20x14.5 Theater Room - $25K-$30K Budget - Need Advice - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 38 Old 08-13-2017, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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20x14.5 Theater Room - $25K-$30K Budget - Need Advice

Hi All,

I'm trying to kick off a project to convert an upstairs 20'x14.5'x9' bonus room into a dedicated home theater. I'm not the most handy with floor plans / drawings but here is my attempt to diagram the current room:



Here are pictures of the room standing from the back corners (excuse the mess):




After looking through tons of photos, posts, my mind is headed towards something similar to this for my room:



What I like about the room is:

* the clean, simple lines of the room
* the use of side curtains seems like a good way for me to address the windows in the room
* the columns w/ sconces add a nice touch
* the stage again w/ use of curtains seems to address my front window
* the soffit/tray ceiling with lighting makes the room stand out

The only thing I would do differently is probably use a media cabinet under the screen as well as wall mount my rear/side speakers.

I would like to ideally get 2 rows of seats but I am not sure that's doable.

With all that said here are some questions I could use advice on:

1. What size screen should I be aiming for? I've measured about ~11.5' from the front row to the front window
2. Is it a bad idea to put the equipment up front? I've thought about using a false screen wall but I can't figure out how to make it end nicely with the wet bar on the right side of the room.
3. What are ways I could I mount the screen to the front? Should I just make it hang from the soffit/ceiling like in the target photo?
4. I am really new to this and don't have a lot of budget. I have no considered acoustic treatments or sound proofing. Will I really regret it if I don't do it?
5. Am I pushing it trying to put 2 rows of seating in this length room? I'm considering the back part of the room would have a 70" long, maybe 8-10" high.
6. Any other tips or words of advice?

Appreciate all feedback / advice in advance.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 38 Old 08-13-2017, 02:49 PM
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Nothing better than turning a dark basement corner into a sound proofed, blacked out cinema.
Your particular room on the other hand would give me pause. Not sure what all those windows look out on, but it seems a shame to semi-permanently board them over. Also, containing sound in such a space is virtually impossible. You could cut the higher frequencies passing through the shared wall(s), but there is little chance of stopping bass sounds from travelling through the floor and through the walls to your neighbors. You can still have a great theater, but need to be realistic about expectations.

Personally I would just go with black-out curtains over top of your wooden shutters for the side and back windows.
For the front, consider a tab tensioned roller screen with in wall speakers to minimize depth. Because of the window, you will need to mount the center speaker below the screen so no need to consider acoustically transparent options. The solid screen itself will help to block light leaking through your shutters. As this is an exterior wall you will need to consider vapor barrier and insulation implications. If neighbors are close by, backer boxes should be part of the plan.
This low profile front end will keep full access to the sink area, which I'm sure will be a convenient addition, though a bit odd in the front of the room. Perhaps a dark curtain to separate it from the theater?

With nearly 20' feet of length remaining, fitting two rows of seating is easy. The big problem is going to be figuring out how the entrance door will work with the necessary riser.

If the front row is 11.5" from the screen I would recommend a 2.35 scope format screen that is 11' wide. This would allow the center channel speaker to be mounted as high underneath the window as possible.

There are several forum members, much more inventive than I, who love to design theaters. (Hmmm,hmmm Jeff and Ted)
I'm sure they will chirp in soon with a more upscale approach.

Last edited by DavidK442; 08-13-2017 at 02:55 PM.
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post #3 of 38 Old 08-14-2017, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post
...containing sound in such a space is virtually impossible.
The room sits on top of a garage is across from our master bedroom so containing sound isn't a top priority for now

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post
...
For the front, consider a tab tensioned roller screen with in wall speakers to minimize depth.
I was trying to avoid in-walls, does it seem like it will add too much depth to go with speakers on the sides and underneath?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post
...Because of the window, you will need to mount the center speaker below the screen...
Speaking of screen positioning, what's a good source to figure out how high to place the screen?

Thanks again!

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post #4 of 38 Old 08-14-2017, 01:28 PM
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Your room dimensions are very close to mine so while I'm not suggesting you go as inexpensive as I did (it's kind of hard to go cheaper!), I might be able to chime in on some things.

