So I Finally Got Around To A Home Cinema/Living Room Project...

InstructorUK

Active Member
Well, what can I say? Hello everyone. :hiya:
After a few years of looking around these forums for advice and reviews on what TV to buy next and the best way to set it up I stumbled upon the Home Cinema section. Looking through page after page of what people had achieved, from the top of the range custom built house to a dedicated cinema room (1 day I will have this), down to a multipurpose living room make over I just knew that I had to do something. :)

I have spent so many hours looking through different set ups and gathering ideas for when i got the chance to do something. Every so often when I saw something that looked good, I would save the thread in my favourites so I could run the ideas past the wife and also plagiarise little bits from each one.

What started initially as an idea to mount the TV on a false wall has snowballed into a little more as 1 idea seemed to create others. A simple case of let’s do “this”, but in doing so means we will have to/may as well do “this and this” while we are at it.

I must say a lot of what I have done is thanks to my wife who is totally supportive of almost anything that I mentioned or suggested. In fact, I think I can thank/ blame her for phoning me 1 day from work saying that someone is selling a projector and 92” screen on their works classifieds. It was an Optoma HD65 with a 92” manual Panoview screen for £250. I did some very quick research and managed to secure a deal for £230. :smashin:
I thought this was a good price to try out the whole cinema idea without having to spend a £1000 on a really good PJ and screen only to find it’s not for us. Once everything is up and running, I’m sure these will be upgraded.

So, now that we had the start of a cinema set up I was ready to put all my time looking around this forum and gathering ideas to good use.

At the time of writing this thread I would say we are about ¾ of the way through to finishing so I thought it was a good time to post on here with what we have achieved so far and place it amongst the many threads of home cinemas that I have enjoyed looking at.

There will be regular updates with what has already been done and I will post them up as soon as I can when I upload the pictures and think of what to write. (Plus I should really be prepping the skirting board for painting.

I hope you enjoy looking and maybe you will see something that looks familiar from your own set up.

This is what we started with.

Panasonic TH-PZ4680B
Onkyo TX_SR506
PS3 320Gb
Xbox 360 Elite Slim
Virgin V+Hd
KEF C20 front speakers
KEF Cresta C centre speaker
Onkyo Sub and rears from the SKS-HT518 set.

This is what it looked like.

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This is what I wanted to achieve. (1st attempt at Google Sketchup)

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Better go sort the skirting board out now and need to go choose paint and carpet. I will put some more pics up later. :smashin:
 

Richie1967

Novice Member
The drawing looks very nice,
keep the pics comming, like to see this one evolve.........

Greetz Richie
 

mckee74

Distinguished Member
Looks like an interesting one to keep an eye on. Like the plan.
 

InstructorUK

Active Member
So, here we have the walls all stripped.

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Showing the current ceiling light which uses 3 x 50w GU10's

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My past method of hiding the rear speaker wires. McDonalds straws pushed together (other straws are available) taped into the corner with masking tape and the wire up the middle and wallpaper over. You can see on before pictures that you couldn't really tell.

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Chased out for a ceiling level double socket. I have also done the same in the left alcove where the DVD stand was. That old black plaster is a nightmare, the amount of mess it made just chasing out for 2 sockets was unbelieveable.

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More to follow soon.
 
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InstructorUK

Active Member
I think you may be right and if it was just going to be a cinema room I would be going for it. However, it will also be the main living room so compromises have to be made to keep everyone happy.
 

InstructorUK

Active Member
I had also been contemplating hardwiring some network cables in while everything was bare.

Like most people, I started off using the built in wireless on the PS3 and bought a wifi adapter for the original Xbox before upgrading to my latest Xbox that has it built in. Wifi is ok for iphone and iPad downstairs, but when want to play online, it's not always the best connection for trouble free gaming.

This is what lead me onto buying some homeplugs, which I must say did the job quite well although my set up meant I still had a couple of cables trailing along the front edge of the room from where the homeplug was situated.

Now I wanted something more permanant so spent a little time researching on what I would need. Nearly everything you buy these days is network enabled and most of the equipment I have already is.
Just counting what I needed for the items in the living room I needed a cable each for the PS3, Xbox and my new AV amp. I'm sure when it comes around to upgrade the TV then that will be network enabled (whether it gets used or not is another matter as iPlayer, Lovefilm etc. can all be accessed through PS3)

So what I decided to do was do a proper job and set about networking the house. To start with setting up my Node 0 and then the living room. Other rooms in the house could then be added as and when.

First job was to run some waste pipe in the loft to carry the cables and keep them tidy.

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Then using some cables rods which were an excellent buy at £8.90 for the amount of time they have saved, I threaded some string from the loft down the chimney to the living room.
From here.
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To here.
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After a lot of running up and downstairs and directing the wife on when to pull the string, I ended up with 5 Cat5e cables running from the loft down the chimney and to the living room.

