The (Defunct) Spud Cellar Home Theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 05-26-2012, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Current Spud Cellar Status:

 

 

This particular build has now been stopped. 

Instead, see The Spud Cellar Build Here http://www.avsforum.com/t/1455842/the-spud-cellar-home-theater-version-1-2#post_22912649 


My Home Theater and Game Room Build -- IN PROGRESS
THE SPUD CELLAR
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post #2 of 29 Old 05-26-2012, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Welcome!  I am excited to start my first home theater room and hope you enjoy following THE SPUD CELLAR HOME THEATER!


My Home Theater and Game Room Build -- IN PROGRESS
THE SPUD CELLAR
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post #3 of 29 Old 05-26-2012, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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THE SPACE

So I really wish that I did have a typical spud cellar to build my theater room in. Those things are huge and would house an incredible theater ... or better yet, a multiplex!

We had the home built in 2005 and have a completely unfinished basement. There was some basic framing done at the time of completion, mostly along short interior walls that were load-bearing. About 2 years ago, we "thought" we could finish everything and moved ahead with framing the rest of the basement and got to the point of being ready to pull low voltage electrical. Several unexpected medical emergencies shortly afterward wiped out our savings for the basement and it has sat largely untouched since. While we have been disappointed to not have the basement completed, those 2 years have given me a lot of time to research the AVS Forums and consider our space more fully and I am confident that our end result now will be more satisfying with the things I have read and seen during that lag. There are still some major questions about layout / design as my ideas and plans have evolved over that time and so I am certainly looking forward to input from forum members on the best way to proceed. I recognize that I will likely have to remove some previously framed areas, rewire, move lights, etc. and start over to get the result I want in the end and that is okay. 


The original basement house plans are as follows:



Overhead view in SketchUp:

 



FAMILY ROOM
There is an adjacent room that we had seriously considered using that is 13'-6" x 27'-3". Much better to work with in my opinion but my wife cannot part with the larger area and its needs which is going to be a family living area/kid's play area. The family room will house a work desk for computer and homework, reading area by the window, open play area, TV on wall by staircase or far wall opposite the computer desk and air hockey table so it is not feasible to fit all of that into the 11 x 17 room. When we had discussed using that room, we had entertained the idea of a seated bar at the back (she liked BIGmouths's room a lot). In the end, we felt like the smaller room would fit our needs best.


THEATER ROOM
My room is only 11'-0" x 17'-0" x 9'-0". The original plan when we framed it up was to have a TV mounted on the wall on the right end of the floor plans and seating on sectional couch on the end with a short side wall. As you can see in the photo below, I stuck two sets of 2x6 sandwiched on top of another 2x6 so I would always have a VERY solid spot to easily hang any size wall mount in the future. Don't laugh at the framing at the bottom... I had originally planned on putting in an in-wall center speaker and had to move some studs that ran where the speaker would be below the TV in that spot. I haven’t changed any of that framing yet as I haven’t finalized my plan.



Drawing (Above) of View of Entrance from Theater Room Looking Toward Family Room.









AV CABINET and MECHANICAL ROOM
There is currently conduit running from the far right wall of the room where the TV mount spot is located. It heads up through the tray/soffit alongside the HVAC and back to a framed out area at left end of room into the closet. A second conduit run continues from the closet on into the mechanical room. The closet has a framed out area that I initially planned on using as the AV Rack.


My Home Theater and Game Room Build -- IN PROGRESS
THE SPUD CELLAR
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post #4 of 29 Old 05-26-2012, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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PRELIMINARY DESIGN and PLANS

I certainly would like some input here on what my best layout would be. Feel free to critique. Again, the Family Room area is unfortunately 98% a “no go” for the theater but I will entertain ideas if someone has a real compelling plan for swapping the two rooms (“Bigger screen” and “bigger room for theater” alone are not going to be compelling enough for my wife to want to switch). I think I have come to terms with the 11 x 17 room and it will serve our needs. We really like an open layout concept for the main rooms of basement where there is flow between the two. It fits our needs and style to keep this so you will notice we are planning on keeping that design.

Orientation: This is my biggest dilemma. The biggest problem is due to our decision to keep the entrance open (Currently 6’-10”). We like, and are insisting, on this open feel for several personal reasons. The left end distance from the opening is currently 2’-9”. The right end distance from the opening is 7’-5”. I am okay with the left side wall being lengthened a little bit depending on where the screen and seating will best fit. I know sound WILL escape and won’t be optimal within the room (See Sound Proofing below) and we are okay with that trade-off. Light through that opening is what makes the room orientation hard for me. There is a single can light at the bottom of the stairs. It will be on a dimmer and likely not on when using the theater room. If we sit at the left end of the room, there could be some interfering with our view when watching but it will be very dark at the screen end. If we place the screen on the left end, there could be some light interfering with the picture but it will be very dark at the seating end. Knowing this opening will be there, which orientation would be better?


