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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I'm struggling with getting my new basement set up properly.  I've attached a picture to help describe, which should be more or less to scale.  I'd appreciate any thoughts/input.

 

I'm currently only setup with Monitor 70 floorstanders (red boxes), and an entertainment center with a Polk CS2 center (green line).   The orange stars are where my ceiling is wired for surrounds, but none are there yet.   My next project is a sub, which I may DIY.  We'll see.

 

My couch/chair is about 14 foot from my TV, and my front speakers are spread about 10 feet apart due to the gas fireplace being in the way.  Which leaves the person sitting in the chair is pretty much out of any "sweet spot" sound wise.    

 

I'm considering moving the speakers to where the purple boxes are, which would put them 15' apart and 10' from the couches.  It seems like widening them would get me a larger sound field, but I'm not sure if that puts them too close to the couches.   I'd also move the entertainment center closer to the fireplace to center it between the new speaker locations.

 

Thoughts?  Will this help, or am I just locked into a poor room design?  I'd thought about spinning everything so it faced the bar, but then no one in the rest of the basement could see the TV.   I pretty much have to have it where it is. 

 

 

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There are several things that spring to mind.  First, with you 14' from the screen, I hope it is a really big screen.  If you want to see all of the detail of a 1080p picture at that distance, and if you have 20/20 vision, you need a screen that is about 107-108" diagonal.  And that is based on your eyes being 14 feet from the screen, not the edge of the couch.  Here is a calculator that you can use:

 

http://www.digital-digest.com/articles/HDTV_Viewing_Distance_Calculator_Guide_page1.html

 

Plug in your TV size and resolution.  It is assuming that you have 20/20 vision; if you have much better or worse vision, then you will need to do additional calculations, where you will want to be further away than that calculator will recommend if you have better than 20/20 vision, and closer if you have worse than 20/20 vision.  And it is assuming that you want to actually see all of the detail you paid to get; if you like having a tiny picture, you can sit as far away as you like.

 

Here is a page with some nice charts:

 

http://carltonbale.com/1080p-does-matter/

 

So, the first thing I would probably do, is move the couch closer to the TV.  How close depends on the size of the TV, and what you plan on watching on it.

 

 

The second thing is that it is not ideal having a speaker in a corner.  Your purple placement idea might, then, seem like a solution, but there are two problems with what you are planning with that.  First, you should have the right and left speakers equally distant from the TV.  Second, with most speakers, you want the distance between them to be about equal to the distance between you and each of them (with it typically being better if the speakers are closer together than further apart than that).  If I understand your statements about the distances, you would have the speakers too far apart for how far you are from them, even without moving the couch forward.  So, I would not put the speakers at your purple boxes.

 

 

If you could remodel and get rid of the gas fireplace, it would help.  But otherwise, I would probably try to squeeze things over closer to it, getting the left speaker as close as possible to it, and likely have the TV right next to it, trying to center the TV in the room (or get it as close as reasonably possible), and put the right speaker to the right of the TV, equally distant from the TV.  I would want the speakers out from the wall probably as much as you can tolerate.  I would move the couch forward to an appropriate distance for the TV size (and appropriate to the resolution of the material I would primarily watch), and center it in front of the TV.

 

With this, you keep the TV at the end of the room, as you wish, and you have things more symmetrical than your proposal, as well as not having the speakers too far apart for the distance that you will be from them.

 

Now, none of this is ideal, but you already know your room is not ideal.  It is trying to make the best of a less than ideal situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

I appreciate the feedback!   I've slid the couch forward, to 10' distance.  I know that's still outside the optimal viewing distance by a couple feet but it's better than before. 

 

I'd love to demo the fireplace, but it's just not going to happen.  It would be easy enough to do, but the WAF is very low for that modification to our house.

 

If I'm following you right, you are suggesting tightening the spacing down further.  What will that do to the quality of the sound for anyone sitting outside the speakers?  Or is that really not much of a concern given the room I have to work with?

 

Thanks!
 

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It is not much of a concern for people outside the optimum area.  They will be very far from the picture, and all of the sound will be in front of them (assuming you put in the surround speakers where you say the wiring is).  It will not be optimum for them, but how could it be otherwise, when they are not in the optimal position?
 
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