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post #1 of 124 Old 09-09-2013, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
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After several years of lurking on the forums, I have decided to start a construction thread for my new home theatre, which I will call the Signal Hill Theatre. This is the 3rd theatre I’ve built, and probably the last -- I have been planning it for about 3 years. During that time, I have been attempting to get a building permit from the County of Monterey and the California Coastal Commission to remodel my home, and I still don’t have it. However, in a fit of optimism, we recently moved out of the house, and I think I might get the permit this month.

This time, I decided that Theatre No. 3 would be a “no holds barred” movie room, in an area that was converted from a garage into a master bedroom. The layout I came up with is shown below. Basically, it’s a 5-recliner room with a back bar and swivel chairs for the groundlings. My experience has been that there is usually only 1 or 2 people, or sometimes 4, but I’ll be surprised if the back bar gets used much.



The equipment plan is as follows:
Speakers:

Projection:

Electronics:

Power & Lighting

HVAC
  • Air Handler - Mitsubishi SEZ-KD12NA4 315 cfm ducted mini-split
  • Heat Pump Condenser Unit - Mitsubishi SUZ-KA12NA 12,000 BTU/hr Mini-Split component
  • Dehumidifier - Ultra-Aire XT-105H Dehumidifier 146 cfm

Last edited by LeBon; 11-12-2014 at 11:03 PM.
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post #2 of 124 Old 09-09-2013, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
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A little history first....

My first HT was built in about 1995 in a converted garage/family room. It had knotty pine paneling, commercial carpet floor, and no acoustic treatment whatsoever. The projector was a Runco LD980 CRT with a Stewart Studiotek 130 16:9 screen. The audio used JBL Synthesis Three speakers in a 5.2 configuration (from the Harman Outlet in Oxnard, CA) with a Lexicon MC-1 audio processor. It had a Panasonic LaserDisk player, and one of the original DirecTV receivers.

After I retired and moved to Pebble Beach, I built my 2nd HT in a loft storage area above my garage. This was a real challenge, given the small area (19’-4” x 10’-2” and low ceiling (6’-11”). This time, I had Richard Rives Bird give me an acoustical plan, using RPG BAD panels and absorbers, and DIY diffuser ceiling and bass traps. The speaker system became a 7.2 system, using the same speakers (JBL Synthesis 3) with the addition of 2 Triad Gold in-wall surrounds for the rear, and 2 Outlaw LFM-1 EX powered subwoofers. I went to a CIH screen system, with a 120” diagonal Stewart Luxus Deluxe Ultramatte 150 microperf AT screen. The projector is a JVC DLA-RS1, with a Panamorph UH380 anamorphic lens and motorized sled, and a DVDO VP-50 video processor (mainly because the JVC RS1 doesn’t have a stretch mode for the anamorphic lens) . Audio is an Onkyo PR-SC885 Processor, with a Lexicon 7 x 125 W amplifier. Sources are Comcast Cable (our local stations were not on DirecTV in HD at the time), DirecTV, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD (yes, I have one of the old Toshiba HD-XA2 HD-DVD players, and enough HDDVDs to make me keep it around).
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post #3 of 124 Old 09-09-2013, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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You can probably tell that I hired Dennis Erskine in February, 2012, to design the room, after I realized that I was going to need some serious help with the acoustical design. I signed up for the Signature level plan package. The marching orders I gave Dennis were that I wanted an excellent listening room for movies, with a straightforward contemporary design. Since we are doing a major remodel, we have some flexibility in the design and implementation.

The initial drawings I sent to Dennis are shown below:


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post #4 of 124 Old 09-09-2013, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
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After several drafts and discussions, we setlled on the plans, which are really not much different from what I sent him, except for the acoustic and audio features. The floor plan is in post 1, and the elevations are shown below.





You will note that the equipment rack has been moved to the left of where it is shown on the rear elevation. I decided I wanted a 42-unit rack, which would not fit under the projector.
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post #5 of 124 Old 09-09-2013, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Just for historical interest and completeness, here are pix of the room as it stands now, before the remodeling starts.

This is the west wall -- the closet goes away. Also the faux vaulted ceiling. The wood floor will be reclaimed for use elsewhere in the house.

This is the north and east walls - the window and the fireplace go away, also.

This is the screen (south) wall. For scale, that black moulding is about 12 ft. wide.
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post #6 of 124 Old 09-09-2013, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's an exterior of the space, looking north. The roof will be removed and replaced with a lower pitch, as required by the County and the Coastal Commission. All part of a 3-year struggle to get the remodel permit.

