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post #1 of 130 Old 03-23-2011, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in a two story home with an unfinished basement. It is a 4 year old home. We are finally getting around to finishing the basement. Total basement size is around 1900 sq ft. and finished area will be around 1300.
I don't have the skills most of the DIY folks possess so I will not be doing this on my own. I have chosen a general contractor who will finish the entire basement. He will get help from these forums to plan my Home Theater.

Here is the floorplan.



Home Theater will be in 26 x 16.5 inch area. This is unfinished space so drywall will reduce this size by a little bit.
The screen will go along the wall on the right size as shown.
Seating distance will from the primary viewing couch will be 14-15 feet.

Media closet will go into the bedroom that is next to the family room.
Media closet will be 3'x3'. It will be vented using cool components ceiling cooling kit and will probably be connected with HVAC.
I was thinking of putting 1 20 AMP circuit in Media closet.
The compnents will be receiver, bluray player, directv hd receiver, apple tv or XBOX

I was planning on using in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. I got a great deal on Paradigm reference series speakers so I bought them. I have not picked the up yet so I do have the flexibility to get floor standing or speakers.

Here are a few other pictures that might help in showing the space.







Speaker Models

Paradigm SA-LCR3 with backbox for center
Paradigm SA-35 for left
Paradigm SA-35 for right
Paradigm RVC12SQ, RX12SQ and X850 In wall Subwoofer.
Paradigm AMS-150 for surrounds
Paradigm AMS-150R30 for rears

I purchased these speakers before I read "What I could have done better" thread and other home theater build threads.

It seems to me that building a false wall is a best practice. This will allow me to use floor standing speaker. It seems to me that floor standing speakers of the same price will probably sound better than an equivalent in wall speaker.
For example my Center Channel SA-LCR3 retails for $1200. The back box is $400. I haven't done shopping but I think I will get a better center channel for a similar price. I will have to stick with Paradigm because the dealer already has my money so I have to to stick with the same brand. Based on your feedback I am willing to change all the speakers from in-wall/in-celing to traditional speakers. I can easily switch my surrounds but the rear speakers seem to be 11 feet away from the seating position. This is why I went with directional in-ceiling speakers. Will normal in wall speakers that 11 feet way sound better?

It also seems to me that AT screen is the way to go. I have been looking at Seymour Center Stage XD screen. I was thinking of getting 120 Inch screen. The center channel will go behind the screen and the other two speakers will go on each side of the screen. Is this screen size correct for my viewing distance. I was thinking of going with 16x9 screen but there are a lot of folks using 2.35 screen. What is the main benefit? I know that most movies are short in 2.35 format but there is a lot of content in 16x9 format.

The home theater will be used to watch movies. If we have a get together sometimes we will have folks hang out in the theater room without watching a movie. My toddler will also play here.

Sound Proofing
This is a difficult topic for me. Initially I thought the goal of sound proofing was to keep loud noise from theater to get into the rest of the house. After reading these forums it seems that the opposite of this is true.
Sound proofing is not cheaps. My fear is that I do not have the budget to do all the things that are recommended. If only do a few things like double layer of drywall with green glue am I wasting my money. Since I am in a 2 story home and we are only a family of 3 at least right now sound proofing seems hard to justify. There is where it will be very helpful if you can share some cost effective way to do the sound proofing. What are things I can do to get most bang for the bucks?

Layout and Sound quality
This is my biggest concern. I am not sure my current layout will provide good sound. The home theater is not an enclosed area. I have fireplace in the middle and that might cause issues. What other layouts I should consider to improve the sound quality. My wife really likes fireplace in the middleo of the basement. It is very close to the bar and theater. If I had a choice I would have place the home theater where the bedroom was. This would have given me enclosed space that might be better for the theater. However this will mean that bedroom is closer to the bar and fireplace might have to move. This might not be possible unless I can provide compelling reasons to change the layout.

Lighting
I will use Crestron iLux CLS-6EX to control the lighting zone.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.


PS: I will be signing up for Pro Theater Layout Services but it never hurts to get opinions from other folks have or are building home theaters.
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post #2 of 130 Old 03-23-2011, 03:28 PM
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You may lack diy skills, but your 3d rendering skills are very good.

The dimensions to your seating from the wall says 6 feet. This appears to be incorrect based on the scale of the floorplan.

