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Greetings! My HT plan.. (1 Viewer)

Aug 31, 2004
Hi folks,

This is my first post on these forums, so let me tell you a little about my HT plan.

I have a finished basement which is 18' x 12' (or 5.4m x 3.6m if metric is your thing) into which I would like to put a fairly large screen, DLP projector, 5.1 surround sound, etc. I have fairly significant budget, and I'm quite happy to break out the tools and install stuff myself.

Right now I'm in the planning stages. I've read quite a lot of the FAQ here, and I'm suffering from information overload. Part of the problem is that there are so many components to the system (projector, screen, receiver, speakers, etc.) that I don't know where to start!

So, the questions which I need to address first:

1. Given the size of my room, if I have two rows of seats, what sort of size screen would be ideal? I've seen several different formulas for calculating this, so I'm a little uncertain. I figure that 2 rows will put the front row about 9 feet from the screen.

2. Sorry if I overlooked this somewhere else, but is there a site somewhere which compares projectors? My local store sells just the InFocus brand, and they looked pretty good in the store, but I have no basis for comparison.

3. Screens - I really need something which be mounted on the ceiling. I've read about the sutff you can buy at the hardware store (can't remember the name off the top of my head) which is really cheap and works pretty well.. but for the sake of simplicity with mounting and such, it may be best to buy a specially made screen. Anyone have any recommendations?

4. Buying - If possible I'd like to buy online from out of state, to avoid the 8.8% sales tax and hopefully get the best deals. Is this a really bad idea?

Thanks in advance for any feedback, and let me apoligize again if some of these questions have been answered elsewhere already. I feel like I'm drowning in information at this point, so it's hard to keep track of it all.


John Garcia

Senior HTF Member
Jun 24, 1999
Real Name
For projectors and screens, ask that question specifically in the display devices, you should get plenty of info, and probably get help on your seating arrangement too.

What's the budget?

If you don't have rapport with a local hi-fi store, then the best deals will probably be on the web. If you know where to shop, Thanksgiving would be a good time to shop locally though. With an idea of the budget, I can probably help point you to some websites to start with. Canada might be an option for you as well.

Vince Maskeeper

Senior HTF Member
Jan 18, 1999
DIY screens are great, I've built a few in my day: however you're limited on size. Since fabric in most standard stores comes on a bolt of a spacific width, it usually limits you to about 6-7 foot widescreen... unless you buy specific screen material or special order- in which case it usually easier and just as expensive to buy a premade screen.

Aug 31, 2004
Thanks John, I'll post in the display devices forum shortly. My budget is somewhere around $14k, but this needs to cover everything (including a couch).

I stopped at another HT store (Hm, apparently I can't make links until I've posted 15 times - their site is at definitive.com) on the way home from work today. I had a look at their "entry level" projector, which was a Runco CL-510. I'm going back there tomorrow to listen to their receivers as well. The guy in the store recommended a Rotel receiver (RSX-1056), which upon Googling appears to have been fairly well reviewed, but the real test is in the listening.

Vince, thanks for the screen info. I'm probably looking at about a 7 foot wide screen, so that would be ok. The stuff I was thinking of though wasn't fabric - it was some board stuff. As I recall, it was designed to be used as a wall surface, but once people started using it as screen material, they started making it in 16:9 ratios and such. Wish I could remember the name of it now. I'll have to see if I can find it again (it was on these forums somewhere).

Anyhoo, I'll post in the more specific forums and go from there.. Cheers!

Steve Lucas

Stunt Coordinator
Aug 12, 2002
my HT is 22' x 12' with the screen on the 12' wall. My front row of theater seats is about 11' from the screen. I have a Da-Lite 106" permanent mount screen and it feels just about right for that distance. This would probably work for you as well.
14K is a nice budget, you should be able to do very well with that. As for speakers, with your budget, I'd recommend you audition Paradigm's Studio line, maybe even the signature line. They are great speakers IMHO, especially for the price.

Aug 31, 2004
The store I was in yesterday also recommended the Paradigm speakers, to go with the Rotel receiver.. I'm going back there today to have a listen. Thanks for the recommendation!

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