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Building projection room from scratch - newbie questions

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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   jbourassa



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Posted July 04 2009 - 06:41 AM


Im a newbie looking to build a ~5-6kish (electronic only) home teather. I looked around a bit but I couldn't find my way. Dont hesitate to toss me links on things I should be reading.

That being said, I would like to build a projection room. I am not sure if it will actually fit, but I'm looking to build a projection room with a ~110ish screen, a 1080p projector, a 5.1 sound kit and some sort of soundproof isolation.

I used to build computers for a living so I am up for pretty much any kind of DIY as far as it goes with electronic. I also have a friend that will help with building the room, so level of DYIness is something around 8/10.

I am building this in my basement. The basement actually is unfinished so I have a bunch of freedom. What I am trying to figure out right now is what kind of division and materials should I look for. Here's a plan of my room and plan : Posted Image

1 - I was thinking of 2 sheets of drywall on each wall for isolation, along with resilient bars. Is  that enough to cut most of the sound? Should I look for something else?

2 - Carpet on the floor, right?

3 - Does the room has to be rectangle? How bad is the impact of non-rectangular room on sound? For instance, the back of one of the room is not totally closed because it leads to the staircase. Would heavy curtains help?

4 - Does the seating has to be in the middle of the room? How bad is the impact of sitting at one third of the room (from the sides)? If it's a problem, would another set of curtains fix this?

5 - Is haging ceiling any good soundproof wise? I like the idea of being able to move stuff around even when finished.


#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert_J


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Posted July 05 2009 - 08:10 AM

1.  Do a Google search on sound isolation.  Each thing you do (drywall, QuietRock, resilliant channel, etc) will reduce the sound some.  But the amount of dampening will vary by frequency.  You would need solid concrete walls to reduce high SPL bass.  I did a little to keep outside sounds at a minimum but that was it.  My subs will vibrate the entire foundation of my house.
2.  Yes.  You can also put it on the walls for treatments.
3.  Squares are the worst.  Certain rectangles can introduce room modes.
4.  I like my seating to be symetrical so that my sound levels and reflections are symetrical as well.  You can set levels so that the sound is even but you will get more reflections from the right hand side of the room.
5.  You need mass to dampen the sound.  Hanging ceiling tiles are light.  They may stop the high frequencies but they will do nothing on the bass frequencies.

Welcome to HTF.  Ask a mod to move this to the Theaters and Projects section.  It is the proper place for questions like this.  It is also a great research tool for checking out other's rooms.


#3 of 8 OFFLINE   jbourassa



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Posted July 06 2009 - 06:11 AM

Thank you Robert, I asked a moderator to move the topic.

Any inputs on the curtains to cut the sound and 'center' my seating?

Also, should I rely on projectorcentral's recommendation regarding screen size (see http://www.projector...culator-pro.htm)? They often recommand screen diagonal between ~100ish and ~125,  but I read elsewhere (can't remember where it was actually) that I should stick to 90-100 (also considering that the room ambiant light is totally controllable)

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted August 12 2009 - 11:06 PM

I too would keep the screen and seating centered to the room for reasons mentioned above.  You might also want to look into a electric projection screen that you can roll up and hide when it is not in use.  This will also help since you have that window there and you will not have to mount the screen off center.  I would also use larger floor standing speakers for your left and right channels and a matching center channel speaker.  This is mainly because of your room size, if you use really small speakers and you turn it up there is a good chance the sound will be distorted and strained.  Small speakers especially ones that are underpowered do not sound good in large rooms, mainly when the sound is turned up.  Small speakers can not reproduce large SPL levels in a small room like a larger speaker can, think of a speaker like an air pump.  

With a 14'-3" wide room I would think that you should be able to use a 120" screen.  I would at least use a 80" - 100" screen though, but I honestly do not think 120" would be to big and the room is big enough for the throw distance a projector would need as well for a 120" screen.  There are a number of companies like Stewart Film Screen, Draper and DaLite that make electric screens to fit your needs.

Is your stairway open or enclosed?  If it is open I would consider building a wall instead of using a heavy drape.  The drape will not block enough sound and it will leak up into the space above via the stairway.  A drape might help with sound reflection in the room but it will not block enough sound from being heard upstairs.  I would look into products like Acousti Block as well as other technics to help sound proof your home theater.  I would definantly use carpet in the room as not only will it keep sound reflection down but it will kill echo in the room as well.  There are also low cost DIY pannels that you can make yourself that will help with reflections on the walls that do not cost an arm and a leg.  I also suggest after choosing and getting your subwoofer and or subwoofers that you exsperiment with placement.  Bass that low generates long standing waves and if your listening possition is in a bad spot then the bass will ether be week or very strong.  Another thing to consider is to look into a lift for your projector, not sure if that is the correct term but it would allow for your projector to be hidden when not in use.  If not then the standard projector mounts work very good as well.

My personal recomendations:

Encose stairway if open
Use electric roll up screen that hides away in ceiling when not in use
With a 14' X 21' room you will want good size speakers, floorstanding for the front soundstage L & R.
A very good quality a/v reciever
Sound Treatments
Min of 80" - 100" screen








Hope this is not to much and that it helps.

Supporter of 1080p & 4K/UHD video (257 Blu-ray Titles)/ Supporter of Lossless PCM, Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio / Say No To MP3 & WMA / Say no to Bose




#5 of 8 OFFLINE   jbourassa



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Posted August 19 2009 - 05:41 PM

Dave Moritz,

Thanks for the in-depth anwser.

Things have changed a bit, I decided to go with a fake wall, screw the idea to keep the window. Ill put up a fake wall (acoustically transparent wall) along with a small stage, and I will wall mount the 120" fixed frame screen. This will allow me to center the seating. I bought a Optoma HD200X (entry-line 1080p) projector and tried it on drywall, 120" looked like a great screen size even on drywall!

Concerning soundproofing, I realize that I won't be able to do miracles with the staircase limitations. Closing the staircase is not really doable since no furnitures will pass through the tight corner. Closing the bottom of the staircase is an option, but it is really complicated since we'd have to install a 8' door and a smaller regular door beside; down the road it seems like curtains will be a better option for this.

I am still going to sound proof as much as I possible can the top and side of the staircase, but the height is very limited; that's a huge bottleneck. On the other hand, the *only* goal with soundproofing is that people can sleep... on the second floor. I think that will be achievable with moderate soudproofing (or rather, I hope).

I got plans on how / where to put acoustic pannels, so that's something I will do in order to help with acoustic

As far as it goes with the sound system, I am leaning torward a paradigm setup (Monitor 7, cc290, atom rears) with a Pioneer ASX-919 receiver and some 12' sub (not sure on this one yet, maybe Paradigm PDR12). I tried a couple set and this is definetely the one I liked the best for my budget (~2k-2.5k). Do you think this is a decent sound system for the size of the room?

Thanks again,

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Posted March 20 2010 - 04:59 AM

HD200-X optoma projector if you own this what is the maximum screen size you can goto if you ha a place twice the size of your basement? as i am building one at the minute but am on a budget so this looks like a good projector will be running a sony blu ray player on it will it go bigger than 120 inch? many thanks

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   gogababa



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Posted February 20 2013 - 10:22 AM

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#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted February 20 2013 - 12:37 PM

We have a winner !! You just replied to a thread that is 3.5 years old !! This might be a record !! :confused:

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