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post #1 of 15 Old 06-24-2019, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Newbie, Building Enclosed Patio - Need Advise

Good day to all, I am new both to the world of Projectors & Screens and to this forum.


I am building a 17 x 12 ft patio (will have a roof), which will have 3 black bug screens that should block quite a bit of the ambient light. I have been trying to learn a bit about screens and projectors, and it has been difficult to pinpoint the best options for my application. I have done some reading on this forum as well and I haven't been able to find discussions that pertain to what I am trying to do.


Here is what I would like...
  1. A projector that has decent quality for movies and also decent for gaming (low lag)
  2. My budget for the projector is between $1K-$2K
  3. For the audio, I don't want to use an amplifier/receiver to connect speakers (I guess I can use an HDMI Audio Extractor...but this means I lose and HDMI connection. Many of the projectors I have seen have only two HDMI connections). If I use an Audio Out you really only get the typical 10W output from the projector speakers to the standalone speakers....so kinda useless!
  4. I would like to hook up a streaming box, DVD player, gaming device (Wii - composite + XBox - HDMI) and standalone speakers
  5. I would like to install an in-ceiling motorized screen and I am looking for screen manufacture recommendations - my space can accommodate is between 9 - 10ft wide screen. I think that works out to be 120-135 screen size I would need.
Here is what I have learned on trying to select a projector...no particular order of preference...but I called each of these companies and these are the options they gave me. However, am looking for the opinions of the many experts in this forum, which I value more.

  • Optoma HD39DARBEE
  • Benq - MH733
  • Epson 3700
Thank you to all in advance for any of your assistance.
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-25-2019, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by A. Al View Post
Good day to all, I am new both to the world of Projectors & Screens and to this forum.


I am building a 17 x 12 ft patio (will have a roof), which will have 3 black bug screens that should block quite a bit of the ambient light. I have been trying to learn a bit about screens and projectors, and it has been difficult to pinpoint the best options for my application. I have done some reading on this forum as well and I haven't been able to find discussions that pertain to what I am trying to do.


Here is what I would like...
  1. A projector that has decent quality for movies and also decent for gaming (low lag)
  2. My budget for the projector is between $1K-$2K
  3. For the audio, I don't want to use an amplifier/receiver to connect speakers (I guess I can use an HDMI Audio Extractor...but this means I lose and HDMI connection. Many of the projectors I have seen have only two HDMI connections). If I use an Audio Out you really only get the typical 10W output from the projector speakers to the standalone speakers....so kinda useless!
  4. I would like to hook up a streaming box, DVD player, gaming device (Wii - composite + XBox - HDMI) and standalone speakers
  5. I would like to install an in-ceiling motorized screen and I am looking for screen manufacture recommendations - my space can accommodate is between 9 - 10ft wide screen. I think that works out to be 120-135 screen size I would need.
Here is what I have learned on trying to select a projector...no particular order of preference...but I called each of these companies and these are the options they gave me. However, am looking for the opinions of the many experts in this forum, which I value more.

  • Optoma HD39DARBEE
  • Benq - MH733
  • Epson 3700
Thank you to all in advance for any of your assistance.
With regards to Audio...

A good HDMI audio extractor has an HDMI pass-through. You would not loose any connections. SOURCE > HDMI AUDIO EXTRACTOR > PROJECTOR HDMI INPUT. Analog audio out of extractor would be routed to an AVR/speakers or amplified speakers of some kind.

The HDMI connections on a projector are video input connections and you would connect the video source device here. Audio from this connection can be extracted at the projectors audio out connection usually as a stereo/mono mix-down.

The audio out connection on a projector is a line level output. It has nothing in common with a projector stating that it has 10 watt speakers. The line level output will have to be routed through an AVR, amplifier, or powered/amplified speakers of some sort to produce sound.

Using the line level audio out of a projector will force a maximum of 2 channel audio. Any surround codecs will be down-mixed to stereo maximum.

Using an HDMI audio extractor will support 2 channel stereo or 5.1/7.1 lossy codec surround audio. You must use an HDMI connection to support lossless codecs and the codecs will have to be de-coded at the source or in a device like an AVR to support surround sound.

