HD MM's HT in 1 month for under 5k Build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok folks, first off thank you all for the wealth of knowledge that you've provided throughout the past year as a member here at AVS. Through endless amounts of reading and asking questions, I've generated a better understanding of AV products, equipment and home theater building that I will use as a resource in my current task.

Now onto the project and a little backround info.....

The task: To turn a semi-finished room in the basement into a space that I will use primarily as a home theater, sports watching and entertaining room.

The budget: $5,000. This is the amount my wife and I have left from our wedding following a new roof and kitchen table. We bought our first home last May and were married last October. Now that the rest of the rooms in the house have been fixed/furnished to our liking, it's time to turn our attention to the basement!

The kicker: I have set a 1 month finish date as my goal of completion. The chairs we ordered are due to arrive the first part of August and would like to have everything done by then.
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post #2 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, I just noticed that the first post in my HT Build thread was my 200th post! Pretty cool .....

Anyways, here are the items I plan on using towards the 5k budget. The items I already purchased are in green. The items still needed to be purchased are in red.

Projector: Epson PowerLite Cinema 400 Projector- $895.00
Speaker System 5.1: Polk RM6750- $249.95
Receiver 5.1: Harmon Kardon AVR146- $239.00
HT seating: Berkline 45003, Row of 4 curved- $2,020.00
Screen: Carada Criterion, 92" 16:9 ratio- $650.00
DVD Player: Sony- BDP-S300 Blu-Ray HD DVD Player- $499.00
Cables, Wires: HDMI/ Component/ Speaker Wire- $155.45
Rear Speaker Stands- $43.16

Total material list so far is $4,751 and includes any taxes and delivery. With carpet and paint, the budget will be full.
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post #3 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 08:46 AM
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One month??? Let's see some before shots, so we can put this in perspective
Good luck on the project. I am almost at year 2

Gonzo

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post #4 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is a rendering of the room I have to work with. The drywall is already in place. I will be be keeping the structure of the room as is, however I am repainting the walls and replacing the existing carpet. Actual pictures will follow tonight....

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post #5 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Screen placement was my fist obstacle. My first inclination was to hang the screen on the 10.5' wide wall where the block windows are located. After much thought, I decided to instead project on the wall below the soffit and arrange the furniture against the back 18' wall.

I wanted at least 4 seats, preferably side by side. The room is 18' x 10.5' and sitting more than 2 Berklines in a 10.5' wide space would be tough, especially since my ceiling height is 7' and the soffit that runs the length of the room hangs down and allows for a clearance of only 6' and is also 18" deep. The ceiling height would make it tough for a riser and enough aisle space wouldn't be adequate, not to mention everytime I had guests over, my back would be facing them as well as the door/entryway to the HT room.

By hanging the screen and equipment below the soffit and placing the furniture along the opposite wall, this will allow for a more open space. The projector will hang above the seating and at this distance will throw a 92" 16:9 image.
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post #6 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 09:50 AM
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Well it will be interesting to see how you do. you are orienting the room in the wrong direction for optimum picture and especially sound quality, more like a living room with a screen.
How much of your budget have you allowed for acoustic treatment because you are going to need it.

I guess you are not concerned with sound isolation at all either.

You may want to rethink this again What is the room at the other end? and what about that wall for your screen wall?

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post #7 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCall View Post

Well it will be interesting to see how you do. you are orienting the room in the wrong direction for optimum picture and especially sound quality, more like a living room with a screen.
How much of your budget have you allowed for acoustic treatment because you are going to need it.

To slightly offset the "direction for optimal picture", I ordered a curved set of 4 Berkline 45003's. I placed myself in the vantage point from where every seat is to be located and projected the image on the wall. While not perfect to some extreme enthusiasts, it looks awesome to me! As for audio, no acoustic treatment has been budgeted. I am not much of an audioholic, but from my calculations, the sound should be fine as well.

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You may want to rethink this again What is the room at the other end? and what about that wall for your screen wall?

The room at the other end (9' x 10.5') is my office. The room outside of the entryway to the theater is the unfinished side of the basement and stairwell. While this layout may be a bit against the norm, I think this layout suits my needs for the reasons I stated above. (Ie. short ceiling, narrow space and soffit hinderance). Trust me, I weighed all placement locations and this layout best suits what I'm trying to do.....
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post #8 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 10:45 AM
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McCall makes same valid points...

Also... I'm not sure if you've realized this by now, but you are reading my sig.
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post #9 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 10:57 AM
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It seems a shame to spend more money on the furniture than the actual equipment.

I would scrap the Berklines, buy 2 cheap couches and cover them with black slip covers. Put the rear couch on a 6" riser.

Scrap the $700 screen for a $900 pj. Buy a pull down highpower for cheap. I believe I paid around $200 shipped for a 110" highpower after a bit of research.

Put the extra money into a good pj. The pearl can be had for $3k - $4k. A benq W9000 can be had for around that as well.

I would upgrade the audio equipment as soon as possible.

Buy better seating last when everything else is satisfactory.

