Doug's "No Name" Theater/Gaming Room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 366 Old 04-24-2008, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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A little bit about myself:
My name is Doug and I have been lurking/posting for about 3 years now. I finished my basement (almost) before I discovered this forum and FP and have since been looking to change my setup so that I could enjoy a bigger movie/gaming experience.
I have seen rooms being built that simply are amazing. From watching threads by chinadog, swithey, SandmanX, Ronnie_Jackson, BritInVa, strange_brew, WishIWasFlying and others too, I am motivated to start my own project. I want to thank you (especially those listed) for taking the time to post such wonderful information about your own project as it has helped many others as well as me, plan for my own build/setup.

A little bit about my budget:
While there is no set budget, its not unlimited. I am thinking anywhere from 2000-3000 is something I am shooting for. Which is small potato's to most threads here.

A little bit about my existing equipment:
Right now this is what I have

  • Pioneer VSX919AH-k
  • Infinity Primus Front L/R P-163, Center PC-351, Surrounds P-143
  • Polk Audio PSW250 Sub Woofer
  • Panasonic BD65K 
  • Comcast HD DCH3200 Digital Cable box
  • PT-AX200u
  • Screen - DIY using BO Cloth (100" screen)

While this list doesnt match up to most systems here, it is not that bad. I plan on upgrading in future to better speakers and receiver.

A little bit about my room
Pics are below but it is roughly
13' wide x 16' deep (opens to another 10' before it hits the back wall)
Ceiling height is 7'6" with a soffit all around with soffit height being 6'8")
I have a sump and a bathroom entrance in the WRONG spots, but I have to work with what I have and will try and make the best of it!

A little bit about my (realistic) goals:
While I sure would like to do something to the likes of many here on this forum, I simply understand what is realistic and attainable. So please understand that while I should be doing so many other things for a better room, I simply must stay within my means. Also, I firmly believe that in the end, while it may not sound or look as good as it could, it will be a MUCH better and enjoyable experience than what I currently have.

So, I present some pictures and welcome your input. I look forward to sharing my journey.

EDIT: I thought to add one of my "finished" pictures here.



Doug
Where there's a beer, there's a way.



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post #2 of 366 Old 04-24-2008, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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This is the room I have so far.

Here is my room. Pic is taken from about 16' back under the back Soffit.

NOTE: Those are just temporary mockups for columns to get a visual for size and placement.


Here is a pic from further back, showing my back soffit and Projector carriage. When its all said and done, I will have a Vent open in the back of the Soffit for proper air flow. I am thinking this will be plenty of air flow and no need for any additional fans to prevent heat buildup.


Turning to the right, you will see an opening in the corner where my AV Rack is to be installed.
The right side of the screen wall has a rough opening to a bathroom. Not the best placement, but I have to work with the room I have.


And here is my ugly fugly sump! I have no idea why the builder decided to put this here! I wish he would have put it in the utility room or in another corner but of all places, its here. I will try and work this into the design of my front wall, as you will see in the following post.


Back of the room. Which will be open for a poker table.

Doug
Where there's a beer, there's a way.



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post #3 of 366 Old 04-24-2008, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Now, of all the years lurking, I should have a design down by now, but I dont have anything concrete!

I have done some SketchUp and am shooting for something like this.

As you can see, I am going to bring out the front wall with "columns" to house my existing speakers, but with intention to allow for easy modification for some bigger speakers!
Perhaps a built in DIY Subwoofer in the "box" that hides that ugly fugly sump pit.



Doug
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post #4 of 366 Old 04-24-2008, 10:45 AM
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This should be really nice when you get it finished. I feel for you on the sump pit- that is a really rotten place. Makes you wonder what they were thinking when they put it out in the middle like that.