Cobbled, but functional!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
The only thing I would do differently is probably use a media cabinet under the screen as well as wall mount my rear/side speakers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
2. Is it a bad idea to put the equipment up front? I've thought about using a false screen wall but I can't figure out how to make it end nicely with the wet bar on the right side of the room.
Any interest in installing a rack for the gear above the sink? I wouldn't think water damage would be likely above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
I would like to ideally get 2 rows of seats but I am not sure that's doable.
I have 2 rows (see link above) and everything fits just fine. Front row is about 11 feet from the screen wall, back row is 18' or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
1. What size screen should I be aiming for? I've measured about ~11.5' from the front row to the front window
Again, I'm about the same distance for the front row and have mine at 163", which admittedly is quite large. I love it, though. I'd think over 130" would be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
5. Am I pushing it trying to put 2 rows of seating in this length room? I'm considering the back part of the room would have a 70" long, maybe 8-10" high.
I'm assuming you're talking about a riser? If so, 70" might not be enough depending on how long the chairs (I'm assuming you're doing reclining) are. Keep in mind you'll still want enough room when they're reclined for someone to walk past.
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post #5 of 38 Old 08-14-2017, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodgieroo View Post
Your room dimensions are very close to mine so while I'm not suggesting you go as inexpensive as I did (it's kind of hard to go cheaper!), I might be able to chime in on some things.

Cobbled, but functional!




Any interest in installing a rack for the gear above the sink? I wouldn't think water damage would be likely above.



I have 2 rows (see link above) and everything fits just fine. Front row is about 11 feet from the screen wall, back row is 18' or so.



Again, I'm about the same distance for the front row and have mine at 163", which admittedly is quite large. I love it, though. I'd think over 130" would be fine.



I'm assuming you're talking about a riser? If so, 70" might not be enough depending on how long the chairs (I'm assuming you're doing reclining) are. Keep in mind you'll still want enough room when they're reclined for someone to walk past.
@woodgieroo I would love for the room to be as cost-effective as yours!

I came up with 70" merely based on the fact that these pre-built risers are 70":

https://4seating.com/home-theater-de...nch-riser.html

And also looking at the dimensions of Seatcraft seats they don't recline over 70":



I was actually thinking about a 110" screen but maybe that is too small? I don't know how to figure that out...

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post #6 of 38 Old 08-14-2017, 07:00 PM
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I took your layout and got a little over zealous.

you could add the sconces and the stream lines you like of you example room to this very easily.

Just my $0.02
This is probably what I would do if I had your room and budget.
You can adjust the stage size and riser, depending on your preferred seating distances/available space.
I tried to move the back seats off the wall for surround ambiance, however, you may not have enough room.
Definitely would make the wetbar area much smaller and use that space for the rack.


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post #7 of 38 Old 08-14-2017, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
I took your layout and got a little over zealous.

"A" for effort! That is a great layout as long as it didn't just slide the door into the middle of the master suite.
Hard to tell with a partial layout. Having the door in the front is much better than fighting around a riser immediately upon entering the room.
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post #8 of 38 Old 08-15-2017, 06:33 AM
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No door in the master. that no worky...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post
"A" for effort! That is a great layout as long as it didn't just slide the door into the middle of the master suite.
Hard to tell with a partial layout. Having the door in the front is much better than fighting around a riser immediately upon entering the room.
Ok, I felt bad. I didn't realize that wasn't a hallway, but I put the door into the master bedroom. So i re-'drew' a layout, and now im up to $0.04. Your room size is similar in size to what my HT2.0 started as.
Couple of things i guess to make the riser do-able at the entrance. Make the door swing outward. build a step, along with adding step light, as soon as you open the door. Make it no more than 8" tall, as this is International building code. up to the top of a 16" riser. This way the 2nd step is no more than 8" aswell.

