Initial Design for 180" 1:2.35 HT - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 53 Old 01-03-2019, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Initial Design for 180" 1:2.35 HT

Hi Guys,

I'm new to the forum (and to projectors in general), but I'm starting to design a home cinema for my new house. I've attached 2 images (one in imperial, one in metric) of the planned screen size / projector and the dimensions of the space.

The cinema will be in the basement, so in theory it's fully light controlled, however there is a 10m row of windows about 20m away from the screen (behind the seats), and I do generally want to watch sports with some ambient light in the room.

My current thinking is to pair a Screen Innovations Zero Edge 180" 1:2.35 Slate 1.2 AT screen with a Sony VM760ES.

The setup would be a 'Fixed height' as my room dimensions mean I'm height limited rather than width limited. The 16:9 viewable screen size will only be 144", but this will also be the time when there is the most ambient light in the room so the added brightness may help.

Ideally I'd like an ALR screen as I want to use the screen most often with ambient light, and I like the 'TV' look that darker screen materials give. I want to use an AT screen as I plan on mounting the front speakers behind the screen. All the speakers are in-wall B&W speakers in a 7.2.2 configuration, as follows:

Front Centre: 1 x CWM7.3 (mounted behind the screen at head height)
Other Fronts & Surrounds: 6 x CWM7.4 (2 mounted behind the screen at head height, 2 mounted 2ft above head height either side of seat area, 2 mounted 2ft above head height behind the seat area)
Subwoofer: 2 x ISW-4 (mounted left and right of seats)
In Ceiling: 2 x CCM 7.3 (mounted left and right of seats in ceiling)

These will all be paired with a Marantz SR6011 AMP.

So, I would appreciate any feedback / thoughts on this setup. For example, will the projector be bright enough to deliver good quality, is the speaker setup sufficient? Has anyone had any experience with 4K viewing on a perforated Slate screen? Are there any alternatives I should consider?

Cheers
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post #2 of 53 Old 01-03-2019, 07:35 AM
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Ambient light coming from behind the viewers and coming from the same direction as the projector will not be reduced with an ALR screen. It will if anything be intensified.

I would suggest there is really no such thing as a width or height limited room as long as you leave seating distance open to consideration as you show single row seating. Immersion is a much bigger factor than raw screen size IMO.

A lot of the old rules of presentation are changing and some feel IMAX as an AR and immersion level is here to stay others feel it is a passing phase. With a single row and if you see IMAX in movies like Dunkirk as important your screen area could go lower and taller even and look into CIH+IMAX rather than CIH. Just an option I will throw out there.

That will also depend a lot on how important masking is and how far you would want to get into that.

Welcome to the forums and the world of FP/HT.
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post #3 of 53 Old 01-06-2019, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply!

You are spot on regarding the ambient light, it will come almost exclusively from the same direction as the projector - and that may be a major problem! I will need to get a material sample when the build is nearly completed and see how well the screens handle the space. If ALR doesn't work, my only option may be to go with an Ultra Short Throw projector & screen (which would mean a max screen size of 120").

I've made a few changes to my plan, having researched a little more:

1 - Changed to 7.2.4 as I've read that 4 Atmos speakers leads to a massive improvement over 2
2 - Changed the Atmos speakers to 4 x CCM 7.4 instead of 2 x CCM 7.3 (same price overall)
3 - AV Receiver upgraded to Marantz SR8021 (this is needed to support 7.2.4, and has amazing reviews)
4 - Added the B&W SA250 Amp to drive the two subs
5 - Working screen size is now 160" 1:2.35, as otherwise I will be under the 1.5 recommended minimum throw ratio (as well as viewing distance guidelines)

Regarding the screen height - I guess the challenge is that this is a multi-use room, so I'll want to watch the screen from further away from the sofa sometimes. That means not extending the screen below the height of the sofa, and also means that I can't just move to the sofa closer to make the screen seem more immersive. To check this, I planned out all of the speaker & sub, placements, angles etc using the Dolby Guidelines and designed them into an accurately scaled model on Roomsketcher. I've attached a render (they didn't have a proper pool table so I just added a table, and used black pictures & lights to show where pictures will go).

The next steps for me are to build in all the surround and Atmos speakers, plus the subs - and get all the wiring in place. That will just leave the front 3 speakers, the projector and the screen, which will all depend on testing the screen materials in the final build. For example, if I have to get an Ultra Short Throw projector, then I likely can't have an acoustically transparent screen, which in turn means mounting the front speakers either side of the screen. The ideal scenario (in this render), would be using a Slate 1.2 AT screen, and mounting the 3 x CWM 7.3 behind the screen.

Please let me know if anything else sticks out or if you have any further suggestions.

Cheers
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My build thread
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post #4 of 53 Old 01-08-2019, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyWilkinson View Post
Hi Guys,

I'm new to the forum (and to projectors in general), but I'm starting to design a home cinema for my new house. I've attached 2 images (one in imperial, one in metric) of the planned screen size / projector and the dimensions of the space.

The cinema will be in the basement, so in theory it's fully light controlled, however is a 10m row of windows about 20m away from the screen (behind the seats), and I do generally want to watch sports with some ambient light in the room.

My current thinking is to pair a Screen Innovations Zero Edge 180" 1:2.35 Slate 1.2 AT screen with a Sony VM760ES.

The setup would be a 'Fixed height' as my room dimensions mean I'm height limited rather than width limited. The 16:9 viewable screen size will only be 144", but this will also be the time when there is the most ambient light in the room so the added brightness may help.

