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#1 of 14 andre-k

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Posted July 08 2003 - 06:46 AM

I have a 11 by 14 foot room that I have decided to make into a dedicated theater room. I have realized that a lot of considerations have to be made and I was hoping that some of you guys could help me out. My first problem is wether I should get a 57" Toshiba projection(57H83) or a 51" Toshiba. My first row of seats will be about 11 feet from the T.V and I dont want to go too small but at the same time I dont want to get too big. I will be hooking it up with high defintion and I heard that since it is a better image it is ok to be close to the set, is that true? The last thing I want to do is have to return the thing because It wasnt the right size. As for audio im looking at the athena point 5 surround sound system, carver subwooker, yamaha reciever, Im hoping that this will be enough sound for the room. As you can see, im on a budget, trying to stay around 3000 for the entire set up. Anyone with any comments please feel free to post them, I could really use the help. Oh yea, If anyone knows any inexpensive ways to soundproof the room please let me know.
Thanks ahead of time for any replies.

#2 of 14 Daniel Becker

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Posted July 08 2003 - 07:38 AM

I'm only going to comment on the screen size. If your going to sit 11 feet away I would go as big as possible. The 57" is the way to go. Posted Image


Dan.B

#3 of 14 MikeWh

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Posted July 08 2003 - 08:30 AM

I agree with Daniel-- bigger is better for the 11' distance. You can run your own numbers at:
http://www.myhomethe....alculator.html

According to the calculator, the 51" screen will yield a 19.3° viewing angle, and the 57" will yield a 21.5° viewing angle at 11 feet. Many people feel comfortable with a 20-25° viewing angle for a direct-view or RPTV (but not FP owners, who seem to prefer the 30-35° range.... or more). If you sit closer (approaching the SMPTE recommendation of 30°), then you will have a more immersive experience. Too close, and you may get the feeling you're crowding the TV (at least I do).

I currently have a 50" (4:3) and sit about 10 feet back. That's about a 19° viewing angle. I feel that the TV is sort of "lost" in the back wall of the room-- it doesn't fill up enough viewing angle for me. It's comfortable, but bigger would be better. If we sit closer, then people sitting to my sides get pushed out of the central viewing area, causing them to view the screen from a more acute angle. That's why I'm moving to FP. I just can't stand the "small" picture any more. Posted Image

***I should also say-- room size and shape play a big role in this decision. My room is bigger than yours.... so the TV doesn't take up as much space (giving it that "lost" effect). I would highly recommend getting some big pieces of poster board and construct mock-ups of the 2 screens. Tape them to the wall at the correct height (for each model) and sit in a chair back at your preferred viewing distance. You can then adjust the distance accordingly.... it'll help before you bust out the cash for the TV!

Also-- sorry, no help on the other questions. If you do some searching here, you'll find plenty of info on sound control.

#4 of 14 scott>sau

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Posted July 08 2003 - 02:33 PM

Room Size: can be from 1000-6000 cubic feet, (CF). Determine CF by multiplying LxWxH. The larger the room, the more bass is needed.

Room Shapes: are preferred rectangular. Dimensions should not be multiplies of each other (e.g. 8x16x20, 10x16x20, 8x14x28-are all bad!) Other room shapes in the real world can be treated. French doors can be concealed with thick curtains to overcome light pollution and noise leakage. If you have an alcove, you can relocate the display as well.

Room Acoustics: treatment can be well over your budget. You can consult with www.acousticsfirst.com for suggestions to at least begin to control reflected sound and absorb some standing waves. In time you could go with more acoustic control.

#5 of 14 sean_pecor

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Posted July 09 2003 - 02:25 AM

I'd make sure you're measuring the distance between your eyeballs and the screen, and not the edge of your sofa. Unless you're 1 foot tall, the difference can be as much as 3 feet which changes viewing angle calculations significantly.

If your first row of seats are 11' away in a 11x14 room then I assume you are talking about seating set against an 11 foot back wall? If so, I'd call it the back row not the first row Posted Image and here are some thoughts:

The 51" and 57" sets are about 26" deep. You need at least 1" from the wall to make room for wires. The back depth of sofas and recliners can place your eyes up to 24" away from the back of the seat. Therefore, if your seating is set completely against an 11' back wall you'll probably be no more than 10' from eyeball to screen.

