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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! My wife and I (well…my contractor) will be beginning construction on our new home VERY soon, and I am planning space for a home theater. This is our 2nd new construction but first time home theater so I have a lot to learn. It will be what many would consider a very low budget HT as this was really an afterthought after hitting our max budget to fulfill our other wants and needs for the house.


We have a fairly large bonus room on the 2nd level that is approx. 28’x19’ (with stairs occupying part of space) with 8' ceiling. While it would be my dream to convert this whole space into a home theater/wet bar/game room we want to reserve some space for a play room for our 3yr old triplets. Therefore, my plan is to divide the room to have a 15’x14’ playroom and 13’x18’ HT. When my kids get older, we will likely turn the play room into more of a game/recreation room. 13’x18’x8' is not the most ideal sized space, but I’ve seen some great HT’s about this size and smaller, and I think I can get a great movie experience from a room this size. It’s possible I may be able to squeeze out a few more feet in the length to get 20’-21’, but I need to talk to contractor first closer to framing time.


Here’s a rough layout of my planned space. This should be fairly close to scale but not exact.



Here’s my equipment list w/ budgets, comments and/or concerns. As I mentioned above, this is a low budget build. A low budget home theater is better than no home theater, right? I definitely plan to make upgrades as time passes.

Please give an recommendations and/or feedback.

Equipment & Budget List

Projector (Budget: $800 - $1,500)$1,500 - $2,500

Undecided ATM, but will have to be an entry level budget PJ at this time, 1080P 3D capable
Recommendations?
Benq W1070?

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e?

Sony VPL-HW30ES?

Does a PJ at this price point exist where I can mount/set in back wall 20’ feet away or should I plan on mounting on ceiling?

Screen (Budget: $500 range, maybe more or less depending on PJ cost)

Undecided ATM, fixed frame, budget screen, 16:9 or 2.35:1? Due to cost of anamorphic lens or higher end PJ, I’m guessing 16:9 is my best option to fit my low budget, even though I would LOVE to have a 2.35:1 screen.

Biggest screen possible for space, 135” Diagonal 16:9 is the plan ATM. This does leave some concern for the front row being too close. Currently, I believe the distance from screen to eyes would be approx. 10'. Too close? If I can squeeze some more length out of the room, I would no longer be concerned.
Recommendations?

Jamestown?

Elite Screens?

Silver Ticket?

Monoprice?

Speakers (Budget: $900 - $1,000)

7.1 Setup –some already in my possession

Front Left & Right Channel: Polk Monitor 65T’s, acquired for $250 total

Front Center Channel: Polk Monitor 15C, acquired for $100

Surrounds Left & Right: Undecided, leaning towards in-wall Polk RC65i’s @$150

Rear Left & Right: Undecided, leaning towards in-wall Polk RC65i’s @$150

Subwoofer: Pre-existing 10” PSW110, want to upgrade to 12” PSW125 @$250-$300

Question: What negative effects on sound would occur if I placed speakers and sub behind screen in the attic space and used an AT screen? What should be done to make this a valid option?

AVR (Budget: $500, open to Refurbs to get more bang for buck)

No idea at this point. I currently own a Denon AVR-1513, which is only 5.1 but I am good at using this until I can upgrade. My concern is with power. I actually own a Denon AVR-1611 which I believe is 7.1 but only utilized 5.1.

Will it be enough for my Polk Monitors until I can afford a decent upgrade?

Cables, Speaker Wire, and Other Materials

Mostly Monoprice items and most already acquired.

12awg Speaker Wire (In-wall rated)

50’ Redmere HDMI

Subwoofer Cable

Cat6 Ethernet

Wall Plates and Jacks
What am I missing?

Acoustic Panels(Budget: ?)
I’m uneducated when it comes to this area. Will these drastically improve my sound experience? Any advice is appreciated. To save on cost, I am willing to construct these myself. After spending some time on the forum, I think I have a few possible ways of constructing these myself "relatively" cheap.

Seating (Budget: $2000 - $2500)

I realize this is very low budget for theater style recliners. This will likely be the last purchase I make and may be able to increase budget when time comes. If not, I will consider traditional sofas instead.
Recommendations for low budget, comfortable, reclining theater seating?

Construction (Budget: Mostly included in my mortgage or not being applied to overall HT budget)

Riser for back row (1 ft high? Should I go higher?)

Lighting –included in my construction budget

Carpet – included in my construction budget

Soundproofing –I still need to discuss options with my builder. All walls will certainly be insulated and solid core doors will be used. I’m not too keen on doubling drywall as it will cut into my space and the soundproof drywall will probably not fall within my budget. What other options are there? Recommendations?


What other important factors/items am I missing? Thanks in advance for any help/advice. I will start a construction thread as soon as construction actually starts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, a week and a half with no responses but that’s alright. I’ve made a few specific individual threads where I’ve received some valuable feedback. I thought I’d still post some updates here just to keep track of my progress. I’m still a ways out from being able to start a construction thread.


Construction on our home was delayed a couple of weeks so I still have a lot of planning time. I’ve already made a few changes to my budget and some minor layout changes. After studying my floor plan, I think I will have plenty of space to create a “false wall”, in order to hide the speakers for a cleaner layout. Using AT fabric, I’ll construct some panels to cover up the openings for the false wall. I also realized that I was a bit over ambitious regarding my screen size. While 135” screen would fit, it would take then entire wall leaving no room for Left or Right speakers, not to mention the height would probably be too tall as well. My only option would be an AT screen, which is not a bad idea IMO but considering my room size and seating distance, I think 120” is more ideal.





