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post #1 of 20 Old 09-20-2018, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Basement Theater Design Questions

I'm looking to turn a section of my basement into a dedicated theater room. The room will be 12' 6" x 15' 6" with a 6' 8" ceiling. The house was purchased three years ago and the basement had already been finished sometime in the late 1980's. I'm going to use my LG65C7 OLED for now rather than a projector and I have to build one wall down the center of my basement to enclose the room, plus an entrance door. The OLED will be mounted on the left wall instead of its current location. The stud walls have a vapor barrier and drywall but no insulation. My initial thought was to try and fill the wall cavities with cellulose insulation, put luxury vinyl plank tile on the floor, paint the ceiling grid black, purchase some new black ceiling tiles and change the lighting. I already have LVP tile that I previously purchased to cover the entire basement floor. This was prior to deciding to build a theater room. Any thoughts on this? I'm wondering if I should just remove the drywall and put Roxul batts, new drywall and carpet the floor instead of the tile. Any advice is appreciated.

James
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-20-2018, 02:08 PM
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Main thing I would be concerned about is the screen size limitation. I would definitely look into a projector vs the 65" as it kinda defeats the purpose of having a dedicated home theater room. There are some affordable 4K projectors now which would work well in your space. You don't need a 120" screen, whatever fits best in the space you have. Just my 2 cents
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-20-2018, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dbruce13 View Post
Main thing I would be concerned about is the screen size limitation. I would definitely look into a projector vs the 65" as it kinda defeats the purpose of having a dedicated home theater room. There are some affordable 4K projectors now which would work well in your space. You don't need a 120" screen, whatever fits best in the space you have. Just my 2 cents
Next year I plan to get a 77" OLED and move the one I have upstairs. I realize that the projector will be more immersive but I can't get past the picture quality, inky blacks and the HDR/Dolby Vision of the OLED. I would say that my usage is 50% alone 40% with my son and the remaining 10% is a couple of his friends. There will only be one row of seating and maybe a couple of beanbags if needed. The main viewing position will be fairly close.

James
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-21-2018, 03:52 AM
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I would suggest a 120" 16x9 screen would be perfect if you lay out the room to add an acoustically
transparent screen, at a later date.

Otherwise, I think you are spot on, in your thinking. How high end and what sort of design looks are you after?
Those would impact on how I'd go about such a room. Typically, you'll want a dark finish for such a space,
so any projector won't light up the room itself.

You also have to remember with a projector, you aren't sitting so close. So all that perceeived picture
quality isn't something your eyes are going to resolve. The other issue with a smaller 4K screen is you
should be sitting much closer, and how does that impacy on the speaker layout and getting your speakers
up front laid outanywhere near reccommended practises?
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-21-2018, 04:04 AM
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There could be some significant advantages to pulling the drywall. Such as you could eliminate the dropped ceiling and gain
several inches of height.

So what's in that double door closet, and could that bar area be eliminated? You could disguise that angled ceiling section
(on the poster wall) by incorporating it into a soffit over an acoustically transparent screen wall and screen.


I see nothing but potential for that space, since your want list is extremely reasonable. If you have a floor plan with
measurements, and obstactles, and needed access, I couold throw some room specific ideas at you, and floor plans.
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-21-2018, 04:06 AM
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Holy VFW/church basement look! You need to tear those walls down and see what nasty junk has accumulated behind them. I can't imagine what's behind the vapor barrier in terms of mold/mildew due to the lack of insulation between the warmer basement and colder outside. Then, you also need to tear down the ceiling - you're not honestly keeping those fluorescent lights?!?
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-21-2018, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
There could be some significant advantages to pulling the drywall. Such as you could eliminate the dropped ceiling and gain
several inches of height.

So what's in that double door closet, and could that bar area be eliminated? You could disguise that angled ceiling section
(on the poster wall) by incorporating it into a soffit over an acoustically transparent screen wall and screen.


I see nothing but potential for that space, since your want list is extremely reasonable. If you have a floor plan with
measurements, and obstactles, and needed access, I couold throw some room specific ideas at you, and floor plans.
The closet has shelves in it that hold some board games, 1000 CD's and about 800 DVD/Blu-Ray/4K discs. I could gain about 4-5 inches in height if I remove the drop ceiling. The only sticking point is a water line with a small section under the joist that is right above the tile next to the light fixtures. The dropped section right above the TV is an air duct. This area is right below my kitchen. I have a family room that is on a slab that is directly above and behind the wall that is behind the TV. The duct feeds that room. The angled part also has some duct but this could be reworked. I will try and have a layout in the next few days.

