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Downsizing HT (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Oct 20, 2004
Good day and sorry for the dissertation.

I am being relocated for my job and will be downsizing my house and unfortunately my home theater. My current custom built theater is 15X22 (pictures attached and layout), my new theater is 9X18 (and there lies problem #1 – divisible walls). I currently have a 106” (problem #2) 16:9 permanent mount screen and an Epson 550 projector. I have 2 rows of 4 laz y boy theater recliners.

The current equipment list:
• Receiver: Denon 4310CI
• Front Mains: DefTec BP2002 (but I mounted DIY sound panels behind to decrease the bipole aspect)
• Center: DefTec CLR2002
• Surround: DefTec BPX2
• Subwoofer: Energy S12.3
• Heights: DefTec Pro Monitor 800
• Projector: Epson 550 (720p)
• Screen: Da-lite FramSnap 106” 1.3 gain
• Blu-ray: some random early Panasonic

So I will need to start making some “adjustments” in the new theater.

1) Room dimension: so while it is not a perfect square, it is the next worse thing…a rectangle with divisible walls. I have DIY sound panels materials (and have already built a couple).
a. What is the best way to treat this room (construction not really an option)?

2) Screen: The 106” screen size will be a challenge since it is 7’7” wide, leaving me about 8.5” on each side of the screen till I hit the wall. Given my BP2002 are bipole speakers, this does not leave me enough room to mount sound panels behind and will corner load the speakers (the subs are not connected – no jumpers)
a. I am thinking of getting a smaller screen to give some more space on each side of the screen – what size would you recommend? An 82” diagonal will give me 1.5’ on each side, but this seems like too big of a decrease. What gain would you recommend – I have heard topping out at 1.2 in the past. I will have complete light control (there are no windows)

3) Seating/Projector: Given I have 18’ of depth to the room, I would like to try and get 2 rows of seating in. With the afore mentioned 82” screen, I could sit the first row at 7’ 9” (3/7th of the way back - 43.17 degrees horizontal and 25.1 degrees of vertical field of view) and the second row at 15’ 5” (6/7th), but I am concerned that this will be too close for a 720p projector. It is also a much wider field of view than I am used to and, if I recall correctly, much wider than it should be (hover around 30 degrees horizontal and 15 degrees vertical). While a jump to 1080p is the easy choice, I wonder if it makes sense to go to 4K (I know there is no content, but I buy projectors about once a decade).
a.Given price it seems the reasonable 4K choice is the Sony VPL-VW350ES...thoughts?
b.Do you think seating distances of 7’9” and 15’5” are reasonable for an 82” screen?
c. Does it make sense to upgrade the projector to 1080p? If so, what model do you recommend? (budget under $5K)
i. Are there projectors that have HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 (even though my receiver doesn’t support)

4) Speakers: I have never received a good answer of where to place the surrounds in a multiple row home theater…best for the front row (but they end up in front of the second row)?, behind the 2nd row? I asked around some other sites when I was setting up my current theater and didn’t get a good answer, so I guessed and placed them just in forward of the second row (but it messes with the front sound when you sit in the second row)
a. Where should I place the surround speakers?
b. I hope to use my current speakers for now (may replace is a couple years with direct), so does it make sense to do heights/widths?

Family Room
So we also need to transfer the family room surround sound set-up, but this time I don’t have any current speakers (the buyer of my old house wanted them conveyed and they were a speaker system in a box, so didn’t lose anything). My living room has a two story ceiling, but has multiple open areas off the side and back. (see floor plan attached). I envision putting the 60” LCD flat screen on the wall that backs to the Master Suite, with speakers to each side and below (my wife has already commented we will be getting some sort of entertainment center to “hold” the TV). I’m struggling with the speakers setup.

1) Where should I put the surrounds? The second floor “game room” does extend over head to complete the Family Room box (see picture which is taken from near the windows in the living room facing the stairs)

2) How do I wire to the surround locations? Wireless surrounds (but then I need power)? I have done the whole cut dry wall, drill through studs, patch drywall in the past. But I’m not sure how I would get to that location under the upstairs railing. Flat speaker wire would be a challenge since the walls are textured

3) Given this is a secondary set-up (but we do most of our “normal” watching here), what do you recommend for speakers (budget under $1500 for the whole speaker system)

4) What about the speakers designed to be wall mounted off to the sides of a flat panel TV?

When I get into it I will have more questions, but I think that is enough for now. Thanks.


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HTF Expert
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Jul 4, 2012
Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
Real Name
1. Divisible is next to impossible to treat.

2/3. AT screen would solve the problem.

3a. Good projector.
b. Depends if you settle for small, or go AT.
c. Why not that Sony?
d. Not yet.

4a. You place the speakers for the main sweet spot. Every other seat is a compromise. Period. You bought Def Tech. Instead of dampening the room. Leave the room untreated and let the Def Tech do what they are designed to do. If you treat a room, don't buy di/bi-poles.
b. Always makes sense to use height/wide.


1. As close as possible to the correct spot.
2. Use wiremold.
3. KEF KHT or E
4. Or why not a LCR bar like Leon Horizon.

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