3 to 5 tips for dual-purpose room theaters - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 08-05-2014, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 0
3 to 5 tips for dual-purpose room theaters

All,

First, I want to thank you guys for posting all of the good information that you’ve made available through this forum. It has really smoothed the learning curve on a subject that I knew absolutely nothingabout just a week ago.

With that said, I’m looking to purchase a home theater system (projector based) for a dual-purpose room (living room and theater) in my apartment. I’ve noticed there have been various issues around this type of set up (unable to mount from the ceiling, washout from bright walls and ceilings,etc.).

I’m looking to get ahead of any issues I may have while trying to create the perfect theater experience for a dual purpose room in an apartment. Could you guys provide me with a list of thetop 3 to 5 headaches you had to deal w/while implementing your theater system?

Thanks,
NiceRental
NiceRental is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 Old 08-05-2014, 10:33 AM
Advanced Member
 
PM-Performance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 840
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked: 109
Make sure to use the projector calculator and understand it fully for each projector you are looking at. Do darker walls and preferably ceiling and floor covering if you can. Block any light from any outside sources that you can easily move to make it livable again after your movie. If you can break the room down to make everything equidecant, it makes life alot easier.

You will have tradeoffs in any room and any setup. Just do the best with what you have and you will find tweaks as you read the forums more and learn more.

PM-Performance is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 08-05-2014, 01:44 PM
Senior Member
 
dzirkelb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Running cabling sucks hard, fishing wires, hiding them, etc. Get past that headache with flatwire (google it).


Blackout drapes for light control. Get side lamps for light if you won't any during movies as you won't be able to adjust your ceiling lights.
dzirkelb is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 08-05-2014, 03:07 PM
Advanced Member
 
weaselfest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Home of the Hawkeyes
Posts: 520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 32
I think the big ones have been hit on.........
1:.running wire in a finished space is always a challenge. If you want to do a professional job of it, you'll probably have to cut and patch some drywall, which really isn't that big of deal if you are painting anyway.
2: light control is imperative, unless you are going to invest in a Screen Innovations black louvered screens. Are you thinking fixed screen or a motorized roller unit? dzirkelb's suggestion of some sort of freestanding task/reading light is spot on, unless you are willing to invest in an electrician an some more elaborate lighting control (Lutron Grafik Eye, or Maestro)
3: Wall and ceiling color dramatically affect the projectors image. Try to find a darker color for your walls. If you can come up with a way to darken at least the first 3-4 feet of the ceiling in front of the screen, it will help keep the reflected light off the screen from bouncing off the ceiling and washing out the picture. There have been some recent posts on wrapping foam core in matte black material and tacking in place as tiles. Prefab acoustical treatments also can work well in this application.
4: Determining image size and projector mounting point can be challenging the first time around, even with online modeling (Projector Central) Purchasing the projector before settling on a screen will give you the opportunity to see how things work in your exact situation. Being able to physically move the operating projector and fiddle with the zoom will give you the absolute best scenario for determining your screen size and location.
5: Sound control: IE, how well built is your apartment building and how cool are your neighbors? It's tough to retrofit meaningfully effective sound isolation, so choose your subwoofer and its location wisely. Does the theater space abut anyone else's apartment on any side? Worst case would be if you have someone below you.

underachiever extraordinaire

Last edited by weaselfest; 08-05-2014 at 03:09 PM. Reason: punctuation
weaselfest is online now  
post #5 of 10 Old 08-05-2014, 03:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
airscapes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 4,628
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked: 112
Everything you do will involve compromise. There will be no PERFECT anything.

Doug

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

 

airscapes is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 08-06-2014, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 0
All,

I’ve used a projector calculator to define the aspect ratio and I’ve researched a couple of projectors and their throw ratio but, I’m almost certain that it’s going to end up being a trial and error process. I like the idea of playing with the projector first to get a good understanding of how things will work. Thanks for that advice, weaselfest.

That brings me to another question, projector selection. What should I look for? I was talking to a co-worker the other day and he said as long as it shows 1080p that I would be satisfied. Is that the only important criteria?

I’m looking to get past the wiring issue by using some high end headphones. I’d really hate to disturb the neighbors w/the rumbles of subwoofers during the night. I’m not sure how great of an idea that would be experience wise. Has anyone ever used headphones for their theater?

