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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firstly, I'll start by stating that I'm not positive if this is the right section for this post - by all means move this post (or advise me where I should be inquiring).

I am in the middle of putting together a home theater setup for my first time. It won't be perfect, and to be honest, the home I'm living in isn't a long term home, so I don't want to commit too much to something that isn't at least halfway easily moved to another house in the next 6mnth-1yr.

I am setting up in the basement, there are only two small windows (one in laundry room - zero light leaking to my viewing area) and another in a small section of main basement area (more on that in a bit). I have just purchased an Epson 8500ub, and have it setup and projecting onto a few sheets that are stapled to the wall. They are super cheap (very thin) white sheets. I've ordered a piece of Wilsonart Designer white (5ft x 12ft) and it should be here in about 2 wks.

I have an Onkyo TX Sr606 for my receiver, and am setup with 5.1 in the basement (using the other 2 speakers for zone-2 upstairs to give music in the kitchen/living room area). Right now with the seating at ~15 feet I have the surround setup according to the directions at dolby.com for a 5.1. It sounds pretty sweet! I'm happy with the audio for sure. Not completely happy with my projected image, but that's almost entirely due to my horrendous screen at the moment (I hope).

Primary use of the system will be movies and PS3 gaming. There will be a HTPC connected (running Arch linux and XBMC).

If you picture an "L" shaped tetris piece you have the finished portion of my basement (the 'missing' piece of the L is my mechanical/laundry room, it's drywalled off from the rest of the basement). My room is about 12 feet wide, and 40ft long. So I do have a ton of flexibility in terms of placement. I will be ceiling mounting. I'm projecting onto one of the 12 foot walls. Currently my couch is approx 14-15 feet back from the screen. Behind the couch is two tall kitchen chairs with a piece of plywood with my receiver, projector, and PS3 sitting on it. The projector is pretty much 3 feet directly below where I think I would like to mount it. It's pretty much 16" feet exactly from the screen. I'm zoomed to project an image of 120" right now. I've sat and watched a few TV shows, and have done probably 8 hours of gaming on it in the past few days with this setup. The screen size and seating distance feels pretty much perfect, so far i'm quite happy with this layout.

Here's where I run into a few questions.

I'm sure the diff between 2 crappy sheets and a piece of Designer White is going to be significant. These sheets aren't ironed or anything even, so the square fold marks from being in the package are very apparent. There is a big overlap seam that is very easy to see, and they are cheap and thin enough that I can see through them. Behind them is unpainted drywall, and anywhere that there is patching compound or 'mud' is brighter than bare drywall, and it reflects back through and is visible.

Will designerwhite be too bright? at this distance? I'd love to be able to run my bulb in eco as much as possible. Should I be mounting my projector closer or further? About 2 feet above and behind me seems about right.

The area where my receiver and other gear will go is approx 15 feet behind and to the left of the couch. So, i'd probably be looking at a 25' HDMI from receiver to projector. All my video must be setup in this location, I don't have flexibility with that. I can mount the pj where is best though.

The plan is to mount the laminate to the wall (i bought the .048" thicker stuff - my understanding is that the thicker grade doesn't need a substrate behind it - correct me if i'm wrong please). I'll be building a frame (probably MDF) and wrapping in velvet or felt or something. How thick should the frame be to look good at 120"? I'm thinking 3" or maybe 3 1/2"?

My laminate is costing me $160 - I'd like to try and keep the total screen cost under say.... $300 ($250 is better if possible).

I apologize if this is super rambly - I'm trying to provide all the relevant info I can think of, and it's not all coming into my head in any specific order =)

There is another 'room' off to the left from the 'theatre area' (everythign from the couch to the screen - basically the 15 feet from me to the screen. It's not a seperate walled off room though, the left wall coming up the left side of the room behind the couch ends about a foot past where the couch is, and then it's just open until it gets to the end wall where my screen is. There's a small window in that room. We plan to hang some dark block out style curtains to seperate this room. it's a storage area for us, and it's really cluttered and not appealing to look at. More importantly that window will make daytime viewing much less good.

I'm not sure that i'm describing thinsg in a way that is easy for others to picture. I hope the basic layout is clear to you all.

Is there anything that it seems like I'm overlooking? Any major flaws with the plan to setup at this size (according to the proj throw distance calculator this seems to be a good setup).

Is there anyone out there running an 8500ub on a piece of Wilsonart laminate?

I'm super eager to get things up and running for real here. These sheets look terrible! Excited to see the change in moving up!

Again, sorry for the rambly stream of conscious style post. It's 1:25am and I had a long long day at work - head is kinda fried. My replies will be a little more coherant (and shorter).


· Registered
225 Posts

Your on the right path and your distance are right on for that projector. One question, it appears you already bought the material. Buying the thicker laminate is what I did also. I built mine into my old house so I had to leave it.

The frame, build it out of Poplar wood at Home Depot / Lowes and few angle brackets. Same price pretty much and a better product for making frames on screens.

If you need HDMI cables that are longer get them at Monoprice.com or search the forums as there is a ton of discussion on Name brand Vs price.

As far as the window, to save cost just use a curtain on the window as it is cheaper. If you want to block out the room you can make some nice "Wall" type curtains pretty easy. I would sugget JoAnn Fabrics because they have coupons all the time for 30-40% off everything you buy...! *My Wife spends all her free time there!!

Also I sent you a PM with a link for a screen that was a killer price two weeks ago that was right at your high price side that would allow you to break it down and take it with you when you move. That was my only issue when we moved to a new house, had to leave all my handy work behind...BUT got to start over too though.

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