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Considering a projector - sensible in my circumstances?

1011 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ed_t
Hey guys, this is my first post and I've had to reword it a few times to try and make my point clear, so hopefully it makes sense!

My intention :

To set up a nice high definition screen for gaming and movies.

My problem :

There is only one room in my house where I can set up a nice gaming room. I'm stuck in this room so I have to work with what I've got, and I'm trying to make the best decision.

There is an "ideal" spot for a screen where it would be at a 90 degree angle to the window (which is north facing), and would face the couch. The problem is that a radiator has been built against this very wall. Moving the radiator is not an option.

I am understandably reluctant to start crowding all my home entertainment electronics around the radiator. Things like the Xbox 360 would just be a break-down waiting to happen. I would be worried about the effects of constant heat during winter on a TV. It just isn't practical.

Possible solution :

I am considering using a projector to solve these logistical issues. I would keep all my electronics over beside the couch, on the opposite wall to the radiator. This would keep them safe from any problems caused by excessive heat.

I would then need to set up a screen for the projector over by the radiator. While this isn't ideal, logic tells me that with no electrical insides to go wrong that this is a better idea than putting a TV here.

I could maybe mount it to the wall above the radiator , or have it standing on the floor a few inches out from the radiator. The ceiling is far too high (12 feet) to mount it up there.

The problem with my solution :

The distance from one wall to the other is around 9.5 feet. Taking into account the projector itself, the throw distance will likely end up around the 8 feet mark.

Furthermore, the wall could only hold a screen (including any borders) at a maximum size of around 50/56 inches.

So, I'm asking :

I'm not sure what these figures really mean in the world of projectors. I don't know if they make projectors to satisfy these measurements or if using one in this situation is seen as a total waste.

Am I heading in the right direction with this idea, or am I barking up the wrong tree?
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First off welcome to AVS and good first post. Your question has been asked a few times and you are going to get answers both ways.

Few things to think about projectors are not TV's and don't like to be turned on and off for short time spans. So you may still want to think about a small TV for the short bursts. The second thing is projectors are not on friendly terms with ambient light (your window) shades , black out blinds or night viewing will be required.

Your screen size is about on the very limit on the small side, most projectors are designed around something like a 100 image. What that means in your case you will have lots of brightness. That can be a good thing with some ambient light but you will have to select or make a screen based around these conditions. There is a whole forum here on DIY screens and we talk a lot about stuff like this. There are also some threads linked in my signature you can read thru about this.

Do to the fact you will have a small screen but be sitting close your field of vision will satisfied with a large beautiful image. Go as big as you can would be my advice. Paint that wall a dark color and forget the masking around the screen. Calculate the brightness you will be getting (Foot Lamberts) and design your screen around that.

Don't be afraid to ask questions everyone will help.

Now we can hear from the people that are going to say that's too small
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Hi johnmcnamee,

I'll echo bud16415's welcoming sentiments. I'm a bit of a n00b myself, but I've been enjoying doing lots of research over the past couple months. I'm wondering if the PJ I wind up getting will provide as much enjoyment as the research!

A couple comments on your situation:

1. I'd recommend reading this post: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=753497 . It's a tutorial on sizing up PJs for different sized rooms. Not so much a list of PJs that are good for small rooms (though I think there are threads on that), but more of a tutorial of what specs to look for, what calculations to do, etc.

2. If you could post pictures, that would help people give you better advice. Like you, I've started up threads after thinking through the problem as much as I could on my own, and then narrowing the focus of the question to the one key remaining issue I couldn't figure out. Then, after showing my room layout and giving more info, people on this forum have given me great ideas that I hadn't even considered.

3. 12' doesn't sound like an impossible height to mount a screen from, so I'm not sure you should dismiss it as an option. That said, it sounds like your room shape is really constrained horizontally, not vertically. If that's the case, mounting a screen on the wall above the radiator would certainly be a cheaper option, and depending on how much space you have, you may still be able to max out the screen size horizontally and fit in the space between the ceiling and the radiator.

4. If you're open to a retractable screen (either motorized or pull-down) and black out curtains, is there some reason why you wouldn't consider the wall with the windows? You could close the shades and pull down the screen when you watch, and it might give you more room to work with. Again, pictures of all 4 walls and a quick and dirty drawing of the layout in MS Paint would help.

Good luck!
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For 50-56" screen size you are better off with LCD or plasma. You can put a thick wooden console table between TV and the radiator. So the heat from the radiator will not be in direct contact with the TV. If you decide to go with projector, you can either do a DIY screen or get a manual pull down screen above the radiator. I would avoid using an expensive screen as the heat from the radiator may demage it, particularly if it is fixed frame screen mounting close to the radiator.

As for the other equipments. Just run a long HDMI or component/audio cables to the TV.
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