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Want something nice - but on a budget - please help

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Melissa_



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Posted July 28 2005 - 12:12 AM

I actually posted a message on the hardware forum the other day and I feel really bad because gave the wrong demension on my room... when I went back and remeasured the room is only 13.5' wide x 20' long. The room is already wired for surround sound and a ceiling mount projector. The people we bought it from had planned on putting a 100" screen in there... My problem is, I'm limited on funds at the moment and would like to know what I can get for about $2000-2500 in regards to: 1. Projector (probably DLP): 2. Screen 100": 3. Surround Sound: If you could provide some brands and links that are in laymans terms I would greatly appreciate it!!! I want to educate myself on all of this but some of the terminology makes my head spin!!! Thanks again!!! Mel

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Tony Loewen

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Posted July 28 2005 - 01:28 AM

For projectors, there is quite a large selection, depending on what exactly you are looking for. I personally had an LCD sanyo z2, and I love it. My friend just bought one for about $1000. You will typically get higher resolution (ie more pixels, sharper picture) for less money with an LCD, usually at a trade off for contrast ratio. If your room is completely light-controlled, meaning you can have it pitch black, or very dark, any time of the day, and you usually watch TV/movies with the lights dimmed or off, this is usually an acceptable trade off. If you have more ambient light, or prefer a brighter viewing environment, then you will likely want a DLP. I would suggest that you watch each in action at an electronics store, just to see the strengths and weaknesses of each. I had to go with LCD, my wife is extremely bothered by the "rainbow effect" of DLPs, after 5 min of viewing, she had a severe headache that lasted about 4 hours. That's a pretty rare case, though, not meant to scare you off DLPs. That said, I really couldn't be happier with mine.

DLPs will have lower resolution than LCDs of similar price. There are some pretty popular DLPs out there that are not very expensive, the Infocus 4805 comes to mind.

Screens, if you are looking into a fixed screen, I would suggest you build your own. I built one with a 1/4in sheet of plywood on a 2X2 frame, stretched some blackout cloth over it, then framed it with some 2X4s wrapped in Black velvet. Looks very professional and cost about $50 total.

Surround sound system, I would suggest getting a decent reciever and some middle of the road speakers, and plan on upgrading the speakers as budget allows. A moderate system will improve vastly with some very affordable room treatments, check out this link for more info.


#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted July 28 2005 - 03:42 AM

Melissa, the Basics area is for general discussion at the beginner level only, not for asking about equipment recommendations by brand. Since you seem to be focusing on the projector and screen, your thread has been moved to Display Devices. As for audio, please post in the area appropriate to your question. Thanks (and welcome to Home Theater Forum).

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted July 28 2005 - 04:55 AM


You're talking about just my kind of system.

Question: "wired for surround sound" : are there speakers in the wall already?

Here's my recommendation, and my system is almost exactly what you're looking into.

This is the gear that I'm using and the picture is really amazing, wonderful. I'm projecting on a 96" screen.

Infocus X1 projector $650 Don't forget to order both the VGA and S-Video break-out adapters. That's another $20.

Mandarax Mount $85

Da-Lite Model B Video Spectra screen $180

Two 50' lengths of componenet cables. One for HDTV, one for DVD 480i. $38.00 each. If you need to run a regular yellow composite cable for analog cable or VCR or something, you can use the "audio" cables on these "A/V" component video cables, which is what I do. You may be able to get away with shorter lengths. Hopefully you have an electrical outlet and conduit in the ceiling for getting the cables to the projector.

As for audio and DVD, there are about a zillion options.

This is assuming a 4:3 ("TV" set square) shaped screen, you may want a 16:9 ("Movie theater" widescreen) screen instead, in which case I'd recommend a different more expensive projector (Infocus 4805 instead of X1) and the appropriately sized screen.

If there are not already speakers in the wall If you don't care for "high end" sound, I recommend an easy-to-use all-in-one "home theater in a box" system like a Sony Dream system or various ones from Panasonic and others. Stick with a recognizable brand name but avoid BOSE like the plague.

If there are speakers in the wall Get yourself a decent reciever and a DVD player and you're good to go. Hopefully you'll get both integrated in one box. You'll want to add a subwoofer. Look on the speakers forum here for good options.

You should be able to get a very impressive movie experience within your budget.
Philip Hamm
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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   John Brill

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Posted July 29 2005 - 03:23 AM

Actually, I'd stay away from the Sony, JVC, Panasonic HTIB's and move up to the Onkyo, Dennon, or Yamaha HTIB's. JB

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Joe Rosiak

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Posted September 04 2005 - 08:21 AM

While we are on the subject, I currently own the Sony 70" XBR HD TV, and love the picture. Since I bought it, we had built a new house and the TV looks too small for the room. I would like to buy a projector, but do not want to lose the quality of the image. Here are my requirements for the theater room. 1) Must have the same quality of picture that my Sony XBR currently displays. 2) Must be able to play video games on the projector with no worry of screen burn. 3) Would like to stay around the $4,000.00 to $5,000.00 price range. (Price includes screen and projector) Can anyone tell me what I should look for when purchasing a projector? How about some suggestions?

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