Jautor's Rock Creek Theater - A post-build retrospective - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 318 Old 04-18-2012, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth_alien View Post

Slightly off topic - you said this was a custom build. As a foreigner (British) I'm curious about what that costs. Now I don't need you personal exact costs, but what is the ballpark figure for that acre of land and the house build (not including all extras added by yourself)

This is going to vary a great deal depending on location, but here in Houston, acre lots are in the $50-80k range and construction costs start in the $75-95/sf range.
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post #122 of 318 Old 04-18-2012, 06:34 AM
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Sweet. I'm obviously living in the wrong country.
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post #123 of 318 Old 04-18-2012, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

construction costs start in the $75-95/sf range.

That seems cheap!

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post #124 of 318 Old 04-18-2012, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth_alien View Post

Sweet. I'm obviously living in the wrong country.

Obviously not all areas in the US are as cheap as Houston, but most have come down considerably in the last 5 years. Houston is definitely one of the more affordable areas of the country, and historically has a fairly stable housing market compared to the rest of the country.

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Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

That seems cheap!

It is cheap! It might be closer to $80-100/sf. Property taxes are high, but we don't have state income tax. Building the same home in California would probably cost double.
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post #125 of 318 Old 04-18-2012, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

It is cheap! It might be closer to $80-100/sf. Property taxes are high, but we don't have state income tax. Building the same home in California would probably cost double.

Or triple.

Bullitt5094 built not far from me for $90/sf (according to his thread). A "Full Custom" obviously costs more, at the time I built mine 3 years ago it was $120-125/sf. My lot was a lot more than I'd consider average for a half-acre in Houston (which Spaceman correctly quoted). But I'm paying for the lot location and the subdivision...

But yeah, the low cost of housing is one of Houston's strong points.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #126 of 318 Old 04-18-2012, 09:17 AM
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Jeff, thanks for the detailed write-up on the Carada system. I don't recall - did you use a Carada screen, or just install the masking system over your other screen? I have a Stewart screen in place, and I'm trying to figure out how difficult it is to retrofit a Carada masking system over it. Does the masking system fit OVER the existing screen frame, or replace the existing screen frame? I know I've researched this a lot, but I don't recall what I found out from the Carada site.
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post #127 of 318 Old 04-18-2012, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812 View Post

Jeff, thanks for the detailed write-up on the Carada system. I don't recall - did you use a Carada screen, or just install the masking system over your other screen? I have a Stewart screen in place, and I'm trying to figure out how difficult it is to retrofit a Carada masking system over it. Does the masking system fit OVER the existing screen frame, or replace the existing screen frame? I know I've researched this a lot, but I don't recall what I found out from the Carada site.

I used the Carada MMS screen - which is "built for use with Masquerade". Which I think mainly means it has nothing protruding from the screen. It's just a frame with the snaps on top for the screen to attach. According to Carada's info:

Masquerade systems are sold as stand-alone masking systems that can be installed over many fixed frame projection screens including popular models by Carada, Stewart Filmscreen, Da-Lite, Draper, and Vutec (please contact us to confirm compatibility with your screen). Or if you don't already have a screen, you can add a matching Carada screen at the time of purchase. And you can even install a Masquerade system over your own DIY screen!

I think as long as there's no protruding trim, the only issue would be the depth of the screen frame. The Carada MMS included wood block spacers which I assume was to get the screen depth equal to the masking. The masks float just above my screen surface.

Definitely worth a call to Carada sales (Rex!), though.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #128 of 318 Old 04-18-2012, 02:20 PM
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Thanks, Jeff. Got my hands busy right now with patio additions and repainting the house, so probably be later this summer on calling Carada. Besides, I just found out I'll be spending lots of quality time on an acquisition in Calgary this summer; I'll enjoy the weather, but not so much being away from home.
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post #129 of 318 Old 04-24-2012, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Control

 

Control of all the theater components, including lighting, screen masks, projector, and remote sources was a topic I avoided "solving" until well into the design and build process. That doesn't mean I ignored it - I wired everything to support a number of schemes, so I could delay the final choices, as we are in a period of much change.

