VT Theater, Game Lounge and Home Automation: The Prequel - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-17-2012, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the prequel or planning phase of a whole house build that will start with the thaw in 2014. The home will be ICF construction and as energy efficient as I can make it within a reasonable budget. The first and second floor plans are close to complete and now I am working on the basement. Though I don't get to plan the entire home around the theater I do get to plan the basement around it. biggrin.gif

I know this is a "Home Entertainment & Theater Builder" forum but I think there will be plenty of interest for my friends at AVS as I delve into security, automation, distribution, gaming & theater design. More than that I hope to tap the wealth of knowledge on these subjects shared among my fellow AVSers.

Project Scope: Design my basement layout including a theater and game room. Explore options for DIY security, automation, energy efficiency, and source distribution.

Timeline: The plan needs to be done by the end of this year, 2013.

Budget: TBD... Most things with me are cost vs benefit, I will pay and pay well for durability and quality but my tastes are simple not extravagant.

Basement needs to include: semi-dedicated home theater, a game room, exercise area, bathroom, spare bedroom, workshop & storage.

I'll add more to this fist post as the thread (hopefully) grows.

Update Theater Design Post starts Here!

Link to finished photos in old build thread.

Joe V
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-17-2012, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Lets start with the Theater:

Theater Size: The unfinished area set aside for the home theater is 16' wide and between by 18' & 33' deep. Ceilings throughout the basement will be about 9' clear with the core 18'8" area at the front of the theater gaining about 16" where the floor drops down for 10'4" ceilings. (I'd like to keep the depth under 27')

Usage: 35% Movies, 60% Gaming, 5% TV

Design: I'd like for theater 2.o to be a very clean and open design. Components can be visible, in wall/on-wall but I want very little protruding into the room. 7-8 "Good Seats" plus overflow.

In general I like the size and layout of our current theater, call it 14' x 21', but we end up gaming in there as often as we watch movies.

So the guys come over and set up their xboxes or pcs, usually with my monitors and we run 2-6 systems with overflow going to the bar but no one really likes setting up at the bar when there are seats available in the theater.

So for my next build I am looking for a way of preserving the nice clean layout of the theater and yet get 2-4 permanent (or Semi-Permanent) game stations set up.

Swing-out monitors and keyboard trays that can tuck against the wall when not in use? 3rd row monitors that can raise or lower out of a short bar/counter in front of the seats?

Initial Layout Ideas:

Design 1: Cool "Traditional" Theater Entry,more seats getting the best surround effects, rear seats for overflow/game stations. This is the better theater design but I lose space to side isles and game station setup is more challenging.
VTHT-Theater1.jpg

Design 2: I like the center isle - lose some good seat positions but gain "isle seats" biggrin.gif, rear seats for game stations, room for front row fold/swing out game station. Back corners better for game station setup but a worse theater design.
VTHT-TheaterTwo.jpg

Design 3: Open to the rest of the basement, Matches the generally open layout of the rest of the house. Con- sound and light control.
VTHT-Theater3.jpg

The hashed walls are ICF (insulated concrete form) exterior walls and are set in stone so to speak. tongue.gif I have an 8'10"x 3'7" off-set area at the front of the theater where I was hoping to set up a screen/false wall but my fear is that finished out 8.5' wont be a wide enough audio field for the LCR speaker setup behind the screen.


Trying to set up the new theater as a dual purpose gaming lounge/theater, without the nice clean lines of ending up cluttered like this:

Old Theater Pic:
vicie-IMG_2167.jpg

Joe V
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-18-2012, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Lets try to kick-start this thread with a specific question:

Is the 8'10"x 3'7" off-set area at the front of the theater large enough to put the left, right and center channel speakers behind the screen? Will the left & right mains be far enough apart?

Joe V
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-21-2012, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I found my answers and I think I can use the space at the front with an AT screen to house all of my front speakers. I squeak in at just over 22 degrees (~45 deg. spread) between L&R mains,measured from the front central seat.

dolby.jpg

Having your left and right front speakers completely behind your screen doesn't seem to jive with the recommended viewing angles floating around but hey I like sitting close to the screen as long as I don't have to look up...

I'm no math genius but I'm pretty sure you can't fit a 45 deg. (THX Rec) left & right front spread behind screen at a 40 deg recommended viewing angle...

THat said.

Some of my favorite AVS theaters, like the Bacon Race, seem to accomplish this by, I believe, throwing out the recommended viewing distance/angle... So I shall probably follow suit.

Added a plan Design 3 to the 2nd post but I am leaning towards "Design 1"

Joe V
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-22-2012, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Crude SketchUp of Theater 1 Design. I updated the sketchup for the "new" design 1.

The back row would actually be a set of 2-3 smaller/non-reclining seats with the small bar in front hiding two monitors. Game Station 1 & Game Station 2.

HDMI distribution idea:
Signal from Game PC 1 & Xbox 1 to either main theater system, the left theater game station or a driving/flight simulator game pod just off the theater.
Signal from Game PC 2 & Xbox 2 to either Game Room (Kinect Setup - behind theater entrance) or left theater game station


Joe V
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-26-2012, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is the whole basement layout. Exterior walls are set. Most everything else is changeable.

Still trying to figure out the game room layout. Mini-Kitchen on North Wall, Mid size LCD & Kinect setup mounted on south wall. I like the central room but with so many entrances off of it wall space is limited.

V-T-Basement.jpg

Joe V
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-24-2013, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Changes in the overall house plan have caused some changes in my theater options.

Design 1: A new version of design 1 still has the Cool "Traditional" Theater Entry, the first 2 rows get "full" surround effects, rear seats for overflow/game stations. This is the better theater design but I lose space to side isles and game station setup is more challenging.


Design 4: This is really an alteration of old design 2 that puts the second row back into the center of the room. Allows for more creative "game station" setups and potentially more seating. Would have to give up the cool double entry though.


These are 2 are the finalist for my design options.... Any opinions?

This is the new Full Basement Plan

Joe V
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Dimensions have changed slightly from initial posts so with the extra width I am considering a room-within-a-room design.

The current sound containment plan would include
  • Stud walls all the way around the theater placed 1/2" - 1" away from all surrounding walls and ending 2" below the level of the floor joists above.
  • Ceiling Joists interleaved with the floor joists above resting on the decoupled stud walls about 2" below the level of the floor joists
  • OSB > Green Glue > Drywall on all interior surfaces giving me my "shell". All soffits and columns will be built inside this shell.
  • All lighting, outlet boxes, in-wall speakers and low voltage penetrations will be in the soffit or columns inside of the shell.
  • Penetrations through the shell will include, HVAC Supply, HVAC Return, Main Door and low voltage/electrical wiring.

I will include the EQ room as part of the sound containment envelope.

Rough Plan


SketchUp Top


SketchUp Top Angled


ICF


Floor Ledger


In the last 2 pics I am trying to detail the floor ledger attachment methods and over all ICF construction because the details are different than traditional construction. The basement and both levels above are ICF construction. 8" of concrete on the basement level and 6" on the 1st and 2nd floors surrounded by 2.5" of foam on each side. The flanking paths are different that traditional construction.

Decoupling the ceiling makes sense.
Decoupling the rear wall and the part of the side walls not adjacent to the foundation makes since.
Am I really getting much benefit from placing decoupled walls in front of my foundation walls?
Of course if I don't do the stud walls I can't really float my ceiling joists.
What I am trying to figure out is am I wasting 8" of room width for very little gain?

What do you think of the current plan overall? Any suggestions?

Joe V
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