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post #1 of 26 Old 07-07-2008, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally I've made enough progress on the theater to start the thread. This theater has been in planning for as long the house has, but of course the house had to come first!

I'm not married/no kids, and the horses are perfectly happy for me to watch movies instead of riding them. The dog likes movies. So I can pretty much do what I want!

Still, this is a theater on a budget. I'm going for a futuristic look. I'm not going for perfect, audio-philic sound, although I'm certainly going to get as close as I can with what I have. Here's the equipment list:

-Panasonic PT-AX200U Projector
-Mac Mini 1.8ghz w/ 2TB storage for DVD rips and videos, and physical DVD's, running Leopard and OSXBMC media player (now called "Plex").
-Dish HD VIP622 DVR
-Kenwood 7.1 THX Ultra Receiver
-Athena 7.1 speaker system with active subwoofer
-Pronto Pro color remote
-8 black leather "Argonaut" theater seats with buttshakers and cupholders
-(Planned) Buttshaker amp (UPDATE: Purchased and installed)
-(Planned) XBox 360 (UPDATE: Purchased and installed)

Here's a snapshot from a Google Sketch-Up model I did of the theater:


Attachment 148355


Here's the reason why it's called the Log Cabin Theater:

Attachment 148356

When I had the house built, I had them build the theater part of the basement with 10-foot ceilings. The dimensions of the room are 16'x24'x10'. Just outside are a half-bath and foyer area where the stairs come down. The foyer will be turned into the concession stand/soda fountain, with a sliding pocket door (using an automatic door slider called a DoorMate). But first, the theater!

Here's a pic of the foundation before the house was built, so you can see where the outside entrance to the theater is:

Attachment 148357
And here's a pic of the basement before anything was done to it, taken from the outside door and facing the screen wall:

Attachment 148358
And after the floor was poured:

Attachment 148359

I didn't get pictures right after the risers were built and carpet installed (bad me!) but here's a couple pictures with the seats in:




Here's a pic of the projector image on the wall before the screen material was put up:



And with the screen material hung and shadow-box framed in:



The center speaker will be moved to dead-center as soon as I remove those two center posts in the framing so they don't block the sound.

Next step is to finish the shadowbox, and install the ceiling, which will be black Armstrong ceiling panels on a black direct-mount frame (mounts directly to the joists so you get an accessible ceiling but don't lose 6-10" like a traditional suspended ceiling. Then the columns (blue acrylic trapezoids) and their lights will be installed.

The wall panels will be 1" thick rigid-foam rectangles covered with black and purple cloth.

I'm doing almost all of this work myself with the help of a couple carpenter friends. The electrical is being done by the electrician who did the house wiring...no sense electrocuting myself or burning the place down!

So if, as I go along, you see anything I might do more efficiently or have any suggestions, please post!

More pics in about 10 days when I get home.

-Equusz
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-07-2008, 10:19 AM
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10 ft ceiling? I am very enviouos Looks really good so far, cant wait to see more pics in 10 days! I will be starting my thread here soon too....
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-07-2008, 01:16 PM
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Awesome theatre in progress, and 10' ceilings.....

Will you carry any of your log home theme into the HT, or from what I can see in your sketch once in the HT you will lose the log home theme?
(which can be a good thing)
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-07-2008, 01:28 PM
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I have one VERY important question, will the sliding pocket door make a pneumatic "whoosh" sound when it opens or closes or will it say aaaaaahhhhhhh like in the Hitchikers Guide To the Galaxy? Also, what are your plans for lighting and sound isolation? The sound issue seems like a null point as you are without a wife or kids and living in a rural area (no planes trains or automobiles making sound outside). I'd also put a money seat front and center so you aren't constantly off to one side of center.

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post #5 of 26 Old 07-07-2008, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

Awesome theatre in progress, and 10' ceilings.....

Will you carry any of your log home theme into the HT, or from what I can see in your sketch once in the HT you will lose the log home theme?
(which can be a good thing)

Yeah I'm getting away from the log and timber theme of the house. From upstairs the knotty-pine door to the theater looks just like a door to another bedroom, but once you open the door you're looking at the purple-carpeted stairs leading down to Future Room. The idea is that the theater will be a completely different feel from the rest of the house.

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post #6 of 26 Old 07-07-2008, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malovich View Post

I have one VERY important question, will the sliding pocket door make a pneumatic "whoosh" sound when it opens or closes or will it say aaaaaahhhhhhh like in the Hitchikers Guide To the Galaxy? Also, what are your plans for lighting and sound isolation? The sound issue seems like a null point as you are without a wife or kids and living in a rural area (no planes trains or automobiles making sound outside). I'd also put a money seat front and center so you aren't constantly off to one side of center.