I'd still would wanna shrink your wetbar area to put a rack next to that and put the AVR/AMP,receiver/Bluray, etc , into that. 4'10" is more than adequate for a rack, a separating wall and a 24"/28" sink basin.
No AT screen, just a standard 2.35/1.78
Curtains all around, as you described
Some sound treatments all around aswell, first reflection points
Add the columns and sconces at the key locations.

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post #9 of 38 Old 08-15-2017, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow I love this forum, @sirjaymz I appreciate the time you took for your $.04!

Yes the door/entrance has to stay where it is because the entrance is at the top of a staircase landing.



Just across this entrance is a back entrance to our master bedroom.

For reference this is what the wet bar area looks like:




Regarding the 16" riser, do you think it needs to be that high or could it just be 7"-8" and therefore no step required. Or would that be weird or not high enough?

My initials thoughts were to do the riser for a section of the back like this:



I am not exactly sure how big to make the platform. Just for a reference I was using dimensions of Seatcraft 7000 theater seats. I was trying to fit in a 4 in a row, middle loveseat configuration:




Given that the seats are 116" long and up to 66.5" fully recline how much is enough clearance around it? As noted in the above diagram, I believe I can knockout that pop-out if necessary.

Also because I want to do curtains around, I thought I would need to put the speakers on the columns? Otherwise the speakers would be behind the curtains, no?

Finally what are these speakers on the front side left/right? Is that if I was going with a 9.x.x surround?



Thanks again for all the feedback!
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post #10 of 38 Old 08-15-2017, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
Wow I love this forum, @sirjaymz I appreciate the time you took for your $.04!

Yes the door/entrance has to stay where it is because the entrance is at the top of a staircase landing.
....
Just across this entrance is a back entrance to our master bedroom.
.....
For reference this is what the wet bar area looks like:
.....

Regarding the 16" riser, do you think it needs to be that high or could it just be 7"-8" and therefore no step required. Or would that be weird or not high enough?

My initials thoughts were to do the riser for a section of the back like this:
.....


I am not exactly sure how big to make the platform. Just for a reference I was using dimensions of Seatcraft 7000 theater seats. I was trying to fit in a 4 in a row, middle loveseat configuration:




Given that the seats are 116" long and up to 66.5" fully recline how much is enough clearance around it? As noted in the above diagram, I believe I can knockout that pop-out if necessary.

Also because I want to do curtains around, I thought I would need to put the speakers on the columns? Otherwise the speakers would be behind the curtains, no?

Finally what are these speakers on the front side left/right? Is that if I was going with a 9.x.x surround?



Thanks again for all the feedback!



Additional Feedback

Riser, I would think you could do some like that. however, you definitely want to run the riser height calculator, based on size of screen, the 1/3rd height ideal seating level, distance etc.. I created one that you could plug in some numbers. I used excel, and other calculators had a bunch of numbers that help you make a wise choice on height, distances, etc.. There are other calculators out there, but I created/used this one.
Screen Size and Riser Height Calculator
Let me know if you can not see/dowloand the link above.


Wet Bar,
I would definitely consider making a rack space in that area, along with having a smaller footprint for the wet bar. I did a wet bar re-do in my HT1.0, that turned out really nice, however, there was allot more overall space. I had 72" for sink and counter top, along with another 20 + inches for a rack. Check out my signature for a link to that to get some idea. The rack I used in that, I would suggest for you as well.
You have a 4' 10' area there. Allocate 22" for rack space, alocate 4-1/2" for separation wall, that leaves approximately 31" for a sink basin, You could even cut down the existing countertop to save some cash.

Riser space, etc.
As far as 'what's enough space?' to walk through and to the front of the room. I leaned up a 4x8 sheet of plywood against a ladder on one side, and a wall on another.. That way i could really get a feel for how tight the walk way would be, knowing at least you could brush up against the seats if you needed to, however, it would not be recommended on a regular basis.. I found a minimum for me, 24" worked. we will have to be nimble, but when every inch matters, comprises are inevitable.

