Originally Posted by jb007
Moving into a new home and am contemplating turing one of the rooms into a mini-theater. I've never had a front projector before, so I am asking for some advice, particularly about the screen. The room is 16'4" x 11'9" Any thoughts?[/QUOTE
busy until weekend. Can give you some advice, as I did it a few years ago. Ted
1. Go as wide as possible. My room is 15' wide and my screen is 11'7'' wide. It leaves about 2' on each side for the main speakers (angled inward). Cost does matter for screens. First, are speakers behind screen? If so, woven is better than perforated. Second, PJ brightness--If PJ is not bright enough, you will need a more reflective screen( ie: 2.0 or above gain). If PJ has a lot of brightness, gain of 1.0 is best. Most common is a gain of about 1.3 for the best compromise. The higher the gain, the more important it becomes to have a bat cave and the narrower the viewing angle, which can be important if the seating distance is less than 1.5 x the width.
2. 16:9 vs 2.35: Most movies are 2.35, but PJ's are native 16:9. If you don't have an anamorphic lens, you'll be watching most movies with black bars. Another reason to go as wide as possible in screen.
3. PJ: The two most important things are brightness and throw ratio. Throw ratio will determine the distance the PJ must be placed from the screen to fill the whole screen (If you get this wrong, the picture may not fill the whole screen, or it may be that you cannot zoom enough to make the picture small enough to fit on the screen. Do some research on this, it's too long for a discussion here. Brightness will determine how good the picture is. The key measurement is Ft-L on the screen, which is very different from ANSI Lumens that the PJ mfg's advertise. Everything starts with Lumens, but then you use screen area, screen reflectivity, where you are in the PJ's throw range, lamp aging, solid or woven/perforated screen, and callibration (callibrated usually drops the PJ Lumens by as much as 50%). Secondary factors are LCD, LCOS, and DLP or 3-chip DLP. All have their pros/cons and another area for research. Then lamp type comes into play. Front PJ lamps are 2 to 3x the price of RPTV lamps. Other options are bocoming available, such as LED, but they have their pros/cons, as well. More research. Another factor is heat. When UMR did the callibration on my Sim2 front PJ, he remarked on how cool the movie room remained. He said that in most instalations, the room became warm after an hour, or so. I have my PJ located outside the viewing room projecting through a hole in the rear wall. The problem is that house thermostats are usually somewhere other than in the tightly closed viewing room, and the 200w+ lamp adds a lot of heat. We don't usually see this with our RPTV's because the TV is usually in an area that is not isolated from the remainder of the house. So, lamp watts is important.
The front projector forums on this site are very good. I learned a lot in my research. Research is the most important thing you can do.