As I selected A/V components, one of the important criteria was the availability of non-IR control support, as I intended to have some form of integrated, reliable, 2-way control using a touchscreen device. So where choices were possible, I chose components with either RS232 or IP-based connectivity. As it turned out, there are only two IR-controlled items in the entire setup: the Carada Masquerade, and for now at least, the Lutron GrafikEye.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the Masquerade is controlled with an IR emitter stuck to the screen frame. The GrafikEye, at least, is controlled with a wired IR input. As I add lighting control to the rest of the house (assumed to be a Lutron RadioRA2 project in the future), I'll very likely shift the GrafikEye to IP control as well, since it supports the RadioRA2 RF methods.

During the build iRule and other competing products were gaining traction for use with iPod/iPhone. This seemed like the best path, as it leverages the cheap iDevice hardware, coupled with a DIY programming model. I was not against a URC or other dedicated device from a dealer, but wasn't going to sign up for anything that I couldn't program myself. At least at the time, and I believe this is still true, iRule was the app with the most flexibility and capability. It does have its quirks, and certainly could use significant improvement in the "ease of use" department on the programming side.

But iRule is only one half the equation. You need a destination for the commands being issued by the iPod app. If the device has IP-based network control, you're probably set. If not, you need an intermediary to convert the IP-formatted commands into either RS232 or IR. This means a Global Cache iTach or GC-100. In my case, the rack-mounted GC-100-18R was the choice.

MISTAKE: While I needed the 2 RS232 ports of the GC-100-12 or -18, I could have easily stuck the smaller and cheaper -12 in the back of the rack, instead of paying for the rack-mounted -18R version. But, obviously, not a big deal.

You can just make out the GC-100 mounted to the rear rails at the bottom of this image, where the cross member meets the rear (it's only about 3" deep):



I also feed an output from my whole-house video distribution system to the theater. To control those sources from the same iRule interface meant "upgrading" that system to allow for IP control as well. A simple Global Cache iTach IP2IR was the solution. One small issue though was that my Aton HDR44 component matrix would also need to be controlled at that location. As it requires a wired-IR input (not an IR blaster like the video source devices nearby), some quick tests revealed the voltage compatibility issue between Global Cache GC-100 and the "Xantech compatible" IR world. A "Xantech Compatibility cable" (GC-CGX) took care of that issue. For the video sources, which include DirecTV receivers, a BD player, and a DVD player, I used Xantech dual-input IR emitters.

The control system is set up as follows:

  • GC-100 RS232 #1: JVC RS50 Projector
  • GC-100 RS232 #2: Oppo Digital BD-93 Blu-Ray
  • GC-100 IR #1: Lutron GrafikEye (IR input)
  • GC-100 IR #2: Carada Masquerade (IR blaster)
  • IP Control: Integra DHC-40.2 processor
  • JVC 12V trigger: Panamorph lens slide ATH1
  • iTach IR #1: Aton HDR44 matrix (via GC-CGX cable)
  • iTach IR #2: Sony BD Player (distributed video)
  • iTach IR #3: Yamaha DVD Changer (distributed video)
  • IP Control: DirecTV HR20/HR21

With that set up and some trial and error with iRule, along with a dedicated iPod Touch to stay in the theater, I have a "functional" control system. I'm still playing with iRule, so my interface is by no means pretty (yet). I also have an iPad to build an interface for, although I don't plan generally on keeping it in the theater. Also on my list is to incorporate the 2-way feedback methods in iRule so I can shut off the OSD from the pre/pro, making it easier to adjust volume and so forth without interrupting the image on screen during the movie.

Next up, Curtains!


Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #130 of 318 Old 04-24-2012, 06:38 PM
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I always look forward to your updates!
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post #131 of 318 Old 04-30-2012, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Curtains

 

(A confession, these weren't ready for installation until after opening night, but it makes more sense to talk about it now...)

To soften up the look of the screen wall, and to give the room a more "classic" theater look, I knew I would surround the screen with curtains of some form. I imagined some form of valance across the top, and curtain panels on each side (I still don't get all this fabric/soft-goods terminology correct - must be a Y-chromosome thing). I didn't need the curtains to operate, as I've already got enough drama on that wall with the motorized masks...

I looked again at a lot of the CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles books for ideas, and again came up empty. Was the best I could ask for just a simple pleated valance? Add some fringe along the top and on the edge of the panels? I tried describing what I was after to my decorator, and she was able to at least start looking at fabrics. We knew it would need to be a nice dark velvet (also help to absorb any light spray), and in a similar monochromatic theme with the rest of the room.

