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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Now onto 2006 to 2007.