Building A New Home And A Home Theatre Den

Having done some extension renovations, as well as a serious house hunt, I’m hoping to share my experience with bros who might be going ahead with their own build.
At the same time, I’m hoping the pros can chip in too so everyone can benefit.
The first parts will be related to houses and then the HT bits will come later.

Please feel free to contribute :slight_smile:

Home buying:

Renovations:

Getting fibre:

The cost of renovations has gone up a lot due to Covid, and it’s harder to import stuff from JB, but now that shop in Tampoi will deliver at a cost:

If anyone need a contractor for a home build / renovations, you can google Charis
I’ve got some contacts for sanitary fittings and other home items.
Everyone here can get electronics at very decent prices, but it’s always good to wait for sales.

One fact that not everyone knows, is that you can buy mattresses and other furniture in advance, then the companies will store it for you, sometimes months while you renovate.

Pretty good info

Just some thoughts about the HT part of the house. The initial foundations, things that can only be done at early stages.

  1. Soundproofing - keeping sound in and noise out. It can traffic noise from outside, or reducing the HT sound leaking out to the rest of the house. It is really significantly different with newer homes construction with precast walls and even plastic doors and frames. Likely need to go to greater lengths - building additional drywall structure that is de-coupled from the existing wall.
    Also consider noise transmission via ceiling and floor, may also require additional work to address.
  2. Air conditioning - for most cases, the best we can do may be to install a larger FCU (or two) so that it can be run in the silent mode and still provide sufficient cooling.
    More extensive designs with silenced inlet and return air ducts - talk to the acoustic consultants.
  3. LAN point - for best streaming performance, nothing beats a hard line, for all the latest Wi-Fi speed.
  4. Dedicated electrical line - try to get a new line from the DB that is as separate as possible from the rest of the house. Maybe even more than 1 line, if considering different loads like amps, Subs, TV/projector etc.
  5. Acoustics - this is somewhat related to soundproofing. Managing the sound field in the room helps to reduce the apparent noise levels, and vastly improves the overall sound performance in the room.
  6. Hush box for projector - I have found that the projector in HDR to be the loudest source of noise in my room. Trying to reduce that by any amount is likely no simple feat…
  7. For a serious home theatre setup, consider building a baffle wall setup for the LCR and screen. The baffle wall can also be designed to act like a bass trap. Or the space behind the baffle wall can be used as the back chamber for an Infinite Baffle subwoofer system.

I like to read the Avsforum HT of the month threads. They always provide good inspiration. Especially the HT of the Decade - the Rob Hahn theatre.

Yes. HDR will force the fans to kick in high gear because of the increase in the burning of the arc filament to produce more light output and the byproduct is heat. Need to dissipate those latent heat. The hush box needs to factor in vent ports for heat to get out.

Projector with laser illumination produce less heat…hence run much quieter.

My wish is to have a smaller room or partition behind where the projector will be placed, with just an opening for the lens. That area will be an aircon whenever it is operational. In addition, one can put the electronics there.

:grin:maybe when my children moved out, we will get those older but big hdb flats built that.

On power…you will never have enough power points. Double what you think you need , then add more…powerboards are a bit of a messy thing but that’s normally what one ends up with.

If you doing windows replace the glass that’s normally 6mm with 8mm. If your builder agrees to get it…cuts down on outside sound, and use windows that seal on a so.if bar not that seal on the edge of another window.

More on renovations:

When you visit the place, check these before you sign the check:

  • roof
  • flooring
  • leaks / bathrooms
  • plumbing
  • electricals

You probably need to add fibre
Check the roof and in particular the room meant for HT, that it isn’t a square room! Haha
What are the potential items that will shake or vibrate
It’s best to replace the electricals and make sure the home has enough power
eg a three phase power for a house is a good idea with a good earth point
As previously mentioned, one DB for every floor
A good spot to place the ONT and router

Personally I don’t think we will need Cat 8 in a home - the costs are very high, especially for long runs and most of the time, it’s the website that is the limiting factor rather than the speed of the internet service. The wifi quality will also be a more important issue.

