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post #1 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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First off a huge thanks to this forum and it's helpful members. This site has been instrumental in researching best possible (wallet allowing) choices for AV equipment and settings.

Now, (I think) I am ready to take it to next level and put in a dedicated theater. I do have some noob questions and would appreciate help.

The room that I am planning to use for this is 11x18 (10 ft. ceiling). I would have liked a little bigger space but this is the best I can do at this time. I read that several people have used similar (and smaller) spaces for theaters.

Starting with my basic questions.

1. Is fabric screen better than painted wall? I was leaning towards painted wall but I see that there are lot of DIY options for fabric screens as well.

2. About size of screen....I found 120" screens with two dimensions (69x92 and 60x105). Why are there two sizes? Which one is most common?

3. I have two huge (5x5) windows in this rooms. What is the best way to seal off these windows? They have a sunscreen and blinds on them but light does come in during day time. Should I look for a permanent seal off or can I do something that can be taken off when needed?

4. What tool can I use to draw a sketch of this room to post here?

More questions to come....

Any help will be appreciated.
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 10:43 AM
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Hi

That should be a nice sized room.

1. Fabric may be easier to get flat because it's being stretched on the frame, if your wall has imperfections you may notice them if you just paint.

2. The different size is due to the aspect ratio. You can do a 16:9 screen (like an HDTV) which is 60X92 or a 2.35:1 screen (like most movies). The 16:9 is more common because all projectors produce this shape automatically. To do a 2.35:1 screen you will need to either zoom in your projector or use an anamorphic lens. If you are mostly watching movies as opposed to games and TV you may want to consider 2.35:1 as the wider movie get a bigger screen (as it should be).

3. If you do a search there should be several threads on sealing off windows. Some drywall over them, some make removable plugs, some remove them completely, some buy automatic blackout shades from Lutron so they can open and close when needed. It mostly depends on personal preference and on budget.

4. Many people here have been using google sketch up to draw (which is free from google).

Greg
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-11-2009, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scopeguy View Post

Hi

That should be a nice sized room.

1. Fabric may be easier to get flat because it's being stretched on the frame, if your wall has imperfections you may notice them if you just paint.

2. The different size is due to the aspect ratio. You can do a 16:9 screen (like an HDTV) which is 60X92 or a 2.35:1 screen (like most movies). The 16:9 is more common because all projectors produce this shape automatically. To do a 2.35:1 screen you will need to either zoom in your projector or use an anamorphic lens. If you are mostly watching movies as opposed to games and TV you may want to consider 2.35:1 as the wider movie get a bigger screen (as it should be).

3. If you do a search there should be several threads on sealing off windows. Some drywall over them, some make removable plugs, some remove them completely, some buy automatic blackout shades from Lutron so they can open and close when needed. It mostly depends on personal preference and on budget.

4. Many people here have been using google sketch up to draw (which is free from google).

Greg

Thanks for your help with my questions.

The wall has textured finish on it which will need some work. Does the fabric work better (from the image quality point of view)? If I do go with fabric screen I would go DIY route.

My watching will be 50% TV and 50% Movies. I was thinking of getting Epson 6500 or Panasonic AE3000 projectors. I was not planning to use a lens at this time. What is the advantage or using a lens over zoom of projector?

I will try to lookup the window plug threads. I like the idea of removable ones. If someone can post a link, that would be appreciated.

I have another question about screen position. I plan to put one sofa/recliner at this time and may add another one later with a riser. But at this time the person sitting on sofa is about 38" from floor (eye level). The room height is 10' and I think my screen will be 60" x 105". How much room should be on top and bottom of this screen?

Thanks.
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-12-2009, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inphoenix View Post

Thanks for your help with my questions.

My watching will be 50% TV and 50% Movies. I was thinking of getting Epson 6500 or Panasonic AE3000 projectors. I was not planning to use a lens at this time. What is the advantage or using a lens over zoom of projector?

