Mis à jour le 27 December 2021.
Pierre is a long time cinema and music enthusiast. He transformed part of his garage into a his personnal theater, cozy space where one can relax during long winter days. A project that this lover of the seventh art had in mind for a long time and that he was able to achieve on his own in just three weeks.
How big is your home theater room? From the technical area (electronics)?
The technical area is in the room. I had to place all the electronics on cube shelves. The room is 3.75mx 4.25m, or 16m².
How long did it take you to build this home theater?
It took me less than two weeks from start to finish. I already had the audio and video equipment and also had the acoustic ceiling delivered before moving into the new house. I took time off and I was working on the room every day, all my free time was spent there, about 8 to 10 hours a day. This is the first time that I had a real dedicated room. Before that, my system was set up in a bedroom or in the living room. I was eager to set up a real personnal cinema in a dedicated room. We bought the house because it had the potential to offer the room I dreamed of.
When did you decide to design a room dedicated to home theater? Why create a personal movie theater?
We bought this house because it made it possible to create a real private cinema room. My passion for home theater started with a friend who had a professionally designed cinema room with GKF pro speakers. His total budget for this room was €50,000! I said to myself “Wow”, that’s what I like, I’m going to try to achieve this dream! Even though we’re definitely not in the same league. I can not compete with my €11,000 system. I am very happy with it, though. I am a cinephile and audiophile, I love cinema and music. I have thought about the project and saved money for a while. I was able to accumulate enough gear over 5 years to get started.
How did you organize the construction work? What was the most challenging part?
The wiring was the most complicated. Cable management is not really my strong point …
How much of the budget was for the equipment? How much for the construction work?
I did everything myself from start to finish. When you think of how much professionals charge for with some DIY knowledge, there was nothing insurmountable. I saved a lot of money by buying a lot of used material. The construction work was about €1500 in total: carpet, baseboards, ceiling, paint, wallpaper. The overall cost for the equipment was a bit over €9000.
Can you list the equipment used and tell us why you chose these brands?
I have a 2.7m wide Quimex screen which I bought used. I use a JVC DLA-X5000 projector because my friend had one and I really liked the image, the sharpness, as well as the colors. Then, I chose a Denon AVR-X4500H AV receiver, which I selected for its perfect neutrality, which makes it ideal to drive the Klipsch (Klipsch RP-502S , Klipsch RP-504C , Klipsch RP-600M and Klipsch RP-8000F). I am 1000% satisfied with this setup for home theater use, but I admit that it’s a bit limited as a hi-fi system. The Panasonic Blu-ray player has made a reputation for itself as a very good device at an affordable price.
How do you control the system (apps, universal remote controls, etc.)? Applications? Universal remote control?
I pilot with the Logitech app and a Harmony Hub. My dream would be to manage the whole with an Amazon Alexa-type voice assistant.
Did you use any acoustic treatment? If not, do you plan to use one in the future?
I have acoustic tiles on the ceiling and two small panels at the back of the room. I used acoustic panels more as an esthetic thing, because they are not necessarily placed the way they should be. There is a thick carpet which acts as an acoustic covering on the floor.
What is the first movie you watched in this room? Which one gave you a taste for home theater?
Ready Player One! The movie that gave me a first taste of home theater was a Batman movie. I believe it was The Dark Night.
How often do you use this home theater room?
It’s also my office so I use it every day. Especially for music so I don’t use the projector all the time. One or two cinema sessions per week and 3/4 days a week listening to music.
Do you watch anything other than movies? Sporting events? Series? Video games? Concerts?
Lots of series on Amazon Prime or Netflix, a few concerts and quite a few movies. I do not play video games on the home theater system because of the input lag. So I play on my PC to get the most out of FPS.
How would you like to upgrade your system?
I want to install a real hi-fi system in the living room, possibly with B&W speakers (amp + speakers). For the home theater room, I would like to upgrade to an Atmos system with four in-ceiling speakers. My power amp is compatible. Maybe a second subwoofer although I already find the lows impressive with the XTZ and switch to a more high end JVC projector like the JVC DLA-N5 in the future. The JBL Pro 3-way cinema speakers are also a dream of mine with an acoustically transparent screen. Before all that I would like to buy a NAS to store all of my Blu-ray movies.
What piece of advice can you give to someone who wants to make a room like this?
Think carefully about what you want, if you want a room that is more geared towards music or cinema. Then choose the equipment accordingly and do not hesitate to go for a power amp. Tutorials on the Internet allow you to get started easily. It’s a very doable thing. All it takes is manual work, planning and some DIY construction skills. This type of room can obviously be improved by placing electronics in a separate room to avoid ventilation noise and heat from the devices.