I think I might hate my Bat Cave. - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

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?

-Suntan

I keep saying it isn't a bad thing at all. Depends on what you want to achieve. Your right of course that some dedicated home theaters may feel (or actually be) more or less isolated from other areas of the house.

Certain floor plans make rooms feel more connected, others make rooms feel more separate and isolated, right?

I certainly feel more isolated from what is going on when I go upstairs or in to the basement. So if I want to feel less isolated from the rest of the house I choose to put a theater on the main floor, rather than, say, the basement. But it may be different depending on the house, on the individual etc.

Some have expressed the goal that they want to feel like they "get away" and forget the rest of the house in a dedicated home theater room. As I say, there is zero wrong with that. It's to each his own. And of course not every dedicated HT room feels as isolated from the rest of the house as others. But, on balance, a dedicated room (sound isolation and everything else) will feel more isolated than a family-room set up.

I never mean to imply anything wrong with whatever someone else prefers. I just state my own preferences. (And it happens to be quite strongly on my mind because I'm mired in my HT reno as we speak, so the rational for my choices are currently swirling about in my noggin, which is why a thread like this is of particular interest).
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post #92 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

I certainly feel more isolated from what is going on when I go upstairs or in to the basement.

You must have a lot more excitement going on at your house than I have at mine. The idea of being right in the middle of all the commotion *while* trying to watch a movie is really a negative in my experience.

And don't take anything I say as defensive, as it isn't meant to be. For regular TV watching I imagine we will still do that in the livingroom on our trusty old 42 Panny 7UY plasma, purchased in no small part from comments you made in the plasma forum 4 or 5 years ago.

-Suntan
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post #93 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfyncsu7 View Post

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.

The basement was unfinished when we moved in. As a matter of fact, the layout of the basement (specifically the I-beam support poles) was one of the things that drew me to the house. The basement is my design (and I did about 1/2 the work). Pictures HERE. I do have a solid door with weather stripping on it leading to the basement to help isolate the sound.

My point is that room construction and treatment (from both a lighting and sound isolation design) and layout aren't mutually exclusive. You can employ all of the sould isolation construction techniques to a room that has seomthing other than just seating in it. In my case it has other amenities that we find enjoyable for entertaining... yet still serves well for movie viewing.

-Steve
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post #94 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 10:24 AM
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We like the detachment and isolation from distractions... in fact, that was the whole point... to be able to become totally immersed in the fanatasy that is cinema while not disturbing anyone in the rest of the house. Our basement was ideal for the location. In addition to being out-of-the-way (only one door in and out of there), it was also much easier to accomplish the sound proofing of the subs and without any windows it was instantly fully light controlled... and even though we have a climate controlled house, it just seems more temperature stable year 'round down there, which is really great for the electronics. After 'blackening' everything and adding accoustical treatments, this is a very unique and purposeful room. Isolated from the rest of the house? Well uh, yes... that was actually the point of the exercise.

Usually the first time someone enters an all black room (very few people can ever say they've had that experience) it evokes some sort of strong emotional response from deep within. Who knows, it could even be some sort of emotional link back to our ancient cave dwelling past, possibly??? True, some people will get claustrophic the very first time, my sister did and a neighbor of ours once did as well, but both have long since overcomed that 'trapped' feeling... like by their second movie down there. However after those initial evocative feelings of entering into another world finally subsides there is another feeling that takes hold, a feeling of safety that can be quite comforting... especially during stressful times. Heck you don't even have any idea what the weather is like outside, anything could be happening out there and you'd be totally (perhaps blissfully) unaware. In fact the basement theater is where we all go to during the wicked thunderstorms we have on occassions... down there you can soon forget about the rest of the world. In the bat-cave we can be transported to anywhere... that is the beauty of isolation from the rest of the house, the rest of the world really. I guess that's probably why I like to do activities like thoughtful reading and writing, critical music listening or even just afternoon napping down there too. I do like having a place where the stressful and congested world goes away and where I now have total control over the environment where I can choose my fanatasy without interruptions from that outside world. Call it a vacation... one I can go on without having to spend hours or days in travelling time. Try doing all that without isolating your theater...


