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post #1 of 35 Old 10-18-2019, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Barebones Theatre Rooms - Advice & Suggestions Needed

Hi All,


We don't have plans for the foreseeable future to finish our basement. I have a nice 65" LG OLED TV upstairs but I'm itching to watch sports and movies on a big screen! So I'm going to setup a barebones theatre room in the basement with an eye for everything to work/fit when the basement is finished sometime down the road.


Ceiling is 9' and I've attached a couple of pics - one shows where I plan to put the screen (will be attached to a couple of 2X4s from the ceiling) and the other is a shot from where the screen would be looking out the other way to give you an idea of the space. I plan on painting the cement black and to hang some black sheets over the insulation. I've got a black couch, black coffee table and I'll throw down a dark rug.



I'm new to this game and after doing some research I'm currently planning on purchasing a Benq HT3550 4K projector, a 120" diagonal Silver Ticket white screen and a 4K Denon receiver. I have a center speaker and two side speakers on stands. My budget for the receiver, a subwoofer, two column speakers and maybe two ceiling speakers is $1000-$1500 (Cdn). When we get around to finishing the basement I can always upgrade the audio at that time. if needed.


This obviously won't be an elegant setup but I'm hoping it'll work.


Any thoughts, suggestions or advice on this layout and the equipment I'm thinking of buying (on Black Friday)??


Thanks in advance for any help!
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post #2 of 35 Old 10-18-2019, 02:15 PM
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Kudos for doing something barebones that you won't regret if you decide to do a more involved build down the road, and that will help you get a better sense of what you do and don't want.


Dark fabric will go a long way toward making this a pleasant place to watch movies. If you could cover all the walls and ideally even the ceiling in a cost-effective way, that would be pretty sweet.


Equipment choices seem reasonable, though of course there's the alternative of used or refurbished, cheaper alternatives.

Benq W1070 projector w/ Chief RSM mount with custom interface bracket
119" Da-Lite Cinema Contour with High-Contrast (gray) Da-Mat screen
Denon X2000 receiver fed by Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Bluray player
Focal Chorus 700-series towers and center, JMLab Tantal 500-series bookshelf rears
Rythmik FV15HP sub

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post #3 of 35 Old 10-18-2019, 02:17 PM
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Everyone has to start somewhere!

I would consider trying out a spandex DIY screen, which should give you a lot of value for relatively little cost. It also is a great way to be able to place your main speakers in the perfect location right behind the screen, since it is acoustically transparent.
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post #4 of 35 Old 10-18-2019, 02:27 PM
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Curtains all around and behind the seating area should have you "covered" for awhile. You may want to consider spending a bit more on the projector as that might not be something you want to replace anytime soon. Maybe an Epson 5050UB, or if funds are really tight, a refurbished Epson 5040 would be worth looking into.
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post #5 of 35 Old 10-18-2019, 03:00 PM
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I have a lot of positive experience buying factory refurbished Denon receivers from Accessories4less.com. When they arrive they are indistinguishable from new.
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post #6 of 35 Old 10-18-2019, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m0j0 View Post
Curtains all around and behind the seating area should have you "covered" for awhile. You may want to consider spending a bit more on the projector as that might not be something you want to replace anytime soon. Maybe an Epson 5050UB, or if funds are really tight, a refurbished Epson 5040 would be worth looking into.

This advice is well taken...especially if a Acoustic Transparent Spandex route is considered. At least the 5050 part. It should be high on the list.


Your proposed space is ideally suited for a simple but effective Spandex Wall Screen, one that is "Format-less"...no constrained borders so you can use lens Memory to optimize any given Format to size.



Ixnay on the 5040 refurb. There are just too many "ifs" that have been "oh no's" to put high hopes on one.

"They said it couldn't be done. Well, we sure showed 'em otherwise!"
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post #7 of 35 Old 10-18-2019, 10:50 PM
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Hey zzmac,

Take a look at these blackout curtains from walmart. The price is reasonable and they will look more finished than sheets. You don't have to use curtain rods if you don't want to and that will substantially increase the coverage.

Mike
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Ever consider bringing that screen wall forward and host a deep AT space?

