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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our dedicated home theater room measures 25 ft (L) x 17 ft (W) x 10 ft (H). Our budget is $15K or less. What is the largest screen we can use and which projectors are recommended? How far from the screen should we mount the projector on the ceiling?

If we are undecided on the projector, where should we place the power outlet and network outlet on the ceiling at this time?
 

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Our dedicated home theater room measures 25 ft (L) x 17 ft (W) x 10 ft (H). Our budget is $15K or less. What is the largest screen we can use and which projectors are recommended? How far from the screen should we mount the projector on the ceiling?

If we are undecided on the projector, where should we place the power outlet and network outlet on the ceiling at this time?
Figure out your seating plan first. That will give you a range of screen sizes. Then, given that range and your choice(s) for projectors, you'll know where it should be mounted. Note that the throw range of most projectors has quite a bit of flexibility - assuming you will have at least two rows, placing the projector over the 2nd row (perhaps a bit behind) will also keep it out of the way...

My room is similar in size to yours. My front row ended up a bit closer than it should, but taking that into account, you're probably looking at a 110"-120" (in 1.85) screen assuming the front row is around 10-11' from the screen. If you're planning on an AT screen setup, 11' is a good front row distance.


Jeff
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Figure out your seating plan first. That will give you a range of screen sizes. Then, given that range and your choice(s) for projectors, you'll know where it should be mounted. Note that the throw range of most projectors has quite a bit of flexibility - assuming you will have at least two rows, placing the projector over the 2nd row (perhaps a bit behind) will also keep it out of the way...

My room is similar in size to yours. My front row ended up a bit closer than it should, but taking that into account, you're probably looking at a 110"-120" (in 1.85) screen assuming the front row is around 10-11' from the screen. If you're planning on an AT screen setup, 11' is a good front row distance.


Jeff
Since our rooms are similar and we are also looking at two seating rows, let's assume that the first row is at 11 ft, where should the second row and the projector be?
 

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Since our rooms are similar and we are also looking at two seating rows, let's assume that the first row is at 11 ft, where should the second row and the projector be?
Assuming two rows of theater recliners, with the second row on a riser, you'd want the second row 6.5-7' behind the first, so 11ft and 17.5-18'. Projector around 16-18'. I placed blocking for 3-4' to allow for projector placement, and put the outlet at the back of that range, so the cables could be brought forward along the ceiling as needed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Assuming two rows of theater recliners, with the second row on a riser, you'd want the second row 6.5-7' behind the first, so 11ft and 17.5-18'. Projector around 16-18'. I placed blocking for 3-4' to allow for projector placement, and put the outlet at the back of that range, so the cables could be brought forward along the ceiling as needed.
So there is some flexibility in terms of how far the projector could be mounted from the screen, in this case 2 ft range (16-18 ft from the screen)?
 

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My room is almost exactly same size as yours ie 25.5 by 17 by 10.5 ft.

Seating is 12.5 from screen with second row at 19 ft.

Screen is 12 ft wide, 2.37 ratio. With your total budget, you might want to invest in a high gain screen if you are considering similar size.

As far as throw distance for projector...........................depends on what projector you purchase. Look at Sony ES 40 which should light up that screen...............

Also, contact Mike at AVS Store for pricing on Sony 40ES!;)
 

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So there is some flexibility in terms of how far the projector could be mounted from the screen, in this case 2 ft range (16-18 ft from the screen)?
Most projector do have zoom lenses so the distance can be anywhere within a range to hit a particular screen size. That said, lenses literally eat light output, and being at the closer position will allow more light out of the projector and onto the screen than having it further away.

