Starter questions

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Tyson B, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Tyson B

    Tyson B Auditioning

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    Hey all,
    I am looking for a little advice from the members here. I'm getting ready to build a home theater in my basement. I have the layout pretty well decided, but would take any advice on that as well. Mainly I have 2 questions:
    1) I intend to put in a 7.1 surround system with in-wall speakers for the side and rear. I would prefer to have in-wall center and front speakers, but can I get great sound out of that style of speaker? Do I need to build an enclosure behind them?
    2) Given the layout shown, how big a screen should I go with? At first I assumed around 100" projection, but after laying it out, I am thinking an 80ish" flatscreen (LCD or LED) might do the trick. Thoughts?
    3) Also, I'd like to build my sub box into the wall on the left side or even into the raised floor under the back row theater seating. Any good ideas for this would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance for the help!
    Tyson
    [​IMG]
    [ATTACHMENT=347]Theater only.pdf (28k. pdf file)[/ATTACHMENT]
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Why do you want in-wall speakers? They should always be a last resort. Great sound out of in-wall speakers? NO. Another problem is the lack of versatility. If you ever want to move your seating, or change screen size, you're screwed.
    2) Screen size is determined by your seating distance. What will that be?
    3) I think a built-in sub is a bad idea. Maybe someone else can answer that.
     
  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    There is no LCD or LED...
    It is LCD, DLP, DLP projector or LCD projector. (unless you have REALLY big bucks and want a Panasonic Professional Plasma or Runco "Plasmawall". Or even bigger bucks to be the first person in the US to import an AMOLED/OLED from Japan...and figure out how to get it to work)
    The only "built in" subwoofer worth doing is infinite baffle. How much cash do you have to spend just on that and its amp?
    By the way, how much cash are you throwing at this?
    In-wall/ceiling speakers (to get the same result) need another 60% budget in amp...
    So, if you were thinking of a 120x7 amp for this...in-wall/ceiling need 250x7.
     
  4. Tyson B

    Tyson B Auditioning

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    Jim - I am contemplating in-walls just to have a cleaner installation and not have the speakers detract from the design of the room. Would they be OK for at least the side and rear channel?
    I tried to show the seating distances in the attachment, but it is a little tough to read - 10' for the front row, 16' for the back row from head to screen
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I think your layout is backwards to begin with. Where the "18" is on the bottom of the picture...
    Is that a door or something?
    If so, do a 180 on the design plan.
     
  6. Tyson B

    Tyson B Auditioning

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    Sam - If I decided that 80" would work, I'd be looking at something like the Sharp AQUOS 80" or something similar in the $5k range
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sharp+-+AQUOS+-+80%22+Class+-+LED+-+1080p+-+120Hz+-+Smart+-+HDTV/3552918.p?id=1218413769371&skuId=3552918
    If I went bigger, I'd be looking at a projector and screen - no clue which one
    I am looking to spend around $12k-ish for all the gear (audio and video).
    I have a Carver TFM-35 boxed up collecting dust in my storage room that I'd like to use on the sub. It will bridge to 700W mono at 8 ohms - so I though that might be enough to push a sub (or 2) that I could build into the room somewhere. I am trying to contain all the sound within the room and not let it bleed over to other rooms. (I'll be looking at soundproofing ideas later)
    Also, are you guys proponents of 7 identical speakers, or 2 large fronts, a good center, and 4 smaller side and rears?
    Thanks for the input guys, keep it comin!
     
  7. Tyson B

    Tyson B Auditioning

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    Sam - the room is 12' wide where the seating is and almost 17' long. There is a little side room on the lower left that is 4.5'x6.8' that will have a counter and store movies, equipment, popcorn maker, etc. the light gray dimension lines are probably throwing it off - here's a pic without the dims. I dont have the door shown, but it's on the right side, just in front of the couch.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    So...
    What is behind the raised seating?
    Window??? or wall???
    The reason I say "swap it" is because if where the raised seating is is enclosed completely...that is where the best sound will come from. The way you have it now, your entire front soundstage is going to get sucked over the "L" of the room.
    And "before" I'd spend $5k on the Sharp...
    http://www.amazon.com/Mitsubishi-WD-82740-82-Inch-1080p-Projection/dp/B004ZL2OAO/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1343428096&sr=1-5&keywords=mitsubishi+dlp
    You can almost have the 92" for the $5k. The only "issue" will be bulbs every 3 years-ish at $100 per bulb and a color wheel every other bulb. The bulb takes 15 minutes...if you have no clue what you are doing the first time. The colorwheel takes about 45 minutes. But that is just me. If this is "light controlled" the LCD won't match the DLP in picture.
    And, is this a basement? First floor, an attic???
    Are you going to do IR blaster or Xantech to reach the "hidden" components?
     
