Home & Garden

Repooc's Dedicated Home Theater Build

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 7th, 2021 10:54 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto

Repooc's Dedicated Home Theater Build

I don't recall seeing any dedicated home theater (HT) builds on RFD. So, hopefully this thread will be of interest to some of you. Keep in mind this HT build is happening at the same time as I'm finishing my basement; so, if you're interested in some of the other parts of my build (includes a dedicated art studio/craft room, wet bar, home gym, full bathroom, open concept living area and laundry room), I can probably post some pics or start a "Repooc's basement renovation thread" in a separate/parallel post. Construction is expected to wrap up at the end of April 2018, but the final fit-out of the HT may take several months after that, as I source various equipment.

Quick Specs...
Interior wall dimensions (after wall treatments): 10'4" wide x 18'4" long
Projector: Sony VPL-VW1100ES Native 4K
Screen: Silver Ticket 128" 2.35:1 cinemascope, acoustically transparent
A/V Receiver Amp: Anthem MRX1120
Speakers: 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos (speakers and subwoofers will likely be D.I.Y.)
Seating: 7 Octane Diesel XS950 full grain, motorized reclining seats, 4 on a riser and 3 on level ground (2 rows)
Sound Dampening: decoupled walls/ceiling "room in a room" using safe n sound insulation, clips, resilient channel, double drywall, green glue caulk and sealant


Preamble
You may recall my thread from a while back where I was asking for recommendations for local HT designers. Well, after MONTHS of research and interviews with different companies; I've realized that when it comes to HT design, there are 3 paths one can venture down...
1) Local Boutique AV/Hi-Fi store: I found these shops to be of little help, if any (you probably know the ones I'm talking about). I even paid one shop $100 to come out to my house to review the space and present a quote; and all I got was a big sales pitch for the products that gave them the biggest margin. Even the "render" they sent me was nowhere near what I asked for. They were up front in saying that they don't actually do the build but would supply my contractor with drawings and they would only pull the cables and install the equipment... Really? That's the best/fun part... why the heck am I paying you then? At the end of the day, I think these guys are just there to push products (personal opinion).
2) HT "designers": I'll give credit where credit is due. Some of these folks do know what they're doing. My main drive for this dedicated HT was for sound dampening to other parts of my house and trying to stay "within spec" for certain theater dimensions/configurations (ie: THX, Dolby, etc). I could really care less about the "design" of adding a star ceiling, velvet curtains, or movie posters on the wall, I wanted the room to perform well visually and acoustically given my modest equipment. When you tell these "designers" that you only want a completely black room, you're quickly dismissed because this isn't a project they can show off to receive a future award/trophy for... ok, whatever.
3) D.I.Y.: If you really put your mind to it and invest the time to read, there's such a wealth of information out there on the net. Especially if you frequent AVS Forum as much as I do. There are so many "build threads" or "what would I do different threads" that are worth their weight in gold. ESPECIALLY when you have well-regarded industry experts posting and providing their insight for FREE! Between AVS Forum and the SoundProofingCompany.com.

As you can probably guess... I went the D.I.Y route. Doing the design myself and hiring a VERY detailed-oriented contractor to build it. I'll be pulling all the low voltage cabling (speaker, HDMI, RG6, cat-6, etc) myself, and of course installing and setting up all the hardware and furniture myself. I may end up hiring someone to colour-calibrate my projector, as I really don't want to invest in that equipment for what may be a 1-time setup.... we'll see.

Dedicated HT Room Specs
This is newly constructed room carved out of a section of my basement that has no windows and will be COMPLETELY light controlled. One of the long walls runs along the side my poured concrete foundation while the other 3 will be interior partitions to adjacent areas in my basement. There is one HVAC supply trunk that runs the length of the room along the ceiling and a 3" plumbing drain that will be located in the corner behind a baffle wall... both will be fully encased with sound proofing treatment. Other than that all other services are relocated out of the ceiling and wall spaces.

