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Discussion Starter #1
I've spent most of my time in AVS Forum browsing the rear-projection pages. But I am curious as to what it would cost to install a $2500 - $3000 front projection unit with a 90" hi-def screen. The seating area would be about 12 feet away. I would use it mostly to view my Directv along with some DVD viewing.
 

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Welcome to the REAL home theater pages :D, just kidding. I ended up here after lurking in the RP forum and haven't been back since :p It's hard to answer your question since there are so many variables involved and you give no specifics, i.e. type of room pj would go in, sources you need hooked up to the PJ, do you need cables run etc. But in all honesty I think you could do it yourself. I'm sure there are experts here who could give you a good estimate. The AV store in my area quoted me about $600 to come out and mount the PJ and screen. This was minus any running of wires and such. I was curious to know what they would have charged. After doing it myself there is no way in @#[email protected]# I would have paid someone else. Everything you need is right in this forum. But if you are of the plug and play variety and just want someone to install your new toy, I'd say budget anywhere from $600-$1000 for basic PJ and screen install.


Regards,

:cool:
 

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Let's see if I can remember back 6 months...


Projector cost

About $350 for a Dalite Model C 92" screen

$150 for DVD/VCR combo

About $100 for cables.

About $100 for supplies to build ceiling mount and in-wall equipment cabinet (sheet drywall, sheet oak plywood, 1/4 shet MDF, 2x4s, drawer glides, electrical boxes) - go look for my name in user photos if interested - I've now replaced the surrounds with Audiosource IW5 in-wall ones.

$50 for light-blocking blinds

About $800 in audio components. I used the opportunity to replace a prologic 5+ year old HTIB. I had main speakers I wanted to use, but added in-wall surrounds, a new center, and a sub.


Total for me was about $3,200 and 2 weekends of work to convert library to HT/library.
 

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I just got a quote today to mount a z2 on a nine foot ceiling to run cables in the ceiling/walls, repair drywall, hook up all components and program remotes for $600 (minus the cables/wiring). I'm seriously considering having it done.


I would love to do it myself but I haven't found the info on here that Client1 says exists to feel comfortable enough doing it myself. Things like wiring ratings for running in walls, fire codes, which way my joists are running etc. make me hesitant.


Let me know what you decide to do...
 

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I started with my projector, a DVD player, my old stereo and a DIY screen. six months later I sound proofed my basement, $2000 in materials for sound proofing, repainted and recarpeted. I added $1000 sound system four months later. Except for the carpeting I did the labour myself with the help of my father in law for the sound proofing.

A DIY approach requires passion some basic tools, research and some experimenting. I have done things over because I wasn't pleased with the results, so don't be afraid because you can always change it.
 

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I helped install my friends NEC 240K. We got the projector hung, cables run, and all equipment moved to a back closet in about 4 hours.


Costs:

~$50 for a 50ft VGA cable

~$30 for 2 component to VGA adapters

~$65 for a 4-port KVM switch (projector has no component inputs only VGA so we needed the switch to go between HD, DVD, and X-box)

~$50 for an APC uninteruptible power supply

~$25 for a 50ft S-video cable

~$15 for a 50ft RCA cable

~$20 for a 50ft of 14-2 romex (Female on one side in the attic for projector to plug into, male on the other side in the equipment closet to plug into the uninteruptable power supply)

~$150 for ceiling mount

~$20 for 3" metal pipe and pipe flange (pipe was cut to correct length at HD and new threads were cut for free. Pipe screws into projector mount, slides up hole in ceiling, through a 2x8 then attaches to pipe flange. The 2x8 sits across the ceiling joists and is screwed in place.)


The last bit is the screen and can vary in price. ~$150 for a model B pulldown screen (used for material only) and about $20 for 1x2 poplar wood and steel L brackets. Make a big rectangle the size of your screen and put a single vertical support in the middle.


Total cost for everything except the projector ~$645 plus 4 hours of our time.


