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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My family recently moved into a new home that has a nice bonus room above the garage. It is similar to our last home theater, but slightly larger with the added bonus of a kitchenette, bathroom, and small office/media room off of it. The finished room has tan/beige walls, white ceiling, red tile in the kitchenette and bathroom floor, and gray tile on the counter. There is a small storage space at the end of the room with a crawl through entry. The left wall has a large window 110"x44" and the right wall has two large window bays 106"x40". Their are two HVAC supplies at the front of the room. There is easy attic access, from the closet in the office, that run the length of the room.

Take a look at these pictures and let me know your suggestions before I get started. The goal is a dedicated theater with a CIH screen and a 7.1.4 Atmos system. Seating will hopefully be for 11 if I can figure out how to do that many.

Carried over from previous systems will be a row of 5 Cinematech theater seats, source equipment (blu-ray, TiVo, Xbox 360), Monster Power conditioning, 4 JBL Synthesis HTPS400 subwoofers, 3 Sonance Cinema Select cabinets, and a pair of Sonance S623TR in-ceiling speakers. I have picked up the following used gear Middle Atlantic 40 space rack ($200 on Craigslist) and a Panasonic AE8000 projector ($800 on AVSForum). Other than that I am open to suggestions.

I need to determine the following:

  • Screen size
    Speaker configuration
    Seating distance
    Room theme
    Color scheme
    Acoustic treatments
    Anything I haven't though of yet

Thanks,
JSKMDWK

Updated 12/9/2020, 4/19/21, 10/14/21
Well it has been several years and lots of work has gone into the room. I added a last attached photo so you can see the front of the room, then and now.

The system is now a 9.2.4 immersive surround theater. Equipment wise I am currently using the following:

Screen: Stewart Filmscreen StudioTek 130 2.35:1 Microperf JKP Signature - 120" wide, 130" diagonal
Projector: JVC NX-5 4K Native
Speakers: 3 Sonance Cinema LCR1 front stage, 4 Sonance Cinema Select THX in-walls for surrounds, 4 Sonance S623 in-ceiling for Atmos, 2 Sonance Cinema Select Cabinet for wides
Subwoofers: 2 SVS SB-16 Ultras
Seating: 11 Cinematech Terminator II motorized chairs in chocolate leather - one row of 6 individual seats, back row with dual loveseats and 1 single
Preamplifier: Marantz AV8805
Amplifiers: 2 Marantz MM8077 7x150 watt/ch
Server: Kaleidescape Strato 10 TB, Terra 24 TB, Alto 4 TB -- added February/March 2021
UHD Player: Oppo UDP-203
DVR: TiVo Premiere
Remote: Logitech Ultimate and Hub
Streamer: AppleTV 4K
Networking: HP ProCurve 1410-24G Switch
Gaming: XBox (original) and XBox One
Power Conditioning: Monster Power Signature HTPS7000 mkII and Signature Monster Power AVS2000 PRO
Rack: Middle Atlantic MRK-4026
Cooling: 2 Middle Atlantic QBP rack mount fans
Cabling: Monoprice balanced interconnects and Monster Cable speaker wire
Acoustic Treatments: DIY

2-Channel System
Speakers: Martin Logan Ascent i
Amplifier: QSC Audio RMX 850

To see how I got from empty room to home cinema over five years, read on.
 

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I think I would downsize the kitchenette, keep the portion under the window but get rid of the eat at counter. Turn it into snack bar/wet bar. I would cut a niche for a Refrigerator by stealing space from the office.

I think that would allow you a little more breathing space for the second row of seating to hit that 11 goal , what is the distance from the front wall to the as is counter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I would downsize the kitchenette, keep the portion under the window but get rid of the eat at counter. Turn it into snack bar/wet bar. I would cut a niche for a Refrigerator by stealing space from the office.

I think that would allow you a little more breathing space for the second row of seating to hit that 11 goal , what is the distance from the front wall to the as is counter.
Big,
Thanks for the quick response, I was hoping to hear from you. From the front wall to the counter is 164". I currently have the front (and only so far) row of seats slightly in front of the counter and have 11.5-12 feet from the front wall to eyeballs, depending on recline. I would like to keep the counter area as is and there is already a mini-fridge in the kitchenette.

I am thinking I could add a second row on a riser inline with the counter and maybe fit 4 seats on it. that would get me to seating for 9 and then others can use the floor or temporary seating when necessary. I should be able to keep a walkway from the entrance, behind the rise, past the office door, to the kitchenette this way.

thanks,
JSKMDWK
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
130 to 144 inch wide 2.35
I am considering a Falcon Vision Horizon 140" screen. I had a Falcon Vision HD 120" 2.35:1 screen in the previous theater and liked it a lot. It should match up well with the Panansonic 8000.

