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We are building a new home and have space for a 15 to 16' wide by 23-25' long by 8' 6" high media room. We are trying to do it ourself and starting with seating requirements. My husband wants at least 8-9 seats and possibly 3 rows. From what I've seen 2 rows is ideal of 4 seats each. Is three a push? We'll adjust screen size to fit. One option is 2 rows and get the ottomans and leave space in front. We'd like maximum screen size for the room proportions - front projection.

I've tried to use the calculators but all the terms are new to me. I simply want someone to say, put first row at X distance and second row at Y distance, 12" up and use an X by Y screen.

Thanks. -Kathleen
 

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Welcome to the Shack Kathleen.

3 rows can be done but getting the surround field and viewing angles best for everyone is easier with 2 rows. 23' wide would accomodate 2 rows of 4 or even a row of 4 and a row of 5. Front row ear position somewhere between 15'6" and 16'6". Second row as far from the rear wall as possible without interfering with the front row when everything is reclined.

Screen size is not so easy. Yes, there are minimal size recommendations. THX suggests no smaller than a 36 degree included angle for field of view. That said, you must also consider whether it will be an AT screen (acoustically transparent) with speakers behind it as that impacts speaker position in relation to the side walls. At 23', likely not an issue but something to consider.

You also have to consider the light output and throw range of the projector you're using to understand if you can get sufficient brightness to fill a specific size screen with a specific gain.

Bryan
 

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I'd go with 2 rows of 4 with viewing distances of about 13' & 20' (you'll want 16' wide at least). Put a halfwall with counter top behind the rear row and add some bar stools. You'll have 8 comfortable reclining seats in the first two rows and some overflow seating behind as well as a place to sit down and eat and such.
 

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I'd go with 2 rows of 4 with viewing distances of about 13' & 20' (you'll want 16' wide at least). Put a halfwall with counter top behind the rear row and add some bar stools. You'll have 8 comfortable reclining seats in the first two rows and some overflow seating behind as well as a place to sit down and eat and such.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

 

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Or if you are going to get the 3 rows going, you'd have to do something like this:


Mind you his projector alone is worth 70k... !!
 

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I did similar to this, albeit not quite as polished due to my limited budget. My room is about 10x20 so I would imaging if I had an extra 5 feet to work with I might have built a third riser, but that could have been problematic in my 7¾' high room figuring the third riser would be up 16" or more and my entrance is at the back of the room. Your room should fit two rows of 4-seater Berkline type couches, maybe even the narrower versions with 5 seats.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-theater-design-construction/6932-diy-home-theater-project.html#post295659

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

 

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Welcome to the Shack Kathleen.

3 rows can be done but getting the surround field and viewing angles best for everyone is easier with 2 rows. 23' wide would accomodate 2 rows of 4 or even a row of 4 and a row of 5. Front row ear position somewhere between 15'6" and 16'6". Second row as far from the rear wall as possible without interfering with the front row when everything is reclined.

Screen size is not so easy. Yes, there are minimal size recommendations. THX suggests no smaller than a 36 degree included angle for field of view. That said, you must also consider whether it will be an AT screen (acoustically transparent) with speakers behind it as that impacts speaker position in relation to the side walls. At 23', likely not an issue but something to consider.

You also have to consider the light output and throw range of the projector you're using to understand if you can get sufficient brightness to fill a specific size screen with a specific gain.

Bryan
Bryan,

I have a similar question as I consider seating.

In a room that is 28' long (around 15' wide), where would you place the first row of seating so it is in the audio sweet spot? I've thought about 2 rows of 3 or 4, and a bar with stools making the 3rd row. I'm realize the video and audio is going to be best for the 1st 2 rows, I just don't want to miss the boat on bass impact in the first row where I sit.

Jl Audio recommends I sit 2/3 into the room for the best bass response which would be 18.66' into the room. This leaves little room for additional rows and seems like I'd be sitting very far back and needing a large screen to boot.

Where would you recommend I place the 1st row to have the best in audio possible given the length of my room?
 

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What they're trying to do is get you the 33-38% zone. That same zone can apply from the front wall. 38% from the front wall would be 10.6'. 2nd row 10.8 from the back. That will leave you a bit of room for a bar row in the rear. Problem with that is that there is a lot of wasted space between the front 2 rows. If the front row is the primary goal, then you can fudge the rear row forward a bit to maybe as far as 11.2-11.75' from the rear wall. That's pushing being close to center of the length but not ridiculously so. 11.2 is 40%.

Those number don't always work perfectly pending construction, speaker/sub positions, etc. but they'll get you very close and not put you in a really bad place.
 

