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Note: I sold this home in 2009. Information below is outdated.

Widescreen vs. "Fullscreen" tutorial | Automating Hunter Douglas PowerRise Shades

  • 12 foot diagonal 16:9 screen
  • Custom built with blackout cloth & a black velvet frame
  • Custom built, high powered infrared Wii-mote "sensor bar" on top
A real home theater screen isn't measured in inches. This bad boy is a full 12 feet diagonal in addition to the 4 inch black velvet border. I custom built a "frame within a frame" to create it. Blackout cloth is stretched over the inner frame, with black velvet on the outer. The end result is a $100 display surface that rivals a $2,000 commercial product. If you don't need a screen with gain or contrast control features - I'm hitting this one with 2,200 lumens of power - you can't beat blackout cloth.

A screen this large needs some help when playing Wii games. The Wii sensor bar is simply not powerful enough to be visible at a distance. That's why I've built a custom unit with a dozen high powered infrared LEDs. Powered by a regulated AC-DC power supply, this unit is automatically switched on by my home automation system when the Wii is powered up. The two small boxes, on top of the screen and underneath my center channel speaker, are the left & right infrared sources.

  • Sanyo PLV-70 LCD projector
  • 2200 ANSI lumen, 720p high definition
This Sanyo PLV-70 is a real workhorse. With 2200 lumens of output, it is ideal for feeding this giant screen. Colors truly "pop" with this much light behind them.

A/V Cabinet:
    Custom, oak A/V cabinet
  • 4 large drawers pull out on ball bearing slides
  • 4 cabinets with adjustable shelves, fit standard 19" rack mount equipment
  • End caps hold hundreds of DVDs
I designed and built this AV cabinet to attractively hide the clutter of equipment and wires necessary to power my home theater, while providing a solid surface on which to perform various household tasks. The cabinet is made largely of 3/4" oak veneer plywood with solid oak trim; the door and drawer faces are solid oak. Power is fed throughout the cabinet and into the drawers, so small camera and cellular phone type chargers can be hidden away while still performing their intended tasks.

The four shelving areas are designed to accommodate standard 19" rack mount equipment and the shelves are adjustable via stainless steel pegs. The end caps hold roughly 300 DVDs in total. When I ran out of room to store my DVDs, I moved many of them into slim jewel cases, more than doubling capacity to ~700 DVDs.

  • AMX Automation System
  • Powered by a Netlinx controller & multiple Axcess cardframes
  • Radia lighting & touch-screen control system
Control of all AV gear, room lighting, motorized blinds and drapes is accomplished via an AMX control system. The black touchpanel in the upper left photo does the heavy lifting, while a table top button array and smaller, in-wall touchpanel provide auxilliary control points. The black Radia lighting control units are shown in the lower left photo, mounted on the wall in an adjacent room. No hand-held remote controls are used; in fact they have been boxed and put into storage. The AMX equipment performs all monitoring and control functions. It can detect and track the state of all components in the system, even if they have been activated manually, and complex macros make system control easy for guests.

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