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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well I thought it was a bout time I started a build thread for my theater. This has been a long progress to build my dream home theater that goes back to around 1991 after seeing one in a AV shop in my area at that time. I have have some form of 5.1 set up since 1993 in my living rooms, but not until 2007 did I have good place to build what I want and family, work and money has played their parts in getting to a point where I can actually build it the way I want to.

I finally started building walls last year weeks before super bowl 50 and got two walls and some sheet rock up on one wall before the party happened. Then in about March of 2016 my wife said she would like to have our main level carpet replaced and new living room furniture. Well the HT will have to go on hold. Since then I was able to build two more walls and thought I had what I wanted till I went on our local area theater crawl this last weekend and I want to make some changes I think. My current build is for the room to be 14'x25'-8"x8'-10", but now I am thinking moving one of the side walls out 3' to give me a 17' width. This would give me more room for walkways and possibly going with three rows of 4 in some fashion or another.

Here is a little more information on what the basement will be used for other then the theater. I would like to have when you come down the stairs to come into a bar/game room for adults to the right and this would feed into the entrance of the home theater.

To the left would be a large are for my son and his friends to play with the rest being for storage. I first built the room thinking I would put rolling barn doors to enter the HT, but after looking at the soundproofing thread that would not be a good idea. So now I looking at doing a double door or some kind. My wife really likes this set up, but I was also thinking of using the room next to it that would be for storage and make that a passageway into the HT from the side. Here are some drawings I have been working one. Let me know which one you like and input please.

Thanks for looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

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I always hold the opinion that if you have a storage room, you just fill it up. If you don't have a storage room, you get rid of stuff. Ergo, my dogma is the less storage the better. The only exception is if someone needs space for a home business or if it actually directly relates to a hobby and you're actually using stuff in the storage space on a regular basis.

That makes me want to throw my hat into the ring of the 17' wide options. Having the side speakers backed off the listener a little bit always really helps with the spaciousness of playback.

So long as your soundproofing goals are modest, the two door swinging out won't be a deal breaker, but if you find you want people to hang out in the bar area at the same time as a decent volume going in the theater room, you might consider a single larger door instead. (40" wide prehung exterior at a minimum.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with chirpie. If you can have wider with minimal effort - go wide. That three feet will help the surround speakers a bit. How will you work the steel beam and support pole if you go wider? - that parts not clear to me?
I was thinking of giving the beam and column in like what carp has in his basement. The only thing is doing a softer won't work well, but that's not a big deal. The extra 3' will mostly be for a walk way. I could just make the ceiling in that part the same height has what the beam would be boxed in at.

As for soundproofing I am going to us insulation between the joist with clips and hat channel to decouple it and DD & GG. I was also going to build backer boxes for the Atmos speakers and resesed lights. If I move the wall out 3' more I was going to go with DD & GG on the walls.

At one point I was going to use the whole room as my home theater, but my brother in law Howie in to home theater design said I should build where I currently have it framed.

The was are just stud walls so moving them isn't to much trouble other then a little rework. I am planning on getting started on it again in March.
 

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Hi Guys! Long time no see... :)

So just how tall is it to the bottom of the steel beam?

Are you tied to the idea of all those seats? Do you actually "need" all of those seats?

Here's a bunch of ideas tossed into a layout...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Guys! Long time no see... :)

So just how tall is it to the bottom of the steel beam?

Are you tied to the idea of all those seats? Do you actually "need" all of those seats?

Here's a bunch of ideas tossed into a layout...
Hi Ted,

The bottom of the beam is just shy of 8'.

Am I tied to them or need all those seats? No, but I was wanting to have three rows and enough to have neighbors over for movie night.
It looks like you are showing an AT screen. I really didn't want to go go that route and I am not sure how well the Klipsch tower speakers will sound behind a false wall, but is getting to think of a bigger screen and at 2:35.1.

I probably don't don't need all the storage, but not sure what else to do with it.
 

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Start drawing out your room from a side view, and to scale.

You can get three rows in that height, but you might want to think about how sight lines impact on
screen size with a NON AT screen, and how that forces the center channel down low. And then how
that impacts on the second and third row audio-wise.

You could bring in some occasional chairs into the theater for a crowd.

The Klipsch will sound just fine behind the "acoustically transparent" wall... ;)

As for all the storage, if you don't need it, why not widen the theater itself? (What style of room are you after?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Start drawing out your room from a side view, and to scale.

