You’ve got the perfect home theatre room with all the audio and video equipment you’ll need to enjoy your favorite movies or shows. But what about the size of the room? That can be tough to determine because there are so many different home theater room sizes out there. And while most TVs are standardized these days, measuring screen size isn’t necessarily a precise science. Here are some factors that will ensure you find your ideal home theatre dimensions.
Number of People It Can Accommodate
You want to be able to invite your friends and family over to share in your home theatre experience, and it should accommodate all of them. In contrast, there’s no absolute minimum size for an optimum viewing distance for a home theatre. The minimum size should be 15 feet wide and 20 feet long. You should also have some space for other types of equipment such as a bar, stand or table.
The Sitting Distance from The Screen
According to the society of motion pictures and television engineers SMPTE, the home theatre layout should ensure each seat gets a view of the entire screen within 30 degrees’ field of view. Thus, should carry out some calculations to get the appropriate dimension for each seat.
Of course, it’s always best to make sure that any seating arrangements are comfortable for all family members. A person sitting too close to the screen may experience eye strain which causes discomfort, while the one far away from the screen may not have a widescreen resolution.
The calculation of the home theatre room size is simple; first, you should measure the horizontal width of the screen then multiply by 2 to get the minimum distance. Multiply it by five to also get the maximum distance the screen will take. For example, a 40-inch TV screen will have a minimum viewing distance of 80 inches and a maximum viewing distance of 200 inches.
That means that your first row of seats should be at least 80 inches away from the screen, and the last row should not be further than 200 inches from the screen. You also need to consider other factors such as brightness, lighting in the room and screen resolution. Test the view of the room from each seat to ensure you get excellent results.
Use of Chair Width to Find Out the Number of Chairs in the Room
You need to get a clear estimate of the number of chairs that can fit in each row. The room should have enough space for people to stretch past your home theatre dimensions. A 20-inch of space on either side of the row is much appropriate.
You need to measure home theatre seats dimensions from centre to centre. That is, from the centre of one armrest to the other. Multiply the figure you get with the number of chairs you want to fit in the theatre room.
Calculate the Space Between Rows of Seats
You need to get the total depth of every theatre seat in your room. From that, include 20 inches between the seats for row space. You need to determine the reclining length for seats that recline to ensure the seats don’t overlap.
You can slightly increase the row space if the seats overlap. Then decrease the space between the rows if you want more room space. However, it shouldn’t be less than 14 inches to ensure you still get the comfort of your room.
The Height of the Riser
The height of the riser is very important because it determines the comfort of your home theatre. If you set the riser higher, then you will need to provide more space between rows. But it’s always safer to have a lower riser to ensure compliance with fire codes and ADA standards.
An excellent height of the riser should be 12 inches per row. You can put it at the back of the row if your rows of seats are more than one. An elevated back row is preferred to ensure sufficient headroom for all guests in the room.
Seating Layouts by Number of Chairs in a Row
A perfect seating layout should allow each person to have an unobstructed view of the screen. Thus the maximum row spacing should be 24 inches. But if you want to provide better comfort, you can increase this number by 3-4 inches per row to 30 inches.
Choosing Among Home Theater Seating Arrangements
You have to first consider your preferences for seating arrangements, first on how many people will be in the room at any one time. You also need to consider whether the relative positions of the seats are important or if good sight lines are more important. An excellent home theatre seating arrangement should have two rows of seats, with all seats being centre from the screen.
The best arrangement for a direct viewing experience is the stadium seating arrangement, with the two rows of seats being no more than three to five feet apart. If you want to prioritize comfort, consider the cinema seating arrangement where each seat is in a row and is set at least 2 feet from the front or side walls and between 3 and 4 feet from the centerline of the row.
Best Shapes for a Home Theater Room
There are several shapes of a home theatre room that you can use. Below is a list of the best shapes to help you figure out what would be best for your needs:
Golden trapagon is one of the best shapes for a home theatre room as it eliminates the nature of parallel walls. That results in minimum effects of sound waves bouncing; thus, you get a perfect and clear sound.
Most professionals in audio and cinema use this type of shape. It is a cuboid that has one side longer than the other. Ideally, the ratio of the trapagon should be 1.272:1. This ratio is perfect for designing a trapagon that direct the sound in your direction and prevents it from producing too much echo and reverberation.
The Normal Trapagon
The room shape, in this case, is similar to the golden trapagon but doesn’t use the same ratio. It’s a cuboid with less difference in its rear and front walls. It has minimal differences in wall width that funnels the sound. This shape doesn’t have the best ratio; thus, you should distinguish between the rare and front wall, thus ensures the viewing area is narrow than the screen wall.
The Golden Cuboid
This shape applies the principle of the Fibonacci sequence and uses progressively increasing values. It’s a cuboid with a golden ratio of 1.618. It’s a room that’s easy to design and enhance the sound system performance. You can use the dimensions you get from calculating to create the perfect shape for your room.
The Best Viewing Distance for TVs
To get the best experience in your home theatre, you need to sit close to the TV. But how close should you be to the TV to enjoy the watching experience and not suffer from eye problems? The viewing distance should be the minimum distance to sit to get the best viewing experience.
However, the ideal distance should be 2.5 to 3.5 feet from the TV. These distances are the same for all TV sizes, including 3D and 2D. But before choosing your viewing distance, you need to consider some things like sitting on a stage or auditorium and checking out the actual view of people sitting in front of you. That will ensure you select the right viewing distance for your TV.
