Vivanco Video - Home Theater Build - AVS Forum
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Dedicated Theater Design & Construction > Vivanco Video - Home Theater Build
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 11:04 PM 09-27-2009
I am starting to finish off my basement. Once finished I will have an office, gym, storage room, living area, bar, bathroom and a dedicated media room. I am doing my best to read up on how best to isolate sound to the room.

Dimensions of the room is basically 11' 7" X 18' 5". The reset front speakers are in a space of 19" wide X 28" deep. The height in the room is 8' 5". The wall between the reset speaker space is 104".

I am building (well not really me but the builders are ) the room with 2x6 and will use R19 insulation. I will be having 2 sheets of 5/8" rock with 2 tubes of green glue between each sheet. There is also Dricore on the floor all throughout the basement (boy was that expensive!)

As you will see below there are no windows so I have complete control of the light. I had some limitations in building the room that goverened its size and placement. There is a furnace to one side and 3 lolly columns that had to be hidden. I think I did a good job enclosing them.

I have a bunch of questions so read on to see the photos and the questions.

Rough Floor Plan


Entering the media room location. On the right hand side is the A/V closet. Just below the main HVAC trunk line, just in front of the lolly column, will be a dedicated media closet. I have an HP rack that I will take the sides, front and back off and use the skeleton on wheels and roll it into the closet. You will see the entrace to the media room on the right hand side.


Straight on view of the media room entrance. To the right is where the A/V closet will be.



I am resetting the front left and front right speakers. This lolly column dictated where the end of the room would be. The screen will be right in front.


View from the other side. The photo is being taken from where the bar/kitchenette will be (more information on that later if there is interest.) I am considering making that reset section into a bench with storage underneath. The kitchen is in this area so additional setting would be nice to have.


Straight on view


We have arched columns on the main part of the home upstairs. I decided to carry the theme down to the basement. So here is the view on the left wall with the reset arches. I believe we will be putting 4" halogen lights on the top of the arches shining down the arch.


The right wall view. You can see the entrance/exit to the media room. The sofit will be angled in with the traditional rope light shining onto the ceiling. You can see yet another lolly that had to be enclosed.


Here are my questions and ideas :
1) My stage to hold the seats will hold 4 chairs in the back row. The middle two will be loveseat style and the end two will have both arm rests.

2) The 2nd row will have 3 seats.

3) My screen will be 16:9 ratio. From what I can tell on Carada's website, my largest screen, if I don't get a perforated screen will be 110". If I cover into the left and right speakers, I could go bigger. My original intention was to just build the wall behind the speakers to hold the left and right speakers and get a perforated screen. I think my new design might be better but I am open to suggestions.

4) I am considering the Panasonic AE3000U because I like it can remember the focus settings so I can easily switch between 16:9 and Letter Box easily. My other projector I am considering is the Epson Pro 1080UB due to very good reviews from everywhere I read.

5) My gut is telling me to just build a stage that is built with 2x6 but I would like to know better that I am making the right decision. Should I put the rubber bushings below the risers for further sound isolation? I am considering getting 2 or more butt kickers. If I build it with 2x6 then I'd just insulated with regular R-19 insulation. There will be some level of low voltage lighting for the step down.

6) For the stage it will have a build out above it to hold the subwoofer and center channel speaker. So the center channel will be below the screen. Is that bad? The base of the stage, from what I can see on other posts, should be filled with sand so I guess I'll do that as well.

7) If the screen doesn't cover the left and right speakers, then I will have to build a speaker front and velcro it to the 2x4s and 2x6s. (whatever is there).

8) Since I am planning on putting in 4" halogen lights in each arch, I still need main lighting in the room. I think putting in sconce lighting between each arch might be overkill for look and instead should put high hat lights. Although I much prefer the look of sconce. I also don't know if sconces would be able to produce enough light for the room. Any ideas on this would be great.

9) When I read the manual for the Panasonic projector, for a 110" screen, it seems the projector should be about 2" below the top of the screen to the center of the lens on the projector. That means the projector would be around 6' 5" from the floor (my ceiling is 8' 5"). That seems kind of low to me. Am I figuring that out correctly? See this photo for the chart I make my determination from.


mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 07:51 PM 09-28-2009
More was done to the theater room today. Today the remainder of the ceiling was framed out to prepare for the rope lights. Also more soffits were put up for the rest of the basement. If there is interest in the other rooms being finished, I'll post those photos as well. Its about 2400 sq ft of basement being finished off.

