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Building new dedicated Home Theater... advice, please

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
Well, I have been a member on here for a long time, but haven't been on in a while. I know the knowledge here is astounding, so, I figured here is where I would go for some answers.... or pointers as it were.

My wife and I are finally adding on to the house (if all goes as planned). With two relatively new kids, a reeling econony, and questionable future...we decided to add on to what we got than build new on our other property. The builder we are using knows (or at least seems to know) about staggering studs, absorbtion panels, different sheetrock, a/c concerns, and other stuff he threw out during our conversation, but you guys DO know. So, here's the rough ideas.

Overall, the room (unless I need to change it) will have an average of 8' ceiling, 15'6" (average) wide by 23' feet long. I say an average of 8' because we intend on making the ceiling "drop" to match the floor risers. Each row of risers (two total) will have 8' of headroom. Also, I am thinking of having the room either narrow or widen from one end to the other, like in an amphitheater (maybe 16' on back to 15' in front or vice-versa). I went on line and scoped out some of the "insert fancy name" diagram for the standing waves. Am I anywhere in the ball park?

I have the stuff I have been buying along the way for such an event. I have the three rotel Amps (two 1070's and one 1080), the Integra DTc 9.8 Processor, and a 10 year old Miller and Kreisel V1250-THX Subwoofer. I also have my B&W speakers (two DM604S3's, two DM601S3's, and one LCR600S3).

I will need to get a rear projector, a screen, seating, and potentially new speakers and an additional amp or two. Heck, I may need a new sub or two....of course, I wanna big ol plasma on the wall when the screen is up. I know I will need more stuff.

This room will be used primarily for movies, but I will also be using it for my childish love of Xbox 360 Live. Gotta play me some Call of Duty with my friends.

So, I will throw out some questions....

2. What dimensions should I try to stick with?

3. Equipment good enough? Should I keep what I currently have in the living room and buy all new for the theater? (I would rather spend the money on other things, if possible and use the equipment I have been buying in the theater room.)
a. Speakers? in walls- Maybe B&W CWM800; additional B&W DM601S3 to match what I have; or some B&W D63 DiPoles.
b. more amps? Rotel to match what I have.
c. more/different subs? looking at two pair of 15" in IB array in ceiling.
d. positioning?

4. Projector? Looking at JVC DILA 750 ( a little pricey, though).

5. Screen? light not an issue in this room, would prefer acoustically transparent for speakers behind screen and a size around 110"-120"

7. Seating? Finding decent sets online for about $2400-$3800 for row of 4 powered reclining.

8. I am sure there will be more......(like, anyone play video games on a projector and screen? say 110" or so?)

Well, we look to try and do this this year, so...(with the stuff I wanna buy for the kitchen, please keep it realistic....I'm not gonna buy a cinecurve with a Runco DLP.) , I wish I could. I am gonna do this, I just need some pointers (read instructions). P.S. A friend of mine's wife is saving absorption and other sound panels she is getting on the job (she's an architecht) and keeping them for me.

Here are some pics of plans and ideas so far...
post #2 of 95
Work out your build issues first. Then work on you equipment issues. Don't buy the PJ until the end.

Can you post plans with a broader perspective? I am curious about the flow of the space, and specifically - what is up with the two doors on the screenwall. I think that is a distracting look, and a sound isolation flanking path potentially. Also may become a limiting factor in speaker placement, screen choices, upgrade path, etc.

EDIT - I looked a little closer - is that some kind of equipment space behind the screen?

Also, not a fan of the descending ceiling.
post #3 of 95
Looks like you have a great project in mind.

My initial reactions:

Have you considered a 2.35 screen? for AT consider SMX or Seymour AV

You should read about false front walls because I think your front end can have a much better design without those two doors, Right now it has no WOW factor and limits what you can do with the space.

A space this great should have a stage for looks.

Equipment rack?

Verify seating distances riser heights with the interactive formulas in the sticky thread, I can't tell your riser sizing and seating distances by looking at the drawing. but the first row looks really close.

I'm partial to a sit at bar for the last row seating it gives you more flexibility for the space and creates a standing room area at the rear for really big gatherings.
I think the ceiling can be much better designed with a marquee over the screen and soffits around the perimeter with up lights in cornice molding. Maybe a star ceiling. All this instead of the step down design.

