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Madhouse Theater project - Page 8

post #211 of 232
Wont get any cheaper than 2x4 cleat thats for sure.
post #212 of 232
Thread Starter 
I started another thread over in the DIY screen section for my screen build, but want to add this here as well. Find that thread for a bit more of my thoughts on the screen material/build. Otherwise, here is the screen. White moleskin under silver Milliskin. Just the white, untrimmed:


The silver waiting on the floor.


And finished. Still needs some trimming/staples in the corners. And needs me to stop being lazy with my camera. The iPhone is so easy. That and my 5D2 is sitting in the car waiting to go into the hospital.


Mission accomplished. The fine people at UPS tell me my AE8000 is in TN tonight and will be here when I get home tomorrow night. With the screen in place, tomorrow is focused on getting the projector hung and some basic alignment/setup completed. Wish me luck, since I've never done this before!!! I ordered a basic Chief mount, the RPAU. Hopefully it has everything I need. And hopefully I hit that sheet of plywood I had put in the ceiling. Big day tomorrow!!!
post #213 of 232
Thread Starter 
I got the projector mounted and setup. I was up till midnight watching clips from my favorite movies and tweaking zoom settings for 16:9 and 2.35. I also screwed the pooch when I hung it. The lens on the AE8000 is offset 4" on the projector. I, of course, went the wrong way when quickly marking where to put it. Grrr. It was already 9:30 and I decided to just go with it. Now I'm struggling because I would like to have the lens centered in the room, but where the projector is now is centered between 2 second row chairs. If I move it over 8" it's going to be directly over one of my second row chairs, right where someone will stand and crank their head on the projector. The other option is to move the projector back about a foot and over 8" so it's above their head. Then I'm concerned I won't catch the sheet of plywood that is up there. I think I'll leave it where it is for now.

My first few thoughts are that I need a subwoofer. But my soundproofing accomplished what I wanted on night 1. I was watching action sequences at a comfortable viewing volume and the wife called me at midnight asking where I was. smile.gif She hadn't heard a thing. The story may change with a subwoofer at a more engaging volume.

My biggest lesson learned is I wish I had put my front 2 lights on their own switch. They completely wash out the screen so it's either all or none with the lights. Even dimmed they wash the picture out. Though the picture lights up the room enough to walk around. Very happy with my spandex screen and the line at the bottom doesn't show up at all. I bought some dowels to try to clean up that line but haven't bothered to try it yet. The Chief RPAU mount worked great. Looks like a jigsaw puzzle when you take it out of the box, but didn't take long to figure it out.

So I am very excited to have the weekend (hopefully) to tweak and enjoy it with the family. May have to come to work for a few hours Friday and Saturday, but haven't gotten official word yet (typical.) Thanks also for the wealth of knowledge around this forum. Without it my room would not be close to what it is. As it stands, it's not close to what others have created here. But it exceeds my initial vision from 10 years ago and blows away most people who have never seen a dedicated theater room. And I'm only 70% finished! A LOT of finishing work to do over the next year. And I don't care if work stops with the projector hung. I'm good with that. I'll get bored and then I can start working on it again.

I'll get some better pictures up this weekend (hopefully.)
post #214 of 232
Very clean build, looks great. What is the spacing beetween the back of the front row seat and the front of the back row seat? I have not had time to read thru the whole thread so I appologize if I am repeating somthing.
post #215 of 232
Subscribed.... GREAT SPACE!

Love to hear your review of the projector.
post #216 of 232
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by allybuck64 View Post

Very clean build, looks great. What is the spacing beetween the back of the front row seat and the front of the back row seat? I have not had time to read thru the whole thread so I appologize if I am repeating somthing.

Thanks for the compliments! It's not done, but my long term plan is to cover the walls in fabric and hide in-wall surrounds. I am after clean, with nothing but the screen visible in the room. I'm glad that is coming across already. I will have the throw the tape measure to them tonight. I think they are between 6-8 feet if you measure from the back of one row to the back of the other row. I can fully recline both rows and my 3 year old might be able to walk between them. smile.gif My 3 year old, by the way, who has nicknamed the riser "the boat." "Come on the boat with us, daddy."
Originally Posted by Johnny14o View Post

Subscribed.... GREAT SPACE!
Love to hear your review of the projector.