An aside:
I'd also like to add that even when I go into the theater by myself I'm never really completely alone down there... we have two Golden Retrievers and when we are not outside or at the park or the beach playing around then their favorite place in the whole house (not counting the room with their food bowls at dinnertime) is the basement theater. The older male will go down there to relax, "to sleep, perchance to dream", however at regular intervals he will do a sweep of the house and take a 'head count' before retiring back in the theater. The younger female must have constant human contact, literally as some part of her body must be on top of some part of a human's anatomy, usually a foot, only then will she feel secure... also I've always had a suspicion its so you can't get up and go do something fun without her knowing about it. However, even she will try to coax people down into the basement theater and she's just thrilled (the tail gives it away) when any of us does actually go into the theater. And if you are a true dog-person you understand the feeling that you are never alone if you've got your pack with you.

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post #95 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 10:26 AM
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Everyone posting here is describing the very first and most essential component of "custom designed" as it applies to this subject: Lifestyle. How will the room be used? Serious, casual, intimate, entertaining friends, kids, movies, TV, or all the above, etc? It's another subject, but one reason many here do much of the work themselves is that it is very difficult to find local providers that will invest the effort to learn those things, then help the homeowner achieve their goals. That takes too much time for them. Sorry, I digress.

Still, IMO, you are all doing a fine job of expressing one of the best things about this interest. May I have both types, please? It's fun to hear everybody's thought and decision process.

One last note, coming from the motion picture business, I have a bit of a drive to "exhibit" movies I screen; a bit of showmanship instinct I guess. For that reason (and because it's a lot of fun) we like to entertain friends with screenings. Having a dedicated theater that is big enough to seat six to 12 people is a big room. Wish I had it, but only the family room can achieve that in our home. But the large size of the room is a plus for the presentation. I'd love to have a really large dedicated room that would seat a dozen in an island of seats. Of course then the screen would be somewhere near 20 to 30 feet wide and would require quite a different class of projector. Sigh
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post #96 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

You must have a lot more excitement going on at your house than I have at mine. The idea of being right in the middle of all the commotion *while* trying to watch a movie is really a negative in my experience.

And don't take anything I say as defensive, as it isn't meant to be. For regular TV watching I imagine we will still do that in the livingroom on our trusty old 42 Panny 7UY plasma, purchased in no small part from comments you made in the plasma forum 4 or 5 years ago.

-Suntan

Ha, I sold another plasma did I?

I'm still pretty impressed with mine, though it being only a 4th gen panel I believe it has dimmed visibly since originally getting it. I STILL only have an ED resolution TV running at my house, after all this time. I should have my AV-Geek card revoked.

I think I'm a little bit of an odd-ball around here. I actually prefer to see movies in a cinema if I can, even with the possibilities of distraction. I like the shared experience and connection, the event and "liveness." For me "living" is done out of the house - when I go to a theater, due to all the experiences associated with getting there and being "out in the world," afterword I feel like I've "done something" that day. But if I watch it at home I feel like, well, I've seen yet another movie. While most others seem to bemoan having to put up with their fellow man in the movie theaters and prefer watching at home. In the same way I'd almost always prefer to be watching a movie in my HT with a bunch of people, the more the merrier.
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post #97 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike W View Post

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?

When I "blacked out" (black felt ceiling, black velvet on all walls, black carpet)my dedicated room, I also moved the couch to the back wall and placed all my components on a wide shelf above it. That in itself opened up my room.

The biggest difference I noticed was that the screen actually seems bigger even though I'm seated farther back. It must be due to not being able to tell where the ceiling, or walls, converge. All focus is now on the screen.

I have a large open livingroom with a 65" flat panel for casual viewing.

Art
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post #98 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 03:42 PM
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The older male will go down there to relax, "to sleep, perhaps to dream",

Interesting, my Border Collie also likes to join us for movies and often lays near my down-firing 12" sub. She also heads down there at night on occasion to sleep which I could never quite understand...........other than that dogs love dens

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post #99 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrimpin View Post

Interesting, my Border Collie also likes to join us for movies and often lays near my down-firing 12" sub. She also heads down there at night on occasion to sleep which I could never quite understand...........other than that dogs love dens

My Choc. Lab. really loves movie night. He loves to snuggle with all of us. It's gotten to the point he recognizes the sound of the equipment turning on and goes bounding in to wait for us. He passes out about 1/2 way through the movie and stay there the rest of the night doing his "dead dog" impersonation.
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post #100 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Ha, I sold another plasma did I?

