Not a Bad Seat In the House: DIY Home Theater With Elevated Stadium Seating

MinHembio

The term "home theater" is commonly thrown around to describe almost any living room HDTV+speaker combination, but true movie theater performance and comfort at home is difficult and pricey to recreate. But this DIY home theater project does successfully bridge the realm of a real world space with loftier planning, resulting in an immersive and comfortable big screen experience on two levels...

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An L-shaped room isn't ideal for home theater audio, but MinHembio member MSX728 dealt with the layout's challenge by building speaker shelves at each corner for surround sound speakers.

The ideal home theater offers the following:
1. A sufficiently large screen or display matching the dimensions of the room. Too small and the picture isn't immersive, too large and the picture can cause headaches.
2. Full light control; the darker the room, the better.
3. Immersive surround sound audio with speaker placement at each corner, a center channel for dialogue, and a subwoofer to enhance all sounds with more oomph.
4. Acoustic dampening, reducing echo and also to help with sound leakage outside the home theater room.
5. A unified room and system remote control system for easy operation of components and lighting (and light control)
6. Comfortable seating for all viewers.

The DIY home theater above hits all these ideal requirements and then some, with the heart of the theater system being the 1-2 combination of a 131" cloth screen picture held taut between a self-built MDF frame, partnered with a ceiling mounted Epson EH-TW3500 3-LCD projector. Audio is provided via a Denon AVR-3805 receiver connected to a network of B&W DM604 floor speakers, a B&W LCR6 S2 center speaker, B&W DM601 S1 surround sound units, and a B&W AS6 sub. Each surround speaker has its own custom floating shelf in each corner, bringing the projected sound closer and more directly to the ear level of those seated near the back of the room.

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The speaker shelves were created using a pair of $10 EKBY BJÄRNUM brackets and a sheet of EKBY JÄRPEN cut to size.

As impressive as the components checklist is, it's the unusual step-up stadium seating platform MSX728 built for this rec room theater, accommodating for another second level couch, which sets it apart from other extra room home theater conversions.

Built with 12mm MDF and 22mm chipboard and then finished off with carpeting (both for aesthetics and acoustic dampening), a plush black leather couch sits atop the seating platform behind a front row loveseat, allowing those in the back a clear view of the screen from his extensive library of movies. It's also a perfect spot to throw a timely kernel of popcorn from overhead at those most tense moments.

Additional photos, details, and component descriptions of the home theater available at MinHembio.

(Images: MSX728)