The short answer is with a lens you use all of the projectors image capacity. With zoom you don't. Of course the long answer explains why, but instead of rehashing everything here, just read the FAQ.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=554901

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post #5 of 17 Old 10-12-2009, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan View Post

The short answer is with a lens you use all of the projectors image capacity. With zoom you don't. Of course the long answer explains why, but instead of rehashing everything here, just read the FAQ.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=554901

Thanks. That was a lot of good information. At this time I am not going for a lens (budget issue). Like I mentioned earlier I was planning to go with either Epson 6500 or Panasonic AE3000 and was leaning more towards AE3000 until I read about AE4000. But I cannot add a lens to these projectors. Is there any other good projector in this (2K-2.5K) range that will allow lens option for future upgrade?

About the screen position .... I just found a post that says "eye height of the viewers of the first row should be at the line between the lower 1/3 and the middle 1/3 of the screen height." Is this correct? I saw some pics where the screens were way higher. Can anyone comment on this please?
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-12-2009, 02:10 PM
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I started with 1/3 of screen height as my base and adjusted the first row down and the second row up slightly to account for the riser and our preferred seating position from the cineplex. First row 10" from bottom of screen, second row 22", screen height 48". So, first row is about 1/5 of screen height and second is nearly 1/2.

Here is the link to the show me thread for small HT's. Good stuff in there:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...t=996973ttp://

Good luck.

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post #7 of 17 Old 10-12-2009, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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This is what the rough layout looks like at this time.



I have a garage on the left side and I can extend the room by 2' if needed. Or I can get some space for an AV rack. But that means I am opening a hole into a hot garage (Arizona summers are brutal). On the right side I have a closet of the other bedroom so again I can get some AV rack space if needed. At this time the plan is to keep the AV rack by the left window.

Problems:

The room door opens into the room. I think this needs to be changed and it needs to open out. Also if I move the door about 8-10 feet left, I can move seating back a bit and that may be a better entry to room. Thoughts?

There is not enough room for surround speakers unless they are on wall speakers.

My original plan was to have the screen on right hand side wall but the door will hit the speakers. If the door opens out anyone entering room would run into speaker. I plan to use floorstanding speakers. Is there anything else I can do to get around it? This problem resolves if I move the door.

If I move the door, any reason for choosing either wall over the other for the screen?

Thanks.
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-13-2009, 08:13 PM
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I would move the door ahead if you can, if only because you will have a riser in the back. This would complicate entering the theater. Opening out should also be fine, my doors do this as well.

On wall speakers are not a problem, many people (including me) like bipolar surrounds almost all of which are wall mounted. Also the surround speakers should probably be about 6 feet off the ground which helps get them out of the way.

The screen height 1/3 guideline is just a guideline. I wouldn't mount your screen 18" off the ground. Mine is mounted 32 inches high and I like it. The other thing that affects screen height is how tall a riser you want to build. The higher the screen, the lower the riser is required to be.

I don't know that having the screen on one wall vs the other makes much difference, but I would make sure the entrance comes in front of the riser (or future riser, if you don't do it right away).

Greg
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-13-2009, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scopeguy View Post

I would move the door ahead if you can, if only because you will have a riser in the back. This would complicate entering the theater. Opening out should also be fine, my doors do this as well.

On wall speakers are not a problem, many people (including me) like bipolar surrounds almost all of which are wall mounted. Also the surround speakers should probably be about 6 feet off the ground which helps get them out of the way.

Greg

Yes, that makes sense. Here is new rough layout.



The surround and surround back speakers will be on wall as I don't have room for floorstanding as surrond speakers.

I will play with the screen position and see what looks like a good option.

Is there any post which goes over the basics of wiring for HT?
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-13-2009, 08:45 PM
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I forgot to mention my screen height from the floor up. Its 30".

Clearly, I'm a man of action - just give me a few minutes to think about it.
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post #11 of 17 Old 10-13-2009, 09:40 PM
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For wiring;

Obviously speaker wire to the location of all the speakers. For my rear speakers (and my fronts, because they are wall mounted) I put up 3/4" plywood to have something to screw the speaker mounts to and just drilled a hole in the plywood and pulled the speaker wire through. I did not bother with low voltage boxes. Some people run conduit instead and pull the wire later, I'm not sure this is worth the effort. Use in-wall (CL or CL3) rated wire. Monoprice 12 AWG seems like a good deal.

To the projector run 1 HDMI cable, 2 cat5e or cat6 cables (for HDMI via a balun if needed). This would be the absolute minimum. Extras would include another cat5e cable that can be used for a control wire (RS-232 or IR), 3 RG6 cables for component video and a 2" conduit for any surprises (like pulling a new HDMI cable). These cables obviously run to your equipment rack.

