Rich H's Variable Image Size Home Theater - Build Thread - Completed! - Page 4 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #91 of 210 Old 06-10-2010, 01:38 PM
Member
 
claymanhb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
You did a great job on that room. It looks like it belongs in a palace. I think this is all I will need to convince the wifey (obviously won't tell her about the problems you experienced.) Not looking forward to all the snags though.

Samsung 58B650 plasma|Pioneer Elite SC-71|Polk CS2|2-Polk Monitor 70s|2-Polk Monitor 40s|Energy ESW‑C10
claymanhb is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #92 of 210 Old 06-10-2010, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Wow, I'm glad you think so highly of the room claymanhb.

What exactly do you have to convince your wife about? Are you in a similar situation, fitting a home theater into an existing room?

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #93 of 210 Old 06-10-2010, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323

Since I was doing some music listening tonight I thought I'd add these, a couple pictures of my MBL 121 monitors:




From the listening sofa:



If you are in to high end audio and especially if you've been to any of the high end audio shows you may know the MBL omnidirectional speakers. Once I heard the 101s, years ago:

http://www.mbl-usa.com/View.aspx/2101/mbl-101---MK-II

I always dreamed of owning a pair of these unique, but outrageously expensive German speakers. They are one of those high end speakers that actually deliver; they are built and finished like fine jewelry and actually sound the part, with a unique room-energising omnidirectional radiating pattern, an effortless openness and resolution, along with their renowned imaging where the space just becomes populated with performers yet none of the sound seems to be coming from the speakers. It's really something to experience. Definitely some of the most "un-speaker-like" sound I've heard.

At around $45,000 to $55,000/pair I could never afford the big 101s but a while back MBL introduced the 121 monitor sized version... still way too expensive for my blood. But I kept my ear to the ground for many years on audiogon and recently leaped on a second hand pair that were a unique deal/price.

They are kept in a nearby room and throw them in the system when I want. I've had a big grin listening to these things because I finally own a pair of MBLs

Cheers,

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #94 of 210 Old 06-11-2010, 07:25 AM
Member
 
claymanhb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Wow, I'm glad you think so highly of the room claymanhb.

What exactly do you have to convince your wife about? Are you in a similar situation, fitting a home theater into an existing room?

Exactly. I need to convince her to let me turn the first room, which anyone sees when they walk into the house, into a movie theater. She thinks it'll look tacky. Yours is amazing.

Samsung 58B650 plasma|Pioneer Elite SC-71|Polk CS2|2-Polk Monitor 70s|2-Polk Monitor 40s|Energy ESW‑C10
claymanhb is online now  
post #95 of 210 Old 06-14-2010, 01:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
R Johnson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 1,676
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Congratulations on a terrific room, Rich.

And thanks very much for this excellent illustrated write-up of your process.
R Johnson is offline  
post #96 of 210 Old 06-14-2010, 01:55 PM
AVS Special Member
 
nebrunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: omaha,NE,USA
Posts: 1,105
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 26
I'm jealous of that woodwork in your house, they sure don't build them like they used to! If you have any other pics from other areas of the house I would love to see them, and if any of the bathrooms still happen to have the original vintage tile floor from when the house was built can you snap a pic for me?

My perpetual home theater build -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
nebrunner is offline  
post #97 of 210 Old 06-14-2010, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
R Johnson,

Much obliged, it was fun.


nebrunner,


Sorry I don't really have any more good pics at this time of the house.
Folks who are really into older homes may hate me for this...but I'm trying
to refresh this place and update it somewhat.

When we bought the house I was really into an older house look. And this place was in great condition. I still love lots of the woodwork. At the same time, as charming as an older house can seem on some levels, on others it can get a bit tiring to actually live with some of the idiosyncrasies of an older house. Sometimes I'm a bit envious of newly-built homes on that level - they seem more practical and more effortlessly serving of a contemporary life style. Although, on the other hand, I hear builders and workers who come to my house remark on the quality and resilience of this home with lots of "they don't build 'em like they used to" remarks.

To a certain extent, one thing that ultimately worked out in my favor is that this house isn't built with the current open-concept trend. Intrigued as I am by modern design, I love the look of open concept houses were living is spread among an almost fully open first floor. But for my purposes our house, with it's main floor divided into various rooms, is much more practical. (Someone built a much needed family room addition on to the back of our house before we bought it). I wouldn't have been able to do anything like this home theater if I didn't have a separate room on the main floor. If it were open concept I suppose I could do a "lifestyle" version of a home theater on the main floor with a hide-away screen and projector, but doing a high performance set up probably would have been near impossible.

