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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,


I am hoping you guys can help me out with my friends HT? He is building a house and wants to install a HT in his new basement. I have learned a lot from this forum over the years that has helped tremendously in the construction of my room, but there are a few things about his that I'll need some additional advice on.


Namely the size of the room and layout, he has tons of area to work with. (wish I had that problem :) ) I scanned his plans and came up with a quick drawing that includes everything he would like to have. (see attachment)


Also he wants to use a projector system, which I am not familiar with since all my dealings to date are with a RPTV system.


I am also concerned about the acoustics due to the size of the room. He self admits to not having a "high-end" ear, but I'm afraid that low end frequencies could get boomy in this kind of space. You don't need a sophisticated ear for that to annoy you.


So, my questions are:


1. Layout and Construction:

A: As the drawing shows, it is a large space with a 14 course block wall. The basement floor is not poured yet, so I don't know exactly how high the ceilings will be, but it looks like at least 9 to 10 feet. I am thinking of the room within a room design here for sound isolation as well as increasing the acoustical properties. Thoughts? Should we keep the ceiling height around 8'? Or should we maximize ceiling height?


B: The front screen wall is the variable here. We could always push it back or move it forward. I'd like your opinions on the advantages / disadvantages of each?


C: Raised platform, what is the best way to determine where to begin? I imagine that we'll have to wait until the stairs go in to determine this, but also we'll have the french doors on the opposite side to contend with...


2. Projector and screen


He got a couple of quotes from HT installers and they both suggested the Seleco HT200 projector. I know he wants a very good image, so what are your thoughts here?


Both quotes suggested a Stewart 100" (60" x 80") with Luxus screenwall and VeLux frame finish... Huh? Won't this screen size look puny in a room this big? (16' wide) I know he wants a bigger screen than this, thoughts?


This brings up another question, he has 4 kids who have friends, etc, so he wants the front channel speakers hidden to protect them, so should we use a perforated screen, or just cover the speaker cutouts with GoM???


3. Speaker positioning


Does the size of this room demand 7.1? Also, which type of surround speaker would be best in this situation, di-pole or bi-pole?



Well, sorry for so many questions, and I'm sure I will have more, but I really appreciate any help you guys could give us!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Forgot the attachment!
 

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I'll take a crack at it:


1: Layout


A. If you want true isolation from the rest of the house, especially at low frequencies, the "room within a room" technique is about the only practical way to accomplish it. It takes a lot of attention to detail to ensure that the acoustic envelope is preserved at all points.


Make the ceiling as high as you can, but consider breaking it up with some soffits. Also consider adding some columns along the side and rear walls. They help with acoustics and are great places to conceal surrounds.


B. Not sure from the drawing what you are proposing here. Your seating distances look fine as long as you have room for the speakers behind the screenwall.


C. You might consider raising the whole rear 2/3's of the room since it sounds like you have the ceiling height to do it. This would look more natural than stepping up on to a platform for the rear seating from the bar area. The front row area would then appear to be "sunken".


Projector:


Here is a link to some basic info about front projection.


The HT200 is a fine machine, there are certainly others. The Seleco line seems to be a favorite of custom installers. This is only an 800 x 600 machine, so if your friend is looking to view HD sources, he should consider moving to a higher resolution unit. Many of the newer DLP's appearing on the market right now have high quality on board scalers and better contrast.


Are you and your friend set on having someone do the work or are you looking to go the DIY route?


80" x 60" is right in the ballpark for a 12' viewing distance (reference viewing distance calculator ). It is also about the biggest screen that the proposed HT200 projector can illuminate to satisfactory levels.


Perforated screens are a significant premium over non-perforated. I don't think that the Firehawk model can even be perforated. In any case, mounting them behind the screenwall with a GOM cover should be just dandy.


3. The room does not demand 7.1, although it is certainly large enough to benefit from two sets of surround speakers. 7.1 would be nice.


Best of luck on your HT adventure!
 

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And here's my crack. er...my two pennies.


First, seeing the entire footprint would be nice.


Second, I would hire a designer.


That being said:


forget the proposed screen wall bisecting the room. Place the new screen wall all the way back.


Place the Theatres back wall where you have the proposed "raised platform".


Turn the wet bar area in a lobby motif that fits with traffic patterns.


To re seat yourself safely, in the dark, in one of the recliners, you will need more "knee room" er....strike that.


Take II, in keeping with the sunken front floor, how about moving the step down from the recliner level to the front edge of the "pit group". Thus the platform would have a notch for the pit group to nudge into, right? Nice place for rope lights too.


