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post #1 of 26 Old 10-12-2018, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Design Ideas for Basement

I recently purchased a new home with a finished basement. My previous home had a general media room with a projector but I would like to do a dedicated room this time around. I will probably hire a contractor since I am not handy. I am just getting started with looking into this, so I do not have a ton of details yet.

A few background notes, the previous owner did a half-baked theater in this area so it is semi-setup. There is a riser setup already and conduit in the wall to run cabling from the riser to the projector above. The area I am looking at is under the morning room, so no bedrooms or second floor are above it. I care more about functionality than looks. I want to get 80% of there but do not want to push the budget. I already have a lot of the equipment needed for the room (the projector, speakers, subwoofer, receiver, uhd player).

Attached are some photos of the room. The dimensions with the rolling wall are 14' 8" W X 16' L X 7' 9" H. I am thinking of framing the wall the screen will go on past the rolling door but I need to move the air intake. There is an unfinished area next to this room but it only goes about a foot in.

My thoughts are that I would double up on the ceiling drywall with 5/8" and use Green Glue. Since the side walls are next to cement, I was not sure if I should double those up. I would put the front speakers in the wall and have the center speaker behind the screen. My current surround speakers are pretty big speakers, I am debating get new ones for in wall along with ceiling speakers for a 5.1.4 setup. I do not believe there is enough room behind the seats for 7.1.4.

My equipment info;
1. JVC RS400
2. Revel F208 Fronts
3. Revel C205 Center
4. Ascend CBM170se Surrounds
5. SVS PB2000 Subwoofer
6. New a new projector screen since previous home had 100". I would like 120" or larger.
7. Will need recommendations for acoustical panels.
8. Will need recommendations for seats

I was thinking I would put the equipment in the unfinished area next to the room.

I would appreciate any thoughts with room design and where to put my money. I really do not want to rip out the existing drywall or carpet unless I need to.
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-14-2018, 07:02 AM
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I like that length of room as a one row of seating theater.

You could simply double up the drywall for more isolation, and close off the room with a new back wall.
I am thinking my next theater will have a "thick" back wall with a single row of seating. That thick back wall
will embed a projector hush box, and embed a Slim5 av rack right outside the entry door, plus have embedded
lateral file cabinets for movie storage. That entry area for my room, besides hosting a large media library, will
also allow me some "design flair" space to offset a very hard core performance driven theater, where texture,
fancy lighting, and a big AT screen will basically be the design.


Such a layout could let you extend the back wall a wee bit further back, and let you rout that cold air return
outside the theater.

How deep is the existing riser? And how tall? Is cutting it down, or removing it an option? I am a fan of
JBL's demo room and see it as a one row layout for such a space as yours. The entire front is shadowboxed
for projector performance and about maintaining contrast levels. The rest of the room is more relaxed about
lighter colors, and the lighting is unique as well. Nothing there much beyond a decent DIY project, and could
be very budget driven.

If you have a floor plan I could draw on, I could throw you some ideas. Also knowing more about what you
need in the way of seating, would mean a much more narrow focus.
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-14-2018, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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So I measured again and with the rolling wall the Width is 14' 8" and the Length is 16'. The riser height is a little over 10". If needed I could request to have it taken out. I like the idea of trying to use the space for a one floor room, however the wife was recommending a 6 seat theater.

Generally how deep is the screen wall with speakers in them? Do Subs generally go in the screen wall or outside? I really don't know anything about Bass Traps but would I need to build that into the space.

Would you recommend doubling up all walls or just the ceiling?
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post #4 of 26 Old 10-14-2018, 03:17 PM
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The real question is will you use the six seats? And how the height will now limit the screen size, when
you think about the room's height and the use of a riser.


Much depends on what you value more, and where the dollars get placed... I personally prefer all seating off
the surround speakers (and overhead channels), but the seating still within reference capable speaker throw
distances.


