Jautor's Rock Creek Theater - A post-build retrospective - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 315 Old 05-26-2012, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pauleyc View Post

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.

If anything, you'll gain support and flexibility with IP.

Go with IP whenever possible since it doesn't require any additional hardware to use (assuming you'll have Ethernet hooked to everything anyway). The only downside is having to do the setup and understand some basics about networking. Use DHCP reservations to ensure everyone gets effectively a static address - but is easier to manage since all addressing is listed in your router.

And yes, that's why I went that route - I ended up not using IP to the JVC RS50 because it wouldn't come out of standby via IP, but my original plan was to use IP there as well. I was disappointed that the Oppo didn't have IP control.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #152 of 315 Old 05-28-2012, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post


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

Not sure where they all are but I'm in shadow creek ranch just off bw8 and 288. So add that to the tour! ;-)
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post #153 of 315 Old 05-28-2012, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure where they all are but I'm in shadow creek ranch just off bw8 and 288. So add that to the tour! ;-)

Hey Mike, you just filled in a big gap on the South side! For some reason I thought you were off 290 (288, 289, whatever it takes...).

Spaceman and Trek737 are off I-45, Bullitt5094 off 290, Bitten by HT down in Sugarland, and I'm between 249 and 290, so we're getting a nice loop going. Although as a real "tour" that would be a damn long day...

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #154 of 315 Old 05-28-2012, 06:18 PM
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Might take a weekend or two to make the full loop, but sounds like a plan.
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post #155 of 315 Old 05-29-2012, 08:17 AM
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This is making me wax nostalgic for Houston. Except for the humidity!
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post #156 of 315 Old 05-29-2012, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rs691919 View Post

This is making me wax nostalgic for Houston. Except for the humidity!

Originally a midwesterner, so I agree with the old Houston saying:

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You don't have to shovel sweat.


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post #157 of 315 Old 06-06-2012, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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What I Would Do Different...

Now it's 14 months after the Grand Opening, certainly enough time and usage to see what could have been done better. I've talked a lot through the thread about lessons learned, so some of this summary is repeated information. There's only a few of these that I'll actually do anything about - and probably not any time soon. Certainly not anything that would "take the room apart".

Assuming you've been reading this thread from the start, you'll remember that this project was really in two phases - building the house, and then building the theater. So "What I'd do different" depends on how far back I get to go...

If I was building the house over from scratch:

(speaking only about the unfinished future theater space)

The room would be slightly larger. Seating four across in recliners just barely fits in the 16'-wide room. The "loveseat" configuration saved me a few inches, and the aisles are only 18" wide. Add ~6" on each aisle and one more recliner armrest, and I get to 17-17.5' wide. Add a foot of depth for the middle riser, another foot or perhaps two to accommodate an AT screen arrangement in the front, and I get to 24' deep.

The risers would have been built after the room. I've mentioned this before - while it may have saved me a few dollars, having "structural" risers effectively makes this a truly "dedicated theater". I should have had temporary steps down into the 10'-high room, and constructed both riser levels as part of the theater build. That would have made it possible for future owners to convert the room to some other "hobby". That said, no one in their right mind would buy this house if they intended to destroy the theater, regardless of the riser construction...

The rack niche would be deeper. The niche I had planned for the rack and a small bar/cabinet should have been deeper (~30" would have been great instead of the ~23" I have). Using the longer AX-S service track (48" vs. 25") would have made installation and service easier. Also, when taking the cost of the service track and stand into account, the AX-SXR rotating rack isn't much more expensive. Given the rack placement near the corner of the room, the rotating rack would have been a good choice.

I would use the Erskine Group's AVSforum Theater Layout service. 'nuff said. Although if I was starting truly over, paying for a full design service (not just the 'layout') may have also been justified.

If I was starting the theater build over from scratch:

Assuming the house was built, so the room dimensions and entry location are already fixed in place. This is probably the more useful list...

The columns would have been built inside the room. As I've said many times, this was my biggest mistake of the build. Putting the speakers through the 'aquarium' means you can really hear them outside of the room when the surround channels are active. And yes, all those wiring penetrations don't help, either. That said, this still isn't an issue for me because of the theater's location in the house.