If you don't want to use an AVR for audio you will have to rely on audio extraction, the audio out connection on the projector, or a projector with some kind of built in speaker. As a projectors primary function is that of a display device, units with built in speakers usually do not provide sound of any quality or volume.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-25-2019, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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With regards to Audio...

A good HDMI audio extractor has an HDMI pass-through. You would not loose any connections. SOURCE > HDMI AUDIO EXTRACTOR > PROJECTOR HDMI INPUT. Analog audio out of extractor would be routed to an AVR/speakers or amplified speakers of some kind.

The HDMI connections on a projector are video input connections and you would connect the video source device here. Audio from this connection can be extracted at the projectors audio out connection usually as a stereo/mono mix-down.

The audio out connection on a projector is a line level output. It has nothing in common with a projector stating that it has 10 watt speakers. The line level output will have to be routed through an AVR, amplifier, or powered/amplified speakers of some sort to produce sound.

Using the line level audio out of a projector will force a maximum of 2 channel audio. Any surround codecs will be down-mixed to stereo maximum.

Using an HDMI audio extractor will support 2 channel stereo or 5.1/7.1 lossy codec surround audio. You must use an HDMI connection to support lossless codecs and the codecs will have to be de-coded at the source or in a device like an AVR to support surround sound.

If you don't want to use an AVR for audio you will have to rely on audio extraction, the audio out connection on the projector, or a projector with some kind of built in speaker. As a projectors primary function is that of a display device, units with built in speakers usually do not provide sound of any quality or volume.

TY b curry.

So say the projector only has 2 HDMI inputs, if I use an HDMI Switcher I would still need to use an Extractor as well to connect to the Switcher or is the 4 port switcher an extractor as well?



As mentioned my plan was to connect, streaming box, DVD player and Gaming device.
On the gaming devices, one has an HDMI interface but the other only has composite interface.


Would that mean that I would have to get a Switcher that supports both HDMI & composite connections?


My other questions...

Any assistance you can give me on my point #5 ?

Any advice/comments on the list of projectors I was given?
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-26-2019, 08:44 AM
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TY b curry.

So say the projector only has 2 HDMI inputs, if I use an HDMI Switcher I would still need to use an Extractor as well to connect to the Switcher or is the 4 port switcher an extractor as well?
An HDMI Switch and an HDMI Audio Extractor are two different things so yes, if you have more inputs than the projector can support and you want to select between them, you'll need a switch. An HDMI Audio Extractor is a breakout device for audio and does not preform switching functions. If you're planning on using an extractor, you'll have to arrange the work flow/cables so that each source goes through the extractor: Sources > Switch > Extractor > Projector.



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Originally Posted by A. Al View Post
As mentioned my plan was to connect, streaming box, DVD player and Gaming device.
On the gaming devices, one has an HDMI interface but the other only has composite interface.


Would that mean that I would have to get a Switcher that supports both HDMI & composite connections?
Well, common sense would tell you that you have to match the connections somehow. I doubt you'll find a switch that supports both HDMI and composite connections in one unit. I expect that you'll have to use a composite to HDMI converter.



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My other questions...

Any assistance you can give me on my point #5 ?

Any advice/comments on the list of projectors I was given?
Any of those projectors will work. The BENQ unit you've selected is a business class projector, the color and contrast probably won't be as good as the other two.

I'm not a big fan of pull-down or motorized projection screens, too many problems with them for me, so I'm the wrong person to ask. But the usual manufacture's are Elite, Stewart, Draper, Da-Lite, Screen Innovations and lower cost units from Monoprice, and Silver Ticket. Lot's and lot's of off brand units on the internet, Amazon, and e-bay to choose from too. You will want to look for a screen with "tab tension". Pull down/motorized screens have a propensity to get "waves" on the outside edge of the screen which will/can distort the image. A tab tension screen can help control this.


I'm not sure why you don't want to use an AVR. An AVR will allow you to connect all of your source devices at one location and use a single HDMI cable to run to the projector. It will also decode lossless codecs used on blu-ray and gives you the advantage of surround sound as well as stereo/mono mix-down. Compared to what you want to do, it's a much cleaner installation and eliminates cables. You can pick up a factory refurbished unit with a 1 year warranty for ~$150 from https://www.accessories4less.com/ that will do every thing you want to do and more.

