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Discussion Starter #1
HI all! I've attached my layout with approximate size and outlet locations. I may have to come back when I move in the 24th to answer specific questions. Since I have never tried to anything, even as potentially simple as this, I figured I'd go ahead and give some info and see what feedback I can get.

Thanks in advance for any and all help.

Goal:

1. Project around a 100" image onto my wall (maybe a screen)
2. Have a speaker/audio solution that doesn't have lag between video/audio
3. Would be great to control audio from phone.
4. Use Chromecast to display video from phone/laptop (I will not have cable TV just WiFi)
5. Not have to drill/snake because it is a rental and won't want to compromise security deposit

I have not idea about: mounting to a ceiling/wall shelf/behind couch shelf/coffee table and how to manage the wires in a rental.

I'll leave it here for now.

Thanks for suggestions on setup and product suggestions. I'd like to spend under $800 for video and $300 for audio or around $1k Total.
 

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For an apartment where you can't make modifications to the walls or ceiling, a lot would depend on how picky you are about image quality and wiring across your floor (which can always be covered by a throw rug). There are ultra-short-throw (UST) projectors that can throw a 100" diagonal 16:9 aspect image from less than 2' away from the screen. While they throw an OK image that's acceptable to many, there's a significant increase in image quality when going with the best sub-$1,000 short throw (ST) projector, which is widely considered to be the BenQ HT1085ST. The HT1085ST requires a minimum 5' from lens to screen to throw a 100" image.

Obviously a UST projector has the advantage over an ST model of not having wires running so far into the room as it's much closer to the screen. So you have to weigh that against the higher quality image of the ST model. There are compromises and trade-offs with any projector choice, so you have to weigh them all and decide what you're willing to put up with.

With your $800 projector budget you'd need to find an HT1085ST on sale or get a refurbished model as they normally sell new for ~$900. For an $800 UST model you'd likely need to go with 720p as the 1080p (Blu-ray resolution) models are generally >$1,000.

Possibly the best compromise for your budget would be the Optoma GT1080. It's considered an ST model but is almost UST as it will throw a 100" image from 3' 7". It produces an image that's not quite as good overall as the BenQ HT1085ST as it is optimized more for gaming than video. But it sells new for
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the Heads up! I am going to attach an updated and annotated version of the layout! I have a few options to work with and will have to see when I move in next week.

Video:

It seems like I may have a few options:

1. If I put a shelf on that cross beam by the bedroom area of the studio it would be around 10'6" from the wall with a screen.

2. If I put it on the bottom of a coffee table it would be about 4 feet maybe 5 from the wall/screen.

It feels like I would be able to get a better projector at a lower price point if I put it on a shelf on that cross beam around 10-11' away from the wall image. What would you guys recommend?

Also, i'd need a simple/inexpensive audio system. I've been fine with the audio my TV was giving me and hope to find comparable if not better solution that is fairly inexpensive.
 

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For the http://www.projectorcentral.com/BenQ-HT1085ST-projection-calculator-pro.htm (BenQ HT1085ST) it says that if I put the projector 11' away it would be an image of over 180" that is insane. Does that mean I cannot have a quality 100" image with this projector?

I apologize but I have no clue how to determine what is best.

I also wanted to update my options:

Option A. Put on the cross beam around 11 feet away
Option B. Put on a tall stand behind the couch around 8-10 feet away
Option C. Put on a coffee table bottom around 4 to 5 feet away

I will have blackout shades/curtain in the room when watching.

Thanks again for the thoughtful advice!
 

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Once you get more than about 9' away, measured from the front of the projector lens to screen, you no longer need a short throw projector to get images in the 100" range. So option A or B would be best for opening up projector options. The standard throw projector model that tends to get the most votes for best projector under $1,000 is the BenQ HT2050. Street price is $800 but it can occasionally be found on sale or as a refurb for less. You can find projector models less expensive than that but they generally don't produce as good an all-around image. Discussions about what projector model to buy in your price range always produce lively discussions, and there are certainly other options besides the HT2050.

Before you rush into buying a projector and screen it's going to be important for you to understand that different projector models have different vertical offsets that determine where they need to be mounted in relation to the screen. Most of the projectors in your price range are designed to be inverted within a few inches either above or below the top of the screen when mounted high and upright within a few inches above or below the bottom of the screen when mounted low. So as you look at various models that's something to keep in mind.

Also, it's really smart for anyone new to front projection not to buy the projector and screen together. The reason is that most first-time users aren't sure what screen size will work best for them. So a common piece of advice is to buy the projector first without a screen. Watch various content at different sizes on a plain wall until you find the size image that works best for you. Then measure the diagonal of the image and order a screen of that size. Some people are even satisfied to project on a wall with no screen. But unless the wall is perfectly flat with no imperfections and of a neutral color the projector image won't be as refined as it would be on a screen.

Lots to think about for someone new to projection. It's not as simple as buying a TV, setting it on a shelf, plugging it in and watching. It requires more advance research and planning to get the right combination. But the rewards are great when you compare a 100" or larger projector image to a 60" or 70" TV. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! Just put an Amazon order for the BenQ HT2050 and will see how it plays out this week. My next step is to order a BlueTooth audio solution. Can you recommend an inexpensive option (
 

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Well you sure didn't hold back on that projector order! :eek: Seriously, the HT2050 gets great reviews and I'm sure you'll appreciate the quality. I just hope it fits your installation needs. Be sure to let us know what you think after you fire it up.

I know nothing about using bluetooth audio with a projector so hopefully others will jump in with suggestions. In the meantime the HT2050 has a decent internal speaker as far as projectors go, so at least you'll have some sound to start with.
 

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Thanks! Just put an Amazon order for the BenQ HT2050 and will see how it plays out this week. My next step is to order a BlueTooth audio solution. Can you recommend an inexpensive option (
 
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Dave - I figured I'd pull the trigger and see how it looks/works before moving in while staying at family. If it seems to be a great value I will keep it and bring it to the apartment and see where it feels best as far as placement. Right now I think I will aim to get a floating wall shelf hung up and put this on there and try to run the power to the kitchenette area as that would be the shortest distance to a power supply. If that works then i'm going to have to find a an easy solution to snake the wires to the power outlet and hide them with a box or cover of some sort.

Dreamer - Do you have any solutions for sub $300 audio soundbars that are fairly good in a small room as my apartment (around 400-450sq. feet) that can be integrated with my chromecast solution?

Thanks again.
 

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Dreamer - Do you have any solutions for sub $300 audio soundbars that are fairly good in a small room as my apartment (around 400-450sq. feet) that can be integrated with my chromecast solution?

Thanks again.
Nope. I've never used a soundbar or wireless speakers. A decent HTIB with receiver and speakers can be had for under $300: http://www.accessories4less.com/?type=&page=category&action=&id=htib&skip_redirect_suffix=&view_id=4f626d755eebf1620bb5beed3bf9794dcd18d392&mode=&search_query=&category=&thumb_sort=store_price.asc

The Onkyo HT-S3700 is the least expensive that has bluetooth streaming for music.

I personally think you would be better off with the BenQ W1085ST placed on a pedestal under your coffee table. That would allow your equipment to be placed under the screen, wired front speakers or soundbar, and HDMI and power cord hidden under throw rug. Pick a glass or other coffee table that has no real edge so you can get the lens as high as possible, because the image is only going to be a few inches above the lens on the W1085ST. You would need 5' lens to wall for a 100" image, 6' for 120".
 
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