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Ceiling mount projector and pull down screen question.


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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Al_S

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Posted September 17 2007 - 01:57 AM

I have been requested to find out what it would cost to get a projector ceiling mounted and install a pull down screen for a business. Any ideas would be appreciated. I was thinking of ordering another Dell projector for this since we already have one that works great. How about speakers and an amp?

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   homthtr

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Posted September 17 2007 - 11:00 AM

Are you planning on doing this installation yourself?


If not I would just get a few quotes from local Audio/Video companies. (not big box retailers) Check you local yellow pages. or online yellowpages for businesses in you area. Most A/V installation companies will be happy to come out and look at the situation and get you a free estimate. If they charge for and estimate move on to the next one. You shouldn't have to pay for an estimate.

If you are planing on doing this yourself be sure you use the correctly rated wire for your City/local laws. Most business applications require a much stricter wire code (CL3). Which is a less toxic wire when burning and required by most municipalities

http://www.bluejeans...nwallrating.htm

and don't have the electrician do your work. Have an electrician wire a electrical plug to where the projector is going (that will be determined by the size screen and the throw distance of the projector.) Let the A/V guys do the rest.

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   BruceSpielbauer

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Posted September 17 2007 - 11:12 AM


I have had quotes done to install this type of set-up in a conference room or classroom five or six times in the past few years. In every case, every quote I received was ridiculously over the top. So much so, that I ended up using our own regular maintenance people in combination with myself, and we just did it ourself. Some of these were pull-down screens, while three of them were motorized screens. It did not seem to matter. The least expensive quote I can recall was $1400 labor to install the screen and projector (this did not include any parts at all. WE were supplying the projector, the projector mount, the additional hardware and piping, and the screen.)

The total man-hours involved for these projects varied quite a bit, but none of them justified quotes of $1400 and up. Several quotes were in the $2K to 3K range, again for LABOR ONLY. (In every case, I was purchasing the screen, and the projector, and even the mount. Thus, I only asked for the installation quotes in my cases).

I recall that one of the easier ones required a total of about five hours of my time. That's all, and this is the one I did all by myself. That included a run to my local Home Depot-type of home improvement store (a Menards) to purchase a two foot extension pipe since the one I had bought on-line was a bit too short. The least expensive qupte on that particular room had been $2250.00. I did the entire job myself in five hours.

I always bought Draper or Da-Lite screens for these projects. Again, some motorized, some not. I also bought nice business projectors -- some were Epsons, some Optima. If the screen is to be motorized, then you do have to figure pulling wire for the electric, and also for the switch, which can add a lot to labor. Other than that, the toughest part is always getting the electric safely to the projector and of course, getting the video signal to the projector. All of my cases except one involved ceiling tiles, which made things a piece of cake. Our locale is tougher, since any electric must be inside of EMT conduit in my county, to pass code. Most of the United States would get off a lot easier on the electric. You do need to familiarize yourself with commercial code requirements, as mentioned above.

I guess my response is to get lots of bids, and know that electricians will often "jack their bid way up" for some reason, when they begin to price out anything audio / visual (which is silly, since it is much easier and safer to work with than the typical runs to an electric outlet or a hard-wired motorized screen). Be wary. Do not assume that an astronomical quote is actually a fair quote.

For pricing on the screens, even if you have your installer supply it, you can try to make certain you are not completely cheated by visiting some of the dealers on the web, to see what you could buy the same screen for. The same with projectors. For both, jump over to:

www.projectorcentral.com

You can find all sorts of distance calculators for the projectors and reviews and also links to popular dealers, to get pricing.

Finally, you asked about speakers and an amp. In order to discuss speakers and an amp, we need to know the room size, to even start. Then, we also need to know if this will be primarily used for typical business business presentations, or showing real videos, etc. Speakers that can handle a typical Powerpoint series of sound effects can be bought for $25 for a 20 X 16 room. However, if this is a large conference room, or an auditorium, or a business that uses streaming video conferencing, you may need a lot more.

-Bruce
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#4 of 10 OFFLINE   homthtr

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Posted September 17 2007 - 12:25 PM

Yeah that sounds a little high for the labor end, but given the fact that you purchased the equipment yourself you are probably getting the full labor rate ( I'm at $90/manhour) since the A/V guys are not making any profit off the sale of the equipment. Hanging a screen requires 2 guys on the site. If the entire Project takes 5 hours at $180 and hour ( 2 installers) you should still be under $1000 for the labor. But that would be just the screen and projector. Many A/V companies jack up prices for "customer owned" equipment because a lot of times they end up spending more time on final programming, initial setup, etc of equipment they are not fimiluar with since they end up having to "read the book" to get into different menus if they are not up to speed on your particular equipment. So depending on what was all involved your low bid of $1400 might have been right in line with industry standards. Had you purchased all the equipment from the A/V guys you would have probably seen a slight reduction in the labor as there would be profit in the equipment.

#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted September 17 2007 - 01:07 PM

Yeek! The installer we use a lot at work only sends one tech out for most jobs, and never really hurt us on using customer owned equipment. But $1400 sounds... quite high. Leo

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Al_S

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Posted September 18 2007 - 04:20 AM

Thanks for the info. This is a small business and we are going to have our own maintenance people do the installation. I guess I just need information on equipment. I checked and we have a suspended ceiling thats around 4 to 5 feet from the floor above which has concrete and wood. I guess I need a mounting kit for a suspended ceiling. I was also thinking of the cables needed but then I found that they make projectors with wireless built in. Does anybody have any experience with wireless projectors? For the most part this will be used by people that bring in their own laptops to do presentations but we may also put a desktop in that conference room. The conference room itself isn't that big maybe 14x20. I was thinking just a 2.0 or 2.1 PC speaker system but maybe the speakers could be wall mounted. I own a Logitech THX PC speaker system that can go quite loud. Maybe purachase another set for the room.

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   BruceSpielbauer

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Posted September 18 2007 - 01:02 PM


I am aware of that. However, I am also aware that the higher cost which is typical on the equipment (if purchased by many installers) typically can more than make up for the "reduction." I am basing this statement only on my experiences, of course, and generalizing is always a dangerous area to wade into.

Just my thoughts,

-Bruce
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#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted September 18 2007 - 01:48 PM

It all depends on what you're trying to do. Is this projector for presentations of Power-point slide shows? Videos? Home-movies? Friday Night Beer, Pizza, and a Movie nights? They all have different requirements. For picture, I'd make sure that at least common "plugs" were remoted to somewhere accessible - that would be at a minimum, VGA and Composite. S-Video and Component would be nice, and DVI (in my experience) is still kind of a rarity for this sort of thing. In your case, plenum-rated wiring, shot through the drop ceiling, are pretty easy. Take it to a wall, run surface-mount Wire-mold or something like that, to a gang-box with the ports on the front plate. Not difficult, and might save you a whole bunch of trouble later on. Sound is trickier, and depends a great deal on the why of the project. If it's for something where the PC periodically goes "Boink!", well, you can get away with something small and cheap. Maybe even, if it has one, the speaker in the projector. That's about all they're good for, I think. If you're trying to do "theater quality" sound, then you need something else. Leo

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   maxyst007

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Posted January 30 2010 - 12:12 AM

Please, I need help on how to install motorized 104" ceiling-mount projector screen?


#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted January 31 2010 - 12:49 AM

Step 1 read the instructions.
Step 2 ask detailed questions of the parts you don't understand in step 1.




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