Stuart Mills from South Wales was converting his garage into a home cinema and wanted a 4K UHD projector that is also Full 3D.
Stuart said: “We’ve had a dedicated home cinema since 2009 but we moved house fairly recently. One of the main criteria when choosing our new house was whether there was space to be able to convert into a cinema.
“We knew, when we visited the property, this house would be perfect. The garage is attached to the main house but slightly separated from nearby properties. So when we screen major epics, we would not disturb the neighbours.”
Stuart’s budget needed to cover the garage conversion and all equipment. “The image quality is obviously paramount to us but also the ability to play 3D. I have got loads of 3D Disney films for my three grandchildren – so the projector absolutely had to be Full 3D.”
With advice from Richer Sounds in Cardiff, Stuart installed the Optoma UHD51 4K UHD projector.
Stuart said: “We chose the UHD51 because it was the most cost effective Full 3D 4K UHD projector on the market. And it fits perfectly into the space. For building regulations we had to raise the floor so that there were no steps down to the room. We were a bit concerned that this would then make the ceiling too low. But it is absolutely perfect.
“Richer Sounds in Cardiff were brilliant. I visited the store at the weekend to ask about models and get advice. The assistant manager came out to visit the site on Monday morning and gave advice on the best installation for my setup. The whole team were knowledgeable and gave demos of different projectors so that I could make an informed choice. They helped me to source the highest spec cinema I could get for the budget.”
The imagery is projected onto a Sapphire 96” electric screen which, connected to the projector via the 12V trigger, drops automatically when the projector is switched on. Stuart commented: ”We wanted to install the screen flush into the ceiling but discovered an RSJ girder running the length of the garage. So we built a box around the screen. This meant 96” was the absolute largest screen we could fit onto the end wall. It’s still pretty big!”
For audio he installed Bowers & Wilkins 600 series speakers for the centre and sub, Monitor Audio rear speakers and Kef ceiling speakers. These were connected to a Yamaha receiver and Oppo Blu-Ray player. Stuart said: “Even though the garage is not close to our neighbours, we soundproofed the space more than you would do for a normal extension. We’ve tested it to the max and, even when the volume is up high, you hardly hear anything from outside.”
Because the cable runs would be too long for standard HDMI cabling, Stuart installed Blustream Cat 6 converters. This allowed him to use Cat6 cables that can reliably transfer the signal over greater distance without any signal drop out.
Five plush chairs (a three-seater and a two seater) that recline electrically and a series of bespoke art-deco style plaques finish off his home cinema.
The first film screened on Stuart’s home cinema was Frozen in 3D - to the delight of his four year old grandson.
Stuart said: “It looks great! We have been watching films in the lounge on our TV since we moved here. It is brilliant to get back that immersive atmosphere you get from the big screen. The picture quality is excellent! Very bright with vivid colours.
“Every cinema that I have built has been good for that time but has incrementally improved as time and technology moved on. My first cinema used both laser disc and DVD. My second had Blu-Ray DVD. My latest cinema can play Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-Ray in brilliant 4K resolution.
“I initially re-used my old HDMI cables on this installation but found the image quality was slightly grainy so I bought a new set of cables from Richer sounds. This made a massive difference to the picture quality! My advice to anyone upgrading their system is to upgrade their leads too!
“I would definitely recommend the Optoma projector for home cinema. I watch everything on it including Sky TV. The 4K picture really shines through and gives everyone that comes to see a demo the wow factor! The 3D image this projector creates is simply awesome! I have six pairs of Optoma 3D glasses which, for me, are a must have accessory."