Anyone want to chime in on any opinions? I'd love to get an active dialog going on here. This is going to be a fast build. It should be finished off in 3-5 weeks. That is the total basement finished off, not just the media room. So there will be lots of progress and daily updates if there is interest.

Below are photos of the remainder of the ceiling finished off in the media room.







SoapySmith's Avatar SoapySmith 09:01 PM 09-28-2009
That looks like you are really planning on putting in the effort and $ to make a really nice room. Looking forward to seeing the progress! A few comments in response to your questions.

- Have you considered a 2.35:1 screen? If you went AT and 2.35:1, you could put all of the front speakers behind the screen and not sacrifice in terms of placement.

- I don't have the AE3000U but I think the capability you're referring to is for use in 2:35:1 setups. Can someone else confirm? Because with a 16:9 screen, there's no need to remember focus settings when switching between 16:9 and letterbox. All projectors can handle that switch -- there's no setting to change, in fact; your source will just send 2.35:1 movies with black bars on the top and bottom. (Hence the possibility of getting a 2.35:1 screen--then the 3000U's "no-refocusing" capability would be beneficial, but you could get the same results, and with greater brightness, with several different projectors paired with an anamorphic lens.) That said, I'm sure the 3000U would be a good PJ for you, it just doesn't seem like you would need the capability you mention if you're using a 16:9 screen. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding things, take this with a grain of salt :-)

- Most here would call the seating platform a riser. Your mention of buttkickers in point 5 suggests that maybe you're referring to that as a stage? If so, you probably want to build it higher than what 2x6's will give you, for sightline purposes. Check out the riser height calculator.

- The center channel can be below the screen, above the screen, or if you use AT, behind the screen.

- looking at page 16 of the manual, it looks to me like that Panny easily has enough lens shift to allow you to place the projector a lot higher than what you're thinking relative to the top of the screen.
fotto's Avatar fotto 09:16 PM 09-28-2009
Your well on your way and looking good. A couple of comments follow...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvivanco View Post

3) My screen will be 16:9 ratio. From what I can tell on Carada's website, my largest screen, if I don't get a perforated screen will be 110". If I cover into the left and right speakers, I could go bigger. My original intention was to just build the wall behind the speakers to hold the left and right speakers and get a perforated screen. I think my new design might be better but I am open to suggestions.

9) When I read the manual for the Panasonic projector, for a 110" screen, it seems the projector should be about 2" below the top of the screen to the center of the lens on the projector. That means the projector would be around 6' 5" from the floor (my ceiling is 8' 5"). That seems kind of low to me. Am I figuring that out correctly? See this photo for the chart I make my determination from.

I'd make your current screen wall a false wall the entire width of the theater, and make your real wall across the back (get rid of the "nook"). That 28" depth would be perfect for an AT set-up. You could put all of your speakers/sub behind the screen (offset your center to one side of the support column). From what I've read here, putting front speakers in the corners is not optimal.

I have the PT-AE3000 manual from Panasonic's website but don't see this chart in it.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 09:25 PM 09-28-2009
Soapy, you are correct. When I wrote Letterbox, I meant 2.35:1. Primarily I will be viewing 16:9 so I think it would be more beneficial to get a screen that is that size. Otherwise I'd have white borders during most of my viewing if I were to get a 2.35:1 screen. Wouldn't that be distracting? I have the intention of making the left and right resets to have speaker panels in front.

Forgive my poor terminology. There is a whole new language for me here. When I write stage, I mean riser.

You are referring to page 16 of "the manual". On line item #9, I have the specific section of the specification manual that talks about how to position the projector. If I am reading it correctly, for a 110" screen, I'd have to have it somewhere between 2' to 2' 6" below the top edge of the screen to the center of the lens. Is the lens shift what allows me to have the projector higher?
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 09:35 PM 09-28-2009
fotto, I contemplated doing exactly what you said. However, that reset on the other side will be where the kitchen/bar area will be. We thought it would be a good idea to make that a section for bench seating. However, its not set in stone so these are the kinds of ideas I am hoping to get. My wife on the other hand, would be pretty upset.

There will be a platform built in front with compartments to house the subwoofer and a center. At 19" wide and 28" deep, I was figuring I could angle the fronts slightly so while they would be in the corner, I was hoping it would help a little. Although I don't know if that would make a difference at all.
SoapySmith's Avatar SoapySmith 09:41 PM 09-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvivanco View Post

Soapy, you are correct. When I wrote Letterbox, I meant 2.35:1. Primarily I will be viewing 16:9 so I think it would be more beneficial to get a screen that is that size. Otherwise I'd have white borders during most of my viewing if I were to get a 2.35:1 screen. Wouldn't that be distracting? I have the intention of making the left and right resets to have speaker panels in front.

