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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm totally new to projectors, so I'm here for advice as I'm considering one for my living room.


* Budget is around $1,200 for projector + screen.


* 1080p highly preferred.


* The room doesn't get too much light, there are shudders on the windows and we really only watch movies at night, so I think ambient light shouldn't be an issue.


* Room is roughly 15' x 12', but depending on the location of some doors, there is a decision to be made as to where the screen and couch should go that affects the viewing distance. I made mock-ups of the 4 options that show dimensions and possible screen (represented as a white rectangle) placement:

Option 1: screen in front of the patio doors. 15' viewing/throw distance, ambient light blocked... but so are the doors.

Option 2: screen in front of the dining room area. 12' viewing/throw distance, some ambient light from the side, a bit weird to have a screen half way in the dining room.

Option 3: screen opposite the patio doors. ~12' viewing/throw distance, some ambient light from patio doors.

Option 4: screen perpendicular to patio doors. ~8' viewing distance, up to ~12' throw distance if ceiling mounted near dining area, some ambient light from patio doors.



What's your favorite layout? What's the biggest screen size I could comfortably watch? What projectors/screens would you recommend?
 

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I'd go with option 3, as with 1 & 2 your couch is backed up against the wall, not so great for surround sound....and option 4 seating is too close....


Everyone is different in regards to what max screen size is comfortable....I have two setups.....one I have a 92" and sit at 12 feet....another 150" and sit at 18 feet.....best to get the projector first and watch a few movies at different sizes before you decide....but for me I think could watch 120" at 12 feet......


Do you know if you are sensative to rainbows from DLP? You have to figure that out first...to see what technology's work for you before deciding on a projector.....
 

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Another vote for option 3. You can easily throw a curtain over the patio door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the opinions guys. I do like option 3 for a fairly optimal viewing/listening experience, but now that I think about it, I'm not a huge fan of the couch facing away from the patio and fireplace.


It's also worth mentioning that I'm not at all an audiophile and not too concerned with a slightly sub-optimal experience with the rear speakers. I've rarely found the rear channels to be too important/noticeable in movies and would probably be ok with hanging them on the ceiling behind the couch, even right up against a wall just a few inches behind it.


Reading through reviews, it looks like the Optoma HD20 (available now for $900) is my best bet for a budget 1080p projector. I was also thinking of getting a FAVI HD-100 16:9/100-Inch Electric Projector Screen for $160. Thoughts/opinions?
 

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I'll reiterate what I said before....have you ever seen a projector before? First thing is to make sure you are not rainbow sensitive.......then you can decide DLP vs LCD vs others.....then after that you have to figure out where you'll place the projector, as DLP's have more limitations vs LCD's where you can place the projector.......


I am not rainbow sensitive....thus I have a DLP and and LCD....but both of my projectors have lenshift making it alot easier in regards to projector placement.....


Oh since you don't like the couch position in Option 3....and don't care too much for optomal sound....I'd go with Option 1.......I have a similiar setup where my screen comes down to cover 3 windows......
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewke
I'll reiterate what I said before....have you ever seen a projector before? First thing is to make sure you are not rainbow sensitive.......then you can decide DLP vs LCD vs others.....then after that you have to figure out where you'll place the projector, as DLP's have more limitations vs LCD's where you can place the projector.......
A fair point. Know of any stores that actually have projectors up and running so I could check? I'm in Northern CA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewke
Oh since you don't like the couch position in Option 3....and don't care too much for optomal sound....I'd go with Option 1.......I have a similiar setup where my screen comes down to cover 3 windows......
Actually, for option 1, I could slide the couch 1-2 feet from the wall and put some sort of shelves/table/cabinet with the rear speakers & projector behind it. Throw distance would be ~14' and viewing distance ~12', which I think would be reasonable. So, yea, I think this configuration is the front runner. I wonder if I could replace the patio door shutters with the projector screen...
 

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I like option 2, for the reasons that with such a small space to work with you don't want to feel claustrophobic when sitting on the couch and not watching a movie, that its nice to not only see the dining area but also the fireplace, at least you have two zones to have conversations in but they are connected to each other via line of sight. With options 1 and 4 your backs are to each other. Option 3 treats the patio door and the fireplace like thing to avoid looking at.


