Screen vs Projector Cost/Benefit?? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-23-2015, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Screen vs Projector Cost/Benefit??

First post here, been researching projectors for about a week now since I just bought my first home. I have a decent downstairs room that I can put a projector in. There is a sliding glass door going to the outside as well as a small, 2ft tall by 10ft wide window on the other side of the room. That being said, the door is below the deck outside, and the window faces east and is behind some trees so besides early AM it won't be getting 'direct' light. Regardless, there will be light in the room so I'm looking at a grey screen.

I am quite set on the BenQ HT1075 for the projector, as it is in the sweet spot of price point and brightness for this room. I talked it over with the GF and we are going with a 92" projector screen. She wants something smaller, I want something bigger, so its a solid compromise. The back of our couch will be 127" from the wall, so viewing will be roughly 10 ft from the screen. Visual Apex's calculator puts the recommended seating at 9ft 4inch - 14ft, so I figure I'm in the zone here. As for mounting the projector, it can be on the ceiling pretty much anywhere so I'm not too concerned with that right now.

What I am curious about is the screen. I'm looking at the Elite Screens ezFrame CineGrey 5d 92" screen, which is $600. Seeing as I'm spending just $800 on the projector, this seems like a lot of cash to spend on the screen. Would this money be better spent on a cheaper screen w/ a better projector? Just feels weird spending nearly 45% of the budget on the screen.

Any and all help is appreciated, thanks guys. If I'm way off base on something feel free to let me know, it won't hurt my feelings!
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-23-2015, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I should add that for mounting the projector, it can be anywhere from 2ft away to 18 ft away, so I'm quite flexible there. Also, 92" is the diagonal.
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post #3 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 04:35 AM
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I should add that for mounting the projector, it can be anywhere from 2ft away to 18 ft away, so I'm quite flexible there. Also, 92" is the diagonal.
Look for objective reviews of the 5D -- not owners on Amazon who always hype what they've spent money on.

There are many easy alternatives for a neutral grey screen, from simply rolling paint onto a sheet of paneling to painting flexiwhite or silver spandex stretched over a frame. Then there are more complex paint schemes but still under $200. The simplest and cheapest costs about $50. Read this thread https://www.avsforum.com/forum/110-di...een-paint.html and others in the DIY screen section to see if you want to try your hand. At 92", the 1075 is going to be plenty bright for a dark grey screen.
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post #4 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 05:48 AM
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Two mistakes I’m seeing:
1 – consulting with your GF… ain’t no ring on your finger (j/k)
2 – deciding on screen size now. Project on a blank wall or sheet with the various screen sizes, or tape out the different sizes you’re looking at on the wall. She might just like a bigger screen.

Looks like you've done your homework - have you checked out this website?
http://www.projectorcentral.com/
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post #5 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 08:21 AM
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+1 to projecting before setting on a screen size. I wanted a 120" screen originally, but it was going to be a bit too big. I bought my projector and shot a movie on my wall, ended up going 110" and it's perfect.

$600 on the screen seems excessive. That's what I paid for my w1070 new. How handy are you? DIY screens are fairly simple and quite a lot cheaper. I did mine with a layer of matte white milliskin over matte gray moleskin and it looks great. All in all I did the screen for less than $200.
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the replies. Definitely will look into a smaller screen.

I should have added more to the original post but didn't want to bore you all hah. We have measured out extensively what size screen will be appropriate and settled on a 92". The main limiting factors are the 10ft 7inch we sit from the screen as well as what would look appropriate hanging on the wall. The room has a beam running across the middle of it so something in the 92" ballpark looks the best in the room as is. AKA, we are pretty much set on 92" hah.

As a follow up, at 92" with the 1075 projector, do I even need a grey screen??
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post #7 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 09:39 AM
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I also agree with the others. The ideal screen size goes up as you watch for awhile. I am betting that you end up with 110-120" after living with it for a couple of weeks.

Also look at 16:9 vs 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This is very dependent on the sort of movies you tend to watch and you can decide this with projecting on the wall and masking with painters tape as well.