Ideally I'd like an ALR screen as I want to use the screen most often with ambient light, and I like the 'TV' look that darker screen materials give. I want to use an AT screen as I plan on mounting the front speakers behind the screen. All the speakers are in-wall B&W speakers in a 7.2.2 configuration, as follows:

Front Centre: 1 x CWM7.3 (mounted behind the screen at head height)
Other Fronts & Surrounds: 6 x CWM7.4 (2 mounted behind the screen at head height, 2 mounted 2ft above head height either side of seat area, 2 mounted 2ft above head height behind the seat area)
Subwoofer: 2 x ISW-4 (mounted left and right of seats)
In Ceiling: 2 x CCM 7.3 (mounted left and right of seats in ceiling)

These will all be paired with a Marantz SR6011 AMP.

So, I would appreciate any feedback / thoughts on this setup. For example, will the projector be bright enough to deliver good quality, is the speaker setup sufficient? Has anyone had any experience with 4K viewing on a perforated Slate screen? Are there any alternatives I should consider?

Cheers
A couple of notes,
1) I see in the pics that you selected Anamorphic 2.35 with two other options being 16:9 and zoomed 2.35. Unless you are using a anamorphic lens, you should be selecting zoomed 2.35
2) AT screens that are microperf'd lose about 10% of light output.
3) 180" 2.35 even with 2000 max lumens may be a bit much to get the performance you are looking for, especially with HDR.
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post #5 of 53 Old 01-08-2019, 06:24 PM
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You're not really height limited, with but a single row of seating... And with an AT screen, you could mount it lower (as there's no second row viewing
angles involved).

But why sit so far back, from the screen? You could work the numbers to improve the audio, by having your seat row at 2/3rds the room's length. Then
shrink the screen to something smaller. It's about viewing angles and a smaller screen with closer single row of seating is going to be brighter.

You should be designing from the seating, not a given screen size. The seating places eyes and ears, then it should be planting the seating where you get
smooth audio response. Then comes the screen and if you want to push size.

You'll get better performance from your mains, seated closer, and better separation from rear surrounds. Basically your viewing angles would be the same but
your audio would see dramatic improvement.

I also am seriously considering a 16x9 screen mounted lower, with the single row of seating. I do view a lot of hd tv shows, some sports, and have sources that
can tie video to the bottom of a screen.
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post #6 of 53 Old 02-16-2019, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys.

I've been visiting various showrooms to gather more information and see/hear actual systems.

I visited Gecko Home Cinema in Berkshire - and listening to the Steinway Model S (and IW-66) systems has pretty much ruined all other speaker systems for me. For anyone interested in home cinema audio - highly recommend visiting. Rob Sinden (who owns it) and Richard Magnus (Seriously Cinema) are exceptionally welcoming, and just make you feel like you can take as much time as you like. They even recommend spending a day experiencing the setups (which I will do). Apart from the pure sound quality, a massive part of the appeal of this system is the lack of acoustic treatment required - a big plus for this family room. The absolute lack of hum is also a big deal for me.

The long and the short of it is that my plans and designs have evolved, and so has the budget

I've taken some of the advice above in terms of thinking about a smaller screen size, and moving the sofa to 2/3 back. That also brings the speakers closer. My basement will be completed in about 4-5 months so then this will become an actual build thread.

Here are my current thoughts:

1 - Projector TBC (Z1 vs NX9 vs NX7 vs Sony). I will be visiting Arrow-AV in London to audition these. Likely combined with anamorphic lens.
2 - Screen - 2.40:1 woven AT screen (either Screen Excellence Enlightor Neo or Dreamscreen V6, for example). Somewhere between 150"-170" - TBC?
3 - Speakers (Steinway Lyngdorf) 7.2.4:

LCR - 3 x bi-amped IW-25
Sub - 2 x LSR212 Boundary Subwoofers
Surround & Atmos - 8 x Model S
Processor - P200
Amplifiers - 4 x A2 Amp

4 - Additional processing via custom HTPC and madVR
5 - Control 4 automation (for completely blacking out the room via automated blinds)
6 - Some kind of Starscape ceiling (a section of the basement ceiling is being left 'raised' to accommodate this)
7 - Custom LED lighting and fabrics, to look like the attached image (apologies for the custom star ceiling I drew in paint - just for visualisation)

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post #7 of 53 Old 02-17-2019, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Proposed speaker layout attached :-)

Surrounds are circled in red, black squares are atmos speaker positions (projector in middle).

LCR behind screen (in line with the atmos speakers).

I do have the option of moving the door, but honestly I'm not sure it's worth it. The rear surround on that wall actually feels closer to where it should be than on the other wall (which is too close). Any thoughts on that? Or anything else I should be considering?

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post #8 of 53 Old 02-17-2019, 01:48 AM
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Unless you're sporting multiple rows of seating, there's very little to be gained with surrounds + rear surrounds vs just surrounds. If money is no object, by all means go for 7.x.4 but if the money spent on 7.x.4 could be put towards better quality speakers in a 5.x.4 then that would sound better.

I think comparing the Z1 to the 760ES is a great plan. I guess if you are going to be in ambient light, a BenQ LK990 might be an option as you won't get as good black performance but it has more lumens. I'm not sure how good your vision is, but to really appreciate native 4K you want to be within 1 screen width. I'm 7 feet from a 135" 16x9 for example.
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I happen to own the SI zero edge slate 1.2 screen and all of the ambient light comes from the same direction as the projector..... It does zero to help with that. Which is to be expected but I had so many things to focus on as I was building a home at the same time so that didnt even cross my mind. The professional installer never even bothered to point that out either. I easily could have shifted my screen to a different wall in the room and eliminated the problem....Yea still bitter.

It does help with having overhead lights on in the room, screen is still bright with that, but the screen is washed out with any light from behind from the windows.

I have a pretty nice projector to, the JVCRS520, pretty high end projector from 2017. I have been out of the projector game for two years now but maybe the 5,000 lumen laser projectors have come down in price, seems you will need something like that for that large of a screen. I kept mine to 133" as I wanted HDR to still look good. I have 9 foot ceilings in my basement so I certainly could have went bigger.

Edit: I see you are looking at projectors better than mine, good deal, maybe those will work! Now I'm getting the itch...

