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Design advice needed about theater room plan (1 Viewer)

craiger

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Craig
I have a large area in my unfinished basement that I have reserved for a home theater. I have gotten advice to make it one big room with the theater on the left and a bar/game room on the right. Although this would be great, my #1 priority is to have the theater, and make it "sound" and feel like you're in a theater. That being said, the design I have in mind is two rooms - basically a wall that separates the theater and gives it a more narrow, movie theater like space. The reason I am thinking of it this way is that I fear I will lose the enclosed, surround sound feel if I have one big room. I plan on budgeting more for the audio at this point.

One home theater company that visited said I don't need that "middle wall" in my design and that I can get decent sound around the theater area using ceiling speakers. I am just not sure about that, and they had no showroom for me to test that concept. I was in one home theater that had the narrow room design with in-wall speakers, and it had that enclosed, "theater sound" feel. That's what I am looking for, even if it means I need to put that middle wall up.

Just looking for advice - and to hear if my concerns about sound difference with the open design is valid. If so, can I use pocket doors in that "middle wall" to get the best of both worlds (in other words, have the enclosed theater when watching movies, then opening up the wall via pocket doors when entertaining)?

Design advice would be appreciated
 

drobbins

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Dave
Welcome to the HTF!
I think we need a little more info about your goals. How big is your basement? What are you looking for in a home theater? Here is a link.to some members theaters to give you ideas. http://www.hometheaterforum.com/photopost/ What kind of budget are you working with? I think you will find that most here prefer wall mounted speakers over in wall or ceiling for sound quality. Do a search in the Speakers and Subwoofers section.
 

craiger

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Craig
Thanks for the reply - I could not open the link you provided, but this forum is excellent!

Ok - I have attempted to attach a .jpg file that represents my current design. The diagram shows only the theater/entertainment portion of the basement that is to be finished. As of now - my basement is completely unfinished, so this is an empty canvas.

As with many posts, this theater project is an investment I am making in my home. As of now, the area shown is for the theater and will be its own project/budget. I am expecting it to be an expensive one... about 40-50K. The remaining portion of the basement will be done first, but I am still going to get the theater designs done so my builder can frame it out when they finish the other portion.

What am I looking for in a theater? Mixed use. Mostly for films, and the occasional Super Bowl party. The theater is first priority, but I would like the bar/entertainment area built in some configuration. I would like to invest mostly in audio, so that I get decent acoustic quality that I will be happy with for a long time. I will also invest in a decent projector, but it is second priority. I figure it will be easier to upgrade the projector some day than updating all the speakers.

So again - my question is the design with regard to acoustics. I added the wall in the middle of this big space to give the theater a more enclosed feel. I am thinking this will help with the acoustic qualities I am looking for (read my first post).

Any ideas on this design?

Other info:
Screen size: 120" diag if ratios allow (screen is to the left)
Theater seating: 2 rows, 7-8 seats; back row pub table/stools
 

drobbins

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It looks like a nice arrangement. I fixed the link for you. My personal opinion would to put the wall up and use pocket doors. It would give more of a theater feel and for acoustics, square rooms are to be avoided. Also the less cubic feet you are trying to fill with sound, the smaller subwoofer you need. The seating at the table and bar area really doesn't allow for the screen viewing anyway. Are you going to have the same video feed go to both the projector & TV?

I would think during most of the movie viewing the doors would be shut, but they would be open during games with many people over. With that in mind, I would use recessed "can" lighting in that area. That would minimize and light hitting the screen. Be sure to read the "Things I wish I would have done differently in my project" thread. It is good to learn from your mistakes, but better to learn from others. ;)
 

craiger

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Apr 17, 2008
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Craig
Yes - the TV in the bar/sitting area will take the same feed as the theater room. Thanks for your feedback - you certainly confirmed my suspicions about the larger, square room design.

The one thing I have noticed lately about the pro home cinema companies is that they all contradict each other. I get completely different advice, so I this is why I will go with my gut on this one. A narrower theater room seems better for what I am trying to accomplish.

I will check out the "Things I wish I would have done differently in my project" thread. Great point.
 

drobbins

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There are "Room Mode Calculators" that can help you see the effects of room sizes on the sound waves. If you do a search you should be able to find one. I will see if I can get you a link to the one I use. You would be surprised what a few inches can do.
 

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