Screen size...bigger is not always better. But a recessed screen, even just 4" worth, is very nice. I would stick with gom.


I have a strange interest in di poles. Not kinky strange mind you, but strange nonetheless. I would vote for di poles.


Kids, and their behavior, is a totally different thread. A long one too.


Ah, my medication just wore off. I have to go to bed now. jdb
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks mysphyt and jdb. That is certainly a lot of crack, er information, I appreciate you guys taking the time to answer.


mysphyt: I'll definitely propose the soffits, and the columns hiding the surrounds will work out great to keep the kids away from them. Also, he wants to do it all DIY, or should I say DIYWHFYB (DIY with help from your buddy)


"B. Not sure from the drawing what you are proposing here. Your seating distances look fine as long as you have room for the speakers behind the screenwall. "


I was just suggesting that if the room is too big, we could move that wall around a bit, although he really doesn't want to, he likes this size. The size of the room doesn't seem to really be an issue with you guys so, we'll probably keep it there. There is about 10' behind that wall, so plenty of room for speakers, etc.


"C. You might consider raising the whole rear 2/3's of the room since it sounds like you have the ceiling height to do it. This would look more natural than stepping up on to a platform for the rear seating from the bar area. The front row area would then appear to be "sunken". "


That is where we were going with that, my rough drawing just didn't show that clearly. I guess my question should be, should we move the first row viewing closer to the screen wall, thereby moving the second row recliners closer?


Projector:

Thanks for the links, looks like we'll be researching DLP's...


JDB:


What fun would hiring a designer be? That would completely take all the cussing, working till 1AM, tearing out work completed because it didn't come out right, and pulling you hair out completely out of the project. What fun would that be?


Oh.


LOL, anyway, I'll definitely propose the lobby motif, good idea.


"Take II, in keeping with the sunken front floor, how about moving the step down from the recliner level to the front edge of the "pit group". Thus the platform would have a notch for the pit group to nudge into, right? Nice place for rope lights too. "


Love that idea, that's going in. Also the recessed screen with the GoM. Thanks for the di-pole vote, but I don't know if I can take it seriously after that, it does't seem to be an unbiased opinion :)



Thanks again guys...I'm sure this will bring up another string of questions.


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mchil



What fun would hiring a designer be? That would completely take all the cussing, working till 1AM, tearing out work completed because it didn't come out right, and pulling you hair out completely out of the project. What fun would that be?

Ah, not so. You'll still have all the work, and cussing, and late nights and screw ups, and dilemma's, and everything else that goes with DIY construction. That's a given.


But by hiring a designer to shape the room and it's acoustical properties and it's potential for troublesome issues, you'll have a "potentially" great room vs. a "potential" somewhat good room, no?


I am not saying you can't come up with something of quality, but this looks like a big expense: why fore sake such a resource?


I say all this because the proposed idea of an open rear passage/ traffic area, complete with French doors, eating area, running water, the odd area behind the bathroom, all seem avoidable. The equip. rack location, besides being a long cable run, may require a repeater to control it from the pit group, and it makes the bathroom tight. Where as if you drop the equip. rack into the pool room and flush it to the theatre wall, just behind the pit group, everything is right there. This is just off the top of my head, though.


Standing waves can kill a long room faster then any kid can. Boundary effects, right tri corners, Null points, rt60, localization...did I mention nodes?


For a mere 1-2K you'd have a working plan to start off the adventure on a good footing, which of itself is a bit wobbly.


That's my designer speech.


My guess on the budget here, all told is, $20-30K.


I have no vested interest here, in this "speech" and add that my opinions are my own, and not necessarily the views of this forum or the forums members. Actually my views are typically just the opposite.


However, it sure looks like a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing it's progression.


Sincerely, jdb
 

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Hmmm, re-reading the above post: it sounds a bit harsh.


I did NOT mean to come off as a know-it-all, as I am not that bright. Nor did I mean to imply that you don't know squat, you might not know squat, but I rather think you do know squat.


So, squat aside, I apologize for the tone.


Further more, this is new territory for me, as I have been a supporter of "just get in there and make stuff happen" - the "learn while you go" type. So in departing from that position I am quite out of my element.


Sincerely jdb
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No apology necessary JDB, I didn't take your prior post that way.


Anyway, I already told him he should have it designed professionally. I think he sees that I am having fun (is that what I'm having?) designing and building my room, so we're going to give it a shot. Believe me, he knows that all my knowledge is from what I've gained building my room, which came mostly from this forum.


Thanks again for the info guys
 

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Whew!
 
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