Theater of Payne (working title) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, So my last name is Payne that's what the title means, not the Motley Crue album (not that I have anything against the Crue).

As suggested I decided to create a dedicated home theater post. I am hoping to build this out now while my house is being built (scheduled to be done by March 2009). But I may have to wait some time in the future to work on it.

First here are my floor plans.
First Floor
Basement
Theater Design

I originally planned on doing the HT room a few years from now and I researched it for a long time, but since this is a showcase house my builders are willing to give a discount on the cost of building one (not sure the price on that yet though). So because of this I have been doing nothing but thinking about this all day long for the past two weeks (and probably will every day from now on). I hardly get any work done during the day now. I have the plans right in front of me.... so much work... so little time.

So where do I start (yeah loaded question).
I think I would start by looking at other theaters.
My all time favorite theater and the one I would like to model after is
SandmanX
Of course I am not handy and there is no way my accounting department (wife) will approve that P.O.
My room dimensions are pretty similar to his. Length: 21-8 1/2 X Width: 16-3 1/2 X Height: 9
I would like to enter the room from the back. Coming down the stairs from the first floor you would end up on a platform above the floor at the bottom (size and height undetermined yet). From their you would walk into the room, I imaging about 3 feet in then you would hit the back row of seats, steps going down the side of each side down to the front row of seats (lighted steps), then again steps down to the floor. on the other end I would like to have a few steps up for a stage (again just like SandmansX).

Here are some things that I would like to do. So hopefully I can figure out what I have to do now, and what things can wait to do later. So keeping that in mind, I need to make sure I do anything I can upfront so I don't screw myself in the future.

Star light ceiling - Like to have the border in blue lighting like Sandmans (the one half way down on the page). I would like a few shooting stars and some different color stars. I also heard\\seen that you can do some constellations, I think that it would be really cool to have all the family members constellations up in the sky. My son would get a kick out of it and could point it out when he is in there.
Front Stage - Big enough for the screen, speakers, motorized curtain, etc
Acoustical treatments to make the inside of the theater sound good.
Equipment rack on the back left half of the room. The front of the rack would be inside the HT, while the back will be a network closet for all my home run wiring of the whole house (noisy network equipment though that I would have to deal with).
Big comfortable chairs, motorized with butt kickers.
(This is all I can think of right now).

Things I need to find out.
Theater construction, what to start with, how it is built (again I am not handy so I will have to rely on the builders for the bulk of the work). My builders have done some home theaters, but just a regular room, no sound proofing. I know I have seen DD\\GG suggestions but I am not sure how I can convey that to the builders other than saying read AVSforums.
Screen size - how big can I go, I prefer to keep it big, but I don't want it to look like crap.
Risers - position, height, distances, etc
Stage - position, screen wall, motorized curtains, etc
Speaker placement
Lighting

Wow that is a lot, basically it would be great to see a list of
Do this first, then this second, then this third, etc (if such a thing exists).
Of course cost is the biggest issue and with some of these HT I know sky is the limit. I basically want to do anything can do now that I won't be able to change in the future (well without a complete demo). So things like equipment will be lower on the list of things to get for now, these are things I can upgrade later.

I am sure I will post tons of more stuff later..... actually probably in 5 minutes since this is all I can think of.


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post #2 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 12:31 PM
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Just two quick thoughts:

1) Why do you have a riser under your front seats? Is it because the speakers push the screen up? You might get a much better arrangement if you sacrifice 2' of room depth, go with an acoustically transparent screen, and put your speakers behind. Then you could lower the screen, lower both risers, and your center speaker would be dead center screen.

2) It seems like you could go with a wider screen. Have you considered a 120" x 50" 2.35:1? Many of the projectors will allow you to zoom out and get 2.35:1 at that size. Your seating distance will definitely support it.

