The Screening Room at Diamond Oaks - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 04-03-2013, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I found AVS Forum about two months ago and have been lurking ever since. I have decided to re-do my home theater and thought I, like so many others, would share my experiences. I must admit, however, to quite a bit of trepidation because there are so many impressive builds on this site.

My current HT is about two years old and was cobbled together from the performance room of my once home recording studio. My home was built about 50 yrs ago and I moved here in 1994. The home had two moderate sized concrete block encased “crawl spaces” in which I could stand. And so in 1996 I built two isolated rooms which functioned as “Diamond Oaks Recording” for 11 years. But, alas, in 1997 I was burned out and closed the studio.

A friend encouraged me to construct a home theater, but I didn't really even watch movies and so was disinclined – until he gave me a projector, screen, center speaker, front speakers – well you get the idea. Anyway, I was hooked! And so now it's time for an upgrade.

Below is the last iteration of the old HT and computer drawings/plans of the proposed design. There are some limitations. Two thirds of the room has only a 7 foot ceiling due to a sunken living room above (all the rage in the 60's). The room is concrete block with an isolated floor and sheet-rock walls, so sound out to the rest of the house is not too much of an issue.

Aesthetically, I don't want to see speakers (except for the sub), funny looking wall treatments, and gear. So I am using in wall speakers, AT screen and placing panels over the surround and back speakers. I also don't want a lot of gear to fool with and so will just use a receiver/amp and BD player (I don't watch TV in this room.)

I've started the construction and will post some photos soon. Thanks for looking!

My old HT below...


Proposed HT remodel: View from center back row [below]...

Proposed HT remodel: View from door [below]...

Proposed HT remodel floor plan [below]...
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post #2 of 19 Old 04-04-2013, 04:44 AM
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Have you considered flipping the room, end for end?

This would enable a wider speaker layout that would pull the LR mains out from the corners. You would also gain
headroom at the riser end of the room. You would then have seating for five, but the offset of seating would also
allow for a lower riser.
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-04-2013, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes. At first that was the only way I could envision things. But the door is in the corner and so there just wasn't comfortable room for chairs, a riser and room for entry. Also I really wanted seating for six. A group of three couples gather every Wednesday night (hump night and so we call ourselves The Hump Club) and sometimes we watch a movie. Before we really couldn't all fit - the new plan should allow for comfortable seating.
But Tedd your other points are spot on.
-Bruce
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post #4 of 19 Old 04-04-2013, 05:51 AM
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Paint the ceiling a darker color.


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post #5 of 19 Old 04-04-2013, 10:31 AM
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Worth a try... I wasn't sure six seats was a need.

What's the scale of the grid (room size)?

+1 to Big's suggestion, except I'd extend this to the side walls, and door. A black area throw rug in front of the screen also would help
preserve contrast.
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post #6 of 19 Old 04-05-2013, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
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BIG,
The first thing I saw as I began to peruse this and other sites is the recommendation for dark ceilings. However, when I presented this to "She who must be obeyed" it was met with, at best, a luke warm reception. I must admit some temerity at doing so, myself. None-the-less, I believe you have recommended "Mouse ears" black in past posts - though that color name has been discontinued. What are the current recommendations?
Thanks
Bruce
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post #7 of 19 Old 04-05-2013, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Tedd,
Yes the grid is 1 sqft. The larger section is about 13' x 11' with 7' ceiling and the smaller part is about 10' x 6' with 8' celing.. The green I am using is actually much darker than the computer rendering suggests. The door is black with absorbent sound panels attached (left over from the studio days). However, I am intrigued by the concept of limiting the amount of light bouncing back on the screen and so will play with the idea of extending the black to the side walls and adding a black throw rug.
Thanks, Tedd for the suggestions.-Bruce
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post #8 of 19 Old 04-07-2013, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Work has begun and the platform has been built. Below are photos of the framing and finished riser. There is insulation between the joists which I didn't photograph. I hit a few challenges due to the size of the room and low ceiling. I was only able to build a 6" riser since I am 6'4" and anything higher was very uncomfortable for me. At 6", the back row will have some issues seeing over the heads of those in the front row for 1.78:1 projections. However, 90% of what we view is 2.39:1 and this is not a problem. Also I am easily able to raise the chairs in the back row 1.5" while maintaining stability and complete comfort for all my guests.

You can see the mic panel left over from the recording studio. I am leaving it in place - just in case...


You can see elevated "feet" I have added to the seat on the riser.


This is the wall on which I plan to build the screen. The Beatles painting [48"x48"] is one I did and will be moved out. I plan on painting two new paintings for the new screening room.
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-07-2013, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Big, Tedd and anyone else,
I shared with the CEO your comments about the dark ceiling and she said, "Well paint it." So that obstacle is out of the way. But the ceiling tile is not standard tile. It is a special acoustic tile I installed for the recording studio. It has a much better noise reduction coefficient than standard tile. As such it is very granular and any bump into it releases small "pebbles". With the low ceiling this necessarily occurs from time to time. And now with the riser, I expect it to be more common. So, I imagine, after painting the ceiling black, there will be constant maintenance repainting the recurring little white dots that will appear - and no, I don't think it will approximate a star field ceiling.

