Time to build a Home Theater....
It's time, My wife and I have lived for 4 years now without the poor-man's home theater we had in the other house. WE used it a LOT, and it made movie nights extra special. with our purging of stuff we decided to reclaim the basement for usable space and decided to divide the main "wreck room" into a game room and a separate small theater. Nothing too big... 92" screen, 7.1 surround with all built in speakers, seating for 6... All with a shoestring budget.
The thing is, I have years of experience doing this stuff, plus being a Crestron programmer, Integrator and technologist; I can do a few things that set it all apart from the typical DIY home theater.
Here is my plan of attack....
Projector : 720p 1080p if I can get a really good deal. Must be rs232 controllable. Under $1000.00 new. This will be my biggest single purchase.. Maybe I can get one used.
Screen : I want a negative gain grey or silver screen. I will have full light control so taking advantage of a grey screen will give me a far better looking image with better blacks.. That means I can shop for either DLP or LCD.. whatever is the cheapest.
Speakers: Other than the side and rear surround speakers, everything else will be hand built into the walls. What I want cant be bought for less than $1000.00 each. so I'll build them for $90 each. Yes.. I can build $1000.00 a piece speakers for $90.00... I'll show you how.
Sound control: It is important to keep the theater from making the house sound like a nightclub so filling the walls with insulation and covering the walls with sound control is important. I will be making my own cloth panels for the walls to control the audio..
Amplifier: Used here. I have a Kenwood Sovereign I got from a good friend that will work great and is 6.1 (5.1 is all you need really) Nobody needs new stuff for their theater unless they are filthy rich.
Video source: PC running XBMC and a RoKu box.. Yes that's really it. if I did not rip the DVD or LbuRay before hand we will not be watching it in the theater. I might add in a sattelite reciever in the future, but we have spent the last 5 years without CableTV and do not miss it. if we want TV shows we watch it streamed from Netflix. I Might add in a AppleTV so that we can subscribe to seperate Tv shows on itunes.
Video will be HDMI from the projector to a DVI converter and into the XBMC box. if I add more sources then an extron HDMI switcher will be added. From my experience only the Extron strips out the HDCP problems with switching sources.
I will have full crestron control, I bought $350.00 in old outdated junk to give me a CNMSX-PRO with ethernet card, a STX-1700C a two way gateway for the wireless touchpanel and a VC-1500 touchpanel with video. This will allow full control of all devices with feedback AND a master control touchpanel that will display the security cameras if the doorbell rings and we are in the theater. Being a crestron programmer this stuff is free to program for me (I'm only $55 an hour for others! call me!) Lighting will be 3 circuits (ceiling cans, sconces, rope light) on extron switches that respond to IR for control... cheapest RELIABLE way of controlling them.. X-10 is NOT an option as it's junk.
Seating is my only issue... no cheap theater seats are out there... I need to figure out this little problem as I am unwilling to spend $2500.00 on 6 seats.
So keep tuned. I'm going to document my project here and share my secrets of making a high end home theater for almost nothing.