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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I have been lurking around the forum for the last few months gathering tons of knowledge... As I suspected, the more I learned the more questions I have! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


I have included my floor plan below. I refinished the basement this winter. The area for the HT is basically a 12x12 area which is separated from the rest of the room by a large beam which hangs about 8" below the ceiling. On the north end of the room (top of the diagram) there is a bump out that is 5 feet wide and 20" deep. Unfortunately, its also raised 20" about the floor. This has severely limited my search for a TV as I am restricted to a table top model. I was considering the Mitsibushi 46" table top model. I also have been waiting for the new Samsung Tantus SLK series.


Well, since exploring AVS, I have starting considering a front projector. CRT seems too complicated and too expensive. LCD solutions look promising so I have a few questions....... I would like to spend 5k on the TV or projector. The unit would be used for 50/50 TV and movies. I have a PC to use as a HTPC. I consider myself an enthusiast but far from an expert and probably won't notice or mind some compromises in configurations.


Questions....


1. Will my wife be able to use a projector (a MAJOR consideration!) http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

2. Can the projector still yield a reasonable image with the lights on? ie. can my son play and watch a video at the same time.

3. Is fan noise a problem?

4. I want to place the speakers on the bump out as labeled. Can these sit behind the screen? Or are the front speakers to close together? If I have to limit my screen size to 46-50" maybe this is not the way to go.

5. Projector suggestions? I plan on using the projector with a HTPC and HDTV or DirectTV.


Thanks for any help!


Mike

http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/image_uploads/Basement.jpg
 

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I don't currently own a front projector but have researched them for quite a while. I think with the size of room you described and other issues you would be better off with a rear projection (big screen) TV. With only 12' - 13' to work with you would probably get a bigger picture with a TV than a projector. Plus you can watch with the lights on, the wife can figure it out, the speakers will fit around it, etc.


Just my opinion.


-Jeff-
 

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You say that your tv niche is raised about 20". Why is it raised? Was it a structural thing or was it merely cosmetic? It may be possible to tear out that platform so that the tv is closer to the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the suggestions..


My gut feeling that RPTV was going to be the way to go but I wanted to explore all the options.


Unfortunately, the bump out is raised 20". This just happens to be the way the foundation was done. When I refinished the basement I looked at redoing this but the cost and time effort were going to be high so I elected not to... maybe not a great choice http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif


Dan, I am interested to hear about how you like having your RPTV raised higher. From browsing at stores, it seems that these sets are so dependant on proper viewing angle - thats why I have been looking at table top only models. Did you tilt it all or do you have BIG chairs http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif !


I am also wondering about speaker position. I was realling hoping to keep them on the bump out but they do seem close together. The wife doesn't want them on the floor - just something else for our toddler to get into http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Thanks for the help!


Mike

 

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I wouldn't give up on the idea of FP so easily. My MP1600 has a throw ratio of screen width = throw/1.75. That means with a 12 foot throw you get an image 80 inches wide. That's quite a bit larger than any RPTV I know of. Plus you get the advantage of not having the setup dominate the room. The MP1600 is fixed throw, but I think some other projectors have throws as short or shorter, including the NEC LT150, and the zoomed setting of the Sony 10HT.


RPTV may still be for you. But I don't think the size of your room necessarily takes FPTV out of the running. With an XGA DLP you're not likely to see pixels at that distance. Don't know about screen door at that distance with the 10HT.


I believe somewhere in the archives (perhaps so far back they don't exist anymore), Erik Garci posted a picture of his "wall mounted" MP1600 that I believe was set up in a room of similar size to yours. You can pick up used MP1600's (still covered by Compaq's great warranty) on eBay for less than $2k. NEC LT150's are available for between $3k and $4k. I would go with one of those over an RPTV any day. You should check the throw on the LT150, it may be even shorter, that is, it may allow for throwing an image quite a bit more than 80" wide given your setup. -- Herb



[This message has been edited by hsitz (edited 07-04-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Herb,


How is the picture from the mp1600 with the room lights on?

