Basement Theater is a Bargain at $5K
July 07, 2008 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Marc Wiener made his room multifunctional—and on the cheap.
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Posted by Ryan  on  07/07  at  11:27 AM

Wow mine cost less and I have better equipment!

Posted by DSM  on  07/07  at  11:50 AM

I can’t believe this even made it as an article.

Wire molding, cheap gear, messy room…

Posted by Rachel Cericola  on  07/07  at  11:56 AM

We feature home theaters of all shapes, sizes and budgets. Can’t please everyone… however, I can assure you that the homeowner is very happy.

If you think your theater is better—please drop me an email!

Posted by IsleOfMan  on  07/07  at  12:41 PM

I really can’t believe this made it as an article.  It looks like something cobbled together by from spares, ebay, and big-lots.  I put the following together for myself for $4500.

Projector - Panasonic AX100u - $800 (refurb)
Screen - Elite 100” Electric - $50 (refurb)
Ceiling Mount - Speaker Mount & Lexan - $20 (DIY)

Receiver - Onkyo SR805 - $495 (refurb)
HD-DVD - Toshiba HD-A2 - $99
Blu-Ray - Samsung BD-P1400 - $230 (refurb)
DVR - Tivo HD - $200 (refurb)

Fronts - Swans 6.1 BC - $675 (B-Stock)
Center - Swans C3 BC - $300
Backs - Swans 2.1 BC - $300
Subwoofer - Avalanche 12” & 300w Bash - $350 (DIY)

Chairs - Coaster Matinee - $650
Coffee Table - Bush Mission - $50
End Tables - Bush Mission - $30 x 2

HDMI In-Wall - Monoprice 35’ 24awg - $35
HDMI Patch - Monoprice 3’ 28awg - $3 x 4
HDMI Wall-Plate - Monoprice - $9
Subwoofer In-Wall - Monoprice 35’ RG6 RCA - $8
Subwoofer Patch - Monoprice 3’ RG6 RCA - $2.50 x 2
Subwoofer Wall Plate - Monoprice - $2.50 x 2
Speaker - Monoprice 100’ 12awg CL2 - $32
Speaker Wall Plate - Monoprice 2ch - $4 x 2

Posted by Dave C  on  07/07  at  01:06 PM

hehe, gotta love refurb if you can find it!!! I do.

Seriously though, this is a very shabby, red neck/ teenager look room for a theater.

I would suggest painting the theater area a much darker colour and paint over the wire molding while you’re at it!!!

C’mon Ehouse, I like to read your articles but they are really getting bad these days….

Posted by ron  on  07/07  at  01:16 PM

Honestly, I could do way better for 5k than that, his audio is terrible, the RCA subwoofer is simply inexcusable.

Why is this featured here? I know others on AVS with sub 5k theaters that beat this one and are multi-functional as well.

Posted by Dave C  on  07/07  at  01:24 PM

Rachel, did you mean,’ Can’t please everyone’ or “anyone” ? :-)

Posted by atlantaallen  on  07/07  at  02:54 PM

This is not a matter of trying to please everyone. This is a case of no one thinking this home theater should be featured any where.

I’m sure the home owner enjoys it, but there is nothing here anyone should try to emulate.

Allen Freeman

Posted by norman  on  07/07  at  07:48 PM

i agree on this “theater”. i’ve seen a lot better diy setups on avs and other ht sites. electronic house usually has decent homes, this one falls way below them. i’m not trying to insult the owner, just would prefer theaters i could look up to and hopefully steal an idea or two from.

Posted by Marc W  on  07/08  at  08:16 AM

I enjoy my theater very much—as do those that visit it. Rachel found me through the AVS site and wanted to do the piece on my basement theater. I was initially surprised myself, as it is not something I’d expect to see covered but I assumed it was to show a more down to earth approach and I thought it would be fun.

Either way, I am sorry you all don’t like it. Luckily for me, none of you are coming over! Our family and friends, and especially myself, find massive enjoyment from it, and in that end that’s all that matters :)

Posted by CJ  on  07/08  at  10:24 AM

Wow EH. Why would you consider profiling this? It’s below mediocre. It’s great to build a home theater on a budget, I’m all for that. But then spend a little time with the details. Hide the speaker wires inside the wall. Mount the surrounds in proper positions rather than on the top shelf four feet apart. Zip tie the component wiring so it doesn’t look like a mess. Speaking of mess, declutter. What was it that stood out that made it articleworthy? The personalized cinema sign?

