Thoughts on throw distance vs ceiling design options - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-24-2016, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Thoughts on throw distance vs ceiling design options

Looking at possible ways of designing ceiling soffits or coffers for a new house/theater construction and and am curious on the collective thoughts and wisdom of AVS.

Looking at around a 160" wide scope screen, AT so gain 1.0 at best, completely light controlled room. Not sure I'll go completely black hole, but darkish color palette and will certainly black out the screen wall and adjacent front of the room well.

Room will be too long for a projector booth at the rear, but I will likely have a portion of the front 2/3 or so of the ceiling raised in some form of tray ceiling, coffers, etc. and could easily enough soffit mount a PJ with easy access for cabling to an equipment room off the the side.

That would put the PJ around 27' from the screen. Looking at the projectorcentral calculators, taking something reasonable like the JVC RS600, and depending on whether I use an anamorphic lens to get the scope width or not, seems I might barely be able to get in the neighborhood of 10-12 fl after calibration at that throw.

I'd rather not have to break the bank, nor do I think I'd want to significantly sacrifice image quality for a pure light cannon. I guess I could design the room for a suspended PJ closer to the screen, but really like the idea of a hidden, quiet, cool home for the PJ in a rear soffit.

Maybe some magic PJ will hit the market in the next year or so before I have to purchase gear and make this an easier problem to solve. But what would you guys do given this choice? I haven't specifically mentioned budget because it isn't fixed, but the room will be expensive enough as is and I'd rather keep PJ options (plus any lens if needed) to under $10K or so.

Is there a magic long through lens that might help? Certain PJ that does particularly well in this situation? Or would you just suspend the PJ in the middle of the room and live with it? Funky tray/soffit for just a smaller portion of the front of the room?

Sort of wondering if I need to do anything different in the layout/construction plans/framing now to accommodate later.

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post #2 of 22 Old 02-24-2016, 03:19 PM
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For a 160" wide scope AT screen, I would look at Stewart UltraMatte 150. Then you could consider mounting the projector at the back of the room. Then you would be able to get around 18FL calibrated, but that is in high lamp, iris open.
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-24-2016, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Will check that out, thanks. Do you happen to know if PJ central calculator uses high lamp mode for video/gaming or only presentation option? Wasn't obvious if it was adjusting lamp mode and calibration or only calibration for each option. Guess I should search for user results on calibrated lumens and do my own calcs.
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-24-2016, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Will check that out, thanks. Do you happen to know if PJ central calculator uses high lamp mode for video/gaming or only presentation option? Wasn't obvious if it was adjusting lamp mode and calibration or only calibration for each option. Guess I should search for user results on calibrated lumens and do my own calcs.
No telling what they use. You can't go by the FL that you get with that calculator. It is okay to use for throw, but not screen brightness.
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-24-2016, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, good to know. Was looking over the ultramatte 150 stuff, viewing angle looks pretty narrow to maintain gain but I guess that's why you said I could mount at the back of the room... may need to to keep angles down I suppose. Would be around a 40 ft throw. Am strongly leaning towards a curved screen for use with anamorph lens, and even if not using a lens I like the look. I'm guessing that might be of slight benefit with these viewing angles as well.
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-24-2016, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Thanks, good to know. Was looking over the ultramatte 150 stuff, viewing angle looks pretty narrow to maintain gain but I guess that's why you said I could mount at the back of the room... may need to to keep angles down I suppose. Would be around a 40 ft throw. Am strongly leaning towards a curved screen for use with anamorph lens, and even if not using a lens I like the look. I'm guessing that might be of slight benefit with these viewing angles as well.
28'-2" of throw is the max throw distance for 160" wide 2.35 screen using the JVC. If you want to use 40' of throw, then you are going to have to go to a projector with interchangeable lens.
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-24-2016, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah just now starting to look at candidate projectors. I had assumed mounting at the very back was out so honestly never looked at what PJ's might work from that far. An option I'll have to consider now.
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Am strongly leaning towards a curved screen for use with anamorph lens, and even if not using a lens I like the look. I'm guessing that might be of slight benefit with these viewing angles as well.
I'd advise against it if you're not using a lens. A curved screen without a lens will introduce barrel distortion.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
I'd advise against it if you're not using a lens. A curved screen without a lens will introduce barrel distortion.
Depending on what projector and throw he uses, he may need the A-lens, because it sounds like he is going to need all the light he can get.
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I've assumed all along I would need a lens and have been working layout around a curved screen, although of course the curvature is slight. I know there's some distortion without a lens, particularly if I were to forego rear or soffit mounting and suspend more from central ceiling. In that case I'd have to give up the curve idea for sure.