Here's a one row option I drew up, that grabs a bit more length. You could go two rows, but I'd recommend
making the theater deeper in that case. The bulkhead might impact on headroom and likley on screen size.

Subs might go in the screen wall or not. AT space depth varies, ideally speakers 6" off the backside of a woven AT
screen. I would forgo the riser install option if given that opportunity.
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-14-2018, 03:25 PM
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If you are looking for sound isolation, then it is an "all or nothing" proposition.


A single row theater might use narrow theater style rocker seats, and get you six. I'd be tempted to flip
the room 180, and have the AT space in the upper space in that case.


At a budget end of things, enclosing the space means a lower noise floor is possible, if you carefully
consider all room penetrations. That would offer up some nice pluses such as improved dynamic range,
and not ever needing to touch the volume level during a movie.

Bass traps behind an AT wall, aren't much work to DIY.
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post #6 of 26 Old 10-14-2018, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
The real question is will you use the six seats? And how the height will now limit the screen size, when
you think about the room's height and the use of a riser.


Much depends on what you value more, and where the dollars get placed... I personally prefer all seating off
the surround speakers (and overhead channels), but the seating still within reference capable speaker throw
distances.


Here's a one row option I drew up, that grabs a bit more length. You could go two rows, but I'd recommend
making the theater deeper in that case. The bulkhead might impact on headroom and likley on screen size.

Subs might go in the screen wall or not. AT space depth varies, ideally speakers 6" off the backside of a woven AT
screen. I would forgo the riser install option if given that opportunity.
Interesting and thank you for the drawing/answering questions. Is the line in front of the AT Screen/Wall the riser? Do you generally do a riser with screen/wall? With that drawing would you still recommend a 5.1.4 setup? I am guessing the wall with the av/hush box/media/cold air return is not a full wall so that the cold air return can stay open.
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-14-2018, 04:51 PM
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Yes. That was simply a way to use the riser as a stage. But if no stage/riser was an option, that would be my first
choice. I would prefer not to raise the speakers, and not give up 10" of room height.

The wall with the av/hush box/media rack is separate from the cold air return. I'd leave that area open to
the exterior of the theater and simply have a metal grill in the corner. I would want the theater to be enclosed
for sound isolation. An average home has a noise floor of 55 db and I'd want much lower for the theater. That
way your sound system has greater dynamics and you can hear quiet passages without loud events, being too
loud.


The cold air return is simply drywall and with a 180 room flip, this could also make it possible to close up that
existing grill area and have a new cold air return run up high, in a soffit in front of the header, and then drop down behind the
theater. As in the JBL demo room, everything forward of the existing bulkhead could be shadow boxed, with the
entry door hidden in the shadowbox on the side wall. More construction there but nothing a DIY'er couldn't handle.
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-14-2018, 05:17 PM
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something like this...

Forward of the bulkhead could be a soffit, and that creates headroom to route that cold air vent to the
new back wall, and drop it down in that wall. You also could simply put in some simple to make backer boxes
so the screen spots are sealed as part of the theater space.
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-15-2018, 05:22 AM
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You also might consider what's on the other side of that door, back of the theater side wall.
If that's a utility space, then you might reroute the cold air return on that side of the wall.


I plan on a similar space for my next home theater, but the 4 surrounds and 4 ATMOS speakers
will be in wall speakers, in DIY backer boxes.


