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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hello,

 

This is my first time posting on the forum.  My wife and I are building a house and our contractor gave us the option of framing out an extra room over the garage.  We accepted and now I am trying to figure out how to turn that room into a small theatre.  I'm tech savvy but don't have any knowledge of how to design this properly.  We recently had our 2nd child and my wife is getting perturbed at the amount of time I've done researching this.  I figured. why not just post my scenario and see if I could get some help? Here it goes.

 

I have attached a scale drawing of the room and it's dimensions.  The room has some difficulties.

 

1.  The room is small. (15'9" in length & 10'8" in width, with an extra 5' x 8' portion near the back)

 

2.  It is an isosceles trapezoid and you can't walk near the edges of the room.  Specifically, a 6 foot tall person such as myself must be at least 24" from the wall.  (These are the outer 2 dotted lines in the drawing. The middle line is just marking the center of the room.)  

 

3.  Based on doing some research, I feel like my only option is to leave a walkway down the middle, 2 single theatre seats (one on each side of the room), and do some bean bags up front for extra seating.  I'm not doing risers.  I only want this room to function for my family.  If the kids have friends over, they can all make a pallet on the floor and watch from there.  I don't think there is any way to keep the seating in the center of the room.

 

Here are some specific questions:

 

1.  Does this room have any hope of becoming a dedicated theatre room?

 

2.  Are there any other options for seating?

 

3.  Are my sconce lights in good spots?

 

4.  Is a 70" screen appropriate for this room and could I go bigger?

 

5.  I like the idea of doing the fiber optic lighting along the middle portion of the ceiling which will also be the walkway.  Has anyone done this and do you like it?

 

6.  Directly to the right upon entrance will be a door which goes into the attic.  How should I address in terms of acoustics?

 

7.  I've read a lot about double drywall and green glue vs Quietrock.  How much will these improve my movie viewing experience?  I just want to make sure it's worth the extra money.  If so, which one should I go with?

 

8.  If I do either of the above options, will drilling holes into the ceiling for the fiber optic strands defeat the purpose of the special drywall?

 

9.  What other lighting should I consider and where should I put it?

 

10.  Assuming I have only the two chairs near the back of the room, where should I place the speakers?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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2. Are there any other options for seating?


Id say the two single seats would be your best option with the room being angled the way it is so that you have maximum headroom though if you could find a row of two seats that are not too wide it's obviously your best bet to center yourself in the room. Being comfortable is ultimately most important imo.


4. Is a 70" screen appropriate for this room and could I go bigger


Are you planning on going with a 1.78:1 (16X9) or 2.35:1 screen? I would assume from your diagram that your seats would be around 12' from the screen? If you do 1.2 times the screen width, that gives you a screen width of 120" so for 16X9 thats a screen size of 138". In my opinion that would be a bit big for the room because of the shape, but I still think you could go bigger than 70 if you wanted and it would look fine.


7. I've read a lot about double drywall and green glue vs Quietrock. How much will these improve my movie viewing experience? I just want to make sure it's worth the extra money. If so, which one should I go with?


I am also looking into green glue at the moment. But these products are for sound isolation. So it would not do anything to improve the acoustics in your room, so I could be wrong here but I don't really think it would improve your movie going experience, unless there is a lot of noise leaking into your theater, if thats the case making it quieter would certainly help and keeping noise out of the rest of the house might be worth it to appease the quote "angry wife"
. On the other hand, properly treating your room with damping using acoustic panels, using bass traps to smooth out bass modes in your room, and diffusion panels to scatter the sound waves will make a huge difference for your listening experience. Scott did a few episodes of Home Theater Geeks about room acoustics which I found very informative and can get you on the right track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raAyF5ksbkk Here is the link to the first one.


10. Assuming I have only the two chairs near the back of the room, where should I place the speakers?


I'm assuming from your diagram that you are doing a 5.1 set up? ( I didn't see a center channel or sub). But as far the front and surround speakers, I would try to get them as far from the side walls as you can, especially because the ceiling is angled to try to cut down on reflections off the ceiling. Obviously depending on the speaker you will have to play with the placement for best sound but if nothing else I would recommend damping the first reflection spots on the ceiling/wall. It will do a lot of cut down on echo.