Sound dampening
My main goal is to reduce sound traveling up through the ceiling of the HT to the floor of my first floor above where the kitchen is. Also, to mitigate sound travelling through pipes (HVAC/plumbing) to other areas of the house (especially bedrooms on the second floor). There is no such thing as "sound proof" so, I'm doing my best (within reason/budget) to dampen the sound. I'm sure this setup is better than 95% of most HTs out there anyways.
Ceiling: will have an array of rubber-backed sound isolation clips affixed to the joists, and RC2 resilient channel placed inside the clips. 1 layer of 1/2 " drywall affixed to the res channel, then green glue caulk, and another layer of 5/8" drywall applied on top of that. All drywall edges, corners, etc will be staggered and the gaps filled with green glue sealent. The joist cavities will be filled with rockwool's safe n sound insulation.
Exterior Foundation Wall: the 2x4 studs spaced 24" O.C. will be spaced 1" away from the foundation wall... effectively decoupling it from the foundation. No Res channel used, however the same treatment of double drywall using green glue caulk and sealent will be applied and safe n sound installed in the studs.
3 Interior Partitions: Again, 2x4 studs spaced 24" O.C. with RC1 res channel and the same treatment of double drywall. green glue and insulation. The exterior walls of the partitions (for the adjacent spaces) will be covered in 1 layer of 5/8" drywall. So I effectively have 3 layers of drywall between the interior of the HT and adjacent spaces in the basement.
Existing HVAC: will be covered in sound-dampening compound, encased in a bulk heads and the bulkhead filled with safe n sound insulation. The bulkheads will be covered in the same manner of double drywall and green glue, as above.
New HVAC: I've designed a "dead vent" system on opposite ends of the room, whereby each dead vent will have a 6" Fantech linear fan ducted to insulated/flexible duct. This will supply and exhaust fresh air into/out of the HT using the conditioned air in the adjacent spaces of my basement. All while effectively isolating the sound from propagating through the central ducts of my entire house.

Equipment
The AV Equipment rack will be housed in a newly-constructed AV closet (also containing all my network and security gear) about 25 feet outside of the HT and controlled by a wireless remote. This was done to mitigate adding another heat source to the enclosed HT. The only equipment within the HT will be the projector and speakers. I plan to run all of my speakers, to start, using my integrated AV receiver (Anthem MRX1120) which has discrete amplifications for 11 speakers (7 surround and 4 height speakers for Dolby Atmos). Also, to start, I will be running 2 active subwoofers. The room will be pre-wired to allow for future upgrades/capability to run the speakers with separate amplification and passive subwoofers.

The LCR speakers (and probably subwoofers, if they fit) will be placed in a baffle wall/space behind an acoustically transparent screen. Giving the true "cinema experience" of having voices/sounds come naturally through the image. Speaker details will be forthcoming in a future post. But will likely go the D.I.Y. route buying the cones, crossover boards, and flat packs from vendors in the states and then building them myself. The bang-for-buck going D.I.Y. is about 10-fold over buying a branded product.

Finishes
Seating: I was fortunate enough to land a killer deal on full grain leather seats from a Best Buy boxing day sale. So, I bought 2 sets, a 4-row and a 3-row. The 4-row will be placed on a constructed riser. The seats are motorized for reclining, have built-in cup holders and blue accent lighting under the seats.
Flooring: will be carpet to help with some of the sound absorption and reflection
Ceiling: will feature a light cove that has a LED light strip to provide ambiance when seating guests. Probably the only "design"-like feature I've added.
Concession Area: I've carved out an area beside my wet bar, opposite of the HT to have a popcorn cart (the old style kind on wheels) and a wall of clear plexiglass tubes (as I envision it) that will dispense candy


So, stay tuned... I'll try to update this thread often with progress notes and before/during/after pics.

As of today, 2 of the 4 walls have been framed.

Some pictures to whet your pallet, never mind the colour scheme in the renders, needed to use light colours to visualize the space. In reality, it will be virtually black.....