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Holy VFW/church basement look! You need to tear those walls down and see what nasty junk has accumulated behind them. I can't imagine what's behind the vapor barrier in terms of mold/mildew due to the lack of insulation between the warmer basement and colder outside. Then, you also need to tear down the ceiling - you're not honestly keeping those fluorescent lights?!?
Now that is funny. You are right though. It looked worse before I painted the paneling gray. Until a year ago it had a thick Berber carpet. The ex's foster cat destroyed it by peeing everywhere so I had to remove it. I bought the LVP flooring before I decided to make a theater room. The fluorescent lights are gone for sure. I hate them. No one on here seems to like drop ceilings.

James
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-22-2018, 06:10 AM
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You could build a very inexpensive media rack, that takes up little depth, and put the collection on display.
I am taking that one step further, using steel L from a
bunch of bed frames sourced at a Restore. They have been cut to length and cleaned up, primered and awaiting
their finish coat of hammered spray paint.


The water line might be partially rerouted or just hidden in the ceiling design. The duct stays and simply becomes
a side wall soffit, and I'd simply mirror it, on the other wall for symmetry.

The angled part I wouldn't even worry about, you could simply use an inexpensive DIY acoustically transparent screen,
and hide that angle, your front three speakers, subs, and some DIY corner bass trapping. A big upside for a smaller space,
is the AT screen hides a lot of av clutter.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-22-2018, 06:47 AM
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I see a space as such, laid out like this. There's very high end potential there, with your resonable
wants for this space.


Any old computers sitting around collecting dust? When someone has a large dvd collection,
an old P3 machine and up, could be a dirt cheap media server.


I really like this WaterFall Audio room as a small hybrid media room/dedicated theater. It's actually
a very good example of a room where a DIY'er could pull off the finishes, and keep costs in check.

There's also no reason a front AT wall design couldn't simply utilise the hdtv as a starter option. That AT wall
could be framed in, and the screen opening area filled in with a couple of screwed in studs to support the hdtv
for now.

Another item I like with an AT screen and soffits, is there's a cable run potential from the AT rack area to the front
AT space.
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-22-2018, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbruce13 View Post
Main thing I would be concerned about is the screen size limitation. I would definitely look into a projector vs the 65" as it kinda defeats the purpose of having a dedicated home theater room. There are some affordable 4K projectors now which would work well in your space. You don't need a 120" screen, whatever fits best in the space you have. Just my 2 cents


My room is very similar in size (about 12 x 17.5, 7' ceiling). I have a screen just under 100", and would never consider going smaller. For me, ceiling height in relation to seating position seems to limit screen height, but, I have two rows of seating. My first row is at about 10', with the second row against the back wall. When I add a back row riser, I will definitely be looking to go to 120 inches. To me, emersiveness beats out depth of black. Any drop in screen size would ruin the back row perspective. YMMV.


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post #11 of 20 Old 09-22-2018, 08:10 AM
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No sight line issues when there's no back row.

A single row of seating needs make it far easier to get smooth audio response in all seats. The negative of
less seats can translate into a bigger screen and a dramatic improvement audio-wise, in an 18' deep room.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-23-2018, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
You could build a very inexpensive media rack, that takes up little depth, and put the collection on display.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GS1MLHvIbg I am taking that one step further, using steel L from a
bunch of bed frames sourced at a Restore. They have been cut to length and cleaned up, primered and awaiting
their finish coat of hammered spray paint.


The water line might be partially rerouted or just hidden in the ceiling design. The duct stays and simply becomes
a side wall soffit, and I'd simply mirror it, on the other wall for symmetry.

The angled part I wouldn't even worry about, you could simply use an inexpensive DIY acoustically transparent screen,
and hide that angle, your front three speakers, subs, and some DIY corner bass trapping. A big upside for a smaller space,
is the AT screen hides a lot of av clutter.

Tomorrow I will have more time to figure out what is going on with the angled part and the rest of the drop ceiling. Any thoughts on stuffing insulation in the joists and replacing the tiles with black ones that have a nicer pattern. I would also change the lighting. I don't really need a media rack since nearly all of them are in Discsox which are a sleeve that holds the disc, cover and insert. I could convert that closet to an area for all the electronics. I am going to do all the work myself except possibly the floor. Can I get away with luxury vinyl plank or will carpet make a difference acoustically?