The drawings here are to scale, I created them with AutoCAD, but I have included a side and back profile.

You can get three rows in that height, but you might want to think about how sight lines impact on
screen size with a NON AT screen, and how that forces the center channel down low. And then how
that impacts on the second and third row audio-wise.

I was going to put the center channel as high as I can put it a 5 degree angle or so to reach the back room. I am getting an Klipsch RC-7 which is a bigger center channel then I have now that should help.

You could bring in some occasional chairs into the theater for a crowd.

The Klipsch will sound just fine behind the "acoustically transparent" wall... ;)

An AT screen would be interesting and have no clue on how to do it with these speakers. Would the empty space have to be filled with insulation and can the fronts be set farther away from the wall and would it hurt to have them sit a little bit of the floor? Not sure I could talk my wife into letting me get new screen. The cost of building the room hasn't been an issue except for when I want to spend money on soundproofing. She thinks that insulation and sheet rock will do a lot. If I did get a AT screen I would want to go 2:35.1 and bigger.

As for all the storage, if you don't need it, why not widen the theater itself? (What style of room are you after?)
I need to go through things in the basement and clean house again like we did when we moved. Mostly we have my old electronics, old AV boxes, Christmas decorations, kids stuff and some odds and ends.

As for style of room, I would like a dedicated home theater, but my wife likes the idea of the room being open to the future bar area, but who knows when that will be done. I have drawn up the layout many ways and do have a layout where I using the whole room, but the beam is the hard part to work around. After seeing [MENTION=7519044]Stoked21's set up I guess I could build a bar along the north wall, but I would not be able to have water and sewer without removing concrete and I don't want to get into a mess like that.
 

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Two other issues you might have given thought to.:

The screen is pretty high for the front row. If you need to elevate your head by more then seven degrees, then ergonomics
suggest you might start to you wonder why your neck is sore. (This is an issue for the front row.)

The old open concept versus dedicated argument. Is everyone in the theater together all the time? Is noise leaking going to be an issue?
And you also loose the ability to drive the room's noise floor down low, so you preserve the dynamic range of the soundtrack. That eliminates
having to adjust the volume up and down during a movie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Two other issues you might have given thought to.:

The screen is pretty high for the front row. If you need to elevate your head by more then seven degrees, then ergonomics
suggest you might start to you wonder why your neck is sore. (This is an issue for the front row.)

The old open concept versus dedicated argument. Is everyone in the theater together all the time? Is noise leaking going to be an issue?
And you also loose the ability to drive the room's noise floor down low, so you preserve the dynamic range of the soundtrack. That eliminates
having to adjust the volume up and down during a movie.
You are right about the screen being to high, I thought I had it set like I currently have it at which is about 32" for the bottom of the screen. I have watched movies and football on it for hours and haven't noticed my neck hurting. I guess if I went with a AT screen it could go lower and the center channel a lot higher. Could I put the tower speakers behind the scenes?

I take it when you mean open concept by having the double doors at the back of the room. I am leaning to go with a smaller door or a side entrance. The back doors would mostly be open for sporting events like Super Bowl Party's and closed for movies. Would it look wired and will Dolby Atmos work if I use the whole room with the beam running through the room? That was my original design.
@Ted,

This photo is what I had set up last year for my Super Bowl party and what I was planning on doing, but then I thought have the the beam boxed in would take away from the screen. Also the Column is about 16' from the screen wall and it would be interesting to work seats around, but could be done. I was looking into moving the beam, because I think it could be moved about 3' or 4' back based on where the other column is. I believe they put this beam in to go under a barring wall upstairs, but our house is and open concept and the wall above is not there. I would probably have to pay a structure engineer to see if it could be moved.

The big question is if I could move and I built the room, would it be to big? If I built it I would want a bigger screen and maybe go with a 165" AT screen say at 2:35.1. That would look pretty cool and could do a lot with the room.
 

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Yes, you put tower speakers behind an AT screen. (Although I am more a fan of three identical potent bookshelf speakers
and multiple subs, behind an AT wall. One could leverage simple MDF sand filled DIY stands and there's some nice kits out
there that could get a simple flat black finish.) AT screen and walls are also come with a certain WAF, since they visually
erase big speakers.

Didn't one of the home theaters on the crawl have an exposed support post? That crawl should have been a pretty solid primer
for you, if you break down the theaters, into a series of individual ideas.