McCall has good points. I would not orient the room with the screen on the long wall.

I think the question here is whether you want a good picture/sound/experience or good looking seats.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

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post #10 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 11:01 AM
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Also, depending on how wide your seats are, it is entirely possible that people will be sitting to the side of the screen. While they will still see it, will they be directly facing a speaker? How exactly are you going to place the surrounds?

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

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post #11 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

It seems a shame to spend more money on the furniture than the actual equipment.

I would scrap the Berklines, buy 2 cheap couches and cover them with black slip covers. Put the rear couch on a 6" riser.

Scrap the $700 screen for a $900 pj. Buy a pull down highpower for cheap. I believe I paid around $200 shipped for a 110" highpower after a bit of research.

Put the extra money into a good pj. The pearl can be had for $3k - $4k. A benq W9000 can be had for around that as well.

I would upgrade the audio equipment as soon as possible.

Buy better seating last when everything else is satisfactory.

McCall has good points. I would not orient the room with the screen on the long wall.

I think the question here is whether you want a good picture/sound/experience or good looking seats.


Already purchased the projector and seating. Guess I will have to make due until HT 1.2 (1080p upgrade when more affordable). As for the seating, I don't have a problem dropping 2k on some quality seating. Furniture after all lasts a lot longer than AV equipment and it will add to the overall theater experience. I think it will be nicer for people to have their own comfy recliner than to jam 4 people on a crappy couch.

As for projecting on the wide wall, I realize I am going against the norm, but AGAIN, weighed all factors and decided otherwise. The project is underway and my plan is in place.
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post #12 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

Also, depending on how wide your seats are, it is entirely possible that people will be sitting to the side of the screen. While they will still see it, will they be directly facing a speaker? How exactly are you going to place the surrounds?

I am going to build a 9' wide component stand that is going to resemble a stage and will sit below the screen. The center will sit on top of the stand as well as the left and right. Since the stand is only going to be 12" high in order for the speakers to not interfere with the bottom of the screen, I will have an easel for the speakers to angle upwards towards listening direction. The rear surrounds will sit about 45" high on a speaker stand and be angled behind the curved ends of the seating at a 45 degree angle.
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post #13 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 11:30 AM
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Seems as if you are already over your $5k budget... Where is the mini-fridge for brewski's??? Popcorn machine???

Also... I'm not sure if you've realized this by now, but you are reading my sig.
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post #14 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 11:52 AM
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1. I have the Carada screen and it's good, but get something cheaper and use that money elsewhere. I got the Carada because I did not have the time for DIY screen that is now widely available and is much cheaper.
2. I second the suggestion for acoustical treatments, if you don't have the budget then build ones yourself. There are plenty of good threads discussing that.
3. You are right about the furniture, but the Berkline chairs are HT specific which are limited to decicated use.

I think that this forum is mostly oriented for dedicated custom-build theaters, focusing on two focal aspects considered an integral part of the build from the ground-up: 1) sound proofing, and 2) sound treatements.

Other forums may seem more adequate for validating HT equipment, furniture, etc.
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post #15 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClevelandRob View Post

Seems as if you are already over your $5k budget... Where is the mini-fridge for brewski's??? Popcorn machine???

I was already thinking of that. I'll have to tell the wife. Good idea for Christmas!

For now I will have to settle for this......
LL
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post #16 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 12:33 PM
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My vote would be to put the av equipment in the office and then project onto the wall with the rectangular windows (I think that is what you said they where.)
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post #17 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a picture of the room I'm working with. The left wall is painted with a gray tinted primer. Notice the channel I dug out of the bottom of the drywall all the way around to the middle of where the component stage is to be located. (Below the screen). I am going to tuck the cables/wires in this channel and cover with molding.



More pictures of the wire channel. No need to be pretty. The baseboard is soon to cover this up....



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post #18 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Painted the walls Ralph Lauren Suede; Ranchito's Red. This was quite a lengthy process. The first coat was rolled on, but the second coat was applied with a 3" brush using a criss-cross pattern throughout the entire surface. The second coat took me 7 hours to complete!

With flash on (daytime).....


With flash off (daytime)........


Other side of room showing office and entryway to left. Overhead flourescent light to be removed....
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post #19 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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HD MM,

Witht that size screen you should be finr with your set-up. Any bigger and I could see an issue.
Alos going with curved seating should be good in tha shallow a space.

Be sure the "easel" you mount the speakers on is solid. Any way to attatch to the component stand?

I think your set-up will impress most and you can tweak as $$ permits.

Good for you and I hope it goes well. I'll be watching this thread.

Acoustic treatment can be done for cheap. It won't be perfect but it will solve any major issues.

Scott
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post #20 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyb View Post

HD MM,

Witht that size screen you should be finr with your set-up. Any bigger and I could see an issue.
Alos going with curved seating should be good in tha shallow a space.

Be sure the "easel" you mount the speakers on is solid. Any way to attatch to the component stand?

I think your set-up will impress most and you can tweak as $$ permits.

Good for you and I hope it goes well. I'll be watching this thread.

