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post #1 of 38 Old 01-15-2011, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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When I purchased this house about 5 yeas ago one of the things I wanted was a home theatre. A basement seems like the perfect place for a HT but I'm in Arizona where basements are extremely rare. Then there are the builders putting up track homes who aren't too keen on customizations. Finally I fairly quickly discovered that doing this "right" like so many of you obviously have would cost far more than I could afford. So in the end I got what I'll just call a movie room instead of a home theatre. It's basicly a large bedroom with no closet and unfortunately a very big window.

I put one of those blackout shades on the window, moved in my old 65" 300lb rear projectection set (that was fun getting it up the stairs by the way), couch, chairs receiver and DVD player. I had the room wired for surround sound (5.1) so I hooked everything up and while I still wanted something better the room worked well for me up until about a year ago.

I should note here that this room is/was strictly for watching movies. Watching TV, Xbox, etc is always done in the family room.

So what happened to make me stop using the room? Really simple - I purchased a new 67" 1080p DLP for the family room. While I never wanted to watch movies in the family room (I didn't even have a DVD player there) I found that I no longer wanted to watch movies on the smaller lower resolution screen in the movie room and eventually started using the set in the family room exclusively. With the new 1080p set I also upgraded to blu-ray and now I've ripped all my DVD's and Blu-ray discs onto a 28TB server and use a popcorn hour A200 with YAMJ and a modified AEon skin to watch them.

I'd like to get back into the movie room but in order for that to happen there will need to be a few upgrades. I have some ideas on what I want to do but I'd also love to hear some suggestions too. The one thing I should get out of the way is that the room is already finished and mostly due to budget it's highly unlikely any demo will be done. For the most part the walls cieling and floors will need to stay the way they are. I should also point out that I can barely hammer a nail so nearly anything that would need to be done would need to be hired out.

Anyways... some pics of the room now

Note that the top of that cabinet is cut around the door jam making any changes to the room entry that much more troublesome.


Normally this one door is cloased as there is a chair right on the other side of it.


The cieling is 9' and the bottom of the light on that fan is 16" from the cieling. The room was never planned with extra HVAC in mind so with 3 people and 6 dogs (yes 6 dogs) the fan is really a necessity. I'm actually a bit worried that a projector mounted on the ceiling will block the air flow generated by the fan to my primary seating area .




Here is the view from the main seating area.




The one door behind that chair is always closed. It was only opened for these photos.




When watching a movie this other door may or may not be closed. It usually depends on how hot the room gets and how much light it lets in. At night, when most my movie watching is done, the amount of light it lets in is minimal so I just leave it open.


Finally, here is that wonderful window.



And now some visio drawings (Sorry, I have no idea how to use google Sketchup)
First the overall room.


And then the screen wall.


I've been looking through all the HT photos people have posted I found many that I really like; however only a few that are also somewhat realistic for me.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=982083
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1255339
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=14012849


I tend to really like that 2:35 screen and since the room will only be used for movies this aspect ratio seems to make the most sense to me. Right now I'm leaning towards the 136" BW Carada Criterion 2.35:1. The CIH masking system they have would be nice but there is no way that's in the budget. I am waivering a bit on the size though and am wondering if 136" may be too big.

For the projector I like the Panasonic PT-AE4000U especially with the extra lamp and warranty. Using the calculator at projector people it would appear that with a 14'6" throw I would need to use a 1.97x zoom which is nearly this projectors maximum. I'm left wondering if this presents any problems? When viewing movies with smaller ratios I would simply have black bars on the sides of the screen, right?

In the family room I have an Onkyo TX-SR606 that I've been happy with so I figure the newer model Onkyo TX-SR608 should be fine for the movie room. The only other piece of equipment I plan to put in there is the Popcorn Hour A200 which is currently in the family room. I still have not decided where to put this equipment but the rack show in that second link above is my current favorite. As for the speakers I currently have no plans to chage them. Perhaps a few months down the line I will look into replacing them.

Seating will likely stay the same however every once in a while I do check out what HT seating they have over at The Dump and perhaps one day I will find a good deal there and have to jump on it. Ideally I'd like to get a 3 seat Berkline, or similar, setup for the back wall but that might get a bit tight depending on the model.

I'm thinking a paint job similar to that in the first link above would be good. Black screen wall, cieling ad trim with slightly darker tan/brown walls than I have now.