My question is has anybody tried covering a ceiling with some other dark material - acoustically transparent black fabric, for example? Any other ideas?

This is my acoustic ceiling tile.


Cross section of a piece of ceiling tile. You can see the small granules around it.
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-16-2013, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Proceeding with the build. Cut holes for in-wall speakers [Atlantic Technology IWTS-10 for LCR and IWTS-14 for SR], installed faux stone and started painting. I'm still not sure what I'll do with the ceiling.





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post #11 of 19 Old 04-16-2013, 07:01 AM
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Just a thought about your rear seats; you can build a smaller riser on top of your existing riser that fits completely under your seats, rather than using those little legs. That way, when standing you have some more head room but the seats are raised higher.

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post #12 of 19 Old 04-17-2013, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronN View Post

Just a thought about your rear seats; you can build a smaller riser on top of your existing riser that fits completely under your seats, rather than using those little legs. That way, when standing you have some more head room but the seats are raised higher.

Aaron,
This was my original plan. I already have the seats and was going to build an extra short riser in the shape of the sectional group as you suggested. But I became concerned that if the seats moved at all a trip hazard would result. With the little legs, they will move with the chairs. Also, if at some later date I replace the chairs, I am not confined to something the shape of the short riser. BTW, the feet won't even show when completed.
Thanks for the input. -Bruce
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post #13 of 19 Old 04-17-2013, 04:03 PM
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As to your question about using fabric on the ceiling, I've seen a number of posts of people doing this. I was thinking that would work pretty well in your situation. You could cover each tile in GOM or something else dark and flame retardant. I'd think it would be pretty easy, though probably more expensive than paint.

Kevin

What I'm planning for an
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post #14 of 19 Old 04-21-2013, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trancemitr View Post

As to your question about using fabric on the ceiling, I've seen a number of posts of people doing this. I was thinking that would work pretty well in your situation. You could cover each tile in GOM or something else dark and flame retardant. I'd think it would be pretty easy, though probably more expensive than paint.

Trance.
There is literally one inch between the suspended ceiling and the sheet rock above it. We actually placed the tile as we installed the track. Hence, the only way to get a tile out is to destroy it. frown.gif
I am, however, still mulling over ideas to use fabric on the ceiling.

Thanks for the reply...
Bruce
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post #15 of 19 Old 04-21-2013, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Moving forward. Inspired by http://www.avsforum.com/t/1436181/110-diy-spandex-at-screen and other threads, I have built the AT screen using grey spandex inner and white spandex outer. I am actually quite impressed with the video quality. A buddy, who I'd say has a more critical eye than I, was also impressed. The screen is 98"x55".

The frame is made from "Select pine" available at Home Depot. This wood is very clear and reasonably straight. I used 1x4's except on the sides where I used 1x2 (to avoid the speakers).


On the screen side of the frame we installed quarter round. This prevents the frame from showing through the fabric. I also painted the frame flat black [not pictured] so the light shining through the fabric would not reflect off the wood.


I used Screen Tite to attach the fabric to the frame.


Note the Screen Tite channel has two tracks. The outer track is used for the first fabric layer and the inner track is used for the second layer.



Corning 703 is placed on the wall behind the screen. My screen will be 4" off the wall [and therefore 4" from the LCR speakers]. Yes, I know that's really too close, but with the door and room size it's the best I can do.


The screen temporarily placed...


Thanks for looking...
Bruce
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-04-2013, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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The absorbent wall panels have been installed around the room. Originally I planned on building the panels myself, but determined that the cost of ordering the panels already built was only about $200-$250 more than if I built them myself. This was a no-brainer for me. I chose Acoustimac because they had the color fabric I wanted. I ordered them online on Wednesday morning and they were Fedex delivered Friday afternoon at 2:00pm - only three days later!
The panels come with mounting hardware. But my plan called for aligning two panels vertically. Frankly, I'm just not that good. So I used the supplied mounting hardware for the top panel and connected the bottom panel with mending plates. Then I was able to screw the mending plate to the wall for a secure installation.

Two panels joined with mending plates. Notice the cleats at the top of the panel.


Matching cleats are placed on the wall.


Screws secure the mending plate to the wall.


Installed panel.
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post #17 of 19 Old 05-04-2013, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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It had always been my intent to cover the wall behind the screen with dark fabric. But after installing the screen, I was unable to see anything behind the screen and so thought maybe it was unnecessary. But the photo of the screen, a few posts back, seems to show structures behind the screen and so I stuck to the original plan and covered the wall with black burlap [for its acoustic transparency]. After taking the photo I painted the speaker trim black and removed the speaker grills.

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post #18 of 19 Old 05-04-2013, 11:28 AM
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Screen wall and screen are looking good!


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post #19 of 19 Old 05-04-2013, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, Brad.
Things are coming together - but lots of rain today is resulting in very slow drying paint, so I am at a stand still mad.gif
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