Since we have finally moved into the new house, Jay and I can get started with the home theater project we've talked about for so long. We'll keep this page up to date as well as we can with new pictures and information.
September 27, 2004
Just a small update sans pictures today. I picked out some curtains for the windows. They aren't anything fancy but they do add to the room. We decided that room-darkening curtains weren't as high of a priority as we had previously thought since normally it is dark by the time we're ready to watch a movie anyway.
September 24, 2004
The cabinet is painted and installed! Everything went together smoothly. I just need to pick up a few more cables tomorrow and I'll be all set. There are four video sources and I should be able to display any permutation of them on the TV and the projector. The next major step is getting something to cover the windows. I may also build some small speaker stands... but then again I may not. I'm feeling like taking a break from this for a while and just enjoying what I have built!
September 21, 2004
This weekend I started building a custom entertainment center to house all our audio/video equipment along with the 20" TV. The cabinet will sit along the right side of the room (as you look at the screen) between the sliding glass door and the window. It is angled so that it points directly toward the middle of the couch along the back wall. Tonight I finished up the cabinet. This week I'll put a few coats of paint on and then I'll be able to wire it up.
Last weekend I also purchased a video switch box from Radio Shack for the projector. It takes up to four composite or S-Video inputs and switches to one composite or S-Video output. It also converts the composite to S-Video. That will sit in the cabinet as well.
September 6, 2004
I have made a number of small (but very beneficial) changes since the last update. The wires have been run, there is a black border around the screen, and we put up a small piece of white crown molding.
I also had a design change along the way. The original plan was to build a large entertainment center up front around the screen to house the electronics and a 20" TV on each side. That plan was scrapped though because we thought those small TV's would be too far away from the seating area to make much of a difference. Instead we are now building a cabinet between the window and the sliding glass door to house the electronics and one TV. The wood has been purchased for that so all that's left is to break out the saws and get started on it.
August 29, 2004
The painting is finally done. We ended up using one coat of primer, a full coat of paint, and then we hit two of the walls a second time. It isn't quite the color we had originally imagined (a little more purplish in some lights) but it still looks great. There's a little touchup work to be done around the baseboards but that major task is almost ready to be crossed off the list. Next up is that crown molding.
August 16, 2004
This week Jay and I bought the primer and paint. Yesterday I taped off the walls and tonight I put down the primer. I didn't do a real careful job since we're covering it with a coat of paint, but it looks great already! We had originally been thinking about black trim on the windows, baseboards, and crown molding, but I like the way that the white looks. The screen border doesn't look straight but there is tape there so it will be better once I peel the tape off. Plus we're putting a wood border around the screen so the paint line isn't all that important anyway.
August 8, 2004
Even though I haven't posted in a while, we're still making progress. I ordered 50ft video cables (s-video, composite, and vga.) This week we're planning to go buy the red paint and pick out the crown molding. The crown molding will be used to help hide some of our cable runs from the projector to the front of the room where the AV equipment will be. I made a mockup of our current plan for the room in Maya. Since I made this, Jay and I have already come up with a new idea for the seating area, but this will give you a rough idea of where we are headed. Right click here and save the video (~6MB) to your desktop to view it.
July 24, 2004
Power tools! I got out the circular saw, a tape measure, and some leftover MDF from the arcade machine project to build the ceiling mount for the projector. It didn't go 100% according to plan, but I'm happy with how it turned out. I still have a little touchup work left on it. The next step will be ordering video cables (composite, VGA, and S-video) to run to the front of the room where it will hook up to the AV equipment. The plan is to run the cables behind crown molding and then down a corner with some plastic molding. We'll paint over that cable run in the corner. Here are a few pictures of the projector mount.
July 19, 2004
I've already made the big purchase - a BenQ 6100 DLP projector. We have it temporarily set up to watch movies and the picture is stunning. I did quite a bit of research into the projector before I bought it. It came down to this one or the Infocus X1. Both got good reviews but I ended up going for the BenQ because it was 2 years newer and had a 3x color wheel. Some people notice a rainbow effect when watching DLP's and a faster wheel (the X1 has a 2x) helps to mitigate some of the effects.
Below are some pictures I took today of the room as it is now. If this all goes as planned, you won't recognize the room when we finish. Actually, if we screw it up you might not recognize it either.