As you've described what you want to do, you will have a rat's nest of cables to contend with and lots of connections to make. The switch, extractor, and composite to HDMI converter each require a 5v power supply so you'll have 3 wall wart transformers to deal with too. The switch will require an additional remote control or manual source selection. The cost of a switch, extractor, and composite to HDMI converter plus cables is going to get you close to the cost of an entry level AVR or maybe more than that of a good used one.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-26-2019, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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An HDMI Switch and an HDMI Audio Extractor are two different things so yes, if you have more inputs than the projector can support and you want to select between them, you'll need a switch. An HDMI Audio Extractor is a breakout device for audio and does not preform switching functions. If you're planning on using an extractor, you'll have to arrange the work flow/cables so that each source goes through the extractor: Sources > Switch > Extractor > Projector.

TY for the confirming my thoughts on this.



Well, common sense would tell you that you have to match the connections somehow. I doubt you'll find a switch that supports both HDMI and composite connections in one unit. I expect that you'll have to use a composite to HDMI converter.

I was hoping there was a switch out there that could do this for me. TY



Any of those projectors will work. The BENQ unit you've selected is a business class projector, the color and contrast probably won't be as good as the other two.


Thx for your thoughts on the BENQ, this is the unit the BENQ people suggested, but I am kinda leaning more towards the Optma, because of the balance between very good lag and capability to deliver decent picture for movies/sports. This is only based on what I have read, but I am open to arguments or suggestions from those that have the Optoma or compared it to other projector makes.


I'm not a big fan of pull-down or motorized projection screens, too many problems with them for me, so I'm the wrong person to ask. But the usual manufacture's are Elite, Stewart, Draper, Da-Lite, Screen Innovations and lower cost units from Monoprice, and Silver Ticket. Lot's and lot's of off brand units on the internet, Amazon, and e-bay to choose from too. You will want to look for a screen with "tab tension". Pull down/motorized screens have a propensity to get "waves" on the outside edge of the screen which will/can distort the image. A tab tension screen can help control this.


TY for your input on the screens, many you have listed I wasn't aware of. I guess I need to do more reading, this area seems to be a much more difficult task to narrow down on which one to go with. I guess I was hoping I could get other peeps experience with their motorized screen system.


I'm not sure why you don't want to use an AVR. An AVR will allow you to connect all of your source devices at one location and use a single HDMI cable to run to the projector. It will also decode lossless codecs used on blu-ray and gives you the advantage of surround sound as well as stereo/mono mix-down. Compared to what you want to do, it's a much cleaner installation and eliminates cables. You can pick up a factory refurbished unit with a 1 year warranty for ~$150 from accessories4less.com that will do every thing you want to do and more.


As you've described what you want to do, you will have a rat's nest of cables to contend with and lots of connections to make. The switch, extractor, and composite to HDMI converter each require a 5v power supply so you'll have 3 wall wart transformers to deal with too. The switch will require an additional remote control or manual source selection. The cost of a switch, extractor, and composite to HDMI converter plus cables is going to get you close to the cost of an entry level AVR or maybe more than that of a good used one.

You make some very valid points, I was really trying to get away from having to house a large (dimension wise) piece of equipment in my set-up. TY for the above link, the cost is quite reasonable, but just quickly checked a Denon unit and it is just over 17" in width. My plan was to use individual book shelve units from IKEA and bolt them to the ceiling. I was hoping to have all my equipment in these shelves, the AVR is just such a large unit and would take up so much space. I guess there is a trade off as you pointed out on my cabling challenges by not using an AVR.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-26-2019, 10:24 AM
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You make some very valid points, I was really trying to get away from having to house a large (dimension wise) piece of equipment in my set-up. TY for the above link, the cost is quite reasonable, but just quickly checked a Denon unit and it is just over 17" in width. My plan was to use individual book shelve units from IKEA and bolt them to the ceiling. I was hoping to have all my equipment in these shelves, the AVR is just such a large unit and would take up so much space. I guess there is a trade off as you pointed out on my cabling challenges by not using an AVR.
Yep, no such thing as a free lunch. And anyway you cut it, you still have to have an amplifier somewhere in the chain.
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Yep, no such thing as a free lunch. And anyway you cut it, you still have to have an amplifier somewhere in the chain.
Any ideas you can share on what peeps have used as a solution to hold equipment in the ceiling mount application? Trying not to have to custom build a shelving unit.