That support post is likely there to support the floor above, and prevent excessive deflection. You might be able to box the beam by
having steel plate wielded to the existing beam, to stiffen it. Not likely to be cheap, but it would be money well spent to get the best
room. A new support post could be embedded in the back wall, with the concrete floor broke open, and a new support pad poured.

Yes I meant the double doors (or even barn style sliding doors) on the back wall. Giving up the sound isolation impacts greatly on the
noise levels inside and outside the theater.

So why not run the theater north/south? Isn't that a 16' wide room now? An AT space could hide some of the depth. And the beams transecting the
theater could be become detailing.
 

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I am a big fan of the extra width... my room is around 17'6", and I was able to fit a curved row of 4 in my front row (|V|00|V|), a set of 5 seats in my second row (either |0|000|0| OR |00|0|00|), and have enough room to walk around on both sides. My 3rd row is a 12+' wide bar, with 5 more seats. We have a 10 year old and 7 year old, and my wife likes having a bunch of their friends over for movie nights, so, we use all the seats probably once a month...

In my room, I have a beam and one support pole on one side of the room. The beam to the wall, has HVAC supply/returns in it, so, I just built that out as a soffit. My support pole, I wrapped in a post column wrap, it is painted black, and based on where it lands vs where my seats are, tends to blend it quite well.

I finished almost my entire basement, not leaving lots of storage... and as other say, you just git rid of some stuff. I did also though, put up shelves on my garage wall, and put some stuff on those...

I wish I could have made it to KC for the theater crawl, sounds like it was a great time.
 

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The extra width is almost always nice. It can get the seating off the surround speakers.

You can mix seating too. Put in the front row with recliners, and do stadium style theater seats for the second row.

The KC Crawl was something extra special. Rare is the opportunity for one to get to see so many rooms in less then
48 hours. And for a newbie, what a special opportunity to get to experience firsthand a lot of great options!

Here's another room with a column in it. :

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...some-lemonade-project-recap.html#post27694201



BTW, where's the water lines and the waste lines?
 

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Something like this could could not touch the support post but get the room a little wider.

Bar row plus theater second row, and then theater seating front row. That could pack bodies in.

The stadium seating could also be on an island riser, which could then be on top of a full width riser.

The purple lines are fabric walls. These fabric walls could hide surround speakers, acoustical treatments
and conduit on the wall itself.

The steel beams aren't drawn in, as well as steps needed, outside the room to enter at riser level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, you put tower speakers behind an AT screen. (Although I am more a fan of three identical potent bookshelf speakers
and multiple subs, behind an AT wall. One could leverage simple MDF sand filled DIY stands and there's some nice kits out
there that could get a simple flat black finish.) AT screen and walls are also come with a certain WAF, since they visually
erase big speakers.

Didn't one of the home theaters on the crawl have an exposed support post? That crawl should have been a pretty solid primer
for you, if you break down the theaters, into a series of individual ideas.

Actually 3 of them had columns, Archaea, carp and Stocked21. Carp's is the one that caught my eye the most and made me think about making my HT wider to create a walkway like I have drawn.

That support post is likely there to support the floor above, and prevent excessive deflection. You might be able to box the beam by
having steel plate wielded to the existing beam, to stiffen it. Not likely to be cheap, but it would be money well spent to get the best
room. A new support post could be embedded in the back wall, with the concrete floor broke open, and a new support pad poured.

Thinking about doing this and moving the the post could get real expensive and not something I want to get into I think now.

Yes I meant the double doors (or even barn style sliding doors) on the back wall. Giving up the sound isolation impacts greatly on the
noise levels inside and outside the theater.

I am rethinking this as well and maybe going with a single 3' or 4' door. I have room as well and am thinking maybe of going with a second wall to create an air lock or may make the entrance at the back on the north wall and use that space an entry hallway and put movie artwork on the walls. I could possibly do this for the south wall as well where the AV equipment will be.

So why not run the theater north/south? Isn't that a 16' wide room now? An AT space could hide some of the depth. And the beams transecting the
theater could be become detailing.
I also considered this layout and liked it a lot, but my brother in law talked my out of say that the framing around the beam would make people look up at it or something like that and if I went with to high of a riser there may not be enough headroom. This would be good for a AT setup because I would put the screen on the south wall and I have a lot of space behind it build the false wall. I may have to revisit this idea. This also would give my more space in the Bar/Game Room area. If I did it the room could be 16.5'x21' and extra room to build the area for the speakers behind a AT screen. Based on the dimensions and the chairs I am thinking of getting I could go with a back row of 6 and a front row of 4, but the back chairs would be up against wall and close to the back surround speakers.

