Upstairs theater, advice or ideas? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-31-2011, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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We are finally going to tackle our totally unused upstairs. It was poorly converted from an attic in the 1970's by a previous homeowner who had fetish for 1/4' wood paneling and lacked the ability to properly insulate. We are going to gut the panels, re-insulate and make it a couple of bonus rooms/home theater room.

Theater room size: 14+' x 22+'. Still designing can change.

- Current layout in the back has an open closet sized space we can leave. I was thinking to make it a little bar with mini-fridge, cabinets and also put an AV rack there behind so the lights do not distract from viewing the screen. Good idea?

- I can hang DIY acoustic panels made from insulation board and fabric when the walls are done for listener acoustics. But since we are gutting to the studs and maybe beyond, do you think I should use acoustic friendly wall and ceiling materials? Even if just special insulation choices. Is it wise to invest in materials to help sound proof the room to avoid disturbing neighbors at night? Neighbor's house only about 16 feet from behind where the screen will hang.

- Related, we need to rip up the carpet and fix the lumpy and uneven floor plywood. You think we should put a lot of effort into sound proofing the floor? The kitchen and family room are below the theater space. Will watch late night movies when the kid goes to bed, but I do not get too crazy with loud volume for most movies.

- Slanted ceiling acoustic considerations? Being a converted attic, I am stuck with slanted ceilings to the right and left. Should this impact my choice of speakers or layout?

- Current window will be replaced, but probably keep similar 105" diagonal dimension. At this point, rather than buying an expensive motorized screen, my plan is to mount the screen on a board and pull it up and latch to the ceiling when not viewing so we can get window light. I would put felt pads on the back to block the window light. It won't look pretty when latched to the ceiling, especially when latched up with a gap because of the slanted ceiling.... But hey, I will take this with me when we move leaving behind only holes from the hinges. Any better ideas? Not happy with the price of those higher quality motorized screens.

- Also thinking about some cool theater lighting, recessed in the walls and ceiling. We have big space behind the walls for nooks and shelves and will between studs on the ceiling. Any suggestions I should put in the final design?

Photos of the future theater room attached.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-31-2011, 10:51 PM
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It is not an issue of disturbing neighbors at night...its an issue of neighbors disturbing YOU at night. Sound isolation is not about keeping the sound from leaving the room, but rather keeping the sound from entering the room. It is much better and less costly to think of it in these terms.

Shawn Byrne
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The original Pro Theater Layout
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-31-2011, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Sierra, after posting that, I stopped searching the forum and found some of the sticky threads and have been reading for hours.

Still interested in advice and tips for this particular layout since we are about a month from starting the construction. This is going to be a lot more fun than last year's kitchen remodel projects. Really enjoying this AVS forum. Information overload!
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-09-2011, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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And we're almost done. Thanks to all those great AVS Forums posts out there. Great advice. And thanks to all those selling stuff cheap on Craigslist!
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-09-2011, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-09-2011, 07:11 PM
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I love the wall color! It looks fantastic in both the dark and light. Since you started this thread talking about sound control, did you end up doing anything about it?
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-09-2011, 07:24 PM
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I have to ask, what exact wall color is that? I've been looking for a red'ish color for my HT and that looks fantastic.
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-09-2011, 07:31 PM
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What was the final screen size and equipment that is being used?

Looks great...!

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post #9 of 17 Old 10-09-2011, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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EricM313, as costs added up, I decided to do nothing special for sound proofing. We did go from 1/4" panel walls and R-9 insulation to half inch sheet rock with R-19 to R-30 insulation. So that helps. I did however buy 2" styrofoam insulation boards at home depot and glued 1/2" soundboard on both sides to make four 2' x 4' x 3" sound proofing panels for the window behind the screen. Fit very well for the 4' x 8' window. Then I did the regular OC 703 panels cut to 12" wide in the wall, slope, and ceiling first reflection points to help with acoustics. I have 1/4" wood to paint black and make frames for those panels, one fine day.. Still a bit dirty around here, but some photos attached.

Edit - I also have three 4" OC 703 panels behind the front speakers, split with 36" x 4' on the right long ceiling slope side, 24" x 4' on the left, and 12" x 4' behind the center speaker...

Cloggerdude, the red is Sherwin Williams "Red Theatre" in satin, the black ceiling is "Black of Night" flat sheen, and the gold in the game room is "Folksy Gold" satin.

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post #10 of 17 Old 10-09-2011, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbraden32 View Post

What was the final screen size and equipment that is being used?

Looks great...!

Oh, the fun stuff:

The screen is awesome. 119" Draper "Accuscreens" manual pull down for $99. Got that tip from the guy I bought my OC insulation panels from off craig's list. He had gone through 3 or 4 $1000+ screens and swears by this one...

Epson 8700 UB projector
Onkyo HT-RC370 receiver
3 Polk CS20 speakers right, center, left (2 from Craigslist)
Polk OWM5 surrounds (craigslist)
Polk OWM3 rear surrounds
HSU STF-2 subwoofer
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post #11 of 17 Old 10-09-2011, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterfram View Post

Cloggerdude, the red is Sherwin Williams "Red Theatre" in satin, the black ceiling is "Black of Night" flat sheen, and the gold in the game room is "Folksy Gold" satin.

Thank you very much sir.
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post #12 of 17 Old 10-18-2011, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterfram View Post


Oh, the fun stuff:

The screen is awesome. 119" Draper "Accuscreens" manual pull down for $99. Got that tip from the guy I bought my OC insulation panels from off craig's list. He had gone through 3 or 4 $1000+ screens and swears by this one...

Epson 8700 UB projector
Onkyo HT-RC370 receiver
3 Polk CS20 speakers right, center, left (2 from Craigslist)
Polk OWM5 surrounds (craigslist)
Polk OWM3 rear surrounds
HSU STF-2 subwoofer

119 wide or diagonal?

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post #13 of 17 Old 10-18-2011, 08:39 PM
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That looks like a great space to enjoy a movie. Job well done! Just out of curiosity what is your throw distance for your 8700?
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-18-2011, 08:48 PM
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Great job!
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post #15 of 17 Old 10-21-2011, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbraden32 View Post

119 wide or diagonal?

119" diagonal. It's actually a bit big for my space at 16:9 aspect ratio. I sit about 16 feet back of the 22' space most of the time. However, this width of 104" is perfect for 2.39:1 cinemascope type aspect ratios. I keep getting totally lost in old classic movies. Up past my bedtime a few times already.
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post #16 of 17 Old 10-21-2011, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezit73 View Post

That looks like a great space to enjoy a movie. Job well done! Just out of curiosity what is your throw distance for your 8700?

About 17.5 feet. Did some tests and that seemed to be the sweet spot. 15' felt bright. I put a square hard board attached to the studs above the ceiling sheetrock when we finished the room. A good solid mount. Ceiling is low at 7' 5", have a short mount. Also opened up the ceiling with a nicely wood finished 5.5" gap around the screen so the screen can sit higher with the edges running into ceiling slopes.

I could slide in a smaller recessed motorized screen some day. However, this screen seems as good as it needs to be. The cheapness is in the manual pull-down/up mechanics, the screen material is very nice to look at. The screen stays down all the time in this dedicated room. No wrinkles or bowing so far.
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post #17 of 17 Old 11-04-2011, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Been watching the Star Wars Blu Ray release this week. OMG awesome. For those thinking you need to spend your retirement savings on speakers and projectors... all I can say is nonsense. My modest rig is just as good as any modern day commercial movie theater WRT to audio and visual satisfaction!
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