Thanks! You looking for something specific on the projector? This is my first projector, so I can only give my impressions and nothing in the way of comparison or anything with much experience behind it.
post #217 of 232
No specific information. Just an overall impression. The Panasonic is supposed to make you want to "pawn you family" to get one wink.gif. In combination with the DIY spandex DIY screen, should be KILLER!

Bummer on the position of the projector on the ceiling. I ran into a bit my first go around. Luckily my (CHEAPO) projector mount had adjustable arms, so no major issue. Of course in the process of my current rebuild, the false wall added 'X' depth and the projector had to physically be moved back. My projector is just over the second row just over the head of a person SEATING. When standing it is a non issue. If you have to move yours, don't sweat it too much if it falls somewhere like this.

Again, awesome space.... I'm totally jealous.

I am disappointed that there is not a kitty door going into the Theater....poor kitties!biggrin.gif
I'm just joking! I am curious if the "DEWALT cat" is an 18v or 24v?

post #218 of 232
Thread Starter 
My mount has arms also, but I don't think I could move it over that far. I don't think I want to... I'm 56" off my back wall right now. I'm pretty sure I have plywood from 48 since they would have put 1 sheet of drywall before the 1 sheet of ply. So I think I'll go back 6 and over 8. Hopefully it doesn't become obtrusive for my second row guest in the first seat. Obviously that's the center seat. I wish my riser was higher after sitting in a chair there last night. I may put those chairs on a small riser on the riser as someone previously suggested.

A few more thoughts on the projector. While I was fiddling with settings, it seemed to hit the processor or something harder and the fan would crank up frequently. When I stopped playing and just watched for a few minutes it becomes inaudible. I was starting to get concerned with the brightness and pop of colors, but then I thought about what I was watching. Behind Enemy Lines, Shawshank and Star Trek primarily. Rather dark movies overall. So I put on Cars and the brightness was there. I still wish it popped a bit more. But I was in Cinema1 with the lamp on Eco. I just need to play with the settings and modes a bit more.

I also have to put in a good word for Apple TV. It is so nice to just sit in my chair and have my whole movie library at the push of a button. And since I got the ATV3 recently, I've switched from 720p to 1080p for my encodes. They look really good. You are still limited on sound to basic DTS or DD without the lossless HD tracks, so I'll go to the disc for an audience. But if I'm just putzing around and don't know what to watch, the ATV is hard to beat!

The more I've read this morning and thought about it, I think I'm scrapping the in wall front channels and I'll stick with my JBL Studio series. I'll leave the S38's for my mains and S Center, move my S26's high in the front and get maybe the small Axiom in walls for surrounds and go to a full 9 channel setup. I see some more construction on the screen wall in my future!

As for the cats, they are the reason for some of my construction on the screen wall. They have knocked over those speaker stands plenty of times before. I don't need them knocking my speakers into my screen! They are fascinated by the projector and like to go behind the screen for a rear projection look... One of them knocked over my center channel last night. I need to go a bit more robust.

My DeWalt cat is 18V. wink.gif
post #219 of 232
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Johnny14o View Post

Again, awesome space.... I'm totally jealous.

I just went through your thread again. I don't know why your are jealous of mine. Yours looks awesome too! Make yourself a DIY screen if you want a bigger picture. I've got maybe $200 into my screen.
post #220 of 232
Thanks! I am considering a larger, acoustically transparent screen. The spandex system has my attention. I just need to get through the end of the current project ( and let the credit card cool off) before starting up with another project.

I am VERY curious how the spandex works out. I have read the forums and I am amazed on the results. Maybe it is because I would have never considered spandex (keep having David Lee Roth music videos flashing through my head) for a screen. But HEY, I can't argue with success!

I think the max for screen would be 115" @16:9, without being all up on the wall. When I set the projector in its current location, I made sure to set it back enough to accommodate a larger screen.

