Whatever you do, don't go to a home theater store and talk to them about it. They tried to convince me that my 17'x13' room was way too small for a front projector. They tried to tell me that I needed to get a 60" rear proj. TV instead.
I have a front projector setup in that room with a 110" diagonal screen and the picture is great. I couldn't be more happy. According to the "rule of thumb", my seating should be 16'-24' away from the screen, my seats are 13' and 16' back.
Rule of thumb does say that seating should be about 2-3 times the width of the screen.
I think you are on the right track and I agree with bergie33 about using a front projection set up. That is a nice size room and go with FP for the most theater like experience. With a 15'x20' room you could easily accommodate 100" wide screen or larger with multiple rows of seats and space behind the back row for rear surrounds. I've actually seen some very very nice HT set ups with FPs at 12' and 13' on this forum. Best of luck.
In my theater, I am at about 12.5 feet for the front row with a Sony 10HT LCD projector. My room is about 24 feet long, 15 feet wide at the front and 13 feet at the back, tract home bonus room above the garage.
DW, you should send Shawn Pressley a note. He is in Chandler and has a front projection theater that he did in a living room that he closed off. A link to his theater is here: http://www.users.qwest.net/~shaunpressley
Think there may be some confusion. Rule of thumb most often quoted is 2-3 times screen HEIGHT, not WIDTH. If you look at most of the seating distances folks seem to use and like, they fall into this range.
bpape. I take your point I am beginning to think I should go with a 16x9 screen because the only 4x3 I will be watching will be older movies that may suffer from being blown up to 60x80 when they are being viewed from 10-12 ft.
Really depends on the resolution your PJ is capable in the quality of the scaler. a 100" 4:3 screen is 60x80. 12' is 2.2x the height. Still falls in range. A 16:9 100" screen is about 45" in height. At 12', that is over 3x picture height. While this will certainly minimize scan line visibility, it also places you pretty far back in terms of included viewing angle.
Most here would tell you to go 16:9 and use a constant height picture instead of 4:3 and having a constant width. Really depends on the % of 4:3 (TV) vs. DVD you intend to watch.
Personally, I am still considering 4:3. At least that way, when I "burn" the tubes by watching 4:3 (mine will be about 50/50 unless someone builds a good scaler with non-linear stretch for an affordable price), the burned area will eventually be out of the picture, so to speak, with the increased amount of 16:9 television. A 100" 4:3 screen, when masked to 16:9, still yields a 92" diagonal screen.
I'll probably catch some flack for this line of thinking but it does deliver a big picture in both ratios.
DW, we're converting our single-car garage into a HT room and, although it would be nice to have a larger room, this will work fine. I've got room for a 104" 16:9 screen and two rows of tiered seating. I really want theater seats, but my wife wants a sofa and love seat. We've got the equipment behind our seating and there's a small recess for a microwave and mini-fridge.
Our room's still in the stud wall stage, but you're welcome to take a look. We live on the opposite side of the valley from you, but if you're ever in the Anthem area drop me a note at [email protected]
Bpape - I will be about 75/25 1.78 and 2.35 vs 1.33. Most of the 1.33 will be older bxw dvd or ld movies. Don't plan to watch much regular TV (some sports if I can stand the pq). So I am thinking about 86x48 which still gives me about 80" d 4x3. I will check out your point about included viewing angle re; the 16x9. Any idea what an optimum range would be?
I believe THX specs 30 degree included angle. Have seen some good setups which go down as far as 26-28. Since you will be doing a lot of widescreen and REAL widescreen, I would try to keep the angle up if you can. Otherwise, picture height is going to be pretty small.
DW, I hear you went and looked at some houses yesterday! I also hear that you have some enormous twin subwoofers?! Hope you find what you are looking for. Have you come to any conclusions about room size from this thread?
A forum community dedicated to home theater owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about home audio/video, TVs, projectors, screens, receivers, speakers, projects, DIY’s, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!