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Best projectors currently on the market for my wall + other advice (1 Viewer)

coiner

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Hi there, I've just gotten a new apt and it has a prime room to make a home theater; I'm pretty excited to build it :D
Anyway, I have a nice big wall to place the screen. Ceilings are between 11-12 feet high and the wall is probably around 15' wide. I have never purchased a projector before but I've heard they are the best when you have a nice big wall. I don't think I'm going for a TV because it would be a lot harder to set up how I would want it than a projector, but I will also take suggestions there if you think a TV would truly be better.
I don't really have a specific budget, but it seems I should be able to get a really good one for less than $2000. I've only looked briefly on Amazon and there are so many to choose from that I'd like to get some suggestions from people who know what they are doing. I'm looking for top of the line, not top of the price list after all.
Any suggestions on surround sound audio systems would be appreciated too.
Thanks!
 

Jim Mcc

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First off, your screen size is determined by how far you will sit from screen. Your wall size and room size don't matter. Yes, there are some very nice projectors under $2,000. You need to provide much more info.
1) Do you want DLP or LCD?
2) What will your throw distance be(distance from lens to screen)?
3) Do you want to ceiling mount it or use a rear shelf?
4) Screen size?
5) Room is 15' wide X how deep?
 

coiner

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Jim Mcc said:
First off, your screen size is determined by how far you will sit from screen. Your wall size and room size don't matter. Yes, there are some very nice projectors under $2,000. You need to provide much more info.


OK great! I figured I would be lacking detail here :). I might be willing to go higher than $2000 too if there is a great benefit to doing so.

Jim Mcc said:
1) Do you want DLP or LCD?


Can you please explain the difference? I've read a bit about both and it seems like LCD is better in terms of picture quality but I may be wrong here.

Jim Mcc said:
2) What will your throw distance be(distance from lens to screen)?


This I'm not 100% sure on yet because I don't have a good measure handy. From fumbling with the tape measure looks like most likely it will be somewhere between 17-18' to where I was planning on placing the projector. The room itself is probably around 22-24' long so I may be able to put it further back but will probably not be able to go any further than 17-18' away.

Jim Mcc said:
3) Do you want to ceiling mount it or use a rear shelf?


I can't put it on the ceiling as there is a ceiling fan. I have a loft in the room so my plan was to mount a shelf onto the side of it (this is the point that is 17-18' from the wall). The lowest point on the loft that I would mount the shelf is about 7' above the floor. I could potentially mount the shelf higher, up to approx. 9 feet but I would prefer it at the 7' height.[/quote]

Jim Mcc said:
4) Screen size?


I would like at least 100" but I would also enjoy going higher too so what size to people typically prefer?
 
K

Kevin Collins

I have never purchased a projector before but I've heard they are the best when you have a nice big wall. I don't think I'm going for a TV because it would be a lot harder to set up how I would want it than a projector, but I will also take suggestions there if you think a TV would truly be better.
I don't really have a specific budget, but it seems I should be able to get a really good one for less than $2000. I've only looked briefly on Amazon and there are so many to choose from that I'd like to get some suggestions from people who know what they are doing. I'm looking for top of the line, not top of the price list after all.

You have a couple other things to consider here. First, a projector is only practicable if you have a light controlled room. If don't have the ability to restrict all of the light in the room, then you are not realizing the value in having a projector. You can buy screens that help with ambient light, but they introduce other artifacts that take away more than they provide.

After that, you need to be concerned with the reflectivity of the room. If you have white walls, then you will also have problems. Since you mention that you are in an apartment, you might be limited in mounting the screen (putting a motorized screen seems like it wouldn't be an option) and painting the room and resolving light colored flooring.

You might consider a RPTV. This would probably be a much better option as you wouldn't have to deal with the issues that I talk about above.

You can get a Mitsubishi WD-92840 92-Inch 1080p 3D Projection TV for
 

coiner

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Kevin Collins said:
You have a couple other things to consider here.  First, a projector is only practicable if you have a light controlled room.  If don't have the ability to restrict all of the light in the room, then you are not realizing the value in having a projector.  You can buy screens that help with ambient light, but they introduce other artifacts that take away more than they provide.
After that, you need to be concerned with the reflectivity of the room.  If you have white walls, then you will also have problems.  Since you mention that you are in an apartment, you might be limited in mounting the screen (putting a motorized screen seems like it wouldn't be an option) and painting the room and resolving light colored flooring.
You might consider a RPTV.  This would probably be a much better option as you wouldn't have to deal with the issues that I talk about above.
You can get a Mitsubishi WD-92840 92-Inch 1080p 3D Projection TV http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=hometheaterforum-20&l=ur2&o=1
for
 

schan1269

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There are only two ways here to put in a projector...
1. Can you control the light?
2. Do you have a "generous" damage allowance?
A ceiling fan is no reason "not" using a ceiling mount for a projector ( http://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Universal-Projector-Ceiling-1CA/dp/B000IDC0K2/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1347246215&sr=1-1&keywords=ceiling+projector ).
Last time I had a client mount a projector in an apt., the client lost their deposit.
 

