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post #1 of 38 Old 10-11-2014, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Need help with riser design and build!

Hey guys, I am in the process of finishing up my new dedicated theater room, and my new LCR Seos-15's, but, I need some assistance on designing and building my riser.

First off, my room is 14ft wide by 17ft deep by 8ft tall. My plan is to have three seats in the front, and three in the rear. Speakers will be behind a DIY AT screen.

My questions are;

1. What would be a good height for the riser considering my 8ft ceiling?

2. Would it be possible to add some subwoofers to the riser in order to utilize the space inside of it? If I did this, I would probably use four SI 15HT's or possibly 6 Dayton DVC88 15" drivers with the riser being ported. If I did turn the riser into a subwoofer enclosure, would this improve the tactical sensation? Having a nice tactical effect for the seating is my primary design goal as my room is all concrete on every wall and floor, (it is now covered with Sheetrock and the floor will be carpeted.)

3. Does the riser need to be coupled to the rear and side walls?

4. Would there be any benefit to having a separate, smaller riser for the front row so as to get it up and off the concrete in order to add some nice tactical sensations from the bass response? I am thinking like 4" in height for the front row riser, and possibly 8" to 10" for the back row of seating. This would be solely for adding to the tactical sensations from my four full sized MartySubs that are each loaded with a Dayton HO18 with each on its own channel of an iNuke3000.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 38 Old 10-11-2014, 05:05 AM
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Dedicated theater building forum has a sticky with calculator

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post #3 of 38 Old 10-11-2014, 05:26 AM
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I have almost the same size room. (13.4x16.6x8) Difference is I am not on concrete, but I do have a second row of seats on a riser that I built. I have 3 front seats and can seat 5 people on the 8 inch riser seating. I have 2 HO18 sealed up front and 2 SVS PB/PC 12 plus's corner loaded in the rear. Tactile feeling on all seating is great, massage for all.
Since you seemed to be concerned about tactile, I would suggest to raise the front 3 seats off the concrete, this would not have to be a great distance but enough for some separation from the concrete floor. Then add your riser for second row, 8 inches works very well for viewing over 1st row. The second row riser does not have to be coupled with walls, but would recommend to have enough room for maybe adding subs behind or next to rear seating, if you don't build in any woofers to the riser. I would think adding woofers to the riser would create the feeling you are looking for but also may create a harder time to equalize that all out where as individual subs can be placed where needed.

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post #4 of 38 Old 10-11-2014, 05:36 AM
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I built a 12" riser in my basement theater room, but people's heads were in the way of the screen for the people in the back, unless the people in the front were very small and people in the back very tall. A simple diagram with my actual seats and distance from the bottom of the screen to the ground would have helped me avoid that. In movie theaters, the hight between each row near the back must be about 18", but you'd need to add a step to get up to it at that height. I now have a long shaped counter height table and two counter-height comfy stools up on the riser, so wife and I will often eat up there while watching the movie then go to the front recliner theater seats half way through. When my son's are home from college, they're quite happy up there for the whole movie.

I was hoping to get some tactile feeling up on the riser from my sub (SVS PB13 Ultra) which is about eight feet away from the riser, but don't feel anything at all. I deliberately faced the joists back to front too, with the front of the riser open to try and trap the bass waves. Wavelenth of 50Hz sound is about 20 feet, so trapping that in the riser with it's 16" joist centers probably wasn't going to happen.
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post #5 of 38 Old 10-11-2014, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post
Hey guys, I am in the process of finishing up my new dedicated theater room, and my new LCR Seos-15's, but, I need some assistance on designing and building my riser.

First off, my room is 14ft wide by 17ft deep by 8ft tall. My plan is to have three seats in the front, and three in the rear. Speakers will be behind a DIY AT screen.

My questions are;

1. What would be a good height for the riser considering my 8ft ceiling?

2. Would it be possible to add some subwoofers to the riser in order to utilize the space inside of it? If I did this, I would probably use four SI 15HT's or possibly 6 Dayton DVC88 15" drivers with the riser being ported. If I did turn the riser into a subwoofer enclosure, would this improve the tactical sensation? Having a nice tactical effect for the seating is my primary design goal as my room is all concrete on every wall and floor, (it is now covered with Sheetrock and the floor will be carpeted.)

3. Does the riser need to be coupled to the rear and side walls?

4. Would there be any benefit to having a separate, smaller riser for the front row so as to get it up and off the concrete in order to add some nice tactical sensations from the bass response? I am thinking like 4" in height for the front row riser, and possibly 8" to 10" for the back row of seating. This would be solely for adding to the tactical sensations from my four full sized MartySubs that are each loaded with a Dayton HO18 with each on its own channel of an iNuke3000.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

Screen size and aspect ratio?
1st row viewing distance?
2nd row viewing distance?

