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post #1 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I had my house built 8 years ago with the expectation of building out the basement to include a home theater. The time has come
I had initially set the positioning of the basement support beams/teleposts as well as HVAC and others with a basic theater layout in mind. This is my latest revision of the basement layout.



I have been doing a lot of sponging (and yet barely scratched the surface) on the forums! My plan is to finalize the layout so that I can start looking for someone to contract out most of the build. I then plan on shifting focus to start researching the audio/video/automation components that will be needed.

From the layout above you'll notice the following:

- 13' Wide x 21' Deep
- 12' Wide AT screen (2.35)
- Perimeter soffits
- Screen to wall gap only about 4" (assumes in-wall LCR)
- Recessed 9'x2.5' counter area (popcorn machine, mini fridge, dishwasher, sink). The 9' is the gap between teleposts built into the walls.
- 13' Wide x 8' Deep riser (~9" rise)
- Concrete walls on right and top of image. All exterior walls are framed and insulated along with vapor barrier.
- Floor (concrete) to bottom of floor joists above is 7'6" (wish I had payed the extra few bucks for an extra foot!).

A few of my current dilemmas:

- My wife would like to keep the window and cover it up during theater use to black-out the lighting. I would like good sound isolation and prefer framing it over. What kind of problems would keeping the window cause? Would loud audio likely disturb the neighbors (only 8' away to their basement window).

- I was thinking of going DD+GG+clips for walls and ceilings but is that necessary for the exterior walls (top and right of image). Exterior walls have 2x4 framing a couple of inches away from the concrete wall and have a gap between bottom plate and the floor.

- Winters get very cold here so planning on using something like Dricore as a snap-in subfloor. Will this cause me sound isolation problems?

- My current layout assumes in-wall LCR speakers behind AT screen. I suspect I may not get the same bang for my buck on in-walls? Do the back boxes normally supplied with in-walls act as a sound isolation barrier? If I decide to go with floor speakers then how much room do I need between screen and front wall to properly house speakers - my space is limited because of the location of the door. Too little results in SBIR? I might be able to steal another few inches from the fitness room (priorities

- Thinking of going with front curtains for 16:9 masking. Is this really needed in a dark cave? The Panasonic PT-AE7000 has caught my attention and has a pretty good contrast ratio...

- Is the recessed counter going to help or hinder my acoustics. Maybe I should get some type of retractable curtain to cover this up while not in use?

So much to do so little time. Any pointers on my challenges above are much appreciated. I'll post some pictures of the space once my wife is done purging it of the last 8 years of clutter
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post #2 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 06:47 PM
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Welcome to the forum and the madness of home theater building. If you are going to contract this out (or even if your aren't) start out by contacting a home theater design service and make sure you look at the following websites http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/ and http://www.erskine-group.com/. There are many here who have found their talents, information, and services quite valuable.

Good luck and in starting your very own build thread you're well on you way already.

I used a similar type of flooring as the dricore, same principal anyway and I can tell you that it instantly changes the "feel" of the floor. Well worth it in my opinion. You space is very close to mine, within a foot in each direction and within an inch ceiling height. I would be cautious about going inwalls and AT screen, I think that inwalls create their own set of problems, maybe others more knowledgeable will chime in. I chose not to go AT due to my room dimensions and not wanting to loose floor real estate.

The other thing is would you consider flipping the room and having the entry in the back? This might work better and would be less interruptive while movie watching.

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post #3 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 07:46 PM
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I'm concerned about the amount of space on the riser for a row of seating and a back sit at bar. What type of seating is planned?

That 144 inch wide screen is pretty big for this size room. I'd be inclined to go with 130 and move the front row up a tad.

The idea of a rear entrance is a good solution for a cramped screen wall, all you would need to do is put a riser high step up landing outside the door.
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post #4 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 07:51 PM
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What sort of problems do in-walls create? How much room is needed between the screen wall and proper wall for regular speakers?
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post #5 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick response. One of my previous iterations had the theater flipped but I preferred entering (and likely staying) on the lower level rather than step up onto the riser and then back down to the front row of seating. My kids are getting a bit older now so hopefully not too much coming-and-going to disrupt the viewing (door swings out so that might help a bit too).
Did you install your dricore without any soundproofing (eg Acoustimat). Were the walls built to rest on the dricore? I believe dricore recommends installing the flooring and then building the walls to rest on the OSB. I suspect that would be a way for the bass frequencies to get out of the room...
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post #6 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I'm concerned about the amount of space on the riser for a row of seating and a back sit at bar. What type of seating is planned?