Good call on keeping the S38's. An LC2 for the center would be a nice voice match and the 4-way has a great range. I currently have 2 of them.. Still undecided if I am/can utilize them BOTH. May have a speaker sale in the future...
post #221 of 232
Thread Starter 
Well I was up till midnight again last night. Showed it to my wife and father-in-law. My wife said it is far cooler than she ever imagined this whole time. My father-in-law said he's seen rooms before and none have made him want to build his own. Mine makes him want to build his own. We watched Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and then Act of Valor. They were both through the Apple TV and though I love the convenience, some of the lags were bothering me. There are a few things that I am unsure if they are from the Apple TV or the projector. Just motion type effects. I hate all the new TV's that do the motion smoothing, and the projector has that feel at times. I always turn that off. I prefer the 24 fps cinema feel. That aside, I love the screen and the room. It is just awesome all around. I looked at my FIL at one point and laughed and said "I can't believe this is my basement!" Today my parents are coming to see it for the first time, as well as my sister and brother-in-law. If you read the rest of the thread, you have some idea how much help my dad has been in this project, so I'm excited for him to experience the end product. Honestly without him I wouldn't have attempted finishing the basement on my own.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
post #222 of 232
Thread Starter 
I just used the screen door method. It worked well. I found that the more I stretched it, the better it went into the slot. Especially with the lighter milliskin material.

I am using the Panasonic in Cinema 1 mostly. I have tried "normal" but I hate the motion smoothing. Movies are supposed to be 24 fps!

Another note on the soundproofing. While I had Cars 2 playing for the kids this morning I walked upstairs. You can hear it in the rest of the basement fairly clearly. I have double doors and haven't finished trimming them so there is a 1" gap on one side of the door. Once I went upstairs though, I couldn't hear it at all. Once you get to the upstairs I'm fairly certain you will need to be at full volume on a loud movie to hear anything close to disturbing. Very happy with my soundproofing!
post #223 of 232
Congratz on the successful soundproofing!

If you were like me, 1st time soundproofing is like jumping into the deep in of a swimming pool without checking to see if the water is cold! You have to take the project to the end before you can even test the fruits of your labor. Scary part is, if it is not quite right there is not much you can do about it. eek.gif

Sealing up around the door will help quite a bit. Curious what you used to fill the gap between your door frame and the rough opening.

Interesting comments on the projector modes. I too have seen projectors try to "smooth" images and it no longer feels natural. What is your feeling on the screen?
post #224 of 232
Thread Starter 
Woah. Just popped in to share my weekend thoughts and saw your message. I was thinking funny, I didn't see that before. Then I see you posted it 3 minutes ago!

Yes, I was a little nervous all along with the soundproofing. Lots of time and money spent and never sure if it was going to do a thing for me. So far so good. Almost every night we were watching movies down there until midnight or so and my wife and kids never indicated hearing a thing. That was my goal all along. I still haven't sealed around the door and I'm not sure what I'm going to use yet. My rough opening was about an inch too big. We installed with the right side against the framing and then put a 1x on the other side to get close. There is still a bit of a gap top and bottom. I need to use something to fill before I put the casing on there. I'll find something I can cut to size and then probably put acoustical caulk all around it on both sides. That should seal it up pretty well.

I got a few suggestions elsewhere about projector modes to get true 24p, but none worked. I have settled on Cinema2 picture mode and it doesn't seem too bad. I'm seeing a strange color cast in dark areas on scene changes which even out in under a second. I may try normal mode again, though I think that one had more smoothing. Maybe it's all in my head.

Watched movies down there almost every night for the last week. I installed the projector 6 days ago. I didn't turn the projector on at all Saturday. After a movie last night the bulb has 18 hours on it already. Averaging 3.6 hours per day so far. I'd like to keep that up, but I'm sure I won't be able to. I am thoroughly enjoying my theater!

The wife is still pregnant. Her due date is this Thursday, so it could be any time. Once the baby comes, I will be off for a week and may get to squeeze in a couple more movies. It's going to be hard to get down there too much during the week. It's usually 9-9:30 by the time I get the kids in bed and I get up at 6.
post #225 of 232
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

Could be the auto-iris adjusting to different light levels when the scene changes. Try turning it off and see if the problem goes away.

Excellent point! I bet you are right. I'll give that a shot.

