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What would you do? 600 sq ft room? (1 Viewer)

Gary V

Sep 20, 2003
Here's the deal - I am having a new house built in Las Vegas and unfortunately I can't do some of the things I want as I have to go with the builder's plans. So this means the room will be one level, rather than having a step-level room, which I wanted.

But the good news is that its a 600 sq ft room approx. 20 x 30, so its a good sized rectangle. No closets or funky corners, just a straight box shape.

The room will be used primarily as a theater. I might get a pool table for the back, but thats down the line.

Anyways, I want to use the room to watch movies, TV, sports and even maybe play PS2. But I have a ton of questions. So knowing my circumstance, if you guys could give me some suggestions and point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it. I have about a year to plan this, so I am looking forward to doing my due dilligence.

My idea is to have a front projection system, with a motorized screen that rolls down. I am not sure how big of a screen to put in, and if it should be a 16:9 screen. I will have direct tv, but I don't plan on getting HDTV until a while after the theater is installed. Further, I would like to install a bunch of recliners and/or a sectional sofa to make it comfortable. I probably won't get the home theater recliners I see referred to on here so often. I figure getting some "cigar" chairs w/ ottomons would be cool and comfortable.

As for sound, I have a yamaha box set I bought for my current place. It is a highly recommended set, was about $600 or so. But I will most likely use that set in my living room and get bigger speakers for this theater.

My expected budget is about $8,000-$9,000, not including furniture. So what setup would you recommend?

Also, here are some questions:

1. How will a 16:9 screen affect me w/ no HDTV? I know on my Tivo, I can change the aspect ratio.

2. I read that with a front projection system, the first row of seating should be 12-15 ft from the screen. I am not sure how this will play out in my bonus room as I would like the seating to start 10 ft.

3. I was hoping to get as big of a screen as possible. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a bigger screen?

4. What size screen and what projector would you recommend?

5. How much is a good screen? and installation? I would like to have a professional install it.

6. How about installing a projector? Any ideas on price?

7. Lastly, if you guys have any good links with pictures and/or ideas for lighting, seating, furniture, curtains, decorations please let me know.

I sincerely appreciate the help, and thanks in advance!

Gary V

Dave Milne

Supporting Actor
Jul 2, 2001
A couple of quick comments:

Do you have perfect light control in this room? It is important for any FP... but crucial if you're thinking about CRT FP. Some of the newer midrange DLP machines ($4-6K) provide good light output and a very decent picture while being much smaller, lighter and less expensive than CRTs. Perhaps others with more DLP experience can suggest a specific brand/model.

Were you able to get your builder to pre-wire for ceiling-mounted projector? Otherwise this is going to be a pain. You need AC power, RGBHV video cables, and a screen trigger.

Definitely go with the 16:9 screen, regardless of whether or not you have HDTV. I chose a 52x92 Draper "Premier" motorized screen for my CRT FP. Figure about $1000 not including installation (I installed mine myself). You might want to go a little larger in such a large room. It depends on whether your projector has enough light output for a bigger screen.

Others can probably comment on audio equipment. My audiophile background drove me to gear that most would not consider "good value". You should be looking for a decent AV receiver (Yamaha, Kenwood, Technics, etc), five matched speakers (JBL's N-series seem to be well-respected) and a subwoofer (SVS is very popular). The result will be much better audio performance than a typical "home-theater-in-a-box" system.

Gary V

Sep 20, 2003
I don't know what you mean by Perfect Light Control, but there are two windows in there that I will have to black out. I am not worried about that.

As for the ceiling mount, the builder isn't sophisticated enough to offer a FP mount, so I got a ceiling fan mount about 1/3 of the room. Basically it gives me a plated outlet and a reinforced part of the ceiling. Though I may have to move the projector in a few feet either direction, I figured this is the best way to go, especially for electrical. I am not sure about running the video cables as I don't know exactly where the FP is going. So that will have to come later, unfortunately.

Thanks for the info. Any ideas on Audio equip or FP would be appreciated.


Stunt Coordinator
Aug 9, 1999
Real Name
Jawhn MacCaine
I would suggest you prioritize your spending. A motorized screen, although very cool and conveinent, is MUCH more expensive than a pull-down or stationary model. Your budget might be better spent on a more expensive PJ, receiver, DVD player or speakers, but it's your choice.

Keep in mind that installation costs can eat up your budget fast. Depending on your knowledge, ability and time (with help from forum members) many things can be done by you.

As far as equipment recomendations, that can be pretty broad. Everyone has different levels of AV expectations. What sounds or looks good to you may be terrible to someone else. Some may spend $1000 on a reciever (and think it's expensive) and another may spend $1000 on a 3ft cable (and think it's cheap). I would suggest that you listen to as many audio systems and look at as many PJs (within your price range) as possible. Find out what YOU like and then ask for help narrowing down your choices. Buying sight unseen or unheard can be a BIG disapointment (especially from the net, where returns can be slow, expensive or non-existant).

Because your in a large city there may be some forum members (both here and on AVS forum) that would invite you over to see there set ups. Most people love to show off there theaters.

For pictures try:




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