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post #1 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Stoked Home Theater in KC

So as opposed to beating up the local KC thread, and numerous others, I'm opening a dedicated thread for my HT.

Summary, 2 years ago we bought a 10 year old house in Lenexa, KS. Basement length is about 40' and L shaped. It's about 17' wide in the theater area and had an unfinished bar area that adds another 15x15 or so as the end of the L. Previous homeowner had a massive 65" rear projection TV built into the carpentry and an RBH 5.1 system. The two rear surrounds were in-walls speakers mounted in the ceiling. The sub was a 10" RBH that is cut into the wall of a closet that is under the stairs. Rack for all of the electronics which included everything from CD changer to VHS and 3 HK AVRs. One AVR was for upstairs TV, one for downstairs TV and one was for the whole house audio system (Russound Airbus). Obviously all non-HDMI and the wiring from the contractor was a NIGHTMARE. More coax than I've ever seen in any one room. Unfortunately, I did not save pictures of any of the old equipment rack. We only used the room for storage for the first 2 years until I took it over and started my 7 month journey to bring me to where I am now. Operating the old system would have been a nightmare with literally 20 remotes and IR transceivers everywhere.

Pics show latest rack rework in progress but with the old wiring cleaned up to the best as possible without cutting them! It was 100 times worse than this when I started half a year ago. I also have some of the new speakers installed in this room pic as I had already started fishing over 1000' of cable. But it gives a little bit of a baseline as to what I started with in March/April 2015. The fun part was I started it all the day after having foot surgery. High on pain killers with a surgical boot on. Climbing ladders and fishing cables through areas with lots of electrical wiring.....
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Rack (7.2.4): Marantz AV7702mk2, Crown XLS1500 (9), miniDSP DDRC-88A (2), miniDSP 2x4 balanced, Samsung UHD HDR: UBD-K8500, Panamax M5400-PM
LCR: JTR 228HT (3) Surrounds: JTR S8 & S8LP (4) Atmos: JTR Slant8LP (4) Subs: JTR Captivator 1400 (2) PJ: JVC RS400 Screen: Seymour UF 130"W 2.35
STOKED Home Theater Build
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post #2 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Note the vent register in the room pic. That's a 10" sub cut through the wall. Contractor, while building the house, cut a stud to fit it in. They also cut another stud to squeeze in the rack....No idea if they're load bearing, but I kind of assume they were! House was built with this in there, so I'm assuming that support header was put in for codes and inspections.

Pic of the old 65" rear projection TV is non-existent. But it literally weighed about 400 lbs and had to be hacked into pieces to get it out of the basement. It wouldn't fit through the basement door and stairwell any other way. Plus it was too heavy to move.

Last edited by Stoked21; 10-26-2015 at 10:31 AM. Reason: correction
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post #3 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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So my budget of a few thousand dollars as I told my wife....Ended up with me stumbling upon atmos and all of a sudden a 5.1 was no longer in the picture. I purchased a Yamaha Aventage A2040 AVR with 9.2 chs. Went with 6 DT Promonitor 1000s, 2 DT SM45s for front and a DT Procenter 1000. I then threw in a cheap Polk PSW-505 12" sub. My problem was quickly discovered that I was putting passive radiators and bass reflex ports behind carpentry and into the closet. SPL was being blasted into the closed off areas. This caused booming and lots of sound transfer to the main level of the house.

My next step was to install a bar area and remodel the bathroom. I was simultaneously doing an entire chef's kitchen remodel, so my plate was full with a large amount of work. But it was all very symbiotic. After all, to have a dedicated theater, there had to be a nice kitchen area and nice facilities for guest to use.

Bar is done, but obviously still needs quartz tops. New PJs, and amps and subs have taken priority over that though!
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post #4 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Rack version 2.0. Blanks to cover extra slots. Put in the A2040 9.2 and another Yamaha RX-V677 for preamp for whole house/outside audio.
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post #5 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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My goal in the theater was old school gaudy. I remember seeing Star Wars for the first time re-ran when I was a child in probably 1980 or so. My mom took me to this old theater that was all gold foil and red velvet with curtains. I believe in TX or OK. I really wanted to recreate that velvet, red and gold, and old theater feel. All while staying state of the art, convenient, and comfortable though. Wife gave me free reign and was doubting me every step of the way....She's now loving all of it (except still hates my curtain)

Next step was to finish paint, decorations and seating. Seeing as I've done every type of remodel imaginable and am an MSEE (DSP, semiconductor expert) this felt great to be basically done with a kitchen, a bar, a theater and a bathroom all in only 5 months with just my own 2 hands. I use to own a company that built custom acoustic and electric guitars/basses. So the woodworking was no concern to me.

