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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I believe I am almost there in terms of planning for my dedicated theater build. I have put together a building plan that is going to house the dedicated home theater and also the theater room's basic layout. Sorry for the poor quality hand drafted sketch - I don't have CAD skills to create a computerized layout.

As you can see on the plan, this is a standalone building that is under construction with just 2 rooms. Entry room is a dual purpose one (fitness + equipment room) which leads to the dedicated theater room. The wall dividing the entry room and theater room is yet to be built.

Couple of things to note:
* Equipment would include 4 numbers of ported 18" subwoofers to get an even response across seats, 16 channel pre-processor and 15 speakers in a 9.4.6 layout.
* I am going to add one row of seating with 3 seats and there is no riser. I am planning to throw in a few beanbags to accommodate guests, which is going to be a pretty rare case scenario.
* Out of 6 overhead speakers, 4 would be Atmos centric and the other 2 would be for DTS:X Pro support
* Planning to put all the electronics and projector in the fitness room. I believe things could get quite noisy with a stack of pro amps running and projector in high power mode. Having the equipment outside the theater room might help me to minimize the noise level.
* I am planning to install a ducted low static pressure air-conditioner to keep the noise level to a minimum.

It would be helpful if you could please clarify a bunch of questions I have.
* I have placed the theater entry along the middle of the back wall. I chose this door location to maintain symmetry and also due to the fact that there is more than 7' of space behind the seats. If there is a better location for the door along the back wall, please suggest.
* With a 13' wide screen, I have decided to opt for a micro perforated 1.3 gain vinyl screen. I am hoping that with a viewing distance of 12+ ft, I shouldn't be having issues with good quality micro perforated screen like Stewart. With this screen size and viewing distance, I don't think a woven screen makes much sense. Please correct me if I am wrong.
* Projector would be mounted just above the theater entry door in the fitness room and I am putting a 3 mm thick 8" x 10" Edmund Optics glass in the back wall for the projector to shine through the wall. Am I making a mistake in adding a piece of glass in the back wall that could let the pro-amp/projector fan noise to come through to the theater space? This could defeat the whole purpose of having all the equipment in another room, but couldn't figure out any other option.
* Is the placement of the building's main entry door in the fitness/equipment room okay from acoustics perspective? Not too sure if it has any influence though.
* Thinking about having 1.5 ft distance between the LCR speakers and screen per the advise on the Stewart screen thread. I believe this is applicable for perforated screens, but not sure if I need to tweak this distance a bit. Please advice.
* Should I look at an acoustic door for the theater entry? I am confused because with a thin port glass in place above the door that could act as the weakest link in the chain, couldn't decide if I need to invest in a soundproof door. Please enlighten me.
* Ducted air-conditioners indoor unit would be installed in the fitness room's ceiling and the ducts would be run to the home theater room. I am hoping that this would help me to reduce the noise associated with the indoor unit. But I was told that it is difficult to get the air conditioning noise level to less than 25 dB in the theater room as the duct length is very short. With ducts positioned at a height of 13 ft from the floor, I am hoping that I shouldn't be able to hear the HVAC running. But if 25 dB running noise is still going to be a problem and if I need to look at some option to reduce the noise further down, please let me know.

If you have any other inputs about the layout/plan, please feel free to share. I am just trying to make sure that I cover all the basic requirements for a good home theater setup and don't end up missing something critical. Thank you so much!!!
 

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You’ve got a lot going on here, forgive me if I don’t comment on everything.

You may want to consider OptiClear glass from https://hometheatreglass.com - several of us have used them with good results. The main benefits are that they come in thicker sizes and the ordering is easy. If you’re concerned about sound you could do dual 6mm panes.

I’d be tempted to try to put your equipment and projector in a closet or small room carved out of the fitness space. The reason being that you can control the light better, and the sound from the equipment.

When you open the theater doors you don’t immediately get hit with equipment sound. Then your question about insulating the doors comes down to what will be going on in the fitness room.

The port hole is going to be a source of light that is hard to control if it just opens to the whole fitness room.

It would also reduce dust, you’d have venting for the room and with the small space it would be easy to filter.

You wouldn’t need a ton of space. If you’re concerned about symmetry in the theater and want to keep the door in the center you could build the equipment room to the side and extend a soffit over the door on the gym side for the projector. Or you can just build a boxed in shelf for the projector with a door on it and some ducting and run the cabling you an equipment closet in the corner.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You’ve got a lot going on here, forgive me if I don’t comment on everything.

