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Projector vs plasma for basement

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
im finishing my basement, Im going to have a media room (sofas, pool table, bar). This room will be about 23'x20'. Im torn between getting a Plasma, LCD, or Projector. If im going to get a flat panel, I will want a minimum of 60" due to the size of the room. It will be 100% light controlled in this room, all can lights on dimmers. Two egress windows in the bedrooms but no natural light in the media room.

Ive never owned a plasma or projector but have had several LCD. If it were a flat panel I know I would want no less than 1080p, 120hz. It will be used mainly for some movies and a lot of sports. I was hoping to spend in the general area of $1000 on the tv. My original plan was a projector. I was thinking of going for a screen in the range of 100-110". I figured a projector would end up being cheaper than a tv, and would be able to get me a bigger screen. From looking on this forum though, it seems like everyone spends $2-3000 or more on these projectors. Im not sure what I can get for my money with one or for my budget if it is worth it. I know I would definitely want 1080p and multiple hdmi ports if possible. Not sure how refresh rates and and all that work with projectors so dont know what to look for. Im willing to build my own screen if its possible and read about "goo systems" screen paint. Is it any good? Or would I be better off buying a screen?

I will be getting a home theater system of some sort for either one (projector or tv). so for in the general price range of $1000 what would be the better option between the 3, and any recommendations on specific models?

Im not concerned with 3D. If it had it that would be fine but would rather have a better quality tv than pay for the 3D. Also havent had a "smart" tv yet so dont know if I should be looking for that or no? I have a ps3 and xbox 360 that I can use with it. Ill probably leave my ps3 upstairs and take the xbox downstairs and get a home theater set up with a bluray.
post #2 of 14
You can get a nice 1080p projector for $1,000, BUT there are other costs. If $1,000 is all you can spend, buy a TV.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
How much extra cost? How will projector picture compare to a 60" plasma I can buy for that price?
post #4 of 14
If you want the plasma look on a projector look into getting HP screen. They are reasonably cheap but you need the right setup for it to work. Check out the screen forum and look for HP screen.
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by JReuter21 View Post

How much extra cost? How will projector picture compare to a 60" plasma I can buy for that price?

1) Screen - $100 or less for a DIY screen. A fixed frame screen is $300 and up. GOO is just overpriced paint. Check out the DIY Screen section here.

2) Sound system - receiver and speakers.

3) Ceiling mount, or use a rear shelf.

4) Bulb - Every couple years(depending on use) you will need to buy a new bulb, average cost $275.

Will a projector look as good as a 60" plasma? NO. That's not a fair comparison. For example, a 120" diagonal screen is the same size as FOUR 60" plasmas.
Edited by Jim McC - 1/14/13 at 10:56pm
post #6 of 14
Sounds like a party room to me. You probably don't want a projector as they are the best in the dark. I would buy the largest Mits RPTV I could afford. 72" for about $1000 (they go up to 92") before they are gone for good. A projector, screen, mount and creative lighting will cost upwards of $2000 and a sound system would be recomended with either.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
RPTV never crossed my mind honestly. I really didnt know they made them anymore. How are the quality on these? I had a 52" RPTV about 8 years ago. It wasnt bad but was just sooo bulky I couldnt take it anymore. I googled it and it looked like they have slimmed down from the pictures, but sometimes its hard to get a true idea from pictures.

Where could I even get one of these if I chose to go that option? I know I havent seen one in a Best Buy or Sears for years. Probably not since I bought mine. Is it something I would have to order online? I can only imagine the shipping on something like that would be crazy.
post #8 of 14
I have an approx 120 inch Garage door sized screen in my living room. Actually its a wall with Block out cloth/material over it. When I have friends over for football games they don't EVER want to leave.
I prefer to use some of the older business class sanyo projectors (I have several) since they are bright enough to produce a clear HDTV picture in a semi lit room. In a completely dark room they look even nicer. You will get better blacks and deeper colors out of a Plasma or a LCD panel but they won't compare to a life sizes or bigger than life sized screen. Ask ANYONE who has a projector and 99% will tell you they won't go back to the tiny 42-52 or 60 inch panels. ALSO If you do get a flat Panel I would make sure you buy the extended warranty and save the shipping box since there is a RACE to the bottom as far as the build quality of the newer TV's are. I have seen LITERALLY hundreds of discarded flat screens that were taken out by an inferior quality component that went bad.

