I'm in the planning stages of renovating my multipurpose living room/home theater. I'm trying to work a projector and screen into the design phase to replace a 55" Samsung LCD LED, as it's been severely outgunned by my recent purchase of a Klipsch RF-7II system a few months ago. I've got some projector noob questions, here's my story.
I've already spent a good deal of time researching other parts of the deal such as building materials, sound treatments, ways to block light, etc. I will be placing solid hardwood flooring on the main wall (~14' tall, 18' wide) as an accent, and about half way up will be building a soffit of sorts and will likely cover that in a thin brick product. In that soffit I would like to house a motorized ~120" screen and some can lights. I understand solid wood isn't the best for sound properties, but this is a living room of a house first and an entertainment room second (although all time spent in the room is watching TV/Movies). Basically I'm willing to make some sacrifices to achieve a certain look.
I'm not sure how you guys make the drawings of your rooms, so I'll do my best to describe it and supplement that with pictures. The room itself is roughly 18'x22', and is unfortunately open to the kitchen as with most all open-concept newer builds in Arizona, with just a "pony wall" and arc separating the 2 rooms. The ceilings are vaulted, with the display wall at 14' tall, and the opposing wall at 8' tall.
Here are some pictures of the space.
Immediate changes will be removing the bookcase on the back wall, mount the Klipsch RS62-II speakers to the back wall (they are not currently connected), and I will be building window plugs for sound and light control which won't be a loss as we never open those blinds as it looks directly at a brick exterior wall about 10 feet out... not much scenery. The couch and chairs would remain in the same layout but would be pushed back several feet if I were to go with a projector.
I plan to make a "curtain box" like you would see in hotels, the entire length of the windows and sliding doors and use blackout curtains to control light, even though watching in the daytime isn't a big deal as like all of you we have TV's all over the house (bedrooms, office, pool room/man cave) where we watch normal everyday TV, we typically just watch Blurays and more prominent TV (Dexter/Homeland, etc) and Sports (mostly MMA/UFC) along with some music in this living room and it's rarely used in the daytime - it'd just be nice to have the ability to day watch if I get that urge. I'll be getting a Mid Atlantic rack and insetting it to the main wall to the right side and taking a small space away from my master closet (you can bet your A that space is coming from "my" side
), I can see the benefits to having the EQ on a wall other than the viewing wall, but I can't come up with any other options that would work and I've always seen the EQ lights and it doesn't bother me but I'd just prefer the equipment be up and out of the way.Which brings me to my current questions
What screens should I be looking at for 16:9 120" that are motorized? I'd really like to stay in the $1000 ballpark, but I don't know if that is realistic or not. I've looked around at some screen brands but am not really sure what I need. I want it to be reliable and offer a decent picture, but I'm not looking for that absolute best screen where you start spending $3-$10k+ for. I don't need an AT screen because I won't have room behind the giant Klipsch speakers anyway. Not looking for anything too fancy, something I can wire up a simple switch to raise and lower it, and it will obviously need to be top mountable where I'd like to make it flush it the soffit I'll build. The goal is that I can go from a clean and contemporary living room to a bonafide theater room in a minute or two.
Projector - I need to be realistic and say there will definitely be some ambient light during some viewing times. Even with a blackout curtain across the patio wall, I'll get some light from other sources in the day. At night I can make it virtually black so not much of a concern there for Bluray movies. I want the projector to be bright enough so that I could turn on a light in the kitchen and still have decent picture quality. When I have buddies over for UFC nights we don't tend to watch in 100% darkness so just turning on a single light somewhere would be preferred. I don't care about 3D, if it happens to have it that is okay but not a selling point for me. Main concern is 2D performance, picture quality, and of course it has to be 1080p. It looks like the projection distance would be somewhere around 20' (Back wall to front wall?). Budget for projector is around the $3k mark. I've looked at a few of the top rated units, JVC RS45 series, Epson 5010 series, Sony VPL-HW30. Which would be best for me? Are there options I'm overlooking?
Wiring Projector – I only need a single video line but I know there tends to be issues with longer HDMI runs. Just quickly looking at it at a rough measurement, I’d say the HDMI cable would probably be somewhere around 35-40 feet by the time it got to the projector. I get the cheaper short HDMI cables all the time and they were work great but I know people run into issues as the HDMII runs get longer. Any particular HDMI cables people recommend that they have used successfully at longer runs? I see a lot of options for decent brands (mediabridge) at 50 feet, just don't know how much success people at have these lengths.