Designing setup for projector in a small RV - input appreciated - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-16-2019, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Designing setup for projector in a small RV - input appreciated

Hey guys,

New to the projector world, but thought it'd be pretty sweet to have a projector that can be set up inside my 23' Winnebago View RV. There are a few extra spatial challenges in getting the right gear (pretty much par for the course with all of my projects and additions to the RV). My setup is simple and pretty compact and I don't have a TV at all right now -- just watch shows every once in a while on an iPad, but will have my niece with me this summer and thought it would be pretty impressive to have a home movie theater we can use.

Can someone double check my math, and maybe provide a little advice?

Distance
First off, I plan to put the projector on a high shelf (upside down). The distance from the projector to the screen will be 6' if I have the slide out in, and it will be 8' if I have the slide out out. I will typically put it out so I'll have the 8' distance, but not always so I'm trying to have a bit of flexibility here. I am afraid to ceiling mount because the ceiling material is fairly thin and with all of the bumps and vibrations of driving, it just might not be stable enough. I also want the ability to easily move the projector outside for a fun outside theater option.

Screen Size
The available screen size I have would be limited to 53" W x 30" H in "normal" default configuration, but I can quickly convert my dinette area by lowering the table and pulling 2 cushions off to allow for a max size of 74" W x 42" H.

Ambient Light
Almost all viewing will be done at night where total darkness is easily achieved. Even if viewing during the day, my normal curtains block out 75% of the ambient easily, and I do have insulating blackout curtains I can also put up if needed (but not trying to require a big process to be able to use the projector). At 6' to 8' even with some ambient light, should 2000 lumens be plenty, or will I be wanting for more? I understand they will both be fine in a dark room but just wondering how much ambient is acceptable at a 8' distance and a 74" wide projection.

Screen Position
I can place the projector horizontally in line with the screen, but it will be placed a shelf near the ceiling which will be roughly 12" above the top of the screen vertically so I will likely max out my vertical lens shift and possibly have to angle it down slightly and make use of keystone adjustment. Sound peachy?

Audio
I currently have a half decent portable bluetooth speaker that I would use, not sure if this will be sufficient or not.

Screen
I can hang a screen in front of the wall but again am limited to a max of 74" of width. It looks like many of the manual pull down screens have metal framing at the top and bottom that is a good bit wider than the screen itself and that most 80" diagonal screens I'm finding on Amazon are just a bit too wide overall to physically fit in my 74" space. Wondering if I could trim 1" off of either side of the bottom frame without affecting anything else, or if I need to find a smaller solution.
Are there any other suggestions on budget friendly projector screens, or options for alternatives such as roller blinds or something else that can roll up out of the way easily?

Outdoor Theater
It would also be really fun to be able to move the projector outside every once in a while and do a big projection on the side of the RV. I'll need a sheet or something similar I can hang on the side of the RV, so that will still need to be figured out.

I am looking at both the BenQ TK800M and the BenQ HT3550. The notable differences being:
TK800M: 3000 lumens, not as good color, 1.5-1.65 throw ratio.
HT3550: 2000 lumens, better color, 1.13-1.47 throw ratio.

By my math and by BenQ's calculator, all other things aside, it seems that the throw ratio of the HT3550 will be a better fit for my limited distance and screen size inside the RV. At 6' distance it can provide a 49"-64" wide image, and at 8' it can provide a 65"-84" image.

So... any flaws in my plan? Any advice, suggestions, or tips?

Oh also, I would like to find super low profile 90 degree cables for the power plug as well as HDMI because the shelf its going on is barely deep enough for the projector size, if anyone knows of anything.

Photos attached are of a test run with a buddy's projector at 8' displaying both my 'small' and 'large' size options. I could have sworn the specs on that projector was something like 1.5 - 1.85 throw ratio and it worked, but I'm trying to trust my math and BenQ's calculator.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-16-2019, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh here are a couple older photos that show the space (before the dinette table and bench seats were put back in). And a shot of the rig.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-16-2019, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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In the picture from the second post, the projector would be in the shelf on the right side of the image and would project onto a screen hanging in front of the window on the left side of the image. (if I could edit my post I would have added this above but I guess I can't edit?).
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-16-2019, 06:36 AM
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First do you really need 4K in a RV? I would save at least 1/2 your budget and get a BenQ 2050a 1080p projector (same throw as the 3550). 2 to 3 times the native contrast and a lot less to go wrong. Bluetooth with projectors are a bad idea as it's difficult to get good lip sync with Bluetooth delays, use some computer speakers wired to either the source or projectors audio out. A widow roller shade might work good as a screen and they will cut them to any length you want. They are light and have no casing so they are compact.

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-16-2019, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply -- I definitely do not need a 4K projector, but am actually working with BenQ on this to sort out a projector install in an RV that I can document and share with other RVers and they had preferred to feature a newer product like one of these two so I'm just going with it. If they have a new release that is 1080p and would give me better results, please let me know and I would be interested in that as well.

Thanks for the heads up about the bluetooth audio, hadn't thought of that one.

Is there a noticeable difference in quality when using an inexpensive projector roller screen from Amazon or similar vs going to somewhere like Home Depot and purchasing a white blackout roller shade? The only advantage of the roller shade is that I can easily fine tune the width to fit in my space but I don't want to end up with a vastly inferior projection image as a result.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-16-2019, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTroll View Post
Is there a noticeable difference in quality when using an inexpensive projector roller screen from Amazon or similar vs going to somewhere like Home Depot and purchasing a white blackout roller shade? The only advantage of the roller shade is that I can easily fine tune the width to fit in my space but I don't want to end up with a vastly inferior projection image as a result.
Never tried a roller shade before, but generally just pick the one with the smoothest whitest surface that is also the thickest backing. The main issue you might run into is light bleed going through it from the projected image, if that happens it will hurt the contrast.

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