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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
ElPietro's Closet Theatre

Hi all,

I've been lurking these forums for many years, and bought a house a couple years back with the hopes to build some form of semi-dedicated home theatre. Of course, now that we have a kid everything changes and needs to be a bit more multi-purpose.

We have a longish rectangular family room (17x9'3") that is basically empty right now, and I'd like to optimize this for family tv and movies. The challenge is that virtually every wall has some obstacle in the way of me achieving my goals.

Hoping I can list my plan, and any feedback on whether my idea is crazy, not doable, or on the right track would be greatly appreciated, as well as any other helpful suggestions.

Attaching pics of the room and layout to help. I am limited in that I need to use our current mammoth living room sectional in here, so I have to basically create the viewing area along the long wall.

I realize putting a projector in would probably make things infinitely easier, but this will be an everyday tv room, getting turned on off quite frequently, and I understand this is probably not ideal for a projector. Also, I'd ideally like to get a 4k UHD TV which isn't really feasible with a HT Projector, especially when budget is a factor.

For sound I am toying with attempting a 5.1.2 Dobly Atmos setup, with two in ceiling or ceiling suspended speakers. I may start initially with 3.1 or 5.1 and add as I go, but ideally would like to wire everything before applying finishes such as paint.

Here are the steps I'm planning on taking:

1. Remove the closet doors and trim, which will provide approximately 48" of space. This is exactly what I'd need to fit a 55" LCD. It would be simple to achieve, and allow me the flexibility of reinstalling the closet if ever needed. I'd originally thought of trying to cut further out to widen this space, but it looks like at most I will get clearance for a 65". The viewing distance will be pretty much bang on 8'. One issue I see is that the outlet is outside the closet facing the main viewing area. I could of course just plug the power strips in there, and run the power cable around the corner into the closet but that would probably look pretty ugly. Not sure if I can cut out the drywall behind the outlet and basically turn it around so it's facing into the closet and then patch the outside.

2. Run speaker wires, either along ceiling with some form of channel to make it appear somewhat clean, or cover with some form of accoustical tile, which so far I'm having a hard time understanding if these are actually even effective. Or simply cut out some ceiling drywall since the joists are running the way I'd need them to.

3. Install curtain rod to cover the wall by the stairs with the two patio doors. Only the door closest to the stair opens though. Figured this would be the simplest way to control light, and I'm hoping if I get a heavy fabric it will help with any accoustical issues with the two large panes of glass in the door.

4. Paint walls and ceilings in a dark flat colour, either dark grey or black. Trim I'd probably use a slightly lighter colour with an eggshell finish for interest.

5. Add dark carpet tiles.

6. For Lighting I will probably put in track. It's easy, I can point the heads where I want, (which I have no clue how to optimize this) and just put them on a dimmer.

7. Potentially look into inexpensive accoustical treatments.


So yeah, I think this might be one of the more challenging spaces, but it's what I've been dealt. I'm not sure how effective all of the room darkening and painting will be once all of my 2 year olds toys get into the room, maybe I can paint his ikea toy cabinet dark too lol.

Sub placement I have no clue at this point, but it seems like it might end up beside the sofa.

Will probably buy most of the gear towards the end of the year when sales are happening. For now I'll just steal either the living room tv (46" samsung) or the bedroom tv (42" LG).

For receivers I am considering any of the Denon x1200/2200/3200, depending on sales or if I can find a refurb unit for a good price.

For speakers, depending on how costs add up, I will either go with an inexpensive Pioneer SP-BS22 speakers, and matching center and sub. Or, alternatively I could look into either SVS Prime Sattelites. Obviously SVS would be pricier, but I could always start with the center and two satellites, then move the satellites to the back and get either two more, or go for their bookshelves and sub.

Do you think going with all satellites would be viable? It's not a big room at all, and to be honest, we won't be playing anything at a very high volume.

Thanks in advance for any comments/insights/suggestions you may have. When I get started on this build I'll document it so you all can have a good laugh!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ok no responses so far, crappy room, big wall of text I understand lol!

Maybe if I can water it down to a few simpler questions for now that might help.


First dumb question, if I'm going with an LCD TV (current front runner is Samsung KS8000) does room darkening such as painting walls dark, and ceiling black matter as much? Or are rooms darkened more to help with HT projectors than LCDs? Painting is a simple modification, but if it's not really applicable for a bright LCD than I can at least save myself the effort initially.

