The Old Theater Gear Head The New Theater Outdoor Theater

After completing the renovation of the upper three floors (well, almost completing), I had the opportunity to finish the basement. I needed an office area, but also wanted very much to have a room dedicated to Home Theater. The picture below is the first edition of that effort (it's an endless pursuit :-) The room is about 14'x20' which is a little tight for everything that we have going on in there, but we've been very pleased with it. The modest collection of remote controls on the table (bottom left) is about twice that size today.

The bladder tank for the pump used to be in the corner with the clock. My brother and I cleverly moved that into the mechanical room and sent the pipe through a half-height wall (which became the shelf that you see). Except for one wall, there was nothing but concrete staring at me. Overhead were the open joists, plumbing, and wires. Well, new walls, a terrific drop ceiling, and a moderately dark red carpet later I had the room for which I'd been hoping. The acoustical ceiling really helps this room out since it is only seven feet high (at the tiles). A solid ceiling or less absorbent tiles would have presented a brightness that I'm sure would bug me to this day. The light blue walls brightened a room with very little light. The red carpet was partially selected because it would not reflect much light when we watched a movie.

The Mitsubishi 52" RPTV anchors the room with a Polk CS350-LS on top, Sony and Toshiba 20" TVs afford secondary and tertiary video selections, and my Polk RT16s are on the flanks. A Polk PSW150 (which interestingly has a 200w PS) hides in one corner. The half-height wall, in addition to carrying the well pipe, is home to generous electrical outlets, heavy duty speaker wires, and generous numbers of S-video, composite, and RF lines (New Year's Day I add a fourth TV). As is the case throughout the house, all electronic gadgetry is collected in the room adjacent to the theater. This simplifies the sharing of devices in multiple rooms, frees living space, reduces power requirements at the point of use, and reduces clutter. My rack allows access from three sides for ease in configuration.

One other point of interest in this room (not pictured) are the surround speakers. It worked out such that the best location for the purposes of surround sound was a really bad place in terms of attachment. In fact on one side the best location was on some glass! So I drilled about a one inch hole in two of ceiling tiles about four inches from the wall and the "perfect" distance from the front of the room. Through each of these holes I sent a 50-pound test black decorative chain which are attached to the joists overhead (thus "perfect" moved just a tad to make this work). The red speaker wires were then snaked down the chain, the Polk RT f/x surround speakers attached, and Viola! Hanging, adjustable height, rear speakers.