The Fireplace and the open space on the right wall is going to limit the ability to place sound treatments there. For good sound, acoustic treatments are more important than soundproofing.

Regarding soundproofing - With the layout you have it would be difficult if not impossible to soundproof that room without doing the entire basement. Soundproofing can get expensive and it is not necessary for everyone in every situation. Like you mentioned for me soundproofing is more about what gets into the room than out of it. While I do appreciate being able to play at louder levels at night when the kids are sleeping, it is more important to me to not hear the kids jumping around on the floor above me when I am trying to listen to music or watch a movie. I also want to eliminate any buzzing or resonance in my room.
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post #3 of 130 Old 03-23-2011, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response stockmoney2000.
I have fixed the error. Seating position distance from Screen is 14-15 ft.
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post #4 of 130 Old 03-23-2011, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is list of open questions:
1. Even though I have settled on AT screen I am not sure if I should go with 2.35 or 1.78. What size will work best in the room of my size with seating position 14-15 feet away. I was consider 120 inch Seymour AV Center Stage XD screen but I am open to suggestions.
2. What is better setup? False wall with floor standing speakers or No false wall with In-wall speakers.
3. Should I place all 3 speakers behind the screen or just my center speaker?
4. What acoustic treatments should I do based on the size and shape of my room
5. What is a good projector with in $2500 price range.
6. If I cannot afford sound proofing the entire basement as my setup requires does it make sense to do any sound proofing at all?
7. Is dedicate 20 amp circuit going to be enough for the media closet?
8. Does projector also require a dedicated circuit?
9. Does the subwoofer require a dedicated circuit?
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post #5 of 130 Old 03-25-2011, 12:35 PM
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There is not a lot of information to go by but I'll give a shot based on the info I have.

1 - Either will work - 15 feet back is quite a ways away from the screen - 2.35 vs 16:9 depends on preference - whether you are doing Constant image height etc. Your choice would depend a lot on what type of content you watch whether you want bars on the top and bottom or sides etc.
2- IMO false wall with floorstanders is better - but the two you listed are not the only options - if you go with a 120 inch screen as you mentioned - most likely the speakers are going to be crammed against the wall unless you use an acoustically transparent screen with the speakers located behind.
3 - See number 2.
4 - Too much to list here - too many factors involved - The acoustics master thread sticky on this forum has a lot of good info - its a lot to consume though - Probably should get the basics worked out before worrying too much about this .
5 - Too many to list - Depends a lot on what you like and are trying to acheive - 120 is a large screen so a bright projector or a very light controlled room is necessary. Often when screen size goes up so does projector cost.
6 - With an open floorplan soundproofing will be difficult and expensive.
7 - Depends on your gear.
8 - Most likely no - But still might be a good idea.
9 - Most likely no - Depends on your sub.
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post #6 of 130 Old 03-25-2011, 12:44 PM
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Fantastic Rendering what software did you use?
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post #7 of 130 Old 04-25-2011, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Chief Architect was used to render the basement.
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post #8 of 130 Old 04-25-2011, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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To prepare my basement for construction I had start cleaning it. I had accumulated a lot of junk over the past few years.

Journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.
My first step was to clean up this mess.

Here is what I started with before the clean up.




After clean up pictures



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post #9 of 130 Old 04-25-2011, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Sound Proofing
I talked to Ted White from Sound Proofing company. He was kind enough to look at my basement and tell me that due to my design most of the sound will escape where I have the fireplace in the middle of my room. I would have wasted my money on sound proofing when the room wasn't a good fit for it.

Pro Theater Layout Service
I signed up for this service. It was a relief to find such a service.
I will be getting the design soon.

Most likely the basement contruction will begin next week.
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post #10 of 130 Old 04-25-2011, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are updated pictures of the basement.



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post #11 of 130 Old 04-25-2011, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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In the pictures above the ceiling is white but I will paint it in a darker color.

Do I have to paint the entire ceiling dark or can I get away just painting the ceiling near the screen dark?

I will be building a false wall that is 30 inches deep. I decided to not do the in wall speakers.

I am still thinking of buying an AT screen and LCR will go behind it.
1 or 2 sub woofer will probably go behind the false wall.
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post #12 of 130 Old 04-29-2011, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Speaker Decisions Made
I was fortunate to return my in wall speakers and get floor standing speakers.
Here is my current setup.