Google up youtube and see for yourself

Here are couple places to look .BTW I have NO connection to either of these videos or products. I am just using them as a start point for you to do your own research.



post #9 of 14
I have a game room (upstairs, over the garage). Pool/ping pong table. Couch for watching movies/sports. I went with a Viewsonic Projector I got for around $700. I put drapes up over several of the windows/french doors. I painted my own screen - approx $150 in materials, using instructions found in the DIY screen forum here. I've unscrewed the 3 bulbs in the 3 cans closet to the screen.. I already had a receiver w/ speakers, although I've since upgraded my reciever to one with HDMI inputs, and 7.1 surround sound, and put in some more speakers in the ceiling.

for sports, I have a VERY watchable picture, even during the day or with the lights on (after taking bulbs out of the 3 cans closest to the screen. Someday I need to split those 3 cans onto a different circuit, I guess. During Movies, though, I turn all the lights off - no ping pong/pool. I'm VERY happy with my game room.
post #10 of 14
I had an HC1500 and I would take that over any TV. It was only 720p but just the size of the picture alone more than makes up for it in my opinion. You have a room similar to what I'm doing. I will eventually have a pool table (have ping pong there right now), a bar, and the area for watching a ton of sports, do some gaming, and some movie time as well. My theater area is in a "Bumped out area" so it is totally dark in there even when there is light in the bar and ping pong table area.

Long story short, my suggestion is to go with a PJ if you are able, I am confident that you will be blown away and glad that you did. I hope you post some pics when it is done, I and I'm sure others would love to see them smile.gif
post #11 of 14
If the room is going to be used with the lights on at all I'd stick with a larger sized flat panel. The room sounds like you'd want to watch sporting events and play games (with some lights on) in the room. Projectors need as much extra light as possible taken away from the room. The picture will get washed out and won't look particularly good. Now if this room is apart of pool table and bar area and has basically 100% no ambient light I'd say go for a projector set up. It will be amazing. At your price ~1000 go with the BenQ W1070. It's probably the best ~$1000 projector out there at the moment. A cheap screen will run you between 100-200 dollars depending on how big you want the image.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just getting ready to run my electrical this weekend. Think I'll have 8 cans on the main room on separate dimmers. Probably the 4 on the side of the screen separate from the 4 toward the back, plus 2 to 4 cans behind the soffit where the bar will be. It will be used with both lights on and off depending on the day/situation.
post #13 of 14
If you can live without 3D, this is available in your budget:

Panasonic TC-P60U50 60-Inch 600Hz Plasma HDTV
post #14 of 14
My first Home Theater I built for just about $1K - not just for the projector, for everything. I have since replaced almost everything as I decided to spend a bit more money. You can save a lot of money if you want to pinch pennies.

Projector: I bought a refurbished InFocus X-1 for about $600. This was one of the very first HT projectors. Basically it was a business projector that had a state of the art Faroudja chip in it that helped it's anti-aliasing. As a DLP machine with a slow color wheel it gave a lot of people rainbows. This worked out well for those of us who are not susceptible to rainbows. People who saw rainbows returned their projectors after only a few hours usage. You could pick up an essentially new returned machine that was sold as refurbished.

Speakers: My girl friend at the time lent me her Bose system. Given my romantic instability I needed a more permanent solution. I found a Cambridge Audio Dolby 5.1 system on Craigslist. The seller's girl friend had a Bose system, so he sold his Cambridge to me for $50. This included the powered sub-woofer and five satellite cube speakers. I still use this system.

Receiver: I bought a refurbished Denon receiver for about $200. I didn't need a gajillion watts. A 5.1 system in a converted bedroom is very, very loud with 50 watts a channel. It shakes the whole house.

Screen: I painted my light cream colored north wall with some white paint I found under the garage. Cost $0. Almost all white paint is titanium dioxide based. You probably have a half empty can under your garage.

Seating: I found two matching Laz-y-boy recliners on Craigslist for $50. They were clean and unworn. The elderly couple were upgrading.

DVD: I bought a used DVD player on Craigslist for $20. This was a nearly new Phillip's machine.

Room: My next girl friend sewed some light proof drapes for me. Materials cost about $20.

I've had several projectors, Disk players, and receivers since. I have had some more girl friends too. Home Theater is a hobby. Enjoy.
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