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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I apologize for first posting this in the general forum, let's try it in here instead.

I am planning to have a theater when I finish my basement this fall. The theater area itself is roughly 17' wide by 24' deep with the screen wall being about 8' high. I want to get the biggest screen that makes sense for this space, probably even a bit bigger, because there is no back wall and the rest of the space can also see the screen, from as far away as an additional 35' from the back of the theater space. I want to be able to have people over for sporting events, etc and have them be able to see the big screen from anywhere, when playing pool or at the bar or whatever. I am planning on putting in some other regular LCD screen so we don't have to stare into the theater, but that doesn't really enter into the questions that I am posting, which are:

What dimensions for a curved screen makes sense for this space?
What would be the best bang for the buck 2.35 acoustically transparent curved screen with manual masking panels?

I am not willing to sign a blank check for this thing. I actually toyed with the idea of building it myself, there seem to be some pretty detailed blog type posts from some people who have done that. But the more I thought about it the more I decided that it easily turn out to be a giant waste of time and several hundred dollars, so I think that this is one job best left to the experts. Don't bother discussing screen gain, it is a completely light controlled environment and I can answer that question AFTER I figure out what screen that I really want. Thank you for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the site, I am checking into it. Is there no one in this entire forum who can recite chapter and verse about installing a decent sized curved screen? How about a web site (besides da-lite) when they might have some kind of room design tools for the screen size? This is before I try to figure out what is the best projector for a constant height solution to go with this screen. That is going to be another adventure, so far had one home theater place in town quote me a $50,000 Runco, give me a break.
 

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Screen size should never be determined by how much wall is available. It should be a matter of how much of your field of view the image will occupy from the primary seating location. Most of your critical viewing will likely be just your household watching movies. If you size the screen optimally for a more distant viewer, individual pixels will be visible and distracting in movies from the seat you occupy the most. Engineers who developed the HDTV system worked from the basis of average human visual acuity with 20/20 vision. They determined that a 1920 x 1080 resolution appeared smooth, without visibility of the structure of the image, but retaining maximum picture information detail, at a 30 degree viewing angle (1.5 x diagonal for 16x9). There is a little variation on this viewing distance from one viewer to the next, but not substantial.

A curved screen is recommended with anamorphic lenses, which distort the focal distance and geometry of the picture. In other words, the image will be slightly taller at the ends, and the focus differs as you move out from the center to the ends. I think Stewart Filmscreen promoted the first curved screen for home use. Screen size calculation (30 degree viewing angle) is the same for anamorphic systems, since the picture is still 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Constant image height systems using anamorphic lenses are complex and expensive if done in a manner that truly minimizes the potential distortions of the picture. The basic concept is appealing in theory, but you seldom see much said about the potential problems. I don't recommend the technique if the budget is limited and image fidelity is the dominant priority. It is much easier to preserve image quality using the zoom method instead of anamorphic lensing. There is a reluctance to promote this method in much of the home theater industry, because companies can sell much more equipment and installation services with anamorphic systems. In my experience, the primary benefit of such systems is in the automation of converting from 16x9 (1.78:1) to CinemaScope (2.40:1). If not designed very carefully, and using high quality components (expensive), image quality will suffer.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.
A Lion AV Consultants Affiliate

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There we go, some geek speak, that's what I was looking for. I can figure out what the maximum size cinemascope screen could physically fit on the wall, that's not what I am looking for. You did kind of lose me in talking about a 30 degree viewing angle, I am not sure what that has to do with the distance from the screen, which you don't actually mention. I am also unclear why a 2.4:1 ratio picture would be 1920x1080, unless you are including the black bars on the top and bottom.