So, at 10' your viewing angle is over 21 degrees for 51", and over 23 degrees for 57". For standard definition TV the 57" at 10' will seem too blurry and big, but this shouldn't be an issue for a dedicated home theater. You actually want to either a) get closer or b) get a bigger screen if you truly want an immersive movie watching experience.

For a dedicated home theater you DO NOT want seating crammed against the back wall. Among other reasons, this makes it impossible to place surrounds slightly behind your listening position. So, if you can I'd put at least 2' behind that back row of seating. If you do put 2' behind your back row, then you're now at 8' from eyeball to screen. In this case, your viewing angle is over 26 degrees for a 51", and nearly 30 degrees for a 57". A 30 degree viewing angle is what alot of people seem to prefer for an immersive but not overpowering movie experience.

Lastly, about getting the whole package done for around $3,000 in equipment, along with the Athena Point 5 you should consider the Cambridge Soundworks Megatheater 520 for $1,099. It's $300 more for than the Athena package, but you also get the CSW AVS5000 unit. The AVS5000 is a progressive DVD player supporting Dolby Digital and DTS. It also plays MP3 CDs on CD+RW and CDR media. The player is very tunable, and has many nice features including a 7 band digital EQ, AM/FM tuner etc. Check it out at:

http://www.hifi.com/....3xx&type=store

I have the 520 and am really pleased with performance. With the 520 you're getting an HTiB (home theater in a box) on steroids. The Megatheater system gets consistently great reviews for home theater applications. The speakers with the Cambridge system are Newton Series, which are very very nice for the money.

Here is a photo of my 520 in our living room:

Posted Image

Hope this helps,

Sean.
President, Lead Developer
Digital Spinner, Inc.
http://www.digitalspinner.com

#6 of 14 Ron-P

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Posted July 09 2003 - 04:05 AM

Andre, have you considered front projection? You have the space, if you've got good light control, you can get a great machine for roughly $1,200 or less right now, quite a bit less than a RPTV. At 11' for the 'front row', what about the back row? I just bought my Panny projector for $1,099 out the door with a free Da-Lite screen.

I have my front row roughly 10' from an 80" 16:9 screen and it's perfect. My back row is 13.5'.

At 11', 57" is still too small. Go bigger, you will not regret it. I first started off with a 46" RPTV with my back row at 9' from the screen and it was too small.


Quote:
I would highly recommend getting some big pieces of poster board and construct mock-ups of the 2 screens.

An excellent idea. Even make some screen sizes bigger.


Peace Out~Posted Image
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#7 of 14 Tommy G

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Posted July 09 2003 - 04:28 AM

I am also a front projection convert. The viewing distance is about 13-14' and I went with a 106" diag. 16:9 screen. The viewing is definitely not too big. No screen door either. I agree with Ron, if lighting is not an issue, go front projection.
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#8 of 14 andre-k

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Posted July 10 2003 - 02:41 AM

I actully was thinking about the front projectors but I didnt know too much about them. I could really use the couple feet that the screen would allow me. My room will be totally dark so light issue is not a concern. Couple problems though, first, people tell me that the lower costing front projectors arent very good, hmm. Second, how would I mount the projector on the ceiling being that there is a ceiling fan, and third what kind of cables would I need( I really know nothin about front projos)
By the way thanks for all the helpful replies everyone.
Also, Ron where did you get that Panny with the free screen, sounds very tempting.

#9 of 14 Ron-P

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Posted July 10 2003 - 03:08 AM

Andre, I got it though ProjectorPeople.com, but that deal has ended.

As for this comment...
Quote:
first, people tell me that the lower costing front projectors arent very good, hmm.

What kind of people, videophiles? I'll tell you this, I went from an ISF calibrated 46" 16:9 Mits that cost me $2,400 to this Panny LCD FP that cost me $1,099. I could not be happier. The Panny's PQ is awesome, very clean, detailed, sharp with vibrant colors. My friends and family are very impressed and had no idea low-cost FP's can look so good. I watched Vertical Limit and for most of the movie it looked as good as my Mits did. Other than the black levels not being quite as good, that is the only down fall between the two.