I'm still pretty impressed with mine, though it being only a 4th gen panel I believe it has dimmed visibly since originally getting it. I STILL only have an ED resolution TV running at my house, after all this time. I should have my AV-Geek card revoked.

I think I'm a little bit of an odd-ball around here. I actually prefer to see movies in a cinema if I can, even with the possibilities of distraction. I like the shared experience and connection, the event and "liveness." For me "living" is done out of the house - when I go to a theater, due to all the experiences associated with getting there and being "out in the world," afterword I feel like I've "done something" that day. But if I watch it at home I feel like, well, I've seen yet another movie. While most others seem to bemoan having to put up with their fellow man in the movie theaters and prefer watching at home. In the same way I'd almost always prefer to be watching a movie in my HT with a bunch of people, the more the merrier.

OK Rich, I cannot resist. I'll volunteer to come over and kick the back of your sofa throughout a good movie, stick bubblegum on the bottom of your shoe, whip out my cell phone at a key moment in the movie and if not to talk, make sure the batteries are strong enough to half-blind your vision with the LED screen, etc., etc. I want to give you that "social experience" right in the comfort of your own home. Oh...I left out turning on a radio or stereo in an adjacent room to compete with your theater experience !

Nope, put me in a home environment with my wife and/or a few friends at most. I am INCREASINGLY turned OFF by the "theater experience." Not to mention an out-of-focus screen...for WHAT ? $10 !!!
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post #101 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 06:23 PM
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I was originally gong to create an all black room but decided against it. Instead I built a multi-purpose room and during movies it is completely black with no distractions. Yet during sports, etc. I can have overhead lights on to talk with people and still be able to see the screen.



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post #102 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne View Post

.
...
The biggest difference I noticed was that the screen actually seems bigger even though I'm seated farther back. It must be due to not being able to tell where the ceiling, or walls, converge. All focus is now on the screen.

Art

Yes, the screen seemed bigger as well. It was a large screen by my standards to begin with, but seemed much larger due to the depth misperception. The screen bottom also was relatively close to the floor, so...and I'm serious about this...because the floor was covered in black, I was slightly disoriented at first. I erroneously assumed the screen was set at mid-height on the back wall, and without distance or clear height cues in the room this caused me to wonder whether the floor was going to slope downward toward the screen. Took me a bit to adjust my perception.

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heck i love my all black room...i know is for me its SOOOOOO much more imersive when listening to music...take a listen to come pink floyd in a room like that...oh man oh man is all i can say...lol.

Hadn't thought about how it would affect listening to music. Pink Floyd: The Black Velvet Wall.
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post #103 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 08:39 PM
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That's why my dedicated HT is for movies (and the occasional sporting event) and the living room is for TV.

We watch a couple of movies per week in the HT (Saturday night is movie night for the wife and I, and the whole family usually watches a movie on Saturday or Sunday afternoon) and love it. It's a great get-a-way and better than the real theater, IMO.

We watch TV every day in the living room on a 65" display with 5.1 sound. And love it.

I would never want to watch the majority of my TV viewing in the HT and I wouldn't want to watch movies in the living room.

"The dream never dies, just the dreamer."

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post #104 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike W View Post

Hadn't thought about how it would affect listening to music. Pink Floyd: The Black Velvet Wall.

Listening to "Time" on my Dark Side of the Moon SACD is downright scary when the lights are off. At least the intro is
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post #105 of 356 Old 06-17-2009, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Lebronze View Post

Listening to "Time" on my Dark Side of the Moon SACD is downright scary when the lights are off. At least the intro is

hmmm... listening to DSOTM on my pair of cheap, tinny little unpowered speakers plugged into the IPOD while I finish mudding the drywall in the HT does not give the same sensation...

