We've Been Banished To The Basement! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 09-13-2019, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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We've Been Banished To The Basement!

So, my son and I have finally driven my wife mad. We've been banished to a basement in New England.

I plan on documenting the build and work here over the coming months, but any input will be welcome.

From this point moving forward I will attempt to keep things mildly organized.

The initial post will contain:
1. The room general layout
2. The story
3. Why I'm here
4. Advise and input for the layout
5. (Future post reserved for links to the work as it occurs) - hopefully the forum will let me reserve the second post.

1. The layout and dimensions of the room:

Our basement currently has 7'-6" to the bottom of the beams, but we will have 7'-4" or so ceilings after framing and tile flooring. Not to mention the awkward soffit needed for the ductwork at 6'-6"(finished height) behind the potential seating space. (See attached image)

We have pink insulation installed in the ceiling between the floor joists and I plan on acoustically sealing floor penetrations with "Spec Seal -Smoke and Sound". There are no plans for rockwool and green glue, to my chagrin.

The seating space will be about 20' by 13' (utilizing an existing sectional couch up against existing lally columns facing 12' 6" to a finished wall) with an open area of 11' by 30' beind that wraps around a staircase. Again, second image attached.

Acoustically speaking, this space is probably a nightmare.

2. The story:

We're renovating the basement and I'm strongly considering a projector setup. I have a buddy that works in the AV Installation industry and he suggested the DIY approach with our carpenter. I asked about a TV vs projector and he thinks a projector with a screen of 120+ inches is a lot more fun compared to a TV.

Sweet deal! We have $50k to do the basement! Carpenter quoted $23, I can add a sweet setup!

Hold on though, the same friend suggested we put a bathroom in the basement if we would entertain there....crap...there goes the rest of the budget!

From there not a single neighbor or friend supported the idea of using the remaining budget for entertainment uses.

Long story short, this got into the wife's head and my budget is *GONE* for the AV equipment.

We still have plently left over though to get wires and the "backhaul" installed.

3. Why I'm here:

Partly to document this install, and partly to get input for an awkward setup. As well as where to run CAT7 cable, speaker wire, and "smurf tube" if needed.

I work in a CAD department and have my house drawn in both CAD and REVIT at this point. I'm just not fully confident in what I want to do without strangers telling me what to do.

4. Advise and input on the layout:

The space will be used as follows:
50% gaming
30% movies
10% Streaming TV(children will use this mainly)
7% music
3% YouTube or unreliable internet video

I'm looking to "future proof" the room for Dolby Atmos and 4K. I'm eyeing a 5.2.4 or 5.2.6 or 7.2.4 setup. Even if I do not hook up some speakers for a few years, just running wires. What's best, if anything?

For now it would be 5.2.2 with the initial installation.

I am considering in wall/ceiling for the surrounds. The front LCR will be floor standing with 2 Subs.

I currently do not have an LCR setup but have SVS PC-2000 in the living room with in wall left and right with a custom built "sound bar" under my TV for our 5.1 setup there. While I find this setup "okay" it isn't what I want for my banishment.

I'm not a fan of upward firing atmos with a really low ceiling height, and the surrounds on the wall with young children (under 8 ). Unless I'm looking at this all wrong.

I do want to run a high end HDMI cable (4k certified, monoprice or Bluejeans... something reliable but affordable) up an enclosure around one of the lally columns to the projector. This would hopefully be through "Smurf tube" to allow future upgrades.

I am considering a BenQ HT2050 right now for gaming more than anything else.
I do not have any 4K input devices (PS4, Roku, NAS, and multiple legacy gaming systems) but as the technology matures, I'd love to have it in my space

Considerations:
We have two windows abutting the space. They are 32x34 and a walk out door without windows. No direct sunlight hits this side of the house, but ambient light will be a thing. My wife lives opening window shades.

Should I keep my hopes up for a projector? Would an ALR screen be "good enough"?
Should I look at a TV setup instead?

Side notes:
I have looked at multiple projectors on projector central and review translations. I might want a BenQ 2050ST to not impede the sectional, but I am looking forward with the setup.
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post #2 of 23 Old 09-13-2019, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Some before pictures:

Looking from the back wall towards where the projector will be:


The wall where ambient light will come in:


The rear future Wet Bar area


From the future wet bar towards the bathroom:



Reservations for future pictures and links to the work
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post #3 of 23 Old 09-14-2019, 04:35 PM
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post #4 of 23 Old 09-15-2019, 10:22 AM
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Over head Atmos speakers would have different placement for 2 vs 4. Placement for 2 would be over the main listening row, and 4 would have a pair in front and another behind the main listening row. So you shouldn't really just add 2 more later on, you'd have to move the original pair as well...

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post #5 of 23 Old 09-16-2019, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post
Over head Atmos speakers would have different placement for 2 vs 4. Placement for 2 would be over the main listening row, and 4 would have a pair in front and another behind the main listening row. So you shouldn't really just add 2 more later on, you'd have to move the original pair as well...
I used Dolby's suggested layout and found that if I do 4 atmos speakers then two will I end up in the soffit between the ductwork. This isn't ideal. Should I consider heights instead? Something more like the Aura layout?

I also might need to reconsider placing a small AV cabinet next to the lally column and moving it to the closet on the north side of the room. However that length to a projector would be over 25'.

