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New House with "Theater Room" (1 Viewer)

DavidJ

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Hello all,

We recently moved into a new-to-us house, with a room off the foyer that the previous owners used as a theater room. I'm trying to decide how workable it is moving forward. If it can work, I'd like to make it work, because something is better than nothing. I'm looking for advice as I decide what to do.

The room was obviously intended to be an office or dining room. It is 15' 5 11/16" x 11' 7 3/4" wide with 10' ceilings. There is a 117" 16x9 Carada screen at one end of the room and a large window with plantation shutters that have been kept shut. There is a ceiling-mounted Sony VPL-VW50 1080p projector at the other end. The projector mount is approximately 14' 6" from the window and wall. There's only a few inches of clearance between the Sony projector and the wall. I think the screen is the 1.0 gain Classic Cinema White.

There's nowhere else in the house to use as a theater space. In my previous home, our living room was where we watched and we optimized it as much as possible for movie viewing on our 75" 4K Sony display. I used an Atlantic Technology 4200e system with an SVS SB-3000 sub for 5.1. I'm trying to decide if I will put this in our great room which has all sorts of issues for surround sound and display placement or use it in the theater room.

Things I'm considering:
  • Moving the surround system into the theater room and using the 1080p projector until I upgrade.
  • Moving the surround system and Sony TV display into the theater room and having no display in the great room, but I'd rather not do this.
  • Moving the surround system and buying a 4k projector now.
  • Using a *gasp* soundbar in the great room (it's pretty big though).

Concerns or issues:
  • The screen has less than a foot of clearance on each side from the side walls. This isn't ideal for speaker placement.
  • All the seating is essentially at the back of the room and there's no elegant way to have more than one row.
  • Will the kinds of projectors I'm interested in work well in the room?
  • Will the screen work going forward or do I need a new one?
  • How to do sound and displays in the great room/living room?

I'm looking for help and advice as I think through this. One of the projectors I would like to consider is the JVC DLA-NX5 Projector, but I can't tell if it will work well nor do I know If I'll be able to pull it off at the moment. Not sure I'm using this correctly:



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Last edited:

DavidJ

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A note: the screen is 117" wide which means it is 134" diagonal.

The great room/living room's dimensions are 15' 6" x 19'. The ceiling is about 17' 7 5/8" to the center beam in the middle and about 10' 8" on the side.

I am strongly leaning toward an Atmos soundbar solution for sound there. I'm looking at the Sonos Arc with their sub and One SLs for surrounds. I've been doing a lot of research on it and soundbars and I think it's the way to go in terms of soundbars. I know the room isn't ideal for Atmos effects from a soundbar, but I think it's probably still the best solution for my situation.

I'm still hoping some HTF'ers will weigh in on some of my questions and plans (although I'm not sure I put this topic in the best subforum).
 

DavidJ

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Updates:

  • I ordered the Sonos Arc, sub, and One SLs for the great room, but I waited too long to pull the trigger and they aren't supposed to ship until the first part of January.
  • I am looking at the JVC NX5 or the new Sony VPL-VW715ES for the theater room. I had planned on the NX5 until the Sony update.
  • I'm researching what my options are for audio in the theater room. I will start with my existing 5.1 system using my Atlantic Technology 4200e speakers and the SVS SB-3000 sub.
I want to move to Atmos, but my research and reading is giving me conflicting information. It's not a large room and some of the advice says that 5.1.2 is as high as I need to go or should go with the configuration. And then I found a guy on YouTube with the same room dimensions as our room who went 7.2.4 and he said he's glad he did. One of the companies he was working with recommended only using two Atmos speakers. So I'm a bit confused on what to plan for. I'm also looking at option for speakers to add to my existing Atlantic Technology system versus a whole new speaker system. It is tempting to go with a new system, but the budget would be better off with the former option. And I will have to buy a new Atmos capable AVR to replace my Pioneer Elite SC-77.

