New Project- HUGE

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jeff Bayne, May 5, 2005.

  1. Jeff Bayne

    Jeff Bayne Agent

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    Hey experts! Its been a while since i've been here. Hope you're all doing great.

    I have a possible new project: A neighbor is letting me and my soon to be wife move into his house after the wedding. They have this house in Fort Wayne, and then a house in Florida where they spend most of their time. So, We'll be house sitting for a year or so. The house is for sale, but because of its uniqueness, will be tough to do so. The main reason is a 40 x 20 by two story tall Racquetball court in the basement (and extending to the first floor. Its a VERY cool house, but will take a very specific buyer to sell the thing. Anyway... If the space were used for a theater, it would draw more interest than a hardwood gym in the house...

    The walls are not concrete- some kind of particle board or masonite or something. It has Ceiling tiles with a bunch of flourescent lights. The ceiling slants just slightly from one side to the other- not enough to effect anything. It is very loud in there and echos a lot.

    Where do I start? the thought is to build platforms- perhaps 5 of them, starting at the front of the room- the door is at the back. So, make an isle down the side, walk to the front, turn and walk back up like in a real theater. on the levels would be couches and lazyboys...

    What would work for wall coverings? Long thick curtains hung from the ceiling?

    Sound would be sufficient with 7.1 I would think. Is there a newer format coming out soon?

    I'm basically starting from scratch here. I know a lot about wiring and the electrical side of things and the actual construction won't be a problem. I just need to be steered in the right direction.

    I told the homeowner that $30k would probably cut it... Any ideas? Anybody do anything close to this? with pics?

    Thanks for any and all help guys,

    jeff
     
  2. SteveLeach

    SteveLeach Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow! Very cool idea, esp if the owner is footing the bill. It sounds like you have the basic outline of a plan. Ithink the place to start is with screen size, from there you get seating distances. From there the rest falls into place.
     
  3. Jason Kirkpatri

    Jason Kirkpatri Second Unit

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    No legal or other issues that could come against you, is there? If the homeowner didn't like the change, would he sue you?

    Maybe something to be aware of?

    A raquetball court in the basement???? Wow.
     
  4. SteveLeach

    SteveLeach Stunt Coordinator

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    Is the court viewable from the 1st floor? Like is the a gallery where someone could watch a racquetball game? If so that would be a interesting thing to incorporate into the HT design.
     
  5. Jeff Bayne

    Jeff Bayne Agent

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    um, legal issues... I'm not worried about that i guess... I mean, anything is possible, but extremely unlikely given the relationship. I'll keep it in mind though.

    Yes, there are windows on the first floor- but they are kind of at normal window height. There are only 3- and (if looking at the screen end) would be in the back left corner- one on the end, and two on the side, but still back in that corner. If standing, you can see everything in the court, but if sitting, you wouldn't be able to see over the window sill.

    What are my variables for screen size? I'd like as big as possible... what are some projectors limitations?

    Thanks guys,

    jeff
     
  6. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Jeff:

    Sounds cool. Can you take some pictures of what you are referring to and post them in this thread?

    So the owner is cool with you changing the racketball court over to a new HT? If anything would make a house sell is a dedicated HT already in place.

    I think the real problem would be leaving when the house gets sold.

    Parker
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Pictures would help. Are there major obstacles or is this a completely cubic room with very high ceilings? My current room has 12' ceilings and the hardest part of my setup was how to drop the projector low enough so that the screen was not too high, the projector's pole was not too long and not a whole wack of keystone correction had to be done on the projector. A fine balancing act indeed.

    A possible suggestion would be a long throw projector that could be mounted all the way on the back wall on a shelf, rather than be hung from the ceiling. A 2 storey ceiling would give troubles I can guarantee if trying to ceiling mount. Table mounting the projector is another option too. With the typical lumens that most digital projectors put out these days, I would not go beyond 100-120" diagonal 16x9 depending on the projector.

    The other challenge will be how to modify this room for good acoustics. Carpet and sound treatments will help.

