Help me decide on a display

whtstang99

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Oct 18, 2006
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Joseph
Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the fourm. i have spent a fair bit of time on here today trying to gather as much information as i can before i make my purchase. here is the scenario. i have very limited space. 8' viewing distance. the room its self is 17' long but im putting a games table behind the seating. i will be using the display for about 80% dvd's 10% xbox 360 and the last 10% watching hockey. im not sure what direction to take with my display. i want it to be on the wall because of the limited space. now for some questions for you guys. flat panel or a projector? what is the pros and cons of both? i have wanted a projector for quite some time now mainly because i had origanly planed on using the whole 17' of space and having my couch about 15' back. now that im so close im not to sure.. I want a very large picture but i love how bright flat panels are.. is it possible to get a nice picture without spending a life savings on a projector? i know there are many factors that make up the picture. input screen ect. but would a HTPC really help out a cheaper projector give a good picture? any help would be great.. im just really confused as its alot of info at once to learn and i want to make an educated purchase. thank you.
joe
 

SethH

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Do you have complete control over the amount of light in the room? If so, then front projection or plasma may be great options for you.

Another issue with front projection is how to get your input sources to the projector. If your room is already built and all the walls and ceiling are completely finished it could be a little tricky getting your cables to the projector (unless you have an attic above the room).

With a viewing distance of 8' I think you could go either direction. A 50"-65" plasma, LCD or LCoS may be great for you at that viewing distance. However, an 80"+ front projection image may be great as well. What budget are you looking at? Front projectors that provide a very good picture can be had for relatively cheap these days -- the main decision being LCD vs DLP and figuring out if you suffer from the side effects of those technologies (screen door effect and rainbow effect, respectively).
 

whtstang99

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Joseph
my room is bare basement. so running cables is no problem. as far as budget I can only spend about 6000 for the tv. i have all of my auido already. there is only one window and it will be coverd up..
http://www.myhometheater.homestead.com/HTPC.html
this is something that i was reading today.. from what i get from it. it looks like the htpc will improve your image on lower end projectors.. do you know anything on this? is it even possable to get a picture on a front projector as nice or close to a flat panel?
 

Brian Osborne

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Sep 2, 2005
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If you ask the question "rear projection or front projection?" on this forum 9 out of 10 times you know what the answer is going to be. You can control the light in the room, you have a wall and the means to install a projector, definately, do the projector.
While a HTPC can be a nice thing to have, it is not to the point of being a complete HomeTheater experience. Appropriate seperate components will get you a better Theater experience than a HTPC will any day of the week. And look at other computers too. You can do some amazing things for a very small amount of money with an HP or a Dell. Price around.
A HTPC will only be as good as its input sources. You can't get HDTV out of regular cable because your running it through your PC.
It looks to me like you have a pretty healthy budge for a display. That is about what I spend on my entire theater.... amp, projector, dvr, surround speakers, cables and HDTV tuner.
Check out the link below. I sit about 8 foot away, have a 720P projector and my screen is 16:9 and about 101" diagonal. With my projector at 1100 lumens, it is more than bright enough. I haven't turned it off economy mode (400 lumens) since I bought it.
The evil effects of screendoor and rainbow are not so much of a problem as they were in the past. I have a very discerning eye. i've been able to see the rainbow on old DLP type models of rear projections, but anymore, the wheel spins fast enough that this is VERY hard to see now. I do sit unusually close to my screen for the size of it, but, in 720P or even SD-DVD, I rarely if ever am able to see a screendoor effect except on static bright images, such as my windows desktop.
If your sitting 8 feet away, as long as your screen is no larger than 90-100 inches, I doubt you will find issue with the picture either.
 

Jim Mcc

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I LOVE my projector, but I wouldn't use a projector for an 8' viewing distance. Unless you might be moving it to a larger room in the near future.
 

SethH

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Your maximum screen size using front projection with an 8 foot throw distance would be about 75".

Here are some suggestions in your price range:

TH-58PX600U - Panasonic 58" 720p Plasma $5500 MSRP
KDS-60A2000 - Sony 60" 1080p SXRD $3500 MSRP
VPL-VW50 - Sony 1080p Front Projector $5000 MSRP (You would also need a screen)
 

whtstang99

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Joseph
thanks for the replies.. i think im going to go for the front projector because i can use is again if i decide to use the whole room later on i wont have a tv size issue.. what components will give me the best picture? or I guess I should ask what would help me get a better picture without spending a life savings.. in the link i gave earlier he said that one of the reasons cheaper projectors is because the scalers inside of them are not the best they could be and this is why a htpc helps. because u can scale the source to the projector's native resolution and bypass the projectors scaler all together. is this true?
 

SethH

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Well, the best picture would come from either a BluRay or a HD-DVD player that will output 1080p.

I'm not sure what scaler the Sony "Pearl" has in it, but I doubt it's too bad. You could also upconvert via HTPC, upconverting DVD player (for upconverting DVDs only, of course), or an outboard scaler.
 

SethH

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Look at Carada screens. Lots of people will advocate building your own screen. I don't know enough about that to talk intelligently about it, but I do know that Carada makes good screens at pretty good prices. You'll probably want a 1.78:1 screen to fit HDTV and be a good balance between film formats. If your primary focus is DVDs then you might consider a different aspect ratio.
 

whtstang99

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Joseph
Well i just got off the phone with a good friend of mine and his projector (Optoma EP738) the lamp just went on it. he said that he would put a new lamp in it and let me have it for about 500. im thinking about getting my scree and using it till i find out what i want exactly. or do you think his projector will just be crap? i dont even want to wast my time if its going to suck realy bad.. does anyone know about this projector? would a htpc help it out at all?
 

SethH

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Have you seen the image produced by his projector? If you have and you like it, then go for it. But that is really not the quality of something like the Sony Pearl.

That projector claims to be HDTV-Ready, but it is 4:3 instead of 16:9. It also does not have component, HDMI or DVI input. So to get the best picture you would have to use the VGA input (next best is s-video). If you're going back to your HTPC idea then this might not be too bad, but not many DVD players or cable boxes have VGA outputs.
 

whtstang99

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Oct 18, 2006
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Joseph
yeah i think your right. thank you very much for your advice. ill try to get some pic's of everything when im done..
 

whtstang99

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Oct 18, 2006
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Joseph
what do you think about the new panosonic ax100? also anybody hear of the brand elunevision for screens?
 

TicoTVA

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Nov 9, 2004
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i'm going to chime in and say go with Projector you have the perfecet space for it. Brightness and picture quality are improved with room control. That said
tie #3Epson Powerlite 400 lCD 1500 $ 1,599
#1 Panasonic PT-AX100U LCD 2000 lumens
#3 Sanyo PLV-Z5 LCD 1100 lumens
#4 Benq 8720 DLP 720p 1000 lumens
#5 Optoma HD70 1000 lumens
#2 Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 810 1600 lumens
 

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