I'm also putting together a HT in a new home and I'm looking at the current Sony projectors. The VW100 is a discontinued model and the lower priced VW60 is a better choice unless want to consider the more upscale VW200. My room size is just a little larger than yours and I'm looking at a 120" screen (16x9). The maximum size that you can use and still get a bright enough image in a dark room is determined by 2 major factors:
1. Inherent light output of the projector. Remember this will decrease as the bulb ages with only 50% to 60% of the original light output being typical at the rated end-of-life for the bulb (e.g., 2000 hr. of use). The light output of a given projector will vary by the zoom setting since most zoom lens will transmit the most light (numerically the lowest f-stop) when set to the widest angle. Thus having the projector as close as possible to the screen by using the widest zoom setting will give the brightest image. Also the light output of most projectors will be lower when properly calibrated to product a 6500 deg. Kelvin color temperature as compared to the much higher color temp. that is usually the default with most projectors.
2. Screen Gain. A matte white screen will produce a gain of 1.0. Going to a higher gain screen will produce a brighter image when seated centered in front of the screen, but there are trade-offs. For example using a screen with a gain of 1.5 will produce an image that is 50% brighter than a matte white screen when you are seated directly back from the center of the screen. The trade-off is the brightness will drop faster as you move toward the side of the room from the center position. However with your room size and assuming the screen is centered on the 14' wall at one end of the 20.5' long room and with the first row of seating at least 12' back from the screen, you should be able to use a screen with a gain of 1.5 and perhaps even somewhat higher without objectional light fall-off. Some such higher gain screens can have hot spotting problems and this varies with the specific brand and screen material being used.
Other things you need to decide:
- Do you want a fixed frame screen attached to the wall or do you need a roll-down screen.
- If you want a roll-down then this can be either manual or electric. Also for roll-downs, tensioned screens are available at higher cost but provide a flater surface (i.e., help eliminate waves in the screen fabric).
- What is your ceiling height and do you want to have two rows of seating. If so then the screen will need to be mounted high enough so that those in the second row can see the bottom of the screen over the people in the first row. This typically involves using a riser (platform) under the second row of seats and screen size and vertical position must be coordinated with the height of the riser. See THIS TREAD
for a riser height calculator. Also the relative vertical position of the projector will need to the cosidered so that mechanical lens offset adjustment of the projector can be used to produce the correct image geometry (i.e., a perfect rectangle). This "vertical lens offset" adjustment is normally specified as range and some projectors (not Sony) have no such adjustment at all thus requiring a very specific projector and screen geometry.
For quality screens you may want to consider Stewart
($$) and Vutec
($$). There are also lower cost import screens now widely available. One of the most popular is Elite
($). You can find threads on each of the brands here on the AVS forum for SCREENS
I suggest you also check out the AVS forum for Dedicated Theater Design & Construction
You may want to check out the on-line projector calculator at PROJECTOR CENTRAL
(however they don't list many of the latest model projectors)
If you are not going to get this done until Dec. 2008 then I would hold off buying the projector and screen until the near the end of the process since new models may be introduced and prices seem to continue to fall, even with the declining value of the US dollar.
I hope this helps get you started.