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #98 of 210 Old 06-14-2010, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
ROOM VENTILATION:

I thought I'd briefly discuss an issue most people have to face in doing an home theater reno: proper room ventilation.

It seems to me there would be little worse than spending a lot of money making a home theater which ended up often becoming too warm (or cold) for comfortable viewing. So this was an issue that worried me.

The fact that I was doing the reno in an existing room on the main floor was both a blessing and a curse in terms of room ventilation. A blessing insofar as it wasn't a fully sealed off room (which would absolutely require introducing some sort of HVAC). It was a curse in that all my inquiries about how to introduce room ventilation, like HVAC were met with very costly estimates...ESPECIALLY if I wanted any hope of a quiet system. The fact of trying to introduce such a system into an existing room (and that above was our bedroom, below a recently renovated basement) was often cited as roadblocks to easy implementation of HVAC.

So I essentially rolled the dice and did nothing.

So far so good.

I've been using the room since January. During the cold months when our air conditioning is not running, the room remains cool enough even with the
curtains closing the room entrance.

Now that it's summer and the air conditioning is running, most of the time we've still been fine. But there has been the occasional viewing session where things started to feel a bit over warm in the room. Luckily I could do either of two things: open up the doorway curtains to let air in/out - no real effect on picture quality. Or, what I prefer to do: slide open a bay window (or two). I only watch movies at night and the air outside tends to be cooler at night. Thus far these measures have worked to keep the room comfortable over long viewing periods. So, while I had been very worried about the room air environment, it's been such a non-issue overall I've mostly forgotten I ever worried about it.

But those few times when the room warmed up, if I hadn't been able to easily deal with that problem it would have been a real bummer. If I were building a totally separate HT room there's no way I'd want to forget about good air control.

FWIW.

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #99 of 210 Old 06-25-2010, 01:49 PM
Advanced Member
 
taffman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Congratulations Rich on a superb job, and thanks also for a great read about how you did it all. I really like the cozy ambiance of the finished HT room, and the clever way you have acheived it while still maintaining it as a dual function room.
I am in total agreement with you on the need for a good masking system, and you seem to have a system in place that will mask just about any aspect ratio in the history of the cinema! One thing I have noticed on these forums is how people will spend thousands of dollars on an anamorphic lens, and will then short change (or ignore) the masking system, not realizing that they will buy much more picture impact with masking than they ever will with an A-lens, and that masking gives you just about the best PQ bang for the buck than any other factor of digital projection.
If your like me, your home theater will never really be finished. I am always finding little (and not so little) ways to improve it, and as you say, attention to little details can make a huge difference. My own HT masking is modest by your standards. I have 3-way RF controlled motorized masking system which was a DIY project, which came in at around $500.00. It is fine for my purposeS, and does a great job of boosting apparent PQ and providing WOW effect when it rolls out to 2.35, but I only have presets for 4:3 and 2.35:1, so I have to 'jog' the masking motor for the intermediate 16:9 position. Your Carada system with the 16 position programmed remote is far more elegant than my set up.
taffman is offline  
post #100 of 210 Old 06-26-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Thanks taffman. I know you are another masking fanatic who can't be stopped.
The fact you have remote controlled 4 way masking for around $500 is insane. Well done!

It's sort of ironic that the whole zooming thing is often thought of as a negative to the experience, but in my set up at least I find it the opposite.
It's really fun. And guests seem to enjoy seeing the process in action.

Last night my 12 year old son had a birthday party so we did a movie night showing The Matrix (most of the boys hadn't seen it but had only heard of it). I started with a scene from the Toy Story Blu-Ray at around 103" diagonal 16:9. (Man that looked incredible!). Then I said The Matrix was a different, wider movie shape so I was going to change the screen size. I hit a widescreen AR, the masking started moving and the green-on-black lens pattern appeared on the screen (looks cool, almost like a laser show). All the boys were like "Wow...cool...this is awesome" even before the Matrix image came on. It took only seconds and we were watching The Matrix in widescreen. Lots of fun.

After everyone was gone I was fooling around watching some scenes of Avatar. I blew the image up to around 130" diagonal and sat with this huge grin. It was so IMAX-like, as if I were "in" the image. I kept pinching myself that this was possible in my home...and I remain so glad I persevered on getting this crazy system done.

