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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I hang drywall, I wanted feedback on what I'm forgetting, or what I should change. The plumber just left, so I'm ready for inspection (as soon as I clean up!).


Attached is the floorplan of my new HT. I'm building it as part of finishing about 1500 sq ft in my basement (the other rooms will be: playroom, bedroom, workroom, bathroom, and a lounge/bar/pool table room). The floorplan shows the layout. All of this stuff is already there, except for furniture, of course.


More details that are not in the picture:

Speaker cables:

I've two pairs of 12 ga speaker wire (for possible bi-wiring) to all speaker taps, except for the rear surrounds (only 1 pair). I've also run RG6 for subwoofer drops to all 5 speaker locations at floor level (except for rears). I don't plan on using them, but wanted the flexibility of moving the sub if necessary. I've run 3 speaker cables to the seating areas to accomodate tactile transducers (which are not in the initial plans, but thought I'd wire for them anyway).


Video cables (to the projector):

In addition to 2" conduit, I've run 3x1 RG6, 1x3RG6, 1x5RG6 (where 5RG6 means a single cable with 5 RG6's bundled), plus an IR wire. I would have run a DVI cable, but I don't know exactly which connector will work with my future projector (undecided as yet) and STB. There is an IR receiver tap at the front of the room above the stage (to the left of where the screen will be).


Electrical:

Outlets around the room, per code. Outlet at the projector. 5 light switches (zones): 2 cans over the stage, 4 cans over seating area, 2 cans over rear, 6 wall sconces, and 2 lights under the seating riser (at the pathway). The equipment closet is behind the stage, with entry from outside the HT. Two dedicated 20A circuits serve the equipment closet. All audio and video wires feed directly to the closet (as do satellite, antenna, and Cat5e cables).


Layout/Structural:

Screen is (obviously) on the wall over the stage. No windows (we removed one that was in the center of the back wall). Soffits were necessary to cover HVAC (I like their look, anyway). The columns at the front were also necessary to cover HVAC lines (to compressors outside). Ceilings are 8'9", except under 12" high soffits. We plan on two bar tables at the rear of the theater (probably with 6 chairs). The other seating is: two loveseats up front, sofa on riser (and a chair if it will fit). The primary viewing/listening position will be on the loveseats. But, we expect to have guests to fill up the sofa somewhat regularly. I've recessed a "box" for the projector/mount between the ceiling joists. All walls are 2x6's and stuffed with insulation. The back wall and the wall opposite the door are exterior (brick on the side wall and hardiplank on the rear wall). In addition, I put a 2x4 wall/partition on the wall with the door and plan on getting as soundproof a door as the budget allows. Of course, finishing will follow most of what is recommended here: 1/2 + 5/8 drywall, etc.


Equipment:

I'm waiting til the end for this decision. Likely candidates are B&W speakers and InFocus projector.


Questions:

1. What am I forgetting?

2. Are the side surround speakers too far back? I'm worried that they are, but I don't want them ahead of the riser seats.

3. What should I do with the video and speaker cables that are hanging out of their taps. I don't want the drywallers to mess them up, but they will not easily fold into the wall (I want the speaker cables to go directly to the speaker, rather than putting a plate and extra connection) -- same for video cables.


Thanks for any feedback. And a general thanks for the great info in this forum that gave me the guts to take this on by myself. I'm having a blast!


Soon I'll be creating a web page with photos (I did take before and some during shots). I'm anxious to get the drywall up and start finishing out the place. My target is May (for our annual Kentucky Derby Party!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I don't think the picture made it. Here it is.


Orange is furniture. Sc=sconce, R=recessed light, PJ=projector. Other abbreviations are for speakers. Shaded areas are 9" risers. Dashed lines are soffits.
 

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I think your concerns regarding the side surrounds may be genuine. Its my understanding that they should be in line with the prime seating position in a 7.1 setup or just slightly forward, not behind. Otherwise, I cant think of anything at all you are missing. I love your dimensions by the way, I think they are close to ideal for a theater. My room is 24-feet by 12-feet and I really wish I had an extra couple of feet in width. Where in the ATL are you? I'm up in Suwanee and my theater is getting near the drywall stage as well. Its scary to think you might miss something, which is one of the reasons why a portion of my ceiling will be a drop acoustical ceiling. But in the end, drywall patching is fairly easy when you get the hang of it!


Good luck, Brian
 

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Greetings,


Video gaming?

