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post #1 of 73 Old 10-12-2015, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Burtonsville Theater Advice Needed!

Hey all!

Been a home theater enthusiast ever since seeing The Rock on Laserdisc at my godfather's house and ever since I've put some "meh" cheap builds together on shoe string budgets. I started with a 5.1 Pioneer HTIB in 1995 in my parent's basement, to a 7.1 setup in my last townhouse with el cheapo bookshelf (I think no-name) speakers, a Sony VPL-AW15 projector and a VSX-1018AH-K Pioneer receiver. Either because of budget (nothing) or environment (open walls, parents) I haven't been able to do anything terribly interesting or satisfying which brings us to now...

I recently bought a place in sunny Burtonsville, MD (15 min S of Columbia) and I have an unfinished room that I think I know I could make into a dedicated home theater. Interestingly (or terrifyingly enough) I bought a house on the same cul-de-sac as my parents who moved onto the street sometime in the 2000s and their floorplan is almost identical to ours and my dad also turned his unfinished (same) room into a home theater. Unfortunately, he didn't consult me at that time so he spent a lot of extra $$ that imo he could've put into some better places for the home theater, namely into soundproofing and aesthetics.

Soundproofing is a big deal for me because my wife barely tolerates music as it is so anything from a theater would drive her batty (as my previous setups have been known to do). Also, the room for the HT is right under our sunken family room so yeah, really want to mitigate the sound coming from the home theater up and the footfall from the family room down. At this point, I really want to do the PITA that is the GG+DWx2+insulation+clips+DW+GG+DW on the ceiling but at the moment, my question is not really about that...

I've been pondering over a couple layout problems that are really bothersome for me. The room I'm working with is in the right of the attached floor plan. In my parent's HT, theirs runs North-South with the screen on the South wall. I was hoping to go East-Wwest so I could hopefully get some more distance between sitting position and the screen. But on the east wall is our main electrical box. Obviously as we would need access to it, I'm not sure what I should do... Should I try and see if this can be moved a couple feet to the south wall? Or is this big enough of a deal that I should go to a North/South orientation. (in case you're wondering, my parent's house has their main panel on the other end of the basement )

Another thing that should be pointed out is that the ceiling is pretty low (6"8ish I think?) as it's right under the sunken family room. I was hoping to do some Atmos-ish stuff and I've scoured these forums and the web and I can't get a bead on if it's too low to waste time on that. Also I have a big vent that will require a soffit (at least) on South Wall and if I was going to go East-West I'd probably build a faux one on the North Wall as well. And you can't see it on the pictures attached but I also have two ?vents? running North South that provide air to the family room above.

So yeah, would love to get some advice on what to do here, apologies beforehand for my n00bness on all this stuff and thx to all for the great content on these forums, been scouring them for a long long time now!

P.S. Here's a really quick of my dad's HT:
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Last edited by BushMackel; 10-17-2015 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Added video
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post #2 of 73 Old 10-14-2015, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Bueller? Bueller?
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post #3 of 73 Old 10-14-2015, 05:46 AM
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So how many seats do you actually require? That is where I'd start. And then decide what screen ratio would
you like.


There's a lot of new and very good DIY options since your dad built his room, that could open up a budget. Even
those movies posters could be digital, or printed fabric options...


You could recess your ATMOS speakers into the joist cavity, and do backer boxes. Likely would work just fine
for a single row theater, if you don't need a lot of seating. Otherwise, I keep seeing a 9' high room as better candidate
for ATMOS. But I expect that's talking about a room with a riser and second seating row.


Have you considered framing into the space, and doing fabric walls? You could put a steel door right in front
of the electrical area, and a fabric framed wall could disguise it.


I can see your room in a lot of configurations.


A large DIY AT screen, and a single row of seating and second bar type row right behind.


Laid out like your Dad's, or rotated ninety degrees. Two rows, moderate screen size.