Paul Meyer
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post #3 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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pmeyer,

The risers were only just a thought, it doesn't matter to me really... I just like the stadium type seating.
The speakers behind the screen is an idea, I don't really know to much about that yet. I would assume then that the front stage would be bigger and the screen would be off the wall to allow the speakers to be mounted behind them?
I would like to go with the biggest screen size I can, I don't really want to do a big room like this and only have 100" screen.

Thanks for replying.


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post #4 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so a friend of mine had a great suggestion. Put away all the things I want and can do in the room and and come up with a priority list of the most important thing I want. So here it is in order, not that I don't think they are all important, this is just the order I would prefer.
1. Seating, being comfortable is the most important to me. I don't care how good the move looks or sounds, if you are uncomfortable it ruins the movie.
2. Sound quality, I think sound and video go hand in hand, but if I had to choose one more important I would say sound
3. Video quality, see 2
4. Looks and feel of theater (decent colors, curtains, star ceiling, columns, stage, etc)
5. Sound proofing.

I know everyone will have different priorities, but these are mine. If I can do all of them and stay in budget then GREAT.


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post #5 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epayne11 View Post

Ok, so a friend of mine had a great suggestion. Put away all the things I want and can do in the room and and come up with a priority list of the most important thing I want. So here it is in order, not that I don't think they are all important, this is just the order I would prefer.
1. Seating, being comfortable is the most important to me. I don't care how good the move looks or sounds, if you are uncomfortable it ruins the movie.
2. Sound quality, I think sound and video go hand in hand, but if I had to choose one more important I would say sound
3. Video quality, see 2
4. Looks and feel of theater (decent colors, curtains, star ceiling, columns, stage, etc)
5. Sound proofing.

I know everyone will have different priorities, but these are mine. If I can do all of them and stay in budget then GREAT.

I would give some thought to an AT screen as well. I wish I had the room for one, but I would have sacrificed some seating if I had gone that route. It really does solve a lot of other problems if you go that way too.

Seating is important, but I've sat in some nice seats in really crappy environments and it didn't help. The mother-in-law can have a kickass recliner, but you're still listening to her yap while sitting in it, ya know??

You mention sound proofing. Since it's down on the list, what exactly are you hoping to acheive? Do you care about being able to hear the LFE upstairs or will everyone in the house be in the theater when it's being blasted? Those are some things to consider.

I don't think you'll have a problem finding good video and audio. There are tons of options for just about any budget.

I 2nd Pmeyer's comment on the front row riser. I'd kill it like OJ in Brentwood.

Jason


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post #6 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I actually do have some equipment I can re-use if need be.
First I have 2 complete AV setups, 1 is newer and is in my current living room (which I will watch about 85% of the time) and the 2nd one is the older one I replaced with the new equipment.

Here is a list of the older equipment (about 10 years or so) currently in the basement setup and is hardly used.
TV: JVC 30" tube
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V890 (5.1)
Main Speakers: MTX AAL1540
Sub: MTX PSW-101B
Center: Yamaha NS-AC85
Surround: Polk Audio M Series
I also have a nice pair of studio speakers Event 20/20 series.
Laser Disk player (with about 60 movies)
6 disk progressive scan DVD player

Current living room setup
TV: Samsung 50" DLP read projection TV
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR801
Speakers: Bose Accoustimass (I think it is the 15, I have 5.1 but it is cable of 7.1)
Vista Media Center HTPC (dual tuners, plus HDHR)
2 DirectTV satellite HD receivers

I also have a PS3 for blue ray and I will have another Xbox 360 for a media extender.

Things I don't have
Projector
Screen
Theater seating

So keeping all this in mind, I still do need 2 complete sets for the new house, one in the main living room (remember 85% viewing time) and one for the home theater.

I will keep the HTPC in the living room and use the 360 in the theater room. I will put the Bose speakers in the living room (wife likes the small speakers, I actually don't mind them). I will put the PS3 and laser disk player in theater room.

