Well over the past few weeks I've posted a few threads to discuss some specific issues and now I'm starting a master thread for my theater build. I'm building a new house in Murphy, TX, it is not a custom design as such, rather I'm going with a builder who has set floorplans and am making modifications to one to fit my needs. As a result I don't get to pick the subcontractors nor am I able to do any work myself. But so far things working out well. They are beginning to prep the plot for laying the plumbing and pouring the foundation at this time.
Here’s a drawing of my theater layout:
The room is about 20’ long and 14’ along the short side. I’m placing the screen on the left side and on the right is a 6’ deep, two step riser. There will be no windows and only sconce lighting. I can’t dictate much about the construction really, and some of it is dictated by the roof line, to make changes to that would add a lot to the cost. So it’ll have a 10’ ceiling with 8’ - 10’ vaults on three walls as indicated by the dashed lines. I know there’s potential for problems with the 20’ length and 10’ ceiling height, I’m hoping the vaults and riser offset that some. I could have the room shortened, but as it is it’s fitting over the garage quite nicely and it’d make the exterior look odd.
The location of the room is on the second floor in the rear of the house over the garage and well away from any bedrooms. In the drawing the top, left and right walls are external walls. The one internal wall has the media closet next to it with the loft/game room opposite that, and then the rest of the wall is along the family room which is on the first floor. So I don’t have to worry about sound isolation that much, that’s especially true since I’m single. I currently am planning to have the equipment closet open into the theater, although I might move the door into the loft. The advantage of having the door inside the theater is that the next owner could more easily convert the room into a bedroom if desired.
The company my builder has contracted to do all the media wiring seems easy to deal with. I was initially concerned since I saw that they use CAT5e and 16awg speaker wire. However they said if I provide them 1000’ of CAT6 and 500’ of 12awg speaker wire they’d use mine, so I’ve already purchased that from Monoprice. They’re going to be running 7 speaker runs to the front wall, as well as a pair of rear and side surround speakers. The front wall will have the mains, center, subs (passive SVS) and front height. I’ve already specified the position of the wiring with respect to my primary seating position being located in front of the riser. They are also running a 5.1 setup in the family room, and a stereo drop from the family room to the patio. In addition they are running a combined total of 25 coax and ethernet lines throughout the house, including 3 coax and 2 ethernet lines outside. Their proposed locations for coax and ethernet were actually well thought out in my opinion. All the coax and ethernet will be run back to the primary media closet. The projector run will include HDMI 1.4, two ethernet cables, and component video. I don’t need the component, but it’s in their standard package so whatever.
I am having two dedicated outlets put in the closet, one 20A and one 15A. I also plan to tap into any outlets from either the theater or the loft if needed. I’m also having a couple of outlets put in the floor of the theater to accommodate powered recliners. And with the projector wiring bundle they’ll include an outlet at that location. When I do my inspection before the drywall is put up I can specify any extra outlets I want. The cost for that isn’t horrible, considering it involves an electrician, at $105 per outlet, $195 per dedicated 15A and $215 per dedicated 20A outlet.
Upon moving into the new house I will be working with the following equipment:
Mitsubish 82” DLP RPTV
2 SVS 16-46CS+ subs w/ SVS AS-EQ1 and a Behringer EP2500
A mishmash of AV123 speakers (Mini Strata’s, Ref 1, Ref 100) and others
And I’ll be using an L shaped sectional couch initially.
As my budget permits I plan on the following four major upgrades in this approximate order:
1. Speakers - perhaps GoldenEar. I can do a multi-step upgrade as I’ve seen some people say Mini Stratas and GoldenEar match well together.
2. Projector - I’m thinking of a constant height setup with a 2.35:1 or wider screen and a projector with lens memory. Maximum width is either going to be 120” or if positioning it 4’ off the floor will be OK I could go wider as that will allow it to be over the speakers.
3. Seating - 4 powered recliners in the front row with a love seat configuration in the center, with either 4 similar seats in the second row or just a couch as it won’t be used much.
4. Acoustic treatments.
I have two issues I have to decide on within the next few weeks. One is the position of the closet door. If I leave it where it is now it might interfere with acoustic treatment as some calculations I’ve run indicate that it will be in the area of the first reflection point. However I’m also considering that once I replace the TV with a projector I might move the TV to the loft space and the ideal placement would be against the closet wall. The TV being 5’ wide just wouldn’t work on that wall with the door in the way. I could put it in the short wall just inside the entrance to the media room, but that might be a bit awkward.
The other issue is projector placement. I’m wavering between rear wall or perhaps about 15’ on the ceiling. If I were to buy a projector now I might go with a Panasonic PT-AE8000, but that’s mainly because I’m not sure of how many others with lens memory there are that compares to it. It will be sometime next year, perhaps in the fall, before I even purchase a projector so who knows what might be available then. 15’ seems like a good option as most anything will probably work there, whereas being on the rear wall I need something with enough light output to reach 20’.
If anybody thinks I'm overlooking anything, please chime in now. Once they start framing making changes becomes more difficult.