New Build - Doin' It Right This Time? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-29-2013, 03:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Just found this forum and love the topics and the level of expertise!!

We are just beginning the build on a new home and I have a dedidcated media room planned for the lower level. Room is 12' x 23' with a single small window at the back. I've had a media room in my last house which was pretty basic and want to raise the bar pretty significantly this time. I'm relatively new to the topic and it's been over 13 years since I had ventured into this space.

I have a couple of key questions that I will need to address soon as the plans with the builder are being finalized....

1. Projector vs. plasma tv - I'm not very familiar with projector technology but would love to have the 100+" screen size. How well does a projector compare for color, contrast, etc? Is it suitable for both sporting events and movies? I haven't decided but budget is probably in the $3-4,000 range.

2. 5.1 vs. 7.1 - I have a Yamaha AVR that I upgraded about 2 years ago. It has 7.1 capability. Is this worth the extra speaker expense?

3. Speaker systems - I have a 15 year old set of Klipsch speakers that have served me very well. Considering upgrading and would appreciate any guidance available. I intend that my room will be both for music and movie viewing.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-29-2013, 07:26 AM
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I'd venture to say that you're jumping WAY ahead on the equipment concerns. Equipment is the easiest thing to upgrade. Upgrading the room, not so much. I'd say that you want to spend your money to get the room done properly first.

What are your requirements for using the room? How many seats? Do you want to be able to crank it without disturbing other in the house? Are there concerns about outside noise (HVAC location, traffic, trains, etc). How close are your neighbors? If you look in the dedicated forum, you will see many instances of new builds (or add-ons) in the which the builder/contractor has NO clue about how to build a proper theater room. Which is why they call them "media rooms," because they sure aren't theaters.

You want to do the things that you can't go back and easily redo after the fact. You want to make sure there are enough outlets and lighting circuits. Conduit for wiring, etc. What type of floor is above (carpet, hardwood)? Make sure speaker wiring is run to the proper places (which is HIGHLY likely to be different than where the builder puts them in their package). Mounting the TV above the fireplace is NOT optimal for viewing. If you go the projector route (and personally, I HIGHLY recommend that!) you'll need an outlet and wiring run to the ceiling.

Twelve feet wiide is doable, but tight,. If there is any way to squeeze out another at least 6 inches, it will be a help. Mine was 13' when I started and I ended up at about 12"3. wish I had another foot. But it is what it is.

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post #3 of 4 Old 04-29-2013, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. All great points. Particularly the one about making sure that the room is built correctly and to focus on the stuff that would be hard to correct later. I've just recently found this forum and am working my way through the reading to get a better understanding of what is required to build a quality home theatre.

In response to your questions.....

Would like to comfortably sit 8 - 10 people. Not sure how realistic it is, but would depend on room configuration I suppose.

Plan to use the room for both movies and sporting events. Would also like to have a quality listening experience in the room as well.

Outside noise is not likely going to be a factor but would definitely like to build the room so that it can be used without too much disturbance for others in the house.

I will check the plans for the house again to see if 12' can be stretched a bit. Wondering what would drive the need for the additional width.

Haven't selected the flooring yet, but am partial to hardwood, but wondering if the acoustics would be detrimental.

More to learn for me for sure. Appreciate the advice and tips.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-30-2013, 06:17 AM
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A floor plan would help. You will notice that more pictures will get more (and better) responses. I think you have a LOT of reading to do. The forum search tool is your friend.

What will drive the width is your seating requirements and choice of chairs. Standard reclining-style theater seats are wide. You will not get more than 4 in a12' wide room and then it is REALLY tight. The 23' could get you two rows. But again, build the room and then get chairs to fit. You could MAYBE do two rows of three and a back bar with 3 or 4 bar stools. But again, it depends on the final room configuration. There are far better desginers around than me!

Look in this thread and in the dedicated forum for how people are doing their screen walls and interiors to get some ideas of what you want. Do you want a screen on the wall or to move it out a little and use an Acoustically Transparent Screen (AT Screen)? Where will your equipment go?

I would start reading the THX site for seating and speaker placements, Projector Central for projector distances relative to screen size and the soundproofingcompany.com for basics on wall construction and what to do with the floor above.

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