Home Theater – The Bigham Theater

Do you want to enjoy a great cinema experience in the privacy and comfort of your own home? Of course your do! Here is a helpful article and video tour of exactly how you can do it with a minimal budget. Harem Cinema is devoted to helping you get the best movie experience that you can. One of the ways that we do that is by giving you hints, tips, ideas and guides, like the one in this video, to show you how other people are making their dreams come true and that you can do it too.

The home theater owner, Dusty, gives candid answers about about his set-up, even talking about the type of paint that he chose and why he chose it. Underneath the video I have included some helpful links and explanations that further clarify what Dusty is talking about. Watch the video and then review the notes below for additional help.

The team from AVS Forum takes us on a tour of Dusty Bingham’s home theater, discussing the details of the equipment that he used and why he chose what he did. Scott Wilkinson, Editor of AVS makes some interesting points when he notes that Dusty’s set-up is very much like his own. The meaningful implication of this is that, when a guy like Scott, who works with home cinema’s every day, has chosen to build one just like Dusty’s, then it is worth taking a closer look at.

0:35 Scott points out two things that are valuable to anyone considering making their own movie room at home and those two things are feasibility and cost. Some people are put off by what they think are insurmountable barriers when it comes to having their own private picture house. They mistakenly assume that a good quality film auditorium is impossible to realistically have at home or that, in order to build one, it would cost a small fortune. Well, as you will see from this video here, both Dusty and Scott are living proof that you can use an existing room in your home and make it work very well as your personal playhouse.

1:24 Dusty recounts that he started with a “home theater in a box” which is a good starting point for many of us but what exactly does that mean. Here’s the definition from Wikipedia: A “home theater in a box” (HTIB) is an integrated home theater package which “bundles” together a combination DVD or Blu-ray player, a multi-channel amplifier (which includes a surround sound decoder, a radio tuner, and other features), speaker wires, connection cables, a remote control, a set of five or more surround sound speakers (or more rarely, just left and right speakers, a lower-price option known as “2.1”) and a low-frequency subwoofer cabinet. In 2016, They are manufactured by most makers of consumer electronics. Budget HTIB’s with generic or lower-price “house” brands (e.g., Best Buy’s Insignia line) may be a “2.1” system. Many, however, are a full “5.1” system and some higher-end packages even have a 7.1 system. Some popular manufacturers of HTIB’s are RCA, Philips, Panasonic, Sony, Yamaha, LG and Samsung, all of which make a variety of mid-price range packages. Bose and Onkyo make higher-end, higher-priced HTIB packages.” So, basically it’s an all-in-one, turn-key package that is designed to take all of the research and decision making off your plate and get your home cinema up and going as fast as possible.

Dusty’s story is inspirational because he started small ans simple with a ‘theater in a box’ and built it up over a period of time. You don’t have to have a huge budget already saved up to get working on your project. Even the mammoth Colosseum in Rome was started with the laying o the first brick. Start with what you can afford and improve it when you can. New equipment is being developed and released all the time and that is part of the fun because your movie experience can keep getting better and better.

Here’s an example of a home theater in a box to help you understand how you could get started right now. Home Theater IN A Box – CLICK HERE.

2:00 Dusty painted his cinema with a black, non-gloss matte so that the audience is not distracted by shiny reflections off of the walls while getting absorbed into the movie. Scott, from AVS, did the same thing with her personal home theater and recommends using black rugs or carpeting to further improve the effect.

2:18 Scott notes that Dusty’s surround sound system is 7.1.4, but what does that mean? In a typical home theater set-up you will have multiple speakers set up. That is usually three speakers in the front i.e. a left channel, a right channel and a center channel. The other speakers are typically set up to the sides of your seating / listening position and also behind it. Most people also have a subwoofer speaker to enhance the range and quality of their sound system. So, to make sense of the numbers, let’s say that you have five speakers set up with the three in the front and two others around the room. You also have the one subwoofer. This is called a 5.1 system because you have five speakers plus the one sub. So, to understand what Dusty is saying is that he has set-up seven surround sound speakers, plus one subwoofer, plus four atmos speakers. I have included a diagram below to clearly show you what I mean.

