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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was hoping I could get some advice on the plan I have in my head for home theater. I currently have a 61" DLP with 7.1 surround sound in my living room and I'm hoping to replace the TV with a projector and electric screen. Currently the tv sits in front of a large window, so I was hoping to go with the electric screen so I could lower it only when viewing and raise it up so that I can easily open the windows.

I was looking at the BenQ ht0185st (or w1080st if there's a reason to not get the newer version) to go along with a 150" screen (was looking at the Elite Screens TE150HW2 CineTension2 16x9).

I'll be sitting between 11' to 12' back. The chairs are currently are lined up with the middle speakers.

My primary uses in order:
  • Basketball
  • Video Games
  • Movies
  • Netflix/Hulu/Etc

I've tried to do research and read up but I seem to just make myself more confused :confused: Some questions I keep worrying about:

Should I get a screen that is 16x9 or 2.35:1.
How difficult is switching between 16x9 and 2.35:1 content (or is that something I don't need to worry about).
Does the BenQ I'm looking at pack enough punch to fill a 150" screen if there's a bit of ambient light.

Since it's a living room there is ambient light but I am definitely open to getting blackout shades, and I'm assuming that'd probably be in my best interest.

Hope I've provided enough info to be able to help. I'm definitely open to switching things up as well if there is perhaps a better suited projector or screen. Any recommended peripherals (such as an anamorphic lens)?

Thanks
 

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With front projection ambient light control is a must. You don't mention the room size but 150" @ 11' is maybe a little large especially for gaming, for 2:35 movies it could be just right. The only way I would consider a 2:35 screen is if you have a projector with power zoom and lens shift or an A lens. With a 150" screen, poor light control and a white room (The larger the room the better as reflective surfaces are farther away from the screen) it may be too dim and washed out.
 

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The short throw of the 1080/1085 really calls for a fixed frame screen. I would opt for the W1070 if your room spacing allows for that instead. The severe projection angle can wreak havoc with any screens that sway or move at all. There's no obvious reason to get the 1085 over the 1080.

Stick with a 16:9 screen.

Your current DLP is a 16:9 screen - how does THAT handle 2.35 material? The projector does it the exact same way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With front projection ambient light control is a must. You don't mention the room size but 150" @ 11' is maybe a little large especially for gaming, for 2:35 movies it could be just right. The only way I would consider a 2:35 screen is if you have a projector with power zoom and lens shift or an A lens. With a 150" screen, poor light control and a white room (The larger the room the better as reflective surfaces are farther away from the screen) it may be too dim and washed out.
The room itself is 21' deep and 15' wide. Though it bleeds into the dining room for the first 11 ft. back from the screen (to where I mentioned the seats are) which adds an additional 10' ft to the width, if that makes sense.

The reason I was looking at 150" screen was at 11' back I was concerned that perhaps particular types of content would look smaller than I had anticipated. Reading other threads it seemed like I saw people saying it's better to be safe and go bigger. I was originally looking at a 120" screen but then got worried about 2.35:1 being too small if I went with a 16x9 screen (or vice-versa).

On the plus side, there's 0 reflective surfaces anywhere near where the screen will be placed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The short throw of the 1080/1085 really calls for a fixed frame screen. I would opt for the W1070 if your room spacing allows for that instead. The severe projection angle can wreak havoc with any screens that sway or move at all. There's no obvious reason to get the 1085 over the 1080.
Here was my reasoning on the short throw and I'd be happy to go without if possible:

There's a ceiling fan that's 12' back and if I went with the w1070 I figured it'd interfere or be too close for comfort (i.e., throwing dust into the projector). If I went with a 120" screen I'd have to put it 11'4" back according to projector central calculator I tried. Going with a 150" screen I think would be a no go. I'm not sure if cathedral ceilings plays into the distance it has to be placed due being at an angle.

We have a Wii U and I wasn't sure if standing 6-8' or so from the screen during some games would interfere at all with the picture. I don't think it would but it was a concern, never having a projector before.

So I just went short throw thinking I'd pay a little extra just to be on the safe side.

Sadly with kids and the Wii U I figured a ceiling mount was/is my only option.

Stick with a 16:9 screen.

Your current DLP is a 16:9 screen - how does THAT handle 2.35 material? The projector does it the exact same way.
Thanks! I'll just do the 16:9 screen. This is where I've made a mountain out of a mole hill by reading to much and probably not reading it closely enough.
 