Maybe used an Acoustically Transparent Screen and Masking. Still can't see spending 2-3x the projector cost on a screen + masking system (only AT ones I know of are much more than the non-AT Carada Masquerade). Now, I probably could have used less-expensive speakers and put that money into the screen. And I've learned that the AT screen and false wall assembly has some benefits beyond speaker placement and aesthetics. Getting the speakers further away from the front row would have given a more uniform distance to each listener. I do worry about having the sound up too loud "for the front row".

Maybe used clips and channel. In the end I was surprised that the acoustic/isolation bill was under 10% of the total project cost. Doing the walls with clips and channel wouldn't have broken the bank. But I don't know how I'd do the ceiling, or more importantly, I don't know if I could have explained it properly to the contractors so *they* could make it work... (obviously this would entail building the cofferred ceiling inside the room)

Been more diligent about HVAC vent selection. The HVAC guys properly placed 4 vents and a return, but I do hear air movement (rushing) coming from the rear vents. Using the diffuser bars on the vertical portions of the trays would have been better, for both sound and aesthetics.

Built the bar table with only three posts instead of four. Dang thing is built like a tank. I'm sure one less post would have been fine, and one less post to avoid with your knees and legs.

Added more lighting and control zones. There not enough light in the room to read comfortably. I should have placed can lights above the seating just for this purpose. I will eventually pull the step lights off the GrafikEye onto a separate switch controlled by RadioRA2. That will free up a zone for the entry hall/bookcase to be on a separate zone from the rear can lights.

Used a better, more soundproof door. The solid-core (but paneled) door I have matches the rest of the house. The raised panels, though, are clearly the weak spot for sound transmission out of the theater. I'll probably try some experiments with acoustic panels partially covering the inside (panels on back) of the door to see if that makes any difference, and if so, get some made to match the room.

Considered fabric seats instead of leather. I do find my fabric couch (not in the theater) more comfy than the leather seats. Personal preference. I steered away from fabric because of concerns about wear and tear, and spilled beverages. Probably still the right call, but don't automatically default to leather as the only solution.

Used a carpet pattern with at least two colors. I still like the carpet I chose, but having something with a visible pattern would absolutely help hide those little crumbs of popcorn that I seem to always miss. I suppose that's a double-edged sword - miss too much popcorn bits and the room will start to feel like the dollar theater at mall!!!

Whew... Ok, that's all I can think of for now. I'll probably end up with another batch of stuff down the line. The only thing left to truly finish is the iRule screen layouts (will it really ever be done?), which are still the same rough batch I did initially, and certainly aren't usable by anyone else at this point.
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Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #158 of 315 Old 06-06-2012, 06:00 PM
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I'm already wishing I had gone with microfiber instead of leather, and my room isn't even done yet. Not a real big concern. Just something I would have done differently as well.
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post #159 of 315 Old 06-06-2012, 07:54 PM
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Thanks for sharing your build. Very nicely done. I think u got a big bang for your buck compared to the prices I am seeing for similar work in Florida
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post #160 of 315 Old 06-07-2012, 04:25 PM
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I went with microfiber for my seats and am really happy I did. They came pre-treated with scotchguard, any spilled liquid just beads up and doesn't soak in as long as it's cleaned up right away.
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post #161 of 315 Old 06-10-2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Grand Opening!



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/


jautor - Excellent thread! I appreciate the detail on all of your posts. One quick question, but before I ask it I want to set it up properly. I love the idea of a 4:3 mono sound cartoo, then the THX logo, and then the movie. How did you play all three items? Did you have to put in a disk on the first, then another on the second and then finally the movie? Where did you get the mono cartoons? I would think that steamboat willie would be perfect. You did mention where you boughtt he thx stuff. That should be easy to get. Since I have the Oppo too, I wonder if I could put the cartoons and thx video on a thumb drive and keep it there so that all I have to go is to the home menu on the Oppo 93, play the two items (heck I could probably recut the two to be together with a little time in between, and then flip over to the movie. I dunno, just owndering how YOU did it.

Thanks,

Chip

Argyl Home Theater - Indefinitely Delayed

My Movie Library - and still growing!