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post #10 of 53 Old 02-18-2019, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bofa89 View Post
I happen to own the SI zero edge slate 1.2 screen and all of the ambient light comes from the same direction as the projector..... It does zero to help with that. Which is to be expected but I had so many things to focus on as I was building a home at the same time so that didnt even cross my mind. The professional installer never even bothered to point that out either. I easily could have shifted my screen to a different wall in the room and eliminated the problem....Yea still bitter.

It does help with having overhead lights on in the room, screen is still bright with that, but the screen is washed out with any light from behind from the windows.

I have a pretty nice projector to, the JVCRS520, pretty high end projector from 2017. I have been out of the projector game for two years now but maybe the 5,000 lumen laser projectors have come down in price, seems you will need something like that for that large of a screen. I kept mine to 133" as I wanted HDR to still look good. I have 9 foot ceilings in my basement so I certainly could have went bigger.

Edit: I see you are looking at projectors better than mine, good deal, maybe those will work! Now I'm getting the itch...
Thanks for this. Yeah, I love the look of the zero edge slate, but it really wont solve the problem I have and I am already very grateful to this forum for helping me realise that! The other element is that I am pretty sure I'll pick up on the perforation on the screen - I seem to be pretty sensitive to that.

I was reluctant to require darkness to watch anything, but given that it is a basement, with dark walls (I attached a pic), and black-out blinds on the windows - I have come to terms with it and changed my thinking to white acoustically transparent screens. I've also been inspired by many of the builds on here. Visiting some cinemas made me really appreciate how good films look when the room is black too :-)

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post #11 of 53 Old 02-19-2019, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyWilkinson View Post
Thanks for this. Yeah, I love the look of the zero edge slate, but it really wont solve the problem I have and I am already very grateful to this forum for helping me realise that! The other element is that I am pretty sure I'll pick up on the perforation on the screen - I seem to be pretty sensitive to that.

I was reluctant to require darkness to watch anything, but given that it is a basement, with dark walls (I attached a pic), and black-out blinds on the windows - I have come to terms with it and changed my thinking to white acoustically transparent screens. I've also been inspired by many of the builds on here. Visiting some cinemas made me really appreciate how good films look when the room is black too :-)
I think that is a good call, if I could go back in time, that's exactly what I would do provided i still went projector route. I was talked out of building the false wall by the builder as it would reduce the size of the room. The room is plenty big, should have stuck with my gut and did that.
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post #12 of 53 Old 02-19-2019, 07:45 AM
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I will say this about ambient light and then try and explain it.

There is ambient light and then there is ambient light.

When I started into this 17 years ago I had hopes like many do of a projector somehow magically being able to coincide with a room that had normal light levels, like a living room. As everyone finds out light destroys PQ to some degree so I built a bat cave. That’s a great solution if you are running a movie theater and you bring in the viewers and get then seated and turn out the lights and watch a movie. Most home media rooms don’t work that way though. What I found is during a super bowl party people are talking and moving around and eating/drinking and want to see the other people. Even families with kids want to be social viewing and want to see each other.

I found that by dividing the room in half screen end and viewers end and treating the screen end as a dark theater and the viewers end somewhat brighter and lighter colors and then controlling and aiming every bit of light I let back in I could give the illusion of having a bright room without a great loss in PQ.

I also found the power of a simple neutral gray screen of low gain in this situation. My screen now is a DIY .5 gain simple gray. Because the screen attenuates 50% of the projected light I have to hit it with twice the lumens a 1.0 white screen would require getting the same image. The benefit is 50% of the ambient light making it to the screen is also absorbed. The dark screen sets a darker floor and the result is a very vivid PQ with nice CR.

Sometimes in a media room a HT optimized projector is not the best solution IMO.
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post #13 of 53 Old 02-19-2019, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
I will say this about ambient light and then try and explain it.

There is ambient light and then there is ambient light.

When I started into this 17 years ago I had hopes like many do of a projector somehow magically being able to coincide with a room that had normal light levels, like a living room. As everyone finds out light destroys PQ to some degree so I built a bat cave. That’s a great solution if you are running a movie theater and you bring in the viewers and get then seated and turn out the lights and watch a movie. Most home media rooms don’t work that way though. What I found is during a super bowl party people are talking and moving around and eating/drinking and want to see the other people. Even families with kids want to be social viewing and want to see each other.

I found that by dividing the room in half screen end and viewers end and treating the screen end as a dark theater and the viewers end somewhat brighter and lighter colors and then controlling and aiming every bit of light I let back in I could give the illusion of having a bright room without a great loss in PQ.

I also found the power of a simple neutral gray screen of low gain in this situation. My screen now is a DIY .5 gain simple gray. Because the screen attenuates 50% of the projected light I have to hit it with twice the lumens a 1.0 white screen would require getting the same image. The benefit is 50% of the ambient light making it to the screen is also absorbed. The dark screen sets a darker floor and the result is a very vivid PQ with nice CR.

Sometimes in a media room a HT optimized projector is not the best solution IMO.
Good points. I have a media room and that is pretty much exactly what I did in terms of splitting up the room. It works really well when the sun is down, when its sunny, the ambient light comes through enough on the blinds to wash out the picture a little bit. Its still very watchable just doesn't look as good. I have a JVC and you need it dark to show off its true capabilities.
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post #14 of 53 Old 02-19-2019, 02:52 PM
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Good points. I have a media room and that is pretty much exactly what I did in terms of splitting up the room. It works really well when the sun is down, when its sunny, the ambient light comes through enough on the blinds to wash out the picture a little bit. Its still very watchable just doesn't look as good. I have a JVC and you need it dark to show off its true capabilities.
Exactly my point. Where the JVC is an excellent projector it is not a light cannon. Most dark room theater projectors are not. They compete in the market place on their black levels and high CR. What your building when you are making a media room is a cross between a classroom and a theater. We used to call a class of business projectors crossovers that had a decent ability to work on the dark end of projection and then enough lumens to overcome some ambient light and also in my case a dark low gain screen. Another way and the method I’m using now as I have a small room is by keeping my screen size moderate and then find a higher output theater projector. It’s often talked about if you have ambient you need lumens but lumens don’t make black. Higher lumens and a darker screen IMO promote perception and that’s really where the bright image CR comes from in things like sports and much of TV we watch.