Sorry on the extra speaker locations - I strive to get as many speakers into a room as possible. Kinda of a expensive habit I have in that regard I was not sure of the receiver you have, or i missed it, so i was using a layout from the Denon 7200 I have, which Denon labels incorrectly as 11.1, however it's actually an Atmos 9.1.4 setup.
If you build the columns, you could actually build these speaker locations into them. Not have them installed, but at least wired, and a hidden spot for them to go if you decided to add them later.

Anyway, I hope I've helped you in some way. There are allot of experts on here, and I'm sure they will provide additional guidance as well,


JAMES JONES
HT1.0 | HT2.0

Last edited by sirjaymz; 08-15-2017 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Remove OPS pictures. No need to repost.
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post #11 of 38 Old 08-15-2017, 11:22 AM
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I would keep the wet bar at the rear end of the room. Even in this day and age of surround sound, the front soundstage remains critical. That's where your attention will be focused, whether watching a movie or listening to music. As such, it helps to keep the side walls near the front of the room as consistent as possible, so that you don't end up with an asymmetrical front soundstage. The large cut-out for the wet bar would be better off behind the main listening position, where our human hearing is not as sensitive to asymmetry.
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post #12 of 38 Old 08-16-2017, 04:47 PM
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I keep forgetting to chime in again. I'll get some measurements of my riser tonight after my kids taekwondo class. I can say this - I don't think you'll be happy with a 70" riser.

Measurements and pictures to come!
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post #13 of 38 Old 08-20-2017, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodgieroo View Post
I keep forgetting to chime in again. I'll get some measurements of my riser tonight after my kids taekwondo class. I can say this - I don't think you'll be happy with a 70" riser.

Measurements and pictures to come!
How big of a riser should I build? 80"-84"?

I've met with some vendors to get bids on the construction and now I'm trying to figure out what equipment to purchase. Here's what I already have:

* 1x Denon X4300H 9.2Channel Receiver (11.2 channel processing capability)
* 1x BenQ HT2050 Home Theater Projector (refurbished), ordered today
* 2x Klipsch KSB3.1 bookshelf speakers
* 1x Klipsch KSW-15 subwoofer
* 2x Klipsch SS-1 surround speakers
* 1x Klipsch KSC-C1 center speaker

My speakers are pretty old stuff I had laying around but would like to use them to keep costs down. I can upgrade later. Same with the projector, I know there are much better ones out there but can upgrade that later too.

Here are some things I'm looking for suggestions on:

* Projector screen to go over window that matches well with BenQ HT2050
* 2 add'l rear/side speakers to go from 5.1 to 7.1
* 4 ceiling speakers to achieve 7.1.4 Atmos setup
* What is the best way to connect the projector in the rear of the room? Long HDMI cable or CAT6 cable with an extender?

Thanks!

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post #14 of 38 Old 08-20-2017, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
How big of a riser should I build? 80"-84"?
Sorry for the delay. Here are my riser specs. See attached picture for reference.

Riser - 76" deep
Chair, reclined, 66" or so, 2" away from the wall, +/-8" for a walkway
7" from the riser to the front row

If you're looking at a 70" riser, if anyone wants to get past someone in the back row, you're going to have to put the footrest down. Not a huge deal, but something to consider.
Quote:
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My speakers are pretty old stuff I had laying around but would like to use them to keep costs down. I can upgrade later. Same with the projector, I know there are much better ones out there but can upgrade that later too.
I would absolutely keep the existing gear you already have and add/replace as you want to. When I first got mine set up, DD/DTS 5.1 was great until the want to jump to DTS MA and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 kicked in after about 2 years. A new receiver and 2 surrounds later...
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
* Projector screen to go over window that matches well with BenQ HT2050
Having never used a screen, I'll defer that to someone else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
* 2 add'l rear/side speakers to go from 5.1 to 7.1
If I were in your situation, I'd either try to hunt down another pair of SS-1s or, more than like the route I'd go, move the SS-1s to the rear surround, move the bookshelves to the surrounds and pick up a new left and right.
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* 4 ceiling speakers to achieve 7.1.4 Atmos setup
The Klipsch Atmos page suggests either the CDT-5650-C II or the CDT-5800-C II but at $350 and $400 EACH, personally I'd steer clear of those. I picked up a pair of Monoprice in ceiling speakers a few years ago and while they sound OK, I don't know that I'd be overly zealous in recommending them. Compared to the rest of the speakers, they sound very tinny and hollow. I've not done any looking to see if there's an easy (read: cheap!) solution.
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* What is the best way to connect the projector in the rear of the room? Long HDMI cable or CAT6 cable with an extender?
I've got a 30' RedMere HDMI that hasn't missed a beat yet.
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post #15 of 38 Old 10-01-2017, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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It's been awhile since I started this thread, but I'm pretty close to kicking off the project with a local person to build the theater. The contractor says he's done a bunch before but I'd like to independently verify his approach to the riser. I'm looking for something that would detail how a 7-8" riser should be built with air vents and all. I could've swore I've seen it before but can't find it now. I'm going with the riser layout recommended by @sirjaymz :



