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New basement project- help me choose! (1 Viewer)

Jeff Bayne

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Jan 17, 2003
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Hey fellas, I'm not a noob to HT, but I am definitely out of date for current products. I have a friend who wants a simple theater system for her son in the basement of her house.

It has just two of the small windows up at the ceiling, which can be completely concealed, so light is totally controllable. Also, they will only be in this house for another 3 years or so, so this is not for a super custom install- mainly for movies and guitar hero... So, I'm looking for:

projector

screen

blue ray

receiver

5.1 speaker system

Not looking for scrape the bottom quality... it needs to be decent stuff, I just know from experience that there's always a couple products out there that are just awesome for the money.

Thanks for any help!!
jeff
 

Jeff Bayne

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Sorry about that- If it can be done for $3000 that would be nice. DLP or LCD? not sure, what is the main difference.

Is there a paint for the wall that can be used in place of an actual screen? or is it just a joke/gimmick?

Thanks
jeff
 

Jason Charlton

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A budget of $3000 pretty much means you'll have to focus your projector search to 720p models. There are a number of quality sub-1k projectors out there to consider. I have a Mitsubishi DLP model that I'm very satisfied with.

Many of the differences between DLP and LCD boil down to personal preference (rainbows, screendoor effect, black levels, etc.). However, placement flexibility is a difference that (depending on your friend's room dimensions) is much more "concrete" than the others. Essentially, in order to get a screen of a certain size, LCD projectors have a much broader range of placement options than DLP projectors. Most DLP projectors have some form of Keystone correction that, if used, allow a little more placement flexibility, however, many people on this forum feel that one should avoid using keystone correction at all costs. Personally, I use a tiny bit of it in my setup and have not noticed any image degredation at all. As you do your research, pay attention to "throw distance" and "offset" parameters. You'll be surprised how much your room geometry affects your projector options.

As for the screen, a number of people have used various paint combinations/formulas and have achieved great results. Personally, I can vouch for the quality of a Carada screen. They're one of the more affordable brands out there, and I'm very happy with mine.

Here's one set of options (I happen to be very particular to these brands, though there are tons of other options out there, too).

Mitsubishi HC1600 - $725 at ProjectorPeople.com (GREAT service at PP)
Onkyo TX-SR 607 - $500 at Amazon.com
Panasonic DMP-BD60 - $235 at Amazon.com
Carada 96" Precision series screen - $560 at Carada.com

I won't even try to make a recommendation on speakers - I'll leave that up to someone else, but I know there are quite a lot of options available to you for a 5.1 speaker setup in the $1000 range.

That's probably on track to go a bit over budget - a general rule of thumb is to allocate 40-50% for speakers, and 10% for mounts, cables, etc. If you ditch the screen listed above and funnel some of that money into the speakers, you can probably find a way to get a pretty sweet setup with your 3k budget.

~Jason
 

Robert_J

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Not a joke at all. The most popular paint is called Screen Goo. You can also stop by AVS Forum and look in the screen section where you will find a DIY screen sub-section. There are dozens of paint combinations depending on the type of projector you get.

I went with a DIY screen. I built the frame with 1x3 poplar from Lowes, stapled blackout cloth to it and then trimmed it in door casing painted flat black. Pic 1 shows the casing close up. Pic 2 is the screen surrounded by curtains.

-Robert


 

Parker Clack

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Jeff:

A flat white paint works well too. High gloss should be avoided. Also, if you are going to paint a surface make sure it is smooth without any obvious drywall tape, etc.

I can vouch for the Carada screens too. They are top quality at a great price. David and his staff or great to work with pre and post sales too. If you have a projector in mind and room size you can call him to get an idea of the best screen to get for your particular needs and he won't oversell you either.
 

Allan Jayne

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(copied from another post)

The same paint will behave the same way whether put directly on a wall or put on a cloth surface.

If you buy paint from "an ordinary paint store" you will want to be sure it is pure white or neutral gray, as opposed to off-white or otherwise having a bluish, yellowish, etc. tint.

Flat paint is easiest to work with. Any gloss and you might run into problems with hot spotting (non-uniform brightness) which problems are more likely for the beam spread from the projector. Paint with some gloss has its place when additional screen gain is needed but this topic involves calculations and is too complex to bring up here.

I also have a DIY screen built from a wood frame and blackout cloth. It is not painted.

I have a Sanyo 720p projector from a few years ago (PLV-Z3) and will probably keep using it until the end of its life.
 

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