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Done Deal's Contemporary Living Room Home Theater Build - Page 2

post #31 of 149
Thread Starter 
I did the math on a projector calculator and everything worked out. I want somewhere between 120-150" more than likely and at my throw distance ( roughly 21') it worked out with the Epson 5020ub. How that translates to real world use, I don't know. I like your advice about setting up the projector first and testing it out on paper, which I will probably need since I'm covering this wall in wood which you really can't project on. That way I can play with sizes to see what I think works best in my room. My seating will probably be at about 17-18 feet.
post #32 of 149
Thread Starter 
I've done more research on my space and I have slightly revised my plan, probably for the better. Where my master bedroom closet is on the other side would have put the rack in nearly the middle of the wall. This meant I'd either have to get a really tiny rack and have it at the bottom of the wall or I'd have to completely put the rack inside my closet and just wire it through the wall. Neither were appealing, I didn't want the rack down low like that and I didn't want it in my master closet with no living room access as I'd have to walk to my closet every time I wanted to watch a Bluray.

The plan is now to put the rack in the pillar area on the left in this pic:


This will require me to open it up, frame it out and in the process extend it to the window to get the needed depth, dry wall it, and create a door on the rear side of the pillar for easy access. Ultimately this is probably better since the equipment lights won't be within eye site when watching the projector, and as a bonus it's also a much shorter HDMI run to the projector. The downside is that the speaker wire and subwoofer runs are much longer, and I've also got to get the coax line over there. The ceiling is vaulted and the attic access is not easy but it is possible. Overall I'm happy with the change in plan.

My dad comes to AZ every year and stays at our place for MLB spring training games in March so he'll probably help me out with the beginning phase of the work since I don't have much experience in framing... while I don't think it will be hard it's always good to have someone with experience to make sure I'm not pulling any bonehead moves I'd regret down the road.
post #33 of 149
Thread Starter 
It's Spring training time, which also means home theater build out time. smile.gif I've purchased and received my Middle Atlantic ERK-2720 rack and related shelving, blanks, fans, PDU, Cisco switch, etc. Also purchased an Oppo BDP-103 that I've been very pleased with.

This week I'm working on the rack construction and wiring. I'm going to try to do this project in phases so that I don't have a lot of downtime of not being able to watch movies and my living room isn't torn up forever. This first phase will just consist of getting the rack in place, wired, with projector and screen. After that I will do new curtains... then window plugs and acoustic treatments and styling tweaks.

I still need to purchase the projector (still thinking of going with the Epson 5020ub) and screen once I figure out what size I want.
post #34 of 149
I would and do recommend that before you settle on a screen size you get your PJ and either project on the wall or a sheet and experiment with different screen sizes to see what works best in your space situation. I actually went a few inches smaller than what I thought I would and I am glad I tried out several different sizes before committing to a certain size and being stuck with it. The Epson 5020 is a great choice.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #35 of 149
Thread Starter 
I think you gave that suggestion earlier in my thread and I 100% agree. I don't have any experience with projectors, so just randomly grabbing a number out of thin air doesn't make a whole lot of sense when buying my first screen since I have no idea how that will play into actually viewing it. Right now I'm thinking maybe 135", but maybe 120" is plenty, who knows? I do know that I want it to pull me in and create a big impact in my movie watching, but on that same front it needs to be watchable and bright enough to be viewed well.

What's the consensus on mounting the projector? I know there are adjustments that are possible, but do most people mount them at roughly the top of the screen's edge? I'm trying to figure out mounting solutions.
post #36 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Yep. No kidding... I may have gotten lucky and hit the guy's one-time-we-need-to-raise-some-cashflow moment. biggrin.gif
Hold off on the screen if you're not sure. As long as you've done your projector math so that it will be able to accommodate the two or three potential sizes from its mounting location (which shouldn't be an issue as long as you're not at the PJ's extremes for zoom, etc.), wait until you have the projector. Set it up, even temporarily, and project onto the blank wall (if you haven't painted yet), or onto white photographer's backdrop paper (big roll is $20). Then you can test two or three sizes and see which one works. The image off of the backdrop paper is quite good, so watching a few movies on it won't be a burden, even...

I did that to make sure I had chosen correctly - I was concerned the size I really wanted was going to be too big for the front row. Testing it alleviated those concerns...

