Instructables

Home Cinema furniture you cannot buy anywhere (HCfycba)

Picture of Home Cinema furniture you cannot buy anywhere (HCfycba)
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2_Cinema_setup.JPG
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6_Shelf_center_speaker.JPG
7_Shelf_cutout.JPG
8_TV_mount.JPG
9_TV_cutout.JPG
10_Projector_setup1.JPG
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Introduction:
Space is tight in a small condo, so I wanted some slick and small TV-furniture to go with my home cinema stuff.
There are some options readily available, but they are either rather expensiv or just don't perfectly fit my needs.
So I thought about how I want my set up to look like and went to work.

My main focus was to make the "furniture" slim so that it doesn't extend into the living room so much (it gives the room a larger appearance) and it shouldn't look like a piece of "off the shelf" furniture. I wanted it to become a design element of the room.
I hope this is not getting too long or boring, but I went with the photo instructable rather than the step-by-step type just because I forgot to document the project properly.

Picture 1:
The complete set up for watching TV. The construction consists of studs going from floor to ceiling (one stud behind the left and another one behind the right side of the back panels, mounted to the wall with appropriate dowels and screws). They support the back panels and the side panels which make the design complete. The TV is also mounted to the studs.

Picture 2:
The complete set up from the left side, just to give an impression of how slim it got.
With the box having all the electronics on top being right on the floor, and only the back panels going all the way up to the ceiling, the "furniture" makes a real small impact to the living room space compared to a TV-stand or cupboard where the TV sits on top of the cupboard (I'm not sure how to put this properly, but I hope you get what I mean).

Picture 3:
The set up for watching movies. I really wanted the TV to disappear once the projector screen is pulled down. This is another reason I couldn't find some off the shelf furniture because most TV stand don't rise the TV that high. The back panel construction provides total freedom about how high you place the TV.
I owned a regular TV stand before, and with the screen pulled down, the lower part of the TV was still visible. Some of the light coming from the projector was always reflected on that part which really annoyed me after some time.

Picture 4:
The lower shelf units hold all my home cinema electronics as well as my digital cable box, external hard drive and audio.
The bigger shelf unit consists of a box (where all the main cables are hidden underneath). It sits right on the floor.
The first backpanel on top of the box supports the shorter shelf. I only needed some small brackets in the back of the shelf mounted to the wall behind the panels to prevent the shelf from tipping.

Picture 5:
I integrated a main switch for all my electronics into the lower shelf. I hooked up a regular power strip to the switch for all the main plugs of my electronics and power supplies as I couldn't pull individual plugs once they were hidden underneath the box.
CAUTION: Only do this if you have sufficient knowledge about electrics and how to wire them safely.

The TV cable for the digital cable box and the video cable for the projector all come together inside the box and are routed within the baseboard (I hope baseboard is the proper expression, I had to look it up in google translate).

Unfortunately, the idea to also connect the digital cable box to the projector came after everything was set up. That's the reason you can see that "cable-mess" right behind the DVD-Player (I think I could fix this easily, but I was too lazy so far). 

Picture 6 and 7:
This is the upper shelf. The construction only allows lightweight gadgets on it (see description under picture 4 on how it's mounted). But I basically only needed this shelf for the center speaker of the home cinema set up as I didn't want to have all electronics stacked up "on the floor".
I made a cut out for the cables with a router in the back panel (you can find a similar cut out in the back panel below this shelf for the cables going to the DVD-player and cable box).
In these pictures you can also see that the back panels (which hide all the cables running to the TV) are mounted to the studs underneath with one screw on each side.. I rather think of the screws as a design element (when properly spaced) rather than an optical imperfection.

Picture 8:
Here you can see the studs.
They run from floor to ceiling and hold the back panels, the TV mounting brackets and the side panels of the construction.
The TV is mounted to the studs utilizing some neat and easy brackets. The black part is screwed to the wall (or studs as in my case) and the silvery thingies are attached to the TV. Then the TV gets hooked into the black holders.
But a regular wall-TV-mount would have done, too (well, actually a regular wall-TV-mount would have cost 2-3 times as much as the brackets).

Picture 9:
The back panel positioned underneath the TV didn't have to be cut at the top. To get a full panel board right under the ceiling, the board right above the TV had to be cut.

Picture 10 and 11:
The projector is located in a DIY-box which is painted white to make it optically unobtrusive.
The main and video cables come from the baseboard and are routed through some white PVC cable channels all the way up to the projector and the rear speakers.
The closeup of the projector shows a little how the box is made. But it's really just a box with some venting cut outs in the side and some brackets so that I could mount the box on the ceiling and and on the rear wall.