Does anyone have thoughts on what they'd do for the AV equipment location? The existing 42U server rack provides services for the living room and the IT equipment for the rest of the house.
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post #6 of 23 Old 09-18-2019, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
I used Dolby's suggested layout and found that if I do 4 atmos speakers then two will I end up in the soffit between the ductwork. This isn't ideal. Should I consider heights instead? Something more like the Aura layout?
Not sure on that, you'll need to weigh your options to decide, I was just commenting on going form 2 to 4, being more involved than just adding 2 more down the line.
However, you could probably fudge the distances a bit, and use volume to compensate for the slight changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
I also might need to reconsider placing a small AV cabinet next to the lally column and moving it to the closet on the north side of the room. However that length to a projector would be over 25'.

Does anyone have thoughts on what they'd do for the AV equipment location? The existing 42U server rack provides services for the living room and the IT equipment for the rest of the house.
My HDMI cable is 40' long and I've never had any issues.

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post #7 of 23 Old 09-19-2019, 07:07 AM
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Sorry to hear about the banishment. NOT!!! Glad you are able to build out a space. I'm interested in the story on how it came about though.. lol..
First a foremost, great job having a drawing already done. Probably the most important part of having a plan.

If I were you, in this case, young kids, gaming, light from windows, and kids that could keep a bulb burning all night and cost you bulb time, I'd ditch the projector idea and go large LCD/OLED screen for the room.
As previously mentioned, going from 2 Atmos to 4 is not advisable, as previously described. You could go to 6 real easy with a Denon 8500, but that would be way overkill for the space. Do 4 from the beginning and be done with it. In-ceilings are way easier to do, and relatively on the inexpensive side for decent overhead Atmos. If you are going to do dual format, FH/RH are advisable for Aura, but not allot of content in the U.S. on the Aura. mostly Atmos.

Not doing GG/DD/etc... is a loss, but not completely. With a little extra effort, you could add some mass in-between the floor joists by adding drywall on the underside of the floor that is on top of the joists. by adding mass, its another strategy of sound control, and is again, relatively inexpensive, just more 5/8" drywall. You could use Roberts carpet glue, which others have claimed does work, but not as good as GG. just a though on this. this would be a little bit of long term sound control as the kids get older and play things louder in the room.

Run extra 20amp power circuits.


Also, if you are feeling ambitious, you really should consider DIY speakers and subwoofers. best bang for the buck you are going to find anywhere. Erich will help you along the way of getting you what you need.
Parts Express is the place to get all the parts to fulfill a build.
www.diysoundgroup.com
parts-express.com


You should spend no more than $10k on a bathroom. You are in new england area, so I'm sure there are inspections and fee's, and probably labor is a little more expensive, but realistically, don't need to go all out on the finishes in a basement bathroom. Definitely have a bathroom installed if it's there to be done. Well worth it long term.

Also, if you have a sump pump today, make sure that has a UPS backup installed. Also, ensure you make the accessibility to deal with any water up front. If needed, get the gutters installed and deal with the water run-off before hand if the room has ever gotten wet. Don't wanna be done with the room, and deal with a flood.


Hope this helps. Looking forward to watch your room come together.

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post #8 of 23 Old 09-19-2019, 01:24 PM
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I have another question. Are your surrounds in ceiling? Looks like they may be from your speaker placement diagram(?)
In ceiling surrounds and Atmos won't work all that well together. What comes from overhead vs. the sides and behind will be jumbled...

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post #9 of 23 Old 09-19-2019, 04:43 PM
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If I read you right you have 50K of which 23K gets the basement done. That leaves 27K. Must be some bathroom!

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JVC-RS540, 124" Wide 2.40:1 DIY Screen, Denon 8500H, Denon 6200W, Panasonic UB820 UHD Player, (3) iNuke 6000DSP; (2) iNuke NX3000D; (3) HTM-12; (14) RSL C34e surrounds; (2) 18" DA RSS460HO-4 Subwoofers; (1) DA UM18-22 18" Ultimax Subwoofer; (4) DA RSS390HO-4 15" Reference HO Subwoofers; BOSS Platform - (12) 12" Subwoofers
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post #10 of 23 Old 09-19-2019, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
No images attached...
I added images, my apologies for not getting back to you on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
Sorry to hear about the banishment. NOT!!! Glad you are able to build out a space. I'm interested in the story on how it came about though.. lol..
First a foremost, great job having a drawing already done. Probably the most important part of having a plan.
I appreciate the support! Haha

The winters in New England don't really allow for myself or my son to be sent outside when we are loud. Also only having one room with a TV installed doesn't help. We can get a little loud yelling at the TV.

My wife was the one who chose how the family room in particular came together. Thankfully I have a friend that works in the AV industry who was willing to help with the in-wall speakers and getting the Dennon unit into the basement as well as programmed.

We've been working out bits and details with a contractor for about a year on the basement, and I've been lurking here getting close to 90% of the materials good and ready to reduce redundancy in threads. I seem to notice some of the same questions being asked quite a bit around here, and will be guilty of the same thing as some are situational from room to room.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
If I were you, in this case, young kids, gaming, light from windows, and kids that could keep a bulb burning all night and cost you bulb time, I'd ditch the projector idea and go large LCD/OLED screen for the room.
This is noted, and I discussed it with my wife. The thing about buying a second large format TV is that they're pretty costly compared to the low cost projectors I am considering.