The last area is one I know nothing about - acoustical treatments. I'm fairly sure I'll want to put a covering over that entire window but after that I really have no idea what else might be needed.
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post #2 of 38 Old 01-17-2011, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I've talked myself into replacing the old couch and chairs for some HT seating. I was able to check out a small variety of seats and found the Berkline 12000 model to be rather comfortable. The only questions left on this is if do I do them straight or curved and 3 or 4 seats. From reading the forums it appears Roman @ Ultimate Home Entertainment is the guy to talk to about getting these.

I've been considering swapping the screen and seating walls, which is how I could fit four seats, but I'm still really up in the air with that one. The way this is right now it's a bit tight entering the room especially with the curved seats.

The new layout with seating and slightly revised screen wall.



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post #3 of 38 Old 01-17-2011, 12:25 PM
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You can pull the seating a bit closer to a 10 ft wide 2.35 screen. My distance to my eyeballs is 130 inches for a 116 inch wide screen.
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post #4 of 38 Old 01-17-2011, 12:59 PM
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I'm sitting at 12' for a 120" wide screen and like it. I agree with Big about pulling your seating forward into the 12-13' range, not just for video but for acoustic purpose as well as you'll have bass build up along that back wall. Hang your 4000 just behind the seats at around 15' or so. You could go as far as the back wall (my 4000 is at 17' throw) but will get better image brightness closer.

That's what I'd do at least (I think)
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post #5 of 38 Old 01-17-2011, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

You can pull the seating a bit closer to a 10 ft wide 2.35 screen. My distance to my eyeballs is 130 inches for a 116 inch wide screen.

130" from a 116" screen! That sounds a tad too close to me, but then I've never had a projector before so perhaps I just don;t know any better yet. Thank you for pointing it out though. For some odd reason moving the seats closer hadn't yet occurred to me and I could easily see going to 168" (14feet), or maybe even a bit closer, which would make the entrance much less busy. Curious that the projector people calculator shows the recommended distance at this size/throw to be between 14' - 22'.

I think this would definitely be better that swapping the screen wall since doing that means a smaller screen, no floor speakers, and the screen right next to the door.
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post #6 of 38 Old 01-17-2011, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotto View Post

I'm sitting at 12' for a 120" wide screen and like it. I agree with Big about pulling your seating forward into the 12-13' range, not just for video but for acoustic purpose as well as you'll have bass build up along that back wall. Hang your 4000 just behind the seats at around 15' or so. You could go as far as the back wall (my 4000 is at 17' throw) but will get better image brightness closer.

That's what I'd do at least (I think)

Hmmm, seems like a small trend there on the seat position so I'll definitely have to go with it. I would love to hear how this helps the acoustics as this is one area I'm still fairly clueless about.

As for the projector I'm trying to keep it as close as possible to the screen to keep the brightness up but I also don't want it too close the fan which will be running at high speed when the room is in use. With the room and projector dimensions it would seem that 16' back is about as far as I will be able to go anyways. I'm hoping for 14'6" - 15'.
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post #7 of 38 Old 01-17-2011, 05:58 PM
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The seating position based on that screen size is probably a larger trend vs. a smaller one. If you do some additional reading of build threads, you'll see that many like a 40-45 degree field of view for first row. Following is a seating diagram showing various standards and recommended seating distances if you haven't seen it yet. In the end, it comes down to your preferences though...maybe you or the wife will get sick sitting so close. Easy to move the seating if so, but I would personally hate to have the projector above or hanging in front of my head. Tape your wall to screen dimensions and try to visualize for starters.

Depending on what you plan for audio eqpt(dedicated sub, or whatever) boundaries are notoriously bad for acoustics. In particular, bass will be higher near the rear wall. Common suggestion is to try to get your seating at least 2-3' or more away from the wall. In my room, my rear row is about 1.5' from the wall and I can definitely hear higher bass levels there, while leaning my head another foot forward brings it very close to what I hear at my first row, which is where the AVR is mainly tuned for via Audyssey.

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post #8 of 38 Old 01-18-2011, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you. I have been doing some more reading and this definitely seems to be the consensus. While diving into another question I had - on aspect ratio 2:35 vs 1:85 I came across this thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1287699 which really drove the point home. This all works out great since it clean up the room entrance and without a riser to worry about the seating can easily be moved. As for taping it all off - I stopped by Lowes a couple days ago and bought a nice big roll of tape. I've been trying various situations.

I'm definitely using a sub (only one though).