To your equipment rack you will want an Ethernet drop, cable or sat drop and power. Many people go for 2 circuits, 20 amps each. It probably overkill for most, but they're pretty cheap to do. I ended up with 4 20 amp circuits in my equipment closet so I guess I'm ready for anything!

One other thing to consider with wiring is home theater lighting. With dark paint or fabrics, these rooms really soak up light. It's nice to have several zones of lighting, all on dimmers, so you can have it bright enough when needed for cleaning and the ability to turn off the lights on the screen end of the room and still have some light over the seats during non-critical viewing. My room ended up with 6 zones of lighting, but you might find that even 3 or 4 zones of lighting adds something special to the room. And changing the lighting by remote control is cool! A Grafik eye can do this or the Infrared Lutron remote control dimmers could work on a tighter budget. If you got 3 or 4 of them you could have them all off, all on or all dimmed (different levels for each switch).

Greg
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post #12 of 17 Old 10-14-2009, 05:11 AM
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Something to consider about the door placement. The benefit of the door in the rear of the room is that people can come and go without as much distraction. Many people have put the step up to the riser just outside of the door. This eliminates the concerns that Greg brings up while putting the distractions behind the viewers.

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post #13 of 17 Old 10-14-2009, 10:55 AM
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I have my door on the side wall but towards the front of the room. I thought it would be a distraction but in practice if someone is leaving the room for a drink or pit stop, we end up pausing the movie/show for them. So in the end it doesn't matter for us.

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post #14 of 17 Old 10-14-2009, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inphoenix View Post

Epson 6500 or Panasonic AE3000 and was leaning more towards AE3000 until I read about AE4000. But I cannot add a lens to these projectors. Is there any other good projector in this (2K-2.5K) range that will allow lens option for future upgrade?

You can certainly add a lens to the above mentioned projectors. The Epson needs an image processor to vertically stretch the image (which can also be handled by some receivers, some Blu Ray players or a HTPC), but the Panasonic has vertical stretch built in. Vertical stretch will eliminate the black bars on 2:35-2:40 movies and then the lens will restore the geometry width wise, expanding the image by 33%.
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post #15 of 17 Old 10-14-2009, 11:26 AM
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Another thing to consider here is room width vs. aisle/steps width to the riser that you'll have available after seating is in. If the room is 11' (132") wide, the "space saving" Berkline model 45088 has overall width of 86" for three straight seats, while the full size model 45090 is 105". Both assuming one arm between and on either end.

That leaves you 46" total (24" per aisle/side) with the smaller model, and only 27" total (13.4" per aisle/side) for the full size. Just using Berkline as an example.

I personally think that 26-30" is plenty of room for an aisle/step myself, but just wanted to point that out if you haven't considered it as part of your overall plan with the new door location.
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post #16 of 17 Old 10-14-2009, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

Something to consider about the door placement. The benefit of the door in the rear of the room is that people can come and go without as much distraction. Many people have put the step up to the riser just outside of the door. This eliminates the concerns that Greg brings up while putting the distractions behind the viewers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan View Post

I have my door on the side wall but towards the front of the room. I thought it would be a distraction but in practice if someone it leaving the room for a drink or pit stop, we end up pausing the movie/show for them. So in the end it doesn't matter for us.

I do agree with Cathan that we would be pausing for somone leaving the room. But if I change the door to open out, it will save me the work/cost of moving the door. My current sofa recliner is about 86" and it does leave a nice room around on both ends. I will post a modified layout and see what it looks like.

Thanks for your input. It is much appreciated.
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-14-2009, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 View Post

You can certainly add a lens to the above mentioned projectors. The Epson needs an image processor to vertically stretch the image (which can also be handled by some receivers, some Blu Ray players or a HTPC), but the Panasonic has vertical stretch built in. Vertical stretch will eliminate the black bars on 2:35-2:40 movies and then the lens will restore the geometry width wise, expanding the image by 33%.

One of the projectors sites was showing these projectors as no "lens option". I assumed that was anamorphic lens. But you are correct. Prismasonic's website shows that the lens will work with these projectors.

But, I am in no hurry to jump on a lens at this time. That may be an addition in 2.0 version of my HT.
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