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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello folks,

Long-time projector fan here.
We have enjoyed the big screen for 8 years, but my first projector decided it doesn't want to power up any more and Optoma informed me they don't have parts for it. It was an Optoma Movietime DV10 (Circuit City Black Friday deal - $450 for projector and screen), which I had in the family room. We watched ~2300 hours in 8 years. The biggest reason we didn't watch more was because the screen was hard to see unless it was dark out.

I started shopping for a replacement projector but then we decided to clear out a room next to the family room that my wife used to use as an office.
So, this is turning into more than simply buying a replacement projector...

We are planning to convert this room into a small home theater, so it can be used more often.
It will be mainly for movies (regular and 3d), Netflix, Amazon prime, and some xbox 360 or wii games.

It is 13x9 (not including the recessed areas) with 8ft ceilings.
Here are a few panoramic shots of the room from the corners.
The painted door (32") goes into the garage. The small door (24") goes into the family room, where we used to have the theater setup.
As you can see, it will definitely need new paint colors...

The bit of wall that sticks into the room is the back of the fireplace. The recessed area next to the fireplace is where I plan to put the A/V equipment, the sub-woofer, and some shelving to store movie/game cases, controllers, remotes, etc...

Our family room was much larger, but the Optoma had to sit on the floor and took up the "sweet spot" viewing area directly in front of the screen. So, the old setup had two good seats (one on each side of the projector) and other seating stretching out to each side.
The screen is still mounted in the family room. Here it is:

The stage I'm at now is to determine the best HT layout for the new room.
I would like to have two rows of seating in this small room. I have a full width (90") couch and an over-sized loveseat (seen in the pics), which I may use for now. It is 70" wide, This would provide 5 good seating positions (5 in our family). With this layout, I need to work with the length of the room - 13 ft.
The 92" screen will fit. If that ever broke, a 106" screen would fit, but that would be the limit.

I have a few questions.
1. Do you think it is reasonable to fit two rows of seating into 13 feet?
I only have the small sofa in the room right now. I moved it to the two position.
From the 2nd row, eyes-to-screen is right at 12 feet. From the 1st row, eyes-to-screen is 7 ft.
With this layout, I can sit in the back row and stretch my legs out and just touch the front row.

2. I assumed I would have the screen on the back wall and the seating by the entrance, but my wife thinks it should be the other way.
I played around with it last night and think she may be on to something. I think I prefer the screen hanging by the door to the garage (the one painted green) and the 2nd row of seats on the back wall.
In fact, that's the only way I can fit the big (90") couch. If I put the big couch by the entrance, people won't be able to get through.

Here are some pics of the two options. This sheet is the size of the 92" screen and in the location where it would hang on each wall. I can adjust the top of the screen from .8 ft to 1.6 ft from the ceiling. I may use it at the higher setting so the 2nd row can see it better.

Front wall (small sofa in "1st row" position):

Back wall:

Please let me know your thoughts on this or any comments in general.
I've been reading tons of threads here and the avs forum and am learning a lot.
For example, I had no clue before what lens shift was and why keystone was bad. I had my old projector keystone adjusted, so that probably hurt the image, although we never complained.
I'm really excited to upgrade to a 1080P projector. We have a 46" 1080P tv with 3d, which is nice, but 92" is 4 times the screen area :T

I think I'm leaning toward the Epson 3000/3500/3600 series so I can put up a shelf on the back wall and mount it that way. I still haven't finalized that yet. I'm considering the Benq 1075 as well.
The zoom and lens shift will give me more flexibility than the sub-$1000 projectors.

For the rest of the room, I plan to put down an area rug for the floor, put up some sound absorbing treatments on the walls, and of course paint with a darker color scheme.
The sub-woofer has some echo to it right now, but the room is a total echo chamber with nothing in there.
I'll fine-tune the sub once the rest of the room is done.
I had a 6.1 setup in the old room. I haven't decided if I will do a 7.1 or just 5.1 surround setup yet. I may wire for 7.1, but just use 5.1.
Above this room is the attic with no flooring, so I can easily run wires over this room from end to end.

Here's the rest of the equipment I'll be using from my former setup.

Onkyo sr504b 7.1 receiver (90 watts/channel)

Dayton Audio SUB-1200

Surround speakers:
Klipsch QUINTET 5.0 Speaker System

Sony BDP-S5100 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi

Xbox 360 w/hdmi

Panoview manual pull-down 92" w/1.2 gain

Thanks for your comments/suggestions!

Premium Member
5,288 Posts
The only problem with 2 rows in that length is that the back row will be right against the wall or too close regardless. Probably be OK for TV, sports events, etc but not that good for movies. Just talking from a sound/acoustics standpoint.

2,074 Posts
Bryan makes a good point (and he DEFINITELY knows his acoustics!). What that means for me is that you have to ask yourself how you intend to use the room. Will all seats in both rows be used for critical watching, or will they be for kids/casual viewers, that sort of thing. Sometimes back wall seating is a necessary evil, (as it will be in the space we plan to build eventually) and you just have to go into it with your eyes open to things like that.

Also, there may be methods to at least improve the sound there, like adding diffusion around the rear seats (I think... experts will hopefully chime in) but room treatment can get complicated. That's where the pros like Bryan can help you. ;)

Premium Member
5,814 Posts
What if you turned it around to where you are sitting on the long wall...Popalock has a setup on AVS Forums that was HT of the month with 18 subs that is 1500cuft (yours is around 1000cuft). Try sitting away from the screen about 8-9' and see how you like it. If you went this way you could put all the seats on the long wall. I know that it is usually preferred to sit on the short wall, but in your situation it might work better for you on the long wall. Our front row is 12' from a 195" scope screen (we only use 185" scope though).

9 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both for the replies.

I foresee this room only being at capacity part of the time - like for weekend movies with the whole family. When I watch a show by myself or with my wife, we'll sit in the front row, which should get the best sound experience.

In the family room, our sofa's were back close to the wall and the sound system was always very good. This new room is much tighter though. I think some careful treatment of the large flat surfaces is in order to help improve the acoustics.

So, my next order of business is to do some sound testing in the room this weekend with the receiver and speakers I plan to use and see how it sounds with movies and games.

9 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I did consider this. The wall behind the fireplace is 74 inches wide, but the screen is over 80 inches wide. I think that would be risky to have part of the screen right where people will be walking by and could potentially catch their shoulder/arm on it. Also, this width limitation would prevent me from upgrading to a larger screen later.
Now, if I were to go with a large HDTV, like a 65 or 70", I think this proposal would be my first choice.

9 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

Our theater is pretty much done. I thought I'd post some "after" pictures.
It was rather bland, so we decorated it up this summer after several trips to Hobby Lobby.
We picked themes from some of our favorite movies/shows.
The entrance is a Star Wars theme.
The right wall is Doctor Who.
The back corner (A/V side) is Marvel (The spider-man throw is hiding various cables coming down from the ceiling).
The back wall is Lord of the Rings
The left wall is Harry Potter.

The sound quality has improved after adding more "stuff" to the room.
There used to be more echoes with the sound, but it's smoothed out quite well now.


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