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Dedicated Home Cinema Room

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by jrwood, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. jrwood

    jrwood
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    Has anyone embarked on a dedicated home cinema room?, Im mainly interested in people who have decided to extend their house at the back. What sort of size would be ideal?, I was thinking about 20 foot long by about 14 foot wide?. If anyone has any knowledge of roughly how much this would cost it would be nice to know, of course I will get a quote once I convinced the neighbours!!.

    I would probably go for a simple rectangular shape but make the roof more like a conservatory so that it looks nice from the outside and not like some large garage at the back of the house. Obviously it would need to be soundproofed and the same kind of brickwork as the house. Another thing I would have to bear in mind is that the extension would have to come from the patio doors side of the house so I would probably have to think about having patio doors from the hometheatre room into the garden although we have a sidedoor from the utility room into the garden so it would'nt be such a great loss.

    Thanks
    James
     
  2. Mario Nicholas

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    I built an extention 18' x 15' two storey & a builder will generally charge you between £60/80 @ sq. ft. depending upon whether he likes to make a living or a good living with his own cinema room.
    I think that screen viewing is ideal at about twice the screen width away, although I have an 8' wide screen & sit closer than that.
    Mind you I have a sony D50 with line doubler...:D :D
     
  3. jrwood

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    Blimey from those calculations it would cost me £28,000 just for a 14 foot long room!??!

    I always thought conservatorys were more expensive than building straight walls!.
     
  4. Nic Rhodes

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    James

    Interesting stuff. If all goes well next week I move into a new pad (horrible time). It has an old barn attached which I will do up as a priority. It is basically a two story shell. The plan is to have two rooms down stairs (amp workshop and other room) and one large music / AV room upstairs. The room dimensions are obviously fixed for me at 26 foot by 15 foot (with A roof). I felt this was a nice size to play with. I have had a surveyor and architect do some preliminary calculations for me and they are quoting about £45k. This tallies very closely the £60@sq. ft. already quoted.

    If you go to the Stereophile web site you can download some ‘acoustic’ calc spreadsheets that will allow you to play with some numbers to avoid all H, W and D figures being the same (worst case) or I can email them to you.

    Keep in touch, we might have similar issues to ‘share’.

    And you can see why I listed it as my most expensive bit of kit in another thread recently, or potentially anyway.
    :D
     
  5. jrwood

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    Let us know how it goes, Im enquiring through friends to see if I can get a deal, I must know a mate of a mate somewhere along the chain!. After all I dont think I've paid half the RRP for anything Ive bought thanks to mates working at various firms who get trade prices!.

    James
     
  6. Mario Nicholas

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    the figures are just approx. building estimate guidelines. I work it out to 20' length x 14' wide x £60 = £16800
    The price of conservatories is varied, but if the room is for AV use the light & sound-proofing issues would be a pain & I would build a conventional extension instead.

    Good luck
     
  7. ads1

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    Hello everyone.....first post on these groups.

    Nic

    From reading some of your other posts, you're probably already aware of this, but here goes.

    I have a similar situation to yours. We made our living room in the top floor of an extension (great views in Cumbria!). As this evolved into a music and home cinema, the main problem I had was decoupling the sound system from the large resonance chamber below (garage). Whilst giving some impressive reinforcement of the bass, it wasn't particularly tight!

    Of course there are remediative measures but these tend to lead to those awkward conversations which usually start with "Why is there a load of concrete in the living room?"

    Obviously as you're starting from a shell, you can engineer better solutions to the problem, but there may still be some compromise required of quality versus expediency.

    Hope your move goes ok.

    Andy Smith

    PS Having just read descriptions of your kit in the Sub-woofer section, I suspect your main problem may be retaining plaster on the downstairs ceiling :)
     
  8. grahamricho

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    i built my own extension from scatch,20 ft x12 ft with a pitch roof,concrete floor ,brickwork to match existing and french doors to garden. total cost of materials only.......£5000. all work was done by myself with the aid of a few books from local library. its not rocket science!!any questasins post away ! 90% of building work is pure labour no skills needed ! i did my own plans,with some aid of some graph paper from w.h smiths.dug the footings, learnt to lay bricks,and put the pitch roof on,plumbed it and wired it,by books.if i did not do it all by myself i would not have been able to afford it.THE BEST UP GRADE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!its pure bliss as loud as i want when i want
     
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    Hi James.

