What's a good (low) budget for a nice theater room setup - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-27-2013, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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We just moved into a home that has the theater room that's in my avatar. It's prewired and I'm just looking for a cost guesstimate of what I should budget for a good projector, decent speakers and a good screen. I have a nice receiver that I'm not using for anything else so I don't need to buy one of those. The room already has two rear speaker mounted in the ceiling. We will be getting a curtain for the opening so the room will have little to no external light. What's the least expensive I can go and still get a good movie experience out of it? TIA!
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-27-2013, 04:02 PM
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Not sure about everyone else, but I just bought all my home theater stuff. Ran me around 6000.

2000 for projector, 600 for screen, 1300 for audio(7.1), 600 for seating. 300 for odds and ends(mounts, cabling, banana plugs, etc...)

Depending on what a "low" budget is, you could go lower. I got the Panasonic AE7000(1999), you could go with the AE4000, which is closer to 1400. Go with 5.1 and a cheaper receiver, and you could cut that down to 800 or so. My seating was budget seating, got 3 recliners for 200 each(need to buy some more, but that's next year).

Be careful though, b/c my budget was originally 3500, but once you get to buying stuff, it's too easy to say, "Oh hell, I already spent 3000, what's another few hundred"
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-27-2013, 05:20 PM
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1. How big of a screen do you want?
2. How far away is the projector from the screen?
3. What is your spending limit just for the projector?

If you don't have a screen, you can pick up a nice fixed screen from ebay for $200-300.

Get all your cabling and connectors form www.monoprice.com and save a ton of money without sacrificing quality.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-01-2013, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I need to measure the distance from where the projector (prior owner) was previously mounted. I've gotten a couple of quotes so far for racking, control4 controls, speakers, screen and projector and it's between $10k-13k! That doesn't even include the curtain for the room (does anyone have a connection for that?) or the seating. I'd like to stay around $2500 on the projector but if there is one that's clearly better for as much as $3500, I'd do it. How much should the speakers be? They're quoting me between $2k and $3k for 3 in-wall Episode speakers (500 series or 700 series) and an Episode 200 Watt subwoofer. Is that overkill?
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-01-2013, 10:52 AM
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If you're asking for "low budget" you should give what your budget really is...Low budget means different things to different people.
ten years ago to me low budget would have been under $1500...now low budget is under $15,000.

You can get a good projector for $1000-$1500. Good speakers for $800. Spend the time and energy doing a DIY screen and you'll end up with something rivaling the performace of a $2000 screen for $200. For $2000 total you can have a low budget set up.

"Damn, you can't get black levels like that on your projector!"
- My brother, just before he realized his LED display had died.

Link to my Basement build
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-01-2013, 11:49 AM
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You fellas are reeeeeeeeetchhhhhh! Low Budget for me is what I've been researching and am currently in the process of building. Total cost (so far) ~ $700 OR $ ~1000

If you wanna go really LOW Budget, ya can get a 800x600 Projector that will do the job for ~$350.

If you wanna splurge a bit more, ya can get a FULL 1080p HD 1920x1080 Projector that I'm guessing will be just fine for ~ $700. It's a New Release and I've pre-ordered one (as of March 1 2013).

ViewSonic PJD5133 ~ $350 (B&H Photo)
ViewSonic PJD7820HD ~ $700

Screen ~ $320 - * For all the items below, I found info and ideas from other threads in this forum
  • ~$90 - Wilsonart 60-in x 8-ft Designer White Laminate Countertop Sheet - ~$90 from Lowe's. There are several threads discussing this material as a screen. I have mine up temporarily and it looks good to me.
  • -~ $30 - Saw from Harbor Freight to cut the Laminate Counertop - It doesn't cut perfectly and there are some 1/4" chipe that came off the countertop, but I'm putting a border around the edges so it won't be visible.
  • ~ $120 - Quick Frame Pieces from Ebay "8020inc" Seller name - Great stuff for building whatever... It's lightweight, durable, and looks professional. I had to build a frame because i don't have a blank wall and I'm hanging the screen over some closet doors. The cheapest route is to not even build a frame and use the wall.
  • ~ $50 on ebay - 4.5" Black Velvet Projector Screen Border Tape - not necessary but looks professional and supposedly enhances viewing
  • ~ $30 - Double-Sided Tape - 3M 03616 Scotch-Mount 7/8" x 15' Molding Tape - To adhere the laminate countertop to the Quick Frame Pieces. I haven't tested/built this yet because I'm still waiting for the Border Tape. I want to complete the borders and edges before I mount it to the Frame.

For ~ $700, I have an 80" Screen that looks decent and works great! HOWEVER, I use a Computer with the projector and the PJD5133 Resolution is only 800x600. So I'm returning it and am going to upgrade to the PJD7820HD 1920 x 1080 ~$700.

If you wanted to go REALLY LOW BUDGET, you could get the $350 Projector and just project it up on a smooth white wall and call it good.
Or, you could just buy a Laminate Countertop, Tack it to the wall, and call it good (some people have done this and I would have too if I had a wall large enough).

So i'm near completing my Projector TV setup and will have a FULL 1080P Projector on a 80" Screen for ~ $1000.

I'm NOT a projector expert and I haven't spent years researching, studying, or using projectors. I don't know much about color wheel speeds, contrast ratio, etc... I do know that I'm not too picky and any projector today, even the cheapy ~$300 ones, look pretty damn good to me compared with high-end projectors a decade ago thanks to technology. So these projectors i recommended and purchased are NOT High-End, latest & greatest projectors for building the ultimate home theater. But again, These projectors look great and it's not worth spending $1000's more for the top-notch stuff in my opinion.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-06-2013, 12:49 PM
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I just did an Optoma GT750,, 96" Focupix screen and a Pioneer 1022 AVR for $750-ish.... I use my PS3 as my main source for 3D, HD, BD, and DVD.

So quality low budget is certainly out there.
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Reply Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

Panasonic Pt Ae4000u 1600 Lumen Lcd Home Theater Projector , Replacement Lamp For Pt Ae7000u
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