You should read the Big Red build thread, there are a lot of similarities.
post #4 of 95
I don't like the doors on the screen wall nor the step down ceiling. Actually I really, really dislike the step down ceiling. Just seems like a waste of space and will make the room feel much smaller when you generally want the room to feel larger when you have a riser.
post #5 of 95
A WOW factor front end design

post #6 of 95
What are those doors at the front for ?

+1 for the false wall with a AT screen ... and then 2 rows of seats with a standup bar

look in the powerbuys for deals on seating ... you will pay far less than what you have seen so far

dont worry about equiptment just yet till you figure out where seats/screen etc will go

and I also am not a fan of the stepped ceiling
post #7 of 95
It looks like you could potentially have a much larger screen without those doors.

Where is your equipment going to be placed?

I 2nd designing and building the room first, then decide on a pj. The choices will get increase over time. And, if the pj you want today is still your choice near the end of your build, it will likely be cheaper.

Good luck.
post #8 of 95
Thread Starter 
Thank you for such quick responses. Like I said, I am totally in the pre-build idea phase so I am looking for input.

The space at the end of the theater is an equipment room which is roughly 4' by 16' with door(s) to access the room (was thinking pocket doors). Of course, the door(s) would not be such a contrasting color or material. The overall room is 28' long x 16' wide, then a wall is put in to make the equipment room breaking up the dimensions. If I build a false wall, I will still need access to the space behind it. How would I do that, with some type of removable panels?

The risers are 6" and they are (from the back wall) 8', then 7', then it is 8'8" to the forward wall, then the equipment room. I had figured the first row of seating would be placed where the head of an individual would be about 13'6" from the screen. I was intending on putting all the equipment (amps, pre-amp, satellite, dvd, xbox, PS3, power conditioners, battery backups, and all my DVD's) in the equipment room. I was also intending on using the AT screen so my center channel could be behind the screen, with the mains out in the open.

I will be checking out the other threads mentioned. Input is good for me.
post #9 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawdog2k View Post

Thank you for such quick responses. Like I said, I am totally in the pre-build idea phase so I am looking for input.

The space at the end of the theater is an equipment room which is roughly 4' by 16' with door(s) to access the room (was thinking pocket doors). Of course, the door(s) would not be such a contrasting color or material. The overall room is 28' long x 16' wide, then a wall is put in to make the equipment room breaking up the dimensions. If I build a false wall, I will still need access to the space behind it. How would I do that, with some type of removable panels?

The risers are 6" and they are (from the back wall) 8', then 7', then it is 8'8" to the forward wall, then the equipment room. I had figured the first row of seating would be placed where the head of an individual would be about 13'6" from the screen. I was intending on putting all the equipment (amps, pre-amp, satellite, dvd, xbox, PS3, power conditioners, battery backups, and all my DVD's) in the equipment room. I was also intending on using the AT screen so my center channel could be behind the screen, with the mains out in the open.

I will be checking out the other threads mentioned. Input is good for me.

Why not put the equiptment at the back of the room as you wont need to waste that much space on equiptment anyway... you can then enter a lobby and then enter the theater
post #10 of 95
* How about some sort of smaller hidden doors to the right and/or left of the screen instead of real doors?

* Less space behind the screen and bring the equipment to the rear of the room in a framed floating rack on the wall? Why would you want to hide all your kickass equipment?

* +1 for the bar behind the seating. I plan to do the same with mine.

* I'm not a fan of the step-down ceiling either. With only two 6" risers and 9' to work with, why not just make your entire ceiling at the same height? Perhaps install a large indent in the ceiling for fiber optic stars/molding/etc...?

Man I wish I could dedicate such a large space to my own designs...

Don't forget to HAVE FUN!
post #11 of 95
On the sides of the screen you make hinged fabric covered panels. to access an equipment rack and a walk behind on the other side.

