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Beginning Theater Room Planning

Posted by midwestmama (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 7, 12 at 23:41

We are in the early stages of planning the theater room to be put in our basement when we finish it. The room will have 3 exterior walls so concrete currently, and the 4th wall will back to a storage room. It lays underneath our kitchen and toy room. We plan to add insullation and perhaps other soundproofing materials to the ceiling and likely the back wall, but hoping to get by with normal framing and insulation on those 3 exterior walls. (I have read on here the recommendations on double walls etc...)

I am looking for a product to house all of our DVDs and access them when wanted. My husband was picturing like a jukebox of sorts. I thought more along the lines of being able to download them all to our computer somehow and then retrieving them. We have literally hundreds of DVDS and when the youngest gets anywhere near a DVD it gets scratched in seconds, so being able to store them far away from him would be great.

Does such a system exist? I saw reference in here to Sonos and Squeezebox, but those seem to both be music based instead of video based.

Also, we currently get our tv service through antenna. We live out in the sticks and non-sattelite high speed internet is also not an option. So, for now, we won't need many things connecting the tv, but hopefully they will become available later down the road. How do I leave options for connecting newer types of cables? We've discussed dropped ceilings, framing in a pvc pipe that runs along the walls for fishing wires later, etc... Any advice?

Finally, the room will be a rectangle. I don't have the dimensions around me at this minute, but my husband has always planned on putting the tv or screen at the far end where its concrete walls. Would it make sense to put the tv/screen on the wall that backs to the storage room instead to be able to just mount any equipment and wires behind that wall (won't be finished walls on inside of storage room.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Beginning Theater Room Planning

What you really need to do with all those DVD's is rip them, creating a digital copy that you can stream to your TV. It's a time consuming process and you'll need to remove the digital copyright protection but it's certainly doable. The drawback is that you'll need lots of storage. An average movie DVD movie is 2 GB in size. Given the time investment, you may want to look at some kind of NAS device, like Drobo, that provides redundancy in case of hard drive failure.

I've attached a link to a Maximum PC article on the subject.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maximum PC

RE: Beginning Theater Room Planning

While Mike's suggestion seems like it should be easy to do, as he pointed out, it's not.

DVD's CSS and Blu-Ray's AACS copy protection encryption technology makes this illegal by the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). While many manufacturers have attempted to license secure products for storing the DVD program content, they usually just result in lawsuits.

Not sure what's available right now but Sony used to make a few DVD changers - 300 or 400 disc versions - load them up, they read the disc titles, provide a menu, and it's all available to watch.

As far as which wall - well the "other wall" with access on the backside is somewhere between a godsend and winning the lottery! All future problems of wiring upgrades, connections, and added equipment solved!

RE: Beginning Theater Room Planning


RE: Beginning Theater Room Planning

I would suggest to make use of that storage room by mounting the screen/tv on it, and do your wiring in there. Also, we keep our discs and tapes in that storage room as well.

In the storage room (we call it the com room) we have, most if not all of our home stereo/video equipment in there.
The stereo equipment for the theatre room is behind a glass door, so the equipment is actually in said storage room, with access in the theatre room.

You could also lock the storage room to keep the kids away from the goodies.

I would also drop the ceiling in the room and use insulation and acoustic tiles to keep the sound of the theatre room from migrating upstairs through the floor.

Also, the dimensions of the room is important, do not have multiples of each other; for x, a cube is the worst for giving an even sound without producing peaks and nodes. Considerations of the room is as important as the equipment that goes in to it.


RE: Beginning Theater Room Planning

Try searching "Kalidescape" its pricey but such a cool program

RE: Beginning Theater Room Planning

I used to have a couple of Sony DVD jukeboxes daisy chained together, the setup worked well. I gave those away, now we mostly stream content (via Netflix) or hand-feed DVDs into a single-disc DVD player.

I still a have a couple of Sony 400 CD jukeboxes, but those are mostly just for show since all the music was ripped to NAS and we now access all our music (ripped CDs, iTunes libraries and playlists, Rhapsody and Pandora) throughout the house and the listening areas outside in the yard via Sonos.

So I agree with the others, for access it'd be easiest to keep all the electronics in the framed wall. That puts your TV or projection screen on that same wall. You'd only need to run cable for surround speakers out into the room, and possibly HDMI to the wall opposite the framed wall for a front projector.

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