Need Advice: Media Room Equipment/Layout

Discussion in 'Displays' started by djtech2k, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Stewart Screens recommends you use one. So does Screen Research...
     
  2. djtech2k

    djtech2k Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, so what other information do I need in order to get an idea of what equipment/setup I need?
     
  3. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Sam, do you have a link as to what they're talking about? Are they saying to use a light meter to choose which screen to buy(white vs. gray) for instance? :huh:
     
  4. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    That is one of the reasons to use one yes... Stewart has an entire "spreadsheet" dictating Ansi lumen range of a projector paired with screen gain, predicated on knowing ambient light.
     
  5. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    there is no need for a light meter in almost all circumstances and DEFINITELY NOT in a hobbist / consumer install. 3 guidelines: 1. Unable to see your outstretched hand. - go with a white screen 2. can you see your hand when the room is darkened? (or does your wife look smoking hot?). Go with a gain screen 3. can you read a book? go with a gain screen that is also gray (assuming you have the horse power in the PJ).
     
  6. djtech2k

    djtech2k Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok guys. You guys have lost me a bit. I realize there are probably many schools of thought on this process, but I just need to get the core info to make informed decisions on building this media room. Here are the kind of things I need to answer: What do I need for a screen or what should I do to the front "tv" wall for a projector? Cost? How should I paint the rest of the room? It is not a standalone room, so I need to consider that too. Are the measurements I posted above suitable for a projector? eg distance to the screen, etc. What projectors are my best bet with these things considered? Cost? What other things do I need to consider or budget if I go with a projector instead of a plasma?
     
  7. Jason Charlton

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    OK, getting back on track, the measurements you have provided form the basis for choosing the projector.
    The "throw distance" is the distance from the lens of the projector to the screen. Since you'll likely have an HDMI cable connected to the back of the projector, and it will need some room, I would think the actual lens is likely to be about 10' from the screen wall. That's not a very long throw.
    The projector height will be a few inches below your ceiling - to make room for the mount. Figure a drop of 5-6 inches.
    The seating distance (13') and screen aspect ratio dictates the optimal screen size. Assuming you go with a 16:9 screen (the most common choice) the starting guideline is for seating distance to be about 1.5 times the screen width. A rough guesstimate of the math would work out to about a 120" screen (104" x 58.5" not including the frame, which adds a few inches on each side).
    OK, so right away, we have some challenges - your seating distance is far enough back to warrant a large screen, but the short throw distance (keeping the projector in front of the duct work - which is a good idea) will prevent you from getting too large.
    Jim Mcc keeps up with the projectors much better than I do, but a quick search at www.projectorcentral.com didn't really produce any reputable home theater projectors capable of 120" at 10'.
    Looking at one commonly recommended projector (the Optoma HD33) showed that at 10 feet, the best it can do is 92", which would mean moving the sofa closer to the screen.
    There may be other options (Jim would know), but hopefully this shows you how all these different parameters are fluid and interdependent.
    If you choose to "fix" the throw distance, that will help in that we can see what sort of image size can be produced by the most commonly recommended projectors, and figure out what screen size, and seating distance will result.
    As for the room itself, you will need to darken the walls somewhat. My basement theater has dark brown carpet and a brownish color on the walls (but I have total light control). It's best to choose a somewhat neutral color that won't adversely affect the image, but I understand if the room has other purposes, you can't just slap black everywhere. You could opt to make the screen wall an accent color - darker than the rest. It will help.
    For screens,DIY is the cheapest, followed by a fixed wall screen, and lastly an electric retractable screen. My screen is a 96" from Carada - a mid-level screen manufacturer. Once you narrow down the projector options, you will know how bright the image will be (at whatever size it winds up) then you can figure out if you need a high-gain screen to increase brightness to fight any ambient light.
    Choosing a projector is a somewhat complicated, iterative process that involves a lot of reading and research (www.projectorreviews.com is another great site) in order to choose the best option for your room.
     
  8. djtech2k

    djtech2k Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, that is great info thanks a lot! So you have seen my room and the info I have posted. What would you do next? I mean I am not trying to be a professional cinema guy, but this will get a lot of play with my family watching movies and my sons playing xbox. I would like a really fun experience with it and not have to empty my bank account or break my back building it out. So It sounds like I need to paint the walls as dark as I can. So is it most important to get the tv wall as dark as possible and the other walls just as dark as I can? The projector distance from the tv wall is a bit of a challenge. I do not really care about the distance, but as you can see from the pics, I have duct work on the ceiling. My thought was that if I can put the projector in front of the duct work, then it would really be hidden, which I like. If I move it back, then it will have to be behind the duct work, which means it will have to be lower than the duct and very visible. As for screen size, well of course I would like a large screen, but I am more concerned with quality and brightness. I realize that if its too small or too big it will affect the quality or viewing experience. My plan was to use a 60" plasma, so anything near 100" is a big bump. I just want to get this room done ASAP. I am really trying to get educated on it as much as I can. I need to get moving on any actions I need to take and I need to figure out the budget. Thanks again!
     
