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Basement finishing w/ media room

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm finally getting around to having my basement finished! A while back, I had thrown around the idea of having a projector and a fairly large screen (90"?). Cooler heads have prevailed and I've been "downgraded" to what will likely be a Panasonic TC-P65ST60 (65" plasma). Now, I'm not really getting any good advice from my wife or the contractor as to which wall might be best for a TV and whether it should be "flush"/built-in or wall-mounted. Wall mounted looks a bit sloppier IMO but it would probably bit a little cheaper and allow for easier expansion in 5-10 years for a larger TV and moving around of speakers. Flush-mounted is the opposite. Anyone have some thoughts?

I'd also be interested in an opinion on the speaker placement for a 7.1. The contract thinks he can build a bass trap/cabinet for the sub under the stairs - which is also where the receiver/blu-ray/etc will be stored.

Here's the overall blueprint. The media room is in the "top" left of the drawing. The picture doesn't show it, but the main drain pipe runs along that top wall and sticks out about 8". This wasn't included in the prelim drawing from the contractor.


Here you can see the contractor mock-up. The TV is mounted directly to the wall (and would therefore stick out maybe 5"?). He doesn't have any indication of speakers.


My drawing is more accurate dimensionally and placement of the i-beam than his is. You can see that I'm on the opposite wall and its built-in. The wall would have to be pushed out because of the drain pipe anyway and I also through the front/center speakers in to the wall to help it stay "clean".


I'm guessing I'd have to put the side speakers either on the ceiling or one stand-mounted. Any opinions on that? I'll probably wall-mount the rear.
post #2 of 23
You might want to have the contractor put 11/2" conduit in the ceiling for power and HDMI for next year when you realize the TV is a tiny box and want to put a drop down screen in front of it.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
I hear what you're saying. At best, I'll have about 10' viewing distance. I'm not sure that throwing up a 90" screen makes sense with that in mind. Eihter way, I'm pretty sure I'll get a better picture with the Plasma than a $1500 projector given that this isn't a closed off room.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Damn. OK. So I looked around a bit and I could probably swing a 90" projector screen and even come in a bit under price from the TV. So many more things to think about now.
post #5 of 23
Did you try laying it out on the other wall (90 degrees from the plan) > you could add a small counter at the back of the room for some additional seating and also be able to view from the gym area
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
I considered that, but the water access is there and I didn't want to deal with having to get behind there. I also wasn't sure I wanted my back to the main area or to have any light from that far window to come to the screen (thought I doubt it would in reality). I don't really know how I'd deal with the rear speakers in that orientation, either.

Such choices. I was I wasn't so indecisive/had several options. I have a week to make up my mind.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Would a 90" screen not look very good running 1080p at 9.5'? I used a "calculator" found at http://carltonbale.com/home-theater/home-theater-calculator/ and it seems to be saying that I'd want to be sitting 12' or more away.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by datr View Post

Would a 90" screen not look very good running 1080p at 9.5'? I used a "calculator" found at http://carltonbale.com/home-theater/home-theater-calculator/ and it seems to be saying that I'd want to be sitting 12' or more away.

I have no problems looking at my 92" screen from that distance using my 1080p Acer h6510.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by datr View Post

Would a 90" screen not look very good running 1080p at 9.5'? I used a "calculator" found at http://carltonbale.com/home-theater/home-theater-calculator/ and it seems to be saying that I'd want to be sitting 12' or more away.

in two years you'll be putting in a 120" screen for that distance
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat91 View Post

in two years you'll be putting in a 120" screen for that distance

I guess I'm concerned about "seeing pixels" at that distance. Size is one thing, clarity is another. Also, since I probably won't do an AT screen and lose even more depth to the room, a 120" 16:9 would leave very little room for a center (I read you want to leave ~3' from floor to bottom of screen).. and it'd be pretty close to the ground unless the top of the screen is at the ceiling.
post #11 of 23
I'm not seeing any pixels from that distance.
post #12 of 23
Before investing in a screen, you could always just get a projector and project on a wall to figure out what size you like.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fstanek View Post

Before investing in a screen, you could always just get a projector and project on a wall to figure out what size you like.

That's true.

