Starting my Downstairs Home Theater/ Media Room Project (Need advice) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 06-09-2013, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been a member of AVS for a number of years and last week I purchased my first home. It has been very exciting but now that I am starting to settle in, I am wanting to start my long term project to turn the downstairs bonus room into a home theater / media room.
I have decided a few things off the bat.

1. I don't want to have it be a dedicated (cave) theater with dedicated seating. I want to have a large L shape couch at first but maybe have the option to expand upon that later down the road.

2. A drop ceiling with insulation is a must to deaden the sound and give me a place to run cables. The sound goes right through the ceiling into the master bedroom above. That is a big No No for my wife rolleyes.gif

3.I want to build 5 or 6 large sound panels and place them on the walls. This should greatly help with the echos. I am not sure about adding a bass trap yet. (More on that later)

4. I already have speakers, I only need to buy a projector and screen, right now I am only focused on the room itself and what needs to be done to it. I have a limited budget, so I want to keep that in mind and not go all out.


First some information about the room.
The room is on a slab
The room is around 425 sq ft I think.
Ceilings are 10ft high (confirmed)
The walls and ceiling are drywall
I will remove the fan and drop down the lights and AC vents.

Equipment I already have and plan to use for this install
Projector ーSony VPL-HW50ES
pre/pro - Integra 40.2 DTR
Amp - Parasound 2205a
Paradigm Studio Series speakers
Subwoofer ーSVS PB12 NSD

Here are some shots of the room itself, I will try to get some video as well later.

Entrance

Looking right

Looking back at the entrance

Front wall where I want to install a screen

Back of the room , door, and 2 windows and closet.

Back corner where I will put my PC and HTPC.


What steps should I follow before I proceed with this project?
What materials do I need?
What would be a good conservative cost to have this done?
I'm looking for any ideas you guys have for what I can do to this room?

Thanks for the suggestions and advice!
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post #2 of 30 Old 06-14-2013, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Have any of you guys ever used the Armstrong brand of ceiling tiles?
The guy at Lowes recommended using them and said I wouldn't need any additional insulation above them since they can absorb quite a bit of sound.

http://www.armstrong.com/resclgam/na/ceilings/en/us/black-ceiling-panels.html
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post #3 of 30 Old 06-19-2013, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Any ideas guys? I'm going to call a contractor tomorrow.
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post #4 of 30 Old 06-19-2013, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neokeelo View Post

Have any of you guys ever used the Armstrong brand of ceiling tiles?
The guy at Lowes recommended using them and said I wouldn't need any additional insulation above them since they can absorb quite a bit of sound.

http://www.armstrong.com/resclgam/na/ceilings/en/us/black-ceiling-panels.html

Those might be nice to go with but I dont think I'd listen to the guy from Lowes with regards to that being all you need. I'd still look into additional measures particularily if you have a bedroom right above.
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post #5 of 30 Old 06-20-2013, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Any paticular type of insulation I could put in the drop cieling space that you would recommend?
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post #6 of 30 Old 06-23-2013, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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A friend is recommending the a 120inch Dragon fly screen for the room, along with the Sony VPL-HW50ES
I am pretty confident in the projector but I'm not sure about the screen. Have you guys ever used one before? I think the gain on this one is around 1.2 which I think would be perfect.
Here is a link to it-->http://www.snapav.com/p-353-df-sl-120-mw.aspx

Im going to have a black drop cieling and I will buy a large black rug to go on the ground beneith the projector, I don't think I am going to pain the walls at this point though.
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post #7 of 30 Old 06-29-2013, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Had a little time today to paint the front wall. Went with a flat black, looks pretty good since it has dried, still have a few places to touch up later.


*
*



The Dragonfly 120inch Matt White screen is in....biggrin.gif
*

http://www.snapav.com/p-353-df-sl-120-mw.aspx
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post #8 of 30 Old 06-30-2013, 06:15 AM
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That's gonna be nice. Looking forward to more progress pics.
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post #9 of 30 Old 07-01-2013, 02:46 PM
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You have a nice room. I wish I had something that large.

Don't expect any significant soundproffing with a drop ceiling regardless of the tile you choose. You may get some high frequency filtering with some Roxul Safe-n-Sound, but mids and especially low frequencies will poor through there like water through a sieve. You would really have to take the room down to the studs, install clips and channel, green glue and double drywall layers to achieve any measureable soundproofing.

