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Home theater on a budget (1 Viewer)

Jeurz

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Francois de Juste
Hi,
I hope I posted this in the good place
I am looking to buy a projector and a retractable projector screen, I don't really care if it's manual.
Projector will mainly be used for movies but could be used for gaming but it's not a priority.
I have a total budget 2300€ and I can go up to 2500€ if there is a real added value.
Room condition: can be dark but not 100% during the day as the sides of the blinds let some lights through. All walls are white. Whatch distance is 3.5 - 4 meters.
I don't care about sound quality as I have a good soundbar with a subwoofer. Integrated apps aren't usefull either because I ll have an iptv and a computer connected to it.
Possibilities of projector placement. My actual understanding is that placing the projector in the center will result in a better quality.
I have got only one wall for the screen, it needs to be retractable as it will be in front of a door.
If the screen is mounted on the ceiling: horizontally over 2m80 maximum, vertically 1m52 between ceiling and the bottom. I would like a 16/9 screen.
- If ceiling mounted:
As there is a rack of lights in the middle of the ceiling, I only have a distance of 1m30 between the wall and the lights.
- If I install a shelf on the opposite wall:
Distance : 4m10. ( What would be perfect hight for the shelf ? )
- I also looked at UST but it seems that for equal budget, quality will be worse especially since I wouldn't have a specific screen ( not in budget) and light would reflect on the white ceiling. Thus I am not considering that option anymore.
Thanks for your advices ! Don't hesitate if you need any additional data.
 

Sam Posten

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Hi and welcome to HTF. I have renamed your thread to give it a better title. Hopefully some of our guys who love to spend other people's money can jump in here.

=)
 

Jeurz

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Hi, thanks!
Indeed any help to spend my money would be appreciated
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Welcome to HTF, Francois!

IF you can get something like an Epson 5050UB for that budget, I'd go w/ that -- the 5050UB should be right around your budget if bought in current discounted sale somewhere here in USA, but no idea where you are. IF that's definitely (significantly) beyond your budget, maybe go for the next lower model in the Epson lineup (probably the 4050)...

An Epson in that ballpark range should come w/ highly flexible lens mechanism w/ lens memory to suit me thinks. That would help a whole lot w/ placement (and occasional adjustments), which you probably could use... although these PJs are quite big (and hefty-ish at ~25lb) and won't likely fit on any basic shelf -- you'd probably want something (at least) around 2ft deep, especially if non-movable and up against a wall, though the PJ itself is actually ~21"x18"x8" and can sit on a sturdy platform as small as 18"x13" (w/ overhang). The lens system would also allow other potentially nice adjustments, especially if you ever wanna go w/ a CIH (constant image height) setup.

I have no recommendation for screen other than to try your best to avoid retractable. Good enough retractable screens are probably a fair bit more expensive than their fixed counterparts... and will likely never be quite as good/reliable/durable as fixed.

_Man_
 

Jeurz

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Welcome to HTF, Francois!

IF you can get something like an Epson 5050UB for that budget, I'd go w/ that -- the 5050UB should be right around your budget if bought in current discounted sale somewhere here in USA, but no idea where you are. IF that's definitely (significantly) beyond your budget, maybe go for the next lower model in the Epson lineup (probably the 4050)...

An Epson in that ballpark range should come w/ highly flexible lens mechanism w/ lens memory to suit me thinks. That would help a whole lot w/ placement (and occasional adjustments), which you probably could use... although these PJs are quite big (and hefty-ish at ~25lb) and won't likely fit on any basic shelf -- you'd probably want something (at least) around 2ft deep, especially if non-movable and up against a wall, though the PJ itself is actually ~21"x18"x8" and can sit on a sturdy platform as small as 18"x13" (w/ overhang). The lens system would also allow other potentially nice adjustments, especially if you ever wanna go w/ a CIH (constant image height) setup.

I have no recommendation for screen other than to try your best to avoid retractable. Good enough retractable screens are probably a fair bit more expensive than their fixed counterparts... and will likely never be quite as good/reliable/durable as fixed.

_Man_
Thanks for your answer!