This layout is to accomodate my D-Box platform with it's 800 pound limit, but I might eliminate it,
and simply go with five stadium style rocker seats for a narrow seating foot print. If these Destiny
seats ever become available here in Nporth America, the D-Box goes...
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-15-2018, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmbmay98 View Post
My current surround speakers are pretty big speakers, I am debating get new ones for in wall along with ceiling speakers for a 5.1.4 setup. I do not believe there is enough room behind the seats for 7.1.4.
My preference has moved strongly to in-wall speakers for surrounds and Atmos, having seen what a really clean install can look like. I think it frees up space in the room, and makes the experience more "theatrical"? I would also at the very least, prewire for the rear 7.x channels. I'd say just go ahead and put them in if you aren't buying exorbitantly priced speakers, because you always have the option of not using them if you don't like the effect. But once you finish, you won't be very likely to go back and put them in. My rear row will be almost right against the wall, but I'm still putting rear surrounds in. It should sound better in the front row, but still be fun for kids and guests in the back.
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post #11 of 26 Old 10-15-2018, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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My preference has moved strongly to in-wall speakers for surrounds and Atmos, having seen what a really clean install can look like. I think it frees up space in the room, and makes the experience more "theatrical"? I would also at the very least, prewire for the rear 7.x channels. I'd say just go ahead and put them in if you aren't buying exorbitantly priced speakers, because you always have the option of not using them if you don't like the effect. But once you finish, you won't be very likely to go back and put them in. My rear row will be almost right against the wall, but I'm still putting rear surrounds in. It should sound better in the front row, but still be fun for kids and guests in the back.
Good point on 7.x rear speakers. I will go ahead with that plan. Better to include them then wish I had them later.
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post #12 of 26 Old 10-15-2018, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
You also might consider what's on the other side of that door, back of the theater side wall.
If that's a utility space, then you might reroute the cold air return on that side of the wall.


I plan on a similar space for my next home theater, but the 4 surrounds and 4 ATMOS speakers
will be in wall speakers, in DIY backer boxes.


This layout is to accomodate my D-Box platform with it's 800 pound limit, but I might eliminate it,
and simply go with five stadium style rocker seats for a narrow seating foot print. If these Destiny
seats ever become available here in Nporth America, the D-Box goes...
I am curious what you think of this design of having the door going through the wall and keeping the riser. it forces the screen/seats to be to the left instead of centered. Which is why I kind of liked your drawing of having an area with the door where you walk in and to the left is the screen and to the right are the seats.

Edit: After figuring out seating distances, this design with the PDF would only allow about 9ft for the first row seats and the screen. A 120" screen would be way too big for that based on the calculators I have seen. That design would really only work if I removed the riser to push the one row of seats back. The existing riser is deep at 67" which would cause the first row to be too close.

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post #13 of 26 Old 10-15-2018, 03:04 PM
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Are you talking a 120" screen diagonal, or width-wise here?

For that Vanderwyst layout imposed on your space, are you extending the room past the curtain bulkhead?


Do you know that a 10" riser is adequate? A side sightline diagram drawn to scale, is a really good tool, if you have
seating measurements. If the room could be extended, then why not center the space, and have the entry door up
front, on the side wall, in front of the scren wall? Here's That JBL room pciture I was hunting for, that shows the entry
door up front. Something like that would eliminate the off center design and let you potentially extend the room.

Seating on room boundaries is a very commonly made mistake. Put another way, it's simply asking too much of a space.
Most people want the extra seating, but I prefer value for my money. If one can get by with less seating, then that's
simply budget for another feature or two. (Proper room design starts with seat selection, and flows outwards from there.)
If I want extra (audio-compromised) seating, I'd simply drag in a couple of extra chairs.


If that riser is simply an option, I'd prefer the room drywalled down to the floor and add my own riser after the fact,
where I have control over size, height and shape.

I'd be worried about screen weave being visible at a 9' seating distance. Screen selection here would be very important.

Seating choice would also be important. Most people like their ht recliners. I find them simply too comfortable, to doze off in.

If your seating doesn't recline, two rows of seating is more compact deepth-wise. Might be a design tool, to keep seating off
the back wall.


Can you extend the room to deepen it? Would the Mrs be onboard with that to get her 2 rows of 3 seats?
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post #14 of 26 Old 10-15-2018, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Are you talking a 120" screen diagonal, or width-wise here?

For that Vanderwyst layout imposed on your space, are you extending the room past the curtain bulkhead?