    After a few years of fun with Home Cinema, I decided to go for it last year, and get an extension to my home.

    It was a 4 bed detached, with room above the garage and breakfast room (which are on the right side of the house - running from front to back, with a roof over them that was lower than the roof over the rest of the house - hope that makes sense).

    It's now a 5 bed detached with an en-suite.

    I'll explain what we did - I know this isn't the "changing rooms" forum - but want to explain what we got for our money.

    Most of upstairs was ripped apart (apart from 2 bedrooms). Main bedroom was made bigger, bathroom was moved, 3rd bedroom was shrunk a little but made into the en-suite off the main bedroom. Then, a new room was added at the front right (above the garage) - now bed 3 - 8ft6x8ft6. Cinema room was added behind this room (seperated by a new corridor) - Cinema room is 16ft9x8ft6.

    Oh - and as the room below the cinema room didn't stretch to meet the rest of the back of the house, they had to build a substantial pillar to sit it on.

    Cost - £45,000 - including carpetting / B&W 603's / 2xbathroom's /lighting etc. Payed the builder about £34k - the rest was bits n' bobs.

    So - first off, it might sound pricey, but for adding a new bedroom and 1 en-suite - (to a high spec), it was well worth it!

    Now onto the interesting stuff if you're still awake!

    The cinema room - as you look through the door:
    Left wall = previous end wall - brick
    Right wall = new end wall - brick
    Far wall = back wall - brick
    other wall = plasterboard either side - seperated by 4" gap filled with rockwool. Firecheck door to help keep the noise in.
    Added a thick deep-red/maroon carpet, painted walls and ceiling a similar colour.

    Bought QED wall sockets - that take either 1 or 2 pairs of banana plugs. 2 sockets at rear of room for 7.1 u/grade. 1 at either rear / side for surround speakers, others at front left for connecting to amp. I installed QED Qudos cabling in the walls and up along roof floor, before the walls were rendered.

    So - you should have the picture of an empty room, with various sockets for plugging in speakers, dotted around. At the front of the room, there's also 4x2 socket M&K filtered plug sockets - which have filters that need to be changed every couple of years - they cut out radio frequency interference as well as being anti-surge/spike etc. Downstairs by the fuse box is a "Furse ESP" unit, where the main supply goes into this box, then out into the fusebox. This stops spikes/surges/electrical overvoltages - basically ensuring a smooth supply to the whole house (£230).

    The room of course has a window (law), which has a black-out blind in front, and a room height/width pair of thick black curtains to cut out any light and stop some of the sound bouncing around.

    Onto the kit:
    Father in law and I installed a 70"wide 16:9 Da-Lite modelB screen with CSR (customised as it needed to be smaller than their min CSR screen) - £320ish. The CSR is controlled screen return - i.e. when you pull it down to return the screen into the housing, you can let it go and it will slow down and "close" smoothly.
    Either side of the screen are B&W 602's (the 603's are used downstairs with the hi-fi, as they have more of an impact there than they do with the kit upstairs). By the right 602 is an M&K VX7-MkII sub. Under the screen (between the skprs) is a £42 Ikea unit, which has room for 3 wide x 2 high standard kit. From left to right is : Denon 3802 (bought 2 days ago - anyone want to buy a mint condition Yamaha A2?), Panny DVD-A310 (US, chipped for R1-6), B&W CC6 centre, Dreamcast, Panny Nicam VCR, telewest dig cable box. Not bad, £42 to house that lot eh?
    On top, is a 32" Goodmans - YES, GOODMANS 50hz TV. Bought it 5 months ago, and it's a great picture, NTSC compatible, does everthing I want!
    To the rear of the room, are a pair of Mission 77DS speakers - either side and above the listening position, and as of last night - a pair of Kef Q8 surrounds, mounted behind and above - 3ft6ins apart. Surrounds all have main drive units 7ft high - where they sound perfect.
    For watching films, i've borrowed a Panasonic 1024x768 projector - can't recall exact model, but it's the size of a shoe box, quiet, and fills my 78" wide screen just perfectly.

    There's really only room for just my wife and I (in our leather chairs with seperate footrests - like the "Ekornes" chairs, but £200ish, not £1100ish!) - though we've had 4 people in total with clever usage of bean bags.

