Building a new house with media room-advice and thoughts welcome - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-13-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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We are in the design phase of building a new house and wanted to reach out to others for advice. I have a room measuring 16' 10.5'' x 12' 10.5'' to use as the media room which is adjacent to a game room (18'x15') where we will put an 8' pool table. We were planning to insulate the walls in the media room to keep sound contained between the 2 rooms and master bedroom on other side of house. The media room will be used for pretty much all viewing (movies, TV, sports, gaming, etc) and not the 'family room'. I am not 100% sure on the size of the media room because 17x13 sounds small to me?

Existing equipment in my house is a 7.1 setup using Definitive Technology speakers (BP7004's, clr2500, BPVX's, BP2X's) with a Denon '4308ci' receiver. TV is 65'' Panasonic V10 Plasma but was thinking about upgrading to a PJ for the media room if big enough. I will have a wiring closet that is in the media room where everything will come together. I will run 2 CAT6 drops to every room to kind of future proof some of the wiring in the media age we live in; maybe even fiber optic if budget permits.

One other thought was also to not separate the game room and media room and make one huge open room and make the rear presence speakers hang from the ceiling but I really wanted a dedicated media room. I am open to suggestions. The game room needs to be a minimum of 17' x 15' to fit a 8' pool table.

We even talked about ditching the dedicated game room and possibly using the living room as a billiards room with TV above the fireplace and wire it for speakers in wall with a different receiver. The living area will be open to the kitchen and measure 21' x 20'.

The existing plan we modified to get the design is here: http://www.dth.com/PDF/fayetteville.pdf (we changed their bedroom 3 and basically whole right side of house to make them bigger to sizes mentioned above.) We will likely scale some of the house down in size to keep budget where we want it.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-13-2012, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasBorn View Post

We were planning to insulate the walls in the media room to keep sound contained between the 2 rooms and master bedroom on other side of house. The media room will be used for pretty much all viewing (movies, TV, sports, gaming, etc) and not the 'family room'. I am not 100% sure on the size of the media room because 17x13 sounds small to me?

Insulating the walls will help a bit, a solid core door on that room would be another easy step. You should definitely browse the Dedicated Theater forum, as there's a wealth of info about sound isolation (soundproofing).

How many people are you planning to seat in the room? That will tell you if the size is too small or not. Make sure there's adequate HVAC for that room and a return vent as you'll need the cooling in there with the door closed.

Quote:
I will have a wiring closet that is in the media room where everything will come together. I will run 2 CAT6 drops to every room to kind of future proof some of the wiring in the media age we live in; maybe even fiber optic if budget permits.

Skip the fiber, waste of money better spent on Cat5e/Cat6 runs or flex conduit for true futureproofing. With a one story, getting to most areas later is possible - concentrate on wiring on the outside walls, as those are the ones that are difficult to retrofit.

Quote:
One other thought was also to not separate the game room and media room and make one huge open room and make the rear presence speakers hang from the ceiling but I really wanted a dedicated media room. I am open to suggestions. The game room needs to be a minimum of 17' x 15' to fit a 8' pool table.

Huge difference in usage between a theater and an open plan game room/theater area. Think about how you want to use the space and go from there. Playing pool while someone is watching a movie in a shared space is a no no...

Quote:
We even talked about ditching the dedicated game room and possibly using the living room as a billiards room with TV above the fireplace and wire it for speakers in wall with a different receiver. The living area will be open to the kitchen and measure 21' x 20'.

IMO not the way to go - pool table "belongs" in the game room. And TV above the fireplace almost never a good placement (pretty, not comfortable for viewing).

Quote:
We will likely scale some of the house down in size to keep budget where we want it.

Be careful there. The plans have been tried and built, shrinking rooms may not save you much money and could make things tight where you wouldn't expect...

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-14-2012, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Insulating the walls will help a bit, a solid core door on that room would be another easy step. You should definitely browse the Dedicated Theater forum, as there's a wealth of info about sound isolation (soundproofing).

How many people are you planning to seat in the room? That will tell you if the size is too small or not. Make sure there's adequate HVAC for that room and a return vent as you'll need the cooling in there with the door closed.



Skip the fiber, waste of money better spent on Cat5e/Cat6 runs or flex conduit for true futureproofing. With a one story, getting to most areas later is possible - concentrate on wiring on the outside walls, as those are the ones that are difficult to retrofit.


Jeff

Thanks for the ideas Jeff. I will definitely keep the 2 rooms separate now that I think more about it. Ideally I would like to seat 4 -6 chairs or a couch plus 2 chairs?

What size conduit do you think is a good choice? Metal or plastic conduit?
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-14-2012, 06:42 PM
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Ideally I would like to seat 4 -6 chairs or a couch plus 2 chairs?

3-across full recliners is probably tight for 12', at least for the front row. Couch and 3 in the back may work...

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What size conduit do you think is a good choice? Metal or plastic conduit?

Plastic flex low-volt conduit. Carlon resigard or equivalent. 1.5" is decent for pulling larger inflexible cables like HDMI. But really, whatever you can get is considerably better than nothing. And all the cable you install now goes *outside* the conduit. It's there for the future.

