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post #1 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Strid's Whole Home + Theater Build

Background:
My wife and I bought our first house in the summer of 2014. It is a 2-story home built in 1993 in Texas with room for a lot of small renovations and updates.

In college and in my apartments before owning this house, I have always enjoyed having a projector theater setup with whatever devices and speakers I could get my hands on. Now that we have our own permanent place, it’s time to really do things the right way. I realize that most threads here are focused primarily on theater rooms, however since I will be doing multiple things that will affect each other, I would love to receive all the feedback I can from the great minds here on AVS.


House Layout:

Details coming soon...


Table of Contents:
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Last edited by Stridulent; 01-19-2015 at 07:29 AM.
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post #2 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Theater Room

To-Do List
  • Convert entry to single, solid-core door and weather proof
  • Find a solution for windows
  • Find a location for equipment. Built-ins? Standalone rack?
  • Mount projector. New wiring. Speaker wire. Cat6. HDMI.
  • New lighting. Currently looking at 9 x 4" cans, 3 rows of 3. Each row on its own dimmer.
  • New carpet. Darker, thin.
  • Paint ceiling (probably black)
  • Paint walls (see blue from office)
  • Wood stained wainscotting (maybe)
  • Build and install counter height bar to be located behind main seating row of recliners.
  • more to come I'm sure


Current Issues
Sound isolation
Double doors. Shares wall with master bedroom. Directly above living room.

3 windows (light control)
Not opposed to plugging these in. They are single pane and I do worry about moisture build up between the window and the plug in the humid, summer months.

No closet
Where to put equipment?

Room Specs
18' x 16' x 8'

Equipment
  • Epson 8350 projector
  • Marantz SR 5007 a/v receiver
  • 2.35:1 117" DIY screen (material purchased from carlofet.com). Plan to upgrade to 2.35:1 @ ~ 150". Will be DIY.
  • Speakers.. are embarassing, need to upgrade

Image with previous owner's furniture. Note the double, french doors (they are now the pocket doors for the office).


Another image with previous owner's furniture. The wall with the picture will be the screen wall.


More details coming soon...
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Last edited by Stridulent; 01-19-2015 at 06:55 AM.
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post #3 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Whole-Home Networking

Background
All phone, cable, and power lines come in at the back of the garage. Our garage in detached, but connected to the house with a 10' long, 3' wide, 2ft tall overhang. Currently phone line goes directly to the kitchen and no where else. Having a router next to the sink causes plenty of problems as you could probably guess. I would like to run 4 new shielded cat6 lines from this location and a shielded rg6 up to the attic of the house and down a AC duct cavity (not in the actual duct) to a large closet on the first floor. I am choosing to do shielded because in that 10' overhang, the cat6 and rg6 will be close to the power lines coming into the house. To my understanding, I will also need cat6 shielded patch panels with ONLY 1 of them grounded to the rack. Could use more advice on this....

Projected Cat6 Drops
Theater Room x 8-12 (receiving patch panel)
Office / Audio Room x 4
Master Bedroom (behind TV) x 2
Living Room (behind TV) x 2
Kid Room 1 x 2
Kid Room 2 x 2
Garage / Workshop x 2


More details coming soon...

Last edited by Stridulent; 01-18-2015 at 07:09 PM.
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post #4 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Living Room

Details coming soon...
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post #5 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Office / Audio Room

To-Do List
  1. Run speaker wires to each corner except rear right (equipment will be here). Wire will be run inside the walls to just below the header, then brought out and stabled along the top corner. Crown install will hide them (will just be low voltage here).
  2. Run HDMI and power for TV (either above doors or in the corner right of the doors)
  3. Paint all trim
  4. Buy a large rug that covers the majority of the floor (9x11' would be ideal)
  5. Build custom desk w/ sliding/rising keyboard tray and motorized monitor-rising mount

Background
The house had a formal living room in it when we purchased it. These rooms aren't nearly as popular these days. We did some basic math and got a few quotes and realized that it would actually be cheaper to convert the room into an office than it would be to buy some nice pieces of furniture for it.

Room Specs
  • 11' x 13'3" x 9'
  • Double pocket doors
  • Tile floors
  • New electrical outlets and switches
  • New trim (door casing, baseboard, and crown moulding)

Equipment
  • Onkyo A-9050 Integrated Stereo Amplifier w/ built-in Wolfson DAC
  • JBL C56 Dorian x 2 (stereo)


Picture taken before we closed on the house, with the previous owner's furniture.



