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Old 05-28-2009, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, since I've actually started framing the HT, I figured it's time to start my build thread so I can find out everything I'm doing wrong just after I do it.

I've been a long time lurker and dreamer on AVS and after relocating last fall I finally have a house with a room suitable (I thnk) for a HT build. We bought the house new, but already completed, so I claim no responsibility for the HVAC vent running the full length of the room and the fact that the main PVC drain line for the house also runs through the room. I don't plan on trying to soundproof the room all that much. I'll insulate the walls and ceiling, use 5/8 drywall, and maybe integrity gasket, make sure there aren't outlets in the same stud cavity on both sides of the shared wall, ... but that's about it. As far as sound treatments go, I plan to DIY some base traps in the corners behind the screen wall initially. Then I'll see how it sounds and decide if I want to go further. Basically, I want to do what I can to not ruin the room and keep future options open. I want to get the theater up and running as quick as possible, then tweak it if I'm not satisfied.

I'm going to try and keep this first post updated with the current status and plans.

Room specs:
Location: Basement under the Laundry Room & Master Bath
Size: 22'7" x 12'3" x 8' (as low as 6'5-1/2" on riser under soffit)
Notes: No windows, 2 exterior concrete walls, 1 36" door.

Equipment:
Denon AVR-988 Amp
Boston Acoustics VR950 Fronts, VR910 - Center, VRS - Surround, TBD - Surround Back, PV600 - Sub
Custom built HTPC
Vudu BX100
Projector - Panasonic PT-AE400U (Arrives 1/5/2010)
Screen - Seymour AV Center Stage XD

Sketchup plans:
Top

Side

3D


Status:
5/25/09 - Moved door forward in theater to allow full width riser in the back. Should allow 4-wide seating.
5/26/09 - Framed left side wall.
... (slow progress)
11/13/09 - Insulated and started putting on Integrity Gasket
12/07/09 - Integrity gasket finished and ready for drywall
12/12/09 - Drywall hung
12/22/09 - Drywall mudded, taped, and textured
12/30/09 - Started priming ceiling and walls
1/10/10 - Riser frame built
1/17/10 - Riser completed and ceiling and walls painted
1/19/10 - Stage built
1/24/10 - Temporary screen test
-John
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are some pics after moving the door:
Looking from rear of theater to future screen wall.


Newly relocated entrance.


Yes, the main drain line for the house runs through the HT!


Back left


Back right


HVAC run full length of room + some plumbing.


Possible equipment rack location. But, it might be hard to access behind back row of seats if we go 4 wide.


-John
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:57 AM
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Is that a domesticated cow in those pictures?
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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No, that's just Howie my Border Collie/Husky mix. He has an uncanny ability to always be in the way, especially when you're carrying something heavy.

-John
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:48 AM
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lol! I thought that was a chair made out of a cow hide!
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmm... Cowhide theater seating. I don't think the wife would approve.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, so here are some things I've been pondering:

Since the right soffit is basically filled with HVAC venting, I can't put recessed cans in it. This leaves the options of:
1) 5" Cans in the ceiling between the soffits. However, I'd like to leave the option of adding a starfield there in the future.
2) Rope lighting in crown molding on the soffits. I'm planning on doing this at the moment.
3) Wall sconces of some kind, probably 2 on each side wall and 2 on the back wall.
4) Puck lighting in the curved detail above the screen for stage lighting and to get the cool light effect on the screen

I don't think the rope light and sconces will be enough light. Of course this will all be controlled by a Grafik Eye and be set up in Zones from front to back in the theater, so I can have lights on in the seating area while still keeping the screen area dark.

2.05:1, 2.35:1, 2.39:1, or 2.4:1 AT screen? Seymour Center Stage XD or SMX material? Can you even get just the SMX screen material for DIY?

Buy rear surrounds to match my existing Boston speakers, or pick what I'd like to upgrade the rest of the system to at some point and start with those? On-wall, or in-wall?

Where do I put the equipment rack?

Oh, and the HDMI 1.4 announcement today means any cable I buy now to run to the projector is outdated before I even put it in! AARRGH!

