home theater design

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aaron Plaza, Feb 15, 2001.

  1. Aaron Plaza

    Aaron Plaza Auditioning

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    I am designing a ht for the basement of our new house. After many years of trying to add components to the back of my rack I have decided that the system must be accessible from the back. I could use a pull out rack but that will add cost. I would like to have the tv set into the wall so that it gives the effect of a front projector and a nice clean look. The equipment would be placed to one side on built in shelving with access to the back by a door outside of the HT.
    Speaker placement will have the center channel above the tv. The fronts will be set on stands, placed away from the front wall. Ultimately, this will all be hidden by an automated curtain at some point. A Titanic sub will also be placed in a built in section of the front wall. Rear dipole and rear center speakers will be placed on the walls.
    Equipment will consist of a Denon 4800, and hopefully a Denon POA 5200 amp. Toshiba SD-3109 dvd player. TV unkown, but most definately a 16x9
    Seating will consist of two lazy boy recliners in the sweet spot and a second row sofa placed on a riser.
    Since the house is going to be built, hopefully by the end of summer, I will be able to run all the wires in the ceiling and have a dedicated circuit for the electronics.
    Are there any special considerations I should make for the floor or ceiling. I plan on insulating the ceiling as much as possible.
     
  2. John Bejster

    John Bejster Auditioning

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    Aaron,
    Your project sounds nearly exactly the same as mine. I have a 4 year old home with an unfinished basement that I have just begun to stud out. I am building a second wall about 3' to 3 1/2' out where the RPTV and equipment will sit flush with the face of the wall. There will be access by a door on the side and I also plan on having a fan back there or at least some ventilation. I haven't got the equipment yet, but I'm planning on a Denon receiver and a Toshiba or Pioneer RPTV. I know I'm not answering your question, but I'd like to see and hear your progress in this project.
    Have fun!
    John
     
  3. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    Mark Seaton
    Hi Aaron-
    There are a few considerations you should take into account, and determine their importance to your home and whomever else is living in it.
    First, as you mentioned, electrically there is no reason to not have dedicated circuitry for your HT electronics. For a system like you described, a single 20A circuit would suffice, but I would probably choose to have 2 circuits for the theater. My intent would be to insure that power demands from the reciever and subwoofer do not pull down the wall volatge and cause odd fluctuations and undue stress for your RPTV and other source/front end electronics. So, I would suggest a 20A circuit for the Reciever, amp and subwoofer. Then another 20A circuit for the source and video components. Be SURE that you specify to the electrican that these circuits MUST be on the same phase (no need to set up a possible BZZZZZZZZ). OBVIOUSLY, you will need to make sure the receptacles are labeled so you don't have to flip breakers off to remind yourself which is on which circuit. Since the added cost should not be that much, I would also request the circuits, particularly the amplfier circuit, be run with #10 wire. To finish off the power issues, be sure that the lighting is COMPLETELY separated from the A/V power, ie no shared nuetrals, etc. Furthermore, put in a 4 gang box for the dimmers or switches so you can later insert somethign like a Grafik Eye or Lutron Spacer system.
    On the issue of lighting, consider that there will be times when you want/need lights on in the room while viewing, and where lights are becomes important. Ideally, when you sit down and look at the screen, you don't want to directly see any of the actual "bulbs" from any downlights or other lighting. Likewise, consider how lighting near the screen can cause nasty reflections off the screen. A combination of direct and indirect lighting will usually be the best compromise. This forum, the AVS forum, and the Home Theater Spot are good sources for information and options with theater lighting.
    Now you obviously have a concept of a really cool theater in your basment... so don't let it get too HOT! [​IMG]. HVAC service to the room should be done differently than in a typical room. Now, you have set yourself up to make life a little easier, on both the contractor and your components. Since all of your components and TV will be behind the built out wall, you can have the contractor run a supply at one end of the space, and a return at the other. This way you can keep the components at comfortable operating temps while not adding any more heat to the seating area. Ideally you want the room to be on a separate zone of cooling, but I might guess you could get by tied into the main system, particularly the additional cooling for all the hardware. For ALL of the ducts and vents in the space, you have to consider noise, along with noise from the physical A/C unit itself. Your contractor and architect should be able to help you out with some appropriate options for your room and home. Generally, long narrow vents can help keep the whirring noise of airflow down to a minimum. As for the A/C unit itself, if it is in an adjacent equipment room (quite common) then you will need to do some soundproofing to keep the background noise as low as possible. Along with various construction methods, there are also "loaded vinyl" products which can help greatly when combined with other methods. Also talk to your contractor about isolation pads for the A/C unit to help reduce vibrations and sound from being transmitted by the floor.
    Finally, you should seriously consider some sort of acoutsic treatment for the room, especially since you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated room for the purpose. One nice way to get a cozy theater feel to a room is by using different fabrics as wall covering (actually covering the acoustic treatments). There are some nice pictures people have posted from this forum, and searching the AVS Forum and any designs from Dennis Erskine (he can be hired to design your theater for you too).
    Lots to digest, but by addressing these issues now, at least you won't be able to later say... "I would have done this or that if I had thought of it." So at minimum, explore all the various possibilities, where you can then make your own determination if you can or want to address them.
    Mark Seaton
    PS - almost forgot!!! Make sure you budget a good programmable remote into the system, something like a Pronto/RC-5000, or an RTI Theatertouch, etc. Be sure to browse www.remotecentral.com and see what is out there.
     

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