Thibault is a lifelong cinephile who recently decided to make the most of his passion by designing his own cinema room. The result is a cozy private theater in which Thibault relaxes every evening to the sound of the 5.1.2 channel Atmos system and marvels at a large 332 cm screen.
How big is your cinema room and technical area (electronics)? From the technical area (electronics)?
This room measures 5.2 m by 4 m, without any work. Once finished, the room measures 5 m by 3.90 m, which is about 20 square meters. The electronics are on a shelf that is 60cm wide, 50cm deep and 2.48m high.
When did you decide to design a room dedicated to home theater? Why create a personal movie theater?
I’ve been a movie fan for as long as I can remember. I had a Yamaha home-theater system for my birthday as a teenager, and I still use the receiver today for my Butt Kickers transducers. I bought increasingly large TVs for the time (102 then 140 cm diagonal). I had never thought of making an actual cinema room, because I didn’t think it was even possible. It was 8 years ago, when I met my brother-in-law Kevin (who has a home theater system in his living room), that I discovered what a video projector could do. He had a Mitsubishi HC6000 that I ended up buying from him and which led me to develop an interest in this technology.
I then met Stephen by chance during his festival, the West’n’bike in Savoie. Turns out he had a cinema room with hundreds of collectibles and which sounded really cool! He then became one of my closest friends and I knew at that point that I wanted to have my own cinema room. This was about 6 years ago. However, because I was renting my previous two houses, it was only temporary installations. I always said that once I would own a house I’d would seriously work on it, which was the case when I was able to buy it a year ago. Back then, I used to go to the movies once or twice a week, and when I had a taste of what a personnal home theater room was, the was no possible comparison. Especially because you can watch your favorite movies whenever you want. The level of comfort and quality are simply on another level. Going to the movies has become a luxury today, so you might as well do it at home.
How did you organize the construction work? What was the most challenging aspect?
As I previouly mentionned, I completely stripped off the walls in order to redo everything. So I took the opportunity to run as many outlets as possible to be able to power everything. The most complicated thing was to delimit the rooms (32 square meters split in two parts with my office which is right next to the cinema room), knowing that in old houses, nothing is straight and that I wanted to make everything square. My biggest concern was therefore for me to wedge the partition according to the size of the screen, knowing that I had to take into account the insulation, the distance of the projector and so on. In the end, I still made mistakes, because I had not anticipated such a thick canvas frame. But after that, there was no major difficulty, it’s just that you have to think about everything before you start to be sure not to forget anything.
How long did it take you to build this home theater?
I do renovation work for a living, so I took down the entirety of the room in order to start from scratch. Once the dry-was installed, it took me 14 days to do the entire room, working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
What was the overall budget for the system and construction?
I no longer have all the details in mind, but the entire room cost roughtly €12,000 all included, including the discounts I had. €15,000 without discount and without including the dry-wall. I should probably mention that I gradually acquired my equipment, so the cost of my room at the time was much lower.
The room itself (carpet, underlay, armchair, fabric, paint, suspended ceiling, LED, etc.) was around €5,000. I salvaged a lot of the materials, including wooden cleats I had in the room for the frames, pallets for the platform, etc. This greatly reduced the cost. We can add about €1000 for the dry-wall part.
Can you list the equipment used and tell us why you chose these brands?
My home theater system consists of the following:
- Video projector: Optoma UHZ65 4K
- Screen: Aeon Edge Acoustic Pro UHD 332cm width
- Subwoofer: SVS PB1000
- Front speakers: 3x Audio SAXO 16
- Surround speakers: 2x Audio SAXO 6
- ATMOS speakers: 2x Focal ICW5
- Network player: Zidoo z1000 4K
- AV receiver: Onkyo TX-NR676
- Yamaha RX-V371 receiver to drive Bass Pump III transducers
- PS4 / SWITCH / Samsung Blu-ray Player
The Optoma was recommended to me by a salesperson. Since it was in order to make a personnal cinema room, I wanted a laser model because it lasts longer and offrers richer colors.
For the speakers, I disregarded the price and I needed extra flat speakers to hide them behind the screen and save space for a larger screen. So I sold my Jamo S809 set for this Saxo Audio set.
How do you control the system (apps, universal remote controls, etc.)? Applications? Universal remote control?
I use the remote control of each device. I wanted to invest in a Harmony Elite universal remote control, but apparently production was stopped so I haven’t had any alternatives yet.
Did you use any acoustic treatment? If not, do you plan to use one in the future?
No, I opted for insulation on the front third with rock wool panels, whici is much less expensive. It remains a personal room and I am absolutely content with the result.
What is the first movie you watched in this room? Which one gave you a taste for home theater?
I always do demos with the race scene in the movie Ready Player One. The taste for home cinema was given to me by my brother-in-law Kevin.
How often do you use this home theater room?
Every night I watch a movie or two. I also use it sometimes in the morning when I get up to watch series.
Do you watch anything other than movies? Sporting events? Series? Video games? Concerts?
This room is brand new, so I haven’t had a chance yet to use it for anything but to watch movies and series so far. On the other hand, I know that its primary function will remain to watch films and series, as well as play some video games on PS4. Occasionally, racing simulations on PC and sometimes with a VR headset.
How would you like to upgrade your system?
I do not have anything planned at this moment, but maybe a power amplifier if I have the opportunity to test one to see the difference.
What piece of advice can you give to someone who wants to make a room like this?
I would say that even if we see dedicated rooms with astronomical budgets, it is absolutely possible to have a great time while staying within your means and that you will never regret having made our own cinema room. There is nothing complicated and it is accessible to everyone.