James
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-24-2018, 04:33 AM
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With an acoustically transparent screen, you really don't need to worry about the angle and what's going on up there. Here's the front of my room. It hides all kinds of soffitng for HVAC. It is admittedly overdeep to get the front right speaker out in front of a bite out of the founadtion, which also allows me to fit two large subs into a small room. I get a fairly big screen, which feels bigger then it is, due to the room being so small. I hide some very industrial looking speakers, two large subs that otherwise wouldn't fit in my space, A lot of HVAC ducting, inclding an S curve, and I even fit in a horizontal masking system.

I would insulate for creature comfort. And I would use the luxury vinyl plank if that's the look you want. I would have a large area rug on top though. Carpet is better, and likely cheaper.

If you reclaimed the closet area and bar, why can't the av rack go in the area beneath the stairs. That would work well for some conduit up top, run straight into the AT space up front, if you went that way. That's also a pretty solid DIY'er option. Next room I simply plan to go biiger 16x9 screen, and lace in some XD farbic, via grommits and O rings, then create my side and lower screen edges via velvet covered boards. The upper edge I am going to simply make a sliding panel as a mask that will slide up and down, to mask off content from 16x9 to 2.4.

You could replace ceiling tiles. Or you could go further down the rabbit hole and do a double layer of drywall, with backer boxes for lighting, and have a solid door with gasket. The upside to this work and expense, would be a much lower noise floor in the theater, and with insulation, have better creature comfort.

You could simply make wooden drawers on slides, and install them into the lower av rack. That would take care of your media library and host it right at the rack.

If you keep the suspended ceiling, painting the metal girds and tiles is a budget option. It really comes down to
how much time and energy you want to invest. That space could be a very nice small budget DIY'er build, or stray deep into a high end room.
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-25-2018, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Yesterday I was able to look at the angled part of the ceiling and found that is covering duct work for the upper floors. I have decided to stay with the drop ceiling. There is too much going on under there to put drywall up. I will paint the grid black, stuff some insulation up there and install new black tiles. I plan on putting new lighting in plus Atmos speakers. I'm going to have to tear down all the current drywall and paneling so I can install insulation and put my surround speakers in the walls. I of course still have to build one wall, install a door and enclose the shelf area by the stairs. The floor is still up in the air. I bought over 500 square feet of luxury vinyl plank to replace the damaged carpet that was previously on the floor. This was before deciding to do a small theater. I'm concerned about reflections off the floor and am considering all carpet for the theater room. As far as electronics I plan on utilizing my 65 OLED for now and wall mounting it. My front speakers will be the Paradigm Studio 100 V2 that are in the picture, the center is a Paradigm Studio Center and my sub is a PSA V1500. The rears are old B&W bookshelf speakers that I will be replacing with in-walls. My receiver is a Denon AVRX4400H and I'm using a 4K Apple TV and an Oppo BDP 203 disc player.

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post #15 of 20 Old 09-26-2018, 07:09 AM
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Enclosing the space isn't much in expense or work. That's kind of the beauty of that space you have.

The choice of sticking with the suspended ceiling, plus removal of drywall to insulate, means you have
chosen to not drive down the room's noise floor. You just lost the opportunity to NOT have to adjust the volume
during a movie. With a typical 55 db noise floor, you won't hear the quiestest passages of a movie, and when you
turn up the volume to hear those, then loud events are way too loud.

Also keeping that access to the HVAC, means noise from the theater has a really easy path to spread throughout
the house. So I would be looking for more then HVAC access to make that decision. I have three layers of drywall
with GG, between my HVAC and theater. The difference is dramactic, and there's longer my wife constantly asking
me to turn things down. She's happier, and I'm MUCH happier to watch an action flick at volume, with great dynamics.

Once I see your choice of insulation and drywall removal, along with realistic seating expectations, coupled with
solid gear for that room's volume, that makes me think I'd use the flooring already paid for. And paying careful
attention to sealing the room, and have something closer to a high end dedciated theater, then a simple media room.

Some planning ahead means you could have a projector upgrade, while using the hdtv for now.

Access to HVAC wouldn't be an excuse to miss all this opportunity, at a very affordable price point, for myself. So I will ask
what's beyond the HVAC up front, that actually needs access? If the HVAC joints are sealed and the system is properly
balanced, then you don't need access to HVAC. (All my HVAC is all my HVAC is behind three layers. One layer of
plywood, and two layers' fo 5/8" drywall, with Green Glue.)

