Mike transformed a room in his basement into a stunning private cinema equipped with Klipsch speakers and a 4K UHD projector. This room designed for music, movies, but also to play video games, is where Mike enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
When did you decide to design a room dedicated to home theater? Why create a personal movie theater?
When my room was still just a modest hi-fi room, my significant other and I were listening to music in it and I thought to myself why not make this room into something better and classier. We love watching movies, regardless of the genre. Granted, I was happy to watch movies on my Sony TV, but although the picture is very nice, the sound is far from being great. My significant other didn’t want massive speakers in the living room, so I thought why not use this room in the cellar as best as possible and enjoy high quality sound and image at home, without the disadvantages of having to go to the movie theater. This is where the idea of private cinema room came to life.
How long did it take to build this home theater room?
I took about 8 months to complete this home theater room. It started with gathering information, then came the construction work and finally finding the gear progressively to spread the cost.
What is the size of the technical area (electronics)?
I have a technical cabinet in which all the wiring (Hi-Fi, HDMI, Internet network, etc.) is hidden. It is 1.20m long and 60cm high. The gaming console, the amplifier and a surround speaker are placed on top of it.
How did you organize the construction work? What was the most problematic aspect?
I first got the sound insulation of the room done, then I covered the walls with OSB plates which I then painted in extra matt black to limit light reflections. The floor has been vitrified for maximum protection. The wires run through grommets in case I need to remove them or make changes. Finally, I designed the furniture to make sure it is adapted to my needs.
What was the overall budget for the system and construction work?
To make this private cinema room, I spent around €2000 for the construction work and €4500 for the equipment.
Can you list the equipment used and tell us why you chose these brands?
My personnal cinema consists of the following elements:
- 1 x NorStone CL250 Classic speaker wire 2.5mm² (25m long)
- 1 x NorStone CL400 Classic speaker cable 2 x 4mm² (25m long)
- 1 x Vogel’s PPC-2500 projector mount
- 1 x Klipsch RP-280F floorstanding speakers
- 1 x Klipsch RP-160M compact speakers
- 1 x Klipsch R-112 SW Subwoofer
- 1 x Klipsch RP-600C center speaker
- 1 x Panasonic DP-UB820 Blu-ray player
- 1 x Lumene Capitol HD 240C projection screen
- 1 x Optoma UHD42
- 1 x Denon AVR-X2700H DAB home cinema amplifier
- 2 x Audioquest Blueberry HDMI HDMI cable (1.5m)
- 1 x Audioquest Pearl Active HDMI Cable (7.5m)
- 1x Xbox Serie X game console
For the speakers and the subwoofer, I instantly chose Klipsch, because my father also has a home theater installation equipped entirely with Klipsch speakers and I immediately fell in love with this brand, because of both the sound signature and the esthetic.
For the amplifier, I was initially going for a Marantz SR-5015, but it really exceeded my budget. So I looked for other brands that could meet my needs and I found the Denon AVR-X2700H which is also part of the Marantz family. I am very happy with it.
For the projector, I initially had no idea what to go for and the only thing I knew was that I wanted a UHD 4K model for movies and video games, while still staying within a budget of €1,000 to €1,500. So I looked into brands such as BenQ , ViewSonic , Epson and Optoma and finally chose the Optoma UHD42 which perfectly meets all my criteria, whether it is the projection distance, the settings, the image quality or the input lag for games.
I selected the Panasonic DP-UB820 Blu-ray player for its excellent value for money and I am very happy with it. Certainly, I could have used the Xbox Serie X, but for me everything has a specific purpose, hence my choice to buy a dedicated Blu-ray player.
Regarding the wiring, I needed an HDMI cable measuring 7 to 8 meters in length that would be capable of ensuring a correct connection between the amplifier and the projector. So I opted for the 7.5m long Audioquest Pearl Active HDMI as I only read good reviews about it. Finally, I followed your advice for hi-fi cables and therefore selected Norstone CL250 and NorStone CL400 which are very good.
How do you control the system (apps, universal remote controls, etc.)? Applications? Universal remote control?
I use the dedicated remote control for each device.
Did you use any acoustic treatment? If not, do you plan to use one in the future?
Yes I put 5cm sound insulation behind the OSB panels. Then I fixed acoustic foams to the walls, because I still heard a slight resonance. The acoustic foam took care of that issue.
What is the first movie you watched in this room? Which one gave you a taste for home theater?
The first movie we watched was Avatar. The ones that really gave me a taste for home theater are the movies from the Marvel franchise.
How often do you use this home theater room?
We spend one or two evenings a week there, whether it’s watching a movie, listening to music or playing video games. It all depends on our mood.
Do you watch anything other than movies? Sporting events? Series? Video games? Concerts?
Indeed, I used it to watch football (the big games) and to play video games.
What piece of advice could you give to someone who’s interested in the same type of home theater installation?
I would advise taking your time, studying your room well, seeking advice from professionals and enthusiasts on forums. It is also important to choose your equipment according to your needs and desires. The goal is to come home and be able to enjoy a good movie. No matter the price of the installation, as long as it is suitable, this is the main objective.