The nice thing about a neutral gray screen it has all the properties of a 1.0 gain unity white screen, all except the attenuation. Once you get the lumens up the dark room PQ is exactly the same. The problem being is no one makes a screen like this or hardly no one. Stewart makes a special .4 gain gray they sell to Disney for pretty much this same usage.


On edit: Beautiful room by the way!
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post #15 of 53 Old 02-19-2019, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Exactly my point. Where the JVC is an excellent projector it is not a light cannon. Most dark room theater projectors are not. They compete in the market place on their black levels and high CR. What your building when you are making a media room is a cross between a classroom and a theater. We used to call a class of business projectors crossovers that had a decent ability to work on the dark end of projection and then enough lumens to overcome some ambient light and also in my case a dark low gain screen. Another way and the method I’m using now as I have a small room is by keeping my screen size moderate and then find a higher output theater projector. It’s often talked about if you have ambient you need lumens but lumens don’t make black. Higher lumens and a darker screen IMO promote perception and that’s really where the bright image CR comes from in things like sports and much of TV we watch.

The nice thing about a neutral gray screen it has all the properties of a 1.0 gain unity white screen, all except the attenuation. Once you get the lumens up the dark room PQ is exactly the same. The problem being is no one makes a screen like this or hardly no one. Stewart makes a special .4 gain gray they sell to Disney for pretty much this same usage.


On edit: Beautiful room by the way!
Thanks! There is so much I would have done differently but I got a lot of pressure from my wife to have it finished same time as our house was built. Its a big step up from the 63" plasma I had.
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post #16 of 53 Old 02-23-2019, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
I will say this about ambient light and then try and explain it.

There is ambient light and then there is ambient light.

When I started into this 17 years ago I had hopes like many do of a projector somehow magically being able to coincide with a room that had normal light levels, like a living room. As everyone finds out light destroys PQ to some degree so I built a bat cave. That’s a great solution if you are running a movie theater and you bring in the viewers and get then seated and turn out the lights and watch a movie. Most home media rooms don’t work that way though. What I found is during a super bowl party people are talking and moving around and eating/drinking and want to see the other people. Even families with kids want to be social viewing and want to see each other.

I found that by dividing the room in half screen end and viewers end and treating the screen end as a dark theater and the viewers end somewhat brighter and lighter colors and then controlling and aiming every bit of light I let back in I could give the illusion of having a bright room without a great loss in PQ.

I also found the power of a simple neutral gray screen of low gain in this situation. My screen now is a DIY .5 gain simple gray. Because the screen attenuates 50% of the projected light I have to hit it with twice the lumens a 1.0 white screen would require getting the same image. The benefit is 50% of the ambient light making it to the screen is also absorbed. The dark screen sets a darker floor and the result is a very vivid PQ with nice CR.

Sometimes in a media room a HT optimized projector is not the best solution IMO.
Thanks for these thoughts. I think what you describe (in terms of treating the screen end as a dark theater) is exactly what I am after. Once the room is completed (minus screen & projector) I will definitely get samples of gray to test out your approach :-)

Here's current best idea of what I'd like it to look like (the dining table is actually a pool table):



I'm going to steal Rob Hahn's idea of illuminating the speakers behind the screen:

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Thanks for these thoughts.
Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

I always thought Rob’s and others back lighting the screen was a nice wow factor for when the projector was shut off. My media room has always been based around performance with the projector on and I have been unable to try any of the screen effects stuff.

If you have followed Rob Hahn’s theater you will know he was one of the first to break away from CIH presentation and he does more of a CIA presentation. He has a very nice and expensive 4way masking system to go with it. I long admired his theater but reality told me I would never have one tenth of his setup. So I worked out ways for a good variable image / AR system that wouldn’t break the bank. I am a super huge fan of the new and even the old IMAX AR’s and my first theater was a early version of IMAX at home 17 years ago. Now we have the IMAX enhanced media soon to be coming our way both streaming and on solid media. I have been trying to get people to talk about the new format and how it will effect their home theaters but no one seems too interested. Your room with mostly single row seating seems ideal for an IMAX approach to stay future proofed. Many are so fond of scope as a final screen framing they are resolved to work around IMAX enhanced. I just wanted to point it out as you are still in the planning stages.

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Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

I always thought Rob’s and others back lighting the screen was a nice wow factor for when the projector was shut off. My media room has always been based around performance with the projector on and I have been unable to try any of the screen effects stuff.

If you have followed Rob Hahn’s theater you will know he was one of the first to break away from CIH presentation and he does more of a CIA presentation. He has a very nice and expensive 4way masking system to go with it. I long admired his theater but reality told me I would never have one tenth of his setup. So I worked out ways for a good variable image / AR system that wouldn’t break the bank. I am a super huge fan of the new and even the old IMAX AR’s and my first theater was a early version of IMAX at home 17 years ago. Now we have the IMAX enhanced media soon to be coming our way both streaming and on solid media. I have been trying to get people to talk about the new format and how it will effect their home theaters but no one seems too interested. Your room with mostly single row seating seems ideal for an IMAX approach to stay future proofed. Many are so fond of scope as a final screen framing they are resolved to work around IMAX enhanced. I just wanted to point it out as you are still in the planning stages.
Confession time: I had to look up CIA and read up on the IMAX approach and discussion about it. I'm still not crystal clear how I would go about incorporating it and what it all means (despite going to IMAX cinemas regularly over the past few years, and even hosting a customer conference on the largest in Europe).

