Originally Posted by Kevin4730
Curious on your thought behind positioning the screen on the other side. I don't like the idea of blocking the egress.
The problem with putting the screen on the egress window side is that it doesn't accommodate the layout logistics.
This room definitely has room for two rows. Plus once you have your theater up and running you'll be surprised how many of your friends want to enjoy it with you. One row only accommodates you + wife + 2 guests. Two rows accommodates 6 guests (less if you have kids). Speaking of kids, having a dedicated home theater is great way to keep them at home watching movies with their friends instead of somewhere else unaccountable.
Once you accept two rows in the design, you have to elevate the second row to get an unobstructed viewing angel for the back row. This isn't a problem , you just use a riser to elevate the back seats. However having the rear seats up on a riser in the middle of the room is awkward for entry and exit (plus a little dangerous in the dark after a few drinks). The solution is to elevate the entire rear area and have steps to the sides if the front row of seating. This works great but requires that you plan out the room with the entry door at the lowest level in the front.
In your basement, flipping the room in the opposite direction would put the entry door right where the drain pipes are for your bathroom. You could also put the screen on the wall opposite the utilities area, but then the stairs intrude and eliminate your depth (unless you are going with an open floor plan). The elongated design below was suggested in a previous post with the screen on the wall opposite the utilities area. Besides the stairs intruding into the space it also had drawbacks in terms of ambient lighting washing out your picture.
The obvious benefit of this layout is that it allows space at the back of the room for a bar area and other people to view the movie at the same time. Normally that would include some dimmed accent lighting to illuminate the extended entertainment area. The problem is that the accent lighting at the back of the room is coming from the same direction as the light from the projector. That ambient light washes out the blacks and dramatically reduces the contrast in the picture. One solution for partially lit rooms is to use an Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screen like the Elite dark Star linked below. However this only rejects ambient light coming from side and top angels different than the viewing angel. In your case with the ambient lighting coming from the bar area directly behind the seats, an ALR screen will not be that effective.
Budget is brought up in your other comment below. It is much less expensive to get spectacular sound in a smaller treated room than in a large untreated space. It requires smaller subs, less output from the speakers, less amplification and less room treatment to make things sound right. You can compromise and accept average sound quality within a smaller budget in the larger room. But you don't have to compromise on sound quality if you go with a smaller dedicated theater room. The money you save on equipment (especially subs) will more than pay for an extra set of seats.
Originally Posted by Kevin4730
It's good to know it the space can hold that many, but you're right. I'll probably slowly expand seating with my budget and put money other places instead of buying 8 seats initially.
Building a great theater on a budget can be done with patience in stages. First come up with a optimum design that incorporates all your final goals. Put your initial money into the foundation of your plan and try not to cut corners so you're limited later on.
Initially put funds into building out the room. Frame a staggered stud double wall for the barrier that separates the theater area from the rest of the basement to better contain the sound leakage. Use drywall mounted on hat channels for sound absorption and good insulation for sound containment. Within the theater room, frame the false wall for a detachable acoustic screen at 156" diagonal with 24" for speakers and subs. Frame the floor for steps and raised elevation at the rear of the room. A great resource for soundproofing how-to and materials is linked below:
Extend the HVAC ducting feed and return from the existing HVAC ducts on the side of the basement (this makes sure the room doesn't get too hot to enjoy a movie when the thermal load includes 8 warm bodies and a hot projector with an exhaust fan). Run 12/3 Romex wire to all the receptacle locations and 14/3 wire to all the recessed lighting locations. Figure one 20 amp circuit for convenience outlets, one 20 amp circuit for lighting, one 20 amp circus for subs, and one 20 amp circuit for the projector and equipment.
Run 12 AWG speaker wire to all the locations in the plan even if you don't have the speakers yet. Terminate the speaker wires behind retrofit 1 gang plastic mud rings for the surround speakers on the walls and behind 3" round retrofit plastic mud rings on the ceiling for the Atmos speakers. Leave a loop of wire to accommodate flexibility later on. Cover the mud rings with blank switch plates. You can always mount additional surround speakers and cut out the ceiling speakers later when your ready.
Run a 2" flexible plastic conduit from the equipment area to the general location where the projector will be located. JVC tends to make the best projectors, so use the screen calculator linked below to ball park the optimum distance for mounting the projector. Use this conduit to pull an HDMI wire for the projector. DO NOT just run an HDMI cable only without the conduit. Video standards for UHD are constantly changing with ever increasing demands on the video link wiring for increased bandwidth. The HDMI wire you run today will be useless when the time comes to upgrade your projector. You will definitely need that conduit to pull whatever new wire is required for the latest video configuration.
You can start with a 5.1 system now and an inexpensive used AVR. The Denon Ci series receivers from a few years ago are extremely well built. They were $2,000 - $2,700 new, but can be found used for approx. $300 - $450. Emotiva, SVS and Elac make fantastic speakers for budget price points. For subs I wouldn't consider anything less than a JTR 118HT. Later on you can upgrade the electronics, add the second sub plus rear and Atmos speakers as money permits (What you can't do later is add wiring or framing, so do it now while you can).
If funds are really tight you start with an inexpensive used projector. The BenQ W1070 was great entry level projector under $1,000 and can be found used for even less. You can always swap it for a more expensive JVC later on. If you want to get your JVC now, the DLA-RS400U is being discounted at $2,899 at AV Science.
For your screen plan on starting out with something from Elite (they make rally good inexpensive screens). Their Dark Star has great contrast but in a dark room with a JVC projector the standard Matt White should suffice.
Definitely start out with two rows of seats. Check out the link attached below. their prices are very reasonable:
Row of four seats - $1,596
I agree about not blocking the rear window. Plus, frankly for safety, in the event of a fire having the egress window could be a lifesaver.