Jeff

A 103" SilverStar screen from VuTec is around $1900, Black Diamond from Screen Innovations goes for about $2600 for a 100"

Both of these screen reject ambient light really well and will work great in your room day or night. Honestly, I think the VuTec is the better screen for a lot less money.

For a Projector I would look at the BenQ W7000 for around $1,700 to keep cost down. The Epson on one of those screens is like looking into the sun.
post #37 of 149
Thread Starter 
Both of those are considerably more than I would spend on a screen right now, I really couldn't justify spending more on a screen than the projector itself. Not to say they aren't great screens, I'm sure they are.

My first screen will probably be an Elite EZ Frame, not sure which material yet. That will allow me to get my feet wet, and if I want to replace it in the future no big deal as the up front cost is not that high. On the other hand I expect to have and use this project for 5-10 years, or until 4K becomes mainstream and affordable. Maybe I'll be plenty happy with a cheaper screen and maybe not, but the investment isn't that high for the screen so I wouldn't feel bad if I wanted to replace it a couple years down the road when I have more experience and knowledge with front projection.
post #38 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Done Deal DR View Post

Both of those are considerably more than I would spend on a screen right now, I really couldn't justify spending more on a screen than the projector itself. Not to say they aren't great screens, I'm sure they are.

My first screen will probably be an Elite EZ Frame, not sure which material yet. That will allow me to get my feet wet, and if I want to replace it in the future no big deal as the up front cost is not that high. On the other hand I expect to have and use this project for 5-10 years, or until 4K becomes mainstream and affordable. Maybe I'll be plenty happy with a cheaper screen and maybe not, but the investment isn't that high for the screen so I wouldn't feel bad if I wanted to replace it a couple years down the road when I have more experience and knowledge with front projection.

I understand where your head is at, but please consider a few things. I do this for a living. All day, every day. I'm not telling you that to say "Listen to me", I'm saying it because I feel like you will be wasting money instead of spending it unless you consider a few things. Things that I have tremendous experience in. Please consider these points....

- Normally I would not recommend a $1,900 103" screen. But, your room needs it. Do you see where in your pics you have the lights off, but a big shot of light right where your screen will be? That will KILL your image. The SilverStar screen from VuTec rejects ambient light... particularly from the side. In your room, that is going to help you tremendously! This way, you can use the screen with the lights on and almost any time of day. With a regular screen your picture will be uneven and faded to holy hell and back.

- In your room, if you are going to put up curtains and block that window and watch TV in the dark 100% of the time, then you'll be perfectly well off with a $1,000 or less screen. If you want the ability to watch during the day and night then you will need the VuTec SilverStar or Black Diamond.

Unfortunately, sometimes in A/V it's not about what you would like to spend, but more about what you would need to spend to accomplish your goal (and I'm not saying that sarcastically). I would rather advise someone now that it is better for them to spend the extra $900 rather than waste $3,000 or more and hate front projection because it didn't work out in your room.

I will link for you some youtube videos of these screens so you can see what I'm talking about if you would like. Other than that, good luck to you in your quest for a larger image! smile.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1C4S2W4TRM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AMjx3ZCJNY
post #39 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Done Deal DR View Post

I think you gave that suggestion earlier in my thread and I 100% agree. I don't have any experience with projectors, so just randomly grabbing a number out of thin air doesn't make a whole lot of sense when buying my first screen since I have no idea how that will play into actually viewing it. Right now I'm thinking maybe 135", but maybe 120" is plenty, who knows? I do know that I want it to pull me in and create a big impact in my movie watching, but on that same front it needs to be watchable and bright enough to be viewed well.

What's the consensus on mounting the projector? I know there are adjustments that are possible, but do most people mount them at roughly the top of the screen's edge? I'm trying to figure out mounting solutions.

That depends on the PJ and if it has lens shift. The Epson 5020 has lens shift so you have a range of mounting options because the image can be "shifted" onto the screen. Others have a requirement that they are so many inches above or below the screen to have the image on the screen. Most but not all of the LCD PJ's have lens shift, fewer of the DLP's have the option.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #40 of 149
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlexMulti View Post

I understand where your head is at, but please consider a few things. I do this for a living. All day, every day. I'm not telling you that to say "Listen to me", I'm saying it because I feel like you will be wasting money instead of spending it unless you consider a few things. Things that I have tremendous experience in. Please consider these points....

