Is 12' too close to 130" or 140" 16.9 screen? - AVS Forum
Dedicated Theater Design & Construction > Is 12' too close to 130" or 140" 16.9 screen?
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 12:50 PM 09-17-2013
Wanting as big as possible, I know I will need to test on wall before final decision, but I am getting a home built with media room so can't do any testing yet and am trying to decide on which wall to use for screen. Do any of you sit at a similar ratio to width and like it?

130" at 1.5 ratio to width would be a little over 14', while 140" at 1.5 would be 15'. I have seen where many others have stated that 1.2 is good for them. Just was wondering what some of you guys thought.

jautor's Avatar jautor 03:17 PM 09-17-2013
It's certainly a big screen... My front row is ~10' from 108", and that is 'big' from there - not too big, but I wouldn't go any bigger. Note that there are other considerations that may affect your decision. Where will the speakers be? Is this an AT screen setup? If not, will there be enough space for the LCR speakers for proper placement (especially the center with respect to multiple seating rows, if they exist)? Also, a large screen like that will need a projector capable of lighting it up...
doublewing11's Avatar doublewing11 06:06 PM 09-17-2013
Originally Posted by walshcm View Post

Wanting as big as possible, I know I will need to test on wall before final decision, but I am getting a home built with media room so can't do any testing yet and am trying to decide on which wall to use for screen. Do any of you sit at a similar ratio to width and like it?

130" at 1.5 ratio to width would be a little over 14', while 140" at 1.5 would be 15'. I have seen where many others have stated that 1.2 is good for them. Just was wondering what some of you guys thought.

I sit 12.5 ft from 12ft wide it. My wife has gotten used to sitting this close and now prefers front row. Immersive with out a doubt..............biggrin.gif

Sorry, 2nd edit...........

Screen is 2.37 ratio which makes a difference..............wink.gif
kevin g.'s Avatar kevin g. 06:36 PM 09-17-2013
Just put together a room for a friend, he is thirteen and a half feet away from a 135" fixed frame...I thought it was huge compared to my 120"...but he absolutely loves it
Reddig's Avatar Reddig 07:34 PM 09-17-2013
Id say 130" is about your limit but YMMV. I sit roughly 12feet (head postition) from my 125" Elite AT 16x9 sceen and my front wall is about 13.5 feet. wide. Its very compelling and engaging and I actullay wouldn't want to go any bigger at that seating distance. I think 140" is too big personally at that distance unless you watch almost only 2.35:1 content. Or if your wanting to get a 2.35:1 screen than a 130 and 140" screen will be more of a comfortable size. I absolutley love my 125" screen at 12feet viewing distance so id lean towards the 130".

Id prolly wait to get your screen until your space is done and you can mask a screen outline on the wall and judge yourself. Dont get the saddle before the horse as the saying goes.
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 08:35 AM 09-18-2013
I am now looking at a little further back. I was going to design room with 2 rows in mind, but because of the complexities with the entry doors location and just overall shape of room I have decided to go with one row as far back for the biggest screen possible.

My room is 13'8" wide and I will put my seating at about 15' back, which is about 2.5' from the back wall. I realize this is close to back wall and may create some difficulties for the best surround sound, but in the end I want the biggest visuals possible, especially if I cant do the room the way I want to accommodate visitors. So 15' back from 140" should be ok I would think. I will of course test this all out, but needed a ballpark since I have to tell the builder where to wire the surround speakers now.
Spaceman's Avatar Spaceman 09:55 AM 09-18-2013
Originally Posted by walshcm View Post

I will put my seating at about 15' back, which is about 2.5' from the back wall. I realize this is close to back wall and may create some difficulties for the best surround sound, but in the end I want the biggest visuals possible
"Big visuals" can be achieved just as easily by having your seats closer to a smaller screen. Sitting 12' from a 112" wide screen will have the same level of immersion as sitting 15' from a 140" wide screen. As Jautor mentioned, going as large as possible with your screen will force you into buying a pj than can sufficiently light it. It also forces you to spend more money on a larger screen.

I'm not saying 1 row is a bad idea for your room. Just understand that bigger isn't always better.

