Originally Posted by nathan_h
What brand/model did you put in your theater? I'm trying to calibrate my understanding of what their specs say about db ratings versus real user experience (you say it's pretty quiet on the low setting).
It's a no-name brand I bought at Naughton's Plumbing. The plate on the outside unit says International Comfort Products. (Made in Korea). The exact unit is at the bottom of this page: http://www.naughtons.com/Pages/a_c.html
I don't know what the db rating is, but the main reason I got it is because mini-splits are known to be quiet. The noisy part is outside where you can't hear it. There is only a low-voltage fan in the inside unit with 3 speeds. I would estimate at least 35db based on projector fans. I suppose I consider it very quiet because it's mounted at least 12 ft from the closest sitting position. At that distance you can only hear it during a quiet passage of the movie and then only if you think about. It's a much lower pitch noise than you would get from a projector fan.
A regular HVAC ventilation system would be the quietest, but unfortunately, my theater is at the other end of the house where it doesn't quite reach. This was the most innexpensive solution.