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post #6 of 38 Old 10-12-2014, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post
Screen size and aspect ratio?
1st row viewing distance?
2nd row viewing distance?
Screen size will be approx 110" or so, and I am not sure of the aspect ratio at the moment as I am going to attempt a DIY AT screen out of something like spandex, but, I have not started to research that part of the build yet. In other words, I know absolutely nothing about screens!

I am not 100% sure on the viewing distance for the front or second row. That is an area that I was hoping to get some advise on as well. My room, as mentioned, is 14ft wide and 17ft long (with an 8ft ceiling height). The speakers and screen will be on the 14ft wall . I want to optimize the first row of seating for the best response, so any advise/suggestions here would be great too!
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post #7 of 38 Old 10-12-2014, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BCRSS View Post
I have almost the same size room. (13.4x16.6x8) Difference is I am not on concrete, but I do have a second row of seats on a riser that I built. I have 3 front seats and can seat 5 people on the 8 inch riser seating. I have 2 HO18 sealed up front and 2 SVS PB/PC 12 plus's corner loaded in the rear. Tactile feeling on all seating is great, massage for all.
Since you seemed to be concerned about tactile, I would suggest to raise the front 3 seats off the concrete, this would not have to be a great distance but enough for some separation from the concrete floor. Then add your riser for second row, 8 inches works very well for viewing over 1st row. The second row riser does not have to be coupled with walls, but would recommend to have enough room for maybe adding subs behind or next to rear seating, if you don't build in any woofers to the riser. I would think adding woofers to the riser would create the feeling you are looking for but also may create a harder time to equalize that all out where as individual subs can be placed where needed.
That is my plan as of right now . I want to have the front row on a smaller riser in order to get it up and off the concrete in order to hopefully get a better, more tactical effect from my subs. I was thinking that I could do the front row's riser at 3" or 4" high, then have the back row riser sitting approx 8" to 10" high. Realistically the back row of seating will rarely be used, if at all. So optimizing the response and tactical effects for the front row are the priority.

If I end up building a 3" or 4" tall riser for the front row, should it be coupled to the 8". (Or 10") riser for the back row? I plan to have both riders run from side wall to side wall, spanning all of the 14ft width. Still undecided as to whether or not I should couple (glue + screw) the risers to the side walls? If I did couple the risers to both side walls it would be tough because the side walls have concrete cinder blocks under the drywall with the drywall being glued to the cinder blocks with NO wood framing under the drywall , so that would be hard to find a way to drill into the cinder blocks to attach the riser to it as I do not own a hammer drill!
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post #8 of 38 Old 10-12-2014, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post
That is my plan as of right now . I want to have the front row on a smaller riser in order to get it up and off the concrete in order to hopefully get a better, more tactical effect from my subs. I was thinking that I could do the front row's riser at 3" or 4" high, then have the back row riser sitting approx 8" to 10" high. Realistically the back row of seating will rarely be used, if at all. So optimizing the response and tactical effects for the front row are the priority.

If I end up building a 3" or 4" tall riser for the front row, should it be coupled to the 8". (Or 10") riser for the back row? I plan to have both riders run from side wall to side wall, spanning all of the 14ft width. Still undecided as to whether or not I should couple (glue + screw) the risers to the side walls? If I did couple the risers to both side walls it would be tough because the side walls have concrete cinder blocks under the drywall with the drywall being glued to the cinder blocks with NO wood framing under the drywall , so that would be hard to find a way to drill into the cinder blocks to attach the riser to it as I do not own a hammer drill!
If I would be doing a riser for your room, I would build a riser for the first row from 2x4's this riser would cover the seating area for those 3 seats, then build onto that riser with either 2x10's or 2x12's for the second row of seating extending to the wall. Doing it this way would give a comfortable step for second row without a small step first ( 2x4's first row). I would not attached it to the walls and would not attached to floor, just using the weight of the riser would be enough to keep it stationary. All this said I measured my first row seating to screen and at MLP, I am at 9.6ft and second row seating directly behind MLP was at 13.6ft. My second row is not against back wall and I am using a couch for second row seating so if going with recliners, the 13.6ft will be a tight fit. From the riser to the ceiling I have a measurement of 88". Figuring you will be using 2x4's for 1st row subtract 3-5" from that 88" dim, giving you a headroom of about 83-85".
I also am just in the process of setting a projector and screen up. I have received my projector and this week will have the screen delivered. I went with a 110" motorized screen and an Epson 8350. The difference between you and I, is that this is in living room, turned home theater. So I have a ceiling fan dead center of this room I had to work around to get the screen and projector to fit, along with my AV stand and the 1099 center channel on top of it. Here are some shots of my process of turning my living room into a make shift theater. You will see my riser in some of the shots and also will get an idea of the room. My screen will be mounted to the ceiling coming down in front of the TV but behind the center channel. http://imgur.com/a/dDjY3#10

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post #9 of 38 Old 10-12-2014, 09:29 AM
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Post your question in the Dedicated HT thread, along with a floor plan. You'll get tons of ideas.