    Sound from outside the room (with it plenty loud enough thankyou inside) is very quiet from all over the house - though directly below in the b/fast room, you can really hear the bass in particular, and can make out a fair bit. Outside the house is fine at the sides, though if you're sat in our back garden you can hear stuff going on.

    Sorry to have used your thread to finally get this all down - I was a keen member of this forum a year ago, when I was specking everything out. In the end, I used advise from here and other places to do it all myself (with help from Father in law) - reckon i've saved a stack, and that it wouldn't have been half the fun if someone else had done it.

    I hope this gives you some food for thought / understanding?!?
    Please do feel free to pose any questions you think I may be able to answer!!

    I'll get me arse in gear soon, take some digital pics, and put them up on a site, in case anyone's interested in having a peek!

    Cheers.
    Nick.
     
  10. jrwood

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    Guys you seriously need to get some pictures up!, your extensions/conversions sound really interesting. I'm beginning to think that an extension is'nt going to cost £15,000 which I was hoping but more like £30,000 !.

    The house is about 6 years old so I was thinking of knocking a wall out to make bedrooms 3 & 4 one massive room for home theatre, but making a 4 bed house into a 3 bed house would devalue the house a lot which is a no go. Another idea I had was to make the garage a home theatre because you could easily have a door from the garage into the living room or even an archway which would look really nice but again removing a garage from a detached house seriously affects its value.

    I will just have to save up for another few more years to get the extension instead, at least I will have the time/knowledge and ideas from guys like you.

    Thanks
    James
     
  11. jrwood

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    Oh btw doesn't anyone else agree that UK Style or some other tv channel should have a programme about DIY/HOME theatres??.

    I think I may write to the show and see what they say, at least it makes the show more diverse as they usually do kitchens/bedrooms so a home cinema room would be an interesting challenge!.

    James
     
  12. JohnS

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    Nick,

    Can you explain this alittle more please or do you have a link, I am shortly moving to a new house and will be doing a little;) work on the house to try and improve things a bit.

    Cheers
     
  13. Guest

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    Hi John - with pleasure

    Go to: http://www.keison.co.uk/furse/furse06.htm

    I bought the ESP240 M1.

    I've a cousin who's a s**t hot electrical engineer, who recommended it.

    It's basically like buying anti surge/spike etc. 4 way adapters, but works for the whole house!. Sit's inline between the incoming supply and the consumer unit, and i'm fairly convinced it made a difference (certainly ro the hi-fi), but if nothing else, i'm now protected from surges etc. and have a constant supply - apparently spikes (which are small surges) happen loads of times every second! I think it was £230 (though the box you can and should, buy to surround it is another 15)

    The M&K Filtered sockets were about £25 - all I know is they're quite deep, and have a green light on top - which goes red when the filter cartridge needs replacing.

    Enjoy!

    Nick.
     
  14. JohnS

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    Nick,

    Thanks for the link, I think that it is definatly a good idea and I like the fact I wont have to have trailing sockets everywhere for the computers in my home-office.

    With regard to the supply to the M & K sockets in the lounge, is it independant? What did your mate suggest? I too have a mate that is quite a good electrician and his comment about the need for an independant supply was that it all comes from the same source so what difference can it make. Care to offer an opinion:confused:

    Cheers
     
  15. Guest

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    John, i'll do my best to answer, though while my cousin's a fully qualified electrical engineer - i'm certainly not, but this what I can offer:

    The 4 M&K Filtered sockets are acutally upstairs in my 5th bedroom (the dedicated home cinema room), though I do have another downstairs in..the lounge - supplying my Hi-Fi.

    The home cinema room has 2 seperate circuits - each runs directly back to their own individual fuses on the fuseboard (with built in RCD's). This is to ensure that a) I can run a high supply off each, b) that there is nothing else on either circuit that could blow and trip the circuits, c) that they're as free from "interference" as possible.

    My theory is that if you can "clean" the mains up as near to the source as possible (the Furse unit), then do it again further - and remove any radio frequency interference (including the buzz you get when a 50cc bike drives past sometimes!) then it's worth it.
    I've only got standard AC leads - and i've got each seperate device in the HC Room plugged directly into one socket (though i've a 4 way adapter in the lounge). Theory being if it's already clean, then why spend another £80 on a special AC lead.

    I may be talking out of my backside, but i'm very pleased with the results, and that's the main thing!
     
