by Bobby Revai
My fascination with big screen entertainment started when I was in my final year of high school about 11 years ago. My parents had bought a brand new 50" rear-projection TV for the basement. It was the largest TV I had ever seen, and having such a giant TV in the house was truly an amazing experience for me.
When I first moved into my new home that I purchased a couple of years ago, I decided to start small...and by small I mean 60" wide-screen rear-projection 16:9 widescreen TV, for the living room. I set it up with full surround sound and all and thought this was the perfect solution to home-theatre. At first, it was great, the TV seemed quite large, but eventually I wanted something bigger. Go big or go home, I decided.
ProjectorCentral.com has been key in assisting me on many of my decisions for this project. I strongly urge anybody looking to invest in a home-theatre project to go through the many helpful sections of this site before making your purchases. I recently finished my basement in the hopes of building a large-screen home-theatre of my very own. I have read all the user stories, and reviews on here, and have been inspired by many of them, thank-you.
As this is still a relatively new project to me, it is far from being finished, but definitely at a point where I can sit down and enjoy it.
I had one room in my basement finished specifically for home theatre purpose. I had all the necessary cables (speaker, VGA, component, composite, power, etc.) put in the walls, so as to avoid a messy cabling disaster. The room is 16 x 15. I have a sofa in the rear, and a loveseat along the side. The component rack is in the rear corner. I have a 10 foot pull-down screen on the front wall. The front of the room is painted a gun-metal grey, while the other walls are painted light beige. My walls are all textured, to give it a great modern look.
BenQ PB6200 XGA DLP Projector
Pioneer 6.1 (setup for 7.1) Receiver
Pioneer DVD player
RCA VCR w/TV Tuner
P4 1.3 GHZ Computer running Win98SE
Sony Playstation 2
Dolby 7.1 Surround speaker setup (7 speakers + subwoofer)
Logitech Cordless Mouse/Keyboard
10 foot (120") Draper pull-down screen with black borders (4:3 NTSC)
Home made projector mount
So, why the 4:3 screen everyone asks? Good question. I figure, bigger is better. I am also running a computer off the projector, so I needed the 4:3 screen to make it look decent. Also, when I watch TV, most shows are in 4:3. I find the 16:9 selectable setting on the projector is quite good for when I watch some movies, and the DVD's that are already in 16:9 mode look great as they are on the screen. I chose 120" because that was the largest I could fit in my basement based on the distance of the projector from the screen. (15 feet)
I chose the BenQ PB6200 and determined it to be the best solution for my home-theatre, and the pricing was just right. It's bright enough, has XGA resolution, and has all the features I need for my particular home theatre. So far, I have been more than impressed with this projector. Colours, and resolution are amazing, and it is very quiet. Watching movies with this projector is truly a treat.
I have all the cables coming out in a wall panel that I created with speaker plates, cable/phone/ethernet jacks, and another plate which has the VGA cable, component, and composite cables. As I am running a 7 speaker system to my receiver, the cables going to the back of the component rack is a disaster, but not much you can do about it, except to hide it. My component rack is located in the rear of the room, next to the wall panel where all the cables meet.
I have 3 in the front by the screen (front, center, left). I have 2 surrounds (right left) on each side of the couch at the back of the room. Behind the couch, I have another 2 Surround Back speakers, which are currently on the floor facing up towards the ceiling. (I plan to install these on the wall at some point in the near future. Subwoofer is located in the back corner of the room near the component rack, as that was the only place I could put it without having to run wires. In the future, I also plan to upgrade all of the speakers, to one brand, as right now, I have about 3 different brands. The sound generated by these 8 speakers when watching a TV is phenomenal, and truly adds to the overall home theatre experience.
In the very near future, I plan to have a custom wall unit built for the front of the room which form around the screen and hide all the stereo equipment to give it a nice bold and elegant finish.
After setting up all the equipment, I found that using the programmable remote control that came with the Pioneer receiver allowed me to control all my components with one simple remote control. To add to the convenience factor, I have a wireless keyboard and mouse to control the computer from my lap anywhere in the room. This is extra convenient when it comes to surfing, or simply doing work in front of the computer (on the BIG SCREEN). I have a TV tuner in my VCR which allows me to watch regular TV as well. Overall, I have created the ultimate entertainment room for my love of big screens and modern technology!
Approx. $15,000 CDN including all construction (basement was unfinished), equipment, and furniture.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to email me!