I am open to the idea, but need a little more convincing. Here is the gist of our typical conversation with regards to a TV vs Projector:
Her, "What did the last TV cost?"
Me, "I dunno $1,200 or so on sale?"
Her, "Does getting a projector or TV change your speakers and stuff?"
Me, "Not really. It's more or less the same and I'm buying (bought) a bunch of cable in a spool and the rest is going to (brother in-law)"
Her, "So, the not 4k projector is cheaper, right?"
Me, "Well, kind of... We need to determine the screen size due to the throw distance, and add that in. Costs for samples of material for the screen, and replacement bulbs every 1500-3000 hours"
Her, "You lost me, but it sounds cheaper"

I think I'm getting my way and she doesn't know. Even when I brought up your argument of kids leaving it on all night.

On the ambient light, we don't normally boot up a TV or device until it is dark, so weekend day use for the little guy is the only concern there. Adults can work shades and blinds. I realize now I made more of a deal about the ambient light than it will be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
As previously mentioned, going from 2 Atmos to 4 is not advisable, as previously described. You could go to 6 real easy with a Denon 8500, but that would be way overkill for the space. Do 4 from the beginning and be done with it. In-ceilings are way easier to do, and relatively on the inexpensive side for decent overhead Atmos. If you are going to do dual format, FH/RH are advisable for Aura, but not allot of content in the U.S. on the Aura. mostly Atmos.
Okay, I believe that 6 atmos speakers are overkill when they'd be placed a little less than 3' from one another in the ceiling. It's why I'm asking the question though. In looking at the layout, I might wire and install 6 - 6.5" same brand speakers. I have about 8.5" of clearance between the two. I could notch the ductwork or modify the layout, as duct from my work is easy to get but not retrofit the install. I just can't justify the want over the space needed.

Originally, I was looking at and wanting something 8" like the RSL c34, but they need a 10" hole and almost a foot of clearance. The big thing for me is getting the rear atmos speakers installed while I can still get them between the two duct runs before the soffit is built.

Which brings me to something I may not understand correctly, but.... Do elevation(Atmos) speakers and surrounds really need to dig down to say 50Hz? I don't know at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
Not doing GG/DD/etc... is a loss, but not completely. With a little extra effort, you could add some mass in-between the floor joists by adding drywall on the underside of the floor that is on top of the joists. by adding mass, its another strategy of sound control, and is again, relatively inexpensive, just more 5/8" drywall. You could use Roberts carpet glue, which others have claimed does work, but not as good as GG. just a though on this. this would be a little bit of long term sound control as the kids get older and play things louder in the room.
This is an on-going conversation! I shake my head. We can still add another layer, as work hasn't started and while it isn't cheap, it could be better! She doesn't understand why. I sleep like a rock, she is an insomniac... I thought that would be enough....

For now the plan is to install one layer of 5/8's drywall. Until the contractor doesn't do that, but they promised!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
Run extra 20amp power circuits.
Heh, the contractor didn't want me talking to the electrician until today when I mentioned everything needs to be 12 GA running to outlets....He was like, "let me give you my guy's number". *THIS* I'm sure will get done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
Also, if you are feeling ambitious, you really should consider DIY speakers and subwoofers. best bang for the buck you are going to find anywhere. Erich will help you along the way of getting you what you need.
Parts Express is the place to get all the parts to fulfill a build.
www.diysoundgroup.com
parts-express.com
I am a "Tin Knocker".... Professionally I do sheet metal. I'm not the best in the world with wood, but I do like the appeal. I will definitely look into building my own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post

You should spend no more than $10k on a bathroom. You are in new england area, so I'm sure there are inspections and fee's, and probably labor is a little more expensive, but realistically, don't need to go all out on the finishes in a basement bathroom. Definitely have a bathroom installed if it's there to be done. Well worth it long term.
I would generally agree, but we spent close to $30k gutting two bathrooms in our last condo before selling it. We had 6 quotes and it was the middle-ish with a full scope from a construction buddy of mine. I think the low number was $26k and the top 3 were around $50-$60k.

With the added cost of cutting into the foundation in our current layout, pumps and pouring new concrete it's around $23k. This did bite into a large number of wish list items such as a Sony native 4k projector(I didn't have the clearance for in retrospect), GG/DD/etc... Happy wife, happy life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
Also, if you have a sump pump today, make sure that has a UPS backup installed. Also, ensure you make the accessibility to deal with any water up front. If needed, get the gutters installed and deal with the water run-off before hand if the room has ever gotten wet. Don't wanna be done with the room, and deal with a flood.
Our house is oddly built on grade with fill up to the house. I'm not super concerned about flooding, but the Radon fan device is in the sump pump location. We have flood insurance, so after the first one (hopefully won't happen) we will need one. I'll add the sump pump location to the list of locations for a dedicated circuit with the electrician. I hadn't thought of a UPS at all!

Think of it this way - New Rebuild Thread if flooding happens!


Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post
I have another question. Are your surrounds in ceiling? Looks like they may be from your speaker placement diagram(?)
In ceiling surrounds and Atmos won't work all that well together. What comes from overhead vs. the sides and behind will be jumbled...
You know, I didn't clarify this at all, but let me know your thoughts:

So, for the side surrounds I plan on having a few feet of slack in the wall and installing in-wall speakers for the surround left and right. With children in the house I wanted to leave just the LCR to be freestanding speakers.