Does anyone have a quick link handy to riser plans I could use?

Thanks!
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post #16 of 38 Old 10-01-2017, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
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Does anyone have a quick link handy to riser plans I could use?

Thanks!
Thanks for the mention.

Here's what I think allot of us use as or design and build methods and modify to fit in your space.

Bring Your Home Theater to New Heights

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post #17 of 38 Old 10-01-2017, 08:05 PM
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I wouldn't build a riser with step just inside the door, in the dark someone might not see the step and break an ankle, even with the lights on they might be distracted. I also would center the screen in the room and center the front row, there is no rule that says the row have to be perfectly lined up in fact there is an advantage to staggering them. The audio in a physically balanced space will be better.

Dennis revised his approach to building risers since he wrote that article. It is better to have one connected air space if you plan to use the riser as a broadband bass absorber. see the pictures for how to do that, the stringers are smaller than the exterior frame.

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post #18 of 38 Old 10-02-2017, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
It's been awhile since I started this thread, but I'm pretty close to kicking off the project with a local person to build the theater. The contractor says he's done a bunch before but I'd like to independently verify his approach to the riser.
I don't see where you ever decided on a screen size, but your drawings show a very small screen. While a 120" screen might be fine for a single row of seats at 11', it will completely fail to create a cinema feel for the second row at 18'. I would consider 150" to be a minimum size for a 16:9 screen, but I would actually go for a 2.40:1 screen at 144x60. Invest in an anamorphic lens to go with the HT2050 and preserve as much brightness as possible. For the screen, get something with a true 1.3 gain like Stewart Studiotek 100. If your "local contractor" steered you to a smaller screen size, I would find a new contractor that actually knows the difference between a home theater and a TV room.

Also, center the first row of seats in the room and offset the second row so their view is in between the heads of the first row viewers. Make sure the curtains you hang on the walls have no sheen to them and don't be afraid to paint the room including the ceiling a dark color. It's just paint.

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post #19 of 38 Old 10-02-2017, 05:17 AM
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I found a discussion online that indicated building code requires a 36 inch landing at the bottom of a stair before a door, You have 1-2 inches. Don't do it. When you get ready to sell the house a sharp building inspector will require you to move it. If you are getting a building permit, they won't approve it. Often you can build the step up outside the theater and have a landing outside the door. It doesn't look like that is possible in your space. Bottom line is you need to build a riser well inside the door.
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x2 on the screen size questions. If you have a look here: https://www.projectorscreen.com/proj...en-calculators You'll see that 120" is ok at 11' viewing, but not as great at 18'.

The best thing I did (and I did mistakenly order a screen too small at first!!) is listen to a friends advice and project an image on the wall, while sitting at the proposed distances. We went from a 90" fixed, to the largest we could fit in the space, a motorised acoustically transparent 125" that covers the entire end wall when deployed.

Remember, you're building a theatre and want it to be immersive..otherwise it's just a room with TV on the wall...
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post #21 of 38 Old 10-02-2017, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
I found a discussion online that indicated building code requires a 36 inch landing at the bottom of a stair before a door, You have 1-2 inches. Don't do it. When you get ready to sell the house a sharp building inspector will require you to move it. If you are getting a building permit, they won't approve it. Often you can build the step up outside the theater and have a landing outside the door. It doesn't look like that is possible in your space. Bottom line is you need to build a riser well inside the door.