Tips for Deciding on Screen Size and Viewing Distance
The Size of the TV Greatly Depends on the Size of the Room
There is no need to get a bigger screen if you can’t access the whole TV screen. If your room is too small compared to the screen size, then it implies that you won’t get all the details displayed on your screen.
Dimensions of the Room
Take a closer look at the room’s dimensions while considering where the furniture and the TV will sit. You need to have a clear estimate of the distance from the TV to where you will sit. Ensure the viewing distance is at eye level. That implies that you won’t have access to the whole picture if you are very close to the TV.
You can test if the TV is in the right position using paper between the screen and you. The paper should cover the whole image for you to have an excellent viewing distance. To get a more decorative and exclusive look, you need to consider the size of the TV.
The Best Viewing Distance for Projectors
Are you updating your home theatre this year? One significant improvement would be swapping out the CRT, TV or DLP to a new projector. But what is the best viewing distance for projectors in a home theatre? The answer relies on the sitting arrangement from the screen.
The common rule of thumb is that the larger the screen, the larger the room. But why is this so? By the law of Physics, the farther away you are from a screen, the harder it is to see details. If you are in a standard room with a normal-sized screen, to have a perfect focus in your left eye with your right eye, you have to move in your chair so that your left eye would be exactly between the two screens.
A large screen will ensure you don’t miss out on any detail even if you sitting far away from the screen. However, you need to be very close to the screen for a small screen to get all the details.
There is no rule on which size of screen you should purchase for your home theatre. That is because the size of the screen will entirely depend on your budget, room size and seating position. For example, a 12′ wide room can accommodate a 50″ TV, whereas a room ranging from 12′ to 14.5′ can accommodate a 65″ to 70″ screen.
Aspect ratio implies the ratio between the image displayed on the screen and the size of the viewing screen. There are two common aspect ratios in the market today: Standard and Zoom. The most common one that we are going to discuss is the standard aspect.
The standard aspect refers to the standard distribution of film frames and is the common one in-home theatres. The height is usually ten per cent more than the width. You need to get a clear approximate of your room dimension before you get your screen. The easiest and convenient way to find the exact dimension is by hiring a professional to measure them for you.
However, you need to know some basics on TV sizes, and they include:
- 70 Inch – These screens are perfect for a person with large room sizes and would like to get a better viewing experience.
- 60 Inch – This is a great option for people with large families and want a TV for the entire family in a living room that can fit more than their couch.
- 50 Inch – These screens are common among many families and are great if you have the budget. It’s a better option for people with large living areas and needs a roomy scene. However, you should go for 70 inches or 60 inches if your room has so much light to prevent glare.
- 40 Inch – This size is for those with little extra room but doesn’t have an extra row of seating for a larger screen.
What is a Large Room for a Home Theater?
The room size for your home theatre relies on your setup, budget and configuration. The best room size is at least 40′ x40′, whereas the minimum required room size is approximately 20′ x 20′. However, if you want the best experience, you should opt for a larger room. There are also other strategies to use to size your home theatre, and they include:
- Setting multiple rows with 35′ to 40′ height clearance over the seating area
- Creating multiple entrances for larger home theatres
- Ensuring strategic position of the speakers in a small room to avoid blocking your view
- Having sufficient wall space to connect your A/A components, TV speaker, and surround sound system.
How Small Can a Home Theater Be?
You can easily create a superb home theatre by staying with your budget and not necessarily opting for expensive projectors, screens or surround sound systems. However, you should pay attention to the room size and screen size.
The room should have a great shape that will allow you to get great sound and ensure you get an excellent view of the screen. It should also be spacious enough to ensure everyone gets a comfortable watching experience.
Screen Size and Sound
Sound is majorly the theatre acoustic and several other factors. The size should also be directly proportional to the room to avoid getting blurred pictures.
Best Acoustic Treatments for Home Theater Rooms
You must choose the right acoustic treatments for your room. If you have a small room with a viewing distance of 3 or 4 feet from your screen, absorbent acoustic panels will work best for you. These panels will work by getting rid of standing waves while absorbing sound waves.
Diffusers for Better Movie Watching
Have you ever enjoyed a movie in a home theatre system that sounded great, but the picture was too dark? The problem is that your room isn’t absorbing enough sound. It looks like the science of science-fiction movies where they use light-absorbing baffles to create a black room.
You should thus place the diffusers around the perimeter of your room. If you use one in front of your screen, it will bounce up some light and increase brightness giving you better viewing quality. In the opposite corner, you can place a diffuser to bounce up some extra light too.
Generally, bass traps work by absorbing sound waves and then directing them back into the room. They will absorb all frequencies of sound except for the bass frequencies. That will help to reduce the reflections in your room and absorb some of the mid-range frequencies that can echo off surfaces like your ceiling or walls. Bass traps can be hung around your room or mounted directly onto your ceiling.
You need to make the right decision on room size and space before you start constructing your home theatre. Take some time and research on great theatre designs, or better still, visit some of the theatres around you to see the design that will be perfect for your room. Alternatively, you can employ a professional if you have trouble coming up with the perfect measurements and design. Ensure you select the best equipment’s such as large screen TV, projector, speakers etc., which will lead to an excellent watching experience.
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