The slack will allow me to pull the speakers out at a later date when the kiddos are older, patch up the hole and install free standing speakers. Or at least have the option to.

On the rear surrounds, I was thinking about something like the SVS Prime Elevation speakers. Just something that aims down at about a 30-45 degree angle. With a wet bar in the future (but not in this part of the project) I don't want in-wall or free standing. It's why I asked about elevations without being very clear.

Should I also entertain in wall for the rear surround? The wife might not like it for a future back-splash! But....If I put them in before....gotta work around them! Ask for forgiveness not permission, right?
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post #11 of 23 Old 09-19-2019, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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If I read you right you have 50K of which 23K gets the basement done. That leaves 27K. Must be some bathroom!
Haha! Pretty much. I ended up with about $3k in the end to do just the infrastructure stuff:

In wall speakers, cables, smurf tube. But that stuff can get expensive if you use something like KEF of Sonance like my buddy in the industry can get.

I'm looking at accessories 4 less, monoprice and RSL for the in walls.
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post #12 of 23 Old 09-22-2019, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
You know, I didn't clarify this at all, but let me know your thoughts:

So, for the side surrounds I plan on having a few feet of slack in the wall and installing in-wall speakers for the surround left and right. With children in the house I wanted to leave just the LCR to be freestanding speakers.

The slack will allow me to pull the speakers out at a later date when the kiddos are older, patch up the hole and install free standing speakers. Or at least have the option to.

On the rear surrounds, I was thinking about something like the SVS Prime Elevation speakers. Just something that aims down at about a 30-45 degree angle. With a wet bar in the future (but not in this part of the project) I don't want in-wall or free standing. It's why I asked about elevations without being very clear.

Should I also entertain in wall for the rear surround? The wife might not like it for a future back-splash! But....If I put them in before....gotta work around them! Ask for forgiveness not permission, right?
To be honest, I think in/on wall are fine for surrounds, but I do think that placing them at a proper height is important, especially if you want to do an Atmos system. Imagine a 2 channel system where the right and left are placed on the same side of the room just one pointed ahead and the other pointed to the other side of the listening area. You're not going to get a good stereo effect. I mean you can do it that way, but you have to be able to live with the results.


I don't have Atmos, yet, but do plan on it down the road, so my side and rear surrounds are just a bit above ear level...


48565890277_731f0fef5e_o by Barry (NJ), on Flickr

my room lay-out...


Media_Room_201908 by Barry (NJ), on Flickr
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post #13 of 23 Old 09-23-2019, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post
To be honest, I think in/on wall are fine for surrounds, but I do think that placing them at a proper height is important, especially if you want to do an Atmos system. Imagine a 2 channel system where the right and left are placed on the same side of the room just one pointed ahead and the other pointed to the other side of the listening area. You're not going to get a good stereo effect. I mean you can do it that way, but you have to be able to live with the results.
I'm a little worried now. For the side channels I will be able to mount them to close to, but not quite at ear level.

With the current couch we plan on using ear level is 42". We will have a half wall/ledge thing at about 44" off the floor. This messes up that potential location. I'd lean towards placing the in wall high at about 60" on center in the blue square above the black shelf line shown in the picture below. I would think placing it lower would block any listener from direct "line of sight"



Thoughts on this?
Excuse the drop cloth, as the first coat of water sealant went on today.


On the overall layout let's talk AV equipment locations, and Atmos one more time. I have attached an updated floor plan with more relevant actual speaker locations.


AV Equipment Location:

Given the location of the projector I feel I can more easily run smurf tube to the now 8' closet in the back. (Size changed from 6' to 8' due to a plumbing issue by buddy pointed out we don't want to frame around) Let me lay out the pros and cons of each location:

AV Location#1:

Advantages:
-Super close to the projector and allows for the shortest possible run between the source and PJ
-Can run video game systems even the retro ones with wired controllers due to proximity with the AV receiver

Disadvantages:
-Noise - Blue-ray player, PC, Amps, Receiver, gaming systems.... all of them have some noise.


AV Location#2:
Advantages:
-Noise would be less noticeable but will require more costs to vent the closet
-Out of the way cleaner look

Disadvantages:
-Sits at about 25-30' from the PJ and could have cost prohibitive ugrade costs for HDMI
-Can't run a 6' wired controller over easily


Now I may be viewing this issue from the wrong angle, and would highly appreciate any feedback. I've been told "running USB is easy, HDMI is hard". It's potentially weighing on me too heavily.


ATMOS:
I'm going to install the 6 speaker setup just to make sure I have overkill. I figure, why not? Cost? Yup.... I am considering for the initial installation that the front 4 speakers will be Yamaha NS-IC800 speakers with the rear being NS-IC600. This is a two fold thing.

One, those speakers are relatively cheap from a brand I trust (Monoprice and Mica have me raising an eyebrow of suspicion on speakers)

Two, I can match a 6.5" for the rear between the ductwork (highlighted in yellow) and hope that they all match acoustically well.(Am I crazy for this thought!?!?) I'm a little scared and think that maybe I should "notch" the ductwork to make 8" fit in the rear. Then again, this will be used strictly for Atmos and how much bass will really be needed? Also, once I look into more high end in ceiling such as Canton, Focal, KEF, Def Tech and Klipsch they all need 10"+ just for a 6.5" driver. Is it better to "future proof" the space now?