Thanks BIG
I wasn't sure if we were able to do the step and landing like that.. I had looked for the code, but was unsuccessful.
Thanks for clarifying.

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post #22 of 38 Old 10-02-2017, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dreamer View Post
I don't see where you ever decided on a screen size, but your drawings show a very small screen. While a 120" screen might be fine for a single row of seats at 11', it will completely fail to create a cinema feel for the second row at 18'. I would consider 150" to be a minimum size for a 16:9 screen, but I would actually go for a 2.40:1 screen at 144x60.
I'm not sure I can fit much larger than a 120" 16x9 screen? My ceiling height is 9' and I was planning for an 8" high stage, 31" high cabinet, and 8" soffit. That leaves ~61". Regarding 16x9 vs 2.40:1 I was leaning towards the prior. In my research I read more movies are the latter format but there are a bunch in 16:9 and for other programming, I'd be better off with 16x9.

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I wouldn't build a riser with step just inside the door, in the dark someone might not see the step and break an ankle, even with the lights on they might be distracted. I also would center the screen in the room and center the front row, there is no rule that says the row have to be perfectly lined up in fact there is an advantage to staggering them. The audio in a physically balanced space will be better.
I was kind of liking the idea of the whole back of the room being raised. If I don't do that how much space do I need between the wall and the step of the riser?

-Rahul
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post #23 of 38 Old 10-02-2017, 01:42 PM
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I think code is 36 inches for a walkway but you might feel 30 inches is fine if you want to take a chance with future inspections. If you ever think it may need to be ADA compliant for a wheel chair in the future it needs to be 36 inches.
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post #24 of 38 Old 10-02-2017, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
I was kind of liking the idea of the whole back of the room being raised.
Then get some quality in wall speakers for the main speakers and flip your theater 180 degrees, you can put the entire back of the room on a riser, it should be simple to lift the wet bar up onto the riser.
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post #25 of 38 Old 10-03-2017, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I took your guys' advice and tried projecting the BenQ projector for a 120" diagonal 16x9 screen. You're right, it was a bit too small. Bumping up to 135" was much better. But now I'm definitely wondering if I should go for a 2.40 ratio screen since my theater will mostly be for movies. I'm not tied to the BenQ, I could probably spend <$2K for another 1080P projector. But regardless of what I chose, will I need to get an anamorphic lens for 2.40 scope screen? Every time I think I have this figured out, I get more confused.

-Rahul
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post #26 of 38 Old 10-03-2017, 12:05 PM
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There is no need for an anamorphic lens and in fact it seems to me that the devout lens users are trying to off load them and the manufacturers of new lenses for projection applications are going the way of the dodo. You would be much better off buying a more expensive projector that has motorized lens functions, such as the Epson 5040UB or a JVC.

If you must stay with a lower cost projector and want to go with a scope screen be aware that you will need to adjust zoom, focus and vertical lens shift manually every time you switch back and forth between formats. To project a 16X9 image on a 2.35 screen you will need at least a 1.30 zoom range, which the 2050 BenQ has. Even so, you will not have enough lens shift to keep the image on the screen.

Not to confuse matters more, but a great solution is to use a screen ratio that is half way between 2.35 and 1.78, say one with a width to height ratio of 2.1. This is known as a constant area setup because the total area of both the 1.78 image and the 2.35 image will be roughly the same. You will end up with small black side bars on 16X9 material, and small black bars top and bottom on 2.35...and you will still need to adjust between each format, however the 2050 should have enough range to make the required changes. This is basically how I have my theater setup and it works well, though it is a bit inconvenient and requires reasonably good access to your projector.

Lots of options, but as a fellow movie buff spending the cash, or making the effort to optimize wide screen movies is well worth it.

