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I need help here with the design of my home theater. I'm not really sure where to start but I'd guess I'll start with the dimensions of the room and the construction of the room. The theater will be in a basement underneath a garage, which has four walls made of concrete and the floor and ceiling are concrete as well. The length of the room is approximately 25 feet the width of the room is at about 24 feet the ceiling is about 9 feet tall. I am looking at doing a 2 level seating area. A few things I am interested in with the construction of the tier system, one is underneath the teirs what should I put there to help reduce a hollow sound under it. I read somewhere that you wanted to put a dense material, one suggestion was sandbags but I'm not crazy about moving that many sandbags in the house. Another question is, what material should the walls been made of, currently there just framed out with 2 by 6 construction, should I use drywall and then some kind of soft material over its like you see it in theaters or should I just use the soft material with no drywall? I am open to any suggestions.

I am looking at using a ceiling mounted projector and A 120 inch screen. As for all the technical equipment, I am not really sure what systems are good and bad. For the technical equipment I am looking at spending about 4000 to 5000 dollars. Also the screen I am not sure if we should actually buy a screen or we can just use the wall if we painted a white screen on it? As for the Media System itself, I am looking for something that I can play dvds, play movies from a harddrive, play music, be able to download movies directly from the Internet. What does everyone think about the Home Media center's made by HP or other manufacturers, in contrast to having A/V recivers from various manufacturers? I'm looking for 7.1 surround sound. Also what is everyone's opinion on floor mount speakers or wall mount speakers and what gauge wire should be ran between the system and speakers? Also what different cables should I run from the projector to the audio/video equipment, so there will always be an option of upgrading the system without having a run new cables in the ceiling, i.e. cat5e, cat6, HDMI, coaxial?

Thank you all in advance for your help, please let me know if more information is required.
Pinealps :help:
 

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Welcome to the forum. You've got a lot of questions from soup to nuts in there. Right now, I'm just going to address the construction aspects.

First of all, you need to narrow the room a little bit. 24x25 is almost perfectly square and you'll have bass mod overlap issues that will be hard to deal with. If you can knock off 2-3' of width, that'd help.

Walls - Fill the stud cavities with insulation and drywall. Don't cover the entire wall with absorption. You need an analysis to determine what should go where and how much so you end up with a balanced absorption scheme. You can cover the whole wall with cloth from a visual standpoint.

Riser - Build it sturdy and fill FULL with insulation.

Cabling - RUN CONDUIT EVERYWHERE :T Don't skimp on size. You never know what future requirements will bring. For example, I ran 4" conduit to my PJ position and 3" to the front of my riser so I can easily do external hookups. Front of riser has composite and component video, analog and SPDIF audio, Cat5 network, and a phone jack.

Bryan
 

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Also the screen I am not sure if we should actually buy a screen or we can just use the wall if we painted a white screen on it?
Take a look at the DIY Screens forum for help with the above. Sounds like this is a ways off if you're just at framing stage, but never to early to take a look at options. It would help to know what projector you're going to use, as that will determine how much light will be hitting the screen, and that tells you what screen or screen paint would be best. There are calculators out there on the web that will tell you how high to build your riser, and what size your screen should be according to how far back you're sitting.
As for the Media System itself, I am looking for something that I can play dvds, play movies from a harddrive, play music, be able to download movies directly from the Internet. What does everyone think about the Home Media center's made by HP or other manufacturers, in contrast to having A/V recivers from various manufacturers?
Pinealps :help:
Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it seems to me you'll want both a HTPC and AVR. You could just get the AVR for now, and hook up the HTPC later.
Do you have any equipment currently that you plan to use? Do you have any equipment in mind that you've looked at buying?
And welcome to the Shack.
 

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My honest opinion of HTPC setups are spend you money elseware, Get the best receiver and speakers you can afford as thats the heart of the system. Onkyo/Integra, Marantz, Denon and Yamaha seem to be the best choices at this time for receivers. For speakers there are lots of choices but don't go cheep.
As Bryan said do not go with a square room and put the screen on the narrow wall of the room. I suggest a room about 15 Ft wide and 25Ft long. This will give you some space to hide an equipment rack and give you some extra storage space.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you everyone for all your input. I am looking to start this project in about 2 months. A few thing I forgot to add, is there are no windows in this room so it should be plenty dark for most projectors, as for what brand projector I will use I am unsure I am still doing research on them. (open for suggestion)
I was looking at doing both HTPC and AVR. But do to costs of everything upfront I will probably just go with the AVR for now. I have not bought any equipment yet, I want to make sure that I have a good list of what I need first, to make sure every thing is compatible.The AVR I am looking at right now is
Onkyo tx-sr 875, I am unsure on what speakers i would use. Or a package deal like Onkyo th-s9100thx or
Onkyo ht-sp908. What would be a good brand of speakers? If I do not do the HTPC it will allow me to spread out the $4000 to $5000 (just for equipment)for better stuff.

I was thinking of running a wall of Cabinets and maybe a small bar along one of the walls.


By the way the idea of the 3" to 4" PVC ran inside the wall to feed wires later is a great idea.

Thank you again you all are very helpful
Pinealps
 

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There are a number of really good internet direct speaker companies. Look at the ads here and also read as many reviews as possible. I'm using Ascend speakers and an SVS sub and I think they sound great.

When I framed out the HT, I used conduit for all speaker wire runs. It made it very easy and I can change/upgrade in the future. Since it has been recommended to change your room size, you might want to consider an equipment closet. My HT adjoins a 10x12 storage closet. I built a rack system in the wall between. Now I've got plenty of room behind to reach the wires.

Right now, I'm running a 720p projector. Depending on your seating position, you can get by with a 120" screen. There's a huge price jump from 720p to 1080p. I'll upgrade in a few years once prices have come down. I'm projecting on a 110" DIY screen painted directly on the wall. Even at 720p, everyone who sees it is bowled over by the PQ. I had never seen a dedicated HT until mine and it looks far better than I expected.

Will you be doing the work yourself? It's a fun project, but plan on it taking longer than you expect. ;-)

Doug
 
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Thanks for the input, I will build out a wall so the HT will only be about 15 to 18 feet wide, do you think 18 feet would really throw the sound quality off that much or would the average person notice it? I am only asking because I have no idea. Also what do you all think about building a cabinet style shelf to put each of the Speakers in (7.1 System), of a more built in look? The shelfs would be built directional in accordance with the speaker setup.

Doug,
I also really like the idea of the rack system in the wall and how you can get to the wires from the back side of the wall. Yes, I will be doing most of the work myself, other than the sheet rock and mudding which take more skill than I have.

Thank you
Respectfully
Pinealps
 

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18' will be fine. Even 21' feet would be fine - but then you'd have a lot of wasted space. We're just trying to get significantly away from square and try not to have one dimension be a multiple of another. There are some other rules of thumb but these are the most important things and you're not breaking the others anyway.

Bryan
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Everyone that replied to my post thank you, I am going to start a new thread with what I have narrowed my equipment down to and some of the specks of my Dedicated Theater room.
Called
"Dedicated Home Theater System Prospects"
Let me know what you think and where I can improve.
thanks
Pinealps
 
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