Media Room Screen Size ??(Newbie) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-09-2012, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I thought setting up a media room would be easy, but the more I read on the forums, the more confused I get.

The situation: New home build, has a 15'1 x 19'8 media room with a 3 x 9 bar area tacked onto the end. No windows, getting prewired for 7.1 surround (front wall, side wall, rear 2 in ceiling for the rear).

I can either put the biggest TV I can find in there, or a projector. The model home has a 60 inch diagonal screen on a projector set up in the room.

I am being charged $500 for the projector wiring (power, 2 HDMI, 1 Cat 5) to put in the ceiling.

I was initially resistant to having a projector, as I don't like the dim picture, but the room has no windows, and I have sconces on dimmers. So my wife wanted us to consider it. Plus a projector plus screen for my budget would be less than 2 k. We have a samsung 61 inch DLP going into living room for daily use. The builder said that a lot of people are NOT putting in projectors, and using the room for "mancaves" with pool tables and huge TVs. (i'd love an Air Hockey table in there!).

My question is, how can I figure out the biggest screen I can put in there? I will need to reserve at least 1 foot on either side for front speakers. That gives me a screen width of maximum 13 feet, but I know that the screens are not perfect rectangles, and the sloped ceiling starts at the 94 inch high mark and then slopes to a 9 foot ceiling (108 inches). I tried to use simple ratios for a 16:9 screen, and my math is not working out, even with using http://myhometheater.homestead.com/v...alculator.html It's putting my seating at the 25 foot mark (outside the room). I'll probably need to put the seating starting at the 8 to 10 foot mark and going back to 15 feet.

I understand that projector to wall distance means a lot, but I am not sure if I have control over where they put the projector wiring in the ceiling.

I will not be putting in risers, all seating will be the same level (most likely a sofa and 2 arm chairs like the attachment). I don't know how far back I can push the seating without giving up valuable floor space. I am going to assume that the top of the screen will be at the 94 inch high mark.

Please see the attached PDF files from homestyler where I have tried to play with it.

Do I go with the projector or just put in a 80 inch TV?

thanks in advance!!

Sunil

 

Media Room Dimensions.pdf 260.2470703125k . file

 

Media Room w TV.pdf 358.16796875k . file

 

Media Room Pic.pdf 72.35546875k . file

 

Media Room TV Pic.pdf 133.4052734375k . file
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Media Room TV Pic.pdf (133.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: pdf Media Room Pic.pdf (72.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: pdf Media Room w TV.pdf (358.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: pdf Media Room Dimensions.pdf (260.2 KB, 5 views)
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-09-2012, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sksahai View Post

No windows, getting prewired for 7.1 surround (front wall, side wall, rear 2 in ceiling for the rear).

Builders do a generally awful job of picking speaker locations - read around here, and work with your project manager to get them placed correctly.

Quote:


I am being charged $500 for the projector wiring (power, 2 HDMI, 1 Cat 5) to put in the ceiling.

Trade one of the HDMI cables for 1-2 more Cat5e cables. Should be cheaper, too, as you're paying for a long HDMI cable. I assume they're running the cables back to the bar area?

Quote:


I was initially resistant to having a projector, as I don't like the dim picture, but the room has no windows, and I have sconces on dimmers.

Projector doesn't have to be "dim", but it is a different look than a direct view set. Light control is important - those sconces in the picture look way too close to the screen. For a PJ setup you'll want some other light source in the room as those sconces will probably need to be close to off to not throw light on the screen.

Quote:


The builder said that a lot of people are NOT putting in projectors, and using the room for "mancaves" with pool tables and huge TVs. (i'd love an Air Hockey table in there!).

You'll have to decide what you want the room to be. Do you have another "game room" outside the theater room, or is this the only non-family-room space? How will you use the space? Movies, parties, sports, etc.?

Nothing wrong with a big flat panel and a bar/pool table/etc.

Quote:


My question is, how can I figure out the biggest screen I can put in there? ... I'll probably need to put the seating starting at the 8 to 10 foot mark and going back to 15 feet.

Figure your seating out, and then work the screen size from there. A (simplified) rule of thumb is to put the seating at around 2.5x the screen height.

Quote:


I understand that projector to wall distance means a lot, but I am not sure if I have control over where they put the projector wiring in the ceiling.

You should - again talk to your project manager when that time comes.

Quote:


I will not be putting in risers, all seating will be the same level (most likely a sofa and 2 arm chairs like the attachment).

Without a riser a 2nd row is problematic. Either special "high" chairs or a bar table would be options.

Quote:


Do I go with the projector or just put in a 80 inch TV?

You'll have to decide the purpose of the room. If it's a dedicated theater, no question you go with the PJ. For a multipurpose room, a big flat panel may be a better choice...

Jeff

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post #3 of 12 Old 02-09-2012, 11:04 AM
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I will need to reserve at least 1 foot on either side for front speakers.

Not if you use an acoustically transparent screen. But I would say that a screen width of 13 feet is REALLY big for 10-12' back, unless you like sitting in the first row at the theater.

