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Need help with a large bonus room (2 Viewers)

Gregory Pauswinski

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Hello everyone! I recently bought a new house and one of the considerations was having enough space for a Home Theater room. This house has a large bonus room on the 2nd floor over the garage. In my old house, I used the living room as my Home Theater and had a projector screen I pulled down in front of the TV for movies. Not too long after having kids, I packed up my speakers because I didn't want them to be destroyed. I've been watching movies with Dolby Headphone for the last 8 years. I'm very excited to finally have my speakers again.

Here is a sketch of the bonus room with very rough measurements. There's a fan in the middle of the room.
beIONUml.jpg



The wall in the bottom right of the sketch is approximately 14'5" and that's where I want to put a projector screen. We currently have a 55" TV and I'm debating whether to save some projector bulb life by keeping the TV in there and having the projector screen come down over it. I don't necessarily need a huge screen for random TV watching, but I'm not opposed to it.

1) Is a fixed frame projector screen hanging on the wall preferable to a motorized one that comes down in front of the TV?

2) What size screen should I be looking at? It all seems to come down to my seating arrangements, so I need to get that figured out. I want to buy a 4k projector, but I'll start a thread in the displays area to talk about that.

We have a family of 4, so I want to plan enough seating for the whole family plus seating for friends. We're thinking we should have seating for maybe 6-8. I imagine that 90% of the time it will be just me watching stuff, though, so setting everything up for the sweet spot is very important. I want to have at least 4 nice home theater seats, but not all of the seating needs to be too fancy. I think I'd prefer not to have a riser for a second row of seating because it feels to me like it might be weird in the room, but I'm definitely open to ideas.

3) How do I arrange seating for approximately 6-8 while maintaining the sweet spot? Do I need to plan for an odd number of seats to keep everything aesthetically balanced?


My plan is to wire the room for a 7.1.4 setup, but I'll start with a 5.1.4 setup since I have 5.1 now.
These guides from Dolby seem like exactly what I need:
https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/speaker-setup-guides/5.1.4-overhead-speaker-setup-guide.html
https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/speaker-setup-guides/7.1.4-overhead-speaker-setup-guide.html

Some of my current equipment:
TV: TCL 55R615
Speakers: B&W CDM 7SE
Center: B&W CDM CSE
Rear: B&W DM601
Sub: SVS 16-46PC with upgraded (ultra?) driver
BD Player: Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD

Definitely replacing:
Receiver: Marantz SR7005 - Gotta upgrade to Atmos.
Projector: Panasonic PT-AE1000U - the motor in the dynamic iris is sticking, so this needs to be replaced ASAP.

At first I thought I'd need to do some major soundproofing to the room, but the noise level outside of the bonus room is lower than I expected. I probably need to do something, though. The door feels like the first thing that should be changed because it has a gap at the bottom and seems pretty thin.

4) What are the best "bang for your buck" soundproofing items I should consider?

5) Any recommendations for center and rear speaker stands? I don't have anything for my center at the moment and my rear speakers are just sitting on random side tables.

6) What should I put my equipment in and where should that go? Right now I have a TV stand, but the center speaker completely blocks the equipment in it, so I want to get rid of the stand.

7) Do I run conduit through the floor for speaker wiring? The floors need to be re-carpeted anyway.

I've been reading everything I can on here and other forums, but honestly I'm pretty overwhelmed trying to figure out all of the pieces. I think I'm going to talk with some of the folks at a nice Home Theater store in the area to see if I can get some recommendations, but I want to try to keep my expenses from getting out of control. I probably need a professional to install the ceiling speakers and projector wiring.

I know I'll have a million other questions as I go, but I appreciate any help I can get.
 

JohnRice

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Just a thought on seating. Will some viewers be kids, where some beanbags or something like that might work? Something that can easily be moved around.

What about budget?

I would definitely do a motorized screen that comes down in front of the TV, and between the L/R speakers, just like you said, so you aren't locked into the projector for everything.
 

Gregory Pauswinski

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Yes. Thanks for the idea. I have a 5 and an 8 year old. I do envision this room being used for them to have friends over - especially as they get older, but I also want to have movie nights with friends.
 

John Dirk

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1) Is a fixed frame projector screen hanging on the wall preferable to a motorized one that comes down in front of the TV?

Unless this will be a multi-purpose room where the screen would be either at risk or a distraction at certain times I would stick with a fixed screen.

2) What size screen should I be looking at? It all seems to come down to my seating arrangements, so I need to get that figured out. I want to buy a 4k projector, but I'll start a thread in the displays area to talk about that.

My wall is about 11ft across and I was barely able to shoehorn in a 135 inch 16x9 screen. You might be able to go slightly larger but probably best to stay in that range.

We have a family of 4, so I want to plan enough seating for the whole family plus seating for friends. We're thinking we should have seating for maybe 6-8. I imagine that 90% of the time it will be just me watching stuff, though, so setting everything up for the sweet spot is very important. I want to have at least 4 nice home theater seats, but not all of the seating needs to be too fancy. I think I'd prefer not to have a riser for a second row of seating because it feels to me like it might be weird in the room, but I'm definitely open to ideas.

I would go with matching seats throughout but that's just my preference. There is no practical reason for this.

