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Build me a projector setup

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I've been saying I want a projector for years now and I think I'll be ready to make a purchase by September so I need advice and this is probably the best place to ask. I've been into home theater for years and pretty happy with my setup but of course I've always want a larger picture and currently very happy with my current audio setup.

Current setup: Mitsu 73 DLP 3DTV; Onkyo 809 receiver; Infinity Classia front and center and infinity modulus for rears and DSX Height speakers. I use a panasonic bluray player and Mede8er X3D Streamer with directv box also.
2 MFW15 Subwoofers and a buttkicker in the main couch.

My home theater is in a somewhat small room 15ft long and about 14ft wide with about a 13ft viewing distance from my eyes to the screen. Ceiling is 8ft. Walls are painted cream color and will paint projector wall black if it helps.
I have lighting coming from a window and sliding doors but I have blackout curtains on the window and tint on the sliding doors along with black blinds so light isn't too much of a problem.

What I want: I want to feel like I'm in an imax theater if possible I know a lot about home theater but not much about projectors so I want to know if I can make it possible. I've measured that I could fit a ceiling screen at about 125in.

I'm looking at the Epson 5020, Sony 50ES or JVC x55. I'd like to save and get the Epson which Is why I posted this in the under 3K but will spend more if it makes a big enough diff.

There are not many high end places here in northeast philly but I do have a Hifi House and Best Buy near and I would need the projector installed by someone I also seen Crutchfield does installs also.
So I need advice like what kind of screen (what size for my room)? What projector would be best for my room considering my lighter walls? Where to buy and have someone install? I would like someone to do ISF calibration.
Spending limit I would say is 5K. I've priced with install at about 4K with the Epson.

Thanks for any help in advance and thanks for reading! Pics of my HT setup....




post #2 of 36
why not jvc x35? it's only a couple hundred more than the Epson, but has PQ much closer to the x55 on your list(minus the faux-k resolution)

if you want to go nearly floor to ceiling, wall to wall, you're going to want to paint much darker. you're also going to want an acoustically transparent screen, which unfortunately really raises the cost. and definitely some black out curtains for that window.

honestly, I think the projector and screen will be the easy part. making the room work will be more challenging. if you're a diy'er, budget at least 500bux for paint and accessories for the room.

my take on this:
jvc x35 - 2500-2800 (I just bought one with spare bulb and 3D emitter/2 pairs of glasses for 2850CDN)
too many options for screens to be specific(it'll depend on what's easily and economically available to you), but something like a 120" electric acoustically transparent screen ( http://eastporters.com/estore/cart.php?target=product&product_id=751&category_id=105 ) - 2500
if you were to bundle the two above from the same seller they throw in a discount on the screen and a free mount for the projector as well.

if you are set with your home(not planning to move anytime soon) spend the extra money and get the best screen you can, because it WON'T need to be upgraded for a long time. buying a cheap screen now, especially if it's an acoustically transparent one, won't give you the best picture quality from todays projectors, let alone the future's. and even if you buy the best projector out today, 3-4yrs from now it'll be meh compared to the new ones.

I would also consider giving up the 'imax' experience and settling for a 'movie theatre' experience with a smaller screen allowing room for your speakers on either side. you can save considerable money on not needing an acoustically transparent screen. for comparison: http://eastporters.com/estore/cart.php?target=product&product_id=278&category_id=59
post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 
I'm probably exaggerating with the Imax experience I don't think I want wall to wall I agree totally but I measured the 125in screen with about 2ft space on each side and plenty of room top and bottom with my wall.

I will definitely check out the x35 from jvc but why an acoustic transparent screen I thought that was for putting speaker
behind the screen? I could paint darker also that's not a problem. Thanks for the advice.
post #4 of 36
With the exception of your furniture there is nothing projector friendly about that room. The Mits RPTV is ideally suited for your décor. Unless your willing to darken all those light surfaces it would be very difficult to get any decent contrast out of any projector. Were you planning on covering that blacked out window with the screen. The Epson would be my choice as the black level of the JVC would be a waist with the large sliding glass doors and light surfaces. You might be better off finding a 93" mits for an upgrade to bigger screen
post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Yes the screen would be covering the window. When the lights are out the room is almost completely dark. I wonder if I could just paint the screen wall and side walls I really want at least 100+ if I have to paint I will.
post #6 of 36
Its not just the walls its the floor and ceiling. Try this trick and turn all the light off in the room and shine a flashlight at the screen of your Mits TV (with it off of course). Then put a white sheet over the screen and do the same and see how much its lights up the room compared to just the TV screen. There are a lot of things you can do to help the issue, like black velvet curtain covering about 3 feet of the ceiling back from the screen, dark throw rug in front of screen, Black diamond screen (big bucks) and a lot of other tricks.
post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 
I understand what you are saying I may have to consider just getting a bigger TV which is why I posted on here after really considering getting into a projector and a giant screen now I know I may need work on getting the room much darker or maybe getting a bigger mitsu which are now discontinued but some are still out there.