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The room itself is 21' deep and 15' wide. Though it bleeds into the dining room for the first 11 ft. back from the screen (to where I mentioned the seats are) which adds an additional 10' ft to the width, if that makes sense.

The reason I was looking at 150" screen was at 11' back I was concerned that perhaps particular types of content would look smaller than I had anticipated. Reading other threads it seemed like I saw people saying it's better to be safe and go bigger. I was originally looking at a 120" screen but then got worried about 2.35:1 being too small if I went with a 16x9 screen (or vice-versa).

On the plus side, there's 0 reflective surfaces anywhere near where the screen will be placed.
No. That description of where the dining room is compared to the window that will be covered by a screen doesn't make sense. Could you post a pic or draw the layout ?

As AV-I said, the short throw lens on the 1085/1080 means focus will be poor if the screen isn't rock-steady, and even a tab-tensioned retractable screen is never perfectly steady. Did you have some reason why the projector must be mounted within 10' that would call for the 1085/1080 rather than the more forgiving 1070 ? The 1070 will need at least 13' from lens to screen but will be better with a retractable screen. Be sure to consider how you will get power and HDMI cabling from your equipment to the projector.

The 150" is a great size from 11' viewing distance. I currently have a 122" from 11' and wish it were larger. I can actually see how much larger 150" would be and it would be perfect for me.

A tab-tensioned screen like you have picked out will actually be about 13' wide including the curved cable edges, so be sure you have space for it. The image area will only be 11' wide, so you only need that much space for speakers to be outside the screen area. You do realize you can't have the front speakers behind the screen, right ?

Don't do a 2.35:1 screen. With a retractable screen you should be able to lower it only enough so that the lower "black bar" for a scope movie falls off the bottom of the screen -- just be sure there isn't anything "reflective" that the "black bar" will hit without the screen fully extended. For the upper "black bar", the steel case on the screen is handy because you can make a strip of black velvet fabric with magnets sewn into the upper hem and stick the strip to the case to mask the "black bar". The phrase"black bar" is in quotes because it is really only dark grey unless the room is completely dark and the black velvet masking is very worthwhile.

Also, you say there are no "reflective surfaces" but you are probably not thinking the way we mean the term. We are not just talking about mirrors, glass, and shiny surfaces. We mean light colored paint on walls and ceilings, shiny wood or tile floors, or light colored carpeting. Things that spread light around the room and reduce the contrast on screen, or in bad cases actually show ghost images of the movie on ceiling, walls, or floors.
 

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Here was my reasoning on the short throw and I'd be happy to go without if possible:

There's a ceiling fan that's 12' back and if I went with the w1070 I figured it'd interfere or be too close for comfort (i.e., throwing dust into the projector). If I went with a 120" screen I'd have to put it 11'4" back according to projector central calculator I tried. Going with a 150" screen I think would be a no go. I'm not sure if cathedral ceilings plays into the distance it has to be placed due being at an angle.

We have a Wii U and I wasn't sure if standing 6-8' or so from the screen during some games would interfere at all with the picture. I don't think it would but it was a concern, never having a projector before.

So I just went short throw thinking I'd pay a little extra just to be on the safe side.

Sadly with kids and the Wii U I figured a ceiling mount was/is my only option.



Thanks! I'll just do the 16:9 screen. This is where I've made a mountain out of a mole hill by reading to much and probably not reading it closely enough.
OK, wanting to play Wii and other standup games and a ceiling fan are good reasons to go 1080st rather than 1070. It just means you have to take steps to make the screen steadier than it would be just on its own. The actual screen surface of the Cinetension is about an inch out from the wall if the case is mounted to the wall surface. Think about adding standoffs to the bottom weight bar at the ends so the screen surface will be the same distance out from the wall everywhere. Then put elastic hooks on the wall to hold the weight bar in place. Otherwise an errant breeze, AC, someone walking past, etc will cause the screen to sway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No. That description of where the dining room is compared to the window that will be covered by a screen doesn't make sense. Could you post a pic or draw the layout ?
I've uploaded a picture of the living room, please pardon the mess as I'm moving things around :) As you can see the window right behind the tv and then there's the sliding door off to the right. Both of which I'm figuring I'll get blackout shades/curtains for. Where the sliding door is is the dining room and in the bottom right corner is where it turns and leads into the dining room. The dining room is 11' by 10'.

