What I'd do differently next time. - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 883 Old 06-06-2007, 03:09 PM
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Marry a supermodel that was in to spending lots of money on home electronics!
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post #32 of 883 Old 06-06-2007, 07:40 PM
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My $.02 to to simply say that everyone should do the research, and seriously consider saving enough money to do it right the first time...
The latest and greatest "must have" products of today may not still be around when you can muster the budget, but trust me there will be something just as buzz-worthy at that time (and if it's a video-related product, it will likely be cheaper).

Also, if you are using a pro, check credentials and get someone who you would trust with cutting holes in your house (because they will be).

If you could only see the disastrous installs I have taken over from "reputable" shops...
Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly recommend using a quality integrator, but this is a hot business for "me too" opportunistic dirtbags. The same guys probably built crappy decks 10 years ago, and installed crappy pools and hot tubs before that. Hacks are hacks, but they get business by offering lower prices.

There are conscientious integrators who know and love this business as much as we do, it's just that if you have Dom Perignon taste and a chocolate milk budget, you won't meet very many of them.

In my experience as a long time HT enthusiast and long time pro in the biz...
Instant gratification = future buyer's remorse.

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post #33 of 883 Old 06-06-2007, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_brew View Post

This was by FAR my biggest gaffe. Our house is coming up on 5 years old. When we were having it built I could have had full 9' ceilings for another 10k. At the time it seemed like a stupid thing to spend money on. But looking at it now I could have designed the theater much more efficiently. I spent a LOT of money moving mechanicals around to try and overcome the fact that we only have 7.5' ceilings (and I'm 6'3").

I'm with you all the way, this IMO is the number one thing I just don't get when I see people building new homes. People will spend 10K on the kitchen counters but save 10K to make the basement a foot shallower. I say unless budget absolutely prohibits it, make the basement as deep as possible and for a ridiculously low price (in the total scheme of things) you get an entire extra level of usable living space that can be developed as budget allows (i.e. it can be done after the house is built).
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post #34 of 883 Old 06-06-2007, 10:02 PM
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1) More space behind my screen wall. It would be great having more room for additional or bigger subs.

2) I would NOT have blown money on Green Glue - I just don't see what the benefit was. ($1000)

3) Entire front wall would have been black. I built curved cherry wood columns on both sides of the screen. They look incredible with the lights on, but are a little distracting when watching a movie because they reflect a little light.

4) Without the columns, I would have gone bigger than my 10 foot wide screen.

5) I bought a custom drapery track and masking system and wouldn't do it again. It was a pain to install and cost me more time than it was worth. The velvet fabric looks cheap to me, but I had limited choices. This is a long story that I won't discuss in an open forum. ($1200+)

6) I ordered a motorized kit for my Prismasonic Lens - I never use it to change from stretch mode. ($400)

7) I never would have bought an URC MX3000 remote. I hired someone to program it and it never has worked quite right. Most of the time I turn on my stack of gear, put in a movie and push play. I never really need the remote. I could have gone with a simple remote that adjusts volume and changes channel on HiDef Cable. That's all I really need. ($1200)

8) I would have used black carpet on the stage - I had custom theater carpet made that cost a fortune. I listened to my wife and put it on the stage. Again, looks great with the lights on, but bothers me because I wanted black on the stage.

9) I wouldn't cut off the tip of my thumb with a table saw again - This move was a mistake.
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post #35 of 883 Old 06-07-2007, 06:21 AM
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Two people have said "More room behind the screen". How much room do each of you have and how much would you recommend?

I'm making that call now. Just pushed from 2' to 3' depth and could go 4'.

Paul Meyer
Bee Cave (Austin), TX


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post #36 of 883 Old 06-07-2007, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmeyer View Post

Two people have said "More room behind the screen". How much room do each of you have and how much would you recommend?

I'm making that call now. Just pushed from 2' to 3' depth and could go 4'.

I ended up with 21", so I think you would have been ok with 2'. 3' is even better. For my room, 30" would have been perfect.

