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Topic: Tiddler’s Home Theatre Integration Adventure
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Joined: May 1, 2006
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First a word about the title of this thread. I am embarking on an adventure to integrate a home theatre into our living room. This is quite a different undertaking from that of setting up a dedicated home theatre. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been quite impressed with some of the photos posted here. If I had the money and space required I might be tempted to do the same. Although the rows of theatre seats really don’t appeal to me. If I wanted to sit in row seats I’d go to the theatre. It would be big comfy sofas and recliners in my theatre.

I would guess that the most common integration of home theatre equipment takes place in the family room (rec-room, finished basement, etc) . The equipment must fit in with the other uses for the room. Of course you can get away with things in the family room that just are not acceptable in the living room. For example the usual white roll up screen case would look ok on the family room wall but no so good in the living room.

I have included some photos of the room as it is now. (OriginalSittingEnd.jpg, OriginalScreenEnd.jpg) I know it doesn’t look like much now but there will eventually be new furniture, carpets, and fresh paint. The one thing I don’t want to do is damage the nicely stippled ceiling. This presents some challenges as far as mounting the projector and the screen.

The first thing I tried was installing a blind on the window. (RoomDarkeningBlind.jpg) It works ok but there is a lot of leakage around the edges. This was the widest of the off-the-shelf blinds I could get. This experiment convinced us that a blind could be added behind the vertical blinds and still look ok. We plan to replace the vertical blinds with a darker color, probably blue or teal. This roller blind will get replaced with a custom cut blind that will cover the entire window frame.

My intension is to describe the integration process not the equipment details. However if anyone wants to know why I chose a given piece of equipment I will elaborate. I have ordered an Optoma HD72 projector. The HDMI and DVI cables I need are also on the way. A Sony DVPNS75H Upconverting DVD player has been purchased. I have decided on the Da-Lite Model C with CSR screen with High Contrast Matte White or Video Spectra 1.5 material. I have not decided on the screen size or material, so I have not ordered it yet. I have however rigged up a temporary screen to try out the projector and experiment to determine the best screen size. (TryoutScreen.jpg) I am going to experiment with slanting the screen in order to compensate for the offset of the projector. This will avoid using the keystone correction and will actually make the screen perpendicular to our line of sight. (TryoutScreenVertical.jpg, TryoutScreenSlanted.jpg) I got the idea for the temporary screen from someone on this forum who mentioned they were using a stretched out bed sheet. I bought a king size white sheet and sewed some rope loops on the corners and put a few hooks in the wall.

There are a few challenges ahead, such as, the screen will cover the equipment so the remotes won’t work. The center channel speaker will also be behind the screen (I can’t afford acoustically transparent screen material). How will I get the wires up to the projector! How will I mount the projector on the ceiling? This isn’t going to be a weekend job. Designing and building an attractive valence for the screen will certainly take some time.

Well now I have to wait for the projector to arrive. I hope the cables get here in time. Until then ...

Attachments:

The current TV end of the room

1152 × 864 pixels (127.56 KB)

The other end of the room

1152 × 864 pixels (107.16 KB)

Blind behind vertical blinds

1152 × 864 pixels (93.07 KB)

Bed sheet screen

1152 × 864 pixels (102.04 KB)

Vertical screen mounting

1152 × 864 pixels (86.52 KB)

Slanted screen mounting

864 × 1152 pixels (92.76 KB)
   
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I've noticed a few people have viewed this post but there have been no replies. I know there wasn't anything in the post that warranted a reply but I am wondering if there is any real interest in me documenting my efforts in this forum?
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Quote (tiddler on May 20, 2006 8:08 PM):
I've noticed a few people have viewed this post but there have been no replies. I know there wasn't anything in the post that warranted a reply but I am wondering if there is any real interest in me documenting my efforts in this forum?

I noticed the same thing when I posted photos on my Saaria and BOC screen projects - few or no comments but many people looking at the photos. So don't be put off by the lack of response, people do look in if interested and projects like yours can help out others.
My first front projector - a Kloss Novabeam 100 (1986).
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Update: 2006-May-25

The HD72 arrived on Tuesday. The HDMI and DVI cables had not arrived yet. I hooked up the old progressive scan DVD player through the component input and patched the audio into the receiver. I put up the bed sheet screen and set the projector on the coffee table as far from the screen as possible. I made no changes to the projector setup. We watched “Master and Commander” (the only DVD I own). My wife commented on how sharp the image was. The flesh tones looked good to me but the colors seemed a bit subdued. I wasn’t too surprised or concerned about it because I know this projector requires a calibration for best results. I was very impressed with the blacks and shadow detail. I also verified that I received a unit with the upgraded firmware installed. The bed sheet screen worked ok but I suspect it has a gain less than 1 so the image was not as bright as I would have expected.

I tried attaching a tripod to the camera mount on the bottom of the projector. I lifted the projector up a few inches using the tripod. The plastic case flexed a lot. The camera mount screw fitting is only imbedded in the plastic it is not firmly attached to the chassis. I was hoping to make a ceiling mount using a tripod head with a quick release. The tripod mount on the HD72 is too flimsy to hang the projector upside-down. I am also not that impressed with the ceiling mount threaded holes either. The two near the front of the projector seem fairly solid, the one near the side less so, and the one near the middle causes a fair bit of flexing of the case/chassis.

