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TV vs Projector


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#1 of 39 GPJ111

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Posted August 20 2010 - 05:56 AM

Would appreciate any input on the following.  We're currently finishing our basement, as part of that we will be putting in a media room.  The room is approx 14x16.  Not to large, but large enough for a projector from what I am being told.  The primary use will be movies, not daily tv use although it may get some of that ( but again that will not be the majority).  I am leaning toward a large plasma (63 o 65inch) only because I feel like the quality of the pic is better.  I am new to this whole media room/theater world, so with the right understanding that view may change.
 

I am using an audio company to wire/install etc.  Am I crazy for going with the plasma over the projector if there is enough room.

 

In terms of sound we will be using B&W CCM664 inwall/ceiling and a Rel 150 subwoofer.  Somebidy made the suggestion to use the Rel 200.  Any opinion on these speakers? I assume comparing them to bose.. if taboo.

 

If anyone has any advise.. please send my way.



#2 of 39 Robert_J

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Posted August 20 2010 - 06:41 AM

You are crazy for using an audio company to run the wires and install your system.  If you don't know the inner workings of your system then you will have to have them out when something goes wrong.  And something always go wrong.

 

B&W makes great speakers overall.  I don't know about their in-walls or in-ceilings but they are usually a compromise at best.  We always recommend traditional speakers first.

 

A projector is a TV.  It is just missing a outside case.  They both contain most of the same parts.

 

If you have total light control, then I don't see why you wouldn't go with a projector.  I'm using a 4 year old projector on a $75 DIY screen and I impressed the heck out of my roofing contractor last week.  He said he had never seen such a good picture from a projector.  It's easy.  Light control, calibration and a Panasonic AE900U.



#3 of 39 bigshot

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Posted August 20 2010 - 08:04 AM

I imagine it's more important to get someone to install if you are going the projection route. I just had an Epson projector and 120 inch screen put in, and it is an entirely different experience than watching tv. Astounding. But 16 feet seems too small to me to work with a screen that size. If you would have to scale the screen size down close to the size of the plasma you're considering, the advantage of projection wouldn't be that big.

#4 of 39 Robert_J

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Posted August 20 2010 - 08:48 AM

Not at all.  The installations are similar difficulties but they can vary based on how the room is built.  My projector install is easy since I have attic access above the room.  I basically don't want someone touching my stuff.  When DirecTV wouldn't let me install my latest DVR,  So I ran all of the wires for the installer.  He showed up, connected the DVR, activated it and left.  I also think I can save money on service and put that money towards better equipment.



#5 of 39 GPJ111

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Posted August 20 2010 - 09:16 AM

Appreciate the responses.  The basement is just getting framed now, so I could have them extend the wall all the way out.  I won't get into the boring details... but I have the option, so that may be a consideration.

 

 

Thanks again.



#6 of 39 bigshot

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Posted August 20 2010 - 11:09 AM

My screen is 120 inches, and the seating is about 15 to 20 feet back if that helps. You want some space behind the screen and seating as well to help the acoustics work right for 5:1

#7 of 39 GPJ111

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Posted August 20 2010 - 12:51 PM

Thanks.    Any preference on Projector.   I was reccomended DLA-HD550 JVC D-ILA PROJECTOR.  I want something that is good quality, but is a good value for the money.  I was quoted 4600 for this projector.   Can I get virtually the same quality for 3000 less?


#8 of 39 Jim Mcc

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Posted August 20 2010 - 02:45 PM

If you're able to darken the room, definitely go with a projector. Your screen size depends on your seating distance(which you didn't provide). Can you get the image quality of the JVC for $3,000 less? Of course not. You need to decide 3 things: 1) Budget for projector. 2) Do you want DLP, LCD or LCos(JVC, Sony). 3) Are you going to ceiling mount projector, or place it on a shelf on rear wall.



#9 of 39 Robert_J

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Posted August 20 2010 - 02:51 PM

I sit 12 feet from a 103" screen.

 

I've been happy with my triple LCD Panasonic for years.  If the newer model look any better I couldn't stand it.  The current Panny is much less than $4600.

 

Find out how much you are paying for cables from your audio company.  Check them against Monoprice.com.



#10 of 39 bigshot

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Posted August 21 2010 - 05:36 AM

I have the Epson 7500ub, and the image quality is stunning. I think the current model that compares is the 8500ub. It isn't the cheapest, but it compares with much more expensive projectors.

#11 of 39 GPJ111

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Posted August 21 2010 - 07:16 AM

I am getting the sense that I am not sophisticated enough to see the difference in a $4500 vs $2500 projector.  I am going to try and find the espon so I can take a look.

