2004.

The 1st thing I did was to have a clear out of the old hardware I owned & no longer wanted. I sold the subwoofer, the rear speakers & the receiver to a friend for a total of £400-. I gave the front speakers to my parents in exchange for their old speakers with the intention of selling them & the old centre speakers in the near future.

I bought an LCD Projector & Projection Screen (£1200-), new AV Receiver (£630-), a new Speaker System (£550-) a better DVD player (£240-) & a good quality connecting lead between the projector & the new DVD player. (£70-) total net cost £2,300- A very expensive year, but I had the big screen & the latest 6.1 surround sound setup I wanted.

The next thing I did was some research on how to accommodate the projector that I had bought specially (a Panasonic PT-AE 300).

In the end, I had to place the projector upside down in my wardrobe in order to get the correct height & throw distance to the screen, so I made a special shelf unit & projector stand, as well as cutting the back off the rear of the wardrobe so the projector has sufficient ventilation, as shown below. I also fitted 180 degree hinges to the left hand door of the wardrobe so the door would not cause any viewing obstructions.

Projector 2004

The next task was to install the screen. I decided the screen could not be ceiling mounted due to the coving & the chimney breast obstructions, the throw distance would be not quite sufficient for my requirements. I didn’t want the screen hanging there all the time so I decided to make the screen removable when not in use, so I fitted adjustable shelf wall mounts & used some old shelf brackets I had from previous hardware installations. Now the screen brackets are fitted I can install the screen in a couple of minutes. It actually stays there for long periods, as I have no room to store the screen & its a pig to install anyway!

bracket

I also had to put the old TV stand on castors as the TV obstructs the screen when it is installed, so I could move the TV away from the viewing area.

The next thing I did was to wire up the centre back speaker for the 6.1 surround system. The space between the top of the wardrobe & the ceiling was too small for the speaker to be mounted normally, so I made a stand so the centre back speaker could sit in that space horizontally, as shown below.

Stand

The last thing I did was to wire everything up & make sure it all works & it did. The whole thing must have taken about a week to do.

The Setup @ March 2004.

 Hardware 2004Front 2004

2005.

A major overhaul of the Hardware was completed, I was happy with the sound but not completely happy with the big screen picture.

I was reluctant to upgrade early in the year, due to my old employers sale to my now current employer & possible redundancy – I had to pay off a large dental bill as well.

Once I knew my job future was safe, I began to overhaul the hardware again. I also cleared out all of my remaining pre-recorded VHS tapes & began to increase my existing DVD collection.

The first upgrade in late 2005 was the projector. I bought a Sanyo PLV-Z3 HD ready (Hi-definition for short) LCD projector which had been reduced to clear for just over £800- with a free replacement bulb. This projector has a better resolution than the previous model I owned, an adjustable lens, 1 HDMI input & 3 Hi-Definition analogue inputs. Net cost £450- (after selling the old projector).

I felt the best way to source to source the new projector at the time was with a DVD player with a built-in video scaler to upscale dvd resolution to the projectors resolution, so I bought a Samsung DVD player. I still wasn’t happy, so I decided to use my existing DVD player & a dedicated Video scaler. I bought a second-hand video scaler, but that didn’t achieve the required result (I couldn’t get it to work), so I got a refund from the seller & finally settled on a good quality Denon DVD player with a built-in video scaler. I sold both my old DVD players. Net cost £250-.

I wanted to replace my Video Recorder with a DVD Recorder as I did most of my recording at night (American sports on Channel 5 back then) & a DVD recorder made less noise than my old Video recorder. I also wanted it to have a built-in digital TV tuner in order to future-proof recording terrestrial TV broadcasts. I’ve owned two Panasonic Video recorders in the past, they had a good reputation for making good quality reliable DVD recorders, so I bought their most basic model with built-in Freeview. Net cost £170- (after selling the old Video Recorder)

The next upgrade was the television. LCD televisions were becoming more common & affordable. I didn’t want a plasma TV as 42” was too big for my requirements (I couldn’t hang one on the wall where I wanted to place it) & I had a big enough screen with my projector. A small LCD TV on a small stand would suit my day to day viewing requirements perfectly, double up as a backup computer monitor for my PC, be compatible with Hi-Definition TV broadcasts that were promised & free up space in my bedroom that the old television was taking up. I ended up buying the Toshiba just before Xmas that year, as I sold Toshiba TV’s myself for a few years & found them to be reliable, good value for money & good build quality. I gave my old TV to my Nephew. Cost £600-.

Result is below.

Projector 2006

Hardware 2006

Now onto 2006 to 2007.