Hope I could help a little bit. Be sure to post lots of pictures as you make progress! I am planning a theater build this summer so I am also in the planning stage at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Ok thanks for the replies.  

 

I assumed 1.78:1 was standard and therefore thats what I was going to go with.  I honestly don't know or have a preference between the two. Will one of them have black bars and one will not?

 

Ok I misunderstood the purpose of the DD and GG. Thanks.  

 

Sorry I forgot to draw the center speaker and sub but I thought I would put them above or below the screen.  I may go with 7.1 but just thought it would be more difficult to get the speakers placed correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

BIGmouthinDC,

 

I'm not opposed to getting a bigger screen but just didn't want to overwhelm the room.  Putting the screen on the side wall may cause some additional challenges because of the 4 foot wall.  What are your thoughts?  Here are some pics.

 

Screen Wall

 



 

Back Wall

 

 

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If you go with a Screen, you need to get a borderless screen and push it right up to the ceiling. Even then the screen will be too small for my taste. You will need to paint the ceiling flat black near the screen or put black velvet on the ceiling. IMHO there is never a screen too large that it overwhelms a room.


If you put a TV on the side wall you can hold it out from the wall a foot and raise it up if you need to but I don't think you would need to raise it much.


You need to come to grips with the fact that the basic shape (pinched roof) of this room is a lemon for a home theater. You are going to need to be creative to turn it into lemonade.


Forget about a 2.35:1 screen you need to stick with 16:9


looking at the picture and counting studs, (looks like 24OC) I think you can fit about a 96 inch wide screen in your space




You are going to need a really LONG down pole for the projector mount. What are your plans to cool this space?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh ok. Thanks for the visual. I think I like that option better than putting it on the side wall. Would you recommend a cabinet to bring it out away from the wall? Also, if I go with the 96" screen, where should I put speaker wires for 7.1 surround? That's really what I need at the moment along with lighting positions bc drywall is about to go up.


I certainly realize it's far from an ideal space for a theatre but I just want to make it the best it can be. Your help is very much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You are going to need a really LONG down are your plans to cool this space?[/quote]


Didn't think about the need for the projector to be even with the screen. Is it possible for it to shoot downwards slightly without messing up the screen image?


There is another room upstairs which is on a mini split but I don't think it will be enough to cool this room also. What do you recommend?
 

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The builder recommended a mini split for new construction? I thought that was just what they use for existing? I would look at getting a heat pump to run everything upstairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Yes because no one will be living upstairs and we can choose when we want to heat and cool.  We are not using natural gas.  It's fairly common here with new construction.  I'm not familiar at all with a heat pump.  What are the advantages over a split?
 

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Upside of the mini-split is it will give you abundant control of that room and yes, they are certainly becoming more common in new construction. Downside is it might be a little bit noisy compared to running your standard HVAC to it. I'd look to find a quiet mini-split if you choose to go that route. I'd be a little concerned about how warm it might get up there in the summer. May want to consider zoning it instead of a mini-split and then have a separate thermostat for that room. That way you can keep it "off" when you're not using it.


A heat pump is a giant mini-split and generally rather energy efficient, especially if you use a geothermal version. You'll want to have a deep discussion with your HVAC contractor as there are large tax credit available for this type of install. I can't speak to your climate though but I'm in Iowa and wouldn't have done my HVAC any other way.


Go with an AT screen and you can put your front speakers behind it. I echo Jeff's suggestion for a larger screen. His mock up looks good. You asked about angling down an image without distorting it too much. There are projectors that can do that these days a lot better than they use to. The bottom of my projector sat above the top of my screen in my last house and looked great! I'll be doing the same for my current build. For surrounds, you'll want to figure out where your seats will go first. I'd aim for in line with your back row of sconces are labeled and place the surrounds "in the ceiling" directly above since you have the short sidewalls. You'll still need to find a home for the rear surrounds but would move them in from the corners where you show them now. Just some thoughts...
Good luck!
 

