Dedicated vs. non-dedicated Home Theater: Experiences? Regrets? Opinions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rick Mostaert, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Rick Mostaert

    Rick Mostaert Auditioning

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    Retyping post after IE crashed. [​IMG]



    Based on some comments in another thread, I thought it would be a good idea to start a new one. Tried to search for similar topics but couldn't narrow down the search. So my apologies if this has already been beat to death.



    The topic is dedicated home theater versus combined home theater and rec room. Jason has a combined design that can be seen in the above thread and has his good reasons for doing it this way. Another example of a combined room is mine from this thread I have seen many others from months of lurking for ideas. The topic for general discussion is if you designed a dedicated or non-dedicated HT, are you happy with it? Does how you use it meet your predefined expectations? Would you change it if you could do it over? I will start for the reasons for my design, feel free to discuss or add your own experiences.



    Why I think my design will work well for me...
    1. Movies: My wife and I like to watch movies. We usually do this alone when we don't feel like going out which happens more often when you get older. We don't watch movies with other people so having stadium seating or dedicated room is not that important.
    2. Parties: A few times a year we have parties. In the summer they could be impromptu after boating or a large event like the annual pig roast. After hanging out outside we move the party inside before we bother the neighbors and crank tunes. This room works very well for that.
    3. Hanging out: We like to play darts and pool and just hang out. Sometimes alone or with a few friends or neigbors. In this room we can reuse the stereo or put something interesting on the HDTV and just hang out, play pool, darts and have some beers.
    4. Sports: Big sports fan here. Hopefully the day will come when more sporting content is on HDTV. When it arrives I will be ready. What could be better than watching a game with a bunch of people in a bar like atmosphere? This room fits the bill.[/list=1]



      That is how I see us using this space. If it doesn't work out and I totally want to tweak the movie experience I have designed it so I can easily convert. Also, since I enjoy spending money on outdoor things like scuba in the tropics or wakeboarding, I didn't want to compromise that lifestyle by going overboard with the home theater aspect.



      Thoughts? Your experiences?



      Later,

      Rick
     
  2. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    Rick,

    It sounds like you have your own situation pretty well thought out and under control.

    My HT is my living room. In my case, it was an easy decision, since I'm in a townhouse and there's no other possible room available as an HT. I'm lucky (well, not exactly lucky, it's a big reason why I chose this townhouse) that the living room is big enough to fit everything comfortably.

    I like having the two functions combined, though it's not quite the same situation as having a HT and rec room (not much "rec" to be had in the room). I have a rear projector, and it's my main display for TV and movies; I can just plop down and watch TV on my good system with no problem, without having to retreat into a special room. I don't care so much about stuff like stadium seating; though it's certainly cool and probably the best for having a larger number of viewers. I would think that stadium seating would be less great (speculation here) for watching sports, which is more of an interactive and communal experience.

    My main limitation is in how "high end" I can go. The room does not have the greatest acoustics, and room layout does not allow the best possible placement of everything. I can't have a front projector (nor would I necessarily want one for my everyday TV watching.) So the one thing that might motivate me to go to a dedicated theater (assuming I had the option, which I don't) would be the desire to either (a) give a major boost to the quality of the audio and/or video, or (b) add a lot more (good) seating for movies. Oh, and one more possible reason: if I spent an enormous amount of time watching DVDs. I don't do nearly as much watching as many in these forums, though I wish I had time to do more.

    That's about all I can think of.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    We did ours in the living room, too. Since we watch more TV than movies, it’s nice the have the kitchen close at hand when you want a fresh glass of tea. And, you can keep an eye on the action while you’re making popcorn.

    Regards,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Todd_Brown

    Todd_Brown Second Unit

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    We bought a home that had a room that was perfect for a dedicated theater. We've been working towards that ever since. I enjoy having a dedicated room as it increases the "experience" of watching a movie, kinda makes it fun. That's just my opinion. [​IMG]
    Todd
     
  5. Rick Mostaert

    Rick Mostaert Auditioning

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    Based on the couple of responses here and other peoples HT design threads, it looks like space (and maybe money) is the largest consideration. If/when we ever move, the next home will have space for a dedicated theater, plus space for a large rec area that includes a nice big TV. Right now it is a nice compromise.

    I am pretty positive that our layout will work best for us with the space available and planned usage. Still wondering if there is anybody out there that wish they did it differently and why. Was it lifestyle change, expectations where not met, got spoiled by somebody else's setup, or what? Just curious and maybe looking for some validation.

    Rick
     
  6. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

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    Newbie here. How's it smokin? Anyway, I wish I had a room dedicated to pure HT, but I have to use my living room. It's conveniently located close to the kitchen for the numerous beers runs I like to make and has decent acoustics that make me a happy man. One day I plan to make an addition to the house, my own theater with a wet bar to compliment it.
     
  7. Mike G

    Mike G Stunt Coordinator

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    Rick, you already know my situation as I posted it in the other thread (I started as non-dedicated and switched to dedicated).
    My theater is in my basement, for those folks who have a combined living room / theater (probably on the main floor) it makes sense to have a non-dedicated theater. Take screen size into consideration as well. Although many say size doesn't matter, if your screen size is only 27" don't dedicate, if your blessed with 100" or more, dedicate it. Some of us overcompensate with screen size for our other shortcomings. :b
    I must agree with Todd B., a dedicated theater adds to the "experience" of watching a movie. If you already have one living room and a separate space for a theater, my suggestion would be to consider making the theater dedicated (especially if the theater is in the basement). I found that people rarely made their way to the basement to chat in the non-dedicated theater.
    In my case changing to dedicated simply involved the rearranging of furniture and the construction of a seating platform. But many of my friends who previously described the non-dedicated theater as "nice", now say things about the dedicated theater like "man, I've got to get one of these." [​IMG]
     

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