I am from Belgium. It seems like models are different in the US and in Europe because I can't find that model over here. Unfortunnatly I think I need to find an european forum.
I don't really have a choice for the screen since the only place I can setup a projector is in front of a door.

Thanks for your friendly welcome, I keep you posted.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Thanks for your answer!

I am from Belgium. It seems like models are different in the US and in Europe because I can't find that model over here. Unfortunnatly I think I need to find an european forum.
I don't really have a choice for the screen since the only place I can setup a projector is in front of a door.

Thanks for your friendly welcome, I keep you posted.

In your region, the 5050UB is probably EH-TW8400. Not sure about the 4050, but maybe it's EH-TW7400?

_Man_
 

Jeurz

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In your region, the 5050UB is probably EH-TW8400. Not sure about the 4050, but maybe it's EH-TW7400?

_Man_
Thanks!!
I can't find the TW8400 but in the upper bracket of my price range I either have the EH-TW9400 or the EB L520U.

In that price range, would you avoid going for a laser projector?
I already checked for throw distance, both would fit.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Thanks!!
I can't find the TW8400 but in the upper bracket of my price range I either have the EH-TW9400 or the EB L520U.

In that price range, would you avoid going for a laser projector?
I already checked for throw distance, both would fit.

The TW9400 would be same as 6050UB over here, which is theoretically ever so slightly better than the 5050UB... although not sure if it includes the same warranty and accessories of the 6050UB, eg. 3-year warranty, extra/spare replacement lamp, ceiling mount.

IF the LS12000B isn't too much more expensive that you can afford (and you intend to keep it for a long time, not upgrade again in just a few years), that's certainly worth considering for laser -- I probably wouldn't go for the other (generally lesser) laser PJs they currently make. Just note though that the laser ones can't support 3D, if that matters to you.

That L520U isn't really meant for HT use -- it's designed for business use.

_Man_
 

Jeurz

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The TW9400 would be same as 6050UB over here, which is theoretically ever so slightly better than the 5050UB... although not sure if it includes the same warranty and accessories of the 6050UB, eg. 3-year warranty, extra/spare replacement lamp, ceiling mount.

IF the LS12000B isn't too much more expensive that you can afford (and you intend to keep it for a long time, not upgrade again in just a few years), that's certainly worth considering for laser -- I probably wouldn't go for the other (generally lesser) laser PJs they currently make. Just note though that the laser ones can't support 3D, if that matters to you.

That L520U isn't really meant for HT use -- it's designed for business use.

_Man_
Thanks for all your quick answers.
The LS12000B is indeed out of budget.
I will go with the TW9400

If I place the projector on a shelf on the opposite wall, would the height relative to the screen make a difference ?

For the screen, in my case, what are caracteristics I should look for ? Gain, color, fabric etc..

Really appreciate your help
 

Jeurz

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Last question, what do I have to look at if I want a ceiling fixation for the projector?
Doesn't seem like it's included
Thanks !
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Thanks for all your quick answers.
The LS12000B is indeed out of budget.
I will go with the TW9400

If I place the projector on a shelf on the opposite wall, would the height relative to the screen make a difference ?

Try to put it as high as you can, but still be readily accessible for basic/initial setup (like wiring or lamp replacement), etc. Nearly all aspects of setup can be done w/ remote, including all lens adjustments.

You'll probably want it higher to minimize/avoid people standing up or walking about blocking the projection... even though this lens mechanism allows very flexible placement. Also higher to reduce how audible the PJ is (between fan noise and the auto IRIS, if you keep that enabled)... plus how noticeable the heat exhaust.

For the screen, in my case, what are caracteristics I should look for ? Gain, color, fabric etc..