    I'm going to be following this thread and look forward to seeing the progress from start to finish.
     
  8. Jeff Bayne

    Jeff Bayne Agent

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    Thanks for all the input guys. I'm working on getting some pics on the web.

    I talked to a salesman today at Ovation- local store- doesn't carry the extreme stuff, but better than average. We drew out a plan of what he thought would work. It would consist of a total of 4 dipole speakers- given the length of the room- so two pairs (plus the other 5 channels obviously). We talked about mounting options and came up with a table mount- perhaps on the first elevation- built into an end table kind of thing. Thats fine with me, and would mean the picture can be shot from fairly close.

    He had a $20k Runco to sell me... It looked nice of course, but at like 110 inches, it would be dwarfed in the room. Fine for sitting 20' away, but if I can't utilize all 40' (or at least 35') of the room, then its not really worth doing it.

    I should mention that the ambient light in the room can be 100% controlled. simple curtains on the windows would make it black in there- if that helps at all for size of the screen...

    I don't wanna be the guy who comes across as cheap, just please understand this is all potential only if the budget works- and that will be set by the homeowner. thus, $20k just for the projector is prolly gonna cancel the project. I want it good, but state of the art is for the real theaters...

    so, anymore ideas or insight?

    Thanks guys!

    jeff
     
  9. Jeff*K

    Jeff*K Agent

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    That sounds like an awesome project, Jeff. Since I am a HT newb I can't offer you much help but good luck on the project and please give us frequent pic updates!
     
  10. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    May I make a slight recommendation:

    Avoid the High End audio/video brands like Runco.

    Look to the low to mid-line pro models: Panasonic, JVC, Christie Digital, all make excellent projectors for your situation (although they would drive the cost up somewhat. But considering that the guy was trying to push a $20k Runco.. ehh. It's probably a single-chip DLP, too.)

    The Christie DS+60 isn't a terrible single-chip DLP unit, 6K ANSI lumens with both lamps running, and costs under $20K. For smaller screens, the Christie DS+25 is an excellent little unit.

    Canon's new D-ILA unit is small and nice; I don't know if it's bright enough for the screen size you want; I'm afraid that the 6K lumen migth be a little on the low side.

    Unfortunately, most large venue projectors start at aroung $20k, and rarely include the lens (which can go up to an additional $15000, but you don't need the exotic short-throw lens...)

    Also consider: you're probably going to have some trouble filling that volume with sound. Look to a stack of, say, QSC or Crown amps, and find some nice speakers to go with...

    To quote from Prince of Egypt, "you're playing with the big boys, now."

    Leo
     
  11. Steve Rabbit

    Steve Rabbit Agent

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    a shame you are on a comparitive budget, I was going to say parthenon for a subwoofer. I cant think of a more appropriate small theater to use the beast. you might contact Dan Wiggins though, he might be willing to work with you to build what should promise to be a fantastic theater.
     
  12. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    I dunno... I've never heard one, but I've always liked the idea of the Bag End subwoofers - big enough for a hobbit to live in [​IMG]

    Leo
     
  13. Jeff Bayne

    Jeff Bayne Agent

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    What is the largest screen i can attain? with totally controlled light, and total versatility in projector mounting? I think this is the first thing to determine- cause if 110" is gonna be max... this isn't gonna happen.

    Thanks!

    jeff
     
  14. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Again, if you can get the owner to spring for the projector, you should be able to have a very nice 16x9 screen.

    That's 16'x9', or about a 220" diagonal.

    If you've got true light control, I know the light output specs look terrible, but it's one of the best single projectors I've seen in a long time, but look at the JVC DLA-HD2K-SYS (link here.)

    Problem is, last I heard, it sells for about $30,000, but that includes one of the best scaler/video pre-processors on the market. True 1920x1080, good contrast, totally smooth, and no rainbows.

    And something like 500 ANSI lumens, but I have seen this on a 220" screen in a dark room, and it's fabulous.

    Leo
     

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