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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,


I'm in the process of planning my new home theatre upgrade from LED TV to a projector and require some advice. I have a total budget of $3000 but would prefer to keep it as cheap as possible while still having an impressive result. These are my requirements / specs.


1. Will be setup in living room area and will have some ambient light at times.


2. Going for 100" screen (220.98cm x 138.43 cm)


3. projector distance from screen is approx 6 meters.


4. Seating distance is 4 -5 meters


5. Will be running XBMC - 1080P bluray movies mainly


6. Will have occasional PS3 game use (Not often though)




Basically if you guys could suggest a good value for money projector and a method of DIY screen that would be fantastic. I have access to pretty much any tools that might be required for the screen build. I'm looking to have this project done in the next few weeks. Thanks again.


Tony.
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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First , welcome to the forum.


Gotta ask where it is exactly that you live? Decisions as to what projectors are available to you, and what materials you will have access to will be determined by your location. Your post referenced metric numbers, leaving want to assume that you are not in the US



I can say this however, that with your budget you will have no problems. In fact, if I come as well under that budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
With my limited knowledge I was looking into an Optima HD33 for around $1500 but I'm not sure if that's a good choice or not. And my biggest concern is ambient light during the day. I will do my best to block it out but since I have a small house this is replacing my TV in the living area and will become the main display for all TV and movie watching.
 

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Mississippi Man will be more knowledgeable than I with regard to materials available in Australia, but I am going to guess that the equivalent of Thrifty White Hardboard would be available there. If that is the case, and given the lumens the Optoma HD33 is rated for, I am guessing he (MM) would recommend a screen based on spraying a sheet of TWH with Silver FireV2.5 5.0 or 6.0. A screen like than can be constructed for a total that would leave your total financial outlay way less than $2000 US dollars.


With any luck, MM will chime in to correct any errors in my guestimating.


Edit: I did a quick look at a review of the Optoma at Projector Central, and I think there may be better options (assuming you can get them in Australia). I would highly recommend you spend some time surveying different projector reviews at www.Projectorcentral.com
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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I concur with NewGate88,


You should concentrate on getting the absolute brightest 1080p PJ (w/best contrast specs) you can because that will allow you to spend less on the Screen and have the uttermost flexibility under a variety of conditions.


As for the paint, you can assemble all the needed components for Silver Fire (Dulux Base & Clear Satin Floor Varnish -water based-) by ordering the Liqutext Components online., but if you can manage a "best case" selection in a PJ, then the need for the special properties inherent in Silver Fire might not be nearly as needed as would be otherwise. Then, a simple mix of Dulux Ultimate White "Light & Space" Interior Flat Enamel and a sufficent Gray tint will do you right if applied correctly onto a affordable, smooth substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, thanks guys.


I had a look at the top 10 home theatre projectors on projectors online. I see a few projectors there that are both cheaper and more expensive with higher brightnesses. Can you guys suggest a model that you think will preform well (and has 3d capabillity).


So for the screen I was thinking aluminium box tube frame with Masonite front then paint applied to Masonite. If possible could you post a link to the exact paint you recommend so I don't stuff it up



As I said this is new to me so I need fairly specific instructions if I'm going to get this right.


Thanks,

Tony.
 

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The projector you want will depend on the answers to questions only you know.


Does it need to be flexible when it comes to installation? Are you going to be using it enough that lamp life is a priority? How bright do you really want it to be? How close to your 3K max budget are you willing to go?


A number of relatively inexpensive projectors can approach the picture quality of higher end units, but to achieve the low price they sacrifice features that make them extremely flexible, and easy to install in a number of different positions.


Some projectors can deliver a great picture, and have all the features, but have relatively short lamp life (compared to their contemporaries). This makes them less appealing than others if they are going to serve as the "TV".


It is almost a certainty that a projector exists in the market today that checks all the boxes that matter to you. But like many things, in the world of projectors you typically get what you pay for. "Everything" will cost you more.