The only "issue" I have with this system is that sometimes folks new to front projection, when they see it, get the impression you have to spend a fortune for a front projection home theater.
I try to emphasize that I went quite over-board on mine and that they can have fully satisfying results that are much more affordable.

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #101 of 210 Old 06-26-2010, 05:29 PM
Senior Member
 
WilsonL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Awesome setup, Rich!
Job well done !
WilsonL is offline  
post #102 of 210 Old 06-30-2010, 05:39 AM
AVS Special Member
 
premiertrussman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 2,043
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
I just stumbled upon this build! Your room in fantastic! I'm pretty sure you've set the bench mark for rooms that need to functional dually for living space and theater/music. (maybe your style just suits me, but i doubt im the only one that feels that way.)

My theater also has to function as living space, and your room is truly an inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing.


PT


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


Live: Hero of Cannton 

Currently Playing: CoD Black Ops II

premiertrussman is offline  
post #103 of 210 Old 06-30-2010, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Thank you WilsonL!

premiertrussman,

Wow, looking at your build thread we really are in a similar situation; trying to cram a home theater into the main-floor room of an old house...and without the joyous support of the spouse

Yours is coming along great. The floors and woodwork are beautiful and your color choices look both functional and classy.

As much as I am a gear head in terms of buying and hoarding AV gear, I also much prefer the discrete, "disappearing gear" approach to room decor.
For many years my front room served as my 2 channel listening room, and many different speakers were set up in there over the years. Way back when first decorating that room I deliberately chose a brown and black them (brown furniture, cream carpet, lots of black accents on the furniture etc) because speakers tend to be those colors, with the wood and black grills. It really worked: every speaker that sat in that room blended in to the decor (although you may not be able to tell from my initial pictures of the original room, since the room was already getting in disarray while I was experimenting with home theater equipment in there as well).

So I think you have taken a wise approach. I know lots of guys just love to see every bit of their gear, including leaving the grills off speakers. But for me the movie viewing experience is seriously enhanced the more I get rid of visual distraction. Lots of shiny metal speaker drivers around the image just distract my eye and shout "Hey, look at me too...look where all the sound is coming from!"

I slowly added black velvet to my L/C/R speakers to make them more invisible. At one point all three speakers themselves were covered, except the dark gray speaker stands. It was great, but the metal stand were still just visible beside the image from light reflections. Once I wrapped black velvet around the stands as well, the very last bit of visual distraction was gone, so the image was surrounded by complete blackness, no speakers visible at all once the lights were down. This seemingly subtle last step really reaped large subjective dividends. The image seemed "complete" and having no subtle references to other objects around the image absolutely moved the experience into a more immersive experience. It's like having one of the benefits of an AT screen (seeing no speakers) and it actually helps the mind map the sound to the image better.

Anyway...those are my thoughts.

I'm glad you like the results of my home theater build. My architect and I did our best to introduce architectural elements that would enhance the home theater aspect, but with would also leave the flavor of the house still visible. Many people who've been in the room comment that we actually achieved that goal, thankfully.

I see you are around the 2 year mark on your build. Mine took about 2 years from intensive planning to completion. I didn't do all the construction (I had contractors) and it was still such a slog that I almost resented the room for a short while even after completing it. But, like child birth, the pain slips away in your memory and you begin to appreciate your new "child." I've been ecstatic with the results. I'm sure you will be the same with yours.

Cheers,

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #104 of 210 Old 06-30-2010, 08:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
premiertrussman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 2,043
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Rich

The color scheme of my room was definitely based around my speakers, as they are black and silver. (black is also a recurring theme around the rest of the house.)

I had the exact thought you executed with a large shag carpet, Im currently looking for a shag remnant that i can have the edges bound and use in that room for aesthetics as well as acoustics.

I was looking more closely at your curtain systems in that room. I really like the curtains that cover the entrance as well as the fireplace. I have a similar plan to do curtains over the windows and doors and then large floor to ceiling curtains flanking either side of the fireplace and a valence all the way across the top.

What material are your curtains made from? They look exactly like what i was hoping for. (mine would be in black though).

I do still occasionally listen to 2 channel music with the grills off, but its mostly because they seem a little more detailed without the grills on. But for movies and most general listening i keep them on. They should almost disappear against the curtains when i finally get them. We also have several small children in the family that visit...and a speaker without a grill is just an invitation for little fingers


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


Live: Hero of Cannton 

Currently Playing: CoD Black Ops II

premiertrussman is offline  
post #105 of 210 Old 06-30-2010, 10:54 AM
Advanced Member
 
dwightp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 630
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Rich,

You have a great, beautiful room. I enjoyed the heck out of your write-up, as well. I greatly admire the fact that you had clear goals and you did what was necessary to achieve them. That big projector lift must be an awesome piece of engineering but I bet it didn't come cheap!