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post #10 of 30 Old 07-01-2013, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea, I plan on building 5 or 6 sound panels with the 4 inch thick ownes Corning 703 material to help with echos and bass traps. I realize I can't sound proof the room without spending a lot of money but the drop ceiling offers to others advantages,
It gives me a place to run my cabling and gives me better contrast with it being a black ceiling.
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post #11 of 30 Old 07-02-2013, 07:35 AM
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Yeah, I guess I can't say I understand the purpose of the black drop ceiling. You say that you don't want a dedicated cave. Your ceiling will absorb a lot of light and really make the room feel dark. This is great in a dedicated space, but it may be overwhelming for a multipurpose space. Especially one as large as that. When you look at some of the dedicated builds, the builders often talk about how depressing the rooms become after they spray the room and ceiling black. The room just sucks so much light it becomes hard to be in.
Also, it's hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like your ceiling fan is very close to where you would want to hang your projector, meaning you already have power in the right spot. It wouldn't take much to pay someone to fish an HDMI cable to through your ceiling as well. Speaker wires can be run behind your baseboards.
If you do the drop ceiling, are you going to run a down tube from the existing ceiling to support the projector?

Most people around here would give their spouse for a room that size with 10' ceilings. I know mine would. Just seems like a waste of time and money for something that would arguably be very little benefit.

Just my two cents, probably worth what I charged.

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post #12 of 30 Old 07-02-2013, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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How can I run all my wiring and cables without the drop ceiling?
I think I will have too much to run for it all to fit in the baseboards.

I think that would be a mess with tear out and reinstall. I need to run cat6, hdmi, power, at least.
Also I think the main purpose of the room will be to unwind after a hard day,relax, watch a movie, and the ocasinal lan party with friends.

I am leaving the walls in their original color but I think I need the drop cieling black to help with the contrast and overall mood of the home theater.
I spoke with a contractor last week and he said adding some insulation would greatly help with the sound in the room.
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post #13 of 30 Old 07-02-2013, 08:48 PM
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How about a light tray running around the permiter of the the room. You can make it big enough to hold your wires as well as some LED rope light.


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post #14 of 30 Old 07-03-2013, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neokeelo View Post

How can I run all my wiring and cables without the drop ceiling?
I think I will have too much to run for it all to fit in the baseboards.

I think that would be a mess with tear out and reinstall. I need to run cat6, hdmi, power, at least.
Also I think the main purpose of the room will be to unwind after a hard day,relax, watch a movie, and the ocasinal lan party with friends.

I am leaving the walls in their original color but I think I need the drop cieling black to help with the contrast and overall mood of the home theater.
I spoke with a contractor last week and he said adding some insulation would greatly help with the sound in the room.

Take a look at my thread (link below in sig line). I was able to run speaker wire (for left, right and center speakers) as well as coaxial cables (for dual subs) in my already FINISHED front wall. After removing the old baseboards, I neatly cut the bottom 4” of my drywall out (in 18"-24” sections) along the front wall. This allowed me to fish/run the speaker wires horizontally across that wall and then I just fished them up at the appropriate speaker locations with my tape. You see, the stud running along the floor had about an an inch and a half space between it and the poured concrete wall behind it (lucky). I was able to run a fish wire back there and get all the wiring I needed moving in both directions. Eventually I am putting back 5 ¼” tall OG baseboards back throughout the basement so I just cut strips of drywall to fill in what I cut out. If you watch my very first video, you'll see what I mean:

CLICK HERE - at about the 4:00 min mark I show the cut outs on the front wall

At the time I shot the first vid update I was planning to have RTiA7's as towers up front along with a CSiA6 CC speaker. However, I changed directions and went with 3 Polk in-walls up front and 4 more for surrounds and rear surrounds. I couldn't be happier with my decision. My front speakers are all driven by an Emo XPA-3 and they sound BRILLIANT.

I don't know much about your project or your layout but if you are looking to run wires across an already finished wall, this is always an option. If you decided you might want to try it, I suggest cutting one hole and see what you've got behind it. See if you have space behind it to fish wires/cables.

My advice to you is to get all of this wiring done BEFORE you even consider painting. TAKE YOUR TIME AND DO NOT RUSH IT. THINK EVERYTHING THROUGH.

There are a couple of more recent video updates on the thread if you want to see where things are today. smile.gif



Good luck!