coiner

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schan1269 said:
There are only two ways here to put in a projector...
1. Can you control the light?
2. Do you have a "generous" damage allowance?
A ceiling fan is no reason "not" using a ceiling mount for a projector ( http://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Universal-Projector-Ceiling-1CA/dp/B000IDC0K2/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1347246215&sr=1-1&keywords=ceiling+projector ).
Last time I had a client mount a projector in an apt., the client lost their deposit.
I will be sure to check with my landlord, they seemed very generous about letting me do such things as long as I had their maintenance people help install it. I suppose that mount would work though. I take it there is a difference between mounting it from the ceiling or using a shelf?
 

Jim Mcc

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I missed that this is an apartment. BUT another choice is to put projector on a low table, and place it between the front seats or in front of the seating. The problem here is how to manage all the cables on the floor. Will you be allowed to mount a screen on the wall?
 

coiner

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Well after sleeping on it, I've decided that the ceiling mount will really not be ideal so I'd like to avoid that unless absolutely necessary. I really don't want to have cables hanging down as that will be very unsightly. If I go with my idea of mounting a shelf on the loft I will be able to conceal the cables quite nicely.
We are several posts into the thread and I have yet to hear any suggestions on projectors though! I suppose I am looking in the range of $2000-2500. I don't really want to go beyond $2500 unless there is an absolutely must-have feature going up to $3k. I still am also confused between DLP and LCD although it seems like the LCD picture is preferred these days and run cooler so I feel like I'd like to go with LCD. Feel free to correct me if you think the DLP would be more suitable. And please make suggestions for screen size too. I don't want to go up to 130" or 150" if the picture quality will be better at 100 in.
And finally, will my setup of a 15x11 ft wall with the projector 17-18 ft away 7' above the floor be good?
 

schan1269

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???
A projector sticking off a big stick in the air is fine...but the HDMI cable/power cord(that you won't see) are the problem...???
And here you go. Depending on the "lighting requirement"...your budget for a projector is half what it needs to be.
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_Home_Cinema_5010-projection-calculator-pro.htm ($3000 Epson, needs 15-ish feet for a 120" image. But if you have even one lamp on in the room, forget it. If daylight, even with shades drawn. Forget it.)
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Panasonic-PT-EZ570U-projection-calculator-pro.htm ("large venue" Panasonic that was over $7000 when new. Has a "street price" under $4000 now, notice the significant improvement in its ability to fight off ambient light. Needs almost 18 feet for a 120" image. But can be watched 24hrs a day, just the contrast sucks. But at this lumen...unless you want to spend $10,000, you can forget any semblance of contrast.)
By the way, the Panny has lousy contrast, but hey...you don't need to be worried about contrast, you just need bright enough to see something.
Here is another "large venue" projector that has decent contrast...and "almost" fits your budget...
http://www.projectorcentral.com/BenQ-SP890-projection-calculator-pro.htm
 

coiner

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Yes... the cables hanging from the ceiling and mounting it to the ceiling will be much more of a hassle to me than just mounting a shelf... I don't think the shelf will be unsightly at all. And what do you mean by "cables that I won't see?" I definitely will not be able to run the cables through the ceiling, they will have to hang down.
How can you be saying that my budget is too small... I see probably 100 projectors that are in my previously stated price range that have great reviews on Amazon. I already told you that I have shutters on all the windows that block out almost all light in the room. I will typically only be using the unit at nighttime anyway and with the shutters closed, the room is pitch black. I can deal with a little ambient light in the daytime for the benefit of having an extremely good picture at night, I am fine with that tradeoff. If the light is too much of a problem, I could get a large, black sheet to cover the 2% of light that makes it through the shutters.
 

schan1269

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Before you buy a projector...
http://www.amazon.com/Mastech-Digital-Illuminance-Light-LX1330B/dp/B000S19W3W/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1347287943&sr=1-1&keywords=lumen+meter
Measure the room. I have a feeling you aren't understanding exactly how dark 2FC (the requirements of the Epson) is.
I'm in the "middle of nowhere" and the big room of the house is 40x40(ish, not exactly square, but close). We have curtains up...very thick curtains. With NO NEIGHBORS around(looking south is a 30 acre corn field. Due west is 80 acres of corn. Due north is 19 acres of trees) that room reaches 7FC at night. We have a plasma in that room. Our projector(high dollar JVC) is in the basement..completely closed off. With the AVR/DVR/BD player on(which are not hidden) the room reaches 3FC.
 

