I need a recommendation on a projector. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-22-2014, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I need a recommendation on a projector.

I don't even know what questions to ask.

A basic model I guess. I just want to watch movies and football occasionally.

Does the size of the screen dictate the projection need?


Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-22-2014, 12:12 PM
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There are any number of very popular models.

The BenQ W1070, the Epson 2030, the Optoma HD20, and better models such as Epson's 5030, Panasonic's AE8000, and the JVC RS46.

But, your needs are what everyone wants: Movies, sports... Yep! Sometimes there are video game requests, but a lot more is movie and HDTV viewing.

At the end, there are plenty to recommend, but there is a lot for you to talk to us about first:

1. Describe your room?
2. Will the projector be used exclusively in this room?
3. Do you have a surround system in this room?
4. Do you know that projectors tend to have lousy sound systems and really need some sort of 'outboard' sound for best results?
5. Do you have a screen?
6. Do you WANT a screen or are you just going to use your wall?
7. What distance do you plan to sit from the screen?
8. What is your hope for a screen size?
9. Projector lenses are like camera lenses... They have SOME zoom (typically), some don't have any zoom. But, to really impact image size you move a projector closer, or further, from the screen to get the size you want.
10. Projectors can have different resolutions. Lower resolution projectors (720p) are cheaper, while higher resolution projectors (1080p) are a bit more money. ALL quality material, such as Blu-ray Disc, is 1080p and asks for a better projector, so unless your budget prohibits it, get a 1080p projector.
11. WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET? If you don't have one, that's fine, but let's talk about it. Entry level 1080p starts at about $800-$1,000.
12. Screen size: You should expect a screen size from 80" to 120" as a 'typical' size depending on your room. I use a $800 projector on a 161" diagonal screen. That's about 16 40" screens stuck together!
13. Your room: There is nothing that impacts projection more than ambient light, and your room itself. Talk to us about what the room is like that you are doing the projecting in.

You can keep it simple and get the extremely popular BenQ W1070 and call it a day, but we are happy to help out on suggestions if you talk some about what your expectations are.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-22-2014, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post


1. Describe your room?

Typical basement dedicated room. 25x20 or so.
Quote:
2. Will the projector be used exclusively in this room?

Yes
Quote:
3. Do you have a surround system in this room?

Yes. Speaker are already installed. 5.1
Quote:
4. Do you know that projectors tend to have lousy sound systems and really need some sort of 'outboard' sound for best results?

I did not consider them at all for sound. Should not the sound come from the blu-ray or cable box?

I am leaning toward a this Denon AVR???????
Quote:
5. Do you have a screen?

Yes, I believe so. I had a contractor do the basics and he did the speakers and sub-woofer, I think the screen is down there.
Quote:
6. Do you WANT a screen or are you just going to use your wall?

If you can just use a wall and I don't have a screen, that is what I will do.
Quote:
7. What distance do you plan to sit from the screen?

10 feet or so.

Quote:
8. What is your hope for a screen size?

The entire wall or whatever makes sense and is reasonable.

Quote:
9. Projector lenses are like camera lenses... They have SOME zoom (typically), some don't have any zoom. But, to really impact image size you move a projector closer, or further, from the screen to get the size you want.

Thanks, did not know. It would be a permanent mount.

Quote:
10. Projectors can have different resolutions. Lower resolution projectors (720p) are cheaper, while higher resolution projectors (1080p) are a bit more money. ALL quality material, such as Blu-ray Disc, is 1080p and asks for a better projector, so unless your budget prohibits it, get a 1080p projector.

I would indeed need a 1080p.

Quote:
11. WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET? If you don't have one, that's fine, but let's talk about it. Entry level 1080p starts at about $800-$1,000.

Perfect, was thinking $1,200
Quote:
12. Screen size: You should expect a screen size from 80" to 120" as a 'typical' size depending on your room. I use a $800 projector on a 161" diagonal screen. That's about 16 40" screens stuck together!

Sounds like the size I had in mind.

Quote:
13. Your room: There is nothing that impacts projection more than ambient light, and your room itself. Talk to us about what the room is like that you are doing the projecting in.

It's a dedicated room where I plan the seating as typical living room seating. Not stadium seating nor recliners with drink rests and the like.

Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-22-2014, 01:09 PM
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Follow up questions:

1. You will need power, HDMI, and other cabling to the projector. Is there a problem getting this cabling where the projector needs to go?
2. In regards to screen size, the projector you purchase will have a range that it must be in to hit that size. For a 120" diagonal, for example, the projector LENS may be required to be between 10' and 12.5' from the screen. If your intent is to have the projector lens 23' from the screen, then that projector won't work, and you may not find any projector which will work.
3. Having a decent screen is important. I would recommend one at some point.
4. You have said it is a dedicated room, but by that do you mean you are building the room as a home theater? Or, it is part of a multipurpose room in the basement?
5. When describing the room, please go into more detail: 25'x20' (or so) how high are the ceilings? What color is the paint? What color is the carpet?
6. I want you to consider your local movie theater - what color are the walls there? The ceiling? The carpet? If you want best results, consider painting the walls and ceiling, and consider dark carpet if it is not in place.
7. Anyone in any home can turn out the lights - are the lights in your space dimmable? Are they zoned so certain lights can be off completely, while others are on/dimmed?
8. How 'dedicated' is this room and how dark can you make it and how good of an image do you want?
9. Understand that the cheaper projectors are very good right now, and a dark painted room will look good with them, but better projectors like the JVC RS46 ($3,000ish) will look a good deal better than the Optoma HD25 or the BenQ W1070 at about $1,000. But, if the room is lighter colored (white/light tan/etc.) then the benefits of a better projector may be lost due to room quality.
10. Screen size is typically determined by your seating distance (10') and your viewing preference in a theater. Center of movie theater seating typically has the screen being .66x the viewing distance in width. So, if you sit at 12' then you would have a screen that is 8' wide for 'center of theater' feel. But, if you like sitting a bit closer in the theater, like 1/3 of the way back, then going a bit larger is certainly acceptable. That is, instead of a 8' wide screen from 12' away, you could go with a 9' wide screen or even a 10' wide screen from 12' away... or larger. This is VERY much personal preference, but I recommend people start with THX recommendations of .66x viewing distance for screen width as a baseline. Most people like it a bit larger than THX center of theater feel, so a 8' wide screen (110" diagonal 16:9 screen) from a 10' viewing distance is what I would likely recommend.
11. If walls are currently white, then consider buying a projector first, then running a few movies on the wall at various screen sizes to determine which size you like the most.
12. I'm assuming that you don't know anything about RBE (the rainbow effect) which can be caused by DLP projectors. It may be worth trying to find a store or some place which has a projection setup with a DLP projector to see if you, or anyone in your family, has RBE issues. Please Google 'DLP rainbow' to find more information.
13. Don't forget to buy a ceiling mount. A great ceiling mount is about $150-$200, but you can get lucky on eBay at times. Chief Elite universal mount.

Good to hear you won't have any audio issues. It would be VERY unusual for any contractor to put a screen in place, but possible that there is a space where a screen should go. Measure carefully if that is the case.

Photos or drawings of the room and space that you may be able to provide are certainly helpful. Include your speaker locations, etc.

The Denon you listed is a decent entry level model. Please take a look at Accessories4Less.com for some solid reconditioned models for very good pricing. You may find you want more inputs/power than what the Denon E300 offers...
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/AVReceiver/Home-Audio/Home-Theater-Receivers/1.html

In a dedicated room, painted dark, I would get a really solid projector like the JVC RS46. In a multipurpose room, painted a light color, I would go with the BenQ W1070 or the Optoma HD25 depending on how they fit my room.
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-24-2014, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Great info thanks.

I have 3 projects going now so I'll be back with answers and follow up questions.

Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-26-2014, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

Follow up questions:

1. You will need power, HDMI, and other cabling to the projector. Is there a problem getting this cabling where the projector needs to go?

Wires were long ago run.
Quote:
2. In regards to screen size, the projector you purchase will have a range that it must be in to hit that size. For a 120" diagonal, for example, the projector LENS may be required to be between 10' and 12.5' from the screen. If your intent is to have the projector lens 23' from the screen, then that projector won't work, and you may not find any projector which will work.

The screen is also installed. Screen size is only 104"
Quote:
3. Having a decent screen is important. I would recommend one at some point.

Clarion screen.
Quote:
4. You have said it is a dedicated room, but by that do you mean you are building the room as a home theater? Or, it is part of a multipurpose room in the basement?

A dedicated home theater room. It is already completed.
Quote:
5. When describing the room, please go into more detail: 25'x20' (or so) how high are the ceilings? What color is the paint? What color is the carpet?