 



#12 of 39 smithb

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Posted August 21 2010 - 09:10 AM

I would also definitely recommend a projection system over a large plasma. Yes, the plasma will be bright but you should be able to go up to 100" - 110" screen that will majorally impress in a light controlled room. My room is 18' x 15' and I have a 92" screen (sitting 14' back). Today i would have gone larger but back in 2003 this size was more standard (SD material vs. today's HD). Still, I enjoy it very much for sports and movies.

 

The Panasonic and Epson LCD projectors are very popular and very good with lots of extra's, and from what I recall go for around 2K. There is also the Sony SXRD (similar to the JVC LCos) for around 3K to 3.5K. The Panasonic and Epson have some interesting frame interpolation options the Sony does not, but these are features typically not used for movies.

 

I came from having a previous DLP projector that ended up with color wheel issues after 5 years. After that I was scared off by potential LCD dust blob issues from the open optic system (probably only effects a few but didn't want it to be me). So I went with the Sony SXRD.

 

I'm sure anyone of these choices or the JVC will be fine. Being new to a projection system, if you have a chance to check out a Panasonic or Epson and are impressed, it may be the way to go. I went with the best DLP I could afford before so it was disapponting when it had issues after 5 years and no real resell value. Better to go in thinking it may be upgraded in 5 years and budget accordingly. Also, when seeing a demo, take the room dynamics into play. Many places that don't deal professionally with HT's will have awful setups with mis-callibrated systems and too much lighting. And don't forget projectors have different ranges and sizes they project (throw distances) so make sure where you wire to supports options for now and in the future.

 

Going with what some others have said, pricing speaker wire and cabling from some place like monoprice ahead of time. Wiring is one of the bigger scams where they get their money. If it comes down to it, get your own wiring for the installs and just let them install it. If they won't without also using their wiring you will know why. It is good to do as much as possible yourself because you will save enough for plenty of other amenities. But if not know what you are really paying for. Also, wiring should be rated for in-wall use.

 

You will probably only get one row of seating with those dimensions so leave a little behind to help with surround effects. If you go for specialized seating like HT loungers,again check out online sources. You can get seating for half the price of local vendors shipped to your door.

 

You may also consider room design, coloring, and acoustic treatments to help the overall expereince. Other options are to place the equipment in the back out of the viewing area.



#13 of 39 GPJ111

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Posted August 22 2010 - 07:47 AM

Really appreciate it.
 

The company is running speaker wire throughout the whole finished area, about 1300sqft.

 

For labor and wire, here is the section of the quote.  I understand that having it done this way versus doing myself I'll pay a premium.  I'm ok with that, and really looking for full service.
 

I didn't add in the whole quote just the labor and wire.  This includes:

 

Speaker wire for whole basement, including media room ( 10-12 speakers in all)

Installation of speakers

Installation of volume control for each room

Installation of projector

Installation of screen

Installation of TV in gym

Component hook up ( receiver, dvd player, etc...)

 

1

EA

 

MISC PARTS,CABLE & CONNECTORS

 

65.00

220

FT

 

14/2 SPEAKER CABLE CS142-WH05B

 

228.80

120

FT

 

14/4 SPEAKER CABLE CS144-WH05B

 

240.00

1

EA

 

PREWIRE INSTALLATION LABOR

 

1,045.00

1

EA

 

FINAL PHASE INSTALLATION LABOR

 

1,710.00

 

 

 

 

 

$3,288.80

 

 

Again, I know I am paying more but I am also looking for a full service installation. So long as it appears reasonable, I'm ok with it.  Any red flags here?

 

Thanks again.

 

 

In terms of the furniture, I did have somebody refer an online company where I can get berkline 13217 for 415/each. We're going to do 3 or 4 of those with some custom suede bean bags in front.  We think.



#14 of 39 smithb

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Posted August 22 2010 - 08:33 AM

You can get 1000' of 14AWG CL2 for about $160. I went with 12 AWG myself but for the distances and standard speaker charts 14 AWG is fine. The labor is the killer. In my current house I had a finished basement so I ran all the wiring through crown molding I put up. In my case, I was only doing one theater room and not the whole basement.

 

However, in a previous home I wanted some speaker wire run in the basement and it was new construction. They let me go in one evening just before the drywall was to go up and I ran it myself in about an hour. It was just a matter of putting in blue electrical boxes along studs wherever I wanted the wire to come out. Running the wire through the rafters, down the walls, and out the boxes. And marking each wire.  The drywall guys automatically cut out areas where every they see electrical boxes. After drywall was up it was just a matter of putting on wiring faceplates. So I would consider the quote a lot for running wire, but it really just comes down to comfort level and what you can afford.

 

Speaker wire is speaker wire. You won't be upgrading it over time. However, projector cabling is a different animal. One thing people try to do when doing new construction is to try and have a way to easily feed in new cabling as standards change. When I started it was DVI, now it is HDMI, who knows what is next. People will sometimes run a tube or some sort of conduit from the ceiling above where the projector will be mounted to where you equipment is to ease the upgrade path.

