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New House: Media Room Conversion to Dedicated (Small) Theater

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
EDIT: purchased the AVS "Pro Theater Layout"

Equipment (updated, currently planned):
Room: 14' x 14.5', located on the second floor; floor and all walls insulated using cellulose sprayed insulation; riser is 5'6" deep and 10" high.
Speakers: Triad InWall Silver LCR; InWall Bronze/4 Surround; downgraded to Bronze Surround per Shawn's recommendation.
Sub: Triad CinemaPlus Silver (front) + InWall Bronze/6 DSP (first right column)
Screen: 2.39:1 100" wide (Enlightor 4K AT screen)
Projector: JVC 55U recommended by Shawn from the Erskine Group.
Receiver: Denon AVR-4311CI
Amp: The LCRs will be powered by an Emotiva XPA-3 while the surrounds will be left to the receiver (optional).
Rack: Middle Atlantic AXS-20 32U
Power: (1) 15A dedicated circuit for rack + (1) 15A circuit for the rest of the outlets.
Lighting: Lutron Grafik Eye QS 3-zone for wall sconces, cans and rope light.
Control: GLOBAL CACHE GC-100-18R, iRule app
Seating: (2) rows of (3) chairs, Fortress Californian
Acoustic Treatments: Quest panels as specified by AVS "Pro Theater Layout"

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:

Hello,

We are building a new house that comes with a Media Room. We are planning to convert this into a dedicated (small) theater. The room is 14' x 14.5' with sloped ceiling to 9'. I am attaching a drawing and looking forward to your critique.

The first seating row will be at approximately 8' viewing distance and the second row will be against the back wall. Due to the small room and seating arrangement I believe we need to go with dipole speakers for side and rear surrounds. Currently looking at Triad Silver LCR and surrounds. For subwoofer I am planning a 500W A5-350 Elemental Design that already own.

Given the short viewing distance for the front row I decided against an AT screen thus having to place the center speaker horizontally below the screen.

The raiser is 10" tall and 5.5' deep, a compromise again due to the small room dimensions.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


--Sebis
LL
post #2 of 43
That seems like an extremely short viewing distance from the front row.

Have you installed a projector and set up chairs to experience what it will actually feel and look like from that distance?
post #3 of 43
Your riser is a little shallow if you plan on using recliners for your 2nd row. Based on your room depth, I would suggest non-recliners for the 2nd row and pushing the front of the riser a little further away from the screen, allowing you to slide your 1st row back a bit.
post #4 of 43
i have a 10x15 room myself
i have a sorta weird 1.5 row setup, a couch in back and 2 caddy corner recliners next to them pointing toward the screen.
i also have a 120" screen and i could not see myself being 8' from the screen that large... i actually tested that last night haha.. i guess if you go to a smaller screen it might be good, but honestly... i would buy a projector and cast it onto the wall and see how it all looks being that close.
post #5 of 43
I would get the Triad silver in-wall LCR and place an AT screen over the center channel. That way you can lower the screen a bit and raise the center for better sound in the back row. I would buy your projector and shine it on the wall and after getting a good feeling about what screen size you like then invest in a screen. It isn't a race, take your time, you don't have to buy both at the same time.
post #6 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I would get the Triad silver in-wall LCR and place an AT screen over the center channel. That way you can lower the screen a bit and raise the center for better sound in the back row. I would buy your projector and shine it on the wall and after getting a good feeling about what screen size you like then invest in a screen. It isn't a race, take your time, you don't have to buy both at the same time.

Ditto! Extremely important to test the image and watch from proposed seating distance before building.
post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions, all great advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haqattaq View Post

That seems like an extremely short viewing distance from the front row.

Have you installed a projector and set up chairs to experience what it will actually feel and look like from that distance?

I did in the model home, I am attaching a picture. Their screen was smaller but it was 16:9 and I am planning for 2.39:1 with mainly Blu-ray playback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

Your riser is a little shallow if you plan on using recliners for your 2nd row. Based on your room depth, I would suggest non-recliners for the 2nd row and pushing the front of the riser a little further away from the screen, allowing you to slide your 1st row back a bit.

Unfortunately the builder wanted twice as much to make the riser above 10" in height. Indeed, I am planning for non-recliners on the second row, making the riser shorter is not an option, again due to builder issues. If this was a custom home or Build on Your Lot I would have made the room at least 3 feet longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riveninside View Post

i have a 10x15 room myself
i have a sorta weird 1.5 row setup, a couch in back and 2 caddy corner recliners next to them pointing toward the screen.
i also have a 120" screen and i could not see myself being 8' from the screen that large... i actually tested that last night haha.. i guess if you go to a smaller screen it might be good, but honestly... i would buy a projector and cast it onto the wall and see how it all looks being that close.