  16. JohnS

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    Nick,

    Cheers, yeah that was pretty much what i had in mind also.

    I am buying a brand new house and want to do some alterations;) before the carpets etc and decoration gets done. Nice to hear someone else having done it first though.:)
     
  17. Guest

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    No worries.

    I suppose that though i'm a bit green with electrics, I did learn a fair bit of the spark that did the work (the builder brought him in), and as i've done all the other cabling (spkr) etc myself AND am luckily enough to have a dedicated room (and a wife that actually notices differences in upgraded interconnects + last night said "This Denon Amp definately sounds better than the Yamaha"), i've more knowledge /experience about this sort of thing than yer average punter.

    Any other questions, don't hesitate to let me know. Pics soon - I promise!
     
  18. Guest

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    Further to John's "you lot should get some pics together" statement -

    I've now taken a few snaps of my dedicated H/C room, though my Digital Camera is not particularly wide angle.

    I've left the room 95% finished for 6 months, so am now on an onslaught.

    1) tonight i'll be chopping, terminating, and fitting better front L&R spkr cables
    Then - over the weekend:
    2)Paint over the white QED banana plug wall boxes.
    3) trim and cable clip all dangling spkr cables.
    4)Get a sander out, and sand 1mm off either side of the centre shelf of my AV stand, so I can get the bloody centre speaker in the gap!

    Anyway - they're not great, but you'll find the pics here:

    Nick's first Dedicated H/C room pics!
     
  19. jrwood

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    Thats a really nice home cinema room, I noticed you too have a projector standard which looks awfully like mine!. I presume you bought it from Jessops?, I got mine in the sale for about £20 in Xmas - I much prefer having the projector behind me than in front.

    I'm in limbo at the moment, I think I may in the end go for the extension but I might just convert part of the living room into a home cinema area as its quite large @ 27 foot long by about 13 foot wide.

    James
     
  20. Guest

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    Actually, my Grandad popped off this mortal coil about a year ago, and I grabbed a slide projector, slides, and the stand - dunno where it was from, but it's bloody useful - ever tried stacking video's and other crap on a table to try and get the height?
    Of course you can alter the front to back tilt of the stand - and left to right, so it's very useful.

    The Panny PJ is a loan from work - I keep it off site for saftety purposes ;-). I'm looking to get one to ceiling mount. Either something like the new Panny AE100 (once they sort out the problems), or maybe a CRT like the Ellie.

    One very good thing about the dedicated room, is that (and everyone who sits in there for a while says this) you feel like you're almost in a different world. Pure escapism and submersion. The outside world ****'s off quite nicely, and when you leave the room again - it's like Mr Benn leaving the tailors :)

    On the other hand, building a new room is not cheap (though once it's built - I managed to do the rest cheaply) - and it does mean that really only 2 of us can comfortably sit and watch a film. If we have friends come over - we've got a 20" TV in the lounge with crappy picture and no DVD - so you can't all just sit around and watch a movie - surprising how much you notice this when you can't do it! It means you have to do things like talk!

    Do bear in mind, if you're going to have your kit in one part of the room, you may well get a lot of strange echoy sounds - i.e. if the rear speakers are half way down the room, it may all sound a bit odd (don't know enough to be sure - so who knows!)

    Best of luck either way, and feel free to email me if you want to bounce any questions off me.

    Cheers.
    Nick.
     
  21. RichardH

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    Re filtered sockets - just seen some in the latest screwfix catalogue - not sure if they do the same job as the MK ones, but there is a version with "clean earth" too - £18.99.
    If you haven't come across Screwfix, I have found them really good (cheap!) for most DIY stuff, and with free delivery over £45, it's easy to put an order together - miles better than spending hours fighting through B&Q. They don't do timber etc, though :(

    If you go to http://www.screwfix.com and search for "surge" you'll find them...

    BTW I'm NOT associated with Screwfix!!!!
     
  22. Guest

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    Hi Richard - the sockets you've found are similar - just don't appear to block Radio Frequency Interference (RFI).

    Stuffed If I can find the MK ones (or an MK site) on the web - though i'm not sure what benefit(s) i'd lose without the RFI protection.

    Oh, and can you imagine parcelforce delivering 8ft x 4ft plywood sheets? Imagine the envelope ;)
     
  23. meep

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    Hi All,

    to vary the discussion slightly....

