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Just starting the planning phase...advice for a newbie

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Smallus Roomus, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Smallus Roomus

    Smallus Roomus Auditioning

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    So I have this unfinished portion of my basement. Problem is...two structural poles smack in the middle.
    Going in between poles, I could make a room that is 18'9" by 12'5" with the door at the rear of the length.
    If some structural engineer tells me I can move one of the poles (and presumably put two different poles up closer to the sides--don't know if this is possible or even advisable) then I could have a room that is 18'9" by 21'.

    Question...should I bother having someone look at the pole? Is 18'9" by 12'5" with a rear door enough? The celings in the basement are (will be) 8'.

    What kind of screen size can I get in the smaller dimension room? We would like seating for 7 or 8 if possible.

    Anyway, I am just heading into the planning phase and trying to figure out my best course of action and costs.

    Any advice is appreciated! (definitely don't want the house coming down to buy a little more room...but willing to put in the extra cash if moving the pole wouldn't do any harm)

    Thanks,
    Brad
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Your dimensions are positively huge!

    I can comfortably seat four in my space, which is roughly eight feet wide. Screen is about four feet in front of the screen-wall (other considerations apply,) and the book-cases knock a foot off of the back wall, yielding about nine feet from the book-cases to the screen. I'm using an approximately 75" inch screen, 1.6:1 aspect (yes, I know.) Maximum telephoto works well for 16:9 features, and 4:3 material I play in scaled 4:3, zoomed as wide as I can go, to still fit on the screen without cropping the top or bottom. (My conditions are weird, yes.)

    Now it also depends a bit on your seating. We're using a mix of "comfortable" office chairs and a wing-back chair directly under the projector.

    Oh, and part of our limitations are that there's a plumbing line running through the ceiling. The drop ceiling is at about 7'9", and the pipe (in the screen area) is hanging about 4" below that; lower near the seating area.

    I wouldn't worry too much about moving your structural supports. Off hand, I'd think your big limitation will be your image-height. You probably won't want much more than, say, a 60" vertical at the absolute maximum. Particularly if you have two rows of seating, unless you go for risiers, unless....

    Leo
     
  3. Smallus Roomus

    Smallus Roomus Auditioning

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    Thanks for the reply! I was hoping to not have to see about moving the pole. So a 12'5" by 18'9" can work. I think we are hoping to have just one sectional type sofa in there with a couple of gaming chairs somewhere in front of the screen.
    I definitely want to get the screen to be as large as possible without causing eye strain or reducing clarity.
     
  4. Kevin Stewart

    Kevin Stewart Second Unit

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    Kevin Stewart
    Brad,

    My HT is 12.5' X 20'. It seats 7 very comfortably and the screen size is 126". Since your door will be in the rear (to one side?), you could easily do just what I"ve done, except have seating for 6 instead of 7 (allowing for a walkway down one side). That's plenty of room.

    You can see my theater here: http://www.kevinstewart.com/theater/
     
  5. Smallus Roomus

    Smallus Roomus Auditioning

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    Wow...looks great! After seeing your layout, I am very encouraged that I can get it in with the space I have. Now I just have to build it...
     
  6. Gerry S

    Gerry S Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Brad:

    Here are some thoughts I had:

    1) Screen size will depend alot on your seating distance as well as the type of projector. For example, you can sit closer to a 1080p projector vs. a 720p or 480p projector.

    2) I think your room width is doable. But you need to gauge your audio and video performance expectations when discussing seating. For example, having the back seating row right up against the back wall will result in some sacrifice to audio quality. I would think that seating right next to the side wall will also sacrifice some audio quality as well. Likewise sitting too close to the screen may result in seeing artifacts.

    3) Consider the comfort level in the room. Will the room have adequate ventilation? With heat-producing equipment and eight bodies will it be comfortable in there? One thing to consider is placing all the equipment (except the projector of course) in another room. That gets the heat out of there, and frees up some space too.

    Hope these thoughts help.

    -Gerry
     
  7. Smallus Roomus

    Smallus Roomus Auditioning

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    Thank you very much for the reply! I have a lot to consider as I plan this thing!
     

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