New Home Theater Room Advice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-19-2013, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been bitten by the bug. My wallet scorns you all smile.gif

We're converting an open room into an 18' x 14' room with 11.5' ceilings that will be a home theater. I've been reading up and planning for the build which kicks off next week, but I know there are things I'm not thinking of and could use your advice. We're also tackling the kitchen and master bath and moving (with a toddler), so right now, I really just want to create a solid foundation to build on.

The upstairs room is in a great place positioned above the garage and on the opposite side of the house from kid bedrooms. Two new staggered stud walls will connect to an existing load bearing post. Inside the room, we will go with DD + GG on all of the walls. Backer puddy on outlets, insulation (R19?), acoustical caulk, etc. I'm thinking interior solid core door hung as an exterior with a layer of MDF and GG. Attic space is above the ceiling, and my thought is to hold off on it until I add the projector and have the time/$ to better handle it. Maybe backer boxes, a dead vent in the attic (is this frowned upon?), insulation, and top off with some MLV or something?

I plan to run conduit from the attic to the screen or side wall for cables to support a 7.1 setup. I was thinking about putting in-wall surround speakers in, but I don't want to blow my soundproofing job with those. I'm thinking of just threading the speaker wire through the drywall for now, and then build some soffits with integrated surround speakers later on.

Here's the gear I have waiting for their new home:
Receiver: Pioneer VSX-1021
Left / Right: Polk RTi8
Center: Polk CSi5
SW: Polk PSW110
Surround: Polk FXi3

Some other questions:
- Is it worth it to maybe add another layer of plywood sub-floor with GG, or don't worry about it since the room is above the garage?
- I'm thinking about holding off on texturing the walls. If I'm going to build a stage and soffits, maybe best to save the cash?
- Electrical - Right now, there is just a ceiling fan with a light and electrical outlets. I assume a ceiling fan can be treated for flanking just as a recessed light might be? Do HT's typically need a dedicated circuit? If I want to add extra lighting later on in the soffits or what not, should I run some electrical now?
- Wall outlets - Is it best to get a media specific outlet, or one of the ones with a big opening? How do you handle flanking with these?
- There's a big window in the room. Anything besides a heavy curtain recommended?

TL;DR - New guy, new room, need help

Here's a pic of the proposed layout.
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-19-2013, 02:45 PM
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Welcome to the madness.

Check out the soundproofing company or talk to Ted for good information about treating the floors. The ceiling should be treated the same as the walls, DD+GG plus some form of decoupling. Doing the walls and door the way you have planned is great but there's no guarantee sound won't get into the attic and in to other rooms. To deal with the ceiling fan you could build a backer box similar to how a lot of guys do for pot lights. Speakers are the same idea. You could build backer boxes if you wanted them in wall, or columns if you wanted them inside the room.

If the walls are opened up you will want to run as much wiring as you think you'll need. Most of the theaters in here have more than one circuit because of the amount of lights and equipment that the typical theater room has. You'll need to estimate how many light's you want and what equipment you'll be running, then compare to what you have for electrical to see if you need to add and circuits.

If you want to keep the window as is youll probably have to get some heavy blackout drapes. Another option is to build a plug and block it up, this would also allow you to flip the room and have the stage on the opposit wall from the door which would in turn allow you to center everything in the room.

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post #3 of 3 Old 09-24-2013, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the good info and sorry for the slow reply. A lightning strike two doors down knocked out our internet as well as a router, computer monitor, xbox 360, and yes, my Pioneer 1021 receiver mad.gif Side question, anyone know if lightning damaged receivers can usually be repaired?

You've got me thinking about flipping the screen to the other wall. How beneficial is it to center the room? With it skewed, I know the surround speaker levels would need to be tweaked as one side will be closer to the listening position than the other. The reason I chose the new wall with the door, was so that the front speakers would direct out away from the inside of the house, and so that we could still use the window. One thing I didn't mention is that the room will also function as a music room, so I'd hate to lose the window. Another reason I want to get the soundproofing right. I guess I could go with a retractable screen, or rig something up so that the light from the window could be made to pass through the screen when you want it.

One crazy thought I had is to build a floor to ceiling soffit all the way around the room that could house the electronics, surround speakers on both sides, dead vent, and ceiling fan. This way everything would be in the room rather than openings in the walls/ceiling. Is this a horrible idea?

Here's some pics of the room so you can see what I'm working with.

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