So let me ask you this way. We are planning on two rows of seating, with eyeballs roughly 12 feet and 18 feet from the screen. I am planning on the primary seating being the second row. What is the maximum size 2.4:1 curved screen you would recommend so that the picture looks smooth and not like individual pixels about 18 feet from the screen? I understand that a constant height system will cost the most at this point in time, but I think that is really the way to go to make the most of the screen real estate. So I 16:9 picture and a 2.4:1 picture are both full height on the screen and I would use only side masking for the 16:9 material. That being said, when it comes down to actually laying out the cash, I may just suffer with a narrower picture with top and bottom masking when watching 2.4:1 material if it comes down to an extra $15K or $20K to get a system that can do the constant height without distortion. I'm afraid my requirements might be a little ahead of the curve for reasonably priced projectors. I'm sure that image processing will eventually make a constant height picture a standard feature, but will that be 2 years from now or 20? If you could go into more detail about what you mean by the zoom method that would also be appreciated. Thank you for the education.
 

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There we go, some geek speak, that's what I was looking for. I can figure out what the maximum size cinemascope screen could physically fit on the wall, that's not what I am looking for. You did kind of lose me in talking about a 30 degree viewing angle, I am not sure what that has to do with the distance from the screen, which you don't actually mention. I am also unclear why a 2.4:1 ratio picture would be 1920x1080, unless you are including the black bars on the top and bottom.

So let me ask you this way. We are planning on two rows of seating, with eyeballs roughly 12 feet and 18 feet from the screen. I am planning on the primary seating being the second row. What is the maximum size 2.4:1 curved screen you would recommend so that the picture looks smooth and not like individual pixels about 18 feet from the screen? I understand that a constant height system will cost the most at this point in time, but I think that is really the way to go to make the most of the screen real estate. So I 16:9 picture and a 2.4:1 picture are both full height on the screen and I would use only side masking for the 16:9 material. That being said, when it comes down to actually laying out the cash, I may just suffer with a narrower picture with top and bottom masking when watching 2.4:1 material if it comes down to an extra $15K or $20K to get a system that can do the constant height without distortion. I'm afraid my requirements might be a little ahead of the curve for reasonably priced projectors. I'm sure that image processing will eventually make a constant height picture a standard feature, but will that be 2 years from now or 20? If you could go into more detail about what you mean by the zoom method that would also be appreciated. Thank you for the education.
If you make a triangle out of the width of the screen and the two lines running from the viewer's eyes to each end of that screen, the angle formed at your face should be a 30 degree angle. The formulas for determining screen width (SW), or viewing distance (VD), with a 30 degree viewing angle, are the following:

VD x .5359 = SW
SW x 1.866 = VD

You should exercise caution in planning for a larger screen. Many of the top projectors today have definite limitations in light output once calibrated correctly. A larger screen requires more lumens, as does an acoustically transparent one. It kind of sounds like you don't have a very good grasp of what you are doing or how much it can cost. Have you considered paying a trained and experienced professional to assist you with the design? What is your budget for just the theater system? Why did you originally plan a curved screen? Where are you located?

I suggest that you more deeply consider potential problems with your usage plans. The seating you describe ought to have the back row on a riser (10" to 12" recommended), to preserve line of sight to the screen without the front row blocking the view. This also will be somewhat better for sound in the second row. However, having row two on a riser will partially block the view and audio from guests standing behind them at a distance.

If optimum image detail is provided for row two, row one will definitely see pixel definition quite easily, sitting six feet closer. Less detailed programs, such as DVD and non-HD shows, will look more inferior from row one as well. I would recommend the primary seating be in the front row. More distant rows will have a smaller image but it will be smooth and detailed without distracting texture. Less than HD quality native images will also look better.

Some projectors have enough zoom range and vertical lens shift to adjust the image for constant image height screens. No extra anamorphic lens, automated lens sled, curved screen, video processing, potential image distortions, etc. are required. Neither are the extra costs and complexity that go along with them. Several lower cost projectors already include the image processing internally for mating with an anamorphic lens approach. Some Blu-ray players do as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the formulas, exactly what I was looking for.

I forgot to mention that I was planning on using a riser for the second row. I anticipate the primary use to be the two of us sitting in the second row, with secondary uses for parties with both rows occupied plus others behind the theater either standing or on barstools casually watching. I am planning on blanketing the outer areas with speakers that can be used to "extend" the sound if needed.

I freely admit that I need some professional help with things like screen size, etc. I thought that the screen curvature was a standard thing, but I went to the da-lite web site and they are asking me all about that. So that is my next question for you, what screen curvature would you recommend?