I will attempt to describe my take on it, but please correct me if I'm wrong:

16:9 content is the content intended to be enjoyed in the smallest size - you identify the height of the screen you're comfortable viewing, and that determines the size of 16:9.

For scope (2.35 or 2.4), you maintain the same height but increase the width either side. This gives you extra detail in your 'peripheral vision' on either side, and is therefore physically larger and theoretically more immersive.

IMAX, extends this same logic vertically. Starting with a scope screen, you maintain the width and increase the height - to give you a greater degree of 'vertical' immersion.

Is that roughly correct? On top of that, IMAX seems to suggest reducing overall screen size if the quality is lower. I've also seen it described as having the entire wall as 'displayable space' and allowing the content to determine the aspect ratio.

I also noted that Rob mentioned that he never changed his screen size or used the 4 way masking system the way he intended to originally.

So, very amateur attempt to describe IMAX complete, I'll explain how I arrived at my choice. My room is rather long (20m) extending backwards from the screen. I designed the layout this way so that there could be a 'cinema' area at the darkest end, but that when playing pool, drinking at the bar, or relaxing in the lounge - it would look like a large TV. As a result, I have a 'theoretical' back seat of ~15m back (lounge), along with some at 4m (sectional sofa) and 10m (bar). In order for the picture to be fully visible, the top of the screen needs to be lower than the projector hanging down, and the bottom needs to be above the sofa. But also as large as possible.

This is why I describe my setup as 'height limited'. I could move my sofa forward, sure, but the view from everywhere else would be impacted. A 16:9 ratio screen fitting within that maximum height would look good, but 2.40:1 content would be very small, and I find horizontal black bars particularly noticeable. Given that the wall is wide enough, by selecting a 2.40:1 scope screen, the 16:9 content is the same size, but cinema is far larger (as it should be, in my view).

I have been looking at a motorized horizontal masking setup from a German company - it's called IMasque Slim, and it is a very reasonably priced 2-way CIH masking setup (~7,000 EUR), with a very slim frame (only 4cm). Starting at 2.40:1, I would be able to accommodate any content at the same maximum height, adjusting the width accordingly. https://www.takeoffmedia24.de/beamer...sque-slim.html

So, I guess my question is - how could I (taking the above into account) improve my setup to accommodate IMAX? 4 way masking is an option, but I am yet to find one priced less than a car. While possible, I do start to question value for money when a screen costs as much as a top end projector :-)

Attached picture of the masking and the rest of the space for info :-)

Thanks again!


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Unless you're sporting multiple rows of seating, there's very little to be gained with surrounds + rear surrounds vs just surrounds. If money is no object, by all means go for 7.x.4 but if the money spent on 7.x.4 could be put towards better quality speakers in a 5.x.4 then that would sound better.

I think comparing the Z1 to the 760ES is a great plan. I guess if you are going to be in ambient light, a BenQ LK990 might be an option as you won't get as good black performance but it has more lumens. I'm not sure how good your vision is, but to really appreciate native 4K you want to be within 1 screen width. I'm 7 feet from a 135" 16x9 for example.
Thanks for this. I have started to consider upgrading the LCR to IW-66 and delaying some of the surround sound speakers until later (with pre-wiring for 9.6.6). In my latest render (above), I put these 3 in (to scale) visible in front of the screen.

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With a single row of seats, why do you need 4 way masking? What you need is sources that tie video to the bottom of a screen, then it becomes three way masking.

Coming from a DIY'er perspective, I see where a 16x9 screen, with a single sliding upper mask, might be a really good and really inexpensive to build solution.
(My extensive media collection is about 50/50 scope/16x9 and I actually think that some hdtv shows are far better experiences on a big screen, and often are better then
a lot of Hollywood's latest offerings. Throw in some sports and I am pretty good with the extra pile of projector budget, for the next theater.) Two Somfy motors
and an Audrino for control, could actually pair really well with AT screen fabric, laced into a front AT frame, with the screen's edges created by some velvet covered
boards, for the sides and bottom.

Now that might be a unique view, but then again, a scope screen might simply be a great tool for sight lines and room height being a bit on the compromised side
of things, but I have yet to see a scope screen in any local commercial theater.

All that money being spent on audio, and all those large reflective surfaces, plus the volume, means you won't be getting great value from the substantial dollar investment.
That's a stunning room from an architectural viewpoint, but a lot of your choices are planting you miles away from the performance levels of Rob Hahn's room.

That light well is awesome, BTW.
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All that money being spent on audio, and all those large reflective surfaces, plus the volume, means you won't be getting great value from the substantial dollar investment.
That's a stunning room from an architectural viewpoint, but a lot of your choices are planting you miles away from the performance levels of Rob Hahn's room.
Thanks for the feedback. One part of the appeal of the Steinway Lyngdorf system is that it handles large reflective surfaces very well, and doesn't require much (if any) acoustic treatment to sound perfect. The showrooms at Gecko have no acoustic room treatment at all, are largely rectangular (like my room will be) and they sound better than the acoustically designed room next door (with 9.6.6 MK 300 system and Lyngdorf amps). I agree, however, that this room will never reach the performance levels of a dedicated home theater. Especially not one as epic as Rob's. But that's OK - and it's not my intention. This is intended to be an extension of living space. Homely, inviting, inclusive. I do not want it to feel like a separate space and I'm OK with compromising performance slightly to achieve that. Hence the sectional sofa rather than rows of cinema seats, for example.

What I do want to do, however, within the constraints of 'homely' and 'not isolated from the rest of the house', is to achieve the best audio/visual performance I can. I would love to hear suggestions as to which choices I am making which harm performance. I am a complete rookie here - and any insight you can give me to maximise the end result would be greatly appreciated :-)

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That light well is awesome, BTW.
Cheers... half of it is cut out of the pic

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Confession time: I had to look up CIA and read up on the IMAX approach and discussion about it. I'm still not crystal clear how I would go about incorporating it and what it all means (despite going to IMAX cinemas regularly over the past few years, and even hosting a customer conference on the largest in Europe).
I think your assessment of CIH+IMAX is fairly correct and it is something easier said than done. It seems for me anyway the more variable the presentation method the better I like it but then it also becomes more complex.