I personally have practically been drooling over the Panasonic AE7000, but I would prefer to wait another year before I splurge on a new projector. My new screen project is an effort to improve the image quality I get without spending an arm and a leg on a new projector.


The Panasonic AE7000 is bright, 3D capable, enormously flexible, feature laden like almost no other projector (usefull features, not just gimmicks), has a long lived bulb, and by all accounts delivers a fantastic picture in a wide variety of conditions. It is also around 2600 US dollars here in the states. That would push your budget close to your stated max.


So you are going to have to decide what your priorities are, and how much you want to spend. The reviews at Projector Central do a great job of highlighting each projectors strengths, weaknesses, and what kind of application they will "shine" in. Just take the time to do a little online reading, and the decision on a projector should almost make itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah the Panasonic was what I was looking at first. So I might have to delay a month or two but that's acceptable.


If I get that one how do u suggest I build the screen. Thanks.
 

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Well, Mississippi Man has indicated that with the selection of the best available projector, simpler, and potentially less expensive (than Silver Fire) screen options would be adequate. I am unfamiliar with the option he suggested, and how close it comes to Silver Fire. He will have to weigh in on that. If I were in your shoes, I would aim as high as I could without shattering the budget, or incurring an enormous amount of extra work. So, having said all that..................


First, with THAT projector and its handy dandy lens memory feature, I would plan on making a screen that was between 2:1 to 2.2:1, NOT a 16:9 screen. An approach that I believe is referred to as "constant image area". A ratio of 2:1 would be simplest, as that would mean no cutting of whatever is going to be your screen surface. That format would yield 16:9 AND 2.35:1 images of relatively equal size. This would allow you to make use of the projectors auto lens memory feature when it detects 2.35:1 content, even when it changes in the middle of a film (like The Dark Knight, that was partially filmed with, and shown in the IMAX format). Then you would actually realize a perceived increase in the visual impact of the film the way the film maker intended, without sacrificing the size of the image of films that are just 2.35:1. With my 2.35:1 screen, switching to 16:9 REDUCES the visual impact.


If my current projector had more lumens and better contrast, that is what I would have done this time. But it is not bright enough (I don't think) to support a 16:9 image that big in a bright living room, and the "grey bars" (the result of my projectors relatively anemic contrast by current standards) on the top and bottom of a 2.35:1 image displayed on a 16:9 screen have begun to really bother me. Thus my choice to go with a 2.35:1 screen.


Second, I would go all the way and construct a Silver Fire screen of the recommended tint (probably 5 or 6), to maximize the performance of the Panasonic. But again, I have no idea how close the simpler option MM mentioned comes to Siver Fire.


As far as the "construction" is concerned, this forum will show you wide variety. The simplest (MM has done this many times) is to glue a sheet of 4x8 TWH directly to the wall, paint and mask it. Or you can glue the TWH to something like MDF, mount the MDF to the wall, then paint and mask it. Or you could build a frame to which you glue the TWH. When it comes to mounting the MDF or frame to the wall, it can be directly screwed to the wall, or mounted with "French cleats" (which I did) to create the illusion of the "floating screen".


If you browse or search this (DIY screen) forum (while waiting to buy the Panasonic) you will see many screen builds with pictures that document construction, some with diagrams AND photos.
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antsrealm  /t/1415909/need-help-which-projector-and-diy-screen-for-a-budget-of-3k-max#post_22145920


Yeah the Panasonic was what I was looking at first. So I might have to delay a month or two but that's acceptable.

If I get that one how do u suggest I build the screen. Thanks.

If 3D is in your plans, you need to consider using a Screen paint formula that will deliver at least 1.3 gain but still be Gray in tint.


I'd be quick to suggest a 2.35:1 format myself, except it limits your screen size unless you can access some sizable material, or use a Cloth solution instead.


With a Aluminum Frame, you could consider using a heavy duty Matte Silver Spandex. Look at the "Spandex Screen" threads currently listed here and read up some. Might be the answer your looking for.


otherwise, we have to still determine a choice of PJ, and the availability of specific substrate materials and paint supplies before any real suggested of merit can be offered.
 
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