Here is another exterior, looking south. That is the window and fireplace that will be removed.
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post #7 of 124 Old 09-11-2013, 08:18 AM
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I've decided to lurk.

What do you mean by (reserved)?

"Engineers aren't boring people, we just get excited over boring things".
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post #8 of 124 Old 09-11-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Welcome aboard. Just "reserving" the first few posts for descriptive stuff which I have yet to write.
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post #9 of 124 Old 09-13-2013, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been agonizing for some time (ever since I decided to go with a 144" x 61" 2.35:1 screen) over the light output of the JVC RS-56 projector I have been planning to use. It looks to me like it won't put out enough light to get enough brightness on the screen.

I have tentatively decided to move from the Studiotek 130 G3 to the Stewart UltraMatte 150 MicroPerf AT screen (1.5 gain) to get the additional screen gain. Then I need to adjust the screen gain down by about 10%, since it is perforated. I have the UltraMatte 150 perfed material in my theatre now, and I like it just fine.

The projector throw is about 20 feet.

I have been reading about the new Sony 500 (or 600?) which claims 1700 ANSI lumens, versus the RS56's 1200 ANSI lumens (800 lumens when it is calibrated).

I will wait for CEDIA to see what JVC (and/or anyone else) does, but there might be a Sony in my future.
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post #10 of 124 Old 09-13-2013, 07:41 PM
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This looks like a great project to follow along.
It would drive me nuts waiting 3 years for a permit. Are you on the water there?

An Aspen Woods Theater - Under Construction

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post #11 of 124 Old 09-13-2013, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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We're about 400 ft. back from the water, in the sand dunes. So it's considered Envronmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA), which makes everything difficult at the Coastal Commission. Welcome to the People's Republic of California...
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post #12 of 124 Old 09-13-2013, 09:12 PM
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Wow a lower pitch roof. Really. The one you have isn't that steep. You would have to have a flat roof I guess to please the permit squad. I escaped California back in 99 and boy am I glad I did.

Alan in Boise
103 inch AT screen with 9.x playback. IB subs. Two with dual 15s and one with dual 12s. Screen channels with Minimus 77s. Minimus 7 on front wide and front high and wides and sides. Room is perfect size for smaller speakers like the Minimus speakers. Approx. 17x13x8. Tower speakers were taking up to much room. Onkyo 818 used as pre-amp. Power amp duties handled by HK 2.1 Kenwood KM-X1. Hafler DH200.
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post #13 of 124 Old 09-13-2013, 09:44 PM
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Looking forward to watching progress........

Pebble Beach is a beautiful place.........
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post #14 of 124 Old 09-14-2013, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBon View Post

I have been agonizing for some time (ever since I decided to go with a 144" x 61" 2.35:1 screen) over the light out put of the JVC RS-56 projector I have been planning to use. It looks to me like it won't put out enough light to get enough brightness on the screen.

I have tentatively decided to move from the Studiotek 130 G3 to the Stewart UltraMatte 150 MicroPerf AT screen (1.5 gain) to get the additional screen gain. Then I need to adjust the screen gain down by about 10%, since it is perforated. I have the UltrMatte 150 perfed material in my theatre now, and I like it just fine.

The projector throw is about 20 feet.

I have been reading about the new Sony 500 (or 600?) which claims 1700 ANSI lumens, versus the RS56's 1200 ANSI lumens (800 lumens when it is calibrated).

I will wait for CEDIA to see what JVC (and/or anyone else) does, but there might be a Sony in my future.

Seriously think about the Sony 500, especially on a 12ft screen................not only will light output be helpful, but resolution on your screen will vastly improve ie. no screen door effect. I suspect by the time you are close to needing machine..............it could be under $10,000 with a 4K source to use!

After 100+ hours...........I'm extremely happy with my Sony. wink.gif
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post #15 of 124 Old 09-14-2013, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by awblackmon View Post

Wow a lower pitch roof. Really. The one you have isn't that steep. You would have to have a flat roof I guess to please the permit squad. I escaped California back in 99 and boy am I glad I did.
They made me go from a 4 in 12 pitch to a 3 in 12 pitch. Ridiculous! The only way you could really please the permit squad would be tear down your house, plant native plants, and leave!
I am a 4th generation native Californian -- apparently, I don't know any better. But I do recall asking myself why I still live here...