Be sure to consider how you will get power and HDMI cabling from your equipment to the projector.

The 150" is a great size from 11' viewing distance. I currently have a 122" from 11' and wish it were larger. I can actually see how much larger 150" would be and it would be perfect for me.
This was kind of my thinking as I read a few more threads here on the forums.

I had intended to run the cables through the ceiling and down the wall. If you notice on the ceiling, near the wall, I've already done that with in-ceiling speakers going all the way back. I actually realize now that you've mentioned it, I hadn't considered power though :( I'm sure that's something I can work out though.

A tab-tensioned screen like you have picked out will actually be about 13' wide including the curved cable edges, so be sure you have space for it. The image area will only be 11' wide, so you only need that much space for speakers to be outside the screen area. You do realize you can't have the front speakers behind the screen, right ?
Thanks, that's another thing I hadn't realized was the extra space required for the full case, not just the viewing area. I believe I'd be ok there, as the screen case is only 6" deep and would fit just behind the speakers on the ceiling. That'd leave the screen just inside the speakers and about 5 inches behind them.

The speakers as I mentioned are in the ceilings on each side. For the center, I'd get a wall mounted shelf of some kind that would sit just below the screen. Or at least, that was my thinking.

Don't do a 2.35:1 screen. With a retractable screen you should be able to lower it only enough so that the lower "black bar" for a scope movie falls off the bottom of the screen -- just be sure there isn't anything "reflective" that the "black bar" will hit without the screen fully extended. For the upper "black bar", the steel case on the screen is handy because you can make a strip of black velvet fabric with magnets sewn into the upper hem and stick the strip to the case to mask the "black bar". The phrase"black bar" is in quotes because it is really only dark grey unless the room is completely dark and the black velvet masking is very worthwhile.
Thanks, that's a great tip and I've made a note to do that.

So would that mean by "reflective" you mean the beige wall that's currently there? Could I potentially do the same velvet trick that I could just store and 'roll out' when needed? Obviously using something other than magnets to keep it against the wall.

Also, you say there are no "reflective surfaces" but you are probably not thinking the way we mean the term. We are not just talking about mirrors, glass, and shiny surfaces. We mean light colored paint on walls and ceilings, shiny wood or tile floors, or light colored carpeting. Things that spread light around the room and reduce the contrast on screen, or in bad cases actually show ghost images of the movie on ceiling, walls, or floors.
You're right, I wasn't thinking of it in the terms you all are. I'm actually considering repainting the walls and I was actually thinking of a light grayish color but that would be a ways down the road. The carpet is in the same boat.

OK, wanting to play Wii and other standup games and a ceiling fan are good reasons to go 1080st rather than 1070. It just means you have to take steps to make the screen steadier than it would be just on its own. The actual screen surface of the Cinetension is about an inch out from the wall if the case is mounted to the wall surface. Think about adding standoffs to the bottom weight bar at the ends so the screen surface will be the same distance out from the wall everywhere. Then put elastic hooks on the wall to hold the weight bar in place. Otherwise an errant breeze, AC, someone walking past, etc will cause the screen to sway.
Thank you again. I've made note of that as well. So add standoffs to the weight bar, then I'm guessing I'd need two sets of wall hooks? One for when I'm viewing 16:9 and another slightly higher for when I raise it to watch 2.35:1? I think this actually pushes me to the larger 150" screen as I'd be afraid that the hooks on the right hand side would not be able to be placed due to the window (but perhaps the screen comes down far enough that wouldn't be an issue).

There is an AC vent just behind the TV in the photo so I could definitely see that being a problem. I had it in my head that tab-tensioned would solve that problem on its own but if not that's not a big deal.

Thanks for the help. I'm definitely glad I've asked here before making any purchases as there is much I hadn't considered.
 

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Thanks for the help. I'm definitely glad I've asked here before making any purchases as there is much I hadn't considered.
Happy to help. I hope I haven't discouraged you.

A 150" screen has an image area of 73" tall, so after you figure the border and weight bar at the bottom and case height at the top, it will be pretty close to the floor when fully extended in 16:9 format. Even a 120" screen would end up with less than 2' below it.

