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Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-18-2011, 8:34 AM Reply   
Hey everyone,

Just wondering if anyone has/has done a home theater setup - and what you used for seating.

I'll be moving home for 1-2 years (if not longer from buying the house off my mother) and her basement is perfect for a home theater.

There are basically two room in the basement - left side is a big bar room and the right side a large empty room with no windows -- perfect.

I already have a projector, screen, surround sound, etc etc etc... and now am wondering the best way to go about getting a good seating setup.

What I'm currently leaning towards are the following:
1: use couches I/my mom already has - I have two really nice couches that are really comfy and one thats just sort of meehhh
Its free and easy but could make for an awkward view for all but 3 people (those straight on)

2: Get actual leather "home theater" seats -- not cheap. Looks like getting 5 seats will cost like $1500 --- but will help set the theater feel and they'll have cup holder/food space -- con is the fiancee doesn't like them because you can't "cuddle" in them because of dividers

3: Get a monster sectional couch and have just that down there -- frees up a lot of space over 3 separate couches - lots of seating (with cuddle option) -- More costly at about like $1800+ for a really nice big one

4: Use my 1/2 nice couches for "prime seating" and get some movie theater seats from an actual theater.... our town's local surplus auction currently has rows of either 5 or 6 theater seats for $25..... so I use 2 couches for the main viewing spots, and behind that have 10/12 theater seats built up on a platform for any others who are over but not good enough for a couch --- its cheap and will provide a lot of seating, but only half will be nice and comfy.

Any help / other suggestions would be great,
Thanks in advance!
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-18-2011, 8:46 AM Reply   
What we did at our summer house was build a bit of a stage for the second couch so it looks over the first. Works great and on a concrete floor it picks up the bass from the sub better then the first couch. This way you can use what you have and make a stage out of wood and cover it.
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Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-18-2011, 8:50 AM Reply   
That looks really nice.
If you remember/ can ballpark - about how far from the screen are the couches and how high is your 2nd level, looks like maybe 8" or so (I assume you don't have any viewing issues
Old     (BCPMike0663)      Join Date: Apr 2010       03-18-2011, 9:06 AM Reply   
I am going to do sactionals in my theatre from love sac.
They are modular furniture so you can make them into any design you want. That way I can have set up of an L shaped couch and then move it into three loungers if I want. Also probably gonna get a love sac. Pretty much a big bean bag that can fit like four people. My room is gonna be gameroom/theatre room so it won't be a complete designated area for theatre. But I will have a projector and surround system in it.

I got the room painted but I am a little ways out on the theatre set up. But I do have this on the way for the room!
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-18-2011, 9:11 AM Reply   
The first couch is about 7' away from the wall. I don't have a projector/screen. We only have a 52" Plasma on the wall.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-18-2011, 9:15 AM Reply   
My roomie from 2 years ago had a HUGE love sac - worst thing in the world because it was too comfy -- if you laid down on it, you WERE taking a nap, you just didn't have a choice.

I like the idea of "endless" seating options, but those guys are priceeeeey
Old     (hogger)      Join Date: Sep 2008       03-21-2011, 8:43 AM Reply   
I got mine off craigslist, but they were originally from Costco. Saw the similar seats there a few months ago. I think they were about $1200 for a set of three. They are pricey, but sweet cause they have an electric motor that reclines, and brings the foot rest out. The leather is easy to clean, and smells nice. I built my rear riser with 2x10's. Even with the front seats sitting normal, and the rears reclined, there isn't any viewing issue.
Actually, two people can "cuddle" nicely in one seat, and be comfortable.

For seating distance, try this Calculator. My front seats are about 10' from the screen, and the rears are at 17'. I prefer the rear seats just because of the limited room size, and with a 106" screen you can get a little screen door effect in the front seats, but not too bad.

Last edited by hogger; 03-21-2011 at 8:49 AM.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-21-2011, 9:02 AM Reply   
What I think I've going to end up doing is I found a nice sectional on craigslist (even if I don't get this one, another will come by) for the front/bottom level of seating,

and then a riser for a normal 3 person couch for the 2nd level --- and then maybe buy some actual movie theater seats from that surplus sale and stash them in a storage closet off the theater room ( for an overload of people)

I think I've going to do a 12" rise - with a step at 6" -- my dad has a ton of 2"x6" at his house so I figured just go with those.