This is a great contribution to the palette of design ideas available on the forum. Thanks for providing it.

Maker of the finest saw dust since 1980, give or take


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
dwightp is offline  
post #106 of 210 Old 06-30-2010, 11:27 AM
Member
 
VictorGG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Congratulations!
Really amazing job!
VictorGG is offline  
post #107 of 210 Old 06-30-2010, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by premiertrussman View Post

Rich

I had the exact thought you executed with a large shag carpet, Im currently looking for a shag remnant that i can have the edges bound and use in that room for aesthetics as well as acoustics.

It's funny about the shag rug. Often enough when I told people I was ordering a shag rug for the room I'd get a bemused look and comments like "Shag?...aren't those from the 70's?"

But anyone into interior design knows shag has made a huge comeback over the past several years and the new generation of shag rugs are more robust and often more artful. Whenever I went to home/interior design shows contemporary furniture is often paired with the latest shag rugs. My rug is a sort of faux-fur rug from Mitchell Gold, and it has a nice subtle three tone weave for some depth, with a nice sheen for "life." Quite a proportion of guests seeing the room for the first time comment, with surprise, how nice and classy the carpet looks and feels. It's one of the features I enjoy most.

(And I've found no issues with vacuuming, even after messy kids parties in there...my son spilled huge bowls of flavored popcorn all over the rug twice in one night and it has vacuumed up easily).

'Course, they aren't for everybody.

Quote:
Originally Posted by premiertrussman View Post


I was looking more closely at your curtain systems in that room. I really like the curtains that cover the entrance as well as the fireplace. I have a similar plan to do curtains over the windows and doors and then large floor to ceiling curtains flanking either side of the fireplace and a valence all the way across the top. What material are your curtains made from? They look exactly like what i was hoping for. (mine would be in black though).

The curtains are a rich brown velvet: Kobe Classic: JACKPOT COCOA

I'm sure they do a nice black velvet too. But I would also recommend yo look at the Fidelio black velvet that I used for my screen wall and side masking panels. This black velvet is a favorite among some AVSers for how dark it is in terms of absorbing light. But the other characteristic is that it has a classy, rich look to it. I looked at many other black velvets and none looked quite as classy and sensual as the Fidelio - looks like the type of velvet you'd see diamonds sitting on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by premiertrussman View Post

I do still occasionally listen to 2 channel music with the grills off, but its mostly because they seem a little more detailed without the grills on. But for movies and most general listening i keep them on. They should almost disappear against the curtains when i finally get them. We also have several small children in the family that visit...and a speaker without a grill is just an invitation for little fingers

I remember reviewing (I used to write about speakers) a pair of speakers with expensive proprietary drivers. My son was around 3 or 4 years old and I kept the speaker grills on them every day for several weeks, "just in case."
Finally I wanted to hear what they sounded like with the grills off. I knew my son was in the back room of the house, while I was in the front of the house, so it would be safe to take off the grills. I'd taken of one of the grills and had gone to the equipment rack in the corner to insert a new CD...when I heard the sound of little running feet all the way from the back of the house. I turned around just in time to see my little guy running into the room, stumbling, right into the exposed speaker, his elbow ramming into the proprietary woofer with a huge dent. The grills had been off all of 20 seconds...and that was all my son needed to wreak his havoc.

In fact, I've always been fascinated by the sheer, unpredictable chaos that occurs with kids. Although some of it is predictable; for instance if you have two small kids and one drops a grape on the floor, it's a law of physics that you can not reach that piece of food before either he or the other child steps on it, spreading it into the floor.

Right now my basement is being re-painted after having been opened up for the last year to run wires for my HT reno. It reminds me of the last time it was painted when the kids were younger. Most of the basement had been painted the previous day, except one small area of wall near the back of the basement. The day that bit of back wall was painted it was almost dry. The painter said the kids could likely play down there as long as no one directly touched the wall. So I open the door, let my (then) 4 and 6 year old into the room, and my 4 year old literally runs directly toward that back wall, both hands open, and slams his hands on to the wall, taking off two nice hand-print portions of paint. It's like he was programmed.

