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Old 10-19-2014, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Which Projector? How big of a screen? Help!

Hey...I know there are tons of projector help threads, but I wanted to get opinions from people here on what projector and screen to get. All of the information is below. I have a budget of about $2000 for a PJ + screen. I might be able to spend slightly more, but not much. I have surround sound + a receiver already. This is mainly going to be used for family movies. I also have a poker night on Mondays where we will be watching sports, but there are a few other TV's around as well that will be showing the game too. The PJ will not be the only "TV". There will be blinds both windows and on the door, and every light in the basement will have a dimmer. The theater room will be painted a darker grey color on both the walls and ceiling. The Projector is going to be mounted about 16" off the wall to leave room for a regular TV mounted on the wall behind it for regular viewing.

Room Information:
-Total room size is 13'6" feet by 12'8" feet
-11 feet from PJ to Screen (give or take a couple inches)
-Ceiling Mount PJ
-Ceiling height 7'9" feet after sheetrock and flooring
-9'9" from eyes to screen
-The bottom/feet of the PJ is about 9" below the ceiling

The room that the couches are is the room we are using. Disregard all of the numbers on the picture below. Just use the numbers above, which are pretty much exact. The PJ screen is going to completely cover the closet behind it.


Screen:
I was thinking about getting a VApex Electric Tensioned Projector Screen. They offer 106, 110, and 120 inch screens. This wouldn't leave me too much to spend on a projector...but I keep reading everyone recommend a tensioned screen. What do you think? I have no idea what a 'proper' sized screen would be for my viewing distances.

Projector:
Because of the price of the screen, I was thinking about a BenQ W1070. I went to use their calculator and it's saying it recommends a 132" screen based on my specs. Is this projector even going to work for me, or is it just saying that's the biggest screen you can get? I'm assuming anything smaller than what it's recommending would work just fine? Again...what do you think of this projector versus what else is out there?




That's about it for now...We are finishing all of the electrical next Sunday and then sheetrock soon after. Can't wait!

Last edited by merkaba; 10-19-2014 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:45 PM
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Which Projector? How big of a screen? Help!

Your distance from the screen is perfect.

Adjust the 'zoom' slider at the bottom left and you'll see that your screen size can drop all the way down to about 100" from that distance without image degradation.
So your screen size options from that position is anywhere between about 100" to 132".

You might want to start on wall first and decide on a comfortable screen size like that before ordering a screen. But 130" certainly isn't too big if you can keep ambient light in the room down.

The only other consideration (which you may already have seen from the calculator) is that for ceiling mounting, the projector lens needs to be roughly in line (well, a few inches above) the top of your screen.

In terms of the competition at this price-point: there's not much that will deliver an overall better image; so the W1070 is a good choice. If you wanted brighter you could look into the successor (which is the HT1075 from BenQ); but other than a touch more brightness it doesn't add all that much to justify it's higher price tag.

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Old 10-19-2014, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool thanks! I'll have to call the screen company and get some exact measurements from them to see much much room there is from the ceiling to the top of the screen when the projector is pulled down. I believe it should be completely adjustable so hopefully that should be just fine. If it was YOU....what screen would you get? I like the idea of the 120"...but there will only be 1'11" from the floor to the bottom of the screen (give or take). I'm not sure if having a coffee table or something in front of the couch would mess up viewing the bottom of the screen.

Just out of curiosity...how massive (or not massive) of a difference is there between a BenQ 1070/1075 vs Epson 5030UB or Sony VPL-HW40ES? I wish i could see them side by side somewhere to decide if an extra 1k is worth the money on the better quality PJ. We have nothing in New Hampshire that has PJ's that you can view like that. It's awful.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:25 PM
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Which Projector? How big of a screen? Help!

Lower screen height is usually a good thing since staring up at a screen is tiring on the neck.

120" is a good size (it's similar to what I use myself.)

Stepping up to the Sony or Epson will mainly gain you much better black levels (and hence significantly improved contrast ratio). In the case if the Sony, it's also very quiet in operation.

Whether that's worth the 3x price difference is a matter of personal taste. At full power, the Sony (which I'd recommend between those two) is also rated at relatively short lamp life. You'd also be advised to paint your ceilings and walls darker colors (nowhere near white) to achieve its full contrast/black-level advantage.

