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wakeboardandy13

Building New House. Need Help With Theatre Room!

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Hi Guys,

I am building a new house and my theatre room will be 4.3m in length and 3.6m wide.

I would like to have the seats a bit in from the back wall so the speakers are behind the seating not directly above.

What sort of distance would I put the seating from the screen and what size screen do you think would suit this room.

I am currently reading up on projector reviews but at the moment just trying to work out what size screen and viewing distance would best suit this room.

Cheers,

Andy

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Hi Guys,

I am building a new house and my theatre room will be 4.3m in length and 3.6m wide.

Andy, how many rows of seats are you planning on having? For single row in this size room the very simplified math is as follows -

Room Length divided by 4 = Screen (image) height regardless of Aspect Ratio.

Screen Height times 3 = preffered seating distance. This means that the seats are off the back wall to allow you to place Back Surrounds behind the listening position. Your Left and Right Surrounds (some people call these side surrounds will also go at 3x the image height off the screen wall as well so that they are at +/-90 degrees to your seating position.

What projectors are you looking at?

Mark

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Andy, how many rows of seats are you planning on having? For single row in this size room the very simplified math is as follows -

Room Length divided by 4 = Screen (image) height regardless of Aspect Ratio.

Screen Height times 3 = preffered seating distance. This means that the seats are off the back wall to allow you to place Back Surrounds behind the listening position. Your Left and Right Surrounds (some people call these side surrounds will also go at 3x the image height off the screen wall as well so that they are at +/-90 degrees to your seating position.

What projectors are you looking at?

Mark

Thanks Mark for that info.

So in that case I would be looking at a 1m high screen which by my estimates would equal about an 84inch screen.. would that be correct?

I'm liking the look of the epson tw2000, how far would that have to be from the screen on the ceiling.. as I am going to get a powerpoint put on the ceiling, so need to get an idea of where to put it...

and yes just one row of seating... so also what height would I be looking at mounting a screen from the floor?

appreciate your help with this... makes things alot easier for me!!

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Hi Andy,

Marks advice will be some of the best you get from anyone, anytime ;)

To add a little, I'm not sure if you know this but if just running 5.1 surround, you would ideally place the surround channels anywhere from 90deg to 110deg from the listening position. With that in mind it wouldn't be necessary to have much (if any) space between the speakers and couch at the rear of the room...

Naturally that is only relevant in a 5.1 system, not 6 or 7.1 ;)

*EDIT* meant to include these links for a point of refernce: dolby layout and THX layout guide

Edited by yamapro

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Thanks Mark for that info.

So in that case I would be looking at a 1m high screen which by my estimates would equal about an 84inch screen.. would that be correct?

That will depend on the AR. I don't do diagonals anymore, but it sounds about right for a 16:9, which of course is about 100" for Scope 2.37:1...

I'm liking the look of the epson tw2000, how far would that have to be from the screen on the ceiling.. as I am going to get a powerpoint put on the ceiling, so need to get an idea of where to put it...

Epsons have a 2x zoom and very flexible lens shift making them much easier to mount...

and yes just one row of seating... so also what height would I be looking at mounting a screen from the floor?
No less then 800mm off the floor and a lttle higher if you like...
appreciate your help with this... makes things alot easier for me!!

Your welcome :)

Mark

Edited by MarkTecher

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That will depend on the AR. I don't do diagonals anymore, but it sounds about right for a 16:9, which of course is about 100" for Scope 2.37:1...

Epsons have a 2x zoom and very flexible lens shift making them much easier to mount...

No less then 800mm off the floor and a lttle higher if you like...

Your welcome :)

Mark

My back wall will actually have double doors there, but I will have them swing outwards, so I will need the seating to sit in slightly to get into the room.

It will just be a 5.1 system.

Which is the best aspect ratio screen to have? I mostly would watch movies, foxtel and normal tv as well as a little xbox/ps3.

So with the Epson would 2.5m back from the screen be a good position?

Thanks heaps once again.