Craig

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post #37 of 883 Old 06-07-2007, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_brew View Post

I ended up with 21", so I think you would have been ok with 2'. 3' is even better. For my room, 30" would have been perfect.

Thanks! I went from 2' to 3' because I wanted to be able to fit the biggest DIY speakers I could envision doing (~20" deep) and a foot between the speaker front and screen.

Paul Meyer
Bee Cave (Austin), TX


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post #38 of 883 Old 06-07-2007, 08:56 AM
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Hire a sub to do drywall.

I will never do drywall again.

anybody want some drywall tools? cheap?

Guinness is good for you!
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post #39 of 883 Old 06-07-2007, 09:49 AM
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I should have done a better job of locating local suppliers for building supplies. I've turned into such an online shopper, that it doesn't even phase me when I can't find something I want. I just order it. I couldn't find OSI Acoustical Caulk. So I ordered it online. When you factor in the shipping cost for a case of 29-ounce caulk tubes, you don't even want to know what I spent per tube for OSI SC-175.

It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Brian
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post #40 of 883 Old 06-07-2007, 11:13 AM
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1) At minimum hire out the drywall mudding / taping - what a PITA

2) Use a gray primer under red paint - 6 coats later still not great

3) More room within proscenium for sub placement - sub is jammed in a corner

4) Take the bigger space in the basement for HT and let the kids have the smaller space for their Rec Room. The little tikes spend more time in HT anyway!

Cheers,
Mark

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post #41 of 883 Old 06-07-2007, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sands_at_Pier147 View Post

I should have done a better job of locating local suppliers for building supplies. I've turned into such an online shopper, that it doesn't even phase me when I can't find something I want. I just order it. I couldn't find OSI Acoustical Caulk. So I ordered it online. When you factor in the shipping cost for a case of 29-ounce caulk tubes, you don't even want to know what I spent per tube for OSI SC-175.

I've found the "Find Businesses" option on Google Maps to be a godsend int his regard.I typed in something like drywall supplier and found 11 within 5 miles of me. The first place I tried wasn't actually a drywall supplier (they did commercial remodelling), but they had a vendor's license and a case of OSI SC-175 that they sold to me.
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post #42 of 883 Old 06-07-2007, 11:39 AM
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It's pretty minor, but if you are using black plush carpet on the stage order it with "seamless installation" to avoid the seam which is more noticeable in black carpet than in other colors.
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post #43 of 883 Old 06-07-2007, 02:12 PM
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Make it one foot wider ( thankfully, it was accidentally made one foot wider than the plans, but another foot would have been really nice, and would not have cost much, if anything.)

It was just impossible to convince the SO until the Berklines came in, now she wishes it was wider, too. It is just wide enough that I do not have regrets.

Using Dennis Erskine as the designer was great. I could not have a better feeling about using him as a designer. Even if you understand all the issues, having a concise set of plans is well worth the cost of his services.

I am glad about so many other things.

Best Regards,
Doug
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post #44 of 883 Old 06-08-2007, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritInVA View Post

4) Take the bigger space in the basement for HT and let the kids have the smaller space for their Rec Room. The little tikes spend more time in HT anyway!

Well, I lucked out because our bigger room was the one with only one window.

Anyway, I agree with all those who said do your homework! I got a quote from a B&M for the equipment, but not much of an explanation of the technology. (I got quotes for 11 projectors, but no talk about the difference between DLP & LCOS, etc.) Thankfully I found this forum and have learned a lot.

One regret is that I ordered a computer rack for my equipment. I really like it, I forgot to ask how much shipping was. Ouch! I could have had the contractor build shelves with a door for 25% of what I paid.

I'm kinda doing my acoustic treatments after-the-fact. Had I known...
I hired a decorator for colors and such and she was wonderful! I really like the look of the room, as does everybody who sees it. The trick now is to improve the audio experience without destroying the look. I'll end up making sonic compromises in favor of aesthetics.

Oh well. Maybe someday there'll be HT 2.0.


