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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first post. I've been reading and studying all over the forums here and at hometheaterforum.com. I'd like to generally thank all of you for your knowledge/experience, I've learned a tremendous amount of information in the last month or two.

I'm in the process of having a new home built. There is a "bonus room" over the garage that will become my dedicated home theater. The room dimensions are 20' long, 13' wide, 9' high.

I'd like to solicit some comments/advice on the system I'm proposing to build. I also have some questions about a few things and I thought it might be a good idea to just throw everything into one post.

Proposed equipment list:


Receiver -- Denon 3802

Projector -- Panasonic AE100

Screen -- DIY Parkland Plastics

Speakers -- Diva 4.1 (fronts/mains) Diva C3 (Center) Diva 2.1 (rear surrounds) Diva R3 (side surrounds)

Subwoofer -- Don't know for sure, HSU perhaps??

DVD Player -- Progressive scan. Haven't read/learned enough to pick one yet



#1 Driving factor - Get a theater up and running for the lowest reasonable price point I can, to start. Since I'm buying a new house money is somewhat tight (no secret there, huh?!). My wife is being extremely reasonable with respect to what I'm spending, but I see no reason to abuse our budget. She's highly interested in the theater as well (I'm very fortunate, she's a great wife!) and I'd rather bring up an entry level system now and then just upgrade pieces down the road.

Receiver - The Denon receiver should suffice as a starter amp to drive the system. Since it has pre-outs I have the ability to upgrade to separate amp(s) in the future should I choose. Based on everything I've read this appears to be a very capable component in the under $1000 price range

Projector - The primary reason for the Panasonic is price. The ability to get into a front projection system for ~$1500 is extremely hard to me to pass up. Since I've never had a projection system before this device should have a great "Wow" factor, even with the shortcomings I've read about. I can always upgrade later, right? :)

Screen - Kind of a no-brainer here for me. I'll try just about anything that might work for less than $50 :) If I hate it, I can always buy a screen.

Speakers - For the price these speakers appear to be an excellent value. I'm sure there are better speakers out there, but I'm not really an audiophile and, considering that I have Optimus bookshelfs today, the Diva's should "blow me away" on comparison.



1) Screen size

I primarily intend to watch DVDs in the theater. I may end up with HD DirecTV, not sure yet. There will be other rooms in the house where we'll watch normal cable TV or VCR tapes for my daughter (3.5 yr old). What's the best screen size to shoot for given the room dimensions above? 92" Diagonal in a 16:9, 1.78:1 configuration? Other choices?

2) Seating position

I'd like to try and get 3 rows of seating in the room but I understand that might not be workable with a 92" screen. Does anyone have any suggestions for how I might be able to figure out if either my wife or I will have a problem with screendoor before I buy everything? Would going to a local high-end shop and viewing their projection demo rooms be a valid test? Is there some other way to test this?

Well, this post is long enough so I'll stop here. I have more questions but I should do a bit more research before I post them.

Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated. Can't wait for the house to be built! :)



4,105 Posts
Jeff, my fist comment is that you may be really squeezing to get thre rows into a 20' long room, unless it is theater seating that you will be using. If you decide to use any type of recliners, 20' will be too short.

I don't know anything about the projector, so I will not comment on that front.

As far as the screen goes, isn't one of the driving factors of screen size of the Parkland Plastic's DIY screens the material width? I assume that it comes in 48" wide rolls. That means that you can only go 48" tall, then you have to subtract some for stapling to attach it to a frame. I would go 16x9 if you plan on doing DVD's and HDTV though.

Are you going to do anything for the acoustics of the room? You may want to go over to the construction forum and lurk there for a while, also check the archive.

I made my theater in a bonus room above the garage that is about 24 feet long, 15.5 feet wide at the widest, 13.5 feet at the narrowest (slight L shape). Check my site for pictures and construction info.
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