Other Geeks: Home Theater – Introduction

Other Geeks: Home Theater – Introduction

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Other Geeks: Home Theater – Introduction

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  • An obscenely large TV
  • A deafening audio system with surround sound
  • Seating that makes you wonder why you sleep in a bed like a savage

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So what’s the plan?

  1. I don’t have a drop ceiling in this part of the basement. It’s a plaster affair, which causes all kinds of headaches because as stated above, I’m not good at carpentry and all that. Punching holes in the ceiling, setting up a mount, and other stuff scares me.
  2. I don’t have a way to power the thing once it’s secured to the ceiling. I’ve been told that the nearby instance of our whole-home smoke detector could provide the sequence needed to add an outlet nearby, but now we’re talking elec-fucking-tricity, the force of nature that kills people and burns down houses. I’d rather put a hole in the ceiling than mess with live wiring.
  3. All those cables. Although the projector has only two HDMI ports, it has a power cable as well. That means I’ll need to get the power cable connected to something (a nearby outlet, natch), and then have two HDMI cables snaking out of the projector and running…somewhere? At minimum, I’d need another plate nearby with HDMI ports, and then run HDMI cables through the ceiling to another plate somewhere where I can jack in the devices. Yes, I know I could expose the cables and encapsulate them using plastic runners so not holes need to be made anywhere, but let’s face it: that looks like shit. And to be honest, as much as I fear messing up the house, there’s some element of challenge that I feel needs to be accepted.

A Wild Solution Appears!

Last night I was chatting with a friend about projectors, since I’d carted mine to his house the previous night so we could watch movies. It got him thinking again about buying a projector for his own house, and when I went to look up my device on Amazon, I learned about wireless HDMI.

The idea, of course, is that you have two endpoints: one plugs into your projector (or TV), and the other sits near your components for their connectivity. Then, though electrical sorcery, the signals are thrown through the air and voila! Wireless signal!

WirelessHDMI

“Hold up,” you’re probably saying while stroking the rim of your fedora. “I’m skeptical that this works well enough to be worth it”. I share your concern, neckbeard. However, the devices I looked at on Amazon have a large number of reviews (some over 1000) and decent star counts (like, 4/5, which is pretty OK in my book). For movies, I’d be pretty comfortable using something like this because the lag would only be between the movie running on the device, and what I see, and I don’t really care if there’s a delay, so long as the audio is in sync (audio would be local to the component side of the equation, and not the projection side). Gaming, however, would be the real test. Some reviews on these devices which mention gaming say that it works OK. I don’t do multiplayer, so it would only come down to the round-trip time: action on the controller to the console, and results back to the projector.

So my goal is this:

  1. Figure out how to install an outlet in the ceiling, running from the power that’s currently running to the smoke detector.
  2. Figure out the best way to mount the projector to the ceiling.
  3. Acquire a wireless HDMI unit that I can afford, and which has reviews good enough to make me feel comfortable doing so.
  4. Put it all together and see what happens.

If I can manage that much and be pleased, then I’ll be 95% of the way there. After that, it’ll be a matter of organizing the general area of the basement according to the plan I have in my head, which may or may not involve additional house destruction. Stay tuned!