Touch up paint was still needed and some little tweaks here and there but it was finally functional mid-August 2015. Some decorations added.


FYI, Philips Hue lighting systems are amazing for ambience lighting in your theater. Any color and brightness you want all on a phone app.
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Last edited by Stoked21; 10-26-2015 at 11:48 AM. Reason: modify
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post #6 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Then the fun began. I had chosen to use a pair of DT promonitors for RH instead of ICs for a TR layout. I had also used the previous owners rear surrounds as TFs. The Atmos sound was far from perfect.

I immediately started demo again a week after "opening" the theater. I added 4 Niles ICs for TF and TR and decommissioned the RH and old ICs. Love fishing more speaker wire. I also opted to rip out more front carpentry and add a Klipsch R-115SW reference 15" sub. The old ICs will eventually be replaced and used as TM when the technology is available. By mid September I was back up and running and the budget was slowly slipping away from me.

Added a 65" LG 4K TV as I didn't want to run a projector due to fan noise, ambient light, etc......

And then I noticed that I really hated DT speakers and had to get rid of the porting and radiator issues. So sold the Polk sub and DT LCR. Went with the brand-new Monitor Bronze 6 for LCR...Which required a bunch more carpentry to be torn out. I still need to make the new grill covers.
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post #7 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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While playing around with the system, I noticed I really missed the rear surrounds. But I had started to fall in love with the TF TR config. I then started regretting the 9.2 purchase......Even though I love Yamaha, the Marantz 7702mk2, with DTS:X, Auro, XLRs, and ability to run front surround wides really appealed to me. That means more amps right?

So I ripped out the rack and decided to go with Crown XLS1500 amps for 16 chs.

Worried about the 15A breaker tripping from in-rush current, I needed to be able to semi-sequence the power up. Had to cut the wall out more, extend rails, in order to accommodate everything I have an may need. I'm now safe through 15.1 releases which should buy me a few years.

The 7702mk2 is due tomorrow, so I should be back up and running for game 1 of the world series!
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post #8 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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More decorations needed in my movie wall of fame. I made many of these and did the lighting, mounting and framing by myself. All of them light up to show off the film cells. Nice evening project of going through trailer reels and cutting out the best scenes. Making labels and movie posters and matting.
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post #9 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Subwoofer placement begins

It was about 2 weeks ago when the Klipsch amp started getting the best of me. I've been struggling with a hum I assumed was a ground loop and had been going back and forth with the dealer telling them it was a defective amp. Well, 20 tests later, I'm now very positive of that. Still waiting on disposition of the sub, whether it will be replaced or refunded.

In the meantime, called Jeff at JTR. My cap 1400 is shipping this week. Have not decided whether I will cut out more of the back drywall and place it behind the back row. I will be removing more carpentry in the front anyway, so I may place the JTR in the front. Or buy a second one if the Klipsch gets refunded.

Ordered a UMIK-1 so hopefully between this and local support, I can determine best sub layouts.

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post #10 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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PJ mounting and screen search begin

So the next adventure I started today...I regret buying my 65" LCD TV 3 months ago. I mean come on it's too small even if it is 2.2 UHD. Couple weeks of research and the JVC RS400, pseudo 4k with 2.2 compliancy is the winner. Preordered it today and will likely be installed before end of year. I need to figure out screen and PJ mounting. This is going to be a challenge with throw and vibration of subs potentially shaking up the PJ and the screen....

I've never mounted a pj before, so this is where I'm really going to need some help. I'm also worried about screen gain with windows in the room (though small and far away).
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Last edited by Stoked21; 10-26-2015 at 11:28 AM. Reason: correciton
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post #11 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 11:24 AM
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Looks very nice Stoked. You're going to love the Cap1400...trust me I have 2. I also have Crown XLS-1500's. Will be interested in your thoughts of the Marantz vs the Yamaha.

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post #12 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Surround Speaker search Begins

In the meantime, while I wait on pj and determine my best path for mounting, I need to resolve my rear surrounds. I don't want the DT sticking out so far and am strongly debating in-walls from Monitor. I know timber match isn't too much of a concern but would be nice to slowly move my surround rears, front wides and surrounds all to the same manufacturer. So jury is out on this one and I'm open to ideas. I may do the second sub while waiting on PJ as well.

