This post has been a long time coming, and frankly, I shouldn’t have delayed it this long. I haven’t updated followers on the progress of my home theater construction project in three months. As I last left off, the room was still mostly in disrepair. Some readers may have gathered based on other blog posts and Blu-ray reviews I’ve written recently that my theater room is operational at this point. In fact, it’s been mostly completed for quite a while. I’ve withheld a formal unveiling because I still have some finishing touches that I’d like to put on. Unfortunately, budgetary and other issues have pushed those back again, and there’s no point in waiting any longer. So, without further ado, please enjoy this tour of the long-in-development Cinema Zyberdiso.
First, let’s start with a video walkthrough. Because I shot this on my cell phone, you’ll have to forgive the crummy video quality and the camera’s annoying auto-focus. (Be warned that the volume on the video kicks in after about a minute.)
I think many of you could have guessed which movie I’d use to inaugurate the theater.
You’ll quickly notice a ‘Dune‘ theme at play. The theater’s entry door is graced by original production art that I acquired from the film’s production illustrator. (Click on any of the following photos to enlarge.)
Beyond the front door is a lobby area with a good chunk of my movie and TV collection on Elfa shelving from The Container Store. Here you’ll find box sets, SteelBooks, Digibooks, and other high-def discs and DVDs in special packaging.
Moving inside the theater room itself, to the right of the interior door is another video shelf. This one contains my Criterion Collection Blu-rays, TV-on-Blu box sets and 3D. That plastic bin on the bottom shelf and the trunk below it hold hundreds more discs that have been moved to DiscSox sleeves to conserve space.
Whenever I bring a new person into the room, invariably the first question I’ll get (I’m not kidding, literally 100% of the time this will be the first thing asked) is to explain these acoustic treatments on the walls. After completing construction of the room, I had a terrible echo in here due to sounds reverberating off the bare drywall. Adding carpet and furnishings helped somewhat, but these treatments greatly improved the sound quality of my audio equipment by absorbing reflections throughout the room. I have panels at reflection points on both side walls and the back of the room, plus bass traps in the front corners. I obtained these, along with extremely helpful placement advice, from GIK Acoustics.
For seating, I chose a pair of very comfortable Lane “Rally” powered recliners purchased from Stargate Cinema. This theater room was designed for two people, myself and Mrs. Z. We may need more seating in the future, but we can make do with two chairs for a couple of years.
My primary video display is the JVC DLA-RS40 D-ILA projector mounted to the ceiling with a Panamorph UH480 anamorphic lens on a slide mount.
The JVC is a remarkable projector for 2D image quality, but it’s downright terrible at 3D. I got so fed up with its rampant crosstalk artifacts, in fact, that I added a second projector dedicated for 3D viewing, the Sharp XV-Z30000 DLP. This one sits on a shelf immediately below the JVC.
Putting a shelf there has the added benefit of preventing me from accidentally bumping my head on the JVC projector, which I had done several times due to the low ceiling height of the room.
My projection screen is a Stewart StudioTek model 130 (1.3 gain) in Constant Image Height 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
My front speakers are Cambridge Soundworks Newton MC600HD mains with a Newton MC300 center. My surrounds are the same brand, S305 on the left and right sides of the seating position, and a pair S100s in the back for 7.1 format.
My powered subwoofer is a Cambridge Soundworks P300HD. It currently resides behind the seats. There are arguments to be made both for and against this, and I am not necessarily fixed in leaving it there permanently. However, I tested the subwoofer in several other locations in the room, and this is what I liked best. I may revisit this in the future.
For times when I don’t feel like firing up either of the projectors, I also have a 32″ Vizio TV that I can wheel out into the center of the room on a rolling cart. Why waste my projectors’ precious lamp hours to watch TV shows or play videogames?
When not in use, the TV sits on top of my equipment rack.
- 3D emitter for Sharp projector
- Comcast X1 DVR
- Lumagen Radiance XS-3D Video Processor
- OPPO BDP-93 Blu-ray Player
- Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player
- Denon AVR-3808CI A/V Receiver
- Pioneer XLD-X9 Laserdisc Player
- Sony PlayStation 3
- Microsoft Xbox
- Nintendo Entertainment System
The shelves themselves are Walker Edison Everest Multi-level Component Stands.
In what I felt was one of my smartest design decisions, I arranged the room so that the inevitable clutter of cables connecting my equipment is hidden from normal view behind the rack, but I’ve given myself plenty of room to access everything for when I need to change my electronics around.
Along the right side of the room is my ‘Dune’ shrine, which displays my extensive collection of movie memorabilia. Among many other things here are toys, games, coloring books, original production storyboard art and continuity photos, set and prop blueprints, several drafts of the script, and 35 unique video copies of the film.
Beneath this lies my Laserdisc collection in Expedit shelves from Ikea. Most of these discs haven’t been watched in years, but I still have a sentimental attachment to them.
After all my struggles (well documented in previous installments of this series), I think the room turned out pretty well. I have some projects that I feel still need to be completed, but I’ve accomplished most of the major checklist items that I set out to do when I started this crazy pipedream of mine.
This will probably not be the last post on this subject, but I felt that I owed it to all of you who’ve followed the story so far to finally display the fruits of my labors.