We build a BO cloth screen, and it's great. Keep your eyes open for the JoAnn Fabrics 40% off coupon. Our screen is 110" diag and I think we spent about 40.00 for the wood, bo cloth and black fabric.
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post #5 of 366 Old 04-24-2008, 12:24 PM
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Good luck man!! I also am in the beginning stages, to be honest, I am having a heck of a time learning how to use sketchup, lol. How will I ever be able to do this myself? UGH!!!
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post #6 of 366 Old 04-24-2008, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane R View Post

Good luck man!! I also am in the beginning stages, to be honest, I am having a heck of a time learning how to use sketchup, lol. How will I ever be able to do this myself? UGH!!!

Google for some sketchup videos on youtube. There is a guy on there who has a whole series of them and they were immensely helpful. I think I watched about 2 hours in all and did the tutorials myself as he went along.

It CAN be done

-Matt


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post #7 of 366 Old 04-24-2008, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan94 View Post

Google for some sketchup videos on youtube. There is a guy on there who has a whole series of them and they were immensely helpful. I think I watched about 2 hours in all and did the tutorials myself as he went along.

I CAN be done

Thank you, I never thought of that. I will say though, sketchup is amazing and I don't know 1% of what it can do.
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post #8 of 366 Old 04-24-2008, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane R View Post

Thank you, I never thought of that. I will say though, sketchup is amazing and I don't know 1% of what it can do.

No prob -- I think this is the series I watched:

http://www.youtube.com/aidanchopra

-Matt


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post #9 of 366 Old 04-24-2008, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I see you guys have found some great SketchUp tutorials. Awesome!

So I am not stumped on a couple of items.

1. Do I use fabric, especially on the front wall or will black Flat/EggShell paint do just fine? Will paint (flat or eggshell) still reflect to much light or not really?


2. Does anyone see a possibility of mounting a DIY sub (or a something easy) on the face of that ugly fugly sump pit surround? I am wondering if I could use that as my Sub somehow? Any ideas?


3. Since I am not using fabric on my walls or soffit, just dryall. Is there any benefit to stuffing it will insulation? I seemed to have read conflicting posts on this.

Doug
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post #10 of 366 Old 04-25-2008, 04:07 AM - Thread Starter
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One of the big box stores has a sale on interior doors that I am going to take advantage of. I think one of the brands is Mastercraft. I have never inspected this brand and if they are decent, I will pick some up. I actually have 5 doors (1 single door and then 4 bifold doors for other parts of the basement - 2 closets, 1 utility room and 1 office)

However, I am still unsure if I should go with stain or painted or a mixture of both.

I am also looking for input on my design, layout and other questions above as well.

Here is another shot of my intended design

Doug
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post #11 of 366 Old 04-29-2008, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I really need some input on my front screen wall.

What is the impression this design gives off? I really need some input as I have been "stuck" in this mindset for too long and I am not sure about it and can not see past doing anything else at the moment.

Help!

NOTE: in case you didnt read above, the lower left bigger 'cabinet' is hiding the sump pump. So I thought to just incorporate it into the overall design.



Another angle

Doug
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post #12 of 366 Old 04-29-2008, 07:53 AM
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You're doing the right things. Just keep messing until you find what you want. The only person that can say which way looks best is you. If you've looked at all those peoples setups you should have seen an example of both ways. One with wood and one with nothing but black.

Buffbakers screen wall is a good example of wood up front vs all black. Even though it's not gonna be like yours it at least give you an all around feeling of wood up front. And I'm sure you can fine plenty of examples of all black front screenwall setups.

Looks good so far, look forward to following your process
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post #13 of 366 Old 04-29-2008, 08:33 AM
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If it were me, I'd lose as much of the front cabinetry as possible. The center channel most likely isn't meant to be enclosed and it severely limits sub placement.

As for the walls, if you want good performance and save some money, just paint the walls and use visible treatment panels. That will save you a considerable amount without really impacting performance.

Bryan

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post #14 of 366 Old 04-29-2008, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazzey View Post

You're doing the right things. Just keep messing until you find what you want. The only person that can say which way looks best is you. If you've looked at all those peoples setups you should have seen an example of both ways. One with wood and one with nothing but black.