My budget is flexible, I am trying to get the best bang for the buck while allowing for the most flexible upgrade options. I am very excited about the projectors you describe, I believe that is exactly what I am looking for, any more details about actual products would be appreciated. :T
 

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Thank you for the formulas, exactly what I was looking for.

I forgot to mention that I was planning on using a riser for the second row. I anticipate the primary use to be the two of us sitting in the second row, with secondary uses for parties with both rows occupied plus others behind the theater either standing or on barstools casually watching. I am planning on blanketing the outer areas with speakers that can be used to "extend" the sound if needed.

I freely admit that I need some professional help with things like screen size, etc. I thought that the screen curvature was a standard thing, but I went to the da-lite web site and they are asking me all about that. So that is my next question for you, what screen curvature would you recommend?

My budget is flexible, I am trying to get the best bang for the buck while allowing for the most flexible upgrade options. I am very excited about the projectors you describe, I believe that is exactly what I am looking for, any more details about actual products would be appreciated. :T
You neglected to answer my question about where you are located.
I don't recommend curved screens unless an anamorphic lens system is desired. Technically, the radius will vary with each lens design. An acoustically transparent curved screen, with masking, of a larger size, will probably be priced at five figures. An accompanying projector with anamorphic lens, of sufficient brightness to light up such a screen, in competing ambient light conditions, will also cost five figures. Just an anamorphic lens can cost that.

"Flexible" is not a helpful answer for determining what level of quality and performance to recommend. How much are you interested in investing in just the theater part of the project? What is that part of your intended lifestyle worth to you? Projectors can cost anywhere between $1k and $250k. Screens can cost anywhere between $100 and $30k. You tell me how much "buck" you want to dedicate to the theater, and I can approximate how much "bang" to suggest within that context.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry, I am in the Milwaukee area. I have been working with a company called TechTeriors. They are probably the biggest home theater outfit in the area since Flanners bit the dust. It was a shame about Flanners, I had known the family for over 30 years and they spend $8 million to move the store to about the same size facility a half mile down the street was a REALLY bad decision a few years ago. I am doing most of the work myself, I did all of the wiring for a small section of finished basement in my old house. I did about a mile's worth of low voltage wiring myself upstairs when we built this house in 2003. I also replaced almost all of the switches with Insteon since then. My plan is to have all of the rough carpentry, plumbing and drywall done by my builder and then finish the rest myself, with the help of my two uncles who are a union electrician and a carpenter/furniture maker.

Now that you explained the 30 degree viewing angle formula, I realize that I wanted a curved screen because it actually gives more viewing square footage because the ends of the screen are brought towards the viewer a bit, if you know what I mean. It sounds like you are saying that I should decide on my exact model of projector BEFORE I buy a screen, correct? That is VERY good to know. I have seen the brightness issue mentioned when talking about larger screens a few times, at least our theater is going to be completely light controlled (zero windows), we will be able to make it pitch black at noon if we so desire, so that should help. I have already found a 12 foot 2.4:1 acoustically transparent curved screen with transparent masking panels that you manually hang when needed for $4000, so it does not seem to be the impossible dream to me to get the screen and projector in the $10-$15K range, right now that it what I am shooting for. If someone can convince me that spending $50K is worth it to get what I want I will spend it, I am just not one to part with that kind of money without a VERY good reason. Say if the picture is 10% better, that would not be enough justification for me to spend 4 or 5 times as much. So I hope you see what I mean by a flexible budget. I already have the sound portion of the theater covered, in case you were wondering. It is going to be 7.1 with a 400 watt sub and both of the front speakers having 15" woofers to help balance out the bass. I have already resigned myself that I will probably have to invest in a separate amp for those beasts, but that can always be easily added later if the 120 watt per channel receiver shows signs of weakness. I have designed the walls and ceiling to be a gradual megaphone shape, for lack of a better word since the walls get wider and the ceiling gets higher in graduated steps as you move away from the screen.

My goal is to make the viewing experience comparable to any normal movie theater on a smaller scale. And of course it will be better than a theater because of all of the free extras and real butter on the popcorn. Thanx again for the benefit of your experience.
 