A/V Gear: EPSON 5030UB | 100" Elite Screen | Samsung UN46F5500 LED TV | Yamaha RX-A1010 | Emotiva XPA-3 | OPPO BDP-103 | Panamax M5300 Power Cond.| Pro-ject Carbon Debut Turntable | Polk 265-RT (L/R) | Polk 255C-RT (C) | Polk 65RT (L/R SUR) | Polk RC80i (L/R REAR SUR) | PSA XV-15 | Sonos | Apple TV

904WMC Media Room Thread
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post #15 of 30 Old 07-03-2013, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnapolisSony View Post

Take a look at my thread (link below in sig line). I was able to run speaker wire (for left, right and center speakers) as well as coaxial cables (for dual subs) in my already FINISHED front wall. After removing the old baseboards, I neatly cut the bottom 4” of my drywall out (in 18"-24” sections) along the front wall. This allowed me to fish/run the speaker wires horizontally across that wall and then I just fished them up at the appropriate speaker locations with my tape. You see, the stud running along the floor had about an an inch and a half space between it and the poured concrete wall behind it (lucky). I was able to run a fish wire back there and get all the wiring I needed moving in both directions.

That was lucky, and very nice. I hadn't seen your space before, it's nice. Congrats.

You can also do the same thing if you arn't so lucky to have space behind the stud wall by just drilling holes in the studs like below and then just put the drywall back up and cover with your baseboards. No drywall patching required. Maybe just a little painting touch up.


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post #16 of 30 Old 07-10-2013, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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What do guys think about the prices and materials the contractor quoted me?

Included is labour and materials.

#1 Install aluminum drop ceiling on 2x4 pattern, extend hvac duct to allow
drop for mount in drop ceiling, remove all existing reccessed lights and
install junction box at each splice to allow drop for mount in drop
ceiling.
Install 2x4 #769 white flat acoustic tile.

$ 1,964.25
OR
#2
Same as above, except grid to be installed on 2x2 pattern and tile will
be #222 Faux tin black tiles.
$ 3,002.40


Optional insulation
Install R-19 fiberglass batt insulation above drop ceiling.
$ 636.00

Do you guys think those prices and description sound reasonable?

I'm not sure what kind of accustic tiles he is talking about in option #1 but for #2 these are them http://www.decorativeceilingtiles.net/222-faux-tin-ceiling-tiles-24x24-black/

Has anyone ever used these? They certainly look nice but at $10 each are quite expensive.
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post #17 of 30 Old 07-10-2013, 04:43 PM
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Where you live has a lot to do with contractor pricing, but I got a quote to completely finish a 1000sq ft basement for 13,000. That included plumbing, electrical, drywall, everything. $3000 seems high for a drop ceiling install. You could do it yourself for hundreds...

"Damn, you can't get black levels like that on your projector!"
- My brother, just before he realized his LED display had died.

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post #18 of 30 Old 07-10-2013, 10:51 PM
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I work for a frame and drywall company. We also install suspended acoustical ceilings. In my market (Las Vegas) your acoustical ceiling price and your insulation price are about 25% high. Ceiling tile 769 is the standard armstrong flat lay in ceiling tile. If you want to install a suspended acoustical ceiling you want a ceiling tile with a high NRC value. You also want to look at the CAC Value. We have completed (2) radio station projects where we used Armstrong - Optima Open Plan. This ceiling tile is 1-1/2" thick and has a NRC value of 1.0. R-19 insulation would do the trick but a mineral wool insulation would be better for sound. You might be better off buying the materials yourself. Then ask someone at the supply store for a number of someone who will install for cash.
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post #19 of 30 Old 07-11-2013, 05:10 AM
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I work for a frame and drywall company. We also install suspended acoustical ceilings. In my market (Las Vegas) your acoustical ceiling price and your insulation price are about 25% high. Ceiling tile 769 is the standard armstrong flat lay in ceiling tile. If you want to install a suspended acoustical ceiling you want a ceiling tile with a high NRC value. You also want to look at the CAC Value. We have completed (2) radio station projects where we used Armstrong - Optima Open Plan. This ceiling tile is 1-1/2" thick and has a NRC value of 1.0. R-19 insulation would do the trick but a mineral wool insulation would be better for sound. You might be better off buying the materials yourself. Then ask someone at the supply store for a number of someone who will install for cash.

This is really good information. And a good idea to buy the material yourself. Most contractors I know will make a profit on their materials. Some of that is offset by a "contractor discount" they receive, but not all. You could check out Angie's List for other contractors too.