-John
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Old 05-30-2009, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeterfood View Post

I don't think the rope light and sconces will be enough light. Of course this will all be controlled by a Grafik Eye and be set up in Zones from front to back in the theater, so I can have lights on in the seating area while still keeping the screen area dark.

[snip]
Oh, and the HDMI 1.4 announcement today means any cable I buy now to run to the projector is outdated before I even put it in! AARRGH!

-John

couple comments -

That's a big room for only 4 sconces - consider going w/4 sconces on the side wall + 2 rear. Pick sconces that can put out some light since you will have them on a dimmer anyways. In my old room I had a couple cans that I never used, and six sconces w/100w bulbs. My ceiling was a lighter blue, but the rest of the room was dark. That said, the cans were used for clean up and that sort of thing. I don't think you really have much of a choice here if you want to do a star ceiling - - unless you do a "window to the stars" design w/cans in the perimeter. Take a look at Swithey's thread for an exceptional example of that approach (sort the forum by views, his thread is in the top 5 or so).

For the second issue, say it loud and proud - Conduit to the PJ, 2" or greater.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeterfood View Post

Can you even get just the SMX screen material for DIY?

Not anymore. You can however get the original SMX material before Ruben had a custom weave made. It was also the first Seymour fabric. It is a little more sensitive to moire and you need to rotate until you minimize that effect.

It is Pfeifer sheerweave 4500 in caulk color.

http://www.interiormall.com/cat/nsam...=113044&t=2270
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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BigmouthinDC,

Thanks for the responses.

I think we're going to go with 4 sconces (2 on each side) + 4 cans in the room (2 more behind the screen wall).

-John
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Finished framing the walls this weekend. Got the first bid for the HVAC work required before I can build the soffits. Seems a bit high, so time to get a second opinion.

The other thing really holding us up a the moment is deciding where to put the AV equipment.
* The front and left walls (from the rear) are concrete, so no space there.
* Facing the back wall, the left 1/3 is open to the stairway landing, the middle 1/3 is a closet under the steps (angled ceiling), the right 1/3 is an open space about 4' high under the stairway landing.

* The right wall is shared with the Living Room/Rec Room.

I was originally planning on a low rack in that 4' open space in the back left of the theater. However, once the riser is in (10-12", still debating that too), it's only 3' high and if I put a full row of 4 berklines back there I can't center them, or they'll block access to it.

Options as I see them:
1) Shove rear seating off to 1 side and put it where I originally planned (wife doesn't like this idea)
2) Put equipment in closet under Steps. Have to walk completely out of theater to change DVDs/reboot misbehaving equipment.
3) Build vertical rack in front screen wall on one side of screen. Was originally planning a 110" wide 2.39:1 screen, which doesn't leave enough room in a 147" wide room. Seating distances are approximately 12'4" and 18'4", so maybe 110" is too big anyway? Plus, I don't really want equipment lights distracting from the screen. Hide behind GOM panel?
4) Build a horizontal rack/entertainment center in the front screen wall under the screen. Again, don't really want the equipment lights distracting from the screen, so I'd need some way to cover it.

Any other ideas?

-John
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:58 AM
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Hi John,

Nice looking space you have. I'd vote for option #2 if it gives you the freedom to design the HT the way both of you like with no eq lights and keep the eq heat out of the room. You could also put the eq behind a fabric panel BELOW the screen - option #4. That wouldn't impact the width of your screen but maybe heat would be an issue? I don't know. Perhaps someone else will weigh in on that.

Good luck

Clearly, I'm a man of action - just give me a few minutes to think about it.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:43 AM
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Hi John,

Welcome to the forum and to the madness.

Your situation reminds me a lot of my situation when I was first starting out.

I found a new construction home which was already built. I also built the room without focus on sound isolation and did stuff all areas with insulation. I know your constrained on width but you have pretty good length, you may just want to reconsider sound isolation if you plan to use the room on your own, it will bother the Mrs.