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Didn't think about the need for the projector to be even with the screen. Is it possible for it to shoot downwards slightly without messing up the screen image?



A number of projectors on the market have what is called vertical lens shift, meaning you can move the image up and down without distorting the image shape. There are limits, for instance I think the Panasonic 8000 has 26% and I'm pretty sure they mean it can be mounted 26% of the screen height above the top edge of the screen. You definitely do not want to tilt a projector to hit the screen. Keystone correction is only for business presentations not for HD movies.


More here: http://www.projectorpeople.com/resources/lens_shift.asp
 

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+1 to being creative.


I would do a DIY acoustically transparent screen in something like a 2:1 ratio.

Manual masking panels for 16x9 and 2.35:1


Seating could be something simple, comfortable, and easy to move. A row of four

IKEA Poang seats would be inexpensive.


Some beanbag chairs for the kids
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great idea on the IKEA chairs. Those look very comfortable and we could just move them before and after. That would allow me to center the seating. I think we will probably use those with some bean bags.


Questions about above comments that will show my ignorance.

1. What does "AT" mean?

2. What is an acoustically transparent screen? How does it compare to a normal screen?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangepower  /t/1523076/theatre-room-my-wife-is-angry#post_24500719


Great idea on the IKEA chairs. Those look very comfortable and we could just move them before and after. That would allow me to center the seating. I think we will probably use those with some bean bags.


Questions about above comments that will show my ignorance.

1. What does "AT" mean?

2. What is an acoustically transparent screen? How does it compare to a normal screen?


AT= Acoustically Transparent


It looks just like any other screen but sound can pass through it without muffling. It is preferable acoustically because the sound will come from directly behind the screen which feels more natural. particularly for dialog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd  /t/1523076/theatre-room-my-wife-is-angry#post_24500247


+1 to being creative.


I would do a DIY acoustically transparent screen in something like a 2:1 ratio.

Manual masking panels for 16x9 and 2.35:1


Seating could be something simple, comfortable, and easy to move. A row of four

IKEA Poang seats would be inexpensive.


Some beanbag chairs for the kids
Ok I found these 2 models which are in my budget but I'm not sure which one to go with.  They are both Elite screens on amazon and have gotten favorable reviews.  One is a 16:9 and the other is 2:35:1.  Which one will work better for my space taking into consideration the LONG pole for projector screen?

 

2.25:1 http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Screens-ER110WH1-SableFrame-Projection/dp/B00366TZ3S/ref=sr_1_1?s=tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1395196905&sr=1-1&keywords=96+screen+16%3A9

 

16:9  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M11Y9U/ref=twister_B00ESHDZBM

 

Also, could you describe manual masking panels and their purpose?
 

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you should not consider a 2:35:1 screen for this space. Given the limited width, you would end up with a tiny 16:9 image when watching sports or regular TV. You are MONTHS away from thinking about a screen. Get the room built. Even then buy a projector and shine it on a wall to see which aspect and size you want. You should actually buy very little gear until the room is done.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC  /t/1523076/theatre-room-my-wife-is-angry#post_24501821


you should not consider a 2:35:1 screen for this space. Given the limited width, you would end up with a tiny 16:9 image when watching sports or regular TV. You are MONTHS away from thinking about a screen. Get the room built. Even then buy a projector and shine it on a wall to see which aspect and size you want. You should actually buy very little gear until the room is done.

I was thinking of the 2.35 screen if I switched the room and put the screen on the side wall as you suggested earlier. With the long width and 4 ft high side wall, I thought this may be a better option. This would allow me to have seating against the other side wall but it would only be 9 or so feet from the screen. Would the screen be way too large? I think the projector would be directly beside the seating or overhead. Just trying to get the screen figured out so I know where to put the speaker wires. Would you still think the side wall for the screen is a better option or was that only if it were a 70" tv?
 
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