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.