Breaking all the rules - zamboniman's V3.0 - putting home back in the home theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 01-17-2012, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Life is a crazy thing and priorities can be significantly shifted, even for a die hard HT enthusiast like myself. In the past year I sold my dedicated theater room (actually my entire house including the theater), had a new baby, and moved into a new house. Needless to say with a newborn around priorities have shifted.

Fortunately, when the old theater changed hands the equipment stayed with me. . I only had to give up the completed plug n play room which was the SMX screenwall, acoustic treatments, furniture.... basically bring your electronics and go... even the projector mount stayed behind.

So what do you do when you have a new baby, a new house, a generically finished open basement, and a stack of gnarly home theater equipment in the corner collecting dust?

YOU GET TO WORK! Between naps, diapers, real work, and some sleep here and there.

So what's breaking the rules? This theater is my 3rd major build. The last was a dedicated room. Been there, done that, got the T shirt. It worked well for life as it once was. Now things are much different, a dedicated room I can see would never be used. This theater needs to be a family friendly open media type layout, which the basement already has the core layout for. Hence this thread going up in the general media room section. We'll be breaking lots of rules along the way. Having had the dedicated room there were always things that bugged me. It was fun and all but I've since realized that I don't want a "cinema" in my home. Who am I kidding? It's time to leave the cinema at the cinema, I don't want to recreate that place here. I want this to be my home, a warm welcoming place to enjoy a movie in a spectacular way with my family. This will be the driving theme in my build and design. Putting the home back in the home theater.

This "home" theater will not use the overwhelmingly popular "theater recliners". One of my biggest complaint of the last room was I couldn't lay down to watch a movie. Sometimes you're just tired and want to be lazy.. Or on football day etc.. Being forced to sit upright or recline wasn't going to happen the next go round was always running through my head.

Since this theater has to blend with the general living area that it shares (open plan), following the decor influence of the home will dictate the final appearance. I'm only over riding that on key performance influencers... The screenwall will be black, and there will be acoustic treatments done. Who knows there may even end up being a 2nd row riser that's finished completely in hardwood instead of carpet? Anything's game here and I'm sure the whole thing will evolve over the months I pick away at it.

Some other items to note, I expect this to fall in the outer fringe of typical "basement media rooms". The equipment that carried over from v2.0 is a bit more than a theater in a box and will be incorporated using techniques common in dedicated rooms. For example:

Acoustically transparent screen with custom screenwall
10' 2.35 scope aspect ratio
JVC RS1 (few years old but still very very good)
Seaton Sound Catalyst 12C's for LCR
4 Custom 15" subwoofers

Should be a fun journey......

Well there you have it..... Figured if I didn't start this thread it would never be documented.. I'll drop in the updates as they happen now that I've carved out a little place to do that. Now let the progress begin.

Any chance I can complete the core build by the superbowl??
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post #2 of 56 Old 01-17-2012, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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So the following picture borrowed from Pottery Barn is my current inspiration. My home is rustic lodgy themed throughout and something along these lines would work well.



Minus some of the theater accessories and bose surround cubes .

When I stumbled on this picture immediately I thought...... YES FINALLY this is a place I could kick back with the family, sip on a Makers Manhattan, and enjoy a movie...

I've also been looking for an excuse to put one of those Manhattan (imagine that little name coincidence) chairs in my home for years. This may be my chance..... but that is far down the road at this point. My phase 1 for v3.0 is to just get the core install done and meanwhile utilize existing furniture. So phase 1 is ..... A basic functioning theater. Screenwall, projector, and audio. Fancy furniture and convenience integration to come later.
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post #3 of 56 Old 01-18-2012, 09:16 AM
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Cool! Looking forward to the fun.

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post #4 of 56 Old 01-18-2012, 09:44 AM
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Z,
Excellent your plan has finally been revealed. So this will be a "real-life" theater (I mean you did mention; diapers, manhattans, lazy, football day, and BOSE)

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post #5 of 56 Old 01-18-2012, 06:04 PM
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that looks like a very nice inspiration.

but, lets see pic/s of the canvas .

chasing rattles ......

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post #6 of 56 Old 01-18-2012, 09:20 PM
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I have to agree with you media room plans. Ever since I've had kids and theater room just doesn't work for us.

I also love the idea of laying on the couch and watching the TV.

When I get into the my new house I'll post some pics of my bathroom tv. It's going to be hung above a 3 person jacuzzi hooked up to a roku box that runs plex with 624 movies.

Talk about the ultimate sit back and relax tv.
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post #7 of 56 Old 01-19-2012, 02:19 PM
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Well if you are patient you might be able to learn from some of my mistakes. I'm in the process of building a living room into a theater room, but since its in a high traffic area its my "living theater build". The projector and screen will be in this Monday and drapes and everything will be in by Tuesday so I can post some pictures for you and see if it helps. I'm in the process of getting bids for a riser setup as well so I'll let you know how that goes if you are interested.
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post #8 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Some updates

Here's the blank canvas... sorry only pic I have handy is looking to the back of the room.