- Normally I would not recommend a $1,900 103" screen. But, your room needs it. Do you see where in your pics you have the lights off, but a big shot of light right where your screen will be? That will KILL your image. The SilverStar screen from VuTec rejects ambient light... particularly from the side. In your room, that is going to help you tremendously! This way, you can use the screen with the lights on and almost any time of day. With a regular screen your picture will be uneven and faded to holy hell and back.

- In your room, if you are going to put up curtains and block that window and watch TV in the dark 100% of the time, then you'll be perfectly well off with a $1,000 or less screen. If you want the ability to watch during the day and night then you will need the VuTec SilverStar or Black Diamond.

Unfortunately, sometimes in A/V it's not about what you would like to spend, but more about what you would need to spend to accomplish your goal (and I'm not saying that sarcastically). I would rather advise someone now that it is better for them to spend the extra $900 rather than waste $3,000 or more and hate front projection because it didn't work out in your room.

I will link for you some youtube videos of these screens so you can see what I'm talking about if you would like. Other than that, good luck to you in your quest for a larger image! smile.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1C4S2W4TRM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AMjx3ZCJNY

Yes, that light is all coming from the slider and I'm putting curtains that will run the entire length of the wall. I'm willing to make the compromise of closing those curtains for daytime viewing. I wouldn't even bother doing this for a 100" screen, just from a basic mock up I know I'm going to want somewhere around 120" or 135".

If I wasn't going to make that compromise I would definitely spend that money on the screen though, but I'm looking for the curtains to not only black out but also offer a soft surface for better acoustics and block a little noise from going through the curtains. I've found a few companies that offer this type of product, one that I recall is quietcurtains.com. Do you have any experience with these products?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

That depends on the PJ and if it has lens shift. The Epson 5020 has lens shift so you have a range of mounting options because the image can be "shifted" onto the screen. Others have a requirement that they are so many inches above or below the screen to have the image on the screen. Most but not all of the LCD PJ's have lens shift, fewer of the DLP's have the option.

Regards,

RTROSE

Good info. I had read regarding the lens shift and your post confirmed what I thought I understood about that function.
post #41 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Done Deal DR View Post

Yes, that light is all coming from the slider and I'm putting curtains that will run the entire length of the wall. I'm willing to make the compromise of closing those curtains for daytime viewing. I wouldn't even bother doing this for a 100" screen, just from a basic mock up I know I'm going to want somewhere around 120" or 135".

If I wasn't going to make that compromise I would definitely spend that money on the screen though, but I'm looking for the curtains to not only black out but also offer a soft surface for better acoustics and block a little noise from going through the curtains. I've found a few companies that offer this type of product, one that I recall is quietcurtains.com. Do you have any experience with these products?
Good info. I had read regarding the lens shift and your post confirmed what I thought I understood about that function.

- If you're ok doing that then you have a tremendous amount of options with your screen! Elite Screens, Carada, and a lot of others have options for you at $1,000 or under.

- Horizontal and Vertical lens shift will absolutely allow for a better installation. Epson's are probably best known for having this available on MOST models and are great projectors.
post #42 of 149
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlexMulti View Post

- If you're ok doing that then you have a tremendous amount of options with your screen! Elite Screens, Carada, and a lot of others have options for you at $1,000 or under.

- Horizontal and Vertical lens shift will absolutely allow for a better installation. Epson's are probably best known for having this available on MOST models and are great projectors.

Perfect, thanks!

I know my post was a little longwinded but any thoughts on curtains that are "noise blocking"?
post #43 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Done Deal DR View Post

Perfect, thanks!

I know my post was a little longwinded but any thoughts on curtains that are "noise blocking"?

Would this be for covering the glass doors?
post #44 of 149
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlexMulti View Post

Would this be for covering the glass doors?

Yeah, covering the entire length of that wall... but primarily for the glass.
post #45 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Done Deal DR View Post

Yeah, covering the entire length of that wall... but primarily for the glass.

I don't have any brands that I would recommend. We work with interior designers who bring us fabric and have us choose what to use. I would always go with something heavier (thicker) for a fabric.
post #46 of 149
Thread Starter 
I've been making some progress on the construction of the MA rack wall. I've got it completely opened up and have started framing the opening for the rack. I'll leave the drywall up to a professional, it's too many weird angles for me to try to tackle. I'll try to get some pics up tonight of the progress.

