Good theater in living room/family room vs. great in basement

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Jany, Dec 8, 2001.

  1. Mark Jany

    Mark Jany Auditioning

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    This is something I was discussing with a friend and haven't seen discussed here. He just moved into a new house and it has a finished basement with a good room he was planning to use for HT. He doesn't have gear now. He also has a nice family room off the kitchen with a fireplace and good dimensions.

    Would you rather have a great home theater room in the basement or a good one in your family room/living room? Specifically for many of us the "good" means accepting a compromise between gear and decor (or my stuff vs. my wife's decorating) in the family room that I'm assuming you wouldn't need to do in the basement.

    This may be heresy to the hardcore theaterphiles but I actually think it's better to have a decent setup in the main floor room then a dream one in the basement. Why?

    1) The basement is still the basement, even if nice. People like to be upstairs.

    2) Basement nice for the times you can shut off the world and watch a movie but how often is that compared to the times you want to watch tv while interacting with the family, keeping an eye on the kitchen, etc. I'd bet he'd still watch more tv, spend more time with the plain tv upstairs then in basement HT.

    3) Basement far from snacks

    4) In basement can't hear door, what else is going on in house. Maybe good sometimes but limits usefulness of room.

    Anyway, that was my advice. Obviously a matter of taste and personal preference but I think that sometimes these "how will I use it" issues are overlooked in the technoquests we're always on. I guess he could build a great basement system later and get a wife compatible system now.

    Interested in the thoughts of others.

    Mark
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    100" front projection in the basement, regular tv in the family room [​IMG]
    These home theaters tucked into the typical "great room" are usually compromised in positioning of equipment and speakers and usually have too much reverb from all the uncovered wall spaces. Far from the level of quality you could achieve in a well laid out basement room with acoustic treatments.
     
  3. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    I enjoy my HT getaway room.

    To fully enjoy true HT, I believe you need a dedicated room to isolate yourself from distracting light, noises, etc. If you can accomplish this in the living room then so be it, but if you cannot then a dedicated theater room is a must for a hardcore theaterphile such as myself.

    Ideally (if your a HT nut like me) you want to recreate a theaterlike setting and in most cases probably cannot be done in a living room.
     
  4. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Mark,

    Unless you have been upstairs in the living room, and then spent considerable time and money to locate your setup in a dedicated basement HT, then you can only speculate.

    Nice try ;^).

    BOK
     
  5. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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    Right now I live in a house where I have to compromise in that my HT is also our finished den, and I can tell you I can't wait until I get the chance to finish a basement and make it a dedicated HT. The ability to "get away from it all" is one reason why (that's one of the things I really love about movies). Also, you can treat the room for optimal acoustics, as well as set everything up for the best possible video and audio quality. Lastly, assuming a large-screen, front projection-based system would not work in a great room, a basement is the way to have this, and for me, that's when a home theater really will feel like true theater in the home. Right now, I realy like my 65" RPTV and audio components in the den, but it's nowhere near what I'll achieve when I have a dedicated HT.

    Watching TV and movies in a great room is fine and is very useful for the reasons you mention, but there are a lot of compromises that usually are made in order to make the room multi-functional.

    (Incidentally, my wife and I are planning on building a dedicated HT but not until we move into a house with an unfinished basement - hopefully in the next 1 - 2 years).

    Just my $0.02
     
  6. Bill Bradstreet

    Bill Bradstreet Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll put my 32" TV in the family room with a modest 5.1 setup, but I'll do my serious movie watching in the basement in a dedicated HT room after I move into my house.

    I don't want my family room to be a focal point for the boob-tube. I'm aiming for my family room to be 90% music. Maybe the TV is on, but I imagine the sound will be playing music most of the time. I think I can choose a better soundtrack for The Weather Channel. ;-)

    The basement will be where you get away to watch a movie... oh, and the occasional Playstation session of course. ;-)
     

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