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Tommy's HT In-Progress

63236 Views 332 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Tommy
Tommy's HT Room

Woohoo - first member to start a complete project here. To recap my intro:

Ok to start, I've been framing the basement for weeks, an hour or two per night. Finished basement will have a gym and HT room. I should have got some before pics but I'll get some soon now that I'm thinking about it.

First mistake I made was not calculating how many boards and trips to Home Depot the framing would take. I had an rough estimate but decided to go to HD and pick up like 30-40 2x4's at a time in my Explorer.

Let me say after about 8 trips so far and almost 1k down on wood, it would have been easier and cheaper to just buy it all at once from a lumber yard and have them deliver it.
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I agree with E and JCD here... front projection is the bomb! You get so much more picture and for less money. E and I both have the Sanyo Z4.

I have a Toshiba 65" Widescreen RPTV as well, but it don't shake a stick at the Z4.
lol... my HT construction thread was 117 posts long in the forum I was hangin' out in a couple years ago. Keep in mind though that I may have made a post and it may have been the next day before I got much response.

I can tell ya a little of what I did. I stagger studded just like you and as JC stated... just use the pink stuff for insulation. I did double 5/8" sheetrock by inside walls and ceiling and single 5/8" the outside walls. On the inside I overlapped the seams and siliconed between layers... more or less running a bead in an X and a couple lines around the edges. This simply to stop any vibrating between sheets. If you look at my HT Construction pics in my Cedar Creek Cinema sig link you'll get some ideas of what all I did... and I pretty much went to the extremes.

On this component rack situation... you got that utility room there behind your front wall. No reason not to take advantage of that. In the utility room you can build a closet to keep closed so that you can access the rear of your equipment. You can fix that closet door where it will seal pretty good. Here's something like what I'm talking about...

This is merely an example... location and design would be to your expectations obviously.

I'll also defer to E (N-dawg) on 99% of this since he does it for a living. Okay... I've done a few, but he's mo-betta wrapped than I am.
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Did I miss something here Tommy? What were your reasons for going all in-wall?

I guess what I'm saying is I can usually see this in a room that is shared... say a great room with a home theater room. The wife don't want speakers sittin' all around, which was my case. That was one of the major reasons for building my HT room... so I could get the goods to produce without having to worry about momma saying anything.

Is momma still talkin' ya down on this stuff?

I agree 100% with Jacen... the receiver won't do suggest for your sub.
I know of an sub manufacturer that uses this amp as an option in their subs. It's in the same area that Jacen listed the one he referred to at Parts Express. I think they'll be the least expensive place to buy it. It cost $298 but it's a little more power and has a pretty good design.

Going back to the projector... as Fincave later pointed out, you will be more than fine with a 100" screen with a Z4 hung at 12' back... or for that matter, most similar projectors in that range. His suggestion of projecting the image onto a sheet (or a white unpainted wall) to start with will help you decide how big you want it. I did the same thing. I hung the projector, left the front wall unpainted and decided I liked the 97" diagonal screen for the distance I was sitting. Some will like 110" and some will like 84"... it's all up to what you want. But I believe you'll want more than 60-65" in that room.
Okay... showing off the yardrats! lol I bet they can't wait for you to get finished.

As far as the riser is concerned, I glued or maybe I used liquid nail and then I think I pre-drilled holes and screwed it down, a sheet of 3/4" MDF for the floor. Then I treated it with Thompson water seal. Then padded and carpeted as normal. I think you'll wanna put a step there... that's a pretty big step up. Either a small width step on each side or one all the way across. In that step up you may want to consider a phone jack, computer connections such as a ethernet jack and maybe a port for games, and at least one electrical outlet.