So, I am thinking I could just swap receivers so 5.1 in living room and 7.1 in theater. I could re-use the sub and possibly the center channel. The mains and surrounds are probably too old (still sound nice though). The wife won't allow the Big cabinet mains in the living room. Doing this I will probably save some money and can always be upgraded later.


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post #7 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I will have to do some research on AT screens, no idea what that is, if you have a link handy that would be great.

True about the seating and mother-in-law (actually I am very lucky, my mother in law is better than my mother.... shhhhhh). I do think some of these things overlap or are close, but that is just the list in order if I had a gun to my head and had to choose on the spot.

As far as sound proofing. I am more concerned with sound getting in than out. Sure complete sound proofing would be nice, but not a necessity. The reason why it is low on the list is probably the whole family will be in the room when watching so sound escaping is not a big issue. I am building in the country on a 4 acre lot so I am not worried about neighbors.

Riser, So ok, no front riser then, so riser height 12" then? I do have to be concerned with how low the projector hangs down form the 9' ceiling. So with riser it would be 8', then down another foot (I would imaging) for the projector which would leave 7 feet of clearance.... Sound right?


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post #8 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mn_hokie View Post

I'd kill it like OJ in Brentwood.

Nice, Jason.
Now that I'm done laughing...

Epayne - since you mentioned soundproofing, I suggest you plan/consider/budget for this first to whatever degree you need. It's easy to change/fix many things in your theater later, but really tough to change the construction itself if you are unhappy with it. Some people in this forum have even gone so far as to rip out a newly constructed theater and start over after not being satisfied with the soundproofing situation. It may or may not be a concern for your build, but it's one of the more important things to nail down early.

Mark
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Oh...Johnny, I apologize; I forgot you were there. You may go now.

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post #9 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 08:25 PM
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One more thing...check out the screens forum for tons of info on AT screens, more info on 2.35, etc.

Mark
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Oh...Johnny, I apologize; I forgot you were there. You may go now.

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post #10 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 08:32 PM
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epayne,

Hey its me again, glad to see you have an "official" build thread now. As I was reading your initial post I was truly disappointed you did not reference any of your wants by linking to my theater. Here I have been with you just about every step of the way and for what? For nuthin' That's what. Well now your on your own now buddy boy.

Sorry about that just had to get that off of my chest.

Making a list of your priorities and what you want to achieve with your theater is a great way to start communicating with your AV guys so they know where you are coming from.

I have always believed that the home theater experience is a one, two punch with video and audio. I think they go essentially hand in hand but if you would pin me down I would give the audio as the more important of the two however slight. I would agree that if either one is crappy then the experience as a whole can be ruined.

As far as colors go the "perfect" theater would be totally flat black except for the screen, but who wants to sit in a flat black theater. In choosing your colors typically anything in the deep/dark reds, browns, blues, grays, and of course black is acceptable. Ideally it should be a flat finish but I'm planning on using an eggshell finish. As you go up in the finishes satin, semi-gloss and gloss you are starting to invite shine and reflections from your painted surfaces.

As I have said before just relax, ask a lot of questions, and enjoy this journey.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #11 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 08:45 PM
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here are some screen links for you.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=show

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=561280

And color schemes

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=show


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post #12 of 405 Old 12-02-2008, 09:11 PM
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Or links to MY theater for that matter!!! What's the world coming to?

AT screens are "acoustically transparent" screens. I believe I have AT kids, as whatever I say just passes right through them. Go to a commercial theater and walk right up to the screen. You'll see little tiny holes in the screen. Now touch it (ok. you don't really have to touch it). The holes allow the sound to pass through. The best position for your front channels is in the middle of the screen, but this would block the view, so an AT screen allows you to have the speakers behind the screen. The downside is that you need to bump your screen wall out (I believe 18" is the minimum) but if you have the depth, you can do it.

The rule I learned on color was that white is the worst and black is the best. Start with black and back up to where you're comfortable. My theater is a mix of blacks, browns, and burgundys.