It's a tough decision. But neither option - whether you go for the cheaper BenQ or more expensive choice - will fail to wow you - especially if you're new to front projection.

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Last edited by kreeturez; 10-19-2014 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot Kreeturez! This will be my first PJ...i've never experienced it in a home.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by merkaba View Post
Thanks a lot Kreeturez! This will be my first PJ...i've never experienced it in a home.

It will rock your world, Merkaba. And possibly signal the last time you'll ever attend a cinema. Seriously.

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Old 10-19-2014, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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It will rock your world, Merkaba. And possibly signal the last time you'll ever attend a cinema. Seriously.
Nice! I can't wait. I'm also running openelec/xbmc on a raspberry pi for my media. Works pretty awesome.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:46 PM
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Which Projector? How big of a screen? Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by merkaba View Post
Nice! I can't wait. I'm also running openelec/xbmc on a raspberry pi for my media. Works pretty awesome.

Massive OE fan; ran the rPi for over a year connected to my pj before eventually biting the bullet and going for an x86 build (I wanted DTS-MA support and the power to run higher-end skins like Hybrid :-)
But that little Raspberry is an incredible box. Still runs one of my other TV's. Amazing.

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Old 10-19-2014, 10:06 PM
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The only way to do drop down/roll up screens is if they are tab-tensioned.

But, the best screens are fixed frame, not tab-tensioned, and they take about one minute to pull on/off the wall. If you can figure out a way to mount it in front of the closet door (bump the screen out), then you can save hundreds of dollars, and get a better screen.

http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Screens-...e+sable+screen

Personally, I would recommend the very good Sony projector, which is on sale right now for $1,999. It's significantly better than the W1070 and will make setup far easier due to significant lens shift, and it has a much improved image with a much quieter design.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/Sony...ulator-pro.htm

It can hit a 110" diagonal from between 10'11" and 17'4" (lens to screen).

You could go a bit smaller, based upon you seating distance. 92" or so diagonal would be typical. But, I would stick with about a 110" screen, most people get very used to most sizes.

Your eyes should be about 1/3 to 1/2 way up from the bottom of the screen. If you want people behind the main viewers to see the screen, raise it up a bit more, but be very cautious on raising screens up.

At the end of the day, in a nice setup like your basement, setting up the Sony, then projecting onto a wall until you decide upon final screen size makes a lot of sense. While 130" was mentioned before, with a sub 10' eyes to screen viewing distance, you really will be 'large' at 110".

Not sure if you carefully mapped your lights or not onto dimmers, especially recessed lighting near the screen vs. near the seating position, etc. Just be very aware of how lighting impacts on screen viewing, and how important dark paint is in the theater space.
http://www.avintegrated.com/lighting.html

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Old 10-20-2014, 04:40 AM
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I personally wouldn't consider the Epson for sports, it really can't keep up with motion beyond 24p, I'm not entirely convinced it's really keeping up at 24p!

The Sony may be much better with motion I'm told it is, I haven't seen one but wether it can keep up with sport at 60p, I'd be very sceptical.

Almost any DLP will have no problem at 60p, mine handles 120p without a glitch. The Epson and Sony will give you much better blacks and better contrast but you won't see that while the lights are up enough to play poker.

The other consideration for sports is de-interlacing, the Benq 1070 is not so good at that, my Optoma HD30 is pretty terrible too but I use a HTPC so that de-interlaces everything before it goes to the projector. In Europe the Benq W1300 is supposed to be ok at de-interlacing, maybe the Benq 1075 is better than the 1070? I guess from the use of "sheetrock" rather than "plasterboard" you are in the US, in which case you might find some of the sports channels are 720p60, I think Fox is? Most HD channels are 1080i which is an ok compromise between drama and sport content but does mean you need a good de-interlacer to get clean motion on screen, maybe with the LCD/LCOS projectors it doesn't matter as everything fast moving is blurred anyway!

If you are used to watching sports on an LCD TV you might not notice so much but if you have a plasma now the LCD/LCOS projectors won't impress.