Family Room: Sharp LC-80uq17u + Denon 3808ci + Oppo 93, Speakers: C: Polk CSi-A6, F(L+R): Polk Rti-A7, S(R+RS) Polk TC60i, Sub: HSU – VTF3-MK4
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post #162 of 315 Old 06-10-2012, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiptouz View Post

jautor - Excellent thread! I appreciate the detail on all of your posts. One quick question, but before I ask it I want to set it up properly. I love the idea of a 4:3 mono sound cartoo, then the THX logo, and then the movie. How did you play all three items? Did you have to put in a disk on the first, then another on the second and then finally the movie? Where did you get the mono cartoons? I would think that steamboat willie would be perfect. You did mention where you boughtt he thx stuff. That should be easy to get. Since I have the Oppo too, I wonder if I could put the cartoons and thx video on a thumb drive and keep it there so that all I have to go is to the home menu on the Oppo 93, play the two items (heck I could probably recut the two to be together with a little time in between, and then flip over to the movie. I dunno, just owndering how YOU did it.
Thanks,
Chip

I had the same question!

Also, Jeff...how high off the floor is your screen?
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post #163 of 315 Old 06-10-2012, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiptouz View Post

jautor - Excellent thread! I appreciate the detail on all of your posts. One quick question, but before I ask it I want to set it up properly. I love the idea of a 4:3 mono sound cartoo, then the THX logo, and then the movie. How did you play all three items? Did you have to put in a disk on the first, then another on the second and then finally the movie?

I did it (and still do) the "hard way". One of these days I'll get a media server setup with all this stuff set up, and then figure out the macros to make it all play correctly...

Since I have a video distribution system set up in the house, and the theater is a 'zone', I'm using the "house" devices for playback of the pre-show bits. And all of these sources can be controlled from my iPod remote and iRule. I have the cartoons playing on a shared DVD player, and the THX disc cued up on a shared BD player. So the cartoons are playing when folks come in. When we're ready to start, at the end of the next cartoon I switch to the BD player, hit the 16:9 mask button, and press play on the BD player. After the THX intro, switch to the local BD player (in the theater), which hopefully is cued up to the start of the film by now, press the 2.35 mask button (if needed), and hit play again...
Quote:
Where did you get the mono cartoons? I would think that steamboat willie would be perfect.

Looney Tunes Golden Collections. Discs packed with stuff. Even a BD version available now...
Quote:
You did mention where you bought the thx stuff. That should be easy to get.

I didn't buy it, got it at CEDIA. But the THX trailers are around - and I happened upon the "Amazing Life" one on Friday which played, to my surprise, at the end of of the Alien BD. (FYI - Promethus. Pre-ordered. Movie Night date TBD. Damn good movie. Really glad I had folks over to re-watch Alien the day before...)
Quote:
Since I have the Oppo too, I wonder if I could put the cartoons and thx video on a thumb drive and keep it there so that all I have to go is to the home menu on the Oppo 93, play the two items (heck I could probably recut the two to be together with a little time in between, and then flip over to the movie.

One of many potential ways... I think even when I get it sorted out and spliced together somehow digitally I won't be using the Oppo BD to do it. Having them coming from different devices means *I* can cue them up ahead of time. I don't want to be navigating through menus at "showtime". If I didn't have the video distribution setup, just any old DVD player or a cheap BD thrown into the rack specifically for this purpose is a really cheap investment in the grand scheme of things. Heck, remember the theaters used to have multiple projectors to switch reels!!! biggrin.gif

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #164 of 315 Old 06-10-2012, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs691919 View Post

Also, Jeff...how high off the floor is your screen?

~38" from floor to the bottom screen edge (screen itself, not the surrounding frame)

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #165 of 315 Old 06-25-2012, 04:03 PM
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Absolutely agree on Prometheus - I'm probably doing a first weekend on disc movie night for that one as well.

I do something similar with mine, but I use the Cola trivia slide decks set to some music - this video file is queued up to play over the network on my 360.

Then the THX trailer (the robot one from many years ago) is cued up on the PS3.

Then the Movie from my server via the Dune media player.

