The Box and Hammer v2.0

BeesKnees

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Right around 6 years ago I was planning a basement development in the first house that I had bought with my wife. There was not a lot of room (400 or so sq ft) so I had to get creative to make it work. I wanted three things; home theater area, poker area to fit a 42"x84" table, and a wet bar. Now if you build a bar you've gotta give it a name, although I can't quite remember how I had arrived at it, the basement man cave came to be known as The Box and Hammer.

I entertained quite a bit back in those days so the bar and poker table got quite a bit of use. My wife and some family friends had gotten together and had some branded items made (beer glasses and a wooden sign ). For as much time as we spent down there I don't really don't have a lot of pictures but I did manage to find a few that I took during construction and one chip hoard pic from prior to joining PCF ( I was a lurker and eventual member at CT) the hoard has since doubled in size.

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Fast forward to the present, add two kids and a new house.

I'm developing the basement in our new house and I thought I could put this thread together to get some cool ideas for what to do in the newest version of the Box and Hammer. During a conversation with @Lash last night, he reminded me that any self respecting poker host should add a hot dog roller. Anybody else have any ideas?
 

allforcharity

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You mean like a mounted projector with a screen that lowers via remote?
Yes. Grandview Screens is a Chinese company that happens to have their North American head office in Burnaby, close to where I live. I bought my 135" retractable from them several years ago and it's fantastic. Never a problem. Got my electrician to extend a plug up near ceiling height. Or you can hardwire it.

Projectors don't have to be mounted. I have a sunken living room, and I put my projector on the top shelf of a metal and stone baker's rack just behind where the steps are. It shoots directly over all the seated positions in front of it, and is still easily accessible for maintenance. No heat build-up because it's basically exposed on all sides.
 

BeesKnees

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I’ll check them out, I had pretty much written off projectors many years back due to the picture being nowhere near the same quality. I’m sure the tech has advanced greatly since.
 

boltonguy

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Home theater is a big hobby for me. I have a 4K projector, 100” wall mounted screen, and dedicated space with no windows and velvet ceilings/walls. I also have a 7.3.4 audio setup with killer speakers and amps. I watched Rounders last night and my setup is super immersive. Projectors can be great.

Big questions are what your space will be like (I.e. dedicated or multipurpose), amount of ambient light, and what type of content you mostly watch (sports vs movies). If you are going multipurpose with ambient light you can get into a decent 75” tv for much less than a projector and won’t have to deal with ambient light challenges.
 

BeesKnees

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Home theater is a big hobby for me. I have a 4K projector, 100” wall mounted screen, and dedicated space with no windows and velvet ceilings/walls. I also have a 7.3.4 audio setup with killer speakers and amps. I watched Rounders last night and my setup is super immersive. Projectors can be great.

Big questions are what your space will be like (I.e. dedicated or multipurpose), amount of ambient light, and what type of content you mostly watch (sports vs movies). If you are going multipurpose with ambient light you can get into a decent 75” tv for much less than a projector and won’t have to deal with ambient light challenges.
I’ll post a floor plan when I get back to my computer tomorrow.

It will be mostly for watching sports and gaming. The odd time I will move the couches out so I can squeeze another poker table in. There is a window on the wall adjacent to the couch and TV.
 

boltonguy

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With ambient light and a multipurpose space I would skip the projector and go with a flat screen tv. You’ll get a better picture without having to drop lots of $$ on special screen material to address the ambient light. I have a 55” on the wall of my multipurpose area which is big enough to watch sports. If you are remodeling to the studs I would suggest in wall and / or in ceiling speakers. I ran in wall audio, hdmi video and cat 6 network cables when I remodeled the basement and it makes for a clean look.
 

