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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I've never owned a projector before, but my wife and I are having a house built with a decent sized loft that she has given me free reign on. I am not going to spend TONS and TONS of money on this but I would like to get a decent projector and screen for watching movies, tv, streaming content, and video game. I have attached the floorplan so you guys can see the dimensions as well as a picture inside the room so you can have a better idea of the size of the wall I have.

I know absolutely NOTHING about projectors and requirements or what's good vs. bad etc so any input anyone can offer would be appreciated. I have been reading up on another thread about the LG 1500 LED projector and it seems to have received fairly good reviews. That's the price range I'd like to stay around too. ~1000 for the projector and no clue what to expect on the cost of the screen or if the wall itself would be good enough.

Again, treat me like a little kid learning the alphabet when it comes to this because I've never owned or even considered owning a projector until now. I've always thought the picture was very washed out as compared to my Plasma sets.



 

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Drywall is already up and NOW you are asking about a projector?

I would read through some of the information over at Projector Central and the FAQs on various sites.

1. You must cable for a projector to the proper location based upon your screen size.
2. You will need power in place.
3. Dark walls
4. Dark Ceiling
5. Dark Carpet
6. Full light control of any windows.
7. Any lights in the room should be directional, controlled, and on dimmers.
8. Lights should be broken into no less than two zones - lights over seating, and lights everywhere else.
9. Know your screen size ahead of time.
10. Know your projector ahead of time.

The LG PF1500U is nice, but it is VERY size limited. About 110" is reasonable with the PF1500 and while it is an awesome little projector, it doesn't come close to stacking up against the W1070. So, if you are on the budget you say you are, then plan on the BenQ W1070.

The room is very large, so good sound would be something I would consider important. I would put all the gear in the closet at the back right of the room, and the front wall would be the long wall with no windows on it. I would set a single couch about 16' or so from the screen, and I would plan on a 150" diagonal screen. I would NOT use in-wall speakers if my budget allows for it. I certainly would wire with the intent of using floor standing speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Drywall is already up and NOW you are asking about a projector?

I would read through some of the information over at Projector Central and the FAQs on various sites.

1. You must cable for a projector to the proper location based upon your screen size.
2. You will need power in place.
3. Dark walls
4. Dark Ceiling
5. Dark Carpet
6. Full light control of any windows.
7. Any lights in the room should be directional, controlled, and on dimmers.
8. Lights should be broken into no less than two zones - lights over seating, and lights everywhere else.
9. Know your screen size ahead of time.
10. Know your projector ahead of time.

The LG PF1500U is nice, but it is VERY size limited. About 110" is reasonable with the PF1500 and while it is an awesome little projector, it doesn't come close to stacking up against the W1070. So, if you are on the budget you say you are, then plan on the BenQ W1070.

The room is very large, so good sound would be something I would consider important. I would put all the gear in the closet at the back right of the room, and the front wall would be the long wall with no windows on it. I would set a single couch about 16' or so from the screen, and I would plan on a 150" diagonal screen. I would NOT use in-wall speakers if my budget allows for it. I certainly would wire with the intent of using floor standing speakers.
Thanks! Very good information. I should point out that I'm not expecting this to be anything like the quality of some of the dedicated movie theatre's in houses that I've seen here. I'm used to the PQ of an LED or Plasma at about 55 inches. I am hoping to get "comparable" PQ from the projector on the wall in the picture, but was never intending on this to be a full on movie theatre that I'd be happy to show off to the entire neighborhood. :)

I'm just hoping to get a large picture with great Picture Quality without having to buy a 90" Sharp Flatscreen.

As for the cabling for power and video feed, I have a walk around attic above this room so I can easily run the wire for what I need after we close on the house. The little closet in the back corner is indeed where my audio closet will be. Before drywall went in, I was allowed to run all the cabling I wanted. So I have already run the speaker wire to account for 5.1 floor standing speakers and intend to go with a decent Klipsch setup. That money is not included in what I'm looking to spend on video equipment. With the walking space above this room, I can always run more speaker wire fairly easily for 7/9/11.2 system in the future.

As for lighting, there is currently only a prewire for a ceriling fan/light right in the middle of the room. The windows can be taken care of with black out curtains or something of that capacity. Again, I'm not looking for an IMAX quality experience in this room. The ceiling and walls will be painted after we move in, but the carpet is already a done deal... and it's not a dark color.

So with all of that being said, what other recommendations can you guys offer for me? What size screen should I be looking at and do I even need a screen or is the wall ok?
 

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I would get the projector and use the wall as a screen for a while to see what size screen works for you because it really depends on your seating distance and tastes. I have an untreated room and it is still an enjoy the 169 inch 16:9 image.
 

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Thanks! Very good information. I should point out that I'm not expecting this to be anything like the quality of some of the dedicated movie theatre's in houses that I've seen here. I'm used to the PQ of an LED or Plasma at about 55 inches. I am hoping to get "comparable" PQ from the projector on the wall in the picture, but was never intending on this to be a full on movie theatre that I'd be happy to show off to the entire neighborhood. :)

I'm just hoping to get a large picture with great Picture Quality without having to buy a 90" Sharp Flatscreen.

As for the cabling for power and video feed, I have a walk around attic above this room so I can easily run the wire for what I need after we close on the house. The little closet in the back corner is indeed where my audio closet will be. Before drywall went in, I was allowed to run all the cabling I wanted. So I have already run the speaker wire to account for 5.1 floor standing speakers and intend to go with a decent Klipsch setup. That money is not included in what I'm looking to spend on video equipment. With the walking space above this room, I can always run more speaker wire fairly easily for 7/9/11.2 system in the future.

