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post #1 of 17 Old 01-09-2019, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Challenging small room advice w/pics - Rainy Cave

Hi Folks,

Rather new member here although I have been around (reading) for many years. We recently bought a semidetached house in the rainy Bergen (Norway) where we'll live for the time being. After the civil war, wife and I agreed on a peace treaty: finished attic for her atelier/hobby room and basement-to-be-finished for my listening room/man's cave.

After some consideration I have decided to make my life a bit more complicated and use the room also as a family's movie room.

Following some struggle to meet the code when it comes to thermal/humidity insulation, I am now planning on speaker placement/wiring/ soundproofing/acoustic treatment. I have to say that my focus is to get a good sounding room rather that a sound-proof bunker but all the reasonably costed (in time and money) acoustic insulation measurements will be considered

I believed I have everything I need when it comes to sound: 2x Infinity Beta 50 towers, 2x Infinity Beta 40 towers, 2x Infinity Beta 10 bookshelf, 1 x Infinity CS360 Central, 2x B&W ASW650 subs, Denon 2312 7.2 receiver, etc....a bit old but I am very please with the overall performance.

I would say that stereo and MC music are my priorities but that's maybe because I never owned a projector

The room is somehow challenging: is a 9'10'' x 14'11'' rectangle. Wall's description is as follows:

9'10'' wall with an exterior door (to the garden) and a high window (around 6' from the floor). Thick wall made of Solid concrete+concrete bricks

14'11'' wall facing the neighbor's basement. Thick wall made of Solid concrete+concrete bricks. Stus are decoupled from the concrete.

9'10'' stud wall with a door to access a cawl-ish space where I'll have a small workshop and bike storage (4 to date, more coming ) plus a lower area where I store wood for the fireplace and miscellaneous stuff.

14'11'' stud wall with a door to the washing room, the staircase and a door to a walking closet under the stairs.

10cm(~4'') of fiberglass blankets will take care of the insulation. Following the code, the exterior wall has an additional 3'' layer or XPS. Single or double drywall can be hanged but I don't want to subtract more space than necessary

Ceiling is rather low, around 7' after the soundproof hangers and the drywall. There are 4'' of fiberglass between the joists. Ceiling is already painted but I would consider an extra DW layer is that is gonna make a huge difference - kitchen, main entrance hall and small toilet right above

Floor heating and parquet is already in place.


I would appreciate advise on:

1. Is there room to 7.2 sound (with backs) or I should be happy with 5.2? Maybe front heights?

2. After a lot of thinking I came up with the arrangement you can see in the attached image. Considering the viewing distance, will you use a
projector or a 65'' OLED?

3. Related to 2, would you change the orientation and place the sofa over the large axis to gain viewing distance even though you will
sacrificed a more ideal speaker placement?

4. Are points 2&3 all bollocks and I should for a projector no matter what and then do my best with the speakers? Please, convince me

5. Should I wire the ceiling for a future .2 or .4 Atmos upgrade or it is just not worthy in this room, specially considering I would need a new
AV receiver?


I can go like this forever so the next question summarizes all the previous ones, What would you do if this was you basement?


Now some pics of the current state and the 2d and 3D models with my not-written-in-stone arrangement. I can post some pictures of how I have been doing the stuff if someone thinks that is relevant.
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-10-2019, 10:08 AM
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Easily enough room for a projector. We used one for year, at a similar distance, with an 84" screen. I would consider, do you value the rear two speakers that much? If not, you could increase screen size, substantially. I have used up to 120" image at roughly that viewing distance.

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post #3 of 17 Old 01-11-2019, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Easily enough room for a projector. We used one for year, at a similar distance, with an 84" screen. I would consider, do you value the rear two speakers that much? If not, you could increase screen size, substantially. I have used up to 120" image at roughly that viewing distance.
Even with an 1080p porjector 6'4'' will sufice?

I guess it depends on the screeen size but if I am gonna end up with a 70'' screen I rather put a TV and spear all the hazel that comes with the projector (wiring, screen, etc...).