I think I've decided on the SVS Prime Satellites for the space. It's a 17x10 room with 9' ceilings which from what I can tell is extremely small. The benefit here is they are designed for wall mounting. The front L/R will be flush mounted to the wall, approx. 65" apart. Is it overkill to get the SVS center channel? Or would another satellite be just as good given the room size?

Given I will have my sofa right against the back wall (although it's a somewhat deep sofa) is there much difference between mounting rear surrounds on the side walls vs back wall on wall mounts ever so slightly towed in towards the main listening position? So basically 10 and 170 degrees approximately, in relation to back wall.


I've so far come up with an ingenious plan, of getting a heavy duty wall mount for the TV, which will allow me to extend it flush with the closet opening, and push it back in when needed to access wiring, etc. For media equipment the Ikea Besta has a cabinet of the exact width I need to fill the space, just deciding on the taller or lower one, then will put the smoked glass on it to hopefully mitigate some of the light from the components while still granting IR capabilities.


Thanks for any advice you can provide on this stuff. It's funny you research things to death, and then you plan to start your own room and you get paralyzed with all the options/approaches available, or in my case, lack thereof...
 

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That is one tough space, and yet it's also a very nice looking space.


I'd be tempted to go very minimalist with a 4K 55" hdtv, recessed into the closet area, but floating free of the back wall.
2.1 sound below, hidden behind a black speaker grill fabric panel. AV gear up top, on a shelf.


There's some much working against you in that space....
 

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Thanks for the reply Ted, had almost given up on anyone commenting here.

My first iteration will be virtually exactly as you've described it.

I found the Kanto FMX3 wall mount which is probably a bit of overkill but it extends 28" which means I can extend the TV to be flush with the closet wall opening, and can always push it back to access any cabling.

A 55" LCD will have at most a half inch gap on all sides so will also look pretty built in which I like. I'll put shelving above as you mentioned, but may put all the components below with the speakers wall mounted to either side of the tv. I am thinking something like the SVS prime satellites should be more than sufficient for this space? Just wondering if another satellite would be good as a center when I get that far, or if there is a big advantage to the proper center speaker. Would save me about $300 to simply use a satellite though.

Also going to put black out curtains all along the wall with the french doors to the deck, and possibly curve them to block the staircase as well.

I'd also put down some form of dark area rug going from in front of the closet to just under the sofa legs.

I am debating as I get further along if it might be an idea to treat the ceiling. Haven't read up a lot, but I did fine some accoustic tiles called Cinetile which are black, just not sure if I would just apply them directly to the ceiling, or build a small drop ceiling. This would allow me to easily run cables to the back without opening up much drywall, and hopefully would also dual purpose in improving room accoustics and preventing too much sound leaking upstairs to the master bedroom above. Not sure this is worth it over just plugging in some wireless headphones at night lol.

I've played around with sketchup a bit (pretty clueless using it) but I've managed to build something that appears along the lines I am thinking it will look like towards the end. I attached it below, and lowered the back wall so the room can actually be seen heh.

There is a bulkhead across the top of the backwall that goes down to the floor, so not sure if and when I add surrounds, if I'll stick them high up and point down, or just put them on the bulkheads above ear listening level pointed at each other.

Anyway, any other thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Just one other quick comment though, the TV is mounted a bit high in the rendering. It may be lowered if I go with the smaller Ikea Besta cabinet vs the taller one. But ultimately, the sofa that will be used promotes extreme slouching lol. So a higher screen is almost necessary. It's in our living room and the tv sitting on the fireplace mantel is almost a perfect height.
 

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I'd invest in some wireless headphones over acoustical treatments. The space is going to look nice, but it does have a lot of issues
that aren't conductive to great sound. Maybe that thread with the printed fabric posters might make for some nice artwork/acoustical
treatments, should you want to go down that path?


I was actually thinking the av gear up top, with the hdtv recessed a bit, on some simple closet wall to closet wall supports, to hung the
hdtv from. Three small identical satellite speakers down under, plus small sub, (or a sound bar) hidden by a wood frame covered with simple
black speaker grill fabric. Almost a vertical flip of what you have.

Curtaining off the stairs might be a dangerous thing...???
 
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