And in a wide single row layout. Scope DIY AT screen. Clips and channel are going to further reduce your ceiling height,
so a single row seating layout with a 6' tall scope AT screen might be an off the beaten path, but it could be one impressive room.


And various versions where the walls are fabric walls, and all speakers are hidden, and you build into the space with fabric walls, and
bury the surround speakers in those walls, behind fabric. Finishing out a smaller room in that space, also could mean budget to be
spent elsewhere. Things like a programmable lighting controller and zoned lighting, or an anamorphic lens. That rotated space might not
even represent the best space for you, as if you value being able to play reference levels, then demands on equipment and speakers start to
get expensive.
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post #4 of 73 Old 10-14-2015, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Hm... A lot of good stuff to think about there Tedd, and I appreciate the reply - Even before seeing your response I finally started looking at seats and angles towards a screen trying to get a handle on what some members seem to like and also paying attention to some diagrams that have been linked to a million times as well.

And sometime this morning I think I did make the decision to go for that 2.35-2.4:1 screen - Could be fuuuuuuuuuuun!
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post #5 of 73 Old 10-14-2015, 09:29 AM
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I am not clear on what area you have to work with... is it the 'wood floor' looking section of the diagram?

My electric box is on my 'screen wall', but on the far right edge. My screen is 11' wide, which left enough room for me to do a swing out door/panel on the right side to access the box. So far, I have been pleased with my sound-proofing, despite having limited ability to do soundproofing on the electric box. I thought if needed, I could build some sort of 'backer box' type door, but haven't found the need yet.

I don't know much about Atmos, but I think another option is 'reflecting' speakers - so, mounted on the ground, pointed up, and you hear the Atmos sound from the reflection. If I read correctly, this is what Mario in the Cinemar theater did.

My rows are fairly close- my front row is ~ 9 1/2 feet from the 11' wide screen, and my back row about 16'. For my bluray movies, I like to sit in the front row... for my DVD movies, I tend to sit in the back row as I definitely see picture quality issues with the lower resolution.

I did fabric frames and fabric movie posters in my theater if you want to have a look. All of my speakers are 'in wall' speakers, but none are mounted inside the walls - all are in the columns or surface mounted on the front wall. This definitely helped me keep as much real-estate as possible - while still using an AT Screen (which I love) and shoe-horning a bar row in the back.
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post #6 of 73 Old 10-14-2015, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhvball View Post
I am not clear on what area you have to work with... is it the 'wood floor' looking section of the diagram?
Yep, that's it - Sorry for not being more clear.

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Originally Posted by kmhvball View Post
My electric box is on my 'screen wall', but on the far right edge. My screen is 11' wide, which left enough room for me to do a swing out door/panel on the right side to access the box. So far, I have been pleased with my sound-proofing, despite having limited ability to do soundproofing on the electric box. I thought if needed, I could build some sort of 'backer box' type door, but haven't found the need yet.

I don't know much about Atmos, but I think another option is 'reflecting' speakers - so, mounted on the ground, pointed up, and you hear the Atmos sound from the reflection. If I read correctly, this is what Mario in the Cinemar theater did.

My rows are fairly close- my front row is ~ 9 1/2 feet from the 11' wide screen, and my back row about 16'. For my bluray movies, I like to sit in the front row... for my DVD movies, I tend to sit in the back row as I definitely see picture quality issues with the lower resolution.
Thx for chiming in about the seat positions, distance and all that. The sketches I'm playing with now have my first row at about 147" (12'+) back from the screen (currently 95"-108" wide) and I'm thinking that I could get a bit closer. And I traipsed about in your thread really quickly and did indeed see your issues with your electrical panels. Glad I'm not the only one and glad to hear that it's not a deal breaker. I gotta look at yours a bit more closely but mine is about 75" from the wall when the whole electical panel section could really be 30" total in space so for the moment I'm feeling like I'm gonna have to move it down a smidge.

Re: Atmos, even with the backer boxes in the ceiling I'm just not sure I'll have enough height to do it effectively. We shall see...