Speaker placement and proper projector installation [to avoid excessive zoom and keystone use] will be crucial so take your time with this part. Be prepared for some experimentation with properly placing the speakers and use available online resources such as the Dolby site, especially for Atmos speakers.

Your projector will come with a chart that lets you know it's optimal positioning in your room. Since you're not new to projectors I'm assuming you already understand this. I've also found Projector Central quite useful over the years.


3) How do I arrange seating for approximately 6-8 while maintaining the sweet spot? Do I need to plan for an odd number of seats to keep everything aesthetically balanced?

A sweet "spot" is just that. Design the room with only your preferred seat in mind since you'll be the one enjoying it most of the time. Aside from enthusiasts, I doubt anyone knows or cares about this. I know my wife doesn't.

Click the link in my sig to see the evolution of my room.
 
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Gregory Pauswinski

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I got overwhelmed so things are proceeding rather slowly on my bonus room home theater room project. Has it really been over a year and a half since my initial post??? :) Some ideas are becoming more concrete, though.

Here's what I'm thinking at the moment. I think I'm going to get a motorized screen that sits in front of the two windows on the right side of the room pictured above. I'm leaning toward not bothering with a TV and just using the projector in all of its glory.

Seating - The sweet spot is still the most important seat in the room, but when I watch movies with my family it seems like it might be weird to sit in multiple rows. There are 4 of us total, which does not lend itself toward a seat in the middle. I'm thinking about having 3 seats in the front row and 4 seats on a riser in the second row. 3 and 3 might be more practical, though. Those of you with kids, is it weird to sit in multiple rows on a family movie night?

Speakers - I want to go 7.1.4 and reuse as many of my existing speakers as possible. I only have a 5.1 setup now and it feels like I might be able to use this opportunity to upgrade my main speakers and shift my B&W CDM 7SEs to be used as surrounds. We'll have to see how expensive everything else gets.


Screen - I'm getting overwhelmed here too. My projector budget is around $5k and it feels weird for the screen to cost as much as the projector. Does anyone have recommendations for me? How is SeymourAV? Stewart Filmscreen seems more economical than Screen Innovations. There are so many options, I need help focusing on brands that offer good performance and value.

I have a million more questions, but I think I'm going to start here - screens and seating. Thank you for your time.
 

Bobofbone

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If you're open to a fixed screen, you might consider making your own. The easiest is a painted wall, but you need to make the wall smooth and do an even paint job. There used to be threads on the AVS forum on painting screens. The nearest I got to that was with some white spray paint on poured cement walls when I tried different configurations and watched movies in the dead of night sitting on lawn chairs with one of my cats. She still likes movies.

I constructed my own screen, at a cost of around $125. I tried a number of fabrics from Carls Fabrics and settled on a reflective plain white, as my room is light controlled. I bought 90 degree frame clamps from Lowes, and used wood to make a rectangular frame with a center brace, for a 2.4:1 aspect ratio with a diagonal size of 155" . I used a stretching pliers and stapled the fabric from the center points, stretching to the corners. I also put a frame around the screen that was painted flat black, and put rope light behind the frame for effect. It can be dimmed and extinguished by remote-I had circuits placed on a Lutron dimmer during construction. The above cost doesn't include the rope lighting. I also had a mitre saw already, and killed my trusty 25 year old staple gun with this project. We gave it a nice send off to the great stapler beyond (the beer used to toast it wasn't included in the above cost either). I also used 90 degree corner hardware to brace the frame.

Some suggestions about doing this. Inspect all the wood you plan to use to eliminate uneven or warped pieces. Make sure the wood is completely dried. Unfold the fabric several days ahead of time to allow any folds to flatten before putting it on the frame. Keep kids and pets out of the room used to lay out the fabric while it's sitting out. If you are making a large screen, make sure you can get it from where it's made to where it will be mounted-or make it in the same room. You'll also need a hand drill and some simple tools.

A DIY screen isn't difficult, and costs much less than buying one already made. You might also consider that the ready made ones come in a box or tube, and you have to put those together as well. There hasn't been much on this forum about doing it, but if you look on You Tube and a few other places, there's some pretty good videos on doing it.


Theater 003.JPG
 

Gregory Pauswinski

Supporting Actor
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Dec 2, 1998
Messages
590
Bob, Your setup looks really nice. Thank you for the information.

I'm very grateful to Gregg Loewen for spending a lot of time talking through everything with me. I now have a much more focused plan for my home theater room.

Projector
JVC RS-2000 aka DLA-NX7 and a JVC Chief mount

Screen
I am going to block off the window in the center of the 20 foot wall and put a fixed frame projector screen in front of it. I am going to get the Stewart CIMA fixed frame 2.35:1 138" diagonal screen with Neve material.
This week's Home Theater United podcast made me aware that I need masking panels

Receiver
Denon AVR-X6700H

Speakers
I was talked off the ledge of upgrading my main speakers. I picked up two used B&W DM-603's locally for $350.
Mains: B&W CDM 7SE
Center: B&W CDM CSE
Surrounds: B&W DM-603
Rear Surrounds: B&W DM-601
Sub: Currently have SVS 16-46PC with upgraded (ultra?) driver. I guess I need two SVS PB-1000's

Atmos
B&W CCM 664? They're $600 for 2, so I'm still researching my options are here

Seating
I am still researching what seats to get. I am likely going to do 3 seats in the front row and 4 behind on a riser.
 

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