I have brought the topic up to the CIH community here and it is not very well received. I recently brought the subject up in the dedicated HT forum and there was not any real interest in the subject despite IMAX announcements of the IMAX Enhanced program taking hold. The threads started about IMAX Enhanced are primarily interested in the audio changes in the IMAX format with new AVRs coded and certified to play the IMAX audio. The AR/immersion part isn’t really being talked about.

The majority of the CIH community are fine with cropping IMAX content down to Scope framing saying that is legitimate because that is how it is shown in Scope theaters. Some say they will show it under immersive framing it in the flat area of their screens. Of course the vast number of people in the world will be happy as they have flat panel TV sets and they will finally fill their screens with blockbuster movies doing the only thing they can do CIW presentation. Folks with the new 70-80” screens will really love IMAX Enhanced even though the majority don’t sit nowhere close to cinema level immersion let alone intended IMAX immersion levels.

The problem isn’t in Scope or IMAX it is in TV and Flat 1.85:1 movies when you do cinema level immersion they are overly immersive based on how the cinematography is intended. That was a blanket statement that IMO doesn’t always hold true. The newer prestige TV Game of Thrones and some Flat movies like Avatar as examples are framed and directed somewhat like IMAX and screen fine more immersive. In addition with a room like yours that has primary theater seating distance could also benefit when sports viewed from deep in the room as the IMAX sized screen. Even if your couch trimmed off the bottom of the image IMO.

The way you described the relationship between the different types of content is correct for how most understand IMAX at home. In a real IMAX the immersion of say a scope movie will be greater than the immersion of the same scope movie in a regular theater because of the enhancement IMAX puts the film thru. So I guess it is up for debate still how people will display this new content coming out.

I solved the problem for myself over the last 3 or 4 years with a method that works for me but might not be for others. Four years ago I started thinking about variable image sizing for a bunch of reasons IMAX being one. I purposely set my projector backwards and reflected the image off a mirror so I could do a simple 4way masking at the mirror rather than the screen. I have long liked the entire wall stealth screen concept and I’m also a fan of DIY painted dark gray screens. My current screen is a simple neutral gray .5 gain. With 50% projected light attenuation that I make up for by doubling the lumen output needed. The screen also attenuates 50% of any unwanted ambient light. I like you have a mixed usage room.

About a year ago I was showing a bunch of the Christopher Nolan expanding movies where they bounce between Scope and IMAX and when they do that it is imposable to set the masking to do both so you leave it sized to IMAX and live with the slight dark black bars. I asked all my guests how bad that bothered them. No one knew what I was talking about and in fact regular people don’t even notice the image changing size. A few I had to go back and prove it to them even by showing some of the clips where it changed. I began to think only people like us that think about this stuff are bothered by it. About a year ago I upgraded projectors to one that even had better blacks and decided to shoot straight to the gray screen and eliminate all masking. No one but me cared and I didn’t care that much. the freedom of not messing around setting masking made me want to adjust to optimal sizes more and when I watched Dunkirk for the first time I totally forgot about presentation and completely enjoyed a movie 100% in a long time. For me it was a trade off and the benefits outweighed the negatives. One more happy note for me and my stealth screen besides being able to change sizes at will is also using vertical offset at will. Lowering a Scope or smaller sized image for viewing is nice and in your case maybe being able to raise the sports image when viewing from your whole room would help.

I go beyond CIH+IMAX. I diminish some content if it is of lower resolution or of some matter that isn’t made better being as immersive. I will still watch DVD even and sized down to 70-80% and then scaled to projector resolution is very enjoyable. I also use my scaling as I have some friends and family members that don’t enjoy the full on Immersion I do. It is no different than if we all went to the theater together and I tried to duck into row 10 and they all wanted to sit in row 20 I would move back with them to be social. I want people to enjoy our theater with us and when alone I want to enjoy it the way I like best.
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I have a velvet room, that is how much I hate ambient light. lol But a compromise for you might be to install black velvet curtains behind the seating area for critical viewing, the darker the better, especially at that size of screen. You will need all the light and darkness you can get.

Listening with Focal Elex headphones, Topping DSD Dac, SENCUN-audio tube preamp with tone control and Little Dot hybrid tube amp with GE tubes.

Watching in a room ensconced in velvet.
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I have a velvet room, that is how much I hate ambient light. lol But a compromise for you might be to install black velvet curtains behind the seating area for critical viewing, the darker the better, especially at that size of screen. You will need all the light and darkness you can get.
Haha

Cheers. If it helps, the windows at the back have automated full black-out blinds. All the other lighting can be turned off when cinema mode is on. That does leave some possible light from the stairs. I am considering a black-out curtain there to give light no way to come in :-)
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Haha

Cheers. If it helps, the windows at the back have automated full black-out blinds. All the other lighting can be turned off when cinema mode is on. That does leave some possible light from the stairs. I am considering a black-out curtain there to give light no way to come in :-)
Check out this thread, but be careful you do not want to underestimate the power of the Darkside....




https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-di...ter-image.html

Listening with Focal Elex headphones, Topping DSD Dac, SENCUN-audio tube preamp with tone control and Little Dot hybrid tube amp with GE tubes.

Watching in a room ensconced in velvet.
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Check out this thread, but be careful you do not want to underestimate the power of the Darkside....




https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-di...ter-image.html


I have checked that thread out actually. Immediate wife alert!!!

I was surprised when it was agreed by the powers that be that I could darken the room at all, so I think I will quit while I'm ahead.