Andy

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Andy, in terms of screen size I'm sitting about 4 - 4.5m back from a 110" screen. I have a TW2000 and the PQ is more than acceptable even in SD. I pretty much use the PJ as a TV and clock up about 4 hours viewing per night and given this a 16:9 aspect screen was the obvious choice. I would recommend a 16:9 screen from OZ theatre screens, I have one of his Majestic screens and the quality and performance are first class.

My PJ is mounted above my head so approx 4.3m from the screen, you can go much closer of course due to the Epson's ample zoom characteristics but personally I would keep it above you and not in front as I would find it a bit distracting. The fan is extremely quiet on the TW2000 and if you leave the auto iris off (default setting) you won't hear anything.

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My back wall will actually have double doors there, but I will have them swing outwards, so I will need the seating to sit in slightly to get into the room.

It will just be a 5.1 system.

Which is the best aspect ratio screen to have? I mostly would watch movies, foxtel and normal tv as well as a little xbox/ps3.

So with the Epson would 2.5m back from the screen be a good position?

Thanks heaps once again.

Andy

Why limit yourself to 5.1 when you have the room to do 7.1? BD supports 7.1, so even if you don't ceonnect them right away, run the back Surround cables before the sheeting goes up. If you follow what I have suggested above, the Back Speakers could be placed on the wall either side of the back door as you will have about 1m clear way...

Mark

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So with the Epson would 2.5m back from the screen be a good position?

I'd have the PJ as far back as you can. Firstly, because it might struggle to throw the image size you want from so close (In fact it might be impossible - it is a short throw projector, but 2.5m is mighty short!). Secondly because you'd have the zoom on the PJ at an extreme, and you'll get better safety and picture quality from having it near the middle of the zoom range. Third, having the PJ behind you will be less distractign than in front, it still emits noise and light from the lens (;-)) which you will see and hear more in front of you than behind.

If you are set on the TW2000 (and I see no reason not to be - I have one :-), go ahead and buy it (once your room is finished) and play around with positioning and screen size to see what suits you best before you buy the screen :-) You can also then play with different AR to see which you like, but unless you partuclarly want to watch lots of 2.37:1 movies then 16:9 is probably the best compromise.

Although I love my scope setup and would never live with a 16:9, swapping between 2.37 and 16:9 does involve some fiddling with the TW2000, so the PJ would have to be within easy reach to do the fiddling.

Edited by collinhack

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Why limit yourself to 5.1 when you have the room to do 7.1? BD supports 7.1, so even if you don't ceonnect them right away, run the back Surround cables before the sheeting goes up. If you follow what I have suggested above, the Back Speakers could be placed on the wall either side of the back door as you will have about 1m clear way...

Mark

Ok will definetly look at wiring for the speakers now for 7.1. My amp is Yamaha RX-V740 so I think it is only 6.1.. but I can upgrade that later down the track..

Now for the screen is it better to go for a scope screen if so, what type of screen, ie if it has a black frame won't their be borders that stand out for 1:78 veiwing?

I can paint the room any colour I want, I assume matte black is the way to go though.

So if better to have projector behind you then I would put it about 3.5m which I assume will be ok for the epson.

I have windows on the back wall that are only 60cm each on the two ends of the wall. So I still have about 2.2m width for a screen. If I am sitting about 3m back then would 84inch be the best or could I go bigger?

I guess as you say probably better to look at that when the house is built and see what it is like with the projector.

Edited by wakeboardandy13

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Yep, I'd definitely wait and play to see what screen size you like from where you are sitting. Projecting onto a wall still produces a very watchable image (although maybe not on a matte black wall? :-S) so a wait of a week or two to get the right size screen is no biggie :-)

If you have a look at:

http://picasaweb.google.com/collinhack/Room

You'll see 2.37:1 content on a 2.37:1 screen (the predator movie), 16:9 on the 2.37:1 screen (the sports) and 4:3 on the 2.37:1 (casablanca - although these were the only ones taken in "proper" watching mode, so you can't see the screen very well.

In summary, yes, there is "white bars" that are noticeable when watching 16:9 and 4:3 and if you let yourself that can be annoying. But I'd rather that than "white bars" above and below on scope movies. One way or another it'll be a "problem".

My thinking is - if screen height is a limiting factor rather than width, why not go with a scope screen?