Posted by Matt  on  07/09  at  11:24 AM

Wow! Nice job buddy.  You should teach others on wire management techniques.  My 5year old son could build a better theater than that. I am very surprised that they would feature your hideous “budget” theater.  You should be very glad that I am not coming over, I’m sure that your detail level really shines in person

Posted by Peppaz  on  07/09  at  12:17 PM

Can someone please explain why this took 6 months? And, did Matt leave any contact info for the 5 year old?

Posted by Rito  on  07/09  at  03:13 PM

Rachel, I’m glad you featured this home theater - it shows that you don’t have to spend tons of money or have the services of an interior designer just to put together a functional home theater. What really counts is that the owner, his family, and his friends enjoy it and get to watch hi-def movies on a big screen.  I applaud the owner for taking action and putting together something that he and his family can take pleasure in.

Most people in this country don’t even have hi-def TVs much less a big screen home theater so I’d say that the owner is doing pretty good to have a room like this. I’d be willing to bet that there are thousands of home theaters out there that are no where near as nice as this one.

What I can’t believe is how many overly negative, harshly critical, insulting, condescending, and arrogant comments you got from people who didn’t like this home theater. Most of the negative comments had little, if any, constructive value to them. How about showing just a little bit of manners people? Just because you can verbally abuse somebody in the safety of your own little section of cyberspace doesn’t mean you should do it. Why not act like you’re speaking face-to-face with the home theater owner and use just a little bit of good manners? Would you really walk up to a total stranger on the street and be so harshly and insultingly critical? I don’t think so. If you can’t find anything good or constructive to say then don’t say anything.

Posted by Tom  on  07/09  at  05:24 PM

Well said Rito.
I enjoy looking at wild designs for home theaters as much as the next person. I think it’s cool that there are people out thaere that are fanatical enough to turn their 2000 sq feet basement to a multi tiered home theater. I also think it’s cool that there are people out there that will theme a whole room to look like the Starship Enterprise or the Death Star.
I also look at their budget and say that I have better things to do with my money; But I appreciate their efforts to show what can be done with some imagination and money (lots of it) non the less.
I think that what Marc did was the best he could do within the constraints that he had (time, money and manpower) so cut the guy a break.
And for those of you who are so critical of his theater and equiptment what was your first attempt with a home theater? My first was a 42 inch rear projection TV with a Pioneer HTIAB. And hell yes, I was as prouud of that as I am proud of what I have today so many years later.
I get the people that are critical of Rachel because she decided to cover this home theater, because you a point that this does not bring in any new and wonderful ideas. But so what?
For every one of the normal guy home theater there are 100 others that are reviewed for their innovations. I think everyone who is looking for ideas will find something.
Thanks Rachel for injecting some reality to the scene.
Thanks Marc for your willingness to share your home theater. Enjoy your trip in this fun but expensive hobby!

Posted by G.G. - HT girl on a budget  on  07/11  at  04:26 AM

I admit I thought his 5K theater was going to be more elaborate.  I too was shocked when I saw the picture above and I’m female.  My first and hopefully last theater attempt is a 12x37 dedicated room with a 58x104, 119” diagonal sheetrock screen.  I’m too frugal to use recliners so I went with real theater seats.

Posted by Adam  on  07/21  at  05:34 PM

I also am glad you did this post. I wanted to mount my speakers on my wall but didn’t want to run wires through the walls of my apartment. This theater game me the idea of using the metal bracket things for hiding the wires and i can paint them to match my wall! You don’t see these sort of things in the super high end theaters, whereas with this realistic one there are many ideas that wouldn’t cost a huge amount of money! Brilliant!

Posted by scott  on  07/23  at  07:18 PM

Actually Adam what you call metal brackets, I believe are plastic runways, I used the same thing for my HT, and yes they work great and can be painted. They sell for about $8 for a five foot strip. You just peel the strip off the back of them and they’ll stick to the wall, or in my case the ceiling.

They can be found at Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, and I’m sure many hardware stores.

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