Buffbakers screen wall is a good example of wood up front vs all black. Even though it's not gonna be like yours it at least give you an all around feeling of wood up front. And I'm sure you can fine plenty of examples of all black front screenwall setups.

Looks good so far, look forward to following your process

Yes, I have seen his and I like it and it has some influences into my design somewhat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpape View Post

If it were me, I'd lose as much of the front cabinetry as possible. The center channel most likely isn't meant to be enclosed and it severely limits sub placement.

As for the walls, if you want good performance and save some money, just paint the walls and use visible treatment panels. That will save you a considerable amount without really impacting performance.

Bryan

Bryan, thanks for the input. I am fully aware that I should do many things different, especially for sound treatment and I will try and incorporate some items such as treatment panels on the side walls, but to your point, yes, those cabinets are not the most ideal, just trying to make the most of my 'lemons'

So, to Bryan's point...I could go something like this...it removes the big cabinet space, and allows movement of my sub, but keeps the aesthetics I was shooting for. Althought I will have to get an inwall center channel.



Doug
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post #15 of 366 Old 04-29-2008, 03:42 PM
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You could put the center across the top and enclose the sub somewhere across the bottom leaving more room for your door. You said something about building a diy sub so you could build it into the bottom across the center trying to make it look/resemble more like what the left side housing looks like.

You could move your "center" of the screen wall left and have the left column sit up against the wall over the sump pump increasing the size of your screen a little and making it possible to make more of a duplicate box on the right, that might hold a sub, leaves room for the door opening, and looks just like your sump pump box on the left.
I've seen others that have done this but I've seen others that told them their accoustics would be messed up if it wasn't centered.

Just throwing things out there


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post #16 of 366 Old 04-29-2008, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazzey View Post

You could put the center across the top and enclose the sub somewhere across the bottom leaving more room for your door. You said something about building a diy sub so you could build it into the bottom across the center trying to make it look/resemble more like what the left side housing looks like.

You could move your "center" of the screen wall left and have the left column sit up against the wall over the sump pump increasing the size of your screen a little and making it possible to make more of a duplicate box on the right, that might hold a sub, leaves room for the door opening, and looks just like your sump pump box on the left.
I've seen others that have done this but I've seen others that told them their accoustics would be messed up if it wasn't centered.

Just throwing things out there

Mike, thanks for bringing this up. I have given all of this consideration, especially the sub. I was thinking of building a DIY sub (I know nothing about this) within one of those cabinets. And as for moving everything over to theh left. I have thought of that but never drew it up. Since I am on a sketch rampage, I might try it out. I know this will be bad for acoustics, but I am also not really shooting for a very good acoustic room as it stands. Its minimal on my list (Audiophiles...please dont shoot!)

Doug
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post #17 of 366 Old 04-29-2008, 04:27 PM
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Heres that offset theater that I got some ideas from. I like the way his turned out.

Moderno


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post #18 of 366 Old 04-30-2008, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazzey View Post

Heres that offset theater that I got some ideas from. I like the way his turned out.

Moderno

Well, I have given it some thought and the fact that my room is only 13' wide, makes for a really "up against the wall feel" if I go off center. I am set on staying on center as well as going with the cabinet build.

Doug
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post #19 of 366 Old 05-02-2008, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I have decided to go ahead with this design with understanding that its not the most ideal in terms of sound/speaker placement. But to hide that sump with a big ol' box to the left and nothing else just didnt quite seem to work for me, so I decided to incorporate it all.

Since I am building this cabinetry, I am open to suggestions about making it more ideal in terms of sound treatment. Immediately I will be putting my center channel in that center cubby. A sub may someday also get incorporated...

Some questions
- make a 2x4 base, on edge and fill with sand?
- leave the back of the cabinet open and put some acoustical batting?
- as for the clothe to put in front of the center speaker, can I get this at Joanns? Or should I get GOM? Anyone have some black GOM, from my design, I dont need that much for my center and fronts.
- is there anything else I should be doing with this cabinetry to provide for better sound treatment (other than getting rid of it )



Doug
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post #20 of 366 Old 05-04-2008, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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While I konw most here would not recommend what I am doing with this cabinetry for my front wall, I hope I can still get some feedback on items such as this.