As an aside, how does this look? It's just under 10' from the viewing area to the screen and 10'6" from the lens to the screen. The red circles are where I thought of putting the surrounds. Unfortunately I'd probably have to ceiling mount them since I don't have a wall on one side. I could get stands, I suppose.



post #14 of 23
Do your best to maximize the distance from the screen/TV wall and the projector. This will allow you to put in a screen that will more easily justify the addition of the projector when you are ready. A cursory look at the calculators suggest that you should be able to have a 115" 2.35:1 AT screen in that room. A screen like that would also be good for a 92" 16x9 image. A projector with power zoom and lens memory will make a scope setup like that easier to manage. Scope movies will look amazing at that size and distance as well as 16x9 movies. I find that material produced for Television doesn't always look good on the big screen due to the tighter shots. Another thing to consider is that scope movies will only be about 62" on that 65" plasma. Boosting that to 115" will be noticeable for sure.cool.gif

I have a similar Plasma/Projector setup with a 720p projector and a 106" 16x9 screen. My next upgrade will be a 125" 2.35:1 screen and a 1080p projector with lens memory. wildcat91 is right - you will want to go bigger at some point.

Framing, projector support, screen support/space, conduit and power should all be installed at this point. You will be happy you did it now vs. later.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdmillermn View Post

Do your best to maximize the distance from the screen/TV wall and the projector. This will allow you to put in a screen that will more easily justify the addition of the projector when you are ready. A cursory look at the calculators suggest that you should be able to have a 115" 2.35:1 AT screen in that room. A screen like that would also be good for a 92" 16x9 image. A projector with power zoom and lens memory will make a scope setup like that easier to manage. Scope movies will look amazing at that size and distance as well as 16x9 movies. I find that material produced for Television doesn't always look good on the big screen due to the tighter shots. Another thing to consider is that scope movies will only be about 62" on that 65" plasma. Boosting that to 115" will be noticeable for sure.cool.gif

I have a similar Plasma/Projector setup with a 720p projector and a 106" 16x9 screen. My next upgrade will be a 125" 2.35:1 screen and a 1080p projector with lens memory. wildcat91 is right - you will want to go bigger at some point.

Framing, projector support, screen support/space, conduit and power should all be installed at this point. You will be happy you did it now vs. later.

I've been leaning towards a 16:9 screen (non AT) - which would technically fit at 119" but might be a bit "close" for viewing. This is why I originally went with a 92" 16:9. Given that - would you still suggest going larger with 16:9? I had been looking at a BenQW1070 or a panasonic AE7000. I know, they are quite a bit different. The W1070 caught my eye on price.

I guess, though, that most movies are closer to 2.35:1 and I expect this will largely be for movies and not netflix/tv.
Edited by datr - 5/16/13 at 10:50am
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by datr View Post



I guess, though, that most movies are closer to 2.35:1 and I expect this will largely be for movies and not netflix/tv.

Don't kid yourself, once you go big you can never go back to the little box for anything but news or talk shows...
The normal advice is buy the projector first, set it up on a table, tape off the size you think you want on the wall with painters tape and watch it for a few weeks. Make adjustments if needed. While doing this, order screen fabric samples from the manufactures you are thinking about buying from so you can evaluate screen texture, brightness and sparklies.. the samples are about 1 foot square and normally free. Do not think you must buy a ready built screen, all major manufactures will custom build the screen to the size you need for a small price increase. Call AVS and talk to the sales guys they have some of the best prices around.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

Don't kid yourself, once you go big you can never go back to the little box for anything but news or talk shows...
The normal advice is buy the projector first, set it up on a table, tape off the size you think you want on the wall with painters tape and watch it for a few weeks. Make adjustments if needed. While doing this, order screen fabric samples from the manufactures you are thinking about buying from so you can evaluate screen texture, brightness and sparklies.. the samples are about 1 foot square and normally free. Do not think you must buy a ready built screen, all major manufactures will custom build the screen to the size you need for a small price increase. Call AVS and talk to the sales guys they have some of the best prices around.

Good idea. I'll order the W1070 and go from there on screen size.