How wide is the space between the concrete by the water meter and the opposite wall?

You could pull the screen wall forward, and that concrete intrusion could be partially disguised as a column.
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post #9 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 05:56 AM
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Take a trick from Retail and Restaurant spaces. Rather than finishing the ceiling just paint EVERYTHING black. Flat black with a sprayer. That would include that metal duct. It will almost disappear.

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post #10 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niccolo View Post
Kudos for doing something barebones that you won't regret if you decide to do a more involved build down the road, and that will help you get a better sense of what you do and don't want.


Dark fabric will go a long way toward making this a pleasant place to watch movies. If you could cover all the walls and ideally even the ceiling in a cost-effective way, that would be pretty sweet.


Equipment choices seem reasonable, though of course there's the alternative of used or refurbished, cheaper alternatives.

Thanks for the advice niccolo!
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post #11 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m0j0 View Post
Curtains all around and behind the seating area should have you "covered" for awhile. You may want to consider spending a bit more on the projector as that might not be something you want to replace anytime soon. Maybe an Epson 5050UB, or if funds are really tight, a refurbished Epson 5040 would be worth looking into.

Thanks for the suggestions mOjO. That Epson 5040 seems to have a lot of bad reviews so I'll disregard that one but that 5050UB seems like a nice unit. I'll keep that one in mind. I have read that Epsons are very good projectors. The new Benq HT3550 has a lot of good reviews and is currently selling for $2000 (Canadian). That Epson 5040UB looks to be about $1000 more. Would it be that much better? My plan is to keep 1-3 projectors on the radar and make my final decision on Black Friday based on sale discounts/value. TVs get big discounts on BF, do projectors as well? Thx!
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post #12 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
I have a lot of positive experience buying factory refurbished Denon receivers from Accessories4less.com. When they arrive they are indistinguishable from new.
Thanks for the suggestion BIGmouthinDC. That site has some really nice prices but unfortunately they don't ship to Canada by the looks of it.
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post #13 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mhutchins View Post
Hey zzmac,

Take a look at these blackout curtains from walmart. The price is reasonable and they will look more finished than sheets. You don't have to use curtain rods if you don't want to and that will substantially increase the coverage.

Mike

Thanks for the suggestion mhutchins. Good idea!
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post #14 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Take a trick from Retail and Restaurant spaces. Rather than finishing the ceiling just paint EVERYTHING black. Flat black with a sprayer. That would in include that metal duct. It will almost disappear.

I have a compressor and sprayer and that would save a lot of time BIGmouthinDC. As long as everything from the projector going forward to the screen area is black is that all I need to be concerned with? Or do I need to consider any area behind the projector as well?
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post #15 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzmac View Post
Thanks for the suggestions mOjO. That Epson 5040 seems to have a lot of bad reviews so I'll disregard that one but that 5050UB seems like a nice unit. I'll keep that one in mind. I have read that Epsons are very good projectors. The new Benq HT3550 has a lot of good reviews and is currently selling for $2000 (Canadian). That Epson 5040UB looks to be about $1000 more. Would it be that much better? My plan is to keep 1-3 projectors on the radar and make my final decision on Black Friday based on sale discounts/value. TVs get big discounts on BF, do projectors as well? Thx!

The 5040 I believe had some power supply issues but if you get a refurbished unit it comes with a full warranty, and refurbished it goes for around 1,100-1,200 US. As for the 5050UB, I haven't seen it go below the current price of $2,799 US, but I don't know if it will go lower on Black Friday or not (I doubt it).


https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...EaApu8EALw_wcB


https://www.crutchfield.com/S-NPABYo...IaAvXsEALw_wcB
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post #16 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
This advice is well taken...especially if a Acoustic Transparent Spandex route is considered. At least the 5050 part. It should be high on the list.


Your proposed space is ideally suited for a simple but effective Spandex Wall Screen, one that is "Format-less"...no constrained borders so you can use lens Memory to optimize any given Format to size.



Ixnay on the 5040 refurb. There are just too many "ifs" that have been "oh no's" to put high hopes on one.