Simple and inexpensive DIY'er built backer boxes could plant spot lights and in wall surround speakers in the sound isolation
shell.
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-26-2018, 08:06 AM
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I wouldn't worry about the flooring, I am doing laminate throughout the whole basement to keep the look and feel consistent, and then will likely have a large area rug in the theatre when it's finished. It means you have smooth floors without transitions, and more importantly you're using the materials you already paid for.
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-26-2018, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Enclosing the space isn't much in expense or work. That's kind of the beauty of that space you have.

The choice of sticking with the suspended ceiling, plus removal of drywall to insulate, means you have
chosen to not drive down the room's noise floor. You just lost the opportunity to NOT have to adjust the volume
during a movie. With a typical 55 db noise floor, you won't hear the quiestest passages of a movie, and when you
turn up the volume to hear those, then loud events are way too loud.

Also keeping that access to the HVAC, means noise from the theater has a really easy path to spread throughout
the house. So I would be looking for more then HVAC access to make that decision. I have three layers of drywall
with GG, between my HVAC and theater. The difference is dramactic, and there's longer my wife constantly asking
me to turn things down. She's happier, and I'm MUCH happier to watch an action flick at volume, with great dynamics.

Once I see your choice of insulation and drywall removal, along with realistic seating expectations, coupled with
solid gear for that room's volume, that makes me think I'd use the flooring already paid for. And paying careful
attention to sealing the room, and have something closer to a high end dedciated theater, then a simple media room.

Some planning ahead means you could have a projector upgrade, while using the hdtv for now.

Access to HVAC wouldn't be an excuse to miss all this opportunity, at a very affordable price point, for myself. So I will ask
what's beyond the HVAC up front, that actually needs access? If the HVAC joints are sealed and the system is properly
balanced, then you don't need access to HVAC. (All my HVAC is all my HVAC is behind three layers. One layer of
plywood, and two layers' fo 5/8" drywall, with Green Glue.)

Simple and inexpensive DIY'er built backer boxes could plant spot lights and in wall surround speakers in the sound isolation
shell.

Directly above this room is my kitchen. I have water lines and drains in the two joists just to the right of the light fixtures. My sink and dishwasher are roughly directly above the center of the theater space. There is also a gas line that feeds the first floor laundry room and an outside pool heater. As stated earlier I live alone except every other week I have my 11 year old son at home. I'm not really worried about sound traveling throughout the house. I always run the dishwasher when I go to bed so there will be no noise directly above me while watching a film. I understand why people do the double drywall, clips and Green Glue etc. but I don't think I really need to go that far. I do want it to look like a theater in there but I have seen some nice looking ceiling tiles which I think would work. Regarding future projector use I'm still on the fence. I'm wondering if we might see 120" OLED or MicroLED in a few years at fairly reasonable prices.

James
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-26-2018, 03:18 PM
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There will be a houseful of noise, without effort to isolate the theater. The typical home has a 55 db noise floor.
Quite noisy but we seldom give it much thought because we are used to this ambient noise level. Most people
never even give this thought, because they have never been is a room with a low noise floor.

You don't need sound proofing, but the flip side to that, is sound not getting into the theater.

You could slide the room over, and have a storage space outside the theater, under that ductwork/gas line, water lines.
Keep the suspended ceiling, that gives you access to those pipes, in that area. You could even put a projector hush box
in the back wall, and eliminate that source of heat and fan noise. And an av rack could go in the upper back corner also.

Even if you ever do see a 120" screen at that cheap a price, (and I highly doubt it), it is still is going
to force your center channel down low, push your mains into the corners of the room. Plus add a
really large reflective piece of glass to the room.

A hdtv is certainly simpler, but not neccesssarily cheaper.

You might not go for some isolation, but maybe the argument works for the next guy, reading this... It's all admittedly
higher end stuff, but if you can DIY, with the time to do it, then a small budget can take the space to the next level.
I really see this more of a different way to spend. Keep the paid for flooring and use it. Instead of carpet and underpad,
and other ceiling tiles, that's a second layer of drywall and seals for the door.
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post #19 of 20 Old 12-04-2018, 11:25 AM
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Hello


I can understand your indecision exactly. Subscribed, waiting for any progress on this


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post #20 of 20 Old 06-18-2019, 04:52 AM
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Hello


I can understand your indecision exactly. Subscribed, waiting for any progress on this


Zoltan
Hello

Any progress on your basement project ?

Zoli
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