New build advice: attic or living room ? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 31 Old 08-01-2019, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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New build advice: attic or living room ?

Hey guys,

we're building a new house and I need some advice on where to put my HT. I have 2 options:

1. Living room.
*Pro: Lots of space. I will go with a 5.2.4 Atmos system and a 135" projection from 15ft. No problem to do this in the living room. Also sound will probably not be a problem for a possibly future baby upstairs.
*Con: Wife doesn't like the speakers very much (but accepted them), but definitely doesn't like the dual SVS subs. I also don't think I will be able to get a fixed frame screen because of how it looks.

2. Attic.
*Pro: I can do whatever I want with it, and don't need to worry about how the equipment looks.
*Con: the size. I calculated that I can just fit a 100" screen, but in that case the bottom of the screen will only be 10" or so from the ground. I don't know how big of an issue that is. Also the sound can be a problem for a possible future baby on the floor below the attic.

I think the screen size difference from 135" to 120" I can compensate by lowering the viewing distance in the attic, so this is no real issue I think.

Looking forward to your opinion, maybe many of you have thought about the same thing in the past. Thanks !
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post #2 of 31 Old 08-01-2019, 09:33 AM
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Ambient light in both locations?


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post #3 of 31 Old 08-01-2019, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Good point.

Yes for both locations, but much much more in the living room bc of massive windows. But the intention is to only watch movies at night, so ambient light should not be an issue I suppose. But that would be an advantage for the attic, where there's only 2 small windows that can be blackened completely.
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post #4 of 31 Old 08-01-2019, 09:55 AM
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There is something to be said for having space and a decent viewing distance. A friend of mine has a 100 inch screen as opposed to my 130 but his room is bigger and viewing distance much longer. Despite his smaller screen his theater experience somehow feels more grand. It also has a lot to do with the sense of audio space too. You could build an enclosure to disguise the sub as a piece of furniture.

However it's tough to mix a living room that is important to the wife, with the aesthetic challenges that a theater brings for such a room. I'd go with a soundproofed attic theater.
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post #5 of 31 Old 08-01-2019, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm just afraid that the attic will be too small. I know the 100" screen will just fit, but maybe it will look too much like everything is crammed together in a small space.

This is the cross section: https://imgur.com/a/ETlfBEj

Available width is around 2,92 meters, which is about 9'7".

*edit* width should be 3,80m, which is about 12'6".

Last edited by jorisdriesen; 08-02-2019 at 03:40 AM.
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post #6 of 31 Old 08-01-2019, 11:02 AM
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The only way for sure is to mock it up.

You won’t be watching anything you will enjoy in the living room during the day unless you are putting a TV behind a retractable screen.


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post #7 of 31 Old 08-01-2019, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorisdriesen View Post
Hey guys,

we're building a new house and I need some advice on where to put my HT. I have 2 options:

1. Living room.
*Pro: Lots of space. I will go with a 5.2.4 Atmos system and a 135" projection from 15ft. No problem to do this in the living room. Also sound will probably not be a problem for a possibly future baby upstairs.
*Con: Wife doesn't like the speakers very much (but accepted them), but definitely doesn't like the dual SVS subs. I also don't think I will be able to get a fixed frame screen because of how it looks.

2. Attic.
*Pro: I can do whatever I want with it, and don't need to worry about how the equipment looks.
*Con: the size. I calculated that I can just fit a 100" screen, but in that case the bottom of the screen will only be 10" or so from the ground. I don't know how big of an issue that is. Also the sound can be a problem for a possible future baby on the floor below the attic.

I think the screen size difference from 135" to 120" I can compensate by lowering the viewing distance in the attic, so this is no real issue I think.

Looking forward to your opinion, maybe many of you have thought about the same thing in the past. Thanks !

Try to picture how you're going to want to use the room a majority of the time.


Do you want more of a media room where you and/or others watching content are in the flow of the house with others, even if that means you can't crank up the audio as much and there are some distractions?


Or do you want a more isolated room where you and/or others can retreat for more of a dedicated home theater experience?

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post #8 of 31 Old 08-01-2019, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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The intention is to only watch movies at night, so with the full attention of everyone in the house (mostly my wife and me). The projector will never be used as a TV or as a gaming station. We will also have a regular TV in the living room.

The sound of a dedicated room is appealing, and I'm also leaning more towards that. Mainly bc I can experiment with setups and don't need to worry about how it looks or about leaving a mess. I can also put op a fixed frame screen in the attic, which seems to be more or less mandatory for clean projection.

I'm more convinced of the attic since I discovered that the room width is actually 12'6" instead of 9'7", just asked our architect to confirm that.

I can still put a Sonos surround set in the living room, for use with the regular TV.
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post #9 of 31 Old 08-11-2019, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

just did a small excel exercise of how the wall would look, and it's the first time I'm really seeing how big a 120" screen would be in the attic, see link below. I'm assuming this is overkill and would require an AT screen due to the center speaker being in the projected area.