The plan is to build the screen after I get the projector and test it in the room, I may make it smaller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I would get the Triad silver in-wall LCR and place an AT screen over the center channel. That way you can lower the screen a bit and raise the center for better sound in the back row. I would buy your projector and shine it on the wall and after getting a good feeling about what screen size you like then invest in a screen. It isn't a race, take your time, you don't have to buy both at the same time.

Thanks again, this was my original plan but now I am thinking that an AT screen will look bad from 8' viewing distance. I checked on Seymour AV website and they are not recommending an AT screen at this distance: http://www.seymourav.com/screens.asp. I will certainly take my time with this build, however, I have to meet with the builder in few days and need to decide on the exact location for speaker drops, sconces and outlets. Otherwise they will charge us $500 to change our mind on anything
LL
LL
post #8 of 43
hope this helps somewhat
this is 120" at 15' feet back (pictures are REALLY horrible ones from my phone, it's fully hi def, camera makes them look like crap)

door to give it some prospective


Standard def DVD

if i sat any closer then 12 feet or so, my eyes would have to wonder around to watch the movie = no good
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebis View Post

I did in the model home, I am attaching a picture. Their screen was smaller but it was 16:9 and I am planning for 2.39:1 with mainly Blu-ray playback.

That screen looks a lot smaller... I've got 108" in 16:9 (136" in 2.35) with front row a 10'. I wouldn't want to go any closer.

Quote:


I will certainly take my time with this build, however, I have to meet with the builder in few days and need to decide on the exact location for speaker drops, sconces and outlets. Otherwise they will charge us $500 to change our mind on anything

Yep, builders only work in $100 bills...

Wire the front speaker down at "outlet height" spaced fairly close so that all three outlet plates would be inside your screen width. That way, you can choose to go with in-walls as BIG suggests later, by cutting out speaker openings and grabbing the wire as it passes by from the ceiling.

Most importantly for new construction: (1) get to know your project manager, they control everything once construction starts. Things that are "impossible" in the sales office can turn into "no big deal" with him/her. (2) get into the house the day before they put the drywall up with a digital camera and a lot of memory. Take pictures of every square inch - walls and ceilings - to document everything in the walls: wiring, ductwork, plumbing. They are invaluable. I took 500 images, and still missed some areas.

Jeff
post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

That screen looks a lot smaller... I've got 108" in 16:9 (136" in 2.35) with front row a 10'. I wouldn't want to go any closer.

..

Most importantly for new construction: (1) get to know your project manager, they control everything once construction starts. Things that are "impossible" in the sales office can turn into "no big deal" with him/her. (2) get into the house the day before they put the drywall up with a digital camera and a lot of memory. Take pictures of every square inch - walls and ceilings - to document everything in the walls: wiring, ductwork, plumbing. They are invaluable. I took 500 images, and still missed some areas.

Jeff

Thanks Jeff, I plan to be-friend the project manager , I already invited him to our cabin.

Regarding the speakers, I decided to go with an AT screen, spoke with Seymour and their 4K screens are no problem at 8'.

I may need to go smaller than 100" wide but since my screen will be 2.39:1 thus I can sit closer than on a 16:9 screen. THX guidelines recommend 2.4 x IH, for a 100"x42" screen this translates into 100", little more than 8'. To quote Gary Lightfoot on this forum:

Quote:


Sitting anywhere between 2 to 4 times the Image Height puts you within the usual range of a commercial theatre, and with 1080 displays, we're pretty much there with regards to resolution and image quality.

Am I reading this wrong?

--Sebis
post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebis View Post

I may need to go smaller than 100" wide but since my screen will be 2.39:1 thus I can sit closer than on a 16:9 screen. THX guidelines recommend 2.4 x IH, for a 100"x42" screen this translates into 100", little more than 8'.

Yep, most of the recommendations are based on 16:9 (more likely 1.85:1), so figure that size, then use the screen height to figure a CIH 2.35:1 screen.

As you'll read later in my thread, I chose a screen size, then waited until the room was done. Got the projector, set it up temporarily, and used some photographer backdrop paper to gauge screen size. If you're in this area of Texas, you're welcome to a chunk off that roll. It produced a very good image (not exactly a sturdy material!) and with a 54" wide roll, I could even simulate the 108" 16:9 / 136" 2.35 screen without seams...

