New project - need advice on rear/front projection

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by brinton, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. brinton

    brinton Auditioning

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    I am in the process of building a home theater in my basement. The distance of my first two rows of seats is about 11 and 15 feet from the video location. The room has no windows so light is not an issue and the width of the room is about 12 feet. Based on my reading, the best size for a screen is between 75-90 inches for my setup. I need to decide if I should go with the new 82 inch Mitsibushi DLP or a rear projector. Everything I read says go with a projector but most of this was written before there was an 82 inch DLP option. I have seen the Mistsibushi on display and it seems more impressive than any projector. It may be possible I am not seeing projectors that have been setup properly. I am leaning towards the 82' DLP but am not sure it is the right choice. Does anyone have any advice?
     
  2. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Your situation is the ideal setup for a front projection system. For the roughly 4 grand that the 82" set will set you back, you can easily get a very good 1080p front projector, screen, mount, cables and still have some cash left over.

    You should check out projectorreviews.com and projectorcentral.com for information on projector technologies, and very detailed reviews of many of the projectors available now. A good vendor with an impeccable service record (I can vouch for them personally) is projectorpeople.com.

    You'll need to take your room geometry into account when shopping for a projector (learn the definitions of the terms "throw distance" and "offset"), and also keep in mind that if ceiling placement is preferred, you'll need to be able to run an HDMI video cable to it as well as provide electrical power.

    IMO, nothing provides the "theater" feel like front projection.
     
  3. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    I bought my Panasonic AE-900U from Projector People four years ago. It turned a TV room into a theater room. Mine is showing on a DIY 103" screen and the picture is great. I went with the Panasonic because of the wide range of mounting locations the zoom lens gave me.

    Is your front row of 11' from the front of the chairs or the eyes? I set 12' from the screen. My wife thought I was nuts when I made her hold the tape measure near her eye when seated comfortably. You can go 90+" to close to 100" with your front row distance.
     
  4. brinton

    brinton Auditioning

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    Yes it is 11' from the front of the chairs to the eyes in the first row. I have 4 feet behind the wall for access. If around 90" is the right size from that distance, it seems that going with the Mitsibushi at 82' is a lot simpler for my setup. I shopped some of the sites for projectors and screens and I may pay a little more for the 82' Mitsibushi. Although it may cost a little more, the price difference is not a big deal since I can get the Mitsibushi DLP for around 3k. Does anyone know how the picture quality of the DLP will compare to projection in a completely dark room? Any other advice?
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Since it is completely dark, go with a projector and a screen around 100". Go with a DIY screen and that will save you anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars. With 4' behind the wall, you can go with an acoustically transparent screen and hide your speakers behind the screen/wall. I think that a projector is just much more flexible and a better value in a completely dark room.
     
  6. dguard

    dguard Extra

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    THX suggests a 36 degree field of view for home theaters and SMPTE had a standard that recommended a 30 degree field a view. I created a calculator based on the THX and SMPTE recommendations that approximates viewing distances. Using the numbers you provided, a 100” screen is ideal. As between front and rear projection, IMHO, it depends on the feel you want for the room. Front projection creates a theater like atmosphere. Rear projection creates more of a family room feel.
     
  7. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    If you want to watch broadcast TV with a projector, you'll need a tuner. With the RP TV, you've already got the tuner. Otherwise, I'd say that the image quality and viewing experience is a toss up between the two. Somehow a projector seems more theater-ish; the big ol TV is easier to install and connect.
     

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