As always, I'm open to thoughts, advice or questions I should be asking that I haven't thought of yet.
 

DavidJ

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BTW, The Sonos Arc is an awesome soundbar and system. It has been fantastic in our great room. Of course, a discrete system would be better, but it was not feasible and the Arc, sub, and One SLs have exceeded expectations.
 

JohnRice

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What are you doing for audio in the theater room? Regarding an earlier question, 5.x.2 probably is as far as you need to go, since the seating is against the back wall. To make decent use of an additional pair of surrounds and Atmos, there really needs to some space behind the viewing position.
 

DavidJ

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What are you doing for audio in the theater room? Regarding an earlier question, 5.x.2 probably is as far as you need to go, since the seating is against the back wall. To make decent use of an additional pair of surrounds and Atmos, there really needs to some space behind the viewing position.

Hey, John. Thanks for the inquiry and advice. I am still deciding and researching. We spent more on the picture than originally planned and that changed things a bit, but I've also found out I can stretch the budget some.

For the time being, I am going with my existing 5.1 gear until I decide. To set things up the way I want, we will have to have new wires run. The surrounds aren't placed correctly and we will be adding speakers. I've been think of posting in the speaker assistance thread again with some of what I'm considering and my questions.

We have decided to go with two rows of seating (and even if we changed to one row again, we will have it away from the back wall and closer to the screen for the 4K projection). So, would you still recommend sticking with 5.x.2 or should we consider 5.x.4?
 

JohnRice

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We have decided to go with two rows of seating (and even if we changed to one row again, we will have it away from the back wall and closer to the screen for the 4K projection). So, would you still recommend sticking with 5.x.2 or should we consider 5.x.4?
That's a much better use of the room. As it is, you're so far from the screen and sitting against the back wall will never take full advantage of surround soundtracks. As long as you have room to walk behind the rear row (say 3' or more) then you can take decent advantage of 5.x.4 or even 7.x.4.
 

JohnRice

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...and I suggest you just continue to post here, where people can see the entire discussion, rather than splitting it between here and the general thread.
 

DavidJ

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I've always appreciated my Atlantic Technology 4200e 5.1 system for movies and it was ok for music. We want Atmos in the theater room and I will be replacing the AVR. At one point, I thought about trying to add to my existing speakers, but if I can significantly upgrade my sound experience by replacing them rather than adding to them, I will.

I've been researching different brands, reading and watching reviews, following threads here, looking for options. I would appreciate input from HTF memenbers.

I like SVS's speakers and have looked at both the Ultra and Prime lines. I'm also intrigued by ELAC's Uni-Fi 2.0 speakers. They aren't pretty, but I think I would like their sound. If I decide to stretch the budget, I might consider the lower end of the GoldenEar line. I even thought about taking my KEF Q550s from my 2-channel system and adding to them, but they are white and I really don't want white speakers in a theater room. Unfortunately, with most of these, I don't have a good way to audition them.

There are some questions and concerns that have developed as I have been going through this process.

  • I had been thinking of tower speakers, but some like the SVS Ultra towers and the GoldenEar towers have woofers on the side and that won't work in the room, since they would have to placed so close to the side walls. I'm also concerned that towers might be too much for the room, but I'm not sure.
  • Some of the speaker lines I've looked at do not have good Atmos options. Is this something to be concerned about? I know timbre matching is critical across the front speakers and desired for the surrounds, but how much of a concern is it with Atmos?
  • In-ceiling speakers may be a no-go in my room as there is a bedroom directly above it. There is definitely not an easy path to installing them. From what I've read, I want to avoid upfiring modules. Even though I get decent upfiring Atmos in the living room, I want this to be better. Is something like the SVS Prime Elevation speakers the way to go?
  • Dipole surrounds?
    • I know that Atmos isn't designed for dipole surrounds, but in a room my size where some seats will be right next to the wall, dipole seems to be the best choice.
    • Does anyone here have experience using dipole speakers with Atmos?
    • Some of the speakers I've been considering, like the ELACs, don't have bipole or dipole options. This concerns me.
  • Since the center channel is so critical for movies, I've been leaning toward systems with three-way center channels, but my old system was a two-way. Am I leaving out systems that I should be considering by prioritizing a three-way center?



