I think I might hate my Bat Cave. - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:13 PM
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It is always about choices. A dedicated room with properly built sound isolation and treatment with color treated walls, proper sitting distance and so forth or confy of loose sitting in your living room. I just upgraded my pj and thinking to install the old pj in my living room with motorized screen for sports and TV but my HT remains. I can't imagine watching a movie other than animation in living room set up but I am sure it is all matter of expectations.

It is all about quality...that is the picture

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Old 06-16-2009, 06:42 AM
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I love my home theater.

Some people prefer more of a TV-Room type thing but I don't watch much TV unless it's coming on disc from Netflix.

I think dedicated HT isn't everyone's cup of tea and that's fine. It's too bad if you built one before figuring it out but you can still change things around a bit to suit your tastes.

-Brian
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfyncsu7 View Post

For the people who have theater rooms integrated into normal non-bat cave rooms, what do you do about the loud sound disturbing the rest of the house? Do you just not watch stuff after a certain hour? Do you use headphones? Do you only watch stuff when everybody in the house is watching stuff?

Just because you design a room to not necessarily be a dedicated theater only, doesn't mean that you can't employ sound isolation.


My basement has decoupled ceiling, mineral wool insulation, staggered stud walls, acoustic treatments, etc... yet it has a game area, bar, lighting zones, etc...

-Steve
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:59 AM
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I watch all my TV on a 50 inch plasma in my living room. All movies I watch in my dedicated theater (quasi-batcave). HD sports is 75/25 plasma/theater. I used to have parties (Super Bowl etc.) in my theater but it got too darned hot so now I move my screen and projector up into my living room where guests can watch from the sunken living room or raised dining room. The plasma goes into the family room/kitchen and everyone can stay on the main floor. Works great!

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Old 06-16-2009, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

To me Bat Cave = the ultimate performance aesthetics; an all black or mostly black room.

I agree. My Bat Cave (15x25 room addition) is almost 100% BLACK:
Black cloth (over soundboard) on ceiling/walls, black carpet (blackest available), flat black mouse ear paint on all wood (door/moldings) surfaces, flat black ceiling fan and can lighting, flat black sconces, all black 090 Berklines, flat black door knob, black thermostat cover, all black equipment/rack, black speakers/sub woofers, black RS20 projector and black Panamorph lens/transport.

However I don't go as far as to request guests to wear black clothing.

Like I say I watch the movie then get the hell out of there ...(The rest of my house is very bright, open and airy)
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

I can think of something to do in the bedroom that doesn't involve a TV....

LOL. My bedroom will *never* have a TV.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine View Post

I agree. My Bat Cave (15x25 room addition) is almost 100% BLACK:
Black cloth (over soundboard) on ceiling/walls, black carpet (blackest available), flat black mouse ear paint on all wood (door/moldings) surfaces, flat black ceiling fan and can lighting, flat black sconces, all black 090 Berklines, flat black door knob, black thermostat cover, all black equipment/rack, black speakers/sub woofers, black RS20 projector and black Panamorph lens/transport.

However I don't go as far as to request guests to wear black clothing.

Like I say I watch the movie then get the hell out of there ...(The rest of my house is very bright, open and airy)

I thought I was doing well with my black wall outlets. You have the same idea and setup for your home theater I do. I've got no issue with people who have integrated a projector into a more general living/entertainment area though, I think it's cool. But it's not true home "theater".

The only true theater is a bat cave, in fact you can make a better environment at home because you are not required to have those damn EXIT signs like a real theater.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:01 AM
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This thread hits home for me. Nine out of ten times I find myself alone in our HT. Ours is in the attic, clearly away from the active parts of the house, and my wife and kids rarely want to come up and sit for a movie. Some of this is generational; My son is fourteen and his notion of video entertainment is more interactive. Most of it has to do with the isolated nature of a HT. Watching on a good, but not great, lcd in the livingroom is more attractive to the wife and kids. I think our retirement home will have front projection in a family/great room envirnment rather than a dedicated HT. I suppose that doesn't constitute a "true" home theater but why would I care? Who is keeping score?
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post

Wow. Doesn't look that dark to me. You would be suicidal in my room.

Seriously, I have a most black velvet small theater room and a setup with a lot more seating and comfortable couches in my 2 story living room and dining room combined, where the walls are off-white. For bigger groups and "normal" people I generally watch in the living room setup, but for by myself I watch more often in the dark theater room where I have light control. I don't tend to spend 5 hours in there at a time though.

--Darin

Darin, after I came over to your bat cave for critical viewing a few years back, I was able to convince my girlfriend (now wife) to do the black velvet thing in our poor-man's home theater. She even helped me staple it up. Absolutely no regrets at all (from EITHER of us!). One thing that really helps is that we put in some difuse lighting on a dimmer behind the ceiling sound treatment. It's on an IR remote, and before before, during the setup / previews, I leave it on low dim. Then during credits, it's back to a low dim. People seem to respond to it well, and will chat and hang out before and after (but generally quiet up once it's full-dark).