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post #45 of 883 Old 06-09-2007, 06:18 PM
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I would not have a wife or kids. Then I could buy and upgrade A/V gear as I pleased.
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post #46 of 883 Old 06-09-2007, 07:21 PM
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Buy a house with a very large carriage house with two levels, or very large barn with two levels, then convert the barn into four spaces (each with 12' or higher ceilings and dimensions that fall within the perfect acoustical room ratios found in AES research studies).

One space for a Home Theater and surround sound reproduction, optimized for surround sound music more so than actual movies - though definitely very comfortable and usable for a Home Theater.

One space for orchestra, or other large band music ensembles, where the speakers can be spaced very wide apart and reproduce the proper scale.

One space for rock music recording playback, with smaller scale.

One space as a recording studio, with space to store instruments and a drum kit, as well as filled with the proper speakers and amplifiers so people could just bring their instruments over and play without much hassle. Wtih another space for the actual recording equipment (recording booth, etc).

On top of all of that, I would have everything acoustically engineered from the very start, from the ground up before starting any construction. I would completely isolate every room and suspend them. I would not hold out on any measure to improve the rooms' sound. I would have it tested afterwards thoroughly with the speakers chosen to be in each room and make sure that the rooms were redesigned to fix any issues that weren't ironed out in the pre-design.

I guess in about 15 years my youngest kid will leave for college and I can start looking for the new house somewhere cheaper than Westchester County. Perhaps in Montana near Ted Turner's estates, with a large enough generator to power the house in case the power goes out for a month or longer (we have a great generator at our current house but it only powers everything in the house for about two weeks).
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post #47 of 883 Old 06-09-2007, 09:59 PM
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I finished the wood on the soffitt along the front wall in front of the screen too "shiny". It picks up reflections from the screen. No one else notices but it annoys me.

Craig

No changes are permanent, but change is - Peart

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post #48 of 883 Old 06-10-2007, 04:04 PM
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What would I do differently?

So far, nothin.
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post #49 of 883 Old 06-12-2007, 05:39 PM
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I might have just bought a lifetime pass to the Imax theater, and then taken the rest to buy a motorcycle or a European vacation or something (these thoughts generally only come during this time of year).

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post #50 of 883 Old 06-12-2007, 08:19 PM
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What would I have done different?

* Made the room about 2' x 2' wider and longer (it is 20x15) - it would have provided more options for seating, though I'm happy with my 45004's
* Made sure I painted everything before the carpet was installed
* Fired my electrician much earlier
* Moved the ceiling electrical outlet further back toward the rear wall (planning this long before you have a projector or have visited the CIH forum is a challenge)
* Made the surround columns another 1/2" deeper. I have TRIAD 6" in-wall subs and the tolerances are so close that one sub doesn't fit as snugly as it should (and therefore rattles)
* Enlarged the door for my AXS-29 rack mount another 1/2" - it is a *very* tight fit sliding that rack in and out.
* When pulling speaker wire to the rack, ensure there is at least 12' laying on the ground. This will ensure that I can slide the rack all the way out even when using good wire management techniques.
* moved the screen wall another few inches away from the wall (and center speaker)

All that being said, I'm very happy with what I have!

James

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post #51 of 883 Old 06-13-2007, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_brew View Post

I finished the wood on the soffitt along the front wall in front of the screen too "shiny". It picks up reflections from the screen. No one else notices but it annoys me.

Have you tried 0000 steel wool to matte the finish?
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post #52 of 883 Old 06-13-2007, 08:01 AM
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I would have figured out that if I had put a turn in my stairwell it would have opened up a lot of possibilities in my basement layout and saved me a good bit of money.

Dave

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post #53 of 883 Old 06-13-2007, 08:02 PM
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I would have stuck my center channel below the screen and fire it through the GOM instead of pay for a perforated screen that gives off a MOIRE pattern. Not much you can do to fix that.

My build thread:

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post #54 of 883 Old 06-13-2007, 08:06 PM
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2 feet wider would have been nice too. I misjudged the seating and ended up having two rows of three instead of a curved row of four in the back.

