I've moved to a larger home, and the new basement space needs to be outfitted with my existing theater equipment. I'm looking for suggestions on the best way to go about this on a tighter budget than many of the dedicated spaces I see on these forums. I love many of the designs I see, but this won't really be a dedicated space. It will be a multipurpose space. Of all the theaters I've been to I think Craig John had some of the best acoustical treatments I've heard yet - at least to my ears. His theater concept was similar to my intent in that he had about half the basement as a multipurpose room with the screen up front on one side and a card table in back for multipurpose use. He said his theater was designed on a dead front/live back concept that is an older acoustical design concept, but I really liked the way it sounded for both movies and music. My room is basically a sandbox, so no option is really off the table. My wife gave me the go ahead to do most anything I want with it - as long as it is reasonably affordable. So I'd like to consider all suggestions.
Here is my previous home theater room so you can see what I'm used to:
What I'm initially thinking is a 2:35:1 AT projector screen built into the storage room wall and using the storage area to easily house/baffle the speakers. I'd put the JTR 228HT front soundstage behind the AT projection screen.
I have six subwoofers. Two JTR Captivators and four 22" sealed cubes holding yet unchosen 18" drivers. One thing I really enjoy doing is hosting audio meets and demos for fellow enthusiasts. Ideally the AT screen will allow me to do blind comparisons of gear for friends and enthusiasts.
My seating area, for the front row is in the 12-13 foot range from the wall. I'm not sure if my room will support a second row or not in the current arrangement, based on the lower HVAC duct dropdown.
My ceiling height 89" and only 81" where the HVAC ducts hang down in the center for the room.
My room width is 218" wide
My room depth is 286" deep
My Projector is the inexpensive Epson 8350.
My screen is yet unchosen, but I'm considering Seymour XD, or UF, or open to other suggestions like Falcon or anything really at this point.
At some point I would like to purchase a new Panasonic or JVC projector for the automated zoom function with the 2:35:1 screen concept, but that's a future intent.
I'm playing with screen sizes using tape on the wall as a frame of reference. From my seating position about a 120" or 130" 16x9 screen is about as big as I can use in my room.
I may want to place the subs below the screen - so with a 89" height room, I'd need to keep the screen size limited to about 60" tall to both have room for the subs under the screen and keep my feet from barging onto the screen real estate when reclined in the Berkline recliners.
You can see my old home's multipurpose theater space in my signature. I do like dark walls, and dark ceiling to help with projector contrast. My new home is very much light controlled. There is only one window in the room and it can be tinted out as it is already just frosted cube glass and not useful for looking outside anyway.
I enjoy playing Xbox 360 games, PS3 games, PC games, and Internet browsing and such on my projector as well as watching movies or listening to music. It's probably a 50/50 split between game playing/PC use and movie watching or dedicated music use.
No more talk from me. I'll throw up some pictures and read some of the initial suggestions from you!
Please excuse the mess - we are still moving in and getting situated. Only 1 of the sealed 22" subwoofer cubes is up front, but I have three more. (4 total) I'm undecided if I would put the subs under screen, spaced around room, or behind AT screen. Future measurements will help with that decision, but I want to keep at least about 25" below the screen in case I decide to place the four sealed 22" cubes below the screen.
black tape marks 16x9 with 60" height viewable.
black tape on outside marks full zoom size of James Bond Movie with 60" high 2:35:1
In my playing with this size, I almost feel like 2:35:1 content is borderline too large at this size, so I may have to size down the screen to 56" height and try again. My current 16x9 screen (seen along the wall in the pictures) is a DIY job made with JoAnn's black out cloth made for the old house. It is 106" diagonal or 52" height. I do not feel it is too big from 12' away - in fact it is just about right or maybe a couple inches smaller than my most ideal preference, but 60" may be a bit big - especailly in the 2:35:1 zoom picture to me... So maybe 56" high might be the next tape placement for the CIH screen that I try. Or I may just try moving my seats back a foot or two more. I thought I read that the ideal setting is keeping the prime money seat in a equalateral triangle with the left and right speaker. So if my seating is about 12 feet back from the screen, then ideally my screen should be about 12 feet wide (or a bit wider) in the 2:35:1 mode. I think I'd like to put my left and right speaker behind the AT screen if it is at all feasible - so that my entire front sound stage is behind the AT screen - but if that doesn't work I can just cover them with speaker cloth on the baffle wall and they could reside outside the image.
I've attached the Carlton Bale calc for projector information.
All the blue fields are filled out with the information from my room and the XLS doc helps you plan for screen sizes, brightness levels, FOV, etc.
Archaeasroom-theater_calculator_v4.0.xlsx 43k .xlsx file