84'', on the other hand, sounds like a lot more screen than 65 ...and I really want as projector but not to any price.

Rear surrounds? I don't really care about them. Actually in my drawings there are no rears, just the SWs (70 degrees take ir or leave it) and the side surrounds at the (roughly) 135 degrees position. If you meant moving the sofa back towards the rear wall, that is not an option: staircase landing and access to the washing room are on the way.

Rotating the set up 90 degrees to use the longer axis of the room is possible but then I have to put the sofa against the wall which makes the surround location a bit complicated , doesn't it? .

Also, I have 6'8'' of width at best due to the exterior wall or the workshop door. This width dictates how far apart I should place the sofa from the front speakers which will be about the same that in the other orientation. SWs placement should be a problem in the alternative position: one front, one back.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-12-2019, 06:24 PM
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I would use the bottom room instead, with a projector.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-13-2019, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oria34 View Post
Even with an 1080p porjector 6'4'' will sufice?

I guess it depends on the screeen size but if I am gonna end up with a 70'' screen I rather put a TV and spear all the hazel that comes with the projector (wiring, screen, etc...).

84'', on the other hand, sounds like a lot more screen than 65 ...and I really want as projector but not to any price.

Rear surrounds? I don't really care about them. Actually in my drawings there are no rears, just the SWs (70 degrees take ir or leave it) and the side surrounds at the (roughly) 135 degrees position. If you meant moving the sofa back towards the rear wall, that is not an option: staircase landing and access to the washing room are on the way.

Rotating the set up 90 degrees to use the longer axis of the room is possible but then I have to put the sofa against the wall which makes the surround location a bit complicated , doesn't it? .

Also, I have 6'8'' of width at best due to the exterior wall or the workshop door. This width dictates how far apart I should place the sofa from the front speakers which will be about the same that in the other orientation. SWs placement should be a problem in the alternative position: one front, one back.
The 6' 4" is to the viewing position, right? But with a ceiling mount projector, how far can you mount it back? That will determine screen size. But I don't think there will be any issue going with 84" size, no matter.

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post #6 of 17 Old 01-14-2019, 04:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I would use the bottom room instead, with a projector.
Unfortunately, that is not an option. There is concrete-covered bedrock with a slope so the only standing up area (7' height) is a 4'x16' feet rectangle where I store my bikes and have a small workshop.

The rest is a slope with a deck to store wood and construction stuff. The chimney ash dump door is there too.
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The 6' 4" is to the viewing position, right? But with a ceiling mount projector, how far can you mount it back? That will determine screen size. But I don't think there will be any issue going with 84" size, no matter.
I am actually thinking about making an in-wall hatch in the washing room stud wall (see picture). That will give me a good 10 feet projection distance and will my life easier when it comes to wiring. My concern, however, is the viewing distance (6.8 to 7 feet).

I am in the market for affordable 4K projectors or good quality 1080p. Let's say I manage to get a 95'' screen, Will the viewing distance be adequate?

The reason I am still considering a 1080p projector in 2019 is just because 4K will requiere a receiver upgrade on top of the extra money you pay for a 4K projector and I might want to wait a couple of years to go for a full 8K upgrade: call me crazy, but my feel is that the leap is "cinematic experience'', if that's a thing, from 1080p to 4k is not crazy when it comes to movies.....or maybe I haven't seen good quality 4K projectors.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-14-2019, 09:31 AM
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I personally feel that will be enough distance, easily, for a 95" screen. We ran 84" for years, at similar viewing distance.



In my mind, there are no "right" or "wrong" rules for viewing distance vs. screen size. It all comes down to preference.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-14-2019, 06:16 PM
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Ever consider an acoustically transparent screen in that space?

It all would admittedly be some work, but not a lot of expense. I can easily accommodate a 54x96"
screen in what is essentially 80" tall (under the HVAC soffit) and 9'5" wide (before fabric covered side
walls and acoustical treatments).
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Any chance your dvd player has dual hdmi outputs? One of those could feed the audio input of your existing
receiver.

