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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’m new to the forum, and learning a tremendous amount. I’ve given myself a headache with all the reading I’ve been doing. I’d really appreciate any and all suggestions on construction of my theater. Specifics are:

It’s a dedicated theater room in a new house I’m going to build. Although the room dimensions below fit well in the plan, they could be changed if I absolutely need to.

Ceiling: 9’, entry to stairs down to first row of seats. That row of seats will be below grade. Hopefully that makes sense.
Width: 13’
Length: 20’

Door in rear of 20’ wall.

Ceiling mounted projector
I’d like a 120' to 132” screen
2 rows of 3 seats

I’ll post a plan as soon as I have enough posts.

I’m looking primarily for details on wall construction, insulation, etc. Will start working on equipment later in the process. Thanks in advance!
 

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Just a couple of thoughts...

If the screen is not an AT screen, IMO, it's too big for the room. It will force the speakers too close to the side walls and cause response issues.

The rear row looks to be awfully far back in the room. Try to give yourself as much space as possible for good bass response and good surround field.

Bryan
 

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I have an 11' wide room and I went with a 92" screen. I have barely enough room to get my speakers away from the side walls before they start blocking the screen from the side seats. I would consider 100" or so (unless you go acoutically transparent and put the speakers behind it in the wall). My room is 19' deep (similar to yours). My rows are about where yours are. Front row is great for acoustics and response. Back row is much boomier because I put it too close to the wall. I didn't have any choice because of layout, but if I did I would have the rear row about 1 to 2 feet farther forward.

Good luck.
 

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The above comments are correct. It is best to give your rear row of seating about 3' of space behind this also allows for the people sitting there to hear the sounds coming from the rear surround channels. If your front row of seating is 12' or less from the screen going as large as 132" will cause eye strain you want to be able to see the entire screen in your field of vision without having to turn your head.
As was already mentioned placing the front speakers in the front corners of the room will cause issues with the imaging and is best avoided at all costs. You should have them in at least 3' from the side walls.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, I've been doing a lot of reading and redesigning the past several days since I first posted. Although the theater is still the same size, I've tried to re-think everything. A few questions that I can't seem to find answers to are:

1) Is it necessary or beneficial to have columns on the sides of the theater? I'm not planning on hiding any of the surround speakers.
2) Is acoustical paneling necessary or beneficial other than aesthetics?
3) I'm kind of confused about designing my theater. It seems like it goes around in a circle—you can’t figure out what size screen you need until you figure out where your seats are going to be located, and you can’t figure out where your seats are going to be located until you’ve selected a projector, and the projector selection is somewhat dependent on the screen size:scratchhead:

Thanks in advance

PS I've gained a lot of knowledge from the collective group here. Thank you very much!
 

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1. Having columns helps break up the large, flat surfaces and also provides a place to hide some thicker absorption, bring in electricity without cutting holes in the walls, etc.

2. Absolutely. Aesthetics are the last reason to do panels and bass absorbers. Don't fall in the trap of just doing many thin panels. That's going to skew things terribly in both frequency and time.

3. Ah. That's the biggest mistake people make. It's very easy. Seats come first and don't move. DO NOT let screen size drive seating position. That's backward. Set the seats. Based on that, get the screen that is appropriate for that viewing distance and your preference. Then, you can look at PJs to fill that screen at a proper brigntness and will also then allow you to know where to mount the PJ for proper throw range.

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A follow up question on seating. It it necessary or beneficial to have an aisle on each side of the room? Are there any sound issues with pushing the 2 rows of seats up close to the far wall of my theater and leaving only 1 aisle on the entrance side of the room? I guess I'm thinking of the seating in the side sections of a commercial theater.

I will have access to my equipment without the far side aisle.

TIA
 

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The persons sitting against the wall in the seats will loose some the the information that is being sent to the surround speaker on that wall as it would be shooting over there head if thats where you have the speakers placed. You should have a little bit of space between the wall and the seats if possible but as we all know it all about compromise and you can only work with in the space you have..
 

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I am in the final stages of completing my home theater. My room is the same size as yours. Here is what we did. Our screen is a Carada 114" 16:9 and the projector is an Epson 6100. I would of loved to have had two rows of seats but putting eyeballs 9 feet from a 114" would have required barf bags. :bigsmile:
 

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That's a perfect example of what I'm talking about with the screen size driving seating position. Set your 2 rows and get a screen that's appropriate for those seating positions.

Bryan
 

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That's a perfect example of what I'm talking about with the screen size driving seating position. Set your 2 rows and get a screen that's appropriate for those seating positions.
Precisely, we wanted a large screen and thus we had to limit our rows of seats. There is a THX spec for screen size based on distance located here.
I am VERY glad we went with the large screen. It feels much more like a real theater. :bigsmile:

Matt
 

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I think you misunderstood me. If you do the seating first, then you can have the exact same field of view (apparent screen size) and still have your seating. Buying a screen that's too big so it forces you into seating compromises is costing you more money while at the same time not allowing you to have the seating you want and potentially not having it in the best place for sound and surround field.

Bryan
 

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A few points:

1. Acoustically Trasnparent screen allows you to put your speakers behind the screen and is especially beneficial for the center speaker. Without an AT screen the center speaker either needs to be above or below the screen and will draw attention away from the screen. I am moving to an AT screen myself because of this issue and the desire for a wider screen

2. If you will be watching mostly movies I would recommend considering a 2.35:1 screen. It is more complicated but is much better for movie viewing. The majority of blockbuster movies are filmed in this ratio and with a normall 16:9 screen you will have black bars top and bottom.

3. No matter what ratio of screen you use I would base my seating on screen height. This doesn't change no matter if you use a 16:9 scren or 2.35:1 screen. A rule of thumb is to have your first row of seating about 2.5-3.5x the screen height.

4. You really don't need columns. They are mostly for aesthetics and to hide speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK, I've taken another stab at my seating layout, trying to incorporate all the information I've absorbed over the past week or so. It should be below. My theater has grown a little to 15' wide by 20' long. I've used dimensions of seats that I am leaning toward (thanks Roman!) and have tried to leave room behind the rear seats to get bass response. Based on this drawing, and again based on what I've learned, I believe my theater should have an 85" wide screen.

Am I on the right track?

Thanks again for everyone's input. I appreciate the quick responses!!
 

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85" diagonal is good but I bet you could go a bit larger 96" would probably be a better compromise for both the front row and rear seating.
 

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The front row could go back a little as long as you don't mind a little less walkway between rows and the recliners in the 2 rows wouldn't interfere.

85" wide is approx 100" diagonal for 16:9 aspect ratio. That sounds about right to me - especially if you're not going to go with an AT screen (which would bring the screen considerably closer to the seating.

Bryan
 
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