Hallelujah! A Church Turned Home Houses A Packed Pew of Peripherals

Hallelujah! A Church Turned Home Houses A Packed Pew of Peripherals

Sonia Zjawinski
Jul 24, 2008

When Ben and Deb bought a 1940s church to turn into their home they knew at least one room would be dedicated to worshiping all things media. They chose a room within the former church, where its minister used to stand behind the lectern and speak to those in the pews. "The raised area has turned out to be very useful, and our initial plans to remove the stage have been abandoned," Ben writes on Flickr. "Re-carpeting it, however, is still very much on the list."

More on their custom built media cabinet and heavenly list of peripherals after the jump...

Deb and Ben built their own 12-by-2-by-2 foot custom A/V system with 18 shelves to hold their bevvy of peripherals (a list of what they have at the end of the post). The cabinet is arranged in six columns of three; each column is 8.5 inches at the bottom, 8 inches in the middle, and 6.5 inches at the top. The pair made the piece out of 3 sheets of 4 foot-by-8 foot-by-1/2 inch oak plywood and some 8 foot-by-2 inch-by-1 inch pine.

They had 12 feet of space horizontally and two feet vertically to work with. Going any taller would, "interfere with the line of vision to the screen if you were reclined, which was unacceptable," writes Ben. "With exactly two feet of height available, I had to come up with a shelf height combination that would add up to no more than that. It could have been two, one foot shelves, but that's really too tall for most gear. Still, some units (like a big home theater receiver) are pretty tall, and they like airspace for cooling, too. So I came up with a row of 9", a row of 8", and a row of 7", which adds up nicely to 24". The top shelf and the bottom shelf both lost 1/2" to the thickness of the outer boards, so in the end, it is 8.5", 8", and 6.5". High power units go on the bottom unless they are low profile and allow for room for convection, or have fans, or both (like the XBox 360 or PS2.)"

The room holds the following:

  • 17 foot projector screen

  • Optoma HD80 1080p projector

  • Pair of Marantz HD-880 vintage speakers

  • Sony STR-DA5300ES receiver

  • Mac Mini w/ Delicious Library [720p DVI/HDMI connection]. A bluetooth keyboard and mouse lets Deb and Ben access their library from anywhere in the room.

  • PS3 w/Blu-ray [1080p HDMI connection]

  • XBox 360 w/HD drive [1080i component connection]

  • Wii [480p component connection]

  • PS2 [480i composite connection]

  • XBox (original) [480i composite connection]

  • Gamecube [480i composite connection]

  • Sony HD-DVD [1080p HDMI connection]

  • Dish Network HD satellite DVR [1080i HDMI connection] + 1/2 terabyte of external storage

  • 16-channel, one terabyte networked security DVR w/DVD burner records video from the home's 16 security cams

  • Subwoofer

  • Yamaha Stereo for the subwoofer

  • Linnaem center speaker


  • Sony MD/CD player

  • Monster AV power filter to monitor power current and voltage

  • Xbox 360 Rock Band drum kit

  • Rock Band USB hub

  • Rock Band guitar controller

We don't even think the big man upstairs can beat that!

Photos: Ben via Flickr

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