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#1 of 14 Phil P

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Posted November 03 2002 - 03:48 PM

What do you think would be the minimum size of a room(length, height, and width)for a dedicated home theater that could comfortably seat about 6-8 people with a 100 inch screen?

#2 of 14 Jeff Engel

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Posted November 03 2002 - 06:20 PM

I would say a minimum would be 20' long by 15' wide by 10' high. That's about what mine works out to be and I think 6 would be very comfortable, 8 would be very tolerable.
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#3 of 14 Jay Mitchosky

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Posted November 04 2002 - 12:41 AM

Just make sure you don't have any dimensions that are the same or multiples of each other. This will help minimize standing wave problems.
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#4 of 14 Jay Mitchosky

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Posted March 26 2003 - 04:27 AM

Quote:
What do you think would be the minimum size of a room(length, height, and width)for a dedicated home theater that could comfortably seat about 6-8 people with a 100 inch screen?
Quote:
I would say a minimum would be 20' long by 15' wide by 10' high. That's about what mine works out to be and I think 6 would be very comfortable, 8 would be very tolerable.

Jeff, could you elaborate on how you've set up your HT? Frankly, I'm at a loss at how you can accommodate those specs. I've been pulling my hair out trying to plan my HT for our new house, wrestling with how big is big enough, and how small is too small, and how to fit everything and blah blah blah.

The most recent issue of Audio Video Interiors features a theater that is just what I'm looking for. It is in a 22' by 14.5' room (what the designers refer to as "compact", which I find hysterical). Currently I have allotted a 22' by 17' space. As an experiment last night I reconfigured my current family room similar to the proposed layout (which includes two rows of seating with a funky bar area behind the second tier that will allow for bar stool seating on casual events, and a 100" screen). My current family room is 20' by 14', with an open concept that extends into the kitchen so I can fake 22' length or more. I moved my sofa and loveseat into two rows and separated them with enough distance to accommodate recliners (based on measurements of the new seats I'm considering). Once done there did not seem to be nearly enough room. Width was fine at 14', although with side tables a couple of extra feet would be needed. Length, however, was far too cramped. I only had 11' or so viewing distance from the front seat. By my math that would dictate an 83" wide 16x9 screen to achieve a 35 degree field of vision. So the discussions of a 100" screen here are throwing me - this would yield over 40 degrees field of vision (41.49 to be exact). Is that not getting a little on the overwhelming side? Are you not risking seeing scanlines (for CRT) or pixels (for DLP, LCD, D-ILA) or artifacts? Using 35 degrees as the preferred field of vision (30 degrees is minimum, I believe THX suggests 40, taking the average) a seating distance of 13.21' is required (who said trigonometry was a waste of time).

Secondly, with the seats located as indicated there was barely any room for the stool area in the rear. Looking at the AVI pictures there's ample room in the back. I can't really tell how far from the front the seating is but with a 100" screen I can't imagine it being much closer than I laid it out. Likewise with these dimensions there's little opportunity to locate seating in the preferred acoustic spots (say 5ths of the room). Add to the mix that I really would prefer to have freestanding speakers at the front vs. inwalls - there goes more floor space.

So, with that in mind I would love some advice here. Posted Image


PS. I'm assuming everyone here is speaking the language of FPTV screens and properly referring to screen width and not diagonal.
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#5 of 14 Neil Joseph

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Posted March 26 2003 - 06:17 AM

Minimum?

For a 100" 16x9 screen (49" x 87") and with adequate space on each side for speakers, I would have a minimum width of 11ft. For height, and that size of screen, and considering projector mounting, 8ft. The length of the room can depend on what type of seating you want, the type of projector and how long its throw is etc. Your first row of seating should be no closer than 10ft (11 is preferrable but this is slightly subjective too). You could decide to do something like a U-shaped sofa assembly that would fit all 8 people with minimal space taken away from the length of the room. You could also decide to go with 2 sofas, one behind the other, one on a riser, which would require more room length. But since we are dealing with minimums, I would have a minimum of 13ft.

So my final numbers are 11' x 13' x 8' (width, length, height)
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#6 of 14 Jay Mitchosky

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Posted March 26 2003 - 06:56 AM

Quote:
So my final numbers are 11' x 13' x 8' (width, length, height)
By my estimation that is incredibly small, even as a minimum (although acoustically they would be very good).

Assuming a full sized sofa runs 7 1/2' wide (that's the size of the one I'm looking at - 90") you have only 1 3/4' on either side until you hit walls. That's a tight squeeze. And assuming you have conventional surround speakers (vs. in-wall or in-ceiling) you're likely to bump your head. If we consider two-person love seats then it's a bit more manageable. Assuming 5 1/2' (67" wide) now you have 2 3/4' on either side which is better, but still pretty tight. A love seat is the only thing I would recommend in a room this narrow. A U-Shaped sofa/sectional would fare no better.