Thanks for the suggestion MississippiMan! I think I read somewhere that acoustic perforated weave screen lose a little image quality due to tiny holes in the screen I assume spandex doesn't have that issue.
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post #17 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Ever consider bringing that screen wall forward and host a deep AT space?

How wide is the space between the concrete by the water meter and the opposite wall?

You could pull the screen wall forward, and that concrete intrusion could be partially disguised as a column.

Thanks for the suggestion Tedd. I'm a newbie (lol), what is AT? Audio equipment? The space between the concrete beside the water meter and the opposite wall is 12'3" (unfinished).
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post #18 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Would LED strip lights behind the screen affect image quality or not at all? I already have a transformer in the ceiling down there for some under the counter LED strip lighting upstairs in my kitchen so it would be pretty easy to hook up (if not just connected to a USB port somewhere. Cheap way to add a little mojo.
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post #19 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzmac View Post
Thanks for the suggestion Tedd. I'm a newbie (lol), what is AT? Audio equipment? The space between the concrete beside the water meter and the opposite wall is 12'3" (unfinished).
AT is short for acoustically transparent. That spandex suggestion could make for a nice but inexpensive screen wall.
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Absolutely zero wow factor for LED strip lighting...…

Exhibit A.

I like JOSK's room for this. I see this as black speaker grill fabric bought by the bolt, and some 2x4 angled walls for a budget space with serious attitude.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Absolutely zero wow factor for LED strip lighting...…

Exhibit A.

I like JOSK's room for this. I see this as black speaker grill fabric bought by the bolt, and some 2x4 angled walls for a budget space with serious attitude.

That's awesome!
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post #22 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there anyplace like Amazon (that ships to Canada) that sells the spandex material?
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post #23 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzmac View Post
Thanks for the suggestions mOjO. That Epson 5040 seems to have a lot of bad reviews so I'll disregard that one but that 5050UB seems like a nice unit. I'll keep that one in mind. I have read that Epsons are very good projectors. The new Benq HT3550 has a lot of good reviews and is currently selling for $2000 (Canadian). That Epson 5040UB looks to be about $1000 more. Would it be that much better? My plan is to keep 1-3 projectors on the radar and make my final decision on Black Friday based on sale discounts/value. TVs get big discounts on BF, do projectors as well? Thx!

I'd try to move beyond thinking of projectors on a spectrum from good to bad and develop a more nuanced sense of what you do and don't want and therefore what projectors might be a good fit for you. The Benq and Epson projectors have very different strengths and weaknesses. You need to think about a bunch of issues like: How much do you care about ultimate contrast? How much do you care about lag? How much vertical offset capability do you need? And a bunch of similar questions. And these tradeoffs are easier to weigh if you have a sense of your budget, though you can always revisit that budget as you realize the tradeoffs it would force.

Benq W1070 projector w/ Chief RSM mount with custom interface bracket
119" Da-Lite Cinema Contour with High-Contrast (gray) Da-Mat screen
Denon X2000 receiver fed by Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Bluray player
Focal Chorus 700-series towers and center, JMLab Tantal 500-series bookshelf rears
Rythmik FV15HP sub
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post #24 of 35 Old 10-19-2019, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by niccolo View Post
I'd try to move beyond thinking of projectors on a spectrum from good to bad and develop a more nuanced sense of what you do and don't want and therefore what projectors might be a good fit for you. The Benq and Epson projectors have very different strengths and weaknesses. You need to think about a bunch of issues like: How much do you care about ultimate contrast? How much do you care about lag? How much vertical offset capability do you need? And a bunch of similar questions. And these tradeoffs are easier to weigh if you have a sense of your budget, though you can always revisit that budget as you realize the tradeoffs it would force.

Having never owned a projector makes a more nuanced sense more difficult. The main priority for ma is NFL, Golf and movies. And the granddaughters will probably want to play some games on it. I've stayed away from games for a long time because I get addicted and then spend way too many hours trying to become the world's best (LOL). Although once I get blown away by this when it's done I might get a flight simulator or something for amusement.