coiner

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Well before I spend $40 on a meter that I'm only going to use once, let me make something clear. I don't have a movie theater in my home so it's obviously not going to be perfect no matter what I set up. I am willing to make a few trade-offs here because I have never had a room big enough to support a projector and I now do. I have seen plenty of home theater setups in rooms that have windows online and the people seem happy with their setups. I don't intend to make a 100% perfect setup here, but I'm sure I can make something perfectly adequate.
Now I have a question for you, are you saying there is going to be a HUGE impact on the picture quality from this? I mean, with the shutters closed and the lights off in this room at night, I can't even see enough to walk through it so I just feel like you're being a perfectionist here; I can't imagine that the picture from the projector is going to be anything but awesome...
 

schan1269

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If it is as "pitch black" as you say it is, then you should be fine. Maybe I have a different definition of "pitch black" being 7 miles from the nearest town and 2 miles from the nearest street lamp.
 

coiner

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Well it looks like I have narrowed it down to the two in the following Amazon wish list. I like the look of the Epson 5010 that you linked before and the other is a Panasonic PT-AE7000U. To me it looks like the Epson is worth the extra $300 for higher lumens but the reviews on the Panasonic are good too. How do you think they compare? Find the links here:
http://amzn.com/w/23X8J0VD60EYA
EDIT:
On the cheaper end, I found this Epson:
http://www.amazon.com/Epson-PowerLite-Projector-Integrated-V11H421020/dp/B005VONPT8/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1347304439&sr=1-2
I see the contrast is a lot lower but overall it has extremely good reviews and it even comes with free 3D glasses. The only pitfall it seems is the lag for gaming (which I don't really plan on doing much of). If I wanted to save myself some money by buying this one, would I regret it later for not splurging for the 5010?
 
K

Kevin Collins

Originally Posted by coiner /t/323618/best-projectors-currently-on-the-market-for-my-wall-other-advice#post_3972643
As for "light controlled," all of the windows in the room have shutters on them so I can make it considerably dark in the daytime and virtually pitch black at nighttime. I will pretty much only be using the unit at night anyway.
As for the walls, they are painted white and I hadn't realized this could be an issue. The size of the wall is very large though so even if I got a 130" or greater, the white walls to the sides would still be several feet away from the screen on either side. Would this actually cause a considerable issue though? I can't imagine it would, and if it did I could throw up some dark colored tapestries or similar to absorb some of the light.

If you are going to use a projector, light controlled means totally dark. If you have black out blinds you can potentially get there. I've never seen a shutter that does total light block.

Yes, white walls still a couple feet away will bounce back to the screen. At night, take a flashlight 2 feet away from the side wall and see how much it lights up your center wall. What you see illuminated will be what you will lose in black levels on your screen.

You could hang black felt on your ceiling, side walls and floor and then at night you would be in pretty good shape. However, do you want to do that every time you watch a movie?

In my previous house, I spent a couple $K on light control in a multi-purpose room. Because it was a multi-purpose room and I could have all the light treatment that I needed, I always regretted it because it affected my black levels, even at night. Now I have a dedicated HT room and I don't have those issues at all. At the end of the day, given the situation you have described, I would spend my money on a RPTV, you will spend less money for a better result.
 

coiner

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Well an RPTV is really not an option because the reason I am going with this is to save floor space. It's either the projector or nothing. I'm a young guy and I don't really care about perfection here, just having a giant screen. The shutters block out all the light as far as I can tell. If it isn't perfect, I can always add a curtain over them to further block out any light. I will likely hang dark colored tapestries on the white walls and a rug for the wood floor. This should produce the same effect, or at least reduce the reflection, and I won't have to take them down every time.
I'm sure it will look fantastic regardless but I'll be sure to read up on the return policy and test it out before starting construction.
 

Everett S.

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Hi,
I have an Optima HD180, it sits on a wooden Tv dinner table. It has a great picture. It is about 12ft. from the screen, and about a 11 ft. wide picture. Had it for almost 2 years, it cost 900.00 @ Costco. Costco doubles the warrinty to 2 years. It is still for sale. I have some light coming in, but still a good picture, it's DLP but no 3d. I would say get a 3D projector these day's, becuse 3D is not going away!:D GOOD LUCK.
 

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