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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Instead of piggy-backing onto another thread posted by a different user covering similar questions, I decided to post my own thread as a newbie to the site (and the intricacies of A/V in general).


I'm planning on remodeling my living room primarily for HT and HDTV use, but it will be a multi-purpose room seeing lots of kids and adults mingling around. My questions are more general about what I can do with the room, and what should I be paying attention to when I spec out different components.


Most of my research has been done on the TV. I've decided I'm going to go wall mounted Plasma, minimum 50" but possibly up to 65" depending on the layout with the room, to maximize the available floor space for toys games and general mayhem when the kids aren't watching TV. I'm pondering waiting to find out more about the bigger screens coming out in 1080p format.


I'd like to go with a single Reciever, but am pretty clueless as to what things I really should pay attention to when researching Recievers...after a brief stint through the Amps, Recievers, etc. area my cluelessness was enhanced and I didn't even know how to form a question...so, any tips or FAQs or good threads to bring me up to speed on the important aspects of a reciever (and hopefull some explanation of the typical jargon used to describe them would be helpful)? From what I've seen Dennon is one of the more popular brands to consider, though I've also heard some good things about the Pioneer Elite series recievers.


For now I'm planning on getting a good progressive scan DVD player, again Dennon pops up in the reviews as a brand of choice...any particulars to consider when mating to the reciever and then to the TV?


I'll be upgrading my Satellite to the DirecTV HD with TiVO when I make the move and complete the project.


Probably the area I could use the most help is with regards to acoustical treatment. The room I'm planning on using has an odd shaped footprint (it was actually built as a living room with a slightly smaller dining room area just off the kitchen and adjacent to the living room, but for space reasons we've consolidated it into one room). The available footprint is is L-shaped with the long part of the L being 20', the bottom part is 13', the narrow part is 9' wide and begins about 12' from the bottom (it's a merge of a 13'x12' room with a 8'x9' room). We currently have this cottage cheese like treatment on the ceiling, wall-to-wall carpet. The 20' length is dominated by a sliding glass door and two windows (two 2' sections of "wall" space exist on each side of the windows). The opposite side of the room is pretty open, except for the wall and doorway along the 8' section of the room. The ceiling height is roughly 8'.


I am wondering if there are any recommendations for types of acoustical treatment to help improve the sound quality in this space? I want to get rid of the "cottage cheese," with the 8' ceiling height should I consider acoustic ceiling tiles (they'd have to be glued to the ceiling as I don't have space for a drop-down style ceiling) or just leave it bare and focus on the sides and other walls?


Also, what speaker layouts would be recommended (and what's the difference between 5.1 and 7.1? L,R,C, sideL,sideR, backL,backR, subwoofer?)?


That should get me started for now...any help will be appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the forum.


You have lots of questions. In order to appropriately answer them, we really need to see the space. Put a drawing up in your gallery and maybe some pics please.


Then, we need to understand what and how you'll really use this space. You said lots of people mingling around. So, is this more a 'party' space or is it more of a 'sit down and watch a movie' space? How many people do you expect? Can you or will you close off the space with doors? What are your aesthetic requirements?


Questions beget questions.


Bryan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvarmint
what's the difference between 5.1 and 7.1? L,R,C, sideL,sideR, backL,backR, subwoofer?
See attached.


Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpape
Welcome to the forum.


Put a drawing up in your gallery and maybe some pics please.


Then, we need to understand what and how you'll really use this space. You said lots of people mingling around. So, is this more a 'party' space or is it more of a 'sit down and watch a movie' space? How many people do you expect? Can you or will you close off the space with doors? What are your aesthetic requirements?


Questions beget questions.


Bryan


bpape,


Thanks for your response...I have lurked on this site off and on for the last few months as I've been debating the merits of the different HDTV's out there.


As for a pic, I've attached a PDF of the space with three room layouts I'm contemplating. I made a jpg of the same image, but it was too large to post (shrinking it made it unreadable). let me know if you can see the options in the PDF clearly. One comment on scale. I scaled the room walls precisely (in the shaded areas), but just indicated the approximate locations for the major components and seating areas. I realize that I'll be making a conscious effort to centralize things and provide the best setup as I finalize the layout and pick the items. The kitchen, mini-foyer, hallway and staircase are not to scale, just to represent the open volume on that side of the room.


As for utilization and people in the space...we have a weekly get together with some other families, typically three families in total (all with kids the same age as ours), but TV/DVD's are not frequently watched--it's a nice open gathering space to visit, since it's next to the kitchen. Usually the front room is used to chat and watch the kids release their energy in the backyard. After I get the HD and HT setup I plan on having an NFL football fest to feature the best HD game of the week, which will probably have no more than a dozen, but typically 4-5 people. These people (aside from myself) will be more WOWed with the fact the game is in surround sound and in HD format, than true A/V-diophiles.


We also have a weekly family movie night, and sometimes invite other friends. This is where I cringe everytime we pop a DVD in our little 27" TV without any sort of surround setup (and I try and always get the widescreen formats, which of course shrinks the image even more). At most we're probably talking about 6 adults and 6-7 kids, who may or may not really be interested in watching the movies.


