Model Home Theater?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Andy Pressman, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Andy Pressman

    Andy Pressman Auditioning

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    Let me introduce myself really quick; I'm a computer repair/consultant for a local developer. I have a mid-end home theater in my room, but thats as far as my knowledge goes. I need a few reccomendations for a model home that will be built by summer 2006. The theater room will be 18x15 and located on the first floor. I was thinking of three rows of seating on risers, with 4 seats up front and then couches for the last two. The display will be a dlp projector, but as far as a screen goes, I have no clue what's the best. I was also told that he would like an lcd (probably 27-34")on each side of this screen to watch multiple games at a time , so how would I combat the problem of the remote control controlling one and not both? For a receiver I was thinking B&K since theyre a local brand and would be willing to discount in return for advertising. We already have a DirectTv Samsung high-def box. For the dvd-player, I was thinking of one of those Toshiba next gen decks, which would hopefully guarentee a few years of non-obsolescence(as long as they win the format war). This will be a 7.1 setup, so I was wondering if I should get matched speakers from all of the same brand, and what those would be. I personally love Jamo, but they're hard to come across. These will not be in-wall speakers. I will probaly go with a Belkin or Monster power conditioner. I just bought a Harmony 880 remote, and its probaly the easiest lcd remote I've ever used, so I was thinking that an 890 would be perfect since they're pretty much tech illiterate. Last few questions: Is the room size appropriate, and does anyone have links to pro-designed or a theater that basically matches something like this?
     
  2. Andy Pressman

    Andy Pressman Auditioning

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    Oh, btw the budget is about 10-15k for equipment. Thanks.
     
  3. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    The room size is small for three rows of seats. It's a bit small for two rows of seats. If you can afford it, I would recommend a perf screen so you can put your speakers behind it. Regarding the dual LCD's, You can either go with two different sorts of LCD displays, or invest in a more expensive control system, or just accept that they will both turn on/off together. (Do you need more control than that?) I would try and get matched speakers.

    Consider accoustics and soundproofing in your design.
     
  4. johnKap

    johnKap Auditioning

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    I agree that the size is on the small side for 3 rows. The recommendations for size vs. viewing distance are that you should be at least 1.4 x the width of the screen(horizontal not diagonal) away. This prevents the picture from looking distorted, seeing individual pixels etc. I would recommend you go to a high end store and take some measurements on their demo rooms.

    I'm currently buidling my theater. I'm using a 92" (diagonal) Stewart StudioTek screen and a Runco CL420 DLP projector. The 92" screen is 80" across. Doing the calculation (80 x 1.4) means that the minimum viewing distance is 112" from the screen or just under 9 feet. I did some viewing tests at different stores with different projectors to see how close I could get before the picture got distorted and 8-9' was about right for this projector and this screen size.

    Assuming you're using home theater seating with recliners, the second row probably needs to be at least 5' back from the first row to allow full recline. Add another foot if you want to be able to walk between the first and second row while the seats are reclined. Of course if this is mainly for demo purposes you could probably live with the 5' distance. I looked at specs for theater seats and planned the layout before I ordered my seats.

    So with these 2 rows you're at about 14 feet from the screen to the back of the second row and it will be tight to put a third row. In my theater I'm putting a bar right behind the second row with bar stools, this will take up less space. Since I plan to use my setup for general entertaining with sports and movies this works for me. If you want to keep with the "movie" motif then a bar may not be appropriate.

    This is getting long so I'll discuss components on the next post.
     
  5. johnKap

    johnKap Auditioning

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    Continued: I used Chief Architect software from Better Homes and Gardens to design my basement. This is fairly inexepensive and easy to use. It does a decent job of doing 3D rendering, allowing you to put in furniture and color the walls & carpet the floor.

    I would recommend in wall speakers for the fronts. I feel it provides a cleaner look and you will not be as cramped with the floor standing speakers close to the front row, but its a personal choice.

    I thought long and hard about whether to go for one of the new HD DVD players coming out soon. I decided against it for now as the rumor is it will be a while until many titles are available and to get the best picture you probably need a 1080P projector which are big $$ right now. You can start with a 480P DVD and a 720P projector now and easily plug in new higher def components in a year or two when they're cheaper. If you have a good 480P DVD player and 720P projector the picture is still pretty amazing.
     
  6. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    Andy,

    I'm curious. Why is this developer not seeking help from a home theater professional? Is he running out of money?

    Should he be getting his computer help from computer hobbyist chat rooms? Perhaps he could save money on his IT costs and the advice he would get might be just as good as yours.

    Something to think about, anyway.
     

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