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Repooc's Dedicated Home Theater Build

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 6th, 2018 12:10 am
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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Toronto
theSPOOLER wrote:
Jun 14th, 2018 11:57 pm
Did you not follow Atmos speaker placements because the room is too small? And why bipole for side surrounds. That's old school 5.1, not Atmos.
See earlier posts...

Its partly room dimensions, but largely because there is no Dolby Atmos specification for speaker placement in a multi-row setup. Dolby remains silent in this regard.

Bipole speakers on the side are placed to benefit both front and back rows, allowing for maximum side channel dispersion. If I only had a single seat in the middle of my HT as Dolby designs for (or more practically/realistically, one row); then yes, I would have opted for monopole side surrounds.
Member
Mar 15, 2005
352 posts
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theSPOOLER wrote:
Jun 14th, 2018 11:57 pm
Did you not follow Atmos speaker placements because the room is too small? And why bipole for side surrounds. That's old school 5.1, not Atmos.
There are conflicting views on non direct firing surrounds. Experts I've talked to at boutique shops like audio one and Kennedy hifi still recommend dipole even tho the trend nowadays seems to be going towards direct firing surrounds. It's a matter of preference. Do you want a smaller or bigger sweet spot? I plan on trying both ways when I build out my HT.
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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A quick but short update...

Sorry, but not much action in a while... been gearing up and preparing for when my wife and kids leave me with another weekend alone to work on the HT, So, I've been busy buying and building some HT gear. My wife has given me a deadline of July 28th to have this all done (which oddly coincides with a party we're hosting at our house... go figure). So, I have my work cut out for me.

Speaker Cables
You know you've met "the one" when your wife sits down with you on a Friday night, after the kids have gone down; to help you build speaker cables. I really lucked out fellas! I created some 12 gauge interconnects to go from my AV/Receiver to the jacks on the walls in my media closet. Built from raw speaker cables, black mesh sleeving, heat shrink and banana clips. I think they look pretty decent.
Before:
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raw cables.jpg
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After:
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finished cables.jpg
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UHD 4K BRD player
After much humming and hawing, I finally bit the bullet and decided to get the Panasonic DMP-UB900 instead of the Oppo 203. It really came down to the fact that my projector doesn't have HDR, and I don't plan on upgrading it anytime soon. And the Panasonic actually out-performs the OPPO with HDR to SDR conversion. So, I saved quite a few bucks going with this option too.

Popcorn Machine
Starting to think about the concession stand area outside of my HT. So, I picked up this awesome popcorn machine. Should be able to handle a full house of 7 guests in the HT. No HT is complete without a popcorn machine!! The wall on the left side, is where I plan to build some kind of plexiglass candy dispenser with multiple candy options. Opposite of that same wall is my wet bar, so all within steps once you're outside of the HT.
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20180620_144102_HDR.jpg
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[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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Toronto
It's ALIVE!!!! (well, kinda)

I had a bit of free time on Saturday night, so I decided to fart around with setting up the lens shift feature on the projector. This was the first time I turned on the projector since I had that "quibble" with my wife about the projector mounting point and verifying its positioning with the calibration lines.

This was just a very quick mock-up, and plugging in a 4K source directly into the projector and into a regular power outlet... so, no receiver and no speakers hooked up and not using my Furman Power Conditioner to clean up the signal on the source or projector.... This is the projector RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX, no colour calibration settings, bulb enhancements, motion, etc... the ONLY thing I adjusted very quickly was the focus using the remote (which I think can still be fine tuned).

I have an appointment scheduled for a certified ISF technician to colour calibrate my projector at a later date (more on that later).

Needless to say... I'm thoroughly impressed and even more excited for what's to come when this projector is perfectly dialed in. At worst, I can say there's a bit of red push out of the box, which I'm sure can be corrected with colour calibration. The room was completely dark with no light/sconces/LEDs on. only the light from the projector. The black velvet around the screen works flawlessly (I might end up putting some velvet panels over the light switches as the reflections off the faceplate was somewhat distracting). You cannot see the weave of the AT screen at all from either the front or back rows.

In short, the lens shift from 16:9 to 2.35:1 works smooth as butter. And having the wall to wall image REALLY draws you into the film. I can only imagine what this is going to be like when I have all of the speakers going all around. Mind you, these pics were taken on my crappy LG G4 phone... if you think these pics look good, then I guarantee you the real life 4K is infinitely better in person!

