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Well, we have made the decision to convert our raw basement into a HT/Game room/Entertainment Area. By no means will this be a dedicated HT room, so the design and build will reflect its multi purpose use.

The basement area to be converted is roughly 22' x 25' with 8' from floor to the bottom of the trusses. The only thing that hangs below the trusses is a gas pipe (the main feed) that hangs about 2 below the bottom of the trusses. The walls and floor are poured concrete. In addition to this main room there will be a new bathroom with sauna, storage areas and closet space.

Since this will be located in Wisconsin, the first step is to work out the heating system. With advice from my good friend who is in the HVAC business, I will be installing a separate furnace to handle the heating of the whole basement. There is no need for AC down there since the basement stays cool all summer long (and pretty cold all winter). This will allow total control of the comfort level down there including being able to run a programmable thermostat for efficient heating and shutdown cycles.

The construction will be standard stud walls/insulation/drywall for the walls, a drop ceiling and a heavy carpet and pad for the floor. I will have complete control of the lighting in this room. I would like to go with a PJ and screen combo that will give me the best 16:9 HD picture, 1080 for the HD. Bigger the better but I think a 120 or 135 screen would be the best compromise between size and brightness. The screen would be mounted on one of the 22' long walls, so the useable depth of the room would be 25'. It will be single row seating. I would like to put two couches end to end with a small end table between them. The only concern with this is viewing angle. This will allow me to move the couches out of the way and setup a big dinner table or a few card tables for card night. My 70 RP Sony has this setup and there is no problem so I think this will work for a projector. The seating distance is open so what ever works best, 12'-18' using a 30-40 degree viewing angle and a120 or 135 screen. I assume it would be an advantage (for brightness) to keep the projector as close as possible to the screen and as close as possible to center (vertically) to achieve this screen size. I was thinking of a JVC RDU-1X or RDU-2 for the projector. As for the screen, I don't think I want a perforated screen. I think what you gain with the voices coming from the screen, you lose in SQ and sound stage by muffling the speakers. I have seen some great looking dedicated HT systems on this forum but SQ is as important to me as the PQ. Reading on this forum, it seems like the best bet is a standard screen because of the wide viewing angles I will have. Since the trusses are not rock solid (I would not use them again) I plan to have an Equipment Tower from floor to ceiling to mount all the sound gear and projector. Using the JVC screen size calculator, this would be placed to give me a 19' throw. This will be sealed as much as possible with it's own venting system to draw hot air up into the ceiling cavity. The only drawback I can see to this is that to use a remote you would have to point it backwards to the tower.

At present I have a 70 Sony XBR2 RP Television that has a great 1080p picture. Will a projector system as I described have a similar PQ? What is the reason many people build a stage or platform for the screen? Is using QuiteCoat on the ducts (to keep sound from traveling to the upper floors) worth the money and effort? I thought of boxing the main duct with ½ plywood and either using expandable foam or heavy insulation in-between to help muffle them as much as possible. I am assuming since my branches are round they don't pickup the sound as much as the rectangular main duct.

Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated, I would be a fool not to take advantage of all the knowledge and experience on this board. Thanks in advance.
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