Of course, lens + curve isn't particularly cheap, and the combined cost may open up options for other projectors that have a similar price without lens - and don't need one.

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post #11 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Looking at possible ways of designing ceiling soffits or coffers for a new house/theater construction and and am curious on the collective thoughts and wisdom of AVS.

Looking at around a 160" wide scope screen, AT so gain 1.0 at best, completely light controlled room. Not sure I'll go completely black hole, but darkish color palette and will certainly black out the screen wall and adjacent front of the room well.

Room will be too long for a projector booth at the rear, but I will likely have a portion of the front 2/3 or so of the ceiling raised in some form of tray ceiling, coffers, etc. and could easily enough soffit mount a PJ with easy access for cabling to an equipment room off the the side.

That would put the PJ around 27' from the screen. Looking at the projectorcentral calculators, taking something reasonable like the JVC RS600, and depending on whether I use an anamorphic lens to get the scope width or not, seems I might barely be able to get in the neighborhood of 10-12 fl after calibration at that throw.

I'd rather not have to break the bank, nor do I think I'd want to significantly sacrifice image quality for a pure light cannon. I guess I could design the room for a suspended PJ closer to the screen, but really like the idea of a hidden, quiet, cool home for the PJ in a rear soffit.

Maybe some magic PJ will hit the market in the next year or so before I have to purchase gear and make this an easier problem to solve. But what would you guys do given this choice? I haven't specifically mentioned budget because it isn't fixed, but the room will be expensive enough as is and I'd rather keep PJ options (plus any lens if needed) to under $10K or so.

Is there a magic long through lens that might help? Certain PJ that does particularly well in this situation? Or would you just suspend the PJ in the middle of the room and live with it? Funky tray/soffit for just a smaller portion of the front of the room?

Sort of wondering if I need to do anything different in the layout/construction plans/framing now to accommodate later.
Why not just frame a projector closet like I did, closer to the minimum throw, for more lumens ? That way you will never have to hear a projector fan again.



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post #12 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
I've assumed all along I would need a lens and have been working layout around a curved screen, although of course the curvature is slight. I know there's some distortion without a lens, particularly if I were to forego rear or soffit mounting and suspend more from central ceiling. In that case I'd have to give up the curve idea for sure.

Of course, lens + curve isn't particularly cheap, and the combined cost may open up options for other projectors that have a similar price without lens - and don't need one.
I know all about that. I use a lens and curved masking screen.
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post #13 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
Why not just frame a projector closet like I did, closer to the minimum throw, for more lumens ? That way you will never have to hear a projector fan again.
That's pretty cool and definitely avoids the issue! Not sure if you were being serious, but this room is around 45 ft in length, about 40 ft from screen to back wall, and a projection booth like that would be in the middle of the seating area!

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post #14 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
That's pretty cool and definitely avoids the issue! Not sure if you were being serious, but this room is around 45 ft in length, about 40 ft from screen to back wall, and a projection booth like that would be in the middle of the seating area!
Now I am being serious - a normal home theater is probably 17'- 20' long. 2 rows are typical. If you have 40' of multiple rows of seating, you need a much bigger screen. and a $ 50K + commercial grade Digital Cinema projector. You are building a small commercial size theater. Otherwise, folks sitting 30' back will be seeing a mighty small image. So yes, I would cut that room right in half with a wall and a projector room. Unless I had $ 400K for the build out. And no wife to tell me no !

Note that the above is how I'd do it, but you are free to build your theater any way you want. I just like a bright picture - 18 to 20 foot lamberts in low lamp. I just can't afford a projector that can do that on a 160" + diagonal screen !

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post #15 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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A pic is worth a thousand words!

I've attached an initial rough layout so you can get a better visual of what I'm working with. Still very much a work in progress. The "main" portion of the room is octagon shaped, with another couple of feet on the front wall and each side wall behind AT fabric for needed acoustical treatments. Speakers placed along the larger circle equidistant from center listening position, visible within the room boundaries.