The main thought of this room is to be ready for future upgrades. The initial installation is not meant to be final. We want to be ready to upgrade to a more high end system in the future. And by we...I mean me....
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post #14 of 23 Old 09-23-2019, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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On an update side. Here is a view of the first layer of waterproofing that went up today. Second coat should be going up tomorrow.


Bathroom facing wet bar/entry


Wet Bar Looking Towards Bathroom


Looking towards the PJ location.


I'm hoping I might be able to catch Mississippi Man at some point on his thoughts on a Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal for the wall behind the PJ screen. He seems to have some vibrant input on these things, maybe I can tweak my wife's preference a hair if needed. I do plan on placing the PJ first and throwing it on the wall for a while and putting samples up. Screens confuse me, but I get that testing samples for each individual room should be done.
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post #15 of 23 Old 09-24-2019, 11:08 AM
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Depending on how deep your half wall shelf thing is, I'd just place the speakers as close to that as you can.
Heck, maybe a bookshelf speaker sitting on the shelf in that location and hanging on the wall on the opposite side(?)
Makes future changes/upgrades easier than in-walls.


Regarding the equipment rack, have you thought about under the stairs(?) Seems like a good use of wasted space, that's also in a good proximity. If the equipment is exposed at the back of the stairs, the sound shouldn't be an issue, as what little there is, would be projected/directed away from the main listening area.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post
Depending on how deep your half wall shelf thing is, I'd just place the speakers as close to that as you can.
Heck, maybe a bookshelf speaker sitting on the shelf in that location and hanging on the wall on the opposite side(?)
Makes future changes/upgrades easier than in-walls.
The shelf is going to be most likely 8-10" deep. I like this idea though. Can't go too big with the surrounds, but I'll have to bring it up with the missus and see if I can talk her into it. Sadly, she's a pitcure person so I'll be looking for something to show what it looks like to get approval. haha


Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post
Regarding the equipment rack, have you thought about under the stairs(?) Seems like a good use of wasted space, that's also in a good proximity. If the equipment is exposed at the back of the stairs, the sound shouldn't be an issue, as what little there is, would be projected/directed away from the main listening area.
Originally the existing 42U rack was going to be in that space, with wine storage under the stairs for what it didn't use.

Then she wanted storage/closet space, and now most recently it has become a storage "nook" that will have a desk in it at some point? I dunno. She's thinking something like this:


Now a lot of the design stuff that I don't want to fight over too much has come from her and Pintrest or Facebook or something. On that note, the AV rack location #1 would look something like this:


She found it, not me. I didn't find it offensive if she was OK with "schedule 40 pipe for handrails and foot rails on that bar top, maybe paint it black"

She laughed....then took it seriously, so, uhhh, yup.... On that note here is a small update to the floor plans to reflect wall locations under the stairs and eventual bar 3rd row seats and bean bag first row (might clear up the insane atmos for seemingly no reason)



Final thought on the AV locations. I might wire up both locations and only have one be active. I have more than enough wire with 500' of it. I just wouldn't be able to "bi-wire" everything, only the LCR. Although this might be another version of "Bi-Wiring" I guess.
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post #17 of 23 Old 09-25-2019, 08:08 AM
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Well, that built-in look for location 1 looks good, so I'd go with that. I don't think the equipment will be that loud.

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post #18 of 23 Old 09-26-2019, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
I used Dolby's suggested layout and found that if I do 4 atmos speakers then two will I end up in the soffit between the ductwork. This isn't ideal. Should I consider heights instead? Something more like the Aura layout?
Dolby's "suggested" layout is just that. A suggestion. It doesn't take any of the practical limitations that the rest of us in the real world have to deal with. So use it as a reference point, but not a law.

My basement is very similar to yours. I have a soffit running down the middle, which was in the way of the projector and atmos speakers. And lally poles to deal with.

I can't tell from the diagram if you plan on building a full wall between the media area and the laundry area, but in my basement, I put the atmos speakers behind the soffit. They are about 8' behind the main listening position. Remember, its mostly background effects and ambient sounds. If its not "perfect" its still really, really good. When the helicopter flies over head, you still know it flew over your head and ended up behind you. As they say, "Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good." I used monoprice in ceiling speakers for under $100 a pair for my atmos in ceiling speakers. Pretty damn happy with my choice. Left a lot more budget for the "real" speakers.


FYI regarding your soffit, this product used to be $450, not $850, but it allowed me to put my projector behind the soffit and drop it down under the soffit for watching movies. "Hey Google, Down Periscope!"

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15495

Just something to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
Run extra 20amp power circuits.

You should spend no more than $10k on a bathroom. realistically, don't need to go all out on the finishes in a basement bathroom. Definitely have a bathroom installed if it's there to be done. Well worth it long term.

Also, if you have a sump pump today, make sure that has a UPS backup installed. Also, ensure you make the accessibility to deal with any water up front. If needed, get the gutters installed and deal with the water run-off before hand if the room has ever gotten wet. Don't wanna be done with the room, and deal with a flood.
All of this ^^. How long have you been in the house? Do you know if you have water or moisture issues? I'm dealing with that now (unfortunately in an already finished basement). We ended up putting in french drains and a ridiculous sump bump "just to be sure."