BeesKnees

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With ambient light and a multipurpose space I would skip the projector and go with a flat screen tv. You’ll get a better picture without having to drop lots of $$ on special screen material to address the ambient light. I have a 55” on the wall of my multipurpose area which is big enough to watch sports. If you are remodeling to the studs I would suggest in wall and / or in ceiling speakers. I ran in wall audio, hdmi video and cat 6 network cables when I remodeled the basement and it makes for a clean look.
It’s a new basement development so I’m wide open. I’ll definitely be running all wires through the walls. I have a 7.1 amplifier and I’m open to buying new speakers as I am considering flush mount wall/ceiling speakers.

What would you recommend for speakers?
 

boltonguy

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In my theater, poker room and den (all in remodeled basement), I did in-walls and in-ceiling from HTD.com; I also bought their speaker wire and faceplates with connectors for a tight looking install. IMHO these are quality speakers at a very good price. I had a friend who was remodeling his kitchen/dining room and the contractor was suggesting in-ceiling speakers that were $200+ per pair. I had him listen to my setup and he went with HTD.com at a fraction of the cost and is very happy with them. I also have their Level 3 L/C/R which are great for movies. I had three of their Level 2 10" subs but ended up doing 3 x 15" DIY subs for the theater and moved the other subs to the other rooms. Feel free to ping me with any questions.
 

Irish

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How big is the basement in the new home? I elected to go with a walk up wet bar instead of a walk behind bar, it left more room for the home theater and poker area.

While you have everything open, run cat6 to anywhere you envision a Tv or media center. While most things are wireless, a wired connections helps a lot with games and movie downloads.

And IMHO a projector setup is a huge plus over a TV, it really gives the setup a more authentic movie theater feel. If you go this route, make sure you plan for the proper screen size that the projector can throw and make sure it jives with comfortable viewing size/angles from your seating.
 

boltonguy

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Great advice - I did walk up wet bar as well and ran 2 cat 6 drops to each TV location. While wifi is convenient hard wired gets rid of lag for streaming/gaming.
A projector setup is huge but IMHO needs a dedicated space for 3D sound and light control.
 

allforcharity

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Yes, dedicated room for theatre with no windows (or only single small window easily blocked out) is best, but hardly anybody has this sort of space unless building 100% custom. Most spaces will require planning for multiple uses, sometimes at the same time. I would put the bar as far away from the theatre space as possible, because the lighting you need to run a bar effectively might ruin your theatre experience - unless you forego the projector and get a ginormous flat screen instead.
 

BeesKnees

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Here is the floor plan.

There has been some minor changes framed in but this is close enough. I have yet to plan for a wet bar but I will likely put a small walk up wet bar in the small nook next to the stairs below the poker table. I am also planning on at least 2 wall mounted televisions in the poker area. One on the wall near the bedroom entrance and one opposite on the long wall.

My modem is in the utility room behind the TV so I will be running the CAT cable to the TV used in the home theatre. I am in discussions with HTD for the in wall and ceiling speakers thanks for the recommendation @boltonguy . I think I will likely go with the television as opposed to the projector, either use the TV that I had in my old basement or go with something new.

Keep the ideas coming!

255810
 
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I agree with a tv over a projector; unless you do both and have the screen extend in front of the TV on the wall. I looked into projectors and while I’m a big movie person a TV just deals with ambient light better and I have it in a multi purpose room (plus I prefer lit rooms for TV and game playing)

I did buy an OLED tv though and my god was it worth every penny. Planning to do Atmos in the room next.
 

Irish

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Nice space. After seeing the layout, agreed with the TV decision, given that you only have ~11' wall to wall for the theater (and there's a window right there), you wouldn't get a very big screen size from a projector. Plus the window is right there.
 

boltonguy

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Atmos rocks in a dedicated room! Buttkickers and extra subwoofers are a must as well :)
Totally agree with the TV vs projector for reasons mentioned above.
 

allforcharity

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Nice space. After seeing the layout, agreed with the TV decision, given that you only have ~11' wall to wall for the theater (and there's a window right there), you wouldn't get a very big screen size from a projector. Plus the window is right there.
The window is not a problem. You can have a motorized screen come down in front of it, blocking it out entirely. Something tells me there will be two mounted flat screens around the poker area anyway.
 
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