What do you think about doing a false wall at the front, maybe 18" off the current wall and then treat the front wall with 2" of Linacoustic?

I am considering adding a second pair of front speakers to do width channels, so LW, L, C, R, RW all behind the front wall with the L, C, R behind the screen. This way I can also put 2 or 3 of the subs behind the false wall.

thanks,
JSKMDWK
 

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Looks like a fun project.


Two rows of seats is going to be do-able but tight, especially with a big screen. You'll run into reduced headroom due to riser height required for sight lines and good viewing position for screen.


Don't go for a screen that is too big, check how much lumens output you are going to get out of it first (calibrated lumens NOT spec sheet)


If you are doing a false wall then fill that space with pink fluffy, don't bother with 2" linacoustic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have seen from 622 to 1175 lumens on the low end calibrated. If I do a 140" wide 2.35:1 screen, measurements are (140x59.6/144)x1175=20.3 ft/lamberts.

But if I use the 16x9 size (140x78.7/144)x1175=15.4 ft/lamberts, since I am zooming part of the image off of the screen when watching 2.35:1 is this the correct value?

The room will be light controlled and the screen gain is stated a unity, so 1.0.

I plan to do a 10" riser, so should still have 8+ ft above the floor when on the riser. The projector will be shelf mounted in the office firing through a small window, so should not be in the way.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
JSKMDWK - You may want to check out LeBon's excellent thread build thread here http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...489962-signal-hill-theatre.html#post_23719000 for some ideas. From what I recall his room has nearly identical length and width to yours - can't recall what his ceiling height is.
Just read the entire thread and love the theater - design and equipment. Dimensions are very similar to mine within a few inches each way and I liked seeing his false wall. I will most likely go with a slightly smaller screen, sit a little closer, and do a second row seats on a riser (in the future). I plan to mimic the projector in my office at the back of the room and will have my gear in a separate closet in that office instead.
 

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I plan to mimic the projector in my office at the back of the room and will have my gear in a separate closet in that office instead.
Keep in mind that the brightness of the projector is reduced the further from the screen. You may want to check with one of the online image calculators.
 

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Just read the entire thread and love the theater - design and equipment. Dimensions are very similar to mine within a few inches each way and I liked seeing his false wall. I will most likely go with a slightly smaller screen, sit a little closer, and do a second row seats on a riser (in the future). I plan to mimic the projector in my office at the back of the room and will have my gear in a separate closet in that office instead.
A few questions so I can make some suggestions...What projector are you considering, are you going to do 2.35 or 16:9, acoustically transparent or not, and what's your desired seating distance for your prime seats?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A few questions so I can make some suggestions...What projector are you considering, are you going to do 2.35 or 16:9, acoustically transparent or not, and what's your desired seating distance for your prime seats?
Already purchased Panasonic AE8000 projector.
Planning on 2.35:1 screen that is acoustically transparent - Falcon Vision Horizon.
Seating distance 10.5 ft. from screen to eyeballs when reclined.

thanks,
JSKMDWK
 

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Already purchased Panasonic AE8000 projector.
Planning on 2.35:1 screen that is acoustically transparent - Falcon Vision Horizon.
Seating distance 10.5 ft. from screen to eyeballs when reclined.

thanks,
JSKMDWK
I'm not too familiar with that pj. Please do a little digging and find out what the CALIBRATED lumens are at D65 for a 100% full field measurement and let me know here.

Also what is your preference for how close you like to sit? For example when you go to the movies is your ideal seat 1/3 from the front, half-way, rear, etc?

Based on this I can share my thoughts on what screen size would be best, taking into account the lumens of your pj and preferred field of view (which will be answered by my last question above).
 

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I can tell you that the online calculators estimate 10 fl if the projector lens is 20 ft from the screen and the screen is a 120 inch wide 2.35 That is claimed brightness and probably a new bulb. Not calibrated. 12 fl is the recommended minimum.

it increases to 12 with the projector 18 ft from the screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Doing some online checking I found the following:

PT-AE8000 Lumen Output and Color Temp with 100 IRE Field (mid zoom)
Cinema 1 643 @ 7053
Cinema 2 1175 @ 8554
Game 1245 @ 10199
Normal 1285 @ 9746
Dynamic 1898 @ 7757, 1255 lumens with AI off
Rec. 709 622 @ 6695
D-Cinema 643 @ 6437
- See more at: http://www.projectorreviews.com/pan...0-projector-performance/#sthash.UGLaruiV.dpuf

Post Calibration: Best Mode = REC 709 The PT-AE8000 measured 602 lumens calibrated in “best” mode.


