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help choose screen for new HT

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am starting a dedicated theater build in my basement. The room is rather small at 8'4"×19' with 8' ceiling. I am planning an AT screen with 16" of room behind for speakers. This could be a few inches larger if needed I'm trying to preserve as much seating space as possible. I've framed in a riser that is 6.5' deep and 12" high at the rear of the room. My plan is 2 chairs on the riser and 2 in the front row with a viewing distance of 10' for the front and 16' for the rear.
I was planning a 103" 16:9 screen this gives me basically a wall to wall screen. Now I'm thinking I might want to go with a 2:35 screen, of course it would still wall to wall only narrower.
I'd like some help with the decision from the experts here. What are your thoughts?
Edited by Thundersnow - 10/4/13 at 1:21am
post #2 of 9
In your case I would plan for a 16:9 screen. I dont feel that this would be too large for 10 feet first row viewing. This would still give you the max 2.35:1 screen size the room width allows.

If you go 2.35:1, you may be dissapointed with the reduced image size when viewing 16:9 material.

But as most will tell you, it is best to settup your projector and determine what size/AR screen works best for you, prior to finalizing your screen choice.
post #3 of 9
In this case 16:9, you are width challenged. Maybe vertical masking.
post #4 of 9
I agree. If my math is correct, you would end up with a 78" diagonal 16:9 image on a 103" diagonal 2.35:1 screen. If you view lots of 16:9 content, you probably want something larger than that from 10', so 16:9 is the way to go. I sit 9'-6" from a 125" dia. 2.35:1 screen, which gives me a 100" dia. 16:9 image. You would be 3" larger from an additional 6" away, so we're essentially the same.

You won't have much wiggle room squeezing a 103" dia. (90" wide) screen into a room that is only 100" wide. After taking the frame into account, you could have as little as 1-1/2" between the frame and each side wall. I'd double check to make sure your side walls are plumb or else that fit may be even tighter. Better yet, consider a DIY or custom order screen so you can make it a little smaller than 103" dia. (maybe 100" dia.?)
1) It will be easier to install with a little more wiggle room.
2) It might reduce the amount of light reflecting off the side walls. You'll still have quite a bit of reflection given the width of your room, but a reduction in screen size would help a little.
3) It will leave room for fabric panels on the side walls. Given the amount of light spill you are going to have, you are probably going to want to place fabric panels wrapped in black velvet on the first few feet of each side wall. Placing these on the sidewalls first and then hanging your screen would allow for the screen to be easily removed if necessary. With a 103" dia. screen, the screen would need to be hung first and the panels would then prevent you from being able to remove the screen.
Edited by Spaceman - 10/4/13 at 10:17am
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks 16:9 it is. :)

post #6 of 9
If your projector has zoom and memory, I have to wonder if the ultimate set up for a narrow room is a semi constant area set up?

I have a 9'5" wide room with a horizontal masking system with 54x96" AT screen. The masking system eats up 3" x3 of width and
6" x2 of height (not an issue). With a new projector with zoom and memory, I've begun to wonder if there's upgrade room that would give me a more
balanced screen size between scope and 16x9. Which kind of has me wondering if I could get 108" scope and maybe shrink 16x9 to 52x92" ?

Here's KiRiN's folding mask panels from 10-12 years ago.

masking doors.jpg 27k .jpg file

ratio 1_33.jpg 54k .jpg file

ratio 2_3.jpg 40k .jpg file

screen instructions1b copy.jpg 36k .jpg file

Now if we drag his concept into today's world, and are dealing with 16:9 and 2.35:1, why not hinge the side panels on the outside? Throw in a
AT screen into the mix and today's light absorbing material options, couldn't this max out a width challenged room?

scope vs 169.jpg 34k .jpg file

scope vs 169 masking panels.jpg 55k .jpg file

scope.jpg 66k .jpg file

16x9.jpg 67k .jpg file

Construction would be a little challenging but certainly easier then building a motorized masking system. The front wall framing would be minimal
in materials. Maybe as little as a 2x4 side attached to the side walls, and some ladder style framing top and bottom. Put in a couple of stops to slide a
DIY screen frame into the opening.

So the masking would be manual, but one could squeeze out some more scope width in a width challenged room. Seems to me this could be a killer
budget setup for a width challenged room, if one embraces dark finishes to absorb stray light coming off a woven screen.
post #7 of 9

I get what your saying but why not just go for the max width 16:9, and zoom down to the 2.35:1. Would a max width 16:9 be too large for your seating distance? If so then I think what you are saying makes sense. I dont think that is the case here for Thundersnow, his room is long and very narrow.

For my room I was considering max width 115" wide 16:9 (enjoyable size from rear seats), 2.35:1 image would also be max width at 115", then have the option to select the largest tolerable 16:9 image from the front row. I am not sure If I can pull this off without a masking or if I can get a PJ capable of this plan.

I plan to take a couple weeks after my PJ is mounted to view various sizes/AR's, for now i will just plan for a screen width of 115 inches.
post #8 of 9
I think you have things right, for your space, with the extra width you have. What you want from a projector is a power zoom with memory.
And masking of some sort ideally.

That's exactly what I do now, and 16x9 content at 54x96" has a huge satisfaction level for my room. But my commercial masking system
eats up limited room width, and with a manual 4 way masking system, I could go 8" wider for scope images.
Edited by Tedd - 10/6/13 at 8:51am
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Tedd I'm kinda liking the idea of the manual fold away masking.... Something else for me to think about.

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