You will not effectively squeeze an AT screen and 2 rows of reclining seats in 17'. AT screen needs 2', rear row should be 2' from the back speakers. That leaves 13' for 2 rows - not enough considering reclining seats take up 6.5'. You'll need to compromise somewhere.

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post #10 of 38 Old 10-12-2014, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post
If I did couple the risers to both side walls it would be tough because the side walls have concrete cinder blocks under the drywall with the drywall being glued to the cinder blocks with NO wood framing under the drywall , so that would be hard to find a way to drill into the cinder blocks to attach the riser to it as I do not own a hammer drill!
Marty - just reread your post, and missed this the first time. You can't glue drywall to basement cement block walls. You will have major problems. Moisture. Mold. Mess.

Drywall needs framing, insulation & a moisture barrier. If you don't do it right, you're asking for trouble.
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post #11 of 38 Old 10-12-2014, 10:07 AM
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Marty, it's a simple matter of geometry. As Mike pointed out in post 2, there is a calculator you can find in the dedicated theater design and construction subforum. The sight line for the second row is the critical design element for riser height, and it is determined by 1) the height of the heads of viewers in the front row, 2) the height of the lower edge of the screen, and the distances between those three elements (first row, second row, and screen). If you input the distances and heights of the screen and first row, and the distance of the second row, the calculator spits out the height you need.

Obviously, there will be some trade offs. If you thought your screen was going to be as tall as your wall, you'll be sad to see how high the second row needs to be situated to have an unobstructed view. Of course, you could just leave the view partially blocked, or you can move the screen higher. Alternatively, you could squeeze the rows closer together or find lower front row seats or taller second row seats - or even stagger the seats left to right to help mitigate the problems. It takes a few iterations to nail this down, and it's almost impossible without diagrams.

Okay, so this will sound harsh - but I'm going to say it anyway. You started by saying that you're finishing up your dedicated theater, but really - this should have been step 1. The first thing to do was to situate the MLP in the room, then design an audio solution around it, and fit a video solution to that. Then you go back and tweak. Expect a couple iterations before it's finalized. Do you have a bass system in mind? (probably already purchased, if I know you. )

Let's take a stab at this, shall we? I'll put the MLP front and center. Two-channel aficionados and mixers have determined that bass is generally best (smoothest) at a position 38% back from the front wall or rear wall (Both Ethan Winer of Real Traps and Glenn Kuras of GIK Acoustics have articles about this on their websites, but it's still just a starting point). 17' is 204" and 38% of that is 77.5 inches. So that gives us two good starting points to consider. Measured from the screen end of the room (screen wall=0) 77.5" and 126.5"

Let's put the top of the heads in the front row at 78" back from the screen and 42" (a height chosen as typical in my experience) for a first consideration. From 78" back, a 110" screen is going to be large, but maybe not too large - so let's start with that. A 110" diagonal 16:9 screen is about 58" tall. It'd be nice to put the front row eyes about 1/3 the way up the screen, so that means 1/3 of the screen is lower than 40" (1/3 of 58" is about 19") So we can extend the screen 19" below the 40" elevated front row eyes to put the bottom of the screen about 21" above the floor. Like I said - this might be too big for a front row this close, but let's follow this through for now to see what it does to the second row and riser.

The second row will be at least several feet behind the front row. Experience has shown that for home theater recliners (lazyboy type or similar), you'll need 6.5' between row locations to allow people to move between the seats while they are reclined. So if we add 6.5' (78") to the viewing distance of the front row to get the viewing distance of the second row, we get 156" (13') for the second row. At this point, we have all the data required for the calculator to give us the riser height we need. http://calc.xn--f5a.net/

Rut roh... that's going to be a 27" riser. That's not going to work in your room with 8' ceilings. So what do we do? The easiest thing in your case will be to move the screen higher on the wall. You don't want to go too high, but some is tolerable. With the seating positions the way I've laid them out, for every inch the screen goes up, the riser can come down that same inch. So, to get your riser down to a manageable 12", the screen would need to go up 15" to be a total of 36" above the floor. That puts the top (58" tall screen, remember) at 94" - basically at the ceiling. That fits, but it's not good. (light reflecting off the screen will illuminate the ceiling and make for poor contrast on the screen, as well as be distracting).

So what else do you consider? If you move the front row back without moving the rear row, you improve the sight lines at the expense of clearance. You won't get more than a foot this way unless you use different seats. And moving front row back by one foot only brings the riser down from 27" to 22", so that's not really helping. You could move both rows back, but that's even less efficient at bringing the riser height down (though it may be needed anyway, to keep the front row from being to close).