That 144 inch wide screen is pretty big for this size room. I'd be inclined to go with 130 and move the front row up a tad.

The idea of a rear entrance is a good solution for a cramped screen wall, all you would need to do is put a riser high step up landing outside the door.

I was thinking of having a fairly narrow self-supporting (12" wide) bar top with built-in recoiling stools. I noticed I can get these custom built (www.suspendit.com).

I will be doing a fair bit of 16:9 viewing on this screen as well and so I wanted to come as close as I could to 5' in screen height. That height should max out the unobstructed view from the back row. After crunching some numbers with online viewing angle calculators it looks like I would be right within the recommended sweet spot for the front row (@ 2.35). It seems most posts I have read indicate people have more regrets about having gone too small rather than too large. Would you reduce the size for room aesthetic reasons, PQ, other?
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post #7 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 08:28 PM
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I built my walls and then dricore after. Logan and a couple others will tell you to do same, especially after having to tear it out after flooding.

Here's a thought on layout...could you push the exterior wet bar (I think that's what that is) down to the corner where the screen wall is, then put your entrance door right at your front row seating where the bar was previously? You could also then make your rack opening facing towards the bar, close off the wall inside the theater where you currently have rack access, and maybe make it accessible by either a rollable rack, or a small door on the left side of the rack enclosure.
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post #8 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 08:35 PM
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235, I was wondering about your second row seating because if you want reclining seats you do not have enough room on the riser.
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post #9 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fotto View Post

I built my walls and then dricore after. Logan and a couple others will tell you to do same, especially after having to tear it out after flooding.

Here's a thought on layout...could you push the exterior wet bar (I think that's what that is) down to the corner where the screen wall is, then put your entrance door right at your front row seating where the bar was previously? You could also then make your rack opening facing towards the bar, close off the wall inside the theater where you currently have rack access, and maybe make it accessible by either a rollable rack, or a small door on the left side of the rack enclosure.

Here's my layout with the location of the teleposts highlighted. I noticed in some other posts they actually moved their teleposts. In my case these posts are positioned on top of foundation piles so no plan on moving those

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post #10 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 235 View Post

Did you install your dricore without any soundproofing (eg Acoustimat). Were the walls built to rest on the dricore? I believe dricore recommends installing the flooring and then building the walls to rest on the OSB. I suspect that would be a way for the bass frequencies to get out of the room...

I used Platon which is a two part process. Plastic underlayment with OSB on top. You can build walls on top of it, but that is not what I did. Like others have stated if you build walls on top of it makes it harder to remove if necessary. I did not do any Acoustimat type of treatments, so I can't advise on the benefits of doing so.

In asking about sound propagation that is where talking with an expert can come in very handy.

Regards,

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post #11 of 573 Old 12-28-2011, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

235, I was wondering about your second row seating because if you want reclining seats you do not have enough room on the riser.

Good point. I haven't picked out furniture yet but was thinking the upper seats might have fixed back with raised foot support and the lower seats might also include some reclining for a more comfortable viewing angle. Hopefully I can find something that will fit those requirements.
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post #12 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 235 View Post

- I was thinking of going DD+GG+clips for walls and ceilings but is that necessary for the exterior walls (top and right of image). Exterior walls have 2x4 framing a couple of inches away from the concrete wall and have a gap between bottom plate and the floor.

That's a decoupled double wall and no clips are needed for isolation.

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Do the back boxes normally supplied with in-walls act as a sound isolation barrier?

Nope. In-walls require pretty substantial backer boxes to be field assembled. I'd vote to avoid in-walls.

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post #13 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 05:27 AM
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I built my walls and then dricore after. Logan and a couple others will tell you to do same, especially after having to tear it out after flooding.

Agreed. Build your walls THEN lay your subfloor. Just make sure to use pressure treated wood for your bottom plates in contact with concrete.

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post #14 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 06:23 AM
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I have almost the same length room as you, but I have about 16 feet wide. I'm trying to decide between 10' or 12' screen...but I'm worried that at that throw distance, I'll be having to jump up into another class of projector in order to achieve enough brightness. I think I'm going to do just two rows of recliner seats, no bar at the back.



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That's a decoupled double wall and no clips are needed for isolation.

Nope. In-walls require pretty substantial backer boxes to be field assembled. I'd vote to avoid in-walls.

