Projector vs. Plasma

Discussion in 'Displays' started by mecheman, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. mecheman

    mecheman Auditioning

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    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first time doing this but here it goes.

    I'm planning to build a house by the fall. In the basement I'm figuring I'll have a home theatre 14' x 20'. I'd like some input on the following:

    1) I was thinking of getting the Panasonic 58" plasma, 1080p. However I think I would like the big picture a projector gives you. Will a 1080p projector give me as good a picture? What about motion blur? If a projector is the way to go then what brand and model?

    2) What receiver is the best for under $500.

    3) I was thinking of in-wall speakers. Is there a big difference in sound?

    Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Ennsio

    Ennsio Second Unit

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I'll take a first shot at addressing your questions, but I do not have a 1080p tv or projector yet so I'll let others address that more specifically from their experience.

    First, a 14' x 20' room is a good size for a home theater. From an accoustic point of view, you want to avoid square rooms or rooms with dimensions that are divisible by the same number (i.e. 15' x 15 or 15' x 20'), because you get sound cancellations in certain frequencies due to sound waves bouncing off the walls and canceling each other out. 14' x 20' is close to 14' x 21', which would fit under the "dimensions divisible by the same number" category. Since you have not built your house yet I don't know how flexible your room dimensions are, but if you modify it at all, just keep this principle in mind.

    Now to your questions:
    1) Plasma versus projector - that is ultimately up to you as to how big an image you want. One thing to consider is if you would be able to fully control the lighting in your home theater? Projectors work best when you can fully darken the room. Projector Central is the best website for reading about projectors, with reviews and recommendations on which are the best, and a calculator to help you see what size screen you could get for your room. That's the best place to start.

    2) The Onkyo TX-SR605 is the only projector under $500 at the moment that can handle DTS-HD and Dolby Digital HD, which are the new audio formats with Blu-ray. That would help you future-proof your purchase for HD audio.

    3) In general, in-wall speakers sound inferior to how speakers sound when mounted on the wall or on stands. If you can wall-mount speakers, that would be better from a sound quality perspective. Definitely don't use in-wall speakers for your fronts.

    It seems like your budget is highly skewed towards the video side. To get the full experience of a home theater, it's generally better to have more of a 50:50 balance in budget for video and audio so that your speakers and subwoofer can give you the feel for the sound of the movie that your eyes are getting from the visual experience of a high-def tv or projector. I would suggest looking at your budget again from that perspective to see if you want more from the audio side. We can give many tips for that as well.
     
  3. mecheman

    mecheman Auditioning

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    Thanks for the input. I would say my budget overall is max $6,000.
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Some good projector options if rainbows don't bother you:
    Mits HC4900 - $1995
    Mits HC6000 - $3995


    Some good projector options if rainbows do bother you:
    Sony VW40 - $2895
    Panasonic AE2000U - $2699
    Sanyo Z2000 - $2495

    All of these are native 1080p projectors that are pretty well thought of.
     
  5. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Definitely a projector. Seth, the first 2 you listed are also LCD, so no possibility of rainbows. Mecheman, first you need to decide if you prefer the look of DLP or LCD by viewing them. All 5 that Seth listed are LCD, by the way.
     
  6. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Thanks Jim. I stand corrected. I was just assuming all the Mits stuff was DLP since that's how their rear projection sets work.
     

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