I'm currently in the process of turning the bedroom in my basement into a dedicated theater room and I think I'm at the point where I need to make a decision on a projector. I have an electrician who is going to do my electrical work and I need to determine where the outlet for the projector needs to go. So I figure I need to make a decision and buy the projector I want then play around with where it should be mounted.
I do have some obstacles to deal with, those being:
- Max Distance Lens to screen of about 13'2" depending on the physical size of the projector.
- 7 1/2' Ceiling with a HVAC soffit running through the middle of the room which drops 10.5"
- The edge of the bathroom door in the rear of the room is right on the center line of the room.
As you can see from the Sketchup image below my room is not huge. The Projector mounted in the picture is just a place holder for now as I have not yet determined the exact mounting location of the projector but as you can see I will have about 12' to 13' from lens to screen. This weekend I borrowed a projector from the office (Epson EX7230) just to get an idea of what size screen would work for me. Even though with this projector I could fill almost the entire wall with the projector at 13' and 15" from the ceiling, an image size somewhere in the range of 115" to 120" looked pretty good.
Since I have a small room I started with looking at the short throw projectors in the BenQ line up thinking these were my only option but according to the calculator on projector central I can get an Image size of up to 128" with a Panasonic AE8000 at 12'6". So i then started reading the reviews and specs on the AE8000, Epson 5030UB and Sony HW40ES, all of which look like they would give me the image size I want with my limited range.
Since these projectors all have Vertical and Horizontal lens shift I am assuming this will allow me to mount the projector slightly off center and still produce the correct image on the screen. This would help with the bathroom door at the rear of the room if could mount it about 6"- 8" to the left. Would the vertical lens shift help me at all with the center soffit allowing me to mount the projector higher?
I've read reviews on all three of projectors but being that my primary use of this room will be for movies, both 16:9 and 2:39 so I like the idea of having the zoom settings on the AE8000. Is there any reason I should go with one of these projectors over the other or steer clear of any particular one. Or is my room just too small for any of these and I should stick with something like the BenQ? My price range for a projector is up to $2000 or so. I forgot to mention that this room will be completely light controlled, the only window is behind the screen and will be covered up.