Even better....once THAT had been re-painted and was dry, there was one, teeny, weeny bit left to paint. Under the stairwell is storage, with two small
storage doors. There was a tiny little kick-board hidden behind those storage doors that had not been painted yet, so the painter did those before he left...otherwise the whole basement was dry. The kids had never even taken notice of the storage area before and with the storage door closed that kick board was entirely protected. "What could go wrong?" We let the kids down to play. Literally 1 1/2 minutes later I'm talking to my wife in the basement and my son says "Dad...what's in here?" I look and there...first time ever...my son is standing looking into the storage area, having opened those doors....with the front of his shoes squished right up against the new, wet paint. He steps away with wet paint all over his shoes, and of course two large shoe prints in the fresh paint. In an entire huge basement, within 2 minutes, my son had found the only 3 inch by 24 inch section of wet paint, hidden behind doors, and ruined it.

My wife and I shared that look of utter amazement with each other that we have shared so many times since having kids.

Anyway, the boys love the room and it's been great for a lot of added family time!

Cheers,

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #108 of 210 Old 06-30-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightp View Post

Rich,

You have a great, beautiful room. I enjoyed the heck out of your write-up, as well. I greatly admire the fact that you had clear goals and you did what was necessary to achieve them. That big projector lift must be an awesome piece of engineering but I bet it didn't come cheap!

This is a great contribution to the palette of design ideas available on the forum. Thanks for providing it.

Much obliged.

I almost drove myself crazy sticking to getting everything I wanted. It was like a grotesque Rubik's cube of complexity. I have a friend who has very modest criteria for his enjoyment: he has an old Panasonic AE700 720p projector and a 93" screen. He's thoroughly happy with his set up and, unlike me, he'll always find the cheap way to do things...and be satisfied.

He was an ear to my moaning about construction problems throughout the project and he'd try to offer advice. The problem is that his advice would take the lines of eminently reasonable things like "Well, why don't you just forget doing X way...make your life easier and go Y...and save strife and money?"

But what I realised is that I could virtually never take his advice. Because his advice would work just fine with someone of his own personality and constitution...but I'm not him. All the things that would be let slide would not bother him in the least in the final product...but they'd annoy the hell out of me! I know they would. As much as it drove me crazy and extended the build time getting what I wanted, it has paid off tremendously now that I'm actually using the room. I put so much thought into every inch that I literally look around the room and I like every single thing about it. Nothing bothers me about it (to any major degree) and everything is exactly as I hoped for, so the sense of satisfaction feels commensurate to the time involved in getting there.

So the wisest path, I'd say, is "know thyself." We tend to know what kind of compromises we can live with and could not live with. (Although, admittedly, this is often through learning too. We buy our first house, or do our first attempt at a home theater and learn "Ok, next time I don't want X and instead I'm make sure I do Y...."

But the more thought you put into it, the more likely you can nail it on the first try I guess.

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #109 of 210 Old 06-30-2010, 12:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
premiertrussman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 2,043
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Rich H

Those are great stories about your kids! Your last name doesn't happen to be Murphy does it? lol. I think Murphys law applies to anyone doing any sort of reno, and kids just happen to multiply its effects.


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


Live: Hero of Cannton 

Currently Playing: CoD Black Ops II

premiertrussman is offline  
post #110 of 210 Old 07-01-2010, 06:31 AM
AVS Special Member
 
AndreasMergner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Rich,

I have a question for you. I'm planning my HT decor, and am wondering how much of a difference it makes when you pull the curtains over the wall? So, you go from covered windows, black front, dark floor and lighter walls to the dark walls. Is it a dramatic difference when you watch a movie?

Then with the curtains on the wall, what is the room lighting like when you put all your lights on, but windows still with blinds down? ...and how many lights and wattage do you have?

The reason I ask is that I like your idea of lighter walls with curtains in front. It seems like you can have the dark HT cave, but instantly go to a much brighter room. You have windows, which probably makes a big difference too, but I have only one and it doesn't get as much light (basement).

If you have any other ideas or insight about this topic, I'm all ears. I'm guessing rolling out carpet is not out of the question either.

Current HT: HTPC-->Epson 5010 projector-->135" screen, BFM TLAHs x7 & THT

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


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AndreasMergner is offline  
post #111 of 210 Old 07-01-2010, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreasMergner View Post

Rich,

I have a question for you. I'm planning my HT decor, and am wondering how much of a difference it makes when you pull the curtains over the wall? So, you go from covered windows, black front, dark floor and lighter walls to the dark walls. Is it a dramatic difference when you watch a movie?