Jeff

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post #5 of 11 Old 05-29-2012, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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We ended up modifying the plans so much off of a different plan; we ended up with an 18x18 game room and the media room is 20'8'' x 15'8''. If I can attach the plans I will. I have plenty off length in the room so i will likely get a projector setup.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-24-2012, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is the new plan; we just modified it a little by pushing the wiring closet in to the garage (still w/ HVAC). Plans show room as bedroom 4 with windows but that will change in next set of plans where there are no windows and a riser is built up where you see "2x6 wall" and media closet got pushed to the lip of the garage so it is big. I want my home AV going in this room so I can have just floating TV's in each room. My data CAT 6 will also run to here. I am adding 3-5 power outlets to the closet as well but I can always add more; I have a Monster Power center in there for Denon receivers, cable boxes, ps3/xbox, BR player.


1. Do I ditch the slopped ceiling and just do 11' all around or keep it for acoustics?
2. Do people put the sub at the front or rear of the room? i need to run a sub cable from that location in to the wiring closet. I might even plan for 2 subs but i need to wire for it now.
3. All 4 walls will have RF-38 blown insulation so I want to add some flex conduit in here just in case; where do you see it being most beneficial?
4. I am doing can lighting on dimmer switches; likely 2-3 zones. 1 in front of the screen; 1 on perimeter; and 1 on overhead seating all with IR / RF sensors for when I get a remote to control them. I m looking for any advice here since I dont have a budget for a Control4 / Savant setup now; maybe in the future.
5. Front row seating will be 8-10 ft back then a 7'' step up to platform for 2nd row seating. Will likely do 3 seats each row.




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post #7 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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So another question I have is when pre-wiring for for a projector is it safest to just set a fixed distance (say 17 ft from back wall) or just leave the wires in the ceiling w/o a cover plate with enough slack to pull out to 20 ft? I dont know if the new 4k projectors will be out by January 2013 so I have no idea which projector I will go with and each has an optimal throw distance right? Should I change it to a tray ceiling instead of the sloped?
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-26-2012, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Am I in the wrong forum or is everyone just in awe over my awesome room to be? :-)
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-27-2012, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasBorn View Post

Here is the new plan; we just modified it a little by pushing the wiring closet in to the garage (still w/ HVAC). Plans show room as bedroom 4 with windows but that will change in next set of plans where there are no windows and a riser is built up where you see "2x6 wall" and media closet got pushed to the lip of the garage so it is big. I want my home AV going in this room so I can have just floating TV's in each room. My data CAT 6 will also run to here. I am adding 3-5 power outlets to the closet as well but I can always add more; I have a Monster Power center in there for Denon receivers, cable boxes, ps3/xbox, BR player.
1. Do I ditch the slopped ceiling and just do 11' all around or keep it for acoustics?
2. Do people put the sub at the front or rear of the room? i need to run a sub cable from that location in to the wiring closet. I might even plan for 2 subs but i need to wire for it now.
3. All 4 walls will have RF-38 blown insulation so I want to add some flex conduit in here just in case; where do you see it being most beneficial?


My Thoughts:
1. IMHO, I would keep the sloped ceiling, I have 12' ceilings with tray edges similar to what you are showing. There are decent AVRs that have room acoustic correction software to help as well. The slopes give a room character IMO

2. I had 1 sub (front left corner), but had wired for 2 in opposite corners. I recently added a second sub (back right corner) due to the size of the room and love it. Your room looks like it will be approx. 3K cubic feet to fill sound with. You may want to run 3 subwoofer lines for flexibility to determine the best sound location.

3. Regarding adding more flex conduit, what are you thinking you will need? More speakers? I'm assuming that you are wiring for 7.2, but you may want to wire for 9.x (front wides) or 11.x (front wides and front hights).

4. I noticed that you plan to have multiple outlets in your equipment closet - I had two outlets put near my equipment, but had not thought to have 2 dedicated circuits installed for future upgrades. If you envision adding powerful amplifiers to your set-up to drive speakers, you may want to have this done.

5. Will you have dedicated cooling/thermostat in the closet?

6. 4K projectors are out now, just very expensive. You should perform some real research on projectors and their throw distance ability. If you set the projector too far back from the screen, you may need to purchase a special lens to compensate. There are PJ forums in AVS
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-27-2012, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Dan!

I wasn't sure if the tray ceiling would be better for the acoustics or if the slop ceiling will work just fine; if it doesn't matter much I will stick with the sloped. Wiring for 3 subs isn't a bad idea; I can do 2 front and 1 back to make sure I have options. I have 7.1 now so I will wire for 9.2 and put up plates for now; my Denon 4308ci only does 9.1 and I am going to have to buy a better receiver to hit 9.2 or even 11.2. The media closet will have an air duct off of the main A/C but not a dedicate a/c or heat pump for that room. I did research the projector areas but it seems all projectors have different optimal throw distances; some are short (12-14 ft) whereas higher end systems go from 14ft to 20ft. Either is fine but if I don't know what I am getting yet how do i pre-wire for it? Is it better just plan on 20 ft on the back wall or shoot for say 15-17 ft?

My installer is pushing me to invest in a Control4 system but the budget is tight right now.
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-27-2012, 05:09 PM
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No problem -

You can actually hook up more than one sub even if your AVR only has one PSW out. I've heard many use an RCA Y adaptor (splitter) from the back of the AVR to send the signal to two or more powered subwoofers.

Regarding setting up for 9.1, you can go with either front wides or front heights - Others on this forum of noted that they felt the wides produced a better effect than the heights - but I have not experienced either. I'm wired to add new mains some day and convert my current mains that are up high to front heights. We'll see..... Need to convince my better half that I need to add 2 more speakers to my other 9 ; )

I really do not know much about PJs, I'm researching them myself (I'll have a 16 - 17' throw I think). Most will ask you to narrow down your PJ selection first to choose the best option - light control is also a real big factor for most PJs. The darker the room the better.
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