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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody, I've been lurking here for a while and finally decided to post a question! I'm looking at getting a CRT projector, but I wanted to find out about setting it up in an RP setup. We've got a lot of ambient light, and I thought the RP might help. Is there anyway to minimize the distance from projector to screen? We've got probably 12 feet from wall to wall. Any recommendations on how to get a good setup? I've got a limited budget, maybe $1000 all told. Thanks!
 

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1. figure out what projector you'll be using

2. figure out what size screen you want (blue line)

3. calculate (or look up in a table) the required throw distance for that screen size (red line)

4. cut out a triangle to scale (black line)... fold to reduce the depth (using mirrors; green lines) needed to reduce physical space required


But with only a 12' room, even if you went with a tiny 72" wide screen, and had a couple of 30"x40" mirrors, you'd still need 5'-6' of depth.


With a room that size, and with high ambient light, for a $1000 I think you might be better off with a 54" RPTV (a "big screen", ha, ha).


-Clarence
 

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Ah, get a Barco RetroGraphics 808s =)


So it's alittle big. So what? =)

67" screen though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What would I be looking at price wise? Could I gain some depth by mounting it on the wall aiming down and using a mirror to bounce it over to the screen? Maybe get an extra foot or two. Also, how is ambient light going to affect this? I tried an Infocus 600 lumen DLP projector and it was barely visible during the day. Any recommendation on projectors? Anyone have one for sale in the Southeast? I'm in Alpharetta, GA.
 

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To do it right will be expensive.

You can do it on the cheap, but you get what you pay for.

I split the difference in my RP tests...


You really need to use primary-surface mirrors. I found a few locally (these things are 4x heavier than they look, and fragile, of course, so shipping them would ill-advised and expensive). IIRC, my mirrors are about 30"x40".


I started out with $60 vanity mirrors from Home Depot. Huge difference. Standard glass-coated mirrors are fine only for experiments.


You'll probably also find that the mirrors really need to be big. Even 40" wide was too small. I'd say a rule of thumb would be 1/2 the width of your screen.


And for the different options in RP screen materials, read Phil's thread linked above. I did my tests with a 9' wide Da-Lite RP screen that I found on ebay for $93. Better material will easily cost $200-$300.


For the projector, I'd recommend something like a $500-$750 ECP, $600-$900 VPH1271/1272, $750-$1000 Barco 808.


But even if you got a decent projector, a decent screen, and decent mirrors, and a decent design, you're still probably going to end up with something that would be comparable to a $1200 RPTV from Sam's. But it'd take up a lot more space and A LOT more time.


But it'd be a lot more fun to build your own, if you enjoy that kinda fun, like I do.


And it can be cheaper, if you're lucky and patient and enjoy a little risk.


But since you're space-constrained, I don't think home-made RP is what you're looking for.


-Clarence
 

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izod,


As previously mentioned, there are ways to get around the throw distance of a CRT. And I did precisely what you hinted at... mounting it on the wall... well, sorta.


Here's my set-up:

To begin with my HT room is fairly narrow - 14 feet (2 foot wider than your room). I built a box to mount my projector in the vertical position with an adjustable mirror right above the projector. The reason I did this is to avoid the 3 1/2 feet of projector chassis that would effectively rob me of my throw distance.

In addition to that my mirror assembly is built on a vertical track, so if necessary, I could raise it 2 feet vertically and increase my throw distance. I've got an average mirror and it works fine. (I haven't tried a primary-surface mirror yet.)

Lastly, my mirror pivots on 2 hinges so that I can adjust it so that the image is centered (vertically) on the screen without having to do it electronically.


It works pretty good, and I'm happy with it. With the couch against the box it acts like a hush-box, so I don't hear any noise. (...not that you could hear it over the sound system...) The image is projected well over our heads so that's not a problem, and the only downside to the box is that it does push the couch out from the wall by about 2 feet.


For our 4 windows and 2 doors (w/windows), I've resorted to blinds AND curtains. It's not pitch black during noon, but it's quite watchable.


With my 14 feet of throw distance, it completely fills my 11.5 ft wide x 6 ft high screen... And MAN IS IT COOL! (quality vs. quantity is a personal choice...) My BG808 is set at 50 brightness and 50 contrast and the picture looks real good and is comfortably bright.



Ok, ok... I'm going on. Hopefully, my closely parallel situation will help in your decision.


P.s. The projector box isn't the prettiest, but the life-sized screen more than makes up for it.


Here are three pictures of my set-up.
 

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Great job, Paul.


I've thought about a very similar setup...

hide the CRT behind a couch (like yours, but all the way to the floor... oh, that's a Barco... man, those thisngs are long [tall]), pointed up, then use a mirror (about a foot wider than yours) to throw against the opposing wall.


I even figured the mirror could be framed in nice trim and put flush against the wall like a normal decorative wall mirror when the PJ is not in use.


Keep your eye out for a salvaged first-surface mirror from an old RPTV. It makes a 10%-20% improvement.


-Clarence
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've got a friend whose a carpenter, so I'm sure he'd build me a nice decorative box that would match our current trim. Heck, he built everything else in our apartment. :) Does anyone have a projector for sale in the southeast? I'd really rather do this than get a HDTV.
 

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Neat idea Paul! I don't think I've heard of anyone doing that before.


PS: Did you buy your PJ in Dallas? My memory is terrible, but I think you might have got that 808 from me.
 

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Hi Phil!,


Well, your memory is working today... yes, that's your old 808. It's been great and we love it. And thanks for the compliments guys, it's still a work in progress.


Izod, if you think it'll help - I can send you some more pics of the box.


Clarence, when you mention that I'd get a 10 to 20% improvement by switching to a first-surface mirror... could you try to explain the improvement? Color, brightness, bragging rights, ...?
 

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Brightness and sharpness (lack of ghosted images)...


I found some great articles on primary-surface vs standard mirrors... the links are buried somewhere in my old RP threads.


But one of the links had a printable test grid to hold up to each mirror for comparison. It was one of those regrettable Eureka moments that once you learn what to look for, you can never go back to the lesser alternative.
 

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Paul,


I don't trust my memory. It's bad! But while I'm reading this thread I'm thinking, "Man, it sure seems like the guy that bought my 808 was named Paul, and I think he lived in OK...oh what the hell, I'll just ask!"


I'm glad it's worked out so well for you! You've done some neat things with it!
 
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