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-09-2012, 12:58 PM
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I would definitely go with the projector instead of the TV. I was in your same situation and I waited a year before making my decision and I'm super glad I went with the projector. I don't have time to give you all the details on screen size and everything right now because I'm going to a meeting, but I'll post everything I know when I get back in an hour or so.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-09-2012, 02:20 PM
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Projector obviously takes more planning and makes your room pretty purpose built. You'll need more equipment like the speakers, avr, anything else you wish to add.

I think your perception of dim projectors is a bit outdated. While they require different lighting the can be very very bright with great colors. Projector technology has come a long way from years ago.

As said though you have to make the decision of whether a tv man cave or a serious home theater is more useful to you. You have to ask yourself which you'd enjoy more.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-09-2012, 02:57 PM
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Ok so I'm back. When you take a 2nd row or bar into account your screen size will affect how much height difference you need between rows, but from what I read it doesn't sound like that is in your plans so that will give you more flexibility with your screen size. If you do decide you want to put some people in banana chairs or some other seating situation where someone is sitting in front of another you'll want to use the calculator here
http://www.theater-calc.com/

Even if you don't have rowed seating there are still some limiting factors for how big you want to make your screen. First thing is if you want to be able to retract your screen or have a fixed screen on the wall. If you have little kids retractable can be nice to get the screen out of their reach, of course there are other ways to keep the kids away such as locked doors.

The other thing with a retractable screen is some people will put a tv in their room for sports viewing, regular tv watching then they will pull down their screen for movie watching. I just use my projector for everything, but to each their own. You might want to check out this thread for ideas of what things could look like.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=show
Personally I went with a fixed screen aka its always on the wall.

The other things you want to think about are the projector you are using and whether it will be bright enough to fill the size of the screen you are using. Personally I think you should go with the biggest screen that looks good in your living arrangement. What I did is I found the projector I thought fit my needs in my price range then bought it. I spent hours watching it on my wall with my wife fiddling with different sizes until we found what we thought would look good. Generally you don't want to be right up against a ceiling, floor or wall because it is visually distracting. We had a white wall so I knew the picture would get better once I had a screen, but it gave me a somewhat realistic view of what size I could get away with. Basically everyone has their own preferences so find a size that gives you an image you will be happy with. Also remember the bulb gets dimmer over time so make sure you will still like the brightness later on.

As far as a dim picture mine is in a living room and we use blackout curtains during the day. Our picture looks just as bright as a tv so don't worry about that. As long as you pick a projector that is bright enough it will look great.

If you want to do a little testing before you buy your projector I used blue painters tape and measurements from here
http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ulator-pro.cfm
just pick the projector you are considering from the list and pick that you want a 16x9 screen or a 2.35 depending on which type you want then make adjustments to the diagonal size to get your height and width measurements. Also make sure that the image will be bright enough for the size and throw distance (distance from the projector to the wall) you will be using by messing with the other adjustments on that page. If any of this doesn't make sense just ask and I'll do all I can to help.

I'm really glad I went for a projector instead of a TV. After a year of debate I just had my superbowl party with 10 people and it rocked. I will say this though, once you get a really big screen you will probably want to have parties so strongly consider seating before you make up your mind. I know at first I thought a sofa and some chairs would be fine, but once I got my projector I just couldn't stand not having more seating.

Last make sure that you remember you will probably go over budget so make sure you are conservative with your estimates. My budget was 6k and I ended up spending 10k by the time I bought 2 new sofas, painted the room, electrical, drapes, risers, surround sound and my equipment. If I would have just stuck with equipment it would have only been 3k, but the electrical and couches killed me. Good luck.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-09-2012, 03:14 PM
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+1 on the projector. And make sure to tell them where you want them to place the electrical and terminate the cables.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-10-2012, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Jeff, Tom, Zergman, Khankewycz, Javatime:

Thanks so much for your insights.
A couple of clarifications, and things I have been debating. Our home won't be ready until October 2012. No windows, just a room as shown. I will have to paint the walls darker (standard white) and add the equipment myself.

The builder has a AV company to do the wiring/speaker placement. The contractor is pretty knowledgable, as I have quized him extensively based on info I have found on this forum. I am not going with him for the equipment (sonance speakers) as I need to wait a while because we went way over budget on the home. I'll add the equipment over the course of the year. We have blown through the budget so fast, that I am going with monoprice speakers in the places I have ceiling speakers in the rest of the house and wil change out over time. I have yet to decide on in wall or attcahed to wall for the 5.1, the 2 for the 7.1 will be in the celing.


The sconces will be on the wall, exact placement yet to be decided. I have the original release Star Wars posters from the theaters framed, and will hang them between the sconces (need 100 inches)(My wife wants to match the other side with Bridget Jones Diary posters ). I am wiring the front two together and the back two together, then put them on dimmers, so I can shut off the fronts, and dim down the backs. Bar has own lighting on dimmer also.

As for the screen size, my issue was to buy a 70/80 inch TV vs projector + screen. We already have the current 61 inch in the "den/living room" where the Wii and daily watching will be. Neither my wife and I like being overwhelmed by the screen, but then again, if you got the wall!