Elite EZFrame is not the best bang for the buck. It isn't even the best value from Elite. Look at their Sableframe series. A bit narrower aluminum frame where the flocking is painted on instead of stretched. I've had my sableframe for 4 years now and it continues to perform well. Also check out Jamestown screens and the one from Visual Apex. DIY is the best value if you are handy and there are a lot of threads on paint, laminate and fabric screens over in the DIY screen forum.
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post #8 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 09:40 AM
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Will you be hanging curtains? Black out? What will you primarily be using the room for?
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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We will have curtains but no black out. The room will be mostly for TV watching with some movies thrown in. More of a social atmosphere than a full on movie theater, so lights will definitely be on. Its essentially just a TV replacement in a 'common' area in the house.
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 10:26 AM
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92 inches I think will be too small. I have 100 inch and my eyes to screen are just under 9 ft. I still think I could go 106-110 at that viewing distance. As for a grey screen I don't think you will need one. The Benq is a light cannon.



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post #11 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Appreciate the continued help and pics -- your setup looks great!

I snapped a pic of the room. Please excuse the mess hah - we literally just moved some stuff in (only about 30% done moving). The new couch gets here in 4-7 weeks so we will have that too. As you can see, the 92" just looks good. We measured it out and are planning on putting up some paper to make sure its what we want.

If that projector won't need a grey screen at 92" I can just get a cheaper white one. Any suggestions on makes/models?
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gm44 View Post
We will have curtains but no black out. The room will be mostly for TV watching with some movies thrown in. More of a social atmosphere than a full on movie theater, so lights will definitely be on. Its essentially just a TV replacement in a 'common' area in the house.
Then I would recommend a large (65" / 70" / 80") flat panel instead... For everyday TV viewing with high ambient light (for reading or generally doing something in addition to watching), the projector route just doesn't work nearly as well. You'll see setups like bluer101's where a projector is used in addition to a TV for "movie watching" vs. "TV viewing".

Projectors just don't do well as the "primary TV watching" device in a family room setting when compared to a large flat panel.

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post #13 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 12:36 PM
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Where's the other window you mentioned in relation to the proposed viewing area? That door shouldn't bring in an insane amount of light (since it's under the deck) with a good set of blinds over it.
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post #14 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Where's the other window you mentioned in relation to the proposed viewing area? That door shouldn't bring in an insane amount of light (since it's under the deck) with a good set of blinds over it.
Its about 15ft. here are more pics along with a terrible map










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post #15 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 01:28 PM
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A darker paint and blackout curtains would go a veeeerry long way in that room. They don't have to be black curtains, just as long as there's a blackout panel you're good. I got mine from Target for like $12 a panel. I've got one large window, one small window, and two large open walkways covered in my basement room. They're open until it's tv time. With the curtains drawn and lights on in the bar area of my theatre room the picture is still very good.

For reference here's a picture of my room with the double window open, curtains open, and all lights on in the room. This is normal daytime hours. But if I close everything up it's pitch black in the room.
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post #16 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 06:28 PM
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Then I would recommend a large (65" / 70" / 80") flat panel instead... For everyday TV viewing with high ambient light (for reading or generally doing something in addition to watching), the projector route just doesn't work nearly as well. You'll see setups like bluer101's where a projector is used in addition to a TV for "movie watching" vs. "TV viewing".

Projectors just don't do well as the "primary TV watching" device in a family room setting when compared to a large flat panel.

Jeff
Good point. I can watch during the day but black levels suffer. But yes, I do use the tv most of the time and the PJ for night tv or bluray.
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post #17 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 06:32 PM
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Its about 15ft. here are more pics along with a terrible map










Here is a crazy thought. Have you thought about putting the screen wall on the 2.5 window wall and use window plugs or blackout curtains. You could also use floor to ceiling blackout curtains for the whole wall. Then when watching the PJ you can close them all the way for a full black wall. Also this will give you a bigger screen and more seating possibilities.
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post #18 of 25 Old 03-24-2015, 06:42 PM
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I was going to do a 92" screen with a couch 11' back before I changed rooms. I taped it off vs the 50" TV. Looked great. However, now I have a 120" in a different room and wish I would have went larger. At first the size seems big, then you get used to it. Tape it off and look at it. No matter what you will be happy. Also, you could just paint the wall with screen paint and adjust the size to whatever you want.
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post #19 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 06:27 AM
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Wow, lots of action last night on this thread.

A couple of points to note. First, you said 10' ceiling with no beams or ducting, but the pictures and diagrams now show a beam that would force the screen down at least a foot. That will force the riser to be higher for the second row, and may limit screen size.

