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post #1 of 14 Old 05-05-2019, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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New Theater Design Help from Scratch

Hello,

I am in the process of thinking of a new room built from scratch for a dedicated theater room. I live on an 15 acre property in the sticks, and am considering building a 50'x40' building that will serve as my studio/media building.

The theater will be inside this building so there will be several rooms, including a server room that will be next door to the theater room. My proposed plan for the theater is a 18'x20'x9' space, with a projector setup. As for an equipment room, I could place them in the same room my servers will be in, so the gear would be in a separate room.

I would like to aim for a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos setup with overhead speakers. As for seating, I plan to just go with one row of four seats, as its just the wife and I, and my stepdaughter. We don't get much company that comes out so I think 4 seats will be enough, plus would eliminate the need for a riser.

Currently I am working on the floor plan, but as I have not broken ground on the main building yet I have time to make whatever changes during the pre-plan phase. I know I have to research on screens and projectors (no plans for 4K, 1080p is enough for me), acoustic treatments and such. I also have to decide if I want the foundation to be concrete or wooden based flooring.

So based on the proposed specs of the room above, is the 7.1.4 Atmos system doable?
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-06-2019, 12:30 AM
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Yes, also with a single row you may want to orient your screen on a long wall, door placement will be critical.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-06-2019, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, also with a single row you may want to orient your screen on a long wall, door placement will be critical.
Definitely could be an idea, so putting the screen on the 20' wall instead....I could put the door in the lower right corner, then have a mini-wall there to hide the light from the outside similar to how its somewhat done in the theaters. I'm going to keep working on the plan. Thanks!
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-07-2019, 04:11 AM
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IMHO the occurrence of an interruption with just the three of you wouldn't justify using any critical space to create a light tunnel as you describe.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-08-2019, 06:18 PM
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With but one row of seats, why not three seats or five seats instead? That way you can get the potential of a time aligned money seat...

ATMOS 7.1.4 is very doable.

You can also drop the screen height, with the single row and use an acoustically transparent screen. I also like the idea of lacing in some acoustically transparent screen fabric, into oversized framing, and establish the screen edges
by velvet covered boards, with the upper boarder being a sliding panel, to basically create a constant width screen.

Media servers I gather, and a htpc frontend?

I also am a fan of the entry door in the back wall, in the corner, as that gives me uninterrupted side walls, for fabric panelled walls.

The Savoy has a "light tunnel" that I have to say, is a pretty awesome feature. I actually have a big want list for my next room and this is basically the bare minimum design I have come up with. The 3 seats are really about a D-Box
platform and 800 pound limit. It might go, as I like the idea of wider and five seats. That entry area is really about a ton of media storage with drawer storage beneath the projector hush box. The south most wall is a run of floor to ceiling media
storage and the entry will have the av rack outside, while the server/ripping station will be hosted in a storage room elsewhere. The end wall will be a feature wall, with an embedded and rotated hdtv for movie posters. Maybe some MDF panels
an some stand off lettering. The idea being me being able to bring some wow features to what will be a fairly hardcore black cave of a home theater, where some nice lighting on a zoned lighting controller, and some interesting side wall fabric panels
with be the only design features.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-09-2019, 11:33 AM
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Ah the separate building theater. I love these...
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Roll Tide.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-09-2019, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
With but one row of seats, why not three seats or five seats instead? That way you can get the potential of a time aligned money seat...

ATMOS 7.1.4 is very doable.
Cool deal, based on Dolby's specs between 7.5 to 12 feet in ceiling height would be ideal for Atmos. As I plan to go with a 9 foot height it should work out well for my needs. Of course could just go with 10 as well. I could consider 5 seats if I place them lengthwise of the room space, in case any of my siblings want to come by for a visit.

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You can also drop the screen height, with the single row and use an acoustically transparent screen. I also like the idea of lacing in some acoustically transparent screen fabric, into oversized framing, and establish the screen edges by velvet covered boards, with the upper boarder being a sliding panel, to basically create a constant width screen.
I've heard alot about the AT screens, but I am not familiar with th transparent screen fabric, so I will have to do some reading on that.

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Media servers I gather, and a htpc frontend?
Yes I have two media servers, planning to use JRiver MC as the frontend, and Emby on my bedroom stuff.


Quote:
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I also am a fan of the entry door in the back wall, in the corner, as that gives me uninterrupted side walls, for fabric panelled walls.

The Savoy has a "light tunnel" that I have to say, is a pretty awesome feature. I actually have a big want list for my next room and this is basically the bare minimum design I have come up with. The 3 seats are really about a D-Box
platform and 800 pound limit. It might go, as I like the idea of wider and five seats. That entry area is really about a ton of media storage with drawer storage beneath the projector hush box. The south most wall is a run of floor to ceiling media
storage and the entry will have the av rack outside, while the server/ripping station will be hosted in a storage room elsewhere. The end wall will be a feature wall, with an embedded and rotated hdtv for movie posters. Maybe some MDF panels
an some stand off lettering. The idea being me being able to bring some wow features to what will be a fairly hardcore black cave of a home theater, where some nice lighting on a zoned lighting controller, and some interesting side wall fabric panels
with be the only design features.
Good stuff....I got your PM, I will read it over. Out on a work assignment tonight so I will have to continue working on the floor plan when I get home tomorrow afternoon. I'm working on all of the rooms for the main building including the theater so I will try to detail everything as I can. I'm hoping to break ground on the foundation pretty soon. Then I also have to consider room conditioning as well deciding whether to run a 100amp subpanel from the main 200amp service.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-10-2019, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
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Then I also have to consider room conditioning as well deciding whether to run a 100amp subpanel from the main 200amp service.
I just built a house on 5 acres last year and put up a 30x40x12 pole barn that I'm gonna finish myself for the theater and lobby. Your setup sounds a little different wrt the studio but I would recommend at least looking into a 10 foot ceiling if using traditional construction and 12 foot if going with a post frame structure. The price difference for me was minimal. You can always drop a ceiling but its difficult to add more height later.