Use the same fabric above and below the screen. GOM FR701 in black. It is fire resistant acoustically transparent and what is around my screen and a lot of other theaters documented here.
post #12 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScruffyHT View Post

Why not put the equiptment at the back of the room as you wont need to waste that much space on equiptment anyway... you can then enter a lobby and then enter the theater

I am planning on doing the same for my yet to be started theater. The lobby should also help as a sound buffer between the theater and the rest of the house.
post #13 of 95
Thread Starter 
Ok, I took your guys advice and have designed a different plan for your opinion. I am tending to sway this way now and have drawn one up in sketchup. There is now a false wall allowing a 144" screen...could be smaller. Also, the rear now houses a 4'x9' equipment room with the equipment in a cabinet. The other side of the space is used as a 4'x7' lobby for ingress and egress through a pocket door. Here it is.... any ideas?









post #14 of 95
Thread Starter 
Well, the builders have been busy building my stuff. The room will be 23' long and the width will go from 15'8" to 14'* rear to front. The ceiling will be 10' with a 9' furdown. the rear seating deck goes form the exterior wall through the equipment room/entry to the front of the rear seating area. It is 1' tall and filled with sand and green glued together. The equipment room in the back of the theater will be 4'x7' and vented. all the new runs of anything will be homerun into that room. the other side of the back will be an entry with a pocket door into the theater. The walls and the ceiling will be double layer sheet rocked with perpendicular layers green glued.

I am probably getting an Epson Powerlite Pro 9500 UB and a 110" Carada screen.


here's some pics.



Getting there.

here some pictures.



























post #15 of 95
Thread Starter 
Well, I changed my mind on the riser. Instead of filling with sand, I'm using auralex uboats to isolate the riser from the floor and spacing it an inch from the walls. I'm placing plastic barrier in the bottom and then filling it with r30 acoustic batting. I am gonna cut some holes in the top of the riser and use it as a bass trap. I have read where this has been done before and was attempting to use dome of my contruction loan to head off the additional cost of bass trap risers in the corners.


new stuff....Mid Atlantic rack. Sorry for the phone pics. And, like I said...this thing is tall. had 1/4" between it and top of door jamb.

The guys did the u-boats on the riser and I had the builder tell them to do a little modification. They had put the u boats under like they were supposed to, but misunderstood when I said narrow the riser and have it not touch the walls. They narrowed it and then used uboats to connect it to the wall and nailed (even thought there was a 1/2" gap) it to the studs without uboats. They are now removing the side and rear wall uboats and the nails and anchoring the riser to the ground using L anchors with uboats.

Today, they should be doing the furring to bring the wall into narrow the room 1' from rear to front. cutting hole for window in kitchen addition. fixing the riser and building the wall between the equipment room and the theater. They took out the original one to redo the riser with the uboats the first time.

builder got the insulation for the riser yesterday. and is ordering the green glue and silenseal for the room today.

I am having to have my electrical service increased for the addition and several separate dedicated 20 amp services ran to the equipment room.

rack assembled


perforated front panels and lacing bars.


Brush Grommet


3" Drawer


Shelves and custom front fascias
post #16 of 95
I'm sure you've considered this, but will you have speakers / subs resting on this stage? That's the reason for the sand. Risers that are farther away from the mains are generally filled with fiberglass.

Did you have a hole drill size / pattern for the bass trap?
post #17 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

I'm sure you've considered this, but will you have speakers / subs resting on this stage? That's the reason for the sand. Risers that are farther away from the mains are generally filled with fiberglass.

Did you have a hole drill size / pattern for the bass trap?

The riser is in the rear for seating. I haven't broached the subject of a stage yet with builder, but it will b filled with sand. I have not figured out dimension or number or placement of holes to be drilled and or cut in riser. I will need to have some audio tests done when I have everything hooked up and running. I'm just building the riser with future designs in mind.
post #18 of 95
My apologies... You wrote "riser" amd I read "stage"
post #19 of 95
Thread Starter 
Here's some updated pics. The riser was extended 1'. The furrdowns studded. The furred right wall studded. The wing walls studded. Low voltage and regular wiring ran. Sheetrock to go next week. The a/c guys coming Monday.

Sorry for the phone pics by area light.
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post #20 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawdog2k View Post

Here's some updated pics. The riser was extended 1'. The furrdowns studded. The furred right wall studded. The wing walls studded. Low voltage and regular wiring ran. Sheetrock to go next week. The a/c guys coming Monday.

Sorry for the phone pics by area light.

Can't wait to see it when it's done (my "theater" is tiny, so i have to live vicariously through anonymous people online! )
post #21 of 95
Thread Starter 
Been a long time coming. I can't wait for it to be done either. Been vicariously living through others threads on here for a good while.
post #22 of 95
Thread Starter 
Got some new stuff today. One was damaged, but a new one is already o it's way.

