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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading everything on this forum for 3 months and have arrived at a few conclusions. At the end of the year, I'd like to buy a projector and screen.


My living room will serve as the HT. I'll keep my Toshiba TW40H80 for regular DSS and use the projector strictly for DVDs and eventually HDTV.


I plan to build a wall unit to house both the TV and screen. It will go from floor to ceiling and the screen will drop in front of the TV. The room is 18'x13' and the wall unit will be 18" to 20" deep.


My questions are: Considering the available screen sizes, I think the biggest I can use in this room is either 43"x57" or 50"x50". I think Draper makes screens in these sizes.

How far from the ceiling should this screen drop?

How far would the projector have to be from the screen?

Does screen height affect how far above the floor the projector should be?


I'm looking at InFocus 340/350 and NEC VT540.


Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should also add that I still need to work out a problem with my center channel speaker. It will rest above the TW40H80. The problem is that when the screen would be dropped, it would probably end up blocking the CC. This of course won't work. I may end up having to get a stand for it and manually move it onto the stand under the screen whenever I use the projector. That'll get real tired real fast though.


[This message has been edited by David A. Frattaroli (edited 05-02-2001).]
 

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What about lighting control in the room?

If you will only use it for HD and DVD, why not get a 16:9 screen?

50" is WAY too small, why does it have to be so small? might as well stick with your Toshiba for now if that is all the size you have.

How far is seating from the screen? This may help determine screen size.


I would say a 90" 16:9 might be nice.

At the end of the year neither the Infocus nor the NEC will still be on your hotlist (unless your budget shrinks). 6 months is a long time in this market I think. By then seek out a Sanyo XP18n, or NEC LT150 maybe.


Consider the Sanyo PLV-60 or new Sony HT unit (the 16:9 panels are well suited to your application)


dg


 

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David,


Which wall does the screen go on, the 18' or the 13'? How far do you expect to sit back from the screen? How tall is your ceiling? Your answers to these questions will help me answer your other questions.


If you get a good projector mount bracket for the ceiling, it will allow tilt with a turn of the wrench. Tilt causes keystoning, but generally is not noticeable for small movements.


I'll do some measuring tonight with my lp350 to give you an idea of some dimensions.


--Les

 

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David,


The question of screen size is hotly debated. The right size for you will depend primarily on how you weight two factors: immersion vs. artifacts. Immersion is emotional involvement you get when you go to a (quiet) theater - big screen, dark room, no distractions. TV, on the other hand, is not so involving because of its small screen and lighted room - you a visually aware of other things in the room that intrude and distract from your involvement.


Artifacts are more noticeable on a large screen, so they also intrude, but they are reduced by technology - higher resolution and better scalers. For some people the artifacts are so intrusive that they have to go with a smaller screen to reduce the appearnce of the artifacts. How much do they intrude on your involvement?


When you select a seat in a theater, how big does the screen look, i.e., how much of your field of vision does it fill? Other factors aside, that 'field of vision' effect should be your goal. Back off from that (smaller screen) only to reduce the intrusiveness of artifacts to an acceptable level for you.


Personally, artifacts notwithstanding, I prefer to sit about 1.5 x screen width (16:9 screen) - 12 feet from an 8' wide screen. On a 4:3 screen, this is too close as you will end up physically moving your head to look at different areas of the screen, so 2.5 x screen height feels better, but then widescreen material isn't tall enough, so a 16:9 screen is the only way to go.


My basis for all of this is eight years of sitting 12' from an 8'x6' (4:3) screen. TV material (4:3) to too high, widescreen material (movies) is just right.


My projector is an eight year old video-grade (NTSC) CRT projector. Obviously the picture is soft, scan lines are visible in areas of movement, etc. My wife now refuses to watch since she has gotten used to watching HDTV on a 38" direct-view TV - "Too many scan lines, not clear enough" she says. I'm looking forward to getting one of the new 16:9 digital projectors... ;-)


Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your replies. I've been away a couple of days.


Arrow, my screen would go onto the 13' wall. The ceiling is 8'3" and I'll be sitting no less than 12" away. I have limited light control during the day but most of my DVD viewing is at night. The Toshiba is great in the day.


Dan, the 50" screen is not 50" diagonal. It's 50" x 50" which is 70" diagonal. That's much bigger than my 40" Toshiba widescreen. The reason I think I'm limited to this size is because I'm planning a floor to ceiling wall unit that will also house the screen casing. I don't want the screen to be wider than the wall unit. The wall unit will be 66" wide and I still need room for my front speakers. I plan to mount my center under my Toshiba 40". I can better explain with a drawing.
 

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Decor can often be a limiting factor. I also have a screen dropping down in front of a wall unit, although I persuaded the Spousal Unit to place floorstanding speakers on the sides of the wall unit.


