Please review my plan for new home theater room! High Power screen & sony projector for 9.2 sound system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-12-2013, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello to all members,

This is my first post! Even though, I have been browsing the forum for about a year to learn as much as I can. I am in process of upgrading my basement and I am planning to purchase projector, screen and audio receiver within few months.

At the current time, I need some advices as this entire setup is driving me crazy! I am sure i am not the only one around here and i always learn from all members for other posts.

Here is my room (see attachment)

• I finished painting the back wall flat black and side wall flat dark grays. I do have a drop ceiling with workable height of 7’2”. The ceiling will have “Cinetile” and I am installing soon some R19 (one face covered insulation) between joists before installing the ceiling tiles. The rest of the wall have traditional insulation with sheet rocks. Room Acoustic treatments will be likely be done once the electronic is installed. For the floor, I am planning to go with some carpet tiles and rug I have depending on the budget.

• I have only 3 home theater seats right now and I am planning to expand a little later with a second row riser and additional chairs once the screen and the project are setup correctly with all speakers.

• I need to have all my electronic gear under the screen and as the drawing is showing, there won’t be much space (22" ) but I am planning to build a simple cabinet to fit everything with the center channel at the right height.

• Ideally, with the height of this ceiling (7’2”), I was planning to place the projector at 64” from ground with a throw around 16-17 ft so it can be placed behind the seats. With a 120” Diagonal screen the bottom of the screen (frame not viewing area) will be at 22” from the ground. The top of the screen will be almost flushed to ceiling. Not perfect but I think I would be happier with a 120” screen vs. 110”.

Gears:

• Projector: Planning to get a Sony project (either HW50es or newly announced HW55es). I’ll wait until the new one get presented and see how it fits the overall price / performance ratio.

• Screen: I would like to get a High Power 2.4 120” (Cinema Contour most likely) from Da-Lite. Lately there have been mixed reviews with these screens but I do think it will be better than a Carada BW which I was previously considering.

• Audio receiver: planning on Denon AVR 4520 to power everything.

Other electronic: computer to link to new Denon & Dish Network receiver & perhaps a blue ray player
* Current speakers:

• 4 towers paradigm reference 60 V2
• 2 servo 15 paradigm
• 2 center channel paradigm
• 4 dipole surround paradigm

Questions:

• Would high power screen work ok with this setup ? With some calculators, it seems to work just fine.

• For projector placement, here are a couple of options I was thinking:

Option a) with projector mounted on ceiling at

o First row seat will be around 10’5” from screen
o Second row will be like at 15’
o Projector located slightly over 17’

All of this will be revisited as the second row will be installed as a second step so i can tweak everything.

With the FLBOY calculator, I am still having a gain of 1.84.

Option b) with projector on shelf (customer made on riser) and only a couple chairs on left and right of the projector. This option would allow to position projector to be closer to eye level.

• Does anyone have recommendation for the placement of all speakers for this room configuration? I am looking for a 9.2 setup.

THEATER(1).pdf 5k .pdf file

Again, thanks in advance to all members for the kind reviews.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf THEATER(1).pdf (5.1 KB, 21 views)
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-12-2013, 07:47 PM
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It looks like a fun project, and with some nice equipment too!
A few comments though:
1) Your projector at 16' to 17' feet from the screen might be too far away. More typical (and for lower lamp levels) 12' might be better.
2) The ceiling is low at 7'-2", and your space below to the floor is less than 2 feet. You might consider the 110" screen as being better sized for this room and ceiling height - allowing your center speaker to be mounted a bit higher (might be too close to the floor, especially for that second row of seats).
3) first and second row seats are planned a bit too far apart from each other.
4) Speaker placement for your center & front speakers are obvious, but for the sides, rears & surrounds make sure they're mounted up high enough and pointed down toward the listener. As I've seen too many set ups where the builder has used typical (high-back) home theater seating, and has all their surrounds firing into the backs of the seats, and you can't hear them!
5) Overall plan at 15' x 25' (main part) is good, but you'll be fighting that low ceiling...you say its a 'drop ceiling', so what's above it? Maybe there's some way to remove the drop ceiling, paint & expose the structure (black), and take advantage of some extra height - and all the resulting 'ins & outs' that would also then benefit your room acoustics.

Looks like a fun project though - good luck! smile.gif

The Insane Pink Care Bear's Home Theater Set Up:

Marantz AV 8801 Processor, Emotiva XPR-5 Amplifier, Panasonic 65" ST30 Plasma, Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray, Yamaha CDC-697 CD Player, Yamaha TT-500U Turntable, w/Signet TK5e, JBL ES100 Fronts, JBL LC2 Center, JBL ES30 Surrounds & 2 JBL ES250P Subwoofers
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 05:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback smile.gif Even though the room is a descent size, it is amazing all details needed to setup a projector once you are almost fixed on components. Let me provide some additional thoughts based on your comments...

