Home addition being built, TV layout ideas need

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve Castle, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. Steve Castle

    Steve Castle Auditioning

    Dec 19, 2001
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    Hello all, first time post here.

    My wife and I are in the process of designing an addition to our house. One area that will be added to will be the family room. This will be where we'll do all of our movie/TV watching. When done my components will be moved in and we'll be upgrading from our 29" Sony to something larger.

    My question is this. More than likely we'll have a number of windows either in the room or around it. I'm trying to figure out the best layout for windows and where's the best place to put my TV so that natural lighting won't affect viewing. For reference the front of the house is facing east/south east.

    Any ideas or pointers about this design would be a big help!

  2. Kurt Ryan

    Kurt Ryan Auditioning

    Jul 9, 1998
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    First, I'm going to assume that this room will be used for other purposes, so "real" theater lighting is not an option.
    There's two types of light that you need to worry about: direct and ambient.
    In my world, direct light are those windows and lights that will reflect directly off the screen. It's really pretty simple physics (angle of incidence = angle of reflection) that dictates where to put windows (with respect to your TV) to minimize these effects. In general, windows located above your seated eye level will tend to reflect down onto the floor instead of into your eyes. If that can't be achieved, then try to not put your windows the same amount off axis from the TV as you are sitting. Remember to include from edge to edge of the TV when figuring this out, since a window (or lamp) shining on the edge of the screen is just as annoying as one in the middle. In my family room (theater), my favorite recliner is between 3 and 7 degrees to the right of axis, and hence I get a direct reflection of everything in that range on the left side of the set.
    Ambient light is all the other reflected light that bounces around your room, and interferes with stuff like contrast and apparent brightness of the screen. I don't know of any magic here, other than trying to reduce the amount that enters the room. I understand that might be in conflict with other aesthetic or architectural concepts, so the only suggestion I can make here are various window treatments.
    A lot of people will be able to offer their opinions on the "best" lighting for a theater, from painting your walls and ceilings flat black, to back-lighting your set with appropriate wavelength lights. My 2 cents worth would be that you keep your room in a neutral color so that reflections off the walls don't color your picture. I know this sounds rather simple, but I had a friend who had hunter green walls and couldn't figure out why he couldn't get his TV to produce correct skin tones.
    Good luck!

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