Tom's Home Theater - Design - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-26-2017, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Tom's Home Theater - Design

Thanks for the advise so far. For fun and for feedback, I'm sharing my design progress. I'm at the design stage trying to figure out how the final look should be, and then I'll go and figure out how to build it.

Here's the current design level and the room I'm working with:

The basic concept is that I will construct wall columns from painted wood, they will get a few decorations not yet shown here, and their purpose is:
  1. to keep the fabric panels in place, which are pressed to the wall by the wood columns, and where I can add sound proofing as needed
  2. to support the ceiling beams on which I will hang further sound proofing, as needed
  3. to hold the lamps that illuminate the theater
I put in some to-scale humans because I find it easier to judge dimensions with some reference objects.

Note that the screen is at this time the only object that already exists. It fills the entire small wall, giving me a huge screen (4.5m diagonal) but very little space to all sides. As far as I know, it is not sound-transparent, so I will have to mount the speakers to the sides. They are not yet visible in this sketch.

I'm thankful for all advise, feedback or questions that can help me avoid stupid mistakes.
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-26-2017, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention:
Yes, at the left-hand side of the room (behind everything) there is a space that I will cut off with the back wall. The water mains runs there, so there's a bit of pipes that I want to hide, and I also plan to hide the projector, stereo system and other electronics back there.

One thing I'm still playing with is the distance from the screen.

My main challenge turned out to be the door and window, as they're in such strange places relative to each other that I couldn't find an even spacing that accommodates both.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-27-2017, 06:25 AM
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Do yourself a favor and spend some time using this calculator :

Our seating to screen distance is about 16 ft from a 125” diagonal screen. The calculator gives a THX max distance of 20ft, recommended at 14ft. Based on actual room tests, I’d be happier at 14ft...impossible given the room constraints.

I see many pics of massive theaters with a screen size that is way too small. You want the theater (IMHO) to be immersive..not just a big living room.

Last edited by dennwood; 10-27-2017 at 06:29 AM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-27-2017, 10:23 AM
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The biggest problem that I see is the people in the back row being able to see the bottom of the screen.

Next on the list would be speaker placement, not just for the left and right speakers, but also for the center. If your screen is not acoustically transparent, you really only have two viable solutions, above or below. Both have compromises and will limit the size of your screen. The left and right speakers will also need room on either side of the screen to fit.

Your riser looks like it may be rather tall for your ceiling height. Make sure that people will be able to stand up without bumping their heads. Consider making the riser lower and using a "mini-riser" that is just under the furniture, raising up the seated height 3-4", but allowing more standing height.

If you are looking for "soundproofing", there is really no such thing, although the term is used commonly to refer to sound isolation. For all practical purposes, this needs to be dealt with in the structure of your room in the construction phase. There is nothing that you can effectively hang in the room that will keep sound in or out.

Anything that you attach to the walls or ceiling should be thought of as "sound treatment" to control reflections within the room, not keeping sound in or out.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-31-2017, 06:28 PM
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The issues I see, are:

The screen is going to light up the room. It is too simply too big. I also expect your second row seats, cannot see the bottom of the screen.
There's also nowhere to put your front speakers. Most home theater designers will recommend you rein in the screen and not exceed 80% of
the front wall. That would also shrink the riser height a wee bit.

The screen might exist, but could you cut down the frame, and install AT fabric?

Center all the seating. Add a second set of steps. Symmetry is important.

Where will the projector end up? Second row head space might be an issue...

Those sconces might present a head room issue also.

Why not build a hinged fabric panel, to hide the window?

Why is your seating on the back wall and have you thought about rear surround speakers and how you actually don't want your seating on top of speakers?

Is that tile on the floor? If so, it's not exactly an audio friendly choice. You might want to consider carpet or at least a big area rug.

What finish is going on those columns? The ones up front might reflect light and the image on the screen, if that's a glossy finish.

I really like the overall design but these are some issues you'll want to give some more thought to.

+1 to a one step height riser, and then build a riser on top of that, that covers the seating foot print and foot room. Gives you a little more head room space.
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