Where to place 1st & 2nd rows? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 7 Old 01-22-08, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Where to place 1st & 2nd rows?

Hoping for some help from an expert or someone who has "been there"! Tried this question in Home Theater design with no luck - maybe there is someone in this forum that has done this already?

I'm building my own 7.1 theater (6 seats) in an unfinished (basement) area of our home. (First room is now framed as of this weekend)
I've attached a PDF of the design I've created (to scale) in Excel format. There are 2 pages to the PDF. Page one shows the layout and page 2 shows how it will look from side view.

I want to take advantage of the "Shack Special" with Berkline seating (078's, I think - 105" wide per 3)
Here are room specs: (equip specs at bottom)
Room 19 3 deep
Room 15 wide
I plan to build a "wall to wall" platform with the leading edge lighted as a step.
First row seating can be as close as 94 and as far as 106" to the viewers eyes
Second row min 168 to a max of about 180" to the viewers eyes
I've drawn a dark dashed line in the middle of the room at about 128" back from screen THIS IS MY BEST GUESS at the starting spot for the platform - am I close???

1) What is the ideal seating placement for VIEWING in this room
2) Based on above answer, where would you "start" the platform? (distance from screen)
3) What configuration of Berkline would you get? Can they be "curved"?

Panasonic PT-AE2000U (planned mounting 15 7 from screen)
Elite Cinetension2 110 diagonal screen (16:9 ratio)
Denon 4308ci
Polk RTi 10 fronts (have)
Polk CS400 center (have)
Axiom QS8 surrounds (4 to buy)

ALL other comments, welcome!!
Attached Thumbnails
Where to place 1st & 2nd rows?-theater21-copy.jpg  

Last edited by purcellt; 01-22-08 at 09:12 PM. Reason: title
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-23-08, 01:01 PM
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Re: Where to place 1st & 2nd rows?


It is not clear what size of the screen you will use. Is it 106” or 110”?

In any case 94” distance to the screen is bit too close. If the screen 110” the min recommended distance from to the screen should be 12’. With Hi-Def Sources you can seat closer, I’d say 10.5' – 11’, but if you are too close you may get motion sickness (fast moving objects can cause this).

The requirements for the platform – should be at least 6’ deep. The more the better because this would allow you to have more space in between the rows and more space behind the back row of seats for better surround sound. But since your room is not that big, you need to deal with what you have. It also looks like you have a door in the back. That would require at least 2-3 additional feet for you to be able to walk in. So I would build a 7’ deep platform starting 2.5’ away from the back wall. Then I would place the front row seats right up against the platform. The viewing distance to the screen for the first row would be about 10 feet. I would probably consider a slightly smaller screen unless you plan to seat on the back row. You can always put the kids in the front row seating.

I would not do curved rows because they will require even more depth. 2 rows of 3 stright configuration is ideal for your room.

I hope this helps
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-23-08, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to place 1st & 2nd rows?

Roman - thanks for the quick reply. I believe you are the one offering the Home Theater seating? Sounds like I got the expert reply!

Just one clarification, I had planned to get a 120" diag screen but maybe 106" is better for this room?
Second - to clarify the platform . . . I can go all the way to the back wall, the doorway is not yet framed and I can simply frame it and it's header at 8" or so higher. In other words the platform will come from the back wall to some stopping point. Based on your initial recc, sopunds lie the stopping point should be about 9' out from back wall, thus putting the front row against that edge or about 9.5 to 10 feet away from the screen?

Now that you know I can go all the way to the back wall with the paltform, could I or should I consider moving the leading edge of it "back" from the screen? Maybe give the front row about 10.5 feet from screen?
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-23-08, 06:37 PM
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Re: Where to place 1st & 2nd rows?


I would definitely not recommend anything bigger than 110”. Again, it depends where your primary seating will be.

If you make an entrance on the side (no back door), then you can build 8‘ platform and this way place the front row seating at about 11.5’. Then you can easily use 110” screen, and it would be optimal.

Make sure you build your platform the right way. If you need instructions, call me and I will tell you how to do it right.

BTW, if you planning to purchase 2 rows of 3 chairs I would recommend jumping on it ASAP. I have very limited sets left. The chairs a popular and go fast.

I only have the following sets left:
3 motorized recliners in straight configuration - 3 sets
4 motorized recliners in straight configuration - 2 sets
1 two arm motorized w/bks - 2 chairs
2 motorized w/bks in straight configuration - 1 set
3 motorized w/bks in straight configuration - 2 sets
4 motorized w/bks in straight configuration - 4 sets
4 motorized w/bks in chair/loveseat/chair config - 1 set

When these are sold – they are gone, so are these prices…
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-29-08, 12:22 PM
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Re: Where to place 1st & 2nd rows?

If I may offer some advice.

Identify where the seating needs to go for best audio performance first. From there, that will tell you the screen size. To move the seating around to 'force' the viewing angles to be right at the expense of audio performance is defeating 1/2 of the movie experience.

You can do whatever you want in terms of treatments and EQ but if you're sitting in a really bad place in the room, nothing is going to fix that short of moving.


I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-28-08, 08:28 PM
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Re: Where to place 1st & 2nd rows?


That's a pretty good diagram. Can you tell me how you created it? Did you really use Excel as you mention in your original post?

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post #7 of 7 Old 04-29-08, 09:54 AM
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Re: Where to place 1st & 2nd rows?

I would also move the placement of the surround speakers (if those are speakers on your diagram), Your side speakers should be moved back so that they are behind the front row of seats and the rear speakers should be placed on the back wall about 8 ft apart.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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1st , 2nd , place , rows

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