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FPTV newbie needs help ! (1 Viewer)

Deepak Shenoy

Supporting Actor
Jul 3, 1998
I have been following some recent threads about inexpensive (sub-$2000) front projectors like the Panasonic PT-L300U and it seems that front projectors have some definite advantages (other than the larger screen size)

1) Compact. Occupy only a fraction of the space occupied by an RPTV. Easy to move around.
2) Don't have to worry about burn-in or stretch modes.
3) Don't (hopefully) need expensive ISF calibration.
4) Not as many convergence and geometry issues (not sure if that is true).

The Panasonic L300U is definitely within my budget, but I am not sure if I can get the most out of a front projector and that is what I have questions about. I live in an apartment where I can turn a 12'x16' bedroom into a HT room and control the ambient light conditions using blinds/curtains. But I cannot make any permanent installations (such as retractable screens or ceiling mounts). To make matters worse, the walls are painted in a dull off-white color.

I was wondering if there is any makeshift screen solution that will allow me to get a decent projected picture (obviously I cannot repaint the walls). Another concern is the positioning of the projector. Can I just place it on top of a bookshelf (assuming I leave 18" of open space behind the projector) and if so how high should I place it ? I have seen some rules of thumb for how far the projector should be from the screen, but I am not sure how high it needs to be to get a picture that doesn't need too much keystone correction.

I would appreciate any help I can get.


Neil Joseph

Senior HTF Member
Jan 16, 1998
Real Name
Neil Joseph
The mounting height will depend on where the top (or bottom) of the screen is, which in turn depends ont he size of screen you get and how high you mount the screen. Assuming 8ft ceilings and given your 12' x 16' dimension, you are probably looking around a 100" 16x9 screen or close to that. Your screen height not including blackout borders would be 49". You could either place the unit on top of a shelf (with adequate cooling) and place it at the same level as the top of the screen. For that size screen, 3ft of clearance between the floor and the bottom of the screen is about right so you either need to table mount the projector at a height of around 3ft or shelf mount it ata height or around 7ft.

As for the screen, I thought of a crazy but cheap idea. Vinyl flooring comes in rolls. The backside of it could be used as your screen surface. You would need to paint a suitable surface plus black bordering as well. For the L300U, a silver-gray would be ideal, as well as a light gray based colour. If you need paint suggestions, I can help you with that as I have done much experimentation.

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