Where's the happy medium? I don't know exactly, but you will have to try a few times. Good luck.
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post #12 of 38 Old 10-13-2014, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCRSS View Post
If I would be doing a riser for your room, I would build a riser for the first row from 2x4's this riser would cover the seating area for those 3 seats, then build onto that riser with either 2x10's or 2x12's for the second row of seating extending to the wall. Doing it this way would give a comfortable step for second row without a small step first ( 2x4's first row). I would not attached it to the walls and would not attached to floor, just using the weight of the riser would be enough to keep it stationary. All this said I measured my first row seating to screen and at MLP, I am at 9.6ft and second row seating directly behind MLP was at 13.6ft. My second row is not against back wall and I am using a couch for second row seating so if going with recliners, the 13.6ft will be a tight fit. From the riser to the ceiling I have a measurement of 88". Figuring you will be using 2x4's for 1st row subtract 3-5" from that 88" dim, giving you a headroom of about 83-85".
I also am just in the process of setting a projector and screen up. I have received my projector and this week will have the screen delivered. I went with a 110" motorized screen and an Epson 8350. The difference between you and I, is that this is in living room, turned home theater. So I have a ceiling fan dead center of this room I had to work around to get the screen and projector to fit, along with my AV stand and the 1099 center channel on top of it. Here are some shots of my process of turning my living room into a make shift theater. You will see my riser in some of the shots and also will get an idea of the room. My screen will be mounted to the ceiling coming down in front of the TV but behind the center channel. http://imgur.com/a/dDjY3#10

That is sort of what I had in mind, ie: using 2 by 4's for the first row riser, connecting it to the rear row riser which will use 2 by 10's. I just wasn't sure about whether or not to couple them to the side walls. Thanks for your input!
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post #13 of 38 Old 10-13-2014, 03:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Marty - just reread your post, and missed this the first time. You can't glue drywall to basement cement block walls. You will have major problems. Moisture. Mold. Mess.

Drywall needs framing, insulation & a moisture barrier. If you don't do it right, you're asking for trouble.
This is not a basement, every wall in my home is concrete, and the previous owner glued Sheetrock to the concrete walls in this room only. I sheet rocked every other room and built a frame out of 2 by 4's for just about every wall in the house!
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Marty, it's a simple matter of geometry. As Mike pointed out in post 2, there is a calculator you can find in the dedicated theater design and construction subforum. The sight line for the second row is the critical design element for riser height, and it is determined by 1) the height of the heads of viewers in the front row, 2) the height of the lower edge of the screen, and the distances between those three elements (first row, second row, and screen). If you input the distances and heights of the screen and first row, and the distance of the second row, the calculator spits out the height you need.

Obviously, there will be some trade offs. If you thought your screen was going to be as tall as your wall, you'll be sad to see how high the second row needs to be situated to have an unobstructed view. Of course, you could just leave the view partially blocked, or you can move the screen higher. Alternatively, you could squeeze the rows closer together or find lower front row seats or taller second row seats - or even stagger the seats left to right to help mitigate the problems. It takes a few iterations to nail this down, and it's almost impossible without diagrams.

Okay, so this will sound harsh - but I'm going to say it anyway. You started by saying that you're finishing up your dedicated theater, but really - this should have been step 1. The first thing to do was to situate the MLP in the room, then design an audio solution around it, and fit a video solution to that. Then you go back and tweak. Expect a couple iterations before it's finalized. Do you have a bass system in mind? (probably already purchased, if I know you. )

Let's take a stab at this, shall we? I'll put the MLP front and center. Two-channel aficionados and mixers have determined that bass is generally best (smoothest) at a position 38% back from the front wall or rear wall (Both Ethan Winer of Real Traps and Glenn Kuras of GIK Acoustics have articles about this on their websites, but it's still just a starting point). 17' is 204" and 38% of that is 77.5 inches. So that gives us two good starting points to consider. Measured from the screen end of the room (screen wall=0) 77.5" and 126.5"

Let's put the top of the heads in the front row at 78" back from the screen and 42" (a height chosen as typical in my experience) for a first consideration. From 78" back, a 110" screen is going to be large, but maybe not too large - so let's start with that. A 110" diagonal 16:9 screen is about 58" tall. It'd be nice to put the front row eyes about 1/3 the way up the screen, so that means 1/3 of the screen is lower than 40" (1/3 of 58" is about 19") So we can extend the screen 19" below the 40" elevated front row eyes to put the bottom of the screen about 21" above the floor. Like I said - this might be too big for a front row this close, but let's follow this through for now to see what it does to the second row and riser.

