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Home Theater Build


Alright, updates are coming fast and furious now! Well, they're steady updates anyway. Got some fabric from the local fabric store. There's a place I never thought I would ever find myself shopping for anything. It's ok though I made it out alive and got some nice black velveteen to make curtains out of that will be used to mask off the left and right side of the screen and probably above and below as well.


I also went ahead and ordered my projector and screen. After much research I decided to go with the Panasonic PT-AE3000U, and an Elite Screens 106" acoustically transparent 16:9 screen in high gain white. I went with the AE3000U because of it's very good reviews and Editor's choice for 2008 by ProjectorCentral.com. And as I write this and grab links from their website I see Panasonic has released the new PT-AE4000U, and I am vexed. Oh well, that's life; I still got a very good PJ. Here's a blurry pic of it!


Much to be done before I'm ready for that though. First I need to run speaker wire for the fronts, and rears. Then I needed to get them all banana plugged out.


Along with the projector also came my acoustic, fixed frame screen. This was a very good day! :)


Next on the unending list of things to do was figuring out a way to mount the PJ mount. I decided on the super strong triple 2x4 method screwed and glued together for strength. This is probably way over kill but I really didn't want to have to worry about the PJ falling off the ceiling, I would probably cry.

Ya I prolly got a little crazy on the extra speaker cable for the front speakers, but I didn't really want to come up short so I ended up with little extra bundles for each speaker. That's okay.


Before I put together the screen I needed to prep the frame. I needed to mount a horizontal board for the screen to actually mount to and while I was at it I decided to try and take out some of the warp in the two vertical boards, hence the crazy amount of straps and clamps.


A quick shot of a few of the pieces of the screen that make up the frame, note that the four frame pieces seen in the picture are the horizontal pieces. Each pair mates together end to end to create the top and bottom horizontal stretches.


Once the frame was together, I checked for square, then tightened everything down and I was ready for the screen material. After I washed my hands as instructed by the assembly instructions I removed the screen from it's protective PVC tube and rolled it out on the frame and removed all the paper sheeting.


I then had to slide plastic rods into sleeves around the edge of the screen that then fit into a groove on the frame and was held in place and simultaneously stretched by clipping it down with little plastic clips. During this procedure I also added the stretcher bar that ran down the center of the screen. That was it; it was done and ready to hang.


So I, of course, threw it up on the hangers on the frame and fired up the PJ to see it in action. I immediately noticed a problem. The aluminum stretcher bar in the center of the screen was reflecting light from the PJ and reflecting back badly. It was then that I realized that I had extra pieces, a black piece of fabric. But the instructions made no mention of it anywhere, even on either of the two loose leaflets that came stuck in the instruction manual that said do this after step 4A and do this before step 4C. Needless to say the instruction manual sucked hard!


See, the because I was planning on putting the speakers behind the screen I needed one that was acoustically transparent, in other words, it won't muffle the sound from the speakers. To accomplish this the screen isn't actually a solid sheet, it's a woven fabric and this is why I was getting such a bad reflection from the stretcher bar. No matter, a couple quick emails to customer support and the solution was found. Just stick the piece of black fabric to the velcro pads to hold it and you'll be good to go. Cool! Uhhhhhhhhh..... there are no velcro pads... anywhere... on anything. Hmm, ok customer service sucks too! Oh well I decided to just take it down, lay out the cloth and one by one pull out a clip tuck in the black out cloth, put the clip back. Rinse and repeat, then bingo, done!


Well, that was a pain in the ass but it was all sooooooo worth it! :) iTunes visualizer:


And what home theater build log would be complete without the ubiquitous Leeloo close up shot! Gorgeous!

Still much to be done, check back later!