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Sorry, I am in the Milwaukee area. I have been working with a company called TechTeriors. They are probably the biggest home theater outfit in the area since Flanners bit the dust. It was a shame about Flanners, I had known the family for over 30 years and they spend $8 million to move the store to about the same size facility a half mile down the street was a REALLY bad decision a few years ago. I am doing most of the work myself, I did all of the wiring for a small section of finished basement in my old house. I did about a mile's worth of low voltage wiring myself upstairs when we built this house in 2003. I also replaced almost all of the switches with Insteon since then. My plan is to have all of the rough carpentry, plumbing and drywall done by my builder and then finish the rest myself, with the help of my two uncles who are a union electrician and a carpenter/furniture maker.

Now that you explained the 30 degree viewing angle formula, I realize that I wanted a curved screen because it actually gives more viewing square footage because the ends of the screen are brought towards the viewer a bit, if you know what I mean. It sounds like you are saying that I should decide on my exact model of projector BEFORE I buy a screen, correct? That is VERY good to know. I have seen the brightness issue mentioned when talking about larger screens a few times, at least our theater is going to be completely light controlled (zero windows), we will be able to make it pitch black at noon if we so desire, so that should help. I have already found a 12 foot 2.4:1 acoustically transparent curved screen with transparent masking panels that you manually hang when needed for $4000, so it does not seem to be the impossible dream to me to get the screen and projector in the $10-$15K range, right now that it what I am shooting for. If someone can convince me that spending $50K is worth it to get what I want I will spend it, I am just not one to part with that kind of money without a VERY good reason. Say if the picture is 10% better, that would not be enough justification for me to spend 4 or 5 times as much. So I hope you see what I mean by a flexible budget. I already have the sound portion of the theater covered, in case you were wondering. It is going to be 7.1 with a 400 watt sub and both of the front speakers having 15" woofers to help balance out the bass. I have already resigned myself that I will probably have to invest in a separate amp for those beasts, but that can always be easily added later if the 120 watt per channel receiver shows signs of weakness. I have designed the walls and ceiling to be a gradual megaphone shape, for lack of a better word since the walls get wider and the ceiling gets higher in graduated steps as you move away from the screen.

My goal is to make the viewing experience comparable to any normal movie theater on a smaller scale. And of course it will be better than a theater because of all of the free extras and real butter on the popcorn. Thanx again for the benefit of your experience.
I looked at TechTeriors' web site. They appear to be pretty capable, although they don't state what their credentials are for designing theaters that perform correctly. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of poorly designed systems in my industry. There are lots of pretty rooms in magazines and on web sites that have unnecessarily compromised sound and pictures. You are going to spend a lot of money on the theater system. Surely you want it to perform correctly when it comes time to use it.

More viewing square footage? No, I don't know what you mean. Please elaborate.

You are not correct to think I'm saying to start with the projector. A front projection system is composed of four parts: projector, screen, the human factor, and room conditions. Ignoring any one of those parts in designing the system results in consequences to performance. Specifying a projector first can help define how to implement the other parts, but I insist on an interview process when designing a system for a client. It's a balance of factors. Consumers rarely have the understanding to design a front projection theater system on their own that ends up performing correctly.

Complete light control in a projection theater must take into account how the light coming off the screen interacts with the room. Just turning the lights off, with a lack of windows, is only part of the equation. What about those times you mentioned where other activity in the room will be occurring? Won't there be lighting used then?

Please provide a link for your source of the 12' screen you mentioned.

I can't work with a "flexible" budget. Doing so wastes time. Please answer my questions about your budget. I must have a legitimate financial context within which to work, if you want any serious recommendations from me.

What does "having the sound covered" mean? At this point I'm not so sure you've made the right plans for the audio system yet.

"Balanced bass" is a function of integrating speakers with the resonant modes of the room, more than the number or size of subwoofers. That's assuming you mean good quality bass at every seat. Your open floor plan may even require more bass energy than you are planning, for full range reproduction. That's a lot of cubic footage of air to excite to theater reference volume levels, from the .1 LFE track.