Rough layout showing baffle/false wall, and speakers placed behind. Never mind the graphic used for the seats... they won't look like they're from the 70's.
HT Layout.jpg

Render of the front, trying to get placement of surround speakers and scale the actual screen size to the room.
HT Render FRONT.jpg

Render of the back, trying to get throw distance for the projector and understand the headroom above the second row on the riser. Also, to get nail down the placement of the surround and atmos (ceiling speakers) relative to wall sconces, riser, seating, etc.
HT Render BACK.jpg
Last edited by Repooc on Feb 1st, 2018 9:36 am, edited 11 times in total.
315 replies
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto
empty space, day before construction started

Front (screen wall) of HT
BEFORE front.jpg


Side (foundation wall) of HT
BEFORE side.jpg


Back (projector side) of HT
BEFORE back.jpg
Last edited by Repooc on Feb 1st, 2018 9:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto
Long overdue AFTER pics of my build.

Do bear in mind, that I need to adjust the mounts for my 4 atmos speakers (rear height channels are currently removed) and I need to do some trim work where the velvet wrapped walls at the front of the theater transition into the gypsum walls.

More to come, as I finish up some of the loose ends.
.
PXL_20201023_151130835.NIGHT.jpg
.
PXL_20201023_151240820.NIGHT.jpg
.
PXL_20201023_151350083.NIGHT.jpg
.
PXL_20201023_151554358.jpg
.
Last edited by Repooc on Oct 23rd, 2020 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto
Equipment List:

Bought/On-Hand...
Projector: Sony VPL-VW1100ES Native 4K
Projector Mount: Chief Universal mount bracket, extension coiumn, and ceiling plate
Screen: Silver Ticket 128" 2.35:1 cinemascope, acoustically transparent
A/V Receiver Amp: Anthem MRX1120
Behringer Amplifier iNuke nu3000DSP
Power Conditioner: Furman Elite-15 PF i
Seating: Octane Diesel XS950 Back Row and front row
LCR Speakers x3: DIYSG Fusion 15 Sentinal, flat pack and crossover
Side Surround Speakers x2: Fluance XLBP wide dispersion bipole
Rear Surround Speakers x2: Fluance Signature Series 2-way bookshelf
Atmos Height Speakers x4: DIYSG Volt 10" with Atmos flat pack
Powered Subwoofers x3: D-Box David 300 12" Powered Subwoofer
Passive Subwoofers x2: DIY 18" Passive V.B.S.S.
Tactile Transducers x2: Buttkicker LFE and bka-1000n amplifier
AV Equipment Stand: Plateau Z-series
Wall Sconce Lighting: Strak LED Up and Down Lighting
Dead Vent Linear Fan x2: Fantech Centrifugal 6" FG 6XL
Power Bridge units x4: Arlington TVBR2505K
Universal Remote: Logitech Harmony Elite
UHD BRD 4K Player: Panasonic DMP-UB900


Wish-list/shopping for... If you're selling any of these, or anything similar (even used), please PM me!!
miniDSP 2x4 HD
Last edited by Repooc on Oct 24th, 2020 12:21 am, edited 18 times in total.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 15, 2005
4048 posts
1457 upvotes
I am very excited about this project, this has the potential to be my favorite thread of the year even though we just hit February.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
29343 posts
15156 upvotes
Toronto
what kind of ball park cost would your project be (incl. absolutely everything) ? I have seen people spent like $100K on a HT project and that's not even the absolute high end of it too.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto
booblehead wrote: what kind of ball park cost would your project be (incl. absolutely everything) ? I have seen people spent like $100K on a HT project and that's not even the absolute high end of it too.
Very roughly... including construction labour and materials and my equipment and room finishes, I'm looking at a finished value of approximately $85K.

The projector, which is the heart of the HT, makes up a good chunk of that cost.

....and I agree, my HT is far from "high end". But I do consider it "enthusiast level"
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 14, 2008
2166 posts
752 upvotes
Whitby
Looking forward to this thread moving forward.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto
Progress update!

Be sure to check out the OP for layout and renders, and the 1st post with BEFORE pictures just added!

As of today....
2 of 4 walls framed, and foam board insulation affixed to poured concrete portion of basement foundation wall.

