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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Say it isn't so! The larger your screen size, the more of an issue center channel location becomes?!

What I mean is this; I heard - maybe on this forum, maybe somewhere else - placing your center channel below or above a screen that is much larger than a typical TV will cause a situation during movies where the voices appear to be coming from below (or above) the screen causing some sort of confusion/localization issues.

Perhaps the human brain is capable of compensating for this to a certain degree - with a 55" TV it is not a problem for me as the distance between what I see (people talking) and what I hear (their voices) is not that great; 20" or so. But when I look at the plans for my new home theater; the proposed screen is 51" tall so we're now talking about a distance of around 32" from the center of the screen to the center of my center channel speaker, assuming it will be mounted directly below the screen and angled up slightly.

It has to be relative to your distance from the screen as well, I would think. I plan on having the first row seating such that your eyes are about 10' from the screen. If this effect exists, does it diminish the further away you get?

Am I running from ghosts that don't exist here? Or is there some truth to this? Still in the early planning stages and this would be really good to know - do I need to start looking at AT screens and new in-wall speakers?
 

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There is something to it. Depending upon seating location the sound emanating from the center may not perfectly match the placement of the objects on screen, so for those at the extremes it could become somewhat disjointed. That's one of the reasons AT (acoustically transparent) projector screens exist, so you can use a very large vertically oriented center channel directly behind the video itself. Those issues tend to be more pronounced left to right though - not top to bottom - so unless your screen is really wide and your center very small you probably won't experience that.

Provided the center won't be placed too far above the viewers ears I tend to prefer above the display myself. There are often more first-wave reflections due to things like shelves and cabinetry when the center is down low. When the center is placed above the screen those issues will often be far less of a concern.
 

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I have to say that IMO having the speakers behind the screen is a huge improvement in the audio presentation. In our setup we centered the Center Channel on the screen, and put the left and right channels at each end of the screen (behind it). It gives a nice wide soundstage, and the center image is right on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
...we centered the Center Channel on the screen, and put the left and right channels at each end of the screen (behind it).
If I were to take this approach, and there's a fair chance I will, I'd be looking at new in-wall speakers as I really don't want to bring my screen out into the room any more than absolutely necessary, and I'd like to limit that to 6" - my Chane's will not fit behind a 6" clearance. I really want to keep the second row in my design, but if I pull the screen into the room anymore than that, I'd be compromising the back row in that it would begin extending into the "bar/pool table" area - can't have that so something's gotta give.

If I went with new in-walls, I'd have a chance to run 3 identical speakers, oriented the same way, across the front of my room. Talk about perfectly matched sound! Looking at various in-walls I see names such as Speakercraft and some others. Any recommendations as to what has worked for you, and what hasn't worked out in the past? Anything I should be looking for here? Ability to aim tweeters and stuff like that?
 

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If I were to take this approach, and there's a fair chance I will, I'd be looking at new in-wall speakers as I really don't want to bring my screen out into the room any more than absolutely necessary, and I'd like to limit that to 6" - my Chane's will not fit behind a 6" clearance. I really want to keep the second row in my design, but if I pull the screen into the room anymore than that, I'd be compromising the back row in that it would begin extending into the "bar/pool table" area - can't have that so something's gotta give.

If I went with new in-walls, I'd have a chance to run 3 identical speakers, oriented the same way, across the front of my room. Talk about perfectly matched sound! Looking at various in-walls I see names such as Speakercraft and some others. Any recommendations as to what has worked for you, and what hasn't worked out in the past? Anything I should be looking for here? Ability to aim tweeters and stuff like that?
I have heard that Triad Speakers are great sounding, but I have not heard them. My friend though bought a pair of their Gold Subs, and he was blown away in how deep they go for an in-wall speaker.
 

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You do realize that in wall speakers are a big step back in sound quality. You also must use an acoustically transparent screen and those cost about twice as much as a normal decent screen. That then means you need a better projector as AT screens suck a small percentage of the light output away. There are trade offs for using speakers behind the screen also due to some filtering of the sound as it goes through the screen as well.

I have large speakers on all three front channels (27w X 24h X 14d) not your typical sise and they all sit under my screen and really I don't hear that the sound is coming from under it. It may be the design of the speakers and it could also be that they are matching I'm not sure but if I was to go with behind the screen setup I would want to be sure I did it right or not at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@ Tony - So with that 120" screen and your speakers all lined up just below, you do not experience any (significant) localization issues? That would be very refreshing as I was starting to think that couldn't be done with such a large screen, and I'd rather stay with my current speakers if possible.

How far back are your seating positions from the screen? I looked at the photos but it's hard to tell the exact distance.
 

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Seems like I saw a diagram of this room but I can't find it now. Anyway...
I've browsed your threads about the new space and would like to say congrats! That's exciting. Gotta say though, it seems like all the stuff you want to do is with 18' of depth is like 10 pounds of "stuff" in a 5 pound bag. I know you addressed turning the room so I won't suggest that(although you should lol). I would ditch the 2nd row personally.


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I've got a ~100" screen with my L/R mounted outside, and just about centered vertically and my C mounted above and centered horizontally. The other day, after playing with some connections, I had a short in my R channel and wasn't getting any signal... but I didn't want to make my fiancee wait to watch Avater:The Last Airbender while I screwed around fixing it. (Since I wasn't sure what the issue was in the first place). I noticed immediately the lack of signal coming from the R channel, and the apparent shift in object localization towards the left side of the screen.... but about 1.5 episodes later, I forgot and stopped caring.

So, even if you're stuck with a less than optimal position, there's a good chance that if you just pay attention to the movie (or whatever) you'll get over it in a matter of minutes every time.
 

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@ Tony - So with that 120" screen and your speakers all lined up just below, you do not experience any (significant) localization issues?

How far back are your seating positions from the screen? I looked at the photos but it's hard to tell the exact distance.
No localization at all. The imaging is actually fantastic from my seating position at just slightly over 12' away at the front row and 17' away at the back row.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Seems like I saw a diagram of this room but I can't find it now...
Seems like all the stuff you want to do is with 18' of depth...
I know you addressed turning the room...
The room is around 30' deep (rough diagram is below). I'm deciding at this point to use only 18' of that depth for the "theater area" to allow for enough room to have an adequate bar area with pool table. So I am using the room long-wise, per se, as when I turned it sideways I was up against a wall at the back row and I was not comfortable with that - seemed too squished, if I may be so technical.

Floor plan Diagram Parallel
 

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2 rows is pretty tight in 18', but it can be done if you are happy sitting 10-11' from the screen. Might I suggest you get your projector, and shine it on the wall to see if you are happy 11' from the screen? We sit 12' from our 195" screen and are happy, but you may not be. If it turns out you are not happy then you can move the front row to wherever you like. One thing that is to your advantage is you can put your 2nd row at 18', and not have to worry about it being against the back wall since your plan is open to the back (if i am understanding this correctly).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, the room is open at the back (extends into the bar area), and it has been suggested here that I get my projector first, and throw an image on the wall and zoom it to the size I think I want, and then place a chair at my proposed front row position to see if I like it. Great suggestion, by the way, as this will really pin down for me what screen size will work, and where my seating needs to be for my room before I go spending a ton of money.
 
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