I also must say you have a beautiful setup. I've so envious of you guys with huge unfinished basements, the skills to so something with them, and the patience to do so.
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post #9 of 38 Old 01-18-2011, 05:27 PM
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Thanks for the compliment (assuming that was in my direction)

There's so much here on the forum to digest isn't there? I was wading through it when I first started and it seemed insurmountable. Keep reading and asking questions until you're comfortable you understand your goals and how to achieve them, otherwise you'll either end up unhappy or re-doing things, which stinks as well. Everyone here wants to help out.

Keep in mind that what might appear as an overwhelming screen/seating position will most likely become very acceptable as you get used to it. I remember back around 2001 or so when I bought a 55" Mits RPTV for our 17'x17' great room and the wife commenting how huge it was (main seating at 13"). Now it just seems like a baby sitting along the wall after sitting 12" from a 10" wide scope screen.
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post #10 of 38 Old 01-19-2011, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Fotto, the compliment was most definitely directed your way.

I was't really planning on going with it but since I'm redoing the room I figured I should at least see what the story is on 7.1 audio. As it turns out I'm glad I did because with the seating moved way forward I can now see that my surround speakers are in entirely the wrong place for a 5.1 setup. At least they should be workable for 7.1. Besides purchasing new speakers which I was not budgeting for I'll have to figure out how to get speaker wires in the right location - ugh!

I figured this was going to be tough enough getting the HDMI cable to the projector location, now this. I'm wondering if it might be beneficial to build a soffit along the screen and two side walls to help with running all the wires. In the end I think think might be the only way to get something from the screen wall out to the rest of the room.

Here is the screen wall where it meets the ceiling. Notice not much space there and that's before insulation.


Here's the screen wall and the window wall with insulation. Admittedly I don't know much about construction but I'm not seeing an easy way to get wires where they will need to be.


Finally the screen wall and the wall opposite the window. This wall has no insulation in it but it's tight even before the insulation is added on the underside of the roof.
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post #11 of 38 Old 01-19-2011, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotto View Post

sitting 12" from a 10" wide scope screen.

Holy crap, talk about immersion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfp View Post

I'm not seeing an easy way to get wires where they will need to be.

Not sure I see the problem from the pictures, i.e. why you couldn't just run wires up above the ceiling joists. Maybe if you annotated the pictures to show where you want to run the wires, and what's in the way?
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post #12 of 38 Old 01-19-2011, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Holy crap, talk about immersion!



Not sure I see the problem from the pictures, i.e. why you couldn't just run wires up above the ceiling joists. Maybe if you annotated the pictures to show where you want to run the wires, and what's in the way?

The problem is really access since the room is already finished. This link is to a full size image of the screen wall before the drywall was added. With the truss design, A/C vents and A/C unit there is very little room to work over that room. Perhaps a really small person could get in there but I kind of doubt it. Are you thinking just open up the ceiling every few feet to route the cable and then patch it?

https://www.box.net/shared/9hnneg09os
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post #13 of 38 Old 01-19-2011, 10:58 AM
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Are you thinking just open up the ceiling every few feet to route the cable and then patch it?

Yeah something like that if need be - I resorted to that on a wall to run speaker wires for unpowered subs, since I wired only for powered subs when the wall was open. But I do have access above which helped - and I did an ugly patch job because I was putting OC 703 over the entire wall anyway (behind screen). I was a sort of crappy job (you know, a step backward to make a step forward), but once I was done, I was glad I did it.
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post #14 of 38 Old 01-19-2011, 12:01 PM
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If it were me, I'd totally rule out that "I or someone smaller cannot move around in the space above" before I'd start ripping out drywall to run wire.

You could just drill a holes through your top plates where you need your two side surrounds and screen wall for those extra runs and proj run, which would amount to 3 small repair patches. Fish the cable up from where they will originate (screen wall?) up through that hole to enter the space above. Then the "attic rat" can just scurry through pulling cable to the two new side speaker locations and just stuff them through the top plate, or connect to a fish tape/ hanger or whatever and pull them down.

You don't by chance live anywhere near the the Roloff's do you
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post #15 of 38 Old 01-19-2011, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If it were me, I'd totally rule out that "I or someone smaller cannot move around in the space above" before I'd start ripping out drywall to run wire.

You could just drill a holes through your top plates where you need your two side surrounds and screen wall for those extra runs and proj run, which would amount to 3 small repair patches. Fish the cable up from where they will originate (screen wall?) up through that hole to enter the space above. Then the "attic rat" can just scurry through pulling cable to the two new side speaker locations and just stuff them through the top plate, or connect to a fish tape/ hanger or whatever and pull them down.

You don't by chance live anywhere near the the Roloff's do you

Who or what are the Roloff's?
I'm in the Phoenix, AZ area.

