AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Walnut, CA, USA
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I'd go with option 1 and a removable panel inside the theater to get at wiring, with the equipment facing into the workout room. The lights on the equipment will be distracting anywhere inside the theater, whether they actually shine on the screen or not. No matter what you do, you can't get a good angle to control IR equipment in either location, so that means RF or repeaters and the equipment can anywhere -- the furnace room, the storage room, the workout room.
The storage room might provide for the shortest cable run for HDMI to the projector, which is the only cable length that is really a problem -- not under the landing, but out in the open in the storage room. And if the ceiling joists run parallel to the screen wall, then the storage room will give the most direct run with the fewest joists to drill through and weaken. Cables under the stair landing, up the wall, across within a joist bay to the projector. But if you don't want to give up the floor space in the storage room or come and go to load blurays or adjust equipment, then Option 1.
I don't know how large your movie library is or where you intend to store them, but the "storage room" might be a good place to have a bookcase or two of discs. Likewise the room behind the french doors. In either case, having a space where the discs can be on display and the equipment rack in the same area is a thought.
BenQ TK800 VuTec 122" Screen, Harmon Kardon AVR 247
Psycoustic Mark III L&R Towers, Boston Center, Energy Take 5 Surrounds