Small room (home theater) acoustics and large venue (commercial cinema) acoustics don't behave the same. Your "megaphone" approach to room construction emulates a live performance/music auditorium more than a dedicated cinema space. Multi-channel cinema sound has unique performance characteristics that differ substantially from music recordings.

If by "normal movie theater" you mean an average commercial cinema, you are aiming for a pretty low standard. A well-designed (notice I don't say super expensive) front projection home theater system should outperform most commercial cinemas (except, perhaps, in the LA area, or a correctly maintained THX venue). Most commercial cinemas do not perform nearly on par with an Academy screening room, where motion pictures are judged for quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Before I would decide to give TechTeriors my hard earned money I will definitely ask for references, thank you for the reality check there.

By more viewing square footage it is just a matter of geometry. If you take the surface area of a flat surface that you can see at a 30 degree angle vs the surface area of a curved surface at the same angle, there will be more area on the curved surface. That is what I am referring to. I have also read that gives you the option to use a lower end projector because it does not have to "throw" the image as far since the curved screen comes towards the projector.

So you are saying that you would always select the projector and the screen at the same time, which also makes sense. Need to come up with some pairs that work well together and decide which makes the most sense. My primary purpose for this theater is dedicated HD viewing with total lighting control. I realize that for more populated events we would want a somewhat brighter image, but the theater area itself will still be very dark. If there are other activities going on in the room behind the seating, there will be other flat screens available so everyone does not have to try and stare into the theater. I plan on using programmable DMX LED cove lighting almost exclusively throughout the space to keep any lighting hotspots to a minimum.

I do not want to make competition for myself as far as the specific web site where I got that quote, it was for a demo screen and they only have one and I would like to keep that option open for me for the time being, sorry.

If you really want a budget number then use $15K for the screen and projector. How I like to approach things is to show me what can I get for this amount, or this amount, or this amount and then decide which one I really feel is the best bang for the buck. Based on my research, which has unfortunately been mostly reading and not viewing, I am thinking that $15K or less should be able to do the trick.

I do have 3 AVRs and sets of speakers/subwoofers that I am very happy with for every area in the space, so I do not want to lose focus (get it?) in this discussion about the projector and the screen. For the theater I have an Infinity subwoofer and will be tuning it with RABOS, and then using the audio calibration in the AVR to level the 7.1 configuration. Might even run that a few times to see how similar the results are each time. I am confident that this should give the room adequate bass. If not, I am willing to look into separate monoblock amps for the floor standers with the 15" woofers and if that is still not enough bass (or maybe even if it is) I am going to prewire for Buttkickers if I want to install them just for fun.

My room design was the suggestion of a friend of mine who designs speakers for a living. He said that the worst shape for a theater is a square, followed by a rectangle, because of the potential for multiple sound reflections back and forth between parallel surfaces. Most movie theaters that I have been in have this type of shape, so I am not sure why you seem to think it might be a bad idea, or do you? I realize that I will need to "tune" the walls, floor and ceiling as well and am prepared to create sound absorbing fabric covered insulation panels as needed.

I will have to believe you that commercial theaters are not well setup. I have been to the theater probably twice in the last 10 years, so I really can't say. I never remember coming out of a theater thinking that it sounded badly however and the picture has always been on a giant screen from a film projector, so no complaints there. I do not begin to think that I can put together something on a par with a megabucks THX or IMAX theater, just something where the picture and sound are as good as it can be with a mortal's budget in a 17x24 room.

You are obviously qualified to design the entire system and I appreciate all of you help with the projector and screen questions. :help: I grew up working for everything I had and cannot really break that habit now, that is why I am so hands on with this project instead of just sitting back and whipping out the credit card when needed. Plus, being a techno-geek makes this kind of stuff fun for me, believe it or not.
 

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Before I would decide to give TechTeriors my hard earned money I will definitely ask for references, thank you for the reality check there.

By more viewing square footage it is just a matter of geometry. If you take the surface area of a flat surface that you can see at a 30 degree angle vs the surface area of a curved surface at the same angle, there will be more area on the curved surface. That is what I am referring to. I have also read that gives you the option to use a lower end projector because it does not have to "throw" the image as far since the curved screen comes towards the projector.

