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  1. #1
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    Default Basement Reno & Entertainment Center advice.

    After years of delaying, we've finally pulled the trigger and looked at a contractor to get our basement done.

    Basements not that large, and the amount of space the mechanical and electrical takes up is kind of overwhelming once you factor in clearances to the panels, etc.

    We've decided on a simple 1 bedroom, bathroom, entertainment room layout. Now I'm just trying to figure out how I want to build up the entertainment system. I want something decent, and we both listen to a fair amoutn of music, but neither my wife nor I are real audiophiles, so I think I can get away with some budget speakers and be happy enough.

    Thinking about doing a simple 1 piece entertainment system under the TV, to hold my shield, a receiver and anything else I might want tech wise. Planning 4 cat6 runs from the rack to the base of the entertainment system, for any devices needing a hard line.


    Initial layout's looking like this, but curious if anyone has any suggestions, or things they wish they'd really done with their places. Trying not to break the bank, but I'm sure there's central home entertainment tech I've never even heard of.

    Layout:
    Basement-Entertaintment.jpg


    Parts List:
    Amazon Basics 12/2 Speaker Wire (100 ft) $122
    FosPower CL3 rated in-wall Toslink $30

    'A' Marked (2) Monoprice Alpha In-Wall Speakers 8in Carbon Fiber 3-Way $133 - https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34200
    'B' Marked (2) Monoprice Alpha Ceiling Speakers 8in Carbon Fiber 2-way $102 - https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=34198
    (2) Monoprice ABS Back Enclosure for PID 4104 8" Ceiling -
    'C' Marked (1) Monoprice Alpha In-Wall Speaker Center Channel Dual 5.25in Carbon Fiber 2-way - https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=13616
    'S' Marked (1) Monoprice Alpha In-Wall Speaker 10in Carbon Fiber 300W Subwoofer $102 - https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=30487

    Up in the air on TV and receiver, probably impulse buying something around Black Friday since I've got some time.
    Ripped this right off the Monoprice page, but I am thinking centre channel under the TV, in-wall speakers left and right, and subwoofer below and to the right of the TV.
    In-celing speakers since I'm not sure the back speakers will work well in on the edges of the exterior facing the couch - open to dissenting opinions.

    Toslink just seems like a cheap easy way to hook up my PC to the main stereo with minimal effort since I have an optical out port.

    Wall-TV.png
    Last edited by colsankey; 08-24-2020 at 05:03 PM.

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    no comments on the tech stuff but suggestions on the basement build:

    -add insulation to the wall between the server room / bedroom. Being able to hear water run everytime someone flushes while trying to sleep is not pleasant
    -bathroom size is probably lacking in storage. Add all the medicine cabinets you can, mirror with cabinet etc.
    -looks like you're dividing the large living space into 'two spaces'. Look at how you'll be using these and consider moving the usage areas. For example, what if the TV area is rotated to have the TV against the bedroom closet wall (nix the wall cabinets, or move them to the stairs side.)
    -The mechanical room looks like a lot of walking space. Doesn't look like you'll be able to put up any shelving for storage. Consider your long term storage needs and maybe move the server rack to accommodate. (I assume what I'm seeing there is a W/D pair... and the server rack can go under the stairs area?)
    Last edited by jwslam; 08-24-2020 at 05:21 PM.

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    I built a false wall so i have all the receivers and other gear behind the TV in a “hidden” room. I dunno if you can pull it off with your layout cleanly as your mechanical room entrance is there. Anyways, it’s something that I’ll always do again given the chance. Tons of room for gear, zero temperature control issues for electronics, and a nifty space for additional storage in the house, and a small corner for my WFH office. TV on wall, power and HDMI thru the wall to the hidden room. Simple and super clean setup.

    For speakers, wire for Atmos. I had a 7.1 setup originally which I updated to a 5.1.2 setup, was lucky I could pull it off as I had setup high mounted speakers. Affordable receivers can power up to 5.1.4 (9 channel amp) so get it done now while you can. Makes a huge difference in immersion.

    https://www.dolby.com/about/support/...r-setup-guide/

    Left, center, right, 4 on the ceiling, and 2 just behind the couch. You have a wall between bedroom and bathroom that’s perfect for it. Make sure you wire an RCA for subwoofer too as that has to be in the living room.

    Pics of my setup. From living room:

    4F8355FC-942E-44F1-93BD-41FFCE32EA1E.jpg

    Door to the side revealing my cave office:

    4B844F19-60BB-46D1-B7CC-968B6571A898.jpg

    Gear and storage, mess of wires but who cares nobody can see it.

