Help with my theatre / tv / man room! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 11-15-2008, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

Long time reader, and thought I'd post about my new project, and solicit some advise too!

We purchased our home a few months ago, and the basement was "kinda" done, meaning the previous owner had done 1/4 of it (not sure why he broke up a 25 x 18 space, but he did), but it was done poorly (you can see it in the picture below): he only used 1/4" sheet rock, and then used this fake wood paneling over it b/c he didn't want to mud, tape, and sad.

The room was fine for the first few months, but it was small (16 x 12) and had a weird layout b/c of the water heater's location, and didn't really make use of the leather sectional or modest A/V equipment I have (Denon AVR-487 as part of the HTIB, Panasonic 50" PZ77U, Motorola HD DVR, 360, and PS3).

So I tore down the wall that broke up the space, and started framing it out. I had to do it in steps, since the A/V stuff is still there, and I needed a place to game, since I didn't want to pack up my 360 for 8 months while working on the project.



I also need to make the room kid friendly since we have a 4 month old, so my time is limited to a few nights a week and one day a weekend, and I want to divide the space into a play area for her and a TV area for me.

As you can see in the picture below, I've framed one wall, I'm working on the second, and trying to do as much as possible before before I have to move everything out of the room to do the other half.



It should be nice when finished, with the HVAC ducting overhead (as well as the support columns) breaking up the large 25 x 18 space.

The walls on the left and right are / will be framed using 2x4s, but the wall with the TV on it is framed using 2x6s so I have room to run for PVC pipes for the component and HDMI cables (as seen in the picture), and maybe for in wall speakers. You can see where the TV will be mounted to the wall (the mount is just screwed in now as a place holder to make sure my pipes and wires line up).

Under the TV will be the TV(less) stand, where the A/V stuff sits behind glass doors (you can see it in first picture with the TV covered in plastic sitting on it).

So my questions:

1. I haven't run the electrical yet, but when I do, should I run a separate outlet behind the TV, or snake the power cable down through the PVC pipe to the surge strip that is running everything else? I don't want to go straight into the outlet, so I can use a Monster Power SW200 I have in the outlet, or run the cable down to one of two Belkin Pure AV F9A-923-08s I'm using for the AVR, 360, DVR, and PS3.

Thoughts? I think the outlet behind the TV is pretty slick, but doesn't offer the protect the Belkin offers. But won't running my TV power cable in the same 2" PVC pipe as my 2 HDMIs and 3 Components cause signal problems? Should I run a second PVC tube just for the power line?

2. The Denon AVR487 came as part of a HTIB package. I'm happy with the DSW-76 sub and the sound, and the speakers, but I wonder if I should use this change to upgrade the speakers? I don't want to blow more than $200 on speakers, and I'm pretty happy with the sounds now. But is it worth replacing the surrounds and RL speakers (SC-A76s)? I was looking at the Monoprice in wall speakers. I was thinking of either the 6.5" ones or the 8.5" ones. Any thoughts? Would I notice better sound over the SC-A76s? Would it be worse? Is there another option in my price point that would be a better in-wall choice?

3. Regardless of my speaker choice, I want to do the center under the TV (since over would be too high I think) on the stand, and the left and right in about 1/3 up from the bottom of the 50". How far out from the TV should I go? I have 4' either way, but most setups I read about on here are only a foot or less away from the TV / screen, and I didn't understand why. Should I have them flat with the TV, or angled slightly to the viewer?

Anyways, please offer some insight / help if you can. This is a great community, and I hope to do whatever I can learn and add value in my posts.

I have lots more to ask, but I don't want to flood in my first post. Thanks again.

Thanks
Greg
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post #2 of 61 Old 11-16-2008, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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More progress today:



I pulled down another section of the existing wall and replaced it with the new 2x6 framing. The previous owner who built this place made a couple of weird mistakes - he used 1" long wood screws to secure the 2x4 frame he had nailed - the only problem is that a 2x4 is 1.5" thick!

Next up I'm going to redo the outlets for the tv, and beneath it so I can have a nook in the wall, allowing wires and power strips to be covertly hidden. It should be pretty sweet!

Then I can start my header / soffit, and then spent a night using the ram head the framing into the concrete once I'm happy with the layout.