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Ok will definetly look at wiring for the speakers now for 7.1. My amp is Yamaha RX-V740 so I think it is only 6.1.. but I can upgrade that later down the track..

Now for the screen is it better to go for a scope screen if so, what type of screen, ie if it has a black frame won't their be borders that stand out for 1:78 veiwing?

Of course I am going to say yes to going Scope, but that is up to you. I look at it this way - better to buy things with being future proof in mind than want to upgrade in 6 or 12 months...Having just visited CEDIA, Scope (and wider images) is just going to become more and more in demand...

I can paint the room any colour I want, I assume matte black is the way to go though.

Having had a matt black room, I will say that you don't want to do that. Yes, you do get the best contrast, but black is very hard to keep looking prestine. It marks easy and it is very hard to get the paint to match if you do a touch up...

So if better to have projector behind you then I would put it about 3.5m which I assume will be ok for the epson.

The lens zoom and shift are very flexible, so yes, that will work for you. I don't think the Epson "scales" for CIH with HD, so check that out first as well...

I have windows on the back wall that are only 60cm each on the two ends of the wall. So I still have about 2.2m width for a screen. If I am sitting about 3m back then would 84inch be the best or could I go bigger?

I guess as you say probably better to look at that when the house is built and see what it is like with the projector.

Agreed, as that could limit your options somewhat. How important are the windows to you? IE can, or does it matter if you end up covering them?

Mark

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Andy, if you watch a lot of normal TV, Foxtel and Xbox (that's to say more than movies) then I would recommend 16:9 over scope unless you plan to change your viewing habits in the near future and are willing to obtain the extra gear to fully utilise your scope screen's potential.

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***SNIP***

The lens zoom and shift are very flexible, so yes, that will work for you. I don't think the Epson "scales" for CIH with HD, so check that out first as well...

***SNIP***

Mark

Mark is doesn't scale unfortunately.

Edited by Riv39

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Of course I am going to say yes to going Scope, but that is up to you. I look at it this way - better to buy things with being future proof in mind than want to upgrade in 6 or 12 months...Having just visited CEDIA, Scope (and wider images) is just going to become more and more in demand...

Having had a matt black room, I will say that you don't want to do that. Yes, you do get the best contrast, but black is very hard to keep looking prestine. It marks easy and it is very hard to get the paint to match if you do a touch up...

Agreed, as that could limit your options somewhat. How important are the windows to you? IE can, or does it matter if you end up covering them?

Mark

Thanks all for your help.

Scope does sound good but does that mean I will need a different projector? If so what is the best one for a reasonable price?

Also what colour should the room be.. just normal white, cream, etc?

And would I be better to not have any windows in the room at all or maybe make the windows on the side wall?

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Thanks all for your help.

Scope does sound good but does that mean I will need a different projector? If so what is the best one for a reasonable price?

Either that, or you add an expensive scaler later on. I chose the benq W5000 because it will scale for CIH out of the box regardless of input. It has vertical lens shift, but is not as flexible in the zoom range. It is also DLP, so not sure how you are with RBE...

Also what colour should the room be.. just normal white, cream, etc?

You want dark colours, just black is a PITA to maintain. Go a nice dark grey, blue or similar. Even wiping dust leaves marks on a black wall...

And would I be better to not have any windows in the room at all or maybe make the windows on the side wall?

Ideally no windows at all, but I am not sure about the leagalites of that. In Queensland anyway, your supposed to have X amount of natural lighting plus ventilation. The natural light part always got me when the room is supposed to be void of natural light for the best result. Your building a home cinema, you need to ask your self, does a real cinema have light colours and windows? The answer is of course NO...

Mark

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Thanks all for your help.

Scope does sound good but does that mean I will need a different projector?

No. I have a TW2000 and use it for scope as you saw in those pictures. You have to use the "zoom" method to acheive it, which, as I said before involves a little bit of fiddling, but not too much. But you would want to be able to reach the projector where it is mounted easily.

Essentially, if you are swapping between 16:9 and 2.37:1 (a movie that normally has "black bars" on the top and bottom when viewed in 16:9), you zoom in the picture so that the sides match up with your scope screen. Then, you adjust the vertical lens shift to centre it on the screen. This moves the "black bars" off the top and bottom of the screen.