Current Layout


Layout 1 – Screen at Left End by Hall Light and Seating at Right


Layout 2 – Seating at Left End by Hall Light and Screen at Right


Screen? TV? Both? : My wife really loves our plasma that we have upstairs and has always maintained she wants a plasma in the room as well. I think we should just have a screen since the family room is going to have a wall for TV and there is still the TV upstairs in the Living Room. The plan right now is to do a dual setup: Wall-mounted TV and a retractable electric acoustically-transparent (AT) screen that comes down in front of the TV for movie time. If we did a dual setup, I would use a 2.35 screen for movies and watch 16:9 content on the TV. I don’t know of a good masking solution for a retractable screen to switch between 2.35 and 1.85. I have seen some products with both housed within the same case but none are AT. I have kicked around the idea of separately purchasing a 2.35 AND 1.85 and mounting each of them. Not sure how economical this would be. My preference would be a fixed screen but don’t know how that could work with TV still in the picture.

Stage: Even though the room is small, I think a very modest stage would look nice if well-planned.   I would love a false wall but think it would only work if placed on the right end of the room. Maybe there is room for a false wall on the left end if extended a wee bit. Since I am likely going to be have a dual setup, I was thinking cabinetry built-ins would look best.


Cabinetry Idea Without Stage and Without Columns.

AV Rack: The other thing I was trying to figure out regarding my best room orientation is the AV Rack. I currently have a framed out area in the corner of the left of the room with access from inside the closet for AV equipment. I will also be placing some equipment in the mechanical room (NAS, Routers, Distributed Audio and whatever else is not necessary in the theater room). The only components I think I need in the theater room are BD player, Wii, Apple TV, Mac Mini (maybe Receiver, Amplifier and Satellite? Maybe those can go in mechanical room?). If the screen wall is oriented on the left as in Layout 1, I would place the AV equipment at the side of the screen. If the screen wall is oriented on the right, I would likely build cabinetry as seen in the drawing above and place just the necessary components in there and not use the closet.

Speaker Setup: I think 5.2 is right for this size room. Pre-wire for 7.2 would be great but I think the seating would have to be along the 7’-5” wall end for that to work.

Seating: Considered a riser but no longer planning on it. We like to lay and flop all over when watching movies so traditional theater chairs are not our thing. We think a sectional will be our choice and fit the short width space best.

Sound Proofing and Acoustical Treatments:
This one is going to be tricky, and I know impossible to soundproof with that opening. However, we do not want this room closed off (so no curtains across there during movies either) and realize there will be a trade-off. My goal is to minimize sound leakage and also to get the best sound out of the room as possible. I already have framed a staggered wall on the left side of the room that shares the wall with the bedroom and closet. I am planning on DD and GG on both sides of this wall. I want to minimize as much sound leakage as possible.

Lighting: I really don’t mind moving to turn on or shut off the lights so I am going to just use dimmer switches. I am going to move the current can lights from the center of the ceiling into the soffits so I can have a star ceiling. Rope lighting will also be in the soffit. I am not a fan of wall sconces so will likely just rely on the lighting from the cans. One thing I do want is LOTS of bright light in the room when not watching anything and I don’t know if the can lights alone will provide enough for that.

Painted Star Ceiling: I am planning on Night Sky Murals sometime down the road


My Home Theater and Game Room Build -- IN PROGRESS
THE SPUD CELLAR
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post #5 of 29 Old 05-26-2012, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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THE SPUD CELLAR
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post #6 of 29 Old 05-26-2012, 05:29 PM
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If this build isn't inside a remodeled spud cellar, I'm going to be disappointed.
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post #7 of 29 Old 05-27-2012, 07:15 AM
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And if it is, I'd say you have plenty of room behind your 52nd row for bar-style seating.
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post #8 of 29 Old 05-27-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

And if it is, I'd say you have plenty of room behind your 52nd row for bar-style seating.

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post #9 of 29 Old 05-27-2012, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

If this build isn't inside a remodeled spud cellar, I'm going to be disappointed.

Brad, After following your incredible garage transformation, I am not surprised you expect everyone to do the same and attempt to come close to what you have achieved!