16 x 24 x 7.5 for colors see photo below
Quote:
6. I want you to consider your local movie theater - what color are the walls there? The ceiling? The carpet? If you want best results, consider painting the walls and ceiling, and consider dark carpet if it is not in place.

photos below
Quote:
7. Anyone in any home can turn out the lights - are the lights in your space dimmable? Are they zoned so certain lights can be off completely, while others are on/dimmed?

Zoned and all on dimmers. Ceiling and walls.
Quote:
8. How 'dedicated' is this room and how dark can you make it and how good of an image do you want?

Pitch dark. No issues. shutters closed block out all light.
Quote:
9. Understand that the cheaper projectors are very good right now, and a dark painted room will look good with them, but better projectors like the JVC RS46 ($3,000ish) will look a good deal better than the Optoma HD25 or the BenQ W1070 at about $1,000. But, if the room is lighter colored (white/light tan/etc.) then the benefits of a better projector may be lost due to room quality.

I need to keep the projector at the $1,200 mark.
Quote:
10. Screen size is typically determined by your seating distance (10') and your viewing preference in a theater. Center of movie theater seating typically has the screen being .66x the viewing distance in width. So, if you sit at 12' then you would have a screen that is 8' wide for 'center of theater' feel. But, if you like sitting a bit closer in the theater, like 1/3 of the way back, then going a bit larger is certainly acceptable. That is, instead of a 8' wide screen from 12' away, you could go with a 9' wide screen or even a 10' wide screen from 12' away... or larger. This is VERY much personal preference, but I recommend people start with THX recommendations of .66x viewing distance for screen width as a baseline. Most people like it a bit larger than THX center of theater feel, so a 8' wide screen (110" diagonal 16:9 screen) from a 10' viewing distance is what I would likely recommend.

noted
Quote:
11. If walls are currently white, then consider buying a projector first, then running a few movies on the wall at various screen sizes to determine which size you like the most.

n/a
Quote:
12. I'm assuming that you don't know anything about RBE (the rainbow effect) which can be caused by DLP projectors. It may be worth trying to find a store or some place which has a projection setup with a DLP projector to see if you, or anyone in your family, has RBE issues. Please Google 'DLP rainbow' to find more informati
on.

will do
Quote:
13. Don't forget to buy a ceiling mount. A great ceiling mount is about $150-$200, but you can get lucky on eBay at times. Chief Elite universal mount.

already have amount, just need the projector.


Quote:
Photos or drawings of the room and space that you may be able to provide are certainly helpful. Include your speaker locations, etc.

3 front speakers are in the ceiling photos below
Quote:
The Denon you listed is a decent entry level model. Please take a look at Accessories4Less.com for some solid reconditioned models for very good pricing. You may find you want more inputs/power than what the Denon E300 offers...

Thanks but this will be used once a month or so, no extra inputs are needed. Power may be a different story. Do not want refurbished. I have to figure out what these speakers are.









name of the screen


Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 03:20 PM
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Alright, perhaps the last question: What is the exact distance from the cabling which is already in place and the 104" diagonal screen?

I have a few comments, and I tend to put them out as critical criticism, but please understand that all statements are areas where the system can be improved upon from what will already be a very nice system.

1. The colors of the room are terrible for home theater. As mentioned above, theaters don't have light carpet, white ceilings or walls. The screen area in particular is horrendous. Understand, that while you can turn the ceiling lights off, and you can block the windows, you then turn on the projector, and the projector is like a huge, very bright, flashlight, and the screen is a giant reflector. So, the projection light bounces of the screen, then bounces the most off the nearest surfaces. This would be the very white surround in the alcove, and then the floor and the ceiling and the walls. So, the single biggest improvement at the end of the day is a few cans of dark paint. Followed by dark carpet. Just the screen alcove, painted flat black, would be a very significant improvement to the viewing experience.

2. In-ceiling speakers will get you yelled at, and you will need a subwoofer and A/V receiver if you don't have all that. In-ceiling speakers are an issue because they radiate audio forward and backward. Backward means audio is going up into the other rooms of your home. Unless it is properly sound isolated (unlikely) then this can be rather loud in rooms above speakers with the theater at very low volumes. The recommendation would be for bookshelf speakers, or at least in-wall speakers.

3. There are a number of lesser expensive projectors which may work well, but throw distance (question at the top) will help to determine recommendations.