Jeff
post #12 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

...If you're in this area of Texas, you're welcome to a chunk off that roll. It produced a very good image (not exactly a sturdy material!) and with a 54" wide roll, I could even simulate the 108" 16:9 / 136" 2.35 screen without seams...

Jeff

Thanks Jeff, I may take you up on your offer, I live in the same town small world.

I decided to go with the AVS Pro Theater Layout at this point, I decided that I know enough about this process to realize that I need professional help

Sebis
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebis View Post

Thanks Jeff, I may take you up on your offer, I live in the same town small world.

Big town.

Quote:


I decided to go with the AVS Pro Theater Layout at this point, I decided that I know enough about this process to realize that I need professional help

Yes, but that's the kind of professional help that keeps you sane, instead of fixing it after the fact...

I don't think you'll regret that investment. As I've said a number of times, if it had been available when I started, definitely would have used it. It was the "basic" services at 2-3x the cost I couldn't justify to myself.

Jeff
post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 
The house construction is on the way :
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

I had my first call with Shawn from the Erskine Group and he made few recommendations that will most likely impact the equipment I initially selected, especially the projector. The recommendation is to downgrade to Triad Bronze for surrounds and put the savings towards a better projector like Runco LS-HB. This projector is more than twice as much as the Epson I was considering and the difference in cost for the speakers will not cover it. However, I started reading on the projectors and I am now inclined into spending more on the projector, maybe I can find a demo model with low hours.
post #15 of 43
sebis

Who is your builder? That room layout looks almost identical to mine which is a Ryland (model is the Graham). Your picture of the slab looks just like mine too.

We just moved in mid-December. Trying to figure out what to do with my room as well. I have it pre-wired for 7.1 (ceiling), with a 6' riser, and pre-wired for a projector.

Would be very cool if you've got the same house/room so we could compare notes.
post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by st1tch View Post

Would be very cool if you've got the same house/room so we could compare notes.

Ryland is our builder, the floor plan is Rhapsody.

Re your speaker location, in ceiling is not ideal, did they leave enough slack to get them lower? You should look at the Triad InWall speakers, I think they are perfect for small rooms where there are space constrains. If you have to keep them in ceiling your best bet are the InCeiling Bronze/8 LCR for fronts and InCeiling Bronze/8 Satellite for surrounds, again not ideal. Unless your drops are on a ceiling slope, in that case I am not sure anymore. You should hang around on Triad owners thread, lots of great info there. Good luck with your plans!

Question: what type of wire they used for your subwoofer drop?

--Sebis
post #17 of 43
Thread Starter 
Some progress



Stairs to the media room and my better half that is making this possible:

post #18 of 43
Thread Starter 
Here is what paying the professionals gets you:

BEFORE...




...and AFTER :



Looking forward to getting this project started. I do need ideas for placing the two wall sconces and two can lights we already provisioned with the builder, where should they go?
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebis View Post

I do need ideas for placing the two wall sconces and two can lights we already provisioned with the builder, where should they go?

If you're not going to add more can lights, I'd put the two over the rear row. And the sconces between your two columns - you want those away from the screen.

If you ever want to read or do anything else in that room, you'll need more lights (preferably downlights) over the seating area. And everything in that room should be on dimmers - the more the better.

Jeff
post #20 of 43
Hi I need some advise before I proceed. I have a former bedroom which I'm converting to a dedicated Theater Room. It's a smallish rectangle shaped room roughly 12'x15'. I will be setting up a 73" DLP Mits TV as my screen with a pair of L-R fronts, Polk RT8's, Ctr. is a matching Polk CS-5 and rears are B&W DM600. I also have 2 subs a Hsu 8" downfiring and a NHT 10" front firing. I will purchase a 4 seat theater recliner and probably put my 500 Bluray, HD-DVD & DVD collection in the room.