You may want to consider OptiClear glass from https://hometheatreglass.com - several of us have used them with good results. The main benefits are that they come in thicker sizes and the ordering is easy. If you’re concerned about sound you could do dual 6mm panes.

I’d be tempted to try to put your equipment and projector in a closet or small room carved out of the fitness space. The reason being that you can control the light better, and the sound from the equipment.

When you open the theater doors you don’t immediately get hit with equipment sound. Then your question about insulating the doors comes down to what will be going on in the fitness room.

The port hole is going to be a source of light that is hard to control if it just opens to the whole fitness room.

It would also reduce dust, you’d have venting for the room and with the small space it would be easy to filter.

You wouldn’t need a ton of space. If you’re concerned about symmetry in the theater and want to keep the door in the center you could build the equipment room to the side and extend a soffit over the door on the gym side for the projector. Or you can just build a boxed in shelf for the projector with a door on it and some ducting and run the cabling you an equipment closet in the corner.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Regarding port glass, I have already purchased a 3 mm glass from Edmund Optics. I could probably get one more 3 mm glass to make it dual pane.

While the theater is in use, the fitness room would be unoccupied and the only source of noise in the fitness room would be the theater equipment at that time. I am planning to install a ductless wall mounted split AC in the fitness room to keep the costs down and running a duct to cool the projector closet/space may be a bit complicated. Please let me know if I can effectively control the light through the port hole that is open to the whole fitness room if I paint the fitness room completely grey and keep the lights off. Since there are no windows in the building, there won't be any other source of light in the fitness room that could affect the projector.
 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Regarding port glass, I have already purchased a 3 mm glass from Edmund Optics. I could probably get one more 3 mm glass to make it dual pane.

While the theater is in use, the fitness room would be unoccupied and the only source of noise in the fitness room would be the theater equipment at that time. I am planning to install a ductless wall mounted split AC in the fitness room to keep the costs down and running a duct to cool the projector closet/space may be a bit complicated. Please let me know if I can effectively control the light through the port hole if I paint the fitness room grey and keep the lights off. Since there are no windows in the building, there won't be any other source of light in the fitness room that could affect the projector.

I think it’s really up to you and what you’re happy with. You will get a lot of opinions and options here, we may all do things differently. If you’re comfortable that you can control the light in the fitness room and are willing to commit to that design and work your situation to it, that’s great.

In that case I might suggest tying your lighting controls for both rooms together so you can hit “movie mode” and force the lights off in the gym.

I don’t think equipment lights from a rack in a large room will be of any consequence through the port but you could always put a door on your equipment rack as well.

If you’re still concerned about rack noise, I’d still suggest carving out a small closet in the corner of the gym and just have some dead vents and maybe some booster fans to pull air out through the closet into the room. No dedicated active AC. Dead vent is where it’s essentially open but there’s a twist to get out. You can build one in the wall for inlet and one in the ceiling to duct out to the room. You probably only need one turn.

 

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Hello,

I believe I am almost there in terms of planning for my dedicated theater build. . . .
.
.
It would be helpful if you could please clarify a bunch of questions I have.

