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New house & I'm not sure which floor to make home theatre, please help! (pictures included) (1 Viewer)

rkc21

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Long time reader first time poster, thank you in advance for your help. The pictures attached are the images from the previous home owner so just ignore the furniture and what not.
My situation: I just moved into a house this week and am not sure which floor to make my home theatre. The basement looks like the obvious choice but I'm very tempted to put it on the 2nd floor for the reasons below. I plan on getting the Epson LS12000 to project onto a 150" screen. I don't plan on putting speakers into the wall or anything.
Pros and cons:
1) Basement (pictures with the pool table):
Pros: Much less ambient lighting as there is only the sliding door leading outside. No large windows. It just looks like it was made for a home theatre room, but due to the large size of the screen and projector I'm dealing w a different beast.
Cons: Ceiling is much lower which is my main concern. Ceiling is ~7'9. Floor is 21 feet long. I am not concerned about the ceiling fan as I can remove it. But with a 150" screen size the projector will need to be placed further back which could cause problems with the seating. I played around with the projector screen size calculator but until I physically have the projector it's hard to determine if it would work. I can literally touch the ceiling by standing on my tip toes. Another con is the wood floors, however I can add carpet if needed.

2) 2nd floor:
Pros: Much, much bigger and ceiling much higher! The length is about 1.5x the size of the basement and the ceiling is about 9 feet high and I have to jump to touch it. I like this idea because I can place more chairs and don't have to worry about the projector getting in the way. Also the area is carpeted which would help with the sound.
Cons: A ton of ambient lighting and numerous windows and open areas! However, I'm wondering if I can just order a bunch of automated black out blinds (ex: blindsgalore.com) to block this out.

I plan on putting a lot of effort into this setup and if I ever decide to sale the house I feel this is a major plus IF I do it right. I planned on making the basement into a gym as I don't like having my weights and stuff on a 2nd floor.

Thanks!

downstairs.jpg
upstairs.jpg
 

JohnRice

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Would you supply dimensions? What is that large wood piece of furniture in the basement. Not the pool table of course. The other one. Does it have to be a 150” screen?
 

rkc21

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Would you supply dimensions? What is that large wood piece of furniture in the basement. Not the pool table of course. The other one. Does it have to be a 150” screen?
The large piece of wood was some sort bar (for drinks etc) and the homeowners took it with them. The place is completely empty now. In terms of dimensions I only got the height and length as width wasn't a concern for me as both are very wide and not a concern. The basement is about 7'9 in height and 21 feet long. The upper floor is about 9 feet tall and length I'm taking a guess here but probably 35 feet length. I definitely want the screen at 150", I like a big screen lol. Previous screen was 120". My biggest question for the basement is can I project the LS12000 onto the 150" screen with such a low ceiling w/o interfering with the chairs/setup. I'm leaning towards keeping the home theatre in the basement as if I was to resale the house I feel most people would prefer this room to be the home theatre room. Not to mention much less ambient lighting.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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With such a large screen (and low ceiling), where would you place the front LCR speakers (and maybe even subwoofer)? The screen, if it's 16x9, will be somewhat over 6ft tall afterall -- and add some more if it'll have border masks (plus ideally, you probably don't want it too close to the ceiling, especially if the ceiling's not treated substantially for light reflection). I guess you could go for an AT screen and place/hide the speakers behind it though, but then, maybe a smaller screen would do (since it'll look bigger w/ the shorter viewing distance)...

Offhand, not sure about the seating potentially blocking the projection, but I'd think it shouldn't be a problem as long as the seats (and/or central audience) aren't especially tall and/or very/too close to the screen (like anywhere near 1/2 way between PJ and screen if the seated audience height is say ~1/2 of the height of your ceiling). Of course, people getting up, sticking hands up, etc could certainly be an issue (as usual). Probably just don't set the PJ farther back than necessary (as that would also reduce projected light performance).

IF you want to be more sure, just a little basic geometry and planning w/ diagram w/ the exact specs, including seating position/height, should do me thinks. The projected light has very straightforward path to the screen afterall -- just include some error margins and don't push too close me thinks...