Simple bathroom should be $5k - $7500 max. Toilet, sink, TV so you never miss anything. Zone 2 from the AVR is the bathroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
Originally the existing 42U rack was going to be in that space, with wine storage under the stairs for what it didn't use.
Never put your wine anywhere near a rack that produces heat. Trust me, that is bad for your wine. Don't ask me how I know.

We're in the "tear it all down and rebuild it" process, so I'm going through a lot of the same questions that you are right now. Plus, I've got the bias from knowing where things already are.

But you've got a very healthy budget to work with and should be able to build something that you are going to love.

And lastly, Go Pats! Go Sox! Pic of my old basement, current basement (pre-set up), and the projector lift.
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Video: Epson 5050 / nVidia Shield / OPPO-103
Audio: Marantz 7010 / MartinLogan Motion 40 (LR), 50XT (center), M2 (surrounds)
Streaming: nVidia Shield / Roku Ultra / Chromecast Ultra
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post #19 of 23 Old 09-26-2019, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post
Well, that built-in look for location 1 looks good, so I'd go with that. I don't think the equipment will be that loud.
I appretiate all of your feedback on this Barry. I did talk to the wife and she doesn't see an issue with the side surrounds being bookshelf speakers. I was actually pretty surprised. The revised layout is below with some tweaks to the atmos let me know your thoughts.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
Dolby's "suggested" layout is just that. A suggestion. It doesn't take any of the practical limitations that the rest of us in the real world have to deal with. So use it as a reference point, but not a law.

My basement is very similar to yours. I have a soffit running down the middle, which was in the way of the projector and atmos speakers. And lally poles to deal with.
I honestly looked at the Dolby layout like it was a science. It seemed very odd that Dolby would want six sets of speakers so close using their formula/layout.

Your basement looks a lot like what some of our neighbors have for their layouts with the work finished.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
I can't tell from the diagram if you plan on building a full wall between the media area and the laundry area, but in my basement, I put the atmos speakers behind the soffit. They are about 8' behind the main listening position. Remember, its mostly background effects and ambient sounds. If its not "perfect" its still really, really good. When the helicopter flies over head, you still know it flew over your head and ended up behind you. As they say, "Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good." I used monoprice in ceiling speakers for under $100 a pair for my atmos in ceiling speakers. Pretty damn happy with my choice. Left a lot more budget for the "real" speakers.
I added a new layout showing what is going in. We will not have a laundry area. The line that is in place shows the edge of the soffit. I printed the drawing in color again, as it's a lot easier to see the walls when they are in green and pink. I don't know why each is whatever color at this point. I got them from an architect and knew at one point. They mean something!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
FYI regarding your soffit, this product used to be $450, not $850, but it allowed me to put my projector behind the soffit and drop it down under the soffit for watching movies. "Hey Google, Down Periscope!"

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15495

Just something to consider.
Hahah, that command is great!

I have never seen something like this from monoprice of any other location for that matter. I showed it to my wife and she approved. It would pull the PJ far enough back to consider a nice JVC, or Sony down the road. Not to mention open up the options a TON for the current layout. It would also be easier to run conduit to it.

About how high is the bottom of that lift system? Do adults ever see it as an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
All of this ^^. How long have you been in the house? Do you know if you have water or moisture issues? I'm dealing with that now (unfortunately in an already finished basement). We ended up putting in french drains and a ridiculous sump bump "just to be sure."
We have been here for 3 years now. The house actually has a french drain setup, but is currently being used as the radon system. We have one crack on the back of the foundation that was sealed last year. Otherwise our house was built "on grade" and filled in on 3 sides to allow for rain to drain away from the house. Our septic system is actually 10' below the standard height due to this. All sorts of craziness, like a floor drain in the basement to a septic system.


Radon on Left plumbing on Right for future wet bar area


Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
Simple bathroom should be $5k - $7500 max. Toilet, sink, TV so you never miss anything. Zone 2 from the AVR is the bathroom.
It would have been under $10k, if we had used the existing plumbing location shown above. Instead, we are chipping into the concrete and installing an ejector ($3k for concrete work, ejector, and underground plumbing).

I looked back at the quote and we are actually more in line with $13,000.00 now for the bathroom. My wife and the GC have been going back and forth on those things, and I'm trying to stay focused on the AV stuff. I can't believe I mixed up the cost that much for who knows how long now!

Anyways, if we had used the area near the windows we could have kept this waaay down to like $5k, but we wanted to have some windows for when we sell the house to the basement and not a small bathroom.

The other $10k is to *TILE* the basement floor to prevent seepage from below. It'll come down though, as we found a cheap tile and the budget accounted for up to $5 a square foot on the tile. I think we are half that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
Never put your wine anywhere near a rack that produces heat. Trust me, that is bad for your wine. Don't ask me how I know.
Noted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
We're in the "tear it all down and rebuild it" process, so I'm going through a lot of the same questions that you are right now. Plus, I've got the bias from knowing where things already are.

But you've got a very healthy budget to work with and should be able to build something that you are going to love.

And lastly, Go Pats! Go Sox! Pic of my old basement, current basement (pre-set up), and the projector lift.
Do you have a thread going with what you are working on? I'd like to see what you've come up with. Thanks for the support.

