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Starting construction on a HT-looking for critique-NOT in a hurry (1 Viewer)

Bobofbone

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
297
Location
East Tennessee
Real Name
Bob
I'm starting to put together a HT-sort of my first. I say sort of, because I've used areas of previous houses with a large screen rear projection TV and a fairly good sound system. I started in the early 90's. My wife was really interested in a Bose system. I surprised her with a Pioneer amp and a 5.1 set of Polk speakers. The room I had was fairly good from an acoustic standpoint, but we moved. The contractor wired the next room (and did a poor job-I was too busy to check until the drywall had the final coat of paint). It was also a high peaked great room. The next place ended up in the corner of a living room with a wood floor. The system has also been used by a succession of teenagers, which may also account for the deterioration of sound. I quit my job last year, and moved for another and a raise. I like where I'm at, and my HT consists of a drawing on preliminary plans and empty acerage, at present. If things move along, construction on the house will start in a couple of months.


One of the first things I did was read the thread at the top of this section on "Things I would do differently". I have some thoughts, and I'd like to tap the expertise of anyone who cares to make suggestions.


The main users of the area will be my wife and myself. Most entertaining we have done is usually not a large group. The area probably will be used most of the time by 1-2 people, and maybe up to 4-6. Family gatherings may occassionally stretch this. The area we are building on doesn't have much in the way of outside noise. The biggest request (complaint) I get from some other family members has been "turn it down!!" One who tends to share my outlook feels otherwise. In any event, all the kids have move out. I'll use the area for movies, music, probably some gaming with sons currently away, and educational use.


Equipment so far-Polk floor standing speakes and a matching center, Polk powered sub woofer and Polk bipole-dipole rear speakers. I've also got a set of Polk bookshelf speakers I could use for additional rear speakers for a 7.1 system. I'm sure the bookshelf speakers are ok. Everything is packed at present-I'm in a rental home and using storage. I also have a Sony STR-DG810 amp that can be used for a 5.1 system. I plan to obtain a front projection system with a projector and screen. I've got a couple of comfortable chairs-other furniture isn't a priority.


The area I have planned is in the rear corner of a walk out basement, that will have poured concrete walls on 2 sides and a poured concrete floor. I'll probably have between 9-11' of space between the concrete floor and the floor joist to work with. The preliminary dimensions leave an inside space of 13'1" by 22'1". The layout of the entire plan put the theater area under the bathroom connected to the master bedroom. Noise insulation going out to the living area is a consideration.


Budget-The projection system and screen I plan $3,000 to $3,500 for. I hope the speakers are still good, if not, I plan to replace them with something comparable (the fortunes of parenthood-I don't consider that part of the budget). I'm estimating 5-10k for materials and construction and incidentals. Maybe more, probably not less. A replacement amp with 7.1 capability, gaming system, blue ray and entertainment PC I'm considering separately-and a little bit later.

My questions-

Sound control-I'm thinking of leaving the outside concrete uncovered initially (Add 5-6" to length and width) as the rest of the basement will be dry walled. My options, in my mind are to put a wood subfloor on rubber pads and build a inside room on all four sides using 6" outer studs, staggered inner studs, drywalling the floor joist after insulating and building a second ceiling connected to the inner walls. Vapor seal the floor and outer concrete walls, and leave a 1-2" air space between the inner and outer walls. I'd also drywall the outer sides of the inner walls. The second alternative is to just use a single staggered stud wall for every side, leaving the inner drywall off to allow me to do the wiring for sound myself. QUESTION-is the room within a room going to provide enough improvement in sound control to make it worth doing?


Power-I anticipate seeing more electronics throughout the house that I've specified a whole house surge protection part of the wiring. I plan to use a separate circuit for all the sound and video equipment. The other alternative is to use some of the power filters I've seen advertised. It seems that if I'm putting the separate line in at the time of construction, the cost should be minimal, but I havent found out yet. QUESTION- If I'm using a separate circuit, given the above, is anything, other than local surge protectors useful?


