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I've posted this in several forums, since I wasn't sure which was most suitable (this is my first post).


My wife and I are considering buying an old farmhouse, and we're having trouble fitting in our TV viewing setup. Here's a crude diagram of the room (15'x15'x9'):


&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp NE

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&nbsp |&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp #--|

&nbsp |&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp #&nbsp &nbsp |

&nbsp |&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp #FP&nbsp |&nbsp &nbsp SE

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&nbsp |&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp #--|

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&nbsp |==&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp =========||



The current residents only watch a 25" TV sitting in the S corner. We'd like to keep a "big screen TV" if possible (we've used a Hitachi 60" RPTV for 11 years, but it's on its last legs), and about the only way we've been able to come up with to accomodate the seating, etc. would be to put the TV above the fireplace mantle (my wife's idea).


BTW, the fireplace now has only gas logs in it. The mantle is 56" high, 6" deep, and about 6' across. There is 48.5" above the mantle. There is a window (facing SE) on both sides of the fireplace; there is also a window (facing NE) on an adjacent wall. There is a crawlspace beneath the floor, and there is about 18" between the ceiling and the floor of the room above.


We use DirecTV, along with an outside antenna for "local" stations (about 45 miles away). We have a Hughes HD satellite receiver, and it can pickup HD OTA signals, too (of course, it also picks up non-HD signals). Only a couple of local stations are broadcasting HD signals, and they're not yet at full strength. We also have a non-HD DirecTV receiver that's connected to a stand-alone TiVo unit (i.e., not DirecTiVo). We also have a lot of DVDs. The component cabinet would have to go on an adjacent wall. The Hughes receiver has component output, but my main stereo receiver does not have component capability (I can upgrade if necessary).


What kind of TV setup (projector, plasma, etc.) should we get? How would we mount it securely above the fireplace mantle? I would greatly appreciate specific models and approx. prices, since I am not familiar with current offerings (and because time is short!). How long can cable runs be from the component cabinet to a projector? Would they be too long if I placed a projector on an elevated shelf at the back of the room, between our two chairs.


Thanks very much.


Jim
 

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Cable Runs: You're good for at least 30 feet with everything including component, and maybe 50 feet. So that won't be a problem.


Mounting projector/screen: If you get some lag screws and make sure they run into the studs behind the wall, it'll easily hold the weight of a projector or screen. Not sure about plasma as they weigh quite a bit more.


The Panasonic L300u and Sony HS-10 offer horizontal digital keystone correction. Although it reduces picture quality, it'll allow you to mount the PJ off to one side instead of dead center. (This is critical for my install.)


The Sony HS-10 has exhaust vents toward the front so you can mount it right against the back wall if necessary. (This is also critical for my install.)


In my setup, the screen is actually going to be smaller (68" wide) and going in a corner between my fireplace and sliding glass door.


Prices? Assuming you're buying a screen, then you're looking at $2500 for the Panasonic L300u, $3500 for the HS-10, and $4500 for a plasma system.


I would recommend getting the furniture laid out like you want it, figure out where a screen should go and how big, and then figure out what projector works within those limitations. A first question is to decide whether you want widescreen or regular too.
 

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I thought "FP" in your diagram was a front projector! :D


Seriously, being in the front projection forum, of course I would suggest you get a front projector, if (and only if) you can control ambient light, at least during the night. If you use all the available vertical space above the mantle to hang a projection screen, you can accommodate a 16:9 screen of up to about 95" diagonal -- a very nice size. Most HT projectors will throw an image of this size from 9' to 15' from the screen, so you will likely want to ceiling-mount the projector in the middle or toward the back of the room. With regard to cable length, I myself have a 75-feet run of component and S-video cables from the receiver to projector without any detectably loss of image quality -- all you need is a decent cable made of a quality 75-ohm coax wires (I bought mine at svideo.com).


In order to suggest a projector model(s), obviously we need to know your approximate budget for the projector + screen.
 
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