Really appreciate your help

As I mentioned earlier, I don't have recs for retractable screens (and I currently really only use a fairly basic 120" Elite screen... although wanna switch to 135"-plus Silver Ticket) plus a lot of that will depend on your particular environment. But if you can get the room plenty dark whenever you use the PJ, then white and pretty standard 1-1.3 gain should work I imagine. How much gain might depend on your preference between absolute brightness (for what little HDR PJs can do) and black level... including the fact that running that PJ at its brightest would mean shorter lamp/bulb life, probably mean using more power and generating a fair bit more heat, leading to louder (more obvious) fan noise, and probably also compromise black level some bit (and/or probably trigger the auto IRIS more often I’m guessing) -- I generally just keep my 5050UB in eco mode all the time even for HDR content (and my original lamp has lasted beyond 4400 hours as result… although it’s definitely been dimmer than first couple thousand hours)... but you might consider bumping up to full power just for (some?) HDR (and 3D, if do that) that might benefit enough from that while keeping it in eco for non-HDR/non-3D content.

The PJ has memory for diff profiles and settings (including all the lens settings) for fairly quick adjustments for whatever context. I programmed my fairly basic/low-end Harmony 665 remote w/ macro sequences to help w/ that (though the sequencing doesn’t always work quite perfectly in navigating the PJ’s menus, heh).

One other thing. How large will you go w/ this screen? Presumably not quite that large since you need retractable. If your back wall is 4.1m from the screen, your max throw distance might realistically be ~11.5ft, maybe slightly less... because the PJ will eat up at least 1.5-2ft of that. ~11.5ft throw distance can only get upto around 120" 16x9 -- that's roughly my current limitation as well.

You can use this calculator to help you figure that out, including what you can roughly expect for light output and ambient light effect -- do note their estimate is based on manufacturer specs, which is most likely a good deal higher than reality once you calibrate the PJ...


_Man_
 

jameswilliam

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Hi,
I hope I posted this in the good place
I am looking to buy a projector and a retractable projector screen, I don't really care if it's manual.
Projector will mainly be used for movies but could be used for gaming but it's not a priority.
I have a total budget 2300€ and I can go up to 2500€ if there is a real added value.
Room condition: can be dark but not 100% during the day as the sides of the blinds let some lights through. All walls are white. Whatch distance is 3.5 - 4 meters.
I don't care about sound quality as I have a good soundbar with a subwoofer. Integrated apps aren't usefull either because I ll have an iptv and a computer connected to it.
Possibilities of projector placement. My actual understanding is that placing the projector in the center will result in a better quality.
I have got only one wall for the screen, it needs to be retractable as it will be in front of a door.
If the screen is mounted on the ceiling and
Arlington Junk Removal: horizontally over 2m80 maximum, vertically 1m52 between ceiling and the bottom. I would like a 16/9 screen.
- If ceiling mounted:
As there is a rack of lights in the middle of the ceiling, I only have a distance of 1m30 between the wall and the lights.
- If I install a shelf on the opposite wall:
Distance : 4m10. ( What would be perfect hight for the shelf ? )
- I also looked at UST but it seems that for equal budget, quality will be worse especially since I wouldn't have a specific screen ( not in budget) and light would reflect on the white ceiling. Thus I am not considering that option anymore.
Thanks for your advices ! Don't hesitate if you need any additional data.
I'm looking to set up a media room/home theater with around a 130" image. I don't want to spend a ton of money but I do want a great picture and great sound. Is there a sweet spot or value/budget package that could get me a great set up for a few thousand dollars? I need to buy a projector, screen, receiver/amp, speakers, and subwoofer, I guess. I called local home theater places and they told me to expect to spend $20K minimum for them to set it up. I'd like to spend much, much less than that.
 