That's a much better use of the room. As it is, you're so far from the screen and sitting against the back wall will never take full advantage of surround soundtracks. As long as you have room to walk behind the rear row (say 3' or more) then you can take decent advantage of 5.x.4 or even 7.x.4.

We currently have the viewing distance at 10.5 feet which seems about right for one row. This puts the back wall five feet away.

This is a temporary arrangement until we decide what we are going to do. We did test out two rows of seating. It works, but the front row is closer than I would like. It does allow us to accommodate more people though.

With two rows, John, do you still think the 5.x.4 or 7.x.4 is a possibility?
 

DavidJ

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Does anyone have good recommendations for a component rack, cabinet, or stand that's not too expensive? The glass door cabinet we are using is falling apart and it isn't really deep enough, to begin with.
 

JohnRice

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You might look at what Sanus offers like THIS and THIS. They are one which makes them deep enough to handle heavy artillery. These are almost 20 deep
 

DavidJ

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You might look at what Sanus offers like THIS and THIS. They are one which makes them deep enough to handle heavy artillery. These are almost 20 deep

Thanks, John. I'll check them out. I know you're probably quite busy, but if you happen to have thoughts on my other questions in the post above the one about the equipment stand, I'd love to hear them. Some of these decisions are making my head hurt. :)
 

JohnRice

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Thanks, John. I'll check them out. I know you're probably quite busy, but if you happen to have thoughts on my other questions in the post above the one about the equipment stand, I'd love to hear them. Some of these decisions are making my head hurt. :)
I will...
 

John Dirk

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In-ceiling speakers may be a no-go in my room as there is a bedroom directly above it. There is definitely not an easy path to installing them. From what I've read, I want to avoid upfiring modules. Even though I get decent upfiring Atmos in the living room, I want this to be better. Is something like the SVS Prime Elevation speakers the way to go?
The SVS Prime Elevations can be a great Atmos solution if you're willing to mount them directly overhead. Don't bother wall-mounting them as the results will likely not be to your liking. They come with a very versatile mounting bracket so ceiling mounting is "relatively" easy.
I know that Atmos isn't designed for dipole surrounds, but in a room my size where some seats will be right next to the wall, dipole seems to be the best choice.
Avoid dipoles for sure but bipoles should work fine. I use these in my room and have been very satisfied.
Am I leaving out systems that I should be considering by prioritizing a three-way center?
Absolutely not. The Center channel is extremely important and should be sonically as close to the L & R as possible. If the L & R are 3-way designs then ideally the Center should be as well.
 

JohnRice

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The SVS Prime Elevations can be a great Atmos solution if you're willing to mount them directly overhead. Don't bother wall-mounting them as the results will likely not be to your liking. They come with a very versatile mounting bracket so ceiling mounting is "relatively" easy.

Avoid dipoles for sure but bipoles should work fine. I use these in my room and have been very satisfied.

Absolutely not. The Center channel is extremely important and should be sonically as close to the L & R as possible. If the L & R are 3-way designs then ideally the Center should be as well.
John, are those Axioms new? You holding out on me?
 

Josh Dial

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I like SVS's speakers and have looked at both the Ultra and Prime lines.

David, I have 7.1.4 system in my home theatre, and all of my speakers are from SVS. I have two Ultra Towers for my fronts, an Ultra Centre for my centre, and four Prime Towers for my rears and surrounds (I went with towers instead of bookshelf speakers). My four height channels are the Prime Elevation speakers. I briefly tried having Ultra Towers for my rears and surrounds but I couldn't detect a audible difference so I went with the slightly more reserved Prime Towers. I'm happy with just two Ultra Towers for my fronts and Prime Towers for the rest.