  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I have a suggestion here...that opens up a lot of possibilities... You could "engineer" a box "in" the ductwork. That would be a constant supply of fresh air(even when you run the furnace...the air is still cooler than the heat generated by a projector...and when using A/C...the fan on the projector itself...may never come on). If that is something you would do?(I would call an actual HVAC person to do this) That would simplify three things... 1. How to get power to the spot(run it with the ductwork) 2. How to get the HDMI therr(see above) 3. Then it won't matter where everything else(avr etc) goes. A competent HVAC person could do a rough-in for a projector in 4-5 hours. And leave you a "trap door" for access.
     
  10. djtech2k

    djtech2k Stunt Coordinator

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    Thats a cool idea but unfortunately on the front side of the hvac drop-down, there is a steel beam. So when the drywall drops down in that pic, there is a steel beam in the front, then the HVAC duct. I am planning to run electrical cables from the fusebox on the right, inside the drywall to the projector if it is mounted in front of the duct drop-down.
     
  11. Jim Mcc

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    So the throw distance(lens to screen) is 10 feet? What size screen do you want?
     
  12. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I would assume he wants..."as big as possible"... This is projectors at 10' 100" diag... http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&mfg=&p=&w=&r=&br=&ll=&t=&db=&dt=&c=&ar=&dvi=&pjl=&pjw=&pjh=&td=10&i=d&is=100 110" http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&mfg=&p=&w=&r=&br=&ll=&t=&db=&dt=&c=&ar=&dvi=&pjl=&pjw=&pjh=&td=10&i=d&is=110&sort=pop&sz=15 120" http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&mfg=&p=&w=&r=&br=&ll=&t=&db=&dt=&c=&ar=&dvi=&pjl=&pjw=&pjh=&td=10&i=d&is=120&sort=pop&sz=15
     
  13. Jason Charlton

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    Yeah, I think there are a lot of reasons why you should keep the projector in front of the ductwork, although Sam's idea is cool (pun intended). If the throw is fixed at 10 feet, then it becomes a matter of compiling a list of projectors that fall within your budget, seeing what screen size and brightness you can get from each of them at 10 feet, and what the resulting seating distance will be, then deciding which one seems like the best fit for you. Looks like the Epson 8350 can get you a 108" screen and the Epson 3020 will get you to 103" - but they both may actually be too bright... Hmm, I'll defer to Jim and others on specific projector recommendations. It's looking like dealing with ambient light may not be much of a problem for you. At a 10 foot throw, most of the "usual suspect" projectors according to the projectorcentral calculator, are throwing out a LOT of lumens... maybe too much. You could have worse problems, I suppose.
     
  14. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The Epson 3020E can do 103"
     
  15. Jason Charlton

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  16. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Too many lumens is better than not enough.... Paint a dark gray .8 wall...or even .7.
     
  17. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Heck, if you truly want a "multi-activity" room...paint the ENTIRE wall with this... http://www.amazon.com/FolkArt-2516-8-Ounce-Chalkboard-Paint/dp/B001C2EKK6
     
  18. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    DJ, tell us your projector budget again. In the meantime, I came up with 3 nice 1080p projectors that will work with a 10' throw and 103" diagonal, or larger screen sizes. 1) Panasonic AR100U - LCD, 10' throw, 104" diagonal max, lens shift. 2) Epsom 8350 - LCD, 10' throw, 103" diagonal max, lens shift. 3) Benq W1070 - DLP, 10' throw, 120" diagonal max, lens shift(but VERY limited). Only allows vertical shift of 10% of image height. It may work, but it depends on where you want the top of your screen.
     
  19. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    By the way, I'm only half joking about the chalkboard paint. Will it create a really good image? No. But, you could make your own(however big it needs to be) plastic hang up screen to put over the chalkboard. My prior house, we had a 2nd "cheap" table top projector(cost around $400 then...probably get one for $250 now) to play kids interactive DVDs with. The house had an electric roll down for the "when the kids went to bed" movie watching.
     
  20. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Some of your posts are so kooky, I don't know if you're joking or not. :)
     

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