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All numbered up from 1-4 and socket.

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The one labled socket would then be run under the floorboards to the other side of the room to give us an internet connection between the 2 sofas. While I was at it, I moved the phone cable and wall mounted that int eh same faceplate.

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From the loft, the wires went along the waste pipes to the from small bedroom. This had a built in cupboard above the stairs which would come in handy for Node 0 as this is where my broadband connection is.

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Few more pics to come to finish the network off.
 

ChristovJN

Active Member
Will definitely be watching this with interest...
 

Richard Fenn

Active Member
That old black plaster is a nightmare, the amount of mess it made just chasing out for 2 sockets was unbelieveable.


Mmmmmm black lime!

Our whole house has the same stuff. When we had the loft conversion put in they took down the ceiling upstairs to lower it. The mess was unbelievable.

Looking forward to seeing the finished project :thumbsup:
 

InstructorUK

Active Member
Faceplate installed that will double up as a phone socket and an ethernet socket, situated between both sofas for convenience. Phone wire moved under floorboards and up behind skirting board to keep it tidy, Cat5e cable will be same from the chimney breast, under floor and into faceplate.

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Cat5e cable connected and tested.

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Other 4 cables to a 4 gang faceplate which will be situated at bottom of false wall so all AV equipment can be plugged in.

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The 5 cables terminated into rear of patch panel and then connected to the switch. Red ethernet cable runs to the modem/router to test. I will move the modem into the same cupboard later to tidy it all up. All sockets tested and working.

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To say I am happy with the result that everything will be connected to the network by cable and not have to worry about wifi signal interference is an understatement. :thumbsup: :D:D

It will also mean I will be able to ad a NAS drive or HTPC when I get around to learning about the benefits of either, too many other things to finish befor eI even contemplate those. :laugh:
 
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InstructorUK

Active Member
Sorry it's been a while since I updated this, back to work after a few weeks off meant I haven't had as much time on my hands.


So this is where the ceiling light used to be. I also tried to mark out where the beams were but I realised later that the room wasn't exactly square which meant they go off at a small angle in relation to the wall.

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I decided the only way to see which way the lighting wires went back towards the switch was to stick the camera through the hole and take a picture.

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As I wanted to put a 2 gang dimmer switch in I had to work my way back towards the switch so I could add another wire for the 2nd set of lights. This made so much mess I was absolutely filthy by the time I'd finished. I also had to drill through the beams at an angle as the drill was too large to fit betwen the beams horizontally and also making sure they were high enough so that they wouldn't be screwed into by mistake.

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InstructorUK

Active Member
I had planned on having 6 GU10 downlights in the centre of the ceiling and fitting them with dimmable 3x1W LED bulbs. So I put an App to good use and came up with this to mark out the correct distances.

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Once marked out, I cut out some nice big holes so that when the ceiling was overboarded the lights would fit through the holes in the new ceiling and have plenty of room around them for the clips to fold down and not catch on the old ceiling. I also needed to make room so I could put the circuit in for them.

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Quite a few hours later, I had managed to get a new switch wire back to the switch. Floorboards had to be lifted on the landing to give me access to the old metal trunking that went down to the switch. Cables rods came in very handy again for this job and I couldn't have got a wire down there without them as it was a very tight fit. New circuit fitted and tested and both lighting circuits wired into the old 1 gang switch until the plastering and painting was finished.

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Time to put the new ceiling up. A mate of mine helped me do the 1st 3 boards ut was back at work the next day so I was wondering how the hell was going to fit them on my own. Luckily the plasterer who came to give me a quote just after my mate left said I could borrow some stands that would let me finish the ceiling off by myself. They took some getting used to but I managed to finish the ceiling off single handed and couldn't have done it without them. Big thanks to Craig the plasterer.

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Ceiling finished and I was working with 2 crappy lamps. I know the I may have gone overboard with the screws in the ceiling but I wanted to make sure it stayed up.

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Circle marked out again and measured distance from centre. 86mm hole cutter for the downlights and suprisingly the wires were where I had left them. :clap:
I think it's the angle of the picture, but I assure you that the holes are evenly spaced.

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hifiphones

Active Member
Thanks, my plan is to run a PVC pipe for all cabling in the wall from the rack where all equipment is to the TV. And will be nice to have the ends covered with these faceplates.
 

InstructorUK

Active Member
Chasing out for the 2 rear speakers, I was tempted to use McD's straws again to run the wire down but had some spare trunking that I didn't use elsewhere so decided to do it properly.