My receiver is the Anthem MRX-1140.

When I auditioned speakers last winter I ultimately landed on SVS because I preferred their "neutral" sound. In my view the neutral sound is best for movie viewing (I don't listen to music at all on my system). I also auditioned Martin Logan, PSB (my old system was 100% PSB so I wanted to give them another shot), Paradigm, and Totem (I'm in Canada so I wanted to try out two solid Canadian brands). Frankly, everything sounded great and I started to find myself unable to differentiate the brands in a blind listening (thanks to the folks at Base Electronics and K&W here in Calgary for indulging me). Once I started focusing on movies only I preferred the SVS sound just a tad more. Things like explosions sounded a bit less "harsh" and more "rounded" to my ears, and the front sound stage sounded a bit more expansive.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

The SVS Prime Elevations can be a great Atmos solution if you're willing to mount them directly overhead. Don't bother wall-mounting them as the results will likely not be to your liking. They come with a very versatile mounting bracket so ceiling mounting is "relatively" easy.

I'll echo what John wrote. The Prime Elevation speakers were very easy to install. I mounted four speakers overhead by myself in less than two hours, including time to unbox, locate studs, and measure/run speaker wire.
 

DavidJ

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The SVS Prime Elevations can be a great Atmos solution if you're willing to mount them directly overhead. Don't bother wall-mounting them as the results will likely not be to your liking. They come with a very versatile mounting bracket so ceiling mounting is "relatively" easy.

Avoid dipoles for sure but bipoles should work fine. I use these in my room and have been very satisfied.

Absolutely not. The Center channel is extremely important and should be sonically as close to the L & R as possible. If the L & R are 3-way designs then ideally the Center should be as well.

That's good to know about the Elevations and bipoles. I had been wondering if they worked well on the ceiling. The SVS documentation doesn't seem to mention ceiling mounting.

I will match the left, right, and center, but I have only been looking at 3-way options. I wonder if I'm missing out on good options by not considering 2-way systems.

David, I have 7.1.4 system in my home theatre, and all of my speakers are from SVS. I have two Ultra Towers for my fronts, an Ultra Centre for my centre, and four Prime Towers for my rears and surrounds (I went with towers instead of bookshelf speakers). My four height channels are the Prime Elevation speakers. I briefly tried having Ultra Towers for my rears and surrounds but I couldn't detect a audible difference so I went with the slightly more reserved Prime Towers. I'm happy with just two Ultra Towers for my fronts and Prime Towers for the rest.

My receiver is the Anthem MRX-1140.

When I auditioned speakers last winter I ultimately landed on SVS because I preferred their "neutral" sound. In my view the neutral sound is best for movie viewing (I don't listen to music at all on my system). I also auditioned Martin Logan, PSB (my old system was 100% PSB so I wanted to give them another shot), Paradigm, and Totem (I'm in Canada so I wanted to try out two solid Canadian brands). Frankly, everything sounded great and I started to find myself unable to differentiate the brands in a blind listening (thanks to the folks at Base Electronics and K&W here in Calgary for indulging me). Once I started focusing on movies only I preferred the SVS sound just a tad more. Things like explosions sounded a bit less "harsh" and more "rounded" to my ears, and the front sound stage sounded a bit more expansive.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.



I'll echo what John wrote. The Prime Elevation speakers were very easy to install. I mounted four speakers overhead by myself in less than two hours, including time to unbox, locate studs, and measure/run speaker wire.

Thanks for the response, Josh. In the past, I have also preferred a more neutral sound for movie playback and that's one of the reasons I'm interested in SVS. That and I have experience with their subs and their first foray into surround systems.

Anthem is also one of the brands I'm looking at for electronics. What do you think of the MRX-1140? Have the bugs been worked out with their room correction software on it?
 

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