As mentioned in earlier instructables, I only own the basic tools every household should own.
To make this HCfycba (abbreviation for the title), I only used a jigsaw, a cordless drill and a router (ok, the router may not be a regular household DIY tool). But the cut outs for the cables could also be done with the jigsaw and a file.
All shelf boards used, including the back panels and side panels were right "off the shelf". The only thing necessary was to cut the studs and side panels in length.

I would have loved to give some more detailed instructions via notes within the pictures, but my notes didn't save. I may update this instructable as soon as it is possible again (as I read through instructables.com, it seems to be a Java-problem).

I hope you like the instructable. If there are any questions on details, feel free to ask in the comments section. I'll answer the best I can.
I may also post my kitchen redo and hallway shelfing later, as a photo instructable gives me the opportunity to post stuff I made but which was not properly documented (well, I usually document better when making projects with smaller parts. I just get too involved when I build bigger projects).

oohkoo2 years ago
I have an Optoma HD65 (will upgrade whenever the bulb goes out but it has lasted more than two years of regular use so I'm pleased).

I like how you contain the projector but I am wondering if the enclosure has any affect on the fan. I know when dust accumulates in the vent, the fan is crazy loud. So wouldn't a small enclosure with only one open side (the front) make it more difficult for the fan to intake air and/or make it more probable that the vents will get clogged since the small space will attract normal house dust and whatnot?

What is your experience with this problem if it is a problem at all?
Mike73 (author)  oohkoo2 years ago
I haven't used my projector for a while now (just occasionally for kids movies). But I used it for 2 years approximately 4 days per week for full length movies. I owned it for about 9 years so far and still have about 90% of the bulb endurance :-)
It's funny, every one told me, that a projector isn't worth buying due to the high price of the unit andther eplacement bulbs. Honestly,the price was about the same as an average 42" flatscreen TV today and it's been worth every penny for watching movies on 113" (I know it's an odd size, but the 100" and the 120" screens were about 100 bucks more expensive).

Sorry for straying so far away from your question, but this was something I always wanted to "say" for every one who has second thoughts about bulb life :-)
(although one may get unlucky and buy a unit where the bulb doesn't last that long)

Ok, to get to your question:
I didn't encounter any obsessive dust collection in the projector's box so far.
I haven't used it as much as when I worked in the US (we don't have such nice subscription services like Hollywood video had), but still, every now and then, we watch kid's movies and recorded movies from TV (on the channels broadcast from switzerland, I can watch the movies in English).
What I encountered was, that during the summer months it can get too warm.
With the projector mounted right under the ceiling and the enclosure being closed at the bottom, air circulation isnt too good. But a few holes in the bottom plate of the enclosure would probably work.
As I encountered the problem when my little one wanted to watch a movie, we needed a quick fix for the problem. So I opted for a PC-fan which I sticky taped inside the enclosure to actively draw cooler air from the room. The power supply is a regular transformer which is hooked up to the same switchable power strip as the projector.
Ah, I forgot: one big difference between our house in the US and here is that we had an AC in the US. We don't have them here (and they're not common here either). But with the AC also filtering dust, we have much more dust here in our condo than we had in our house in the US.
zazenergy3 years ago
This is great. It would be cool if you posted this as a step-by-step.
Mike73 (author)  zazenergy3 years ago
Well, step by step would require to take down the construction.
I guess my wife would get really mad at me ;-)
But if you need any specific help, feel free to ask. I can also take some more pictures if you need any details.
zkraft Mike733 years ago
What and where did you get the black tv brackets? I am going to use them to mount my tv.
Mike73 (author)  zkraft3 years ago
Ok, so this was a little harder to find on the internet.
I bought the brackets 3 years ago at a local MediaMarkt (comparable to bestbuy). I was just looking for an adjustable TV-mount and settled on this one for its simplicity.
Google now helped me find what I think may be a newer version here:
http://www.cabstone.com/p_ultra_slim.html

It's a little different to mine. The lower brackets have been replaced by spacers and the upper ones are actually holding the weight of the TV. But I can see the advantage of this one. With mine, I cannot install the TV on my own as I have to get the 4 silvery thingies of the TV into the 4 black wall mounts all at the same time.
I hope this helps.
jratcliff3 years ago
I like the clean simple design, that is very hard to pull off.
Mike73 (author)  jratcliff3 years ago
Yes, itis. So usually I start talking with my wife about an idea and we discuss it. Then the idea "rests" for a couple of days where we further discuss the idea until it's "ripe".
I've should have known a wife was involved!!! ;)