The second row will be at least several feet behind the front row. Experience has shown that for home theater recliners (lazyboy type or similar), you'll need 6.5' between row locations to allow people to move between the seats while they are reclined. So if we add 6.5' (78") to the viewing distance of the front row to get the viewing distance of the second row, we get 156" (13') for the second row. At this point, we have all the data required for the calculator to give us the riser height we need. http://calc.xn--f5a.net/

Rut roh... that's going to be a 27" riser. That's not going to work in your room with 8' ceilings. So what do we do? The easiest thing in your case will be to move the screen higher on the wall. You don't want to go too high, but some is tolerable. With the seating positions the way I've laid them out, for every inch the screen goes up, the riser can come down that same inch. So, to get your riser down to a manageable 12", the screen would need to go up 15" to be a total of 36" above the floor. That puts the top (58" tall screen, remember) at 94" - basically at the ceiling. That fits, but it's not good. (light reflecting off the screen will illuminate the ceiling and make for poor contrast on the screen, as well as be distracting).

So what else do you consider? If you move the front row back without moving the rear row, you improve the sight lines at the expense of clearance. You won't get more than a foot this way unless you use different seats. And moving front row back by one foot only brings the riser down from 27" to 22", so that's not really helping. You could move both rows back, but that's even less efficient at bringing the riser height down (though it may be needed anyway, to keep the front row from being to close).

Where's the happy medium? I don't know exactly, but you will have to try a few times. Good luck.

Thanks for the detailed response Fred! I will type up some additional questions and ideas later on, it's hard for me to type on my phone at the moment because I ran my thumb through my table saw last night, cutting off about 40% of it!
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Marty, it's a simple matter of geometry. As Mike pointed out in post 2, there is a calculator you can find in the dedicated theater design and construction subforum. The sight line for the second row is the critical design element for riser height, and it is determined by 1) the height of the heads of viewers in the front row, 2) the height of the lower edge of the screen, and the distances between those three elements (first row, second row, and screen). If you input the distances and heights of the screen and first row, and the distance of the second row, the calculator spits out the height you need.

Obviously, there will be some trade offs. If you thought your screen was going to be as tall as your wall, you'll be sad to see how high the second row needs to be situated to have an unobstructed view. Of course, you could just leave the view partially blocked, or you can move the screen higher. Alternatively, you could squeeze the rows closer together or find lower front row seats or taller second row seats - or even stagger the seats left to right to help mitigate the problems. It takes a few iterations to nail this down, and it's almost impossible without diagrams.

Okay, so this will sound harsh - but I'm going to say it anyway. You started by saying that you're finishing up your dedicated theater, but really - this should have been step 1. The first thing to do was to situate the MLP in the room, then design an audio solution around it, and fit a video solution to that. Then you go back and tweak. Expect a couple iterations before it's finalized. Do you have a bass system in mind? (probably already purchased, if I know you. )

Let's take a stab at this, shall we? I'll put the MLP front and center. Two-channel aficionados and mixers have determined that bass is generally best (smoothest) at a position 38% back from the front wall or rear wall (Both Ethan Winer of Real Traps and Glenn Kuras of GIK Acoustics have articles about this on their websites, but it's still just a starting point). 17' is 204" and 38% of that is 77.5 inches. So that gives us two good starting points to consider. Measured from the screen end of the room (screen wall=0) 77.5" and 126.5"

Let's put the top of the heads in the front row at 78" back from the screen and 42" (a height chosen as typical in my experience) for a first consideration. From 78" back, a 110" screen is going to be large, but maybe not too large - so let's start with that. A 110" diagonal 16:9 screen is about 58" tall. It'd be nice to put the front row eyes about 1/3 the way up the screen, so that means 1/3 of the screen is lower than 40" (1/3 of 58" is about 19") So we can extend the screen 19" below the 40" elevated front row eyes to put the bottom of the screen about 21" above the floor. Like I said - this might be too big for a front row this close, but let's follow this through for now to see what it does to the second row and riser.

The second row will be at least several feet behind the front row. Experience has shown that for home theater recliners (lazyboy type or similar), you'll need 6.5' between row locations to allow people to move between the seats while they are reclined. So if we add 6.5' (78") to the viewing distance of the front row to get the viewing distance of the second row, we get 156" (13') for the second row. At this point, we have all the data required for the calculator to give us the riser height we need. http://calc.xn--f5a.net/

Rut roh... that's going to be a 27" riser. That's not going to work in your room with 8' ceilings. So what do we do? The easiest thing in your case will be to move the screen higher on the wall. You don't want to go too high, but some is tolerable. With the seating positions the way I've laid them out, for every inch the screen goes up, the riser can come down that same inch. So, to get your riser down to a manageable 12", the screen would need to go up 15" to be a total of 36" above the floor. That puts the top (58" tall screen, remember) at 94" - basically at the ceiling. That fits, but it's not good. (light reflecting off the screen will illuminate the ceiling and make for poor contrast on the screen, as well as be distracting).