Anyways, if you care to look at my thread linked below you will see that I did eight 4 inch cans inside the theater room. 6 from the front row leading up to the screen and the 2 built into the soffit for the back row. I didn't do sconces because like you I am constrained width, my room is 11'5" wide. I also did four 3" gimbal lights on the curved soffit for the screen wall which wash down nicely onto the screen.

I also used the Phifer Sheerweave which you and others mentioned above and it is a fantastic screen material. You may also want to check AVSeymour's new XD sheerweave material. It is an improved version with a tighter weave but comparible AT and a lot less moire issues.

A starfield was an afterthought for me so like Dave suggested above I did a skylight treatment in order to get this accomplished. I was able to fit a 4x6 panel in between the recessed lights and trimmed it off with crown. Got my idea from swithey so definately check his out. His hangs down though while mine is flush to the ceiling. Whatever you do, (if you are planning to try and do this later on) run a counduit from where ever you think you would house the light unit to get power (i.e. equipment closet) to the center of where the starpanel would be. Then you can easily fish fiber optics there.

Stardesigner is now offering wireless solutions so you may be able to get away with just making sure that you run an electrical wire in the ceiling to later on provide power to the units which can go right above in a star panel.

As far as equipment closet, it really isn't that bad to have it outside the room, though it would seem for you it would have to be around the corner. Mine is just outside the door, so going to it is not a big deal. So long as you have either a good IR network or RF to control the equipment you shouldn't have to actually go to it to often other than the occasional DVD change. Not often I'll watch 2 movies in a row. Maybe a movie and then some cable or vice versa. Sometimes some PS3 and then a movie. If you ever go with a HTPC solution it would certainly become less of an issue if you store your movies on a hard drive or NAS.

Let us see a floorplan of the rest of your space and maybe we can try and offer something better, but it would be worse IMO behind your back row seating. Good luck.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:47 AM
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I like #2, or in some other not-in-the-theater location. That eliminates heat, noise, and light... all big pluses.

Also, be sure to include a FDS (full dog shot) some time.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Also, be sure to include a FDS (full dog shot) some time.

OK, long time with no updates, but here's the FDS:
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:44 AM
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Looks like you've been busy! Where did you end up putting the equipment space?

Greg
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:50 AM
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Finally a full shot of the dog! Build looks to be progressing nicely. Is that the rack opening in the upper left of the last pic?


Good to see another guy on here.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like you've been busy! Where did you end up putting the equipment space?

The equipment rack ended up in the closet under the steps. I borrowed the rack design from guamguam's build here, but I went with black supports.



I just realized I didn't take a picture of all the wires and conduit heading into it. Doh! If you look at the back of the room, you can see some of the wires headed in there in this early picture.



I still need to figure out how to get some airflow in the closet. I currently have an ancient PC driving my Nuvo whole house audio system and it gets detectably warmer in there if I leave the door closed. I think my only real option is to open up one vent up high into the stairway and one down low into the area under the steps. Hopefully convection will do the rest, but I guess I can add a fan of some kind if that's not enough.

-John
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Photo catchup 1 - Post insulation and during integrity gasket install:




















-John
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Photo catchup 2 - Integrity gasket finished and drywall stacked and ready to go:












-John
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Photo catchup 3 - Exterior showing equipment rack location:











-John
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Photo catchup 4 - Drywall!











-John
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
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-John

Nice solution to an annoying bumpout for a sewer cleanout....are you going to put a side surround speaker there?

John
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Nice solution to an annoying bumpout for a sewer cleanout....are you going to put a side surround speaker there?

Yep. For now all the edges are finished with rounded corners (more pictures to come this weekend).

The plan is eventually for the bottom to be wood-covered with a pop-out panel to hide the clean-out. The bump-in part will house the side surround with AT fabric covering it. The top will have crown molding.

-John
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, the theater has progressed quite a bit, but I'm finding I suck at keeping this thread up to date...

The ceiling and walls are painted. The ceiling is Behr Premim Plus Interior Flat Cinema Star (DC4C-20-4). It's a really dark brown, that almost looks like black. The walls are Flat Enamel Hawaiian Cinder (S-G-710). which my friend claims looks like dried blood, but my wife and I really like it.

