Let me start at the end...When you're a A/V enthusiast, you're never really done building a dedicated home theater room. The best you can strive for is, "this is where the room is as of today". Adding and replacing equipment goes hand in hand with the passion of the audiophile. Over the past 24 months, I've built a dedicated home theater/multimedia room in my house that includes a host of components from Sony.
Ever since my college days, where I graduated as a Mechanical Engineer at Texas A&M, I have been a golden ear audiophile with a very sophisticated array of electronics, speakers and turntables with hand-made cartridges. I currently live in Panama City and this self-proclaimed audiophile has turned into a videophone, too. I conduct my own research to find the greatest possible sound and image for a sensible amount of investment. I have read a lot of technical publications and industry dedicated magazines, attended CEDIA and CES shows, thus feeding my knowledge on home theater design and installation.
We recently remodeled our master bedroom to accommodate a fairly high end home theater/audiophile AV system. Since we're as much into great music as great films, we designed the system to provide optimum playback for both. We spend most our time either viewing movies or listening to music, so the bedroom is now our main living area.
Shortly after my last child went off to college my wife made an unexpected comment: “You can have your home theater in the guest room as long as you move all that stereo junk out of the family room”. My dream had finally come true! I had been planning for a dedicated home theater room since I purchased my first stereo VCR back in 1983.
A few years ago, my wife and I visited her brother’s home in Denver, Colorado. He had just finished constructing a home theater in his basement and we were completely captivated by the idea to build our own theater. Our only problem was that we were living in Southern California, where basements are rare.
I've been a subscriber to Home Theater since 1996, as well as, Stereophile Guide to HT, long before it became UltimateAV (which is now exclusively on the web). All these years of reading these specialty magazines has finally paid off with the design and construction of my dream home theater and home automation system.
I love the wow factor of themed home theaters and it was the love of old science fiction films and the Steampunk genre that prompted me to design my theater like the Nautilus from Disney’s classic 1954 film, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Rather than try to duplicate any one particular room of the submarine, details and influences from the entire boat were combined to create this one-of-a-kind theater.
When constructing a home theater, the first thing I recommend is cooperation from your spouse. She had (and still does) complete veto power over every single decision that went into the development of this theater. I first had to convince her to turn a spare bedroom in our brand new townhouse into a dedicated home theater. However, what probably took more persuasion was convincing her of the importance to paint the room an unusually dark color such as charcoal grey with black trim. Or painting the connecting hallway Hollywood red, or the third bathroom metallic gold. Of course, the idea of having "exit" signs all about and life size busts of pretty ugly Hollywood characters took some hard selling, too.
While this theater was my dream, the 7-year project required the support and occasional manual labor from my wife, daughters, son-in-law and a couple of friends. I did consult with Roy Johnson of Green Mountain Audio a few times and want to thank him for his insights.
When we broke ground on our new home in upstate New York my wife Kristie and I each had our goals for this space. I desired a place where I could listen to music, and where the family could come together for a great movie experience. Kristie's priority was for the space to feel like an extension of our home.
The project to transform my empty basement into The Ultimate Man Cave took about 8-months. The theme is "Transportation" and all of the artwork and dcor is based on planes, trains, antique cars, motorcycles, etc. We turned approximately 1400 sq. ft. into a large media room/game room/pool room with a dedicated workout area, home office, wine room and storage/AV Room. There is also a full bath and wet bar.
My wife and I own a Queen Ann Victorian home built in 1886 in the Silk Stocking district of Mankato, Minnesota. It’s a large home with each room decorated in period furnishings which isn’t conducive to a large screen TV and visible speakers. This made it hard to watch movies and Monday Night Football, so Doug convinced Candy to build a media room in the basement.
Nine years ago, my wife and I had our home custom-built on an isolated 11-acre lot. The theater room continues to evolve into the vision I had back then. I wouldn’t say that it’s entirely completed, but it’s definitely fully functional and a pleasure to use and entertain in.
Back in 2004 when we purchased our current house, we couldn’t have predicted what we were in for. Being previous renters, we had no real experience as to the ins and outs of home ownership. In New England, most houses are old. In our case, the particular house we bought was built in 1901. Granted, the house was well maintained and was, thankfully, structurally sound.