On the AVR front, from an audio standpoint. Am I better served to connect the Roku box, DVD player and Xbox via optical interface vs just using HDMI connection?


If the answer is yes then, I believe most AVRs have no more than 2 optical connections, so any recommendations on what I can do to connect all 3 optically?


Do you recommend I create a separate thread on Screen options/recommendations to get input from those that do use screens?


Ty again
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-26-2019, 11:23 AM
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Any ideas you can share on what peeps have used as a solution to hold equipment in the ceiling mount application? Trying not to have to custom build a shelving unit.



On the AVR front, from an audio standpoint. Am I better served to connect the Roku box, DVD player and Xbox via optical interface vs just using HDMI connection?


If the answer is yes then, I believe most AVRs have no more than 2 optical connections, so any recommendations on what I can do to connect all 3 optically?


Do you recommend I create a separate thread on Screen options/recommendations to get input from those that do use screens?


Ty again
Sorry, no. Never occurred to me to mount something on the ceiling other than the projector. I prefer to have it were it's accessible and maybe out of sight.

Mechanical issues aside, HDMI is the best connection as it supports lossless audio codecs and higher video resolution/features.

FYI - If you have a Five Below store nearby, they have both 6' and 12' HDMI cables for $5 each. They'll work fine for your source's.

https://www.fivebelow.com/search?q=hdmi

If you need longer, Monoprice is a good supplier and will also have shorter HDMI cables for under $5.

https://www.monoprice.com/category/cables/hdmi-cables


As for screens, you might go to the screen forum and ask. https://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-screens/
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Sorry, no. Never occurred to me to mount something on the ceiling other than the projector. I prefer to have it were it's accessible and maybe out of sight.

Mechanical issues aside, HDMI is the best connection as it supports lossless audio codecs and higher video resolution/features.

FYI - If you have a Five Below store nearby, they have both 6' and 12' HDMI cables for $5 each. They'll work fine for your source's.

https://www.fivebelow.com/search?q=hdmi

If you need longer, Monoprice is a good supplier and will also have shorter HDMI cables for under $5.

https://www.monoprice.com/category/cables/hdmi-cables


As for screens, you might go to the screen forum and ask. https://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-screens/
TY.


So is there ever any benefit to using an optical interface connection for anything....better to use with speakers maybe vs a hard wire connection?
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-26-2019, 12:11 PM
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TY.


So is there ever any benefit to using an optical interface connection for anything....better to use with speakers maybe vs a hard wire connection?
Optical or more correctly TosLink was/is an older audio connection, primarily for CD and used in some DVD players, DAT, and some video game consoles. It does not support the bandwidth to support Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, or more than two channels of PCM audio. So it fell out of favor or was passed by when blu-ray became available. HDMI becomes the highest bandwidth connection for digital.

Optical connection is typically not a direct speaker connection that I'm aware of save for perhaps a powered sound bar, etc. It's still used for CD playback most often.

Fiber optic "optical" and coax TosLink are the same and pass the same information. No advantage between the two. They both send the same binary data stream.
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post #11 of 15 Old 06-26-2019, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Optical or more correctly TosLink was/is an older audio connection, primarily for CD and used in some DVD players, DAT, and some video game consoles. It does not support the bandwidth to support Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, or more than two channels of PCM audio. So it fell out of favor or was passed by when blu-ray became available. HDMI becomes the highest bandwidth connection for digital.

Optical connection is typically not a direct speaker connection that I'm aware of save for perhaps a powered sound bar, etc. It's still used for CD playback most often.

Fiber optic "optical" and coax TosLink are the same and pass the same information. No advantage between the two. They both send the same binary data stream.
TY again, learned something today!


Our Wii Console only has composite interface connections, is there any benefit to getting a composite > HDMI converter to then connect to the AVR? I know the AVR does support composite connections, just wondering if the gaming experience would be better using the HDMI connection.