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post #13 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Input request!!!

So, that's the beginning to end of the last 7 months of my HT. Multiple revs in that amount of time and many changes still afoot. Quite a bit of changes and way too much $$$ spent in the last months. Not to mention the majority of the whole system has essentially been purchased, replaced and modified in the last 30 days.

I'll eventually get to a point where I go with higher quality Atmos speakers, but that's further down my list for now. I'm even debating Dirac and some acoustic treatment down the road. For now, I'll be finishing all of my wiring, rack and most of my carpentry in the next week and then moving to PJ and sub options.

Open items I could use some advice on:
1) PJ and screen (I've not even decided on 2.35 or 16:9 at this point)
2) sub placement
3) surround and surround back speaker replacement options.

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post #14 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone who doesn't have one of these in their HT is missing out....I mean you can make pizzas, sandwiches, fries, corn dogs, burritos, cookies, brownies, biscuits, etc in a small oven built right under the microwave with no preheat. I mean come on! Best addition to my HT yet.

The wife is beating on me to get some counter tops and put some seating in the "lounge" area.....but there are priorities you know!
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post #15 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 12:23 PM
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I do value the effect of having all matching side, rear, and Atmos speakers. Probably less important that they match the front three - but if you are replacing your gear from a fresh start it's nice to have the timber matching all around for the surrounds and heights, especially for music listening or gaming. The Atmos disk has a track on it by Enrique Inglesias, and even though seven of my speakers matched, initially my Atmos speakers weren't the same, and it was telling on that track for sure that my ceiling speakers sounded different - heck even using a significantly different crossover point sounds different for the ceiling speakers because I run my bass 6-9 dB hot (so if you are crossover higher - you are getting more bass out of the ceiling speakers). Also for gaming the benefit is very obvious as you pan around a voice or a sound it sounds the same all around the room. Anyway, I moved to the same speaker all around and the results were a good thing -- so since you are asking - that's my take.


Did you get the Cap 118 or 1400?

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
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post #16 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Started off with the 118. Due to lengthy delay, switched to 1400.
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post #17 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 01:06 PM
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I think you will enjoy the 1400 more than the 118. It has a lot more head room and with bass more is always better.
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post #18 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 01:42 PM
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I replied in the KC thread too but the windows have to be dealt with of course.

90.5 should be ok but you need to go 16x9 since you are width limited.

Hopefully you can sit close and still maintain a great position for the audio. You umik should be helpful

See you tonight and maybe you can get some ideas about what you want as well as what you don't want.
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post #19 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I've debated whether or not Windows need treated. Used the white goods light meter app and show 6 fc at brightest time of morning. But the app seems weak at best.

Windows face east so that's good and obviously Ht is typically only used afternoon/evening. But some black roller shades are not that expensive. Wouldn't be complete light control but would be an improvement. Some screens I've looked at indicate at 6fc I would need a higher gain or window treatment.
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post #20 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 02:43 PM
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You probably already know this - but with a projector your blacks can only be as dark as the ambient light in the room. Your blacks will quickly become grays and shadow detail lost with even minimal light. Even the difference between the surfaces around the screen and the back wall of the room play into black levels seen on your projected image. A bright projector won't help this. It can only throw more light, not darkness - which ultimately is even further detriment to possible shadow details. If you've not owned a projector before, you'll figure this out in short order. A blackout shade is a good idea!


Even the white walls, white ceiling, white floor, and white carpet may come into play.

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post #21 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 02:53 PM
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that white ceiling isn't going to help things either. Archaea and I have the same projector. His room it looks gorgeous with inky deep blacks. He uses a anti reflective black ceiling. In my room it looks good but its like an older LCD compared to a Kuro plasma between our two rooms. The theater I am working on finishing will not have this issue.

I will say brightness can help your overall experience. If you are anything like @carp he likes to have his lights on in the room from time to time. Brightness helps with that a lot. But once you go into full on batcave mode you will get the best contrast and image quality.
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post #22 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 03:11 PM
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I have a drop ceiling in my room and used Certainteed Theater Black f tiles. They have 3% light reflectivity and a NRC of .65. I put 9" of pink fluffy R30 in the rafters above the Theater Black f tiles between the floor joist above. The result is that my ceiling is like a large bass trap and light trap. It's quite dark - almost like looking into a void, and as Tim states, does make a big positive difference for real world contrast levels on the projected image as it absorbs the light reflecting back off the screen and keeps it from reflecting back to the image. I noticed a difference even when I painted my back wall black from it's original white, and my back wall is like 22' back. It all matters. If you are using an AT screen you'll definately want to paint the wall/equipment/anything behind the AT screen to the mattest/flattest black you can find. Or even use those Theater Black F tiles or equivalent to ensure the least amount of light is reflected back towards your projector through the AT screen as possible.