We have some comfy folding chairs that match the color of our recling couch. When all is said and done, we can fit about 10 people comfortable in the theater (though some are off axis to the hi-power screen). People really enjoy it, but then my friends tend to be pretty geeky. But even non-geeky folks seem to really enjoy it.

All that said, generally we dont hang out down there too much -- but that's not the purpose. The dogs like it, since it's quiet, cool and dark. In short, my wife and I, the dogs, and assorted friends really enjoy the bat cave, and get a lot of use out of it.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scaesare View Post

Just because you design a room to not necessarily be a dedicated theater only, doesn't mean that you can't employ sound isolation.


My basement has decoupled ceiling, mineral wool insulation, staggered stud walls, acoustic treatments, etc... yet it has a game area, bar, lighting zones, etc...

Sounds pretty sweet. Was all of this planned out before the house was built... or after? Is there a door to the basement to help close off the sound?

Right now I have a so-called 'Bat Cave' implementation that my wife hates. I'm even leaning towards a larger, more living-room-esque type of theater room myself eventually... one that has a more open layout and better lighting for multiple guests and sports.

But, even with my 'Bat Cave' being in the basement with doors, the wife really hates having the whole house rumble when I'm watching something like 'Dark Knight' or 'Transformers'. So, I was just curious as to how you could isolate sound in a room that is more a part of the house than a dedicated theater room.
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:31 PM
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JHouse,

There are two distinct and different approaches to take with regards to home theaters, either bring the theater to your home or take your home to the theater. Each have their advantages and disadvantages depending on priorities but there's no question, in my mind, isolated rooms, isolated chairs, isolated surrounding, A/V can, not surprisingly, tend to leave some feeling isolated. This approach probably not as conducive to the typical family/social interaction most people have become accustomed to, not as musical if you will.
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:46 PM
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This is a surprisingly interesting thread. Lots of good comments here.
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I can't imagine watching a movie other than animation in living room set up but I am sure it is all matter of expectations.

Although a fine dedicated room is quite wonderful, I've come to mellow out on this paradox a bit. I've opted for the old fashioned approach of hauling it all in for the show night. I park the 120" 2.40 AT screen safely on a garage wall when not in use, and the projector and lens live in a closet on a rolling a/v cart . For show night, we walk in and hang the screen on its attach points, and roll out the pj in position behind the sofa, connect it to power and HDMI cable hiding under the sofa, and away we go. Total set up and turn on time is less than four minutes. There are some compromises to be sure, but the conveniences of the big family room where folks can spread out and be comfortable, sneak out to the powder room or to the kitchen for more popcorn are pretty darn priceless. It's all done lights down, but a screen that big provides enough light to get around durning many scenes.

Do any of you find that some movies just aren't candidates you choose for the big front pj screen? I am finding that some are just fine on the plasma. Some, though, must be screened!
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:58 PM
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Hmmm As I sit with spackle drying on the walls of my yet-to-be-completed dedicated basement HT, I wonder why people think that a dedicated theater room would also be suitable as a family room? Personally, I've already got a livingroom upstairs for general purpose use, why would I want a duplicate in the basement? A spare? The theater room is for watching video on the big screen not for sitting and talking.

If anything, I'd bet a lot of the realization is that people thought they would watch a lot more TV/Movies after adding a HT than they did before adding it. Although a lot of money is going into building the HT, I don't realistically see us using it much more than 5 or 6 hours a week tops. To put it into context, that's only about 3% of our time.

As for the comments about not wanting to walk *all* the way down to the HT to watch a movie well might as well just sleep on the couch each night to save from not having to walk *all* the way up to the bedroom so you can sleep in your bed each night.

-Suntan
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post


Do any of you find that some movies just aren't candidates you choose for the big front pj screen? I am finding that some are just fine on the plasma. Some, though, must be screened!

I don't think I'd put it quite like that in my case. I think every movie is a candidate for the big screen. However, occasionally there are movies I could "get along with" watching on our plasma. Comedies tend to fall into that category. But I would always prefer to watch them on the big screen.

It's amazing how easy it can be to impress people with the Big Picture. We just had our annual street party at the end of which we always show a movie for the kids outside (at night obviously). We just rent a pull up screen and we had a small, cheap, portable business projector with 2 channel sound hooked up. But it never fails to enthrall and garner comments about how great the experience is. (We watched E.T. and it was magical...impossible to avoid sniffles from everyone at the end).
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:28 PM
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We were forunate in our situation...

Our house was built in the 20's when home theaters were the "threater of the mind."