I'll have to weigh my options and see if the time and more money getting the room together is worth it. Great advice thanks very much.
post #8 of 36
Although you would benefit from some room adjustments, please note that many people greatly enjoy their projector experience even without a perfect bat cave. You have such a great space for a large screen; I would jump right in.
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
I am still greatly considering... if you google home theater projector and look at the pics there are many really nice projector setups in pretty bright colored rooms, most are darker rooms but I see a lot of lighter rooms with black behind screen that looks really good which I would be more than glad to do. I could easily paint black up to 3-4 feet including ceiling if I could pull off a nice big screen but I don't want to paint the whole room and I understand that pic quality would be effected in a lighter room and I'm very picky so I want to do it right.
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDextreme View Post

I'm probably exaggerating with the Imax experience I don't think I want wall to wall I agree totally but I measured the 125in screen with about 2ft space on each side and plenty of room top and bottom with my wall.

I will definitely check out the x35 from jvc but why an acoustic transparent screen I thought that was for putting speaker
behind the screen? I could paint darker also that's not a problem. Thanks for the advice.

I was reading the imax comment too literally. if you had a screen wall to wall, then you'd want the acoustically transparent screen because your speakers would be behind it.

you can completely ignore that if your won't have speakers behind the screen. and that's probably a good thing. the non transparent screens are much cheaper, and usually better, and definitely come in more options(gain, size, quality, etc).

so, if I had a 5k budget, i'd probably go with this(based on me being in Canada and these guys being 'local')

jvc x35
120" 4k reference tab tensioned electric screen
bundled with 3D emitter, 2 pairs of glasses, spare bulb, and projector mount for about $4200 CDN
http://www.eastporters.com/estore/cart.php?target=product&product_id=773&category_id=0

they didn't have a 125" screen available in that bundle that would suit your needs, but it's just an example. i'm sure you could either grab a cheaper 125" or just a different manufacturer

as for the room, you will want to do some painting to help, but it's not all or nothing. with your room as is, I would expect performance similar to a cheaper LCD as far as contrast and blacks go (based on you using the jvc x35). paint the walls and block up those windows and it'll be comparable to a good LCD/cheap plasma. toss a dark area rug down, and paint the ceiling and it'll be darn close to a good plasma.

i'm currently using an x35 in a room with dark carpet, but white ceiling, and medium tan walls. with the projector going I can EASILY read by the light reflecting off my room. most of that is my ceiling i'm sure. I still find the picture quality absolutely stunning! I am planning a little reno project to paint the ceiling and darken the walls, but i'm doing that not so much because the picture is washed out, it really isn't, but because the room being so bright is kind of distracting. I want the screen to be the only thing that draws my attention.

you could also combat the room reflections a bit by using a higher gain screen, or even a grey screen. the higher gain focuses the light more, meaning less is reflected onto the ceiling/floor to behind with. the grey material is simply darker, so it looks 'blacker' even with extra light reflected back onto it.

I wouldn't give up completely. just be prepared to do some painting, and keep an open mind to keep going darker and darker as needed. you don't have to paint the entire room flat black right away. but for the love of god, stop buying things for the room that are white! haha
post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 
The funny thing is all the light color came with the house when we bought it, everything I put in it is pretty much black. I think I have the windows under control in the one pic my blinds are open some of the way but if I close them even when the sun out there is very little light coming through and almost none from the window behind the tv. The only thing I definitely do not want to change is my carpet but a nice home theater rug could help.
post #12 of 36
Thread Starter 
Why would a tension screen be better? I have no knowledge about screens but I am doing research, do they give a better picture or better for my type of room?
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDextreme View Post

Why would a tension screen be better? I have no knowledge about screens but I am doing research, do they give a better picture or better for my type of room?

Here's link to better understand.

Do you need a tensioned screen?
post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Here's link to better understand.

Do you need a tensioned screen?