Get the 1070/1075 for sports and the HW40 for movies ;-)

I have a 110" screen in a similar sized room, it's a great size, not too big no looking around, bright enough for TV watching with a little ambient light. I do need to cut a new drop pole as my old projector had more lens offset and now the picture is too high, low is better especially if sat on a sofa/couch to watch.
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Old 10-20-2014, 04:47 AM
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Oh and I just noticed you have dimmable LED lights on the diagram!

Those things dim by pulsing the lamp at ~400hz, you might get some horrible interference between that and a DLP projector (or Plasma for that matter) at certain light levels. Might be worth trying a bunch of different ones as some pulse at different frequencies.

I got rid of all my LED and CFL lighting a couple of years ago for this and general quality of light reasons, I have dimmed halogen lamps every where now, great light quality and no interference or colour casting.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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A fixed screen would be nice, but with the closet being in the way I don't think it's an option for me I had also planned for a 60" TV to be hung on the wall behind the PJ screen. I think having the option to watch a normal TV is key. Same goes for using the wall for a period of time before deciding on a screen size. I'm definitely considering spending more money on the sony pj now though. That's crazy about the dimming of lights. I already have everything purchased so I guess i'll have to see how it goes and hope it doesn't interfere. I think I'll end up with a 106 or a 110 screen. I do wish i could save money on the screen though. Based on the calculator you linked for the sony...it looks like 110 screen would be the absolute max (literally) based on a 11' throw. I may end up getting a 100 or 106 to give me a little room to play with in case my measurements are off by a couple inches if i get the sony.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:25 AM
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If you are thinking of putting in a flat panel behind the projection screen, then a tab-tensioned electric is the only way to go. I was more thinking of your budget. I run a tab-tensioned screen and have done flat panels behind a screen in the past, and swear by them.

But, it doesn't change that fixed frame screens are really the way to go. If that is a closet which is accessed all the time, it's certainly an issue, but if not, then you could put up a couple of 2x4s and float a fixed frame screen in front of the wall (and door). Fixed frame screens literally take 10 seconds to remove, and only a couple of minutes to get back up where they were before, so depending on your closet accessibility needs, it could be easy enough to do fixed frame, which saves money and gives you the best screen possible.

Oh, and you could add bias lighting behind the screen if you wanted to which could be cool.

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Old 10-20-2014, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
If you are thinking of putting in a flat panel behind the projection screen, then a tab-tensioned electric is the only way to go. I was more thinking of your budget. I run a tab-tensioned screen and have done flat panels behind a screen in the past, and swear by them.

But, it doesn't change that fixed frame screens are really the way to go. If that is a closet which is accessed all the time, it's certainly an issue, but if not, then you could put up a couple of 2x4s and float a fixed frame screen in front of the wall (and door). Fixed frame screens literally take 10 seconds to remove, and only a couple of minutes to get back up where they were before, so depending on your closet accessibility needs, it could be easy enough to do fixed frame, which saves money and gives you the best screen possible.

Oh, and you could add bias lighting behind the screen if you wanted to which could be cool.
Yea I was just thinking that exact same thing. I was planning on having a TV behind it originally for normal daytime viewing. I have 2 and 5 year old kids that will be down there quite a bit. I just need to decide if a TV behind the PJ screen is 100% necessary or not. I could mount the TV on the other wall or something too....hmmmm.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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oh...do you have any recommended lighting that you could link me?
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:11 PM
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oh...do you have any recommended lighting that you could link me?
I've got four Crompton 105w Halogen in dining room, a couple of Radium 116w Halogen in the Cinema room, 46w in the office, bedrooms etc.. Links wouldn't be much good as I'm in the UK, 240v here.

I get mine from a local lighting shop that's very anti EU lighting recommendations, they have been in the national papers railing against poor quality lighting from CFL & most LED lamps. While they are no longer allowed to buy high wattage tungsten lamps they still have a huge basement full of existing stock they still sell and they actively promote high wattage halogen lamps that they are still allowed to buy.

I got a couple to try in the Cinema room and switched the whole place the next day, I now have slow fade up dimmers everywhere and haven't had a lamp fail in several years. Colour temperature is around 4000K when near full brightness, closer to daylight than tungsten lamps. When dimmed they drop to somewhere around 1500 to 2000K but still with broad spectrum light so no big spikes around green and not a lot else that CFL gives you. My plants used to look like they were glowing, very odd!