It sure would be fun to have the large screen of FP and not have to deal with a 200lb plus RPTV http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


My viewing distance is going to be about 9-10ft from the screen so I doubt I need anything more than an 80" screen - especially since all I have now is a 27" 10 year old RCA from college days http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


I haven't really looked at DLP projectors - my impression is that they are more expensive then LCD. Which would be better for casual viewing with the lights on?


Mike
 

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Mike:


I left out the part about how we have our TV tilted so that the perpendicular line of sight from the center of the screen is at eye level in the sitting area. That way we get maximum brightness and the raised screen effect is pretty cool!


I didn't suggest DLP for two reasons: One, no lower-priced DLP is bright enought for viewing with the lights on; and Two, the rainbow artifact and color accuracy problem with most current DLP projectors. New ones are just hitting the market that deal with this (Seleco HT200DM) but they still aren't very bright. And they are a lot more money.


The other possibility is a Plasma screen. 42" seems to be the current size limit there, whereas you could use a 60" 4:3 RPTV by my calculations. Very good quality HDTV compatible RPs are selling for less than 3 grand these days.


Hang the speakers on the wall but don't put them that close together--the sound will suck!


Hope this helps.


Dan


[This message has been edited by DanHouck (edited 07-04-2001).]
 

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Hi Dan,


I disagree about DLP in this case. With a 12' throw, the seating will be about 8'-9' from the screen, which means that screen door will be a major consideration with an image that has any size to it. We are talking about seating that is almost 1 screen width away, which makes the screen door quite visible on LCDs.


With that in mind, I think that a DLP or D-ILA, with the reduced screen door would be the best bets for a "short" room. Of course, it would have to be one with a short-throw lens, which then eliminates the "G" series D-ILAs with their long-throw lenses. That leaves DLP (or CRT) as probably the best projector technologies for this room.


I have heard that some of the newer DLP units are getting better about rainbow artifacts, and would have to say that the reduced screen door would make them a good choice for this theater.


IMO, either a good single-chip (Thumperized?) DLP or an RPTV are the things to be looking at...unless structural redesign of the home is an option.
 

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Mark:


If he had not said he wanted to use it with the lights on, I would have suggested DLP. However, fact remains that DLPs with high contrast and good color are pretty dim, unlike your D-ILA. Particularly after they age a bit!


Also, as time goes on, it is clear that a lot of people see rainbow with the current RGB DLPs. So I hesitate to suggest those unless Mike is sure neither he nor family is rainbow sensitive.


Taking everything into account; budget, wife friendly, lights on, seating distance, alcove, etc., etc., it still appears to me that his best bet for now is RPTV. He can have a 60" screen fitting into the alcove that will work great with the lights on. His wife and family can just turn it on like a regular TV.


No question that the next generation of DLP, with 12 degree rotation mirrors and the spiral color wheel (together produce much greater brightness and contrast) would be great for this setup.


Dan
 

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Mike:


When I got my first front projector, I didn't have a clear white wall, so I bought a 60" wide piece of artist's foam board while I was working on a DIY screen. At the time I had a 4:3 RPTV, about 37" in actual screen width. Sitting about six or seven feet from that five-foot wide foam board, I was thrilled by the scope of what I saw and by the purity of the image and intricacy of detail. You don't need an 8-ft. screen in a room your size. So what I suggest is to take what you have learned about front projectors on this forum and go to Projector Central, click on Projector Calc, and check the throw distance for a 60' wide screen (which would be just about the size of that recess you're dealing with). Some examples: the popular NEC LT 150 requires only 8 feet of throw; the Infocus LP340 (or 350) needs 10 feet, and could sit on a table against your back wall.


Just some ideas. :)


Another Mike


[This message has been edited by catullus (edited 07-04-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dan,


How much did you have to tilt the RPTV? Any special anchoring.. The 60" Toshiba sure would fit nicely in that space. Again, I do worry about the height. When my back is bothering me I like to sit on the floor with my back against the couch and legs stretched out. Will the RPTV give me that latitude in viewing angle? If I put that bad boy there I have no idea where I would put a center speaker. My wife will have a heart attack if I put that on the floor as well.