    A7C0D22B-9E55-4D80-8ABF-1B1C07BB58BD.jpg
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
    I have gone above and beyond what I should rightfully have to do to protect my good name

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwslam View Post
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    no comments on the tech stuff but suggestions on the basement build:

    -add insulation to the wall between the server room / bedroom. Being able to hear water run everytime someone flushes while trying to sleep is not pleasant
    -bathroom size is probably lacking in storage. Add all the medicine cabinets you can, mirror with cabinet etc.
    -looks like you're dividing the large living space into 'two spaces'. Look at how you'll be using these and consider moving the usage areas. For example, what if the TV area is rotated to have the TV against the bedroom closet wall (nix the wall cabinets, or move them to the stairs side.)
    -The mechanical room looks like a lot of walking space. Doesn't look like you'll be able to put up any shelving for storage. Consider your long term storage needs and maybe move the server rack to accommodate. (I assume what I'm seeing there is a W/D pair... and the server rack can go under the stairs area?)
    Definitely going to be throwing some insulation in. Server Rack is where it is currently, because that's just empty space right now beside the electical panel. It didnt make the drawing, but there's about 2 feet of panel just beside the W/D set. Since all my Cat6 terminates there already, I hesitate to move it.

    I think with the 1m of clearance from the panel, and 36" (basically the width of the door to make code) from the wall to the furnace there will be some space, but not as much as I'd like.
    There's only a 10" gap between the furnace and the pole at the start of the stairwell, so that definitely limits putting stuff under the stairs and access.

    Not dead set on the TV against the stairway wall, with the couch facing it. It just seemed to "ok" and then my desks near the back of the room, not the first thing the kids run by when they are downstairs, but will think about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
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    I built a false wall so i have all the receivers and other gear behind the TV in a “hidden” room. I dunno if you can pull it off with your layout cleanly as your mechanical room entrance is there. Anyways, it’s something that I’ll always do again given the chance. Tons of room for gear, zero temperature control issues for electronics, and a nifty space for additional storage in the house, and a small corner for my WFH office. TV on wall, power and HDMI thru the wall to the hidden room. Simple and super clean setup.

    For speakers, wire for Atmos. I had a 7.1 setup originally which I updated to a 5.1.2 setup. Affordable receivers can power up to 5.1.4 (9 channel amp) so get it done now while you can. Makes a huge difference in immersion.

    https://www.dolby.com/about/support/...r-setup-guide/

    Left, center, right, 4 on the ceiling, and 2 just behind the couch. You have a wall between bedroom and bathroom that’s perfect for it. Make sure you wire an RCA for subwoofer too as that has to be in the living room.

    Pics of my setup. From living room:

    4F8355FC-942E-44F1-93BD-41FFCE32EA1E.jpg

    Door to the side revealing my cave office:

    4B844F19-60BB-46D1-B7CC-968B6571A898.jpg

    Gear and storage, mess of wires but who cares nobody can see it.

    A7C0D22B-9E55-4D80-8ABF-1B1C07BB58BD.jpg
    I think I'll go ahead with the ATMOS setup, its really only 2 more pairs of speakers more than I had before.

    Loved your false wall, but I think I'm gonna lose too much wall if I pull it out the 2-3 feet I'd need to get in there, and leave clearance for the mechanical. Will try and wrap my head around that puzzle.

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    Do atmos. And consider running extra cables for more channels. It’s cheap.

    Edit

    Why not just keep literally everything in the server rack and just HDMI and speaker cables from there?

    Been working on a setup like that myself and really liking it.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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    Cool project!

    How's the pricing shipping Monopricce speakers to Canada with the new trade deal?

    Adding In-Ceiling speakers has been on my list....

    Shouldn't be too bad now?
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    I could and just get a shelf for the receiver. I think its more because I mentioned in an earlier basmeent post in a techie, but I dont know anything about home stereos besides the very basics.

    How would i control the receiver from the main room, run an IR receiver cable from the receiver to the TV area? What about the Xbox and shield, I think they both have wireless non line of site radios, but its fairly short range. Would it penetrate the 2-3 walls to get to the rack?

    Everything's on the internet, but I'm having trouble finding good home theatre info that gives me a overall look at a good setup, then the detailed resources to build it out.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ipeefreely View Post
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    Cool project!

    How's the pricing shipping Monopricce speakers to Canada with the new trade deal?

    Adding In-Ceiling speakers has been on my list....

    Shouldn't be too bad now?
    havnt actually priced shipping yet. But Amazon carries a bunch of monoprice stuff, so I assumed it would be easy. Maybe put the cart before the horse, but time will tell

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    I use harmony. IR blasters pointed to everything in hidden room, ir blaster to the tv. Be creative with the ir blaster, remember ir bounces in the room so you can hide the blaster almost anywhere and rely on reflections. Options for physical remote $$$ if you don’t like apps, or just use the app and it’s a $99 setup.

    The only issue with remote setup is your rack to tv hdmi. Make sure it’s replaceable. Some of these guys use conduits. Shit keeps changing every few years and high speed 3 years ago doesn’t do all the new features, resolutions, and color space without a new for this year high speed cable.

    Xbox and ps4 range is pretty solid. I have zero issues with it in the far corner behind the wall.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
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    I use a harmony remote to control everything. Put a hub in my server rack which controls cable box, Xbox, and an receiver. Physical remote controls TV. All communicates with RF through walls and even integrates with home automation to control your lights and blackout shades if you go that route.