A wire drop for possible shift to dipoles down the road?

Butt kickers?

Climate control?


If your having fun, then May should be an easy deadline.

Enjoy, jdb
 

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IR cable for future control of a Grafik Eye.


Using at least a deep 4 gang electric box to facilitate a future Grafik Eye.


Low voltage and AC to control and power future automated screen masking.


Telephone?


Additional (independant) dedicated room ventilation.


I prefer the side surrounds even with the rear row. That way 5.1 rear effects are not in front of rear seated viewers. Put in two different sets of wires for both locations to cover your bases. Wire is cheaper/easier than redoing drywall later.
 

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I did not see any supply or return air grill locations. What are your plans for those?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the responses. Good points, all.


Jim - I'm not putting in a grafik eye (at least not now). I'm using X10 controls in the rest of my house, so I'm going to give this a shot for now (I'm admitting the possibility with not being happy with this approach and using a putting in a graphic eye later). So, the 4-gang box is good suggestion. Also good point on IR controls and screen masking. I do have AC on the front wall. Where would the masking AC supply need to be located?


I forgot to mention that I dropped two Cat5e's to a tap at the second row of seats for possible phone and laptop (who am I kidding?) use.


Gaming: I don't anticipate gaming -- ever, but if so I'll direct it to the upstairs "theater" -- curretly a modest HT setup in the family room. I don't see using bulb life for this. But, perhaps I should not rule it out now. What would I need for the gaming in the HT?


Sides: okay, now I'm conviced. I'll drop some more speaker cable to a location that is even with the rear seats. I'll let my ear decide in the spring when the speakers get put up. Though, I expect it will end up being some sort of compromise between the two rows of seats. I'll probably optimize for MY seating location. :)


Quote:
Originally posted by Frank Zimkas
I did not see any supply or return air grill locations. What are your plans for those?
I forgot to put these in the drawing. The HVAC vent is centered in the rear section (in the half-hex area). Originally, the HVAC installer insisted that the single central return (located in hallway of the basement) would be sufficient. I agreed that this is true for the rest of the basement, but decided that the HT needed its own return. So, I installed on up front, below where the screen will be (and set off to the right side). I did it myself, not being happy with the HVAC job, in general. I think I have enough twists and turns in both the HT supply and return to cut down on noise. One additional question on this topic: should I split the supply in two in order to cut down on air noise? Right now there is one 8" duct supplying a single supply vent. I was thinking that splitting this and supplying two vents via two 8" ducts (split somewhere before the vents, but not so far back as the furnace) would double the size of the supply, maintain the same volume, thus lowering the expected pressure and accompanying noise.
 

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Quote:
I was thinking that splitting this and supplying two vents via two 8" ducts (split somewhere before the vents, but not so far back as the furnace) would double the size of the supply, maintain the same volume, thus lowering the expected pressure and accompanying noise.
This is more true for a return air vent, which you cannot oversize. But, supply vents are a bit more problematic in that you can oversize and end up with pressure drops on long runs to close to zero, or worse reverse. If you were going to split, you generally split an 8 to two 6's to take care of any pressure drops. Or you put in a tee, and after it reduce the line to a 6. I would recommend you experiment with this now before you get the drywall up. From a design standpoint I would think you would need supplies in two locations in a theater of your size (I'm putting 3 in mine) to insure good airflow. Rules of thumb of HVAC contractors are one six inch supply per bedroom, two 6-inch per master bedroom and so on. And the fact that your HVAC contractor was not even going to put in a dedicated return in your theater is concerning. The theater is likely going to be the most sealed up and insulated room in your house! Not to mention the potential heat from the projector.


Brian


PS, this site is helpful for HVAC info and design: http://www.toolbase.org/docs/MainNav...ct_systems.pdf
 

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I'm building a small HT as well, 11'x13'. I'm about 3 months from pre-wire starting. I didn't think of "Additional (independant) dedicated room ventilation". thanks usabrian for the pointer to the HVAC info site. w/ a room the size of mine, 1) what do i need to tell my contractor to do to make them independent 2) how many "drops" should i put in the room. I thought i'd ask before i went and read the doc. Thanks.
 

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Gaming 101


Requirements.

Game unit, games, joy sticks, good light for reading instructions


Options.

cheat codes, comfortable chair, Adult hour for use of choice words.


Heres what we did.


Hunting for the unit was going to be fun.