As far as keeping sound out of the room, I went with two layers of drywall, fully insulated walls, and a solid core door. When we're in the theater, I can't hear anything from the outside. Even with the door to the theater and the door at the top of the stairs open, it's still hard for me to hear elsewhere.

On a side note, I'm glad you're not talking about pulling the Bose speakers into your dedicated theater. I think there's some kind of law around that

Jason


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post #13 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey its me again, glad to see you have an "official" build thread now. As I was reading your initial post I was truly disappointed you did not reference any of your wants by linking to my theater. Here I have been with you just about every step of the way and for what? For nuthin' That's what. Well now your on your own now buddy boy.

I started to include a bunch of links to a ton of theaters, I figured there would be way to much.... sorry

Quote:


The rule I learned on color was that white is the worst and black is the best. Start with black and back up to where you're comfortable. My theater is a mix of blacks, browns, and burgundys.

I was planning on going with a deep red for the theater room

Quote:


On a side note, I'm glad you're not talking about pulling the Bose speakers into your dedicated theater. I think there's some kind of law around that

Yeah I know, they were not my first choice, but one night when the wife and I went drunk shopping (that is where you went out drinking, had to much and for some stupid reason you want to go shopping and spend money, usually regretting it in the morning). Out of no where she said lets get a new tv setup.... I didn't hesitate, I jumped at the chance... I used to have those big MTX speakers in the living room that she hated. I actually had a roomate many years ago that was into air brushing. He kept on running out of canvas's and one day when I cam home I found that he used my speaker covers... Anyways, wife was very stern that she did not want big speakers. I have seen many *cough* comments about Bose here and understand most of them. For the main living room TV (85% viewing time) they actually don't sound to bad. Most TV viewing is SD sitcoms or cartoon for the kids.

So what do you think about that Onyko, Do you think I could use it in the home theater for now and switch back to the Yamaha in the living room? Or what about the rest of the parts? We already determined that the bose should stay in living room.

Thanks guys, I appreciate all the comments


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post #14 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Are the AT screen usually more expensive than the standard screens?

Also I wanted to mention about the priority list, that order does NOT signify the amount of money I would spend in that order, it is more of a wish list... If number 5 is the most important, than so be it.


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post #15 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epayne11 View Post

Are the AT screen usually more expensive than the standard screens?

Also I wanted to mention about the priority list, that order does NOT signify the amount of money I would spend in that order, it is more of a wish list... If number 5 is the most important, than so be it.

The Shearweave 4500 material (one of the most used DIY screens) can be had for ~$50/yard. So you could build your own screen for less than $500 for all materials. Way cheaper than buying a premade screen, but requires some work on your part.

Mike

Where am I with my HT build?

Still Dreaming!
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post #16 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epayne11 View Post

As far as sound proofing. I am more concerned with sound getting in than out. Sure complete sound proofing would be nice, but not a necessity. The reason why it is low on the list is probably the whole family will be in the room when watching so sound escaping is not a big issue. I am building in the country on a 4 acre lot so I am not worried about neighbors.

Sounds like you at least should consider double drywall with green glue and insulation in the walls/ceiling and solid core doors.

Quote:


Riser, So ok, no front riser then, so riser height 12" then? I do have to be concerned with how low the projector hangs down form the 9' ceiling. So with riser it would be 8', then down another foot (I would imaging) for the projector which would leave 7 feet of clearance.... Sound right?

Since you will be entering from the back of the room at an already established height, due to the landing from the stairs, I think your "riser height" is already determined as well, no? So the only thing you have to discern now is how many steps do you need to get to the floor at its lowest point. Otherwise you would have to step into the room, step down to the riser height, and then step down again to the floor.

So how high is the the landing where the entrance to the theater is located?

Mike

Where am I with my HT build?

