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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I just bought our first house so finally I can let a bit of my creative side come out. Would like to turn our garage into a great place to invite friends over for BBQ (in the back yard), watching racing, football, gaming, etc. We haven't moved in quite yet (about 10 days away from moving in) and just buying the house, I'm on a pretty extreme budget, so here's the plan.

20' x 18' garage theater/game/party room.

Acer H6510BD (or other ~$500 1080p high-lumen projector)
DIY "Light-Rejecting" 156" screen (way too big, but the projector has to be mounted on the opposite wall, 17' away)
Monoprice in-wall speakers
Old Pioneer 5.1 HDMI receiver*
Comcast cable box*
Xbox 360 (or Xbox One if I can swing it)*
HTPC*

The * denotes stuff I already have on-hand.

The garage is light controlled if I have the door closed, but if it's daytime viewing event and the weather is decent the door will be open so I'm getting advice on the right color-mix for the DIY screen right now since there will be light coming in perpendicular to the projector from the huge garage door.

Right now I'm concerned with getting something functional and decent, so trying to do everything for under $750 (not including the stuff I already have of course). In a couple years when 4k projectors are semi-affordable, I'll look at doing a complete upgrade. For now just something fun for parties.

I'm open to suggestions, the only thing set in stone is the budget, and the projector has to be on the opposite wall, 17' away, which means the screen size is non-negotiable. Really not looking to wow anyone, just want a fun indoor environment (live in rainy Seattle) and doesn't compromise the use of my garage (I'm a car guy first and foremost).

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated! I've attached a picture, not the greatest, just a dark picture at night with the brightness cranked up. Will get more when I actually move in.
 

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FUN!
Too bad you can't lay your hands on an inexpensive pull down roller screen you could mount a foot or so in front of your proposed screen wall to cut the throw distance a TAD (how's that for a throwback grunge reference), plus allow you to use that wall for storage. Just a thought.
What's on the opposite side of the screen wall? The only problem with in wall speakers (that don't have back boxes) is that you will probably be able to hear them in the adjoining room, even if the cavity is insulated. Not saying that surface mount boxes will be undetectable inside, but you haven't cut a hole in your primary sound damping surface, so it will be an improvement. Might not be an issue for you, but something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
FUN!
Too bad you can't lay your hands on an inexpensive pull down roller screen you could mount a foot or so in front of your proposed screen wall to cut the throw distance a TAD (how's that for a throwback grunge reference), plus allow you to use that wall for storage. Just a thought.
What's on the opposite side of the screen wall? The only problem with in wall speakers (that don't have back boxes) is that you will probably be able to hear them in the adjoining room, even if the cavity is insulated. Not saying that surface mount boxes will be undetectable inside, but you haven't cut a hole in your primary sound damping surface, so it will be an improvement. Might not be an issue for you, but something to consider.
Thanks for the advice.

On the other side of the screen side of the wall is our main hallway into the kitchen/living area the other side is nothing but an exterior wall. Thanks for making me aware of this, I didn't really know, but perhaps the fact that the walls are insulated will help? I may just mount regular bookshelf speakers from the ceiling, not sure, I'll have to do some more research. The in-wall speakers were just an idea because I like the clean, smooth look. This is all going in a garage, but it's not going to be a typical dirty garage, it will be well organized and designed with function and form.

I've considered a pulldown screen as well, but the problem is in the cost, and the garage door tracks. I really am on a very limited budget, we've got a few other projects for the house that need funding. So paint is really the only option at this point. At some point if I change the garage door to a rollup style (which I really want to do, but it's a few thousand dollars I don't have right now) then a pulldown screen would be an option, but it's currently logistically impossible.
 

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Once you get your projector, you might find the 156 inch screen is not "way too big". :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Once you get your projector, you might find the 156 inch screen is not "way too big". :eek:
Yeah, I mean I had a 92" projection setup in an 11x10 bedroom before, but most people I've talked to think it's bordering on too big for a budget consumer projector. Of course I want it to look good, but I'm more concerned with actual lumen output because of the fact that it's going to be 17ft away. Hopefully everything will work out :)
 

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My projector is about 16 feet away for a 169 inch image in an untreated room on a wall I painted per projector central for well under a $100. In the afternoon, we often open the sliding glass door to let in fresh air and light and to enjoy the pond while we catch up on TV/PJ.


Here is an example of my inexpensive Epson HC2000 (rated at only 1800 lumens on the highest setting) on the lowest light output setting and a lamp with 2700 plus hours on it. Keep in mind the first picture is with the door open (sun is on the other side of the house) and all lights on. The image actually looks better in person. As I reduce the light you can see the difference it makes in the image.


On looking good, I get no complaints when they learn how little I spent for a good image.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great! Thanks for the example photos! I'm going to go with a slightly gray colored screen following the "light rejecting screen" thread here in the DIY section and I hope it will look that good. 90% of the time I don't think light will be a problem, but for the times when the sun is shining directly into the garage and we have the door open on a nice day for a BBQ, I think the higher lumens and the gray screen will give me the best bang for the buck.
 

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Great! Thanks for the example photos! I'm going to go with a slightly gray colored screen following the "light rejecting screen" thread here in the DIY section and I hope it will look that good. 90% of the time I don't think light will be a problem, but for the times when the sun is shining directly into the garage and we have the door open on a nice day for a BBQ, I think the higher lumens and the gray screen will give me the best bang for the buck.
Please post pictures when you get the screen/wall painted and the projector fired up. I tried my other projector (3000 lumens/DLP) in an off white garage during Christmas at the in-laws, and it could only be used at night, so your solution might work for them .
 
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