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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of building a new home. I have one bedroom that I'm going to pre-wire for a home theater. Then, once the house is done and I have an idea how much money I have left, I can start outfitting it.


I'm looking for help on locating the wiring. I've attached the floor plan below. I'm thinking of using the two columns (or at least the one on the door/hallway side) as a rack with a door on the theater room side and another door on the back side in the utility room. I think it makes sense to put the screen in between those two columns. I just don't know if it should be mounted to the wall or suspended from the ceiling flush to the face of the two columns.


I'm also not sure where exactly to put the panels for each speaker wire. They'll all run from the rack into the attic and down the walls to the speakers. I figure the sub can go behind/under the screen. The center speaker can be above the screen. For the 2 main speakers, I'm not sure if I should try to place them in the columns, above the rack height, or if they should be floor standing (and potentially block the rack). For the rear speakers, I think I'll try to position four to get the full 7.1 but it'll be interesting because of the window and door. I'll have to position them up fairly high and angle down.


I appreciate any advice you can give me!

 

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Is that an opening (arch?) at the bottom, or a window? Appears to be just a window if that's the roofline shown, but just want to be sure.


While the column may be a good place to put an equipment rack, are you sure one of them will be empty / available for you to use for that purpose? Meaning, those are usually chases for ductwork and plumbing.


The recessed area in the front does scream out for a false wall with an acoustically-transparent screen and speakers behind it.


The rest of the room, though, poses a challenge for surround channels. You'll probably need to consider a 7.1 setup with the four surround speakers arranged in the ceiling.


For pre-wiring, get a bunch of wire to your equipment location (cat5e, coax), run lines from there to your projector location (HDMI, cat5e x2-3), along with a power outlet). Speakers should go in that recessed area, the columns are, IMO, too far apart for your seating distance to use as speaker locations. I'd place all three front speakers and the sub in the recessed area.


Ask the builder to add a dedicated electrical circuit (20A even better) to your rack location, front of the room and the projector.


That's a start!


Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is a giant window at the bottom. I know it's the opposite of what I should have for a theater room, but it's just how things worked out with this house floor plan.


The columns should be open. The plumbing is done and I don't see how the A/C ducting could go through there. This is a one-story home.


Excuse my ignorance, but it sounds like you can get screens that allow for sound to go through easily. That seems like the way to go if they're not ridiculously expensive.


The room has a 12' ceiling, so it's possible to fit the surround speakers on walls and angle down. But if you think ceiling-mounts are better, I can certainly do that.


I'll ask about the dedicated circuit - great idea!


Thanks for the help.
 

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I would opt not to build the columns and make that part of the theater build-out. Seems unproductive to lose square footage building those.


If you're stuck with that plan then an acoustically transparent screen flush with the front of the columns would get my vote. Check the screens forum for Seymour screens. Or, it you want to save a buck, look in the DIY screen section for spandex screens.


Having the surrounds higher on the wall isn't a bad thing.. it will even out the sound over the width of your row.


I would place the mains behind the AT screen. You could bring the wiring for the rears into the closet with bifold doors (given the choice, I would lose that closet too), and you can make final wiring arrangements from inside the closet.


Having equipment in the theater like that will be noisy and you will also have to deal with all of the heat generated. You should provide a way to exhaust that heat out of the closet since the HVAC guy will most likely not give you any special cooling accommodations in that room.


If you have some leeway with the plans, you could build the rack into the rear closet with the equipment facing out into the hallway, that would eliminate the noise.


Tim
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eradicator  /t/1468568/help-me-position-pre-wiring-for-a-theater-room-in-my-new-home#post_23211511


That is a giant window at the bottom. I know it's the opposite of what I should have for a theater room, but it's just how things worked out with this house floor plan.

