Thibaut’s 9.2.4 family home theater!


After the lockdowns, Thibaut’s teenage dream came true: to build a private home theater in the garden of the family home! In just under a year and a half, an outbuilding housing a 9.2.4 channel system sprung up in the middle of the lawn. It allows all family members to watch a film or a concert together, or even enjoy a gaming session.

How big is your home theater? And the technical area (electronics)?

The room has a gross floor area of 48m² and a net usable surface area of 40m². I don’t have a separate technical area, so all the electronics are housed in a small cabinet at the back of the room. The projector is mounted on a stand near the ceiling.

How long did it take you to build this home theater room?

It’s actually a new build, a wooden outbuilding in the garden of the family home. From the approval of the building permit to the projection of the first movie, it took a full 16 months to complete the project. As I didn’t live on site, I had to manage the job more or less remotely. My father was there to supervise the progress of the work.

When did you decide to design a room dedicated to home theater? Why create a personal movie theater?

Like many film enthusiasts, it was first and foremost a teenage dream. My first piece of equipment was a Jamo Apollo speaker pack and a Pioneer receiver that I installed in my bedroom. I was 20 and already dreaming of just one thing: having my own room one day! The turning point came when Covid died down, on October 19, 2021, to be precise. On that very day, I decided to go for it! I was able to take advantage of the large garden space in the family home to have the room built to the dimensions I wanted.
I wanted to create this space for two very simple reasons: to be able to enjoy my passion in optimal conditions, in complete freedom, and to share it with my loved ones. The fact that this home theater room was created from scratch in the garden of the family home, from a “simple” wooden garden shed, adds to the unique nature of the project!

“I wanted to create this space for two very simple reasons: to be able to enjoy my passion in optimal conditions, in complete freedom, and to share it with my loved ones.”

How did you organize the construction work? What was the most challenging aspect?

As far as the building work was concerned, I had the idea of going through an integration company dedicated to this type of project, but in the end I opted to work with local craftsmen for the entire job. A construction project like this calls for the involvement of many different trades: cement masons, plasterers, electricians, floor installers, acousticians and so on. As for me, I took care of the interior layout and the installation of all the audio-video equipment.

In the end, the most problematic part was obtaining planning permission, as current regulations impose fairly drastic criteria in terms of dimensions, materials that can’t be used, roof pitch, etc., as well as a number of other restrictions. It took some time for the project to get the go-ahead, and I couldn’t get anything started on my end before that. For the rest, we also had to take some time to plan the general layout of the room, to think about the placement of all the speakers in the right dimensions, and the choice of materials and colors.

How much of the budget was for the equipment? How much for the construction work?

The equipment alone accounts for almost 40% of the total budget, or €25,000, with the remaining 60% representing the purchase of the outbuilding, the cost of the building work, all associated supplies and the acoustic study carried out on site, totalling around €45,000.

Can you list the equipment used and tell us why you chose these brands?

The room is configured in 9.2.4 channels, for a total of 13 speakers and two subwoofers.

The choice of these brands and configurations is the fruit of many hours of reflection, research and finding out information from professionals, at trade shows and via dedicated forums. As far as the speakers are concerned, I opted for Elipson’s Infinite range on the advice of Son-Vidé They were within my budget, and I was also able to listen to them in the Palme d’Or room when I visited the Champigny store, and the sound was incredibly immersive! As for the rest of the equipment, this was a personal choice in conjunction with information given by other people with dedicated rooms who were able to advise me on the rest of the installation.

How do you control the system (applications, universal remote controls, etc.)?

I bought a Logitech Harmony Elite universal remote control which allows me to control my entire installation. The room is also connected to high-speed WiFi and Ethernet (pending fiber optic availability).

Did you use an acoustic treatment? If not, do you plan to use one in the future?

The room is acoustically treated. An acoustician carried out a complete study in the room, which was still unfinished, and then provided me with a full file that included 3D views. These indicated the room’s acoustic characteristics, along with recommendations for correcting defects by means of absorbing, diffusing and diffracting panels to be installed in specific locations.

What was the first movie you watched in this room? Which one gave you a taste for home theater?

The first film I saw in this room was Mad Max Fury Road in Dolby Atmos. It was really quite spectacular, right from the start! The trilogy that undoubtedly gave me a taste for home theater was The Lord of the Rings, which I owned in every possible edition, from DVD to 4K.

How often do you use this home theater room?

As I don’t live or work there, I use this room on average once every 3 weeks and during the vacations. I admit it’s a little frustrating, but the pleasure is multiplied tenfold when do have the opportunity to enjoy it!

Thibaut's private home theater
As his first film after completing the project, Thibaut enjoyed Mad Max Fury Road, the 4th installment of the sci-fi saga, in Dolby Atmos!

Do you watch anything other than movies? Sporting events? Series? Video games? Concerts?

I’m a big fan of music, especially film music. So I enjoy watching concerts, particularly Hanz Zimmer’s Live in Prague concert, which is a must-see and a demo Blu-ray for many people! To a lesser degree, I also watch sports and play some video games on a Playstation 5. The console is mainly used by my nephews.

How would you like to upgrade your system?

In the medium term, I’m aiming to go up in range for the electronics. My ultimate dream is to be able to buy a Trinnov processor, maybe in a few years! I’d also like to replace my armchairs with slightly more comfortable electric models.

What piece of advice can you give to someone who wants to make a room like this?

Don’t hesitate if you have the motivation and the means! It’s essential to think things through before embarking on your project. It’s a lengthy project that requires patience, and you need to be fully informed on all the technical aspects to avoid the many pitfalls. I strongly advise you to carry out an acoustic study if you can! Everyone can treat themselves with their own means and budget, but the most important thing is to achieve what you want. It’s well worth the effort!

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Issu de l'univers du sport, j'ai décidé de rejoindre l'aventure Son-vidéo en 2022 afin de développer mon intérêt pour le monde de l'audio et du home-cinéma. Curieux de 7e art et de musique, je suis constamment à la recherche de nouveautés techniques pour améliorer mon expérience. Si l'ensemble de l'offre culturelle m'attire, j'affectionne particulièrement ce qui touche au spectacle vivant (théâtre d'impro, stand up ...). Mon temps libre se partage donc entre un stade, une salle de concert ou de cinéma et un théâtre, au gré de l'agenda nantais ... et de la météo ! Des expériences que j'aime avant tout partager avec mes proches afin de comparer nos points de vue.

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