Side of HT (foundation wall)
Framing SIDE.jpg

Front of HT (screen/baffle wall)
Framing FRONT.jpg
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2009
4052 posts
3113 upvotes
GTA
Why would you mix metal studs with wood? Spacing between the studs looks random as well. I would remove builders'c crap insulation and cover entire wall with pink rigid foam. But it's your project, so maybe you know something we don't know. Please share more info.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto
Tommy74 wrote: Why would you mix metal studs with wood? Spacing between the studs looks random as well. I would remove builders'c crap insulation and cover entire wall with pink rigid foam. But it's your project, so maybe you know something we don't know. Please share more info.
Good observations!

The walls of the HT are built with studs spaced 24" o.c. on purpose as this reduced the overall "hard structure" that is in contact with the rest of the house. Less material means less structure to transfer vibrations to the rest of the house. The remaining walls of the basement, as you've noticed, are spaced 16" o.c. None of the walls being constructed in the basement are structural supports.

I was back and forth on the builder's pink batt insulation. At the end of the day, I decided to keep it because that is all above grade with brick facade on the exterior. The rest of the my house above grade is constructed the exact same way. I did, however, go a bit overkill in tuck-taping the crap out of the vapour barrier including all the rim joists and fixing any punctures and seams. That alone made a HUGE difference in the temperature in the basement. Therr will be an additional layer of R14 rockwool comfort batt added on top anywhere you see the foam board.

Also, where you saw the exposed concrete and now covered with foam board, it had the shitty pink blanket insulation wrap from the builder, with the fibreglass in direct contact with the cold concrete...bad news. I tore that crap down.

The metal you see are just tracks at the top and bottom of the wall; this allows for the walls to be built dead straight. 6 mil poly is placed under the bottom metal track/sill plate and will tie in with the delta FL subfloor to ensure a vapor barrier is maintained on the floor. I prefer this method to just using a wood bottom sill plate with just a foam gasket beneath.
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
2442 posts
1412 upvotes
Alliston, ON
Metal studs for a bottom plate is a BAD idea. If the studs were on top of a subfloor like dricore or foam board + plywood, then you could get away with using metal on the bottom plate. I'd change it now to wood instead of having to deal with rusted sill plates in the future

It's pretty easy to find a couple pieces of straight pieces of wood to use as top and bottom plates. Invest in a laser level and it'll make setting those plates dead straight super easy
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto
schade wrote: Metal studs for a bottom plate is a BAD idea. If the studs were on top of a subfloor like dricore or foam board + plywood, then you could get away with using metal on the bottom plate. I'd change it now to wood instead of having to deal with rusted sill plates in the future

It's pretty easy to find a couple pieces of straight pieces of wood to use as top and bottom plates. Invest in a laser level and it'll make setting those plates dead straight super easy
Thanks for your input.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto
Progress Update!!

All 4 walls have been framed, along with the vertical bulkeads (or bump-outs, whatever you want to call it) that will form the baffle space behind the screen. The vertical bulkhead on the left will house the dead-vent that exhausts the air out of the HT into the adjacent home gym area. Electrical rough-ins should be done by Saturday, and I'll see how far I get this weekend with pulling my various AV cables.

This is a picture taken from outside the HT, to give you a sense of scale, now that the interior partition walls are all up
framing - exterior.jpg

Back (projector) wall of HT
framing - back wall.jpg

Front (screen) wall of HT. The left vertical bulkead will contain the exhaust deadvent, and the right vertical bulkhead was built to match in size, but functions to enclose the 3" plumbing drain stack. The space in between the vertical bulkheads will contain the LCR speakers and subwoofers, which will all be behind a "false wall" that has the acoustically transparent screen
framing - screen wall.jpg
Member
Aug 14, 2011
370 posts
110 upvotes
Calgary
I am surprised that I have missed this thread until now. It looks like you are making some good progress.