Screen another couple of feet into the room in front of the visible "wall", leaning towards more of a free standing screen (could walk around and behind) than one actually framed into a larger screen wall, but still early and my taste may change.

The length from physical hard front wall to rear wall is about 45', just over 40' to screen from back wall. But that rear smaller rectangular extension of the room will probably contain acoustic treatments (absorption or diffusion or a mix) for the last 4-5' of depth. So the bar seating is a little under 30 feet from screen, and to be honest I don't mind sacrificing screen size for bar seating. First row center about 11' with a 55-60 deg viewing angle at 2.35 width of 160".

Front corners are large sub/IB "enclosures", rear corners flanking the bar seating area a combination of equipment closet, lobby, restroom, walkway, etc.

In addition to PJ placement issues, I'm struggling a bit with seating. Its a large space but the ceiling height complicates things. This is under the roof line, so the very outer boundaries of the room sides and front are ~6' knee walls, sloping up to ~8' at the octagonal AT boundaries, higher still centrally probably with a stepped shelf/riser look to disguise part of the slope and hide lighting and more treatments. Highest point could be 10-12' depending on how wide I want it, all of the bar area ceiling height can be 10-12 feet if needed but I would consider stepping that down to a lower soffit height running the perimeter of the octagon for PJ mounting (right over the bar itself).

The biggest issue is riser height. My current layout needs work, sightlines from the second row are a bit compromised with just a 12" riser, but the entrance door (top left of this overview, just left of the bar) enters under some portion of the sloped ceiling and may be under an 8' (from front floor level) soffit, so just 7' headroom with a 12" riser. I think 7' is OK, but any lower isn't, so its limiting the riser height.

I could do a multistepped riser (one shown is placeholder), going down to the front of the room, up to 2nd row. Could do up also to barstools but don't think it is needed at bar height.

It's a pretty big space, would love to have an even larger screen, but then first row would need to move back. Can't really do that and keep speakers equidistant as I'd like to (speaker radius would grow if screen is fixed and center point moves back, and as large as the room is the speaker distances can't increase much more). L and R at 60deg spread, will either be just inside or just flanking screen edges, not decided.

Would consider three main rows of seating, but I think screen would have to be bigger to not look too small from third row. So for now, going for more seating across. Seating shown is a placeholder, may consider squeezing 7 across front row and same in 2nd row.

I guess you could say this space deserves a huge screen and $50K PJ, but I'm working with it as essentially a 30' square with great width, space to hide room treatments, and some overflow bar seating area. You may also say it deserves a professional design firm's attention. It may get that, but for now I've got time to play, and honestly I've "been there done that" on the audio side and my ideas quite frankly aren't in the mainstream. But the video side I'm much less experienced with so all thoughts are welcomed at this point!
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post #16 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, just realized I attached the picture but still wrote a thousand words.

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post #17 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
A pic is worth a thousand words!

I've attached an initial rough layout so you can get a better visual of what I'm working with. Still very much a work in progress. The "main" portion of the room is octagon shaped, with another couple of feet on the front wall and each side wall behind AT fabric for needed acoustical treatments. Speakers placed along the larger circle equidistant from center listening position, visible within the room boundaries.

Screen another couple of feet into the room in front of the visible "wall", leaning towards more of a free standing screen (could walk around and behind) than one actually framed into a larger screen wall, but still early and my taste may change.

The length from physical hard front wall to rear wall is about 45', just over 40' to screen from back wall. But that rear smaller rectangular extension of the room will probably contain acoustic treatments (absorption or diffusion or a mix) for the last 4-5' of depth. So the bar seating is a little under 30 feet from screen, and to be honest I don't mind sacrificing screen size for bar seating. First row center about 11' with a 55-60 deg viewing angle at 2.35 width of 160".

Front corners are large sub/IB "enclosures", rear corners flanking the bar seating area a combination of equipment closet, lobby, restroom, walkway, etc.

In addition to PJ placement issues, I'm struggling a bit with seating. Its a large space but the ceiling height complicates things. This is under the roof line, so the very outer boundaries of the room sides and front are ~6' knee walls, sloping up to ~8' at the octagonal AT boundaries, higher still centrally probably with a stepped shelf/riser look to disguise part of the slope and hide lighting and more treatments. Highest point could be 10-12' depending on how wide I want it, all of the bar area ceiling height can be 10-12 feet if needed but I would consider stepping that down to a lower soffit height running the perimeter of the octagon for PJ mounting (right over the bar itself).