Toys R us, to test run the big three: Play station, Xbox, cube.

Tried asking the kids, feverishly gaming away, what system they preferred. Felt like a super unhip person in doing so as I don't know current slang. Plus some kids looked at me like I was some kinda pedophile.

Changed tactics and snatched controllers out their hands and told them to "Scram!" Worked well.


Any doubt about my unhipness was soon confirmed. The kids, sulking behind me watching my pitiful attempt at killing bad guys, moaned and finally walked away for good shaking their heads.


Ah, I better cut to the chase.


Xbox had no games my girlfriend found "fun". She liked Mario.

Thinking about 4 controllers with wires running back to the unit was not very appealing. The cube has RF controllers, Hmmm.


This isn't much of a cut to the chase, is it?


Issues.

Tying into the PJ with RGB cable.

Tying into audio gear.

Phone line for on-line gaming.

Having to get up to change game disks.

110v A/C Power cord for the unit.

Tangled up controller cables.


Man, now we know why I don't teach middle school.


One of the...


To heck with it, I am sorry I even mentioned it. Never mind. (I need a drink) Class is canceled, stop in at the office and ask for a tuition refund. jdb
 

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jdb, thanks for the attempt. i don't think i would've gotten that far. i own 2 Xboxes, and the best i can do is plug them into Video 3, insert a disc , and then carefully hand the controllers to some 12 year old. i need power/ethernet/xbox connectivity back to PJ/audio. during framing stage, i plan to sit in my theater w/ my xbox on my lap, and a bunch of wires in my trunk, and have at it.
 

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Jason;


You said you have not yet chosen a pj. You may want to consider what the throw length may do to your layout. If you use a "hard" ceiling that will not allow flexibility in mounting your pj (not acoustic tiles), you may wind up with your video feed cables in the wrong place. I bought my pj, mounted it, and set it up before hanging my drywall. (Did the same thing with speakers, screen, etc.) It makes construction, and timing, a little cumbersome, but you know your setup will work when you are done. It's no fun to cut holes in drywall you have just spent hours finishing and painting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
First off:

I passed the inspection today! :D



jdb - Thanks for the primer on gaming. I'm pretty set on most of what you've written and will consider the rest. I'm still not sold on using the room for gaming, but it would be cheaper to prepare now, rather than regret it later.


ELB_III - I definitely plan on trying to take the rattel out of the cans before the drywall goes up. This was on my list, but I appreciate the link (I hadn't seen this one, but had seen another where someone caulked theirs).


rtart - Point well taken. I've planned on an InFocus. Given that I haven't auditioned it, I'm not saying that I'm definitely going for it. I have auditioned a Seleco (loved it, but is a budget-buster), Marantz (might be the nice tradeoff in $$ and PQ), Runco, and Sharp (didn't care for either of these last two). None that I auditioned were HD2 chips (all HD1's). I'm basing my planning on word of mouth about the 7200. Having said that, I put the cables and mount area in a place that will accomodate a Marantz or InFocus (assuming I'm reading the throw charts correctly).


WanMan - Responses to two of your questions (one of which was in another thread): I live in Roswell. The permit was pulled in Roswell -- I didn't have to deal with Fulton County. The inspector took all of 10 minutes, looked in every room and said, "Looks good. I don't need to see you again until it's done." He dropped in unexpectedly... sort of. The plumber had called after they were done. This triggered the inspection. Fortunately, I was done with everything else, except for cleaning. The place was a mess, but he signed off anyway. I haven't found a drywaller yet. I haven't even tried, since I was waiting on the inspection. So, it will probably (hopefully) be a couple of weeks. Did you want to stop by and take a look? PM me if so and we can compare notes.


Thanks again, everyone. Keep the ideas coming!
 

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Good news on the inspection.

Rather like a friend of mine when he had his house built. The inspector showed up at the door for the final, asked if everything worked and drove off.

Both you guys are Lucky dogs!


I forgot the part about taking Dramamine tablets before playing Extreme G racing. And Pic man? Forgetaboutit, shakes my guts!


I bought a used PJ with a 4 year free lamp and cleaning package. Not only do I watch gobs of DVDs, and oddles of hours gaming, but am also thinking of just leaving it running to heat the room this winter.


Congratulations, jdb
 

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Ahem... WanMan, you were suppose to use the P.M. feature.
 

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Because of my Super Psychotic Powers!
 
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