For an exterior concrete wall to be adequately decoupled, how far does the interior framing need to be away from the wall?

Also, in general, what is the distance required between the screen and the back wall if one wishes to avoid in-wall speakers?
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post #15 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 07:30 AM
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The interior wall only needs to avoid contact with the foundation or outer framed wall. We generally say 1" just to make sure there's no contact.

Common to have 24" between the screen surface and the face of the drywall to conceal speakers, ventilation, Dead Vents, etc.

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post #16 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

The interior wall only needs to avoid contact with the foundation or outer framed wall. We generally say 1" just to make sure there's no contact.

Common to have 24" between the screen surface and the face of the drywall to conceal speakers, ventilation, Dead Vents, etc.

Thanks!
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post #17 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

That's a decoupled double wall and no clips are needed for isolation.

The bottom plate does have nails driven into the concrete floor about every 2'. The top plate also has a gap between it and the bottom of the floor joist above with nails connecting them. Is that still considered decoupled?
Would you still put DD+GG on those 2 walls? I guess that window becomes a challenge as well....


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Nope. In-walls require pretty substantial backer boxes to be field assembled. I'd vote to avoid in-walls.

The reason I was favoring in-walls was because of limited floor space. If I go with floor models then wouldn't I need about 2' more of floor space vs in-walls for LCR? In my layout I guess I could move my screen right up to the edge of my entrance door and then shrink my fitness room by another foot....not ideal but might be possible. Are field assembled in-wall backer boxes effective with sound isolation? Are they quite difficult to build?

Thx Ted!
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post #18 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rs691919 View Post

I have almost the same length room as you, but I have about 16 feet wide. I'm trying to decide between 10' or 12' screen...but I'm worried that at that throw distance, I'll be having to jump up into another class of projector in order to achieve enough brightness. I think I'm going to do just two rows of recliner seats, no bar at the back.

With my limited room height (7.5'), I didn't feel I could go much bigger than 5' screen height. However I had some room horizontally for a 2.35 screen and not sacrifice anything in the way of 16:9 height. I did some reading on the capabilities of the Panasonic PJ listed at the top of my post and felt it could handle the brightness required. The only exception might be 3D movies where the PJ mode would need to be cranked up to the brightest setting. HTH
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post #19 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 11:45 AM
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I have 9'8" height to work with. I guess I'm struggling with the question of how big is too big (if there is such a thing as too big!)
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post #20 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 12:06 PM
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235, the wall as described is decoupled. No worries. No clips.

Often there is a 2' space behind the screen wall where the speakers, vents, etc go. If you can't do that, then perhaps you would have the speakers in front of the screen wall. That's done also. Others may have opinions as well to offer.

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post #21 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 12:49 PM
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235, the wall as described is decoupled. No worries. No clips.

Ted -

I wonder about the shear strength of the nails in the top plate. Would it be better to pull the nails and run in lag screws? Do we know enough about the shear strength of nails or is it not worth the effort? Would the beefier lag screws create a more coupled wall?

Just wondering

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post #22 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 01:04 PM
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Tom, great question. The direction of the force on the wall is straight down predominantly, so no side to sede shear issues. When I built my room back in '99, I left out all connections between the top plates and the original joists. I had temporary screws in place then I pulled them at the last minute after the first and second (horizontal) rows of drywall were installed and stiffened up things considerably.

These days we use IB3 clips to stabilize

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post #23 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 02:56 PM
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I just wanted to say hello and let you know I'll be folowing along. My space (currently still under demolition) is similar (narrower, but taller, same length, one problem window), so I'll be interested to see what comes out.

I thought I'd mention that your front row lands you right in the center of the room, which often works out to be a null in bass response. Speaking of that, have you made plans for subwoofer(s)? Given my personal concerns about screen brightness, I'd recommend thinking carefully about a slightly smaller screen and coming forward a foot or two; it'll give you more flexibility and space for reclining and hanging out at the bar as well. And remember: if the screen wall comes out from the real wall to make room for speakers, then you'll be closer to the screen anyway, so smaller won't be a problem - at least for folks in the front row.

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post #24 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 07:30 PM
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I think fotto had a good idea to move the bar area down and put the entrance in the middle of the room.

How big is the fitness room, and what do you plan to put in there in terms of machines?
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post #25 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rs691919 View Post

I think fotto had a good idea to move the bar area down and put the entrance in the middle of the room.