_Man_
 

JohnRice

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Agreed. You can’t etch the specs in stone without considering the room first.
 

DaveF

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If you want two-row seating (with a riser), the basement is out.

So thoughts on making a choice:
* If you really want a home gym in the basement, seems like your decision is made

* Is equipment in room or outside the theater? Basement is better — cooler — for equipment in room. But upstairs might have better HVAC circulation. Or upstairs gets hotter in the summer if it’s a typical house.
* Is this a “media room” with sink and fridge and snacks and drinks? Which room better allows that?
* Is either room simply a worse shape for a good theater?
* What about sound and insulation? Basement, you’re underground and so only disturb the first floor. Upstairs, you might disturb your neighbors.
 

rkc21

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With such a large screen (and low ceiling), where would you place the front LCR speakers (and maybe even subwoofer)? The screen, if it's 16x9, will be somewhat over 6ft tall afterall -- and add some more if it'll have border masks (plus ideally, you probably don't want it too close to the ceiling, especially if the ceiling's not treated substantially for light reflection). I guess you could go for an AT screen and place/hide the speakers behind it though, but then, maybe a smaller screen would do (since it'll look bigger w/ the shorter viewing distance)...

Offhand, not sure about the seating potentially blocking the projection, but I'd think it shouldn't be a problem as long as the seats (and/or central audience) aren't especially tall and/or very/too close to the screen (like anywhere near 1/2 way between PJ and screen if the seated audience height is say ~1/2 of the height of your ceiling). Of course, people getting up, sticking hands up, etc could certainly be an issue (as usual). Probably just don't set the PJ farther back than necessary (as that would also reduce projected light performance).

IF you want to be more sure, just a little basic geometry and planning w/ diagram w/ the exact specs, including seating position/height, should do me thinks. The projected light has very straightforward path to the screen afterall -- just include some error margins and don't push too close me thinks...

_Man_
I would likely place either a sound bar or speaker on the central floor w 2 speakers at the sides then 2-3 in the back. I'm not an audiophile so I'm not too picky. After thinking about it, I think I am ok with going down to 135" screen size to compromise for this, and I could insert a very low level shelf for the speaker. By going to 135", the projector needs placed about 13'3. I measured that distance which would be the further back edge of the fan you see in the ceiling of the basement. I could place a 4 seat row just below or slightly in front of this, and possibly another row of chairs on a riser?

If you want two-row seating (with a riser), the basement is out.

So thoughts on making a choice:
* If you really want a home gym in the basement, seems like your decision is made

* Is equipment in room or outside the theater? Basement is better — cooler — for equipment in room. But upstairs might have better HVAC circulation. Or upstairs gets hotter in the summer if it’s a typical house.
* Is this a “media room” with sink and fridge and snacks and drinks? Which room better allows that?
* Is either room simply a worse shape for a good theater?
* What about sound and insulation? Basement, you’re underground and so only disturb the first floor. Upstairs, you might disturb your neighbors.
Great point, the 2nd row riser is something I'd like to add. After thinking about it I am willing to go down to 135" screen size if it means I can do this. As I mentioned above, the further back edge of the fan is where I would need hang the projector (13'3" from the screen) to get 135". There is a small "cubby-hole" on the side where I can put any equipment. It is also worth noting that the door you see in the basement photo leads to a guest bedroom, but this will be empty 99% of the time.

To answer your other questions...

-Temperature is not a concern to me as the house is constantly cool with solar panels providing electricity.
-I plan on having a snacks and drinks section but that can easily be placed on the side opposite the screen door. Both upper floor and basement are ok for this, however the upper floor would be better for other things. For instance, I ordered 2 arcade games from arcade1up.com (Mortal Kombat and The Simpsons if you're interested lol) and that would be better upstairs, BUT I could probably fit them in the basement at a corner. The upper floor has SO much potential for other things (more chairs, larger screen, riser, etc) but the basement just screams "movie theatre" and I could likely put matching carpet on the floor and walls to really turn it into a home theatre.
-House was built in 2013, both rooms are in excellent shape for home theatre.
-I'm not overly concerned about disturbing the neighbors, houses are pretty far apart and either way not a concern.
 

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