So when you say you are planning to run cables up the ceiling, where are you planning on the actual equipment being ? There won't be room under the screen, so the HDMI cable will not be running straight up inside a joist bay unless the equipment is behind you. I suppose it could go under the screen in it was not stacked but all the components lined up across the bottom.

Power for the projector can be run the same way you ran the speaker wire. Just using romex, and with an outlet box in the ceiling and an "inlet" box on the wall. The outlet in the ceiling must be dead center of the screen, just as the lens of the 1085st must be dead center of the screen. The inlet doesn't need to be near any existing wall outlet, because you will use a standard PC power cord to go from the "inlet" to the existing wall outlet or power strip or UPS. Using an inlet is much easier than connecting your new romex run directly into the existing wall wiring.

As far as velvet for the wall goes, there are simpler solutions -- just put up a curtain rod above the wall and run out a dark curtain covering the wall and any artwork on it when you want to watch a movie.
 

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Your photo shows only one wall with windows. Ideally, first-time front projection buyers should buy the projector first and play around with it on a light-colored wall to get an idea of what it looks like at different zoom settings for different image sizes, and also try viewing it from different seating distances. This will tell you what screen size is best for you, which may be different from what others recommend. There's no reason to buy the screen at the same time that you buy the projector unless you have no suitable wall in your home to project on. In that case you have to kind of guess what the best size for you would be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Happy to help. I hope I haven't discouraged you.
Not at all, from all the help I've received so far I'm more encouraged to do it as a lot of the advice I'm getting is easing most of my reservations.

So when you say you are planning to run cables up the ceiling, where are you planning on the actual equipment being ? There won't be room under the screen, so the HDMI cable will not be running straight up inside a joist bay unless the equipment is behind you. I suppose it could go under the screen in it was not stacked but all the components lined up across the bottom.

Power for the projector can be run the same way you ran the speaker wire. Just using romex, and with an outlet box in the ceiling and an "inlet" box on the wall. The outlet in the ceiling must be dead center of the screen, just as the lens of the 1085st must be dead center of the screen. The inlet doesn't need to be near any existing wall outlet, because you will use a standard PC power cord to go from the "inlet" to the existing wall outlet or power strip or UPS. Using an inlet is much easier than connecting your new romex run directly into the existing wall wiring.
When I had the sound system put in they ran everything inside the ceiling and down the wall. They put a wall plate in about 6" off the ground with slots for the cables to come through. Didn't get one with connectors as the guy doing it said those connection points are just places where things could fail and he just ran the cable 3 feet longer to the AVR.

That being said, I figured the HDMI cable and power (as you mentioned above) would be done in a similar fashion.

I was expecting to put the equipment in the right corner along the wall. Right now I've moved my old coffee table there but my thought was I'd get something with a much slimmer profile and set items along that. The option of putting it all under the screen in a long line wouldn't be bad either, I just have to keep the AVR where it is or closer to the corner.

As far as velvet for the wall goes, there are simpler solutions -- just put up a curtain rod above the wall and run out a dark curtain covering the wall and any artwork on it when you want to watch a movie.
Thanks, that seems simple enough :)

One last question: Can I use the same crew that put in my speakers to do this work or would you recommend I get someone who specializes in projector installations?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Your photo shows only one wall with windows. Ideally, first-time front projection buyers should buy the projector first and play around with it on a light-colored wall to get an idea of what it looks like at different zoom settings for different image sizes, and also try viewing it from different seating distances. This will tell you what screen size is best for you, which may be different from what others recommend. There's no reason to buy the screen at the same time that you buy the projector unless you have no suitable wall in your home to project on. In that case you have to kind of guess what the best size for you would be.
I can't say enough how glad I am I asked on this forum before making any purchases. This is a great idea, thank you!

It's an oddly shaped room but there is only windows along that one wall. The back wall and right wall aren't near big enough to test but the left wall wall might be. The room is somewhat narrow on that end so I'm not sure I could sit far enough back. I could in the master bedroom just for testing purposes to get a feel for size and such. I can definitely find some way to check it out before getting the screen.

I'm going to go ahead and get the projector. I'll do as you say and test it out to decide on a screen size from there.
 

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One last question: Can I use the same crew that put in my speakers to do this work or would you recommend I get someone who specializes in projector installations?
I can't help you with that. I don't hire anyone to do anything.
 
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