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Gang,


Please relate your experience with me. I could really use the help.


I will post this in different areas since in has a multiple of questions. I am pretty knowledgeable about HT. Buy I have a tough very confusing decision to make. I am in the process of turning my new home (loft) into a HT. I just got done installing the 7th channel (2 rear centers running in series). Now it is time to replace my 25inch RCA from 10 years ago. I cannon decide to go RP or FP. I have a progressive Scan DVD. And I use Direct TV with the dish that I can later buy a HDTV decoder for. I don't play games. We own a lot of movies and enjoy watching TV now and then.


Here are my thoughts:


The loft is upstairs and has two windows that I will be covering up with framed movie posters (My wife is decorating the whole thing). I will also eventually put in movie seats with two rows. The wall with the TV is 8 feet high and about 17 feet from the opposite wall. The TV wall is over 15 feet long. There is a linen closet behind this wall (an extra one we don't use) that I may turn into my equipment closet.


If I go RPTV it needs to be able to get up my staircase that is shaped like packman. It will be very difficult to get one up there. The Mitsubishi 65inch can come apart into two pieces. Has anyone does this?


Should I buy a RPTV now or wait until the DLPs come out. They will obviously be lighter and easier to get up my stairs. As you can see from my dimensions that I can easily fit a 65inch TV on that wall.


Or should I just get a FP? If so which one? Are there other hidden costs I should know about? How much is a inexpensive screen (I don't need it to be motorized)? And which vendors have you used that you like (and vice-versa)


The 65inch Platinum Select Mitsubishi can be bought from $3000. That sounds real nice. But am I shooting myself in the foot for future technologies?


I could go with a smaller TV say a 32 or 36 for everyday TV watching and then use a FP for our movies. But what budget should I really be considering?


Thanks for all your help.


This forum has made it possible to get all of us techies together and share information. I don't think I would have bought half the equipment I own if it was not for your advice.


-Michael
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Michael,


No question - FP! A pj takes up basigally zero floor space while a RPTV takes much more. When it's time to move (or to move into the new place) you put the pj into a box about the size the VCR came in and move out.


The image is 4x or more the size of the RPTV and you get more the "theater" feeling. Sharpness and contrast rival rptvs, IMHO.


FP is no more difficult than rp, just a few more steps to attack. You're smart to investigate screens - they make a big difference. Check out the "screens" section of this forum to get some input. A Da-Lite matte white manual pull down about 96" wide can be had for $150-200.


You might also check out "projectorcentral.com" They have a lot of good, no-nonsense articles that take you thru the pros and cons.


Please try to preview both LCD and DLP technologies - there are drawbacks to both. Make sure you buy the one that you can live with. Enjoy the hunt!
 

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I second Dubya's advice, Michael--go with FP! I was in a slightly similar position just recently, except that I already had a 50-inch high-def RPTV. I'm going to be moving shortly and the thought of having to move that beast was just too much to take (not to mention potentially damaging it during the move). I will be getting an LCD pj next week. If your staircase is even half as difficult as you describe, I would definitely forget about the RPTV--one knock and you might have a $3000 decorative piece for your wife. With that kind of money, you can definitely get a very good projector--I'd also keep the old TV for regular everyday viewing like the news, weather channel, etc. Good luck!
 

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No question about it - go with the fp as others have suggested. My brother bought the 56" Mitsu RP set and it is beautiful. In a multi-use family room or den setting it works well and would be my choice.


BUT even as nice as his Mitsu is, in terms of visual impact, there is simply no comparison with the 96" wide (120" diagonal) image put out by a nice front projector - and I am using a

Projectors are NOT for everyone, but in you dedicated loft it sounds as if it would work quite well. Definitely go out and buy a nice 32" or 36" TV.

An okay quality 32" would only set you back $500 and be a nice step up from the old 25". You will definitely be using a regular tv a lot and a FP is not a good substitute for the quick convenience of a TV.


As to other costs:


Screen: about $150 as noted for a Dalite 96" Model B in video spectra.

about $250 for the same in Hi power material which many recommend for dlp projectors.

Up to several thousand for fancy high end screens with electric masking etc.


DVD: Depending on the quality of your current progressive player, you may be okay. Otherwise , progressive starting at $200+ for something like Panasonic RP56 or go the HTPC route starting around $800 or so. For most "normal" people not populating avs forums, the htpc route is not recommended - though that's the path I like.


Obviously, need complete audio system, but sounds like you have that covered. The HDTV converter will eventually set you back somewhere between $300- $700 (as a guess).


Go for it,


John
 

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The chief gain from a front projector is screen size and the easier handling of the equipment is a bonus.


Since you posted in a FP forum, you'll no doubt get only FP suggestions... and I'm not bucking that trend. :)


I'm just about to purchase one myself and the one I've chosen is the Epson EMP-TW100 16:9 projector. There's a thread I started when I was still considering other options here and in there you will find something that might be relevant; the recommended ratio of size vs seating distance.


That's obviously not nailed in stone, you make your own decisions, but even so.


I'm hesitant to go with DLP because a minority, but not a totally insignificant one, seem to have problems due to the design of them. They use a color wheel that induces some flickering that can even cause headaches and nausea in very sensitive individuals, apparently.


At least with an LCD I'll know what issues I may have; "screen door" ie visible empty space between pixels forming a grid-like artifact when viewing and the other is that blacks won't be true blacks, more like a very dark grey. The projector I'm thinking about is sufficiently high resolution that I know screendoor won't bother me, the only thing I'm a tad worried about is black level... but that should be fine too. I'm hoping to get a chance to view one in person before ordering but unfortunately I live way way off the beaten path.


There is also a nice thread with screen shots you might want to check out. Screen shots say more about the camera, the technique used to take pictures and other things than they do about the image on screen and in person, but at least if it doesn't look like crud there is a chance it will look good in real life. These shots look bloody amazing if you ask me. ;)
 

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If you have a dedicated room with the ability to achieve near darkness, are planning to put in theater seating and have a massive wall, then by all means go with a projector. A large screen TV will not give you the immersive experience of a big screen.
 
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