We're in the early stages of building a new home, and the builder is finishing the basement as part of the house construction. We know for sure that the largest part of the basement will be a home theater, so I have a dedicated room to work with and a blank slate as far as location, equipment choices, and screen size.
As we budget for all the other things required with a new home, I'm trying to get the most for my money in a projector that will not feel like we need to upgrade immediately to achieve a Wow! factor picture in both quality and size.
The projector review threads have been extremely helpful in narrowing down the list, but every room is different and this is the first time I'll have worked with front projection. Being able to design the room from scratch, I thought I'd put it to you experts for your opinions since real world experience will always be better than an online calculator for screen size and distance. Their recommended screen might dominate the room, or conversely be lost. I really can't tell until all is built and installed.
I've been looking at the Epson 5020, weighing it against the Panasonic AE8000, the Sony HW30, and the Epson 5010.
Factors and considerations are:
We watch mostly 2D as my wife wears glasses and doesnt like doubling up. But we do have kids and they love the 3D on our 55" Samsung. So some 3D capability is a must, but it's rare.
We watch a lot of football in the fall.
The primary input recently has been Apple TV for the convenience. BluRay is the other main source.
I'm seriously considering the Epson 5010 since it's at quite a discount right now, being last year's model. But I can be convinced otherwise, which is why I am here.
We are working with the low-voltage wiring contractor from our builder to place the speaker pre-wires in the wall and ceiling and conduit+power in the ceiling for the projector to be mounted. The room is reasonable size: 19' 10 wide and 31' 8" long with a clear break point about halfway through that really makes it 2 open rooms (theater on one end, something else on the other) making 14-15' the best place to project from. Diagram is below
There are 9' ceilings. Light can be easily controlled, and I plan to paint the walls and ceiling on the theater side darker than the rest of the basement.
Given that room size and those projector choices, what are people's recommendations on projector and screen size? 16x9 please, most of our movies seem to be Pixar/Disney and then football is a factor as well.
I really want to get this right before the sheetrock is up and changes become cost prohibitive. Maybe I should get the projector first and get a screen after projecting on the room wall to see what size looks best? But that would require even more patience and affects speaker prewire placement...