I have a question about selecting a sub. It's the last thing I need for a complete sound system in the room, though i will be switching my surrounds for some enclosed in wall units (probably Axiom or Definitive at this point.) I have never owned a home subwoofer aside from the one that came with my Sony soundbar in our bedroom. Obviously I'm not looking to get crazy with this, just looking for something to pick up the low end where my JBL S38's 8" woofer leaves off. I'm not opposed to doing 2 subs, though I got lazy and didn't run the second RCA through my conduit. Hopefully I can still fish it through there should I decide I want it. I have looked at Polk, JBL, Emotiva. I just get lost in specs. Prices are all over the place from $80 for an entry level Polk today to $600+. I don't imagine it matters if I match it to my JBL's. Any tips appreciated!
post #226 of 232
Also, do not discount a DIY subwoofer. I know the wife is pregnant, but if you built a stage and a screen, you can build a sub. Parts Express has a decent 15" sub driver on sale for $99 right now. You can build your own enclosure or use one of the many designs available (works well in the F-20) in the DIY Subwoofer forum.

The key to good bass is multiple subs, so I would start with the thinking that you need 4 and work down from there.. rather than saying you just want one to pick up the slack smile.gif

I also would like to give the guys over in the DIY Sub forum a big thumbs up.. they are extremely helpful and take the time to answer your questions.. even though 1000 people before you have asked the same ones. Great group of guys.

post #227 of 232
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the pointers. This is feeling like so many other things I've taken on. It's going to take me a long time because I know there is a lot I don't know and I don't want to do it more than once. I'm not opposed to DIY, but won't I end up spending a healthy chunk on an amp in that case? I also don't have the time in the near term to invest in learning and tackling that. I'm thinking I'm going to be lucky to get the time to watch a couple movies and finish the trim down there. I think David is right that the right price range is about $500-600 for a single sub, with eyes on adding a second down the road. I also agree that the "compact" enclosures and drivers smaller than 12" aren't going to do it. Like they say in cars; there's no replacement for displacement. Seems like subwoofers are the same idea, back to basics and just big box, big speaker, big amp, big sound. smile.gif

If only it were that simple. I'll start digging into it.
post #228 of 232
Yes, you would need an amp. plate amps are on sale for $99 right now. Or you could go with an iNuke for $300 and have enough power to supply a second sub at a later date.

I completely understand the time thing. Just pointing out that guys are outperforming pre-made subs every day. The savings really kicks in when you start going multiple subs (as mentioned above, spend a little more on an amp and you can power more than 1).

If you go sealed you are really just building a box and cutting a hole in it. The box is a certain size of course..

In any event, best wishes to you and your wife! Your free time will certainly become scarce. Surprisingly, you can get a lot done at 2am, since you're up then anyway biggrin.gif However, I never tried to build a sub then.

post #229 of 232
Thread Starter 
Well nothing new to report on progress wise. Not watching that many movies sadly, just busy. We have watched a few and everyone who has seen/experienced the room loves it. I've played around with a few settings on the projector. Starting to wonder what calibration would do and how I would find someone to do it. I did score a pair of 3D glasses on clearance at Best Buy. The 3D is better than I expected, though I haven't experienced in home 3D before.

I did take some pictures with my DSLR but haven't gotten around to processing them. Our third daughter was born 12/8, so I was off all last week. My neck was giving me trouble again though so I just got a cortisone injection (first time trying that) and relaxed all week. So far so good on the injection. Momma is healthy, baby is healthy, and looking forward to lots of movie watching with family in town for Christmas!

I'll try to get those pictures up here if they turned out any good!
post #230 of 232
Planning on upgrading my screen with a spandex one as well. It looks like from your pictures that you can see the frame through the spandex. Is that the case or a trick of the lighting? I'll be doing a white/silver with white on top and figured I'd paint my frame white as well.
post #231 of 232
Thread Starter 
I (and I think most others) painted the frame black. I could definitely see the edge of the bottom of the frame through the screen initially. You aren't seeing the color though, it's the edge of the wood pushing on the screen a touch. I was going to tuck dowels between the bottom of the frame and the spandex to push it away from the frame. Others put an additional piece of molding to keep the screen away from the structure. I did offset my verticals about 1/8" from the screen so it wouldn't poke through. All that said, it is not visible, or at least I haven't noticed it in weeks of watching now. I do remember that despite seeing it with the projector off, I couldn't see it once the projector was on. I have no hesitation to recommend a spandex screen and have no plans of changing mine. I love it.
post #232 of 232
Thanks for the response; I'm doing my research as I expect I'll want to complete my screen with 30 days. As of right now I'm going to add shoe mold to the edge to keep the spandex away from the frame and support members. Either way your space looks good.
Edited by design1stcode2nd - 12/21/12 at 9:35am
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