Inspiration finally hit while watching a clip (Oscars?) of "The King's Speech" - the castle balcony has a gathered drape across the front - almost a bunting. I took a phone-camera shot and emailed it to the decorator:



With only two feet of vertical space to work with above the screen, and the wide span of the screen, this is an odd size to fill. Using a number of gathers (5 across the top), some big tassels and a long fringe, I got exactly the effect I wanted. The fabric is a deep chocolate velvet, with gold/bronze trim. Here's a wide shot, with the masks pulled in to 4:3 (trying to minimize flash reflections):



Here's a closer shot of the panel and tassels:



The decorator suggested making matching pillows using the same fabric and matching fringe, which even ended up with a similar gather to tie in the same look. These turned out really comfy!



Lastly, the drapery panels are mounted a few inches off the wall, so they're fairly flush with the screen frame. This also creates a pocket behind them, if I ever feel the need to add acoustic treatments to the front wall (there are none on the wall currently, and don't believe at this point I need any).

Next up, the Grand Opening!


Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #132 of 318 Old 04-30-2012, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Or triple.

Bullitt5094 built not far from me for $90/sf (according to his thread). A "Full Custom" obviously costs more, at the time I built mine 3 years ago it was $120-125/sf. My lot was a lot more than I'd consider average for a half-acre in Houston (which Spaceman correctly quoted). But I'm paid for the lot location and the subdivision...

But yeah, the low cost of housing is one of Houston's strong points.

Jeff

What's wrong with this picture?

I live in the Pacific Northwest........."Timber Country". I just received a bid calling for $160/sf. As a small timberland owner...........I know very well the cost of raw lumber. Something doesn't equate! Texans paying $90 a square foot with veneer brick facade? Wow..........labor must be cheap!
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post #133 of 318 Old 05-01-2012, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by doublewing11 View Post

What's wrong with this picture?

I live in the Pacific Northwest........."Timber Country". I just received a bid calling for $160/sf. As a small timberland owner...........I know very well the cost of raw lumber. Something doesn't equate! Texans paying $90 a square foot with veneer brick facade? Wow..........labor must be cheap!

My guess is the material costs aren't much different but the soft costs to build in the Pacific Northwest are probably more in line with those in California. A few years back, the hard costs associated with residential construction in the San Francisco area were less than 50% of the total cost of the home. Land and labor are fairly cheap in Houston and the regulations are more builder-friendly.
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post #134 of 318 Old 05-05-2012, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Grand Opening!

 

During construction, I kept thinking about what movie I'd show first when the room was done (I was optimistic that I'd actually finish). The film had to meet a few technical requirements to properly present all the cool theater features, which meant it had to be a 2.35 scope film. It must have a reference-quality image transfer (ruling out most 'classics', just for this showing), an active surround soundtrack, and be a darn good movie! Something that could be described as "an excellent film" and "an audio/visual feast" is what I needed.

I disqualified all Pixar films - way too easy on the A/V side. Fifth Element also DQ'ed for obvious A/V demo ubiquity...

Given the criteria, and as it was a relatively new BD release at the time, I found what I thought was a good choice:



Now, as a *lot* of my friends know that the theater has been under construction, there's no way I can fit everyone into one showing. My original plan would show Inception three times over a weekend, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that was going to be a chore for me! So instead, I chose to show it only once. Then I picked four more films, inviting all my friends to pick a show over the course of a weekend. So including Opening Night, the weekend looked like this:

  • Inception (Opening Night)
  • Despicable Me (Matinee)
  • Black Swan
  • The Incredibles (Matinee)
  • The Social Network

And yes, after Opening Night, I waived the animation rule, as it also allowed friends with kids to come enjoy together. Since then I've gone back to my normal movie night habits - any kids in tow get to watch something else in "Theater B", on the little 60" display downstairs... As long as they've got popcorn, they all seem fine with it!

I picked Despicable Me and Black Swan because they were new releases. The Incredibles because, well, it's The Incredibles! And The Social Network turns out to be a great film for the theater - the soundtrack's dynamic range is fantastic and Fincher's vision makes for an awesome presentation.

