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24 replies to this topic

#1 of 25 Vagabond

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Posted September 10 2009 - 12:17 AM

Hello, all

Well pretty typical my wife and I are going to finish off our basement and would like to include a theater type room.  And well I found your forum here hoping to get some good input.  Thanks in advance.  If i for get anything please let me know.

Ok first of there is the list of things we'd like to include in the basement:
- Theater room or viewing area
- Play area for kids (to be recovered later as ages increase
- Extra room (most likely a spare bedroom)
- Entertainment area (ie bar, service area)
- Storage space
- Small work shop if possible.

http://static.hometh...imensions.gif">
I have a few potential layouts (but all comments are greatly appreciated):

1 -


2 -



I am also struggling with large screen plasma/LCD vs. Projection we are looking at the 85 -95 inch screen size.  (I have only seen projections at 95). 

I have just started looking into and learning about the electronics but if someone has any suggestions for me to check out as a starting point would be great.  Also,  If I get a Wii or Playstation (which i believe are blue rays) would this work for and replace a DVD dedicated player?


I am sure I will have lots more questions and I am looking though and reading the forum.

Thanks
Vagabond



#2 of 25 Jason Charlton

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Posted September 10 2009 - 02:24 AM

Hi and welcome to the forum!

Of the two layouts you suggested, I like the second one better.  Even though the theater area is "smaller", working with corner layouts is not only tricky from a speaker standpoint, but you end up wasting a lot of space behind the screen.  I also like how the theater is more isolated in the second option, providing excellent light control which is a huge help should you decide to go the projection route.

In terms of price per inch, you really can't beat the cost-effectiveness of front projection.  I went with front projection for my basement theater and will never go back.  Some great places to read up on various projector technologies and specific model reviews are projectorcentral.com and projectorreviews.com.  I can also vouch for the outstanding service provided by projectorpeople.com.

Some clarification on game systems: Yes, the PS3 doubles as a Blu-Ray player (for a long time, it was considered one of the best players out there, but IMO, some of the newer "profile 2.0" players from Panasonic give it a real run for it's money), but the Wii does NOT play DVDs (the Wii does not output a high-def signal, either - it's limited to 480p).  The Wii would be used for gaming only, not as a means for movie playback.

Have you come up with a budget for the home theater room?  If you have a general idea of how much you're willing to spend (outside of the costs of simply finishing the room) we can provide much more specific options on equipment.  Assuming you're starting from scratch, you'll need to consider:
- Display device (projector/screen vs. flat panel)
- Video sources (Blu-Ray, HD Cable/Satellite, Game systems)
- A/V Receiver
- 5.1/6.1/7.1 speaker setup
- Cables, speaker wire, mounts


Jason

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#3 of 25 Vagabond

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Posted September 10 2009 - 05:24 AM

Jason,

Thanks for your comments and thoughts.  The second layout was my attempt at addressing my wife's major and only real concern.  Is that she would like to have an open floor plan in case of entertaining others.  That wall behind the last row of seats is only a half wall.  I completely agree with the loss of space issue and have come to accept that as collateral damage.   Anyway I sort of prefer the second one as well (perhaps some large sliding pocket doors.  I also have some other layouts.  One i loved but is not going to work (due to access to outside and to work/storage areas.  I did not even think about speaker placements.  Ack that is going to be an issue. 

As far a budget for the electronic hard ware I would like to keep it under $10k.  We would also like to get the 7.1 system and I did see something about putting speakers, think they called them rumbles under the seats. 

Well I thought I was nearly ready to start construction but I guess I need more thought.

Thanks




#4 of 25 Robert_J

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Posted September 10 2009 - 08:36 AM

I like option 2 as well. 

If you want to have entertainment for the bar area, hang a smaller, flat panel TV in that area as well.  It can be wired up to either show the 'big game' that is on in the theater or with some creative wiring, it can also show video from different sources as well.  Remember to add these details to your project plan so you don't forget.

If you are going to do the work, then you are already handy enough for some smaller, money saving projects.  I built my own 103" screen for $75.  My wife things it looks better than the $1,200 screens that we were looking at when auditioning projectors.  I also built my speakers and subs.  I saved a little on speakers compared to internet direct companies.  There isn't a retail sub that can touch mine for what it cost me to build.

-Robert



#5 of 25 Robert_J

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Posted September 10 2009 - 08:45 AM

I forgot about the shaker comment.  Bass shakers, butt kickers, tactile transducers, etc. to me just feel fake.  Maybe I haven't felt one that was properly set up.  I have no problems feeling my movies.  My subs provide enough tactile sensation that I have made myself queasy at high volumes.

#6 of 25 FreyTheater

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Posted September 16 2009 - 08:36 AM

I suppose with seat shakers, it's mostly a matter of taste, but I recently mounted 3 Clark transducers under the seats of my theater sofa, and I think they add tremendously to the movie viewing experience - you really do feel like you are actually "in" the movie... Yes, a good, powerful subwoofer or two can give you good vibrations as well, but that sensation is more in your chest (but definitely a good feeling!)  But, actually feeling the furniture beneath you shaking to the sound of an explosion or crash seems very realistic, and is certainly a natural feeling - as if you were sitting in your seat right next to where the action is happening, and the vibrations transmitted through the ground were shaking your seat.  To me, having the seat shakers in addition to a good sub is such an improvement, I now wonder how I ever could have gone so long without them!