For speakers, I was thinking of using a simple LogitechZ623 2.1 THX set, any thoughts or opinions on this selection?


I don't want to hang anything really big and this system seems to put out plenty of power.


Thx again for your thoughts.
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-26-2019, 03:06 PM
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TY again, learned something today!


Our Wii Console only has composite interface connections, is there any benefit to getting a composite > HDMI converter to then connect to the AVR? I know the AVR does support composite connections, just wondering if the gaming experience would be better using the HDMI connection.


For speakers, I was thinking of using a simple LogitechZ623 2.1 THX set, any thoughts or opinions on this selection?


I don't want to hang anything really big and this system seems to put out plenty of power.


Thx again for your thoughts.
No, there's no advantage or benefit/improvement to be had to a Wii by using a composite to HDMI converter. It's only changing the connection if you need it. The Wii's resolution is what it is.

The AVR's I linked you to all have at least one if not two composite connections which would support your Wii box.

The LogitechZ623 is a powered/amplified speaker so you would not use an AVR, you're back to needing the extractor.


If you want to use an AVR like the Denon AVR-S530BT and keep a similar cost compared to the LogitechZ623 you could use speakers like this:


Use the full 5.1 or only 2 speakers plus the subwoofer
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8247


This would be a pair of book shelf speakers and a sub.
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...-pair--300-452
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-627
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No, there's no advantage or benefit/improvement to be had to a Wii by using a composite to HDMI converter. It's only changing the connection if you need it. The Wii's resolution is what it is.

The AVR's I linked you to all have at least one if not two composite connections which would support your Wii box.

The LogitechZ623 is a powered/amplified speaker so you would not use an AVR, you're back to needing the extractor.


If you want to use an AVR like the Denon AVR-S530BT and keep a similar cost compared to the LogitechZ623 you could use speakers like this:


Use the full 5.1 or only 2 speakers plus the subwoofer
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8247


This would be a pair of book shelf speakers and a sub.
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...-pair--300-452
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-627
TY b curry

I was looking at the 540 Denon, it has the 4K upscaling might be useful for a future 4K projector upgrade...what do you think?


The speaker suggestions are great, quite inexpensive, have many on this forum used these? Wondering what the overall sentiment is on the performance.



I might have to go with the Dayton bookshelf & sub, I just would not know where to secure a center ch speaker while using a projector screen, unless you know of any creative ways to place such a speaker with my set-up. I certainly would like to incorporate the center ch, if it were possible.



Lastly, you mentioned I should start a thread in the screen section to get some opinions, I could not find such a forum, maybe the topic is hidden somewhere, would you be kind enough to point me to the correct forum for this.


TY again, you have been a great help!!
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TY b curry

I was looking at the 540 Denon, it has the 4K upscaling might be useful for a future 4K projector upgrade...what do you think?
Sure.


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The speaker suggestions are great, quite inexpensive, have many on this forum used these? Wondering what the overall sentiment is on the performance.
I just suggested those units trying to stay somewhere around the price of the Logitech units you referenced. The Monoprice speakers get good reviews, many posted on the site and you can google. I've installed the Dayton units for my nephew's home theater and other people that want a system that sounds good at a low cost. They sound quite good. They also make a 6.5" version for a couple of dollars more. Again google for reviews.



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I might have to go with the Dayton bookshelf & sub, I just would not know where to secure a center ch speaker while using a projector screen, unless you know of any creative ways to place such a speaker with my set-up. I certainly would like to incorporate the center ch, if it were possible.
Mount it above or below the screen aimed at the main listening position, usually the center of the room. Dayton has a center channel speaker or you can use a matching bookshelf for a center. I put a link for the 6.5" unit too.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...eaker--300-453

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...-pair--300-652



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Lastly, you mentioned I should start a thread in the screen section to get some opinions, I could not find such a forum, maybe the topic is hidden somewhere, would you be kind enough to point me to the correct forum for this.


TY again, you have been a great help!!
No, It's in plain sight, not hidden. Labeled "Screens"

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-screens/
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post #15 of 15 Old 06-27-2019, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Much appreciated for the feedback, now I know why I couldn't find the Screens forum, it was under Display Devices...TY


Have a great day!
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