So for Opening Night, I have to put the whole CIH show on. Dim the lights to the "pre-show" seting, and start with a cartoon, by tradition, in 4:3 and mono sound. Another obvious choice: "What's Opera Doc". Quickly switch to 1.85 and up the A/V technical difficulty with the THX "Amazing Life" trailer.

http://www.thx.com/test-bench-blog/t...isc-explained/

Then dim the lights to their final "cinema" setting, hit the 2.35 button and start Inception... This all works much better by having the discs cued up and paused (just watch out for screen savers and timeouts) - and would be much easier if I ripped everything to a media server with a playlist (yeah, on my list...).

Just before starting the cartoon, as everyone acquired a beverage and popcorn and took a seat, I went to grab a camera. I came back to explain where the power-recline button was, and found the gang like this:



(Yeah, they figured out the recliners...)

I've known all these friends for fifteen years or more. Sharing good times with them is why you build these things to begin with.

(Alan got a front row seat for helping with the screen install!)

Now, I wouldn't necessarily recommend showing 5 films over the course of three days. I made a lot of drinks and popcorn, and just cleaning and resetting between films became a chore - I felt like a theater owner! Come to think of it, why didn't I hire some teenagers to run the concessions? But with around 40 people (not counting me) attending one of the five films, it was a great time. I had a mix of crowd sizes, from a full house to just a couple of folks, and it was curious how different the room feels when it's full versus just with two or three people. Not bad or good, just a different experience.

Since then I've done a "movie night" at least once a month, a UFC or other sports event almost as frequently, and of course many more times to watch movies myself (though still not as many I used to). The theater was also a welcome addition to my annual Super Bowl party - I never had folks actually sit and watch the whole game before now.

I've shown the following films (you'll notice they do tend to be 'scope...) for groups of friends:

  • Super 8
  • True Grit (2010)
  • Moon (2009)
  • Unstoppable
  • Source Code
  • Heat (probably my favorite movie, period)
  • United 93
  • Limitless
  • Moneyball
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

I used to only have "movie nights" to show stuff I'd seen and knew was good - I've changed that habit now, seeing at least half of those for the first time. So far, no duds!

Next up, The Bottom Line...


Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #135 of 318 Old 05-05-2012, 03:09 PM
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Inception, Limitless and Source Code.....great newer flicks in case nobody has seen them yet!


Thanks for all your write ups too!! Always look forward to the next one.

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post #136 of 318 Old 05-05-2012, 04:41 PM
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  • heat (probably my favorite movie, period)

+1
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post #137 of 318 Old 05-05-2012, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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+1

Yeah, I made a few believers out of that one... I showed Heat for my self-serving birthday party and a friend commented that it was her favorite, too... I asked her where she saw it - "at your house 10 years ago"... (that's Laurie in the second row)

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #138 of 318 Old 05-05-2012, 10:49 PM
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It must... be a darn good movie!

Your choices are excellent! There are a disturbing number of people with $100,000 home theaters and 10¢ taste.
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post #139 of 318 Old 05-07-2012, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geremia P. View Post

Your choices are excellent! There are a disturbing number of people with $100,000 home theaters and 10¢ taste.

Ha! Yeah, I've cringed a number of times at magazine shots of theaters and media racks with truly awful collections... In my media bookcase I always make sure the 'good' stuff is showing. Goes back to my early post about "cleaning up the crap out of the room before taking pictures"...

That said, it's also alarming the number of people that see no reason to buy/watch older films on Blu-ray because they're "not in High Def".

(Citizen Kane, Metropolis and Godzilla* are all on my future movie night list)


Jeff

*The original, not the god-awful 1998 thing. If you have that one in your collection, hide it behind something...

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #140 of 318 Old 05-08-2012, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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The Bottom Line

 

So from what I planned to where I finished, the project cost came in under my original estimate. I hesitate to say it was a budget, as I was always looking for ways to reduce it. Like I said when I started, that first swag scared me.

