd use a group, and for floor joists use a component, using multiple components keeps the drawing size down as it only keeps one copy. You can have components and groups within each other. Use the Outliner to easily hide groups (rename them to something meaningful), you can also under the View:Component Edit menua choose to hide things when editing components.

My cinema room is a parallelogram, you wouldn't know looking at it, but after I drew it in Sketchup where it was 100% square things things just didn't match up, when I laid the floor using sheets of ply it became obvious.

Whole, yes I remember I labelled the plasterboard/plywood etc so I could see which was whole sheets.

See Outliner bottom right in the attached picture, Component edit view options top left, and a hint to what I'm currently working on in the middle.



Active Member

Great thread and super build. I've got many good ideas for my own build.

One detail question, where did you get the channels for your blinds from..?




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Distinguished Member
Hi @Ronski - a quick question about the conduit bends you fitted for the speaker cable. In post #257, it looks like you cut out a section of plasterboard around the two bend openings, and just fitted a metal back box. I assume you sealed the edges and gaps with acoustic mastic / sealant, but did you fit a speaker wall plate, or just leave open?

How far does the conduit bend extend out of interest? I can't find any dimensions anywhere, other than 20mm diameter.


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@adam-burnley They were conduit sweep elbows I purchased off ebay, pretty sure these were the ones. I did seal around the back boxes and any gaps, but I didn't fit any face plates for the speaker outlets. Thinking about it I probably should have stuffed some dense foam in them after connecting the speakers, but I think the speakers are quite a tight fit to the wall.

The sweep elbows were deep enough to extend through the 3 layers of plasterboard and ply.


Distinguished Member
Thanks. I've got those on my watch list actually, and was gping to order black as well, but I'm not sure it makes a difference going off your photos?

I didn't think you fitted speakers on the rear wall, or did I miss that?


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No there isn't any speakers on the rear wall, I still have the bare back boxes showing, one of the jobs I still need to do but I can't see them when watching a film :D


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I'm collecting something new for the cinema room on Monday.....


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Not speakers. But I do need to sort something out for the back wall to cover up the small back boxes that are there in case I did ever want to fit speakers.

I'll also need to finish off the write up on the lounge and dinning room, which I finally completed days before Christmas.
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I collected my new PJ today, well I had to get something after my Epson TW9000 died just before Christmas. It was very hard not being able to use the cinema room over Christmas, especially with all the hard work I'd put in to get the lounge and dinning room done. I spent quite a bit of time over Christmas researching what was the best option for my budget, and as always with these things one spends far too much, especially when the wife gives you the :thumbsup: luckily!

I collected my new TW9300 from @Rickyj @ Kalibrate (Chromapure/Kalibrate) at lunchtime today, he did a great deal as always, updated the firmware and did a pre calibration prior to collection.

What I really like about the TW9300 is the 5yr manufactures warranty, I could of possibly got the old unit repaired, but it may well have failed again. With this one I have peace of mind for 5 years, oh and of course the picture quality upgrade, and faux 4k etc. :D

Luckily when I built my shelf I'd made it bigger than it needed to be as the Sony's around that time were quite large so I thought I'd better allow some extra space for future upgrades, but this thing is huge and only just fits. I'm in two minds as to whether to make a larger shelf, as the front feet are literally just on the edge.




Size comparison.


Now I need to update my Harmony, so I can see what the image looks like :)


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Ooh the 73/9300 chassis is a fair bit bigger than the 9000 !


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I've just finished reading through this mammoth thread. What a room! It's a shame that Christmas kicked you in the nuts like that (I know what it's like to have entertainment tech die just when you needed it to pick you up a bit or for some relaxation; very frustrating). Hopefully the new projector serves the room as well as it and your efforts deserve.

Enjoy and thanks for slogging it out over the detailed write-ups. It's an inspiration to many I'm sure.


Distinguished Member
A quick question @Ronski regarding the window reveals. It looks from the images and your comments in post #202, that other than rockwool being stuffed in to the gaps, there was no special provision for isolating the plywood and plasterboard from the block work and cavity closer? Did you just screw the plywood straight onto the blocks and white cavity closer?


Well-known Member
Now you're asking, that was 3 and half years ago. Looking closely at the pictures there is only screws up the back and front edges of the plywood. So it looks like the edge closest to the window is screwed into the cavity closer only, I strongly suspect I may well have used mastic behind, fully tightening the screws once set.

Obviously with the window already in place there is only so far out you can go with the surface finish and keep it looking sensible, so there's not much I could of done.

The tops did have a strip of wood fitted to level it up, so this would of created a space, but still a direct connection between the ply and the steel lintel.

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