Some people prefer a smaller screen -- ie, they like to sit further back in a commercial cinema -- so screen size versus seating distance is somewhat subjective. But ... the "middle rows" of a theater are between 2x and 3x the image height. Given that home theater recliners put the rows much further apart than commercial cinemas and that the home screens are much smaller than commercial cinemas, this makes it tough to have two rows with a smaller screen and both rows be within the 2x-3x range. Being more than 3x the height away feels like you are relegated to the "cheap seats" IMO, but others disagree. If rows are 6.5' apart, with the first row at 2x and the second at 3x, the screen would need to be 6.5' tall and the rows at 13' and 19.5' away. A 6.5' tall screen -- even for just 16:9 and not scope movie height -- would mean a 160" screen. If your plan is to watch a lot of scope movies, then I'd keep that screen height but pull seats up to 12' and 18.5' as a compromise. That size screen will require either a screen with some gain to it (which rules out an AT screen) or a projector with at least a true 1600 lumens output -- and manufacturer claims are rarely "true". The Benq W1070 puts out a true 1700 lumens, and the Sony HW40ES a true 1600 lumens, but the Panny 8000 only 600 true lumens (even though it claims 2400). The newer Benq HC1200 puts out a true 2200 lumens. For a dedicated theater, the Benq's may not have the black levels you are looking for. The absolute best black levels are the JVC projectors, but none of them have the lumens for a screen that big.

If you have the budget and intent to use an anamorphic lens and a 2.35 or 2.39 screen, then throw distances and seating distances get shorter because you are projecting a smaller 16:9 image onto a shorter but much wider screen and using the A-lens to stretch it out horizontally.

All of this is a way of saying that you need to decide on what content you are designing for -- 16:9 or cinemascope -- and whether throw distance will just be a function of the projector's lens or an A-lens will be used.

Mounting distances vary between these, with the W1070 requiring the lens to be within 13.5' - 17.5', the HC1200 between 18' and 26', the Sony 40ES between 16' and 25', and so on. Remember that the closest possible mounting will give the brightest picture. I would be sure there is continuous blocking from 14' to 19' away from the screen to attach the mount, and I'd install 2 electrical outlets at 15' and 20' plus 2" PVC to boxes for HDMI pulls to both distances. That should give the flexibility to choose any projector and even if one distance is right for now, 5 years down the road a new projector might use the other location.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Most projector do have zoom lenses so the distance can be anywhere within a range to hit a particular screen size. That said, lenses literally eat light output, and being at the closer position will allow more light out of the projector and onto the screen than having it further away.

Some people prefer a smaller screen -- ie, they like to sit further back in a commercial cinema -- so screen size versus seating distance is somewhat subjective. But ... the "middle rows" of a theater are between 2x and 3x the image height. Given that home theater recliners put the rows much further apart than commercial cinemas and that the home screens are much smaller than commercial cinemas, this makes it tough to have two rows with a smaller screen and both rows be within the 2x-3x range. Being more than 3x the height away feels like you are relegated to the "cheap seats" IMO, but others disagree. If rows are 6.5' apart, with the first row at 2x and the second at 3x, the screen would need to be 6.5' tall and the rows at 13' and 19.5' away. A 6.5' tall screen -- even for just 16:9 and not scope movie height -- would mean a 160" screen. If your plan is to watch a lot of scope movies, then I'd keep that screen height but pull seats up to 12' and 18.5' as a compromise. That size screen will require either a screen with some gain to it (which rules out an AT screen) or a projector with at least a true 1600 lumens output -- and manufacturer claims are rarely "true". The Benq W1070 puts out a true 1700 lumens, and the Sony HW40ES a true 1600 lumens, but the Panny 8000 only 600 true lumens (even though it claims 2400). The newer Benq HC1200 puts out a true 2200 lumens. For a dedicated theater, the Benq's may not have the black levels you are looking for. The absolute best black levels are the JVC projectors, but none of them have the lumens for a screen that big.

If you have the budget and intent to use an anamorphic lens and a 2.35 or 2.39 screen, then throw distances and seating distances get shorter because you are projecting a smaller 16:9 image onto a shorter but much wider screen and using the A-lens to stretch it out horizontally.

All of this is a way of saying that you need to decide on what content you are designing for -- 16:9 or cinemascope -- and whether throw distance will just be a function of the projector's lens or an A-lens will be used.

Mounting distances vary between these, with the W1070 requiring the lens to be within 13.5' - 17.5', the HC1200 between 18' and 26', the Sony 40ES between 16' and 25', and so on. Remember that the closest possible mounting will give the brightest picture. I would be sure there is continuous blocking from 14' to 19' away from the screen to attach the mount, and I'd install 2 electrical outlets at 15' and 20' plus 2" PVC to boxes for HDMI pulls to both distances. That should give the flexibility to choose any projector and even if one distance is right for now, 5 years down the road a new projector might use the other location.
Thanks all for very helpful replies.
 
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