Here's the cost breakdown by category:



The segements in the pie are divided among:

  • Basic Room Finish: Standard drywall, carpet, finish, paint, HVAC ($35/sqft)
  • DIY Electrical: Wire and fixtures - DIY labor
  • Finish Upgrades: Ceiling trim, bar, columns, media bookcase
  • Acoustics & Isolation: Upgrade to 5/8" DD+GG, carpet pad, wall panels, bass traps
  • Furnishings: Seating, console table, curtains
  • Projection System: Projector, anamorphic lens/sled, mount
  • A/V Equipment: Electronics, rack, speakers, cabling

So I go from an unfinished room shell to a "standard finished room" with my builder for $35/sqft. That gets the basic room with a decent level of finish (drywall, electrical, crown molding and trim, HVAC run, insulation, carpet, paint). As I mentioned early in the thread, construction of the coffered ceiling treatment was also included, as re-framing was within scope of the builder's flat rate.

Add the theater soundproofing effort and a lot of stain-grade woodwork (ceiling trays, columns, bar table, built-in media storage, and columns) to get from the standard finish to a theater. Then fill it with theater seats, add the A/V gear and the projection system, and it sounds so gosh darn easy when I say it like that.

I went over budget on the room finishing (mostly due to the columns), but came in way under my estimate on the theater seating and A/V equipment.

Doing the electrical work myself saved me a respectable $3k-5k. I didn't even get a quote for installing the GrafikEye, so that's an estimate on top of the known savings for installing 15 recessed lights and everything else.

Bargain hunting / auction watching over the course of a year snagged around $8k in savings on the A/V and projection gear. That's not a completely fair statement as I wouldn't have purchased the same speakers if they were full-priced. But the AVS deal on the anamorphic lens/sled certainly was all savings! And their pricing on the JVC projector was better than expected, too.

Looking at the pie chart in hindsight, I'm surprised at how small the acoustics/soundproofing effort was, at less than 10% of the total. So I spent more making the room "look" like a theater than actually "being" a theater. Now, that said, the extra effort added a 30% premium over a standard room finish (if I cancel out my DIY electical savings).



I do find the overall percentages interesting. A total of 40% for both A/V and projection gear, which I think is high for a project in this scope, due mostly to the CIH/masking setup (half of the Projection subtotal). Though I suppose in comparison to other CIH setups it's probably normal.



The speakers were more than half of the A/V subtotal. I suppose it's not unreasonable since there are 10 speakers total - and my choice of amp and pre/pro are relatively inexpensive in comparison. The fact that the rack was about half the cost of the electronics also cements the fact I got away cheap here! I am happy though, that even though this total includes the rack, 50% went to speakers - advice I've always told folks is a good ratio regardless of budget for sizing A/V setups (not counting displays or projectors).

Furnishing came in much lower than expected, mostly from my change from bar stools to club chairs, and using Berkline seating instead of one of the "premium" vendors that I had assumed in my original estimate. That premium seating was the first thing that scared me, especially when I thought I was going to do 15 seats! It made me take a hard look at what would (a) really fit in the room and (b) how many people did I really need to plan for.

I'd be curious how these breakdowns compare to others' projects, and it may be good information for those just starting the journey.

The savings I can't account for is all of the design work, A/V installation knowledge, etc. that I've learned over the years - a lot from fellow AVSforum members. I assume that between using very specific products to fit my needs (instead of ones that fit a dealer's model and expertise), and all the DIY labor for low-volt and A/V installation and programming, that I probably saved ~$10k by having this as a hobby instead of "just cutting a check" for a theater. And that's on top of the equipment savings from bargain hunting and Internet shopping.

So I hope all this detail in these 20-something chapters has been useful for folks that are just starting the process. I've had fun looking back at the photos and talking about it, and it's been good for me to document all the components and pieces/parts along the way. And having to take specific close up photos forced me to finish those few bits of touch-up that I'd avoided!

Next is the final chapter, "What I'd do different..."


Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #141 of 318 Old 05-08-2012, 05:59 PM
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How did you split the side surrounds having 2 sets? Did you split the side signal into 2 seperate AMPS then on the the speakers?

Thanks
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post #142 of 318 Old 05-08-2012, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KERMIE View Post

How did you split the side surrounds having 2 sets? Did you split the side signal into 2 seperate AMPS then on the the speakers?

Nope, one amp per side channel. The speakers are 8-ohm nominal, so I just tied them in parallel into the amp (4-ohm stable), and adjusted the levels accordingly.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #143 of 318 Old 05-08-2012, 07:10 PM
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Nice bottom line summary. Looks like the masking was your splurge item. At least you were anticipating it from the beginning.