-Suntan
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post #106 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike W View Post

Yes, the screen seemed bigger as well. It was a large screen by my standards to begin with, but seemed much larger due to the depth misperception. The screen bottom also was relatively close to the floor, so...and I'm serious about this...because the floor was covered in black, I was slightly disoriented at first. I erroneously assumed the screen was set at mid-height on the back wall, and without distance or clear height cues in the room this caused me to wonder whether the floor was going to slope downward toward the screen. Took me a bit to adjust my perception.



Hadn't thought about how it would affect listening to music. Pink Floyd: The Black Velvet Wall.

This is quite interesting to me. I've often thought/wondered how cool it would be to have a room with completely black walls, that apprear invisible. I wondered if it would feel like you're in a bigger room, would the screen "feel" different, bigger...

It seems like some of my theories were right, I might need to look into this

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #107 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by WOLVERNOLE View Post

OK Rich, I cannot resist. I'll volunteer to come over and kick the back of your sofa throughout a good movie, stick bubblegum on the bottom of your shoe, whip out my cell phone at a key moment in the movie and if not to talk, make sure the batteries are strong enough to half-blind your vision with the LED screen, etc., etc. I want to give you that "social experience" right in the comfort of your own home. Oh...I left out turning on a radio or stereo in an adjacent room to compete with your theater experience !

Nope, put me in a home environment with my wife and/or a few friends at most. I am INCREASINGLY turned OFF by the "theater experience." Not to mention an out-of-focus screen...for WHAT ? $10 !!!

I have to agree. Those that go the "Theater" route are doing an idealized theater that exists no where. That's fine. Just not my thing.

Affable Nitwit
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post #108 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 08:59 AM
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FWIW, I am in the middle of rebuilding my theater. I covered just the front wall with black velvet and the unanimous opinion of the family was the screen looked much smaller against the backdrop of black. But the room is not black anywhere else.

I do like the look of the black no question. I just need to fit a bigger screen now
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post #109 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 10:26 AM
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I do like the look of the black no question. I just need to fit a bigger screen now

That's a win-win scenario if there ever was one.
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post #110 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 11:00 AM
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After watching Blade Runner with friends the other night, I have to say that the best part of having a dedicated theater space - black Bat Cave or not - is that, unlike non dedicated spaces - THE SOUND !! With 2 pairs of side surrounds, 1 pair of rears, an SVS sub etc. - there is nothing like an enveloping sound experience !! That is hard to get in a non dedicated multi purpose room. Not impossible, but more difficult for sure.

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post #111 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebronze View Post

Listening to "Time" on my Dark Side of the Moon SACD is downright scary when the lights are off. At least the intro is



For DSOTM on SACD, I use my PS3 and the built in PS3 Visualizer, "Earth" mode...

drop the lights, fire up the PJ and the big 120" comes down over my 50" plasma.







...and yes I LOVE my basement Cave!
literally thee coolest room in the house on those hot summer days/nights

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post #112 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 12:49 PM
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That's a win-win scenario if there ever was one.

Yeah. But I'm running out of wall . AT would cure that, but then I run out of floor .
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post #113 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 01:08 PM
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My HT evolution has been:
1.Family room flat screen with 5.1 surround
2.Adding a projector and screen in family room (no light control)
3.Building a “dedicated” room with light control, installing a Plasma and a FP system, “audiophile” speakers for music and HT but with family room
furnishings and minimal acoustical treating to allow for multi-purpose use
4.Adding HT seating, painting the room darker, adding more acoustic treatments, switching audiophile for “pro audio” style loudspeakers and subwoofers.

What we found is the multipurpose room was not multi-purpose. We still have the reasonable size (46”) flat screen in the family room and a nice little 5.1 system for general Television/sports viewing and back ground music for the house. The HT room is now being optimized for movie watching with occasional music use with removing the plasma and going with a fixed screen CIH setup next on the agenda. Whether a fade to black is needed/ wanted is TBD.

The house is large enough and my family unit small enough to justify the 3600cf dedicated room. As others have described it (more eloquently than I can), the room is an escape into the Theater realm without the hassles and limitations of a commercial theater. Now, we have no desire to go out to the movies even though that was a large part of our weekly entertainment in years past.

The room is a work in progress toward my vision of the perfect Home Theater. It is hobby for me and entertainment for the family and worth every penny and hour spent on it.