Forgive my poor terminology. There is a whole new language for me here. When I write stage, I mean riser.

You are referring to page 16 of "the manual". On line item #9, I have the specific section of the specification manual that talks about how to position the projector. If I am reading it correctly, for a 110" screen, I'd have to have it somewhere between 2' to 2' 6" below the top edge of the screen to the center of the lens. Is the lens shift what allows me to have the projector higher?

Well, you'd have *black* or grey borders during 16:9 viewing, yes. It's not that distracting for me personally but I tend to just watch 16:9 stuff stretched. If most of your viewing will be 16:9 (HDTV and gaming), then I suppose that makes sense. Keep in mind that most action movies are 2.35:1 though :-) I think the plan for speaker panels makes sense.

Particularly since you're using the 16:9 screen, you are going to need more height for the second row than a 2x6 riser will give you. The riser height calculator will help you out. Basically what you need to figure out is how high the bottom of your screen is and how high the top of the heads of front row viewers will be. The eyes of your 2nd row viewers need to be high enough to see the bottom of the screen. That's a trig problem; the riser calculator makes it easy if you'd rather avoid the math. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=505237

The copy of the manual I found is here http://www.aboutprojectors.com/pdf/p...00u-manual.pdf , see p. 16.
Scopeguy's Avatar Scopeguy 09:54 PM 09-28-2009
There are also manual masking systems available for acoustically transparent screens, at least SMX has one, If you were going for a non DIY screen. This would eliminate the bars on the sides. They are only a couple hundred dollars and were being offers as a deal to AVS members for free recently.

Just something to consider.

Greg
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 07:33 AM 09-29-2009
Scopeguy, I haven't decided yet if I want to build my own screen or buy one already done. I haven't started reading up on any of those threads yet. SMX I hadn't heard of, but with a starting point of $2099, I can say that is way out of my price range. Especially if I need a big screen. What are others doing to mask the sides or are they just living with it not being masked. I suppose I could get curtains.
Cathan's Avatar Cathan 07:36 AM 09-29-2009
Masking is easy to do. Matter of fact I'm finish up my last piece this weekend. Just go to the last few pages of my thread for photos on how I built mine.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 08:17 AM 09-29-2009
Cathan, that is a fantastic what you did to do the masking. Its making me rethink things a little. I might be losing some benchs! My builder is flying thru everything. Not leaving me enough time to really think things through. I thought I had gone far enough in my planning that this would be easy at this point. Boy was I wrong. Each day I am reading more and more on these forums trying to either validate my thoughts or give me guidence. That is why I started my own thread.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 08:21 AM 09-29-2009
Soapy, you will notice the measurement I am questioning isn't on that page. If you instead look at what I posted in the 1st post, there is more detail on measures. That came from their specification manual.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 10:30 AM 09-29-2009
Cathan, you really got me thinking. If I were to build my own screen, and if I went 2.35:1, I could have my own manual masking. The way you did it was nice but I would just build it out from wall to wall. If I did that, then how about if my masking was done as two "doors" on hinges. When I wanted 16:9, I'd mask the screen by "closing the door". If I wanted 2.35:1, I just open the door. I'd have the best of both worlds. I'm sure I cannot be the 1st person to have thought of this. Maybe I need to go searching to see if anyone has done this before. I'd have to put the speakers behind the screen then at that point so my screen would have to be perforated, which I am OK with. I would unfortunately loose the seating behind the screen in the kitchette/bar area.
jamis's Avatar jamis 10:44 AM 09-29-2009
For a simple manual masking solution I'd go with removable panels for masking before I did doors. The problem with doors is how would they look when they are open? Unless they could be folded out of the way and completely out of view, they'd probably annoy me. if you go AT for the screen, solid doors would effect acoustics and speaker placement (unless the doors were just fabric wrapped panels).
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 01:05 PM 09-29-2009
Jamis, I'd have a false wall behind the screen. If you look at the top of the thread, you will notice currently it is indented (reset) in behind the screen. I just continue the two sides and enclose the speakers in that area. This way the panels wouldn't be in front of the speakers in any way. The doors would basically be as close to the side walls as I could get them. To me, it would look no different than when people put those sound dampening panels on the wall. Heck, I could even make them that way. Although I don't know if their position would be the right spot for sound dampening when they are open. If they were removeable, they would have to be put somewhere when I was watching 2.35:1 movies. If I just laid them on the floor or leaned them against the wall, I would think that would be more distracting. If I could find a track, I could put that on the ceiling and then store them in the false wall depending on how big they are. That is another option I have tossed around (in the last couple of hours)
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 09:42 PM 10-03-2009
There has been some more building over the last few days. I'll update tomorrow with some more photos. The riser should start to be worked on this week. The front stage below the speaker is already started. I have to try and find some acoustical caulk somewhere local. I don't want the sand going down into the spacing between the Dricore. Since its tongue and grove, I doubt that would happen but if there was any kind of expansion that happened later, I don't want to find out one day all my sand is gone below the subfloor.
SoTech's Avatar SoTech 10:03 PM 10-03-2009
Here is my reading of that projector manual page... I think they have a typo.
Notice that the metric range is -0.75 - 2.24m. That's a negative 0.75m. When looking
at the value of "H" in the picture that means up to 0.75m above the screen top.