I imagine your disappointment will be similar to mine when I expected your "Piano Hinge Screen" to be be hiding a Grand Piano behind the false wall

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post #10 of 29 Old 05-28-2012, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I thought it would be helpful to post a few more photos of the opening between the theater room and the family room and also view from right underneath the can light on the stairs to understand the open layout. I am planning on lowering the entrance height a little bit to help close the room a wee bit more and to mostly help block a little bit of direct light into the theater room.


View toward stairs with Family Room (on left) and Theater Room (on right)


View from stairs under can light.


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post #11 of 29 Old 05-28-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywilly View Post

Sound Proofing
This one is going to be tricky, and I know impossible to soundproof with that opening. However, we do not want this room closed off (so no curtains across there during movies either) and realize there will be a trade-off. My goal is to minimize sound leakage and also to get the best sound out of the room as possible. I already have framed a staggered wall on the left side of the room that shares the wall with the bedroom and closet. I am planning on DD and GG on both sides of this wall. I want to minimize as much sound leakage as possible.

I think you already know that attempting to soundproof the room with that wide open wall is going to be waste of money. Soundproofing one wall is not going to be effective in keeping the sound from entering the bedroom. You could soundproof just the bedroom, clips, channel, DDW and GG walls and ceiling of the bedroom and have a chance of making it kind of quiet.

I can't see a reason to hassle with a retractable screen and a TV in the theater space when you are planning on putting a TV on the stair wall right around the corner in the larger room. Also for the budget conscious you can pick up the fabric for an acoustically transparent screen at SeymourAV and make a frame. Then DIY a masking system. Alternatively buy a screen package with masking.
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post #12 of 29 Old 05-28-2012, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywilly View Post

Brad, After following your incredible garage transformation, I am not surprised you expect everyone to do the same and attempt to come close to what you have achieved!

I imagine your disappointment will be similar to mine when I expected your "Piano Hinge Screen" to be be hiding a Grand Piano behind the false wall

Thanks Willy - and what makes you think there isn't?

Re: the proposed layout - I would do a fixed screen and skip the TV if it was me, since you already have a nearby room that serves that purpose for informal social gatherings. I have a FIOS box in my HT room, it basically never gets used. Also, putting the seating against the back wall can cause some significant audio issues - hard to place surrounds effectively, and you'll get boomy bass. Maybe pull it off the wall a couple feet, and put a countertop or soft table along the back wall, which you put some knick knacks on for decoration, or media storage, etc.
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post #13 of 29 Old 05-29-2012, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Thanks Willy - and what makes you think there isn't?

Brad - I would LOVE to see that! Great idea to have someone playing live soundtracks to your movies from behind the screen!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Re: the proposed layout - I would do a fixed screen and skip the TV if it was me, since you already have a nearby room that serves that purpose for informal social gatherings. I have a FIOS box in my HT room, it basically never gets used.

I completely agree. I am still trying to convince my wife that would be ideal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Also, putting the seating against the back wall can cause some significant audio issues - hard to place surrounds effectively, and you'll get boomy bass. Maybe pull it off the wall a couple feet, and put a countertop or soft table along the back wall, which you put some knick knacks on for decoration, or media storage, etc.

Thanks for bringing that up. I had recognized that and is why I was leaning toward the LAYOUT 1 OPTION because I would have room from the sectional seating and could pull it off the wall to allow for proper rear speaker placement.

How would screen placement on the LAYOUT 1 orientation be affected by all the other things going on in/out of the room, namely lighting?

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post #14 of 29 Old 05-29-2012, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I think you already know that attempting to soundproof the room with that wide open wall is going to be waste of money. Soundproofing one wall is not going to be effective in keeping the sound from entering the bedroom. You could soundproof just the bedroom, clips, channel, DDW and GG walls and ceiling of the bedroom and have a chance of making it kind of quiet.

So rather than do ANY soundproofing methods in theater room you would instead suggest just sound proofing the 3 bedrooms downstairs?

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post #15 of 29 Old 05-29-2012, 11:38 PM
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Could you put the screen on the wide wall? Seems like your front soundstage will be too narrow if placed on either side. And with this setup you can put surrounds further from the seating. You'll have a MUCH larger sweet spot.
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post #16 of 29 Old 05-30-2012, 06:26 AM
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Looking good mate
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post #17 of 29 Old 05-30-2012, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywilly View Post

So rather than do ANY soundproofing methods in theater room you would instead suggest just sound proofing the 3 bedrooms downstairs?