Do you know that a 10" riser is adequate? A side sightline diagram drawn to scale, is a really good tool, if you have
seating measurements. If the room could be extended, then why not center the space, and have the entry door up
front, on the side wall, in front of the scren wall? Here's That JBL room pciture I was hunting for, that shows the entry
door up front. Something like that would eliminate the off center design and let you potentially extend the room.

Seating on room boundaries is a very commonly made mistake. Put another way, it's simply asking too much of a space.
Most people want the extra seating, but I prefer value for my money. If one can get by with less seating, then that's
simply budget for another feature or two. (Proper room design starts with seat selection, and flows outwards from there.)
If I want extra (audio-compromised) seating, I'd simply drag in a couple of extra chairs.


If that riser is simply an option, I'd prefer the room drywalled down to the floor and add my own riser after the fact,
where I have control over size, height and shape.

I'd be worried about screen weave being visible at a 9' seating distance. Screen selection here would be very important.

Seating choice would also be important. Most people like their ht recliners. I find them simply too comfortable, to doze off in.

If your seating doesn't recline, two rows of seating is more compact deepth-wise. Might be a design tool, to keep seating off
the back wall.


Can you extend the room to deepen it? Would the Mrs be onboard with that to get her 2 rows of 3 seats?
Haha I guess I should have removed my last name. I think where I am headed is extending it to fit those two rows of 3 seats. I like the JBL Design and your drawing (the one attached). I believe that is the direction I want to head. I would like to do a side view and figure out if that 10" riser is enough to see over those seats and how it would look with the soffit/bulkhead.

I 100% agree with you on keeping the door to the side and keeping the seating/screen center. Not going to lie doing a dedicated theater is more complicated than I thought it would be
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post #15 of 26 Old 10-15-2018, 04:10 PM
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A well designed dedicated theater can be very complicated.

The extra row of seating brings many more factors into play.
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post #16 of 26 Old 10-16-2018, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is a drawing I did with Sketchup. Everything is to scale except the seats and the projector (I believe they are close but not perfect). I have not placed the surround speakers or the atmos speakers yet. I am not sure how to show the speakers behind the screen and what the framing would look like. i changed to a 135" 2.40 X 1 screen since it will help with the height and provide a bigger screen for movies.
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post #17 of 26 Old 10-16-2018, 06:14 PM
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I gather you plan to use zoom? You need to look at the lumens you will have on screen.


It looks like the riser could be extended, and the front row moved forward.

Is that throw distance realistic? Have you used a calculator to explore the numbers?
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post #18 of 26 Old 10-21-2018, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I updated the drawings. I believe I am leaning towards not doing a false wall and putting the speakers on the sides of the screen.

For some measurements (overall 14' 8" x 22' x 7' 9");

The projector will be roughly 15ft away from screen attached to the beam or from the ceiling in front of the beam.

The mlp and front row of the seats will be 14ft away. Second row would be roughly 19ft away.

The riser is 7ft by 7.5" and a second riser will be used under the couches as a phase 2.

The walkway for the door is going be to 30"

Screen is 135" 16:9. There will be 29" of clearance on each side for the speakers.

I have a few concerns that I would like some advice on. Is that speaker distance too wide and too close to corners? I will not be able to place the subwoofer in the front corner. Do you recommend rear corner? I am still trying to figure out speaker placement for surround and atmos.
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post #19 of 26 Old 10-22-2018, 04:02 PM
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You don't need the subwoofer in the corner... unless it needs some re-enforcement.

The riser looks too low, which means the second row isn't going to be able to see the bottom of the screen. So
you will need the additional height of phase 2.

I hear bass isn't directional all the time.... but I wouldn't want a higher crossover such as 80 Hz, as the mid bass
might tip you off to the sub's location.
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You need to do the math. A 135" 16:9 screen will be 71-72" or so tall factoring in the frame. With your ceiling height being 7'9" you need to make sure your riser is tall enough to see the bottom of the screen. If this is mostly for movies you may want a 2.35:1 screen. It will be easier with shorter ceilings and 2 rows.