I like the theme of the old setup.

Go Sox!
Go Pats!
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post #20 of 23 Old 09-26-2019, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
I added a new layout showing what is going in. We will not have a laundry area. The line that is in place shows the edge of the soffit. I printed the drawing in color again, as it's a lot easier to see the walls when they are in green and pink.
Updated layout is pretty sweet! Nice adjustment. I really think you'll appreciate the added seating too. 3-4 people sitting "straight" is cozy for the family, but 6-8 people makes it a party! I might turn that treadmill 90 degrees so you could face the screen and walk on the treadmill if you were so inclined.

So many similarities to my room. I've got my surrounds mounted on the wall, one of which is stairway wall, with my equipment in a closet under the stairs. (pics attached).

FWIW, I'm partial to Equipment Location #2 , mostly since it opens up 1-2 more seats behind the sofa. As long as you use an optical HDMI cable, you'll have no problems with the distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
I have never seen something like this...I showed it to my wife and she approved. It would pull the PJ far enough back to consider a nice JVC, or Sony down the road. Not to mention open up the options a TON for the current layout. It would also be easier to run conduit to it.

About how high is the bottom of that lift system? Do adults ever see it as an issue?
Exact same thought process as I had. In front of the soffit, I was never going to be able to get as big a screen as I wanted. So I needed to find a solution, or I'd have to move the screen location. We actually added some built-in shelves after I added the projector lift that I could have placed the projector on, but the HDMI and power cords would have been an eye sore.

My projector is ~15' from the screen, and my seating is 12' from the screen. I'm currently at 110" 16:9 screen, but was considering going as big as 135" 2.35:1 screen. I have room for 142"-145" but it just felt way too big. How "immersive" an experience you want to have is up to you and your personal comfort. (I'm not much of an IMAX guy.)

Re: the lift, do a search for "projector lift" and you'll see the standard options. They are expensive. Like $2000-$3500. So when monoprice was selling it for $450, it was a no brainer to give it a shot. And I was able to use the soffit to run plenty of wires. I have 2 HDMI and 1 ethernet going to the projector.

The biggest challenge with these types of lifts is that they are more designed to work with a drop ceiling. Not sure if you read the specs, but "Easily fits into 2' x 2' ceiling opening and drop ceilings" means "Damn near impossible if you're trying to mount it between beams that are only 16" apart."

I have the bottom of the lift pretty much flush with the soffit, which is 74". We're not a tall family, so its not an issue for us. But for taller people, the projector - when its "away" - isn't any lower than the soffit. So it isn't any more obtrusive than anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
The other $10k is to *TILE* the basement floor to prevent seepage from below. It'll come down though, as we found a cheap tile and the budget accounted for up to $5 a square foot on the tile. I think we are half that.
Before you pull the trigger, take a look at some of your options that aren't tile. A waterproof sub-flooring with cheap carpet may be way cheaper and provide some audio benefits, like managing reflections off the floor. (https://www.greatmats.com/basement-f...d-flooring.php)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
Do you have a thread going with what you are working on? I'd like to see what you've come up with. Thanks for the support.
I'm still very, very early stages. We haven't come anywhere close to starting the tear down yet. Too many issues to list here, but they started with mold remediation. Next will be solving the HVAC issues. Then we'll tear down and rebuild, and add soundproofing as a priority. But we're going to basically keep our layout. This will be the second time we've had to tear open walls in the year and a half we've owned the house.
[/QUOTE]
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post #21 of 23 Old 10-01-2019, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gupy View Post
I appretiate all of your feedback on this Barry. I did talk to the wife and she doesn't see an issue with the side surrounds being bookshelf speakers. I was actually pretty surprised. The revised layout is below with some tweaks to the atmos let me know your thoughts.
Happy to help, looks like the plans and work are coming along nicely!

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post #22 of 23 Old 10-09-2019, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I apologize for the delay to any and all that have been following this thread. I work in construction, my workspace at work is under construction, and my basement is under construction! It's been a little busy with all of the work! My first post will be responding to the previous comments, and then an update on the overall project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
Updated layout is pretty sweet! Nice adjustment. I really think you'll appreciate the added seating too. 3-4 people sitting "straight" is cozy for the family, but 6-8 people makes it a party! I might turn that treadmill 90 degrees so you could face the screen and walk on the treadmill if you were so inclined.
Thanks for the encouragement, and the suggestion about the exercise equipment. It will most likely be set-up that way in the final layout now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
So many similarities to my room. I've got my surrounds mounted on the wall, one of which is stairway wall, with my equipment in a closet under the stairs. (pics attached).

FWIW, I'm partial to Equipment Location #2 , mostly since it opens up 1-2 more seats behind the sofa. As long as you use an optical HDMI cable, you'll have no problems with the distance.
Thank you for the pictures! My wife is a huge visual person and didn't get a very good idea of what was going on without them. We will be installing everything in location #2 with ethernet and 120v down each lally column now instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
Re: the lift, do a search for "projector lift" and you'll see the standard options. They are expensive. Like $2000-$3500. So when monoprice was selling it for $450, it was a no brainer to give it a shot. And I was able to use the soffit to run plenty of wires. I have 2 HDMI and 1 ethernet going to the projector.