For length you indicated a 13' minimum yet also suggest not wanting to be any closer than 10'. Even if you allow for only one loveseat (see above) for seating this is not going to fly given that there's only 3' remaining or 2' behind the couch (factoring in 10' viewing distance as opposed to 10' seating distance, so allow a foot or so from the eyes to the back of the couch, probably more). And given that Phil is planning on a 100" screen (remember, I'm assuming you're refering to width) that has headache all over it with a viewing angle of 45 degrees (factoring in 10' viewing distance as opposed to 10' seating distance). Realistically you wouldn't want to have a viewing distance less than 11 1/2' to keep the field of vision manageable (40 degrees).

I'm back to being stymied with these recommendations as I can't seem to undestand how it would all fit. Coming back to Phil's original question (this is, after all, his thread Posted Image ), I would suggest at least 13 1/2' wide (accommodates a 7 1/2' wide 3-seat couch with a comfortable 3' walking room on either side) and at least 16' length for a single row (accommodates an 11 1/2' viewing distance to achieve maximum 40 degree field of vision on 100" wide screen, 1 1/2' est. from eyes to back of seat, and 3' walking room to wall) or 22' length for two rows (extra 6' for second couch, assuming reclining with allowance for extended foot rest and room to back of front row seat). So, to summarize:

1) Single row: 13 1/2' x 16'
2) Double row: 13 1/2' x 22'

These numbers are entirely dependent on the assumptions I've noted above and allow for comfortable passage space. There's minimum and there's minimum. From a practical perspective I strongly believe you would need the extra space, although you could get away with something smaller. If you opt for different seating styles or layouts all bets are off, but you can plug the numbers. Factor 11 1/2' from screen to eyes (seated and reclined), 3' passage room beside and behind seats, and enough space between first and second rows to accommodate a fully extended recliner such that the guest's feet don't hit the seat in front, and preferably to allow for someone in the middle to pass between. Also avoid - at all costs - ending up seated against a wall. Awful acoustic territory. You want 1 1/2' or more clearance.

Now for height. I'm struggling with this one myself - whether or not I should plan for a deeper/higher (depending on your perspective) basement. Right now my finished ceiling is spec'd for 8'1". That might get tight with a ceiling-mounted projector and a second (elevated) row of seating. Remember that your second row riser height is a function of unobstructed sightlines. Based on the eye position of the average viewer they should be seated high enough to see the bottom of the screen while someone is seated in front of them (ie. draw a straight line connecting the bottom of the screen to the top of the first row viewer's head and beyond, then set riser height so second row viewer's eyes are on that line, and again factor while reclining in movie-seat-mode). Depending on the relative location of the screen and viewers and other dimensions you will determine this height - the farther back the second row is positioned the higher this riser must be (think of following the line drawn above).

Also note that the screen size (100" in this case) will dictate a particular location for the projector based on its throw distance (indicated as a multiple of the screen width, usually as a range). And note again that based on the projectors location it will demand a particular height so that it projects straight without having to resort to keystone corrections for geometry (which also creates artifacts). Unless the projector you choose has a mechanical adjustment for the optics you may have to hang that projector pretty low. After all that I can't really say if 8' as a minimum will be good for either of us. Still need to run the numbers. Ideally you could a) choos a projector that has mechanically adjustable optics, or b) mount it right at the back of the room in an enclosed (but ventilated) nook with just the lens poking out, assuming the projector can accommodate the throw.

Using 8' for now you would want to play with the length estimates proposed above for better acoustics (8 and 16 are multiples, 8 and 22 are both multiples of 2). Even a modest adjustment would help - add a few inches or a foot to each length.
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#7 of 14 Phil P

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Posted March 26 2003 - 10:13 AM

Thanks for all the input.
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#8 of 14 Jeff Engel

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Posted March 27 2003 - 09:13 AM

Jay, here is a link to some photos I took of my setup.

http://www.avsforum.....hreadid=232084

I have a marantz vp12s2 and first row of seating is about 11ft away. My screen size is 123" diagonal, not sure about exact width. I like to oversize my screen to really simulate the theater. I see no screen door from 11ft away, squinting at 10 ft I do but not from where I sit. The screen is large enough that I can have 2 rows of up to 8 people and nobody has a bad view.

I also have floorstanding speakers which intrude a little into the space. You are correct that between row space is at a premium. There is barley enough space for theater style recliners. It puts the second row too close to rear surrounds for my taste, but I'm in the front row anyway,Posted Image

That is why I said 20 ft would be a minimum, 22 would be ideal. Let me know what you think after you look at the pictures.
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#9 of 14 Jay Mitchosky

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Posted March 27 2003 - 09:40 AM

Hey Jeff

F'ing A. Some questions and observations...

Quote:
I have a marantz vp12s2...
What are your thoughts on this projector? What else did you compare it to? Why did you opt for DLP over D-ILA? I'm still in the early stages of trying to identify which projector I want to go with.