Still looking for any advise you guys might have on my questions
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post #3 of 61 Old 11-17-2008, 05:39 AM
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Since you are putting so much obvious very hard work and planning into your room upgrade and since your title mentioned "man room" I just have to stick in my 2 cents about making sure your final room configuration will allow you to migrate at some point away from the little television to Theater in the Home - projector and screen required for this.

We have a nice 56in HD television and it does television great but we learned that no television on the consumer market today can do Home Theater which we define most simply as: when the lights go down and the screen lights up everyone watching goes "WOW, this is just like being at the movies!!"

Man Room stuff like watching Steven Segal movies or sports - you can't beat having 10 ft. Florida Gators on the wall if you are a member of the Gator Nation - works out the same with whatever teams you are fans of.

Looks like lots of room behind where your tv sits covered in the pics to mount a pull down screen (or put the TV in a corner somewhere and install a fixed wall screen like we did - just please keep in mind while finishing your room thoughts like can a projector go on a simple wall shelf or where would you put the ceiling mount and how cables would be run and where would the BIG screen go cause a day will come as it did for me when I realized that TV can't do Theater and dadgum it I wanted 10 ft man movies and 10 ft Gators!!
goodluck with you room mods!
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post #4 of 61 Old 11-17-2008, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imjay View Post

Since you are putting so much obvious very hard work and planning into your room upgrade and since your title mentioned "man room" I just have to stick in my 2 cents about making sure your final room configuration will allow you to migrate at some point away from the little television to Theater in the Home - projector and screen required for this.
...

Looks like lots of room behind where your tv sits covered in the pics to mount a pull down screen (or put the TV in a corner somewhere and install a fixed wall screen like we did - just please keep in mind while finishing your room thoughts like can a projector go on a simple wall shelf or where would you put the ceiling mount and how cables would be run and where would the BIG screen go cause a day will come as it did for me when I realized that TV can't do Theater and dadgum it I wanted 10 ft man movies and 10 ft Gators!!
goodluck with you room mods!

Thanks for the input! I plan on running tubing / conduit for a projector one day - most of the threads here have taught me that a projector is a great way to go.

Right now I'm just trying to make the space modular enough that it meets the fmaily needs, but lets me upgrade piece by piece. Running PVC in the soffits and channels for HDMI cables lets me do that.

Thanks for the advice!
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post #5 of 61 Old 11-17-2008, 08:20 AM
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To answer question #1

1. I haven't run the electrical yet, but when I do, should I run a separate outlet behind the TV, or snake the power cable down through the PVC pipe to the surge strip that is running everything else? I don't want to go straight into the outlet, so I can use a Monster Power SW200 I have in the outlet, or run the cable down to one of two Belkin Pure AV F9A-923-08s I'm using for the AVR, 360, DVR, and PS3.

I would run a new electrical line from the breaker box to behind the TV and behind the AV cabinet. You can put GFI breaker in and you will not need a surge protection. I would put 8 electrical outlets behind the AV cabinet to plug everything in and some for future use. Just my thoughts.



Doug's Home Theater
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post #6 of 61 Old 11-17-2008, 01:16 PM
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I think you should have used pressure treated wood for the bottom plate, and left a two inch gap between the concrete walls and the studs.

Without a vapor barrier, I think your wood is going to rot. Regular wood shouldn't touch concrete.

Bill
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post #7 of 61 Old 11-17-2008, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djn312 View Post

To answer question #1

1. I haven't run the electrical yet, but when I do, should I run a separate outlet behind the TV, or snake the power cable down through the PVC pipe to the surge strip that is running everything else? I don't want to go straight into the outlet, so I can use a Monster Power SW200 I have in the outlet, or run the cable down to one of two Belkin Pure AV F9A-923-08s I'm using for the AVR, 360, DVR, and PS3.

I would run a new electrical line from the breaker box to behind the TV and behind the AV cabinet. You can put GFI breaker in and you will not need a surge protection. I would put 8 electrical outlets behind the AV cabinet to plug everything in and some for future use. Just my thoughts.



Doug's Home Theater

Great advice! Thanks! *added to my to-do list*
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post #8 of 61 Old 11-17-2008, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billd25 View Post

I think you should have used pressure treated wood for the bottom plate, and left a two inch gap between the concrete walls and the studs.

