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I am having my basement finished next month and I am considering at least prewiring for a projector. The "home theater" area is a 10x10 section that wil consist of a 50" Plasma and Definitive technology Pro Cinema 2000 set up.


What I want to do at the very least is pre wire for a projector and install an outlet on the ceiling for a motorized screen.


My questions are:


How far back should I wire for the projector? I can go back as far as 10' from the wall. HDMI and an outlet are enough?


For a motorized screen, do I put the outlete in the ceiling on the left or the right?


What size screen would be best for this type of set up? I needs to be acoustical, as my speakers are wall mounted behind it


Finally, if you had $2K to spend on a projector and screen, what should I get?
 

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You would want to wire as far back as possible. 10ft is not a lot of throw distance for a projector and will be a limitation on screen size. A variety of vendors will sell acoustically transparent screens and I would guess there is no standard as to which side they put power on. The best I can suggest is to put power in the center and route power accordingly. One thing you do not mention is your ceiling height. Low ceilings (8' or less) generally cause problems with DLP projectors due to their large fixed offsets (the offset is the percentage of screen height the projector needs to be above the screen). LCD projectors are much more flexible placement wise as they are able to shift the lens assembly both vertically and horizontally.


LCD and DLP have different picture characteristics which can make one more desirable than other depending on your tastes. But my gut tells me that in such a small space with a converted basement you will likely be going the LCD route. I haven't done a lot of research lately in the sub $2000 range, but the Epson 6100 seems to be a nice choice. If you can find some deals you can probably get it and a screen for around your $2000 budget. Plugging the 6100 into a screen calculator shows it will throw 48-102" from 10' back. So a 96" screen will probably be a good fit. At that screen size a low gain or matte white screen would be my recommendation. Others can chime in if they have a better recommendation for the projector and screen.


On a side note, a good way to save money is to go with a manual pull down screen. It's not as much of a hassle as you would think and will allow you to spend more on the projector.
 
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