Help design theater - contractor coming

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Andy_IU_Purdue, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Andy_IU_Purdue

    Andy_IU_Purdue Auditioning

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    Help me design my new home theater - quickly! I am in the process of buying a house, and have a contractor coming right away to do some renovation. He'll be tearing out and replacing a lot of the drywall, which gives me the perfect opportunity to install all my wiring in/behind the walls.

    Right now, I have to decide the layout for the room. I basically have two choices for which wall to use for the FP screen, right or bottom in the pic below. The room is almost square, about 20 x 18 feet, with a symmetrical cathedral ceiling running down the longer axis (left-right). considering lighting, acoustics, anything you can think of - Which wall should I use (and why)?

    I know that you will all tell me there are too many windows, but this is the room I will use. It is suprisingly dark already (even with white walls, ceiling, and carpet!) since the bank of windows are shaded and face North. I will darken the room substanially, too. It is also desirable because the left wall is the only surface that touches the rest of the house. There is a perfect spot in the left wall, at the bottom, for a built in equipment cabinet, but am afraid of doing this b/c I want to soundproof/treat this wall.


    ____************____ . . . . I don't know how to attach
    ....................................| . . .a drawing, so here's the
    ....................................| . . .best that I could do. The *
    |..................................| . . .represents windows, top left
    |..................................| . . .is the entrance. Ignore
    |..................................| . . .the dots.
    |..................................|
    |..................................|
    _________________****


    P.S. I have been lurking on this forum for more than a year, since I first discovered front projection. I have learned a tremendous amount - and thank you all for that. I have been waiting and reading all that time for my first home, and my first home theater, and now it is happening.
     
  2. Jarett

    Jarett Stunt Coordinator

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    I would say put it on the right wall, because that gives you 20 feet of length and the door near the back. are you planning 7.1?
     
  3. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    http://htplans.8k.com/photo.html
    Is this any help? You can copy it to your hard drive and save it as a Bitmap so you can edit it in "Paint". I just guessed at the drawing going by your description and drawing.

    Wes
     
  4. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Agent

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    lucky you [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Andy_IU_Purdue

    Andy_IU_Purdue Auditioning

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    Either the right wall or the bottom will have the door at the back - which I agree is a requirement. The ceiling has three large beams running left to right, so it seems natural to face this way and that was all I considered initially. That does mean you face the longer dimension, but also puts a window at the first reflection point. [​IMG]

    If I turned it so I was facing the bottom/longer wall, then the peak of the cathedral ceiling would be perpendicular to the way I'm facing. Would this be bad acoustically? It seems like it would, but I don't know why. I also think aesthetically that it seems natural to face the same direction the ceiling and beams run.

    Wes, I corrected the picture you supplied (thanks - and sorry my description wasn't better), but can I attach it to my message? I don't have a website to host/post it.

    My receiver is 6.1, and I don't plan on upgrading it any time soon, but I might pre-wire the room for 7.1 anyway. In fact, I only have 5.1 speaker set up, so do I need to wire for three different scenarios?

    I should know this, but I've only had 5.1 setup before. Is this right?
    5.1 -> sides slightly behind listener
    6.1 -> sides directly next to listener, one center behind
    7.1 -> sides directly next to listener, rears behind
    To wire for all of these, I would need to run three wire (pairs) to the back, plus two to each side? Is there a simpler way to accomodate my 5.1 now, and 6.1/7.1 in the future?
     
  6. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    If you might be changing things, and have the money to spare, think about running conduit to everyplace that you need/want to put speakers, and to your possible head end equipment locations. If you have a basement under, you need only run conduit down into the basement and leave it open - no need to make conduit runs the whole distance. Ditto for attic (guessing that you have no attic, since you said cathedral ceiling.) But you will have to find a way to run conduit for the projector. (keep it away from AC!)

    Just a crazy thought, but who says the gear needs to be near the screen? If you run nice big wire (12 gage and better) you could put the amps, DVD, etcetera in your cubbyhole and then run speaker conduit anyplace you might conceivably put speakers. This way, if you are crafty, you can set things so that you can put a screen either on your right or bottom wall, and see what works. The projector will be in nearly the same spot anyway! Means you only need one run of conduit up to the projector location. You will need to shoot over the shoulder with your remotes....

    My guess would be that the right wall will let you put the screen up a bit higher, and make less keystone effect from the projector.

    My theater room has a 16-foot wide sliding door on the audience left. A nice thick curtain there does a good job of matching the reflections I get from the opposite wall, which is panelling. Positioning the surround speakers is tricky, due to a fireplace and the sliders, but it works fine for me.
     
  7. Andy_IU_Purdue

    Andy_IU_Purdue Auditioning

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    I sent the new drawing to you, Wes. Thanks for offering to post it. At the top left are two steps going down into the room. (There isn't a door at the moment but there will be.) The beams and the crest of the ceiling run from left to right.

    Basically, for the layout, my desire is to put the screen on the right wall, but I'm worried about sound quality/balance as one side of the room will have lots of windows and the other won't, and I won't be able to do much sound treatment for the same reason. Any more comments about this? Am I worrying too much about this?

    My goal is to decide now what my layout will be and just go with that - not plan for different scenarios other than 5/6/7.1 speaker arrangement. You are right that I don't have an attic above this space, and I don't have a basement either, but I do have a crawlspace.

    I would think I could put the speaker wire in place (for all contingencies) cheaper and easier than I could put conduit in and try to run the wire through this later. Am I wrong?

    If I want to put in conduit, I suppose I would run it down into the crawlspace, across, then up at the end point. Is there any reason I would need to do this before the new drywall goes up? I guess the rear speaker locations should be done prior since they are up high, but the others could be put in near floor level, after drywall, right?
     
  8. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I would just wire before and not worry about conduit, except for the overhead projector. Technology changes and so will the cables for the video signal. Run also RCA and or RG6 to sub woofer locations. I would really wire for 7.1 and even overhead channels as I think that is where PLIII will go, I already have it.
    Curtins on the windows will dampen sound so you will want to treat the other side with sound absorbing material.

    I posted your drawing and also made a new concept!http://htplans.8k.com/photo.html

    Wes
     

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