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12.5 x 15.25 room, projector or 60" plasma?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I want "home theater" (budget, multi-purpose) in my basement and am having questions about how to proceed.

Constraints:
  • Basement is:
    • Height: 8'
    • Long: 15'3"
    • Width: 12'6"
  • Budget: < $2,000

Questions
  1. Given the smaller size, should I go with a 60" plasma or a smaller projector screen (i.e. 92")?
  2. If I have a 92" screen what should my primary and comfortable seating distance be?
  3. Would this allow me to have 2 rows of seats at all?
  4. Is it worth it, given the room size and seating distances, to go with a larger screen and projector or just do plasma?
  5. I just read about bass traps and sound absorption and reflection points. My mind is blown. I never even considered any of that. Should I?

Thanks. I'm also interested in the Onkyo 5.1 HT-S3500. Thoughts on that?

Thank you!

Nathan Howard (first time poster)
post #2 of 16
You said basement, that means dark. You want a projector. First row about 8 to 10 feet. Second row on a riser?

You will want some sound absorption. Carpet is a good start. Heavy drapes or soft panels along the middle of the side walls are often good enough. Make sure you get a receiver with room correction. Is the audio out of the 2k budget? It can be done, but not without compromise.
post #3 of 16
I say projector also, but 2 rows of seating is not realistic in that room. I would have one row of seating, and then use some sort of portable seating for when you have extra people. If you're set on 2 rows of seats, you should buy the largest TV you can afford.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
If I get a projector then, is 92" the way to go (given my stated constraints)? And what is a comfortable distance. I read THX and did the .84 math to get about 9.5 feet away or so. I put up blue masking tape on the way (1 box for 60" and 1 for 92 and 1 for 106") and at 10 feed away even the 92 seems potentially overwhelming. That said though, I'm used to watching a 34" widescreen from 11.5' away in our living room. Perhaps I'll find it nice, but I'm a worrier and fear me and my family would get a headache or nausious looking at a screen that big from that close. That's why I'm turning to AVSforum and your expertise to get some advise/help here. Knock some sense into me and keep me honest. I want a nice arrangement/setup that we'll be happy with.

Thanks. Continue to chime in here.

By the way, I just finished a faux copper/tin ceiling and I'm very pleased with the outcome. I'll post some pictures later after I get the wall painted if you are interested.

Nathan
post #5 of 16
If I had that space to work with I'd go a little bigger 106" or 110" or 120" screen, have one row of seatting around 12feet back and a bar/table behind the seating with bar stools .......
post #6 of 16
my seating is about 14 ft from the wall and i have a 92"and projector. i love it, its my first and i was only used to 42 plasmas.
i know i could have gone bigger. if you have doubts take blue painters tape and make a 45 tall by 80 square on the wall and sit back at look at it.
remember not all content will fill the full screen, some with have the black bars which is about 35 or 37 by 80.
i would say 92 is peferect for your size room
post #7 of 16
my old 42 now, basically a 92 which it would take 4 42 full screen to get to the 92 full screen.
think you will be happy. if your used to a 34 inch from 14 feet
post #8 of 16
I am sitting 14' from a 125" screen.

You need to determine where your sweet spot will be, the seat that you will be sitting in for the majority of your viewing and use that as your baseline. How far back will that seat be? This calculator will also help:
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html

Go with the THX recommended viewing distance. I know it seems big now, but you adjust quickly to it. I went too small with my first screen (100" screen sitting 12.5' away) and once I got used to it, I really wished I would have gone slightly larger.

Blu-Ray looks amazing with the THX recommended distances.

IMHO, I would get a projector and screen.

As for audio, I am not a fan of home theater in a box systems. They usually have very small drivers, are cheaply built, and give you just adequate sound.

On a budget, I would start with some of these speakers, and an entry level receiver.

Receiver:
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR391/DENON-AVR-391-5.1-Channel-AV-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html
$109

Left and Right Speakers:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117406
$100 after promo code

Center channel:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117404
$50 after promo code

For $120 and some more mid bass repsonse you could get a pair of these floorstanding speakers for $120 after promo code:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117403

The speakers are a screaming deal and were designed by Andew Jones who is a noted speaker designer who was previously known for designing much more costly speakers. I own speakers that cost 10x more than these and can tell you first hand the Pioneer speakers are no slouch. They easily can hang with speakers that cost 2-3 times more.