In terms of cutting down reflections back to the screen it is definitely noticeable for keeping contrast. How noticeable? Hard to quantify since it's been quite a while that I watched any content without the curtains pulled.

But what is unequivocally a dramatic difference is the impact on the viewing experience as a whole, with the curtains drawn. Drawing the curtain along the wall out toward the viewer makes the whole front of the room mostly disappear during a movie and this has an amazing effect. First it removes all distractions and surrounds the picture in darkness, sucking you into the movie experience that much more. Second, it substantially alters the feel of the room, like it is becoming a cinema and is taking you away to the movies.

Quite a few guests have commented positively on this aspect, saying once the curtains were drawn the feeling of suddenly being in a cinema came over them, and they loved it. So, I highly recommend this approach.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreasMergner View Post

Then with the curtains on the wall, what is the room lighting like when you put all your lights on, but windows still with blinds down? ...and how many lights and wattage do you have?

I have a lot of lights so I could have maximum control over lighting zones.
So I have 8 pot lights and 10 track lights, all of them 50w, which is a fair amount for a smallish 15 x 13 room. But I rarely have them all on at the same time.

The room is bright with just the pot lights on and a few track lights, even with all the curtains drawn. But it's rare I spend much time with the curtains drawn and the lights on high.

Another benefit to using both the curtains method and having focused track/pot lighting in zones is something I think I mentioned earlier in my thread: You can have lights on right over the sofa for task lighting or whatever (helpful when we are eating food while watching) and the curtains and rug soak up so much light that it doesn't really get to the screen. The screen image looks almost identical in brightness and richness with the lights over the sofa on or off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreasMergner View Post

The reason I ask is that I like your idea of lighter walls with curtains in front. It seems like you can have the dark HT cave, but instantly go to a much brighter room. You have windows, which probably makes a big difference too, but I have only one and it doesn't get as much light (basement).

I don't think you need windows to make this idea work. If you want a brighter feeling room for times when you aren't watching a movie, the curtains approach works wonders. With the curtains not pulled over walls, just having lights focused on the walls (track/pot lights, or wall sconces) really lightens up the room. Careful about wall sconces btw. Unlike pot lights or track lights facing downward, wall sconces tend to send light out in all directions, so even if you have them on low they send light to the screen to wash out the image. Some have found this out the hard way. Plan carefully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreasMergner View Post

If you have any other ideas or insight about this topic, I'm all ears. I'm guessing rolling out carpet is not out of the question either.

Yes that's possible, although ideally I think you want to minimise the effort needed to watch a movie. Of course I'm one to talk. However, the image in my system would look excellent without my drawing the curtains. But knowing I wanted to ensure the ability to see my projected image at it's best, I provided myself with options, which I tend to use.

When I chose my colors and decor I thought "Ok, which items would it be most difficult to alter manually to watch a movie?" I figured the ceiling would be tough to cover for every movie, so I went with the permanent dark material there. Same with the sofa, and to a certain extent, the dark rug. I knew it would be much easier to alter the reflectivity of the walls via curtains, so I could go light there.

My rug is dark so in terms of reflectivity it doesn't seem to affect the image noticeably. However, I also have a large panel of black Fidelio velvet contained in one of the ottomans. Sometimes I throw it on the rest of the floor in front of the image. This makes the floor entirely disappear from view and definitely enhances the immersion and dimensionality of the image.
That's really easy to do.

One last thing: Since I'm also into 2 channel stereo music listening I ensured that my side masking system, using the Fidelio black velvet panels, could fully close over the screen. This way when I set up the L/R speakers for music listening the room disappears behind the speakers with no distraction. It really enhances the stereo imaging aspect, as it creates a non-distracting blackened "stage" into which the performers seem to sit. If a sound appears "far away" imaging wise it can be more convincing when your eyes have a black void into which you can imagine the recording space, vs seeing a wall in front of you and musical images oddly appearing to come from behind that visible wall. If that makes any sense.

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #112 of 210 Old 07-01-2010, 12:38 PM
AVS Special Member
 
AndreasMergner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
First, thanks for the very detailed response, Rich!

Quote:


But what is unequivocally a dramatic difference is the impact on the viewing experience as a whole, with the curtains drawn. Drawing the curtain along the wall out toward the viewer makes the whole front of the room mostly disappear during a movie and this has an amazing effect. First it removes all distractions and surrounds the picture in darkness, sucking you into the movie experience that much more. Second, it substantially alters the feel of the room, like it is becoming a cinema and is taking you away to the movies.

