Early planning for home theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-21-2011, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks AVSers for reading my thread and sharing your knowledge!

I'm in the early planning stages of a project that involves finishing my basement and dedicating one room to a home theater.

I am still waiting on one fundamental question to be answered that has a small chance of altering the floor plan, but for now I'm thinking that I'll have an area of about 13' X 22' to work with, which I think will be right at about 8' for the ceiling height.

I am going for an AT screen setup and want some space to work behind the screen for flexible speaker placement. How much space is ideal here? I have 2.5' planned.

I am installing a 7.1 system with 3 X Emotiva ERM 6.3 for LCR and 4 X ERD-1 for rear and side surrounds.

My burning questions at the moment are:

- I see alot of people going with huge screens for this size of a room and I'm wondering what I'm missing here. For 2 rows of seating, I am probably going to need to put the 1st row at 10.5 (eyes) feet and 2nd at 14.5 feet (eyes). Given that I watch a good bit of content that is 720P (sports, broadcast TV), I worry about going bigger than 85" for a 1:2.35 screen. Wouldn't something bigger be pixelated? Also, wouldn't anything more than 85" be too wide from a viewing angle perspective?

- I might be able to shift things back further, but I am not sure how close to the back wall I can take the 2nd row of seats. Right now, I'm looking at about 3' to the back wall, which would also be nice for someone to be able to get up and walk out of the room without crossing in the field of view. My primary concern with this is distance from the rear speakers, though. Any thoughts on this?
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-21-2011, 07:07 PM
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I sit 130 inches from my 116 inch wide 1:2.35 screen and it is perfect, not pixelated and just a FYI 720P sports get upscaled to the native resolution of your projector. 85 would be very small in this size room.

Before lifting your hammer you need to visit some theaters.

this chart may be of interest to you.



If you are planning full size reclining HT seating you need a 6.5 ft difference in first and second row seating distances from the screen, you have 4.


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post #3 of 4 Old 11-21-2011, 07:42 PM
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I went with the bare minimum, 2', it has worked out fine, but next time I'll probably add an extra 6", so 2.5' sounds just right to me. It would depend what you want to fit back there of course, like if you have some very deep subs.

I sit a bit closer than Big in terms of ratio - 12' (144") from a 136" wide 2.35, and to me its perfect. But like he said, its really a personal choice, one that you should research either by visiting theaters and walking off the distance and screen width to estimate a ratio; or by getting your projector and experimenting on a temporary screen / bed sheet, to determine your size preference. I don't watch any sports in the HT though; the occasional 720 movie has been OK, just a little softer than 1080 - using JVC projector, which has good fill factor.

My second row of seats is about 4' from the back wall, and its fine (fine in the sense that I don't sit there ) - my 7.1 rear surrounds are off in the corners, which gives a little more distance (vs. on the back wall closer to heads). If second row seats are closer to the wall, the may need more absorption back there.


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post #4 of 4 Old 01-16-2012, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I'm still in the planning stages here. Now that the holidays are behind me, I am starting to get my butt in gear

Thanks for the info (and the reference pic, Big).

After reading almost all of the build threads, I see that most builders like to go for in between the 20th century recommended and the SMPTE closest. After moving my front row up 1.5 feet (to 9.0'), I am leaning towards a fixed image height setup - 110" wide 1:2.35 screen, which would produce approximately a 85" lens-shifted 16:9 image.

I laid out 2 tape measures (I'll probably do painter's tape to verify) in my upstairs TV room to get an idea for what that size means at the seating distances I have available and I think that it would provide both the "close up" movie experience as well THX recommended viewing angle from the back row.

I'm getting excited to get started on the project - which includes finishing the whole basement (about 1100 s.f. of it). I guess I've got alot of work ahead of me!
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