Are the windows in yet? If not, you might see about having the builder "plug" the window opening with framing, finish it inside, and fill the exterior space with a false shutter or other exterior detail that makes sense. You'd fix the theater, but make it fairly easy to punch out that section later and turn the room back into a bedroom.
Quote:
The columns should be open. The plumbing is done and I don't see how the A/C ducting could go through there. This is a one-story home.

Ok, if they're only there for looks (as part of your theater conversion), you're obviously fine. But I agree that mounting the rack in the rear of the room (as part of the closet, again - possible to convert back to a normal bedroom) would be better, as that's a lot of depth to lose if you use an AT screen and make it flush with the columns.
Quote:
The room has a 12' ceiling, so it's possible to fit the surround speakers on walls and angle down. But if you think ceiling-mounts are better, I can certainly do that.

Ah, ok, I missed that little detail on the floorplan - I assumed it was a 2-story house and didn't even think about anything higher than 8-9' as a possibility... Mounting speakers on the side and back walls, above the window/closet doors/etc. is certainly possible, and will likely give better results. You should probably use wall-mounted speakers though to aim them somewhat, and not use in-walls if they'll be more than 2' above ear-level.



Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I gave quite a bit of thought to putting the rack in the closet at the back of the room. I guess I don't think that would look as clean. I've already decided to keep the window and the closet. I don't think completely removing the closet or columns is a good choice since they're already fully framed.


As for noise from the equipment, I'll have custom cabinetry built-in for that rack. I'm not sure if I'll go with clear glass (allowing those annoying lights to be visible) or solid wood (requiring IR repeaters). I'll definitely install some kind of fan at the top to vent heat out.


One thing I'm not too sure about is how to pre-wire for the projector. I imagine I want to pre-locate the mount close to the rear of the room, but giving at least a foot from the back wall / closet. I'll just have a power outlet and a couple CAT-6 cables for an HDMI conversion with an extra CAT-6 for internet. Anything I'm not thinking about there?


Possibly stupid question: Thinking of how subwoofers cause walls to rattle ... would they do the same to a projection screen?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eradicator  /t/1468568/help-me-position-pre-wiring-for-a-theater-room-in-my-new-home#post_23217445


I gave quite a bit of thought to putting the rack in the closet at the back of the room. I guess I don't think that would look as clean. I've already decided to keep the window and the closet. I don't think completely removing the closet or columns is a good choice since they're already fully framed.

Of all the trades, framing changes are the cheapest to do... Ripping out a few dollars of lumber is not a big deal, but it sounds like you want to keep the room as is, regardless, which is fine.
Quote:
As for noise from the equipment, I'll have custom cabinetry built-in for that rack. I'm not sure if I'll go with clear glass (allowing those annoying lights to be visible) or solid wood (requiring IR repeaters). I'll definitely install some kind of fan at the top to vent heat out.

Noise is mostly from any exhaust fans you install, everything else in an A/V rack is effectively silent. For AV racks we generally go without a door at all (glass doesn't do anything for us except get in the way and cause cooling issues). Hiding the gear behind a wood door or other hidden arrangement is fine, but you'll need to provide a path for airflow in and out. IR repeating is really easy and generally a preference. You may need a repeater to your projector depending on its placement and how much bounce you get off the screen (when pointing the remote forward).
Quote:
One thing I'm not too sure about is how to pre-wire for the projector. I imagine I want to pre-locate the mount close to the rear of the room, but giving at least a foot from the back wall / closet. I'll just have a power outlet and a couple CAT-6 cables for an HDMI conversion with an extra CAT-6 for internet. Anything I'm not thinking about there?

Wire an HDMI (Redmere would be good - make sure you install it the correct direction) in addition to at least 2-3 cat6. And run a flex conduit from that location to the rack as well so that whatever comes in the future can be added...
Quote:
Possibly stupid question: Thinking of how subwoofers cause walls to rattle ... would they do the same to a projection screen?

Not an issue for the screen. You do want to make sure the projector mount location is sturdy and stiff, though. But subwoofer isn't usually the thing that causes the projector to flex...


Jeff
 
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