That's what I'm looking for. I was assuming that having the whole front wall in black velvet would be the way to go, but I can see how having basically everything in front of you in black velvet would be even better.

Quote:


Another benefit to using both the curtains method and having focused track/pot lighting in zones is something I think I mentioned earlier in my thread: You can have lights on right over the sofa for task lighting or whatever (helpful when we are eating food while watching) and the curtains and rug soak up so much light that it doesn't really get to the screen. The screen image looks almost identical in brightness and richness with the lights over the sofa on or off.

My room will be 16-17x19x7. I am isolating it for sound. I'm trying to avoid can lights and making boxes for them, but I don't really see a way around it for lighting above the seating. How many seats do you think a can light can effectively illuminate? ...or maybe how far a spread will they work in? I'll have a bit more seating with two long rows.

Quote:


I don't think you need windows to make this idea work. If you want a brighter feeling room for times when you aren't watching a movie, the curtains approach works wonders. With the curtains not pulled over walls, just having lights focused on the walls (track/pot lights, or wall sconces) really lightens up the room. Careful about wall sconces btw. Unlike pot lights or track lights facing downward, wall sconces tend to send light out in all directions, so even if you have them on low they send light to the screen to wash out the image. Some have found this out the hard way. Plan carefully.

Ok, good to know. I was thinking of using some vertical pieces of Plexiglas with lighting behind it for the main lighting, which I think will be fine for times when there is not a movie playing, but looks like I need to plan for lighting over the seating too.

I am not very particular to audio or 2 channel, so I should be fine with an exposed screen. Although it might be nice to be able to pull a light colored curtain over the entire front if I can recess it in such a way that it is not visible when watching a movie. Hmmmmm.....

Current HT: HTPC-->Epson 5010 projector-->135" screen, BFM TLAHs x7 & THT

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


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
AndreasMergner is offline  
post #113 of 210 Old 08-09-2010, 08:40 AM
Member
 
ctbundy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Clarence Center, NY
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
This theater is awesome. Nice job. My wife would love the Fireplace!
ctbundy is offline  
post #114 of 210 Old 08-09-2010, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbundy View Post

This theater is awesome. Nice job. My wife would love the Fireplace!

Yeah the fireplace is a nice feature. This is one of those interesting interior design problems when you put any type of display in a room with a fireplace.
Generally a fireplace acts as a focal point for a room, so certain placements of TVs can feel odd in terms of competing. No doubt this is one big reason flat panel owners in such situations often put their display above the fireplace, trying to kill two birds with one stone.

I think it worked out ok in our room.

As I wrote in the OP, I started all this expecting to use a big flat panel (plasma) in that room. One advantage would have been being able to have a fire going simultaneously with the display on.

But thinking about it, that's not necessarily as great an advantage in practice as it first seems, at least in my situation. First, of course, I couldn't have the massive cinema-like experience with a flat panel. But also, part of the whole home theater thing to me is viewing a movie with the lights out, with the movie image being the center of attention. Any light distractions from another part of the room works against this type of immersion, IMO, and certainly that would be the case with a fire going, for me.

Thanks for the comments!

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #115 of 210 Old 08-09-2010, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
BTW, as an update...for this intrigued by this set up I'll let you know of any issues I run in to. And I just ran into an issue:

I had a bit of a system failure with my Goelst side masking system. It's been working perfectly since last December, but recently stopped moving properly (moving slowly only up to 5 inch increments). Issues like this is why I'm glad I paid special attention to make all the mechanical parts of the system easily accessible. As detailed earlier in the thread, the valance boards over top the screen, which hide the side panel tracks and motor, were made easily removable - simply lift them off their clips. When I did so the Goelst motor light was flashing red which, per the manual, indicated an overload or system failure. I had to re-set the main open/close points of the curtains (that is tell the system again where I want "full open" and "full closed" curtains).

I was afraid I'd have to re-program all my side masking stopping points again but luckily this wasn't the case. 2 minutes of re-setting the open/close points and the whole system was up and running fine, all of my various AR and image size pre-sets working as usual. Whew. Good to know.

The reason this occurred, I'm sure, is that I've used some quite heavy metal bars sewn into the leading edges of the side masking panels. I wondered if this would eventually cause a system-load issue and I guess it has. Although it did take 9 months to do so. I'll likely grab some lighter, thinner metal bars to use instead at some point. (Probably I'll be lazy and wait to see if it ever is a problem again in the future).