But, with the comment about primarily TV viewing and the need for lights to be on, I think you really need to walk away from front projector. Take that $5k the projector and screen were going to cost and put it into a really large LED set. 80" set. It is a much better fit for your needs, and I feel you will never be happy with a projector screen setup.

Gray screens are not a silver bullet. They help a little, but at the cost of lower contrast and lower brightness. They do not magically make a washed out screen look good. They might make it watchable under low light conditions. In addition, front projectors by their nature have images blocked when people stand up and move around. They are not a TV replacement for these reasons.
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post #20 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 08:02 AM
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Wow, lots of action last night on this thread.

A couple of points to note. First, you said 10' ceiling with no beams or ducting, but the pictures and diagrams now show a beam that would force the screen down at least a foot. That will force the riser to be higher for the second row, and may limit screen size.

But, with the comment about primarily TV viewing and the need for lights to be on, I think you really need to walk away from front projector. Take that $5k the projector and screen were going to cost and put it into a really large LED set. 80" set. It is a much better fit for your needs, and I feel you will never be happy with a projector screen setup.

Gray screens are not a silver bullet. They help a little, but at the cost of lower contrast and lower brightness. They do not magically make a washed out screen look good. They might make it watchable under low light conditions. In addition, front projectors by their nature have images blocked when people stand up and move around. They are not a TV replacement for these reasons.
$5k is way more than what he is looking to spend it seems. He budgeted $1400 or so (based on what he was looking at) for his projector and screen, and is already down a couple hundred on the screen. Realistically he could do a good pj/screen/receiver/speakers build for $2k. With that being said, a large LED seems to be the best fit for this room, unless paint and light reduction come in to play. I like the layout of this room. It's got good potential!
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post #21 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 08:03 AM
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I have a 134" Carada screen with a Sony HW 55es and the image is fantastic. Get the Criterion, "Brilliant White." The velvet black frame is very nice. You won't beat this set up.

http://www.carada.com/default.aspx
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post #22 of 25 Old 03-26-2015, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, lots of action last night on this thread.

A couple of points to note. First, you said 10' ceiling with no beams or ducting, but the pictures and diagrams now show a beam that would force the screen down at least a foot. That will force the riser to be higher for the second row, and may limit screen size.

But, with the comment about primarily TV viewing and the need for lights to be on, I think you really need to walk away from front projector. Take that $5k the projector and screen were going to cost and put it into a really large LED set. 80" set. It is a much better fit for your needs, and I feel you will never be happy with a projector screen setup.

Gray screens are not a silver bullet. They help a little, but at the cost of lower contrast and lower brightness. They do not magically make a washed out screen look good. They might make it watchable under low light conditions. In addition, front projectors by their nature have images blocked when people stand up and move around. They are not a TV replacement for these reasons.
I think you might have this post mixed up with another -- never said anything about ceiling height nor a lack of a beam, nor did I hint at $5k budget!

I'll start looking into LED tv's
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post #23 of 25 Old 03-26-2015, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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$5k is way more than what he is looking to spend it seems. He budgeted $1400 or so (based on what he was looking at) for his projector and screen, and is already down a couple hundred on the screen. Realistically he could do a good pj/screen/receiver/speakers build for $2k. With that being said, a large LED seems to be the best fit for this room, unless paint and light reduction come in to play. I like the layout of this room. It's got good potential!
I already have a receiver, just would need the screen/speakers/projector...but now I'm considering LED TV's I guess
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post #24 of 25 Old 03-26-2015, 12:55 PM
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I think you might have this post mixed up with another -- never said anything about ceiling height nor a lack of a beam, nor did I hint at $5k budget!

I'll start looking into LED tv's
I apologize. Yes, I was confusing you with this thread: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-gen...or-screen.html

My opinion is still that an LED is a better match for your stated needs though. Sorry for any confusion my confusion caused
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post #25 of 25 Old 03-26-2015, 10:50 PM
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I already have a receiver, just would need the screen/speakers/projector...but now I'm considering LED TV's I guess
I hate to see you give up on the dream of watching movies on a really immersive screen, and no TV you can afford will ever provide that experience.

Now that I've seen the pics and drawing, I have to wonder why you don't use the right-hand wall for a 135" screen where the beam isn't a height limiter. A spandex screen with speakers behind it using the full width from wall to door. You could leave the equipment rack and TV where it is in the pics for casual daytime watching, but have the big screen on the other wall with the proper speaker setup. It will be very watchable during the day and mind blowing for movies at night.

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