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Advice for a NOOB? The HT needs to go into a very wide room (25 wide by 12 deep)


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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Frank**F

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Posted August 04 2003 - 08:15 AM

I'm putting this thread here rather than in one of the topic-specific forums, because I realize that the shape of the room will affect lots of things, from viewing angles, to acoustics, to furniture, to who-knows-what.

The HT will go into a room 12 feet deep by 25 feet wide. Windows at one end and French doors at the other, so I can't put the TV at one end or the other.

I'm OK with buying a big honking HDTV plasma to go in the middle of the 25-foot wall, if that's the only solution to the viewing angle problem. Posted Image (hey, honey, we have NO CHOICE but to buy a plasma TV.... ) But if there's a cheaper/better solution, I'd like to hear it. Do the Samsung DLP units have the same viewing-angle limitations as conventional RP models?

Acoustics: The room has a 7-foot ceiling. My wife insists on hardwood floors. Potentially, I can set speakers 25 feet apart...but is that wise? With the audience sitting in a spread-out manner, that's going to pose a challenge to make the sound "right" for everyone, won't it? How do you solve that problem?

At what point do speaker cables get so long that the resistance piles up and sound quality degrades?

What other sorts of challenges am I facing that the "normal" HT doesn't have to solve?

Thanks in advance!

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted August 04 2003 - 10:18 AM

I had a room very similar in size previously. It was 14 x 25 x 10, and it can be done.

You do not need to worry too much about wire length with the lengths you will need for this room (I had 30' runs for the surrounds with no problem). Go with a larger ga. wire, 14 or 12.

DO NOT put the main speakers 25' apart, in the corners. This will give you terrible sound. They should be roughly the same distance apart as you are sitting from them. Try to put the rears behind the liseners if possible (meaning avoid putting the couch/seats against the wall).
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#3 of 6 OFFLINE   chris_everett

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Posted August 04 2003 - 01:36 PM

Alternative, put your speakers so they are in front of the middle of the respective halves of the viewing area i.e.

------LFT ------TV------ RGT------

-------------seating---------------


Does that make since? For the math inclined, if X is total seating area width (not room width) distance from TV to LEFT should be .25X
Also try moving them around some. It's almost impossible to say where you'll get the best results.

The hardwood floors will probably pose a problem. I'd get as much stuff into the room as possible to absorb sound.
I would examine both RP and Plasma TV's to see what will give you the best viewing angle. RP Units are much better than they used to be.
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#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Frank Zimkas

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Posted August 05 2003 - 12:00 AM

Frank,
Have you considered a projector and a pull down screen? You could put the screen on the 12' wall that was the window and invest in some light blocking shades or black out curtains for the windows and the french doors. It would certainly allow for better viewing angles than a plasma or rptv in a long & narrow room.

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted August 05 2003 - 12:11 AM

Front projection would be a cheaper alternative, especially these days. Provide us with a budget that you have in mind.
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#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Frank**F

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Posted August 05 2003 - 02:09 AM

Thanks for the responses so far.

I'm not sure that the front projector idea will work. First, it will fail the Good Housekeeping Stamp of Approval (Mrs. Frank**F). Second, the opposite end of the room will be nothing but a wide doorway, with lots of light coming through. No way to control it.

Bottom line is that I call this my "home theater system", but it's going to be in a high-traffic area, and will be used for sports and other TV and similar family-type viewing most of the time.

Budget isn't much of an issue, within reason. I'm not going to buy $20,000 components and $15,000 speakers, but I'm willing to get a plasma if that's the best solution. Let's stipulate $10,000 as the budget, but I won't hold you to it, to account for the plasma possibility.

Setting aside the display unit, I'm not going to go overboard. I like the advice I've seen in other threads to buy a solid, no-frills receiver (for instance, Onkyo or Denon) in the $300-$500 range, and a solid set of speakers from the lower end of a "top tier" brand - maybe $1500 or $2000 or thereabouts?

We're not hardcore audio/videophiles. We just want a stylish and attractive system that sounds good. I don't have the ear to distinguish between all the subtle nuances. To me, there *is* such a thing as "good enough". The quality of the viewing experience matters more to me than the nuances of the sound.

Thanks again in advance, and arrears, etc.... Posted Image