Ventillation-Most of the stuff I've read about sound control seals off a room fairly well. I can't help wondering how stuffy it might get with the heat from a projector and 4 people in the same room after an hour or two. The HVAC will be in the next room-I should have the ability to run a separate intake and exhaust in. The other alternative is to run a duct vented from another area in, with a continuous inflow fan that is on when the room is occupied or the power is on. QUESTION-Will either alternative be satisfactory? Would zone heating and cooling with a thermostat control and the inline blower be a better alternative for the space I have in mind?


I plan to have an electrician do the power lines and hot wiring. I'll do the wiring for the sound system, and most of the construction myself. I've done some construction in the past, and I'm looking forward to acquiring more wisdom from future misadventures.


I already have the pool table for use outside the HT. One of the positve fortunes of parenthood.


Sorry for the long post. As I said, I'd appreciate any input.
 

Jim Mcc

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2004
Messages
3,757
Location
Oconomowoc, WI.
Real Name
Jim
I have to disagree with mccambley. $3500 for a screen and projector will DEFINITELY buy you a quality image. Do you want a DLP or LCD projector? Are you going to ceiling mount it, or use a shelf? Are you considering building/painting your own screen, or do you want to buy one?
 

Robert_J

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2000
Messages
8,350
Location
Mississippi
Real Name
Robert
I'd build a screen for around $100 and use the rest for the projector. I don't think the latest Panny AE series is even $2000 though. More money for better speakers or a bigger sub.
 

Bobofbone

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
297
Location
East Tennessee
Real Name
Bob
Thanks for the replies.


McCambley-concerning the walls, the way I'm coming up with building a room within a room is to have the contractor put up the two outside walls away from the foundation, run ventilation and elctrical wiring in unfinished form. I'll construct the sub floor and walls to the inner room inside. If I drywall bothsides, I'll have to lift or move each wall into place. A 2x4 stud wall sounds lighter than a 2x6 staggered stud wall for the inner wall. Depends on how much refreshments I have to come up with for the help, Thicker studs, more help. Having the contractor do the outer walls with staggered studs would be easier. I'm not set on putting in a 7.1 system. Most of the media available is still in 5.1. But I plan to run the wiring for a 7.1 system while I'm building. It sounds easier than doing it later. I also have in mind running PVC in the air space and to the wiring areas for wire pulls for later use.


All-I'm thinking that the projector I need will be used in a room without windows, with good light control most of the time. Perhaps, occassionally with some light if the area is used more open for a bigger group. I'm looking for something with HD 1080 resolution, that uses a zoom lense and can shift the image vertically. I'll probably shelf mount it, floating a single non enclosed shelf from the wall and making the back portion behind the projector open for ventillation. If I project across the width of the room, the manuals for the equipment and the calculator section of projector pro indicate I can probably use a screen about 90" wide, or a 102" diagonal if I'm using a 16:9 ratio, with a viewing distance of about 8'. If I use the length of the rooom to project, I can use a screen up to 110" with a viewing distance in 2 rows from about 8-14'. I don't think the room size will allow putting speakers behind a screen. I've seen more in LCD than DLP projectors that provide the optics I'm looking for.


If I was buying now, given what I need in terms of optics, my choices would be between a Panasonic PT-AE-4000 or an Epson PL-8500 or 8100. Either should work, if the figures given in the manufactures manuals are accurate. Given the time to build the house and then the theater, I suspect it will be about a year before I'm at the point of starting to plug things in, I don't plan to buy any additional equipment until near the time I need it. The technology may be a bit better, and the price may improve slightly. I plan to use a fixed screen-size it first on a painted wall, and either make or purchase a screen. The reviews and info section on other sites make me lean toward purchasing a screen, but I'm not sure yet.

I live about 2 hours out of Atlanta, and I'll probably have at least one trip up to New York City in the not too distant future. When I get close to getting equipment, I'll probably go see and hear what I can there to decide on equipment. And I'm pretty much planing on either a larger or second subwoofer, and a repalcement set of speakers, depending on what mine sound like compared to what I hear.


Thanks again for your replies and input.
 

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