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I did fabric frames and fabric movie posters in my theater if you want to have a look. All of my speakers are 'in wall' speakers, but none are mounted inside the walls - all are in the columns or surface mounted on the front wall. This definitely helped me keep as much real-estate as possible - while still using an AT Screen (which I love) and shoe-horning a bar row in the back.
Yeah! I remembered the fabric panels from your thread from a while back and they got me thinking of that as well. I think your theater has the aesthetic I really like and it reminds me a lot of SOWK's but not as formal. As of right now I'm not sure which way I'm going to go but your theater always spoke to me!

It's so funny now going back through your head and now really appreciating the Cinemar thread... I read both threads before but now they somehow seem to contain so much more information Appreciate the thoughts guys!
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post #7 of 73 Old 10-14-2015, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhvball View Post
I am not clear on what area you have to work with... is it the 'wood floor' looking section of the diagram?

I don't know much about Atmos, but I think another option is 'reflecting' speakers - so, mounted on the ground, pointed up, and you hear the Atmos sound from the reflection. If I read correctly, this is what Mario in the Cinemar theater did.

Just to help add clarification. My speakers for Atmos are in the soffit pointed up towards the ceiling and reflect down to the listener. The woofer's are probably only 6" or so from the ceiling they reflect off of.
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post #8 of 73 Old 10-14-2015, 12:22 PM
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First off, I'd trash that THX viewing angle diagram. It is outdated. Many people push far greater viewing angles,
and love the results.
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post #9 of 73 Old 10-15-2015, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Just to help add clarification. My speakers for Atmos are in the soffit pointed up towards the ceiling and reflect down to the listener. The woofer's are probably only 6" or so from the ceiling they reflect off of.
Good notes. I had seen in other threads that others had theorized that you might be able to get away with smaller ceiling heights if you reflected the audio off the ceiling thereby increasing the distance to the listener ear... Since you're bringing it up now, I'm guessing you're pretty happy with the results.
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post #10 of 73 Old 10-15-2015, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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First off, I'd trash that THX viewing angle diagram. It is outdated. Many people push far greater viewing angles,
and love the results.
Roger that Tedd. I worked yesterday and a little this morning in creating some more plans with more aggressive angles in the vein of other members. In fact, I have one labeled as the "kmhvball plan" that goes off the distances shared a couple messages before. It def avails itself to some overflow sitting in the back but I do worry that it may be a bit too close (or perhaps more importantly to me) doesn't yield a seat in the middle of my tentative speaker positions. But I may slide everything back on that one just a tad to some audio sweet spots and then wait to decide on a screen later on in process to see what works for me
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post #11 of 73 Old 10-15-2015, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
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Good notes. I had seen in other threads that others had theorized that you might be able to get away with smaller ceiling heights if you reflected the audio off the ceiling thereby increasing the distance to the listener ear... Since you're bringing it up now, I'm guessing you're pretty happy with the results.
Yeah - I didn't really have too many options since Atmos wasn't around during my initial build.

But after testing with speakers on ladders facing the MLP vs bouncing off the ceiling, I couldn't notice much of a difference to my own ears. Even if there was a slight difference, it wasn't to the point of wanting to start cutting up the theater to make them work.

One thing to note is that my Atmos speakers are tripoles, so maybe that helps in reflecting sound all around and into the room a bit better than traditional speakers.
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post #12 of 73 Old 10-16-2015, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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So I think I'm very close to uploading some initial drafts in terms of seating, screen and speakers as I've been working on a few layouts pretty diligently over the past couple of days. While I still have been including viewing angles I've been backing off them quite a bit as you suggested Tedd and I'm such a dope for not going down the street to my dad's theater and seeing how much I like that seating position (ugh!)

But I'm wondering about now is if anybody has any thoughts on 1) whether or not I should keep the HT room shaped the way that it is (again, the hardwood looking part in the top right of my earlier attached pic) or if is I should make it completely rectangular, making it approximately 17'6" x 19'8". Even though I do love a huge screen, I think as I'm working through this that I'm accepting that audio might be a bit more important to me.

