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Need Advice: Media Room Equipment/Layout


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#1 of 108 djtech2k

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Posted January 12 2013 - 07:51 AM

I just bought a house and want to build a media room in the basement. The room is finished but I want to make it a movie/gaming room. The room is kind of a weird shape but I am planning to use a rectangular portion of the room. The dimension are about 11'6" wide and bout 17' long. The screen will be on the wall that is approximately 11'6" wide x 7'8" tall. About 11' away from the wall where the screen will be, there is a drop-down on the ceiling for duct work. I had been planning on buying a Panasonic 60" Plasma for the room, but I have been reading a lot about other options, specifically projectors. I know very little about projectors and what I know was from projectors long-ago. So I am hoping to get some advice about the room and the equipment I need. So would a projector work for me? I worry about the brightness and clarity of the picture. I also worry about how dark it has to be. My room does have a sliding glass door in the back, but I am planning to cover it with blinds. I worry about how far away the projector needs to be and how/where to mount it. All of my electric and cable plugins are at the bottom of the tv wall. I am looking for the best "bang for the buck" here for a hi quality movie/gaming room. I am hoping to add home theater surround sound at some point and I would like to buy some nice leather theater kind of seating with the tv. I have been looking at Palliser but it is pricey. Any suggestions? Any projector experts have any advice? As for budget, well nothing is set, but I would be ok with $4000 or so....$5000 is really stretching it.

#2 of 108 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 12 2013 - 09:53 AM

I would go with a projector. You will have to mount the projector in front of, or behind the duct soffit. A third choice is having projector(with lens shift) sitting upright, on a rear shelf. Screen size is based on your seating distance from screen. What will that be? You will also need to buy or do a DIY screen, ceiling mount or use a rear shelf, cables, speaker wire, and at least a receiver, front speakers, and sub right away. If needed, you can wait to buy the center speaker and surrounds til later. 1) LCD or DLP projector? 2) What is your budget JUST for projector? 3) Ceiling mount or rear shelf? 4) Are you interested in a DIY screen, or do you want to buy one?

#3 of 108 djtech2k

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Posted January 12 2013 - 02:35 PM

The duct work is around 10 Ft from the front wall. Given the room layout, I don't think the stand is an option. There will be kids around a lot and the back of the room opens up so putting a projector in the back won't be an option. I think the main seating will be around 12-15 Ft away. What is needed for a screen? Can I just put it on a wall? For the initial setup, I did not budget anything for sound. I guess something for sound is required with a projector. Unfortunately my room is not wired for speakers or surround so that's a bit of a challenge. I don't know anything about projectors so I don't know about lcd or dip. The budget I was looking at for a plasma was about $1500-$2000. I am guessing ceiling mount is my only option. As for screen, I know nothing.

#4 of 108 schan1269

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Posted January 12 2013 - 05:46 PM

Fore we can really suggest projectors, we need two things... A "concrete" distance you have to mount the projector(the exact...if it is 9'10", we can't be told..."Oh, it is arounf 10 feet). We also need to know the height of the projector vs the wall you have(to know if lens shift is needed). We also need to know what the daytime lumen is in the area. You can buy a lumen meter(light meter) for $20 on Amazon. Otherwise we are throwing guesses.

#5 of 108 schan1269

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Posted January 12 2013 - 05:47 PM

Typing on a "tap screen" phone...sucks...geesh...

#6 of 108 djtech2k

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Posted January 13 2013 - 05:33 AM

There is a quick pic of the room from the back facing the front tv wall. You will see the duct work on the ceiling. I just measured from the tv wall back to the duct work. It was 11'4", so I guess the back of the projector would be at that distance. I have no idea where the cable, xbox, and bluray devices will go if I use projector on the ceiling. I definitely don't have a light meter. The back of the room opens up and theres 2 sliding glass doors because it is a walk-out basement. I plan to cover those doors with blinds or something to block light.

#7 of 108 schan1269

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Posted January 13 2013 - 06:53 AM

That is still excessively bright. First thing. Paint the ceiling and walls. Anything but white. Something dark. Buy a light meter... http://www.amazon.co...rds=lumen meter (just pick one...numerous under $25) You can buy something like this...(no, not "this one"...this is just an example of hundreds) http://www.amazon.co...rds=nyrius hdmi

#8 of 108 djtech2k

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Posted January 13 2013 - 03:10 PM

I am going to cover the glass doors with that window film and probably blinds. I plan to paint too, but that might not come immediately. Painting it dark does have drawbacks in general, but it won't be white no matter what. What should I do with the tv wall? I will buy a light meter but I may not have all the changes done to the room for a few weeks. I have never seen that wireless hdmi thing. That's great. Is there any quality loss at all? I know I will have a cable tv receiver, Xbox, and bluray player to display at a minimum. Would I need one of those for each device? What about the distance and mount place for the projector? Is there any chance that it will have a good picture being mounted in front of my duct work? Since I had not considered audio a priority in the beginning, I really didn't budget for it. If I go projector, I am going to need to do it right away. So I will need to find a good setup and a way to wire it up. I have been hoping to have all "boxes" and wiring hidden if at all possible.

