Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: The great state of Iowa
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You ask some very loaded questions here, but I will get the ball rolling.
1. First off, since you are ceiling mounting you need to make sure whatever screen you look at is angular reflective, NOT retro-reflective. Most inexpensive gain screens are glass-bead, which is retro-reflective and won't perform well in your situation.
2. The distance you hang the projector from the screen will be PJ dependent. As a general rule, most PJs give the most light when they are placed as close to the screen as possible. However, you get better viewing angles (less hot-spotting) the farther you move the PJ back. So it is a bit of a compromise either way.
3. Most screens only have a few extra inches of material at the top, so you will likely have some blank wall above the screen. HOWEVER, most lower price DLP PJs do not have any vertical lens shift, so if you decide to go with one of these you won't really have any choice as to what height you mount the screen. It will be whatever height is determined by the PJ offset. If you go with an LCD or LCOS/SXRD PJ you will have vertical lens shift, and be able to decide (within a range) at what height to mount the screen.
It's toe-tappingly tragic!