DIY Network

Upgrading To A Home Theater

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek gets a new home theater, with a little help from DIY.

More in Decorating

upgrading to a home theater
  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Build a Box for the Projector

First install a box to house the front projector. The box is made of plywood and covered in fabric to match the room's decor. The box has an opening just large enough for the projector to beam a picture onto the big screen. Be sure to keep the top of the box open because the projector needs the ventilation.

Step 2: Mount the Speakers and Frame the Screen

Mount the surround-sound speakers around the room, and install the surround-sound receiver, which includes a DVD player.
Finally, the big screen frame is a low-cost do-it-yourself option. The frame is made out of 2 x 2s, butt jointed together with drywall screws. Russ went out and bought some absorbent black velvet, wrapped it around the frame and stapled it. Once the frame is wrapped, simply hang it on the wall.
Snap in the screen, which is made of white cloth wrapped around plywood.The screen fabric always goes in last because if it gets damaged, you have to buy a new screen.

snap in the screen

Step 3: Calibrate the Speakers

The final step is to calibrate the speakers using a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter. Inexpensive ones can be found at most electronic stores. Simply hold the meter specifically where the person's ear will be. Point the front (the microphone part) up to the ceiling but not directly at the speakers and keep it in one spot -- no movement. Using the remote, adjust the sound using the meter reading until each sound meters the same. Once all the levels are equal, the audio is calibrated. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Creating this bedroom home theater is an easy weekend project. It has a front-projection system, big screen, surround-sound speakers and an audio-video receiver with a DVD player.

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