I have not purchased a piece of AV equipment outside of a Bluray player in over 10 years. I just met with my architect yesterday who will be designing my new addition which will include a dedicated HT. The space will probably end up being about 17-18ft wide with 2 rows of 4 chairs. After some research I think I'll be going with a projector system (maybe Epson 6010 - still looking) and a ScreenInnovations black diamond screen of maybe 110in. (Not yet decided on how big I think I can go).
My architect needs to know some of my intentions so he knows how to draw up the wiring plan. Here are some questions which I need help with so I can direct him appropriately:
1. Set up for a 7.1 surround system vs. 5.1? (Or should I even prewire for more) Should I have the speakers placed in-wall or hang them? My first thought is in-wall for aesthetics. I've read about doubling up on the side speakers - one for each row. Is this a good idea? If not, should I split the difference and place the side speakers midpoint between the rows?
2. I'm planning on using a powered sub...do I need more than one and where should I place it (them)?
3. How powerful of an AV receiver will I need for that space? Will I need additional amplification?
4. Should I have him plan for an equipment closet which I can access the front of the equipment from inside the theater? If so, do I need to have him soundproof the closet also? This theater will have a zoned HVAC. I have already sent to the architect info on the HVAC requirements on air turnover, flow rates etc which I found on this forum. If that is the case, do I even really need the closet? If I don't do the closet, where do most folks put the equipment? (I'm guessing in the back somewhere.) I guess this is somewhat important to know on the front end as I'm guessing he will need to have an idea for heat generation and the need for HVAC loads if I don't incorporate the closet. (Whew! sorry for that rambling. You can sense my anxiety in some of these decisions)
5. How much lighting is needed? I see all these wonderful photos of great theaters all of you folks have made. I want something nice as well but want to get best bang for the buck. Are the soffits, sconces, etc just truly great to have? Are they really super expensive or really not that much in the overall scheme of things?
Thanks for all of the help. You guys are wonderful with your patience and help. I should have the floorplan completed in the next 2 weeks once I get him all my desires. Hopefully construction can start by late spring.
Thank you for your responses. I want to be wise in my choices on the front-end. I also want to be somewhat budget-conscious without being cheap.