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
Archaea's Theatre Room
2011 KC Sub Shootout
2012 KC Blind Sub Shootout
My Subwoofer Recommendations by Pricepoint
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post #23 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Alas, you guys are all hitting on the EXACT reason I went LCD in the first place. Most importantly though, my wife wanted the room to be useable for multi-purpose if we ever move (guess I should say when, cus I'm doubting we live in the same house till the day I die!).

Initially I didn't want to block the windows, now I really don't care if I take down the white wood blinds and put up cheap black roller shades.

As for the ceiling, we really can't paint the whole thing black and it's difficult to start/stop somewhere without it looking like crap. I could easily make a 1x12 cornice/valence double sided, paint it black and hang it as the curtain cornice. Would be easy and cheap as hell and allow me to paint just the theater portion of the ceiling black. I could probably obtain "permission" for that.

I've had lots of reservations about having left all the carpentry in the front. I've cursed myself for 2 months now about that decisions It would have actually been a lot easier if I would have ripped it all out and built a traditional screen front but that flies in the face of the wife's desire. I can't tell you how many times I've torn into that thing and modified it in the last month. Literally I've remade all of the speaker covers 3 times each and am getting ready for the fourth time. I keep making them bigger and bigger. I really can't see painting all of that wood black, especially if the ceiling is black too.

So it's really a form follows function argument; Except reverse in my situation. I really need to find a compromise. Something that will look good, but maybe not perfect per fanatic/enthusiast standards. Trying to keep the room universal and somewhat neutral/multi-purpose for the future (I say that as I'm preparing to cut a hole in the wall to fit a cap 1400 through---LOL)
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post #24 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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After looking at ceiling, I don't think there's anyway to paint it without having a clear line between black and white. Whole basement ceiling would need painted to eliminate any glaringly obvious demarcation point. Additionally that means the ceiling going up the stairs would have to get the same treatment which I myself do not want to do. Guess I could screw up a flat piece of 1' stock and "trim" the ceiling to make an intentional demarcation right above the curtain and soffits. But, I'm wondering if I would have better luck convincing her to let me paint the white wood in front black. I'm thinking that would be more beneficial than the ceiling? I'm betting it's one or the other.

FYI the LG IPS panel I'm using is known to have poor contrast ratio (as is characteristic of IPS panels). Measurements I've seen show it at about 800:1. I do complain that it looks grey, but after spears and munsil calibration, I've gotten it to look pretty darn black IMO. I do use the dynamic contrast which helps immensely. It's brightness is 292 cd/m2 which I think will roughly translate to about 540 lumen (I have it set really low at about 15% though). By numbers alone, I think the brightness (1700 lm) and dynamic contrast (600K:1) of the PJ are actually FAR better than the LCD....Then again I'm an engineer, numbers and paper guy as you know, so implementation is likely something completely different.

It really may come down to a "no, stick with an LCD" answer and a cancellation on the PJ as opposed to having a ****ty looking picture.
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post #25 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 04:43 PM
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My ceiling it white my walls are reflective and my contrast suffers a bit because of it. That being said is it the end of the world? No. Would I trade my huge screen for a 65" tv? Absolutely not! No way, no thank you. I think you will be more impressed than anything. I would look at going bigger than a 90" 16x9 I think you could come out in front of a lot of that wood work and at least do like a 100 to 110" screen.
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post #26 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 05:12 PM
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Alas, you guys are all hitting on the EXACT reason I went LCD in the first place. Most importantly though, my wife wanted the room to be useable for multi-purpose if we ever move (guess I should say when, cus I'm doubting we live in the same house till the day I die!).

Initially I didn't want to block the windows, now I really don't care if I take down the white wood blinds and put up cheap black roller shades.

As for the ceiling, we really can't paint the whole thing black and it's difficult to start/stop somewhere without it looking like crap. I could easily make a 1x12 cornice/valence double sided, paint it black and hang it as the curtain cornice. Would be easy and cheap as hell and allow me to paint just the theater portion of the ceiling black. I could probably obtain "permission" for that.