Have you thought through your speaker placement? Behind or beside the screen? What about your center speaker? Subwoofer(s)? A 140" wide 16:9 screen is almost 8' tall with the frame. Unless you are going AT and placing everything behind the screen, your placement options for center speaker and subwoofer are limited.
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 10:23 AM 09-18-2013
My room is 17'3" by 13'8", with one corner of the room slightly cut off do to the door. I have looked at putting the screen on each and every wall at length, and my wife and I just keep coming back to length wise opposite of the entry. This direction gives a less width, but gives the longer length. Due to code and the way our room is set up, we cannot build a step outside the room so that you can enter on the platform. The platform would need to be stepped up onto in the room. With the room being only 17' long, I did not want to give the platform an entire 7' as that would put my front row at 10' and force me into a smaller screen scenario then I wanted. I could always make platform 5' and only have a couch back there that does not recline, but either way neither of us like the idea of a platform that is just "in" the room. For aesthetic purposes we preferred you enter onto the platform.

I planned on doing speakers beside the screen, most likely on stands, with the sub near the front side, if I did end up with a 10' screen I would have close to 2' on either side of screen. Again, if it ends up too big, I cant say I would be disappointed with a 130". My main issue is dropping the screen below 120" or 110", for me a screen that size starts to feel not worth the money this room will cost and that I could easily just be fine with a 65" plasma in the living room.

I have looked at doing just one row with the screen on one of the long walls. Things about that irritate me as well. For one, surround speakers would be even more difficult and would most likely need to do them in ceiling. Also, far wall slopes down 2' so the wall height is only 8'. Yes a 120' could fit there with about 2.5' to spare from the ground, but I don't like the look of the sloped wall and prefer not putting a screen on it.

The attachment shows the room layout and how I had thought about doing the speakers, now if I put my 1st row all the way 15' back I would need to move the side surrounds back, meaning one would need to be higher than door entry.

This has been too much for me, and had I known it would be this difficult I would have just hired someone to tell me what wall to use, but I didn't and now I have until later today to tell them media room setup and speaker placement as its a new build and my time is now up. I figured I would hire someone to help me put the stuff together, I just didn't think I would have such a difficult time deciding on which wall to use.

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walshcm's Avatar walshcm 10:45 AM 09-18-2013
I just checked out your theatre build, and it is fantastic. Although I am not going to be able to drop that kind of cash into it, nor do I have the skills to undertake such a project. But your room dimensions are similar to mine, except that your entry does not cut off part of your wall. That is the dilemma I have, otherwise I would enter the room, walk to other end and set the riser up that way, similar to yours, which I think would be very nice, but my door cuts into the side of what would be the screen wall. I guess with a 10'3" wall I could do a 110" inch screen with about 1' remaining on each side, but that is cutting it close and I feel like I am putting my screen on the worst wall in the entire room.
Spaceman's Avatar Spaceman 11:25 AM 09-18-2013
I think you made the right choice for your screen wall. If that were my room, I'd probably place the seats 12' back from the screen (which keeps them in front of the doors rather than beside, and centered in the room) and either use the remaining space behind the seats for a shallow bar with bar stools as overflow seating or perhaps a dry bar along the back wall for candy/storage. This would require the side surrounds to be pulled forward. I'd also look at in-ceiling surrounds for the rears in order to keep them centered relative to the listening position and at the recommended separation. That angle in the corner is preventing you from properly placing your right rear surround.

How many seats were you planning to use? For reference, my row of 4 with a center loveseat is 116" wide, which would leave you 24" on either side for aisles.

Where are you locating your av equipment?

EDIT: I just added a row of 4 to your room at 12' back like discussed above and this is what it looks like. Seems pretty cramped, given the door configuration. Even changing the double doors to a single behind the seats pretty much makes one of the aisles unusable.

Here is a 3-seat configuration at 11' back, with the doors changed to a 32" wide single.

Here is the same 3-seat configuration at 11' with a dry bar along the back wall.

And the same seating configuration with a shallow bar behind the rear seats. Seems a little awkward at the door.

