AVS Forum banner
  • Get an exclusive sneak peek into our new project. >>> Click Here
  • Our native mobile app has a new name: Fora Communities. Learn more.

Front projection or rear projection?

524 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  ScAndal
I want to spend about $2500-3000 total for a home theater setup. I do not have a progressive scan DVD player and if I upgraded, I decided I would get the Panasonic RP56.

I watch 80% DVD's, 10% VHS and 10% regular TV, so 16x9 is extermely important.

I don't want to hassle with a HTPC.

Basically I want a good quality, easy setup 16x9 image. Am I better off with a RPTV (I've been eyeing the Pioneer 53" widescreen, non-Elite model or the Mitsubishi WS-55807)? Is image quality good enough for me to be happy with a DLP or an LCD front projector?
Not open for further replies.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
FP and RP are two totally different beasts. FP demands a completely dark, dedicated room for the most part. If you can do it, the size of image thrown will blow away any RP set available (note: talking consumer RP type sets, not rear throw projection systems).

Look at your environment and watching habits first, then make sure you've seen both in action. Then you'll know the answer to your question.

Gotta tell us lots more! Do you have ambient light control? How important is, say 100" diagonal vs. 60"?

Budget is too low IMO for a quality FPTV setup. Figure $9 grand including screen and video processor. I spent $5500 for Boxlight 38T, $1700 for Stewart Grayhawk, $1100 for Quadscan Elite, for example. That doesn't count the $12K I spent on the sound system. These are expensive toys but relative to just 2 years ago, half the cost for a seriously quality setup.

The bigger the picture, the bigger the price. If you're happy with 53", RPTV is the way to go.

See less See more
To expand a bit on PAP's reply, if you mix a Greyhawk screen with a high lumen front PJ, you can tolerate a reasonable amount of light. Of course, that combo isn't within your budget. Also, a large screen takes more lumens, even in a dark room. I suspect an RPTV is a better solution, but if you really watch in the dark, going to FP will save you from having a 200# huge box in your room.
I agree with Dan, To do a FPTV setup you would need to expand your budget by a lot. IMHO I think you will get the best bang for your dollar by going RPTV at this time. Your images will look much better on a good RPTV as compared to a very low end FPTV. (that is trying to get close to your budget). To get a high quaility image out of a FPTV will require you to spend a great deal of money. The larger you want to expand the image and at the same time retain high quality, costs bucks. You gotta pay to play! I have seen some very nice RPTV setups that look great.

As for sound, I would recommend keeping the sound system at the same performance level as the RPTV. IMO sound is 50% of the home theater experience. I have been around some setups that produced an awsome image but had poor sound. The end result left me feeling like it was a poor setup. I think a good balance will give you a good start.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

well I own a Thomson 52" wide screen RPTV and its great for watching TV, video and DVD's (stuff like the news I still tend to watch on my 20" 4:3 or my 32" 16:9). And that's about as good as you can get for the sort of money you are talking about here in europe

However I am in the run for a projector purely for DVD watching, as I do find 52" too small to give a theater like feeling. If you could afford it I would say you want both, but at your price I would go for a good widescreen RPTV.
I do have (or will have) complete control of ambient light, my only hurdle being a skylight, but I know there are shades that I can install to control that too.

If I were to go FPTV, I would keep my current Panasonic 27" TV for TV viewing and for the kids to watch their movies on.

I have a mostly dedicated room for theater (I say mostly because it doubles as a laundry room and sometimes play room). The play room portion is what makes me leary about putting a RPTV in the room, as I have alreay seen what yogurt does to a tube TV and don't want to see what it does to a RPTV. With a FPTV, I can use a retractable screen.

The room is 12' x 17', narrowing to 10' x 17', so the biggest screen I would probably go with is about 85" - 95". If I go with a RPTV, the depth of the set and the way the room is setup limits me to a viewing distance of about 9', which is why I was going to go with a 53" - 55" TV.

Is 85" - 95" getting to the size range where I need to spend big bucks to get a good picture? I was hoping to get something like the Sony VPL-CX1.

I am completely happy with my sound system, so no upgrades needed there.