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post #17 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Since you will be entering from the back of the room at an already established height, due to the landing from the stairs, I think your "riser height" is already determined as well, no? So the only thing you have to discern now is how many steps do you need to get to the floor at its lowest point. Otherwise you would have to step into the room, step down to the riser height, and then step down again to the floor.

So how high is the the landing where the entrance to the theater is located?

The landing\\platform is not decided on yet, I just like the idea of walking into a theater room then stepping down. It could be 6" from ground or 24" from ground, doesn't matter to me, I had originally thought the platform would be the same height as the second set of stairs coming down, so basically you would not use the second set of stairs, you would be walking right down to the platform then into the home theater room at what ever height I want. There is a side section of the platform that will step down to the family room, again what ever height I want. Does this make sense at all?

Also about the screen, handy I am not, might be able to get some help, but how is the quality really???


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post #18 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epayne11 View Post

The landing\\platform is not decided on yet, I just like the idea of walking into a theater room then stepping down. It could be 6" from ground or 24" from ground, doesn't matter to me, I had originally thought the platform would be the same height as the second set of stairs coming down, so basically you would not use the second set of stairs, you would be walking right down to the platform then into the home theater room at what ever height I want. There is a side section of the platform that will step down to the family room, again what ever height I want. Does this make sense at all?

In this case I think you would not want the walk in height of the theater to be less than ~8'. This would then give you a ~12" step down to the floor and front seats. But if you want to keep the step height at 8" this would give you a 16" step down (so two steps) down to the floor in both the theater and your family room.

IMO this needs to be decided early on. You want to select the height in which you would walk in (are you sure it hasn't already been decided since you have floor plans?) to the theater.

Quote:


Also about the screen, handy I am not, might be able to get some help, but how is the quality really???

I have not seen one in person but everything that I have read about them is that they have great video quality with no noticeable effect on sound, even with the speakers placed as close as a couple inches from the screen. With the amount of forum members that are using one I would say they are wuite good.

Mike

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post #19 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Sounds like you at least should consider double drywall with green glue and insulation in the walls/ceiling and solid core doors.

All comes down to overall cost. I would love to do it if I can fit it into the budget. At the very least I am going to do a single layer of drywall on the outside of room and a single layer on the inside with insulation in between. If the cost is not that much more for DD\\GG on inside, then I will..

Got a quote back on star ceiling prefab..... 10K.... OMG.. there goes my budget!


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post #20 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 07:31 AM
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OK - I'm glad you're keeping the Bose upstairs. No more talk of that now. You'll notice soon that more hair will grow on your chest, voice will deepen, etc.. The changes are pretty dramatic once you step away from those things.

Does your Onkyo have HDMI? If so, then I'd say there should be no problem using it until you upgrade. Worst case, you can run component video to the projector and just deal with it until then.

Jason


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post #21 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Does your Onkyo have HDMI? If so, then I'd say there should be no problem using it until you upgrade. Worst case, you can run component video to the projector and just deal with it until then.

Yup: Receiver Specs


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post #22 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 07:38 AM
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Then I would say go for it. That stuff is easy to swap out down the road anyway. As far as your question around AT screen pricing, they can get up there. An SMX brand screen was about 2-3x what I'm paying for my screen, just to give you a point of reference. Several members have actually made their own AT screen for a fraction of that.

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post #23 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok.. so then seating, first the chairs... I probably won't be able to afford the to of the line Berkline and some of the prices I have seen, like 3,500. I am sure they have cheaper models, but Ashley's furniture here in town has some of these that are extremely comfortable.. course this could cause passing out during a movie

With a 16-3 1/2 width in the room and knowing I have to get two isle stairs in there is it possible to get 4 seats across, or just three. That picture above is a 2 seat kind of like a love seat on each side. I might consider getting this one for the front row and a 4 position in the back row. Since my wife and I will be the main people watching, kids would be on the floor in front and occasionally a few guest in the back row.


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post #24 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 07:59 AM
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You can easily get 4 seats in a 16ft room. I have a row of 3 across my back wall, and it's just 11 feet.