And here's a quick sketchup mockup. Ignore the furniture etc they are stock sketchup models.. it's more for getting a feel for the layout nothing more. The furniture configuration is TBD at this point.
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post #9 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 12:37 PM
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This is going to be my direction as well. I'm in the process selling a house and preparing to buy another one (job transfer) and want to incorporate living into the design as well. I'm looking forward to see how you wrestle with the space and what you accomplish. Thanks!
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post #10 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 12:54 PM
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looking forward to see the progress of this... good luck !!
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post #11 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 01:51 PM
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Z,
Woah!! Now that's a NICE canvas! I assume you will be retaining the bar and stonework (I would - it's got a nice rustic feel). A few quick questions:

1) Seems you have inserted an interior wall that runs from the back row sofa back to the bar area (tan and blue shaded in the sketch-up)? Seems you are trying to separate the "theater area" from a higher traffic area in the bottom of the sketchup?

2) What are you thinking for the space to the right of the proposed screen-wall, open space, or another room?

3) Looks like you have full 8' ceilings throughout?

4) Are there one or two stories up top? Just thinking of sound levels relative to the sleeping rooms

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post #12 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 02:08 PM
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Subscribed as well. Looks like a fun time
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post #13 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Z,
Woah!! Now that's a NICE canvas! I assume you will be retaining the bar and stonework (I would - it's got a nice rustic feel). A few quick questions:

1) Seems you have inserted an interior wall that runs from the back row sofa back to the bar area (tan and blue shaded in the sketch-up)? Seems you are trying to separate the "theater area" from a higher traffic area in the bottom of the sketchup?

2) What are you thinking for the space to the right of the proposed screen-wall, open space, or another room?

3) Looks like you have full 8' ceilings throughout?

4) Are there one or two stories up top? Just thinking of sound levels relative to the sleeping rooms

Thanks for the compliment!

All stonework will stay... and bar will remain for now as is(it may turn more into a kitchen or just possibly more above counter cabinetry on the back wall. There's a counter, sink, under counter cabinets and dishwasher hidden back there behind the bar against the wall. As you can see despite it being open, there's just too much already done here to box in a room or remove stonework. The sliders all look out to the lake so I'm not going to kill the view. Therefore, it will just be curtains pulled when needed.

on point 1. I see it's a bit misleading since it doesn't represent the whole area. Basically I only worked on the theater area. That wall is existing and is the stairwell. That triangular cutout is the wall turning into a railing going down so the stairwell is open one side.

2. Will remain open room. (probably a poker type table will sit there). Oh yeah this is the real life theater.. I'm not fooling anyone.. Currently this area is "Fisher Price" land. Not ideal from a sound perspective and prior to some tests I had ruled out this layout in favor of better symmetry but with other compromises.. Some testing with real world equipment revealed that it'll work out just fine.

3. About 8'6" finished ceiling height maybe an inch more.. basically the typical 9' basement ceilings for our area... when finished off end up more like this. I do know it's 5/8 drywall up there and insulated.. as is most of the house. This was a builders personal house. Lots of things in the overall floorplan makes me headscratch (like it was their first try and learning as they went), but I can credit them with not skimping on materials. He went big in lots of material areas and the drywall is just one of them... All of the interior walls and ceilings/floors are insulated for example. You can't hear someone in the basement yelling if you are on the main floor. It's kind of weird in a hard to describe way.

4. 2 floors above but master is on 1st floor directly over bar area. I have all the equipment setup temporarily. As long as the basement door is shut and you don't have the volume at 11 it's fine. Lets be honest unless we're down there with company the volume knob will rarely see better than -20. If that bothers the wifey.... tough
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post #14 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 02:42 PM
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Z,
So when you come down the steps you will enter this level facing (and just to the right) of the screen? Having 8.5' ceilings will give you the option of a riser if you choose to. And a couple of nice bonuses form the builder/owner >> insulated interior walls and 5/8" drywall!

As for that room (poker/FP) just to the right of the screen:
For symmetry, you could build a small wall to the right of the screen coming out as far as the edge of your windows on the left of the screen?

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post #15 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a shot from how the builder had it setup a long time ago. This gives you an idea of the stair well wall and faces my new screenwall area. You can see there is a convenient nook there to build the screenwall into and hide some large speakers yet not have the wall look too obtrusive into the room. This really isn't obvious by my sketchup drawing since it just shows the completed wall in front of the actual wall.

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post #16 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the sketchup from the other angle

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post #17 of 56 Old 01-23-2012, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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With the AT screen I'm a solid 3' in from the wall even more to the center of the speaker/tweeter.


Correction..... I'm ~4' off the side wall to L speaker.. 4.5' to tweeter center.
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post #18 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 06:27 AM
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Z,
That 2nd photo makes it much clearer. So you will be going with an AT-scope screen. What size screen are you thinking?

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post #19 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Z,
That 2nd photo makes it much clearer. So you will be going with an AT-scope screen. What size screen are you thinking?

10' wide scope seymour xd.. it's (the screen) 90% done by the way. Just have to wrap 2 more boarder pieces with velvet and apply.