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Seriously think about the Sony 500, especially on a 12ft screen................not only will light output be helpful, but resolution on your screen will vastly improve ie. no screen door effect. I suspect by the time you are close to needing machine..............it could be under $10,000 with a 4K source to use!
We are thinking exactly the same. I expect the remodel to take 1 - 1.5 years, There will probably be some more choices by the time I have to commit to the projector. I will need the screen earlier in the process, so I plan to go with the higher-gain screen.
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post #16 of 124 Old 09-14-2013, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBon View Post

I have been agonizing for some time (ever since I decided to go with a 144" x 61" 2.35:1 screen) over the light out put of the JVC RS-56 projector I have been planning to use. It looks to me like it won't put out enough light to get enough brightness on the screen.

I have tentatively decided to move from the Studiotek 130 G3 to the Stewart UltraMatte 150 MicroPerf AT screen (1.5 gain) to get the additional screen gain. Then I need to adjust the screen gain down by about 10%, since it is perforated. I have the UltrMatte 150 perfed material in my theatre now, and I like it just fine.

The projector throw is about 20 feet.

I have been reading about the new Sony 500 (or 600?) which claims 1700 ANSI lumens, versus the RS56's 1200 ANSI lumens (800 lumens when it is calibrated).

I will wait for CEDIA to see what JVC (and/or anyone else) does, but there might be a Sony in my future.

 

Looking forward to the progress of this thread!  I sold my RS56 recently and I expect the Sony 500ES to be the knockout projector it's shaping up to be.  Even if JVC releases 4k models, I doubt they will match the light output of the Sony, but that all remains to be seen! This Sept is going to be historical for projection theater and I look forward to seeing which piece of history will be landing in your room.  I'll be building my theater this January, and your original floor plan with 5 seats and a bar behind have inspired me completely.  Expect to see a knockoff early next year ;)

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post #17 of 124 Old 09-15-2013, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Meeting with my tentative contractor today to discuss, among many other things, the treatment of the HT floor. The room was originally a garage, so the floor is pitched about 3" down to the east. Originally, I had thought I would level it with self-leveling concrete. But then it was recommended that I put down 3/8" Serenity Mat, and 5/8" OSB (T&G) over that. Then heavy jute padding, with carpeting over that.

This adds up to about 2" + of thickness, which creates a problem matching the HT floor level with the wood floor in the rest of the house.

Given the extensive nature of the remodel, we are now thinking it may be about the same cost to chip up the old concrete floor, and pour a new (level) one at a lower level to account for this thickness.

This would also simplify installing conduit(s) under the floor to get power and signal to the seating area.
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post #18 of 124 Old 09-15-2013, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
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Meeting with my tentative contractor today to discuss, among many other things, the treatment of the HT floor. The room was originally a garage, so the floor is pitched about 3" down to the east. Originally, I had thought I would level it with self-leveling concrete. But then it was recommended that I put down 3/8" Serenity Mat, and 5/8" OSB (T&G) over that. Then heavy jute padding, with carpeting over that.

This adds up to about 2" + of thickness, which creates a problem matching the HT floor level with the wood floor in the rest of the house.

Given the extensive nature of the remodel, we are now thinking it may be about the same cost to chip up the old concrete floor, and pour a new (level) one at a lower level to account for this thickness.

This would also simplify installing conduit(s) under the floor to get power and signal to the seating area.

Hope you have better luck than I did with your contractor................my first one lasted three weeks before we parted ways.

You may want to think about 3/4'' T&G plywood rather than OSB....................if you can source the material, the best T & G product on the market is AdvanTech which is by far the best product I've seen to date. I was unable to get product, but you might have a distributor near by. If comes with a 50 year warranty.........best in the business and the T&G is absolutely form fitting. Just giving you a heads up.
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post #19 of 124 Old 09-16-2013, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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What do you see as the advantage of plywood over OSB in a subflooring application like this?
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post #20 of 124 Old 09-16-2013, 06:38 PM
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What do you see as the advantage of plywood over OSB in a subflooring application like this?

How far did you say you're from the beach? biggrin.gif

OSB has the propensity to absorb moisture..............swelling comes first, then the infamous breaking down of glue.........cycle repeats.........sawdust is the end result!

At the ranch, we had woodsheds sided with OSB which lasted 4-5 years at best.........................replaced with plywood................12 years later still holding up. I would never use OSB if there was any remote possibility moisture coming in contact with the material. The AdvanTech subflooring material is an engineered OSB type material, but think lam beam with water resistant glues. The T&G is superior compared to anything else on the market.............3/4" T &G plywood would be my second choice and is what I used.