Without a vapor barrier, I think your wood is going to rot. Regular wood shouldn't touch concrete.

Bill

You're right! Thanks so much for pointing out my mistake - I'll hit the hardware store and get some pressure treated stuff this weekend, and pull up and redo the framing. Thanks!

Regarding a vapor barrier, what would you suggest? I've read about people using Dry Lock, or those styrofoam sheets, and plastic barriers - any tips?

Thanks again for the help!
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post #9 of 61 Old 11-18-2008, 10:14 AM
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Here in Canada, we usually use Plastic sheeting between the drywall and studs, Pink insulation usually goes behind that. My house also had tar paper (roofing felt) between the exterior stud walls and the concrete foundation walls.

The plastic sheeting is called 'super 6' or 6mil poly.

Best bet would be to see your local HD or Lowes or other Home Improvement store. They will set u up.

P
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post #10 of 61 Old 11-18-2008, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by petee_c View Post


Best bet would be to see your local HD or Lowes or other Home Improvement store. They will set u up.

P

Thanks man - I picked up some pressure treated and started the mods and plan on hitting the hardware store this week to get the vapor barrier - I'm thinking of the insulation foma sheets - the pink ones? Not sure how you attach it - liquid Nails?
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post #11 of 61 Old 11-19-2008, 08:44 AM
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You're likely to get conflicting advice on insulating. I know I did. Here's my two cents worth, from a Minnesota guy who is concerned about achieving a finished basement that is both warm and dry.

Use the firm bead board (foamboard) applied directly to the concrete/masonry walls, adhesively applied, then place frame wall against the rigid, then (if you want to increase your R value and/or add sound insulation) insulate with unfaced batts between studs and cover with drywall. The Rigid insulation does then act as a the vapor barrier, and your wood never touches the concrete - only the foamboard.

If you instead use fiberglass, you need to leave at least an inch gap between the concrete and the fiberglass so it doesn't touch the wall, and use vapor barrier on the drywall (warm) side of the fiberglass. Foamboard avoids all of this. Plus you avoid the mess, gloves, mask, etc.

Good news is it's very easy DIY job - just cut boards as needed with an exacto knife, no special tools or equipment needed. Bad news is it's slightly more expensive than fiberglass insulation.

And definitely green, or pressure treated lumber for anything that touches the concrete.

Take the time to get the foundation right so you don't have to undo it all later.

Good luck!

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post #12 of 61 Old 11-19-2008, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
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You're likely to get conflicting advice on insulating. I know I did. Here's my two cents worth, from a Minnesota guy who is concerned about achieving a finished basement that is both warm and dry.

Use the firm bead board (foamboard) applied directly to the concrete/masonry walls, adhesively applied, then place frame wall against the rigid, then (if you want to increase your R value and/or add sound insulation) insulate with unfaced batts between studs and cover with drywall. The Rigid insulation does then act as a the vapor barrier, and your wood never touches the concrete - only the foamboard.

Good news is it's very easy DIY job - just cut boards as needed with an exacto knife, no special tools or equipment needed. Bad news is it's slightly more expensive than fiberglass insulation.

And definitely green, or pressure treated lumber for anything that touches the concrete.

Take the time to get the foundation right so you don't have to undo it all later.

Good luck!

Thank you so much for the help - I appreciate it! I'm in New England, so the winters here aren't that bad, but it is cold out!

I like the foam board route, since it seems easier and cleaner. I see a lot of foam board at Home Depot, some with a reflective backing, some without, and I see the Loctite glue for $5 a tube (says its good for one sheet) - I was going to ask an associate but I had to bolt. I've read some threads and most agree on 1/2" polystyrene foam boards with construction adhesive for bonding to the cement and Great Stuff for the joint between sheets. Do you agree? Any advise?

Also, you mentioned unfaced insulation afterwards - do you mean insulation without the paper backing? If so, why? So you don't have two vapor barriers? Most of the threads here have people with paper backed (faced?) R13 in the stubs that 2" from the foam board. Thoughts?