And lastly, is the trend these days to make all speakers face "forward"? Or are people angling them towards the MLP? I went through a couple threads and it seems that people who are building speakers into the walls/columns ARE facing them forward but perhaps there's angling built into some of the speakers? I'm also curious about the speaker position in your theater mcascio... Are your speakers in the lower portions of your columns which are about at ear height when people are sitting? Or are they in the lower part if the top 2/3rds of your column? I saw in your thread you did put in adjustable bracket in there but yeah, just trying to figure that out.

Thx all!
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post #13 of 73 Old 10-16-2015, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BushMackel View Post

And lastly, is the trend these days to make all speakers face "forward"? Or are people angling them towards the MLP? I went through a couple threads and it seems that people who are building speakers into the walls/columns ARE facing them forward but perhaps there's angling built into some of the speakers? I'm also curious about the speaker position in your theater mcascio... Are your speakers in the lower portions of your columns which are about at ear height when people are sitting? Or are they in the lower part if the top 2/3rds of your column? I saw in your thread you did put in adjustable bracket in there but yeah, just trying to figure that out.

Thx all!
My Rear column speakers are probably about a foot above the back rows heads. The side surrounds are about ear height of the back row.

I used to have them higher before going with Atmos. So I think having some adjustable shelves gives you many options in the future.

My front speakers are toed in towards the MLP. The sides and the rears are perpendicular to the wall; however, I have tripole speakers.
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post #14 of 73 Old 10-16-2015, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Good info Mario. Ok - Back to the drawing board.
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post #15 of 73 Old 10-17-2015, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok so thanks to everyone who have chimed in with some great thoughts. While I haven't completely abandoned the recommended viewing angles from THX et al, I've relaxed on them quite a bit and also figured out the viewing angles for some of you AVS members who have some awesome theaters. Off the top of my head, I think Mario's Cinemar theater's front seats are at around 62° and Kevin's Cinema Nati's are at 70° if memory serves me correct (and my calculations are right which is always a leap of faith). So with that in mind and really trying to play with my space, my latest layout looks aboutish like this:



While I was concerned for a while about making sure the HT space was a perfect rectangle inside of what is already carved out of the basement, I think I've concluded that I might be able to borrow some of the existing space to the left of the theater (which goes into the already finished basement) so I can grab another 36" or so which helps with a door and space for the overflow seating IF I decide to go that way.

While my wife did say I could do whatever with the basement (since I gave her a room on the main level) I did show her some of my plans last night (some with overflow seating, some without) and she seems to like that idea which is why it's in the current plan. I think I might prefer to throw the bar away (not sure how much use it will realistically get) and move my seated positions back some BUT even with it at the moment, my viewing angles look great relative to other members and to THX's recommendations if I go for a 100" screen.

I am also happy with where the speakers are relative to the seating positions (both the first and second, the middle of which have the dots that go into the angles). But maybe I did something wrong here because it seems that everyone's MLP is in the first row of seats (S2) and not the second (S1) like I have it. Admittedly while I have been really scrutinizing viewing angles, I prob need to do a bit more on speaker positions but tentatively I feel pretty good about this. And IF I get so bold to do columns to hold my speakers, they would be pretty much equidistant along the wall the way I have then which is nice.

BTW Mario, I thought your thread was amazing already and then I got to where you became a master woodworker. Great googily moogily.

P.S. I also attached the current blueprint of my basement again including the unfinished HT space in the top right.
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post #16 of 73 Old 10-18-2015, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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So looking at my diagram and playing with some numbers this morning, I think my scale is off and perhaps also how I was computing various angles so I'm going to work on this some more and upload again later. Oh boy.
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post #17 of 73 Old 10-18-2015, 04:34 PM
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I was thinking a single row and bar row... I was wondering why you thought you'd be able to fit three seating rows in, both in room
depth and the 6'8" height?