So even if it takes a pro 6 hours to do the job, you're paying them $100/hr for labor plus you still have to fork over the ~$650 in parts.


The hardest thing was pinpointing where the projector hole should go. I'll give you some free advice. Move the projector forward and backward from the screen area until you have a size that you're comfortable with. Measure the distance from the screen to the projector lens and also the image width. Do the math:


sqare root of [ (distance from lens to screen squared)+(half of image width squared)]


This is the distance from the edge of the screen to the lens position. Now take a tape measure and pencil and make an arc on the ceiling measuring from the right projected image edge the distance that you just calculated. Repeat for the left side. Where these 2 arcs intersect is where your projector lens needs to be. You can figure the rest out from there.


Russ
 

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Unless you have lens shift...


Face the music-I took the plunge today and starting my DIY project. I talked to my electrician friend about installing an electrical outlet in my ceiling for the projector. (The installers can't do the install correctly before the outlet is installed). So he told me if I fished the wires he would do the connection for free. So I'm thinking, damn, if I fish the electrical wires from the point in the ceiling to the electrical outlet on the baseboard for him to tap into-I may as well try to run my own wires for the pj. Low and behold, I went to HD and bought some fish tape and a box cutter and a cheap stud finder and came home and messed around second guessing myself for about a half hour. Then I just said what the hell, I'll cut a little hole and see if I think I can do it. I cut the hole very small but big enough to see which way my joists were running and to try to fish the tape. After about 10 minutes I was hitting my WALL with the fish tape (happy as all get out). So I cut another hole where the ceiling joins the wall and three more going down the wall to get around the fire wall blocks and I'm done with my holes and will purchase my wire tomorrow to fish through (both electrical and AV). Each of my holes are probably 3.5 x 3.5 wide. The one in the ceiling is probably 2x3. all inches (not feet :) ). I'm so excited that I'm actually doing this myself. If you want to see some pics PM me and I'll show you what it looks like.


When I'm done I'll hire someone cheap to patch my drywall so it looks real clean and I'll repaint the room (which I was going to do anyway.)


It was so easy that I'm now thinking of doing rear wall speakers while I have the holes open.
 

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MetalMike,


That would be nice and convenient, but not very practical ;) Most of the manuals that I've seen state that the distances quoted can be off by + or - 5%. That's 7" every 12ft of throw! The only real way to do it is to actually get the projector in the air and measure it, unless you just want to get it close and don't care what the final exact screen size is. For us, we had constraints above and below the projected image and wanted to maximize the image size so we spent some time getting the projector where it needed to be.


Russ
 

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Worked every time for me. I was refering to the Inforcus and Sharp DLPs that I have had experience with installing. They always had a 1.5 to 2 foot range for the throw distance depending on the size and shape of the screen.
 

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The NEC manual got us close, but because of the way the image shifted when zooming in or out (image moved vertically on top and bottom) we had to get the location just right. If we were off by 6" we couldn't zoom to compensate because we were bounded on both the top and bottom. I guess the Infocus and Sharps zoom differently? It might have just been unique to our situation where he wanted the largest possible image and was bounded on both the top and bottom.


Russ
 

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Installed myself an Epson TW100 and a DIY screen made with Dalite HCCV. Very pleased. Just put the screen where you want it, and every projector has a distance calculator. Prefer to be near the midfocus "sweet spot", but that is not that hard to do. Used an adjustable Peerless mount so once centered could move it up or down as needed. Had the good fortune of having hihats in the ceiling, so I pulled one out and ran wires through there. Have to say the fish tape sucked (returned it). Just kept looping. Was able to get an extension stick (for changing bulbs at the ceiling) into the ceiling and with a loop of string on the end and my daugther manning the fishing rod on the other end (not nearly as easy as it sounds!) we were able to get twine and then pull cables. Would not have missed that for anything. Depending on your comfort level, would try to do it yourself. Can always get someone to clean up the mess, but alot of fun to "build" your own.


Jeff
 
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