As soon as I have a chance to grab some pictures I can show more. I have the basic screenwall frame in place with screen mounting complete.. basically assembled for fitment. Still needs to be painted and it's final securing.
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post #20 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 06:40 AM
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Nice choices for the screen! With that much screen real estate - that RS1 might be running on high mode? Curious as to ambient light and those windows to the left - which direction are the windows to the lake facing?

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post #21 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Nice choices for the screen! With that much screen real estate - that RS1 might be running on high mode? Curious as to ambient light and those windows to the left - which direction are the windows to the lake facing?

RS1 is doing fine with it. At ~ thousand hours on the bulb, I'm anxious to see what a fresh one will do.

The windows face straight east. So primarily an early morning issue. There's a deck off the main floor that extends probably 15' out covering the area the sliders walk out to. So they are well shaded by noon. With some curtains that can be pulled it's a non issue. My testing has been without curtains and as long as it's night time it's fine. There are some accepted compromises here that are what they are. Coming off a vaulted man cave in V2.0 I'm ok with that since having the capability of some natural light in the room will make it more welcoming. The room will only be used for theater stuff part of the time and is a primary traffic area accessing the back patio.
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post #22 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's some teaser shots of the SLOW screen wall construction.

ODE TO BIGmouthinDC - Outright copy of his simple design. I'm doing my own flavor of panels but the structure and screen mount is all BIG

It's been sitting in this state since roughly new years weekend



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post #23 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 11:22 AM
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What sub plan did you use for the 15" subs? Is it posted somewhere in the DIY section? Those Seaton speakers are awesome looking!
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post #24 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboniman View Post

With the AT screen I'm a solid 3' in from the wall even more to the center of the speaker/tweeter.


Correction..... I'm ~4' off the side wall to L speaker.. 4.5' to tweeter center.

whoops trying to quote not edit.... accidentally deleted some of this post... sorry
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post #25 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

What sub plan did you use for the 15" subs? Is it posted somewhere in the DIY section? Those Seaton speakers are awesome looking!

Designed and built myself.... Basic inspiration comes from the submersive.
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post #26 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 06:54 PM
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The design images look like they would achieve just the easy, homey effect you are looking for. I'm really curious how it will turn out so I'll follow this thread.

The statements in your OP about no longer wanting a theater in your house mirror mine and many others (apparently the trend in installations is now moving away from dedicated movie rooms to more open concept, family friendly, more multi-purpose rooms).
I've always said there seem to be two general approaches to home theater. There's Home THEATER, where people try to re-create the look and feel of a cinema in their home, and there is HOME Theater, where people keep the HOME part and bring the big screen element into it. I absolutely love movie-going, but have no desire to recreate a theater in my house. While watching a movie at a theater, I'd be more inclined to think "Man, imagine having THIS type of image/sound in my HOME?" Rather than "Man I wish I had the whole feel of this movie theater in my house."

I didn't have the luxury of being able to build a dedicated room, but even if I did I wouldn't change what I have for a second. I used a main floor living room, made it high performance, but homey and very accessible. It invites lounging for reading, lying on the sofa listening to music, looking outside the bay windows (how many dedicated home theaters allow you to look out to a nice view?) etc. This approach has worked out so well that for the last 2 years the room has seen use pretty much every day of the week.

The challenges of getting a high performance from a non-dedicated room were substantial (but achievable), but the end was super worth it.

I bet you'll be really happy.

(See links below my name if you want to see how mine came out).

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post #27 of 56 Old 01-24-2012, 07:55 PM
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Subscribed. Looks like a fantastic plan! I do like the idea of a HOME theater as Rich puts it. Family/Friends oriented makes for one great place for holiday/sport hang outs!....BUT at the same time a home THEATER is always in the back of my mind.

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #28 of 56 Old 01-25-2012, 09:31 AM
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Zamb,

Your setup is very similar to mine. I know I posted in another one of your threads, but just wanted to express the fact that I do agree an open theater is more useful and possibly get more use than a dedicated theater.
We entertain a lot and we always have some type of sporting event or concert or something showing on the big screen while we're congregating at the bar area, pool table, shuffleboard, etc. The theater is viewable from most areas of the basement. I know our parties would not be the same if the theater was in an enclosed area.

Good luck.

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ps, Great looking build Rich!

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post #29 of 56 Old 01-25-2012, 01:09 PM
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Also digging the HOME in home theater. I am a couple weeks (hopefully) away from having my basement completed. Main room is going to be a family room where my HT system happens to be. With a 2yr old and a wife who could care less, I really didn't have the option of a dedicated room.

I also didn't go the screen route - just a 63" plasma. Room adjoins to another which I forsee as an eventual games-type room with a mini bar setup. Overall, a nice family friendly environment to spend some nice weekend quality time. I can hardly wait.

Looks like a great space you have to work with - should be fun to watch it all unfold.

I love it when a [HT] plan comes together!
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post #30 of 56 Old 01-27-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Life.... silly thing.. it's getting in the way of making progress.

Here's to maybe getting a solid couple hours in this weekend. Fingers crossed.
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