The other method (CIH), uses vertical video scaling to vertically stretch the picture (which the TW2000 lacks but can be acheived with a video processor like the VP50 or a DVD player like the Oppo 983HD) and a special extra lens (Anamorphic lens) to horzintally stretch it to fit the scope screen.

Zooming is much easier and cheaper but is a bit fiddly. CIH is meant to give you a better picture, but is more expensive.

FWIW, I use the zoom method, and the picture is amazing. At some time in the future I might go for CIH, but I would much rather "make do" with zooming than stick with just 16:9 :-)

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Ok after doing some measurements in my current house. I could probably have the seating about 50cm in from the doors at the back of the room (they swing outwards so enough room to go around them or even between them if it is two recliners at the back.

So viewing distance will be approx 3.5-3.7m from screen.

Now I will now either have no windows or make them on the side of the room, as the room is on a corner of the house.

I will get a powerpoint placed at about 3.5m from the screen on the ceiling for the projector. Does this sound about right?

And I will get speaker cables run for 4 surround speakers. So my next question will be where would I put these and at what height? The room is 3.6m wide by 4.2 long and 8"6 ceilings.

I will then have 3.6m width for the screen which should be plenty.... not sure what is the best size screen for my room but I would probably like to go scope but would rather have a projector that can do scope/16:9/4:3 without have to fiddle with it. Is there a PJ that can do this?

And I will paint the room either dark blue or grey (does this include the ceiling as well?)

Once again thanks for all the help.... most exciting part of building a new house is the theatre room!!!

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Ok after doing some measurements in my current house. I could probably have the seating about 50cm in from the doors at the back of the room (they swing outwards so enough room to go around them or even between them if it is two recliners at the back.

You might want to re-think that before having to squeeze past seats, as you will get tired of this pretty fast. You want at least 800mm...

So viewing distance will be approx 3.5-3.7m from screen.

As long as you not closer than 2x the image height to the screen, it is all good...

Now I will now either have no windows or make them on the side of the room, as the room is on a corner of the house.

If you have to have them for leagal reasons, best to have them at the sides and then cover them...

I will get a powerpoint placed at about 3.5m from the screen on the ceiling for the projector. Does this sound about right?

Should be OK...

And I will get speaker cables run for 4 surround speakers. So my next question will be where would I put these and at what height? The room is 3.6m wide by 4.2 long and 8"6 ceilings.

Re-read my first post. The Back surrounds should be 60 degrees apart, but given you have doors, space them either side of the doors. Keep the height of all four the same. Given that you will walking around the seats, I would keep the surrounds close to the ceiling. 3.6m is quite wide, so you will be in the recommended 30 degree elevation above seated ear height allowed by the ITU-R...

I will then have 3.6m width for the screen which should be plenty.... not sure what is the best size screen for my room but I would probably like to go scope but would rather have a projector that can do scope/16:9/4:3 without have to fiddle with it. Is there a PJ that can do this?

Again, re-read my first post, as I am sure I worked out the screen height for you there...CIH rocks and once you have it, you won't go back to letter boxing ;)

And I will paint the room either dark blue or grey (does this include the ceiling as well?)

Once again thanks for all the help.... most exciting part of building a new house is the theatre room!!!

I recomment the same colour is used for both walls and ceiling...

Mark

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I will then have 3.6m width for the screen which should be plenty.... not sure what is the best size screen for my room but I would probably like to go scope but would rather have a projector that can do scope/16:9/4:3 without have to fiddle with it. Is there a PJ that can do this?

3.6 m wide should be way more than you need given your stated seating distance. I'm 5.5 m away from my 3.5m wide screen!

The Benq W5000 (and some others) will do the vertical stretch (as will external scalers or the Oppo 983HD), but at a minimum you'll need an extra lens which you'll need to shift into and out of the light path for switching between 16:9 and 2.37:1. One of the cheaper anamorphic lens options is the "aussiemorphic" supplied by Mark. I suggest reading Mark's website to try to get a feel for how this is done. However, until I got my projector and started playing with it, I really didn't understand it very well - it can be quite hard to explain or understand without the physical knowledge.

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