When they converted to feet they neglected to keep the negative sign.

So I think they mean 2'6" above the top of the screen to 7'4" below the top of the screen. And since a 120" diag screen at 16:9 would be about 4'10" tall that seems about right. You can go from 2'6" above the top of the screen to about 2'6" below the bottom.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 02:55 PM 10-04-2009
SoTech, THANKS A MILLION!!! Now it makes sense to me. I just couldn't understand why they were saying the projector needed to start 2.6" below the screen. That made no sense to me. That "little" negative sign makes a huge difference.

Now if only I could narrow down my speaker selection.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 03:03 PM 10-04-2009
Trying to select a speaker configuration so I can determine a few dimensions below the screen and the sides. I went and listened to a set of Paradigm Studio 100 and the sales guy was of no real help. Stupid me forgot to take my CD with me. So I asked him to put something on. He put pop music on with no range. My frustration started immediately. I blame myself for not bringing a CD. So then I asked to hear the 5.1 setup they had. He put on Ironman. The subwoofer kicked in an my seat was vibrating. The setup just wasn't balanced properly. I had to tell him to turn down the bass. To me, it should have been readily apparent to him and he should have done it immediately without me asking. So I had no confidence in anything this sales guy was telling me. While the speakers didn't sound horrible, they weren't as good as the B+W 683 I was listening to.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 10:26 PM 10-04-2009
When filling the stage/platform below the screen, does all the cavities have to be filled with sand or just the sections that are completely below speakers?

As you can see from my photos, I am using Dricore as a subfloor. With that, do I still need to put down a vapor barrier? I'll line each compartment I put sand in with some sort of plastic. If I have to put sand in all the compartments, then so be it. Otherwise I'd just put R19 insulation in the other compartments. It will be a whole lot of sand if I have to fill that entire stage with sand. This needs to be decided in the next couple of days so any help or direction is appreciated.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 12:04 AM 10-15-2009
The studding is complete so I thought I would provide more updated photos. I can provide other photos of the other rooms if anyone is interested. Its an entire basement refinish. So I have the media room, kitchenette/bar, family room with fireplace, gym, office, full bathroom and storage.

Here is the entrance to the home theater. We have arches on the main level of the house so we decided to carry the arch theme into the basement. As you can see, the entrance to the home theater is arched. To the right of the entrance you can see the AV closet with the raceway tubing. Finding 2" raceway tubing isn't an easy task to find last minute. I ran 2" to the projector in the fear that I might need to run cables with lots of ends and it wouldn't fit into a 1" or 1.5" tube. I thought to be safe than sorry. The closet will have doors on both sides so I can easily get to the front or back of the AV equipment without having to slide anything out.


A photo of the back of the home theater. You can see where I will be mounting the back speakers for the 7.1 as well as the side speakers. More arches as well. In the middle of each arch there will be 4" halogen lights. I haven't decided what will be between the arches as of yet. I thought about movie posters but then I thought the glass might be distracting if it reflected too much light. Yes that is 6 boxes of Green Glue ($1000 worth with all the little ancillary items), my Blue Jeans cables (all $1000 worth of them) and my AV closet fan. Its 80CFM and only 1 sones. I'll be plugging that into a thermostatic outlet.


Here is a view of the front of the home theater. To the right you can see the raceway tubing coming out from the AV closet.


A closer view of the raceway tubing.




A close up view of the putty to go around the boxes. Was recommended by the people we bought the green glue from.


