New Projector for Basement Theater

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Mark>B, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. Mark>B

    Mark>B Auditioning

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    First, thanks to the forum and its members for the great info. I've been doing my homework on HT for a while and the wealth of great info through the forum is unbelievable.

    I am very close to buying a projector for my basement and have budgeted $3000. I have read impressive things about the Panasonic LCD systems. I'm leaning toward the PT-AE900U due to features and picture control.

    I have great light control in the HT but, would like to be able to watch with some lighting on at times, as the room is large and serves as a game room as well.

    Sorry for the lengthy background, my question is, am I making a wise choice going with the Panasonic PT-AE900U or is there anything I should know? If so, Is there a reputable Panasonic demo center in Central Florida?

    I have a career computer background and use a lot of multimedia projectors from Sony and Hitachi but, HT projectors are new to me so, any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mark>B
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Nice projector. If you find it not bright enough either reduce your screen size or reduce your throw distance or both.


    Are you asking if there is a better bang for your buck?

    Maybe the infocus screenplay 5000..... But the Panasonic is a really great projector for sure.
     
  3. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    If you watch with lights on sometimes, you'll probably want to go with a gray screen instead of white.
     
  4. Mark>B

    Mark>B Auditioning

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    Thanks for the projector and screen info. Sounds like I'm on the right track. I'll give a DIY screen a shot and see what works best for the HT.

    Thanks Again,
    Mark>B
     
  5. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    The new Sony HS51A might be in the mix. With its new lamp and impressive early reviews of the HS60 (non US version of the 51A), it might best the 900 is many areas. It is just arriving in the US so I haven't found any full reviews or head to head reviews vs the Panasonic. Retail will be a bit above 3000 though, but with the usual discounts it might come in under 3K pretty quickly.
     
  6. Oren Paul

    Oren Paul Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Panasonic L500. The 900 is two generations improved over what I own, that said I have mine set up in a room 12' X 37' x 9' with good light control and use a white screen (92") in low lamp mode. Many times I sit about 25' away from the screen at a desk and read and watch TV at the same time, the picture is good even with the lamp on. When watching a movie in total darkness the picture is in a word GREAT, I know from my reading the 700 and 900 projectors are better than what I now have but when watching I do not see what the improvement could be.

    The Panasonic projectors offer a lot of bang for the buck
     
  7. Mark>B

    Mark>B Auditioning

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    Thanks again for all the help guys. I ordered the Panasonic 900 series from Projectorpeople.com and got it the next day. I setup a temporary shelf at about 21 feet from a 100" diag. sheet screen to test the bulb and resolution. I connected S video to a basic Sony DVD player, as I didn't have a component video cable around, and it was GREAT. I'm in a learning curve with the functions at this point but, the clarity is unbelievable.
    Its early to offer big thanks to the vendor but, I have to give them credit, they said next day and it was here in 24 hours.

    Question:

    I'm really thinking of a DIY screen, as the ones on the forum look great and seem to get favorable feedback. I know there are lots of options but, I am leaning toward a fixed screen in the 120 to 160 inch range. My basement is about to be drywalled. Its waiting on my HT decisions to be completed.

    Is a drywall screen the way to go? If not...

    What material?
    What Paint?

    Thanks for the guidance guys, Its great to have help from people who've been down this road.


    Sincerely,
    Mark>B
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    I just ordered an Infocus 5000 by the way with the free 76" pull down screen.


    We will have to keep tabs with each others experiences as this is my first front projector ever.


    I did this behind my significant others back, she is going to hit the roof. Just to good of a deal to not give it a go.
     
  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    160" is way to big for the 900U to project onto...stay closer to 100-120" and you'll get a better picture.

    As for the DIY screen there's a host of paint solutions that you can try that range from really easy one coat solutions to some that are much more difficult to apply. I've built a few screens for my room and the first one used blackout cloth stretched over a wooden frame and painted with a silver/white/glaze mix that worked extremely well. It wasn't that easy to apply but was worth the effort. I recently changed my room layout and now require a perforated screen so I opted to order some screen material from www.dazian.com as its very cheap and works well.
     
  10. Mark>B

    Mark>B Auditioning

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    Best of luck with the Boss John S. I don't have your guts. Keep me up on your progress with the HT setup. I'm in the middle of working on a large basement HT myself. I'm loving it at this point and the projector already gets me excited on a make-shift sheet screen.

    Andrew, thanks for the DIY screen tips. I'm definitely ready to jump one way or the other at this point. I'm still trying to weigh the pros and cons of DIY vs Perma Daylite snap togethers. I'm working on a budget and trying to get great results at reasonable cost.

    I appreciate your help,
    Mark>B
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    I got her like 10ct of diamonds for xmas. She was way way more accepting of the purchase than I expected.

    We were going to buy an FP soon, for a dedicated room when we permanently relocate to our observatory in NM anyways.


    She took it pretty darn well. But I think the xmas present had a lot to do with that. [​IMG]
     

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