I sat looking at the bottom of the projector considering many possible ways to mount it and have it look nice. I finally concluded that my best bet was to purchase a universal ceiling mount like the Sanus VMPR1S. I could see a way to arrange the mounting arms so as to put the mounting point over the center of the projector. The only concern I had was the instructions for the Sanus mount indicated that it must be attached where there is a ceiling stud. Since I planned on mounting the projector so that the lens was exactly in the center of the room, this was going to be a problem. The next day I poked around on the web and found www.perfectmounts.ca They sell ceiling mounts with attachment plates specific to the projector. They use a large plate to mount to the ceiling that does not require stud attachment. The prices were quit low too! $95 - $139 Cdn. I decided to go with the Series 2000 model for the HD72 because it was designed allow for better airflow and cooling. It was $119 and free shipping.

So at this point I am waiting for the ceiling mount and cables. Once the projector is mounted I will be able to experiment with the screen size and slant angle etc. Then I can place an order for the screen. I have samples of the Da-Lite High Contrast Matte White and Video Spectra 1.5 materials. I will have to make a choice on that also.

In the mean time I think I have solved the center speaker behind the screen problem. I purchased two small Minimus 7 speakers. They will be mounted just bellow the TV screen and on either side of the TV cabinet. I tried hooking them in parallel with each other and in series with the Energy center speaker. I also tried connecting them in series with each other and in parallel with the center channel speaker. The first connection presents the highest impedance to the amplifier (12-16 ohms) and requires adjusting the center volume +6db. The balance between the center channel speaker and the Minimus 7s leaned toward the center channel. The tone was a bit crisper than before but sounded fine. The second connection presents a lower impedance to the amplifier (4 – 6 ohms) and required no boost in center channel volume. Again the tone was bit sharper than the first connection but still sounded fine. When the screen is installed and pulled down it will cover the upper center channel speaker and muffle the upper midrange and high frequencies. The two Minimus 7s are not covered by the screen and they will provide the mid and high range frequencies while the center channel speaker will supply the lower frequencies. I will have to play with the connections to determine the best arrangement for tonal balance.

So this weekend I will mount the small center channel speakers and unless something else comes it that’s all I can do for now.

Here is a list of the Canadian web sites I have dealt with and what they are supplying:

www.avdeals.ca Free shipping in Canada
- Optoma HD72, $2034.17 + $305.13 Tax = $2339.30 Cdn
- Da-Lite Model C with CSR Screen, (to be ordered) 54”x96” or 58”x104” tax in $632.50 or $690 Cdn

www.mycableshop.ca
- 50 ft Premium Dual Link DVI-I Cable with Ferrites – Male-Male $88.00 Cdn
- 15 Meter (~50ft) HDMI Cable – Male-Male $164.00 Cdn
- 15ft Power Cord $9.75
- Total including tax = $301.01 Cdn
Note I have also ordered some coax to Toslink adapters and Toslink cable to finally get all of the audio sources sorted out. I have not included them here because they are not really part of integrating the home theater.

www.perfectmounts.ca
- Optoma HD72 Ceiling Mount – 2000 series, $119 + $17.85 Tax = $136.85 Cdn


Bleeker’s Stereo & TV Ottawa
- Sony DVPNS75H, Up-converting HDMI DVD Player, $179.99 + $17.85 Tax = $207 Cdn

OPPS! Forgot the lttle speakers!
Radio Shack Is now The Source in Canada and the speakers are Centrios Die Cast Bookshelf Speakers: 2 x $39.99 + $12 tax = $92 Cdn

Misc
- King Size Bed Sheet ~$30
- Bungee Cords ~$20
- Hardware ~$10
- Total + Tax = $69 Cdn

Grand Total so far: $3835.16 Cdn
{Hmmmmmmm! I don’t think I should have added that up!
[Edited by tiddler on May 26, 2006 at 2:11 PM]

Attachments:

Sanus VMPR1S Universal Projector Ceiling Mount

600 × 600 pixels (85.23 KB)

Perfect Mounts 2000 Series Projector Ceiling Mount

100 × 68 pixels (5.08 KB)

Radio Shack Minumus 7 Speakers

617 × 397 pixels (143.79 KB)
   
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The 50 ft HDMI cable arrived yesterday. It is quite heavy and thick 3/8 - 1/2". Hocked up the HD72 using the HDMI cable and watched the first half of "The New World". The image was incredibly sharp and the color seemed better than using the component connection with our old Panasonic Progressive DVD player (different movie also). I should try it with "Master & Commander" to see if the colors still look a bit washed out. Again I should point out that I have made no adjustments to the projector. So these are my out of the box impressions. So far I'm impressed.

I was pleased to see that the Sony DVPNS75H upconverting DVD player sends a signal out the component connections as well as the HDMI. I was afraid I would have to go into the setup and change the output between the TV and projector. It just occurred to me that I did not check the output to see if it was sending 720p to the projector.

I called to check on the ceiling mount order and found out there was some misscommunication between the website http://www.perfectmounts.ca and the ordering system. They assured me that it was corrected and the mount should be shipped by today.

I'm anxious to get the projector ceiling mounted so I can start experimenting with the screen. It would be nice to get the screen ordered soon. It will take some time and effort to design and build a suiteable valence to dress it up. I need to get the screen in order to make accurate measurements for the design. Once the screen is mounted I can start really exploring the capabilities of the HD72.
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