A big movie buff, Daniel designed his own private home theater in an unoccupied room in his house. The installation has many highlights, including a large 4.1 meter screen. The sound system is made up of Focal speakers coupled with an Onkyo receiver. An ideal installation for enjoying movies and concerts.
How big is your home theater and technical area (electronics)?
My room has a surface area of 25m² for the theater part and 2m² for the electronics.
How long did it take you to build this home theater?
About two months for the construction, with the screen, the platform, the chair support and the painting. It is never finished, however, as improvements are made over the years and ideas are collected from forums and specialist magazines.
When and why did you decide to design a room dedicated to home theater?
As soon as the house was built, the idea came to me because this room had no particular function and since the space was available, it had to be turned into a movie theater. Even before this project, I was a fan of private projection since the arrival of 5.1 home theater systems in the early 2000s. I was impressed with theaters at the time where movies started with literally jaw-dropping THX intros.
How did you organize the construction work? What was the most challenging aspect?
Because the screen is made of BA13 plasterboard, the hardest part was to create bands that were totally invisible in the light of the projector. Sanding the plasterboard bands was therefore the most difficult part.
What was the overall budget for the system and construction?
20% of the budget was devoted to construction (provided we did it ourselves). The remaining 80% was spent on equipment.
Can you list the equipment used and tell us why you chose these brands?
My home theater system consists of the following:
- 1 x Black wood Focal Chorus CC800V (Center speaker)
- 2 x Black Focal Chorus 836V (Floorstanding speakers)
- 2 x Focal Chorus SR-800V (Surround speakers)
- 1 x Optoma HD-65 (projector)
- 1 x Black Velodyne Impact 12 (Subwoofer)
- 1 x black Onkyo TX-NR807 (AV receiver)
- 1 x Samsung BD-C6900 (4K UHD/Blu-ray player)
- 1 x Logitech Harmony One
I opted for the Focal brand for the speakers after listening to the various other big brands. I wanted a warm sound and nice bass. The same sound requirements led me to choose Onkyo for the receiver and Velodyne for the subwoofer based on recommendations from experts in audio/video equipment distribution.
For the projection, I chose the Optoma HD-65 after having studied the different quality/price ratios in specialist magazines and websites. The choice of the Samsung BD-C6900 for the Blu-ray player was motivated by the integrated 3D compatibility and the reasonable price combined with a well-known brand. Finally, for the universal remote control, Logitech simply offers the best technical solutions.
How do you control the system (applications, universal remote controls, etc.)?
I use a Logitech Harmony One universal app and the iOS apps on my devices.
Did you use an acoustic treatment? If not, do you plan to use one in the future?
No, no acoustic treatment and I haven’t planned to add any. I live in the countryside and the neighbors are far enough away.
What is the first movie you watched in this room? Which one gave you a taste for home theater?
I don’t remember the first movie I watched, because it was several years ago. However, the one that gave me a taste for home theater was The Fifth Element.
How often do you use this home theater room?
Very little, about once a month.
Do you watch anything other than movies? Sporting events? Series? Video games? Concerts?
In addition to movies, I take advantage of this installation to watch concerts.
How would you like to upgrade your system?
I want to change the projector to switch to 4K image quality and an LED lamp.
What piece of advice can you give to someone who wants to make a room like this?
There is nothing complicated or impossible to do. You just have to take the time before buying to read the specifications (magazines and specialized websites) so as not to regret a bad choice. You should not choose a speaker brand for its notoriety, but after having listening to a demonstration to make sure that the sound suits you personally (go to showrooms that offer tests).
It is also necessary to carefully plan the project before starting the work, because once the walls are finished, it is impossible to add a cable that was forgotten or an additional speaker without making a big mess. For example, use ICTA sheaths that are large enough to accommodate the connector of an HDMI cable. When you want UHD quality, the whole “chain” has to be UHD-compatible from start to finish, including the often overlooked cables (audio cables and HDMI cables). Finally, it is interesting to browse through the installations visible on the net to find good ideas.