The biggest issue is riser height. My current layout needs work, sightlines from the second row are a bit compromised with just a 12" riser, but the entrance door (top left of this overview, just left of the bar) enters under some portion of the sloped ceiling and may be under an 8' (from front floor level) soffit, so just 7' headroom with a 12" riser. I think 7' is OK, but any lower isn't, so its limiting the riser height.

I could do a multistepped riser (one shown is placeholder), going down to the front of the room, up to 2nd row. Could do up also to barstools but don't think it is needed at bar height.

It's a pretty big space, would love to have an even larger screen, but then first row would need to move back. Can't really do that and keep speakers equidistant as I'd like to (speaker radius would grow if screen is fixed and center point moves back, and as large as the room is the speaker distances can't increase much more). L and R at 60deg spread, will either be just inside or just flanking screen edges, not decided.

Would consider three main rows of seating, but I think screen would have to be bigger to not look too small from third row. So for now, going for more seating across. Seating shown is a placeholder, may consider squeezing 7 across front row and same in 2nd row.

I guess you could say this space deserves a huge screen and $50K PJ, but I'm working with it as essentially a 30' square with great width, space to hide room treatments, and some overflow bar seating area. You may also say it deserves a professional design firm's attention. It may get that, but for now I've got time to play, and honestly I've "been there done that" on the audio side and my ideas quite frankly aren't in the mainstream. But the video side I'm much less experienced with so all thoughts are welcomed at this point!
Great looking space. More height would be welcome, but we have to work with what we have. Like the dual IB subs. What drivers are you going to use? As for your riser, that is fairly simple to solve. Use a 7" riser. That meets code for one step and gives you a little more ceiling height above the riser. Then under the second row of seating (only under seating) place a second 5" riser. I do this design for customers all the time. This way you are not giving up as much ceiling height and yet have the viewing high enough to be able to see over the first row, without placing the screen too high.

Also what speakers are you using? You will need something with good output.
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post #18 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I like the riser idea. Do you put the 5" riser just under the actual seating, or include the walkspace/footspace in front as well? It may be that I can use your idea in combination with a 12" main riser to get perfectly clear sight lines... will keep playing with the soffit designs, may put a break in them or terminate the sides into the angled rear walls where door is located for the first level, let next higher level of soffit trace the full octagon. Ceiling height is fine where actual seating will be even for second row, up to 10-12' by that point, its just the entrance door over to the side I have to massage a bit.

IB subs... not decided. If I were purchasing today would be Fi IB3. Will see if anything better comes to market before they are needed.

Main speakers will be of my own design, definitely not the norm for a theater installation, but will have enough output to suit any needs. Think of them as Linkwitz philosophy on Schwarzenegger training regimen. The actual speaker design and testing will parallel the house construction - I've purchased sample drivers and will get started on them pretty soon. Will probably post a few teaser pics or whatever along the way, will probably save full documentation of their design for one big build thread. For now, just lots of questions!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
I like the riser idea. Do you put the 5" riser just under the actual seating, or include the walkspace/footspace in front as well? It may be that I can use your idea in combination with a 12" main riser to get perfectly clear sight lines... will keep playing with the soffit designs, may put a break in them or terminate the sides into the angled rear walls where door is located for the first level, let next higher level of soffit trace the full octagon. Ceiling height is fine where actual seating will be even for second row, up to 10-12' by that point, its just the entrance door over to the side I have to massage a bit.

IB subs... not decided. If I were purchasing today would be Fi IB3. Will see if anything better comes to market before they are needed.

Main speakers will be of my own design, definitely not the norm for a theater installation, but will have enough output to suit any needs. Think of them as Linkwitz philosophy on Schwarzenegger training regimen. The actual speaker design and testing will parallel the house construction - I've purchased sample drivers and will get started on them pretty soon. Will probably post a few teaser pics or whatever along the way, will probably save full documentation of their design for one big build thread. For now, just lots of questions!
Here is what I did for my room: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...pl-150h-8.html
The two 18's that you see are subs. The front wall is a baffle wall design with dual 12" mids, horn loaded AMT tweeter and then a separate 18" mid below. Active crossover. Everything is separate. The 12's are in one box, the AMT tweeter in another box and the 18" mid in a third box. Drivers for the speakers are:

Tweeter Beyma TPL-150H
Mid Acoustic Elegance TD12M
Mid Acoustic Elegance TD18H

Everything crossed over to six sealed subs. My room is a lot smaller than yours. Really like the layout, wish I had that kind of space.