Less seating, but less crammed into the space, and a bigger screen. Take the extra width and bring it into the room, but give it back up with
some false fabric walls and stealth out all the speakers. Two ATMOS in backer boxes in the joist cavity.

I'd borrow Dad's pj and do a room and screen size mock up. With that low ceiling, a six foot tall scope screen should look huge. 16x9 would be a little
wider then 100". Scope would be very immersive. You would want to black out the front, to capture lighting coming off an AT screen. The closest space
I can think of, to something along those lines, would be LeBon's Signal Hill theater. (PDA - pretty darn awesome...)


If you like the poster look of Dad's room, you could simply go digital, and stick a rotated hdtv in the back alcove opposite the av rack. Or right outside the room.
There's a lot of different approaches for these. Some of these are in this thread. My approach has been on hold, since I started thinking about the water cut
aluminum plate and the opening could be stand off theater signage, along the lines of Theo K's Roxy 2.0). I also wasn't sold on the "SHOWTIME" test cut out
text and I wasn't feeling the usual "Now Showing" Or "Coming Soon". There's also that Cornflower printed poster thread as another approach.


Look what Black Friday got me!
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post #19 of 73 Old 10-18-2015, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking a single row and bar row... I was wondering why you thought you'd be able to fit three seating rows in, both in room
depth and the 6'8" height?
Well that's easy, because sometimes I don't make great decisions.

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I'd borrow Dad's pj and do a room and screen size mock up. With that low ceiling, a six foot tall scope screen should look huge. 16x9 would be a little
wider then 100". Scope would be very immersive. You would want to black out the front, to capture lighting coming off an AT screen. The closest space
I can think of, to something along those lines, would be LeBon's Signal Hill theater. (PDA - pretty darn awesome...)
Ok so I just took a look at the LeBon's theater and it's awesome and making me re-think things a bit. So that kinda sucks/is good haha Here is where I ended this weekend:



Your note about rows w/ my ceiling height (just measured again and it's 80.5") is a good one. We've had a lot of get togethers lately and I am concerned about not having enough seats which is basically how I got to the diagram above. Using a riser calc I found here, http://www.diymovierooms.com/Home-Th...s/Riser-Height, I'm getting a riser of 19 inches. If that's the case and my seat's head rests are 43" off the ground, basically no one would be able to stand on that riser. I mean... they may be able to slither into the seats (and I have a lot of short friends) but I'm not sure that's the way to go anymore. PLUS I'm thinking it would be even more difficult to get the overflow bar behind that.

So.... If with my diagram above I'm rocking 7 HT seats + 5 seats at the overflow bar (rough estimate) I'd have 12 seats. If I switched the whole layout 90°, I could easily fit 5+ front for seats, and probably the same for the overflow, probably giving me the ability to match the # of seats. But that said, if I keep the same orientation pictured above and basically took out a row (leaving me 4 or 5 seats front row seats + 5ish bar seats), that might be nice PLUS it would give me the opportunity to have some space in front of the screen which I was looking for too...

BTW, I like your layout but I'm not sure my wife would go for it because wants more seats and/or a sofa. Time to go ponder life for a bit...

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post #20 of 73 Old 10-18-2015, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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P.S. I should also say Tedd that I do not love the general aesthetic of my dad's theater 'cause there basically is none haha - It's just exposed speakers on white walls with some poster frames put up. I would probably do something like SOWK's theater (colors and minimilist) for this build and maybe in a couple years in a new house maybe go for a lobby and interior with LED movie signs and hit that tech look pretty hard. But yeah, still haven't made up my mind yet!

I mean, you take 15 minutes on this forum and suddenly you have a million new ideas (which is always a problem of mine) so I'm trying to keep myself MILDLY focused so I actually build something before I die
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post #21 of 73 Old 10-19-2015, 05:02 AM
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If you want reclining theater seats, I think you'll have a tough time fitting in three rows. My room was 22'6" long drywall to drywall, and I did squeeze 3 rows in, but as my 36" door opens, the back row bar stools have to be pushed all the way in. I really wanted an AT screen, which is why I used 'in wall' speakers (mounted on the wall) so I could use as much real estate as possible. My columns are only about 5" deep as well to help manage how much space I had available.