My original loose budget was $2000 for a projector and the Benq HT3550 looked like the perfect fit. But after looking at the specs and reviews of that Epson 5050 it looks very tempting especially if I can find a little discount on Black Friday. I'd also save a few hundred on the screen if I go spandex which could be put towards the Epson. I really like the idea of some of the speakers behind the screen.


With all that in mind, which of the 2 systems looks like a better fit?


Newbie question: The only equipment I'm planning on using at the moment is a Denon receiver and an Apple TV. Can these also go behind the screen and if so I presume the clickers would work through the screen? Sorry if that's a dumb question.
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post #25 of 35 Old 10-20-2019, 05:42 AM
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Might check out a local fabric store for Spandex.

If you are close to the border, there are postal receiving services that can receive a parcel and you can import it far cheaper then paying excessive brokerage fees.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzmac View Post
Having never owned a projector makes a more nuanced sense more difficult. The main priority for ma is NFL, Golf and movies. And the granddaughters will probably want to play some games on it. I've stayed away from games for a long time because I get addicted and then spend way too many hours trying to become the world's best (LOL). Although once I get blown away by this when it's done I might get a flight simulator or something for amusement.


My original loose budget was $2000 for a projector and the Benq HT3550 looked like the perfect fit. But after looking at the specs and reviews of that Epson 5050 it looks very tempting especially if I can find a little discount on Black Friday. I'd also save a few hundred on the screen if I go spandex which could be put towards the Epson. I really like the idea of some of the speakers behind the screen.


With all that in mind, which of the 2 systems looks like a better fit?


Newbie question: The only equipment I'm planning on using at the moment is a Denon receiver and an Apple TV. Can these also go behind the screen and if so I presume the clickers would work through the screen? Sorry if that's a dumb question.

I'd spend some time on the projector part of the forum to try to figure out what might fit your needs well. And I wouldn't rule out a used, refurbished, or just cheaper starter projector, which will help you figure out what your priorities are while projector technologies advances a few more years.


Pretty sure remotes would work fine through a screen. But this would make the equipment much less accessible, and you also wouldn't be able to see it, i.e. the screen on the receiver. Then again, for equipment located outside the room, which many do, you also can't see it. One other factor is you'd be keeping the heat produced by the equipment in the room, but probably not that big a deal.

Benq W1070 projector w/ Chief RSM mount with custom interface bracket
119" Da-Lite Cinema Contour with High-Contrast (gray) Da-Mat screen
Denon X2000 receiver fed by Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Bluray player
Focal Chorus 700-series towers and center, JMLab Tantal 500-series bookshelf rears
Rythmik FV15HP sub
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post #27 of 35 Old 10-21-2019, 04:45 PM
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Is there anyplace like Amazon (that ships to Canada) that sells the spandex material?
Spandex World has the stuff @MississippiMan and others are talking about. Based on his method, I built my screen out of Poplar 1x3 on edge, covered with Milliskin Matte White over Milliskin Matte Black spandex.

https://spandexworld.com/international-order-policy
https://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/795
https://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/796

Total under $200, including wood and velvet for the border I haven't built yet (more poplar 1x3).







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post #28 of 35 Old 10-22-2019, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Spandex World has the stuff @MississippiMan and others are talking about. Based on his method, I built my screen out of Poplar 1x3 on edge, covered with Milliskin Matte White over Milliskin Matte Black spandex.

https://spandexworld.com/international-order-policy
https://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/795
https://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/796

Total under $200, including wood and velvet for the border I haven't built yet (more poplar 1x3).







Looks like you did a great job with your screen James. Thanks for the info!
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post #29 of 35 Old 10-22-2019, 02:17 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion BIGmouthinDC. That site has some really nice prices but unfortunately they don't ship to Canada by the looks of it.
For refurbs in Canada, take a look at https://gibbyselectronicsupermarket.ca/
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post #30 of 35 Old 10-22-2019, 02:20 PM
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Is there anyplace like Amazon (that ships to Canada) that sells the spandex material?
I bought my spandex from spandex world. I couldn't find anywhere locally in Canada that had what others recommended (miliskin). Yes I paid a bit more, but I wanted something that is proven.
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