Picture with curved masking screen in place.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...l#post26784569

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post #20 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome! That was the only other design I seriously considered - either everything soffit/baffle wall mounted, or everything well away from walls. No towers in corners or stuffed into wall hugging columns, even though the wife would probably choose that visually if I offered the choice.

It's only because of the room width available that I decided a full on assault of dipoles was feasible. I consider dipoles excellent for music in the sweet spot, but even putting them on steroids to reach needed SPL their narrow dispersion can often be less ideal for theater use covering many seats. I believe that a combination of having them spaced far enough, good treatments to disperse the back wave evenly, appropriate multichannel processing (planning for 11 main speaker locations + array of heights), and careful cross-toe of the mains will provide just the right coverage for me. My early testing seems to support that. Hopefully the end turns out well.

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post #21 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
A pic is worth a thousand words!

I've attached an initial rough layout so you can get a better visual of what I'm working with. Still very much a work in progress. The "main" portion of the room is octagon shaped, with another couple of feet on the front wall and each side wall behind AT fabric for needed acoustical treatments. Speakers placed along the larger circle equidistant from center listening position, visible within the room boundaries.

Screen another couple of feet into the room in front of the visible "wall", leaning towards more of a free standing screen (could walk around and behind) than one actually framed into a larger screen wall, but still early and my taste may change.

The length from physical hard front wall to rear wall is about 45', just over 40' to screen from back wall. But that rear smaller rectangular extension of the room will probably contain acoustic treatments (absorption or diffusion or a mix) for the last 4-5' of depth. So the bar seating is a little under 30 feet from screen, and to be honest I don't mind sacrificing screen size for bar seating. First row center about 11' with a 55-60 deg viewing angle at 2.35 width of 160".

Front corners are large sub/IB "enclosures", rear corners flanking the bar seating area a combination of equipment closet, lobby, restroom, walkway, etc.

In addition to PJ placement issues, I'm struggling a bit with seating. Its a large space but the ceiling height complicates things. This is under the roof line, so the very outer boundaries of the room sides and front are ~6' knee walls, sloping up to ~8' at the octagonal AT boundaries, higher still centrally probably with a stepped shelf/riser look to disguise part of the slope and hide lighting and more treatments. Highest point could be 10-12' depending on how wide I want it, all of the bar area ceiling height can be 10-12 feet if needed but I would consider stepping that down to a lower soffit height running the perimeter of the octagon for PJ mounting (right over the bar itself).

The biggest issue is riser height. My current layout needs work, sightlines from the second row are a bit compromised with just a 12" riser, but the entrance door (top left of this overview, just left of the bar) enters under some portion of the sloped ceiling and may be under an 8' (from front floor level) soffit, so just 7' headroom with a 12" riser. I think 7' is OK, but any lower isn't, so its limiting the riser height.

I could do a multistepped riser (one shown is placeholder), going down to the front of the room, up to 2nd row. Could do up also to barstools but don't think it is needed at bar height.

It's a pretty big space, would love to have an even larger screen, but then first row would need to move back. Can't really do that and keep speakers equidistant as I'd like to (speaker radius would grow if screen is fixed and center point moves back, and as large as the room is the speaker distances can't increase much more). L and R at 60deg spread, will either be just inside or just flanking screen edges, not decided.

Would consider three main rows of seating, but I think screen would have to be bigger to not look too small from third row. So for now, going for more seating across. Seating shown is a placeholder, may consider squeezing 7 across front row and same in 2nd row.

I guess you could say this space deserves a huge screen and $50K PJ, but I'm working with it as essentially a 30' square with great width, space to hide room treatments, and some overflow bar seating area. You may also say it deserves a professional design firm's attention. It may get that, but for now I've got time to play, and honestly I've "been there done that" on the audio side and my ideas quite frankly aren't in the mainstream. But the video side I'm much less experienced with so all thoughts are welcomed at this point!
That is a cool looking space. You made it sound like a big space ( 45" feet long ), but that looks far more manageable, and not just a large rectangle.
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post #22 of 22 Old 02-25-2016, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah... long but not really. I'll put the length to good use. So long as I can make the PJ work that is!
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