Thanks again to you (and everyone) for the help - learning a lot here!
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post #13 of 61 Old 11-20-2008, 03:31 AM
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For what it's worth I don't think you need to spend that much on adhesive. I was able to get 2 sheets up per tube of adhesive, and used a more common brand at about half the cost you indicate. Just make sure it indicates it can be used with foam board. I used 1" boards with no foil backing. If you have an HVAC system which properly serves the space, IMHO anything beyond the foam board is overkill and may increase your chances of unwittingly creating a mold problem.
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post #14 of 61 Old 11-20-2008, 03:35 AM
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I found this from huntrm to be very helpful:

http://www.buildingscienceconsulting....ns/default.htm
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post #15 of 61 Old 11-21-2008, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I found this from huntrm to be very helpful:

http://www.buildingscienceconsulting....ns/default.htm

Thanks! I've updated my plans accordingly

My buddy came over today and we made a run to HD.



PTed 2x4s and 2x6s, 32 sheets of 3/4" polystyrene, and some adhesive.

I also spent one night getting this ready:



I needed to pull down the wall and framing to make the room a nice 25 x 18 square space. The water heater will be moving to the other side of the furnace - plumber comes on Monday to move it. Gonna install a pan under the water heater while he's at it, and add a shut off for the hot as well, in case I need it.
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post #16 of 61 Old 11-23-2008, 06:32 AM
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A couple leasons I'ev heard to learn the hard way.

1.) Make sure that if you put in a drywall ceiling that you relocate your phone wiring and any other things you'd need to be immediately servicable. Otherwise you may find yourself cutting holes in the ceiling some day to fix an issue. I don't mean relocate every single piece of pipe and electrical wire, just things that might need to be reconfigured later. They also make access pannels that are great. They're made of plastic that has spring flanges on it to hold it in place. They can be painted to match the room as well.

2.) I agree with the other poster on the GFI solution to your power needs. It won't correct a dirty power signal but having the TV on it's own loop should eliminate ground loops.

3.) Monoporice.com for all your cabling needs. Seriously. They're a forum sponsor and thier products are second to none. It'll save you bank for when you have to buy new speakers.

4.) Wrap those metal poles in cheap, thin insulation. Not the styrofoam kind, the batting kind like you'd use for an attic. This will keep them from ringing if the base gets loud as it will help absorb the sound.

5.) I'm with everyone who told you to use that pink styrofoam. I used plain white styrofoam I bought from a dock manufacturer. Works great. Word of caution though. Do not try to use that 3M contact spray with it. It just EATS the styrofoam like it's cotton candy. Use something like construction adhesive.

6.) Lastly, get a small wire dog leash. Seriously, like the kind that you'd use to keep a pug or terrier tied up with, preferably rubber lined. Run that through your wire piping. That will give you something to tie the wires to when you need to pull them through. It's rigid enough it won't bind up when you push it back through, but flexable enough to conform to the shape. The rubber will keep it from scratching your other wiring.

Please comment on my home theater and bedroom theater projects!
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post #17 of 61 Old 11-23-2008, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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More progress:



I pulled down my framing, and started putting up the foamboard.

What a difference - room already feels warmer, and that's with just ONE wall half done. I think I wanna do something similiar with the floor under the carpet and padding - not sure what tho.

Been reading a ton on here lately while the baby and wife sleep!

While letting the adhesive dry, I started replacing the footers in my framing with PT - I lost a few days pulling everything down and redoing it, but I'm glad I did - thanks everyone for the input!

Plumber coming tomorrow 8am to move the water heater, and my supplies from Monoprice should be here via UPS. Wall plates, wire, and cables to get me started - now if only I could find someone to babysit for a few hours a night
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post #18 of 61 Old 11-23-2008, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippman View Post

A couple leasons I'ev heard to learn the hard way.

1.) Make sure that if you put in a drywall ceiling that you relocate your phone wiring and any other things you'd need to be immediately servicable. Otherwise you may find yourself cutting holes in the ceiling some day to fix an issue. I don't mean relocate every single piece of pipe and electrical wire, just things that might need to be reconfigured later. They also make access pannels that are great. They're made of plastic that has spring flanges on it to hold it in place. They can be painted to match the room as well.