F, C, L will be Paradigm Studio 100's
Sub Woofer: Paradigm Sub 15
Surround: Triad InWall Bronze 4 surrounds(Dipole). They will be installed in the ceiling. My room does not allow on wall option
Rear: Triad InWall Bronze 4 surrounds. They will be installed in the ceiling too. Dennis recommend this. It was a big surprise for me as I have never seen anyone use Dipole speakers as rears. Most people use directional speakers Dennis looked at my room layout and recommended this who am I to question his recommendation.

Pro Theater Layout Service was the best thing that happened to my home theater. Look at the Pro Theater Layout sticky thread at the top of this forum.
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post #13 of 130 Old 04-29-2011, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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False Wall and Stage Construction
I do like the minimal looking false wall.
Room is 16'8' wide.

Here are few decisions that have already been made.
1. Screen will be an AT Screen that is 117 inch wide
2. False wall will be 30 inches deep.
3. One side of the false wall will have a media rack. Most likely a AXS rack by mid atlantic. It is a pull out rack so we don't have to get behind the false wall.
4. I will have a door that closes flush against the wall and completely hides the rack.
5. The other side other the screen will have a door that will be used to allow access behind the false wall.
6. Sub will go between the center and left speaker
7. Back and side walls behind the false wall are concrete. They will be covered with two 1" layers of JM Insul-shield black(If I can find it in MN).


I need to make sure that tweeters of my floor standing speakers align with the center of the screen. This requires that I build a platform/stage. Current best practice seems to be to fill it with sand.

I have seen a lot of people build a stage that extends from the back of the false wall to the front of the false wall. Is this for looks or is it needed?
I want the stage/platform for the speakers to be completely behind the false wall.
Will this work?

Fabric Questions
So my false wall have 2 doors and the screen. I want to cover the rest of the area with GOM. I am thinking of using black fabric. Is FY701 black still the fabric to use for the false wall?

I appreciate any comments or suggestions you have for me.
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post #14 of 130 Old 05-03-2011, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I failed to get JM Insulshield black at a reasonable price.
I did find one rolll of 1" JM Linacoustic RC for $247. One roll is 400 sq. feet.

Fabric
I am trying to get my hands on GOM samples. I will use black. A lot of folks use FR701 but I have also read that some people think that it is like a burlap.
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post #15 of 130 Old 05-03-2011, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a fireplace separating my theater and bar area.
I am trying to find surround for the fireplace that will not be reflective.
I will choose a dark tiles that are not shining.
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post #16 of 130 Old 05-03-2011, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Lighting

I have struggled a bit here. I know that I want lighting control. Two obvious choices were:
Graffik Eye: Easily available and inexpensive
Crestron ILux CLS-C6EX: I already have Crestron system in place. Adding this will allow me to use it with the existing control system. It is more expensive, will require me to buy an additional gateway but will allow me to add more crestron wireless switches and dimmers in future. So right now I am leaning towards this even they it is a little more expensive.

Home Theater Lighting
Initially I was thinking of Cree CR6 Recessed lights.
Both Crestron and Graffik eye can control these lights.
However I saw a home theater which had 4 inch halogen lights. The trim color was the same as the ceiling paint. They looked nice.
4" Led CREE lights are significantly more expensive. They also don't dimmed all the way down. So I have decided to use 4 inch halogen recessed lights.

I can really use some suggestions for folks who have more experience than me.



Right now I have 3 zones.
Zone 1: Three lights that point to the screen
Zone 2: 6 lights that on each side of the sitting area
Zone 3: Puck lights in the art niches.

My builder tells me that It will cost another $1200 to put crown molding that can be used to hold the rope lighting. Is it worth the cost?
Our style is contemporary so I am not sure if crown molding fits our over all style of the basement.

Do I have enough lights in this room?
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post #17 of 130 Old 05-06-2011, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally the basement construction has begun.
Framing guys framed the entire basement in less than 2 days.

Home theater wall


Home theater wall view from stairs


Media Closet is in the bedroom next to the theater room.
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post #18 of 130 Old 05-13-2011, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Updated lighting plan. I was told by forum members that I did not have enough lights in the middle of the room so I had 4 recessed lights over the seating area.

I will use 4" inch lights. Trying to decide between Halogen and Line Voltage lights.
Halogen look very nice but 13 lights will be expensive. Electrician is coming over on Tuesday to do the work and they use Juno brand lights. It is a good brand but it is going to be expensive.