You may want to consider in wall speakers as well with an AT screen. You don't need a false wall and you will get much better speaker placement, especially for the center channel which is the most critical speaker due to dialogue.

With 7'9" ceiling and a 135" screen your center channel in a non inwall screen will be 20" or less of the ground. For second row listeners this can be challenging.

The inwall speakers and AT screen saves you space and gets you proper speaker positioning.
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post #21 of 26 Old 10-23-2018, 07:58 AM
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Assuming he can part with his existing speakers.... That usually doesn't go over well, when I've suggested it.

But that's a strategy I've personally used before. Weigh the cost of selling and buying something else, versus what
it gets me, in terms of how it all fits in and makes things work better. One of the advantages there, is the
screen to front row eyes could be shrank, and that would create better fit for ATMOS speakers with the beam
further back of the front row.

The OP could use an island riser, on top of a wall to wall riser, if he can bring the riser out past the door.
If the door swings inwards, that could be a small landing outside the room. Another option is skip ATMOS
entirely.
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post #22 of 26 Old 10-23-2018, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the tips and it raises a good point. I just hate to give up on good audio quality. I like my existing speakers and bought them used this year. How is the audio quality of in-wall speakers versus towers? I like doing concert blu-rays in addition to watching movies.

I am sure I could break even on my speakers if I needed to since I got a really good deal on them.
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Quote:
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Thank you for the tips and it raises a good point. I just hate to give up on good audio quality. I like my existing speakers and bought them used this year. How is the audio quality of in-wall speakers versus towers? I like doing concert blu-rays in addition to watching movies.

I am sure I could break even on my speakers if I needed to since I got a really good deal on them.
In-wall speakers can sound just as good as in-room. Obviously it comes down to brand, model, budget. I didn't realize you already owned the speakers in your first post. Since you do, I would not go down the path of in-wall speakers since you own some very nice speakers.

You still have room to build a false wall and have the speakers behind the screen, but you can also try "aiming" the center channel up slightly for the 1st and 2nd row.

Personally, I am a huge fan of a false wall and acoustically transparent screen. You get much better speaker placement and a much cleaner looking front sound stage. It also allows you to use three matching vertical speakers for your front sound stage as horizontal center channel are often a compromise in sound quality

I think 22-24" for a false wall is usually more than enough. For reference I am sitting 10' from a 127" 2:35:1 screen in the first row and around 15' for the second row and there are no issues. With 4K/HDR closer it better
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post #24 of 26 Old 10-23-2018, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post
In-wall speakers can sound just as good as in-room. Obviously it comes down to brand, model, budget. I didn't realize you already owned the speakers in your first post. Since you do, I would not go down the path of in-wall speakers since you own some very nice speakers.

You still have room to build a false wall and have the speakers behind the screen, but you can also try "aiming" the center channel up slightly for the 1st and 2nd row.

Personally, I am a huge fan of a false wall and acoustically transparent screen. You get much better speaker placement and a much cleaner looking front sound stage. It also allows you to use three matching vertical speakers for your front sound stage as horizontal center channel are often a compromise in sound quality

I think 22-24" for a false wall is usually more than enough. For reference I am sitting 10' from a 127" 2:35:1 screen in the first row and around 15' for the second row and there are no issues. With 4K/HDR closer it better
Would you have any concerns only having 13 ft from the screen for the projector? Projector calculator looks like the jvc projectors can shoot it but it says it will be pretty bright.
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Would you have any concerns only having 13 ft from the screen for the projector? Projector calculator looks like the jvc projectors can shoot it but it says it will be pretty bright.
Bright is better with HDR and bulbs dim over time. As long as the throw range works I wouldn't have an issue.
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post #26 of 26 Old 10-24-2018, 08:06 AM
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Brightness is great to have, but the trick is not have the room light up. Finish choices are important if you want
to preserve the dynamic range of the JVC.
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