I went with 400A service to the house with a 200a subpanel to the pole barn and 60a to a shed i built. No regrets. I'm doing a 2 zone HVAC system for the pole barn with the theater having it's own zone.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-10-2019, 04:57 AM
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9' of height is something I am focusing on, too.

I find a one row room, simply gets really easy to design really well, and eventually I started to wrap my head around whether I need all the typical design elements
of what I thought a home theater needed. I started exploring more European designs where I started to see all kinds of ways to shift budget, and that a more minimal
seating foot print could simply be a way to shift dollars to other features. It also means that equipment needs shrink, and it could becomes cheaper to build a room with
a low noise floor. A low noise floor being a design feature, I place as extremely important. You also have the potential to bury a huh box in the back wall, and eliminate that
noise source, and less heat from less bodies, no projector in the room, and the av rack and gear external to the theater, means air conditioning needs are greatly simplified.

A 4K htpc, separate sever, and a separate pc for ripping, movie database, and digital movie poster lightbox are dollar shifts for myself. My ATMOS and 4K upgrade is
a MOTU 1248 and NuForce MCA-18 eight channel amp. I might find myself another and simply bridge for 100 watts per ATMOS and surround channel.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-10-2019, 10:12 AM
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Once you have settled on an interior size, start working outward from there to allow room for speakers and acoustic treatments behind an Acoustically Transparent (“AT”) fabric. The more depth you have behind the AT fabric, the more room you have to hide large speakers and subwoofers and you can build more effective acoustic treatments for controlling room modes in the bass frequencies. Since you have unlimited space, I would think about walls and ceilings that are 24-30” thick.

I would also plan on mounting the projector outside the theater If you have the lumens to spare. If not, plan on building a hush box for projector mounting to control the noise.

Mike
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-11-2019, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I just built a house on 5 acres last year and put up a 30x40x12 pole barn that I'm gonna finish myself for the theater and lobby. Your setup sounds a little different wrt the studio but I would recommend at least looking into a 10 foot ceiling if using traditional construction and 12 foot if going with a post frame structure. The price difference for me was minimal. You can always drop a ceiling but its difficult to add more height later.

I went with 400A service to the house with a 200a subpanel to the pole barn and 60a to a shed i built. No regrets. I'm doing a 2 zone HVAC system for the pole barn with the theater having it's own zone.

Yes, I have looked over your thread on your theater build....very nice! My building will be a bit larger, but I will have other rooms sharing the space with the theater as well. I originally had planned for 9 feet, but may just go ahead and go with 10ft, since to me that would be optimal. Most likely will go with traditional construction in my case.

As of right now my wife and I live in a single wide trailer for now until we work on building our house, but we do have 200a service to the trailer. When we build our house we may have to order new service for that but I do plan to run a subpanel service from our existing service to the building for the theater. Also will have to think on HVAC size for it too since I will be having servers running there as well.






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Once you have settled on an interior size, start working outward from there to allow room for speakers and acoustic treatments behind an Acoustically Transparent (“AT”) fabric. The more depth you have behind the AT fabric, the more room you have to hide large speakers and subwoofers and you can build more effective acoustic treatments for controlling room modes in the bass frequencies. Since you have unlimited space, I would think about walls and ceilings that are 24-30” thick.

I would also plan on mounting the projector outside the theater If you have the lumens to spare. If not, plan on building a hush box for projector mounting to control the noise.

Mike

Ok, so basically what you are saying is that after the interior of the theater is settled on itself, working outward (i am guessing meaning planning for 'in between' wall space) so as to hide the speakers and subs behind the screen as you mentioned. I've considered the idea of mounting a projector outside the theater, but want it so it can be easily remote controlled too.

Good stuff here, I can modify the floor plan as needed to accommodate these changes. Hopefully soon may be able to post an image of the proposed plan.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-11-2019, 12:11 PM
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Hello,

I know I have to research on screens and projectors (no plans for 4K, 1080p is enough for me).
Just curious. Why would you spend a great deal of money on a separate building and not look at 4K and HDR? I don't understand this at all.

James
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-11-2019, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Just curious. Why would you spend a great deal of money on a separate building and not look at 4K and HDR? I don't understand this at all.

James

I don't have any films in 4K and rather not have to re-buy my movie collection to that format, plus HTPC support is still somewhat limited as far as software is concerned. I don't even own a 4K television; the few I have seen have the soap-opera look to me which I find highly irritating and ugly (though I am sure there's a setting to change that). Besides, I have to be able to transfer my media to my media server so that I don't have to deal with the discs.

Besides, the building itself will have more than just the theater room, it will also have a server room, video editing room for projects and other stuff.
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-12-2019, 05:14 AM
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Arguments for 1080P can be rather solid from a budget standpoint. One could build a large media library cheap, from those who are upgrading to 4K.

There's a lot of used gear with lots of life left out there, and some of it is dirt cheap.

More 1080P movies per hard drive, then 4K, and 1080P is just about headache free via htpc now. 4K upgrade media dollars end up competing with hard drive acquisition dollars.

Does one actually need 4K, when it's 3-4 seats at 11' throw distance, where one can keep the screen down to 9' wide? And 7.1 is simple htpc-wise, and maybe that's a more substantial
speakers versus ATMOS speaker counts.
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