Berkline 13175. Two rows of four in chocolate brown. Power recline. Another month I'll be using em.

Here's a progress pic... They're redoing the stage. It's not solid in the front and no where near completely filled with sand.
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post #23 of 95
I didn't see it in the thread, but are you doing anything for sound isolation?
post #24 of 95
Thread Starter 
Yes. The room only has one interior wall connecting to the house. This wall is furred out in a narrowing fashion to make the front of the room 1' narrower than the rear. This furred wall is not connecting to the wall next to it-the wall for the next adjacent room( two 4x8 closets).

The rear of the room is adjoining a closed door 4'x8' entry way- kind of a large communicating door scenario. The door to the theater room itself is going to be a solid door.

The riser is built on 16" centers and is filled with acoustic insulation. The riser is built using auralex uboats and does not contact the walls. The top of the riser is 1" tongue an groove plywood screwed and glued.

The stage is going to be completely filled with sand.

The walls and ceiling will be double 5/8" Sheetrock green glued together. There are no recessed lights going in the room- fluorescents and rope in the center ceiling, sconces, and two 4' track lights.

The a/c is ran through double lined flex duct in some very convoluted, but freely flowing directions.

This is about all I was thinking about doing.

Doesn't sound like a lot compared to what others had done, but I feel it will be good for my layout. The theater room is on the end of a long add on. The closets adjoining the room are in a 20' perpendicularly orientated office to the theater. Then there is a toy 14'x18 toyroom. There is alot of house between the theater and the living quarters.
post #25 of 95
Thread Starter 
So, I have come to the conclusion pocket doors aren't for theater rooms. So, should I run with a solid exterior door or something else. I don't think I really need to spend the money on a "soundproof" door. Ideas?
post #26 of 95
Pocket doors and isolated rooms are mutually exclusive. You want a very heavy door, such as a 1 3/4" solid core slab and then seal it. The sealing (especially on the door bottom) is best done with a specialized acoustic seal.
post #27 of 95
Thread Starter 
Yeah. Figured that out when I saw the door- and several websites. The gist is the best way to seal a pocket door is to change the door.

So, any pointers to places to buy acoustic seals for my door. I am looking to do an automatic drop seal and a short threshold for it to seal against. The threshold can be placed before carpeting or after. I will need one or the other. Links appreciated.
post #28 of 95
Thread Starter 
So, I have them removing the pocket door and putting in a solid slab 1 3/4" door with full threshold. I just ordered this kit....should do all right.... http://www.asistorefront.com/p-222-s...eavy-duty.aspx

Here is the low down on the kits parts... says a STC of 43 when used with a threshold.

http://www.acousticalsurfaces.com/do..._doorseals.htm
post #29 of 95
Thread Starter 
New update.... with pics. I went and purchased a JVC RS25 and a Studiotek 130G3 in 120" 16:9. So, the builder said they are supposed to be doing sheet rock and paint this week (all paint sherwin williams). The front of the room behind wing wall and the soffit will be painted flat Tri Corn black. The room will have a chair rail (stained to match the rest of house) going around and above it the walls will be painted Matte (mixed in Duration) Stolen Kiss Red, below will be Coconut Husk-also matte mixed in Duration. The front of the wing walls will be solid Stolen Kiss. The inset ceiling will be painted flat blue plate and a friend of mine will be painting a Day Scene akin to the venetian waterway in Vegas... like this



And then in a couple of weeks, I'm getting Jeff from Night Sky Murals to come down from Utah to paint the night sky on it like this....




Front of room... stage filled with sand, need to remove boards from wing walls, need to move smurf tube to center for potential future flat screen,








Left side


Right Side-separate furred wall on 24" centers for isolation and absorption per green glue website-runs at angle to narrow front compared to rear of room.








Back of theater-stage filled with insulation, built on Auralex u-boats, not touching walls. Equipment rack in the right. Taking out pocket door and putting in solid slab door and above posted sound isolation seals.





post #30 of 95
Thread Starter 
One more pic from today. The insulation guy installed some vinyl sound barrier today on the wall bordering the rest of the living spaces. It has an STC rating of 27.

Here's a link to what he installed. http://www.acousticalsolutions.com/audioseal-sound-barrier
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