So what else do you consider? If you move the front row back without moving the rear row, you improve the sight lines at the expense of clearance. You won't get more than a foot this way unless you use different seats. And moving front row back by one foot only brings the riser down from 27" to 22", so that's not really helping. You could move both rows back, but that's even less efficient at bringing the riser height down (though it may be needed anyway, to keep the front row from being to close).

Where's the happy medium? I don't know exactly, but you will have to try a few times. Good luck.
Thanks for the post. Saved me from typing it up. Most people do not realize how much of a riser it takes to see over the first row. I talk to people all the time that are thinking 6" or 7" riser and yet, once you run the math, they would need 18" or more riser. Solution is to compromise screen height and increase riser height, by as much as you can. Another thing you can do, when you need more riser and yet do not want to be bumping your head, when walking on the riser. Do a secondary riser, just under the second row of seats. Pretty easy to add 4 or 5" just under the seats.

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Thanks for the detailed response Fred! I will type up some additional questions and ideas later on, it's hard for me to type on my phone at the moment because I ran my thumb through my table saw last night, cutting off about 40% of it!
40% of length or 40% of width? Get a push stick, for small stuff. I have been around saws all my life, you have to be extra careful. Hope you heal up okay.

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That is sort of what I had in mind, ie: using 2 by 4's for the first row riser, connecting it to the rear row riser which will use 2 by 10's. I just wasn't sure about whether or not to couple them to the side walls. Thanks for your input!
That first row riser is going to be a problem, if built like that. Make it as short in height as you can. With 96" of total ceiling heigh, anything raising the first row of seats, means higher second row riser and higher screen mounting height. 6' is the minimum, I would put between 1st and 2nd row viewing distance. This is assuming you are using recliners.

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Thanks for the detailed response Fred! I will type up some additional questions and ideas later on, it's hard for me to type on my phone at the moment because I ran my thumb through my table saw last night, cutting off about 40% of it!
Oh no! Any salvaging of your tip/joint? Hope you recover well. That stinks. But, you need to dig up the accidents thread to post your mishap way maybe others will grasp/take in the dangers of our hobby when working with tools.

I know this won't help but I've watched youtube vids of guys that had cameras setup in their shops run their fingers straight across the blade and thumb is completely gone to their shock/amazement.
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This is not a basement, every wall in my home is concrete, and the previous owner glued Sheetrock to the concrete walls in this room only. I sheet rocked every other room and built a frame out of 2 by 4's for just about every wall in the house!
My apologies. I guess I assumed it was a basement you were describing - can't say I ever saw a home with all cement walls. Makes wiring a challenge...

As long as no drywall was glued to exterior walls, you may be alright. But still not advisable.

Sorry to hear about your thumb - I hope you're OK.

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Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post
Marty, it's a simple matter of geometry. As Mike pointed out in post 2, there is a calculator you can find in the dedicated theater design and construction subforum. The sight line for the second row is the critical design element for riser height, and it is determined by 1) the height of the heads of viewers in the front row, 2) the height of the lower edge of the screen, and the distances between those three elements (first row, second row, and screen). If you input the distances and heights of the screen and first row, and the distance of the second row, the calculator spits out the height you need.

Obviously, there will be some trade offs. If you thought your screen was going to be as tall as your wall, you'll be sad to see how high the second row needs to be situated to have an unobstructed view. Of course, you could just leave the view partially blocked, or you can move the screen higher. Alternatively, you could squeeze the rows closer together or find lower front row seats or taller second row seats - or even stagger the seats left to right to help mitigate the problems. It takes a few iterations to nail this down, and it's almost impossible without diagrams.

Okay, so this will sound harsh - but I'm going to say it anyway. You started by saying that you're finishing up your dedicated theater, but really - this should have been step 1. The first thing to do was to situate the MLP in the room, then design an audio solution around it, and fit a video solution to that. Then you go back and tweak. Expect a couple iterations before it's finalized. Do you have a bass system in mind? (probably already purchased, if I know you. )

Let's take a stab at this, shall we? I'll put the MLP front and center. Two-channel aficionados and mixers have determined that bass is generally best (smoothest) at a position 38% back from the front wall or rear wall (Both Ethan Winer of Real Traps and Glenn Kuras of GIK Acoustics have articles about this on their websites, but it's still just a starting point). 17' is 204" and 38% of that is 77.5 inches. So that gives us two good starting points to consider. Measured from the screen end of the room (screen wall=0) 77.5" and 126.5"

Let's put the top of the heads in the front row at 78" back from the screen and 42" (a height chosen as typical in my experience) for a first consideration. From 78" back, a 110" screen is going to be large, but maybe not too large - so let's start with that. A 110" diagonal 16:9 screen is about 58" tall. It'd be nice to put the front row eyes about 1/3 the way up the screen, so that means 1/3 of the screen is lower than 40" (1/3 of 58" is about 19") So we can extend the screen 19" below the 40" elevated front row eyes to put the bottom of the screen about 21" above the floor. Like I said - this might be too big for a front row this close, but let's follow this through for now to see what it does to the second row and riser.