As for lighting, there is currently only a prewire for a ceriling fan/light right in the middle of the room. The windows can be taken care of with black out curtains or something of that capacity. Again, I'm not looking for an IMAX quality experience in this room. The ceiling and walls will be painted after we move in, but the carpet is already a done deal... and it's not a dark color.

So with all of that being said, what other recommendations can you guys offer for me? What size screen should I be looking at and do I even need a screen or is the wall ok?
Sure the wall-to-wall carpet has been chosen, but ... surely the wife won't mind some strategically placed decorative rugs, right ? Ahem. You just need to find so me stylish, dark, muted rugs to cover the floor for 6' in front of the screen all the way across. They don't need to be black or even a solid color, they can be colorful and even have a pattern just as long as it is dark and won't be distracting when reflected light hits it. A light colored solid carpet can literally show a "ghost image" of the movie playing and you don't want that !

I would also recommend the Benq W1070 (since I own one and am completely unbiased), and mount it 13' from the screen. That will be far enough to get a 150" image but also zoom down to a 120" image if you decide to go that small.

If you have that entire wall finished nice an smooth -- certainly not textured -- then you can paint it and use it for a screen. At the very least until you decide what size works for you and where seating is best acoustically. I kind of disagree with AT on placing the seats at 16' as that is too close to the back wall in my opinion. I would be sure the wall is prepped smooth at least for a 150" screen area -- which is 11'x6.5' -- and I would spend $50 on some black velvet to make "masking panels". These are just 12" wide strips of fabric wrapped around cardboard, thin styro foam, or wood that can be attached to the wall to create a high-contrast border to the image you are projecting. Then you attach them to the wall using picture hangers where you want them. This will give you a much better tool for playing with different size screens than having no border and just the blank wall. It will also let you mask the top and bottom black bars when watching a widescreen movie so you are not distracted by the "gray bars" that any projector really produces in lieu of "black bars". Be careful with the wall prep and painting and make the masking panels nice so you don't feel in a rush to get a "professional" screen. I've spent thousands on screens and there is just no feeling quite like putting together what amounts a some steel tubing and a piece of cheap PVC plastic -- and realizing that same money would have bought a nice 60" LCD TV.
 

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Just be aware that while the image is great and big, a direct comparison between a Sharp TV and the projected image will show that the TV is superior in every way (but size) with an entry level pj. That being said I still wouldn't go back to a TV.


I took these pictures the other night of a my Sharp 70inch versus my Epson HC2000. (While the photos don't show it, the TV had a much better picture -too purple for my tastes but I gave it to the wife and she has played with it). The last is just of the projected image on an untreated off white wall and by itself, size wins. Not to mention price....$550 for the pj a few weeks ago versus $2100 plus for the TV a few years ago.
 

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I should point out that I'm not expecting this to be anything like the quality of some of the dedicated movie theatre's in houses that I've seen here.
Don't sell yourself short. While dark paint on the walls/ceiling and dark carpet is ideal, just using darker paints and toning down a white ceiling as well as putting in a darker rug in front of the screen area can give you results that actually are similar to, or rival, your local movie theaters. I mean, we are talking 1080p projection, and the W1070 (or W1075) has been delivering stellar quality for several years now.

I'm used to the PQ of an LED or Plasma at about 55 inches. I am hoping to get "comparable" PQ from the projector on the wall in the picture...
A good plasma is the best looking technology out there, and both plasma and LED emit light directly from the screen. This means they can deal with ambient light far better than front projection can. ALWAYS keep that in mind. When talking front projection, in a dark room, a projector can be comparable to the best displays out there. Some can be better than most. But, in a non-ideal room the W1070 can still be spectacular with the lights out. It's never going to be lcd/plasma flat panel bright, but it will be appropriately bright, and certainly very sharp and good looking. A true 1080p experience.

...I can easily run the wire for what I need after we close on the house.
Good to hear. You don't want to try wireless, you want a HDMI wire in place, and you want the ability to swap that cable out in the future when HDMI is obsolete. You want power where it 'needs' to go (you can run that as well). As long as you have access, and are willing to do some work, you can get it done. Oh - and don't close in your electronics to much! They need nice cool air to survive.

As for lighting, there is currently only a prewire for a ceriling fan/light right in the middle of the room.
Great! Ceiling fans are the mortal enemies of front projection, but having two available circuits there means you could do two zones of dimmable lighting as you desire.

As others have said, while I gave a recommendation in my first post, I would still buy the projector, try out a few sizes then settle on one you like and get a decent screen for it.
 

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You won't go wrong with the Benq but if you can spend a little more I'd look at the Epson 5030UB. Much better blacks and more versatile placement options.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Speaking of the 1070 and 1075. Can you tell me what the difference is between the 1070, 1070+, and 1075 are? I believe the 1075 is newer right? Supposedly one of them, or all of them are 3D projectors also?
 

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Speaking of the 1070 and 1075. Can you tell me what the difference is between the 1070, 1070+, and 1075 are? I believe the 1075 is newer right? Supposedly one of them, or all of them are 3D projectors also?
Yes, they are all 3D projectors. The W1070+ and HT1075 are identical, just Europe vs. USA names for them. They both incorporate wireless streaming but are otherwise the same as the older W1070. The wireless is not a feature you want to rely on if you can possibly run an HDMI cable -- a solid wired connection is much more reliable. They claim to be slightly brighter than the W1070 but actual measurements in reviews have not shown any difference in brightness or any other aspect of image quality. Get the W1070.
 
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