Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
New house, new room to play with. Basement was finished by the builder (it was their model home) and I find myself staring at an 18' x 18' space thinking; "This is gonna be fun!" The space is open at the rear (room is actually closer to 30' deep) and is also partially open on one side (a 7' opening gives access to stairs and another part of the basement) so it is not a sealed space, but not terribly open as my last house was. I do not intend to close the HT space off from the rest of the basement - gonna be a general-use space for a bar/pool table/listening room/HT/gaming/super bowl, etc.

So, with an 18' x 18' space with an 8.5' ceiling, I'm looking at going the projector route, and have one in mind (Panasonic AE8000U) but I also wanted to have a screen in mind before pulling the trigger on the projector to be sure all components will work together properly in my space. Ambient light is pretty low with just two very small windows up high on one wall (same wall the screen will be on, incidentally) - I may block these off, not sure yet, but for now let's assume low ambient light.

Assuming two rows of seats, and wanting to stay inside the 18' rear boundary (pool table will be back there and I don't want folks knocking viewers in the melon with the pool sticks, know what I mean?) I'd like to set both rows of seats such that all viewers have an acceptable viewing angle while not causing undue eye fatigue for the folks in the front row. This means screen size and distance to the front row will be a big concern.

With the aforementioned projector, the throw distance would be somewhere around 17', right above the back of the rear row of seats. If I read the specs correctly, this puts the projector in the middle of the zoom range (2.0:1) giving me lots of wiggle room for switching between 16:9 and 2.37:1. Assuming I've got this right, this means the front row would be around 11 feet (actual head position) from the front wall to which the screen will be mounted. At the moment, I am thinking of a 100" diagonal. Started thinking 120", but from what I was able to glean from various articles and this forum in general, that may be too big for my space. So went down to 110" - still seems to big considering the closest viewer's head will be 11 feet from the screen. But I may not have this correct, it seems!

Assuming I get the right screen and I've got my light levels in the right place (20-25 FL's?) for my low ambient light space, would a viewing distance of 11 feet be too close for a 110" or even a 120" diagonal screen at 2.37:1? I don't want folks to be turning their heads from side to side during movies, but I do want them to feel as if they're in a real theater.
 

·
Plain ole user
Joined
·
11,121 Posts
I would find a bigger screen to be a little uncomforable to watch at 11 ft. but that is a personal choice. I have found that a too large screen can be a distraction and that in a well controlled theater with excellent sound and video quality, even a smaller screen is completely engaging for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ellisr63

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,802 Posts
We have our front row 12' from a 195" 2.4 screen, and it looks great. I have asked each person that has been to our HT if they thought the screen is too big, and they all said exactly the same thing..."no". If I ever move, I will build another HT, and i would like the room to be about 5' deeper, and a couple feet longer with a screen that goes from wall to wall. Now you won't get 20-25FL going that big, but personally i think that is to bright for a dark room, and will cause eye strain. I would get the projector you want, and shine it on the wall to see how big you like it, and then make/buy the screen you want.
 

·
Plain ole user
Joined
·
11,121 Posts
Well, we are in an area of personal preference here, but I very much disagree that 25FL is too bright. Not that it is necessary. What is most important is whether you have light control and the display calibrated to produce as black a black as possible and calibrated to produce color accurately.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ellisr63

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
...I would get the projector you want, and shine it on the wall to see how big you like it, and then make/buy the screen you want.
Great approach; I like it!

...I very much disagree that 25FL is too bright.
Assuming I'll have low ambient light, I am guessing somewhere between 20 and 25 FL's would be suitable. Having no experience here I am going only by what has been read in this forum and in various articles on the web. I guess I just need to see it for myself to determine my preferences BUT; is there a way to tone down the light output from a given projector should I feel the image is too bright? I mean short of switching to a longer throw distance or changing to a lower-gain screen? Is it common to have some sort of adjustment in a projector for brightness? Adjustable aperture of some kind?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,802 Posts
Great approach; I like it!



Assuming I'll have low ambient light, I am guessing somewhere between 20 and 25 FL's would be suitable. Having no experience here I am going only by what has been read in this forum and in various articles on the web. I guess I just need to see it for myself to determine my preferences BUT; is there a way to tone down the light output from a given projector should I feel the image is too bright? I mean short of switching to a longer throw distance or changing to a lower-gain screen? Is it common to have some sort of adjustment in a projector for brightness? Adjustable aperture of some kind?
When we had our BenQ I used a light meter to see how bright it was, and we had 21FL. When we got the Panasonic, and moved up to 195" I noticed that I had no more eye strain watching movies in a dark room. I think the reason we enjoy the 195" @12' is partly because we have zero eyestrain.

If you have too many F, and are getting eye strain you can get it down by running the projector in ECO mode, and calibrating it down to the level you like. One advantage of having a bright projector is that you can turn it down, where as if you get one that is not bright enough you can't make it brighter.

If you have a really bright projector a flat gain 1:1 screen is usually suggested...higher gain screens are usually suggested for when you don't have enough light output. I believe a flat gain screen is usually suggested for the best picture.

It is all a matter of what you prefer.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Somewhat related to distance; light output and ambient light - got any suggestions for a "reasonably priced" light meter?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,802 Posts
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top