The second row will be at least several feet behind the front row. Experience has shown that for home theater recliners (lazyboy type or similar), you'll need 6.5' between row locations to allow people to move between the seats while they are reclined. So if we add 6.5' (78") to the viewing distance of the front row to get the viewing distance of the second row, we get 156" (13') for the second row. At this point, we have all the data required for the calculator to give us the riser height we need. http://calc.xn--f5a.net/

Rut roh... that's going to be a 27" riser. That's not going to work in your room with 8' ceilings. So what do we do? The easiest thing in your case will be to move the screen higher on the wall. You don't want to go too high, but some is tolerable. With the seating positions the way I've laid them out, for every inch the screen goes up, the riser can come down that same inch. So, to get your riser down to a manageable 12", the screen would need to go up 15" to be a total of 36" above the floor. That puts the top (58" tall screen, remember) at 94" - basically at the ceiling. That fits, but it's not good. (light reflecting off the screen will illuminate the ceiling and make for poor contrast on the screen, as well as be distracting).

So what else do you consider? If you move the front row back without moving the rear row, you improve the sight lines at the expense of clearance. You won't get more than a foot this way unless you use different seats. And moving front row back by one foot only brings the riser down from 27" to 22", so that's not really helping. You could move both rows back, but that's even less efficient at bringing the riser height down (though it may be needed anyway, to keep the front row from being to close).

Where's the happy medium? I don't know exactly, but you will have to try a few times. Good luck.
Ok, so I have no problem raising the 110" screen up to around 32" off the floor. Also, I am pretty dead set on building a 3" mini-riser for the front row in order to get a more tactical sensation from my subs, and possibly going up to 13" in height for the back row. I will not be using recliners, but rather, either a sofa or a loveseat. This would shorten the distance required between the front and rear rows to around 4ft so.

Also, I am personally of the opinion that having the MLP 38% of the way back from the front wall is way too close. I need at least 10ft for my L+R speakers to sound optimal.

The ceiling is painted black so I am not concerned with it reflecting light.

So Fred, how does this sound? Build a 3" mini riser for the front row in order to increase tactical sensations from subs. Build rear riser 13" tall, (no recliners, just a small sofa or loveseat for the rear row) and space the distance between the front of the rear row to the back of the front row at 4ft. Hang the 110" DIY AT screen at 32" from the floor. Would this work? In reality, the rear row would rarely ever be used,FYI.
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Marty, I will let you know about how that will work since my dims are almost the same as what you are purposing. My screen will be in tomorrow and will start hanging it this weekend. I have the projector already on a shelf on the back wall. Hdmi cable will be run today to projector. According to my measurements and layout it should work, and yes may not be the "by the book" best viewing, but I figured with the front row reclined my eyes are viewing at an angle looking up anyway, so hopefully will be ok. Will report back on this and post some pics for you to see.

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Marty - your room is nearly same as mine, just 1.5 feet shorter.
My 10" 2nd row riser is just adequate for seeing over the 1st row, I've considered putting 2 x 4 under them to lift 3 1/2 inches, but since 2nd row not used so much have not got around it....only a issue when fully reclined, since you are not reclining 2nd row maybe non-issue.

As counterpoint to a riser for 1st row have you considered tactile transducers there, aka butt kickers?

Will your room be totally sealed? If so you should feel the LFE wave with all the subs you have in that small area.

Try it and then put mini-riser if not satisfied?

fwiw here's my napkin sketch, basement is solid concrete floor, riser in 2nd row only.
Did you have a simple visual layout to share?



bummer about cutting yourself...
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post
Ok, so I have no problem raising the 110" screen up to around 32" off the floor. Also, I am pretty dead set on building a 3" mini-riser for the front row in order to get a more tactical sensation from my subs, and possibly going up to 13" in height for the back row. I will not be using recliners, but rather, either a sofa or a loveseat. This would shorten the distance required between the front and rear rows to around 4ft so.

Also, I am personally of the opinion that having the MLP 38% of the way back from the front wall is way too close. I need at least 10ft for my L+R speakers to sound optimal.

The ceiling is painted black so I am not concerned with it reflecting light.

So Fred, how does this sound? Build a 3" mini riser for the front row in order to increase tactical sensations from subs. Build rear riser 13" tall, (no recliners, just a small sofa or loveseat for the rear row) and space the distance between the front of the rear row to the back of the front row at 4ft. Hang the 110" DIY AT screen at 32" from the floor. Would this work? In reality, the rear row would rarely ever be used,FYI.
32" above floor to image.
First row on 3" riser.
10' first row viewing distance.
14' second row viewing distance.
13" riser.