But, 50" width is still TOO SMALL. Believe me. If that's really the size you are limiting yourself to, you should honestly consider designing the wall unit to house one of the new 65" RPTVs. It will not be worth the effort for the extra 10" diagonal. That's my candid opinion.


I also strongly agree with the comment regarding avoiding a 4:3 screen, and for heaven's sake don't get a square screen -- nothing fits it!?!?! If you are using this rig to watch DVDs and HD, you are just buying a lot of screen area that you will not be using. Plus, it will occupy less visual space and look better. If this was your primary viewing system and you were normally watching 4:3 material on it with a projector that had 4:3 panels, that would be something else. But a square screen? Yikes.


One solution you should consider, if you are otherwise willing to use a bigger screen, is to use a microperforated screen so that your speakers will project through the screen. These screens have issues of their own, such as moire patterns, if not well-matched to the projector.


But you need to make some tough decisions here. If you value fitting things into your cabinet as your top priority, you will save money and lots of aggravation by installing a RPTV in your cabinet.


If you are committed to the best possible image, then some other value has to give, such as using speakers on the sides of your wall unit or in front of it, and having a wider screen.


There really is no point in doing front projection for any screen smaller than a 72" wide 16x9 screen, IMO. The extra cabling, screen and scaler costs, etc. are just not worth it for an image only 25% larger than a very good RPTV. I sit 11 feet from an 80x45 screen myself, and the effect is tremendous.


Think about it, weigh your priorities and decide what to do. I wish you luck. I also had a tough nut to crack, but I cracked it ultimately and am very satisfied.


Cheers


[This message has been edited by Joel (edited 05-04-2001).]
 

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David,


50x50 would equate to about 36x48 usable 4:3 space or 60" diag. At 16:9, you've got 27x48 usable or 55" diag. Why do you say 70" diag? What am I missing?


I have a room about the same dimensions as you and am using the LP350 to project a 110" 16:9 image and a 90" masked 4:3 image. My sweet spot is 13 1/2 feet away from the screen. My closest seat is 9 1/2 feet away. The projector is about 16ft away mounted on the ceiling. I believe there is a calculator on projector central for the infocus and where to mount it for different screen sizes.


I'd drop the screen in the middle of the wall. For an 8' ceiling and 50" screen (not including masking) I'd start about 2' down.


If you buy the infocus projectors, don't forget to account for the light halo.


--Les

 

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David

My advise would be to visit (if possible) someones house who has a big screen setup. You would get an idea of the values of having a large screen setup with the nominal 1.5 distance to screen width. I have a 14' x 23' room and I sit 12.5' away from a 9' wide Da-lite hi-power. I might add that there is still room for a pair of Klipsh La Scala's beside the screen! Although I have about 1" of total clearance. I started with a 8' screen and used it for about 4 months and then said "if I really try hard I can make a 9' screen fit." I bought a new Da-lite and imediately shortened the bottom pole, etc. to make it fit. It was worth it.


Just my 0.02.


Gary




------------------

Gary


STOP DVI/HDCP!

DVI/HDCP! ~= HD-DIVX!!!

DO NOT SUPPORT JVC or anyone else who supports this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, the game has changed. I may be buying a house about 200 feet away from the house we live in now. If this happens, I'd be building a theater in the basement. In this case, I'd be able to get a larger screen. Would you recommend fixed or electrical in a dedicated room?


Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by David A. Frattaroli:
Would you recommend fixed or electrical in a dedicated room?
If you are talking about electrical drop down from the ceiling, that depends on whether you're going to use the room for more than a theater. If it's a theater only, then a fixed screen makes sense. If you might use the room as a meeting or game room, it might be nice to hide the screen in the ceiling.


If you are talking about electrical masking, then the decision depends on your budget and the material you are going to watch. I think masking is essential to getting the best perceived picture from your projector. The downside is that is currently comes at a high price. If you're only going to watch 16:9 type material, then horizontal masks are all that is necessary. If you are going to watch 4:3 material as well, then you will need vertical masks as well.


Best of luck with your house buying and home theater building.


--Les
 

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David,


If you are going to have a dedicated home theater in your basement, I think that you should absolutely get a fixed screen. Other than the cost issue, which can be twice as much as a normal fixed screen, there can be problems with faint creases in a rollup screen, and I haven't seen any roll up screen that didn't have squished bugs because they are always attracted to the light on the screen, and squished bugs can look worse than dead pixels.


-Dean.
 

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Dean, thats incredibly hilarious that you say that (dead bugs squished on a roll-up screen). This is the exact problem I am having with my electric roll-up. Its a Dalite Hi-Power, and in one or two instances I've actually scratched off the gain surface trying to get the bug off! This results in a black spot (well, its not black, its a spot of 1.0 gain against 2.8 gain which ends up looking quite dark!)


Andy K.
 

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Andy,


If you can get enough bugs, you might have found an inexpensive way to make your ownc> GrayHawk screen!


Ha, ha, ha.


(I'm also trying out the new color feature of the forum software).
 
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