There should be rules for projection in a small space! An AT screen is without a doubt the absolute best option
if one doesn't have the advantage of tiny speakers. But you need a bit of extra room depth for large speakers.

A very large plus of an AT screen in a small space is how you can hide speakers and reduce visual clutter.
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-15-2019, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Ever consider an acoustically transparent screen in that space?

It all would admittedly be some work, but not a lot of expense. I can easily accommodate a 54x96"
screen in what is essentially 80" tall (under the HVAC soffit) and 9'5" wide (before fabric covered side
walls and acoustical treatments).
I did think about it when considered the long axis orientation but decided it was not very practical due to the presence or doors and the little width available: less than 7' to accommodate two large tower speakers, two 12'' subs and a large central speakers. Besides, my main focus will be 2ch and MC music....
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Any chance your dvd player has dual hdmi outputs? One of those could feed the audio input of your existing
receiver.

There should be rules for projection in a small space! An AT screen is without a doubt the absolute best option
if one doesn't have the advantage of tiny speakers. But you need a bit of extra room depth for large speakers.

A very large plus of an AT screen in a small space is how you can hide speakers and reduce visual clutter.
I see where you are going but my BD player has a single HDMI output (Denon 1611). Also, I believe most of my 4K content in the near future will be streamed and for that I will need either an HTPC with dual HDMI outputs or, simpler, a media player (Apple TV or equivalent). Since not many of this media players have dual HDMI outputs I would need a 4K enabled receiver if I want HD audio

But Hey, I haven't discarded a 4K projector yet...it is just that the quality/price ratio is pushing me back: no much money left after buying the house, the renovation thing and a new unexpected family member
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I thought the room was 9'10" wide, and 14' 11' deep?

I often have my days where I think why don't I just go with 2.1 or 2.2 behind my AT screen wall?
That would be seriously cool and seriously simple. (Headache free, as it always seems to me, that there's always ONE
obstacle in my way, to me having everything. It also would free up a lot of gear, for resale. That's always a thing here,
any upgrade often either kicks a component down to my 4K hdtv but stereo media room setup or displaced gear gets sold
off and becomes cash to help cover an upgrade.

Is a htpc with dual outputs a thing? Do you use a second video card for just audio?

What receiver do you have? It can't be there old as that looks like you have height channels?

I have been fighting with my 9'5" wide room for 20 years. Four or five major renovations, 8 or 9 projectors later, and
an AT screen is still the absolute best thing ever, for this space. But if your room is but 7' wide, then I'd stick a 4K hdtv
in there. The AT doesn't really impact on audio, hides a lot of av clutter, and makes the space feel a lot larger. My modest
54x96" screen also presents as being bigger then it is. Lots of unexpected pluses there, and those lessons will be applied
to my next theater build, which won't be the big 2-3 row tired theater I thought about five years ago.

With projection and the inability to go with a huge screen since it's a small room, I'd actually lean towards 1080P. More
mainstream, cheaper and simpler.
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I did think about it when considered the long axis orientation but decided it was not very practical due to the presence or doors and the little width available: less than 7' to accommodate two large tower speakers, two 12'' subs and a large central speakers. Besides, my main focus will be 2ch and MC music....
I did think about the doors. That sliding door could be floor to ceiling, and fabric covered, to absorb light coming off the screen. I would shadow box the front area of any projection based setup. The hardest thing to do well, with projection in a small room, to not light up the room. Here's an interesting example of hiding a doorway. Too bad they didn't use a black finish for the door handle though.

I am still wondering how the room is 7' wide? Is the floor plan accurate? I see a 6' 8" measurement up top, plus I'd expect that exterior door to be at least 32" wide, if not more.
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post #15 of 17 Old Yesterday, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I thought the room was 9'10" wide, and 14' 11' deep?

