Lib's Home Theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-05-2013, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Based on the topic below I was advised to start a topic here discussing my home theater. Maybe get some input / ideas from people who have already passed this gauntlet smile.gif
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1415604/panasonic-pt-rz470-full-hd-led-laser/240#post_23596905

For the purpose of this forum I'll call it Lib's home Theater. Lib is just short for Liberator which is my old gaming nickname.

Room
Our media room is 17 feet deep and about 14 feet wide. It has a trey ceiling and double doors leading into it from the middle or the rear (viewing direction wise).
The room has my daughter's bedroom's bathroom behind where the screen will be. On the right side (looking at screen direction) there is a corridor and the left side a knee wall to an area accessible via a hatch in another room. The equipment closet door is all the way on the left of the wall where the screen will be. The sound I want to limit the most is sound going towards the screen direction which is towards my daughter's bedroom. I'm thinking of painting the room a dark red although I also like red curtains for the screen so that might be a bit too much red. I have no idea yet where I'm going to get power for the projector's ceiling outlet.

The room is in this house so I'd like the room to stay somewhat matching in style:


Equipment closet
The room has an "equipment closet" that came with exactly 0 connectivity options. I installed an outlet in the closet and CAT7 Ethernet for my media server but the rest still needs to be installed. I'm making 2 panels for 7.1 hookups using banana plugs. I'm running 4C wire to each speaker location so I'll split the cable onto both panels in the closet. That way I'll be able to choose between using just 1 panel for a single line to all locations or I can combine the panels for bi-amping if I ever go that route. The audio cable being run from here to all locations is 12AWG 4C oxygen free cable. I haven't picked out RCA cabling yet for the sub-woofer. From this location I'll run a minimum of 2 CAT7 cables to the projector location for HDBaseT utilization. I'll probably also run an HDMI cable to the projector location but I cant run too many thick cables as the space to run cables through to the equipment closet is limited. I run those cables from the attic through a PVC tube I installed down to the kneewall attic and from there to the back of the equipment closet. I'm thinking of running power from another room to the equipment closet so I can divide the load over 2 groups.

Audio equipment
First I looked at the Polk's (A9 series) but after more reading I'm not convinced the center speaker is a good fit as people complained about trouble making out what people are saying and that is exactly what bothers me about my current ancient speaker set. The "surround" speakers for Polk are also too massive for my taste, they'd stick into the room too far.
I want to go with Cherry wood since that better matches the classical look of our Mediterranean home.
A speaker set I looked at before is on my mind again now, the JBL L series. I like their much flatter surround speaker for the sides and they also offer cherry wood color.
For the sub from what I've read I'm going to steer clear of most brands and probable go with SVS. I'm just a little concerned about the wattage they can handle. I don't want to go deaf but I do want a strong sound and I have a feeling the L890's would do better with more power (Emotiva XPA-2?). Right now I have a Sony STR-DH720HP A/V receiver that I'm using for my old speakers. It supports 115W per channel, 7.1 surround. This receiver would initially and maybe long term be used to drive the new speakers.

Projection
I ordered a LED/Laser DLP 1080P Panasonic PT-RZ470 projector and bought a SI Performance 1.3 gain Solar 4K fabric 120" screen.
If the projector noise bothers me I'll probably want to build some sound proofing around it. I looked at the whisperbox on these forums.
For 3D viewing I bought a Optoma BG-BC100B to plug into the VESA port and 2x Optoma BG-ZF2100GLS glasses.

Seating
Eventually I'll go with theater seating but for a time I'll use the old couches from our living room. I'll thus have 2 rows of seating with the front row being the long 3-4 seater couch and the back seats being the 2-3 seater love-seat. I want to build an elevated platform for the second row. I'm thinking of just building this from lumber bought at Home Depot.

Budget
I'm trying to save money by doing myself whatever I can. I don't need to have all the pieces together right away but I'm happy to just improve this theater over time as more funds become available.

Priorities
1) Get cabling installed
2) Paint room
3) permanently place projector & screen
4) buy new speakers
5) buy subwoofer, might be nr 4, I go back and forth on this
6) If sound is an issue then try to fix the issue with a limited budget, untill then just limit use and use headphones
7) dress up room with theater feel items
8) Buy popcorn machine / cart to be placed next to entrance of theater in game room.


So I welcome any remarks / comments / ideas,.. tell me what your thinking smile.gif
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-09-2013, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberator View Post

The room has my daughter's bedroom's bathroom behind where the screen will be. On the right side (looking at screen direction) there is a corridor and the left side a knee wall to an area accessible via a hatch in another room. The equipment closet door is all the way on the left of the wall where the screen will be. The sound I want to limit the most is sound going towards the screen direction which is towards my daughter's bedroom. I'm thinking of painting the room a dark red although I also like red curtains for the screen so that might be a bit too much red. I have no idea yet where I'm going to get power for the projector's ceiling outlet.

I was very concerned about noise - my theater is on the 2nd floor. I found an amazing solution that still impresses people today: Green Glue.
http://www.greengluecompany.com/

It is a "soundproof" goop, and it came in buckets when I built my theater. I spread it on the sheetrock edge-to-edge while applying it. I put it on the studs, then put the first sheet rock on, then gooped another sheet, and put a 2nd later of sheetrock. I only did this on the new wall I built, but I also put a 2nd layer of floor (thin 3/8" OSB, gooped, on top of the existing floor).

I then used a solid-core "external" door. With a movie going, the baby 2 rooms over was never disturbed, nor was my sleeping wife and our MBR entrance is 5 feet from the back wall of the theater.