When the daughter of the original owner became to frail to go up the stairs, they converted the garage into a master bedroom with a walk-in closet. When we bought the house, they were promoting that room as the master bedroom....I saw it as the dedicated home theater room. Forward over 7 years and we have a dedicated room with the walk-in closet serving as the equipment room with software storage too. The attic above the room allowed me to do alot of the speaker/projector wiring etc. One of the other pluses is it set's off from the main living area of the house (connected by a hallway to the kitchen). The effect is my family can only (faintly) hear the HT from the kitchen..no where else in the house.

That being said, if you have the option of a dedicated room IMO creates the immersive experience that one strives for in an HT enviroment. In my mind, anything that distracts/hinders from the sound or image takes away from the immersive experience (the ultimate goal).

So we use out HT room for primarily a movie watching experience. Do we host games or TV event type nights (Oscars)....sure. But, the room's set up is not constructed for these types of presentations. And, I wouldn't want it to be, since it would involve compromises in the movie watching experience. I'm sure if I threw money at it, I could come up with a hybrid room....but that's not a good use of our money (at least IMWO (my wife's opinion)).

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rboster View Post

But, the room's set up is not constructed for these types of presentations. And, I wouldn't want it to be,

I briefly toyed with the idea of making a retractable riser and looking to find the most comfortable reclining chairs that were more office-like with wheels on them so that we could roll chairs out of the center of the room or rearrange the room when not watching movies. But it was a brief thought at most.

Even without a big riser and seating right in the middle of the room, it wouldn't be useful for much else. Possibly for letting the kids build sheet-forts, but they can already do that around the couch up in the livingroom.

-Suntan
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:22 PM
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Quote:


However, occasionally there are movies I could "get along with" watching on our plasma. Comedies tend to fall into that category.

Yep...kinda the same. It comes down to how the movie strikes my interest. If not so high on the scale, I kind of regard it as casual (aka I don't need or want to be too immersed in this one) viewing and can live with it on the smaller screen. I will also tend to scale down the sound level a bit on such a film to follow the scale of the image.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

Do any of you find that some movies just aren't candidates you choose for the big front pj screen? I am finding that some are just fine on the plasma. Some, though, must be screened!

Yes! I absolutely find that. Some movies don't quite stand up as well on the big screen and others really come to life.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

I will also tend to scale down the sound level a bit on such a film to follow the scale of the image.

Interesting you mention that. It's one of my pet peeves when the scale of sound is mis-matched to the image size. Examples are big projector screens with too-small speakers or flat-panel "home theaters" with Big Speakers.

Take the battle scenes in Gladiator. I've watched it in some flat-panel set ups with very large speakers that would have been more suited to a projection presentation. So the experience was of having what felt like a full-sized army rumbling around me as I squinted to see the tiny figures running around on the small screen. Some people would simply be impressed by the sound itself, but for me the mismatch creates an artificial
detached quality to the experience.

I've paid close attention to matching the "size of the sound" with the "size of the image" in my own set ups.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:05 PM
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Excellent point Rich. I too match the "size of the sound" w/ the "size of the image" in my set-ups.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:30 PM
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Quote:


Excellent point Rich. I too match the "size of the sound" w/ the "size of the image" in my set-ups.

Exactly what I meant. Of course, we all remember when there was no choice; we could only have good small-ish images, but we still pursued big sound (at least I did). Now that images are cinema scale, I find I'm much more sensitive to what you describe about matching sound and image scale. You know what they say "Great minds...."
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

Exactly what I meant. Of course, we all remember when there was no choice; we could only have good small-ish images, but we still pursued big sound (at least I did). Now that images are cinema scale, I find I'm much more sensitive to what you describe about matching sound and image scale. You know what they say "Great minds...."

Funny, now that I think about it my evolution tracks the same way. In the late 80's living with friends I was the guy who set up my big-assed speakers and surround sound around our 29" CRT tube set (which felt like a huge picture at the time). We thought it was awesome and so it certainly did enhance the movie watching experience. But now with the availability of image sizes, I guess I've become more sensitive to the mismatching too.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:04 PM
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Never would I give up having the dedicated theater. I mean, many in this thread just didn't want that it seems.

Interesting so many people can't figure out what they really want a head of time. The living room / family room is for casual viewing, the theater is for serious movie watching.

The low hours of use, definetly tells the story as opposed to my own. I am putting plenty of hours each year on my projo and theater. Around 1500 going strong into the third year now.


At least in part it's humorous for sure to go to all that effort for something you really didn't want in the first place.


My wife and I knew we were total movie buffs. The theater is not for socializing, that's what intermissions are for.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNnDENVER View Post

Never would I give up having the dedicated theater. I mean, many in this thread just didn't want that it seems.

Interesting so many people can't figure out what they really want a head of time. The living room / family room is for casual viewing, the theater is for serious movie watching.