I have some screen shots up on my website if you are so inclined to see what the PQ looks like. Remember though, those pics are seriously reduced and I have yet to calibrate with AVIA. Not too shabby for an out of the box 1k projector.

As for mounting, you can go to projectorcentral.com find the PJ's your interested in and use the projector calculator to find screen sizes and mounting distances to see if you fan will be an issue. If so, you can table top mount it as well, that's what I have done.

I am using Acoustic Research 25' long component cable that I picked up from Parts Express for $90. Depending on which PJ you go with, you can even go cheaper on the cables by using a short component cable to a breakout cable.


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#10 of 14 scott>sau

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Posted July 10 2003 - 03:18 AM

Hi Andre,
You could do a forum jump to the "Display Devices" threads for more info on projectors. LCD's are not as bright. CRT's have a quality picture with good black levels, but still not as bright as a DLP. The reason reviews say that lower cost DLP's are not as good is they do not have as good of color decoding and brightness uniformity, (they create hot spots on the screen). A Dell, or Infocus is one example. They are fine for business power point presentation, but not the quality you need in your theater. A good Sharp, or Runco DLP on a Stewart gray hawk screen will give you a great picture.
All projectors have ceiling and table top mounting options. I have seen theaters in many magazines that have custom projector tables. All you see is the three CRT's, or single DLP lens in the front.
If you go with a ceiling install, do you have ceiling access? You could remove the fan and wire a AC outlet in it's stead and mount the projector over the plate. You can use either RGB HV sync cable, (it has twist-type BNC connections), or component-video cable. With ceiling access and glow rods, it would be easy.
To control aspect ratio, or calibration for the projector the wireless remote will bounce off the screen for control.
Ron, A+++ on your Driftwood Theater, great install, ingenious idea for garage.

#11 of 14 Ron-P

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Posted July 10 2003 - 04:39 AM

Quote:
Ron, A+++ on your Driftwood Theater, great install, ingenious idea for garage.
Thanks for the kind words Scott. Have a long way to go to finish it up, but it's coming along nicely. Just bought a new digital AC unit that's getting installed. Much nicer than the monster in the current pics.

Quote:
LCD's are not as bright. CRT's have a quality picture with good black levels, but still not as bright as a DLP. The reason reviews say that lower cost DLP's are not as good is they do not have as good of color decoding and brightness uniformity, (they create hot spots on the screen).
I agree that currently, CRT will give you the best FP image available. I do think that we will soon see LCD and DLP projectors eventually match that quality. These little machines are advancing in PQ rather quickly.

Quote:
A Dell, or Infocus is one example. They are fine for business power point presentation, but not the quality you need in your theater.

I have to disagree here. I had the Infocus X1 for a week and it did a very, very nice job with movies. The bummer with the Infocus was the native 4:3 and with the slower color-wheel...rainbows (reason I had to return mine). I did find better black levels on the Panny LCD and being native 16:9 was better for me, as I only watch movies.

These inexpensive DLP and LCD FP's are no CRT's but the image quality has jumped hugely over the last several years and next several should be very exciting. But, for the money spent, the ease of set-up, minimal tweaking required and small size, I think they are perfect and provide excellent quality for HT.


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#12 of 14 Ron-P

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Posted July 10 2003 - 07:52 AM

Andre, here is a link to the Sound and Vision review of the 200u. It's right up there with my findings. Show it to those people who tell you low-cost projectors aren't very good.

http://www.soundandv....&page_number=1


Peace Out~Posted Image
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!


#13 of 14 Steve Lucas

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Posted July 10 2003 - 11:02 AM

MY first row of seats are 11' back from a 106" diagonal front projection screen as well. I couldn't be happier with it and have had no complaints about it being too close.
I use a Yamaha DXP-1000 projector on a Da-lite negative gain screen. It works great.
Steve
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#14 of 14 JawhnM

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Posted July 10 2003 - 11:57 AM

I too would give a vote to front projection. Since it's already been mentioned, don't rule out CRT. Although not as easy to set up the picture quality is hard to beat. Very nice used CRT's (much better than mine) can be had for the kind of money your looking at. I paid $450 for mine and $250 for an Iscan line doubler and could not be happier. I also have a RPTV and there's no comparison.

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