I'm still researching screen and projector options. I'm really thinking hard about going with an acoustic screen and placing the center channel inside the wall, behind the screen of course. It would help further clean the front stage up, and while I can't (and don't want to) hide my Klipsch RF-7 II's I think it would help. I'm still really tossed between the Epson 5020ub/6020ub and the Sony VPL-HW50ES... it's going to be hard for me to decide.
post #47 of 149
If it's between the Epson and the Sony then I would go with the Epson just do to their excellent customer service should that be necessary. Don't know why you would want to hide that beautiful center channel behind an AT screen if you won't hide the others.

Going AT brings another whole hosts of must do's as you will need to come out and build a false wall for the screen and then build fabric panels to cover it. You can do it, but don't go in blind, as there are things that go or don't go with each decision you make, as you are finding out.

I can say if you are looking for curtains, heavier/thicker material will work the best. Don't know how much sound absorption you will get but can't hurt and will really help with the light issue.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #48 of 149
Thread Starter 
It is a beautiful center, but I'm just trying to keep it cleaner for living room purposes and I also like the idea of having the center in the middle of the screen so the voices come from a natural direction. Who knows, just something I've been thinking about. Any reason why I would need to build a false wall when I can put the speaker into the wall that already exists? It backs up to my master bedroom closet and wouldn't take up much space at all.

The main thing that I like about the Sony over the Epson is that everyone reports it is much quieter. It will be close to my LP and a loud fan would probably bother me. I will probably end up getting either the 5020 or 6020 though and if I can't deal with the noise return it.
post #49 of 149
Thread Starter 
Here's a few pics of the progress on the rack. I wish I was a little further along but between work, a trip to Palm Springs, and the start of jetski season I've been busy.









I basically had to open up that wall and cut out everything on the inside... that was the bulk of the work...especially all of the nails. I built the framing for the new front wall piece and attached that to the existing wall and ceiling. Then built a platform for the rack to sit on. Definitely not rocket science, just getting to things as I have time.

At this point I really just need to get a piece of plywood cut to fit over the top of the platform to seal off the bottom, that will raise the rack just a bit and allow me to center it so that it is flush on each side once the drywall and trim is on. I also need to steal my outlet from further down the pony wall under that granite slab. Once done, I can call in a drywall company and get it all closed up and looking good.

I can start on wiring in the attic soon which will be a complete pain. There isn't much to run, 3 speaker cables and 2 sub RCA's to the front wall, 2 speaker cables and an HDMI to the rear wall. I also have a cat 6 line to run from my office to the rack to feed my Cisco switch. I should have done it sooner since it's already getting hot in AZ, it's going to be a total sauna up there and being vaulted as it is there is very little room to move around up.

I bought a couple of the vent blocker kits to seal off all of the factory venting on the ERK rack and purchased a UQFP intake (UQFP-4RIS) for the bottom of the rack to go with the exhaust (IUQFP-4DRA) at the top. I'm hoping this thermal management system works well as I really don't have any other options. I'm thinking I will be okay, my Pioneer Elite SC-61 runs incredibly cool. Right now the top only has about an inch of clearance and even after listening to music near reference levels for a couple hours it's cool to the touch. I really don't have anything that generates much heat after I replaced my PS3 with an Oppo 103. Fingers crossed! biggrin.gif
post #50 of 149
Thread Starter 
Small update, got off the phone with Craig Peer with AVS a short while ago and have placed an order for a Sony VPL-HW50ES projector. Craig is a pleasure to do business with, he spent the time to explain things and talk about my individual situation - I would definitely recommend anyone in the market for AV gear give Craig a call.

Craig is going to send me some screen samples, hopefully that will help me figure out what to go with as I'm lost! Screen calculator shows I need at least 1.3/1.4 gain. Projector will be mounted off the ceiling at or around the top of the screen and from what I understand I will lose gain with that mounting configuration, but I don't have a choice due to the room layout (especially with the ceiling fan which I may need to raise closer to the ceiling as is). Screen size somewhere between 120"-150", though I'll nail that down when I get the projector and throw up some different sizes to find what I like.
Edited by Done Deal DR - 4/19/13 at 2:59pm
post #51 of 149
Nice job! I want to see how you finished the wall where the arch is when you are done. I think the look of a rack is awesome anywhere in the house! It makes a statement!
post #52 of 149
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pain Infliction View Post

Nice job! I want to see how you finished the wall where the arch is when you are done. I think the look of a rack is awesome anywhere in the house! It makes a statement!