Acoustic treatment can be done for cheap. It won't be perfect but it will solve any major issues.

Scott

Thanks Scott. That was the first supportive comment yet!

I guess I just have a vision that is opposite what most people think of what an HT room layout should be. I guess I'm really going against the grain by going wide instead of narrow.

BTW, the walls turned out excellent. The wife and I are really impressed by the suede look. It looks super comfy and a lot better in person than what the pictures show.
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post #21 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 06:05 PM
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I like your idea, I would go crazy if it took me 2+ years to get mine done. Its already taken 3+ months and I want to hurry it up. Good luck!
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post #22 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 06:12 PM
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I believe that it is not lack of support but rather that most of the time when someone posts a post such as your first one people assume you are looking for ideas and comments to improve on your plan.
It is a little different if you are posting a completed theater, etc.
I don't think any of us intended to be discouraging I know I did not, just offering helpful suggestions.

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post #23 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 07:23 PM
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good luck and have fun with the build. It is called a home theater build for a reason...otherwise it would be called a home theater built

Mine is constantly being upgraded and I'm looking for ways to improve things.

At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for having read it.

My Little Theater
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post #24 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 07:31 PM
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I built my theater on a budget like yours and I too sacrificed accoustical treatments and over the top AV equipment for nice furniture and asthetic options instead. To my untrained ear the theater sounds wonderful and more importantly the room is something I'm so proud of and people ohh and ahh over just from looks alone. I'm not gonna hijack this thread with my pictures etc but if you need ideas let me know. I also spent about 5K.
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post #25 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 07:42 PM
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Looks good HD MM. With this setup you have plenty of room to stage right (under the windows) to eventually add a nice little bar with a couple stools.

I don't think that there is a standard to home theaters. They can be an elaborate $30k setup or a room with a 32" LCD, some cheap surround and a lazyboy. I would gather that your layout is more of the norm than a setup that includes rowed seating on risers. I have a setup similar to yours in my family room but with a 46" DLP instead of a projector. Your family should share many fun movie nights with your finished project.

I live in NE Ohio and I wouldn't mind lending a helping hand if you ever need it.

Also... I'm not sure if you've realized this by now, but you are reading my sig.
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post #26 of 187 Old 07-02-2007, 08:08 PM
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[quote=ClevelandRob]Looks good HD MM. With this setup you have plenty of room to stage right (under the windows) to eventually add a nice little bar with a couple stools.

I don't think that there is a standard to home theaters. They can be an elaborate $30k setup or a room with a 32" LCD, some cheap surround and a lazyboy. I would gather that your layout is more of the norm than a setup that includes rowed seating on risers. "

I am sure you are right that most peoples idea of home theater is as you describe but in this particular forum the dedicated Theater Design and Construction is is for the most part more of the "Other" with theater seats, sound proofing and treatments etc. etc. and that is why people would comment with suggestions as they did. the forum below this one in the list General Home theater, media and game room has more of the style you are referring too.
Nothing wrong with either style just different strokes as they say.

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post #27 of 187 Old 07-03-2007, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Update:

I tore up the carpet last night to prepare for the cable tuck and baseboard installation. If I had to do it again, I would've tore the carpet up before I painted. I scratched the wall in one place and a little dust/dirt came up upon removal. I hear RL Suede isn't the easiest to touch up either! Thank God for my Rigid Shop Vac though. It made cleanup a lot easier.

I cut all molding to size and will stain them tonight. After I route the wires I will install the baseboard over top of them. Hopefully the holiday off tomorrow will allow me for some more critical time on the build.

What does everyone recommend? Installing the baseboard before or after the carpet is installed?
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post #28 of 187 Old 07-03-2007, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapiozona View Post

I built my theater on a budget like yours and I too sacrificed accoustical treatments and over the top AV equipment for nice furniture and asthetic options instead. To my untrained ear the theater sounds wonderful and more importantly the room is something I'm so proud of and people ohh and ahh over just from looks alone. I'm not gonna hijack this thread with my pictures etc but if you need ideas let me know. I also spent about 5K.

Tapiozona,

I followed your build thread from the beginning. Yours turned out super nice. I like the color scheme and overall layout of your room. I also am looking to design a stage/ component stand below the screen similar to yours. I may need to ask a few questions when I approach that point.

-matt
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post #29 of 187 Old 07-03-2007, 05:31 AM
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You should put down the baseboards before the carpet, BUT remember that the carpet will go up the wall before it is cut and will likely also give you some touch up to do.

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post #30 of 187 Old 07-03-2007, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCall View Post

You should put down the baseboards before the carpet, BUT remember that the carpet will go up the wall before it is cut and will likely also give you some touch up to do.


Sorry, McCall, I have to disagree here. I always install carpet before base moulding, and then set the base on top of the carpet. If you do install the base first, the carpet installers then have to tuck it under the base, and sometimes you can get gaps, if you install base afterwards, you can set it down on the carpet, and you don't get the gaps...

If you wanted to, you could install the base first, but I would go around afterwards and put in a shoe mould on the bottom portion of the base to cover any gaps....

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