4. The 104" diagonal with a 10' throw is pretty good.

5. The room itself looks very nice and should be fun!
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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So the woodwork in the front and the ceiling and rug will reflect light. Interesting. Sure as heck makes sense now that you mention it.

This was all done 5 plus years ago and I now in the mix to just get it done so it's finally usable to any degree.

I am not sure what you mean by "What is the exact distance from the cabling which is already in place and the 104" diagonal screen." What cabling?

Is the screen wired in some way? From the projector mounts to the screen?


The speakers I understand the limitations of. The sub is already in place and it is woefully undersized for the room. I am still trying to figure what model it is.

Here is how all the wires were left, I don't even know if one is an HDMI or component.




Is this OK as an AVR?

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_033AVRE300/Denon-AVR-E300.html?tp=179&awkw=52151620105&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=22742608585&awdv=c#details-tab

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post #9 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 07:14 PM
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The E300 is a very entry level unit, but is okay as an entry level unit.

HDMI is pre-terminated with a HDMI connector on the end. Just Google HDMI and you will see what the end of the cable should look like.

Unfortunately all the cables actually look like they are coaxial cables. That's a really bad thing if you don't have an easy way to get new cables to the projector location. HDMI is required for Blu-ray disc and most other new formats of video and audio. So, it will need to be in place. If you can't run HDMI, then there are HDMI over multiple coaxial cable adapters which can be had for a few hundred dollars. Poor installation work when they don't pull cat-5e or cat-6 or put in conduit.

The distance I need is from the screen to where the projector wiring and electrical power has been run. Not all projectors can work from all distances.
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post


The E300 is a very entry level unit, but is okay as an entry level unit.

This is a projector? What brand is it so I can look it up?


Quote:
HDMI is pre-terminated with a HDMI connector on the end. Just Google HDMI and you will see what the end of the cable should look like.

You cannot run an HDMI cable and add the connector as with other wires? Hence there is definatelyno HDMI here?

Quote:
Poor installation work when they don't pull cat-5e or cat-6 or put in conduit.

Pull cat-5e or cat-6?

Quote:
The distance I need is from the screen to where the projector wiring and electrical power has been run. Not all projectors can work from all distances.

OK, I'll post that tomorrow.

Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
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post #11 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

4. Do you know that projectors tend to have lousy sound systems and really need some sort of 'outboard' sound for best results?

This just sunk in.

Projectors have sound?

I though the sound and picture came from a source like a bluray player, went to the AVR and from the AVR the pic went to the projector and the audio to the speakers????????

Is this wrong?

Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
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The sound is just a convenience. If your projector isn't permanently mounted, you know you'll have audio regardless of where to take it.
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by eljr View Post

This just sunk in.

Projectors have sound?

I though the sound and picture came from a source like a bluray player, went to the AVR and from the AVR the pic went to the projector and the audio to the speakers????????

Is this wrong?
Some, not all, projectors have a small speaker built in. They tend to be low-power, low-quality. What you are thinking is the correct and proper way to do things. HDMI from your source (Blu-ray, Cable, AppleTV, game system, etc.) to the AVR, then from the AVR to the projector for video only. From the AVR to speakers in the room for quality sound.
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by eljr View Post

This is a projector? What brand is it so I can look it up?
The E300 is the model of the Denon A/V receiver that you linked to in a previous post. Keep up! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
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You cannot run an HDMI cable and add the connector as with other wires? Hence there is definatelyno HDMI here?
No, HDMI is not field terminatable. You must pull it as a complete cable. It looks like the only cabling which was put in place is coaxial cable. Not sure how many pieces are there, or if that is all coaxial cable, but .... this needs to be very accurately confirmed. The type of cable is written right on the side of the jacket. You want to go to the projector location and see what cables are there.

I'm guessing several of the coax cables go back to your cable system to feed a cable box, and perhaps an antenna or similar to the A/V equipment location. The others should go to the projector. If you have at least FOUR coax cables from the equipment location to the projector location, then there is a HDMI balun which will allow you to convert HDMI to coaxial and back to HDMI which works well.
Quote:
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Pull cat-5e or cat-6?
Yes, cat-5e or cat-6 cabling is a very versatile cable. When pulling wire, it is almost always beneficial, and very inexpensive, to just throw a piece of cat-5e or cat-6 cable in with whatever other cabling is run. 1,000 feet of raw cat-5e cable is about $80. So, it's about $4 to run a 50' length of cat-5e with another cable. Well worth it considering the benefits of having it there. Consider for a moment how much it would cost you to pull down the drywall to run a new cable in your room and have the drywall repaired, then repainted. I'm guessing, more than four bucks.
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OK, I'll post that tomorrow.
Let me know. Hopefully you weren't shooting for this to be up before the Super Bowl.

