Home Theater

I have a pretty cool home theater in my loft, which is nearing completion as I write this (June 2001).  The main work left is installation of blinds on the windows and skylights, and further work on the remote control and automation of everything.  This page gives an overview of the system - check here for more details.

The pictures below show what the main room of my loft looks like with and without the home theater equipment in place.  In the left hand picture you can see the screen retracted at the top of the end wall.  In the right hand picture, the screen is down and you can also see the projector hanging down from the ceiling at the top of the picture.  It's a very bright projector (2500 lumens), which means that the image is reasonable even in daylight, as you can see in this photo. Because of this environment, a bright projector was important to me - in a room where you  always watched in the dark projector with lower brightness would be fine.

The lift mechanism is the most unique thing about my home theater setup.  It uses a scissor lift from Display Devices, with the "bomb bay door" option, and with a custom wooden case.  To see the lift in action, look at the following videos (you will need a reasonably up to date version of Windows Media Player).

Video 1 (445KB)    Video 2 (445KB)

Neither video shows the lift in its fully down position (it takes about 50 seconds to come all the way down - or up - and my digital camera, which is the easiest way for me to capture video clips, will only take about 35 seconds at a time).  The following pictures show more detail of the lift mechanism.

Inputs that can be displayed on the big screen include DVD (which gives the best quality picture by far), DirecTV satellite TV, in conjunction with a TiVo Personal Video Recorder, VHS tapes, and a PC with a fast DSL internet connection and a wireless keyboard and mouse.  Additional audio inputs include a Bang and Olufsen 6 CD player, radio tuner, Super Audio CD (using the DVD player), and MP3 files via the PC.  For more details check here.
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