Unfortunately closing off the space with doors is not an option, and we really don't have a very nice room to dedicate to a HTS (their either too small IMO or oddly shaped, and are currently used as Bedrooms). I'm figuring that if the sound can be pretty good and balanced for the primary viewing location the other seating areas will not be ideal, but not too bad.


I'm not sure about your question on aesthetics. We tend to like things that are pretty neutral and bright. We really like the fact that the front,center and TV can be mounted on a wall (prefer that over stand speakers). If you could elaborate a little I might better be able to answer the question.


Thanks again for your help, I figured this would be a question for question thread to start.


I must also apologize to those Aduiophiles for misspelling Denon...my bad.



sdurani,


Thanks for the pics, I had thought that was 7.1 but a couple of colleagues were trying to mislead me I think...


I look forward to more responses!

 

HouseLayoutOps.pdf 79.376953125k . file
 

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Layouts 1 & 2 aren't suited for 7.1 playback because you've got the couch up against the rear wall. This means that you end up with the side speakers roughly 10 feet in front of the listeners, which pretty much kills the intended "surround" effect.


If you want to do a 7.1 set-up, then the only layout that will work is #3. If you're OK with having the couch bisect the room, then that's the layout to go with. The side speakers will actually be at your sides and the rear speakers will really be behind you. Exactly like a 7.1 set-up should be.


Best,

Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sdurani,


Thanks for the insight. I hadn't thought of that, guess I'm used to the layouts I've seen at other peoples' houses where they've had to compromise the space (usually have the rear speakers on the wall with the couch, and usually right above the seating area).


Is it unideal to have the rears and surrounds mounted somewhat high? The sliding glass door on the North wall only has about a foot of wall space, and the opening of the door would be about where the couch would bisect the room. I figured this probably wouldn't be too much of an issue as I can always angle them down slightly (directed at the seating position). Stands are out of the question, as the kids *will* do damage to the speakers... :p Layout 3 is the wife's preference...and with what I'm thinking of spending I need to keep the Wife Acceptance Factor high... (gotta love that term...)


I'm also wondering if there is much I can do about 'treating' the room acoustically, but I'm not really sure what type of issues this room shape would generate, any suggestions?


Thanks again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvarmint
Is it unideal to have the rears and surrounds mounted somewhat high?
Depends on how high. Surround information is intended to be hear at your sides and behind you, not overhead. Having all four surrounds at ear level will give you a ring of sound along the listener's plane. Raising the surrounds will turn that ring into a bubble of sound; think of a semi-circle vs hemisphere. So no only is it OK to raise the surrounds above ear level, but it can actually inprove envelopment.


Your side speakers should be fine placed above the sliding glass door. With the 20-foot width of the room, the surround information should still appear to come from the sides rather than above.
Quote:
I figured this probably wouldn't be too much of an issue as I can always angle them down slightly (directed at the seating position).
Tilting the speakers down towards the listening area will be helpful, allowing a little more direct sound to reach the listeners.
Quote:
Layout 3 is the wife's preference...
Well, then that settles it: layout #3 it is!
Quote:
I'm also wondering if there is much I can do about 'treating' the room acoustically, but I'm not really sure what type of issues this room shape would generate, any suggestions?
Basic room treatments to consider are bass traps in corners and some absorbtion at first reflection points. The real problem is going to be that glass door (a.k.a. the acoustic mirror).


Good Luck,

Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani
Depends on how high. Surround information is intended to be hear at your sides and behind you, not overhead. Having all four surrounds at ear level will give you a ring of sound along the listener's plane. Raising the surrounds will turn that ring into a bubble of sound; think of a semi-circle vs hemisphere. So no only is it OK to raise the surrounds above ear level, but it can actually inprove envelopment.


Well, then that settles it: layout #3 it is! Basic room treatments to consider are bass traps in corners and some absorbtion at first reflection points. The real problem is going to be that glass door (a.k.a. the acoustic mirror).


Good Luck,

Sanjay
Thanks again Sanjay.


To answer your first question, I only have 8ft ceilings, and with the approx. 7' height of the sliding glass door the surrounds will be between 7'2" to 7'8" (depending on the size and brand I suppose).


Yes, the more I talk to the wife, the more she wants the room to match Layout #3 (she's really concerned about a "bowling alley" affect if we were to put the TV on the North wall).


Is there a FAQ or link to bass traps that I can peruse? I've never heard of those (hence why I'm actually posting in this forum :rolleyes: )


We have mini-blinds on all the windows and vertical blinds on the sliding glass door, so they do a decent job of cutting the light on a bright day, but I imagine that acoustically they won't do much to help improve the sound. I attempted to broach the subject of heavier curtains, but was pretty much shot down by the wife.


Thanks again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvarmint
Is there a FAQ or link to bass traps that I can peruse? I've never heard of those...
There's a longish (17-page) thread about room acoustics that is well worth perusing (reads pretty quickly):

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=255432


Also do a search for the words 'bass trap' and look through the threads that pop up.


You can also start a thread, mentioning your situation and that you' like information on corner bass traps.


Best,

Sanjay
 
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