part family room, part home theatre

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by bigjohn, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. bigjohn

    bigjohn Extra

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    We are building a house and looking to build a family room that will be mostly a family room but I want some home theatre components as well.

    Basically we are looking at a 20 x 20 room (or close), in the basement (walk-in basement) with a fireplace centered on one wall. It will most likely be ventless gas logs, if that matters. Looking at some bulit-in shelves on both sides of the fireplace. We will have 9-10 foot ceilings.

    I want a big TV (50-60 inch) with surround sound. My biggest questions:

    *TV mounted above fireplace or in one of the built-ins next to it?
    *How to hide the subwoofer

    The wife is very particular about how everything looks (good thing, because I have no taste).

    I'll be looking through some more setups here but just wanted to get a start with my own thread. I'm sure I'll have more questions as we move forward.

    Thanks!
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Mounting over the fireplace is never advised.If you build an IB sub, You can "hide it" anywhere.Google Cult of the infinitely baffled
     
  3. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    A 50" to 60" TV is no longer considered "big". I would never mount a TV over a fireplace. Not only the possible heat issue, but most of the time the TV is too high. Your wife is obviously choosing looks over practicality.
     
  4. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    When purchasing my house with a family room/home theater in mind, I dismissed all Houses with an active Fire place.
    I opted for below floor ducted heating.

    My thoughts are that an active Fire place and Home Theater don't mix.
    The constant fire flicker would detract from the optimal enjoyment of a top quality presentation.
    I like to watch my movies in the dark. (it also acts as our family room which is lit up when we are not viewing anything)

    The separate downstairs theatrette operates strictly as a Cinema.

    Doug.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    TV over Fireplace is fine for secondary viewing. And it's very common in new construction, in the living room. But I can't imagine it's comfortable for normal, relaxing use, watching from the couch. Because of this, we didn't get a fireplace in the house (and against the advice of our realtor). The last house had a gas fireplace and we used it less than annually. I recommend skipping the fireplace completely. It's a very expensive decoration, and screws up otherwise marvelous TV spaces.
     
  6. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I agree about the fireplace. We have a gas fireplace, and we use it maybe once per winter. It was here when we bought the house though.
     
  7. bigjohn

    bigjohn Extra

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    We have a gas fireplace in our existing home, and we use it a fair amount. We both think we'd be more likely to use one in the basement, but I am trying to figure out a way to put them both on the same wall (about the only option we have).

    I am leaning towards no fireplace but the wife really wants it.
     
  8. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Get her a big Galaxy Tab and put the fireplace app on it...(Yes, post Valentine's day humor.)
     
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  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Ok, that changes things :) You know you like and use a fireplace, so getting one makes sense.

    Since your wife cares about appearance, you probably need to mount the TV above the fireplace for symmetry, rather than off-center. But we'd need to see the room layout to suggest otherwise. Friends down the street have this setup. A 60" LCD on a flush mount above the fireplace. It's common, and the Builder should be able to provide a wall-mount package, for minimal cost, to make it easier for you to mount the TV in the right location. And for the sake of appearance, you might have them install a recessed box with power outlet and HDMI run, to where the cable box and blu-ray are kept.
     
  10. bigjohn

    bigjohn Extra

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    Thanks all for the input, first of all.

    Dave

    I'm definitely thinking that my builder will be able to help me on that. And you are right, the reason for the TV over the fireplace is symmetry. I am hoping we will have some type of built-in cabinets on both sides of the TV, so I can run my blu-ray and receiver there.

    Also trying to figure out how to set up speakers and make it look good. Gah!

    Here's a rudimentary setup of the room (attached)
     

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  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I assume symmetry is going to force the couch up against the back wall...
     
  12. bigjohn

    bigjohn Extra

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    Actually it will not be all the way back against the wall. The room is almost 20 feet wide, so I am imagining the couch 10-12 feet from the TV. But yeah, most likely centered, or something close depending on other chairs etc.
     
  13. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    That's good, You can arrange your speakers correctly then. And correct...is symmetrical.
     
  14. bigjohn

    bigjohn Extra

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    I probably shouldn't even be calling this a home theater because I know by definition for most of you it isn't. It's a family room with a decent sized TV and nice sound system (if I play my cards right).

    Looking at something like this (below) with built-in cabinets on either side of the fireplace. Wondering about ideas on speaker placement, type, etc.... I have a nice receiver and sub and a Polk Audio sound bar in my present home but would like to go to true surround sound for this room. Again having to be fairly cost-effective.

    Any ideas would be appreciated, and if this isn't the correct forum feel free to point me in the right direction.
     
  15. bigjohn

    bigjohn Extra

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  16. Bobofbone

    Bobofbone Stunt Coordinator

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    Another possibility you might want to consider for placement of a flat-panel TV is
    an articulated mount. My wife presented me with a similar dilemma. She did not want any of what she called big boxy speakers, and didn't want a flat-panel TV that would dominate the room. She also relinquished a 22 x 15' space in the corner of a walkout basement with a 9' ceiling, and told me I could do what I wanted with it. Since she gave me what I wanted, I gave her what she wanted. I used a swivel mount, and offset the TV to the side of the fireplace. I hung a sound bar from the bottom of the TV, and the TV can be pulled out and swiveled about 200° to allow for viewing from multiple angles. I bought the mount from Monoprice, obtaining a better mount than I could purchase from someplace like Best Buy at less than half the cost.
    There is another form of mounting for a flatscreen TV over fireplace that could be useful. There are mounts that are articulated vertically, that leave the flatscreen nearly flush with the wall when retracted, and can bring the screen down to a better viewing height when in use.

    www.mantlemount.com
    and www.dynamicmounting.com are two mounts I've seen in another forum that might be useful. I have not seen an actual installation or tried either one, but they might be worth considering.
     

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