The lights are all up and hooked to the Grafik Eye, though the recessed lights still need their trim rings installed. We decided to go with with Murray Feiss WB1220ORB sconces. They look great, except for one small problem. The base plate isn't wide enough to completely cover the hole in the drywall from a round plastic light box. I have since found the same comment on many online lighting stores selling them. Oh well, some drywall compound and some paint should be able to fix the problem.



The riser is done, though I might need to make it a bit taller. More on that later...

The stage is built, but still needs to be filled with insulation and permanently fixed in it's final location.

A temporary screen wall was built to figure out what size screen I want to go with. To go along with this, I broke the cardinal rule and set up the projector in the room. I didn't hook up any audio though, so it's not going to keep me from finishing.

Pictures starting in the next post.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Riser construction.









I used 2x4 pressure treated on the bottom running across the theater, then standard 2x6 running perpendicular to that. It's capped off with a layer of Integrity Gasket and 3/4" tongue-and-groove OSB.

Just a friendly reminder, T&G OSB is < 48" wide when pushed together. My room is almost exactly 12' wide, so I though 3 sheets should fit perfectly right? Doh! Pretty simple fix though, and no one will ever see it under the carpet.

When my wife and I were testing out the riser height, it turns out that for a 120" wide 2.4:1 screen, if we both sit fully upright the front person's head cuts just a bit into the bottom of the screen. If we both slouch a bit, pretending we're in reclining Berkliners, the problem may go away. Unfortunately, raising the riser or the screen to fix the problem both have issues.

Raising the riser:
The step up onto the riser is partially under the soffit. As it is now, there is only 6'4" between the top of the riser and the bottom of the soffit (without carpet). I think we could safely raise this another 2", but my wife doesn't agree.



Raising the screen:
No go. In my tests I had it pushed to the bottom of the soffits with a 4" gap for the velvet wrapped frame I plan on building.

Any great ideas?

-John
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Stage construction.











The back of the stage is about 27" out from the wall. I'm not building it all the way to the wall, because I don't want to have to fill it with sand. The speakers will be on their own MDF stands, which I will fill with sand.

-John

I used the 2 screws and a string method to draw the curve for the front of the stage on the ground. Then I laid out each joist one-by-one and transferred the length and angle to it. Once I had them all done, I nailed it all together (in 2 pieces in the Family/Rec Room) and cut strips of 1/4" Luan plywood to wrap the front. I still haven't decided if I'm going to cover the Luan with carpet, or with another layer of a nicer wood and stain it.

I flipped the whole thing over onto the OSB sheets and using the pencil notches in my framing square, I drew a line 1-1/2" offset from the face of the stage and used a jig saw to cut it out. I originally tried just using the stage as a guide for the jigsaw, but it kept turning in on me and just generally didn't work.

Finally, I put Integrity Gasket on both the bottom and top of the stage to try and prevent any vibrations and placed the two halves in the theater and screwed them together. Then I slapped on the OSB top and put a few screws in just to hold it.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Current pics from today's screen test.











I had some muslin-like light brown fabric laying around that I had used as a photo backdrop, so I stapled it to a quickly built temporary screen wall to check screen distance and size.

I think I'm going to bring the back of the stage forward about 3" to 30" out from the wall when I put in the insulation and permanently attach it. At it's current position, the 120" screen looked great from the front row at about 11.5', but it seemed a little small from the back row at 16.5'. This will also make it a bit easier to maneuver around back there when setting up the speakers.

The black fabric hanging on the screen is black stretch velvet from JoAnn fabrics that I plan on using to cover the screen wall around the screen. It seemed sparkly when my wife brought it home, so I wanted to make sure it wouldn't be distracting. I turned out to be worried for no reason. As long as the projected image isn't directly hitting it, which it won't be, it's plenty black.

-John
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:54 AM
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Looking good John!

Here's a tip on the riser height problem you have (similar to me)...just build a 2"-4" (whatever is needed) mini-riser on top of your existing one. This mini one would only come out from the back wall just far enough to sit your rear seating on, maybe 4' or so.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:13 AM
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Nice PJ mount. I gotta get me one of those!

Great progress!

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