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post #19 of 130 Old 05-13-2011, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Heating/Cooling guys came yesterday and Plumber also came at the same time.
Plumber finished most of the work in less than a day. Even the bathroom bath tub was delivered.
Heating/Cooling guys did majority of the work. They are not here because today is the fishing opener. They will be back on Monday to finish rest of the work.
Things are moving along fast. I don't know much about construction so I hope they are doing a good job.

All framing is completed
Here is the fireplace that divides the theater from the bar.


Bathtub is in


Theater HVAC
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post #20 of 130 Old 05-13-2011, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Cooling my media closet. This closet in 3' by 3' and is in the room next to the theater.
I ended up using products form cool components.
http://www.coolcomponents.com/Ceilin...nit_p_314.html

1 VS-CDB-CVS Ceiling Vent roughin
1 TC-BSC-80*Basic Temp controller

It is connected to the HVAC system.
The media closet door will be 1 inch above the carpet to let air in.
The vent fans will run automatically as the temperature rises and the air will be recycled with HVAC.

The price seemed a little high for a fans, temperature controller and a rough in but it is a small price to pay for keeping much more expensive AV equipment running.
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post #21 of 130 Old 05-16-2011, 09:30 PM
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I really like your plans for the space. Can't wait to see the final product. Is this a DIY?? I had lots of fun building my space (not nearly as large as yours) and learned a lot. Have fun and keep the pics coming.
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post #22 of 130 Old 05-17-2011, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks xzener for your comment and your help with the Kinect usage.
This is not a DIY. I have a basement contractor finishing my basement.
I have a AV guy doing the install. I have come up with the design of the home theater components.
I wish I had the skills to do any of these on my own.
Just the prewiring cost me over $3000. Most of the DIY folks can do prewiring in an unfinished basement for a fraction of this price.
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post #23 of 130 Old 05-17-2011, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Most of the HVAC work is compete now.
Fire place was installed.
Soffit contruction began
We had an electrical and AV walk through today.

view of fireplace from stairs


view of fireplace from family room


vent for the cooking range hood


Soffit in the theater


Soffitt on the exterior wall of the theater
Soffitt will have 2 levels and a L shaped steel bracket will be used to support the rope lights.
Soffitts will be black.
Ceiling will be Van Dyke brown. The inspiratin came from Brad H.


Projector required a break in the soffit.
I left 4 feet of space in between soffitts for a projector. The project will have 12 to 15 inches of space on each side for venting.


View from Theater to the bedroom


Received HDMI Cables from blue jeans today.
Received Powerbridge today.
I am not a DIY but even I can install the Power bridge in the bedroom that has the media closet. Saved nearly $300 by spending less than 1 hour doing this on my own.

Makes me wonder that perhaps I should have done more wiring on my own.
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post #24 of 130 Old 05-17-2011, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Electrical walk through
We were talking about rope lighting and my electrician made a comment about not being able to get long runs of rope lights in MN. I told him not to worry because I had already purchased warm white 150 of rope light from 1000bulbs.com He was taking notes.
This information came from Pimp my Garage(Brad H).

The electrician typically supplies Juno fixtures.
4" line voltage fixture was $90
4" low voltage fixture was quoted at $180
Initially I was thinking of doing low voltage fixed in the entire theater. 13 fixtures at $180 is $2340. So I had to compromise. I decided to use Line voltage 4" fixtures with halogen bulbs.
This only low voltage fixtures I chose were Juno flush gimble ring fixtures that are the wash lights for the screen. Spending $540 on these fixtures is tough. I went to the Juno website and it seems to me that I can do line voltage flush gimble ring fixtures and save $270.

Lighting cost is nearly $1500.

Big was kind enough to tell me about Lower 4" June line voltage fixtures and they were significanlty cheaper. I am trying to under why the fixtures provided by the electrician are so expensive.