Had I gooped & added a 2nd sheetrock layer to the other internal wall, it would be even quieter - but there is a laundry room, hall... so 3 walls between the theater and the kids bedrooms. Noise does come in, but I determined its transmitted thru the attic!

I ran wires for speakers while the house was being built, and paid to have the internal walls (and floor) insulated. I crammed insulation in the wall I built, and filled the platform with it as well. Its worth it.

Here's my construction: http://goglen.com/post/theater/
Some slightly different photos, including the platform, in the link in my signature.

As I posted in your 470 thread, if possible, put your seats where you want, run your projector on a wall (cover with white sheet if needed), and play with different sizes. Your eyeballs are what matter. We never measured the size until my wife and I agreed - shockingly, 133" and our eyes are 11' (131") away! (and this was DVDs in a 720p Panny AE700 that I still have, but needs replacing BAD).

Oh, and consider Butt Kickers. I put on in my center seat, and it is great - despite me now having a 15" sub. Still same speakers (Rockets) and Emotiva equipment.

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post #3 of 8 Old 08-10-2013, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Tnx for the tips.
You certainly did more work on your home theatre then I'm planning on doing. My room was basically a ready room just no sound insulation and no cabling. I guess in a sense thats worse since I paid for the room as is when I bought the house and now I have to make changes.

I was thinking of putting MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl) on top of the existing drywall on the entire projection screen wall (not sure what to do about the equipment closet door in the far left side). On top of the MLV I could put carpet / fabric with acoustic material. Perhaps I could put the green glue material you suggested between the MLV and the drywall.
I heard that air in the open space of the wall is not bad at reducing transmission of the low freq sounds compared to stuffing it with fiberglass so I'm thinking I'd keep that as is. I'm somewhat terrified of ripping open walls altogether. Most changes I've done thus far have been more surgical in nature, minimally invasive.

For the side walls I was thinking of also putting MLV but maybe just up to 6 feet high as the backing for acoustic panels of the same height.

The insulation in this house is not great even though it was built in 2007, at least not to my standards. As such I'm guessing there is no insulation in the floor and its just an empty space. Right now there is carpeting on the floor (frieze) with some kind of mat underneath.

I'm not certain yet whether all this will be needed since I could also just lower the volume and do my ears and my wallet a favor.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-15-2013, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberator View Post

I heard that air in the open space of the wall is not bad at reducing transmission of the low freq sounds compared to stuffing it with fiberglass so I'm thinking I'd keep that as is. I'm somewhat terrified of ripping open walls altogether. Most changes I've done thus far have been more surgical in nature, minimally invasive.

There are minimally invasive options as well - insulation can be squirted into a wall - this will require a small hole in each section (ie, between each set of studs). Then either styrofoam beads are slowly blown in (have to allow for air to escape), or a liquid foam that expands and hardens. Then you just patch all the holes... or put lots of small pictures all over the walls.

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-16-2013, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Foam sound appealing to me as it is as you say minimally invasive plus in contrast to adding a double wall I don't lose any space in the room. I wont be able to do that in the knee wall since it doesn't have a back side but I might be able put something else in the back of that wall. Is this something I could do myself. Most places list that spraying foam is not easy plus you need all sorts of protective gear.

I wonder how much stuff like this actually helps. If it is only a marginal improvement then I don't want to spend a fortune on it. I'll just keep the volume turned down when we watch when the kid is sleeping or we can use wireless earphones (could use soundwire for Android)
So it becomes a matter of for how much money/effort do you get how much reduction of noise in other rooms. I have no idea how to quantify that myself. What would be the estimated dollar per decibel amount be that one could reasonably expect?

I assume the foam and similar solutions would mainly be for higher frequencies right? As low frequencies (subwoofer) require mass to be stopped from what I've read. For the low-frequencies would applying MLV to the wall still be recommended in combination?

I should note that the back wall (where screen will be) has the piping for my daughter's bathroom in it and as such I can't mess with that wall as is too much.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-16-2013, 07:18 PM
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While the spray foam in the walls will undoubtedly improve the insulating capacity (R value) of your walls, I don't think it will do anything positive with respect to soundproofing.  


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post #7 of 8 Old 08-16-2013, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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What if I put a layer of 2LBS MLV on the walls ontop of the drywall attached with drywall screws. On top of that I put 2" fiberglass covered with fabric for looks. The fiberglass would be in segments separated by wood beams like this : [ ][ ][ ]
If needed I could put green glue on the back of the MLV when putting it against the wall.

How well would this setup perform do you think?

Note that in the room I also have an A/C outlet which I can't change/cover as doing so would turn the room into a furnace. Sound would travel through the duct-work I'm sure but I'm not sure what could be done about this.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-17-2013, 02:53 AM
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I'm in the same position as you, planning and more planning, and I've read a lot of threads.

Soundproofing seems to me to distill down to two courses - go all the way and spend a lot of money to get a fantastic job. That's fine if you have the space, the money, and all of your other family commitments are met, and you have the support of your significant other.

Alternatively recognise that compromises must be made, and do the best you can - which might be keeping the volume to a decent level.

Once you accept that, then you can. go about creating the best space you can for your friends and family.

For what its worth? I would green glue another layer of 5/8 drywall to the theatre side of your daughters bedroom, get some heavy curtains to pull over the area which is half open, and then go about traeating the area to. get the best sound you can.

Its got to better by far than watching films on a 40" tv, with a soundbar.

So make a decision on your compromises, and build the best space you have with what you've got. It will likely satisfy you, and be better than what 95% of other folk have.
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