JohnnyBz Theatre - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I've been a long-time lurker here and finally joined a week or so ago. I'll be posting info about our theatre build here, I don't have all the info readily available at the moment so I'll be adding to this thread over time.

Unlike the majority of home theater projects I've seen here that start from a "bare" un-finished basement or a complete to-the-studs-re-model of an existing basement, my theater project started from a finished basement in our new house we purchased in 2008. So hopefully, I'll be providing a few new ideas on how to build on an existing finished basement on a budget of ~$8,500.

1st, the basic equipment list:

Projector: BenQ W6000 (1080p DLP)
Screen: Elite Cinetension Electric, 106" 16:9, Cine-White
AVR: Sony STR-DG1200 (7.1 CH)
Sub: Infinity PS212 (12" / 400W)
Surround Speakers: Polk RM87 (RM85 + 2x RM7 rears)
Blu-Ray: Magnavox NB500MG9
STB: Frontier FIOS / Motorola QIP6200-2 (Home Media DVR in MBR)
DVD/VHS: Sony SLV-D360P
Media Player: WD-HDTV (gen 1)
Remote: Harmony One
HTPC: HP G62-355DX Laptop
HD Recorder: Hauppauge HD-PVR model 1212
Equipment Rack: Techcraft SF50 w/ temp controlled fans
Seating: 2 x Ashely Furniture Black Walnut Dual Reclining Sofas
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's where we started and my 1st concept of what we were going to do. Its a ~14' x 27' room in the basement with a window at one end. The outside wall is concrete up to the window, which resulted in a thicker interior wall below the window providing a shelf. The soffit on the right is the HVAC duct.

My plan was to hang a drop-down screen in front of the window, and build a soffit on the left side to add symmetry and provide a place to route my wiring.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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The layout (believe it or not, I used Excel to plot this, I'm better with the math than I am w/ the mouse). I have ~16' throw from the PJ to the screen. The object around the sofas is the outline of the riser that I've yet to build (only need ~ 7" rise).

The angles from the front-center viewer to the speakers were all determined by the recommended 7.1 surround specs. The front viewing distance is a tad close for my 106" screen, but it's near ideal for the 2nd row. Given my existing wall and room dimensions, I had to compromize somewhere.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 08:57 AM
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Just as an FYI, there is a distinct theater build thread on this forum. This thread is typically for finished projects. Good luck on your build


My updated (2/2014)HT set-up


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post #5 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Construction Pics:

Soffit & Sub Coax: Note power box in ceiling added for screen and can-lights in front of screen. It also contains wiring for a connection for my PJ to trigger the screen drop. You can also see box on wall for sconce.

Soffit Corner Above Rack: This is where all the speaker and PJ wiring to my rack came up into the soffit. I did add a dedicated 120V circuit for all my theatre equipment. I also ran a 50' HDMI cable from my rack over to another room for a 32" LCD that will be behind my eventual bar.

Wiring Center: The dual box will contain a dual HDMI connector on one side and a RF coax for my STB on the other. The triple box will contain jacks for all the speakers and sub.

Not shown is wiring for 3 dimmers controlling the can lights above the screen, sconces and can lights at the rear.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frohlich View Post

Just as an FYI, there is a distinct theater build thread on this forum. This thread is typically for finished projects. Good luck on your build

Aye, my bad. My theatre is 99% complete (other than my riser) and functional. I just thought I'd include some build pics to show a little background on it. Should I move the build posts over to the other thread (I won't be adding much more construction photos)?
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-15-2012, 09:03 AM
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Welcome.

In the new soffit that you have framed, I would fill with bass absorbing material and cover with fabric (ex: GOM) to help with acoustics

Dan

My set up

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post #8 of 17 Old 02-16-2012, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's the soffit going across the room at the back that will contain my PJ "cubby". I wanted to tuck the PJ up into the soffit as much as possible. I have two down-lights on either side of the PJ that will be above a small bar & seats behind the 2nd row couch for "overflow" seating. The area way in the back (where the boxes are shown in this pic) is currently "un-allocated", but I will put either a kitchenette there or continue to use it as a serving area for parties. I have my Nostalga Electrics pop-corn maker there now.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-16-2012, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's a veiw of the front, rear (semi-finished) and the PJ cubby. Note that the screen shown is a "leftover" 93" pull-down that I had at my old house. I used it temporarily until I replaced it w/ the 106" Cinetension electric screen. Knowing ahead of time that I was going to need to rely on that 93" screen and I'd eventually increase it up to possibly 120", it drove the throw distance to my PJ given it's zoom range. After some heart-wrenching, I decided on the 106" size.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-16-2012, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Some pics of my surround speakers (Polks) and sconces. I mounted the speakers on wedges that tilt the speakers towards the viewer sitting at the center of the front row. Note that the center channel speaker is behind the screen. Yeah I know its not ideal, but I get by. I did my speaker calibration w/ the screen down, so hopefully the attenuation of the screen is offset by the cal.