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Now then, this is where it gets contaversial and could open up a whole different can of worms. I spent ages on looking at the pros and cons of getting some new speaker wire instead of using the stuff that came with the Onkyos. I wasn't going to splash out on anything more than £2 a metre but it still would have come to about £40.
After much deliberating and reading numerous threads on the matter I decided to go with...........

some 1.5mm T+E lighting cable. Depends on how you look at this, it is either :) :smashin: or :eek: :thumbsdow

I had an old part reel left over before they changed the colours so the wire is still in the Red/Black wire format. Perfect for speakers. So I ran 2 lengths of it under the floorboards and up the wall. Another use for the £8.90 cable rods. :D

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InstructorUK

Active Member
Framework starting to go up for the false wall with the wife doodling on the wall and putting the date for future DIY'ers to find.

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Framework finished. I'm quite sure that all the noggins are not correctly spaced but it's up now. In hindsight, I would actually place the noggins at gaps suitable to match the plasterboard size to make things a little easier. It wasn't a massive problem as the boards needed cutting anyway to fit around the centre space.

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InstructorUK

Active Member
When I first thought about this project I saw a good deal on a slimline TV wall bracket. It was only once I'd started that I realised that as I had planned on recessing the TV in the false wall, the slim bracket would not allow me to access the rear of the TV and make it awkward. I decided that I needed a cantilever bracket that would allow me to extend the TV for easier access.
Luckily I realised this before I made the false wall and allowed for the extra depth of the cantilever.

This is the one I ended up with and I must say I was pleasantly suprised. It does 32"-60" TV's. The bracket looks to be very well made and heavy duty. It also comes with a variety of fixtures and fittings that are well set out in a detailed package.

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Unfortunately there wasn't anyone around to help me fit it and I had to get it done as the plasterer was coming the day after. This thing weighs about 11kg which isn't that bad to pick up, but once you have been holding it a few minutes while trying to measure and mark positioning on wall for fixings, my arms felt like I had been bench pressing 300kg.
After about 45 mins I managed to mark the holes and re-check a few times as I only wanted to drill once. It was after 9pm so I had warned the neighbour earlier that night that there could be some noise for a few hours as I had to get everything finished before plasterer came in morning. Very understanding neighbour said it was fine and no problem.

Bracket on wall with bolts half in to hold it so I can just make sure it is level. Wifes doodling on show from earlier. :)
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Confirmation it is level on both the built in spirit level and my own.

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InstructorUK

Active Member
Early next morning putting the plasterboard on before plasterer arrives. (gratuitous shot of me actually doing the work)

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Plasterer arrived shortly after the picture above so he kindly helped me finish off the boarding to speed things up.

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Plasterer doing his thing on his stilts.
This also shows the poor attempt at privacy on the windows. Looked all over in supermarket for that windolene stuff you used to get in a pink bottle that was perfect for putting on windows while decorating. We couldn't find any so I'm not sure they still make it, the only windolene product was the green liquid spray for cleaning glass. We just ended up getting some cheap Cream Cleaner and smearing that on the best we could. The room did smell of lemons afterwards though. :laugh:

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What a difference alrerady :D

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All finished and waiting for it to dry.

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ChristovJN

Active Member
This is really starting to take shape, you must be really excited!

I could see this as turning into one of the good example threads...
 

InstructorUK

Active Member
Thanks for the comment, I am excited and wanting to get this finished within the next 2 weeks. I have progressed a bit further than the pics are showing and I will post them up soon and try get up to date with where it stands at the moment. The only problem I have is that I am back at work for 7 days now and then I get 4 off. Out of thos 4 off I have a few other things on with it being close to Christmas and a work colleague leaving to go back to his homeland of New Zealand

As for the example threads I'm not so sure. After many months looking at projects on here, I can only dream of some of the equipment and quality that goes into the projects, but I WILL be proud of what I have done. Some of the items I am putting in are a start (but they can always be upgraded along the line)
 

tonyrees687

Well-known Member
Dont you just love it when a plan comes together. Looking fab mate. Plasterer has done a cracking job. What colour are you going for
 

J-a-m-e-s_7

Active Member
Hi mate been keeping an eye on this thread things have moved on a fair bit. Bet you well excited you know lights at the end of the tunnel when the plastering has been done lol. Where did you purchase the wall mount from as i am looking for something similiar?

Keep the pics coming cnt wait to see the finished article

Regards
James
 

InstructorUK

Active Member
Dont you just love it when a plan comes together. Looking fab mate. Plasterer has done a cracking job. What colour are you going for

Cheers for the comment.

As for the colours, the front TV/screen wall is going to be a dark red. (seen a few on here and thought it looked really good) and same as the Google Sketchup plan higher up. The actual name is Redcurrent Glory from the Dulux feature wall range. The other walls are going to be Chalk Stone, also from Dulux. According to the colour swatch card for the feature wall range, those 2 went together.
 

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