1) Your projector at 16' to 17' feet from the screen might be too far away. More typical (and for lower lamp levels) 12' might be better.

The sony HW50es projector with a 120" screen calculator shows 14'7 to 19' from what i recall. I do agree that i would prefer to keep it closer and i will certainly adjust once i get the projector (september - october). With the mounting height, this is one piece of the puzzle i won't be able to figure out until i try. mostly since I want to get a high power screen and lense must be as close as high level to get the most benefits. Trials and errors will tell what my eyes can see.


2) The ceiling is low at 7'-2", and your space below to the floor is less than 2 feet. You might consider the 110" screen as being better sized for this room and ceiling height - allowing your center speaker to be mounted a bit higher (might be too close to the floor, especially for that second row of seats).


You might be right on the one and i am going to upgrade the drawing for the wall to see different setup. I saw some setup in this forum where folks had a similar screen on a 7' ceiling. Yet no many but still possible. If the new sony projector HW55es has a motorized lenses, I might also check the cincemascope screen to full some of the wall. wink.gif More research and on my part for this one!

4) Speaker placement for your center & front speakers are obvious, but for the sides, rears & surrounds make sure they're mounted up high enough and pointed down toward the listener. As I've seen too many set ups where the builder has used typical (high-back) home theater seating, and has all their surrounds firing into the backs of the seats, and you can't hear them!

I currently have my system with a 65' DLP as followed: Front / Center / Right (obvious). Then i though the Dipole speakers mounted with flush brackets on the wall above 2 ft from seating levels. The first two surrounds (surround sides) are about one foot behind the seats. The second pair of dipole speakers (surround back) are also above seating leaving about 3 ft behind the seats. Finally, I have placed the other two towers i have 2 ft behind the surround back and close to the wall with an orientation towards back seats. Overall, the sound for music is great but i do think i am lacking some true imaging for the surround. Sometimes too many is not better... At the same time, I am using an old receiver Denon 4802 and i did not work much on the room acoustic. I am hoping that adding curtains, carpets, bass traps on corners and wall panels will help some.I was thinking moving the two towers as side speakers and place the side surround dipole speakers further back on the wall.

Finally, for the ceiling, there is no way i can go higher. There are main vents for the house blocking a good portion of the side ceiling on the right. I wish i had a little more to work with but this is part of fun isn't it wink.gif

Thanks again for taking the time to give me your advices...
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 08:26 AM
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No problem, you've got a fun project started here!
The slightly smaller screen and slightly closer projector would also allow for a sharper picture with better color saturation. The Sony is a nice projector, but the further back you get, and the larger the screen, the less contrast, and a more 'washed-out' look results, Your room allows room to experiment with that though which is good.
A closer projector might also let you run its lamp on a lower setting thereby preserving lamp life, and reducing fan noise...
But it sounds like you're got a good start and some decent direction to move forward.

The Insane Pink Care Bear's Home Theater Set Up:

Marantz AV 8801 Processor, Emotiva XPR-5 Amplifier, Panasonic 65" ST30 Plasma, Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray, Yamaha CDC-697 CD Player, Yamaha TT-500U Turntable, w/Signet TK5e, JBL ES100 Fronts, JBL LC2 Center, JBL ES30 Surrounds & 2 JBL ES250P Subwoofers
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Norseman View Post

3) first and second row seats are planned a bit too far apart from each other.

If he's planning on theater recliners for the eventual second row, the 4.5' is at least 18" too close. 6' to 6.5' between recliner rows is a safe distance. Mine is too narrow at 5.5', but it works. Any closer and it would be a real issue and simply won't work.

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #6 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ylestrat View Post

• I need to have all my electronic gear under the screen and as the drawing is showing, there won’t be much space (22" ) but I am planning to build a simple cabinet to fit everything with the center channel at the right height.

22" is not much height from the floor for your center speaker. You're going to have a difficult time with being able to get good sound in your second row as the speakers are going to be blocked by the front row seating.
Quote:
• Ideally, with the height of this ceiling (7’2”), I was planning to place the projector at 64” from ground with a throw around 16-17 ft so it can be placed behind the seats. With a 120” Diagonal screen the bottom of the screen (frame not viewing area) will be at 22” from the ground. The top of the screen will be almost flushed to ceiling. Not perfect but I think I would be happier with a 120” screen vs. 110”.

