Finishing the basement for Home Theater, support poles are killing me - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-06-2020, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Finishing the basement for Home Theater, support poles are killing me

Hey all, I recently bought a house and am very excited to explore the Home Theater I've always been interested in. I never explored it much due to sharing walls in apartments and such. My basement is large, ~780sqft, but the layout is making it difficult to choose the optimal place to set things up. It's probably also important to know that I am very likely going to paint the ceiling black (no drywall or drop ceiling) so I can keep access to everything and keep the max amount of height possible.

I currently have the Optoma UHD60 that I've been throwing onto a 100" screen.

I would use this primarily for gaming, then music, then movies in that order. Just because movies is last doesn't mean it isn't important though. Music beats it out only because I still play Rock Band and it's always a hit to have it going during parties. My end goal is to have a 7.2.2 or 5.2.4 setup to support Atmos, and I"ll be buying the audio system in chunks. Starting off I"ll probably just get L/R and the receiver, then the center, then the sub, then surrounds, then second sub, then the above/Atmos speakers. I also would like to get the biggest screen possible, I have a lot of distance to sit away from the screen so it really comes down to ceiling height (8 feet). I'm thinking the absolute max is 150". A lot of people seem to be looking at the 100" mark, but that just doesn't seem worth it, 100" is small to me now

Budget-wise, I'm budgeting around 1k for the receiver and 500 each for L and R channels. I'm totally ok going a few hundred over for each component if it has the flexibility to sound great for both music and movies. Once I get the system complete I'll come back in several years to really go top end, starting with replacing the projector.

Now onto the problem, before I dive into a lot of the details I'm trying to figure where the optimal placement for the screen would even be. Two support beams are really restricting my options, it shifting all the seating up against a wall, since it shifts the projector sight lines over. It technically works, but then I'm concerned about how to setup the surround speakers. Below are some pictures and a diagram of the space

Option 1, west wall:
Here, you can see the mocked up 150" screen in blue tape. That's currently 13" from the floor, but I've found I can angle it up a bit more to sit 16" from the floor without the ducting interrupt it. This is also the size of the frame itself, not the actual 150" picture, so there's a few extra inches on all sides. Unfortunately because of the poles, the seating has to be pushed up near a wall, otherwise I'd shift the screen farther to the right (North). You'll see this is a common issue

Option 2, south wall:
It's falling down but I was using the tarp to see the projector picture. The stack of containers is where the projector was sitting to hit the right screen size. Once again, I'm pushed up against the right (West) wall because of the poles. A big concern about this placement the fuse box, you can see it in the diagram. My thoughts on this placement is again to do the floating frame, but have the frame swing out width ways on hinges to allow access behind the screen.

Option 3, north wall:
I'm planning on an indent on this wall, so it could be a nice little space to set up the audio equipment. With this screen size I'm going to need an AT screen so I can place the center speaker at ear level and not on the floor. Can't move too far right though because of the stairs and the poles.

Option 4, east wall:
The ideal wall imo, away from the stairs, I'll be framing out a bit forward because of the sump pump, so it would be a nice place to install the speakers. Don't really know how I feel about speakers near the sump pump though. Oh also, this is the worst configuration to deal with the poles if I were to try to go wide with the seating instead of deep.

Because the space isn't finished I could have a pretty cool setup, likely with some sort of floating frame AT screen with speakers placed behind it, but these poles really ruin my day. What would you do?
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-07-2020, 10:04 AM
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Are you planning on a second row of seats? What if you went with option 1 and placed the pole in between the seats? You could either put regular row of seats in front of the poles (if it's not too close) and have the pole go between the seats when you recline, or you could just split the seats and go with two loveseat style seats on either side.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-08-2020, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I was considering leaving room for it if I could make it work, I know I'd have to build a pretty tall riser which isn't great considering the 8' ceiling height but I'm going to have to compromise somehow. However if I'm able to go wide with the seating then the second row is likely not needed.

Would placing the seats right next to these poles mess with the acoustics much? They're only 4" x 4" now but once they get finished I'm assuming they're going to be even larger. I also have more room on one side than the other, so It'd probably be 2-3 seats on one side of the poles and 1-2 seats on the other side which isn't that big of a deal, just an awkward setup
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-08-2020, 11:53 AM
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Just an idea, you don't have to put the support column in the wall you can leave it in the room and hide in an architectural detail In this case gained over a foot of room width. The pole and surround speaker fit in the column side by side.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-08-2020, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Gould View Post
I was considering leaving room for it if I could make it work, I know I'd have to build a pretty tall riser which isn't great considering the 8' ceiling height but I'm going to have to compromise somehow. However if I'm able to go wide with the seating then the second row is likely not needed.

Would placing the seats right next to these poles mess with the acoustics much? They're only 4" x 4" now but once they get finished I'm assuming they're going to be even larger. I also have more room on one side than the other, so It'd probably be 2-3 seats on one side of the poles and 1-2 seats on the other side which isn't that big of a deal, just an awkward setup
It definitely wouldn't be ideal but they are fairly small and my thinking was your ears would be behind the poles when reclined watching a movie so it wouldn't interfere with the surround speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Just an idea, you don't have to put the support column in the wall you can leave it in the room and hide in an architectural detail In this case gained over a foot of room width. The pole and surround speaker fit in the column side by side.
To me, it didn't look like the room would be big enough to keep the poles in the wall. If it is, obviously that would be best. Simply hide it in a column. Could you maybe add the location of the poles to your diagram with measurements as to where they are in that space?
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-08-2020, 12:20 PM
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like this? in post #1


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post #7 of 9 Old 05-08-2020, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
like this? in post #1


:Facepalm:

Not sure how I missed that. I think I was looking for the second pole and didn't realize the blue tape was covering it up so I thought that was something else.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-08-2020, 12:41 PM
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Poles can always be moved... but they multiply in the process...

I'm not even sure if you moved them how that would help though to be honest...

If you have a plan in mind that might involve moving the posts (not removing them), PM me and I can tell you more... I did mine myself, and If it wasnt for the yard of concrete, and yard of dirt I removed to plumb in a full bath, it wouldn't have been that bad.. It isn't terribly expensive if you DIY, but you will need an engineer to approve any changes. My city building department happens to do that for free as part of the building permit process as long as the changes aren't crazy...

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post #9 of 9 Old 05-08-2020, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is an attempt at putting it on the west wall. I updated the diagram to more clearly denote the poles (sorry), explicit cardinal directions, and example placement of the mock screen and projector placement.

The biggest problem I'm running into is the sight line of the projector getting interrupted by the poles. I'd much rather the poles run North to South than East to West, that way I could have the image projected passing through the middle of the two poles. I'd still have to work the seating around it, but that's a bit easier to solve.

Also with this sample test I'm leaning on going down to 135". It looks great until subtitles are on the screen, and they are comically low to the ground. That way I won't have to bother with an AT screen or anything, even though that would be cooler..

If poles didn't exist here I think the ideal setup would be to center the screen along the first 19 feet of the West wall, so between the far wall and the south side of the stairs. But that places the projector almost directly in front of a pole
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