I often have my days where I think why don't I just go with 2.1 or 2.2 behind my AT screen wall?
That would be seriously cool and seriously simple. (Headache free, as it always seems to me, that there's always ONE
obstacle in my way, to me having everything. It also would free up a lot of gear, for resale. That's always a thing here,
any upgrade often either kicks a component down to my 4K hdtv but stereo media room setup or displaced gear gets sold
off and becomes cash to help cover an upgrade.

Is a htpc with dual outputs a thing? Do you use a second video card for just audio?

What receiver do you have? It can't be there old as that looks like you have height channels?

I have been fighting with my 9'5" wide room for 20 years. Four or five major renovations, 8 or 9 projectors later, and
an AT screen is still the absolute best thing ever, for this space. But if your room is but 7' wide, then I'd stick a 4K hdtv
in there. The AT doesn't really impact on audio, hides a lot of av clutter, and makes the space feel a lot larger. My modest
54x96" screen also presents as being bigger then it is. Lots of unexpected pluses there, and those lessons will be applied
to my next theater build, which won't be the big 2-3 row tired theater I thought about five years ago.

With projection and the inability to go with a huge screen since it's a small room, I'd actually lean towards 1080P. More
mainstream, cheaper and simpler.
You are right, room is 9'10'' wide but the presence of a door constrains the available space for the front stage to about 6'8'', which constrains itself the screen size and the viewing distance. Also, that arrangement is not ver audiophile friendly. I know my setup is on the very low end of the audiophile spectrum but I really enjoy music and I want to take as little compromises when it comes to stereo listening. My goal is to get the most out of my speakers and for that we all know that the room is vital

I admit that the AT screen is a neat solution but also takes some space when you have tower speakers (2' feet deep?) and want a proper fixed frame screen. The alternative is to have a manual or electric one mounted on the ceiling: are those nice?

I agree with you when it comes to the projetor, a 1080p will do the trick with the size range I am considering. My concern is to frame and wire the whole room, buy a projector and a 95'' (or ~86) screen and then suffer eye strain (6'4'' WD)...that will be an epic fail.

My receiver is a Denon 2312 and yes, dual HDMI graphic cards are quite common nowadays and many with HD audio enabled HDMI if I am not mistaken...

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I see my diagram didn't attach to my post...….

If that wall isn't loading bearing, could that door be relocated in the storage area? Then you have the full width of that wall, to use
as the screen wall. The door closet could get a sliding door, and a new doorway could go into the front closet space. That would cost you
some square footage of that area with the slope, but that might be worth the trade-off.

It would admittedly be some work but not that expensive to accomplish DIY. Upsides would be a 110 or 120" screen, the potential of a simple
upper panel mask, for scope when using a 16x9 screen, and sitting feet from a 54x96" screen isn't pretty relaxed viewing with zero worries about
any eye strain from a 10' seating distance. Plus a "visual erase" of 2 doors, if that sliding door was tall and covered with dark fabric. It basically
would present as a wing wall, and you could do symmetrical panels on both sides, to absorb light coming off the screen (which would help preserve
a pj's contrast ratio) while adding some texture to the room.

I would never use a roll up screen. I might consider a tensioned roll up screen but they are pricey. I personally would use SermourAV's XD fabric
and would lace it into an oversized opening framed into the end wall. The screen edges would be velvet covered boards, and I would think about doing
a 10' wide upper mask, if all the gear can tie a video image to the bottom of the screen. All that would be about a higher end solution, at budget expenditure.

Of course that end wall could be done with a standard screen, a la BigmouthinDC's two goal post method, with some in fill fabric panels.

Been a long time since I started out with a 45x80" screen and my Plus Piano HE3100 dlp pj, but I think a 6'4" seating distance would actually be workable.

Do you actually need dual hdmi cards if the htpc processor has onboard video?
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With a large hdtv, you could move that door over, and hide it as part of a large sliding panel.

The wiring hook up would be the challenge. (Maybe a wider opening would work there?)

You'd have to work the math to make sure there's a usable door width between the speakers.
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