X

A butt-kicking home theater for a 3D diehard

For this edition of CNET's Show Us Yours we visit Alex from Worcester, Massachusetts, who describes himself as one of the last 3D enthusiasts.

carnoy-headshot-2019-2
carnoy-headshot-2019-2
David Carnoy
alexctheater-door
1 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

Behind this door lies...

alexctheater-3d-glasses-1
2 of 23 AlexC/CNET

...a guy named Alex, along with his home theater. He hails from Worcester, Massachusetts, and considers himself one of the few remaining 3D enthusiasts.

alexctheater-15
3 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

Here's the room today, complete with two tiers of seating, a ceiling-mounted 3D projector and blacked-out walls. 

alexctheater-2
4 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

This is what it looked like before he painted everything black. The room is 13 feet wide by 22 feet long. 

alexctheater-5
5 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

He set up his front speakers on wire shelving units. The speakers are sitting on a piece of plywood cut to the exact size of the shelf. A 12-inch-by-12-inch sheet of black foam is on the floor underneath the shelf.

alexctheater-4
6 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

The left and right speakers are Snell LCR7-XL, which have beryllium tweeters.  The center channel is the standard Snell LCR7.

alexctheater-16
7 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

His projector is a BenQ TK800. It's an affordable 4K projector that has 3D. He says he chose this model because he's "one of the few remaining 3D enthusiasts."

"When I was building the room, it was very difficult to find a projector that did both 4K and 3D," he says. "There were only a few, and this one had great reviews and was fairly inexpensive. I could have gone with other manufacturers, or even other BenQ models that did a better job at 4K, but I wanted my 3D."  

alexctheater-3
8 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

The room started as a bright room with light gray paint, white trim and a shiny marble floor. His system is based on a 9.2.4 Dolby Atmos setup.  He says he tweaked it a bit by doubling up the side surrounds and ceiling speakers. 

Those satellite speakers are Definitive Technology Pro Monitor 800s.

alexctheater-9
9 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

This is what it now looks like with the speakers hidden. That's a 120-inch acoustically transparent screen. 

alexctheater-29
10 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

Behind the curtain.

alexctheater-22
11 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

The disc collection. "Now no one buys 3D anymore," Alex says, "It's only Imax major releases.  But I went crazy on eBay and bought all the 3D movies everyone was selling for cheap because they didn't want them anymore. I also went crazy buying 4K movies whenever they were on sale."

He says he has so many discs (almost 500) that he had to take them out of their thick cases and put them into sleeves I got from DiscSox. "You could call me a hoarder, but I'd say I'm a collector," he counters. 

alexctheater-13
12 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

He has two rows of seating, each on a platform.  The first row is on a 4-inch platform with two mini Buttkickers mounted beneath the seating.  The second row is on a 20-inch platform. That row doesn't have Buttkickers yet, but Alex plans to add them in the future.

alexctheater-12
13 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

He put the effort in and painted everything, the ceiling and the walls a dark black, with the trim a nice accent gray. He also put down a black foam floor.

alexctheater-46
14 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

Some of the 16 surround speakers.

alexctheater-14
15 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

Another view of the seating. For his subwoofer, he has a Sunfire TSEQ-10, "which pressurizes the room beyond compare with an impressive 2,500 watts of wall-shaking, house-crumbling power."

alexctheater-21
16 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

His equipment room is located behind the movie room.  In there he has a Denon X6200W A/V receiver.  This is a 9.2 channel receiver, but he mostly uses it as a pre-pro.  Most of his channels are driven with external amplifiers -- four B&K AV5000 Series ii 5-channel amplifiers capable of outputting 185 watts or 125 watts. 

alexctheater-20
17 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

He has a Sony UBP X700 Blu-ray player. "I originally had the 800," he says, "but I upgraded to the lower number after it got released." He also says he upgraded from an XBox One to an XBox One X when he got into 4K.

alexctheater-17
18 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

View from the second row.

alexctheater-34
19 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

Movie time.

alexctheater-54
20 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

LED lighting so you don't trip over the raised platform.

alexctheater-47
21 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

The room is still a work in progress. Recently, Alex added more ceiling speakers. Now on the ceiling he has top-front and top-rear speakers -- but what he did was double them up. So, on the ceiling he now has eight speakers.

"My wife thought I was nuts," he says, "but you can definitely hear the difference. The ceiling just comes alive when Atmos tracks play."

The ceiling speakers are Acoustic Audio Cinema Series CS-IC83.  They're 8-inch 3-way speakers.

alexctheater-52
22 of 23 ACornwell/CNET

Painting the 16 speaker grilles outside.

alexctheater-51
23 of 23

Here's one last look at this impressive DIY home theater. Thanks, Alex, for submitting it.

If you have a home theater you want to submit, just send us some good photos and there's a good chance it will get featured on CNET.

Submit your photos here.  

More Galleries

2023's Best TV and Streaming Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More
mandalorian-3-social.png

2023's Best TV and Streaming Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

62 Photos
Audi Activesphere Is a Transforming All-Terrain EV
Audi Activesphere concept

Audi Activesphere Is a Transforming All-Terrain EV

51 Photos
Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Images Compared: See the Difference
james-webb-seq-00-14-05-10-still002

Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope Images Compared: See the Difference

12 Photos
Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)
yamaha01.jpg

Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

16 Photos
CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)
dia-de-los-muertos-3318-001.jpg

CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

9 Photos
2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars
conceptss01_440.jpg

2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

14 Photos
Best sound bars under $300
polk-magnifi-mini-15.jpg

Best sound bars under $300

18 Photos