Good advise. I want to get the framing in and do up some wiring models in Visio to make sure I'm set. I need to have some fake panels to get to the shut off hose for the outside and the gas line to the living room fireplace, so I'll make sure to plan and map and move accordingly. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippman View Post

2.) I agree with the other poster on the GFI solution to your power needs. It won't correct a dirty power signal but having the TV on it's own loop should eliminate ground loops.

I've been reading about the male / female plugs people have been doing for projectors, and think I might apply that here - one for the TV, one for the projector's location (not in the budget, but I want to plan for it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippman View Post

3.) Monoporice.com for all your cabling needs. Seriously. They're a forum sponsor and thier products are second to none. It'll save you bank for when you have to buy new speakers.

Done and done - all my cables are Monoprice - even that wall mount you see!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippman View Post

4.) Wrap those metal poles in cheap, thin insulation. Not the styrofoam kind, the batting kind like you'd use for an attic. This will keep them from ringing if the base gets loud as it will help absorb the sound.

Thanks! I was thinking of running speaker wires in the poles but think I'll use the HVAC soffits instead. Good tip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippman View Post

5.) I'm with everyone who told you to use that pink styrofoam. I used plain white styrofoam I bought from a dock manufacturer. Works great. Word of caution though. Do not try to use that 3M contact spray with it. It just EATS the styrofoam like it's cotton candy. Use something like construction adhesive.

I've been using PL300 and Loctite foamboard adhesive - Loctite costs more ($4.50 vs $3.50) but grabs instantly and is more viscous and easier to apply. I get about 1 tube per two 2'x8' panels. I plan on using Great Stuff for the corners. I've been using the adhesive for the tongue / groove of the foamboard too - leaning a lot of wood on the panels to get them to stay in place

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippman View Post

6.) Lastly, get a small wire dog leash. Seriously, like the kind that you'd use to keep a pug or terrier tied up with, preferably rubber lined. Run that through your wire piping. That will give you something to tie the wires to when you need to pull them through. It's rigid enough it won't bind up when you push it back through, but flexable enough to conform to the shape. The rubber will keep it from scratching your other wiring.

Nice idea! Thanks!
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post #19 of 61 Old 11-24-2008, 04:32 AM
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i would run a new electrical line from the breaker box to behind the TV and behind the AV cabinet. You can put GFI breaker in and you will not need a surge protection. I would put 8 electrical outlets behind the AV cabinet to plug everything in and some for future use. Just my thoughts
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post #20 of 61 Old 11-24-2008, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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i would run a new electrical line from the breaker box to behind the TV and behind the AV cabinet. You can put GFI breaker in and you will not need a surge protection. I would put 8 electrical outlets behind the AV cabinet to plug everything in and some for future use. Just my thoughts

LOL - good confirmation on the other post!
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post #21 of 61 Old 11-24-2008, 06:42 AM
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I am also in NE, RI to be specific and have begun my theater build. I've learned a lot in the planning process and I've gotten as far as having the sheetrock up on all walls at this point. Ceiling will go up in the next week or so but i'm dealing with some sound proofing concerns/thoughts and making sure all my overhead wiring is ready to be covered. I re-did a lot of wiring that was a mess from the previous owner and removed all junction boxes to the utility side of basement for access. I have no boxes at all in ceiling which will be a hard ceiling. Good luck on your build. Don't rush it by any means. The progress thus far looks good but like I said, planning is everything, ie: framing then taking it down after learning about insulation, after all , it is New England! Cheers, Jay
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post #22 of 61 Old 11-24-2008, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
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LOL - good confirmation on the other post!

I'm not an electrician but I'm pretty sure a GFI prevents grounding only, not surges. For instance, it'll protect the device should it be immersed in water and short out by drawing to much current via tripping the breaker, but I don't think it's going to trip if the house is struck by lightening. Just like a circuit breaker won't protect you from that. I still recommend a good form of surge protection. Trip Lite has a whole suite of products that can do this.

Personally I have three of these. They're only $60, provide power isolation, and are SOLIDLY built. I could probably drive my Jeep over it if I needed too.

Please comment on my home theater and bedroom theater projects!
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post #23 of 61 Old 11-24-2008, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not an electrician but I'm pretty sure a GFI prevents grounding only, not surges. For instance, it'll protect the device should it be immersed in water and short out by drawing to much current via tripping the breaker, but I don't think it's going to trip if the house is struck by lightening. Just like a circuit breaker won't protect you from that. I still recommend a good form of surge protection. Trip Lite has a whole suite of products that can do this.