The room has one single standard double hung window in the center of the long wall and (2) windows on the short wall. Opposite the short double window wall is a soild wall and an open closet, I removed the doors as I want to place my electronics in there, cover it with a curtain so as not to have distracting lights at the screen location. I built a 65" stand 18" high for the Mits screen and a spot in the center just below the TV for my center channel Polk. The rest of the equipment includes an Onkyo 805 receiver, Oppo BDP 83 & Panny 310 bluray players, a Toshiba A30 HD-DVD player, a JVC 1080i VHS player/recorder, Sony Laser dics player and a HD, set top box via comcast. My modem and wi-fi is also in this room. Should I use the long wall, in front of the single window, of course with drapes/curtains or the short wall in front of the double curtained windows firing down to the long end? Any other tips will be appreciated, i.e., cabling issues, HDMI lenght runs, etc. thanks.
post #21 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

If you're not going to add more can lights, I'd put the two over the rear row. And the sconces between your two columns - you want those away from the screen.

If you ever want to read or do anything else in that room, you'll need more lights (preferably downlights) over the seating area. And everything in that room should be on dimmers - the more the better.

Jeff

Thank you Jeff, great advice as always . I may add two more cans over the front row as well. I am also planning to run rope-lights in the soffit and maybe 3 low voltage lights right in front of the screen underside of soffit.

I am a little torn with the sconces location, the specs for the acoustic panels placement takes the top to 5'6", this leaves only 1'6" to the soffit. The light will certainly fit but I am not sure if I will be satisfied with the results.

I am attaching the right elevation for reference.



I want to give my thanks to the Erskine Group in general and Shawn in particular along with AVS for making the "Pro Theater Layout" possible. This is the best $600 I spent on this new house (along with a custom window change with Ryland in the family room ). I highly recommended it to others, I learned a lot during this process and Shawn was very understanding, patient and accommodating. He even redid the plans to allow for pushing the screen further back and recommended a better subwoofer for my situation.
post #22 of 43
Lookin good - should be a very tidy room when done.

Is it just the 1 sub?
post #23 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elill View Post

Lookin good - should be a very tidy room when done.

Is it just the 1 sub?

Thanks, there will be two subs: the main sub a Triad CinemaPlus Silver on the front wall behind the screen wall supplemented by a Triad Slim Sub/4 in the first right column as depicted in the right elevation above.

http://www.triadspeakers.com/cinemaplus.html

http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/iwss4.html
post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 
Media room is taking shape, they already build the raiser:



Game room next door, the closet on the left will house the rack:

post #25 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebis View Post

Thanks, there will be two subs: the main sub a Triad CinemaPlus Silver on the front wall behind the screen wall supplemented by a Triad Slim Sub/4 in the first right column as depicted in the right elevation above.

http://www.triadspeakers.com/cinemaplus.html

http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/iwss4.html

Slight change in plans, Paul Scarpelli (Triad Dude) suggested to go with InWall Bronze/6 DSP Sub (much more potent than the Slim Sub/4 for only $100 and extra 2 inches in depth).
post #26 of 43
Thread Starter 
View to the back with riser, the holes in the riser are for filling it up with spray insulation:


Entrance to the room:


Front wall:


Right wall:


This is the custom window, $750 upgrade:

Before ... (in the model home):


...and after :
post #27 of 43
Thread Starter 
The electrical and low voltage wiring is completed, they did get some things wrong, hope to get them fixed before drywall.

Home run for wires and conduit, I am going to ask to spread it a bit vertically, seems too cramped.


Another view of the closet in the adjacent Game room.


Back wall with conduit for projector HDMI.


Conduit run in the future sofit, I asked for extra outlets in sofit, the two on the right are switched going to a 3 gang box for future Grafik Eye.


They got the location of the sconces wrong along with many other things, like installing surveillance camera drops within reach and completely ignoring my written instructions in some cases. So far a mixed bag, I hope for better results once I meet again with the superintendent ...
post #28 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

Unfortunate that you need to squeeze 6 seats into that space. The front row at 51 degrees will be a bit close for many and the back row at 36 degrees is pretty far back for enthusiasts. I personally would go 4 seats across in a single row, but then again I can count on one hand the times I had 6 people in my theater. I do look forward to watching your build; the floor space is almost identical to mine...just without my cash constraints apparently.

The front row will be at about 2.5 the screen height, entirely within THX specs, the back row is for guests
post #29 of 43
I couldn't stand the BS the contractors did on our first house. that's why I built our current one.

Looking at using a similar speaker setup with Triad inWall silvers and Bronze surrounds. Probably similar amp and receiver as well.
post #30 of 43
Thread Starter 
I need some feedback on the speaker placement on the patio, not directly related to the project at hand but I'll ask here anyway. The builder installed the speaker drops at 7ft height, I think is a little too low given that the ceiling height is at ~11 ft. I asked them to install "close to soffit"...

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