Yeah, I could do it all from the server, but it would entail switching folders, etc. and disrupting the flow. I may put my older media player back in and setup the intro files to play from the old media player while the movie is cued up on the Dune.
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post #166 of 315 Old 06-25-2012, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812 View Post

I do something similar with mine, but I use the Cola trivia slide decks set to some music - this video file is queued up to play over the network on my 360.

Ah! I hadn't thought about using the 360 for that - is this using the Media Center Extender in the 360?
Quote:
Yeah, I could do it all from the server, but it would entail switching folders, etc. and disrupting the flow. I may put my older media player back in and setup the intro files to play from the old media player while the movie is cued up on the Dune.

It's what you give up when you go with something less than the K-Scape... biggrin.gif

I'll take a look at the trivia tracks. I also have the "You Don't Know Jack" trivia game I've been meaning to use for pre-show entertainment, too. Haven't gotten around to actually using it, though...

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #167 of 315 Old 06-26-2012, 10:37 AM
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Yep, it's just a media file (avi I think) that the 360 can play back over the network. I generated it on my pc since the slides come as just that - slides, added the background music, turned it into a video and then shared it so the 360 can see it and play it back.

Hmm. . .I haven't seen the "you don't know Jack" game. . .I'll have to check that out.

Now that I think about it, I mixed up the slides so that it's the Cola slides, a set of Bond trivia, and a set of either sci-fi trivia (can't recall off the top of my head). The very last slide is a "Management kindly requests that you set all communications devices to silent or off - Violators will be vaporized" with the background "music" as the "red alert" klaxon from ST TNG. Definitely gets folks attention and it's funny to see them all fumbling for their phones. . .
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post #168 of 315 Old 07-03-2012, 07:06 PM
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Jeff -

Great build and great theater. I think you did a great job detailing out the how and the whys of what you did.

I'm build 2.0 myself. I've decided to go with a coffered ceiling this time around and after doing some googling, I discovered your thread. The one question I have is around how you (contractor) ran your rope lighting in particular. Did you guys run 8 separate individual sections of rope light - each plugging into 8 outlets that were strung together? Or did you have two switches (I know you did a GE) each with four outlets on one switch and plug a section into each outlet? I'm racking my brain on how to run rope light in the coffers.

Bud
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post #169 of 315 Old 07-03-2012, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinadog View Post

Jeff -
Great build and great theater. I think you did a great job detailing out the how and the whys of what you did.
I'm build 2.0 myself. I've decided to go with a coffered ceiling this time around and after doing some googling, I discovered your thread.

Thanks - I'm not sure what search terms you used that got you here, but wow, that's cool!

Quote:
The one question I have is around how you (contractor) ran your rope lighting in particular. Did you guys run 8 separate individual sections of rope light - each plugging into 8 outlets that were strung together? Or did you have two switches (I know you did a GE) each with four outlets on one switch and plug a section into each outlet? I'm racking my brain on how to run rope light in the coffers.
Bud

Yeah, electrical - that would be me...

There are eight individual sections of rope light. So in the attic I placed two junction boxes to hold all the runs - a single feed comes from the GrafikEye to one box, then the other, with the eight tray feeds split between the two. Following the style used by the builder's electricians for rope lights throughout the rest of the house, the romex pokes through the drywall, and gets hard wired to the rope section. The splice is capped and hidden by the tray. I remember seeing the romex hanging during the house construction, so a quick look with a ladder showed me exactly how they had done it...

You can see the wires hanging from each tray in this image back from the 'paint and stain' chapter:

DSCN2709.jpg

Hope that helps!

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #170 of 315 Old 07-04-2012, 04:36 AM
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Jeff, thanks. Definitely helps. Since I'm in the basement, I'm not going to be able to use junction boxes unless their accessible somehow, which would be tricky. People have recommended LED strips instead of rope light, but I'll have to do some investigation there on how I can connect the sections together in each box as well as together overall. I'll have 12 coffers in all.

Bud
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post #171 of 315 Old 07-05-2012, 07:18 PM
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I have a recessed duplex outlet in each of the 6 coffers and plan on 6 separate pieces of rope light (or maybe LED).
IMG_0734.jpg
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post #172 of 315 Old 07-05-2012, 07:33 PM
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Spaceman -

Thanks. Exactly what I was thinking - six recessed boxes per switch, each box hidden with crown. Definitely look at LED rope light, 1000bulbs.com has rolls of 150 feet for about 200.00, but not in all colors. Much less head in the room with LED rope lights.

