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Screen Size: what's optimal for my room dimensions?

807 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  evilone
Question from a newbee....

What is the optimal 16:9 screen size for my soon-to-be constructed HT, given the following dimensions:

Ceiling height: 82" (6'10" - it's a basement room with a drop ceiling)

Width across: 173" (14'5")

Length back: 246" (20'6")

I would like to make it as large as possible, but I don't know how LOW (close to the floor) the screen can go and still have the 2nd row of seats see the whole screen. I'm pretty sure I can get a 100" diagnonal, but how about 110"? 120"??

Some additional info, if it matters:

- I plan on having two rows of seating (from Coaster Company), and the second row will be on a riser (8" riser? is that about right???)

- I'm leaning toward the "Sanyo PLV-Z3 Projector" (or another in the "low price" range).

- The room is DARK.

- I'm thinking of using Goo Systems for creating the screen.

ANY ADVICE would be greatly appeciated. Many many thanks for your time.


Stephen, "The Evil One"
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My room is roughly 12' wide ...7' ceilings and 25' deep and I have a 106" diag DIY screen. I wouldn't go any bigger than that myself as the Screen is already tight up against the ceiling tiles. Just my opinion but the bigger you go with it the closer it gets to the floor and people should have to look down on the ground to watch a movie.

Not sure if a 8" riser will work either. I have my second row on a moveable 12" riser and I don't think I would go much lower than that.


Thanks for your advice. BTW, you are using a *moveable* 12" riser for row 2? Can you tell me more about this?

- Why moveable?

- Did you build it or buy it?

Many thanks!!!
Wife didn't want anything permanent yet so I built risers with 2 * 12s that basically are the width of my couch. One for each end and one that sits under the middle of the couch. Works great....
cburbs: Many thanks!

Can any one else offer me an opinion on this:

- What is the optimal size for the screen given my parameters?

- What is the *maximum* size that I can go to and still ensure I have a viewable second row of seats?

Many many thanks!
WOW. With a 12" riser, anybody over 5'9" is going to bang there head when they stand up. I'd only go 8" and maybe get seating that sits up a little higher than normal instead.

As for the screen size, you really want your eye position when seated to be about 1/3 up from the bottom. Assume about 43" normal eye position (give or take an inch or 2). That means that something like a 100" screen, the top of the frame would be around 6'6" from the floor.

This size screen with an 8" riser (cushy seats in front, firmer higher seats in back) should present no sight line problems.
Your room dimensions are almost exactly what mine are - 20X14 with an 82 inch ceiling. I haven't moved into my place yet, but I've already looked at tons of stuff, from getting crazy looks from my wife when I tell her I want to dig down, to just working with my existing space. You'll get hundreds of different opinions here, none of them bad, all of them interesting. Basically, you can make yourself feel good because there is always someone in a similar (or worse) situation, or you can feel lousy because there's a bunch of folks here who have better rooms than your local multiplex. I've been encouraged because even if I decide to use my existing space, without lowering the floor or raising the ceiling, it can be done really well. This room has an 80" ceiling, and is similar in length and width to ours:


First, check out this site for how far you should be from your screen:


The way I look at it, a 92" diagonal screen with 3" borders means that at 11 feet from the screen, I'm right around the optimal point per THX standards.

Then look at this link, which comes off the room riser "sticky" at the top of the Home Theater Builder forum:


According to this, with a front row 11 feet away, and a back row 14.5 feet away (the 3.5 feet between rows is right where Berkeline recommends for much of their seating), I need my riser to be only 8 1/2" high for the second row to comfortably see the screen. I could even make it lower if the seating I use for the front row is lower, which it will be. My couch is about 7.5 feet wide and seats three men or two couples comfortably, and sits lower to the ground than most Berkeline recliners. Now, even standing on the riser, a 6 foot tall person still has 1 1/2" of clearance. A 6'2" person would have to duck when getting into or out of their seats, but if you're 6'2" or taller you're probably used to ducking.:) Plus, with the back of the riser about 15-16 feet into the room, I've got a few feet of clearance from the back wall, so that even folks in the second row are in a good position for 7.1 sound. These dimensions have an added benefit - the front row is about equidistant from the four corners of the room - ideal for SACD/DVD Audio listening. I'll use standard monopoles for the surrounds when listening to music, with the ability to switch to my quadpole Axiom QS-8's for movies.

Would I like another foot or two in height? Sure, and I still plan on looking at how I could even get a few more inches with some less complicated adjustments. But the fact is, most folks are dealing with rooms they inherited and don't crap $100 bills to pour into remodeling an already usable room, so you've got to play the hand you're dealt.

Hope this helped you as much as it helped me:D .
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Wow... that is a great reply. I appreciate it so very much.

This is just the kind of information that I need. You rock!
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