Theater Squeezes into 8' Wide Room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-30-2010, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Theater Squeezes into 8' Wide Room
By Steven Castle
This home theater still manages to pack in a 92-inch screen, high-performance projector and surround-sound system.

How's this for a mini-theater? It's 16 feet deep, but only 8 feet wide, and opens to a billiards area in the back. That makes for cozy confines, as in two rows with just two seats each and one aisle between them. That was okay for these homeowners, though, who wanted to use some space they felt was wasted.

This space was actually a walkway leading to two bedrooms, one of which was converted to a gym, says Joe Polovich, senior systems design engineer with theater installation firm Boca Theater & Automation (BTA) of Boca Raton, Fla. They really wanted a theater, but didn't have a room they could dedicate. They adjusted a few walls to make it wide enough to be adequate, and decided to use it to their advantage.



The challenge for BTA was finding the right equipment and making it perform well in the narrow space. The homeowner also wanted a high-performance system. To that end, a Runco 1080p DLP projector was mounted on the ceiling in the back of the area. The unit shines on a 92-inch Vutec HD fixed screen that just fits in the narrow space.

For speakers, BTA chose James Loudspeaker in-walls for the front. With such a narrow space, in-walls were the only way to go, says Polovich. James is BTA's top-of-the-line model. Two more James in-ceiling speakers are located over the rear row of seats, and an in-wall 10-inch James subwoofer fires from below the center channel.

Click here for photos.

Click here for story.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-02-2010, 01:28 PM
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Hi Steve. Nice article, and compliments to the homeowners on a very professional and architecturally pleasing design. That room is beautiful. The front speakers look like they were laid out in relationship to the screen by an artist or draftsman. Very balanced and visually pleasing. I know they have ceiling mounted right and left front speakers and don't have a lot more room to work with but wouldn't placing the forward right and left front speakers further to the side and higher achieve a much wider sound stage? Do they fire off the side walls to achieve more separation? It would almost be a sin to throw off the balance of that beautiful arrangement but wouldn't they see major improvement in their sound by widening and raising their placement? Still, I would love to have that system in my home, it is a beautiful use of the available space.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-03-2010, 09:17 AM
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Despite all the cross-promotion and "Even YOU can have a Home Theatre" propaganda, there is no way that setup can possibly sound very good. For Christ's sake, there isn't even a back wall to it. All the digital processing in the world will not make this sound better than average. The article is a joke.

Also, the screen's location is ridiculously unsatisfying and uncinematic, as are the claustrophobic walls.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-03-2010, 06:51 PM
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I don't know about all that Web. Alot of us have to make do with the space we have available and can get reasonable sound and image in less than perfect spaces, but, yes, there are many ways they could improve the performance of this setup. I think they did a great job but it looks like it was designed with compromises for aesthetic reasons. If your going to spend that much on a build I don't see why you wouldn't use all the available space to project as large an image as possible. Also, the walls and ceiling need to be darker for the best image. Are those monitors or pictures on the walls? You should also not have reflective wall hangings in the room.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-03-2010, 07:13 PM
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OH MY GOD! When I made my previous comments I assumed that this was an average Joe's attempt to make a personal theater in a limited space on a limited budget. I had skimmed this page and I didn't actually realize how much they spent on this setup! Look at these components! A RUNCO projector from 15 feet away in a white room for a 92" screen! James speakers in a 130 square foot space? Overkill maybe? With contractor it's what 30, 40 grand (or who knows how much more)!?

Runco VX-2000d 1080p DLP Projector
Vutec 92-inch Silverstar HD Fixed Screen
Arcam AVR300 7.1 Surround Receiver
James 33SDX In-wall 2-way Speakers (3)
James 32SDX In-wall 2-way Speakers (2)
James 110SDXP In-wall 10-inch Subwoofer
AMX MVP-8400 Wireless Touchpanel
Cinema Design Group Leather Chairs (4)

Sorry, somebody has too much money! You could have gotten nearly the same experience (or better in some respects) for one tenth the cost.

Looks nice though.

PS; To the home owner, please contact me if you are considering any future projects. I'm sure I can come in under budget.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-04-2010, 06:29 PM
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For the money you've spent you can't justify this many compromises for aesthetics, unless quality of the experience is not that important to you. If this is the case then you can't justify the amount you've spent on this system. Here are some easy improvements. Use an acoustically transparent screen so that you can place the speakers behind it, optimally for a properly located and wide sound stage. Your Runco can handle the compromises inherent in this type of screen. Carpet and use textile wall hangings (Persian rugs if you need something expensive) for their acoustic qualities. Use a screen that completely fills the front viewable area. You don't have much wall area to work with so use all you have, twenty additional inches of screen size can make a BIG difference, why not? It's a projector, there's no additional cost to fill the screen. Your high gain silver screen is directional and will cause hotspots at the extreme viewing angles of the front row viewers. You would be better off to darken the room and use a white screen for wider field of view. This would be a great situation for a curved screen from Stewart or others (viewing angles might cause a little distortion but the wider field of view might be worth it). Paint the walls and ceiling as dark as possible. Raise the rear seats so that you can lower the screen so the front row viewers don't have to crane their necks. Hang dark curtains at the back which you can integrate with your automation system to draw for perfect light control or leave open for casual viewing. Just sayin.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-04-2010, 10:40 PM
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Something like this
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-24-2010, 08:54 AM
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I would just move the whole system into the main room.
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