I am actually going to wire all the equipment to the front wall on a dedicated 20 amp circuit, and put in a low entertainment ctr, I will have the ethernet ports coming out there and have my home server housed there, along with the AV receiver and Blu Ray. We thought of the bar, but the remote control question and extra wiring issue came up. I feel that wiring everything to the front will give me the flexibility I need. (I got squeezeboxs x 4, plus 2 WDTV Lives, WHS Home server, using Win 7 as a DVR, etc.) It will be Cat5e throughout the home. I can house most of the "distribution equipment" in a low media ctr along the front wall where it is easy to to get to, plus out of sight to a certain extent.


Will most likely go with a fixed screen, the kids are old enough to avoid the "Houston, Wii have a problem" with flying wiimotes. May decide to put 3 Lord of the Rings Posters there and have the screen drop down to annoy my wife

Zergman, thanks so much for those helpful suggestions about getting the projector first. I was thinking of the epson 8000 series, but have yet to do any real research (actual purchase will be Xmas 2012).

Risers are not an option, may need some combo of sectional and arm chairs, furniture will be added later.

Again, Thanks so much for everyone's opinions and insights!
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-10-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sksahai View Post

I need to wait a while because we went way over budget on the home.

I've never heard of anyone going over budget on a new home build...

Quote:


We have blown through the budget so fast, that I am going with monoprice speakers in the places I have ceiling speakers in the rest of the house and wil change out over time. I have yet to decide on in wall or attcahed to wall for the 5.1, the 2 for the 7.1 will be in the celing.

In that case, make sure you choose "small" speakers (6.5" ceiling speakers instead of 8", for example) for any in-wall/ceiling units in any area you would reasonably expect to upgrade. Reason is that it allows you to upgrade to a wider selection of speakers. You can very easily make the holes larger for replacement speakers. Making them smaller is a LOT more work.

Quote:


The sconces will be on the wall, exact placement yet to be decided. ... I am wiring the front two together and the back two together, then put them on dimmers, so I can shut off the fronts, and dim down the backs.

Good to have them on separate dimmers. I'd still recommend some other source of light for the room (can lights typically).

Quote:


We thought of the bar, but the remote control question and extra wiring issue came up.

Wiring is really about the same (longer speaker cables, shorter HDMI, etc.), really. Remote control is easily solved with repeaters, RF, or WiFi. But either place will work.

Quote:


I can house most of the "distribution equipment" in a low media ctr along the front wall where it is easy to to get to, plus out of sight to a certain extent.

If you're putting all the sources for A/V distribution here, you will need a significant amount of wiring back to your structured wiring center/panel. Start planning this now and think about how much equipment you can co-locate with the structured wiring panel (wherever it is).

Quote:


I was thinking of the epson 8000 series, but have yet to do any real research (actual purchase will be Xmas 2012).

Don't worry too much about the projector now - all the models will be replaced by Xmas with "better" ones... And yes, absolutely the right plan to get the projector only when you're ready to hang it, and then try out the screen sizes on a wall before deciding on the final screen size.

I used a roll of photographer's backdrop paper (which acts very much like the screen material) to hang on the wall and try out the screen sizes - since the walls were already painted the dark color for the theater. Which brings up a point - if you pick your colors now, you can probably have the builder paint it instead of white for ~$200 or so.

Jeff

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post #10 of 12 Old 02-10-2012, 10:49 AM
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Sounds like you (and your wife) have already made a decision. You have a room with no windows. So you really have a great room to do a home theater with no ambient light to worry about.

Nothing wrong with monoprice speakers. If that's what's in your budget and they do the job you're looking for then no shame in that. If you find they make you happy then don't replace them and keep them forever. On the controller as said above go RF, or wifi and problem solved. Also you can control your lights with the right universal remote and switches if desired. My remote is RF, and pretty cheap considering what some run but even it can control lighting with Z wave switches.

With all the wiring you're already having done you might as well put the AV equipment where you really want it. If it will be more out of the way at the bar, built into the side, or in a closet. I'm not sure there's enough of a difference not to do it right the first time.

If you're going to setup the Wii for use on your projector setup make sure your AVR upconverts non HDMI signals to 1080p(most mid range avr's do), or get some kind of upconverter for it. 480 resolution will be very pixelated on a large projector screen.
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-11-2012, 07:19 AM
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You might consider asking the builder to run 2 inch PVC electrical conduit from your equipment area to the projector area. This way you can pull whatever wires you need and you have "future proof" protection for changing technology.
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-13-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottJ0007 View Post

You might consider asking the builder to run 2 inch PVC electrical conduit from your equipment area to the projector area. This way you can pull whatever wires you need and you have "future proof" protection for changing technology.

I agree w/this. Also if you are going to change surround sound later in life I would go with mounting the speakers. I'll try to get some pictures posted because I just finished my living room theater build and am just trying to decide if I want to add risers or not. I had the electrician put audio plates in my walls then mounted the speakers over the top so the speakers can easily be removed and replaced if need be. I am very happy with the results.
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