Erik might be able to hook you up with a good sub... not sure if he can do mail order or not, but he could at least point you in the right direction. Another consideration there would be IB... which I know nothing about other than I know some folks who have done it with a utility room behind the front screen wall similar to what you have. You simply mount a sub in the front wall and the utility room is the volume of the box. Again, I'm not well versed in this area so I'll stop there.
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Tommy said:
Sonnie, so one sheet of 3/4" plywood or MDF should be enough? I've seen others saying use 2 sheets and was wondering if one sheet was to unstable or anything. You treated the top of it with waterseal??
I think one sheet is plenty, but you can use two if you want to. I treated the top simply because it's MDF and if for some unforseen reason it got wet... well you know what happens with wet MDF... it swells. Of course we are very cautious with drinks in our HT room, and it would take a lot to soak it enough through the carpet and padding, but you just never know.
Tommy said:
Shoot, I wish I would have remembered about it and put more thought into it. The riser is 7' in depth I should have included the second step into that total depth. I dont want to push the front row up any further.
Go ahead and measure the width of your seating and just put the minimum width you can get by with on each side. If you are going to have separate seats then figure about 2-3 inches between seats.
Tommy said:
Is there any difference selecting the MDF over the plywood? Also you've mentioned previously, I should extend the plywood about 2" past the riser for a lip for the light, correct?
I used MDF because plywood has been known to separate and might somehow cause some vibration in the layers. Just an extra precaution. And yes, a couple of inches extension over the front of the riser should be plenty. I actually don't have lights there myself and never had a problem seeing the step... nor has anyone else. The lights are on until everyone is seated and then I hit the button on my remote to turn them off. If someone needs to get up during the movie we usually pause it, raise the lights and go, or the movie screen will also put off enough light most of the time... if you don't want to pause it. It's just never been a problem for us, but I've still got it setup to install lights under the lip of the riser if ever need be.
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Good news on the sub!

Brian, bricor, (member here) did something pretty cool with subs in his HT room if you wanna get them out of the room area. Only problem is his are in the ceiling, which may not work for you, but you could do what he did on one of your walls. He may could tell you about the outside noise. PM him and see if he'll share with you. OR as Jacen suggested... go for SVS or HSU.

Again... as Jacen says... 2 weeks for that sheetrock is way too long. A day to hang it and screw it at most. First mud and tape another day. Second mud and tape another. Another mud day. Sand and finish touch up mud day. 5 days would be max if he works every day. Of course not all sheetrockers are dependable. As is the case with many contractors it seems... but not all.

I wouldn't pack the walls with insulation, just the normal amount. For stagger studded 2 X 4's on a 6" plate, R-13 on each side is fine. I believe uncompressed is better for performance. Two sheets vs. one sheet... don't know... I went with two sheets of 5/8" on the inside walls and ceiling and my room is extremely well soundproofed. I just took no chances. Also look at my entrance door on my HT Construction pages. Two solid core doors and they are hard to shut due to the air tightness on them.
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If the rope lights are the same type lights as your sconce lights then you can connect them in with the dimmer if you want to, but if I'm not mistaken you have those so you don't have to cut the other lights on. Not sure if Erik has his on a switch or not.

As far as projectors... start a thread in the Display Devices forum requesting info on a projector. Make sure you let us know how much you are willing to spend.

I'm not really familiar with bass shakers... other than the two subs I got... they do plenty of shakin' without anything added. It's my understanding that they are added to your seats to give you more vibration.
You have different dimmers for different type lights. Unless the technology has changed, you have to have a dimmer for flourescent lights and a different dimmer for incandescent lights... and I don't thing they make one for neon lights.

Correct... I'd probably put the rope lights on a separate switch, no dimmer really needed for them.
I have three dimmer switches in my wall plate. Each switch is rated to handle so many watts... I believe mine are like 600 or 800 watts. Add up the wattage you want on each switch and buy the appropriate size switch.

Here's a really bad blown up pic of my switches... I don't have a close up so I tried to blow it up as much as possible... these are the rocker style with the smaller sider rockers next to the big rocker.

Looks like this and is remote controllable:

Except there's three:

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I didn't mind hanging the sheetrock... it was the mudding I was dreading, so I hired that part out. Cost me about 200 bucks.

