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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 20x12 room (family room) with 8 foot ceilings. The wall I am projecting to has a fireplace unfortunately with no other available walls to use. This will leave me about 4 feet height to work with from top ceiling to Mantle.


Being a newbie what kind of concerns or limitations will I have? Am I better off just getting a plasma and hoping I dont ruin it? I am not sure the size screen that I can get in this limited setup using a projector but can I least get 65-80 inch without the picture displaying on the mantle?


I live in a tri-level house, that is the bottom room. I have the fireplace wall straight ahead, to the right a huge sliding patio door, to the left 1/2 wall as there is an opening to get upstairs out the garage or into the bathroom. Directly opposite the fireplace wall the top half is open to a kitchen which is about 5 feet higher than the family room. If I choose to close off that wall I couldn't watch tv from the kitchen table. However if I did close off that wall I could easily place the projector on that wall if it can shoot an image at just over 20 feet. ETC ETC ETC !!!!!


Can anyone help direct me towards a solution? I have so many variables going on and have no clue which way to go. The real scary aspect is I havn't even started to search out projectors yet, I think thats a good thing!


PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!
 

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why not hang a manual pull-down screen that pulls down just in front of your mantle?


in my upstairs setup that's what i do. the screen hangs on two special hooks from the ceiling and then it pulls down just in front of my mantle. works great. it's our main tv too. you could get a fancy pants electric screen too if you were so inclined.

just a suggestion.
 

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At 4 ft. in height, you will just be able to squeeze an 80" diagonal image in. With a screen, you may want to mask a black boarder around the edge, and this will further reduce your image size but you will still have a bigger image than with a plasma. My suggestion would be to make your own screen and affix it above your mantle. If you ever have to start a fire and you think you might get the screen dirty, it would be as easy as taking a picture off the wall to move. Also...you don't have to plug your screen in or anything and hanging a plasma above a fireplace might make it a little more difficult to find a spot to plug the thing in.


If you have to sit the projector 20 ft. back, make sure you use a projection calculator (there's a good one on projectorcentral.com) to be sure that you can get the right size image from that distance. It might also be worth checking into projectors with lens shift, because it sounds to me like you're going to want the top of your image pretty close to the top of your ceiling, and your projector mounted on the ceiling as well. That would mean you want the top of your image to shoot pretty much straight across, and alot of projectors have a fixed offset that won't allow them to do that. If you can, post a few shots of your room. That always helps us get an idea of what you're dealing with. Anyway...that's my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the advice and imput, much appreciated. I will definetely get some shots of the room. Its being torn apart right now part of the overhaul!


The projector doesn't have to be 20 feet back. My concern is not the screen placement rather the size of the screen in relationship to the fireplace taking up 1/2 that wall. With a projector hanging from the celing I am already looking so many inches from the top of the wall thus reducing my picture size unless I want 1/4 of the picture shown on the mantle!


I will post pictures tomorrow and I welcome everyones ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok here are the pictures of my torn apart family room. If anyone has any idea how I should best set up my system to project above the fireplace please feel free to share. The big screen tv in the picture blocks the fireplace.


Also I hope to watch tv, hdtv, play video games, and most of all watch movies with this setup. I want to be able to use the fireplace while I watch tv tooo so I hope a screen above the fireplace wont mess this up. I am going to redo the brick / fireplace area and put a good size mantel which I hope will help limit any fireplace interference.



Thanks in advance and happy football watching on your projectors!

 

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You can definately get a DLP with lens shift, but most of them are a little pricey right now. However you decide to go, I think the most important thing you're going to need is a projector with lens shift.


It really all depends on how much work you plan on putting into the room, but if at all possible, I think I'd hang the projector somewhere around the middle or maybe 3/4 of the way back...depending on the throw. If you put it all the way back and plan on scooting your seating somwhere towards the middle of the room you might have a problem overshooting your audience. I would definately see if I could get the seating somewhere behind or under the projector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My idea for seating was nothing special. I am going with a U -sectional couch setup that has chases on each end. This will go all the way against the far back wall that butts up to the kitchen. Also was going to add a love-seat on the left wall when looking at the fireplace. So looks like I should plan on placing the projector about 15 feet back give or take a few. That would put it 5 feet forward of the back wall. Does that all sound about right?



I know the room isn't the best setup for home theatre with all the open walls but its the best option for me at this time. I am going to remove much of the drywall, rewire the electric, get an outlet on the ceiling for the projector and re-tile the floor. Also plan on upgrading the fireplace.


Feel free to chime in with any additional ideas or comments.
 

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Sounds like a pretty solid plan. I think the first step to building a good home theater is to buy the projector first, then plan the room around it..if you can. That's not always possible, but in your case I think once you get the projector everything else will fall into place. Post some pics when you get everything up and running! I'd love to check it out!
 

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For a DLP, assuming you want a ceiling mount, your options are probably limited to low or no offset units like a PE7700, DT-500, or XV-Z3000. The HD7100 is one of the few relatively cheap DLPs with len shift, though I'd be wary of it's issues. Costco.com has a few of these choices, and might be a good purcahse option. If you have a problem on the install then it's an easy return. These are all short throw, so they'd have to go on the ceiling, probably a bit closer than the 15 ft you mentioned. For ease of installation the AE900 or AX100U may be your best choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK so from what it sounds like I am better off going with LCD for my situation. I have thought and like the idea of getting from Costco due to their awesome return policy. I keep reading how the panasonics are either great or buggy as hell. This situation makes me a bit weary however buying from Costco will allow me great return freedom.


Will I be able to hook up a computer to the pannys and play video games?


Thanks for all the info, can never have enough!
 
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