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post #15 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

The E300 is the model of the Denon A/V receiver that you linked to in a previous post. Keep up! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
No, HDMI is not field terminatable. You must pull it as a complete cable. It looks like the only cabling which was put in place is coaxial cable. Not sure how many pieces are there, or if that is all coaxial cable, but .... this needs to be very accurately confirmed. The type of cable is written right on the side of the jacket. You want to go to the projector location and see what cables are there.

I'm guessing several of the coax cables go back to your cable system to feed a cable box, and perhaps an antenna or similar to the A/V equipment location. The others should go to the projector. If you have at least FOUR coax cables from the equipment location to the projector location, then there is a HDMI balun which will allow you to convert HDMI to coaxial and back to HDMI which works well.
Yes, cat-5e or cat-6 cabling is a very versatile cable. When pulling wire, it is almost always beneficial, and very inexpensive, to just throw a piece of cat-5e or cat-6 cable in with whatever other cabling is run. 1,000 feet of raw cat-5e cable is about $80. So, it's about $4 to run a 50' length of cat-5e with another cable. Well worth it considering the benefits of having it there. Consider for a moment how much it would cost you to pull down the drywall to run a new cable in your room and have the drywall repaired, then repainted. I'm guessing, more than four bucks.
Let me know. Hopefully you weren't shooting for this to be up before the Super Bowl.

Thanks yet again, no, this room had no plans for the super bowl.

May be a few days before I am able to get back with the measurement.

It was indeed roughly 10 feet away.

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post #16 of 21 Old 01-29-2014, 10:21 AM
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I think you'd be set with a Benq W1070. It'll work with that height screen (centerline of lens will be roughly around the top of the screen), and you can do 104" diagonal from 8' 8" to 11' 4" (that's the distance of the screen to the FRONT of the lens which is on the front of the projector).

It's a solid entry level 1080P DLP unit, with good brightness and contrast. It goes for roughly $750-800ish. You'll definitely want to get HDMI (and a Cat6 cable for future proofing) run back to that location, and I also hope you have an outlet on the ceiling around the 10' mark give or take a few feet.

The white surround on that woodwork is going to drive you crazy on dark movies once you notice all the light reflecting back onto the screen, but it'll do for now. You could do something like stick some black velvet up on the sides right next to the screen and it'd help A LOT on reflections. A darker rug up front will help as well. You'll see it when you get the projector mounted and there's a bright scene. The room will light right up with all that light colored stuff in there.
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-29-2014, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RPS13 View Post

Cat6 cable for future proofing.

What does proofing mean?

Yes we have an outlet.

Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-29-2014, 07:36 PM
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What does proofing mean?

Yes we have an outlet.
Future proof - You've heard of making things future proof haven't you? So, when you act in a way to future proof a design, you are 'future proofing'. That is, planning ahead for future possibilities which may arise.

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post #19 of 21 Old 01-30-2014, 07:59 AM
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Of course, the future is hard to predict.

I thought I was future-proofing when I ran Cat 5 cabling through my house a few years ago for my puters.

Then along came WiFi. The cables are lonely.
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-30-2014, 08:52 AM
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Of course, the future is hard to predict.

I thought I was future-proofing when I ran Cat 5 cabling through my house a few years ago for my puters.

Then along came WiFi. The cables are lonely.
Now you could use them to send HDMI throughout your home if you wanted!

The only way to really future proof a system is to run conduit in place and to accept that things will change and it may not be for the better. biggrin.gif

I'm leaning towards the W1070 for this installation as well, but since all the wiring is in place already, there will be a requirement for some sort of HDMI over Coax balun and there will also be a need to check the distance from the wiring to the screen to ensure that the distance actually works.

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post #21 of 21 Old 02-01-2014, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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The mounts are not yet installed. The wires terminate at the 12-15 foot mark so there is much wiggle room. Basically any distance from the screen a mount can be secured and the wires can be run to the outlet.

Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
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Reply Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

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