Will not work. You need 1-1/4" more height on the rear riser or raise the screen 3" higher. This is assuming the first and second row seating is the same height. Also 4' difference between the viewing rows is too short. With my theater seats, not reclined, that would only give me 8" between the back of the first row and the front of the second row. My feet are longer than 8". You need 5' minimum (non reclining seats) between the viewing distances. With that in mind.

32" above floor to image.
First row on 3" riser.
10' first row viewing distance.
15' second row viewing distance.
13" riser.
3" riser just under second row of seats.

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post #24 of 38 Old 10-14-2014, 11:19 AM
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Need help with riser design and build!

^^^does he give up AT screen with the above? Even with minimal gaps, his speakers 15" deep + 3" gap to screen, 18" bare minimum ....
I think so, as the screen will be too close to 1st row


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post #25 of 38 Old 10-15-2014, 03:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post
32" above floor to image.
First row on 3" riser.
10' first row viewing distance.
14' second row viewing distance.
13" riser.

Will not work. You need 1-1/4" more height on the rear riser or raise the screen 3" higher. This is assuming the first and second row seating is the same height. Also 4' difference between the viewing rows is too short. With my theater seats, not reclined, that would only give me 8" between the back of the first row and the front of the second row. My feet are longer than 8". You need 5' minimum (non reclining seats) between the viewing distances. With that in mind.

32" above floor to image.
First row on 3" riser.
10' first row viewing distance.
15' second row viewing distance.
13" riser.
3" riser just under second row of seats.
I can definitely do an additional 1 & 1/4" in height for the rear riser, and can probably get away with 5ft between the front and rear rows. I am very adamant about the 3" riser for the front row, I just need to find a way to make this work!

In reality, the rear seating would be rarely used, if ever. It's just nice to know that it's there, just in case!

So do you think that I can get by with 32" screen height, 10ft viewing distance from screen to front row, 5ft between front and rear row, 3" high riser for the front row,14 & 1/4" riser height for the rear row. Does that work? If not, what would be the best way to go about accomplishing my goals of having a riser for the front & rear row?
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Originally Posted by BCRSS View Post
Marty, I will let you know about how that will work since my dims are almost the same as what you are purposing. My screen will be in tomorrow and will start hanging it this weekend. I have the projector already on a shelf on the back wall. Hdmi cable will be run today to projector. According to my measurements and layout it should work, and yes may not be the "by the book" best viewing, but I figured with the front row reclined my eyes are viewing at an angle looking up anyway, so hopefully will be ok. Will report back on this and post some pics for you to see.
I am looking forward to seeing how this turns out! Keep me posted!
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Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post
Marty - your room is nearly same as mine, just 1.5 feet shorter.
My 10" 2nd row riser is just adequate for seeing over the 1st row, I've considered putting 2 x 4 under them to lift 3 1/2 inches, but since 2nd row not used so much have not got around it....only a issue when fully reclined, since you are not reclining 2nd row maybe non-issue.

As counterpoint to a riser for 1st row have you considered tactile transducers there, aka butt kickers?

Will your room be totally sealed? If so you should feel the LFE wave with all the subs you have in that small area.

Try it and then put mini-riser if not satisfied?

fwiw here's my napkin sketch, basement is solid concrete floor, riser in 2nd row only.
Did you have a simple visual layout to share?



bummer about cutting yourself...

I have not considered tactical transducers as I do not think that it would be my cup of tea. The room is totally sealed, yes, but, with the floor and walls being concrete, I get little to no tactical sensation. This is why I am considering a small 3" riser for the front row. As I said earlier, the rear row will rarely, if ever, be used. So I would like to optimize the system for the front row, and could honestly get by with just, good enough for the rear row!

Other options that I may consider are eliminating the rear row and going for like 4 or 5 real home theater type seats in a single row on a riser with no rear row.

This would be plan "B" although I am strongly in favor of plan "A" unless there is just no way to make it work!
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Buy some cheap transducers and try them.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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I have my screen up and running and thought you would like to see what it looks like. I am roughly 8 inches from the ceiling and 31.5 to bottom of screen. I like it and even though the second row is on the narrow side, it leaves enough room to walk through. Here is a short video. Sorry about the crummy picture quality but it is an old Sony and I certainly would make an awful commentator and cameraman.


http://vimeo.com/109193080

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Originally Posted by BCRSS View Post
I have my screen up and running and thought you would like to see what it looks like. I am roughly 8 inches from the ceiling and 31.5 to bottom of screen. I like it and even though the second row is on the narrow side, it leaves enough room to walk through. Here is a short video. Sorry about the crummy picture quality but it is an old Sony and I certainly would make an awful commentator and cameraman.


http://vimeo.com/109193080
Any more updates?
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