 

Also, it is nice to have a battery backup for your projector since bulbs are so expensive. Not so to run the projector during power outages but to just prevents shut downs without adequate cool down by the fan. I did this by having a plug installed by the projector that ran to the equipment room. In the equipment room the other end was connected to a reverse plug (male connector). Thus, no power was running to it (yet). Then plugged a battery backup into the equipment room with an extension cord running from the backup to my male projector plug (male connector). It basically work like an inwall extension to the projector.

 

Another thing is to have separate circuits gong to the equipment area so that you have adequate power for your equipment (one or two 30 amp outlets).

 

Good call on the furniture. I have a single row of four. At the discounted price you might want to consider the powered recliners providing incremental recline vs. the manual where you really only get two reclining positions. Lastly, we did the same thing as far as bean bag chairs. At the time we found these "J" shaped bean bag chairs for $17 a piece at Target. I bought 6 of them for overflow. They work great because a persons weight forces it into a nicely reclined position.



#15 of 39 bigshot

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Posted August 22 2010 - 09:47 AM

My theater room is all paneled in knotty pine, with wood rafters and roof. I had to run surface conduit for speakers and electrical and then have it painted to match the panelling. It was a lot of work, but it's totally invisible now.

#16 of 39 GPJ111

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Posted August 22 2010 - 01:07 PM

Is it better to hang or sit the projector?  or doesn't it matter.



#17 of 39 smithb

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Posted August 22 2010 - 03:47 PM

 

Originally Posted by GPJ111 

Is it better to hang or sit the projector?  or doesn't it matter.


Like many answers, it depends. They have each have their benefits.

 

Mounting a projector from the ceiling:

- Mounts generally give fine tuning capabilities for left/right and up/down that are locked down.

- Mounts typically have better airflow for cooling the projector

- Mounts allow more flexibility for placement and projector choices since you choose where to put the mount

- Mounts are an extra expense that can cost a couple $100

 

Shelf mounting (generally on the backwall):

- No mount to buy

- Generally leaves the projector against the back wall out of the way

- Seems like a simpler setup

- More limiting on projector/screen choices since you typically need a long throw projector or very large screen

- May have less control over fine tuning and can easily be moved out of position

- May develop heating issues depending on airflow around it.

 

I favor the projector mount but I have heard of people putting the projector on a shelf in a small room behind the theater with a cutout for the lens (more of an issue back when fans were louder). Mounts may seem more daunting at first by I think it is the right choice. Just plan ahead (support and ease of movement) for the possibility of moving it forward or back over time based on the projector of the time.

 

Also, other little tidbits to think about.

 

- Try to have easy access behind the equipment for adding new components or fiddling from time. In my case, I have an unfinished storage area behind a section of my back wall. So that allowed me to cut a section out of the drywall between the framing (24" wide) to build in a rack. Then I built a closet in the unfinished area for double duty (access behind the equipment and media storage). I've seen various other ways of putting in a closet to access the equipment from another room.

 

- Sound control. My room was already finished so I was limited but I did have an extra sheet of drywall mounted on all walls and the ceiling for extra stiffness. With new construction there are other isolation techniques. Just remember the sound (mostly bass) will penetrate the weakest point (typically shared HVAC ducting)

 

- Anything you do to keep sound in requires additional effort to tame the sound within. typically, this means acoustic panels or bass traps. I put 1" rigid fiberglass behind cloth on the entire front wall and ear level down on the side and back walls. Just like trying to control echoing in a room, fabric furniture, heavy carpet, and curtains can go a long way over tile flooring.
 



#18 of 39 Jim Mcc

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Posted August 22 2010 - 06:06 PM



Originally Posted by GPJ111 

Is it better to hang or sit the projector?  or doesn't it matter.



It depends on the projector. If you want it upright on a shelf, you need a projector with lens shift.



#19 of 39 smithb

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Posted August 23 2010 - 12:11 AM

 

Originally Posted by Jim Mcc 

It depends on the projector. If you want it upright on a shelf, you need a projector with lens shift.


Not sure why a projector on a shelf needs lens shift anymore then a projector that hangs. Could you explain?

 

My first projector only had vertical lens shift. My newer Sony has both vertical and horizontal. I've always needed to use the len shift when hanging a projector as well.  I believe all the projectors mentioned so far have lens shift capabilities.
 



#20 of 39 Phil Taylor

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Posted August 23 2010 - 07:14 AM

Hanging a projector reduces the number of times "down in front" is heard in the room... /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif but if you hang one you'll want power zoom and focus capabilities for easier access to those controls. Take a look at the Mitsubishi HC6800 - a very nice 3LCD unit that throws a natural looking image for about $2500.

 

And BTW - your installers are reaming you on wiring labor... just my humble opinion -- since you are in the framing stage you could easily do it yourself and pay for the cost of a projector.


 




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