I think recent LED lamps can be better, I have one in the office but haven't let it near the Cinema room yet. Check the CRI on the ones you have (nice ones are >95) and the dimmers should tell you what frequency they operate at.
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I meant bias lighting based on AV_Integrated comment above

"add bias lighting behind the screen"
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Old 10-20-2014, 01:45 PM
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I haven't looked into bias lighting myself. I'm sure there are those in the forums who have more experience with different types of bias lighting both with flat panels and with projection screens, but it's not something I've played with at this point.

Depending on how my basement gets finished out, I may add it if I can.

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Old 10-20-2014, 08:23 PM
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Which Projector? How big of a screen? Help!

For your max budget of 2k, I'd also recommend the Sony 40es. Great price right now at projector central. If you just want to 'get by' until 4k pj prices drop to sane levels, then get a benq 1070 for under $800 ($550 for refurb) and have money left over for a nice AT screen from Falcon or Seymour if you decide to build a false wall...worth it...nothing like sound coming thru the image. I highly recommend first buying the pj and testing out placement and sizing of screen to see what you prefer....see at what point you get brightest image, clarity, etc...make sure not to be at the end of any zoom point...leave a little room to adjust several inches when you finally mount the screen...measure the width of the image size you like and then order the screen. Never rely on those calculators 100%.

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Old 10-20-2014, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merkaba View Post
Yea I was just thinking that exact same thing. I was planning on having a TV behind it originally for normal daytime viewing. I have 2 and 5 year old kids that will be down there quite a bit. I just need to decide if a TV behind the PJ screen is 100% necessary or not. I could mount the TV on the other wall or something too....hmmmm.
If you are concerned about the kids messing with a fixed frame screen when you take it down to watch the TV, you could mount it to the ceiling with hinges so it is tilted up and latched flush to the ceiling when not in use.

You haven't mentioned where you are planning to place speakers, but having space behind the screen for a TV also means a place to mount speakers behind an AT screen. If your budget is $2K and you want the Sony, then building an AT screen will keep you under budget where a tab-tensioned screen won't.

If your "red line" is really "imaginary" then couldn't you projector to screen distance be more than 11' ? With the Sony, you will need more than 11' for a 110" screen if you need space for a TV behind it.

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Old 10-21-2014, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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For your max budget of 2k, I'd also recommend the Sony 40es. Great price right now at projector central. If you just want to 'get by' until 4k pj prices drop to sane levels, then get a benq 1070 for under $800 ($550 for refurb) and have money left over for a nice AT screen from Falcon or Seymour if you decide to build a false wall...worth it...nothing like sound coming thru the image. I highly recommend first buying the pj and testing out placement and sizing of screen to see what you prefer....see at what point you get brightest image, clarity, etc...make sure not to be at the end of any zoom point...leave a little room to adjust several inches when you finally mount the screen...measure the width of the image size you like and then order the screen. Never rely on those calculators 100%.
What is an "AT" screen? I have a 7.1 surround sound system upstairs in my home now that I was thinking about bringing down for the PJ when it's ready. I ran speaker wires in the wall like i was going to do 7.1. When you say sound coming through the screen...do you just mean a center speaker behind it..or a sound bar of some sort? Do you have any recommendations?

I will buy the PJ first. I'll just hang a white sheet or something to get an idea of the picture because the closet is in the way and the walls and ceiling will be painted a dark grey.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:22 AM
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AT = Acoustically Transparent

www.seymourav.com has fabric, etc. for AT screens and you can do a bunch of reading in the screen forums here.

It basically allows you to place speakers behind the screen if you want, and still get a good image on the screen itself.

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Old 10-21-2014, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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If you are concerned about the kids messing with a fixed frame screen when you take it down to watch the TV, you could mount it to the ceiling with hinges so it is tilted up and latched flush to the ceiling when not in use.

You haven't mentioned where you are planning to place speakers, but having space behind the screen for a TV also means a place to mount speakers behind an AT screen. If your budget is $2K and you want the Sony, then building an AT screen will keep you under budget where a tab-tensioned screen won't.