MCM Productions

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Leo McMichael
Hi,
I hope I posted this in the good place
I am looking to buy a projector and a retractable projector screen, I don't really care if it's manual.
Projector will mainly be used for movies but could be used for gaming but it's not a priority.
I have a total budget 2300€ and I can go up to 2500€ if there is a real added value.
Room condition: can be dark but not 100% during the day as the sides of the blinds let some lights through. All walls are white. Whatch distance is 3.5 - 4 meters.
I don't care about sound quality as I have a good soundbar with a subwoofer. Integrated apps aren't usefull either because I ll have an iptv and a computer connected to it.
Possibilities of projector placement. My actual understanding is that placing the projector in the center will result in a better quality.
I have got only one wall for the screen, it needs to be retractable as it will be in front of a door.
If the screen is mounted on the ceiling: horizontally over 2m80 maximum, vertically 1m52 between ceiling and the bottom. I would like a 16/9 screen.
- If ceiling mounted:
As there is a rack of lights in the middle of the ceiling, I only have a distance of 1m30 between the wall and the lights.
- If I install a shelf on the opposite wall:
Distance : 4m10. ( What would be perfect hight for the shelf ? )
- I also looked at UST but it seems that for equal budget, quality will be worse especially since I wouldn't have a specific screen ( not in budget) and light would reflect on the white ceiling. Thus I am not considering that option anymore.
Thanks for your advices ! Don't hesitate if you need any additional data.
I’m going to outline my system, then I’ll tell you how much it cost. 😂 I think you’ll be surprised. 😲

I have a 100” Elite Screen (motorized retractable) with remote control for my screen. It’s mounted to a cement wall with 2 cement mounting screws. I have a BenQ projector (because my Acer developed white spots - bad processor) and I love it. I have KLH speakers 🔊 surrounding my room 5.1 at the moment will become 7.2 eventually I just have not set it up yet). I’m using a Pioneer Elite receiver with DTS, Dolby Digital, and a few others. I’m pretty sure it’s not Atmos capable. I’m using a Roku HD for streaming, and a Pioneer Elite series BluRay player for discs and USB drives with surround promos etc. I’m sitting on one of four theater seats mounted to my basement floor with bolts. Now, here’s the fun part.

The Elite screen was $50 on Facebook marketplace. The guy was getting rid of his because he upgraded to a laser projector and didn’t require a screen anymore.

The receiver was $200 on Facebook marketplace because someone was not really using it due to having small children. They were going wireless speaker system. Ease of use for them, gave me a major upgrade.

The Pioneer BluRay player (which also has 3D capabilities and they look really good) was $50 on Facebook marketplace.

My KLH speakers were from my father’s system and I was going to get Klipsch to replace them at some point, but I’m in no hurry. These things sound great! He had small surrounds and medium fronts with a center channel speaker. 🔈 I’m using the two medium speakers and center channel. I found two matching model KLH speakers for $40 on Facebook marketplace. 😂 So I have 4 medium sized speakers 🔊 for my surround system, and I’ve added for $50 a KLH subwoofer 🔊. Where did I find that? You guessed it! Facebook marketplace! 😂 I will be adding another KLH subwoofer soon and more surround speakers 🔊 (the small ones my day had plus two more) to tweak the sound just right.

The theater seats are from Facebook marketplace and they were $200 with the actual cup holder trays for snacks used in the IMAX theater the seats came from.

The BenQ projector is HD, not 4K because I have over 2,000 BluRay titles (some are 4K) but they’re all HD. I have enjoyed watching TV since childhood and never did I think that the image quality ruined the story. There’s nothing wrong with the image quality of this projector. It handles 3D using Bluetooth and I have only had rave reviews from people who come over for a movie night and now won’t go to the theater.

The 3D glasses were $70 for 4 on Amazon. The BenQ projector was $700 from B&H in NYC.

I have two m&m’s figures ($100/each from Facebook marketplace) holding up my snacks, and a Pepsi fridge for popcorn 🍿 storage and a Coke fridge for drinks. $60 for the Coke fridge — Facebook marketplace, and $60 for the Pepsi fridge — Facebook marketplace. I use a Nespresso machine for coffee ☕️ and my Carnival King 👑 12 ounce popcorn machine for popcorn 🍿. That was $100 from Facebook marketplace. Such a steal! It goes for $600 now new.

I think if you added it up, it’s easily under $1,000 for a great quality home theater where you can host a movie night every night if you want.

My TV tuner for rare times where I watch sports on my movie screen, was $26 on Amazon.

I’ll have to post a few pictures later. But not every decision you make has to be the BEST thing going to enjoy great quality images and sound.

Upstairs I use a Bose Atmos soundbar, subwoofer and surround speakers (all wireless connections) for audio. That’s another option if you like your soundbar. Add the surround speakers and subwoofer (if you don’t already have one).
 

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