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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


Firstly, you guys are awesome, and I can't get enough of reading this site. This is my first post here, my first home theater build, and my first time owning any kind of surround sound system. So yes, I'm pretty fresh, and I thought I'd see if any of you could lend your experience to my theater layout.


To kind of bring you up to speed, at this point the room has been completely framed out, and the next step will be wiring (both sound and electrical).


Challenges presented with the electrical layout are:

- Ductwork and piping that have been enclosed in, I suppose you could say a nontraditional soffit along the left side of the room. You'll see what I mean. My solution to sort of dampen the oddity, was to have a slight step down of the ceiling above the screen for the recessed lighting.


- Two windows on the right wall, as my basement is a walkout.


Specs:

Dimensions - 15'W x 17'L

Soffit height -

Tier 1: about 11" before drywall

Tier 2: about 2" before drywall

Ceiling height: 7'10" concrete to joists

Screen: 132" 16:9

Speakers: polkaudio Series II - CS2 center, Monitor 70 LR, Monitor 40 rears and sides

Lighting: 4 dimmable zones - general, sconce, screen, riser


I hope that's enough to kind of give you an idea of the actual room size.


My main layout concerns:

Are my speaker placement decisions inappropriate?

Are my lighting placement decisions inappropriate?

Is my screen too large for my first row seating distance? (eyes ~8.5' from screen)

What do you think of the speaker under the sconce? I don't think it's really ideal, but I'm not sure how to get around it...


Well, thanks to anyone who takes the time to read all that and give me their two cents, I really do appreciate it. I'm open to any other suggestions you might have, or questions regarding the layout. Thanks a lot guys, looking forward to being a member here.





 

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I cant quite make it out, but does your riser go from side to side? or does it stop? (the former is better)


If you're not sure about this I suggest using the Erskine/AVS layout service....money very well spent, you can have complete confidence that the layout will be right, if you follow their plans of course (refer sticky)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Elill,


The riser does stop. I didn't want to require people to step up when they enter the room. Is the advantage of going the whole way that they don't trip and fall down from the riser as easily?


The shots of the sketchup are a little hard to see, I agree. Would you or anyone else be interested in the actual file? Then you could sort of fly around the design and really see everything. (Google Sketchup)


Thanks for the advice on the AVS layout, I will look into the sticky this morning, but I'm trying to save as much as I can, as I'm really only able to do any of this by doing it myself (both wife and money as the reasons, more the wife though
).


Please let me know of any more clarification I can provide. The riser plan is not finalized, neither is the seating.
 

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Side surrounds would normally be farther back, but you have that door. If you have a 17 ft long room and if you normally will be in the front row (my favorite spot) I would reconfigure the rear row so that the back of the first row seating is at 10.5-11ft. Granted this sacrifices the effectives of the rear surrounds for the back row but if you have a small family and 95% of the time you will be in the front row I think the trade off is valid.


If you are a back row guy, never mind, kids love sitting close.


You haven't talked about the kind of seating you are planning. If you go with real "bolt to the floor" theater seats you could fit 2 rows in better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi BIGmouthinDC,


Thanks for the response. I am a front row man, as well. I'll see what I can do about moving back from the screen a bit. One thing that was important to me when laying this out, was "total immersion" in what I was watching. I realize there's probably a fine line between feeling immersed, and being too close, resulting in having to move your head to see what's going on at the side of the screen.


If I did move the seating back, I can't really bring the side surrounds back much further, would you then have to angle the sides back towards the seating?


As far as seating, I originally was planning for two three-seater couches as I wanted inexpensive, yet comfortable seats. I'm really starting to find myself up in the air on this note, now though. I hear what you're saying on the bolted seating, and logically, it makes sense to go with that. I just don't think I can sacrifice the comfort factor though (being able to sit next to my wife). Maybe they make more versatile bolted seating than I'm thinking of. I'll do some Googling.


Also, while I'm at it, any thoughts on size of recessed lighting cans? And what do you think about aimed recessed lighting for over the screen versus down?
 

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In case it helps - you can create views in SketchUp where the ceilings are invisible (x-ray?).


For my screen lights, I used std recessed cans with eyeball trims.
 

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132" seems large for an 8.5' viewing distance. But you'd have to check the THX recommendations to see where that falls. I've got a 110" (16:9) screen sitting at 10.5' away and it looks just about right. I could go a little bigger, but if I moved closer AND made it bigger, I think it would be a bit too much.


Also, you have to consider the pixel resolution at that distance. I'd be careful of making the screen so large and sitting so close that you can see the pixels. That could be very distracting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Brad - Thanks for the tip on Sketchup! That's a pretty nifty trick... I checked out your build, and I like your lighting a lot... Wish I had higher ceilings for something like that!


Drew - You make a great point about losing the crispness of the image... Maybe I'll have to get the projector and do some testing before I lock myself into a certain screen size...


Thanks to all of you who have been responding! I'd like to start a build thread on here to chart my progress...


UPDATES:

I've been fixing the wiring in the other parts of the basement Friday and Saturday. Today was spent scraping all the popcorn off the ceilings. I hate that stuff. Removing it isn't hard, but really messy and time consuming!! The ceiling in the theater will be torn down this week, as I need to insulate.
 
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