Cheap Dave's Home Theater


What size room do I need?

When I am looking at houses or condos or invited to a friends house for dinner I am always sizing up the rooks to see where I might put a home theater. I am currently on my third and this is the only one that was designed with HT in mind.

When I am looking at houses or condos or invited to a friends house for dinner I am always sizing up the rooks to see where I might put a home theater. I am currently on my third and this is the only one that was designed with HT in mind.

My first Home Theater was in a room sold optimistically as a "Den" in a downtown condo in Seattle. The room was 7.5 ft wide by 12 ft long. Now how big of a screen might you get in a room that small you might ask. Well I crammed an 84" screen in there. The picture was nearly wall to wall. The 12 foot depth was just enough for the projector to be back far enough to fill that screen. So I always think of this room and I consider that to be the minimum size needed for a true home theater. We really liked this room and the narrow width tended to focus you attention on the screen.

So when I look at rooms in house for possible home theaters I look for 12 feet in one direction. A lot of houses have bedrooms (second or third bedroom) that are not even this big. But I also include the closet depth. You could use the closet space for components and put the projector on a shelf in the closet and cut a hole in the wall if you have to.

My current room is 16 feet wide by 17 feet deep with a 5 foot wide closet running along the whole back wall of the home theater that acts as a projection room. So I can place my projector anywhere from 17 feet to 22 feet from the screen.

Is there such a thing as too big of a room for home theater. Possibly. My great room is very large and I do intend to set up a basic surround system in that room. I don't know if I will really be able to fill that room with convincing big sound. The room is approximately 15,000 cubic feet. So a room that large would require a lot more power or more efficient speakers or both to really fill it.

So I am looking for very efficient speakers (like form Klipsch). I did convince my wife that tiny cube speakers would not be able to fill this room. I actually found a stereo store that would let you compare those expensive tiny cubes to larger speakers and it only took my wife a second to give in on the tiny speaker idea.

So in conclusion 12 feet in one direction minimum and if you have a choice not a blimp hangar