Thanks... great explaination
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDextreme View Post

Why would a tension screen be better? I have no knowledge about screens but I am doing research, do they give a better picture or better for my type of room?

you seem like the kind of guy that would want the best performance possible, non-tensioned screens will develop waves. sometimes very quickly. my first screen(120" screen innovations that came bundled with my Epson projector) took about a year before it start to curl on the edges and develop the famous 'V' pattern. my second and current screen (100" vision HD electric) took about a day. in all honesty, i'm not sure if when adjusting the limiter I forced it to roll up too much and 'stretched' the material a bit. but it seems like pre-adjusted it looked good, post adjusted it had the 'V' pattern.

for the majority of content it's really not visible, but when consistent images scroll across the screen it's very obvious and can definitely take you out of the moment if you're picky. bottom line, the tensioned screen gives you a flatter surface over a longer period of time. as mentioned earlier, you are unlikely to need to replace your screen if you buy it well the first time. it won't become 'obsolete' or 'outdated'. if you have to decide between spending extra money on the screen or the projector, spend it on the screen. 5 yrs from now you'll still be happy with the screen, but you'll likely want to upgrade your projector no matter how good it was when you first bought it.
post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
Yes exactly, and I do know all about 4K and in a projector market where the 4K resolution would really have an advantage with such large screens I could see myself wanting a new one in 3 years. I've had a different TV about every 3 years but that's our crazyness of course, but I know it will take a while to 1. become more affordable 2. A decision on a transfer method and 3. Content. so I'm hoping to get 3+ years before I want to sell it off and get something new. Like you said the screen can last so I agree I'l be going for a better screen.
post #17 of 36
Thread Starter 
Getting ready to pull the trigger on a setup from Hifihouse. They came out and after a few negotiations I think I want to go with them so I have a question if anyone can help you guys have been great with advice. I am painting the back wall plus about 2 feet out including ceiling to start off and may paint more depending on how everything looks, hifi house is pushing 110in Stewart film Cima Neve 1.1 gain which is about $1,600 and brings me just slightly over budget the other option is a Dragonfly 110in Matt white $1,200..

I personally like the Elite screens cinecurve 115in which I would have to purchase myself and is only $800. Any ideas on which screen for my room I should get. I'm leaning on Stewart because of their reputation but is it really worth the extra $ in my situation against Elite or Dragonfly?
post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 
Oh... I decided on the Epson 5020ub projector I guess it would help if I mentioned that
post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 
Just an update on what I have done to the room to make it projector friendly I took the advice and made the room much darker by painting the back wall and 2 feet out and added a cool black theater rug.

I have to say just doing that made my Mitsu picture a tad better with the dark wall in the back. I'm having the install done this coming Tues I decided on a Stuart Cima 110" fixed frame with the Epson 5020. I will post pics when it's done. Getting nervous on my first projector setup hoping all goes well!
Thanks for the help!
Edited by HDextreme - 8/6/13 at 12:32pm
post #20 of 36
looks good. i'm sure you'll be happy with the results
post #21 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Worked hard and it came out pretty good. I did get a chance to see the JVC X35 and was very impressed if for any reason the Epson doesn't work out for me I think I will spend a little extra and get the X35.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDextreme View Post

Thanks! Worked hard and it came out pretty good. I did get a chance to see the JVC X35 and was very impressed if for any reason the Epson doesn't work out for me I think I will spend a little extra and get the X35.

may I ask what drew you in to the Epson?

I had to buy mine site unseen, as is the case with any projector purchase around here frown.gif but my last decision was between the x35 and 5020. I don't regret the x35, but that doesn't mean I don't wonder about the 5020. would have liked to demo both obviously.
post #23 of 36
Thread Starter 
It really came down to price I didn't want to spend too much especially since I agree spending more on the screen was the way to go so I opted for the Stuart screen which was much more then the others I was considering.

I got to see the epson and sony before I made the decision and I couldn't tell much difference so that was reason too. More interesting ... the guy asks me "hey you wanna see the Sony 4k?" I say hell yeah so he takes me into another theater room and there is a monster Sony 4k projector on the ceiling this thing was big but after the demo and seeing the clip from star trek I seen on the Sony and Epson I really wasn't that impressed.