* I have placed the theater entry along the middle of the back wall. I chose this door location to maintain symmetry and also due to the fact that there is more than 7' of space behind the seats. If there is a better location for the door along the back wall, please suggest.
Looks good to me.
* With a 13' wide screen, I have decided to opt for a micro perforated 1.3 gain vinyl screen. I am hoping that with a viewing distance of 12+ ft, I shouldn't be having issues with good quality micro perforated screen like Stewart. With this screen size and viewing distance, I don't think a woven screen makes much sense. Please correct me if I am wrong.
The trade off in this case is better gain for video performance at the price of a dB or 2 of audio performance. Sounds like a reasonable choice to me.
* Projector would be mounted just above the theater entry door in the fitness room and I am putting a 3 mm thick 8" x 10" Edmund Optics glass in the back wall for the projector to shine through the wall. Am I making a mistake in adding a piece of glass in the back wall that could let the pro-amp/projector fan noise to come through to the theater space? This could defeat the whole purpose of having all the equipment in another room, but couldn't figure out any other option.
Unless you move the projector into the main theater space, you absolutely want a port glass. Angle the top of the glass back towards the projector 10-15° to move the reflection down and away from the projector lens. This will improve contrast vs. a port glass that is perpendicular. Also, line the port between the projector lens and the glass with black velvet to further reduce reflections around the lens. Lastly, if you want to go with the Full Monty, you could drape some black velvet over the portions of the projector visible through the port, all in the name of improving contrast.
* Is the placement of the building's main entry door in the fitness/equipment room okay from acoustics perspective? Not too sure if it has any influence though.
* Thinking about having 1.5 ft distance between the LCR speakers and screen per the advise on the Stewart screen thread. I believe this is applicable for perforated screens, but not sure if I need to tweak this distance a bit. Please advice.
* Should I look at an acoustic door for the theater entry? I am confused because with a thin port glass in place above the door that could act as the weakest link in the chain, couldn't decide if I need to invest in a soundproof door. Please enlighten me.
I would choose a flush, solid core door and add an extra piece of MDF on each side with Green Glue to enhance it's noise isolation. I would also use a good seal set including either an automatic door bottom or a threshold that makes a solid seal with the bottom of the door. This is something you could add later if noise through the door is noticeable.
* Ducted air-conditioners indoor unit would be installed in the fitness room's ceiling and the ducts would be run to the home theater room. I am hoping that this would help me to reduce the noise associated with the indoor unit. But I was told that it is difficult to get the air conditioning noise level to less than 25 dB in the theater room as the duct length is very short. With ducts positioned at a height of 13 ft from the floor, I am hoping that I shouldn't be able to hear the HVAC running. But if 25 dB running noise is still going to be a problem and if I need to look at some option to reduce the noise further down, please let me know.
You should plan on running the supply-side duct to the front of the room. I believe Dennis Erskine has stated that people do not like to feel a draft on the back of their neck, but the same breeze on their face is well tolerated. This leaves only the return-side duct that is short and thus a potential noise source. To reduce the mid-high frequency noise from the air handler, I would construct a dead vent, like sor showed above, inline with the return duct. This should go a long ways toward reducing fan noise in the theater.

If you have any other inputs about the layout/plan, please feel free to share. I am just trying to make sure that I cover all the basic requirements for a good home theater setup and don't end up missing something critical. Thank you so much!!!
You are very lucky that you have a completely separate building for the theater. You have the beginnings of a great space. One thing you might consider is the degree of noise isolation you might need to keep the neighbors and/or family happy when you are flogging those subwoofers late at night. Similarly, what level of noise isolation will you need to keep outside noises from distracting you while watching a movie during the day? Will you have to contend with the neighbors lawn mower or loud vehicles nearby?

What about a popcorn machine or drink refrigerator? These are best kept outside of the theater and away from the electronics. In fact, they should be on a different electrical phase from the amplifiers, projector and source equipment. Likewise your HVAC equipment should not share a phase with the audio gear, if possible. Have you thought about bringing fresh air into the theater to reduce CO2 levels? What about a bathroom so you don't have to run into the house during intermission when it's raining outside? You should run a power inlet from the equipment to the projector if they aren't adjacent to each other so you can add a UPS to the projector power to protect the bulb in the event of a power loss.

All right, I need to pass out now. You are off to a great start and the broad strokes of your plan look pretty good so far.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You are very lucky that you have a completely separate building for the theater. You have the beginnings of a great space. One thing you might consider is the degree of noise isolation you might need to keep the neighbors and/or family happy when you are flogging those subwoofers late at night. Similarly, what level of noise isolation will you need to keep outside noises from distracting you while watching a movie during the day? Will you have to contend with the neighbors lawn mower or loud vehicles nearby?

What about a popcorn machine or drink refrigerator? These are best kept outside of the theater and away from the electronics. In fact, they should be on a different electrical phase from the amplifiers, projector and source equipment. Likewise your HVAC equipment should not share a phase with the audio gear, if possible. Have you thought about bringing fresh air into the theater to reduce CO2 levels? What about a bathroom so you don't have to run into the house during intermission when it's raining outside? You should run a power inlet from the equipment to the projector if they aren't adjacent to each other so you can add a UPS to the projector power to protect the bulb in the event of a power loss.


All right, I need to pass out now. You are off to a great start and the broad strokes of your plan look pretty good so far.

Mike

Thank you Sor and Mike for sharing very valuable inputs.