Can top of the line in wall speakers much floor standing models. I was looking very closely at the paradigm line up.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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I'll second that recommendation because the room is less than 12 feet deep, meaning you'll be sitting at 9-10'.


You might find you like the TV sitting up in the alcove. We deliberately raised ours 18" to get the screen higher and give a more theater feel. We'll be switching to FPTV shortly (100" screen) and it will be placed higher as well.


If you're definitely wanting FPTV, I would not rule out CRT in this situation because the screen could be slightly recessed into the alcove and would be a good size for the brightness of CRT. The CRT would probably be in the right place if hung just before the beam.


There are plenty of sweet deals on low hour CRTs with 8" tubes, like the Barcos. Although they require periodic convergence, easy to do on your own, CRT setups can be pretty straightforward and wife-friendly. Spend some time on the CRT board here and let some of the folks there look at your room and make recommendations.


Bear in mind that no CRT and only a few digital projectors allow for a bright picture with the room lights on. That is the advantage of RPTV and, in your case, an RPTV would fit in the alcove nicely. You could use a 60" diagonal 4:3 RPTV in this space and still have a few inches on either side. But the L/R speakers still need to be wider than the alcove.


Hope this helps.


Dan
 

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fwiw, i'm setting up a 10ht in a room which is about the same depth.

with a throw distance of ~ 132" from the lense front, the 10HT can

easily generate a 89" wide image (bigger than 100" 16x9 diagonal).


mine is floor mounted ~ 20" off the ground and the image starts about 24" off the floor. i have it firing between two recliners. fan noise hasn't been a problem even with the projector so close. it is unreal how much more impact a film has with a 80+" wide image over that of my old 41" sony.


i've been very impressed with the 10HT, seriously it took less than 1 hour from the time i recieved the unit to get everything hooked up and running.


in your situation, i'd rotate the room 180 degrees and put the front projecter in the

tv niche and hang a retractable screen off the beam.


with my bed sheet screen, i can't seem the screen door effect until i'm less than 5 feet away. your results may vary.


the prices on the 10HT have certainly come down into your ball park.


cheers,


lcubed


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as far as ambient light, people have had pretty good success with the greyhawk or high power screens. can't report on this myself since my screen is still a couple of weeks from delivery.

Quote:
Originally posted by lcubed:
fwiw, i'm setting up a 10ht in a room which is about the same depth.

with a throw distance of ~ 132" from the lense front, the 10HT can

easily generate a 89" wide image (bigger than 100" 16x9 diagonal).


mine is floor mounted ~ 20" off the ground and the image starts about 24" off the floor. i have it firing between two recliners. fan noise hasn't been a problem even with the projector so close. it is unreal how much more impact a film has with a 80+" wide image over that of my old 41" sony.


i've been very impressed with the 10HT, seriously it took less than 1 hour from the time i recieved the unit to get everything hooked up and running.


in your situation, i'd rotate the room 180 degrees and put the front projecter in the

tv niche and hang a retractable screen off the beam.


with my bed sheet screen, i can't seem the screen door effect until i'm less than 5 feet away. your results may vary.


the prices on the 10HT have certainly come down into your ball park.


cheers,


lcubed




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Mike:


I didn't have to tilt it very much, but we are sitting 13 feet back. My guess is a 2"X3" laid flat and placed under the rear feet would do it for you. I put the center speaker on top of the TV and also tilted it a bit to aim it better at the seating area.


It should all work OK with you sitting on the floor.


It sounds weird but it actually looks quite OK and works really well. Obviously, you can't hang on the front of the TV without tipping it over but it is very stable with this tilt. Most of the weight of RPTVs is towards the back and bottom of the set.


Although it is heresy on this board, I think the RPTV is the way for you to go for now. It's simple to install, gives a plenty big picture for the seating distance, easy to operate with your HDTV feed from Dish, plenty bright with the lights on, and everyone can use it.