How big is the fitness room, and what do you plan to put in there in terms of machines?

That bar area opens into the theater room and moving towards the screen would leave a telepost right in the middle of the counter....see the 2nd layout where I indicate the location of the two teleposts.

The fitness room is approx 13'x13'. I'll have a smith machine (with bench) a bike and a set of dial-up dumbells on stands.
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post #26 of 573 Old 12-29-2011, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

I just wanted to say hello and let you know I'll be folowing along. My space (currently still under demolition) is similar (narrower, but taller, same length, one problem window), so I'll be interested to see what comes out.

I thought I'd mention that your front row lands you right in the center of the room, which often works out to be a null in bass response. Speaking of that, have you made plans for subwoofer(s)? Given my personal concerns about screen brightness, I'd recommend thinking carefully about a slightly smaller screen and coming forward a foot or two; it'll give you more flexibility and space for reclining and hanging out at the bar as well. And remember: if the screen wall comes out from the real wall to make room for speakers, then you'll be closer to the screen anyway, so smaller won't be a problem - at least for folks in the front row.

Fred

Assuming total light control for the room why do you feel screen brightness will be an issue? My initial thoughts on something that might work are the Panasonic PT-AE7000 with a white 1.3 gain screen but haven't decided any of that for sure yet. I have now just discovered the concept of a baffle wall so I'm assuming that could help deal with that bass response issue? I wonder how much that would cost to have designed/incorporated? There are just too many different ways to blow that budget
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post #27 of 573 Old 12-30-2011, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 235 View Post

That bar area opens into the theater room and moving towards the screen would leave a telepost right in the middle of the counter....see the 2nd layout where I indicate the location of the two teleposts.

The fitness room is approx 13'x13'. I'll have a smith machine (with bench) a bike and a set of dial-up dumbells on stands.

Oops, my bad...didn't see that post! I guess it'll be tough to have room for lifting weights and smith machine if you take more space for the theater. Would you consider getting rid of the counter at the back and moving the two reclining rows back?
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post #28 of 573 Old 12-30-2011, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Oops, my bad...didn't see that post! I guess it'll be tough to have room for lifting weights and smith machine if you take more space for the theater. Would you consider getting rid of the counter at the back and moving the two reclining rows back?

The back counter is possibly on the chopping block but I'm not sure how that would help given that the telepost closest to the screen is the one holding me back.
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post #29 of 573 Old 12-30-2011, 11:57 AM
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Ah, I see what you mean. Well, how badly do you want the wetbar in the theater? You could just have an under-counter beverage fridge and thus decrease the linear footage of the bar; then move the door up to the middle of the theater, move the screen-wall up, and delete the counter behind the second row of recliners.
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post #30 of 573 Old 12-30-2011, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
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Assuming total light control for the room why do you feel screen brightness will be an issue? My initial thoughts on something that might work are the Panasonic PT-AE7000 with a white 1.3 gain screen but haven't decided any of that for sure yet. I have now just discovered the concept of a baffle wall so I'm assuming that could help deal with that bass response issue? I wonder how much that would cost to have designed/incorporated? There are just too many different ways to blow that budget

As you probably already know the Panny AE7000 is an excellent projector especially for the price. According to Projector Central it can light up a 200" screen... it will have no problem with the size you are talking about.

Here is the link and a few quotes:

http://www.projectorcentral.com/pana...tor_review.htm

"The bottom line is that if you want to set up a 200" screen in a dark theater, you can do it without sacrificing much at all in the way of overall picture quality. Alternatively, Normal mode gives you some flexibility to maintain superb image quality on smaller screens with some ambient light in the room on occasions when you might want to do that."

"As of this writing, we know of no 1080p home theater projectors on the market priced under $4,000 that can rival the image quality of the AE7000, and there are quite a few priced much higher that can't either. So we don't need to wait for its official street pricing to be announced before awarding 5-star ratings for Performance and Value."


Quote:
Originally Posted by rs691919 View Post

Ah, I see what you mean. Well, how badly do you want the wetbar in the theater? You could just have an under-counter beverage fridge and thus decrease the linear footage of the bar; then move the door up to the middle of the theater, move the screen-wall up, and delete the counter behind the second row of recliners.

I like this idea. Ditch the bar seating, move the door to the middle of the room so it won't be by front speakers / screen. I also agree with you, I am not of a big fan of the step up into the rear seat area then step back down...

Best of luck,

Jim
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