I’ve looked at the Screen Innovations solution and some other ambient screen option to help prevent washout. They’re definitely a lot more expensive that I was originally looking to spend on a screen. The only option I could afford would be the fixed option although my original plan was to use a retractable screen. If I were to put a black, wall sized curtain behind a regular retractable screen, would it be much help w/light control?

Thanks again,
NiceRental is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 08-06-2014, 03:44 PM
Advanced Member
 
weaselfest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Home of the Hawkeyes
Posts: 520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 32
You haven't shared a floor plan or photos of the space so we can only speculate about the ambient light issue, but I suspect curtains+paint+inexpensive motorized screen will be less than the SI solution.
Three criteria of projector selection many folks find significant are light output level, usually expressed in lumens, lamp life and fan noise. There are two basic types of projectors in your price range: home theater and business. Business projectors will offer more light output for the dollar, but at a cost of contrast levels. Your home theater projector will feature higher contrast levels and things like multiple HDMI inputs, nicer remote, 3D compatibility. Within both categories you will find projectors utilizing Texas Instruments DLP technology, which requires a spinning "color wheel" to provide the full spectrum of colors. (unless you are willing to make a serious investment in a 3-DLP model) Some people perceive a moire effect (rainbow) from this type of projector. personal experience shows the effect has a lot to do with the specific projector, screen, viewer combination, especially if using an acoustically transparent screen with some sort of perforation or weave. There are some very nice looking DLP projectors in the introductory price range, so don't rule them out on the off chance of problems. All the more reason to buy from someone with good exchange policy.
The other imaging technology is LCD. Usually an array of three, red, green, blue, so no other mechanical devices needed to render all colors. Solid reliable, can be susceptible to shortened life if subjected to extreme long term uninterrupted use. (10 hr continuous or more, not as big a problem as before with the introduction of "organic" LCDs) Viewing distance can reveal "screen door effect" caused by the eye being able to see individual pixels of the LCD panel.
Third imaging tech is LCOS, featured by JVC and Sony. To quote CNET , it's a hybrid of the two. May cost a bit of a premium, but usually looks very nice in a light controlled room.
Lamp life is rarely as good as the manufacturer's claim. The other sad fact is the output level of modern projector lamp is a steep downward curve when plotted against hours of use, meaning it doesn't burn pretty much full strength until death, it is constantly getting weaker and weaker until it fails or you realize that you can't see any detail in dark scenes. or light scenes.
Fan noise is a given. How loud it has to be has a lot to do with where it is in relation to your ears and the ambient noise level of the room.
If you're wearing headphones, it's not an issue. So simple, isn't it.
If you haven't already, spend some time reading up on models you're interested in on the projector forum pages. More real world input from people that already made their buying decision.

underachiever extraordinaire
weaselfest is online now  
post #8 of 10 Old 08-06-2014, 04:41 PM
Member
 
steve1106's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Northern, Va
Posts: 191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 31
I use inexpensive JVC wireless headphones. I have four pairs. Two for the family room 70 inch TV and two for the movie room. Since they are the same, all four can be used in either area. These are great when you don't want to bother other family members late at night.
steve1106 is online now  
post #9 of 10 Old 08-07-2014, 11:45 AM
Senior Member
 
gec5741's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chcago
Posts: 488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked: 44
I don't want to derail the topic but could you provide link to your inexpensive JVC wireless headphones by any chance?

thanks!

As for projector choices another thing to conciser is how important it would be to be able to change aspect ratio's easily or not. There are not many projectors on a budget that have lens memory which would allow you save different zoom and focus selections so basically at a push of a button you can change from 16:9 to scope in a way. There is an older panny that will do it.

Link to my build
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
gec5741 is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 08-07-2014, 12:41 PM
Member
 
steve1106's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Northern, Va
Posts: 191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Per your request, here is the Amazon link for the JVC wireless headphones ($46.24):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

Reviews aren't the best (3 and half stars) because once the battery dies you can't find the replacement without going to China. The key is to get another brand of rechargeable battery and strip a tenth of inch off the label at the bottom/side. The allows the contact inside the headphone to recharge the battery when in is in the charger. My oldest pair is 8 to 10 years old and I was on my 3rd replacement when I found the "fix" on the internet.
steve1106 is online now  
Reply General Home Theater & Media/Game Rooms

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off