I have a similar cost breakdown that I will post when I reach the finish line.
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post #144 of 318 Old 05-24-2012, 12:17 PM
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Thanks for this thread. It gets me pumped up about my media room that will be in my new construction house being built in Crosby (NE Houston). While not as big as yours, I can look at elements that I can incorporate into mine.
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Originally Posted by SurebutterCringe View Post

Thanks for this thread. It gets me pumped up about my media room that will be in my new construction house being built in Crosby (NE Houston). While not as big as yours, I can look at elements that I can incorporate into mine.

With Spaceman, Bullitt5094, trek737, Bitten by HT and yours, we'll almost have a full "Beltway 8" tour to arrange!

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #146 of 318 Old 05-25-2012, 05:39 AM
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Jeff, the write-ups are greatly appreciated! First class build, all the way.

I get the feeling that you're not completely pleased with your iRule control solution. Have you considered CF? I'm really not too familiar with each, honestly, but CF seems to add more flexibility, from what I've read.

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post #147 of 318 Old 05-25-2012, 09:31 AM
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Re: Control

If you have multiple direct IR 'in' devices, do you need the Xantech compatible cable to correct the voltage for each device? I'm guessing as long as they are all unique devices (not requiring 'zoning') you could just redistribute using a standard IR distribution device via a single IR port on the GC-100, correct?

Also for your projector run, did you use a RS232 cable or adapters on a CAT5 type cable? I'm assuming that would work but never looked into RS232 until you made iRule look easy!

Great build and great write-ups!

Chad
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post #148 of 318 Old 05-25-2012, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

I get the feeling that you're not completely pleased with your iRule control solution. Have you considered CF? I'm really not too familiar with each, honestly, but CF seems to add more flexibility, from what I've read.

I'm not pleased in the sense that I haven't spent enough time nor obtained enough decent graphics to make the touchpanel layout usable by others... And I haven't even touched the two-way aspects that will really make it nice.

But I'm not thrilled by the learning curve on iRule - it has "it's way of thinking", and IMO a lot of extraneous stuff ("entrances") that clutters the programming GUI. It also doesn't seem possible to share complete, working panels with others - layouts yet, but I believe you still have to go through and map buttons to a specific device. I'm running into this just trying to control two DirecTV boxes - I can copy the graphic page layout, but have to repeat all the button mappings to "another instance" of the device. Very tedious and really limits the potential for sharing.

(Now, I may be behind on what can be done in the sharing area, but quite frankly the documentation and support-forum-through-one-gigantic-thread-on-AVS means it's tough to figure this stuff out...)

I should look again at CommandFusion - but honestly can't even figure out how much it costs now... The app appears to be free as does the GUIbuilder - did something change to make this "free" for DIY usage???

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #149 of 318 Old 05-25-2012, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauleyc View Post

If you have multiple direct IR 'in' devices, do you need the Xantech compatible cable to correct the voltage for each device? I'm guessing as long as they are all unique devices (not requiring 'zoning') you could just redistribute using a standard IR distribution device via a single IR port on the GC-100, correct?

Correct. Once you get the IR signal to the Xantech compatibility 'standard', you're good to go on any IR distribution. And yes, as long as you don't need routing to deal with duplicate devices, one conversion is all you need.

Quote:


Also for your projector run, did you use a RS232 cable or adapters on a CAT5 type cable? I'm assuming that would work but never looked into RS232 until you made iRule look easy!

Just used one of the cat5e cables and some simple RJ45-to-DB9 connectors. Had to build them twice as I was overthinking the pinouts, and confused myself (hint - remember when looking at the pinout diagrams to remember which side of the connector view you're seeing: front vs. back)...

Quote:


Great build and great write-ups!

Thanks!

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #150 of 318 Old 05-26-2012, 09:43 AM
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If the receiver is listed as RS232/TCP (I have a Denon 4311), is there a preferred method? I notice you didn't do RS232 w/ your Integra. Why did you choose this method? I'm assuming if I wanted RS232 for my receiver, projector and Oppo, then I would need two gateways GC-100 + something like an IP2SL. Maybe that's why you went this route? I just don't know if you give anything up with IP.
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