My 2nd row is on a 13" platform, and with my bottom of screen ~ 30" up, I have about the perfect clearance... My 'bar row', is on a platform which is 7" tall, so, my 2nd row is on its own platform a bit taller. I did have the benefit of 8'8" ceilings to start.

We have had 3-4 movie nights since July when we finished and used all the seats, so, I am glad I have them. The movie nights have had a fair number of 6-10 year old kids involved, so, an alternative would be bean bags or something of that kind in the front row. So, position the first row maybe 13-14' from the screen, bar immediately behind, and then there is room for the bean bags & such in front.

I think the idea of flipping your room and using the 19'+ as the width for the room could help you get some more chairs in with the 1 row+ bar plan. You could probably fit 5 wide, with the right chair, maybe even 6 if you don't want arm rests - but that would certainly be tight. I have 5 in my back row of my theater, and it is about 17'6" after my fabric panels. I only have 4 arm rests for that row (currently set up |0|000|0| but could switch it to |00|0|00|.
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post #22 of 73 Old 10-19-2015, 05:14 PM
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Exhibit A: "While my wife did say I could do whatever with the basement."


I've been in many 6'9"- 7'5" high basement, and I have a 7"1" high basement, so I don't see three rows working.
I'd suggest some graph paper and a side view sightline diagram, and you'll start to see three rows isn't a good fit for 6' 8" of height.
And even if it did squeeze in vertically, the projector throw and where the projector lands, is another possible headache.


And you don't need a 19" riser..... You could offset the seating with that small 100" wide screen, and likely get by with a 5-7" high riser,
when the seating doesn't recline.


Bean bag chairs would my go to, overflow seating. But a front row at 13-14' from (a itty bitty 100" wide screen,
for kids (who won't care if they are 7' from the screen), isn't my idea of good design.


Seven seats wide, you might want to carefully consider your speaker choices, so they have a nice wide dispersion.


Those 15 minutes on the forum, are getting you some feedback based on experience with lower headroom spaces, and even some
hard core home theater design course exposure. So I'd consider that a very smart move on your part....
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post #23 of 73 Old 10-19-2015, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhvball View Post
If you want reclining theater seats, I think you'll have a tough time fitting in three rows.
The more I'm working on it (elevationy pics on another sheet of paper) the more I am agreeing with you guys.

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I think the idea of flipping your room and using the 19'+ as the width for the room could help you get some more chairs in with the 1 row+ bar plan. You could probably fit 5 wide, with the right chair, maybe even 6 if you don't want arm rests - but that would certainly be tight. I have 5 in my back row of my theater, and it is about 17'6" after my fabric panels. I only have 4 arm rests for that row (currently set up |0|000|0| but could switch it to |00|0|00|.
I think I'm def going to work up a plan on that one as I probably rethink my plan on this one.
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post #24 of 73 Old 10-19-2015, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Exhibit A: "While my wife did say I could do whatever with the basement."
Famous last words right?


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I've been in many 6'9"- 7'5" high basement, and I have a 7"1" high basement, so I don't see three rows working.
I'd suggest some graph paper and a side view sightline diagram, and you'll start to see three rows isn't a good fit for 6' 8" of height.
And even if it did squeeze in vertically, the projector throw and where the projector lands, is another possible headache.

And you don't need a 19" riser..... You could offset the seating with that small 100" wide screen, and likely get by with a 5-7" high riser,
when the seating doesn't recline.
I've been working a lot lately on the side view sightline diagrams and playing with screen size, seating distance, chair heights etc (I found some that were smaller in height than what I was originally working with) and yeah, I'm def coming around fast to the idea that 3 rows aren't going to work and 2 rows are probably not going to work with my ceiling height either. I think the last time I played around with the numbers I got a riser of 11" possibly down to 9" BUT I didn't even think about the sightline as people in the front reclined.