Would you guys prefer a 110" screen given the space that I have ? Or make it 120" anyway but go AT for the center channel ? I assume most recent movies are in 2.35:1 ratio, so I want to have those movies play as big as possible. Appreciate any advice. Thanks.

https://imgur.com/a/LnoxiVY
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post #10 of 31 Old 08-11-2019, 06:14 AM
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I always like an AT screen with the center channel elevated. When you hang a screen tight to the ceiling you need to anticipate that there will be annoying reflections when the screen is so close, you will need to address that in your planning. Flat black paint at a minimum, maybe black velvet panels would be even better

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post #11 of 31 Old 08-11-2019, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I can get an AT screen (is $100 more for 120"), but my main concern is whether 120" is too big for this room ? It will barely fit in, as you can see, and I'm concerned that the picture will be too low, too close to the floor for comfortable watching. My couch is quite low, so maybe that compensates ? No issue to paint the ceiling/walls and/or put in some velvet.

I would have to put the front sub also behind the screen then, and I do like the visuals of both the center speaker and the sub.



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post #12 of 31 Old 08-11-2019, 06:44 AM
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how far will you be sitting from the screen? measured to the eyes.
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post #13 of 31 Old 08-11-2019, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Have some room to move the couch, so that's not really a problem I think:

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post #14 of 31 Old 08-11-2019, 06:55 AM
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If you watch a lot of movies there is a high probability they will only occupy the middle portion of the screen, you may want to draw that in your diagrams to visualize how a 2.35:1 image will look on your 16:9 screen. I'd do the 110 screen. Maybe a DIY 115.
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post #15 of 31 Old 08-11-2019, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Scope would look like this:

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post #16 of 31 Old 08-11-2019, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorisdriesen View Post
Scope would look like this:
If most of the content you watch is 2.35, a 2.35 screen could be a good solution. TV shows and sports will look ''smaller'', but Cinemascope movies would look glorious, as they should.
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post #17 of 31 Old 08-11-2019, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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2 problems with scope actually:

1/ I haven't checked if "most" recent movies are scope, I just assumed that (I have a scope TV for the last 7 years, so everything was scope for me).
2/ There are no scope screens for sale here (Belgium), so I would need to make one myself, which I'm not so interested in (looking for the right fabric here, US names that are not known here, etc).
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post #18 of 31 Old 08-12-2019, 01:20 AM
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1. Most movies are still 2.35. At least the big action blockbusters.
2. I'm sure there are 2.35 screens for sale in Europe, I found several years ago when I was planning my home-theater, but making a DIY screen is very easy and cheap. Mine cost 120 euros.
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post #19 of 31 Old 08-12-2019, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Would you happen to know the European fabric name/type to be used for 4K projection ? All I see on this forum is spandex, milliskin, etc but that's not known here...
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post #20 of 31 Old 08-12-2019, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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This would basically be the biggest scope screen I could fit, don't know if that isn't just too big:

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post #21 of 31 Old 08-12-2019, 09:59 AM
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are you planning a projector with memory zoom so you can easily fit 16:9 images on the screen. Like Futbol.
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post #22 of 31 Old 08-12-2019, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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No, I have the Optoma UHD65. Can probably use the manual zoom for the occasional 16:9 content.
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post #23 of 31 Old 08-12-2019, 12:46 PM
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Myself I would go for the biggest screen you can do in the living room. Nothing worse than a cramped room ' plus a 100in scope screen is for me not that big. Around 130in and its starts looking good. Plus I hate attics and I would have to have a fire escape to feel safe.
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post #24 of 31 Old 08-12-2019, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm over the living room idea, it will be the attic. Screen looks like a 128" scope, so I'm happy with that. Looking into DIY options for an AT one.
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post #25 of 31 Old 08-13-2019, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorisdriesen View Post
I'm over the living room idea, it will be the attic. Screen looks like a 128" scope, so I'm happy with that. Looking into DIY options for an AT one.
I think this is a good call for your room. I disagree with other posters that a bigger room feels better. In a sense, a more compact room feels more cozy. You just scoot up closer to the screen and enjoy a similar viewing experience.

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post #26 of 31 Old 08-13-2019, 06:17 AM
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If you can do 128in scope screen that will be killer. Also being a smaller room sound will be better and cheaper to do. Done yet?
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post #27 of 31 Old 08-13-2019, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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If you can do 128in scope screen that will be killer. Also being a smaller room sound will be better and cheaper to do. Done yet?
Done ?
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post #28 of 31 Old 08-15-2019, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jorisdriesen View Post
This would basically be the biggest scope screen I could fit, don't know if that isn't just too big:

Since my scope screen will almost touch the floor, it's probably better to extend the frame a bit so it actually rests on the floor. That will make it simpler to position, and will avoid making constructions to hang it against the wall.

Would it be needed to place the sub (behind the screen) then 10" higher so it fires above the frame and fully through the AT material, or will that not matter ? Second sub will be in the back of the room.
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post #29 of 31 Old 08-15-2019, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thinking about it now, I would need to make the wall behind the screen pitch black, probably with velvet or something similar. Would it make a difference if I did that for the original back wall, from which the screen will 30" away because of the center speaker and sub, or would it be better for the image if I made a second complete backwall 30" from the original wall, against which the screen would be placed directly ?

Maybe a new backwall will look nicer from a room aesthetics point of view ..?

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post #30 of 31 Old 08-15-2019, 01:51 AM
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Maybe a new backwall will look nicer from a room aesthetics point of view ..?

Yes, much better. And it isn't much work.


But still regarding the screen, it'll be very close to the floor and portions of the ceiling, so you should consider placing black velvet all around to avoid reflections - on the ceiling, side walls, and floor - at least on the initial 2 or 3'. The more, the better.
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