If your "red line" is really "imaginary" then couldn't you projector to screen distance be more than 11' ? With the Sony, you will need more than 11' for a 110" screen if you need space for a TV behind it.
I was more concerned with the kids and wife wanting to just watch TV during the day. This was the main reason behind having a TV behind the PJ. This will become the main TV room in the house when it's complete. The 'red line' is really imaginary, however there is piping that goes down the center of the house right on that red line. We had to build a bump down through the entire length of the basement. I was planning on making a cubby in the bump down for the PJ placement. I can't place the PJ behind the bump down because it would then block it from the screen. I'll take some pictures today when i get home of the actual room so you can see what i mean. The measurement from the wall to the PJ lens should be about 12'4". I figured the screen would need to be about 16" from the wall in order to fit a TV behind it comfortably. That left me with 11 feet from screen to PJ lens. It sounds like it would be cutting it extremely close for a 110" screen. I wouldn't be against going down to a 106 or even 100 if it made more sense for the Sony PJ.

I may be increasing my budget to 3k in order to get the sony PJ and a good quality screen. I'm still interested to know what an "AT" screen is and why they are better than something like this.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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AT = Acoustically Transparent

www.seymourav.com has fabric, etc. for AT screens and you can do a bunch of reading in the screen forums here.

It basically allows you to place speakers behind the screen if you want, and still get a good image on the screen itself.
Awesome, thanks.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by merkaba View Post
What is an "AT" screen? I have a 7.1 surround sound system upstairs in my home now that I was thinking about bringing down for the PJ when it's ready. I ran speaker wires in the wall like i was going to do 7.1. When you say sound coming through the screen...do you just mean a center speaker behind it..or a sound bar of some sort? Do you have any recommendations?



I will buy the PJ first. I'll just hang a white sheet or something to get an idea of the picture because the closet is in the way and the walls and ceiling will be painted a dark grey.

^exactly...
Its a weaved screen with perforations throughout that allows sound to pass thru, same as they have in commercial theaters, where the LCR speakers are placed behind and out of sight. Many also place subs here as well, while others may place it around the room if more optimal.

As the AV posted earlier, you just have to make a false wall to hang the screen...which is very easy to do. It just extends out from your current wall to allow enough room for your speakers. There are a lot of examples in the theater build threads, here are just a few examples:

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Old 10-21-2014, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asoofi1 View Post
^exactly...
Its a weaved screen with perforations throughout that allows sound to pass thru, same as they have in commercial theaters, where the LCR speakers are placed behind and out of sight. Many also place subs here as well, while others may place it around the room if more optimal.

As the AV posted earlier, you just have to make a false wall to hang the screen...which is very easy to do. It just extends out from your current wall to allow enough room for your speakers. There are a lot of examples in the theater build threads, here are just a few examples:

Attachment 323034
Attachment 323042
Attachment 323050
Thanks! I could even go without the full false wall (for space reasons) and go with some decent quality "In Wall" speakers too. Either way, it will be nice addition. Makes me want an AT screen regardless now.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merkaba View Post
Thanks! I could even go without the full false wall (for space reasons) and go with some decent quality "In Wall" speakers too. Either way, it will be nice addition. Makes me want an AT screen regardless now.
Also a good idea. If you don't want to spend a lot, Monoprice has very well reviewed in-wall speakers. People are very happy with them and the prices are very low.

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Old 10-21-2014, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asoofi1 View Post
Also a good idea. If you don't want to spend a lot, Monoprice has very well reviewed in-wall speakers. People are very happy with them and the prices are very low.
Awesome I'll check them out!
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:35 PM
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I like the 8" Monoprice in-wall 3-way speakers. They have good range due to their design, sound good, and for the money are a real steal. The fact they go in-wall means they are fairly safe from kids and the wife.

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Old 10-21-2014, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I like the 8" Monoprice in-wall 3-way speakers. They have good range due to their design, sound good, and for the money are a real steal. The fact they go in-wall means they are fairly safe from kids and the wife.
So the 8" 3 way for all 4 or 6 of them, and then a center speaker + sub?
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