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What they're trying to do is get you the 33-38% zone. That same zone can apply from the front wall. 38% from the front wall would be 10.6'. 2nd row 10.8 from the back. That will leave you a bit of room for a bar row in the rear. Problem with that is that there is a lot of wasted space between the front 2 rows. If the front row is the primary goal, then you can fudge the rear row forward a bit to maybe as far as 11.2-11.75' from the rear wall. That's pushing being close to center of the length but not ridiculously so. 11.2 is 40%.

Those number don't always work perfectly pending construction, speaker/sub positions, etc. but they'll get you very close and not put you in a really bad place.
Bryan,

Thanks for taking the time to answer. I pushed my row forward to 10.6' to see how it feels. I'll demo some music later, but from my gut reaction, it feels very close to the front wall (perhaps I would get used to it).

I noticed at that distance, the speakers now sit with tweeters around 6 1/2' from the listener (they are 2' from the wall and 2' deep). They are 8' apart with toe in, so I am in the extreme near-field. (I could probably bring them in a little so the front row is in the "normal" near-field, but not much as my screen is 95" wide). At this close distance, my 105" (diagonal) screen is now "too big" according to THX, but any smaller would be way to small for rows 2 & 3, so I'd keep my 105".

This is not as simple as I had supposed. For what it's worth, I'd really err on the side of the first row being ideal. Our occupants in rows 2 & 3 will be overflow, and maybe 5 times a year tops. Most of the time, we will be in the front row.

Thoughts? (by the way, if 10' 6" is the Standard and ideal location for my size space, I can make it work as I wouldn't want to screw things up. It just feels really close.
:help:
 

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Your "23-25' long" will fit three rows, but don't expect them all to have optimal sound and immersive image.

Typically, odd divisions (thirds, fifths) of room length avoid spots where there are suckouts in the sound (nulls). So assuming your room is 25' long, the first row of seating could go around 15' from the front wall, second row around 20' and third row against the back wall.

You'll have to choose one of those as your main row and let the experience in the other rows fall where they may. For example, if you choose the middle row, then folks in front might find the screen too big while folks in the back row might not find it immersive enough.
 

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15' in a 28' room is very very close to the center of the length and the resulting deep bass null from the primary axial mode. It will be to low in frequency to address and even the 1st harmonic will be difficult.

Pulling the speakers a bit closer together will be good and will give you a bit more soundstage outside the speakers than you're getting now.

If we do the first row back far enough to get out of modal problems, you'll simply not have room for a 3rd row.
 

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15' in a 28' room is very very close to the center of the length and the resulting deep bass null from the primary axial mode.
Are you conflating my suggestion that Kathleen put the first row at 15' in her 23-25' room with grasshopper1's 28' room?
 

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Evidently so, sorry. Wasn't looking at who made the post. My bad. :duh:
 

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15' in a 28' room is very very close to the center of the length and the resulting deep bass null from the primary axial mode. It will be to low in frequency to address and even the 1st harmonic will be difficult. Pulling the speakers a bit closer together will be good and will give you a bit more soundstage outside the speakers than you're getting now. If we do the first row back far enough to get out of modal problems, you'll simply not have room for a 3rd row.
Ok. Thank you.

So basically, if I want 3 rows (this is the room that is 28' long) I should plan on the first row being around 10.6'?


An idea I have is placing the first row where it needs to be (hopefully further than the 10.6' and looks like further than 15' based on your feedback that it is still too close to the center) and have a 1/2 row of beanbags in front of the first real row. This would get me to 3 rows when needed for overflow, but still the best spot for the main row.

If I was planning on looking at just two main rows (again focused on having the best experience for the first "real" row, how far back would you suggest I go (since 15' is still close to center)?
 

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bpape,

since I had hijacked the thread with my 28' room dilemma, I sent you a PM to ask your advice further. Check your inbox, and thanks for your suggestions.
You might want to consider starting a new thread - I am sure someone that has questions later would benefit from your question(s) and the resulting responses.
 

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I am in the final construction stage on a room similar to yours. My room is 18.5' wide by 29' long. I am putting a wet bar on the back wall also. I am doing two rows of three Berkline chairs with a bar top behind the riser with 4 bar stools for overflow/eating. Based on my calculations my first row will sit at 10.5', second at 17', bartop right behind the riser.
 

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I am in the final construction stage on a room similar to yours. My room is 18.5' wide by 29' long. I am putting a wet bar on the back wall also. I am doing two rows of three Berkline chairs with a bar top behind the riser with 4 bar stools for overflow/eating. Based on my calculations my first row will sit at 10.5', second at 17', bartop right behind the riser.
Cool. Thanks for sharing.

What size screen are you going to go with?
 
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