Hi everyone - I've posted several times to get input on designs and various items of concern, but I am ready to get my build started.
Here is the layout:
I have spent hours researching and planning here, mostly around:
1. Screen Size
2. Chairs - narrow but comfortable for my 6' 3" frame
3. Projector throw and placement
4. Fabric wall techniques
5. Sound containment
6. Acoustic Treatment
7. Riser Height for 2nd row of chairs in a low ceiling room (6' 9")
All of the planning got me to a decent point on all of those things, but I really felt like I needed to get some stuff here and test it out before I spent any more time worrying about it.
So, I ordered a whole bunch of stuff and rigged it up temporarily. This has been great for learning because alot of problems/questions I was struggling with are solved, but some others are going to be more challenging.
Here is the room:
Stuff to go in it
I rigged up the Epson 8700 on top of a few boxes shooting on a white sheet and the speakers with my Onkyo SR707 temporarily and watched several hours of a few different movies (Star Wars I & IV, Avatar, Miracle)...
HOLY CRAP - love it! I could probably watch this and be happy for months. I knew this might happen...
Anyway... here's what I've learned on my main issues:
1. Screen Size - I thought 106" might be the max given the room size, but I found that I was VERY comfortable with around that size and wanting it bigger. WAF high on going bigger too. Son AF very very high
. Will go up to around 120" depending on the riser issue coming up. Also very comfortable I will be able to move my chairs up from the 10' viewing distance shown in the layout.
2. Chairs - narrow but comfortable for my 6' 3" frame. Palliser Pacifcos are AWESOME. Got the power recline which is a million times better than manual. LOVE THEM. WAF high. Also, was worried about the aisle room on the right side, but no problems! One of the reasons this chair is so good for me is that it has a 43" height, which fits me well... See riser issue coming up.
3. Projector throw and placement - Epson 8700 did great with max zoom in my temp rig, absolutely stunned at how great the picture looked on a wrinkly sheet held up by a few push pins with hardly any tension. My brother could not believe how good it looked when I showed it off to him. I think I will be just fine with the throw since my temp rig was closer than any mounting position I'd choose permanently. The placement on the ceiling might be a challenge with the riser issue. Sense a trend here
4. Fabric wall techniques - got a case of OC703 FRK 1" from a local distributor (cheap too
) . Based on research here, I think I am going to be just fine running vertical furring strips, placing OC in between up to ear level (backing out) and poly batting above that. Will cover with GOM Anchorage Goose. Based on heavy research here I think I have a good staple hiding technique worked out.
5. Sound containment - was very worried about rattling the house down with the new Polks. Now from what I've read here, some of you are probably looking down on/laughing at my speakers (Monitor 40s for L/R, CS1 center, PSW10 sub). I will be pairing with Monoprice 6.5" In Ceiling speakers for 7.1 surrounds (don't have them yet though). Coming from my Sony HTIAB set up I've had for 10 years in which the L/R and surrounds were 5 inches tall by 2 inches wide, this is a major upgrade. Also, I am not even close to an audiophile, more like audio neophyte. The sound coming out of $270 worth of these new Polks blew me away. That said, great news here... WAF on the noise level upstairs was VERY HIGH. She was doing work and wasn't bothered AT ALL. This is great news as I can forget about lots of drywalling/insulation to stop noise. I know I may need to consider keeping noise OUT, but based on several hours of watching I think I'm OK. I do need to run the AC unit during a movie to see if that interferes too much.
6. Acoustic Treatment - as mentioned above, will be using OC703 FRK 1" (they only carry FRK) up to ear level (backing facing out) covered in GOM around side and back walls. Screen wall will be covered in OC703 as well, was just going to use 1" there but considering 2" since that wall backs up the furnace room. Found a supplier close who is cheap, and picked up a single case to work out some test panels with the furring strips.
7. Riser Height for 2nd row of chairs in a low ceiling room (6' 9") - this feels like my stickiest problem. The comfort of the Pacificos at 43" combined with tall people like me seating in the front row is creating a big problem here. I am looking at a riser in the 12 - 16" inch range if I want a screen between 106" and 120". That big of a riser is a problem with a 6' 9" ceiling. I am thinking of a double riser to mitigate some of the headroom challenges, but there is no way around people needing to either duck when getting seated or having viewing obstructions from the front. I will be using ceiling tiles from Ceilume in the existing drop ceiling so hand banging won't be a serious issue (they are paper thin), but it's kind of a crappy experience.
Overall, I am pretty pumped about how things are shaping up. After watching 20 mins of Miracle, my wife's comment was "I just want it done!", which was a excellent sign considering I just spent half my budget on the stuff already here. Guess I will have to oblige!
My immediate next steps are to get started on making furring strips for the walls and get the acoustic treatments in and run wiring and set up my temporary rack in my unfinished area (will build a nice one opening to theater later). From there the plan is a bit fuzzier but I think I'll move to the ceiling and get can lights installed, projector location finalized and mounted, install new ceiling tiles, build screen wall, build riser, install all fabric.
We have alot of people coming over for Christmas so I have a somewhat tentative/aggressive/foolish goal of trying to have it all done by then. It's something to shoot for but probably not going to happen. But I think I can get enough done to at least wow a few people
Please give me any reactions/criticism ideas - I'll do my best to keep posting progress.