I have no imagination. So when I see something that I like, I replicate it..... Attached what I'm going to attempt. I know the fabric looks fairly light, but with the LED's in the wall and behind the screen off, it should look completely black. The angled walls should also reduce screen reflections (as well as audio reflections), and I have no rear wall for light to reflect off . I've also had a fully black starscape ceiling signed off . Probably nowhere near dark enough for you, right?
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I have checked that thread out actually. Immediate wife alert!!!

I was surprised when it was agreed by the powers that be that I could darken the room at all, so I think I will quit while I'm ahead.

I have no imagination. So when I see something that I like, I replicate it..... Attached what I'm going to attempt. I know the fabric looks fairly light, but with the LED's in the wall and behind the screen off, it should look completely black. The angled walls should also reduce screen reflections (as well as audio reflections), and I have no rear wall for light to reflect off . I've also had a fully black starscape ceiling signed off . Probably nowhere near dark enough for you, right?
I have LED being the screen, when I'm doign serious watching. I have it off but I like it for kid movies. It looks really cool. I'm curious how you plan to do that wall, if i could go back in time I would do the same thing. If its a fabric panel that goes over the existing wall, maybe I can still do it.

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Thanks for the feedback. One part of the appeal of the Steinway Lyngdorf system is that it handles large reflective surfaces very well, and doesn't require much (if any) acoustic treatment to sound perfect. The showrooms at Gecko have no acoustic room treatment at all, are largely rectangular (like my room will be) and they sound better than the acoustically designed room next door (with 9.6.6 MK 300 system and Lyngdorf amps). I agree, however, that this room will never reach the performance levels of a dedicated home theater. Especially not one as epic as Rob's. But that's OK - and it's not my intention. This is intended to be an extension of living space. Homely, inviting, inclusive. I do not want it to feel like a separate space and I'm OK with compromising performance slightly to achieve that. Hence the sectional sofa rather than rows of cinema seats, for example.

What I do want to do, however, within the constraints of 'homely' and 'not isolated from the rest of the house', is to achieve the best audio/visual performance I can. I would love to hear suggestions as to which choices I am making which harm performance. I am a complete rookie here - and any insight you can give me to maximise the end result would be greatly appreciated :-)

I gather that staircase is closed in with safety glass? Otherwise, I'd love to know how people get away with that legally?


How exactly does the Steinway Lyngdorf deal with getting around physics and wave science anyways? And how does it stop those large panes of glass, acting like a low bandpass filter? I expect it
will have the output to maybe deal with the higher noise floor, but that will also reduce the dynamic range, by dumping SPL at the top end.

It comes down to open concept versus dedicated, for me. I fully get the desire for an open concept space, but I also understand the significant penalties that imposes. The poor surround sound speaker
layout, the additional volume, and the increased noise floor, the large amounts of highly reflective surfaces, are all significantly impacting on the audio. I do look at all that open concept space, and wonder if
a single row dedicated, really messes with all the rest of the open concept space?

The noise floor is a "biggie" issue. You are reducing the dynamic range of the audio side of things, and now you are not hearing what was intended to be heard. Are these negatives starting to add up, for you now?
If they aren't adding up, then maybe they simply are good arguments for you, that the look and larger open concept space is more important. Either that, or maybe it just points out that maybe you need
some more reference factors like some seat time in a dedicated mid range room?

I don't have an issue with the single row. That's pretty much my next home theater.

No imagination???! If those are your renders, well you certainly do.... Maybe what you are lacking, is some seat time in a well designed, dedicated mid range home theater? That should give you a broader perspective.

Prewiring is cheap, but will 9.6.6 ever be needed, with a single row? That pool table is also a highly reflective horizontal slab so I would be thinking why would I ever want (or even need) all of those speakers?
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I gather that staircase is closed in with safety glass? Otherwise, I'd love to know how people get away with that legally?


How exactly does the Steinway Lyngdorf deal with getting around physics and wave science anyways? And how does it stop those large panes of glass, acting like a low bandpass filter? I expect it
will have the output to maybe deal with the higher noise floor, but that will also reduce the dynamic range, by dumping SPL at the top end.

It comes down to open concept versus dedicated, for me. I fully get the desire for an open concept space, but I also understand the significant penalties that imposes. The poor surround sound speaker
layout, the additional volume, and the increased noise floor, the large amounts of highly reflective surfaces, are all significantly impacting on the audio. I do look at all that open concept space, and wonder if
a single row dedicated, really messes with all the rest of the open concept space?

The noise floor is a "biggie" issue. You are reducing the dynamic range of the audio side of things, and now you are not hearing what was intended to be heard. Are these negatives starting to add up, for you now?
If they aren't adding up, then maybe they simply are good arguments for you, that the look and larger open concept space is more important. Either that, or maybe it just points out that maybe you need
some more reference factors like some seat time in a dedicated mid range room?

I don't have an issue with the single row. That's pretty much my next home theater.

No imagination???! If those are your renders, well you certainly do.... Maybe what you are lacking, is some seat time in a well designed, dedicated mid range home theater? That should give you a broader perspective.

Prewiring is cheap, but will 9.6.6 ever be needed, with a single row? That pool table is also a highly reflective horizontal slab so I would be thinking why would I ever want (or even need) all of those speakers?
Thanks very much for replying to me. Your previous comments have been eating away at me! I do value the open space. Very highly. However, I have always been obsessed with audio - and high quality audio is critical. I do have the option to close the space. I also have the option to have a hybrid, with an open-able sound proof wall (sound proofed to 60db - which is better than a typical interior wall). But if I can have my cake and eat it too, I will :-)

I will explain my thoughts on your points - but please don't interpret this as me arguing with you. Think of it more as me explaining where I had been going wrong, or some things that I'm not sure on. I am a complete novice, and I'm saying these things as much for you to shoot me down as anything. Not to try and be right...