Light output. The spec on the AE8000 is 2400 lumens, which is a 20% increase over the AE7000's 2000-lumen rating. The spec understates the brightness differences we see on our test samples. Here, in table form, are the lumen readings we saw on our AE8000 compared to our AE7000 readings from last year:

Mode AE7000 AE8000
Cinema 1 526 822
Cinema 2 1089 1612
Game 1204 1673
Normal 1300 1752
Dynamic 1685 2471
Rec. 709 592 821
D-Cinema 544 872


We connected the AE8000U to Ray's calibration setup, which consisted of a Windows laptop running SpectraCal's calibration software, controlling both a calibrated signal pattern generator and my C6 meter. In order to check our work, we also had on hand a Konica Minolta CS-200. Out of the box and in the AE8000U's "Rec 709" image preset, we measured a solid 10.2 foot-lamberts from the projector. It should be noted that, because I employ an acoustically transparent screen, light readings are somewhat diminished - on average, between 15 and 20 percent - so on a non-acoustically transparent screen, you could reasonably expect a light output of, say, around 12 foot-lamberts. Again, not bad for a 120-inch screen.


Some contradiction in these 3 so I am leaning towards ceiling mounting the projector instead of back in the closet. Definitely want a bright image and would like to do a 140" wide 2.35:1 acoustically transparent screen, so maybe 17 feet back from the screen on the ceiling would work better than 20 feet back in a closet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Then I read this -

There is a measured roughly 14% increase in brightness if you place the PT-AE8000U at its closest position to the screen, in terms of zoom (wide-angle), compared to having the zoom at mid-point, with the projector 50% further back.

At full telephoto the PT-AE8000 is about 40% less bright compared to wide angle! That means you are reducing this projector from very bright to about average brightness if you rear shelf mount at the full telephoto range.

- See more at: http://www.projectorreviews.com/pan...projector-performance-2/#sthash.T8w29dPQ.dpuf
 

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Once you factor in the negative gain of the AT screen and lamp aging your picture are going to be pretty dim at that screen size for 2.35 viewing. OTTOMH I will say ahead of my calculations that it will not likely provide enough brightness. I will do the calculations shortly and let you know what ftL I'd anticipate you'd get.
 

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JSKMDWK - Sorry to say but IMO there is no way you can do a 140" screen if you care about watching 2.35 material. Assuming 600 lumens to begin with based on your other post, and assuming 20% loss within the first few hundred hours leaves you with say 480 calibrated lumens. The Falcon screen has around a 0.85 gain (I've measured it) which is about average gain for other AT screens, only the Center Stage XD measures higher based on my measurements. Factor that together and it leaves you with 7 ftL. Even if you can mount where you can pick up another 15 or 20% you can see you will still be quite dim. Perhaps you won't mind in a totally light controlled room, as brightness is a personal and subjective thing. And to some they may not notice the difference between say 7 ftL and 12 ftL without an A/B comparison. I know for me I need at least 12 ftL and preferrably 15+ ftL.

Now the above is for 2.35. For 16:9 viewing I calculate you will be around 9.2 ftL, so still quite on the low side. And any 3D in these modes will be roughly half of those numbers.

At 130" wide 2.35 you'd be around 8 ftL and in 16:9 around 10.7 ftL. That's a bit better but still low IMO. At 120" wide 2.35 you'd be around 9.3 ftL and in 2.35 around 12.41 ftL. So IMO its takes about 120" before you are at a good marker for 16:9 but still low on 2.35. If you tend to watch a lot of 16:9 that may work for you, if its the other way around then it may not.

Possible considerations:

- maximum of around 120" wide 2.35 screen, and sitting closer to try and get the same immersive effect. Note that sitting closer to woven screens you want to test it with your own eyes with a sample to make sure you can't see the screen texture.

- going with a NON-acoustically transparent screen that has gain of 1.3. This will effectively give you a 50% boost in brightness. Of course this has implications for the rest of your room both aesthetically and performance wise - trade offs are everywhere but having built a room already you know this.

- going with a different projector, like the Sony VW600 which will give you around 1,500 lumens, roughly doubling all the ftL numbers listed above. Its also rumored that the new JVCs models for later this year will have lumens approaching 1,500 (maybe more, maybe less, just rumors at the moment). The entry model may be considerably less than the Sony VW600 (or its upcoming replacement) so you may want to wait and see what's coming.

Any questions, let me know. Hope this helps!
 
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