Sure, plywood will delaminate...........but will last a whole lot longer than OSB. With your home being on coastal front.............I'd be hesitant using regular OSB................spending $10-15 more for each sheet is worth the piece of mind IMHO.
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post #21 of 124 Old 09-18-2013, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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We're about 400 ft. back from the beach, but about 100 ft. above sea level. If we get green water into the theatre, OSB will be the least of our problems...biggrin.gif

I will look for the AdvanTech subflooring material.
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post #22 of 124 Old 09-29-2013, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Met with the contractor and the insulation guy. We decided to put 1 in. of closed-cell foam in the exterior walls, then fill the rest of the walls with fiberglas.
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post #23 of 124 Old 09-29-2013, 06:42 PM
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Met with the contractor and the insulation guy. We decided to put 1 in. of closed-cell foam in the exterior walls, then fill the rest of the walls with fiberglas.

Great decision.............seals for air drafts yet still have absorption for theater. Having lived on coast for six years.................near another great golf coarse I might add ie. Bandon Dunes.............the closed cell insulation is a must! wink.gif
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post #24 of 124 Old 10-06-2013, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I have gotten some more information about the new Sony VW600 projector from Mike Garrett. Our calculations indicate that it could work very well in my planned setup, using a Stewart UltraMatte 150 screen, 144" wide, 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio. We might expect about 17 ft-L in low lamp mode, and 22 ft-L in high mode (with a new lamp). My calculations are shown below, and I welcome any comments or advice. I won't need to commit to a projector for a year or so, so I'll keep my powder dry on this.


Here is the underlying Excel spreadsheet, if anyone wants to look at it.
Signal Hill Theatre Calcs 2.35.xls 56k .xls file
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File Type: xls Signal Hill Theatre Calcs 2.35.xls (55.5 KB, 43 views)
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post #25 of 124 Old 10-21-2013, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I posted on another thread here that I am planning a 144" wide 2.35:1 screen, with first row at 132" back (0.91 X screen width).

My last theatre was 170" back from a 114" wide 2.35:1 screen (1.49 X width), so I'm considerably more aggressive this time...

This got me to thinking ... Since both the screen width and/or the seating distance could be adjusted at this point, this seems like the right time to ask for opinions on this. Am I being too aggressive? How much "immersion" is too much?
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post #26 of 124 Old 10-21-2013, 03:29 PM
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I have had 141" 2.35:1 and had to go 13' so that I could get the whole screen framed in my vision without it being a distraction. If you can, find a space to set up a projector and project a 144" 2.35 image and move a chair around until you are comfortable. You might be surprised.

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post #27 of 124 Old 10-22-2013, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I did some observations in my old theatre last night (114" 2.35:1 screen). I put a chair at 0.92 x screen width. Watched about 30 minutes of The Last Samurai and found that I wasn't really comfortable viewing at that distance. Moved it back to about 1.20 X width, and felt that was about right. That would translate to 14' - 6" with a144" wide screen.

Not sure I can move the seating back 3.5 feet in my new theatre. So I continue to agonize over the screen configuration...
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post #28 of 124 Old 10-22-2013, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBon View Post

I did some observations in my old theatre last night (114" 2.35:1 screen). I put a chair at 0.92 x screen width. Watched about 30 minutes of The Last Samurai and found that I wasn't really comfortable viewing at that distance. Moved it back to about 1.20 X width, and felt that was about right. That would translate to 14' - 6" with a144" wide screen.

Not sure I can move the seating back 3.5 feet in my new theatre. So I continue to agonize over the screen configuration...

30 minutes is not enough time to acclimate yourself. I could see doing 12' to 13' viewing with that screen. After about a week, I think it would feel comfortable.

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post #29 of 124 Old 10-22-2013, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBon View Post

I did some observations in my old theatre last night (114" 2.35:1 screen). I put a chair at 0.92 x screen width. Watched about 30 minutes of The Last Samurai and found that I wasn't really comfortable viewing at that distance. Moved it back to about 1.20 X width, and felt that was about right. That would translate to 14' - 6" with a144" wide screen.

Not sure I can move the seating back 3.5 feet in my new theatre. So I continue to agonize over the screen configuration...

I sit back 12.5 ft from a 140" screen and love it..................

My wife took a month to sit next to me..................and now she is fine sitting off to my side. I was originally going to use 11 ft wide screen, but am glad I purchased 12 ft. The 1000 ES is the secret sauce to the equation! wink.gif
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post #30 of 124 Old 11-14-2013, 10:16 AM
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Hey there, checking out your one-row design! So your design doesn't call for a riser, eh?  Since I'm going to be doing one row as well, I'm thinking I can nix the riser as well, and just do the bar behind the row.  How goes the progress on your build?

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