So, how does the Steinway Lyngdorf deal with the physics? The main thing I guess is the 'Roomperfect' system. It's widely regarded as the best 'room correction' system, the subject of 50+ patents I believe. Because the whole flow from source to amp output is entirely (and uniquely) digital, digital corrections are made to the audio sent to all of the speakers after calibrating by doing a 3D map of the room (via placing the microphone in different positions). It's some kind of wizardry, but the end result is that the individual speakers' timing and output, and EQ adjustments take into account the dynamics of your room. So rather than adjust the room to match the speakers, the processor is adapting the speakers to match the room. Then there are boundary woofers which get around reflections by relying on being placed in the corners of the room (and use the reflections to their benefit). There are some nice Youtube videos on both of these things:



All of the above sounds like marketing speak, but I've visited 5 different home theater showrooms now (including those with MK Sound, JBL and B&W), and the Gecko cinema with this system sound the best to me. Their showroom cinemas, like my future room, have no rear wall (the two SL surround setups anyway - they are on opposite walls of a huge dedicated space), and they have no acoustic treatment. The whole space is probably larger than my basement will be - and they just sound untouchable. We turned the Model S system to +10 above reference, and the IW-66 to +15, and the sound just didn't change. I had absolutely no fatigue at all, and the response of the bass and dynamics were just ridiculous. To put it into context, I believe Steinway demonstrated the quality by switching over from a live pianist to the speakers mid-way through a concert, and the audience were only told at the end (nobody noticed). Interestingly, these are the speakers that Nigel (Arrow AV) went with after auditioning all the high end players (JBL Synthesis, Wisdom Audio, etc) - and plans in his 'super cinema' which sounds like it'll be one of the best in the world. I believe lots of forum users have visited the end result of his first cinema. I also think the general feedback on Steinway systems heard elsewhere (such as in the hallway at CEDIA recently) have been very favorable.

Regarding range and noise floor: the other characteristic of the Steinway speakers is that because they are fully digital, no sound means no sound. In other words, you can turn the speakers up to +10, +15, whatever, and if there's no audio, you hear nothing. No hum whatsoever. The signal to noise ratio is ridiculously high. The power, however, of the IW-66's is incredible. Steinway claim it's capable of reference levels at a distance of 15m (they are 120db speakers with 95 sensitivity, I believe)! I have no idea if that's true, but they felt like they had massive headroom above where we dared take them :-)

Regarding speaker layout - with the exception of the rear surrounds (which I would ideally place on a wall parallel to the screen), all of the speakers are in exactly the same place I would have them in a dedicated room. And in line with Dolby recommendations/angles (including the rear surrounds). I actually think that by adding a rear wall I would be adding an additional reflective surface that would need handling.

Regarding the noise floor - this one is interesting to me. Because this is a basement, I actually think it'll be the quietest room in the house. The windows are triple glazed security panes (ones where it has to take more than 5 minutes to break into with a crowbar), with acoustic black out blinds in front of them - and all of the electrical equipment will be in the adjacent room (with the door closed). The other unique thing about Steinway amplifiers is they generate absolutely no heat (because it's simply digital processing). I imagine the only audible items from MLP will be the aircon (when on, which will be unusual due to it being a basement), the projector (probably the loudest) - and maybe the fridge from the bar. I am going to try and make sure the aircon is quiet - but it's already designed in that all the aircon units themselves are in the technical room.

So - there's my (naive?) thoughts. And hopes. You make a good point in that while I've witnessed some home theaters, I haven't visited enough, yet.

Finally - attached pic of security on floating stairs :-)

Please - if you're going to destroy my hopes and dreams, do it gently!!!

Last edited by JohnnyWilkinson; 03-03-2019 at 09:46 AM.
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We're not arguing but the fact that some of my comments are eating away at you, simply means you are better informed. Which simply might mean a more informed final
open concept decision.


We all tend to think of the typical 55 db noise floor of a home, as quiet. Except that just means to hear the quiet passages of a movie, the volume needs to go up 30+ db.
That's all fine and dandy, until a loud explosion has you jumping for the volume key of the remote. The sub 55 db passages being heard, means loud events now
want to hit 140 db. Kind of a rude awakening and that means you end up surrounding dynamic range. Not only is that punishing on your hearing, that can be brutal
on speakers, where maybe you fry "av stuff". That also won't play well with the Mrs, because her hearing is better then yours, and women don't exactly have the same
response as men where we tend to embrace stupid loud far more easily. It might even get worse, because when you want to listen to, and fully experience the latest bombastic
movie, that the Mrs doesn't care to watch, you run the risk of the dreaded "Can you turn it down?". Someone isn't going to be happy, and there's a decent good chance, two people
aren't going to be happy.

Heh, I love your hopes and dreams (and budget )! I so look forward to hopefully seeing more of this home, as it is truly inspirational. (Less so, home theater audio-wise though...
The visual side of things does work for me, except for light colored seating.)

That marketing isn't exactly selling me. I'd actually prefer the first video three seat wide, because I don't really care about sound, where ears are not. It also looks like
they are averaging the room if that is but two seats, they have dispensed with a center time aligned money seat, isn't always a design goal, since there are two camps of design
thinking here. I also would respectful

That room is also dedicated (except being that large pane of glass), and is pretty luxurious from a "very limited seating count" positioned well, and off wall boundaries.
Now that is a concept I can get my head around, because limited seat rooms, designed from a knowledgeable stand point, can push big expensive rooms from a performance
stand point.

Digital is great when it comes to pushing the signal path further to the speakers, when you actually need DSP. Otherwise, who cares, beyond great sound, when things are done right,
in either realm? Digital sources have a bit of an advantage, because analog sources need to go digital to be eq'ed, so that how well that is done, can be important.

I'm actually making a lot of good points. They just don't mesh all that well, with the open concept room option.

O db is reference levels with a 22 db sound floor. If you turn it up 15 db, peaks are now 122 db, and too much of that over an extended period, can damage hearing.



I didn't even touch on the bar refrigerator. I think of that as one of the "Been there, made that mistake." side of things.
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