I've had lots of reservations about having left all the carpentry in the front. I've cursed myself for 2 months now about that decisions It would have actually been a lot easier if I would have ripped it all out and built a traditional screen front but that flies in the face of the wife's desire. I can't tell you how many times I've torn into that thing and modified it in the last month. Literally I've remade all of the speaker covers 3 times each and am getting ready for the fourth time. I keep making them bigger and bigger. I really can't see painting all of that wood black, especially if the ceiling is black too.

So it's really a form follows function argument; Except reverse in my situation. I really need to find a compromise. Something that will look good, but maybe not perfect per fanatic/enthusiast standards. Trying to keep the room universal and somewhat neutral/multi-purpose for the future (I say that as I'm preparing to cut a hole in the wall to fit a cap 1400 through---LOL)
your room looks great and I love the trim work you did. I am kinda in the same boat right now. I am incorporating a lot of trim into my room but painting it all black is not in the cards if I want to keep the peace. I understand your frustration in keeping the room looking good but also make it "kinda home theater" without going into full mode. good luck on your decisions. great job so far.
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post #27 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Would love to go to 100"+. Calculators I've used with a throw of 1.4-2.8, show that I need 14'6" from lens to screen to get 107" 16:9 or 101" 2.35. My room is right at 17' deep, so by the time I take projector length, screen depth, and considerations on where and how the PJ and screen are mounted, I likely only have 14.5' from lens to screen front. If I spend a small fortune on a frameless screen ($1500-3000), I can get 100" easily and not even have to modify the front columns. But since it's framed, I'm really limited to 96" and 88", 16:9 and 2.35 respectively. I could mount by the screen edges on the columns and have it "float" in front of them and kick that up to 106" and 96". If mounting on the ends is possible. I'm looking at Carada cus they are low cost and are not assembled. I can't get anything assembled up and down my stairs that large.

Last edited by Stoked21; 10-26-2015 at 05:19 PM. Reason: modify
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post #28 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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your room looks great and I love the trim work you did. I am kinda in the same boat right now. I am incorporating a lot of trim into my room but painting it all black is not in the cards if I want to keep the peace. I understand your frustration in keeping the room looking good but also make it "kinda home theater" without going into full mode. good luck on your decisions. great job so far.
Thanks! I'm sure I'm not the only one with constraints, aesthetic concerns, and a warden overseeing everything!

I got vetoed when I said I wanted to paint the front gold.....Yeah I really wanted to. Great with the burgundy velvet and plum colors.
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post #29 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 05:32 PM
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It's all about priorities. I use my room a lot more for tv and sports than for movies and I like to have the lights on so I really like having a lighter room, it's a more comfortable space to hang out IMO than a dark room. It also makes the room feel bigger than it is and people seem to like to hang out down here. Fortunately I'm not a videophile so I don't mind not having inky blacks during movies.

However, I did like the improvement of adding velvet above and below and to the sides of the screen. On the top and bottom of the screen the velvet extends to about 3 feet into the room. On the sides I simply made some brackets and covered my subwoofer stacks that run from floor to ceiling in velvet.

I know you don't want to paint your ceiling and I understand that because I don't want to do that either, but I think adding some velvet like I did would make a significant difference.

While I'm not a videophile I DO love having a massive immersive screen. The size of screen you are thinking about... I'm afraid you might later wish you would have gone bigger. I've never - and I mean ever - heard of someone downsizing a screen or wished they had gone smaller. The opposite happens all the time.
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post #30 of 449 Old 10-26-2015, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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While I'm not a videophile I DO love having a massive immersive screen. The size of screen you are thinking about... I'm afraid you might later wish you would have gone bigger. I've never - and I mean ever - heard of someone downsizing a screen or wished they had gone smaller. The opposite happens all the time.
I hear you. But with the throw range, I just can't see how I would fit anything bigger. It just physically won't work. I definitely don't want 88" 2.35 and would go 96" 16:9 in a heart beat. I wouldn't mind throwing a 106" 16:9 in if it's possible to mount the screen by the ends instead of in the middle. Ours is used probably 90% for movies and 10% for TV/Sports so I really think a 2.35 would be best and let the top/bottom crop with STB cable. But that backs me down to a 100" or so max when considering throw. Unless someone can tell me I've missed something, which is entirely possible with my first rodeo here, I'm not sure how anything large could be accommodated.

My 65" looks dinky sitting 14' away....So I literally am FEELING the pain after $2700 waste.
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