  9. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    If your main priority is good looks, use in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. If you want the best sound, don't use them. Even with an 80" TV, it will be too small for the rear row seating. I would go with a projector.
     
  10. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    I sit a little over 11' from my screen and it is 103" based on a 35 degree viewing angle. My older Panasonic projector is great and if I ever upgrade it will be the whatever the current model is. My screen is DIY because I'm cheap.
    Subs. You have a big budget and a great amp to push them with. How large of a box(es) are you willing to live with? Have you thought about closing off that little area on the screen wall to use as an equipment room? It would make your room symmetrical. You could go with the IB sub and use that room. Four 18's would really rock that room. If you have room for some 2x3x4 foot enclosures, then a pair of horn loaded subs would work. There are thousands of options so you will have to narrow things down for me.
     
  11. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    I think the idea of flipping the arrangement is something worth considering. In a darkened room, the lights from the electronics can be distracting to viewers - if that's where the gear will be and it's at all visible to the viewer, it might be a problem. Also, probably better if people who get up during the movie to get more popcorn, or soda/beer from the minifridge (there WILL be a minifridge, right?), don't have to walk across the front of the room to get there.

    My basement theater room is "L" shaped, and I have it oriented with the projection screen at the top of the long side of the "L". Seating is right in front of where the two sides meet, and the door to the room is near the "toe" of the "L" - I can leave that door open and light bleed from the rest of the basement has zero effect on the theater part of the room.

    Also, as a front projection user, I will add that no flat panel display can provide the "wow" factor that a properly set up front projection system can. It's the best way to get the "real theater" feel at home, IMO.

    IR repeater systems are pretty easy DIY projects. I got components made by Buffalo Electronics from www.parts-express.com and placed an IR receiver "eye" above the middle of my screen near where the wall meets the ceiling. Simple cat5 wiring from the eye to the receiver block next to the gear, and a handful of IR blasters to the components. Works very well.
     
  12. Tyson B

    Tyson B Auditioning

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    Sam (and others),
    I am kind of locked into the current arrangement because of ceiling height issues. In the sketch below I have listed the heights. The bottom of the room has a 7' height due to some large beams that hold up my garage above it. The 7'6" height on the right side is locked in due to my main HVAC duct run for the house. I intended to match the height on the left side adn leave a raised center with possible tray lighting and/or ceiling mural or something else really cool I hadnt even thought of... Regardless, if I put seating on a raised platform, it would cut down the height to 6'6"-6'8" depending on how high I raise the floor. That seems a little low on paper, let me know what you think.
    On the other side of the wall at the top of the room is my bar area (completed in phase 1 of my basement buildout).
    I havent really considered IR blasters or the like yet, I figured the details on those could wait until I chose my equipment
    [​IMG]
    Robert and Jason (and anyone else),
    Do you think I will have an issue projecting with the 7' ceiling height at the bottom of the room extending out that far? Also, got any screen recomendations? How about projector?
    Robert,
    I was considering a sealed enclosure in the left wall with a pair of 15s or 18s. I had also contemplated a building a sealed box that would fire down into the false floor and then port it out right behid the couch. The box would sit on top of the false floor and function as an end table for the outside theater seats. I'd have to get some help on the box design and porting, but I could do the build easy enough. Thoughts?
    Also, I am still leaning to in-wall for the rear and back and a nice set of mains and center unless everyone thinks that is a horrible idea?
    Thanks for all your input guys.
     
  13. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Knowing that...
    Well, that will pose a tough one for a projector. You'd have to mount it down to where people might bang their head on it. Unless all the seating were raised(at most a foot) and the projector shot up from the floor(you can do that)...
    And now that we know that as well, there is almost no reason not to get a DLP either. You can build a false wall and run everything nice and tidy behind there. Essentially making the DLP "look" like a flat TV.
    And building the false wall would allow you to not have to "hide" anything...eliminating the need for the IR blaster/Xantech.
     
  14. Tyson B

    Tyson B Auditioning

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    Robert - I'd really like to build the sub enclosure into the wall on the left side of the room. I know that means I cant move the sub to match the room acoustics, but I am compromising with the wife here. That means about 1' deep max, but should be able to get enough volume by making it tall. I am guessing sealed enclosure would be best, but would consider other options. Can you recomend a good sub to go with my amp and my room size and how many/ what configuration? (For instance, firing directly at the couch where I'm sitting probably isnt good).
     

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