Could be me being new to projection, I know my tv's but as I said this will be my first projector so I may really need to see these in my home to see differences but I'll know soon just 3 days left.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDextreme View Post

Oh... I decided on the Epson 5020ub projector I guess it would help if I mentioned that

The 5020UB is a very good projector and has pros and cons vs the JVC (I own both a 5020 and a JVC RS40 that performs similar to the X35). While the JVC has better native contrast ratio and black levels, the 5020 has a native CR of about 5000:1 plus a fairly good dynamic iris and this combination actually does provide very good performance in shadow details on dark scenes and when the video fades-to-black (the 5020 actually does appear better than the entry level JVCs on these scenes). The JVC DILA chips do have a higher fill factor which means less chance for seeing screen door effect (SDE), but I cannot see any SDE with the Epson from a reasonable viewing distance. The JVC does produce just a little more "film like" image, but certainly not something many people would even notice. The 5020 has the advantage of much better 3D performance (brighter with less 3D crosstalk) and having a full CMS allowing accurate color calibration, which is only available in the more expensive JVC models. The JVC does have motorized zoom, focus and lens shift plus lens memory, while the Epson is fully mechanical. This makes the JVC much better suited if you want to use the "zoom method" to go between 1.78:1 and 2.35:1 when using a 'scope' screen. I really like both the JVC and the Epson, and it really comes down to what features/capabilities are at the top of your priority list.

You may want to check out these reviews of the JVC X35 and the Epson 5020. In the review of the X35 Art directly compared it to the 5020.






.
Edited by Ron Jones - 8/10/13 at 8:56am
post #25 of 36
Thread Starter 
Got everything installed today so far so good the Cima screen is really nice and the Epson's picture so far is great! Here are some pics I'll post more screenshots after I get more situated (Pics taken with Galaxy note 2 so nothing special).




Stewart Filmscreen Cima "110
Edited by HDextreme - 8/17/13 at 12:31pm
post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 
Some more screens very happy so far. Picture is best when the room is completely dark as most people have recommended. It does have pretty decent pic with just a little light but again dark is awesome.Color is amazing I would say better than my Mitsu.




Edited by HDextreme - 8/17/13 at 12:32pm
post #27 of 36
Thread Starter 
Couple more close up screes of Transformers... WOW. I am now convinced that I will be painting the rest of my room darker (not black like the back wall but maybe dark tan or brown) I notice on some bright scenes that light is reflecting back on the screen fading the blacks which is what everyone was explaining to me earlier in the thread. Still looks pretty great though!

post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDextreme View Post

Couple more close up screes of Transformers... WOW. I am now convinced that I will be painting the rest of my room darker (not black like the back wall but maybe dark tan or brown) I notice on some bright scenes that light is reflecting back on the screen fading the blacks which is what everyone was explaining to me earlier in the thread. Still looks pretty great though!


yeah, I wasn't quite ready for all black either. my room isn't ONLY used to watch movies. but I went with a flat dark blue and black 'two tone' that i'm pretty happy with. there's plenty of examples of a black and color(pick your fav) paint scheme in a theatre room that looks great.
post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

yeah, I wasn't quite ready for all black either. my room isn't ONLY used to watch movies. but I went with a flat dark blue and black 'two tone' that i'm pretty happy with. there's plenty of examples of a black and color(pick your fav) paint scheme in a theatre room that looks great.

I'm trying to decide to do the ceiling black to go with the back wall and sides dark tan/brown or just do the rest tan/dark brown. I just don't want it to look too dark but the ceiling might look pretty cool black. Maybe looking into too much but would a black ceiling do better than dark tan/brown?
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDextreme View Post

I'm trying to decide to do the ceiling black to go with the back wall and sides dark tan/brown or just do the rest tan/dark brown. I just don't want it to look too dark but the ceiling might look pretty cool black. Maybe looking into too much but would a black ceiling do better than dark tan/brown?

i would definitely think black would do better, but i don't know if it would be obviously or even noticeably better. i didn't personally see a huge improvement on screen going from having just the first 4feet painted black to the entire ceiling black. it had an impact on immersion and the feel of the space in the room, but not so much with on screen contrast/blacks.

how easy would it be to add more overhead lighting? they usually recommend to add some more lights when going really dark so that you can still get the room comfortably bright when you want to.

personally, i just really like the way theatre look with a splash of colour. if i had the money, i'd like to have a dedicated theatre that's all black, but it'll be used for only movies. no gaming, tv watching, or anything very social, haha. and then a second 'media room' that's set up more for everything else. with my current budget, it just makes more sense to buy good equipment for ONE room instead of entry level stuff for two separate rooms.
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