Option 1 is doable because there are plenty of products out there that are great for home theater and can address home decor issues (i.e. WAF). One item is this, the Powerpoint speakers from Thiel audio, a pretty good brand maker of loudspeakers. Its pricey, but goes to show you that there are stuff out there that will work for your environment



http://thielaudio.com/THIEL_Site05/P...int/pwrpt.html


As to sound proofing- heavy drapes and a thick area rug will go a long way to counter audio reflections. You're not gonna get them all, but enough that you'll be happy with the system.


Good luck


Victor
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Went to a Magnolia show room in a Best Buy today, but turns out they didn't have any DLP projectors up, just some very high end LCD ones.


However, I found out a friend of mine has a DLP projector and 80" screen I can borrow, so later this week, I'll actually get to try this out before I buy. Very excited.


I'm leaning towards option #1 with the couch moved out 1-2 feet from the wall so I can put the speakers and projector behind it. I'm also thinking of a portable ~100" screen so I don't have to drill too many holes in this rented apartment.
 

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Thats awesome that you'll beable to try out a DLP, also remember to try out different screen size's just on the wall so you know what you'll want......


I'd go with a retractable screen like you originally plannned either manual or electric....its only two screw's to mount......setting up a portable screen everytime will get old fast as it'll take a bit of time each time to line everything up.....


Where you located, I'm in Mountain View.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewke /forum/post/20908667


I'd go with a retractable screen like you originally plannned either manual or electric....its only two screw's to mount......setting up a portable screen everytime will get old fast as it'll take a bit of time each time to line everything up.....

The ship weight for some of the electric screens is 30lbs. At that point, I wonder if proper mounting screws are necessary. It's a rental apartment, so I'm not sure my landlord would be comfortable with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewke /forum/post/20908667


Where you located, I'm in Mountain View.....

Howdy neighbor. I work in Mountain View and live in Menlo Park.
 

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Just out of curiosity, what software did you use to model your room?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by srauly /forum/post/20909045


Just out of curiosity, what software did you use to model your room?
Autodesk Homestyler . Decent software that helped me visualize how to setup all the rooms in this apartment, including the proper scale/size of everything. I wish it was a bit smoother and more responsive, but for free, I won't complain
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by brikis98 /forum/post/20908969


The ship weight for some of the electric screens is 30lbs. At that point, I wonder if proper mounting screws are necessary. It's a rental apartment, so I'm not sure my landlord would be comfortable with that.

As long as your can screw into stud's it'll hold the weight no problem....and if it doesn't line up perfectly with the studs...what I did was just use a long 2x4across two studs at each end of the screen, then you can mount the screen anywhere, this is what I did for my 150" electric screen, so you'll have no problems with the size you're running......landlord won't even know you mounted once you've removed and filled the small holes......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update: tried out the Optoma HD20 at home. Best layout for screen size, viewing distance, view of fireplace/patio, and general room appearance was #1. I noticed the rainbow effect very slightly on a few scenes, but it didn't bother me at all. Quality was surprisingly good and the huge screen is very fun.


Only downside was the limited placement flexibility. Because of that, as well as stumbling across a good deal, I ordered the Epson 8350 instead. Still need to figure out either a portable screen to get or some way to attach a screen in front of the patio doors, over the blinds that are already there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update #2: got the Epson 8350, but not the screen. I ordered a 100 inch, 16:9 manual pull down FAVI screen and it hasn't shipped for over a week. The product page now says "ships in 3 to 6 months". Needless to say, I'll likely be canceling my order and looking for something else.


Do any B&M stores carry screens of this size? I tried Best Buy (none in store), Fry's (out of stock of all 16:9 screens), Microcenter (nothing > 92inch), Costco (none in store), and Walmart (none in store).


If not, I guess I'll look online again...
 

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BTW,

When in a rental apartment I just bought one of those tripod screens (I got a DaLite). I think I have a 72" wide one. It worked quite well. I previously mounted a 92" DaLite model C to a ceiling and it worked great - screwed directly into the ceiling joists. In your layout, mounting the projector behind the couch on a bookshelf could work well.
 
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