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Basement Home Theater (1 Viewer)

Jeffreybomb

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Here's a very, very rough draft of my home theater layout and a bullet point list of ideas that I'm considering, though are likely to be revised in one way or another as I go:

  • The room will be its own entity, not an open floor plan to the rest of the basement.
  • AV closet: a space for all the gear. I considered using media tables or cabinets under the screen. Being that this is a basement set-up, though, I want to keep equipment away from the floor. I've had good luck with IR repeaters.
    • Check on Harmony Elite remotes and hubs. (2)
    • Omit closet door in favor of exposed devices and better ventilation. (2)
      • Double-walling closet in absence of door?
  • Two rows of seating using risers. The floor-to-joist measurement is about 8' 6", so risers for the back row of seating would be nice. I also like the idea of risers mimicking theater seating. Seating type TBD, probably couches.
  • "Room within a room" configuration as well as resilient channels in the ceiling.
  • I've seen some folks wish that they'd added a wooden sub-floor rather than building directly from the concrete in order to get more out of the bass effects.
    • Check Dricore subfloor option. (3)
  • I have absolutely no idea what kind of projector to get or what screen size to consider.
    • Screen wall measures roughly 14' W x 8' 6" H.
  • I've worked at a number of concert venues that use wide PVC pipes (one tech referred to them as "rabbit holes") to run cables. They're wide enough that multiple cables can be run through them and changed out if need-be without much effort. I'm considering doing the same thing.
  • For reference, the room's rough measurement is 15' L x 14' W x 8' 6" H (the floor plan app's measurements are slightly inaccurate).
    • Check on bass traps. (2)
(Note to self: edit this entry and link back to references in the thread!)

That's it for now: it's late and I'm exhausted!
 

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JohnRice

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Just a couple general thoughts.

Go ahead and do the equipment closet, but I suggest not putting a door on it. It seems like a great location to just keep the front open, plus then you have less trouble with ventilation. Just have the recessed area with movable shelves with a channel behind them for running cables between components.

Instead of IR repeaters, consider a remote like the Harmony Elite, which uses a hub/blaster instead, especially if you keep the front of the equipment exposed.

I tend to think the belief that a wood sub-floor enhances bass is generally mistaken. The air vibrates, not the floor. The less the room vibrates is often the better.

What sort of electronics and speakers are you considering? Let me take a wild guess. Klipsch.

Also, you have a roughly square room, which is an acoustic problem. You might want to include some bass traps.
 
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filper

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I have no idea if it adds to bass response, but I used a Dricore insulated subfloor. It does make a basement floor a lot warmer for less than $2 a square foot.
 

Jeffreybomb

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Go ahead and do the equipment closet, but I suggest not putting a door on it. It seems like a great location to just keep the front open, plus then you have less trouble with ventilation.

I was thinking the same thing, but I thought having the door would eliminate the need to double-wall the closet. A rough estimate for the closet is 3' wide (not entirely sure on the depth), so I might still have enough space to pull it off.

Instead of IR repeaters, consider a remote like the Harmony Elite, which uses a hub/blaster instead, especially if you keep the front of the equipment exposed.

I installed the repeater at my old house around 8 years ago. I wasn't sure if it was "old" technology or not by this point. I'll definitely check out the Harmony remote. I've had a couple in the past and I've been very happy with them.

What sort of electronics and speakers are you considering? Let me take a wild guess. Klipsch.

I don't have much of an idea what I want to get. I don't want to go completely nutty with a top of the line system, that's for sure, because holy crap -- they get expensive. If anything, I feel like most of the expense would go into a good projector and screen. Of course, I'm just getting the ball rolling, so I may be totally wrong on that.

I also thought it would be fun to get some game systems in there. Now that we're finally in a house that has a little more room, I've started collecting vintage systems. It would be hilarious to play four player GoldenEye on a big screen! Suddenly, Odd Job doesn't seem like a cheap bastard.

Also, you have a roughly square room, which is an acoustic problem. You might want to include some bass traps.

Yeah, it's pretty close to being square. Unfortunately, I can't bump out the north side of the room (the part with the double doors) much further without it eating away other usable space in the basement. I'll definitely be looking for some solutions and will check out bass traps.

I added some more notes to my original post thanks to your input!
 

Adam Gregorich

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Speaker technology doesn't change as fast as electronics, so I would spend more for speakers figuring that you will keep them a lot longer. As others have said avoid IR repeating system and go with RF. We installed a basement theater a few years ago. I just put a high quality rubber pad down over the concrete in the area between the stage and riser. The riser will have a bigger impact on bass and if built right will be a giant bass trap. We used channels in the ceiling to isolate the floor above, a fire rated door, two layers of drywall, 2x6 sill plate with staggered 2x4 studs and minimized the holes in the wall. It made a huge difference for noise transmission. There are pics of the build in my sig.
 

Jeffreybomb

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Our plans have been approved and my permit is ready to go!

Another question regarding the build: three of my four walls are exterior concrete. Should I plan for channels between the wood frame and the exterior concrete walls, or is there no real reason to leave more than the standard amount of space?
 

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