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Thread: Big TV or Projector?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Moorhead, MN

    Big TV or Projector?

    If all things go as planned, My wife and I will be moving into our first house in April here. Just curious if anyone has any suggestions on which avenue I should go for my Home Theater. The basement is unfinished, so room design is fairly open to what I can do. There are two large windows in the Basement which will be in this room(screen would be 15 feet away from the nearest window, and I plan on using the screen during the day and/or night, mostly at night. The room will be used for entertaining purposes only, not an everyday thing. I plan on having things besides just theater in the room(ping pong table, etc.) Just wondering if a projector will be bright enough to use for multi purpose for TV etc with a few lights on. Going for the best bang for my buck. It looks like projectors are pretty reasonable right now. Any comments would be helpful.
    no race car? becuz homeowner...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Only issue with projector being lighting issues if you are planning on using sunlight as a main lighting source during the day. If not, projector.
    97 GTi, 03 KJ

  3. #3
    It sounds like you've done your research and understand the importance of light control. With the right lighting you can still have a reasonably bright room without washing out the screen too bad. I did recessed lighting with specular trims to keep light off the screen as much as possible. Darker walls and carpet can help a great deal too.

    You mentioned entertaining - I've got 2 rows of seating, but unless there's something like a Vikings playoff game (yeah, right) on the screen everyone gathers around the bar. If I change anything about mine it'll be to have more area back there. Pool table, card table, and Wii all see some use too depending on the crowd.

    I have 2 projectors and love em. My main projector is a Sony G70 CRT - only 1200 lumens but the black levels still can't be beat. It's set up with a 1.0 gain 110" acousically transparent screen. My second projector is a Vivitek H1080FD - for parties we set this up on 70" DIY rear projection screen by the card table, or on the 144" inflatable screen outside if the weather's nice enough. 1080p, but the picture quality isn't nearly as nice as the ol CRT.

    Do a lot of research before picking a projector. Personally, I'd take contrast over brightness if a choice needs to be made. I recently recommended and helped install an Epson 8700UB in a friends house and it looks fantastic. Both my Vivitek and his Epson came from http://www.visualapex.com/ - very happy with their service. His Epson came with a universal remote, IR repeater, dust cover and extra lamp for $1800, but sadly it looks like that deals gone now...

    Happy to help, let me know if you have any questions.
    '05 Legacy GT Wagon - 5MT Stage 4e
    '05 Yamaha Zuma - Stock

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    You can buy 70'' Sharp LCDs for under $2k. No reason not to get an LCD IMO. 55'' LEDs are under a grand now too...
    At first I did it for fun, then I realized I made the investment and had to do it!

    92 Talon AWD 6/4bolt [email protected]
    95 240SX SE SR20DET [email protected]
    1993.5 Supra Hardtop...Sold
    Next project? 6cyl, 6spd?

    Quote Originally Posted by spanish-rice View Post
    at first i thought the title said beer truck drivers needed... In which case i accidently put my two weeks in at work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    I've got a 720p 3LCD projector shooting at a home-built 110" screen, and a 720p 42" plasma upstairs in play room.

    The plasma honestly needs more natural light control because the glass is so glossy. The projector is MUCH sharper and has no fuzziness. If you get close enough there's a screen door effect. The plasma is running HDMI from an xbox 360 so I don't understand why I can perceive fuzziness/sparkling up close.

    If you can control the light (which is easy in a basement), projector is absolutely the way to go. I built my screen out of 1x3 clear pine, and used some gate-straightening kits (the metal wires with turnbuckles) as diagonals to keep it square. I covered it with the black-out cloth (rubbery white stuff) that is sold at Jo-Ann fabric. It comes in 54" wide bolts and it is stretchy, so building a 4.5 ft tall, 8ft wide screen gives you a perfect 16x9.

    I built a projector mount out of 1x2 scraps and sheet metal. I have a BenQ W500, which at the time was the most affordable 720p non-DLP unit. I run HDMI out on my media center PC and component video from my 360. Both look awesome. The projector is always shooting at its native resolution and the input devices both have excellent scalers. I don't recommend DLP projectors because the colorwheel in my old Infocus X1 was just too loud. Maybe other wheels are quieter, or maybe DLP is all the way obsolete now and nobody uses it. I haven't checked lately

    The main point is that you can get a 100 inch picture with no distortion, no uneven light problems, no funny business -- and you can install it all by yourself (my screen weighs perhaps 20 lbs total), and the whole setup - PJ, screen, and mounting can be had for under $1k. And if newer PJ's come out that interest you (i may get a 1080p setup down the road), you can re-use your screen and mounts and be up and running in 5 minutes.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by thrash View Post
    building a 4.5 ft tall, 8ft wide screen gives you a perfect 16x9.
    My first screen was 120" diagonal built with 2x4s and cotton sheets. I built a new screen this winter - same dimentions as you, but I used a canvas stretcher frame and SMX material so I could place my speakers behind the screen. The canvas sretcher frame was really nice to work with - http://www.utrechtart.com/Best-Alumi...005668.utrecht. I used two cross braces to make sure it didn't pincushion in the middle. The next thing I want to do is add a maybe 1x2 frame around the whole thing covered in black velvet to get crispy edges and no bleed onto the wall behind.
    '05 Legacy GT Wagon - 5MT Stage 4e
    '05 Yamaha Zuma - Stock

  7. #7
    i have a dell something or other model it is 2500ansi lumens and i can watch tv on it during the day as long as the sun is not shining on the screen. it cost me $750 and was the best investment on my home theater. i bought an actual projector screen for $150 a few years back, MUCH better than a sheet or bare wall.

    a few things to look for when purchasing.
    ansi lumens of 2500 or better for bright settings.
    get a projector of the same aspect ratio as your computer monitor if running from a pc(you can clone the 2 rather than having a stretched desktop)
    if you get a projector with bad display(black/ white levels) you can adjust the gamma in your computer to get it right. if you are running a cable box or game console it will look like crap. my old acer and benq was this way. the dell however had a really good picture out of the box.

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