Just thought I'd throw these out there in case you haven't actually placed seating on a piece of paper yet. These were all done with the goal of keeping the seats centered in the room.
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 11:59 AM 09-18-2013
After looking at your setup I am willing to push my seats up to around 10' and have a 7' platform for a second row of seating. The only problem is like I said the platform would be 1' tall and it would have to be only 9' long to opposite wall to leave room to walk in room and to open doors. I really don't want doors opening outward, as that is a Juliet type catwalk once you get up the stairs. So this is one option. I also like the option of the bar that you said, and if you look at my picture, we have a wet bar going in in the game room on the other side. We have talked about leaving it or flipping the wall and putting it in media, we just were undecided, my wife thought it might help the game room a little since we don't know what to do with the space. So yes I could have just a bar with stools, or a bar with stools and a wet bar in the media, or I could just do a riser with 3 recliners. I would probably buy the ones you have as they look to be reasonably priced and comfortable. We are putting the equipment in the lower cabinet in the bar. The bar is 2 feet deep so the lower cabinets should be deep enough to hold everything. Which of these options do you like the most? The only thing we hate about the riser idea is that its an awkward entry and then to go up a riser that starts like that. Just not ideal. Thanks for helping me out with this. I have struggled day and night and am driving the builder crazy. Was supposed to be done last week, but keep changing on them.

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Spaceman's Avatar Spaceman 12:42 PM 09-18-2013
I was in the process of adding a few options to my previous post when you added your latest. I don't know why my pics are showing up so large and in different sizes, but you get the idea. I found that 12' back is problematic with pretty much any door scenario, so if you can live with 10', that would be better. It would improve the other 3 scenarios I came up with as well, since all those were drawn at 11' back.

I couldn't come up with a good layout of 2 rows of seats with a riser given that door location. You end up with an awkward riser layout after leaving room for an in-swinging door. The back row not only ends up off-center after leaving room for the door, but it would be right against the back wall, with the back left seat right up against the side wall. And after shortening up the riser to leave room for the door, the front row sticks out beyond the edge of the riser, so you would really need to put the front row off-center in the room to make it look right. If you want 2 rows, a front row of seats with a back row of bar-style seating might be a better option. It would allow you to eliminate the riser and the awkward entry associated with it.
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 12:51 PM 09-18-2013
Just saw your sketches. I need something like that, would make this process easier. I think with the awkwardness of the door I would just not worry about centering the room perfectly, or to have exact space in between aisles or anything like that. If I did have 2 rows, and reclined they were pretty much up against the back wall, and with very little space on the platform in the front, I would be ok with that, as reclined most seats I look at are 65"-69.5" fully reclined. A 7' foot platform would be enough fully reclined, but would just be a little tight when people want to move around. But I figured I could do 3 recliners in the back, your chairs would measure about 7.5', with a riser of 9' long and a small step on each side, I think I could manage. And then I would do 4 seats in the front row, probably with a love seat type without the armrest in the middle, just like your back row.

So with this I would assume my front row would be about 9.5-10' eyes to picture.
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 12:55 PM 09-18-2013
Ok. Well we could have doors open out. It is an option, it's just that the catwalk after coming up the stairs is only about 3.5'. But we could also latch one of the doors down if need be. We just preffered to keep the doors to swinging in since it would be a little tight outside of the room. This of course only if you think it really changes anything. If it would make a large difference on my options of seating then I could live with a strange opening door.
Spaceman's Avatar Spaceman 12:59 PM 09-18-2013
Opening out doesn't help too much as you would still need a level landing inside the room before stepping up on the riser. Are you set on keeping the double doors or would you consider changing them to a single if it helped with the layout?
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 01:03 PM 09-18-2013
I think my wife preferred the double doors, due to the presentation as it the first thing you see coming up a winding staircase and across a Juliet balcony. I tend to agree with her really. If the room were tucked away I wouldn't care. But again, depending on what my options are, I may have to change if it changes the entire dynamics of my functional setup within the room.
Spaceman's Avatar Spaceman 01:15 PM 09-18-2013
Originally Posted by walshcm View Post

Just saw your sketches. I need something like that, would make this process easier.

If you want to send me a PM with your email address, I'll send you a pdf of each of the schemes that you can print to scale (1/2"=1'-0"). That way you have a template for a row of 3 and a template for a row of 4 and you can move them around to see if you can come up with something that works for you. I'll include the one I just finished showing 3 in the back and 4 in the front. I think you will see it's less than ideal.
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 01:24 PM 09-18-2013
Sent I believe. Have not used the PM on here before. I also was looking at different configurations of seating to conserve a little width. Like maybe the 2 seat love seat plus 1 normal recliner, just really any method that might make it a little less awkward. But again, if I have a less than ideal room, I will just have to go with a less than ideal setup I suppose. I think we are ok if things aren't quite centered. As long as we can get a couple decent rows. If not, I had decided to just throw the row back and blow up the screen size.
Spaceman's Avatar Spaceman 01:25 PM 09-18-2013
I received it. Plans are on the way.
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 09:30 PM 09-18-2013
So after working on this and going back and forth all day, this is the idea my wife and I have decided on. This plan has the bar inverted from the game room into the media room instead, and we are also using a skinny bar with bar seats opposite of it. This allows us to have a couch with an ottoman with a recliner to the side. Not really the traditional media room layout, but this should be cozy and great for entertaining. Space thanks for your help with this, and let me know what you think. And any other opinions if anyone wants to chime in.