I have no plans of getting HDTV or DSS. That said, would SVGA be sufficient for progressive DVD or would XGA be that much better?
See less See more

I'm in the same boat. I don't really want a huge RPTV taking up my basement. I would much rather have a screen drop out of the ceiling. I have been looking at high lumen projectors around 2000 lumens by NEC

Don't let these rich videophiles scare you off Bergie. You CAN have FPTV under 3K. Look at all the happy LT150 owners here and abroad. LT150 is an XGA DLP with 800 lumens, 800:1 contrast can STILL be had brand new for $2200-$2300 (same price for a good non-HD RPTV 60" or budget 40-50" HD RPTV). Screen can be had for $350 for 96"X96" Dalite Model B (manual pull down) Hipower from AVS (ask for Jason Turk). Prog. scan DVD player like RP56 is $200-$250. This brings grand total to just under 3K.

You don't need light cannons like the Boxlight 38T (XGA LCD, 2500 lumens) or high-end PJ's like DILA or Sharp Z9000. Of course we ALL would like to have these PJ but if you a) can't afford it or b) have different priorities (like kids education, vacations, wife, etc.). There is NOTHING wrong with starting with a budget HT system. Sure you can spend lots for HT but if you don't want to or can't, then start with low-end. Sure the images will be better on the more expensive PJ's, but I can tell you from experience (I have LT150) that even a budget FPTV will BLOW away a good RPTV due to sheer size of image, portability, cool factor, high wife approval (small size of digital PJ), and resolution.

Another option is CRT FPTV which has its advantages and disadvantages. Check the CRT forums for more details. I chose digital PJ for ease of operation, portability, and razor sharp and bright images.

Once you have FPTV you can upgrade later with more expensive stuff like Home Theater PC, external scaler/deinterlacer (for VHS, NTSC sources), HDTV satellite box, better screen (Grayhawk is best but EXPENSIVE), HT furniture, etc.

Don't let the cost scare you. You won't regret getting into FPTV. It will cost similar to a nice 60" diagonal RPTV and you can get 120" diagonal, beautiful image with FPTV IF you can control light.
See less See more
it still boils down to you seeing a front projector for yourself. There are advantages and disadvantages to both rp and fp.

I think Huey is right in suggesting the lt150, but you will have to see if the colour wheel will effect you, your family and friends. The rest of your requirements seem to suggest you would be happy with the lt150.
I'm in the same boat trying to decide between FP and RP. Seems like BIG pluses BIG minuses for both which has been driving me crazy for about a year now!!

Don't forget that LT150 will only last you 1000 hours if the blub doesn't blow even sooner (which seems to happen a bit more than "rarely").

A new bulb'll be about $400. Now some people might be able to help you find bulbs for cheaper, but I also worry about a few years from now when you'd need a new bulb and you can't find them for sale anywhere.

Anybody have a comment about that concern?

I watch tv more than DVDs though I consider DVDs of far more importance, so I'd like a FP, but don't want to count out 40 cents an hour to watch disposable sit-coms on it, yet I want a one 'monitor' solution.

I was looking to split the diff. by getting a new ~50" RP based on DLP or LCoS (claimed 10K hour blubs), but the DLPs are 10k+, and the LCoS aren't even out yet AND are expected to run at about 5-6K!? so that'd be the worst of both worlds!

Don't want a CRT RP that'll be HUGE, and also have burn in issues with 4:3 content.

Don't want a 'great deal' digital projector that you can't stand to look at unless it's in a pitch black room, AND ends up costing a fortune on bulbs.

I guess I'm not helping you in any way in making a choice (sorry), but I thought I'd bring up some of the issues others haven't mentioned. (mainly the bulb life/cost of a dig. FP)
See less See more
Another thing to consider is resale. This is why I am leaning towards front projection.

You can probably sell your front projector tomorrow for the same price you buy it today. Much easier to ship a 5lb box compared to a 300lb box :)

I figure I'll try out FP projector, and if I don't like it. Ebay it and buy the Toshiba 65x81.

Just some more FYI

See less See more
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Not open for further replies.