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #116 of 210 Old 08-09-2010, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Finally...

I just have to report how much I am loving this room to heck! It's my oasis on the main floor, like a womb with all it's comfy furniture and relaxing vibe.

I've used it pretty much every day since it's been completed last winter. Sometimes it's watching movies, other times just kicking up my feat reading and/or hanging out listening to some music, either in surround mode or from my vintage tube amp/Benchmark Dac gear. I love being able to control the lighting in the room so precisely to suit any mood.

And it's gratifying that friends now visit my place to watch movies and it's become the go-to gathering place for sports events (ok, that is UFC events, since I don't really watch other sports).

Last night I put on the Blu-Ray of Jason And The Argonauts, a favorite from my child-hood, and I just got plain old giddy "I can't believe I can have this experience in my home" kind of stuff.

Oh, one more thing to mention: This is my first summer with the room completed. I'd worried about needing to do some sort of HVAC system, which would have been pretty brutal to introduce into the room (so I was told by various HVAC people). So I rolled the dice and went without it.
Results are generally ok: it's been a complete non-issue through winter and spring. But this summer there have been a couple nights were, with the curtain closing off the room things did get a bit warm. Usually I can just open up one of the bottoms of the windows if the AC isn't doing the full job and we're fine (with no detriment to the image - we watch at night). But one or two times I had a ton of people in the room and it was heat-wave temperatures outside, so opening up the window didn't do the trick and I had to at least open up the curtain somewhat to the hallway, which did the trick. No real detriment to the picture.

I would love to have an HVAC system that would make this always a non-issue. But the air-quality/temp problems have been so rare, and generally easily addressed in this room that I can't as of yet justify the expense.

Cheers,

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #117 of 210 Old 08-29-2010, 09:01 PM
Senior Member
 
BFauska's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Rich,
Awesome room. Versatility on several levels, image, room usage, and audio.

I just read it all in two sittings and got to the end only to find that your mentions of video were only a tease. Do you have video of the masking/zooming and video of the projector lift that you can share? I'm sure many of us would love to see this in action.

I found your thread from a link in the CIH forum and really enjoy your kind of hybrid CIA/CIH+IMAX setup, very good setup for making the image however immersive you want it for any given movie.

I love NEW technology, it makes the stuff I can afford even cheaper.
BFauska is offline  
post #118 of 210 Old 09-02-2010, 08:55 PM
Advanced Member
 
Davecraze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Irving, Texas
Posts: 799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked: 24
RHarkness: Do you mind if I ask where you purchased your couch? It looks to be the perfect size for my twins' play room (which, incidentally will also be my media room). Thanks and congratulations on a job well done.

-David

P.S. Tried to send you a PM but your mailbox is full.
Davecraze is online now  
post #119 of 210 Old 09-05-2010, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Hi folks,

I'm just back from vacation....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFauska View Post

Rich,
Awesome room. Versatility on several levels, image, room usage, and audio.

I just read it all in two sittings and got to the end only to find that your mentions of video were only a tease. Do you have video of the masking/zooming and video of the projector lift that you can share? I'm sure many of us would love to see this in action.

I found your thread from a link in the CIH forum and really enjoy your kind of hybrid CIA/CIH+IMAX setup, very good setup for making the image however immersive you want it for any given movie.

Thanks.

I just can't describe how happy I am with the outcome. I keep pinching myself when using the system or just sitting in the room listening to music.

As for the video of the masking and everything else in action, I've shot some of it and just have to do a bit more and put it up. Hard to find the time though. I'll attempt to finish it this week.

Cheers,

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
post #120 of 210 Old 09-05-2010, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
R Harkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davecraze View Post

RHarkness: Do you mind if I ask where you purchased your couch? It looks to be the perfect size for my twins' play room (which, incidentally will also be my media room). Thanks and congratulations on a job well done.

-David

P.S. Tried to send you a PM but your mailbox is full.

Sorry to disappoint, but the sofa was custom built. Doing it custom is awesome. Every dimension is inch perfect for fitting in the room, seating lots of people, seating height, depth, softness, all to exact specifications.
To my surprise it was actually a bit cheaper to have it custom built than buy a new sofa that size (it's a huge sofa). So you may want to consider that route.

Rich H


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



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
R Harkness is offline  
Reply Dedicated Theater Design & Construction

User Tag List

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


Forum Jump: 

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

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