The biggest challenge with these types of lifts is that they are more designed to work with a drop ceiling. Not sure if you read the specs, but "Easily fits into 2' x 2' ceiling opening and drop ceilings" means "Damn near impossible if you're trying to mount it between beams that are only 16" apart."

I have the bottom of the lift pretty much flush with the soffit, which is 74". We're not a tall family, so its not an issue for us. But for taller people, the projector - when its "away" - isn't any lower than the soffit. So it isn't any more obtrusive than anything else.
While the projector lift was approved, I couldn't settle on one in time, so I might be limited to a 120" PJ. However, while using AV location #2 that means 120v and the smurf tube will be accessible from the back of the soffit should we change our mind down the road.

We will also end up with the soffit at about 74" finished. I seriously think that a lot of basements for houses in New England were designed by one guy 30-40 years ago and everyone just builds them that way.




Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
Before you pull the trigger, take a look at some of your options that aren't tile. A waterproof sub-flooring with cheap carpet may be way cheaper and provide some audio benefits, like managing reflections off the floor. (https://www.greatmats.com/basement-f...d-flooring.php)
With the Nor'Easter coming through we are keeping tabs on the hole in the basement for moisture levels. We do have a french drain system though, as you can see below, aaaand a rising water line.

We are fairly set on tile though as it has worked best in my experience anecdotally to keep water in the ground. Should the basement flood, I'll be back to apologize!



Quote:
Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
I'm still very, very early stages. We haven't come anywhere close to starting the tear down yet. Too many issues to list here, but they started with mold remediation. Next will be solving the HVAC issues. Then we'll tear down and rebuild, and add soundproofing as a priority. But we're going to basically keep our layout. This will be the second time we've had to tear open walls in the year and a half we've owned the house.
I really like your layout, and ours will be very similar. I look forward to seeing any creative solutions you have moving forward as well. Thank you very much for the inspiration and help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post
Happy to help, looks like the plans and work are coming along nicely!
Update below Barry! Any further thoughts on the post below would be appreciated!
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post #23 of 23 Old 10-09-2019, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, so, framing has started and a bunch of equipment has arrived.

I will start with the most recent updates to the layout.


-We have chosen AV location #2 in a closet in the back of the room to allow for more seating in a "3rd Row" down the line.


-The projector will be placed in front of the soffit allowing for a throw distance of 11' with my dream Sony PJ. Which would only have 110" screen. So, it'll be a BenQ, or Epson PJ for now to allow for 120+ inches of goodness.


-The in ceiling speakers have been purchased. Somewhat of a forum favorite with the RSL c34e (QTY 6). I paired these with the Monoprice rough in mounting bracket for 8" speakers (Product # 24762) and they are within 1/8" of what is needed for mounting the RSL c34e speakers.

I think this might be VERY useful for some folks out there to know. See below for the cutout template sitting nicely within the "rough in bracket". I essentially trusted Monorice and RSL to have the correct opening dimensions when ordering these two unrelated products.




-The ceiling situation has changed. We are now doing two layers of 1/2" with a green glue equivalent. The thickness of our ceiling will now be about an inch lowering our finished ceiling height to about to 7'-2"





-Smurf tube has been purchased (for about a $1.80 a foot for 1-1/4" at a local supply house in 2019). I picked up 100' to allow for installation of HDMI from the AV closet to the PJ. The AV equipment will be placed on a shelf up high right about where the plumbing makes the offset at the concrete. It will run to the depth of the light where it will 90 over to the other side of the soffit. About 25 feet or so.



We will also run Smurf Tube from the existing server rack to a potential TV location on the planned projector screen wall. This is for a future home owner, or if the cost of a 130" "Samsung Wall TV" hits under $2,000.00. See below where the black insulated plumbing pipe is in the ceiling to the rear of the space for a general idea of the run. Approximately 35-40 feet used.



I'm thinking I will have 30 or so feet of Smurf Tube left over. Where else should we run it, and why? I mean, I have the stock....why not?


-I have also received my box of misc wall plates, cables, banana clips, HDMI cables, etc...




The ethernet cable (CAT 6a), speaker cable (12 AWG) and smurf tube are hanging out in the garage with a toilet, because that's how I roll.




With the strange shelf wall thing being roughly framed I now have some visuals for it:





Measured rough shelf height:




Bathroom hole:




Stairwell from "theater space":



Items that have not yet been purchased or ordered:

-AV receiver
-Subwoofers
-Right Center Left speakers
-Surround speakers (7.2.6 setup as a reminder)



I am curious where I should consider placing the Ethernet connections within the space. I was thinking about adding a couple per lally column now for connection of 1080p peripherals. I mean that's what is great about it, right? Transmission of my gamecube, SNES classic, and various game systems that are too old to be relevant to 4k.

That and USB. Kind of thinking about getting a PC gaming rig into the closet, but unsure about USB for peripherals. It seems that Ethernet cable is the way to go for that.

EDIT:

What should be done or added in regards to ventilation for the closet? This closet will be 70% storage and 30% AV dead space. I was thinking a couple of 120mm CPU style fans mounted in a grille to move air out and allowing for the undercut on the door to make up for the supply.

Should I consider smurf tube to the floor from up high to place any PC/heat generating equipment outside of the space?


Thanks,

~Small Fish
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Last edited by Gupy; 10-09-2019 at 06:24 PM. Reason: About that ventilation situation....
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