    I'm embarking on the great HT project. Recently renovated house and took the opportunity to make a dedicated HT in attic (first mistake?)

    It's storage at the moment but I'd particularly like any advice people could chip in about sound proofing at this stage.

    Piccies on embryonic HT page

    The room was originally intended as office another 14x12 room originally slated as HT turned out a little small for projection. So, while building, I didn't think to sound insulate this one properly properly. The good news is I have access behind walls on three sides (attic space) with the fourth (camera position in picture) actually open to the stairwell.

    I'll probably build a wall here (at back of room) as well to insulate sound from downstairs. Any good sources of cosmetically acceptable soundproof doors?

    I've read in various forums about building floating walls etc. Is this really necessary of would regular thermal insulation coupled with anoother layer of plasterboard cut out most noise?

    Also, you'll note the wooden floor. Not good. Any tips or would a good thick carpet and underlay do the job? This room covers several downstairs spaces (including young daughters bedroom) so restriction of downward sound would be a priority.

    Any advice appreciated.

    Regards

    Peter
     
  24. mjn

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    nickdale...surely..the speaker cables would look better if they not visible??

    I think it looks a bit "unfinished" with the speaker cables dangling down etc.

    :) :) :)
     
  25. Guest

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    MJN - I know what you mean.

    Reason: When the room was built, I had to make fairly quick decisions on where to put the 4 QED banana plug boxes, as the 2 side walls were due to be rendered, and they needed to build the back partition wall.

    I went for 5ft up, and about 4 ft out from the back wall (sides) and in the middle about 8" apart for the rears. The reason for having the boxes, is so that if/when I upgrade any of the 4 rear speakers, I won't be just left with a bit of bare speaker wire hanging out of the wall - I can easily re-plug other speakers by using a short run from the speaker to the wall plug.

    In hindsight, I should have put the boxes up higher, but rest assured - I have now trimmed all 4 sets of cable to the right length, i've cable clipped them to the wall, and have painted the clips and cable the same colour as the wall. They are about 90% less obvious now, and I can still easily upgrade in the future. I'll take a couple more pics soon to replace those older ones.
    I've also ug'd the front L&R cable, and have covered it with black electrical tape, so with the lights down you don't see them - used to be able to see a strip of white cable between the unit and speakers either side.

    P.S - You sound like my wife ;)
     
  26. mjn

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    LOL....sound like the wife.....!?!?!

    thats my missus that is....bought me some cable ties as a present, so i could tidy up the mess behind the rack!!!

    And "tidy" all the speaker cables.......and she's drummed into me that much....i do it all the time now!!
     
  27. stalefish

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    Reading this thread with interest!

    I am half way through buying a new house in London....
    At the first viewing I noticed at the end of the garden a free-standing outbuilding about 20' x 12'...upon closer inspection it is concrete screeded over brick with a tiled roof and full concrete foundations!
    Needless to say it had a large part in my deciding to buy the house!!

    The thought of getting all my gear into a dedicated outbuilding that was a bare shell ready for my imagination was a great one I can tell you!

    I'll post progress as it happens!!
     
  28. Guest

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    I've now got my rear end in gear and have finished off the room. (I had got lazy/ complacent for 9 months, as it was always nearly there).

    This involved simply painting over the majority of the QED wall sockets, trimming to size/ painting /clipping down the rear and side speaker cables, and dismantling my expensive £42 Ikea AV stand - planing 3mm from either side of the 2 middle supports - putting it back together again - and then being able to fit my bloody centre speaker in the gap!

    Much better now I think you'll agree - have a look for yourself.

    Updated Home Cinema Pics.

    P.S - I AM learning Dreamweaver, and WILL soon have my own site where I can show the pics on a page - rather than just the links to them.

    P.P.S - I know that in 1 pic, a banana plug is sticking out of the socket a bit. I've corrected this...

    Cheers!
     
  29. uncle eric

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    I, like others here also built my own room. I studied architecture at university so knew more or less what I was doing.
    My room is detached from the house and measures approx, 23'x14'x9 (LWH).
    Total cost of building materials was in excess of 12,000 (including around 10/11 skips which were used to cart away the remnents of the old building and excavation of footings).
    As most know, everything in London costs more so I'm sure anyone not living down here can do it a little cheaper.
    For example, a full size skip in london right now is around 135 quid plus licence.

    Eric
     

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