Squeezing in a larger screen may make so many other compromises you may not be happy with the results. My seating distances are very close to yours, and my 108" screen is plenty big, especially from the front row. I was concerned it was going to be too big. You can test this, however, by throwing up a white sheet or some photographer's backdrop paper to test some sizes before purchasing the screen.
Quote:
• Screen: I would like to get a High Power 2.4 120” (Cinema Contour most likely) from Da-Lite. Lately there have been mixed reviews with these screens but I do think it will be better than a Carada BW which I was previously considering.

Why? You should have plenty of brightness, why go with a high-gain screen that can have negative effects when you won't need the benefits it provides?


Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #7 of 10 Old 07-14-2013, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Jeff,

Thanks for the feedback, it's greatly appreciated! I just finished reading your home theater thread and i have just one word: WOA!! eek.gif You have a terrific system and house in Houston.

While reading your thread, I have at least not made many mistakes yet since i have not purchased anything and I am still working the room itself. Everything has been painted, I have almost finished installing the drop ceiling cinetiles (they look great going from Amstrong white tiles). I am ordering some Royal Black velvet fabric to cover the back window and the side door as well. My wife is planning on making the curtains to black a greater portion of the back wall. Finally, I am planning to install some carpet tiles (over the fake hardwood floor I have) for a limited space to increase contrast.

as my budget is certainly limited, I will follow your wisdom and do the following:

1) First purchase the projector. I was planning on a Sony but who knows what is going to be released this year. I really want to keep the price down to less than 4k. At the same time, I will most likely buy the AVR since my current gear does not have HDMI connections.

by the way, i envision that the family will be watching mainly: 40% sports (that's me biggrin.gif), 40% movies with 3D contents for the kids and 20% for some occasional gaming for the family (even though this is certainly not the main priority).

2) Next, I will experiment with either a white drape or purchased a paper roll like you mention in your thread. It should help deciding on the overall screen dimension. At that time, I will be able to adjust the chairs distance to our liking. It'll be much easier to troubleshoot this way.

3) The screen research is certainly the most difficult aspect for me. Reading the AVS forum, many members praised the High Power screen for the image POP feel that creates an image like a plasma screen (Zombie10k and many others). I admit that a Carada BW1.4 is also considered and now I am even more confused. High Power screen need to have projector lense at eye level while a carada screen would allow me to mount the project closer to the ceiling (big advantage for my low ceiling height).

4) Screen size: I think the consensus will be something like 110" or 108" depending on the manufacturer I select once I do try out on the wall with the new gear. I agree it is likely that i am trying to squeeze too much for what I have and regardless, it should be an enjoyable experience. Many threads mentioned that some regrets they did not purchase a bigger screen so i am trying to estimate the largest screen i can fit.

I am going to contact some manufacturer and request some samples so i can try them. Perhaps it can help making a final decision.

Do you have any suggestions on other screens choices? Carada get great reviews for its smoothness.

5) for the riser and additional chair on the second row, it is not an immediate as this setup is mainly for my family and i can also get cozy chair for my young kids until i figure out how to fit the rest. The distance i selected were based on my current chairs and allow a tight clearance after full seat deployment. I will certainly keep your advices in mind once i reach this step.

Going from a TV to a projector is certainly more complicated that I thought but it is fun to learn more....

Thanks again for taking the time to review this thread and helping on my HT Journey smile.gif

Yannick
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-14-2013, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

If he's planning on theater recliners for the eventual second row, the 4.5' is at least 18" too close. 6' to 6.5' between recliner rows is a safe distance. Mine is too narrow at 5.5', but it works. Any closer and it would be a real issue and simply won't work.

Good point on if using recliners - jautor's right, you will need the extra space if that's the case.

As to screen choices, see Home Theater Magazine's "Top Picks" for some excellent reviews and suggestions:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/top-picks-projection-screens

And for projectors $4,000 and under see this:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/top-picks-projectors

The Insane Pink Care Bear's Home Theater Set Up:

Marantz AV 8801 Processor, Emotiva XPR-5 Amplifier, Panasonic 65" ST30 Plasma, Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray, Yamaha CDC-697 CD Player, Yamaha TT-500U Turntable, w/Signet TK5e, JBL ES100 Fronts, JBL LC2 Center, JBL ES30 Surrounds & 2 JBL ES250P Subwoofers
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-14-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ylestrat View Post

Thanks for the feedback, it's greatly appreciated! I just finished reading your home theater thread and i have just one word: WOA!! eek.gif You have a terrific system and house in Houston.

Thanks!
Quote:
While reading your thread, I have at least not made many mistakes yet since i have not purchased anything and I am still working the room itself.