One of the biggest advantages in having seat shakers is that you can turn the volume of your surround system down, especially if you must worry about disturbing neighbors in an appartment building, townhouse, or semi, or family in other parts of the house, and still have the sensation of the sound being much louder than it really is.  And, since properly installed seat shakers require rubber isolation feet to be installed on the furniture they are mounted in, there should be NO vibration transmission to the floor (or your neighbors ears) at all... all pluses for those who may need to limit their theater's audio output levels due to their surrounding "people" environment.

IF you do go the seat shaker route, I would highly recommend Clark transducers, available from  sources such as Parts Express... there are 4 models of increasing force levels, but even the lowest and most inexpensive Clark model still generates 10 times the force of the more well-known Aura Pro Bass Shakers, and are not that much more in price. you will need a good-sized amplifier to drive these properly, though.  I am using a 450 watt bridged-mono amp to drive 3 of these in series...
Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#7 of 25 Robert_J

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Posted September 16 2009 - 11:22 AM

The Buttkicker and the I-Beam are other transducers.  My only experience with them was about 10 years ago at Disney World in one of their displays.  One room had this new fangled flat screen TV, Bose speakers and shakers under the bench.  I can't really judge them by one install like that.  The BK's look neat.  Heck, they even have a music version that bolts to a drum riser so the drummer can feel the bass.



#8 of 25 FreyTheater

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Posted September 16 2009 - 11:54 AM

Ah, well that explains why you had such an uninteresting experience with those seat shakers, Robert - they were paired up with Bose speakers... /img/vbsmilies/htf/drool.gif
Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#9 of 25 bmackrell

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Posted September 16 2009 - 02:39 PM

Looks like an interesting build.


#10 of 25 Vagabond

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Posted September 18 2009 - 02:11 PM

I have a guy from a local audio house coming in this weekend for a free consult on speaker placements and such   Ill post more but I hope that my wife and I will have a plan by sunday and could start construction as early as thursday / friday next week



#11 of 25 Robert_J

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Posted September 18 2009 - 03:00 PM

Dolby Labs has a great tutorial on speaker placement.

#12 of 25 Vagabond

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Posted September 18 2009 - 11:06 PM

thanks looking at the site now.


#13 of 25 Vagabond

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Posted December 22 2010 - 07:33 AM

An update can you believe it.  Been a while:


Ok, my basement is finally usable. Just making the bar counter top now.  Here are some updated pictures:


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


I also finished off a play room for the kids an extra usable room and well the full bath is still under construction.


Just need to finish making my wood bar top and buy some stools.


Vagabon



#14 of 25 jingjia1989

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Posted December 22 2010 - 04:33 PM

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#15 of 25 Jim Mcc

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Posted December 22 2010 - 06:24 PM

Looks great. What's the screen size? Is it a DIY screen?



#16 of 25 Jason Charlton

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Posted December 23 2010 - 01:14 AM

Wow - that's pretty impressive!  Congratulations on the project - excellent work.


The layout looks pretty different from the options you presented initially - how does this compare to the originals?  It definitely looks to be much more open to the rest of the basement (hard to tell for sure, though).


Love the built-ins on each side of the screen and the rock facade is really striking.


How did the project compare to your expectations?  I'm curious if there was anything that ended up much more difficult or much easier than you anticipated.


Thanks for sharing the pics.  Enjoy the theater!!!


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#17 of 25 Vagabond

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Posted December 25 2010 - 04:05 AM

Thanks for the kind words.


I learned so much doing this project and I really enjoyed it. Below is the final wall layout for the basement and yes it is a lot more open then I originally set out to do.

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

I used a 3D program (truespace - its free) to really get a feel for the size of the spaces and moved towards the open format.


The screen is not at DIY its is a 95 inch De-Lite.


This was the first thing like this i ever attempted.  Over all it was not too bad.  To date the hardest part was the planning and laying out of the project.  Every step had at least one little thing that was hard but once you get some help and ask a few questions it is mostly all about putting the time in.  Frame out windows some of the duct work were challenging.  Getting the electric to the chairs was also another issue, but after I got some advice from a very friendly and knowledgeable group at www.handyguyspodcast.com.  It was not a big deal at all.  Just a little concrete cutting.  The handyguys are great.


I have learned a few other things that I would probably have changed but over all I am very happy with the entire project.  Now I just need to finish making the wood bar top and the bathroom.  But after Tiling the bar area.


Hopefully I will have the bar completely done by end of Jan.  and then work on the bathroom. 







#18 of 25 Parker Clack

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Posted December 27 2010 - 11:52 PM

Eric:


Excellent job. Very classy. What projector did you end up buying? What are you using for the rest of your equipment?


Keep us updated with pictures from the rest of the project like the final bar and counter top and bathroom finish. Did you end up

putting a second bedroom downstairs?


Parker


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#19 of 25 Vagabond

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Posted January 12 2011 - 09:09 AM

Ok, sorry for the delay.  here is my list of hardware:


7.2 system

Onkyo Receiver (TXNR1007)

2 Rel Sub woofers (T310s) I believe

Klpisch speaker system I will get the numbers a little later

Sony BlueRay (BDP-2570)

Mitsubishi projector (HC6800)

PanaMax Power (M5100-PM)


Do not have any complaints with any of the units.


Hopefully I will have some finished pictures to share of the bar by end of Jan.




#20 of 25 CBRacerX

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Posted January 12 2011 - 09:33 AM

Looks great!  Terrific DIY effort that must be a pleasure to relax in.