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post #114 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 02:05 PM
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My HT is a marriage saver.My wife likes movies,but doesn't like the volume level and LFE of modern film.Being a movie lover and HT hobbyist ,I strive to recreate the movie as seen in an excellent theater! Most evenings after dinner my 3 terriers and I go to the theater,which is located about 100' from my home in a small dedicated separate building.It's a lot of fun GOING to the theater without all of the annoying stuff that you have to deal with in public theaters.As soon as you enter the theater,you come in through the 5'X7' equipment room/ movie library which is all white.You then enter the screen room which is all flat black except the blackout drapes which are a deep Burgundy which also matches the carpeting.You immediately notice the sound treatment..a feeling of insulation.Fire up the projector and 7.1 sound, pop in a blu-ray,hd-dvd or satellite hd and away we go,5 minutes after walking out of the front door To complete the experience there is also a small kitchen/bath.It really feels like the theatrical experience!
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post #115 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Whitehead View Post

Bats are very friendly creatures once you get to know them, but they are initially very shy.

But they leave lots of little poop everywhere.......
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post #116 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 02:37 PM
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Good info here, seems lots of "different strokes for different folks".

Key point:
Before a decision is made on dedicated HT or Multi-room, Bat Cave, etc, decision makers should visit those in others homes to experience them first, if at all possible.

I've experience my dedicated basement HT for 6+ months now, it's on the darker side of colors (dark green walls/brown ceiling), and I agree with others on the ambient lighting thing for the before/after movie ambiance/socialization aspect. Great for movies with 0 lights, for sport epic events we do turn lights low %, helps with the socilization.

I actually went from a fully closed room with sealed door to a 6' wide opening with curtains late in my build after going to a friends house and experiencing his full basement multi-purpose gaming room/bar/HT. I liked that atmosphere/feeling. The 6' opening lets me do that for the epic sports events (open says me), and gives light control for movies (close says me).



For general "TV" shows we use the 1st floor family room set-up.
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post #117 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 02:42 PM
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For those of you who hate having a room that is totally black or dark colored, why don't you have some curtains of a lighter color? Maybe control them electronically. This way when you enter the room, the room will look nice as the curtains are closed showing their color. When you go to watch a movie, close the curtains and reveal your perfectly black walls.

I've considered this for when I have my 100% black room someday. Right now it is only 50% black which still works great (the rest is red or dark wood).
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post #118 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by olinda cat View Post

My HT is a marriage saver.My wife likes movies,but doesn't like the like the volume level and LFE of modern film.Being a movie lover and HT hobbyist ,I strive to recreate the movie as seen in an excellent theater! Most evenings after dinner my 3 terriers and I go to the theater,which is located about 100' from my home in a small dedicated separate building.It's a lot of fun GOING to the theater without all of the annoying stuff that you have to deal with in public theaters.As soon as you enter the theater,you come in through the 5'X7' equipment room/ movie library which is all white.You then enter the screen room which is all flat black except the blackout drapes which are a deep Burgundy which also matches the carpeting.You immediately notice the sound treatment..a feeling of insulation.Fire up the projector and 7.1 sound, pop in a blu-ray,hd-dvd or satellite hd and away we go,5 minutes after walking out of the front door To complete the experience there is also a small kitchen/bath.It really feels like the theatrical experience!
John

And the topper is ... it's on Maui

HToM

"Well, la di fricken da."!
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post #119 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 07:34 PM
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I've been wanting a new projector but need to wait a while. My theater room walls are wood and dark burgundy wallpaper. I had a lighter carpet and ceiling. So I painted the ceiling a very dark brown and bought a black area rug with a dark pattern. Then covered non-essential equipment lighting. The room was dark before but now it's really dark. Definitely kicked the picture up a notch or two; was like buying a new PJ at a fraction of the cost. I don't think I'll ever go back; will probably shoot for more light control.
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post #120 of 356 Old 06-18-2009, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is the updated arrangement. The wife likes to fully recline (HA!)during movies, which isn't easy in commercial theaters. My son has his XBox 360 plugged in there over the summer break, and note the telltale light saber tip behind the chair (apparently it looks cool in total darkness).

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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