Snaking the wiring for that side speaker and sconce under the existing soffit was a joy. I was lucky that the sheetrock didn't go all the way to the ceiling joists and I was able to get my snake up over the duct work and between the ceiling joists across the room to a hole above the new soffit.
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-16-2012, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout's staff View Post

Welcome.

In the new soffit that you have framed, I would fill with bass absorbing material and cover with fabric (ex: GOM) to help with acoustics

Thanks, that's good advice. However I'm now way past that stage. I had considered doing that when I had the chance, but I wasn't sure if it was going to be worth it unless I was able to do it to both sides. But I wasn't about to tear out the existing soffit to add material, and I'd still be burdened w/ a tin-can of a HVAC duct going down the middle of the soffit on that one side. Doing dry-wall doesn't scare me, but its work and time, neither of which I cared to spend beyond what I already had into the project. Besides, my goals were modest, I wasn't going for an acoustically perfect theater.
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-18-2012, 02:28 AM
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How did you plot that stuff in excel! Amazing!

Room looks like it coming well together Don't forget to post those pics in the construction thread too! Great feedback from those guys

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #13 of 17 Old 02-18-2012, 04:41 AM
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I'm not seeing a center channel speaker?

Lombardi said it:
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."


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post #14 of 17 Old 02-18-2012, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post


I'm not seeing a center channel speaker?

It's on the shelf behind the screen. I know its not ideal, but I ran my speaker calibration w/ the screen down in hopes that whatever attenuation the screen causes is mostly compensated. Soon I'll add some pics w/ the screen up.
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post #15 of 17 Old 02-18-2012, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyBz View Post

It's on the shelf behind the screen. I know its not ideal, but I ran my speaker calibration w/ the screen down in hopes that whatever attenuation the screen causes is mostly compensated. Soon I'll add some pics w/ the screen up.

If it's not an acoustically transparent screen, the speaker shouldn't be behind it. The calibration will boost it, and boost it more at high frequencies. At higher volumes, you could be risking your tweeter. There will also be issues with imaging and dialogue. You would much better off moving it from behind the screen.

Craig

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post #16 of 17 Old 02-22-2012, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

If it's not an acoustically transparent screen, the speaker shouldn't be behind it. The calibration will boost it, and boost it more at high frequencies. At higher volumes, you could be risking your tweeter. There will also be issues with imaging and dialogue. You would much better off moving it from behind the screen.

Craig

Would mounting it above (from the ceiling) or below the screen be preferred? I'd be concerned that having it low below the screen will put out out of the line-of-sight for the 2nd row viewers, even after I elevate them on a riser. Also, I'd have to separate my media shelving to make room to put the center channel speaker below the screen. I'd rather avoid doing that. I had considered getting a screen w/ acoustically transparent material, but those were a several hundred dollars more than the Cinewhite I got. I figured if I wasn't happy w/ the performance I could always upgrade in the future. I rarely watch a movie w/ the volume set above -5dB, typically around -15 to -8 depending on the movie.

I do have a SPL meter and a audio test tone CD, I might try measuring how much attenuation my screen is giving me. Now that I think about it, I might be able to examine my speaker settings in my AV receiver to see how much EQ compensation it cranked in w/ the screen up vs down. Now you have me worried about my center channel tweeter.
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post #17 of 17 Old 02-22-2012, 02:33 PM
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Ideally you would place the center directly under the screen, but if that will cause issues for the 2nd row, I would recommend installing at the ceiling and pointing directly at the listening position area and rerun your calibration. You should experience a much better effect removing it from behind the screen.

I like your set-up. I'm also worried that your speakers are too small for that space. Any plans on upgrading the front three? I upgraded from small speakers to larger speakers around this time last year and it made a world of a difference.

Dan

My set up

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