I am really interested in seeing how this turns out, as I will be starting my own 7.1.4 home theatre build next summer. It looks like you are doing everything right to have sound containment, and I think you will love the end results.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
16405 posts
14516 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Awesome. Can't wait to see how this turns out. It's refreshing to see a proper projector instead of the RFD specials lol
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 12, 2005
1917 posts
231 upvotes
this is an exciting project to follow. looking forward to the build (and more pictures)!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3968 posts
1388 upvotes
Toronto
PROJECT UPDATE!!

Equipment: I picked up a Furman Elite PFi 15 power conditioner yesterday. This will feed all the components of my HT.

Lots of construction progress the last few days... First shipment of sound-proofing supplies has arrived (still waiting on the clips).

I FINALLY finished pulling all the pre-wiring cables yesterday. The media closet pictured below has all the wiring for my HT plus Cat-6 cables from the rest of my house (setting up some smart home/automation stuff concurrently with this HT project). This closest will pretty much be 'mission control' for my entire house, including the HT. Altogether, I've pulled over 2,000 feet of various A/V cabling and Cat-6 the last few days.


The HVAC trunk that runs above the HT has been coated with sound dampening compound (not sure how effective this will be... at best, when I knock on the ductwork it's more of a "thud" now, opposed to sounding metallic/tinny. Either way, this will be completely encased in a sound dampened bulkhead.
.
Dampened HVAC.jpg


I'm told the HT room requires about 56 sheets of drywall alone!! LOL. Only 2 of the 3 HUGE stacks are pictured here.
.
Drywall.jpg



Green Glue compound and sealant for DAYS.
.
Gren Glue.jpg



Not all pictured here... but there's 20 bags of safe'n sound going into the HT
.
Insulation.jpg



So, this is where over 2,000 feet of cabling gets terminated. Most will be terminated onto wall jacks for simple plug and play. For things like the HDMI run to the projector, I'm doing a pass-thru for a homerun between my receiver and projector, to mitigate any signal degradation.
.
Media Closet.jpg



Resilient channel delivered and awaiting CAREFUL installation
.
Res Channel.jpg



Here's half of the cabling as it exists my media closet towards the HT (the other half, not pictured, goes to the rest of my house). I think it looks pretty. Unfortunately, my wife nixed the idea of letting me leave this piece of wall without drywall to show off the goodness. But in case you're wondering, this is the amount of cables you need to run a 7.4.4 HT. ;)
.
Cabling.jpg



4x ceiling speakers for Dolby Atmos pre-wired
.
Ceiling Atmos.jpg



Both dead vents have been ducted now. Pictured here is the exhaust from the HT at the front (screen wall) of the room. it will be hidden behind the false wall that contains the acoustically transparent screen
.
Deadvent Exhaust.jpg
Sr. Member
Mar 15, 2005
753 posts
602 upvotes
Well done with the research and planning. I've been tweaking my ht for over a decade now, and I hope you dont mind but I plan on stealing some of your ideas with my ht build when I move in April.

Curious, what components are you using for your DIY speakers? Have you had a chance to give them a listen or are you going in blind? One thing to keep in mind before you decide to go the DIY route is if you go to a reputable dealer, they will let you upgrade if you aren't happy, or you can always sell brand name speakers on sites like Canuck audio mart or audiogon if you feel like a change. If you go the DIY route you wont be able to recover much of your investment should you decide to upgrade. Also, Probably not a big deal but you mention you want to keep your amps outside the room but you later say you are going to build active subwoofers. Curious why you aren't making the subs passive and powering them with an amp outside the room?

Also just a thought but did you already buy the screen? Its probably a matter of preference but I find there is much more 16x9 content than 2.35:1. You'll have more screen real estate displaying letterbox on the top and bottom of a taller screen and a 16x9 image would need to be shrunk quite a bit to fit on the 2.35:1. In either scenerio a masking system can be made so the image really pops.

You also mentioned you'll be treating the floor. With the soundproof / green glue, does it negate the need for wall treatments? I found when I put wall treatments at the primary speaker reflection points and bass traps in the corners of made huge improvement in wind quality.

Best of luck, looking forward to seeing the finished product

Top