Hello Everyone, my name is Brady, my wife and I just finished building our first house in Weatherford TX and the ability of incorporating a DIY dedicated theater was a dream come true! I've gained all of my HT knowledge from AVS over hundreds of hours of research so I thought I'd try to document this build and hopefully provide some benefit back to the community. I will try to keep this first post up to date and may add additional detail to it as time progresses.
Most Recent Theater State: (10/10/2012)
- Screen: 125" Wide 2.07 CIA Seymour AV with CIH and CIW Fidelio velvet masking panels
- Projector: JVC X-30 (RS45)
- Subwoofer: JTR Captivator S2 up front and Velodyne DD-15 in the back
- L/C/R: JTR Triple 12HT
- Surrounds:4 X JTR Slant 8's with MiniDSP controlling delays and levels
- Surround Backs: 2X JTR Slant 8's
- Receiver: Onyko 805
- Amp: Outlaw 7125
- Bass Management: Anti Mode Dual Core 2.0
- Sources: PS3/XA2/Apple TV/Xbox 360/Uverse box
- Room Treatments: GIK Soffit Bass Traps X 4. GIK 242 and 244 wall treatments (21 total) 2" Roxul insulation for front wall.
- Rack: Atlantic Technologies Slim 5 37U
- Room Design: AVS Pro Theater Layout by Shawn from the Erskine Group
Isometric from inside:
Screen Wall from 1st Row:
Empty Lot: 2.01 Acres just off Lake Weatherford with city water and sewer.
Custom Floor Plan: Theater is labeled "Game Room" is is 26' X 16' 3" X 10; before stage/riser/and ceiling soffit. Finished room is ~ 3850 cubic feet. House is 3300sqft on one level.
Foundation being poured:
Framed with Windows:
Stage and Ceiling Soffit: Window only exists in case we have to sell the house, room is pitch black with the lights off after covering the widow with blackout material, filling the inside with foam insulation, and 2" of Roxul over the top.
Seating Riser Framed:
Stage in Foreground, riser and equipment cubby in the back, Drywalled:
Finished House Just after Completion:
Shortly after finishing the house and before we could do any work on the theater life interjected by the birth of our first child on 04/05, Colton. After just a few short weeks I can't imagine life without him! He grew up in the womb with explosions and gun shots at -10db and putting on a movie now actually puts him to sleep. Here he is about 45min after birth.
Once we got moved in the first few things we noticed with the theater were that it was too hot and that it had terrible echo being sealed with 5 hard bare walls. We had the A/C company adjust the damper to the room and installed a hugger ceiling fan (painted flat black of course). The room is now perfect and stays cool enough, with three people at least, in the TX heat. The first step in taming the acoustics was installing 2" of Roxul RHT60 on the front and side walls behind where the false wall will be positioned. I attached the insulation with 3" screws with washers around the heads to increase pinch surface area. While the room was still too live after this first step we did notice a improvement in dialog clarity and the LCR's all required some boost to balance the system. This picture is purposely overexposed, the ceiling is the darkest shade of black PPG makes, don't remember the name, and the walls are a dark grey, they come off almost blueish grey in real life.
After insulating the front wall I contacted GIK acoustics about room treatments. My goal was to get the room functionally (but not aesthetically) finished before installing the projector. Bryan at GIK was very helpful and I ended up with a setup very similar to my Erskine spec but with a couple modifications. We put full length soffit base traps in the front corner and went with 4" thick panels on the back wall. Hanging the panels was very easy but I'm not sure I'll use the picture hanger wire method permanently; I think I'd like to go to a more secure method that is a bit more child proof. Right now I have the panels at spec'd height which works very well with my current speaker heights. Eventually I plan on having the tweeters of the LCR speakers at mid screen height so as of now the plan is to move all the panels up ~10" when that change is made. The acoustic treatments made a big difference in this room. There is still a bit of liveliness to the room, it's not completely dead, but it very controlled and sounds very good. In fact when the baby is having a melt down we typically take him to the theater because it's easier on the ears than our still barren walls in the main living areas. Treatments allowed me to actually hear my sound system for the first time; I can now tell the voicing difference between the RSC200 and the RS1000's and it's driving me nuts. The treatments were a huge improvement to the room but they are also a curse that has spawned some serious upgrade-itus! In this picture we just finished hanging a $53 120" wide 2.35 DIY temporary screen made from 1X3's and blackout material from a fabric store. It's far from perfect, the top and bottom bow and it's hung from the ceiling by zip ties, but it is smooth and throws a great picture. It will definitely do the job for a couple months before we get our permeant screen installed. This shot also shows probably the only two row, but only 3 person HT out there! (Seating comes last)
Centered Shot with Flash:
I got a JVC X30 from Lee Weber here on AVS for a great price and once it arrived I couldn't stand looking at it in the box. I was still waiting on my ceiling mount to come in so I did the stupid thing that had to be done. I put it on a $30 camping table where the 2nd row will be and ran the cords at perfect tripping height back to the component closet. (spoiler..no damage ever occurred, projector never hit the ground) The projector throws a amazing image right out of the box and is plenty bright for the 137" equivalent 2.35 setup with a 1.0 at most gain screen. We watch all our movies in complete darkness and if anything I probably need to stop down the iris on the projector at this point. Watching a 10' wide image was the first time I've ever felt that I was watching a movie in my home and not just watching a movie on a TV, its hard to explain but I am much more immersed now and after a few days the size just feels right, not too big like my wife was worried about. Here is a shot showing the temporary projector table and my temporary 2.5 degree angle up center stand made from 2X4's. I used Acoustimac's DMD fabric to cover the insulation on the back wall in preparation for the AT screen. I'm impressed with the fabric and intend to use it on the false wall as well.
Finally got the projector mounted. The chief mount attaches to a set of 2X4's that cross two joists in the ceiling. In the room all you see is the extension pole come out of the ceiling. I like the setup so far and haven't noticed any base shaking. I have the projector mounted about as close as it can be for the required image size and about as high as it can be with the JVC's 80 degree vertical shift. I'm impressed by the projectors quietness and enjoying having it well above head height when standing on the ceiling riser. The fan causes no light interfere and is essentially silent, like the JVC. I also took left over AT fabric and made a skirt for the temporary screen, I really like not being able to see the center channel and the subwoofer, i can only imagine how good it's going to be with the center behind the screen and the false wall hiding the mains! The projector table is much more at home as in tables! This is the current state of the theater, next project is building the false wall for the mains, I won't be building the screen portion of the false wall until the permeant screen arrives.
Lots and lots of work to do before "finishing"! It's been a great process so far and a very enjoyable weekends project.