First Timer Home Theater

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jon Hunter, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Jon Hunter

    Jon Hunter Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have quite a bit of experience with home theater, but mostly in the past video has all been from a tube TV. I am building a new addition to my home that is 14' wide by 15' deep with the entrance to the rear. There will be no windows in the room. The ceiling will be 7'-6" and it slopes down to about 4' height on the walls. It is on the upper floor of my home. I would like to hear some suggestions for video displays. I have looked at plasma, and want at least a 61" But since it is going to be a home theater, I think I should go with projection. I would like to get around a 92"-96" 16:9 screen and I also need suggestions on the screen itself. I have seen a few with the black felt type stuff on the edges, is this better? I don't really have a budget. But from what I have seen, $500-$1500 on a screen, and plasma would cost me somewhere near $8000. Oh, I also want a fixed screen, no motorized stuff. I don't really want to spend this much on equipment, but if that is what I need to for a quality projector then its fine.

    Thanks
     
  2. Christer W.

    Christer W. Extra

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are numerous solutions available for your situation. As far as screens go, there are ready-made ones by Da-Lite, Stewart, Vu-Tec and others. Depending on your requirements, you can spend barely 100 dollars to a couple of thousand for a Vu-Tec SilverStar. A lot of the people on this forum created their own screens, as did I.

    One thing that is a constant is that the projector you choose will have a large bearing on what screen you need. On this forum, there is a preponderance of LCD and DLP projectors. For a vast majority of people, you can find a projector for under $2,000 that will amaze yourself and your family and friends. As with most things in life, each projector you look at presents a series of compromises.

    With LCD units, black levels are the Achilles heal, as is sometimes a visible pixel structure, though this is becoming less of an issue. OTOH, they are light, quiet, and easy to set up and maintain.

    To deal with the reduced black levels, the manufacturers have come up with screen solutions that are gray in color. These enhance the blacks at the expense of brightness and subdued whites. But unless you are watching a split screen, your eyes adjust to the relative light levels and for most people, the grays are a good solution.

    Over on AVS forum, there is a huge forum dealing with DIY screens. Guys have found very inexpensive paint solutions for creating screens that give outstanding results. My screen with it's somewhat esoteric mix of paints over a silver metallic base cost me about $60. Can't complain about that! Looks great, too.

    You can of course spend the $8,000 that you mention on a projector and screen and you will get outstanding results. More lumens, better contrast, higher resolution, etc. The question would be, is the picture 4 times or, put another way, $6,000 better? Compared to the
     
  3. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2001
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jon
    Since you have complete light control, you should really consider a CRT front projector. They're still the best in terms of black level, resolution, and "three-dimensional" detail... although the new 3-chip DLPs are getting close. New units are kind of pricey (my Dwin HD700 with TranScannerII was about $18K which is the low end of this market) but excellent used/refurbed units can be found for considerably less than your $8K plasma. Curt Palme or Tim Martin (both hang out over at the AVS "CRT" forum) can hook you up.

    I'm running a Draper motorized 1.3 gain 52x92 screen (about $1500), but you should be able to get a fixed model for much less.
     
  4. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    12,215
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Real Name:
    Parker
    Jon:

    Another option to check out would be the Infocus 7205 projector with a Carada screen.

    We have a great promo going on with TV Authority right now that has some killer deals. I would give Kirk Punches at TV Authority (888-286-5858 ext. 510) a call and ask him what he can put together for you as a member of HTF.

    Parker
     
  5. Christopher Collins

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would also go with CRT if I had 100% light control and a modest budget. I am looking at a BARCO 808 for around $2500 that will blow away even the highest priced DLP and LCD projectors on the market. That is for my theater room though. Head over to AVS and talk to Curt for more info. He has a great write up that will outline all the good and bad of CRT vs other methods.

    With CRT you may have to purcahse line doublers and video switches seperately, so beware of this. Also if you were to top mount a CRT you will have to build one heck of a mount because they are wicked heavy. Some can weigh several hundred lbs. With the slope of your ceiling I would opt for a floor mount. It will help the room to feel more open.

    For my media room I am going with a DLP because of the ability to watch HDTV with not as much light control.

    You may want to check out some paint manfactured by a company named Goo Systems. Their white solution is rated on par with some of the finer screens in the industry for $200 or less. I dont know about the grey though.

    Plasma and LCD TV are way over rated in my book. The ones that look good to me are insanely expensive and they are small for the price.

    The HD-RPTVs are very nice and have great pictures but moving them around is a PITA. My Pioneer Elite will soon retire to the bedroom where it will spend the rest of its life mounted in the wall.

    If you want 90+ inches go front projection.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    Consider this a 3rd proponent for used CRT, however, I would temper the other Chris' comments. As an owner of an 808 and a marquee 8500, I wouldn't characterize it as "blowing away" the best LCDs and DLPs. It's a very hard choice to make with an 808, but I would say the best digitals are getting equivalent, but different than something like an non-LC, non-flitered 808. But in terms of value, for a couple grand you can get something like this, and like I say, be at least equivalent subjectively to the priciest digitals.
     

Share This Page