The projector has really thrown a wrench into the works. Though the room is wired for a projector, one was never seriously in the plan. The only reason for borrowing a projector was so I can get my contingency wiring and mounting surfaces sorted out. I thought that my wall space and viewing distance could only comfortably support a 90 inch screen. With mainstream TV sets already in the 82 inch realm what would be the point of a projector?
Well, all of that has changed..
Once you go projector you can't go back. After testing a number of permutations I'm now looking at having a 135 inch, 16:9 AT screen from my 9ft viewing position. That is just a touch too big for regular 16:9 programming but it is perfect for cinemascope. Most of the time I plan to have a 130 inch 16:9 picture, then once in a while, when the occasion calls for it, zoom the picture to fill the screen for a movie.
So the problems:
Most of my reservations about projectors were confirmed. The picture washes out easily with ambient light. The lights will need to be low or off, and every time someone moves in front of the seating they cause shadow. On top of that I now have to learn the A-Zs of projectors and screens. Since the screen is so large I have no choice but to mount the speakers behind the screen. The wall framing is reinforced in the center to support a heavy duty TV mount so it will have to be hacked to fit a speaker box. The wall is 2x4 framing and there is a corridor on the other side so the speaker box needs to work within that space. The center speaker is eight inches deep. After calculating clearances I think I will end up having the screen six inches proud of the wall, with the speaker one inch behind the screen material. Will that work? Since the speaker is only handling frequencies above 120Hz I hope that can fly.
To mock the new setup I stood a couple of 2x4s 6.5 inches in front of the wall framing and screwed them to the joists above. I then screwed my parchment scroll screen to the two studs. To get the picture in focus I used beer goggles. They didn't work but they were worth the try..