In my case the living room/home theater is for "serious" viewing as well as casual. (Presuming one considers dark non-reflective decor, acoustic treatment, full light control and a huge fixed screen with 4 way automated masking and 7 channel surround sound "serious"). It's just that it's in a living room, not a custom-built room that is isolated from the rest of the house. For me it's the best of both worlds: high performance but also easy access without feeling isolated from the rest of the house.

Perhaps I'm fortunate in knowing well ahead of time what type of use, access and "vibe" I want for the room.

I understand though that some people are looking for a feeling of "getting away" and isolation for movie watching.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, after reading all this and having a few more days to acclimate, I just thought of a possible factor. The theater room (with the big sound and BIG picture and No ambient light or reflections) is such a "theater like" experience, that maybe the Pavlov's dog in all of us tends to think it must be time to go when the moving is over. Maybe I just need to retrain the patrons.

Joe -----

The harder it is to tell the difference, the less difference it makes.

 

"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude." -- Thomas Jefferson, translated from Latin

 

Also translated as "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery" 

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Old 06-16-2009, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

...
Let me put it this way. we have a nice house....My HT is a special purpose area, say just like a powder room is. One goes in their for a purpose....the powder room is for one to cunduct his\\her business

I always knew I shoulda become an arms dealer. Then I could afford the nice house.

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Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post

Wow. Doesn't look that dark to me. You would be suicidal in my room.

Seriously, I have a most black velvet small theater room ....

--Darin

I agree. JHouse's room looks classy and cozy, but not what I think of when I hear "bat cave." JHouse, I think Darin's right; you might go ballistic in his HT room (whether it's "small" is another matter! )

I found that being in a virtually all-black bat cave actually made the room seem larger. The walls and ceiling seemed to disappear far away into a black void, and I substantially overestimated the size of the room when I first saw it. Granted, I was only there for an hour or so...not 5, and it wasn't for a social gathering -- but as I'm thinking about going "bat cave" for my HT, I'm wondering if any of you bat cave dwellers out there experience the same illusion of your room seeming more expansive as a function of the dark room treatment?
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike W View Post

I'm wondering if any of you bat cave dwellers out there experience the same illusion of your room seeming more expansive as a function of the dark room treatment?


If you can't sense the walls at all, it will seem bigger. I harken back to my boy scout days. We were all (about 80 of us in the basement of the church at a meeting) playing this game that required turning the lights off and crawling around to accomplish something. It was so black that I got kind of woozy and had a semi-mystical experience of some sort (and my scout master wasn't even involved-or at least that's what my story was).

So be careful with the woozies.

Joe -----

The harder it is to tell the difference, the less difference it makes.

 

"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude." -- Thomas Jefferson, translated from Latin

 

Also translated as "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery" 

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Old 06-16-2009, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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And BTW I do appreciate the positive comments.

Joe -----

The harder it is to tell the difference, the less difference it makes.

 

"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude." -- Thomas Jefferson, translated from Latin

 

Also translated as "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery" 

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Old 06-16-2009, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

For me it's the best of both worlds: high performance but also easy access without feeling isolated from the rest of the house.

I've seen you post comments like this a fair bit lately. Obviously you feel that having a dual purpose room is better for your needs, fair enough, but why do you feel a dedicated HT would be "isolated from the rest of the house" and why do you put out the vibe that this seems to be a bad thing?

Isn't your bedroom "isolated from the rest of the house" when you close the door? Or the bathroom? I mean, quite honestly, I feel that every room in my house is "easy access" because they all have doorways that you just walk through. How is your livingroom really "easier access."

Further, you can build a dedicated HT *and* have it open (at least as open as a person wants) to the rest of the house. Most people that choose to make it really closed off do so for the purpose of keeping sound from propagating to the rest of the house. But dedicated HT space doesn't *have* to be accessed through what feels like a tunnel from the Great Escape.

To be clear, I have no problems with someone setting up a wapping big screen in their livingroom if that is what works best for them, I just don't understand some of the comments that have been put out there.

-Suntan
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:21 AM
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heck i love my all black room...its so pleasant being in there...REALLY it is...the best way i can describe it is when the lights are all off and the its just the projector on and some music is playing it seems like your sitting in the middle of nowhere outside and there it music coming from "somewhere"...lol...like the poster a few posts above said you start to feel very "strange" at times...woozy i guess? all i know is for me its SOOOOOO much more imersive when listening to music...i love it...i recently put up black velvet on all the walls and ceiling...well i didnt put any on the back wall but all the rest i did...WOW...talk about a cave...there isnt even a smidgen of light reflecting on any wall now...take a listen to come pink floyd in a room like that...oh man oh man is all i can say...lol.

but with that being said i can see where people wouldnt like a very dark room...def. not for everyone!
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