Basement Theater - "Off-center" Floorplan/Layout advice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-11-2014, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Basement Theater - "Off-center" Floorplan/Layout advice

Forgive the rough layout I've attached just to give an idea of the space, but I was looking for some feedback from the knowledgeable group here on design.

The room is approximately 17x24 with just shy of 9' ceilings; however, my concern is that there are 2 support beams approximately 4 feet off the right wall (these are unfortunately not able to be moved in the budget). My workaround for this issue was to essentially create one aisle down the right side of the room based on their location, and then "off-center" the seating/picture/etc. to the remaining space.

I've looked around a bit at other builds trying to find commentary/feedback on these situations, but the few I have found don't seem to have much discussion around this aspect. Is that simply because it isn't a major deal, or are the downsides so obvious that it doesn't need explanation and I'm missing the boat here?

Any thoughts would definitely be appreciated, as I'm always looking to learn from the great experiences others here are willing to share.



A few additional comments:

The positioning/type of seating/bar is not exact, and obviously could be adjusted as necessary. The second row of seating is intended to be on a riser when everything is said and done. Also, from what I've read here in plenty of threads, I recognize that the closer seating to the wall will be less than ideal; so whether that results in less seating, changed spacing, or those just being the less desirable seats remains to be seen.

There is a mock-up for an AT screen-wall, although I'm not currently convinced one way or the other on this, and it may be too much of a space crunch. The main entrance is the back right corner; the one door shown behind the bar seating is utility and it is not expected to be a used thoroughfare, but rather it will be acceptable to move chairs to gain access on the rare occasion.

Also, I will be doing the construction mostly myself, and this is not intended to be an "everything and the kitchen sink" type build out. While I don't intend to go deep into the realm of diminishing returns for investment (and yes, I know that's all relative, and "investment" for home theater is a misnomer at best), if there are things that can be done without massive excessive headaches that will provide good returns in terms of enjoyment, I'd definitely be willing to spend the time up front.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-11-2014, 11:46 AM
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Just a FYI you can fit a row of 3 full size reclining home theater seats and and leave 4 ft aisles on both sides of the room.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-11-2014, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Just a FYI you can fit a row of 3 full size reclining home theater seats and and leave 4 ft aisles on both sides of the room.
Thanks for the reply Big - I see you on here all the time and very much respect your opinion as your work shows quality.

I had been tempted to play with the configuration similarly to how you suggest - actually putting in 2 straight rows of 4 seats (either individual or with a love-seat middle) at ~120" ish, and then cheating the one side aisle down to 3 ft and some change. I guess I was trying to figure out the pros/cons of having that extra aisle and being closer "true-centered" in the room itself, as opposed to just sprawling over a bit into that extra few feet?

Also, if I narrow the viewing "column" down the middle of the room to ~10 ft by adding the extra aisle, that obviously changes the alignment and positioning of the screen - if I allowed the maximum 10 ft width so as to not put the support poles in anyone's sight line, that's ~138" 16:9. Does that sound correct, or am I not taking into account something correctly here, and need to plan for a different size?

Finally, am I being reasonable in thinking that 2 rows of seating plus a convenience bar and stools will fit in this space? I feel like it should, and my goal is to have regular seating for 8 and the ability to overflow at the bar, but obviously I ultimately want an enjoyable space above all else - and squished like sardines is not fun.

Thanks again all for the input!
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-12-2014, 04:08 PM
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My room is far from ideal, so I know a little about working around the space.

Are those couches in your drawing to scale? Cause that would put them at over 12' long. I'm thinking if you did as Big suggested and put in a row of chairs at 120", you'd be fine to be centered even with the pole right next to the front row.

I wouldn't want everything pushed over to one side for a couple of reasons:
1. It would feel squishy for the person in the wall side seats.
2. I would think the acoustics would be better if you were not having you R main right up against the wall.
3. I wouldn't want to sit right underneath a surround speaker.

I would suggest marking the screen off with masking tape, then use some folding chairs as mockups to see if the pole would be in the way with a centered screen.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-14-2014, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiporaro14 View Post
Forgive the rough layout I've attached just to give an idea of the space, but I was looking for some feedback from the knowledgeable group here on design.

The room is approximately 17x24 with just shy of 9' ceilings; however, my concern is that there are 2 support beams approximately 4 feet off the right wall (these are unfortunately not able to be moved in the budget). My workaround for this issue was to essentially create one aisle down the right side of the room based on their location, and then "off-center" the seating/picture/etc. to the remaining space.

I've looked around a bit at other builds trying to find commentary/feedback on these situations, but the few I have found don't seem to have much discussion around this aspect. Is that simply because it isn't a major deal, or are the downsides so obvious that it doesn't need explanation and I'm missing the boat here?

Any thoughts would definitely be appreciated, as I'm always looking to learn from the great experiences others here are willing to share.



A few additional comments:

The positioning/type of seating/bar is not exact, and obviously could be adjusted as necessary. The second row of seating is intended to be on a riser when everything is said and done. Also, from what I've read here in plenty of threads, I recognize that the closer seating to the wall will be less than ideal; so whether that results in less seating, changed spacing, or those just being the less desirable seats remains to be seen.

There is a mock-up for an AT screen-wall, although I'm not currently convinced one way or the other on this, and it may be too much of a space crunch. The main entrance is the back right corner; the one door shown behind the bar seating is utility and it is not expected to be a used thoroughfare, but rather it will be acceptable to move chairs to gain access on the rare occasion.

Also, I will be doing the construction mostly myself, and this is not intended to be an "everything and the kitchen sink" type build out. While I don't intend to go deep into the realm of diminishing returns for investment (and yes, I know that's all relative, and "investment" for home theater is a misnomer at best), if there are things that can be done without massive excessive headaches that will provide good returns in terms of enjoyment, I'd definitely be willing to spend the time up front.
Hi Tiporaro14

I recorded a video response to your questions and layout. You can see it here:

Hope it helps.

Thanks
Dennis
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Chief Acoustic Engineer at Acousticfields.com. Listen to your music...without hearing your room!
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-14-2014, 06:06 AM
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A BIG +1 to what Dennis Foley has to say.


Another reason you want to be off the surround speakers, is how you set the volume of a surround speaker, close to a seat?
Set it low so the nearby seating doesn't have that channel jump out of the surround field, and is it possible for the furthest
seat to hear it? Raising the surround helps a bit.


All those extra bodies can be expensive, in terms of cooling too. So you need to beef up the cooling. (450 watts +, per body, per hour).
And those extra bodies likely mean more air movement needed, at the vents, which mean noise. And you really don't want that.


I'd want to trade off those occasional seats and move that $$$ over to the projector. I'd be thinking a bigger (and properly centered) DIY
AT XD screen,with a 3' deep AT space. Build yourself some SEOS speakers, and subs, and give them a simple flat black finish. Flat pack
cabinets and prebuilt crossover options make this a pretty simple DIY option. And you have dynamic speakers, that will hold up to the throw
distance for all the seating and be able to play at reference levels. (Another potential diminishing return for that third row occasional seating.)


If and when you need extra seating, why not just bring in a few chairs? A friend used inexpensive IKEA Poang seats, in this manner.
Inexpensive, comfortable and light weight.


I'd also want to put a single door at the entry, and make sure both doors have some mass and gaskets. A low noise floor in the room, is important.
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