Oh, give it time... biggrin.gif
Quote:
1) First purchase the projector. I was planning on a Sony but who knows what is going to be released this year. I really want to keep the price down to less than 4k. At the same time, I will most likely buy the AVR since my current gear does not have HDMI connections.

I cringed at the "first purchase the projector", but I think you've got it right. Don't purchase the projector until you're ready to hang it. Meaning, if there's a bunch of room stuff to build and so forth - which for most of us stretches into six months (or Logan-years) - you don't want the projector sitting there eating its warranty and becoming obsolete... eek.gif The only thing that should be purchased after the projector and screen is the popcorn.

But it sounds like you're pretty close to having everything ready for it to go up, so you're fine... AVRs will change models often, and they've had huge leaps in functionality - you're safe buying one whenever a good price presents itself.
Quote:
by the way, i envision that the family will be watching mainly: 40% sports (that's me biggrin.gif), 40% movies with 3D contents for the kids and 20% for some occasional gaming for the family (even though this is certainly not the main priority).

Watch your ambient light levels and light sources for sports watching if you plan on using the setup often. I don't use my theater for casual TV/sports watching for a number of reasons, but one of them is the low light conditions make it impossible for me to read the newspaper while watching the game in there.
Quote:
3) The screen research is certainly the most difficult aspect for me. Reading the AVS forum, many members praised the High Power screen for the image POP feel that creates an image like a plasma screen (Zombie10k and many others). I admit that a Carada BW1.4 is also considered and now I am even more confused. High Power screen need to have projector lense at eye level while a carada screen would allow me to mount the project closer to the ceiling (big advantage for my low ceiling height).

This will again depend on your usage - if you intend to use the room for casual / frequent sports-watching, you'll probably want a higher ambient light level than for movie viewing, IMO.
Quote:
Do you have any suggestions on other screens choices? Carada get great reviews for its smoothness.

I'm very happy with mine. Give them a call and talk to them.
Quote:
Going from a TV to a projector is certainly more complicated that I thought but it is fun to learn more....

It is, but there's more than enough information around the forum here to get you the answers you need - keep doing the research and don't rush. You didn't mention your timeframe ("this year"?), but note that new projector models likely get announced at CEDIA in late September, with holiday-season availability.


Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #10 of 10 Old 07-14-2013, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Mad Norseman,

- I did check the Top screen picks and for the price point i am looking for (max of $1500), only two contenders remain in this price bracket: Da Lite High Power 2.4 and for slightly less the Carada BW 1.4. Other screens are beyond what I can afford.

- for the projector, waiting for CEDIA is the best i can do right now...new stuffs are closed to be announced. I am certain this forum will do thorough reviews of the new gears.


Jeff,

- The timeline for installing the entire system is within 5 months. The idea for the HT came along with next year world cup of soccer. I watch soccer almost everyday and I wanted to enjoy some games on the big screen. I do not watch TV but the family (and me occasionally) enjoy watching movies so i wanted to make everyone happy. I do not care much if there is ambient light while watching as it usually only me and couple of friends watching some games. I am so much into the game that I don't spend time doing anything else smile.gif I also listen and play music a lot in this room. I am planning to contact Da lite, Carada and other manufacturer to request samples. Hopefully, samples will be there before I can buy my first projector during holidays after new stuff is presented. Price point for projector is less than $4000 but if something new warrant a slight increase, I might bump it to $4500 (max limit). Time will tell.

Is watching sports on carada screen bright enough for you?

- I just finish placing all black tiles this afternoon. The room looks actually good (for me) but now you reminded me that I should have run a couple of electric lines 1) 1 dedicated 20 amp for the receiver 2) 1 dedicated line for the projector ... here you go first mistake biggrin.gif
I already have other outlets for my current setup but i wanted to have a dedicated line for the AVR and Projector. Is that a good choice or a waste of time?

- Once i clean up the space, I will post a picture of the room. considering the low cost i put into it so far, it is an acceptable for an HT. Over times i can certainly make smaller improvements.

in my to do list to get ready, I have:
- black out light from back window and side door (with window) using black velvet. My wife told me to use velcro to attach fabric and i think it is a good "cheap" idea. I would have to see how it turns out.
- get some carpet or rugs in front the screen going to the first row seat
- building some acoustic panels. There is an interesting thread in the forum with printed fabric.

I know i am redundant, but thanks again for both of you for all advices. It helped me at least with my plan to hopefully minimize as many mistakes as i can.

Cheers! After a good afternoon of work in the basement, It's happy hour for me now biggrin.gif
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