Back left wall of the media room. A better view of the recessed arches.


Closer view of the back wall where the speaker and projector will hang.


The view of the 2" raceway tubing leading into the box for the projector.


$2,000 worth of sound proofing and cables. I would have never thought that was going to be that expensive when I started all this. I was hoping $1,000 in cables would come in a bigger box


The 4 gang box for the Grafik Eye. That is if I have any money left after this project is done! I have 6 zones and my friend that works for Lutron is telling me to go with a Lutron Grafik Eye QS because its their latest and greatest and its wireless. I ran CAT5 to the box but still don't quite understand how I am going to integrate with a Harmony 900 remote. If anyone has any experience with this, I would appreciate any advice. I do understand there is an IR on the back that the cables would connect to. Other than that, I don't know anything. I haven't done much research on this yet.

fotto's Avatar fotto 03:55 AM 10-15-2009
Looking good and fast progress. Question on your Grafik Eye wiring...is that 14 gauge wire you used there for a 15A circuit? I thought you would need 12 gauge at 20A (at least that's what I used for my 4 zone unit) to handle the 2000 watts it's rated to.
Ted White's Avatar Ted White 07:27 AM 10-15-2009
Kind of a big box to rely on putty pads. Recommend pads for single, maybe double gang, but larger holes for a 3-4 gang may require a backer box: http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/...llation_guide/

Do you not have any decoupling?
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 08:56 AM 10-15-2009
Fotto, I'll ask my electrician what gauge he ran. I have little knowledge of electricity.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 08:59 AM 10-15-2009
Ted, my goal was not to have a sound proof room, just to have a room that is more sound protected (best way I could describe it). 35% of the budget is in this room alone. The rest of the basement is 4x this room so its a big part of the budget. To continue to pump money into it to get marginal better results I felt wasn't warranted. I already am double rocking and green glue. That should give me enough of what I feel money to value warrants. I am trying to spread the luxury items amongst the other rooms. The kitchenette/bar space was 13' by 10'. WAY bigger than I had wanted. I cut that down a few feet but its still way too big for what I wanted.
Ted White's Avatar Ted White 09:02 AM 10-15-2009
I would encourage you to re-think the lack of decoupling. This is a major component of sound isolation and is easily and inexpensively done at this stage with simple framing. You'll never be able to go back.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 09:25 AM 10-15-2009
Fotto, my electrician said he ran 14 gauge as you said. He felt that since the lights weren't going to be on most of the time, 15a was good enough. If it turned out to be an issue, he said we would just split it. Do you see this as an issue?
In2Photos's Avatar In2Photos 09:34 AM 10-15-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvivanco View Post

Fotto, my electrician said he ran 14 gauge as you said. He felt that since the lights weren't going to be on most of the time, 15a was good enough. If it turned out to be an issue, he said we would just split it. Do you see this as an issue?

How many lights per zone? Size of the bulbs? From this you can determine your load.

The manual says a MAX of a 20A circuit breaker. It does not give a minimum. That being said, it would suck to have your circuit breaker keep tripping due to overload of the 15A circuit. Now is the time to change it.
mvivanco's Avatar mvivanco 09:51 AM 10-15-2009
I would assume he did the calculations. If not, he would definitely be coming back out. He knows full well all the lights that are going in. There will be 7 3" halogen, 6 4" halogen and 4 sconce lights. The wattage of the bulbs, well that hasn't been determined yet. Oh yeah, and a projector I don't know if they are all on the same circuit or not. That I will ask.
fotto's Avatar fotto 09:56 AM 10-15-2009
As Mike indicated, you need to add-up your lighting power per zone to see where you are. The Grafik Eye can handle a TOTAL power draw of 2000W max, with a max power PER ZONE of 800W.

So, just add-up the watts per zone to make sure you fall under above criteria. As example, if you have 6 100W bulbs as sconces on zone 1, that's 600W total for that zone. You are under the 800W limit there but, you still need to add up all the other loads on the remaining zones to make sure you're under either the 2000W max of the Grafik Eye AND under the safe handling capacity of the wire which is feeding power to the Grafik Eye. Max power draw for 14-2 wire is 1800W, and 2400W for 12-2. That's maximum. I believe you typically try to derate that by around 20% for safe operating so your not blowing breakers.

My opinion is you can't count on that the "lights won't be on most of the time" when determining what capacity wire you need. So what happens when you have a scene programmed that has ALL of the lights on full and total power is more than the circuit can handle? You'll pop the breaker.

That's why you should add things up to see where you are.
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