Is the "attic rat" generally an electrician or some other trade. I'll need the power placed for the receiver too
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post #16 of 38 Old 01-19-2011, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
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Who or what are the Roloff's?
I'm in the Phoenix, AZ area.

Is the "attic rat" generally an electrician or some other trade. I'll need the power placed for the receiver too

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/litt...-big-world.htm
Sorry if that was in poor taste. I do enjoy the show, and for the record have nothing against "little people".

I was eluding to whomever was able to stuff themselves in that space and move around if you were planning on doing the job yourself (with a helper).
If not, I'm certain any qualified electrician could take care of it for you. They're normally pretty proficient with pulling/fishing wires. Of course, that will cost you more though.
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post #17 of 38 Old 01-23-2011, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Finally pulled the trigger on the projector Panasonic PT-AE4000 and and Chief RPAU ceiling mount. Also went with a 35' BJC Belden Series-1 Bonded-Pair HDMI Cable and various other cables, banana plugs, speaker wire from Monoprice.


Below is my revised plan with speaker locations. I'm thinking that I should probably move the rear speakers (current location in red) a little closer to the center of the room. The surrounds will have to be rather high due to the window and/or door. I'm guessing that I should keep the rears hight too and angle all four down towards the listening position.



Since I need to purchase a set of speakers for the surrounds I started debating all my speakers. I read in the speakers forum that three identical bookshelf speakers are really the best setup for fronts (link).

As mentioned earlier this screen wall (with three bookshelf speakers) from Wizzack is one I really like.


I'm debating doing the same type of setup just not with speakers as nice as his. Currently most my speakers are fairly old Polks - I have some RT8's for fronts and a CS400i in the center. The surrounds are Energy EFX and the sub is Klipsch KSW 100. I'm considering going with 7 Polk Monitor 40's. Do you think this would be a bad idea?
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post #18 of 38 Old 01-31-2011, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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130" from a 116" screen! That sounds a tad too close to me...
What's really funny is that I'm slowly getting closer and closer to this distance.

The projector arrived and is mounted, at least temporarily (I'll have to take it down to get the ceiling painted black.) I had to go about 6" off center to hit a joist. I was a bit worried that the ceiling fan going at full speed might shake the projector a bit but that doesn't appear to be a problem. I'm now debating if those rear speakers need to be moved a few feet further into the room.



Here is the front, not that there is much to see yet. (yeah, I've still got to get that old beast of a tv out of there still - I just don't want to confront hauling down the stairs )
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post #19 of 38 Old 01-31-2011, 08:48 AM
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Can we assume you fired that new projector up then and display something on the wall? How did it look to you based on your seating distance?
Is your tape at 120" or 126" wide?
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post #20 of 38 Old 01-31-2011, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Can we assume you fired that new projector up then and display something on the wall? How did it look to you based on your seating distance?
Is your tape at 120" or 126" wide?
Inside edge of the tape is 125" wide. I've most definitely fired it up and must say that I'm really surprised how good it looks on that tan, textured, wall. I'm sure the Carada screen will make it WAY better still.

I haven't really watched much on it yet. I've mostly gone with 15-20 minute viewings to get an idea on seating position and exactly where I want to position the screen vertically. The other tape marks are approximately 53" high for a scope screen. I may still adjust that a bit lower on the wall and to be perfectly honest I'm still not 100% sold on going with a 2.35 screen although that's the way I'm leaning. I still need to figure out how to get the zoom working between 2.35 and 1.85 keeping the height constant. It seems when I try the image shrinks much more from the bottom than the top and would therefore be off the screen. Guess it's time to RTM.

Through this process I've moved the char forward a few times now and while I have not measured it my eyeballs are well forward of the doors into the room so I'd guess I'm somewhere near 12' 6" right now.
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post #21 of 38 Old 01-31-2011, 09:52 AM
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Yeah, mine looked great on just my drywall. You won't be disappointed once the screen is hung.

