I am considering making the jump to a projector for a small apartment. The room I would be using the projector will have a throw distance of about 11' and a seating distance of about 9-10' from the screen. I can get the room quite dark, but not completely black as I live in the downtown medium sized city.
I intend on creating my own removable screen using blackout cloth and felt, and I have not yet decided on the size. I want to go as big as the projector will allow me to go, but I also do not want to get sick watching a 100" screen from 9' away, so I will have to see on the size. I intend on using the wall at first to decide on the best size for my room.
Currently, I have a Sony 40V3000 LCD television, which I have been quite happy with, except for the size. The model sports a 10bit panel and claims a 1800:1 contrast ratio. Overall, I would say I am satisfied with the black levels with the exception of the black bars in scope movies.
At my viewing distance and screen size, will there be any discernible difference between 1080p and 720p? Also, how does the contrast ratio claims for projectors compare with LCD televisions? Right now, I am looking at three models, the Optoma HD66, HD20 and the Mitsubishi HC3800. I am inclined towards the HC3800 for the extra contrast, but would I be wasting money as I do not have a perfectly black setup and am not using a proper screen. This will be my first projector as I am just getting into home theater. One day when I purchase a house, however you all will be reading my build thread
With that said, I do not want to invest a lot now, as I have loftier ambitions down the road. As cool as it would be, the 3D capabilities of the HD66 are not that compelling as I would need to buy a new BD player + glasses and the cost would soon be more than the 1080p models. I think I would rather have the extra resolution of the HD20 and HC3800, but that could just be more of being attracted to the idea that my BDs will play 1:1 on my screen. If 1080p is too much for my setup, is there a cheaper model than the HD66/65 that would give me adequate results? Would film grain still be visible at 720p? (I love the grainy start of Casino Royale as it looks amazing when I get up close to the screen).
Thanks in advance for any insight!