Any thoughts on speaker placement from the above images? I'm also curious about hiding the speaker wire. I wonder if I should do runs in the ceiling and down the wall and have a wall plate to plug each in to or just run it through the wall and come out underneath the carpet. Seems like an awful lot of conduit if planning ahead for a 9.1 setup.
post #18 of 23
I'm sure the W1070 looks attractive on the price, however you should consider a couple of things...
  • Lens Shift. Although the W1070 has some (rare on a DLP), it's relatively small.
  • Lens Memory. Of the two mentioned projectors only the AE7000 has it.
  • Pixels. The AE7000 has what they call Smooth Screen. It does a good job reducing the pixel structure visibility.

The W1070 and the AE7000 are two totally different animals. Choose wisely and you could have a media room that is really something special.
  • Plasma for regular TV viewing with some lights on.
  • CIH screen/projector for movies and dark room viewing.


As for the Audio...I may be in the minority here. Do you really have enough room to implement anything much beyond 7.1 other than adding the Height channels for the front sound-stage?
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdmillermn View Post

I'm sure the W1070 looks attractive on the price, however you should consider a couple of things...
  • Lens Shift. Although the W1070 has some (rare on a DLP), it's relatively small.
  • Lens Memory. Of the two mentioned projectors only the AE7000 has it.
  • Pixels. The AE7000 has what they call Smooth Screen. It does a good job reducing the pixel structure visibility.

The W1070 and the AE7000 are two totally different animals. Choose wisely and you could have a media room that is really something special.
  • Plasma for regular TV viewing with some lights on.
  • CIH screen/projector for movies and dark room viewing.


As for the Audio...I may be in the minority here. Do you really have enough room to implement anything much beyond 7.1 other than adding the Height channels for the front sound-stage?

I ordered the W1070 just to get an idea of it. I may find that I dislike its lower contrast than the AE7000, I may be fine with it. At least I'll have tried out the cheaper option smile.gif I'll likely return it in a few weeks before the construction starts.
As for the speakers... wouldn't that be 9.1? I can't see myself ever going more than that.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
So I got the W1070 in yesterday. If this is the "lesser" of the two and I'm as impressed as I was, I should be floored by the AE7000 or Epson 5010. The only real complaint I had with the BenQ was in really dark scenes (some parts of the new Star Trek & Thor, specifically) it seemed there was a loss of detail.
If I'm being nitpicky I also noticed an occasional rainbow effect when my eyes moved quickly and the motion wasn't always smooth when the camera panned.

In any case, my wife and I agree on a 120" screen.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by datr View Post

So I got the W1070 in yesterday. If this is the "lesser" of the two and I'm as impressed as I was, I should be floored by the AE7000 or Epson 5010. The only real complaint I had with the BenQ was in really dark scenes (some parts of the new Star Trek & Thor, specifically) it seemed there was a loss of detail.
If I'm being nitpicky I also noticed an occasional rainbow effect when my eyes moved quickly and the motion wasn't always smooth when the camera panned.

In any case, my wife and I agree on a 120" screen.
If it can be returned you may want to rethink the Sharp Z30K for $1800 complete 3D emitter a and 2 pair of glasses.. yes a little less lumen but no Rainbows 2:1 power lens and lens shift, lens memory and a lot of other cool features.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

If it can be returned you may want to rethink the Sharp Z30K for $1800 complete 3D emitter a and 2 pair of glasses.. yes a little less lumen but no Rainbows 2:1 power lens and lens shift, lens memory and a lot of other cool features.

I found a refurb 5010 (with full warranty) for $1700 sans glasses at visualapex.com. Given that price, would you still go with the sharp @ woot? The lack of a return policy of any sort @ woot has always bothered me for these pricier purchases.
Edited by datr - 5/18/13 at 8:57am
post #23 of 23
Can't say, I bought the Z on Wednesday night and will receive it Monday. I am a DLP fan and this is way more projector than I ever expected to get. I am using a old Mitsubishi manufactured in 2005 I bought used 3 years ago. After reading reviews and other peoples comments after the first woot sale, I could not pass it up. Yes the no return is a little unnerving.
The epson is 2 times brighter so maybe the sharp is not the unit for your install. It was reviewed as best for a dedicated space ( just read that) so probably no on the Z
Edited by airscapes - 5/19/13 at 5:56am
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