Quote:
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Bean bag chairs would my go to, overflow seating. But a front row at 13-14' from (a itty bitty 100" wide screen,
for kids (who won't care if they are 7' from the screen), isn't my idea of good design.
This is another thing that I hadn't considered/forgot about. Not necessarily bean bags specifically but just that (as so many others have said), I am probably the only one in my family of 5 who will care about the "proper" and "exact" seating position... My wife certainly won't, my kids almost certainly won't and others probably won't either.

Quote:
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Those 15 minutes on the forum, are getting you some feedback based on experience with lower headroom spaces, and even some
hard core home theater design course exposure. So I'd consider that a very smart move on your part....
Ha ha thx. Yeah, I've gotten obsessed about our home theater lately and having a forum like this is a blessing and a curse. I know the other night I got up to page 60 on Mario's thread, I had a zillion tabs open re: home theater furniture and today and I had to put all my drawings in a folder so I could actually focus on work. It's bad but man, there is just so much great information and ppl willing to HELP on this forum, it's just amazing.

I think specifically to the all you helpful people on this thread, I'm def going to work on this 2 (or 3) row setup I've been going with and I'll def do a 1 row + bar setup and see how that looks. BACK to the drawing board!
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post #25 of 73 Old 10-19-2015, 06:52 PM
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Famous Last words???


How about a verbal contract!






Actually your wife will REALLY CARE if she can't hear the dialog.... She won't enjoy, and likely won't use the
room, in the end.


And she might very well care about the $$$ spent, if the finished room sucks.
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post #26 of 73 Old 10-20-2015, 04:01 AM - Thread Starter
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So I got a bit of sleep but not much as I was thinking about the numbers and I think I have a better solution in terms of making the current design work a bit better. I think if I leave the seats where they are (relative to the screen), but I make the rear seats taller than the ones in front, I think I can do a 7" riser and make everything work.

I was looking for seats yesterday and I THINK if I went with something like the Alex seats from Salamander Designs or the oft talked about Rialto seats from Seatcraft (both about 33ish" in height) and then I went with maybe something 43"+ for the rear row it's doable. And by doable I mean that if I have a riser, I think I want 6' of vertical space on that ledge so people don't have to slouch to get in seats which I should have - But of course that's with an unfinished ceiling height of 80.5". (And in my latest specs, I am going up to a 105" wide screen)

Hopefully my math is right (77" to first row, 142" to second row, screen is 15" off floor, 34" front seats, 43" rear seats = 7" riser)

Now this still doesn't solve the sofa vs chair situation with the family though which I have to give some more thought to... I think where my head is at now is that if the first row is a sofa of sorts (whether that be a legit sofa or just chairs next to each other w/o armrests) perhaps my wife and I can get the stuff we're most interested in. I could get a great listening and viewing position (middle of screen, middle of audio) and she could get the sofa she seems to be clamoring for. And then in the rear row I could do seats however I chose to do them including possibly a |00|0|00| config giving me a good audio position back there too.

What do you guys think? All this crazy or do things seem to work out?
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post #27 of 73 Old 10-20-2015, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
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Hopefully my math is right (77" to first row, 142" to second row, screen is 15" off floor, 34" front seats, 43" rear seats = 7" riser)
I have always read that 6'6" is recommended riser depth for reclining rows. Not sure how hard & fast that is or if your 142" was to the seat front (and rear of riser is @ 155").

Are you still thinking a Bar in the back? Your bar could be at floor height and not have any viewing angle issues. My bar is 5-7" below the height of my second row and I don't have any view issue at all with it. You could make your bar wall just a bit wider than your riser, so, creates a bit of a barrier vs the riser.