Heh, the DoorMate is pretty silent. It makes a beep when you push the button but that's it. I think I'll leave it at that.

I'm not worried about sound from the theater going to the rest of the house (although from what I can tell not much goes anyway). Initially I've had a problem with hearing every footstep from the floor above (even the dog walking around - tick-tick-tick-tick), but that has diminished now that I have pink insulation between the joists. I expect that with the added insulation of the air space and the acoustic ceiling panels that it won't be noticeable. If it is, I'll put a layer of SoundBoard on top of each panel.

I'm still toying around with various seating ideas, and a center seat is still a possibility if I can figure out the right configuration. But being slightly off-center from a distance of 16 feet back (center row) isn't distracting at all.

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post #7 of 26 Old 07-07-2008, 05:34 PM
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I always thought the best combination looked like this:
!=!==!=!
.!=!=!=!
With the middle armrests angled pieces.
Best of luck to you.

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post #8 of 26 Old 07-09-2008, 05:28 AM
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I just had an idea, if you did want to make your motorized door make a sound, you could use a programmable doorbell, something like THIS.

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post #9 of 26 Old 07-09-2008, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Ha! That's awesome. But it's a wired doorbell, and the button panel for the opener is wireless. Maybe I get this for the house, though.

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post #10 of 26 Old 07-28-2008, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, finally back at it!

First, some problems with the projector mounting. I have the standard mount for the AX-200 and bolted it to the ceiling joists. But I noticed a lot of image shaking when someone upstairs slammed a door or walked heavy. So I bought a big ass glue-lam beam (5"x9"x17') to tuck between the ceiling joists, spanning the width of the ceiling joists but not touching them or the flooring above (resting on the framed wall that sits above the cement walls of the basement). I remounted the projector mount to this glue-lam:





It has helped a lot but I still notice enough shaking for it to be irritating. But I'm at a loss for what to do now. I don't see a way to do any more structural reinforcement. Is there such a thing as a shock-proof projector mount? Any other ideas? I could build a shelf at the back of the room but that would put my projector 24' from the screen which seems a bit far. I'd appreciate any suggestions on this!

Now, on to the ceiling. Installed the CeilingLink track system today, looks pretty good and is quite forgiving. This installs directly to the ceiling joists so you can put in ceiling panels but not lose a bunch of space like a traditional suspended ceiling:



Side view:



The bottom track is black but since white is cheaper than black and the top track isn't visible when the panels are up, I went with white for the top track. Panels in tomorrow!

Then it'll be on to the equipment closet. Here's a pic front and back (where it daylights into the bathroom for access):





I'm building a black cabinet to inset into the opening and then I'll trim around it and put a glass door on the front.

Some progress, anyway!

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post #11 of 26 Old 07-30-2008, 08:46 AM
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can the ends of the glue-lam beam be put on posts that are housed inside columns?

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post #12 of 26 Old 07-30-2008, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equusz View Post

Now, on to the ceiling. Installed the CeilingLink track system today, looks pretty good and is quite forgiving. This installs directly to the ceiling joists so you can put in ceiling panels but not lose a bunch of space like a traditional suspended ceiling...

I just used Ceiling Link in my basement home theater and was very happy with the ease of installation and the loss of only 1" of headroom.
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post #13 of 26 Old 07-30-2008, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malovich View Post

can the ends of the glue-lam beam be put on posts that are housed inside columns?

That's a damn good idea. Let me check and see if it'll work with my planned column configuration. Thanks!

EDIT: Nope, won't work, one side would come right down in the middle of my equipment closet...

I'm reading about some other possible ideas on another thread, including the possibility that it might be the lens itself shaking (projector has lens shift).

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post #14 of 26 Old 12-14-2008, 01:28 PM
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post #15 of 26 Old 06-11-2009, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I've been overseas for a bit and so busy when I'm home that I haven't had time to post. I actually have finished quite a bit more, and intend to get the bulk done starting when I get home this weekend. Stay tuned for pics!

In the meantime, here's a pic of the bar I built - upstairs, not in the theater. I took all the money I've collected from my travels around the world in the last 20 years, built a bar to put them on, and covered it with epoxy resin. I think it turned out pretty well for an amateur!





(The cup was there so the resin would flow around the hole for the bar gun (coming soon).

And now for fun, a pic of my amazing two-headed horse!


