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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the planning stages of a basement remodel for HT. My question revolves around where to place seating relative to the screen.


I am going for 2 rows of 4 seats and probably an 8' screen. My contractor wants to keep things close for effect, but I want to place the 2 rows at optimum viewing distance.


I can enlarge the room to a depth of 27' if necessary (but my contractor wants to keep it at 21'). I am planning about 6.5' between rows. I would certainly appreciate any input as I am a novice.


Another option is to go with a smaller screen?


Thanks.
 

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You might get many responses and that is where personal perference comes into play, but there are a few things to also consider:


1) What type of projector will you be using (LCD, DLP, CRT, other)

1a) Many LCD's produce a "screendoor" which is visible by most sitting closer than 1.5X screen width (some projectors are better--some worse). Some of the new projectors released (ok the Panasonic AE700) has virtually no screendoor effect (I think they said you can see screendoor at around 18" --- but if you are sitting that close you have other problems :) )so LCD is still an option for those wanting to sit closer to the screen.


2) A good idea for what you like might be answered by asking yourself the question where do you like to sit in a movie theater? If you sit in the front row, you may like to have your seating closer (such as 1.5X), but if you like sitting in the rear of the theater, you may want to move your seating to 2x (screen width)or further back. You should experience a very pleasent picture sitting at the distance---you just may not be as "engulfed."


Well there are other things that come into play (such as where will the projector be, and will it distract you (fan noise)), but I think those are secondary to the "experience" you will get from setting the seating to your personal liking. Good luck!


-Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!


I am leaning towards an LCD projector and I may have to go with a floor cabinet mount due to a "beam" problem.


I have read that 2X screen width is the optimum viewing distance and would simply mount the 8' screen 16 feet from a single row of chairs.


The problem is situating the 2 rows. Is 6.5' an average OK distance between them? Then, do I place the first row at 2X (16') which makes the 2nd row back at 22.5'? Or, do I cheat the first row closer so that the second row is closer to the "optimal" distance?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jrb CO
Is 6.5' an average OK distance between them?
I personally have a 38" "walkway" between the rear of the first row and the front of the second row....and I think that is generous (more than enough for walking and probably ok EVEN when reclined. Then the rest of the distance will be determined by what style seating you choose.

Quote:
Then, do I place the first row at 2X (16') which makes the 2nd row back at 22.5'? Or, do I cheat the first row closer so that the second row is closer to the "optimal" distance?
If you are asking my opinion, I would set the first row closer. This would allow people who prefer to be more "engulfed" in the movie to have that option. Secondly, I think you will begin to see more and more projectors that eliminate screendoor at least at reasonable viewing distances (i.e. 1.5X). That would allow you to get the second row closer to the 2X measurement and not make it feel like you are so far away from the screen....but again that's my opinion.


I will be using a 100" (~88" width) screen and my first row distance is ~1.65X and my rear row distance is ~ 2.3X screen width (but I am one of those people that sits towards the rear of a theater). Again I have to emphaize that personal perference will have a lot to do with your decision. Good luck!


-Jason
 

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I have a 110" diagonal (8 feet wide) and my first row is 12 feet away from it. I was afraid that would be too close for me but it is definitely my favorite spot. My wife seemed to like the second row better but she recently started sitting in the front row too. My PJ is a DILA so screen door is not an issue at all. It is something to consider though with other types of projectors.

I know a lot of folks will go closer than that.


There is a website that lists the recommended THX and SMPTE viewing distances based on your own setup:


http://www.myhometheater.homestead.c...alculator.html


Steve
 

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There have been lots of threads about seating distance, but let me sum one fact up to you - it takes a lot more room than you think to get 2 rows optimally!


1) You don't want your rear row right up against the back wall - ideally at least 2-3 feet away for acoustical reasons (less bass hump).


2) Spacing between rows especially if you're using recliners (Berklines, etc) can easily eat up 6 feet. For an 8 foot screen you will likely be sitting between 12-16 feet back for front row depending how large you like your screen, then add 6 feet for the next row and then 3 feet behind...


I have a 19' room and despirately need another 5 feet. I could use another 10!


One issue with relatively small rooms is that the diferential in size between front and back rows is magnified. That is, the denominator (screen size) is small, so the ratio moves more as you move back. So a nice row in front is relatively small in back or vice versa.


As the room grows bigger, the screen does too, and so the difference in viewing angle becomes smaller from front to back. This is another reason to run a bigger room and bigger screen. Of course it takes more projector to light a bigger screen too.
 

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I believe THX recommends a 36 degree viewing angle (or 1.5XScreen width) for your sweet spot and a back row viewing angle of not less than 26 degrees (or ~2.2XScreen width). It wouldn't hurt to have more rows of seats outside of these parameters if you plan to use them only when you need them.


In my experience, the perception of DLP and LCD projected images magically start to degrade beyond the 36 degree viewing angle. Test it out if you can...the most important thing is that YOU like it. So if you like it closer or further away, don't get too caught up in the recommendations. I have my sweet spot at 36 degrees and LOVE it. My back row is at 26 degrees and that works good too (sometimes I sit back there when I'm watching a very scary movie by myself).
 
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