The building's external walls are all dual layered (6" outer leaf and 9" inner leaf) solid clay brick walls with 2" air gap between them and the ceiling is concrete. I am hoping that this would provide me a decent amount of sound isolation.



I am planning to add a popcorn machine and a refrigerator to the fitness room. I will make sure to put all the AV gear on a separate phase, thanks. I need to check about fresh air supply to the theater area. Since we are just 3 people occupying the theater space, I was hoping that it would take a good number of hours before the air becomes stale. Please correct me if I am wrong. We wouldn't be spending more than 3 hours at a stretch in the theater.


I have a bathroom just outside the theater building :)


Regarding the UPS for projector, please let me know if I should look at pure sine wave output online UPS or if a modified square wave computer UPS would do.



I was reading about subwoofer placement for single row home theater and there are some posts suggesting front wall mid point and rear wall mid point placement of subwoofers. In this case, I may not be able to put the door in the middle of the rear wall. I believe I should also allow corner and 1/4 wall placement options for subwoofers along the rear wall. Please let me know if there is a better way to locate the door along the rear wall considering potential subwoofer locations and rear speaker positioning.



Thanks again!
 

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Thank you Sor and Mike for sharing very valuable inputs.



The building's external walls are all dual layered (6" outer leaf and 9" inner leaf) solid clay brick walls with 2" air gap between them and the ceiling is concrete. I am hoping that this would provide me a decent amount of sound isolation.



I am planning to add a popcorn machine and a refrigerator to the fitness room. I will make sure to put all the AV gear on a separate phase, thanks. I need to check about fresh air supply to the theater area. Since we are just 3 people occupying the theater space, I was hoping that it would take a good number of hours before the air becomes stale. Please correct me if I am wrong. We wouldn't be spending more than 3 hours at a stretch in the theater.


I have a bathroom just outside the theater building :)


Regarding the UPS for projector, please let me know if I should look at pure sine wave output online UPS or if a modified square wave computer UPS would do.



I was reading about subwoofer placement for single row home theater and there are some posts suggesting front wall mid point and rear wall mid point placement of subwoofers. In this case, I may not be able to put the door in the middle of the rear wall. I believe I should also allow corner and 1/4 wall placement options for subwoofers along the rear wall. Please let me know if there is a better way to locate the door along the rear wall considering potential subwoofer locations and rear speaker positioning.


It looks like you have a really nice space to work with, I'm eager to see how this turns out! How high are your ceilings out of curiosity?


What are you planning on powering your 4 subs with? If you are wanting substantial output, most will recommend that sub amps be on their own dedicated circuit so that when the bass hits, it doesn't dim your projector.



Regarding sub placement, there are lots of options & opinions, but every room is different. If you are not happy with the output, sometimes moving the subs around is until you find what works in your space is the only option. Check out the YouTube videos by Home Theater Gurus, particularly the Sub Setup video;
Also, there are lots of experts in the DIY Speaker sub-forum https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-diy-speakers-subs
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It looks like you have a really nice space to work with, I'm eager to see how this turns out! How high are your ceilings out of curiosity?


What are you planning on powering your 4 subs with? If you are wanting substantial output, most will recommend that sub amps be on their own dedicated circuit so that when the bass hits, it doesn't dim your projector.



Regarding sub placement, there are lots of options & opinions, but every room is different. If you are not happy with the output, sometimes moving the subs around is until you find what works in your space is the only option. Check out the YouTube videos by Home Theater Gurus, particularly the Sub Setup video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQMl5kradA4&list=PLQ4bUzhLn0LqZueY3GiRCFyJypkvFIkEz&index=3 Also, there are lots of experts in the DIY Speaker sub-forum https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-diy-speakers-subs

Thank you mumbles60. My concrete ceiling is 14.6 ft high. After AC ducting, I should have about 13 ft to work with. I have Rythmik FV18 paper cone active subwoofers that I am planning to use in the setup.



I will watch the sub setup video to gain some insight. I downloaded REW and ran room simulation with 2 and 4 sub configurations in different placements. I found that the mid point subwoofer positioning doesn't offer anything close to a flat low frequency response in my room. But when I tried to reduce the room height to somewhere around 8 feet or less, mid point subwoofer positioning gives a dead flat response curve until 80 Hz. Looks like this placement doesn't work in rooms with tall ceilings which is pretty weird.
 
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