Bar area lighting is even tougher.
I will have 3 50 watt Halogen Pendant lights
I wanted to have about 7 Cree CR6 LED recessed lights.
Pendands were going to be 1 zone for the Crestron Lighting Control
All the recessed lights were going to be 1 zone for the Crestron Lighting Control

Due to ducts I was unable to do Cree CR6 led lights. There was only space for 4 inch cans. Cree LR4 are significantly more so the electrician suggested 4" June line voltage halogen lights in the bar.
There is a hall area near the bar. I am still thinking of doing 4 Cree CR6 lights.
I am not sure if one zone have both Led and line voltage halogen lights and if they will dim correctly. I am also not sure if mixing different light types in the same area is recommended.
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post #25 of 130 Old 05-22-2011, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is the obligatory screen size and position on the wall picture.
The screen shown here is 120 inch wide 2.35 screen. I don't show the border of the screen here.
It is 29 inches from the ground.



I will love to hear some comments about the size and position of this screen.

Thanks
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post #26 of 130 Old 05-23-2011, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
I am not sure if one zone have both Led and line voltage halogen lights and if they will dim correctly. I am also not sure if mixing different light types in the same area is recommended.
Do not mix light types in the same zone.

Dennis Erskine CFI, CFII, MEI
Architectural Acoustics
Subject Matter Expert
Certified Home Theater Designer
CEDIA Board of Directors
www.erskine-group.com
www.CinemaForte.net
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post #27 of 130 Old 05-23-2011, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Dennis,

Thank you for your timely response. My electrician came today to do the electrical work. You advice saved me money and will provide better experience.
Now I am have same light types in each zone.
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post #28 of 130 Old 05-23-2011, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I put some tape to determine how a 130 inch screen will look.
I went bigger to make the 16x9 content bigger.
I did have height and length in my room to make this as easy decision.
Here is a picture showing 120, 130 inch screen and also showing how the 16 by 9 content will look in 130 inch 2.35 screen.
I thinking of putting my couch at 14.84 inches from the screen. This gives me a viewing angle of 40 degrees. Does this sound reasonable?

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post #29 of 130 Old 05-24-2011, 05:11 AM
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For ref, my screen is 130" diag in 2:37 config, about 102" in 16:9 config.
here is pict below from recent HT meet held @ our home, I have the side masks on here:


Your room is wider and longer than mine, here is my layout with 2 rows of seating, 1st row @ 10.5', 2nd row @ 16.5' (eye point).


IMO your screen size "fits" the room well, since you are zooming rather than using a-lens I'd be hesistant to go much wider for loss of image brightness.
(I don't want to start a zoom vs a-lens debate here either....)

Fun stuff, I remember taping the walls trying to decide my screen size as well.
Enjoy your HT journey! Have fun, keep asking Q's.

Whats your plan for acoustics?
With that false wall you should be able to do broadband bass traps on the floor/ceiling both sides and also the ceiling/front wall side-side totally hidden from peoples view.
I'd suggest the 24"x24"x34" superchunk size, how far from the front wall is your false wall? Hopefully more than 2', 2'3" would be nice to allow those broadband bass traps.

Have you bought your speakers already?
I see you listed Paradigm SA-35 (in-wall??), there may be better choices for AT screens.......something to consider.
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post #30 of 130 Old 05-24-2011, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Mike,

I am sold on 130 Inch screen. Thanks for helping me in arriving at this decision.

False wall is 30 inch deep. I used Dennis E's Pro theater layout service.
Based on their input I will be putting two 1" layers of linacoustic with 3 mm poly between them. Dennis also recommended acoustical panels all over my room.
He did not mention the bass trap but sounds like I have plenty of room for them and I can add them.

I did purchase Paradigm SA-35 in walls but that was before I had my build thread. Once I learned about my false wall I was able to exchange all my speakers for
Paradigm 100's for LCR
Paradigm Sub 15 for Sub Woofer
Due to the fireplace my room does not allow surround speakers on the wall.
So I ended up using Triad in wall speakers as my rear and surround speakers.
Dennis recommended matching the rear and surround speakers.
My wife did not like the look of rear speakers on the wall so both rear and surround speakers will be in ceiling.

Without having a projector it is tough to figure out how far I should sit.
THX 40 degree angle gives a distance of 14'8". You along with many other folks are sitting much closer.

I grew up in India. In movie theaters we had to pay more to sit farther out. Even now when I got to the movie theaters I like sitting as far back as possible.

I have a long room with just 1 row of seats. I will put a console table behind the couch and add bar stools to provide a basic second row seating.

I need to tell the electrician today when to lay down the conduit. They will have to cut the concrete to the outlets will never move. Is 14' a good spot for the outlet?


Thanks
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