Some very mild demo work.



New wall framed with pocket doors.



The new walls were both very thick due to the dimensions of the column. If memory serves, they were around 9 inches before drywall. In order to take advantage of that space, I built a light box that will hold glass shelves to display decor on. This is on the living room side.



Drywall up, from the inside looking out.



Walls painted.



New fan. Really love the look.



Door casing and baseboard installed. Brought speakers (JBL C56 Dorian x 2) and computer into the room temporarily to check the acoustics. Definitely going to need a large rug and some items on the walls to help reduce audio reflections and increase dampening.
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Last edited by Stridulent; 01-18-2015 at 06:44 PM.
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post #6 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Garage / Workshop


Details coming soon...
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post #7 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 06:04 PM
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Nice! Glad that you got this thread going. There are a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum that can help you out.
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post #8 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Nice! Glad that you got this thread going. There are a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum that can help you out.
IT'S HAPPENING
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post #9 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 06:24 PM
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Now I can see what you were talking about with your office. Those doors sliding into the wall looks fantastic! You did a great job on that! Did you do all of the work?
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post #10 of 26 Old 01-18-2015, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Now I can see what you were talking about with your office. Those doors sliding into the wall looks fantastic! You did a great job on that! Did you do all of the work?
I thought hard about it for awhile, but in the end I ended up paying a guy to do it. Pocket doors can be very tricky. Get them slightly unlevel and tons of problems arise.

I contracted out:
  • Framing of opening on tile + pocket door installation
  • Drywall install + mudding/texturing
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post #11 of 26 Old 01-19-2015, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Current questions to the community:
  1. What would be your recommendations for the windows in the theater room? Should I plug them? Should I be concerned about moisture developing behind the plugs?
  2. Should I be concerned about the 8’ ceiling? This is one reason I opted to do a bar behind the first row of seating instead of a 2nd row of seating on a riser.
  3. Because of the overhang coming from the garage to the house and that the cables will have to run parallel and within less than a foot of romex, does it make sense to use shielded cat6 and shielded rg6? I haven’t done much research on coaxial. Is rg6 still the best for the cost? Will be using it now for DirecTV, but I always like to future proof when it makes sense.
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post #12 of 26 Old 01-21-2015, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Found some extra space under the stairs. Will be using it to add on to the networking closet. My weekend just got really fun!

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post #13 of 26 Old 01-21-2015, 02:48 PM
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What do you mean by "using it to add on to the networking closet"?
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-21-2015, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pain Infliction View Post
What do you mean by "using it to add on to the networking closet"?
My stairs go up ~60% of the way then turn 180 degrees and go up the remaining height. Under the tall end is where I had planned on situating the network components. It is a very long closet, so I've debated about adding a door in the middle to separate the two (could potentially do a door in the office instead).


Here is a VERY rough sketch of the area. I've been working to put this together. The left side is its current setup. The section below the "stairs" label is completely unused. The drawing on the right is what it would look like if I opened it up and separated it from the front portion of the closet. Honestly, the closet is too big. Makes it hard to get to the back when anything is in the front. That is why I'd like to find a way to separate it so the different sections can have very different uses. The front would mostly be a coat closet, whereas the back can be the network hub and potentially also hold equipment for the living room a/v.