We've done quite nicely with our RPTV and it has given us the luxury of waiting until front projector technology reached the point of being reasonable to purchase, install and operate. We'll be converting soon to FPTV (if the d*** IRS would cut loose of our money) and will really enjoy the 8' wide screen we're planning to install.


Do your sound system right--with the more than large enough and bright enough picture, the overall effect will really be enjoyable. Get the wife used to this setup and then convert to FPTV in a few years when she gets ready for a really big picture. Besides, if it is easy to use so she can watch "chick flicks" to her heart's content, you'll get her hooked on HT and she'll be much more amenable to upgrades.


Trust me, the "infiltration approach" works! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


Dan

 

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In my HT, the first three guys who came in when I asked about a FP unit said "it couldn't be done." Baloney. It can be done. I didn't see any windows in your setup, so I think the ambient light issues arise from lights, and those can be put on dimmers in sectors to get an okay screen image. FWIW, RPTVs don't look as good with the lights on either.


I like the one poster's suggestion about switching your room around and sitting with your back to the niche, with the FP unit in it, projecting out to a screen that drops from either the beam or even behind it, even with the stairs. You'll have more than 8" of material above the active screen anyway. If you did that, you'd have 12-15 feet of throw and 12-13 feet of viewing distance. I have a DILA with a 15' throw and 11-12 feet of distance on a 80x45 screen, and it works great.


Given your budget, I'd consider the new Sony 11HT due out in August for 5k. Seriously consider FP - once you've had a FP you never go back .... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


Where there's will, there's a way -- the only downside to what I'm suggesting is the center channel, but there's a solution for that too: Thiel Powerpoints, mounted on the ceiling and facing back to the listeners/viewers.


One other option I use in my HT and is a great solution, is a piece of furniture on wheels that houses my projector, which is how I solved my problem. To watch a movie, I just wheel the cherry cabinet into position, plug 3 cables into a floor plate and fire up. Works like a charm and all the wires run under the floor. If you did something like that, you could have the screen at the alcove and still get a good throw distance and a hushbox to boot! Even with a 12' viewing distance, an 80-84" wide screen will work great and you should not see the "screen door" on a Sony at that distance.


When your budget allows, you could still put a smaller TV in the alcove for high ambient light viewing or watching the news, etc.


Finally, I have an AMX control system, and my wife can operate it, so that's one problem solved -- I highly recommend that kind of unit or a Pronto-based unit, which is cheaper.


Cheers.
 

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Just lurking around, but have to ask... (pardon the heresy!)


Is a 60-80" FPTV image going to compete with my 53" Hitachi 16:9 RPTV? I'm considering moving that unit to the master bedroom (ooooohhhh yeah!) and doing FPTV in the home theater area, which is in a basement with controlled lighting. I LOVE the quality I get from the Hitachi, I can put Toy Story in or any other high-quality DVD and see amazing detail, like the titles on the spines of the books on the bookshelf in Toy Story, the license plate numbers of various cars passing by, etc. You actually have to get close to the unit to even make out some of those details, the 8' viewing distance is too far to see things that small.


If a new FPTV could compete with a detail, color, contrast and sharpness, I'd seriously consider going that route instead of another, smaller 16:9 RPTV for the bedroom.


------------------

Part cluster lizard, part love slave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dan,


I like the slow infiltration approach.... I think that was the trick she used on me to tie the knot http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


BTW, I left my browser open to this thread - she doesn't think "the wife" is an appropriate reference but she did get a kick out of WAF.


I like the idea of the tilting the RPTV. I considered doing that but thought that was going to be a rather expensive experiment - glad you did it for me.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just to clarify....


By lights on, I would like to able to watch a football game with enough ambient light that I could read the paper or find the popcorn bowl...


We have the furniture set up that we can push it all to the side walls and give our 2 year old a large play area. I wouldn't mind being able to flip on a video for him to watch and not leave him in the dark.


So, for movies, I am totaly happy to turn the lights down to get the best image quality but I would still like have a resonable picture with at least some ambient lighting for the reasons above.


Mike
 
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