Sounds like you got the framing figured out pretty well. Keep us posted on your progress.
Congrats! You are gonna love that big picture... :yes:

The biggest thing is a good quality HDMI cable on the wiring for the pj. Measure how far and order up. I'll try to find where I got mine from (can't remember)... it's a heavy duty cable.... very nice and wasn't all that expensive.
I would want to be able to turn off all the lights during a movie... so why not just go ahead and put 2 and 3 on one dimmer switch. I don't think you'll poster lights on either, not during a movie. Or 1 and 2 together.

Looks like you got it all.
I'm concerned myself about the screen location. I never even thought about that soffit possibly being in the way. As low as it is I think you are gonna have problems with the rear seat seeing the bottom portion of the screen very well. Hopefully I'm wrong.

It doesn't look like the screen goes under the right soffit very far... is there any possible way to narrow up that right soffit so that you can do away with the front soffit and raise that screen on up to about 6" below the ceiling... anyway at all?
I don't rightly remember if you have acquired a universal learning remote or not. Have you and if so what kind?

The Home Theater Master MX-800 which I have, can be purchased with an optional MRF-250 Single-Zone RF Receiver. This also has IR sensors that you can run to your components. For my projector I took one of the sensors and extended the wire on it to about 25' and fished it thru my pipe to my projector. In your situation... you'll have the RF Receiver up front and the equipment in back... so you'll have to extend several of the IR sensor wires. It comes with about 8 or so sensors.

This is the only remote I'm familiar with that comes with the RF Receiver and sensors... there may be more.
You don't have to run the wires if the RF Reciever has a good line of sight to the equipment. The wires are used when your equipment is behind a door or located where the Receiver can't get the signal to the equipment for whatever reasons. Your chairs or bodies might be in the way of a good signal path. IR is line of sight. In my situation... the Receiver would sometimes trigger the projector and sometimes it wouldn't. I went ahead and ran the sensor wire and eliminated the problem. I only use the Receiver for the projector.
Actually, if you had good line of sight you wouldn't need an RF Receiver... you might very well still want an IR remote. People with a good line of sight use IR remotes all the time.

I think you are misunderstanding me here... I am referring to the line of sight between the RF Receiver and the equipment... not the actual remote control and the equipment. The remote transmits to the RF receiver and the RF receiver transmits either via IR or via the sensors to the equipment.

The RF Receiver is of course Radio Frequency so you don't necessarily have to place it in front of you in order for it to receive signals from your remote control. You could place it near your equipment as long as the IR sensor on the front of the RF Receiver has a line of sight to your equipment. However, the RF Receiver is then behind your projector. If your projector has an IR sensor on the back and the RF Receiver can see it, then you are good to go. But if your projector only has an IR sensor on the front which faces the screen... the RF Receiver has no line of sight... in this case you need to use one of the wired sensors from the RF Receiver to the sensor on the projector and stick the wired sensor on top of the projector sensor.

Here's the rub... if you set the RF Receiver on top of your equipment or in the cabinet with your equipment, its IR sensor doesn't see your equipments IR sensors. Chances are you won't have enough room in the front of your equipment to place the RF Receiver to where the front of it faces the front of the equipment. If you do get it facing the equipment somehow, then its probably not going to be facing the projector where the sensors between the RF Receiver and projector see each other.

Your best bet might be simply placing the RF Receiver on top of you eqiupment or somewhere near your equipment and not worrying about line of sight. Use the wired IR sensors for everything. The only one you would need to extend would be the one to the projector.
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That doesn't really sound that bad on the price. I paid like $240 each for my low end La-z-boys.

Don't know about the motorized seats. Seems to me that you'd have more problems with motorized than you would manual, but who am I to say for sure. My La-z-boys came with a lifetime warranty on the mechanism... I though Berkline did too.

Buttkicker and shakers have never impressed me enough to get them. My subs shake my butt enough without anything else. :dontknow:
You know... I thought that was kind of strange to mount those two rears side by side like that. Seems like to me it would be no different than 6.1... obviously there could be no separation between left and right.

I wonder how that's gonna work anyway with the sides of the DVD cabinet being there to more or less separate the two speakers.
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