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post #16 of 26 Old 06-11-2009, 04:53 PM
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Cool looking house and love that bar idea!

Did you have the carpet and chairs installed before the drywall was finished??
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post #17 of 26 Old 06-12-2009, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Well it's not drywall, it's cement walls that will be covered by the cloth-covered rigid styrofoam panels, but yeah I did. I just wanted the get things working as early as possible. It IS a pain to work around the carpet and chairs sometimes, but it's nice to be able to watch movies already!

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post #18 of 26 Old 06-12-2009, 11:35 AM
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Great idea on the money.


I have probably 20+ overseas bills from my travels that might look nice also, not on scale as yours. I could do mine in an end table possibly.
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-12-2009, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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The resin is pretty easy to use, just make sure you glue the bills down and seal them with the sealer made by the resin company, or the resin will soak into the paper and darken them.

The good thing about resin as opposed to glass is you can put coins in, too.

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post #20 of 26 Old 06-16-2009, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
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OK the ceiling is finally done! Also the shadowbox is finished, although I don't think I like the purple on the sides so I'm going to pull those panels off and replace them with black like the rest of it. I'll take better pics of that when more stuff is out of the way. But for now, the ceiling:





I painted the tiles black (plus 5 purple for the center accent) and put them up. Then I had to do quite a bit of touch-up painting because it's so easy to chip and mark those ceiling tiles. Fortunately the scuffs and gouges disappear nicely when you go over it with paint. There's a couple wet spots still in the photo you can see where I touched it up, those will go away when completely dry.

Now, on to the back wall! More pics soon!

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post #21 of 26 Old 06-17-2009, 05:50 PM
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Did you ever figure out a solution to the PJ shaking problem?

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post #22 of 26 Old 06-17-2009, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Not yet. With the beam in place it's much less. I may be switching to a ceiling-mounted shelf, which would probably eliminate it.

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post #23 of 26 Old 07-07-2009, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
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OK! Back at it.

First thing to do was to change the purple sides on the shadowbox to black like the rest of it. I just thought the purple was too loud, and drew attention to the shadowbox instead of the screen. I like the result:



Now I just have to build out the two boxes right and left for the subwoofer and subwoofer amp, and cover them with black.

Next, I framed out the false wall along the back wall. This wall is to enable me to inset the speakers flush, as well as the laser stars projector:



I then covered styrofoam insulation panels with black and purple fabric from Dazian, furred out the switches, and hung them on the new framing:


(sorry for the speckles, there was some dust on my lens.)

Also, the blue LED's are up for the columns:



These will be covered by translucent columns with black caps and bases.

Next step, finish building the columns (TAP plastics made the plexiglas part and a woodworker friend is building the frames/caps/bases), then getting the same black and purple panels hung on the walls. More soon!

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post #24 of 26 Old 07-22-2009, 03:23 AM - Thread Starter
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OK I'm having some photo trouble here maybe you can help me with. I'm trying to migrate my photos over to AVS so I'm not linking them from another website which I'm closing soon. But I still want them to display in-line in the post. However, my first attempt, creating an album, isn't working (the "create album" link listed in the FAQ as being part of my profile doesn't seem to exist), and uploading photos in the Gallery doesn't give me any BB code to link to.

My second attempt, uploading as attachments to the post and then placing the attachment marker in-line, just creates a link! That's not what I want.

What am I doing wrong here?

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post #25 of 26 Old 07-22-2009, 04:49 AM
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Looking good!

For the photos, just open a free Photobcket.com account, and upload whatever photos you want there. Then you copy the image links from photobucket and simply paste them into your posts here - voila!

Can you clarify what you learned about the projector shake issue, as I think I will be facing that too. What do you mean by ceiling shelf, and if it's attached to the same joists, how would that be any different than it is currently?

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post #26 of 26 Old 07-22-2009, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the photo info, but I was hoping to be able to do it all from within AVS Forum. If not, I'll do Photobucket.

For the projector shelf, I'm looking at using something like the Draper Aero shelf. It might not do the trick, but it seems like this kind of shelf would disperse the vibrations more than the single bar hanging down from the ceiling that holds the projector now. Sitting flat on a shelf would keep it from swinging. It would make it easier enough to put some type of shock-absorbing material between the mount and the beam.



The shaking has gone down a lot since I put in the glue-lam beam and mounted the projector to that. If it continues, I also have to look into what some have done with putting foam around the lens. Some people have suggested that the "free-floating" design of the shiftable lens makes it more prone to shaking.

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