#9 of 108 schan1269

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Posted January 13 2013 - 03:32 PM

An AVR(even a $200 stop-gap) makes the HDMI "wireless" easier. You connect your sources to it...then use the wireless HDMI between AVR/projector. You really need to paint the ceiling, at least. Projectors have a bright mode and an economy mode. When we know "how bright you need" and size screen you want...then we can recommend projectors. This is the best online calculator to find your projector. http://www.projector...culator-pro.cfm Lumens it "has to fight"(meaning the ambient light) is one of the knowns you need for the right projector. Here are the "other" knowns you need... Projector throw(lens distance to wall) Height of the projector(like ceiling mounted...which makes sense in your case) Image size/ratio Seating distance. Projectors are NOT a guessing game.

#10 of 108 djtech2k

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Posted January 14 2013 - 02:31 AM

Ok, so I can paint the ceiling and walls in the near future, but I won't be able to get all that complete before I buy/install the equipment. I am ordering a light meter today. As I mentioned before, my duct work is 11'4", so I would want the projector there if possible. That measurement would be at the back of the projector. The ceiling is 7'8", so I guess that would be the height at the top of the projector. The seating I have to estimate because I do not know 100% what furniture I am getting yet. I want 4 Palliser chairs, but not sure if I have the budget for them. If not, then I will probably have a sectional couch. The estimate for seating will be about 13' away. Will this setup work? Is the projector back far enough or will I have to move it back? I would just like a bright, sharp HD picture for movies, sports, and gaming. The tv will is 11'6" x 7'8". I do not need the picture to be the whole wall. I obviously would like it to be a big part of the wall, but I am most concerned with quality.

#11 of 108 Gregg Loewen

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Posted January 14 2013 - 03:09 AM

why a light meter ??? Always a good thing when you can paint the entire screen mounted wall black.

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#12 of 108 djtech2k

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Posted January 14 2013 - 03:31 AM

why a light meter ??? Always a good thing when you can paint the entire screen mounted wall black.

I mention light meter because it was suggested above that I measure the light in the room. What wall are you suggesting to paint black?

#13 of 108 schan1269

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Posted January 14 2013 - 03:51 AM

I always recommend light meters because... 1. They are cheap. 2. You can measure your image...itself. He means the wall for your screen. The white walls...if not painted first...essentially means...don't bother with a projector, buy one of these... http://www.amazon.co...p mitsubishi 82

#14 of 108 djtech2k

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Posted January 14 2013 - 04:09 AM

I always recommend light meters because... 1. They are cheap. 2. You can measure your image...itself. He means the wall for your screen. The white walls...if not painted first...essentially means...don't bother with a projector, buy one of these... http://www.amazon.co...p mitsubishi 82

Ok, so the wall that the projector will display on should be black/dark? Is painting it a standard dark color sufficient? Other than getting a reading from the light meter, is there anything else I need in order to find out what projector options I have? I am ordering the meter today, but may not have the glass doors covered properly right away. Is it useful to get a reading without the covering I plan to have? I just want to figure this out so I can make a decision and budget/purchase everything I need.

#15 of 108 schan1269

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Posted January 14 2013 - 04:17 AM

Any "dark" color works. Just avoid pastels/cream. There is a guy on here going with a projector with a tougher room than yours. He has already painted everything a Burgundy red(I think Burgundy red). You have to realize a projector is a flashlight. The less light reflection...the better your image...the "more controlled" the light(night isn't the problem, it is daytime) situation...the "darker" you can set your projector and the better picture you get.

#16 of 108 Gregg Loewen

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Posted January 14 2013 - 05:11 AM

Yes the wall behind the screen. Also ensure that any other paint in the room be non reflective (flat vs gloss or semi glass). I can think of no reason to purchase a light meter when doing a home theater installation.

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#17 of 108 djtech2k

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Posted January 14 2013 - 05:13 AM

Ok, so what other information do I need in order to get an idea of what equipment/setup I need?

#18 of 108 schan1269

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Posted January 14 2013 - 05:18 AM

Yes the wall behind the screen. Also ensure that any other paint in the room be non reflective (flat vs gloss or semi glass). I can think of no reason to purchase a light meter when doing a home theater installation.

That is funny... ProjectorCentral and ProjectorPeople(which these guys support this site) mention all the time about how important a light meter is when doing your own projector install. Or are we all just supposed "to guess" like Spock does in Star Trek 4.

#19 of 108 Gregg Loewen

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Posted January 14 2013 - 05:54 AM

What would you be guessing or measuring ?? What would be the point ?

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#20 of 108 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 14 2013 - 10:07 AM

That is funny... ProjectorCentral and ProjectorPeople(which these guys support this site) mention all the time about how important a light meter is when doing your own projector install. Or are we all just supposed "to guess" like Spock does in Star Trek 4.

I've never read that at Projector Central or any other website. Are you maybe thinking of a meter for use when calibrating the projector? OP, save your money. Instead of the light meter, buy a couple Blu-rays.




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