Is there a minimum room size for benefitting from a projector? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-28-2012, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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This is just a random noob question. I am looking at purchasing my first home in the coming future and I am keeping a keen eye on basement layouts for my future home theater.

I was doing some research on a site that has a throw range to screen size calculator and the calculator went as low as 12 feet on the throw range in which it suggested a 89" screen at 16:9 ratio.

In your opinion what would be the minimum screen size you would want to warrant having a projector set-up? I guess your answers could determine what size room setup I will keep an eye out for.

My other option is going with one of the 80" Sharp LED tvs but for the price of one of those ($5,000 - $6,000) I think I could get a nice projector set-up.

Thanks guys!
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-28-2012, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTonBass View Post

This is just a random noob question. I am looking at purchasing my first home in the coming future and I am keeping a keen eye on basement layouts for my future home theater.
I was doing some research on a site that has a throw range to screen size calculator and the calculator went as low as 12 feet on the throw range in which it suggested a 89" screen at 16:9 ratio.
In your opinion what would be the minimum screen size you would want to warrant having a projector set-up? I guess your answers could determine what size room setup I will keep an eye out for.
My other option is going with one of the 80" Sharp LED tvs but for the price of one of those ($5,000 - $6,000) I think I could get a nice projector set-up.
Thanks guys!

My room is 11.5' x 13.5'. I have a 9' wide screen. If you have any questions, shoot us an email.

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post #3 of 12 Old 11-28-2012, 08:52 PM
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My first home theater was in a room that was 10 X 10 I had an NEC XG75A CRT projector that on a screen that gave me a 77 inch diagonal image I coud have gone bigger but the screen was the size I had on hand. I have set up an system in a 14 X 14 room the screen is a 127" wide in a 2.35 screen with a panamorph lens. I tried set up on sheets taped to the wall before ordering the screen to see how big I could go.
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-29-2012, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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So you guys seem to be saying setup your projector first where you would want it and then see how big of an image you can project and then buy a correlating screen to that size.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-29-2012, 08:25 PM
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I think that the best way to go. Judge with you eyes not a throw distance chart.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-29-2012, 11:21 PM
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There are far too many variances on this and nobody should allow someone else to tell them what they will or will not enjoy, there are guidelines but much of this is not set in stone and in the end each of us has to enjoy what we spend our own money on.

I have been in front projection rooms that were as small as 10' x 10' that still offered form as well as function and provided much enjoyment for the owner and his family/friends.

Best of luck,
Jason
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-29-2012, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTonBass View Post

This is just a random noob question. I am looking at purchasing my first home in the coming future and I am keeping a keen eye on basement layouts for my future home theater.
I was doing some research on a site that has a throw range to screen size calculator and the calculator went as low as 12 feet on the throw range in which it suggested a 89" screen at 16:9 ratio.
In your opinion what would be the minimum screen size you would want to warrant having a projector set-up? I guess your answers could determine what size room setup I will keep an eye out for.
My other option is going with one of the 80" Sharp LED tvs but for the price of one of those ($5,000 - $6,000) I think I could get a nice projector set-up.
Thanks guys!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTonBass View Post

This is just a random noob question. I am looking at purchasing my first home in the coming future and I am keeping a keen eye on basement layouts for my future home theater.
I was doing some research on a site that has a throw range to screen size calculator and the calculator went as low as 12 feet on the throw range in which it suggested a 89" screen at 16:9 ratio.
In your opinion what would be the minimum screen size you would want to warrant having a projector set-up? I guess your answers could determine what size room setup I will keep an eye out for.
My other option is going with one of the 80" Sharp LED tvs but for the price of one of those ($5,000 - $6,000) I think I could get a nice projector set-up.
Thanks guys!

You need to think in terms of small movie theaters not big TVs.

An 80" TV won't provide a theatrical sense of immersion at seating distances beyond about eight feet and even that is small for nice cinema scope transfers even on DVD.

If you plan on sitting farther away you want a 2-piece projection setup, with grey/black screens and opaque window treatments so the picture doesn't wash out.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-30-2012, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTonBass View Post

This is just a random noob question. I am looking at purchasing my first home in the coming future and I am keeping a keen eye on basement layouts for my future home theater.
I was doing some research on a site that has a throw range to screen size calculator and the calculator went as low as 12 feet on the throw range in which it suggested a 89" screen at 16:9 ratio.
In your opinion what would be the minimum screen size you would want to warrant having a projector set-up? I guess your answers could determine what size room setup I will keep an eye out for.
My other option is going with one of the 80" Sharp LED tvs but for the price of one of those ($5,000 - $6,000) I think I could get a nice projector set-up.
Thanks guys!
Like others have said, think a small theater, not a TV room.