Quote:
...first row of seating is about 11ft away.
What is your reference point - to your eyes or to the chair?

Quote:
My screen size is 123" diagonal, not sure about exact width.
107.20" wide. Good 'ol Pythagoras. Posted Image Be sure to reference your screen size as width and aspect ratio so people don't get confused when talking FPTV. That's a big screen. Assuming the 11' distance noted above is to the eyes that's a 44 degree viewing angle. Wow. I do find it comforting, however, that you don't see image structure.

That's a cool space you have running. Interested to see the final product. It's looking like my final dimensions will 8' x 17' x 23'. I'll have a 12 1/2' viewing distance which will yield a 35 degree field of vision on a 96" 16:9 screen (FireHawk of course). I'm really interested in hearing more about the projector. Feel free to e-mail to discuss directly.
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#10 of 14 Chip_Slattery

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Posted March 27 2003 - 01:42 PM

Jay,

Your dimensions are very similar to the HT I am just starting to build. My finished dimensions for the "theater proper" will be approximately 22'L x 17'W x 9.5'H.

I will have two rows of seating, three single Berkline 090's for the front row and a pair of Berkine 090 loveseats in the rear. Front row seating should have eyeballs at about 11' or so with the second row at about 17'. Current plan is a Sanyo PLV-70 firing onto a 96"W x 54"H (1.78:1) Stewart Greyhawk microperf.

If you'd like to get an idea how this will look please take a look at the "design" and "gallery" pages on my HT site. (link below) All furniture and equipment is drawn to manufactures' spec dimensions which allows me to get a pretty good picture of how things will come together. I did similar drawings for my home before it was built and they were remarkably accurate compared to the final product, so I'm fairly confident this will turn out the same.

Obviously this isn't an exact science, and as the room takes shape I will most likely need to modify my plans a bit, but having the room more or less laid out in advance certainly helps.

If you have any questions after viewing my setup please don't hesitate to ask.
Chip Slattery
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Fox Path Theater (under construction - updated 11/25/05)
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#11 of 14 Jay Mitchosky

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Posted March 28 2003 - 11:39 AM

Chip

Really, really cool. How did you do those renderings?!! I would love to "pre-vis" what I've drafted.

I really like the way the front section has been designed. Sexy yet functional. What rationale was used for speaker and seating locations?
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#12 of 14 Scott_Vonhof

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Posted March 28 2003 - 06:15 PM

My room is 22 1/2 feel long, 15 feet wide in the front, 13 in the rear. It would have been nice to have a full 15 feet all the way, but the house facade does not allow that. That said, I seat six very comfortably, in three reclining love-seats. Also, depending on door location, you could have plenty of width with only 14 feet of width if you used chairs like the Berkline recliners with four seats per row and three arms per row, one on each end and one in the middle, giving you basically two connected love seats. Do two rows and you have seating for 8.

BTW, when you look at the spec sheets for Stewart, Draper and Dalite, their sheets show the main dimension in diagonal, for the screen size. I have a 100" diagonal screen.

#13 of 14 Glenise

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Posted March 28 2003 - 08:04 PM

Nice pictures Chip!

Jay,
Chip used Punch! Home Design Architectural Series
for the renderings on his website.
He also uses SmartDraw Professional Plus v6.0 and Broderbund 3D Home Architect v4.0

http://theater.c5des...m/software.html

#14 of 14 Chip_Slattery

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Posted March 29 2003 - 01:13 AM

Jay,

As Glenise mentioned I initially used Punch! for the renderings and SmartDraw for the floorplans. If you take a look at the "Archives" section at the bottom of the "gallery" page you'll see these initial renderings.

The most recent renderings on the main "gallery" page were done with a program called Revit. This is more of a professional architectural program and pretty expensive:

Autodesk Revit

I found the Punch! software to be the best of the "consumer" (i.e. under $150) programs and highly recommend it. It will do pretty much everything you need.

The speaker locations were actually determined by Dennis Erskine (www.designcinema.com) who I contracted for the design, and they have remained consistent with the original plans with the exception of the subs. Since I'll be going with dual SVS's I figure I'll run my setup by the folks over there to get their input on optimal placement, then play with their location until I find what works best in the room.

I've modified the original seating plan a bit, but I've tried to stick to the "1.5x screen width" theory as much as possible for the front row.

A lot of this project is fluid, meaning as things progress there will be little tweaks (and maybe some major ones!) to the design. I wanted to get the room itself right which is why I hired Dennis. The other items (seating, speaker locations, etc.) can be tweaked rather easily later...the room cannot.

I'm going to try and document the whole project as complete as possible so check back to my site for updates. If you have any questions on the project or the software mentioned previously don't hesitate to ask.
Chip Slattery
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Fox Path Theater (under construction - updated 11/25/05)
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