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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear all,


Planning to buy and HD2 projector in next 3-4months. Building my theater slowly...painfully slowly... so much to think about...sheesh... need to ask about this:


An audio article on 5.1 set up I think on S&V HT states that listening position should be 2/3 - 5/7 distance from end of the room. In this forum, people are talking about 1.5 - 2X screen width.


My set up will be in a 15 ft room. Based on AUDIO, I should be sitting 10ft away.


Based on a 96-100" diagonal (16:9) screen, for VIDEO I should be 12.5 feet away for 1.5 X and 16ft for 2X.


Based on THX I should be 10-11 ft for optimal viewing angle.


Which is right or the best to go with? Is
 

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it has been repeatedely stated by russ herschelman that you should start out by dividing your room into fifths along the length and sit there.that will leave lots of options for your seating arrangements and chioces.

good luck.
 

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sorry, that was for sound. the picture size will depend on your comfort level of the viewing angle.and to whether you can see the pixels or not.
 

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All things being equal, I would build the theater so that sound is ideal and if any thing suffers, it is the picture (particularly if pixels would be seen). PJ technology is quickly improving, you'll have a very hi res PJ soon and when it comes, your audio will already be there in spades.


Wire for 2 EX speakers (rear) and height channels. Conduit to all speakers, too.
 

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Unless the audio can be adjusted once seating, screen size has been settled, having poor audio positioning might cause intelligibility/distracting sound issues. This could possibly effect the experience to the degree that your enjoyment is really affected (if not entirely ruined) I'd love to hear what an expert like Russ Herschelman would say about this.


I lack real home theater design experience, but have decades of professional audio experience. My take: start with the seating set for listening. Adjust visuals from that seating position. Most likely there's a satisfactory pj that will fit into your specs.


Also, you may want a pre-pro with room correction (B&K, Krell, etc.).
 

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hmmm.


I have a different point of view. I'd definitely say that the listening position should be equidistant from all 3 front mains...but IMO you can sit farther back in the room than THX recommends and still get great sound. You don't want to sit right up against a back wall because of bass-emphasis, but you can come reasonably close with good sound treatment and use time-delay for your surround channels to help compensate for the lack of rear-room-fill.


I've been in some HT and even 2-channel systems where seating was placed well back into the room and the sound was spectacular.


Besides, you can always move your front LCR mains out into the room to effectively move the sound closer if you encounter problems.


My advice...get the size screen you want and go for the 1.5 rule....as long as your audio is *reasonably* close to where it needs to be, you're ok.


if you're an audiophile first, videophile second and want a no-compromise sound experience, then determine where the best-sounding seating location is and work your video out from there. But that involves actually *listening* to the speakers and system working in the actual space...you can't just read some article about "THX recommended distances" and assume it's ideal in your listening situation.


-dave
 

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Don't forget the all important speaker choice. Some speakers are meant to be used nearfield. This may be less than ideal in a HT setup at least as far as sweetspots are concerned it would only accomodate one. You can acquire speakers that work well far field and have a wide sweetspot.


Good audiophile systems will generally sound good for HT up front. Multichannel wise the placement of the rears are generally different.


Your question may be a difficult one to answer. In an audio system every little adjustment can make a big difference to the sound. You don't have to move your listening/viewing position up. You can move your speakers up but that might cause your bass to thin out but if you move your speakers back your bass might get boomy and muddy. Pixelation is probably the easiest thing to determine as you can simply walk into a store and sit at 1.5X and see if you see any pixelation.


There will be compromises somewhere along the line. A stadium and its giant screens may be better visually for a concert but sonically it won't beat a nice musical theatre or concert hall.
 

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Don't get locked into a screen size!


People forget that sitting 12' away from a 6' screen is the same as sitting 6' away from a 3' screen. They will both appear to be the same size in your field of view - and the bonus is you get free brightness by using a smaller screen. If you tweak your seating position based on where it sounds the best - then you can keep the same viewing angles/ratios to determine what your screen size needs to be in the new position.
 

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ditto ^^


It would seem that the easiest way to work out the variables would be to start with raw room dimensions, choose seating positions that work well for sound (and for entry into the room, etc.), choose the viewing angle you would like (i.e., 1.5X or otherwise), choose screen width (not diagonal) based on viewing angle and seating position relative to the screen wall, and finally choose a projector that provides the lumens necessary to achieve the desired ft. lamberts on the resultant screen size.


Starting with a screen size and trying to make seating position, projector, and viewing angle all work out seems to be the difficult route to take.
 

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I think it is important to remember that the rules for proper seating location for best sound (btw these rules are basically irrespective of speaker type or location and only involve bass response) is very exacting. 2/5ths or 3/5ths for example is good but 1/2or 5/8ths is bad . On the other hand, the viewing distance recommendations are simply that, and not hard rules. There is no reason that a 1.55 viewing ratio would be any less satisfactory than 1.5 and many people would prefer 1.75 or 1.8. So the proper choice is to find a appropriate seating distance for sound that is also within a reasonable range for the picture.
 

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Even the audio seating "rules" are not hard - they are just ones that usually work. Floyd Toole from Harman Kardon is fond of challenging one to look at a room that is a cube - where to put the speakers to produce as good sound in a bad room as in a good room.


Even Russ H. (Mr Disney Home Theatre to me and you) says to start with the seats within the room first! The screen/projector is the result of optimizing the rest of the room.
 

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Your right in the sense that being a little off from,say, 2/3rds may not be a disaster, but there is no question that being as little as 6 inches away from the "right spot" can result in irretrievably bad bass. On the other hand, being 6 inches away from the"ideal"viewing position is usually no big deal.


An equivalent way of looking at this is that there are specific locations (that may be calculated or determined by test) that are are objectively good or bad for bass response, whereas the exact position for best viewing is quite subjective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the responses so far!


What a frustrating hobby home theater is. I used to think that having loud speakers and a big TV would be enough! Having a house really ups the ante and the headache.


QUESTION:

How/Where should I wire for a possible height channel? So far I have seen little in the way of guidelines and no system supports it, yet. Am I correct? If so, where should I plan for one?



I'm planning to go with an Anthem AV20 pre/pro. I alread have invested in Paradigm reference speakers but need to add their dipolar speakers. I am planning to pre wire for EX for that eventuality.... God willing... and wife willing...


Wooe
 

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Quoting DaVid Boulet "You don't want to sit right up against a back wall because of bass-emphasis, but you can come reasonably close with good sound treatment and use time-delay for your surround channels to help compensate for the lack of rear-room-fill."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In my place I have to do just that, sit near the back wall, so I adjust my rears to compensate. Interestingly enough, I remember reading many times in Russ Herchelman's articles that he recommends all speakers be identical. I recently moved, and had to change my set up. I got a truly identical speaker set up, and I must say the difference is startling. I previously had a matched speaker set up with a "center channel" speaker. having all three fronts be exactly the same created a palpable sound that brought you into the movie without drawing attention to sound at all, except when the sub slams during high impact scenes, which makes me jump in my seat. I went from B&W 805's with a REL sub to the B&W VM-1 lifestyle design. It's supposed to be a big downgrade, but my new set up really is superior for 5.1 in my apartment.


I'm passing this along to everyone, because using identical speakers saved me money and gave me a more natural sound. This might help a bit if you can't sit in an ideal spot.
 
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