Thanks! Shouldn't be more than a month before I'm ready to close up the rack area. I certainly won't do the drywall, far too many intricacies. The inside corner will have a matching bullnose, the rest will be straight 90's. I'll let them figure out the how. biggrin.gif

Checked out your thread, great job! I like how you closed up the openings but kept some style detail on the other side. You are one lucky dog being able to paint your theater black! That 150" scope must be an amazing experience in there. wink.gif
post #53 of 149
Hey thanks! I had to sub that work out because it was so high in the air and over the stairs. My wife had no problem with me painting it black. She loves the theater almost as much as I do. I can't wait until I have everything done that I want to have done.

So I have to wait a month to see your rack complete! Hurry up! Just kidding.
post #54 of 149
Found your build thread and I like what I see! Those sizes of screens will look nice in your room. Have you decided on what screen you will be purchasing?
post #55 of 149
Thread Starter 
There's my Z forum brother!

Trying to decide if I really need a high gain screen or not. Depending on that decision either the biggest Da-lite Contour Hi Power I can order or an Elite EZframe with cinewhite screen. Looking for about 150".
post #56 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Done Deal DR View Post

There's my Z forum brother!

Trying to decide if I really need a high gain screen or not. Depending on that decision either the biggest Da-lite Contour Hi Power I can order or an Elite EZframe with cinewhite screen. Looking for about 150".

150" will be very immersive for movie watching!

After I bought my HW30, I called Mike at AVS and he helped me pick out a screen. I decided on SI 4K Solar white, with a 1.3 gain. Mike told me it is actually closer to 1.4 and I really like the performance of this screen. Granted my screen is only 100" but I really enjoy watching movies on it. If I flip my HT room around I could probably do a bigger screen but of course more $$ comes into play.
post #57 of 149
Thread Starter 
Another incremental update:

I'm in talks with an AV integration company to help me button things up. We are at the early stages so I don't know anything definitive right now... but I'm getting quotes for wiring, closing up the rack area, possibly removing the rear two windows entirely, and a drapery system that would run along the entire wall with the window and sliding glass door, as well as a few other tidbits. My budget is only so much so I will have to see what they come back with but if I can afford it I'd love to take the option.

The company is Artisan Systems AZ, and I've been dealing with Mike. He came and visited me last weekend and we chatted about the project and my goals. He was friendly and knowledgeable, and hopefully I'm able to use them. If the quotes are too high then I'll just have to re-evaluate and roll up the sleeves and do most of the work myself.

I've firmed up screen plans, and it looks like I'm going to go with a 159" 16:9 Da-Lite Cinema Contour High Power with the standard Pro-Trim finish. Will probably order in a week or two, no sense in having a huge box like that sit around and be in the way constantly. I don't even think the box would fit in the guest room I'm using for my home theater gear storage right now (looks like a Fedex in there). Mike with Artisan was against going with a 2.4 gain screen, so I will have to own the results... but I think for my application it will be a good option and may allow for viewing with more ambient light and I could run the Sony HW-50 on low mode at night to lengthen bulb life without sacrificing picture quality. Also brighter 3D is always a plus.

Oh, and I also purchased a small display (21.5" IPS LG) to mount above the rack area. This will allow me to view things like Pandora streaming that I don't necessarily want to fire the projector up for but need to see to turn on and reference here and there.
Edited by Done Deal DR - 5/9/13 at 11:03am
post #58 of 149
I am not a screen expert but I think a screen that large and that projector will do nicely with that type of high gain screen material. There are some guys on here that love their High gain screens and the screen shots they post up are stellar. Also it looks like you are off to a great start! One day I will get around to 'racking' my stuff and doing some room treatments.
post #59 of 149
The only concern I would have is closing the two windows. If you ever decided to sell your house that could be an issue. There are other options out there if you care, but it is your house and I can't wait until you finish so I can see your final product. I love what you are doing.
post #60 of 149
Thread Starter 
I agree it's a major decision. It definitely depends on price, if it's more than I want to pay there are many other ways to get the light blocking benefits for nearly free. Truthfully the windows are nearly worthless, we've never opened them anyway because they don't look at anything appealing. Closing them also helps with both sound treatment and blocking properties.

To sum up, we'll see. wink.gif
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