As for the receiver, if it was me, I would step up to this one that has room equalization (Audyssey MultiEQ):
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/DENAVR1612/DENON-AVR-1612-5.1-Channel-A/V-Home-Theater-Receiver/1.html

but that will run you slightly over $200 with shipping. Still, I would spend my money here before worrying about room treatments. You will also need a subwoofer, but save up for that and get a decent one. Plan $200-300 for one.

If you can wait a few months there should be some awesome deals on projectors for the holidays. You could probably save $200-300 by waiting I suspect.
Edited by ack_bk - 8/31/12 at 11:44am
post #9 of 16
I would go projector also. I'm in a 11x12 room 92 inch screen 10 feet away from me and it's perfect. 5.1 surround sound and Optoma hd20 projector and my family loves it. All I need is to find some seats now. Good luck let us know what u decide

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
post #10 of 16
Projector has a big "WOW" factor, I have a 120" screen in a 17' room. We do movie nights with the kids and just put down pillows and blankets for the closer seating. Of course your audience may vary
post #11 of 16
My room as 15’ 3” x 12’. You can do two rows but it’s tight. I got a good deal on recliners recently and wasn’t expecting to do two rows (and if I could get photobucket to come up I’d have pictures) so I had to squeeze them in. The back row can’t recline fully but it’s serviceable. In a space that size a couch or small bar and bar stools would be a better option for a second row. Mine was a package deal of six recliners so that’s what I had to work with.

My screen size 113” 2.35:1 which I think is about 92” in 16:9. I’ve been pleased with it.
post #12 of 16
I am as new as they get, and I am building a room the same size as you are talking about, I think the thing to remember is that the projector can be made to project a picture size of your liking. it can be big or small. I set up my epson 8350 last night and the height of the projection is 62" and the width (on the horiziontal) is 9'6" . so you can make it as big or as small as you desire. the fixed plasma screen can never get big.....the real benefit is for the wide aspect movies not the 4:3 aspect ratio of TV shows. I have the epson 8350 and an onyko hts5400 and I shopped around and found great deals. tonight we hook up the rest of the system so i can test drive it before i hang the cieling drywall.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobs77vet View Post

I am as new as they get, and I am building a room the same size as you are talking about, I think the thing to remember is that the projector can be made to project a picture size of your liking. it can be big or small. I set up my epson 8350 last night and the height of the projection is 62" and the width (on the horiziontal) is 9'6" . so you can make it as big or as small as you desire. the fixed plasma screen can never get big.....the real benefit is for the wide aspect movies not the 4:3 aspect ratio of TV shows. I have the epson 8350 and an onyko hts5400 and I shopped around and found great deals. tonight we hook up the rest of the system so i can test drive it before i hang the cieling drywall.

This is a good point with the caveat that some of these projectors put out lots of lumens (like the Epson 3010) and you don't want to go to small as lumen output can degrade black levels.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewke View Post

If I had that space to work with I'd go a little bigger 106" or 110" or 120" screen, have one row of seatting around 12feet back and a bar/table behind the seating with bar stools .......

^^^^^This is what I have also. 106" screen. 1 row of 4 seats, 11 ft. back and a bar with 4 stools behind it. My ceiling is 7' 6". I'd even like to upgrade to 110"
post #15 of 16
I'm in a similar dilemma. 1 have a 16x15 dedicated HT room. I'm trying to decide between the Panasonic Plasma 65"GT50 vs a projector like a Epson 6010. With the couch, my sitting distance would be about 14' from the wall

My thoughts are that the plasma picture is very crisp, the deep blacks, and when I have lights on, the picture is still good, to watch football games with the light on.

With projector, the lights have to be dimmer, and the picture is not as "crisp" but still clear, but I can have a 110" screen.

Are there any drawbacks by going with a plasma other than the screen size, or go with a projector sitting at 14+ feet, will I still have the clairity with the lights on\dimmed down?

Trying to make by decision by mid week ...went to a few HT shops and still can't get a good feel - plasma clarity still wins in my eye, but not sure about the loss of quality with the light on with a projector.
post #16 of 16
While I think you have room for 2 rows of seats (I did it in my last room that was about 16 feet deep), the issue you're going to run into is head space. You'll want an 8-10 inch riser for your 2nd row, which is then going to limit your height to just a tad over 7 feet. While it's doable, it may feel tight to those in the 2nd row. The other issue will be having to hang the projector and how that will affect your ability to have a 2nd row.

As far as screen size, I think you can easily go over 100 inches in that room. I don't think you're going to get that theater feel with a 60" screen. It just doesn't have the same presence.

Finally, with proper lighting, you don't need a perfectly dark room to enjoy a projector in that space. Task lighting installed over the seating and not up front will give you light while still darkening the screen space.
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