Optimus Prime
Did a pause of a 4K Transformers movie (forgot which one... its one of the recent crappy ones with Mark Wahlberg). I paused it here, because the contrast was so incredible it made the video look almost 3D as the gun barrel seemingly protruded past the screen into the room. I've never experienced anything like that before.
Here's some perspective from the front and back rows...
Front row, middle seat
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Transformers Front Row.jpg
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Back Row, Left middle seat
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Transformers Back Row.jpg
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Snake
This was a 4K Costa Rica nature clip I found. I had to pause it on this one scene with a snake, where the focus and background bokeh had my jaw on the floor. You could see every single detail in the scales of the snake as they articulated on one another. And the water droplets on the snake's head... my goodness!!
I was sitting in the back row and leaned forward when I took this pic
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Snake.jpg
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EDIT:
Looking at the pics uploaded to RFD, after the fact, they REALLY don't do it justice. The site definitely compresses image attachments (understandable), but a lot of the detail is lost and even grain/colour stepping is added. These are not visible on the pics on my phone... and surely not in real life. You'll just have to take my word for it. Sorry.
[OP]
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SAVINGSTAR wrote:
Jun 25th, 2018 12:56 pm
That looks amazing
thank you!!!

Let's just hope the sound will be as equally as impressive.

I think my wife is taking the kids to her parents' cottage for this coming long weekend. Sucks that I'll be stuck in a basement working on a long weekend, but should get a good most of the system plugged in.
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Cool, can you upload all the pictures during the setup? Showing the progress?

Subscribed.
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Mar 18, 2005
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Repooc wrote:
Jun 25th, 2018 11:40 am


EDIT:
Looking at the pics uploaded to RFD, after the fact, they REALLY don't do it justice. The site definitely compresses image attachments (understandable), but a lot of the detail is lost and even grain/colour stepping is added. These are not visible on the pics on my phone... and surely not in real life. You'll just have to take my word for it. Sorry.
I'm sorry, I don't believe you. I think you'll just have to invites us all over when its done so we can see in person :)
[OP]
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Elfwood wrote:
Jun 25th, 2018 5:02 pm
Cool, can you upload all the pictures during the setup? Showing the progress?

Subscribed.
Definitely... If you guys want to see that stuff too. Will see what I can do about perhaps some videos too. No prob!
[OP]
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Evil Baby wrote:
Jun 25th, 2018 5:47 pm
I'm sorry, I don't believe you. I think you'll just have to invites us all over when its done so we can see in person :)
LOL... If you're in the Durham region area. Hit me up with a PM.

Tickets are only $8.99/movie amd that includes a beer and a bag of popcorn ;)
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Aug 14, 2011
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Repooc wrote:
Jun 25th, 2018 7:07 pm
LOL... If you're in the Durham region area. Hit me up with a PM.

Tickets are only $8.99/movie amd that includes a beer and a bag of popcorn ;)
That’s a pretty good deal!
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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SAVINGSTAR wrote:
Jun 25th, 2018 8:46 pm
That’s a pretty good deal!
This IS RFD, afterall.... Hahahaha
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Oct 22, 2014
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Repooc wrote:
Jun 25th, 2018 7:07 pm
LOL... If you're in the Durham region area. Hit me up with a PM.

Tickets are only $8.99/movie amd that includes a beer and a bag of popcorn ;)
Can we do a group buy? 10% off if over 20 signup?
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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When the wife and kids are away... Repooc gets to play!! HUUUUUuuuge Project Update!!!

My wife took the kids to her parent's cottage for all 3 days of the Canada Day long weekend. And while it was BLAZING hot outside, I was cool as cucumber in my basement.

If you may recall, I last left off with testing out the video output on my projector by hooking up a 4K mibox android box directly to the input of my projector. Not using the any of the in-wall wiring or my receiver/amplifier and speakers. Just purely video testing from within the HT.

This weekend was the REAL test to see if all of my cabling work behind the walls made it through unscathed from the construction work. I must admit, this was the last piece of the puzzle that has had me the most worried/concerned. Certainly a risk if you plan to run your gear in a closet a fair distance away from your HT in a dedicated closet. At the very worst, I did run empty conduits from the media closet into the HT as a fail safe/last resort. But I would rather save those for a future cable standard/upgrade rather than for a damaged wire.