    I didn’t even need to use the dedicated blasters my hub bounces the signal well around my server closet.
    Last edited by killramos; 08-24-2020 at 07:27 PM.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
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    The only issue with remote setup is your rack to tv hdmi. Make sure it’s replaceable. .
    Extremely important point. I ran 2x HDMI, got the basement finished, and while mounting the TV vfor the first time, snapped the end off BOTH HDMI cables. fun fact, HDMI is not field repairable by anyone, and my setup prevented fishing new cable. I was (and still am) fucking choked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket1k78 View Post
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    Extraslow nailed it
    Quote Originally Posted by Tik-Tok View Post
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    Anyways, think of the Cx5 as the Aspen of cars. Great for middle income families, but terrible overall.

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    For harmony, are you guys using something like this:

    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00N3RFCBE/..._MbhrFb4NCFZDQ

    With an IR repeater like this?

    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N674PE9/..._W9grFb49QWV9F

    I'm assuming in my setup I'd only need the ir receivers to be in a few places visible near the tv to take that signal to the TV, or more importantly back to all the rack devices.

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    Harmony has its own IR blasters so you don’t need the second repeater thing. Notably they use slightly different IR Blasters than standard (2.5mm vs 3.5mm off the top of my head) just something to consider when buying cables.

    That harmony ultimate is good, but I recommend the elite as the buttons are much much more ergonomic. Ultimate is too touch screen focused. I have both remote, elite was a worthwhile upgrade.

    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B014PDFP9S/..._dRhrFbJMWC4A7

    If everything is located in the rack you should really only need to run one IR repeater to your tv and everything else is in the rack.

    Or do what I do, and use the IR in the remote to turn in your TV which is literally the only IR function you should need to use on the tv with a proper AVR.

    5016FEE0-1521-4764-B6A7-163A6F0C8C63.jpg

    Harmony hub is right beside the Xbox in my rack as shown, controls everything just fine with no repeaters. Works in or out of my media closet.
    Last edited by killramos; 08-24-2020 at 08:49 PM.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

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    I used to use the remote IR for the TV but switched to a strategic IR blaster instead. Reason was if someone forgot to turn things off, I could do I from the harmony app on my phone in bed without running 2 stories down.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
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    Only thing I'll add is that depending on how picky the city inspector is, your speaker wire and Toslink wire need to be FT4 and not CMR rated.
    Maybe in Calgary they're more lenient on it, but when I did my basement the Airdrie inspector was not happy to see wire that only had CMR ratings on it and not FT4.

    Good source that I found for bulk cable is Infinite Cables, prices were better than Primecables and you could get custom lengths.

    Also I put Cat6 everywhere I thought one might even consider wanting ethernet jacks-noticed there isn't one in the bedroom.
    Last edited by cyra1ax; 08-25-2020 at 08:22 AM.

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    Yes, Cat6 in every room, and 2x Cat6 in any room that will have a computer or home theater. If you have a main floor office too, fish up a couple cat6 at the same time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket1k78 View Post
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    Extraslow nailed it
    Quote Originally Posted by Tik-Tok View Post
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    Anyways, think of the Cx5 as the Aspen of cars. Great for middle income families, but terrible overall.

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    If you wanted a hidden room you could flip the layout. Put a wall 3' from the window. The window would now be in the hidden room but you'd be able to hide all your gear.

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    I'd change the layout slightly.

    - The bathroom is really small. I'd make it 6"-8" longer and shrink the bedroom.
    - Bedroom door should shift tight into the hinge corner, wherever it goes.
    - The TV wall you have is far too small. I'd flip the TV to the bathroom wall and shift the doors to the bathroom and mechanical room.
    - This allows you to put your couch in a much better orientation.
    - Don't have the shitter facing the sink. Unless you want to wash your hands while you dump?

    Capture.JPG

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyra1ax View Post
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    Only thing I'll add is that depending on how picky the city inspector is, your speaker wire and Toslink wire need to be FT4 and not CMR rated.
    Maybe in Calgary they're more lenient on it, but when I did my basement the Airdrie inspector was not happy to see wire that only had CMR ratings on it and not FT4.

    Good source that I found for bulk cable is Infinite Cables, prices were better than Primecables and you could get custom lengths.

    Also I put Cat6 everywhere I thought one might even consider wanting ethernet jacks-noticed there isn't one in the bedroom.
    Any idea where would I find more info on the required codes? I see some general City of Calgary on light switches, GFI, etc but nothing for low voltage

    The TOSLINK is CL3 rated for in-wall use, the speaker wire I'm seeing is all CL2 for in-wall use. I cant seem to see anything that shows an FT rating on other than on infinitecables.com is that maybe a US code vs Canadian marking?
    Last edited by colsankey; 08-25-2020 at 01:05 PM.

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    Don't have the shitter facing the toilet.
    wait; how many toilets is a beyond baller supposed to keep in their basement?

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