I don't think I'll be able to start/finish the project until ~May (when I graduate) - but I'll try and post pics

Jordan - what kind of projector are you running - as well as the surround sound - it looks 7.1, is that worth it since I could use an audio upgrade anyway

Thanks for the help everyone
Old     (BCPMike0663)      Join Date: Apr 2010       03-21-2011, 9:57 AM Reply   
I am interested in the what kind of projectors people are using as well. I am starting my theater room soon. Also if you got some shots of some screen set up that would be awsome too. Went to mangnolia yesterday and they had a set up I really liked it was only 134K. LOL!!
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-21-2011, 10:29 AM Reply   
I got myself a Optoma HD20 -- its one of the "budget" 1080p projectors.... super nice.

Its compact, great great picture (full 1080p), not to loud, lots of inputs (2 hdmi - component - composite - vga - dvi) ... the only drawbacks are no video interpolation (except to 2x/3x the price) and no lens movement (not a huge issue).

It was like $1100 at bestbuy when I got it (sure has dropped since) but if you know someone/a place that sells projectors (local stores are best), pop in and tell them if they say they sell the same projector less than they actually do to bestbuy (bestbuy prices), the money you save, you'll come back and buy your screen/mount/etc etc.... that is what I did and it worked great.

Got the projector for $799 because of the price match deal I got (just enough to finance' for three years w/ no interest on my BB card)
Then got a 110" screen - ceiling mount - 50 ft hdmi / 50 ft. vga / 50 ft. component cable all for $250 - would have been more, but offered a the local store that helped with the price match $250 cash and they took it.

So on the video side I've got
1080p projector - screen - mount - cables all for ~$1050
Audio I'm going to need an upgrade but I expect to spend like $1000 on that - bestbuy is running a sale with 7.1 receiver - klipsh speakers/sub for like $999

so ~$2000 you've got a full on theater setup, not mangolia, but you'll still love it
Old     (hogger)      Join Date: Sep 2008       03-21-2011, 10:29 AM Reply   
I have an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 720 projector. And an Onkyo HT-S5300 surround system.
The Epson puts out a great picture, although the pictures don't really do it justice. And in Blu-Ray it's even better.
The surround is 7.1, but I don't even have the side speakers hooked up. With a 12'x18' room I don't think I need it(just got a good deal on the system). After doing the initial set-up with the microphone the sound is amazing. I can hear things on the side wall as they go by. The fronts and rears really blend well without the side speakers.
Do some shopping, you can do a nice theater for pretty cheap. My projector and surround are factory refurb's. My Blu-Ray player was a last model 50% off sale. Got all my cables from Monoprice(same cables, without paying for a name). And just did a lot of online homework on theater forums.
This is the second one I've built, and I'm still not done. Planning to build a full cabinet across the floor of the front wall for the A/V equipment, and sub, so they are all enclosed in one unit. And add some more decorations to make it look more like you are in an old hangar.
The screen can be as much or as little as you want. I personally don't see any need for special $10000 positive gain motorized screen, or even a $500 screen. Some screens can actually reduce your image quality. A lot of people are using blackout fabric as screens, there are a bunch of companies and individuals that have come up with special paint mixes for screens.
I did a bunch of research for this screen and ended up using a true neutral grey paint mix, and am very happy with the results for $25, and a lot of wall prep to make it flat.
If you go shopping for a projector, stay away from the multimedia type projectors. Make sure it's for a home theater, otherwise you will have image issues.

Last edited by hogger; 03-21-2011 at 10:32 AM.
Old     (rake)      Join Date: Jun 2003       03-21-2011, 1:17 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by sidekicknicholas View Post
Audio I'm going to need an upgrade but I expect to spend like $1000 on that - bestbuy is running a sale with 7.1 receiver - klipsh speakers/sub for like $999
I'd look at this system before the one at best buy. Great for a box system and it is THX certified. The surrounds are a bit on the large side but it sounds great.

Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-21-2011, 3:09 PM Reply   
^ That does seem like a good deal.



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