Media Closet Hookup
So, I started out with this mess. (most of) my gear pictured... sitting on the shelf like this for several months... lifeless. And networking cables above.
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1 before.jpg
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Someone had asked for progress pictures of the wiring/termination/hookup. So, I tried to take some interval pics along the way.... So, here's a mid-way shot of half of this particular 3-gang wall plate terminated onto speaker binding posts.
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2 wiring.jpg
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Here is that same all plate all terminated, ready to be mounted, The black cables are RG6 coax that are terminated onto F-type connectors on the backside and an RCA connector on the front side for my sub-woofer signal.
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3 wiring.jpg
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Finally, here's all of my wires terminated and plates mounted on the wall. Other than the 11 channels for dolby atmos surround sound, I also have wires run for 2 powered subwoofers (RCA to RG6 Coax) and another set of wires for 2 passive subwoofers (12 gauge speaker wire). Going one step further, I also wired the front and back theater seat rows to accept LFE signal (RCA to RG6 Coax) for a future upgrade to bass shakers/tactile transducers. At the very top of the pic you'll see the black cables, which are the HDMI runs to the HT. I decided to do a straight pass-through, to avoid adding any potential complications by introducing HDMI wall-connectors. It's not as clean looking as below; but this way I have a single cable of uninterrupted signal going right from my receiver's output into my projector's input.
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4 wiring.jpg
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Subwoofers
I must admit, I didn't plan on upgrading to bigger/passive subwoofers so soon, but the opportunity presented itself and I went with it. Again, going the DIY route, these bad boys go all the way down to 15 Hz of chest compressing bass with ease. These are 18" (EIGHTEEN) woofers. They're a popular DIY build over on AVS Fourm.... just do a search for "VBSS subwoofer" on Google. In the pic below, I placed them in front of my popcorn machine and placed the 12" powered subwoofer on top for scale/reference. They are comically huge! I can almost fit BOTH fists into one of the ports. hahahahaha. I didn't bother painting them because they won't be visible behind the baffle wall and behind the velvet.
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5 vbss 1.jpg
6 vbss 2.jpg
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So, here's the new speaker setup in the baffle wall. The VBSS boxes now serves as stands the for the Left and Right channels. And I placed the 12" powered subs on top of the Left and Right channels.... which now leaves me with a lonely hole in the middle on top of my Center channel. Currently scouring Kijiji for a matching 12" subwoofer :)
To those of you with a keen eye, you'll also note that i modified the false wall frame slightly and removed the 2 inner wall studs. I decided to not toe-in my Left and Right channels in favour of a wider sound stage, and this required the removal of those studs as it would have impeded those speakers.

So, I now have 3x15" woofers in the LCR, 2x12" powered subwoofers, and 2x18" passive subwoofers in my baffle wall space. For a 7.4.4 Dolby Atmos system (potentially 7.5.4 if I can find a matching third 12" sub) not overkill, at all. LOL

However, I don't have an amp for the 18" VBSS subs yet (currently working on picking one up next weekend). So, my tests this past weekend was using the 2x12" powered subs only.
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7 baffle wall.jpg
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Media Closet
I bought the shelving unit used, and I wasn't really feeling the brown-coloured shelves. So, I painted them black and it looks 100x better.
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8 shelving.jpg
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Here's all the cabling hooked up. Bit of a mess for now, but again, I'm still in 'testing mode' until I go in there and clean it up with cable management. And holding true to my word from earlier in this thread, I rant out to Walmart on Sunday night and bought my first UHD 4K move... Pacific Rim: Uprising.
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9 hooked up.jpg
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Guys..... this HT absolutely ROCKS!!!!!!

And I don't even have my Atmos speakers yet!! I can only imagine what this is going to be like with the Atmos height channels and the 2 new 18" VBSS subs going. The 12" subs hold their own... not very deep, but enough to add a bit of tactile response to the seats on the back row riser.

All of my in-the-wall cabling works flawlessly. I still can't wipe the grin off my face since Sunday.

I threw on a Dolby Atmos demo disc and the movement of sound in the room, with absolute clarity is out of this world. Absolutely DO NOT regret using bipoles for the side surrounds one bit as both rows fully get immersed in the sound. The rear channels do not cause any ear fatgue whatsoever. I could go on and on... but this really exceeded ALL of my expectations. Again, I can't wait to add the height channels!

I'm having a tough time deciding what seat is my favourite. Middle seat in the front row is visually stunning and completely immersive. But the tactile response in the back row is unbelievable. I didn't expect the 12" subs to provide that kind of sensation (and I haven't even drilled any holes into the riser yet!!). You can literally FEEL the explosions as they happen on screen. Perhaps once I get the 18" subs fired up, I'll get the same tactile response in the first row.

My wife returned home with the kids on Monday night and we all sat in the back row... I fired up the Dolby Atmos demo disc... I'll just quote some of my wife's responses below that made me LOL:
"Why is my seat shaking?"
"I don't know why you want to add MORE speakers to the ceiling, it's already pretty loud"

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