Personally I have three of these. They're only $60, provide power isolation, and are SOLIDLY built. I could probably drive my Jeep over it if I needed too.

I have my Belkins (see my first post), and I think I'll be doing this route. I already spent the money on good power, so why not do it right and protect the TV. Plus I think I'll run a line for the projector location in the event I go that route, since it's easy now
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post #24 of 61 Old 11-24-2008, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I am also in NE, RI to be specific and have begun my theater build. I've learned a lot in the planning process and I've gotten as far as having the sheetrock up on all walls at this point. Ceiling will go up in the next week or so but i'm dealing with some sound proofing concerns/thoughts and making sure all my overhead wiring is ready to be covered. I re-did a lot of wiring that was a mess from the previous owner and removed all junction boxes to the utility side of basement for access. I have no boxes at all in ceiling which will be a hard ceiling. Good luck on your build. Don't rush it by any means. The progress thus far looks good but like I said, planning is everything, ie: framing then taking it down after learning about insulation, after all , it is New England! Cheers, Jay

Thanks man. We're in Mass, near Springfield. I'm still waiting for the plumber to show up to move the water heater. Why make an appointment if you don't plan on showing up? SO ANGRY
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post #25 of 61 Old 11-25-2008, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BoomBoomRoom View Post

I have my Belkins (see my first post), and I think I'll be doing this route. I already spent the money on good power, so why not do it right and protect the TV. Plus I think I'll run a line for the projector location in the event I go that route, since it's easy now

Sounds good! I just want to make sure you protect your investment. Having been a manager at a computer repair shop for a number of years I've seen more than my share of gear fried because "surge protectors" which were little more than power strips fried and took everything with them.

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post #26 of 61 Old 11-25-2008, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skippman View Post

Sounds good! I just want to make sure you protect your investment. Having been a manager at a computer repair shop for a number of years I've seen more than my share of gear fried because "surge protectors" which were little more than power strips fried and took everything with them.

Thanks for the tip - my Belkins rated pretty well for the cost, and they have that insurance on them. I also use two, and split the items between them (sub on its own, tv and PS3 on one, 360 and Denon on the other). I appreciate the good advice!

I got my package from Monoprice - speaker wires and various plates for coax, 7.1/8.1, phone, and some RCA cables for the sub to run through the wall.



I also ordered 3 cases of Green Glue, and the electrician and 2nd plumber are coming on Monday to install a new sub panel and move the water heater. I hope to get some framing done this weekend, and clean up the mess in the basement!
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post #27 of 61 Old 11-26-2008, 05:56 AM
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Ah Keystone jacks. Is there anything they can't do?

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post #28 of 61 Old 11-26-2008, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah Keystone jacks. Is there anything they can't do?

LOL - they are pretty cool - being reconfigurable and customizable is awesome. They can get steep when you are doing a 7.1 panel or something, but they are awesome!

Some more progress today - left work early and the inlaws were watching the baby, so I had a few hours to dig out my ram head, foam the seams of the XPS, mod and put up some framing, true up a door too (still need to shim it), and nail the frames to the concrete. Everything is level, and I still need to add some boards for edges for the drywall, but this is the first step - now it should start moving along!!!!

Hope to get a bunch done this weekend. I have a "mud, tape, sand, and paint" guy lined up to do the basement - February time frame - now I have a schedule!!!

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post #29 of 61 Old 11-27-2008, 05:04 AM
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Sounds good! Not much to sanding and pinting but taping is definatly and art form. I hired a guy when I did my basement.

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post #30 of 61 Old 11-27-2008, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Sounds good! Not much to sanding and pinting but taping is definatly and art form. I hired a guy when I did my basement.

You're 100% right, but the mess of sanding is something I want to minimize. We have our laundry downstairs, and when we did this type of project at our last place, the dust got everywhere. Plus I'd rather pay someone and get it done in a few days then mess with it for 2 hours a night for weeks and weeks.

Tomorrow I try and get the rest of the wall up, glue the XPS to the next wall, and foam the joints - I forgot how much fun Great Stuff is!
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