Bud
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post #173 of 315 Old 07-05-2012, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Spaceman, I know you've got one tray assembled - with the large-ish trim profile you used, are you able to see the outlet from the ground?

Chinadog - Regardless, paint the outlet the same color as the ceiling and no one will notice it anyway...

Jeff

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post #174 of 315 Old 07-05-2012, 08:30 PM
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I think I'll be doing a wood coffered ceiling and staining it - regardless, I should be able to paint the outlets to something other than white. smile.gif The crown should hide it and I'll definitely put the recessed boxes in the side (and sideways) towards the back of the room so no one will see them.

Bud
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post #175 of 315 Old 07-05-2012, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Spaceman, I know you've got one tray assembled - with the large-ish trim profile you used, are you able to see the outlet from the ground?
Jeff

If I walk all the way to the front of the room (at the foot of the stage), I can make out the top 1/2" of the 2 receptacles in the far back of the room. The remaining 4 receptacles remain hidden from view. I'm 6'-5" and my wife is 5'-11" and she could just make them out. A fix is in order if for no other reason than to satisfy my OCD. I'm planning on adding a thin piece of flat trim to the top of each tray for some extra height.

Here is the detail for the tray, without the extra cap piece. The receptacle is not shown, but the bottom of the receptacle box would be 2" above the bottom of the coffer.
LightTray.jpg
Legal Disclaimer: Detail is shown to convey size and proportions of trim pieces only. Any attempt to borrow the half-assed method of attachment is done at your own risk.
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post #176 of 315 Old 07-06-2012, 03:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Chinadog - Regardless, paint the outlet the same color as the ceiling and no one will notice it anyway...
Jeff

Jeff et al,

Based on the link spaceman sent me, looks like the double recessed outlets come in multiple colors, including black(ish). I just ordered a couple.

300
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post #177 of 315 Old 10-03-2012, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to Spaceman for the idea to add some "build" to this thread... cool.gif Not really theater-related, but I did add another speaker zone to cover the area.

Last week construction started in my back yard for a patio and pond / water garden. Since I built the house 3.5 years ago, the back yard has been, well, on the back burner until higher priority projects (aka The Theater) were done. I had an empty lot next door (held in reserve by the developer for future potential), which was finally sold and currently under development. When that happend this spring, I decided to press ahead with plans for the back yard - under the assumption that I'd want to take advantage of the construction next door to provide a path for earth moving equipment.

Here's the "before" pictures, from the covered patio and looking back from the yard:

DSC_0008.jpg

DSC_0011.jpg

Obviously, the lawn space "had a lot of potential". biggrin.gif

Working with the landscape design company that had done all the work on the front of the house (local folks: Carnahan's Landscaping), their architect came up with this plan:

2012-07-19195301.jpg

The render is pretty close, although there's no mountains in Houston, the dog and 2.5 kids are not part of this plan, and the 'bridge' over the stream will be a simple stone path, not a Mini-Golf water hazard. Construction started last week. At the end of Day 1, they had marked out the area, and removed the sod, giving me a good look at the final scale of the project...

DSC_0025.jpg

I'll post some more images later - we're on Day 6 of about a 15-day build.

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 #178 of 315 Old 10-03-2012, 11:41 AM
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Looks good. Real stone or stamped concrete for the patio?

Make sure to post progress pics.
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post #179 of 315 Old 10-03-2012, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

Looks good. Real stone or stamped concrete for the patio?
Make sure to post progress pics.

Concrete pavers (tumbled finish). 1000 sqft, so the stone prices were eek.gif, and I avoided the stamped concrete because of how darn slippery it is when wet. I about broke myself more than once on the stamped/stained part of my driveway... I know you can use a non-slick finish, but then it wasn't, IMO, very attractive in those finishes...

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 #180 of 315 Old 10-03-2012, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Day 2: Excavation of the pond starts, site surveyed for the patio. We found there was more slope in the yard than expected (flat!), so the design changed to incorporate one step down, dividing the patio into two tiers.

DSC_0026.jpg

DSC_0029.jpg

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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