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post #15 of 26 Old 01-21-2015, 03:19 PM
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Oh I see. If you wanted to go that way you would probably have to make the door open to the left instead of the right so that you will not have issues trying to get in the closet and then close the door to get to the back of it. What is on the other side of the stairs, the living room? Do you want your rack exposed at all? If you do, you could maybe have it on the other side of the stairs (if living room) with the back inside the closet or maybe not have a second door and have the rack facing the office with the back inside of the closet. You have to consider cooling as well, but I think that is a return duct in there and you could easily tap into that. How much space do you need for your network? I think having everything (network and av gear) in a central location makes it easier to integrate and troubleshoot as well.
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post #16 of 26 Old 01-21-2015, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Oh I see. If you wanted to go that way you would probably have to make the door open to the left instead of the right so that you will not have issues trying to get in the closet and then close the door to get to the back of it. What is on the other side of the stairs, the living room? Do you want your rack exposed at all? If you do, you could maybe have it on the other side of the stairs (if living room) with the back inside the closet or maybe not have a second door and have the rack facing the office with the back inside of the closet. You have to consider cooling as well, but I think that is a return duct in there and you could easily tap into that. How much space do you need for your network? I think having everything (network and av gear) in a central location makes it easier to integrate and troubleshoot as well.
I'm with you 100% on everything man. The doors were just thrown in with no regards to orientation in that drawing. I need to get into the space and check out if it is feasible to add an exposed rack on the living room side (below the stairs). I really like the idea of having everything centralized, too. The theater is directly above the living room on the 2nd floor, so not too far from this closet either in terms of cable runs. I'm on the fence about putting theater equipment in here though because it might be a pain in the ass to run up and down the stairs to change out discs, etc. This is another thing I could really use some advice and ideas on.
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post #17 of 26 Old 01-21-2015, 03:41 PM
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A media server will take care of changing out the disks. Load time is instant as well. Switching between movies is literally a couple of seconds. Not to mention with the server, you can watch any of your movies anywhere you like including Hawaii like @Mfusick did on his honeymoon. lmao
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post #18 of 26 Old 01-21-2015, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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A media server will take care of changing out the disks. Load time is instant as well. Switching between movies is literally a couple of seconds. Not to mention with the server, you can watch any of your movies anywhere you like including Hawaii like @Mfusick did on his honeymoon. lmao
Haha... Well, I'm one of those weird movie collector guys that likes physical copies. I don't want my blu-rays to be in boxes
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-21-2015, 03:58 PM
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Of course. Buy the bluray and rip it. You still have the physical copy. But if you don't want the media server, changing out movies would be a pain in the arse if you demo or watch more than one movie in a sitting.
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-21-2015, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Of course. Buy the bluray and rip it. You still have the physical copy. But if you don't want the media server, changing out movies would be a pain in the arse if you demo or watch more than one movie in a sitting.
Been doing it for years :P HTPC is much faster at loading than a blu-ray player. I'm going to think about it though. I'd have to buy a lot of hard drives.
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post #21 of 26 Old 01-22-2015, 07:51 AM
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Hard drives are cheap.

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #22 of 26 Old 01-22-2015, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Hard drives are cheap.
Haha. They have gotten a lot cheaper. However, doing some quick math, I'd need about 30 terabytes.
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post #23 of 26 Old 01-25-2015, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently lost a few devices during a thunderstorm where the surge came in through the coaxial line. Luckily, everything that was lost was covered under warranty. I want to make sure I protect all my equipment. Since they will all be on one network of ethernet and/or hdmi, I want to try to prevent all points of surge entry.

For clean and protected power, I'm thinking about...

The Panamax-MR4300 to condition and protect:
  • Incoming phone line
  • Incoming coaxial lines
  • Stereo amplifier for office
  • 5.1 receiver for living room
  • 7.2 receiver for theater room


A UPS (recommendations welcome) to protect the following via power bridges to their respective locations:
  • Projector in theater
  • Office computer
  • HTPC computer
  • 60 inch Sharp in living room
  • 50 inch Panasonic plasma in bedroom

Everything else, such as network switches, will be plugged into your every day surge protector unless inputs exist on either the UPS or power conditioner.

My questions to the AVS community:
  • Does this setup make sense?
  • Does a UPS already do everything a power conditioner does? Is the conditioner unnecessary?
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post #24 of 26 Old 01-26-2015, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Got some cat6 and rg6 QS ran this weekend.

The main objectives were to:
  • Get the modem out of the kitchen and allow for it to be placed in a closet with all other things network related
  • Remove the ugly coax cable that the satellite guys put up on the side of our house

Total run length: approximately 250 ft
Cable run:
  • 3 x Cat 6 UTP (1 for phone line for modem, 2 for TV/internet in garage)
  • 2 x RG6 QS (1 for satellite, 1 for cable line in from ground)


The run started here on the back of the garage. It had to go across the overhang and directly up the 2-story wall. Note the ugly coax stapled to the side of the structure.



Had to cut a hole in the overhang in order to get the wires around the sharp corner going up.



No worries though. Created this little door so I can access it in the future. Here it is only pre-primed. I'll need to spackle up that split.



Here are the cables coming into the attic above the 2nd story:



Here the cables go down the void between walls to the closet on the first floor:



We have internet!
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Last edited by Stridulent; 01-26-2015 at 04:13 PM.
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post #25 of 26 Old Yesterday, 07:41 AM
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Cool thread! What's the current status of the theater?
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Cool thread! What's the current status of the theater?
Still in the planning stages. The office and downstairs are finished, I need to update the pictures.
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