My small (I like to think it as a nano-THX theater smile.gif ) room is 9 feet 6 inches wide, viewing distance is 8 feet, throw distance is 11 feet. The screen I have is 110 inch 16:9. I would consider 84" plasma way too small, speciallly for 2.35:1 movies as it has almost 80% less screen area. Just as a reference my tiny room looks like this

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post #9 of 12 Old 11-30-2012, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tn1krr View Post

Like others have said, think a small theater, not a TV room.
My small (I like to think it as a nano-THX theater smile.gif ) room is 9 feet 6 inches wide, viewing distance is 8 feet, throw distance is 11 feet. The screen I have is 110 inch 16:9. I would consider 84" plasma way too small, speciallly for 2.35:1 movies as it has almost 80% less screen area. Just as a reference my tiny room looks like this

Beautiful room!! OT, what shade of blu did you use for the walls behind the yellow accents? I am in the process of repainting mine to get rid of the burgundy walls.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-30-2012, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERuiz View Post

Beautiful room!! OT, what shade of blu did you use for the walls behind the yellow accents? I am in the process of repainting mine to get rid of the burgundy walls.
Thx for the nice comment smile.gif The blue tint is just reflection from Avatar shown on the screen. The paint is actually NCS S 9000-N meaning as black as there is, "half-gloss" version for better stain resistance and cleanup as wall that black shows even fingerprints.
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post #11 of 12 Old 11-30-2012, 07:38 AM
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personally, i think a minimum of 100" diagonal in a 16:9 configuration is desired to get the "cinematic" experience. i know that's just an arbitrary figure but it works for me. i hear people say with an 80" screen you can just sit closer for the same effect. sounds good in theory but just doesn't work out practically, imo. generally speaking, the bigger the better smile.gif
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post #12 of 12 Old 11-30-2012, 08:31 AM
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I think the people saying think "small theater" are onto something, but I'd personally want to spin it a little different.

You're in a situation (like I was a few years ago) where you were looking for a house and knew you wanted a home theater. First thing is, IMO, don't get hung up on looking for a certain screen size. Think about the "experience" or functionality you want out of your new theater and look for problematic things for getting that.

In my search I veto'd a lot of houses because they wouldn't work well for a theater. The most common thing was the rooms best for the HT (in the basements) were usually oriented across the length of the house and thus had the HVAC bulkhead directly in the way of where the projected light path would be.

Probably the next big thing is to think about seating and layout. How many seats do you want, how do you want them laid out? My current theater is a bit under 12' wide so I can get three HT seats in and it's long enough that I can get two rows in. However if/when I look for a new house, I'd really like a room more like 16' wide (or more) so I could put seats in 4 across and still keep probably two rows to be able to get a few more people in, and to have a bigger screen.

I guess the way I'd sum it up is this:

You've got a "blank slate", so start with your ideal seating configuration. If you figure very rough numbers, you probably need about 3 feet per seat width, plus another 3 for space to walk by (unless the entrance is in front and you've only got one row), then figure maybe 6 feet deep for each row. Personally I'm a huge CIH fan and IMO the screen should be at least as wide as the seating, so nobody is "outside" the screen.

So if we take my HT as an example. For a 3x2 seating configuration, you need about 12' wide, with a screen say 9+ wide (mine's just over 9'). For depth, you probably want to keep the seating within 2-4 screen heights, so 9' wide (~4' high) means seating between 8 and 16 feet. So you'd need a roughly 12x18 room (need a bit of room for seating and stuff) or so for that sort of theater setup.

If you went to 4 seats wide, that would be 15' wide, about 12' wide screen, so 10-20' seating distance, so it would be a 15x22.

If you go down to 2 seats wide, then you only need about a 9x16 room.

Personally, for my next HT (in whatever house I eventually move to at some point), I'd love probably a 15-16 by probably 25' room with >8' ceilings so I can have a 4x2 seating setup with a nice >12' wide scope AT screen.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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