The diagram shows what a 7.1.4 surround sound system basically looks like. Starting at the top, left hand corner of the picture and moving clockwise around, it shows the seven speakers (in purple and blue). It also shows the subwoofer (in green) which is the .1 in the series of numbers. The last number, the .4, are the Atmos speakers and they are shown in orange and marked with ‘C’ to indicate that they are probably set into the ceiling.

Right about now you might be asking “what are Atmos speakers?” Good question! In case you need some help understanding what Atmos or Dolby Atmos means, I have included a helpful video below from Youtman to explain it. he also recaps speaker placement so I think you will find it useful if you aren’t familiar with Atmos and surround sound systems.

Helpful Notes & Timeline

2:23 Dusty confirms that his speakers, all except his subwoofers, are “Goldenear” speakers and here is a link to their website so that you can take a look at them for yourself – https://www.goldenear.com/

2:29 Dusty remembers that, befor he switched to the Goldenear speakers, he used to have “deftechs” which you can see here – https://www.definitivetechnology.com/

2:38 Scott praises Dusty’s speaker placement, noting that his speaker towers are placed well, not up against the walls and asks Dusty why he didn’t choose in-wall speakers. Dusty briefly replies that he chose the existing sound design for his love of listening to music. The topic of speaker placement deserves it’s own article and Harem Cinema will continue to bring you those in the future.

3:37 They start talking about Dusty’s central processor, AV receiver, etc. which are all important and so beyond the scope of this brief overview of Dusty’s home theater. Never fear, however, because these topics will be covered in detail in other articles that we bring you.

4:25 Choosing the right projector will be covered in product review and recommendation articles so keep an eye out for those. Remember to sign up for the Magic Lamp Newsletter so that you don’t miss articles that you want to read.

5:45 “Acoustic panels.” It’s easy to see that Dusty is a true film fan who relishes the movie watching experience because he has very smartly lined his personal theater with acoustic panels along the walls. This is a detail that is ignored far too often because most people do not really understand the important purpose that these panels serve. So here is the short answer for those of you that don’t know.  Acoustic panels are used to reduce, control and improve the sound. You don’t think that sound quality is that important just so long as you can hear the movie clearly? Well if you think that then you will be extremely glad to be a Harem Cinema fan because we will prove to you how much better your movie nights will be when you follow our tips. Keep reading our articles, and sign up for our MAGIC LAMP NEWSLETTER to make sure that you keep getting the best advice. Dusty is using ATS Acoustics panels (https://www.atsacoustics.com/). Look for more details about the importance of these kinds of panels in other articles that we will gladly publish here.

6:11 Scott brings up the subject of source devices, 4k Blue-Ray players and this leads us into a much longer conversation about which device you can choose to use for showing your movies. This will also be covered in product reviews and user-feedback articles.

6:37 “Upconvert”, also called upscaling, is the process that is used to ‘convert’ standard definition quality image into a kind of high-definition image. The video below explains it better.

6:50 Dusty is using a “Dragonfly screen” to display his movies on and you can peruse their product choices here – http://dragonflyscreens.com/

7:01 When Dusty refers to his projector screen as being “1.3 gain”, what does that mean? The good people at Projector Central offer this “Every screen product on the market has a “gain” factor. Some screens are “low gain” and some are “high gain.” Most white home theater screens are low gain, and carry ratings in the range of 1.0 to 1.3 gain.” Projector screens and how to choose the right one for you are covered in some detail in other articles here at Harem Cinema.  

7:48 “Subs (subwoofers) are SVS” and here is their website for you to look at https://www.svsound.com/pages/subwoofers.

8:00 What is the “Buttkicker” that Scott refers to? A ButtKicker (and other similar products that come under different names) are small motors that react to an audio signal sent by an amplifier. Said most simply it shakes the chair under you and makes you feel like what you are watching on the screen is actually happening around you.

8:22 Scott judges that “This theater here demonstrates that you don’t have to spend mega-bucks to get really good performance”. That is good news for many of us because it means that we can have a cinema-quality movie experience right in the relaxed comfort of our own homes.

AVSForum.com is the largest discussion forum dedicated to Home Theater, cinema, and the products used—with over 1.2 million members, 1.5 million threads, and 27 million posts.


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