The Pit of Despair Theater Build - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-19-2017, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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The Pit of Despair Theater Build

While this may not be the final name of the theater, it accurately reflects my feelings toward the space that will be my theater, which has been vacant for roughly 2.5 years. I have lost many hours of sleep due to indecision of what exactly to do with the space, but ultimately decided to go full-on theater. I hired @Nyal Mellor to do the design. While I don't have a definitive budget, the amount of money I have to spend is probably relatively small to many of the other theaters I have viewed/followed. I would say I have the good portion of what I need for this space in terms of equipment, seating, etc. and the part I am really struggling with at the moment is automation controls. I got a quote from a local business for Control4, I'm just not sure I want to spend that amount of money for one room. I looked at iRule, and had initially planned on going that route, but I really don't understand how it all works and what additional components are needed. Anyway, pictures and additional information to follow as I start down this road, which I'm sure will cause more loss of sleep and headaches until it is done.
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Last edited by lt1z1997; 09-22-2017 at 08:03 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-19-2017, 08:27 AM
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I'm in the same boat as you regarding home automation - I just don't understand it well at all.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-19-2017, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brazensol View Post
I'm in the same boat as you regarding home automation - I just don't understand it well at all.
My brother lives in Wasilla. I spoke with another local retailer yesterday and he thought a Universal Remote Control might get me 90-95% of what I want. For the cost difference I might have to sacrifice the other 5-10% and move on.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-19-2017, 06:00 PM
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A SmartThings hub and Harmony Elite Hub/Remote will do just about everything you'd like in your theatre. These bits work very well together:

1. SmartThings hub
2. Philips Hue hub and lighting
3. Logitech Harmony Hub and Elite remote.

The Harmony hub/remote has wife and daughter's approval. It also allows you to trigger lighting scenes with AV routines and controls just about everything I've thrown at it. Around $400-500 to start off.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-19-2017, 10:09 PM
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I got myself a Wink Hub, Amazon Echo, and a Logitech Harmony Elite. It's amazing what you can automate with this trio. The Elite is by far one of the best remotes I've ever used.


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post #6 of 10 Old 09-19-2017, 11:27 PM
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...but don't rush out and buy an Elite right now. If you're just starting on a build, it'll almost certainly take a few months (using contractors) to a couple of years (totally DIY) to get finished.

In that time it's quite likely that Amazon will have one of its special sales, Black Friday, Prime week, or whatever. The Elite is often half price or less during these events. I bought mine last Black Friday; I won't be finished building until Christmas.

HTH
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-26-2017, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lt1z1997 View Post
While I don't have a definitive budget, the amount of money I have to spend is probably relatively small to many of the other theaters I have viewed/followed. I would say I have the good portion of what I need for this space in terms of equipment, seating, etc. and the part I am really struggling with at the moment is automation controls.
Can you explain more what you'd like to do regarding automation. If you would like, I could stop by sometime and take at look at your place.

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-27-2017, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post
Can you explain more what you'd like to do regarding automation. If you would like, I could stop by sometime and take at look at your place.
Really just looking for a single source of control (one app on an iPad or one remote). Ideally, I would like to be able to have lights turn off when pushing the play button for a movie and turn back on when hitting pause or stop.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-05-2017, 04:52 PM
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Something like a Logitech Harmony will automate pretty much everything you need it to for a single room home theater, plus you can DIY the programming.

Lighting control I'd recommend Lutron Caseta. You need the Pro version of their hub to integrate with Harmony. The hub communicates wirelessly to the switches and dimmers, with a 30ft range. Hub just needs an Ethernet connection. Integrates with the Harmony over the network.

I'd wait until you are installing the equipment to buy the Logitech, as they are always changing the models. It makes sense to get the Lutron Caseta dimmers and switches in pretty early, so you have light in the theater. They work as "dumb" switches / dimmers until you set them up with the hub.

If you want more info, I'd be happy to provide some additional consulting Q&A.

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post #10 of 10 Old 11-01-2017, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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So I finally feel like I have started on this project. Put up the dividing double wall that separates the theater from the adjacent space this weekend with the help of my buddy Chris. Only got a little over half way done on Saturday and then was on my own Sunday to finish up. I have a few small things to do yet before I will consider them "complete", but should be less than an hours work. I still need to work through electrical requirements so I can make those runs, how much speaker wire I need, number and length of HDMI cables and settle on a cable management method. I also need to determine how much hat channel I need for the ceiling and figure out how I'm going to do the soffit (I think I possibly have this figured out, but I need to go down and really look at it). I'm finally feeling motivated and not as intimidated by this project. I also got my Lutron dimmers and Smart Bridge this week. Based on a recommendation I got from @nebrunner I think I might need to consider putting a dead vent in somewhere to help with temperature regulation so I need to figure that out as well. Was thinking I could put it on a basic Lutron on/off switch and just have it on while the theater is in use instead of all the time, but still have it controlled with a scene or something like that. Anyway, I clearly have a lot of work to do yet, but here are a couple pictures of the progress so far.
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