Forward thinking for the future, I am going to make the left and right side of the bottom cabinetry a place for some subs (if you look at the picture above, you will see the center speaker cloth...I would put the subs to the left and right of the center (using cloth as well instead of what you see in the pic)). So, as I build this now, I am thinking of lining the bottom face frame you see below with plastic garbage bags, filling with play sand, then putting 1/2 ply+3/4" ply on top of that.

Is it worth putting this sand in such little cavity?
Should i just put in some insulation? If so, with plastic on concrete before i put in the insulation?
Or do nothing, because its just not going to benifit me in anyway?


Doug
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post #21 of 366 Old 05-15-2008, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been busy...pics are coming soon.

In the meantime, I am debating adding additional lighting to my already existing 6 cans in the ceiling. I am considering adding sconces on the sides or recessed lighting under the soffits.
Which do you think looks best?
Arent these mostly off during movies anyway?

Recessed under soffits

Sconces instead

Doug
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post #22 of 366 Old 05-15-2008, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, no responses.

Doug
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post #23 of 366 Old 05-15-2008, 08:20 PM
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I'd say no scones but that's just my opinion.
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post #24 of 366 Old 05-16-2008, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been busy building the panel/frames for my front cabinet. I really like how these are turning out. Plus, I found some really good moulding from a Moulding outlet store (for those in Indiana, go to www.houseoffara.com, they even have a moulding outlet/surplus store!) I couldnt find this moulding at the big box stores.

Basically, I built the frames using 3/4" oak plywood and connected using a biscuit joiner.


Here is a dry fit assembly


Trimmed out with moulding


Dry Fit for the cabinet


I also built the base frame for my AV Rack. This is about 19" wide (interior) and about 20" deep




I am now considering recessing a shelf below this rack for DVDs.

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post #25 of 366 Old 05-17-2008, 06:06 AM
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I say sconces on columns that match you front columns

Thats just the look that I went with but I've seen others that looked great with just sconces.
I like some kind of sconce look in the theater. Just think it gives it more of a theater area look.


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post #26 of 366 Old 05-17-2008, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I say sconces on columns that match you front columns

Thats just the look that I went with but I've seen others that looked great with just sconces.
I like some kind of sconce look in the theater. Just think it gives it more of a theater area look.

I thought about doing that, but then, with the crown molding underneath, I will have to deal with boxing the crown around them and I wouldnt want them to be too deep anyway since my room is only 13' wide.

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post #27 of 366 Old 05-17-2008, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I found this sconce at Menards for around 20.00. I like the look of these and will probably use these for starters.

Here is one mounted as I wanted to get a feel for light and location. Its mounted roughly at 68" from the floor.

I will have these on a dimmer when all is said and done.





Shutter Speed adjusted for effect to show what the room would look like with the light dimmed about 1/2 way.

Doug
Where there's a beer, there's a way.



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post #28 of 366 Old 05-21-2008, 04:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a 2 gang outlet, where 1 outlet will be on its own dedicated line for powering the Projector.

The other outlet is on its own dedicated line as well.

I want to use this 'other' outlet to power my cove lighting that will be connected to a dimmer.

While these are on their own dedicated power, are there any issues with this set up for my projector, especially with the dimmer in place to my cove lighting?

I will be closing up the walls soon, any input on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Doug
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post #29 of 366 Old 05-26-2008, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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While it doesnt look like much, it is progress.

I have the drywall completed with a good start on mudding/taping.

I have also cut the 1/2 oak plywood panels for the undersides of the soffit. (this is just a dry fit as I will take them down to sand/stain/sand/stain/sand/poly/sand and poly)


Doug
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post #30 of 366 Old 05-28-2008, 03:38 PM
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Please keep posting pics of your cabinet build...


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