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post #27 of 38 Old 10-03-2017, 12:44 PM
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When considering screen size you also need to take into account the brightness of the projector. The bigger the screen, the brighter the projector you need.

I've built two upstairs home theaters that started as bonus rooms with dual rows of seats (see links in signature). Both used a 2.35:1 130" diagonal screen - 120" wide 52" tall. Keep the bottom of the screen around 36"-48" above the floor, if you go much lower your feet could block the image when reclined. A top down diagram is good for layout, but a side view helps with riser and screen height. You will want to make sure the back row can see the bottom of the screen over the front row of heads.

You can find some great deals on slightly used projectors, last year's JVC can be picked up for half the price of new and will light up that size screen in a darkened room. I agree that you want to get something with lens memory and skip the anamorphic lens for now.

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post #28 of 38 Old 10-03-2017, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSKMDWK View Post
When considering screen size you also need to take into account the brightness of the projector. The bigger the screen, the brighter the projector you need.

I've built two upstairs home theaters that started as bonus rooms with dual rows of seats (see links in signature). Both used a 2.35:1 130" diagonal screen - 120" wide 52" tall. Keep the bottom of the screen around 36"-48" above the floor, if you go much lower your feet could block the image when reclined. A top down diagram is good for layout, but a side view helps with riser and screen height. You will want to make sure the back row can see the bottom of the screen over the front row of heads.

You can find some great deals on slightly used projectors, last year's JVC can be picked up for half the price of new and will light up that size screen in a darkened room. I agree that you want to get something with lens memory and skip the anamorphic lens for now.
I was actually looking at your thread last night since your room is the same length as mine. It seems like I should go with a different projector. I spent $524.45 on the BenQ so I'll just try to resell it. How are you liking the JVC DLA-X550R? I was thinking about the Epson 5040UB but now have to start the research process all over again for my bigger budget. :-)

How is the 130" diagonal screen working out? Do you feel you like you could've gone to 144"?

-Rahul
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post #29 of 38 Old 10-03-2017, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
How are you liking the JVC DLA-X550R?

How is the 130" diagonal screen working out?

Do you feel you like you could've gone to 144"?
So far the JVC is great. Much better picture than the Panasonic AE8000 it replaced. Great colors and blacks. Nice and bright. There is some light leakage noticeable when it first turns on in the dark, but nothing during playback and off the screen in 2.35 mode.

The 130" size is great for the front row and ok for the back row. I got used to watching 16x9 content at 106" diagonal, so it works for me when zoomed in. I could have gone bigger, but was concerned with it not being lit up well depending on the projector.

Yes, I could have gone 144", but didn't find that size used on Craigslist like I did the current Stewart screen...

New theater build thread

Would I have stayed happy not knowing how good it could be? -- My first theater in print -- My first build- Mocha Theater Construction
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post #30 of 38 Old 10-04-2017, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbpatel98 View Post
I'm not sure I can fit much larger than a 120" 16x9 screen? My ceiling height is 9' and I was planning for an 8" high stage, 31" high cabinet, and 8" soffit. That leaves ~61".
Why on earth would you put a cabinet under the screen ? When have you ever seen a cabinet with blinking lights below the screen in a theater ? Never. You are thinking like this is just a large TV, instead of an actual home theater. AV equipment racks go on the side or in the rear of the room, not under the screen. In your room, several people have suggested that shelves over the wet bar or rebuilding the wet bar area to split it between a narrower wet bar and new narrow vertical rack space is the way to go.

Bottom line is that the screen should go as low to the floor as possible while preserving the sight lines from the second row seats over the heads of the first row. If there was only a single row, the screen could literally touch the floor without people feet in a recliner getting in the way. It is only the second row that dictates a higher placement. If you are going with a 16:9 screen, I would not hesitate to go 165" -- that is 81" tall and 144" wide -- and it would still be 24" off the floor, leaving 16" height for the center channel speaker above your stage. Realistically, you have to think in terms of when those rear seats will be used and how often that will occur with scope movies where the bottom "black bar" will have the actual movie beginning higher off the floor than the bottom of a 16:9 screen frame.
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