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Spaceman's Avatar Spaceman 11:16 PM 09-18-2013
Not sure what you had planned for the bar area when it was originally in the game room. If it included a mini-fridge, keep in mind that will add a lot of heat and noise to the theater. If it includes a lot of glassware, plan accordingly if you intend to have a large subwoofer, so you aren't dealing with unwanted rattles. If it's just a cabinet to hold your av gear, you should be fine.

How wide is your bar top? Looks to be about 12" wide. I think many of the builds on here shoot for 18", but you should check them out to be sure. "Beam and Pole" would be a good place to start.

Make sure you make the bar long enough to sit behind a variety of seating types without the seating sticking out past the end of the bar. Plan for the longest furniture configuration.

What are your plans for speaker placement? Looks like the two seats behind the ottoman work best acoustically while the rest will be less than ideal, particularly the ones close to the surrounds/side walls.

If you think you will have 8 people in there on a regular basis, make sure your contractor upgrades the hvac in the room. One supply isn't going to cut it. You will most likely need several as well as a return.

Are you having the builder install an electrical outlet and conduit in the ceiling for your projector? If so, you'll need to spend a little bit of time dialing in your screen size and projector placement so the outlet and conduit can be located correctly. If you have access to the space above the theater (attic?), this may be something you can do after.

Have you started to think about lighting?
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 11:49 PM 09-18-2013
It will include a mini fridge below. I have thought some about the heat and noise, but I had hoped to shop around and find something that will be tolerable in both areas. If I am in the room watching movies, the sound will be loud, so it will not bother me, but it could bother others, but it won't force me to change plans, I may just have to buy a pricier fridge. I planned on putting the sub in the front left corner of the room. I hadn't imagined that it would rattle the cabinets enough to cause a problem, so that is something I will have to think about. I doubt I will have much, but a few cocktail glasses and such.

I had decided with about a 14" inch bar top, wife and I looked at it and figured that would be plenty. I saw someone doing a 12" so I figured we weren't too far off the mark. The table will be 9' long as well, which should be long enough I would think to fit large couches in front. With it being up in front of the doors, I could extend that to 10' if you think it's necessary.

Speakers I was planning on towers, center, and sub, with probably in wall side surrounds, and most likely in ceiling rear surrounds. Yes the only two seats that will get the most out of the placement will be on the couch, and I am ok with this scenario. When we do have guests its entertainment in the form of alcohol and possible sports watching, movie watching will be for the wife and I.

I think 8 people will be rare, but nice to accommodate, but yes I have been concerned with the possible heat issue. As of now, it appears their could be two supplies, by looking at another home under construction, but I am not certain. I will discuss this tomorrow.

Builder is putting the power and a smurf tube in the ceiling for the projector. I had planned on around 15' to 16' feet back. I think I am leaning towards a 120" screen with the main seating area being around 11.5' - 12' back. Here is just a rough idea of speaker placement.

Edit: Number 7 is just a reference for the builder so I can explain to them about putting equipment wiring in lower cabinets. 6 is projector.

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walshcm's Avatar walshcm 11:58 PM 09-18-2013
I had not made it to lighting. So far we get the standard sconce lighting. We get 4 to place, so would probably do 2 on each long wall. I did tell them to add a dimmer on the switch. I figure I won't go to in detail with lighting. I figure maybe a can light or two in the bar area, maybe one near the screen. Have any ideas for lighting? The builder told me can lights are $100 each while smaller ones are $130 each. I don't know the difference between the big ones and the small ones.
walshcm's Avatar walshcm 12:17 AM 09-19-2013
It almost sounds like the bar may not be worth the trouble if it does in fact create all these issues with heat, and noise. I could easily flip the actual wet bar itself back into game room and just leave bar table with stools for overflow seating. We just thought putting the bar in across from bar table would be a nice touch and really do a lot for the room. But I don't want to do so if its going to ruin the experience or create many unwanted headaches. After all, most of the focus needs to be on the screen.
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