I thought it was just one, with three I would close off the the theater and soundproof it. You can't have a wide open wall and a soundproofed theater space. Pick one.
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post #18 of 29 Old 05-30-2012, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dctrombly View Post

Could you put the screen on the wide wall? Seems like your front soundstage will be too narrow if placed on either side. And with this setup you can put surrounds further from the seating. You'll have a MUCH larger sweet spot.

Interesting idea. How big of a screen would that allow me to get if oriented that way? I wouldn't be able to push the projector (lens) beyond 10' to have greater throw because the stairs are on that wall.

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post #19 of 29 Old 05-30-2012, 10:54 PM
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Would need a short throw projector - and/or a horizontal expansion anamorphic lens.
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post #20 of 29 Old 05-30-2012, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Brad -
Would that be a better orientation (Placing screen on longer 17-0 wall)? It seems like I would be sitting awfully close to allow for space between rear speakers and seats. Wouldn't the seating distance also be a factor on overall screen size?

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post #21 of 29 Old 05-30-2012, 11:16 PM
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Yes, appropriate screen size is determined by seating distance - so putting the screen on the long wall would mean you'd be sitting closer to the screen, so a smaller screen (for the same level of immersion). Doesn't mean it couldn't work.

How many people do you want to be able to accommodate, I don't think you mentioned? If its usually just you and the wife, maybe you could still have the space you need for relaxed seating with a smaller section that doesn't go full wall to wall in the 11' width. Or 3 recliners with chaise lounge leg support in a triple loveseat configuration. Just thinking how you could get the ears away from the side and back walls, to make the surrounds work, and keep you out of the sub boom zone.
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post #22 of 29 Old 06-02-2012, 02:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Looking good mate

Thanks Bryceo! I hope I can make this space a place my friends and family enjoy for years and years

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post #23 of 29 Old 06-02-2012, 03:41 AM
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Your drawings and that sectional make me think of the Roxy. A smallish room designed as a serious listening enviroment for two, or a compromised listening enviroment for a gang.


Any chance there's a closet wall between the theater and bedroom? You could recess the projector and create a hushbox in the closet if throw is needed.


The tv screen will light up behind the AT screen. Skip the tv and it's expense and enjoy the projector. (They keep getting better, and cheaper anyways...).


I'd recommend you skip the cabinetry up front, and not box in the subwoofers. Locate the electronics out of the room, and do a plain black wall front AT wall/AT screen. You could use in wall speakers up front, and go with a six inch depth AT space, and have the subs sit on a simple stage.

How tall is the room and how tall is the soffit?
LL
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post #24 of 29 Old 06-02-2012, 04:38 AM
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Another thought is to rotate the av rack around the corner, and reframe the closet's front wall. The av rack is now inwall, in the hallway so add an ir repeater system.

The opening could be narrowed, to provide a reflective side wall for the front speakers (improving audio) and to accomodate seating. Closing off the room would be a good alternative, and likely save future conflicts between the bedrooms and familyroom, and theater.

In-ceiling surround speakers would provide better surround sound with the wall to wall seating layout.
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post #25 of 29 Old 06-02-2012, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
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The tv screen will light up behind the AT screen.

That can be mitigated by putting black fabric masking behind the AT material
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post #26 of 29 Old 06-02-2012, 03:44 PM
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It can be dealt with, but you also lose the ability to use three identical speakers. And you may end up dealing with a wrinkled screen over time, unless buying an expensive tensioned roll up screen.
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post #27 of 29 Old 06-22-2012, 09:11 AM
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It can be dealt with, but you also lose the ability to use three identical speakers.

Not if the screen dropped down in front of all three speakers (LCR) - but I guess you'd probably want two EQ settings, one for screen up, one for screen down.
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post #28 of 29 Old 06-23-2012, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Not if the screen dropped down in front of all three speakers (LCR) - but I guess you'd probably want two EQ settings, one for screen up, one for screen down.

Yes, my intent was to have LCR behind the screen. I didn't realize there would have to be 2 EQ settings if I use the mixed format (screen + TV) but it certainly makes sense. What does that entail? Does it affect anything I need to do with the planning stage?

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post #29 of 29 Old 06-23-2012, 12:13 PM
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Its not really that critical - only if you're extremely anal about perfect frequency response. Chris Seymour did some tests to determine the degree to which FR is affected by the screen, and it was really quite minimal, below the level that most (if not all) hearing could detect.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/842769/the-official-seymourav-center-stage-screen-thread/120#post_12824882

http://www.avsforum.com/t/842769/the-official-seymourav-center-stage-screen-thread/780#post_18136495
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