I would also planned the cabling carefully especially in the HT room, add a lot of power points, and have a few runs of the subwoofer cables so you can have flexibility in placing the subs.
I cut into the walls to place the banana plug posts and added HDMI cable runs in the walls to the ceiling so if I do have a projector, it can be added. Make sure you have power points up there too and also for the screens.

Don’t forget to add a timeline for your renovations:
your contractor should have one, but do check it or have your own

  • important install dates eg aircon, landscaping,
    (landscaping isn’t done at the end - you want to move soil and plants whilst your cladding is still on)
  • termite / insect inspections or applying meds
  • ONT and Openet
  • soundproofing and testing for vibrations
  • ordering of custom furniture - eg if you buy fancy Italian stuff, there is a lead time as it’s not ex stock
  • furniture moving date
    (Moving a Large TV and Mounting It)
    Check that your lifts / stairs can allow a large TV to be moved up or how heavy it is
    Eg if you have a piano you want to install on a higher floor, plan ahead before the cupboards and such go in if you need wriggle room

I would suggest a weekly meetup with your contractor / ID during the build so that you don’t get nasty surprises. Get the specifics, eg height of the plugs, where exactly do you want them etc…

I looked up the noise levels specs on the optoma uhz65 laser and jvc Nx7 on HDR high. It seems like the JVC is still slightly quieter (31dB) vs optoma (33dB).

Looked up the noise specs on aircon FCU…starmex says their silent mode is the quietest at ~21dB. While the normal modes typically start at ~30ish dB.

That means that without jumping through inordinate amount of hoops, the room noise floor is limited to 30dB +.

To break that limit would be exponentially more expensive - ducted FCU with separate, silenced, oversized inlet and return air ducting. Otherwise airflow itself generates noise. The supply and return air ducts themselves are huge sources of noise leakage, so wherever the ducted FCU is placed, that room will be noisy and will need additional soundproofing, or otherwise limited in use. If its a common area, anyone in the common area will will listening to the movie, whether they like it or not.

Similarly for the projector hush box. Building a separate projection room is an option, and can house the rest of the noisy electronics. (currently I can hear the HDD reader head tracking and reading when I hit play on the zidoo, before the movie starts playing)

The projection /equipment room can then be the air space for IB subs, and the front baffle wall designed as bass traps. Though some, myself included, prefer to have the primary low and midbass subs firing from the front wall, together with the screen channels.

Good info on a ‘real world’ listening room that is not a dedicated room. He talked about how the PJ is hushed.

The man himself, Floyd Toole.

Some good reference material from Harman research .

The last PDF touching on the taming of the subwoofer is extremely important. I have the standing wave calculator from Harmon that I used to position my MLP. Once you have determined the MLP - ensuring you are not seating at the null position, half the battle is won.

Yeah
If the noise is a big deal, get a large tv :tv:
A basic 82” will run you around $3090
Ron has a really quiet home, 20db IIRC…
I’m closer to 30-35 db

My mancave is about 28db…

That’s very impressive, your aircon and windows are well chosen indeed…

Happened to see this today. Thought it was a good overview on the ‘philosophy’ behind seting up the perfect home theater.

Main talking points

  • extracting the most performance from any given equipment
  • the room is the BOSS and will impose its mark on the sound and picture if not addressed
  • allocate 15-20% of total budget on room acoustics
  • do Less better (great 5.1) vs more poorly (mediocre 7.14)
  • TV vs projector - this can be quite subjective and definitely personal preference. But key points on the nostalgic feel of projection for cinematic feel. Also eye confort of reflected light image vs TV which actively emits light. Also relative size of screen - immersion.
  • last one is my personal view - the center behind screen with an AT projection system takes the immersion and realism to a different level. Also with larger screen sizes, the flat glass surface compromises the room acoustics.

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