Do I need to get the projector first?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MarkDD, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. MarkDD

    MarkDD Agent

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    Sometime this summer I will be building a home theater in the basement. I plan on buying an LCD projector this fall.

    How do I know where to leave a hole for the projector and where to run the wires? I know some projectors come furinished with wires so would I be duplicating effort if I ran a set myself.

    Or is it better to get the projector now?

    I was thinking about the sony hs10 or the panasonic l300u. However, I was hoping by this fall another batch of new models would be out.

    Thanks much.
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    First you need to determine the exact projector you want. This will determine what screen sizes you can achieve in your room. Each type of projector has a different throw and will yield a different screen size, depending on how much zoom you use. After committing to that, then you go ahead with the wiring and placement/mounting.

    There was a thread a while ago where someone committed to a Sony HS10 and before buying it, he wired his HT for it. It has a longer throw than the average projector meaning you ned to mount it further back from the front wall to get a certain screen size. Then, he had second thoughts and wanted to get a different projector. Only problem is that from that mounting location, the image would be too big because it was a shorter throw projector and he already had the screen in place.
     
  3. MarkDD

    MarkDD Agent

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    That is what I was afraid of. So what happens when I upgrade? Do I rip out the ceiling drywall and remount the new one?

    Do people ever do a drop ceiling in the center and drywall around it for future upgrades?
     
  4. Glenise

    Glenise Supporting Actor

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    My basement has ceiling tiles installed.
    The installer mounted chains in the ceiling.
    If I get a new projector, I'll just move the existing tiles that already have holes for the chains to go thru and get someone to remount the chains in the ceiling.
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    To give you a little hope, many of the digital projectors (they have zoom capability) will yield an image of 100" diagonally (16x9) from a mounting distance of 11'- 12'. If you plan your mount around the 11.5' mark (assuming you want that sized screen of course [​IMG] then you should be pretty safe even in the future.
     
  6. MarkDD

    MarkDD Agent

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    Thanks Mr. Joseph. I may just leave a 1X3 cutout in my ceiling at the 11-12 foot mark.

    Let me ask you one more question.

    I was planning on waiting till the fall to get the projector because I was hoping the new lines would be out.

    My hang ups are:
    1. l300u has no hdcp (will I be able to view a HD signal in the future)
    2. hs10 and the sound factor, the supply issues and reliablity.

    Should I build the theater and wait for better models or buy now and have to upgrade in a couple of years?

    I would like to keep this projector for a while and do not want to be left out in the cold.
     
  7. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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  8. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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  9. MarkDD

    MarkDD Agent

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    Thanks for the detailed opinion Jay.

    I went to projector central and did a quick throw calc.

    For the HS-10 I put in a 8 foot wide screen.
    It spit out this:

    Distance to Screen Range: 4.9 ft. - 46.3 ft.
    Screen Size Diagonal Range: 40.0 in. - 300.0 in.

    16:9 Image Size 111 in. (diag), 54 in. (height), 96 in. (width)
    Distance to Screen: 13.5 ft. - 17.0 ft.

    I was planning on having the first row of eyes at 11 feet and the second row 4-5 feet behind that.
    According to this calc, I am 2.5 feet too close.

    Question: why would I not want the projector above my head? Is it a noise issue? I have a 24 long by 16 wide and 8 high foot room. My main worry for the mount is heat buildup and noise.

    I do plan on having a casual area in the back with high tables and bar stools on a 8 inch riser. (maybe I got that casual seating idea from Jay).
     
  10. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    The room specs makes recommending a specific projector easier.

    With the first row at 11' and the second row at 15', one of the limiting factors will be the field of view of the first row. You do not want to overpower the front row viewers with a screen that is too large. At 11', I would hesitate going over 100" diagonal (49" x 87"). Once you determine the screen size, then you can work out the numbers for the different projector models you ae considering and figure out mounting distances. You have enough length, width and height in that room for it not to be too much of a limiting factor for you in choosing a projector for your HT design.
     
  11. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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  12. MarkDD

    MarkDD Agent

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    You have convinced me to buy the projector first. The basement is totally unfinished now so I have free reign on setup etc.

    That 8 inch rise was what I heard from other sources. I just could not succum to dusting off my old calculus book to figure these calculations. And I always thought why would I ever use this crap.

    Anyway, I know the ceiling is 8 feet high, my width is around 15 feet and I would like to keep it less than 24 feet long.

    So I will have to look at mounting the projector at the back of the room, get the couches in place to determine my riser, get the screen up and test everything, then start building...

    Thanks for your help.
     
  13. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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  14. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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  15. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    That's a great link Mike provided, particularly as it references the different standards (THX at 36 degrees, SMPTE at 30 degrees). What it lacks is the ability to determine screen size based on location and viewing angle. It assumes you already have the screen. Most installations will probably have the viewing distance as the limiting factor and thus the screen should ideally be based on that.
     
  16. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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  17. MarkDD

    MarkDD Agent

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    Now all I need is for one of you to tell me to buy either the l300u or the hs10.
     
  18. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    I'd buy the THX1138:4EB. It has infinite throw and great luminosity (in fact, almost everything appears white). No rainbowing. No pixelization. No CRTs to burn out. No bulbs to replace. Can also go through the back of people's heads. Virtually no noise. Unfortunately, requires PAL, 230V/50Hz.



    Sorry. Just thought I'd humor myself. That's easy to do, as you can see. [​IMG]
     
  19. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    Jay--

    I checked that calculator link again, and I think it actually is doing what you want.

    It's not totally dependent on the screen size. Whatever screen size you enter will effect the "Results" section (as expected), but below that section, it provides the optimum screen sizes for the THX and SMPTE viewing angles. Doesn't that do what you want??
     
  20. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    Mark--

    FWIW, for the 11' first row, the calculator provides:

    for a 30°(SMPTE) FOV, screen should be 70.7" wide, 81.2" diag. (16:9)
    for a 36°(THX) FOV, screen should be 85.8" wide, 98.4" diag. (16:9)

    If you choose to go with the THX standard, then plug 98.4 into the "Diagonal Size =" field and recalculate.

    The max THX viewing dist (26°FOV) is 15.5'. If your second row can accomodate a chair giving a head-to-screen distance of 15.5 feet, then you're good-to-go. If you need more leg room for the back row, you'll need to increase screen size, which in turn spaces out the numbers for recommeded and max THX viewing distance. This also pushes both rows back further in the theater, so you have to see if that'll work for your HT design.
     

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