Getting your 4000 constant height programmed isn't very hard. Here's a snippet of something I have on file to help out (I think it's from the 4000 thread):

1. Adjust the 16:9 image first using the manual dials on the case to position it, and using the zoom control to get the size right. It helps to put Post-It notes on the screen border so you can see the overlap. No need for horizontal mech adj at this point.
2. Adjust focus using the ZOOM/FOCUS screen. Briefly tap the arrow buttons for fine adjustments; if you hold them down, they move rapidly. Finally, save your settings in a lens memory in the LENS CONTROL menu (name it 16:9).
3. Next load a 2.35 movie and adjust zoom/focus/position. In the ZOOM/FOCUS screen, press the ENTER button until the source video appears. Find a scene where all four edges of the image are bright. Use the V-AREA POSITION setting in the LENS CONTROL menu to move the image vertically. You may need to adjust the horizontal manual dial to center it horizontally, but don't touch the vertical dial. Save this in another lens memory (name it 2.35:1).
4. This can be an iterative process, you should go back and forth, loading 16:9 and 2.35 memory settings and making adjustments until both are perfect. But only adjust the vertical manual dial in 16:9 mode, and only adjust the horizontal manual dial in 2.35 mode.
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post #22 of 38 Old 02-11-2011, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally getting some good movement on this project.

Electrical work was done last week. Apparently there was plenty of room for attic rats so I ended up with just two small holes where the cables needed to go from the ceiling to the screen wall. The room should be completely painted this weekend - mouse ears for the screen wall, ceiling, trim, doors, and wall outlets - medium brown (caramelized onion) for the rest of the walls.

Last night I was finally able to figure out how to setup the projector for CIH and even auto switching. I'm 95% sure I'll go with the Carada 136" 2.35 BW screen. I think I'll watch a few movies in their entirety on the wall tonight and tomorrow (before it's painted black) so I can be sure this is the size and aspect ratio I want. Looks like I'll get lucky with the screen as Carada is offering free shipping to the US this month.

I'm planning to make some superchunk bass traps and discovered it's going to be really tight on the screen wall. 131.8" for the screen + 17" times 2 for the bass traps is 165.8". My measurements for the room have always been 165" but this was done along the floor and is from trim to trim. Wall to wall should give me another inch assuming the walls are straight. I know Carada will make a custom size and I could just get a screen about an inch smaller but I'm sure I can make adjustments to the traps if necessary.

On the subject of bass traps... Since the door into the room is in one of the back corners I can't put one there. Would it we worthwhile to still place one in the other back corner? I'm assuming it would.

I'm also looking at some acoustic panels from ATS. I'm curious what to do with the large window though. It will be completely covered by a drape but should I plan on hanging acoustic panels in the window opening behind the drape?
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post #23 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Room is now painted. Screen wall and ceiling are Mouse Ears, walls are Caramelized Onion (Valspar color from Lowes - thanks to yamahaSHO on that). The trim and doors are also mouse ears just not flat.

Also just finished ordering a 136 Inch Diagonal Criterion Series Projection Screen - 2.35 to 1 from Carada.

















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post #24 of 38 Old 02-25-2011, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Getting really close! Next week I'll receive the surround and rear speakers and then I'll finally be able to watch something in here.

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post #25 of 38 Old 02-25-2011, 01:57 PM
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Looking good! I like the color scheme - I'm planning something along those lines as well, black and tan.
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post #26 of 38 Old 02-25-2011, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Looking good! I like the color scheme - I'm planning something along those lines as well, black and tan.

Thanks. I "borrowed" it from a few other folks here.
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post #27 of 38 Old 03-16-2011, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by pfp View Post

Thanks. I "borrowed" it from a few other folks here.

Next time I'm in town to visit my parents, I'd like to check it out!

Lookin' good!

-Jason

The "Z" Family Theater - Almost "complete".
-Not your average sub build
-Klipsch Sonosub Build

SONY quality and customer service FTMFL
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post #28 of 38 Old 03-18-2011, 05:48 AM
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Room is looking great!

The "Twinseltown" Theater
Construction Thread
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post #29 of 38 Old 03-18-2011, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. It's nearly done now. Got the surround speakers installed, window covering installed, most acoustic panels installed (misjudged and still need a couple more), Berkline chars arrived and installed. The biggest thing I've got left to do is the bass traps and I suspect I'm going to drag my feet on that one as I'm busy watching movies now.
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post #30 of 38 Old 03-21-2011, 04:37 AM
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David, I have my Panny 4000 on a 168" horizontal (what's that? 200"+ diag) and we've been watching for a year now with great pleasure. I'm sure pfp would say the same. I now have 2000 hours on the bulb, and admit it's lost some pop. I use "normal" mode. For the first 1000 hours though, it never crossed my mind.

Those lumen charts have always been a sticking point for me. I hope people base opinions on experience rather than charts. Does it loose a little something? sure. But the impact of 14' of scope screen far outweighs it. Why do people go projection in the first place? BIGGER SCREEN.

The "Twinseltown" Theater
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