So you are saying that you would always select the projector and the screen at the same time, which also makes sense. Need to come up with some pairs that work well together and decide which makes the most sense. My primary purpose for this theater is dedicated HD viewing with total lighting control. I realize that for more populated events we would want a somewhat brighter image, but the theater area itself will still be very dark. If there are other activities going on in the room behind the seating, there will be other flat screens available so everyone does not have to try and stare into the theater. I plan on using programmable DMX LED cove lighting almost exclusively throughout the space to keep any lighting hotspots to a minimum.

I do not want to make competition for myself as far as the specific web site where I got that quote, it was for a demo screen and they only have one and I would like to keep that option open for me for the time being, sorry.

If you really want a budget number then use $15K for the screen and projector. How I like to approach things is to show me what can I get for this amount, or this amount, or this amount and then decide which one I really feel is the best bang for the buck. Based on my research, which has unfortunately been mostly reading and not viewing, I am thinking that $15K or less should be able to do the trick.

I do have 3 AVRs and sets of speakers/subwoofers that I am very happy with for every area in the space, so I do not want to lose focus (get it?) in this discussion about the projector and the screen. For the theater I have an Infinity subwoofer and will be tuning it with RABOS, and then using the audio calibration in the AVR to level the 7.1 configuration. Might even run that a few times to see how similar the results are each time. I am confident that this should give the room adequate bass. If not, I am willing to look into separate monoblock amps for the floor standers with the 15" woofers and if that is still not enough bass (or maybe even if it is) I am going to prewire for Buttkickers if I want to install them just for fun.

My room design was the suggestion of a friend of mine who designs speakers for a living. He said that the worst shape for a theater is a square, followed by a rectangle, because of the potential for multiple sound reflections back and forth between parallel surfaces. Most movie theaters that I have been in have this type of shape, so I am not sure why you seem to think it might be a bad idea, or do you? I realize that I will need to "tune" the walls, floor and ceiling as well and am prepared to create sound absorbing fabric covered insulation panels as needed.

I will have to believe you that commercial theaters are not well setup. I have been to the theater probably twice in the last 10 years, so I really can't say. I never remember coming out of a theater thinking that it sounded badly however and the picture has always been on a giant screen from a film projector, so no complaints there. I do not begin to think that I can put together something on a par with a megabucks THX or IMAX theater, just something where the picture and sound are as good as it can be with a mortal's budget in a 17x24 room.

You are obviously qualified to design the entire system and I appreciate all of you help with the projector and screen questions. :help: I grew up working for everything I had and cannot really break that habit now, that is why I am so hands on with this project instead of just sitting back and whipping out the credit card when needed. Plus, being a techno-geek makes this kind of stuff fun for me, believe it or not.
References only tell part of the story. Most consumers are happy with inferior performance. Hopefully, you can find a resource that has formal training and certifications in imaging and acoustic sciences. Look for ISF, THX, HAA, CEDIA, etc., certifications, in addition to experience and references.

"More area on the curved surface?" How is a 10' x 5' rectangle any more area when it's bent? Are you going to have an anamorphic lens system, or not? If not, a curved screen is not suitable.

"Option to use a lower end projector because it does not have to "throw" the image as far?" Utter nonsense!

The theater area will not stay dark unless the room surfaces in that area are dark. Most critical will be the ceiling, since it is the closest surface to the screen. It should be flat black.

Cove lighting relies on reflecting light off of ceiling and walls to illuminate the room. Any illumination opposite the screen will contaminate the image, and compete with the light from the projector. The best way to provide illumination for activity near a front projection area is with downward directed light.

The demo screen you mention would require an unusually bright projector to illuminate sufficiently for video standards. There should be genuine lumen rating reserve capability, due to lamp aging and your desire to compete with ambient room lighting. You should be prepared to go with a smaller screen to stay within your projector/screen budget.

You will need to have a specific understanding of what "do the trick" means. Only then will you be able to define and recognize what "bang" will suffice.