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post #20 of 30 Old 07-11-2013, 06:10 AM
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That was lucky, and very nice. I hadn't seen your space before, it's nice. Congrats.

You can also do the same thing if you arn't so lucky to have space behind the stud wall by just drilling holes in the studs like below and then just put the drywall back up and cover with your baseboards. No drywall patching required. Maybe just a little painting touch up.


You really should do at least a fire coat of mudding before those baseboards go back up. 1/2" drywall is a fire barrier that takes a fire about 45 minutes to get through, and you just killed that safety factor and provided a
short cut for the fire to get into the wall cavity.

The suspended ceiling is also pretty easy DIY job if you invest in a rotary laser level. Assuming you can hit the wall and ceiling studs.
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post #21 of 30 Old 07-28-2013, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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My rack is in and finally put together. I am happy with it. I still need to buy 2 shelves for it though. It is a Royal Rack 21U I got off of eBay for $200.
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post #22 of 30 Old 08-01-2013, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Is it ok to go ahead and get my screen installed and mount my projector before I start installing the drop ceiling and dropping the lights and air units? Basically I need 3 things to mount the projector? A universal mount, a extension rod that goes in it to lower the projector and a ceiling plate that the projector sits in like this? http://amzn.com/B0006ZBHTW
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post #23 of 30 Old 08-01-2013, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neokeelo View Post

Is it ok to go ahead and get my screen installed and mount my projector before I start installing the drop ceiling and dropping the lights and air units? Basically I need 3 things to mount the projector? A universal mount, a extension rod that goes in it to lower the projector and a ceiling plate that the projector sits in like this? http://amzn.com/B0006ZBHTW

If you install the screen an projector first you may lose motivation to finish the project because you are busy watching movies. Also there is the risk of the screen getting damaged or dirty and construction dust is the enemy of projectors.

For the mount you can use the $82+ ceiling plate you linked to or you can just go get one of these for probably $3-5:

You can find 1.5" threaded pipe flanges like this at any local hardware place... then you just mount this to the "real" ceiling, make sure to find a joist, and use a longer drop pipe. Cut a hole in the ceiling tile... put the pipe through and put it all together and you will have saved $50-100 and will have imho a cleaner looking install.

Also, I highly recommend the Chief mounts... good choice there.
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post #24 of 30 Old 08-02-2013, 11:26 AM
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I wouldn't risk your PJ and screen to a contractor's "oops." Plus, it's more motivation to get it done.

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post #25 of 30 Old 08-02-2013, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Im going to setup the screen tomorrow and decide on a final postion for my rack. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
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post #26 of 30 Old 08-04-2013, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Tonight my friend and I assembled the screen and installed the top and bottom bracket.
After multiple attempts we could not get the screen to lock into place at the top and bottom grooves. This is the dragonfly Matt white 120". The instructions say to let the screen hang on the top and raise it into place on the bottom so it will lock into place but we could not get The top and bottom to do this. I'm going to contact the dealer tomorrow and see if he can help us mount it. What sucks is I will still need to take it down again once we put the drop ceiling in in a few weeks. frown.gif. O well this is turning into a longer project than I imagined.



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post #27 of 30 Old 08-07-2013, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I got the screen mounted. turns out the bottom bracket causes problems and the dealer told me to take off. Also Look what came in yesterday

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post #28 of 30 Old 08-07-2013, 10:08 AM
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Sucks about the frame. Awesome in the PJ arriving.

My Basement HT/Gaming/Bar Space.

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Epson 8350 on a 100" Visual Apex screen, Pioneer VSX-53, Polk RTi A5(x2) CSi 5 RTi A1 (x2) RTi 4(x2), Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX, PS3, XBox 360 with HD-DVD add-on.
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post #29 of 30 Old 08-07-2013, 10:36 AM
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Saw this thread and thought it would be right up your alley:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1485023/a-non-paint-solution-for-creating-a-totally-non-reflective-surface-for-drop-ceilings-or-wall-ceiling-apps

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post #30 of 30 Old 09-03-2013, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I am still waiting on a new quote from a friend who is going to help me install the drop ceiling. It's
Going to be about a 8 inch drop and I'm going to use these tiles with a black grid. http://www.lowes.com/pd_89091-61-1728ABL_0__?productId=3068429&Ntt=fine+fisured&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dfine%2Bfisured&facetInfo=

Here are a few shots of my system hooked up. I watched Oblivion last night and it looks amazing on the Sony 50ES. The rack will be moved into the corner along the side wall later.




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