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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am ready to pull the trigger on a projector setup in the following family room (open, not ideal theater setup so lumens are more important than contrast). I have decided that UST is not a good value and would be nearly impossible with any pull down so that leaves me with moving up the fan (or moving it away), doing a projector lift, and either doing an in ceiling dropdown screen (10ft) or a screen from the top of the entertainment center. You'll see the photo of the room so you have a general idea of what I'm working with (not changing the entertainment center, screen will go in front of it) and I labeled my vacuum's last layout where each square is 1ft for projection calculations etc.

I'm looking for a $1.5k-$3k projector if you guys feel it's good and updated enough to last me 10 years (is faux "shifting" 4k there yet?) OR a basic $500 to $1.5k projector to get me through at least 3-5 years of enjoyment if you guys feel like the tech is going to move really far in that time.

I've read through the forums and have seen a several excellent ones recommended but most of the conversations seem streamlined for theater whereas this is a family room open to the house and would be used for sports while there are some lights on as well as video gaming and movies. I wondered if there's a consensus about the type of projector (DLP/LCD/Laser) and possible models for performing best in ambient lighting. Also curious if any of you have done ceiling mounted projector screen on 10ft ceilings (I would think 90" to 120" size).


 

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I'm looking for a $1.5k-$3k projector if you guys feel it's good and updated enough to last me 10 years (is faux "shifting" 4k there yet?) OR a basic $500 to $1.5k projector to get me through at least 3-5 years of enjoyment if you guys feel like the tech is going to move really far in that time.

The ceiling fan will likely be in the way, movable?

Definitely look at 120” in that size room depending on your viewing distance. Invest in a good ALR screen to pair with whatever PJ you get. If it were me, I wouldn’t put a $3K PJ in a room with that much ambient light, but you’ll still get some benefits of a higher end model; others might disagree, but I think money spent on a decent ALR screen wouldn’t benefit this room more.

I like my 1080p Epson 3700 (around 3,000 lumens) for my living room setup, and it can get very bright, but too much ambient light will still easily overpower a light cannon. The latest BenQ TK800M at its rated 3,000 lumens seems like a good living room and budget friendly PJ with 4K support. If I were buying a PJ this year, I’d definitely be looking at only 4K models. However, if it’s only for sports and occasional TV viewing, you could probably go either way.

There’s models with 4,500+ lumen output, but an extra thousand or more won’t make a huge difference based on most user feedback I’ve read regarding ambient light placement. I’ve only had two PJ’s in my room, so hopefully some of the more knowledgeable PJ users will chime in with their suggestions.
 

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LCD's are generally regarded as the best for more ambient light. The Epson 3700 as mentioned above is the brightest of the home theater class projectors, has a fairly large amount of lens shift @ +/-60% and inexpensive replacement lamps. If faux 4K the Epson 4010 is most likely your best bet as it has +/- 96% vertical lens shift with power lens memory but is a very large projector. A projector lift or drop from ceiling unless you can DIY one will cost a small fortune. For something a lot less expensive like the Epson HT1060 is very bright with the cost of poor contrast and very limited placement flexibility but is in the $500 range and would give you something to experiment with for very little investment.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, yep the ceiling fan will be moved up or away. The TK800 and especially the Epson 4010 were definitely on my short list to look at and would appreciate any other suggestions as well!

One of the things that's confusing to me is ProjectorCentral's image brightness calculator gives me different answers for two projectors with the same lumens even at varying distances. So for instance, to provide a 120" screen at the middle zoom for both projectors, the Epson 4010 produces 40fL at 16' vs the BenQ TK800 at 34fL at 14' - and if you get them each as close as possible, the Epson can go all the way to 11'9" to end up with 45fL vs the BenQ at 12'10" at 35fL. This gap widens even more when screen gain goes from 1.0 to 1.2 to 54fL for Epson vs 42fL for BenQ - a pretty significant difference and one I don't fully understand. My guess is that it has something to do with the superior Epson lens and LCD vs DLP, but I still don't exactly understand why the Epson is brighter further away.

For the projector lift, I was actually thinking of something simple like this with some casing trim around it. It has a 3ft drop so 7ft off the ground:
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15495

So is it really reasonable to use one of these projectors with enough ambient light to allow people to walk around and talk in the kitchen and surrounding open areas while having on a sports game, for instance? Not gonna get this in time for the final four but would be fun for the future. Obviously movies would be awesome, but I think it would get more even more use if I can use it for sports or the PS4 when my brothers come by. How high off the ground does a 120" screen need to be to be comfortable when seated? If I get a retractable in ceiling screen, it's gonna have limited pull down on a 10ft ceiling probably have the image a little under 9ft centered around 6ft?

Last thing for context - what got me into realizing how awesome it was to have an immersive screen size was a little $100 portable projector my wife got me for our anniversary to play around with. I put it on my back fence with a warm fire and had such an awesome time. This is a 6ft fence so about a 5ft high screen (not sure what the calc is for diagonal on that) - not impressive quality by any means but still an absolute blast just feeling enveloped in the picture (and the portable speakers I took outside!). Enough to need a projector fix...

molecular mass of al2o3
 
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