As Tedd mentioned, you'll need to consider where you projector is mounted & how low it is. If hanging from a ceiling and you are doing a bar, ideally you hang it directly over the bar. With your size room and screen, you might get away with mounting on the rear wall on a shelf or something, but not sure - I didn't look much at that since I ceiling mounted mine.
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post #28 of 73 Old 10-20-2015, 04:58 AM
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77" seat to screen, not 77" eyeball to screen? And just what screen (and type,) are you thinking about?
You might want to research into screen gain and learn a screen creates gain, and how that affects the viewing angles
and how light output starts to drop off, to the outside seats.


I think you are really starting to zero in on a workable solution, with the seating offset, and mixed seating.
The smaller scale Alex seats are nice but you might find them a little pricey. I ended up using
smaller scaled Salamander Matteos but some people might find them a little too tight for their liking.


Of course there's always stadium style seating if you want to pack them in.


I've been in rooms with mixed seating styles, and rather liked them. It takes the edge off a more theater like design, but
do the mix and matching well, it can make for a really nice more casual space. You can even mix leather recliners with a
wild fabric patterned seating, that's be done before.


But it's going to be tight, so I'd hang a bed sheet and tape out a 100" screen and mock it all up. That's exactly what I ended up
doing, when I had a second row. And don't forget to think about where the projector is going to end up. You certainly don't want
the projector to land in the riser aisle space. So that's something to also research carefully, also.
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post #29 of 73 Old 10-20-2015, 05:18 AM
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I think the ideal projector would be short throw. One that plants the projector over the front row seated heads.


My next choice would be over the bar, but it might cost you a seating position.


I don't think you have room for three rows + reclining seats, if you think in terms of having a well rounded room, that
has lots of seating, with proper sightlines. The combination of a low ceiling and seating spaced further apart, is going to
have an impact on sight lines. That's why I reached for a single seating row+ bar row. It's a good balance for proper sightlines,
and would allow for a bigger screen. And less seats, mean the seating stays off the room's boundaries. So I would nail down a
totally realistic number of bodies you NEED to seat, and stay away from a crowd.


You could also simply drag something like IKEA Poang chairs into the room, as overflow seating, for a big crowd. They are inexpensive,
and comfortable.
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post #30 of 73 Old 10-20-2015, 05:52 AM
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As you wrestle through this, you've experienced that designing your home theater comes down to making compromises and trade-offs based on the things that are difficult (or costly) to change such as the ceiling height, size of the room, total budget.

Reading through your evolving thought process, sounds like you have anchored on number of seats as your non-negotiable top priority and you are willing to make significant compromises around that. Is that right? Looks like you may be targeting 10+ seats.

A few questions to consider:
1) Where will your Main Listening Position be? Which seats can have compromises for sound and/or viewing angles?
2) Will you be comfortable with the 105" screen from your Main Listening Position, or will you wish that you went wider even if you can't go taller?
3) Will you be comfortable with the 105" screen with from the seats in the farthest row?
4) Will you be able to enter/exit seats comfortably without disrupting others (e.g., is 65" adequate space between the 1st and 2nd row? will you have adequate leg and aisle space)?

With those seating decisions made, can you make the room work?
1) Projector location - does not obstruct walk ways, seating areas or sight lines, fan noise won't be distracting
2) Screen location - sight lines work given finished ceiling height, eyeball locations based on seating heights
3) Speaker locations - "good seats" not too close to surrounds, center channel not too low, etc

And more...

My 2 cents: Feels like the 1 row 19'+ wide room with five seats across plus a long bar seating another 5 behind that 1st row is worthy of consideration.

The theater seat row would be optimized for sight and sound. That layout would give you the option of a wider, more immersive screen. You could push the main row back a bit to create space for bean bags up front for the kids. If you are concerned about seeing over the kids' heads, you could build a short "booster" riser for the main row.

By the way, if you do build a room for 10+ people, be sure to provide auxiliary cooling particularly if you go with a mostly air tight soundproofed room

My in progress build thread: The Salt Mine

Last edited by RedStripe88; 10-20-2015 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Typo
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