Readers' Submissions

A Basement Home Theater Project:
At Home in Calgary

by Michael
(Toronto, Ontario)

An Old Basement Home Theater from the 90's!

An Old Basement Home Theater from the 90's!

This is a picture of an old basement home theater from the early 90's at home in Calgary. At the time, it was featured on the front page of The Calgary Herald newspaper!

If you were to look closely, you would notice that there are no DVD players - I am afraid there were no such players then, but yes... there is a Yamaha Laser Disc unit! Oh the date the picture appeared on the Calgary Herald was January 1, 1990. That is twenty years ago; surely, a lot has changed in the home theater industry during all these years, but I can assure you that this basement home theater in Calgary was at the leading edge of the technology curve - thus explaining why it was featured on the front page of the local newspaper.

The audio system featured a Lexicon Sound Processor which included side channels - truly 'avant-garde' for the time. I had to use separate power amplifiers to run the center, main, side, rear and sub-woofer speakers. The 20-inch CRT TV in the wall unit was used to provide a second TV picture in the home theater. I used that second TV to mimic the pic-in-pic feature found on some TVs but that worked much better than any picture-in-picture feature I have ever seen. But it provided more than just pic-in-pic functionality; this second TV was also connected to a camera in the hot tub area for keeping an eye on the kids.

The video part was a 50" RCA rear projection TV - a giant size TV by 1990's standards and one of the best at the time. This rear projection TV rolled out making the rear connection panel easily accessible for wiring of system components. The home theater area was a basement project that included an 18-foot bar, wine cellar, and a billiard area; a 15ft x 15ft dance-floor completed the entertainment area.

Submitted on: October 20, 2010
Updated on: Sept. 4, 2012

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