Buttkickers, and devices of the ilk, may be suitable for solving specific problems. I have yet to have demonstrated to me, by even the best and most sophisticated solutions of this type (D-Box), how such equipment will not be more of a distraction than an enhancement to enjoying a movie. Your money may be better spent elsewhere in the system.

Your friend means well, but rooms aren't speaker cabinets. Most modern commercial cinemas are rectangular boxes. The rooms where engineers master the multichannel sound tracks for movies are also rectangular boxes. That's how they know that what they master will sound the same to most cinema audiences. Many cinemas double as, or were converted from, live performance auditoriums. Would "most" of the cinemas you have been in over the last 10 years, be one of the two you mention or both? A rectangular room is much easier to predict, reproduce, and control cinema sound performance.

I suggest that you seek professional assistance with designing your home theater system. They can help insure that your "hands on" involvement results in a correctly performing system. Your understanding has thus far been demonstrated to be sorely lacking and confused. This is my last post in this thread. I normally get paid at least $100.00 and hour for system design consulting. Forum discussions are much too slow, detached, and tedious to be sufficiently effective. In my experience with building systems, and studying what is discussed in forums, much time/money can be saved, confusion/frustration avoided, and regret/remorse prevented, by a site inspection and thorough interview by a trained/experienced professional home theater system designer.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.
A Lion AV Consultants Affiliate

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well thank you again for your time. I did not intend this to become a deep philosophical discussion, this is for a party room, not for a screen used to do remote control surgery or something, so chillax. I understand that you are fed up with me and will not respond to this, which is fine with me. My time goes for $250 an hour so I feel your pain.

I will ask the Techteriors people about certifications as well.

It is good to know that you think that a curved screen will not work well without an anamorphic lens, I will remember that. When I spoke of not having the throw the picture as far I was specifically referring to distortion toward the sides of the picture if the screen is large so that curving it closer to the projector might help. It sounds like you do not think that would be an issue.

I do understand the the theater walls, floors and ceiling should be dark, nonreflective colors and when watching something in the theater I am planning on lights totally out in the entire space. If there is a larger party, any ambient light would be cove lighting in the ceiling at least 25 feet from the screen and blocked by the top of a large arch at the entrance to the theater. I realize that light will also illuminate the rest of the room, I am just not too concerned about its effects from 25 to 75 feet away from the screen. It is also my understanding that some of the screen manufacturers now claim that their screen material actually rejects ambiant light, which is interesting to me. How does the screen know the difference between ambiant light and the light coming from the projector? I will add a few pin spots in the ceiling over the seats for reading purposes since that is type of lighting you recommend.

Based on the 30 degree angle at a distance of 18 feet by my calculations that turns out to be about 9.6 foot wide screen, expanding that just a tad to 35 degrees makes it 11.3 feet. So I am thinking that 12x5 might be a good dimension for my screen since I want to go a little larger than what would be optimum by conventional wisdom. I will probably go flat unless someone can demonstrate a markedly better anamorphic/curved screen solution because of the extra cost, seemingly 2 or 3 times as much. I realize that with a still picture some people may perceive some pixelization at 18' on this screen, I hope to be able to actually test the projector out before I buy it to see how bad that could be.

You don't like D-Box/transducer technology either, got it.

I think that the main advantage to my design will be that sound will naturally travel out of the back of the room to help eliminate unwanted reverb, echo etc. in the theater.

I was obviously referring to the days of my misspent youth as well when talking about every theater I remember, not sure why you had to get a bit snotty there. EVERY theater in our part of the woods was built to be a movie theater multiplex, we don't have any of the converted stage theaters that you speak of in business any more, those days are long gone.

I am going to check around in the forums to see if anyone is particularly psyched about a constant height projector for a 12x5 screen that have the characteristics you described:

"Some projectors have enough zoom range and vertical lens shift to adjust the image for constant image height screens. No extra anamorphic lens, automated lens sled, curved screen, video processing, potential image distortions, etc. are required. Neither are the extra costs and complexity that go along with them. Several lower cost projectors already include the image processing internally for mating with an anamorphic lens approach."

If not, time to start another thread woohoo!
 
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