Originally Posted by thestoneman
I'm wide open at this point, but I'm trying to put in as nice an AV system as possible that doesn't eclipse 8-10K. I have to skimp on something. At this price point, a lens is likely not an option, so I really need the best option to display 2.35 content sans lens.
I'm not afraid to manually zoom. Whatever projector I settle on will be exposed and easily reachable (finished ceiling is 8'-0"). I don't need auto zoom memory.
Jeahrens above is correct when he states you will need a projector with lens shift and a good zoom range. When zooming a projector that does not have lens memory, it's usually not as easy as simply zooming the image in to make it larger. You also need to re-center the image as zooming usually results in an image that also shifts up or down. This is where lens shift is a necessity.
You might also consider a projector with excellent black levels (like JVC or Sony) so that the black bars will not be obvious on the wall.
$8 to $10K can buy you a really nice system. Some free advice (take it for what it costs you):
Match the screen material to the room. Painting all room surfaces a dark color will substantially improve picture quality and allow you to use a greater variety of screen materials.
Invest in good speakers (most electronics - receivers, Blu-ray players, etc, are neutral to the source. In other words, they have the *least* impact on sound quality. Speakers vary wildly.)
Don't waste money on fancy interconnects.
Invest in some acoustic treatments (or build your own).