Here are a few concept sketches of my plans for the room. I’m sure very few people sketch their rooms in Photoshop, but hey it’s what I know and it works for me. I used 1” = 1’ scale for these however, the crown and base molding may not be to scale.

Front "False Wall", Speakers hidden behind AT Panels

Side Wall, Left & Right Surrounds hidden behind AT Panel, Panels also lined with Linacoustic or equiv.

Back Wall, Rear Surrounds hidden behind AT Panels, Panels also lined with Linacoustic or equiv.

3D View
 

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Your room itself (dimensions and door locations) lends itself well to home theater.

I have a strong preference for AT screens. My only question is why wouldn't you go with a larger screen (10 feet wide for instance) and tuck your left and right speakers in behind.

Unfortunately a false wall is going to eat up about 24 inches of room length, leaving you with only 16 feet. That is going to be pretty tight for two rows of recliners. Maybe those in the back can "suffer" without a foot rest. You mentioned that the contractor might be able to push the space out another foot or two...definitely worth it if you can.

As far as gear goes, prefab Acoustically Transparent screens can be pricey. Seymour screens sells two different AT fabrics now for the DIY. Building a wooden frame and stapling fabric is quite simple and will save you several hundred dollars.

Your desire for a 2.35 screen could be met within your budget if you went with a Panasonic AE8000 projector. It can automatically adjust zoom, focus and image shift depending on format. No need for an expensive anamorphic lens. The Panasonic has generally solid performance, though you could do slightly better for the same money if you went with a competing projector without the auto-zoom feature (Epson 5030UB for example).


Good luck with the home construction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442  /t/1523513/higgins-home-cinema-planning-help-thread#post_24554669


Your room itself (dimensions and door locations) lends itself well to home theater.

I have a strong preference for AT screens. My only question is why wouldn't you go with a larger screen (10 feet wide for instance) and tuck your left and right speakers in behind.

Unfortunately a false wall is going to eat up about 24 inches of room length, leaving you with only 16 feet. That is going to be pretty tight for two rows of recliners. Maybe those in the back can "suffer" without a foot rest. You mentioned that the contractor might be able to push the space out another foot or two...definitely worth it if you can.

As far as gear goes, prefab Acoustically Transparent screens can be pricey. Seymour screens sells two different AT fabrics now for the DIY. Building a wooden frame and stapling fabric is quite simple and will save you several hundred dollars.

Your desire for a 2.35 screen could be met within your budget if you went with a Panasonic AE8000 projector. It can automatically adjust zoom, focus and image shift depending on format. No need for an expensive anamorphic lens. The Panasonic has generally solid performance, though you could do slightly better for the same money if you went with a competing projector without the auto-zoom feature (Epson 5030UB for example).


Good luck with the home construction.

Thanks for the response DavidK442, my decision to add the false wall actually includes expanding the room a few feet and going into the attic space so I would still have a full 18' for the theater. You make valid points regarding the AT screen. This would definitely allow me to maximize my screen size. By the time I figure in the cost of the AT panels, the cost difference of the AT screen probably would not be a lot of difference. The seating distance of the first row does concern me though if I go with a larger screen. Thanks for the recommendations!
 

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Just curious why have you ruled out the 3023E?
 

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Screen (Budget: $500 range, maybe more or less depending on PJ cost)

Undecided ATM, fixed frame, budget screen, 16:9 or 2.35:1? Due to cost of anamorphic lens or higher end PJ, I’m guessing 16:9 is my best option to fit my low budget, even though I would LOVE to have a 2.35:1 screen.

Biggest screen possible for space, 135” Diagonal 16:9 is the plan ATM. This does leave some concern for the front row being too close. Currently, I believe the distance from screen to eyes would be approx. 10'. Too close? If I can squeeze some more length out of the room, I would no longer be concerned.
Recommendations?


I am using a 135" 2.35:1 screen today with an Epson 3020 and my front row is about 14 feet from the screen and it is very close to being to big. Especially for 16"9 content your eyes have to do a lot of scanning to get the entire pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfleming675  /t/1523513/higgins-home-cinema-planning-help-thread#post_24555020

Screen (Budget: $500 range, maybe more or less depending on PJ cost)

Undecided ATM, fixed frame, budget screen, 16:9 or 2.35:1? Due to cost of anamorphic lens or higher end PJ, I’m guessing 16:9 is my best option to fit my low budget, even though I would LOVE to have a 2.35:1 screen.

Biggest screen possible for space, 135” Diagonal 16:9 is the plan ATM. This does leave some concern for the front row being too close. Currently, I believe the distance from screen to eyes would be approx. 10'. Too close? If I can squeeze some more length out of the room, I would no longer be concerned.
Recommendations?


I am using a 135" 2.35:1 screen today with an Epson 3020 and my front row is about 14 feet from the screen and it is very close to being to big. Especially for 16"9 content your eyes have to do a lot of scanning to get the entire pic.

This is what I was afraid of. Even at 120" I think would be pushing it for my first row, especially with a 16:9 screen. I think it would benefit me to do some test runs on an empty wall first before deciding on my screen size.

Thanks
 

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I did this for a while before I picked my screen. I have a dedicated wall that is painted black. For week I projected directly on the wall to play with various sizes and zoom modes before I jumped in. I wish had gone a litter higher end on the projector as well. The 3020 does not have and electronic controls for zoom etc. In some ways I am now thinking i could have painted my wall and not had to deal with any of the constraints of a fixed screen.
 
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