Also, I had an idea of building a booth in the back that hold all my DVD's, CD's, etc... On the side was my home made equipment rack. This way you did not see any equipment while watching a movie and the only long cables needed were for L,C,R and SUBs. It also made accessing the cabling easy without having to pull anything out of th rack.

I could have used another 2 feet in length to accommodate this thing. My seats are too close to the screen IMHO. It is a good idea in theory, but I needed more room to pull it off.

My build thread:

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post #55 of 883 Old 06-13-2007, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdtheater View Post

I would have stuck my center channel below the screen and fire it through the GOM instead of pay for a perforated screen that gives off a MOIRE pattern. Not much you can do to fix that.

Zoom it out into the masking a little bit and re-focus... If that still doesn't do it, try softening the focus a little bit.

Sometimes losing a little bit to overscan puts the pixel grid on a slightly different alignment that isn't right on the perforations (which is what causes the moire).

Another idea that sounds stupid, but works... Try hanging the screen upside down...

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post #56 of 883 Old 06-14-2007, 08:14 AM
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What exactly do you need to do to get the projector on a UPS? I figured you have a UPS built in next to it (ugly) or you just have a long extension cord to your rack room (which has a UPS).
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post #57 of 883 Old 06-14-2007, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdtheater View Post

I would have stuck my center channel below the screen and fire it through the GOM instead of pay for a perforated screen that gives off a MOIRE pattern. Not much you can do to fix that.

Buddy of mine ended up with that problem. Solved it with a Cygnus IMX lens. I think they are no longer in production, but can be found second hand often times...

-Steve
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post #58 of 883 Old 06-14-2007, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuevo_eph View Post

What exactly do you need to do to get the projector on a UPS? I figured you have a UPS built in next to it (ugly) or you just have a long extension cord to your rack room (which has a UPS).

Please try to use the forums search feature before asking. This has been asked and answered many many times before.

Try here.

Sorry for the thread jack, folks.

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post #59 of 883 Old 06-15-2007, 06:47 AM
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I would have put more effort into HVAC up front. It is painful to retrofit duct work after the fact. I wanted to minimize holes in the walls and figured that the theater was in the basement and my equipment was in another room I would be fine. Boy was I wrong. I definitely believe right sizing two supplies and two returns are mandatory.

Related to riser height more is better especially when you have a short wife. I used the riser calculator which is a great starting point and built a 9" riser. It was okay but after adding a second riser on top of it for another 8" it is infinitely better.
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post #60 of 883 Old 06-16-2007, 04:38 AM
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One thing I would do is make a bigger room. I like my room but its a little small. 13x19. I definitely will make a longer and wider room. I would be able to put more chairs in a row and have more rows.

I dont really agree with the "Get a HT designer" idea. I tried that, actually I had two different HT designers I had meetings with and let me tell you they are way overpriced and are set in stone what they want to do with your space. One gave me a completed price way out of my price range and then after I researched was not giving me the best equipment for the buck. The second group of HT designer that I showed my amateur drawings to tried to totally redo my entire room, telling me the things I wanted was to much or to little for my room size. Take for instance my screen... I had a 115" 16.9 screen, these designers told me it was way to big for my room size and said I should go with 103" max. They also told me to go with scounces instead of Can lights. We disagreed on so much that I just did it the way I drew it. What got me the most was these last guys have built Home theaters for homes that are 1-3 million dollar homes and I was really disappointed at the changes they wanted me to do to my room.

Thank god I did it my way. I absolutely love the way my room turned out and everyone that comes over is impressed. I'm so happy I did not take the advice of the designer and go with a 103" screen, the 115" looks great and is a perfect size for my room. My can lighting gives it a great "THEATER" feel.

Just last month those last theater designers came back to my home to check out what I finally went with in my home theater (only because a friend of theirs told them how much he liked my theater). To my surprise they liked it too. Even the main designer guy said that the screen actually looked just right, which he said surprised him. That made me feel really good and hopefully they took that lesson home with them for future projects.

Bottom line, If you have an idea of what you want your room to look like dont let anyone change it, unless you really like the other idea better. Remember you are the one that has to live with the room, make sure its the room you want.
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