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post #25 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Next question.
Distance from screen, riser height and seating positions...
AV guy says to put the first row of seats at 11.54' back from screen and the second row at 17.44' back from screen. Both of these measure measurements is for a 100" screen. I want a bigger screen at least 120. A friend of mine has a 10x12 room and has a 120 in it and it looks just fine to me. One row of seats is about 8 feet back... Course he has a really expensive screen and an ok projector.


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post #26 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 08:03 AM
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You may need to ditch your AV guy soon. A lot of this comes down to personal preference. I'm going with a 128" diagonal 2.35 screen. My first row is at 10 feet (roughly) and my 2nd row is at 16 feet. I prefer watching from the back row, but the kids love the front row. Keep in mind, this is all 1080 stuff as well though.

Jason


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post #27 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah it sucks that no one around here seems to no what is going on, I think there main focus is selling equipment and that is it. I would love a 130" screen and it sounds like I could do the same type of distance back. If I can save money on the equipment I already have I could get the more expensive projector. But from what I gather, what ever my budget is, is to spend the most on speakers, then screen, then projector... does that make sense?


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post #28 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 08:41 AM
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I think the rule of thumb in the AV world is 40% on speakers. I personally would use your existing speakers where you can, especially the mains. If you need new surrounds or are doing in-walls, then those would probably be best to get up front. Otherwise, just swap things out as you can. Just off the top of my head, here's how I spent my money (I'm still spending actually).

Screen - $800
Projector - $2500
Receiver - $650
Subwoofer - $475
Speakers - $900 (I got a bunch of these off Audigon and Ebay)
Seating for 6 - $2000

I also have an Xbox360, Ps3, and a power conditioner.

I'd have to go back through the receipts, but I probably spent about $200-$300 on cables, which includes:

500 ft spool of speaker wire
HDMI cable
Component cables
composite cables
VGA
2 x USB cables
optical cables and hdmi for my rack


I did my riser and stage for about $400 total. This includes insulation and sand.

I have a spreadsheet I've been using to track costs, but it needs to be updated before I can post it. The bulk of my build money went to plumbing, drywall, and carpet.

Jason


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post #29 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epayne11 View Post

Yup: Receiver Specs

I just looked at the link you provied and the receiver you linked to does not have HDMI. You will want to run HDMI even if you are not going to use it yet for a future upgrade.

Also be careful about being sucked into the "snake oil" regarding expensive cables and interconnects. You can get everything you need at a reasonable price through monoprice cables. Have purchased several items from them and been very pleased.

Regards,

RTROSE


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post #30 of 405 Old 12-03-2008, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by epayne11 View Post

Yeah it sucks that no one around here seems to no what is going on, I think there main focus is selling equipment and that is it. I would love a 130" screen and it sounds like I could do the same type of distance back. If I can save money on the equipment I already have I could get the more expensive projector. But from what I gather, what ever my budget is, is to spend the most on speakers, then screen, then projector... does that make sense?

IMO if you want to go with a 130 inch screen then you need to consider entering the room from a different location and moving the seats further back.

While it may be hard to visualize why don't you find a room around the approximate size of your theater and construct a make shift screen of various sizes with a bed sheet or something. Then sit at various spots in the room to see how the size feels.

In regards to equipment I would use the Onkyo in the theater for now until you can upgrade later.

Buy new speakers. You can easily get a decent set of speakers for a couple grand. Check out internet direct companies like Axiom, Aperion, AV123 etc. AV123 has a smokin' deal on the Rockets right now, but it has towers for the rear which might not be what you are looking for. Your current crop of speakers doesn't match so go new.

Pick up a decent screen or consider the DIY option we mentioned above.

Pick up a 1080p projector. Right now unless you get a killer deal on a 720p projector, a 1080p projector just seems like the better buy with the size screen and seating distance you plan to have.

Mike

Where am I with my HT build?

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