After doing much research on this excellent forum and elsewhere, we've bought our very first home theater projector and screen. At first, figuring out which projector to get, screen size, throw distance, seating distance, viewing angles, screen material, etc. and whether a projector would even work for our setup was very daunting. I was only able to a handful of threads on the CineGrey 5D here, so I decided to start this thread for my build and share our experiences along the way.
We went with the Sony VPL-HW45ES for many of the same reasons others have mentioned. Some of the key ones are:
- 4K material simply isn't prevalent enough and most of our viewing would be in HD resolutions
- The price was within our budget and we plan to upgrade to a 4K projector when they approach the $3,000 price range
- Others have noted excellent color accuracy out of the box and for the lumen rating
- Sony's video processing performance is well regarded and we've read the same about this projector (we also had a great experience with our current Sony LCD TV)
We went with the Elite Screens Starling Tab-Tension 2 motorized screen in the 120" size with the CineGrey 5D material because:
- We're putting the setup in a multi-use family room and aren't able to dedicate a space to a fixed screen
- We will be using the projector for everything (TV, movies, and games) and it will have to contend with ambient light during the day and early evening
- We regularly have guests over for movies and sports and will have lights on for these occasions as well
- This screen was within our budget and similar screens from SI or Stewart cost thousands more
I just installed the projector last night and used a Peerless mount, extension pole, and ceiling plate. The instructions were straightforward I was able to get the projector mounted quickly and without issue.
Our screen will be arriving tomorrow and I'll return with our first impressions when we get it installed and everything is in alignment. We're hoping that it gives us the results we expect. Fingers crossed!
Some technical info:
- We will be sitting about 12' from the screen which is less than ideal for 1080p at 120" according to some guidelines I found, but we want a screen big enough to appreciate 4K when we're able to upgrade
- The projector throw distance will be 13' 2" from the screen which just meets the minimum 1.5x screen width that Elite Screens recommends for the ALR material
- The throw distance is on the shorter end of the range for 120" for the projector, so we should have good brightness (not to mention this projector is said to not lose much brightness at maximum zoom anyway)
Please post your comments, suggestions, or questions - any feedback is welcome!