Looks like I need to set down there this weekend and figure out which way I want to go. After seeing the 2:35.1 scoped screens with the e-shift 4K projectors I am wanting that or I may just plan for it for down the road and get a 1080p projector like the Espon 2040 for now. I want something better then the Optoma HD65 I have right now. How long do you think a real 4K projector will be in the $3K area? It may with it to get the Sony 45ES and be good for now. Chirpie's 40ES picture was incredible for just 1080p I thought on the crawl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am a big fan of the extra width... my room is around 17'6", and I was able to fit a curved row of 4 in my front row (|V|00|V|), a set of 5 seats in my second row (either |0|000|0| OR |00|0|00|), and have enough room to walk around on both sides. My 3rd row is a 12+' wide bar, with 5 more seats. We have a 10 year old and 7 year old, and my wife likes having a bunch of their friends over for movie nights, so, we use all the seats probably once a month...

In my room, I have a beam and one support pole on one side of the room. The beam to the wall, has HVAC supply/returns in it, so, I just built that out as a soffit. My support pole, I wrapped in a post column wrap, it is painted black, and based on where it lands vs where my seats are, tends to blend it quite well.

I finished almost my entire basement, not leaving lots of storage... and as other say, you just git rid of some stuff. I did also though, put up shelves on my garage wall, and put some stuff on those...

I wish I could have made it to KC for the theater crawl, sounds like it was a great time.

@kmhvball, I really like your theater and this is what I was wanting to go with. I may be taking a lot from your build in the future.
 

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In principle I agree with your brother in law....

But in practice, negatives often become design flair. :) And what separates your room, from other rooms, and can make it unique.

I would take the room volume, and float a cloud ceiling. Now you can hide lights inside the drywall shell, and one acoustically treat first
reflections off the ceiling, if using fabric. And if you don't take that cloud out to the boundaries, then you have a channel to add LED lighting.

Peter M's room does some bass trapping via a cloud.

DE used a beam up front to hide some screen lighting, with this design.:

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...nate-theater-designed-dennis.html#post1940024
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In principle I agree with your brother in law....

But in practice, negatives often become design flair. :) And what separates your room, from other rooms, and can make it unique.

I would take the room volume, and float a cloud ceiling. Now you can hide lights inside the drywall shell, and one acoustically treat first
reflections off the ceiling, if using fabric. And if you don't take that cloud out to the boundaries, then you have a channel to add LED lighting.

Peter M's room does some bass trapping via a cloud.

DE used a beam up front to hide some screen lighting, with this design.:

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...nate-theater-designed-dennis.html#post1940024
So in other words box out the beam like normal and use lights and fabric on both ceilings to make it look taller or father away and give it depth?

I took one of my old designs and what you draw up and came up with this. I drew the beam in as well. Based on where the second row would go the beam would basically be above your head when seated. The riser by rough estimate would be about 10" high and the steps in black would be 5" high and would give another 5" of clearance to walk under giving me roughly 8' or so. The only issue is there is a spot on the foundation wall along the east wall that sticks out about 8" or 9". If I put the screen wall here it be around 10' or less to the back of the first row. If I went with a 135" AT 2:35.1 screen I should be ok. I probably could remove it, but not for sure. I don't see why it was put in unless a beam was to go there. There is two floor plans for our house. One with an open concept like we have and one where there is a wall with a fireplace that separates the living room and kitchen. This wall would be above the west wall of this HT plan.

I like this layout better and uses the space better. Now I would have to move some walls and it would give me a chance to decouple the walls from the floor above.

Thank you for your help on this.
 

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Basically what I was thinking... But I think you might run out of head room with all that riser as laid out.
Ten inches of riser is two 5" tall steps. Why not use a more common 7-8" step height and and an island riser to keep
headroom? You could use taller bar stools, and keep a little more head room (and room volume).

I would prefer to lengthen the room, to get the bar row a little more off the back wall.

I still think that support post is there to stiffen the floor, so it doesn't bounce. Now without the fireplace above,
an engineer might allow you to put in a new support post/pad a few feet over.

A room flip of 180 degrees, could have the entrance at slab level, up front, and that 8-9" alcove could be disguised as a
symmetrical detail up front. Or maybe the AT space hides it... I did this myself, with a 59" deep AT space, in a very small
room with five soffits.

Those walls could simply be "materials" and "saved budget" if you disassembled them.
 

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